Return to Transcripts main page
Trump: Sotomayor & Ginsberg Should Recuse From My Cases; Judge In Roger Stone Case Issues Stinging Rebuke To Trump; Model & Alleged Victim, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, Discusses The Weinstein Trial Verdict; Dow Drops Over 1,000 Points Over Fears Of Coronavirus Impact On Global Economies. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired February 25, 2020 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Sotomayor issued this scathing dissent, and she said basically the government is coming to the court too often asking for emergency relief, and she also called out her own colleagues, and she said, look, they're granting these petitions way too often.
It was very heated, but she never targeted Trump himself. She said at one point, "It's hard to say what is more troubling, that the government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course or that Trump would grant it."
What she said does have a lot of truth. For instance, in the last several years, the Trump administration has come to the Supreme Court a lot more than other administrations.
But it wasn't directly targeting Trump, and it's worth saying, Brooke, that no other liberals on this court joined her in that dissent.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: What about what's coming up on the docket for the Supreme Court? What other, to use the president's phrase, Trump-related cases does the Supreme Court have coming up?
DE VOGUE: He's got a lot at stake at the Supreme Court coming up. First of all, there's that big case that we'll hear arguments on later this spring, and that's where he's trying to shield the release of his financial documents, and his personal lawyers are bringing that.
There's also the case concerning DACA, the Obama era program that shields immigrants, some DREAMers from deportation. Those are two big cases.
Also, the court's considering whether to take up cases like the Affordable Care Act. That could be on the docket, either this term or next. There's a lot in play.
Brooke, one other thing to note is it was just last week when the attorney general was complaining that Trump should stop calling out judges. Remember that?
BALDWIN: Right. DE VOGUE: So here he is. He's calling out now two justices on the Supreme Court.
And it's the attorney general's solicitor general who's going to have to actually argue before them. It is a little extraordinary he's come out this strong.
BALDWIN: It is.
Ariane De Vogue, thank you for all of that perspective.
We want to continue the conversation. Jeffrey Engel is the director at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. And he's also a CNN presidential historian.
Jeffrey, nice to have you back.
JEFFREY ENGEL, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Hi, good to see you again.
BALDWIN: It is worth reminding people that Chief Justice John Roberts warned the president about his past politicization of the justices.
Roberts said, quote, "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them."
So I wanted to read that because then in today's comments, do you think the president has a full understanding of what a dissent is?
ENGEL: Probably not, but I think he's actually trying to set up, I think, an argument later for -- if he wanted to perhaps take the somewhat unprecedented step of not abiding by the court.
I mean, we have to remember that the presidents and the courts are historically always at odds. There's numerous examples, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Harry Truman, I can go on, ask on about presidents who have criticized the court.
Trump's a little different in that he criticized individual members of the court but, overall, this is just part of the normal competition of powers and separation of powers within Washington.
I think what's somewhat different is President Trump seems to be suggesting that the court justices are not capable of rendering an unbiased decision, and, therefore, perhaps in the future -- again, perhaps -- me may decide if they're not going to be unbiased, I don't need to follow what they say.
BALDWIN: To that point in his dissent, Justice Sotomayor is warning gents conservatives putting their thumb on the scale. Is there a fear that the president is putting his thumb on the scale when he calls for these justices to recuse themselves?
ENGEL: You know, I think very much so. And I think that's actually exactly what he's supposed to do. I'm not bothered by the fact that the president's trying to do this. The president's trying to influence the court. That's what presidents should do. The real question is, is the president going to listen when the court rules.
To be honest, nothing that President Trump has said is going to have any impact whatsoever inside the Supreme Court.
There's no way that Justice Roberts is going to allow the president to even suggest an appearance of making the court change its opinion. There's no way that these justices are going to recuse themselves.
This is really a sense of political talk, which will have no effect inside the court. The real question is what it will do outside the court within the broader Washington bubble.
BALDWIN: Just can you explain that quickly for me? Like what would -- what would worst-case scenario repercussion post-SCOTUS ruling look like if he does that?
ENGEL: That's an excellent question, which no one has an answer for. The truth of the matter is the Supreme Court has no enforcement mechanism. The only enforcement it has is the sense that people within the government, Congress and the executive, should follow its rulings.
That's something that's been established since John Marshall back in the early years of the court. So it is possible for a president simply to have a Supreme Court ruling and decide not to do anything about it.
Now, Richard Nixon -- not to abide by it. Richard Nixon actually, during the Watergate case, when he lost nine to zero on whether he could keep his tape secret thought for several hours maybe he would just defy the court and say, no, I'm not giving it up no matter what, come get them.
The truth of the matter is he ultimately decided that this was too dangerous a precedent to set.
So as long as a president abides by the court, there's nothing to worry about. But if a president chooses not to, well then we're in a whole new kettle of worms.
BALDWIN: We've been in that place and so many other places and so many other regards. We'll have that conversation if and when we need to.
Jeffrey Engel for now, thank you very much.
A congressional candidate is suspending his campaign after he overdoses on heroin. We have that story ahead.
Also just in, as the president continues to attack against the Roger Stone jury, the judge in this case is currently issuing a stinging rebuke of those attacks. Stand by for that.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: Longtime Trump confidant, Roger Stone, is back in court in Washington right now. He is asking Judge Amy Berman Jackson to grant him a new trial. Stone claims a juror misled the court about whether that juror was biased against him.
And Judge Jackson started off today's hearing by saying that the jurors are, quote, "deserving of the public's respect," and warning that making a juror's identity public would, quote, "put them at substantial risk of harm."
Judge Jackson sentenced Stone last week to three years and four months in prison for witness tampering and lying to Congress.
With me now CNN Political Correspondent, Sara Murray, outside the courthouse in D.C., and Elie Honig, our CNN legal analyst.
We'll chat in just a second.
Sara, first to you.
What's the judge saying right now?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, they have reconvened this hearing, and it's interesting because it's partly opened, partly closed. We can't see anything going on in the courtroom. She's closed down the courtroom.
We don't have any visuals of what's happening. When you're in the courtroom, you can go in the media room, you can still hear the audio so essentially they are going through this hearing about whether Roger Stone deserves a new trial. They've alleged Stone has juror misconduct. We don't know exactly what that means.
A lot of these filings have happened under seal. Before she did this sort of half open, half closed we were in a normal court environment where we could see what was going on, and the judge was talking about how highly polarized, highly politicized this environment is right now.
She pointed to the president's tweet in which he talked about the foreperson in Roger Stone's jury. She pointed to a segment Tucker Carlson did on FOX News where he was denigrating the jurors, it's evidence that the jury in this case could be intimidated and could be harassed, and that is why she has decided to do things the way she is doing them this afternoon.
If they decide to call any of these jurors who were in Roger Stone's case as witnesses, she said she doesn't want them identified by name. She doesn't want them identified by number. She doesn't want their public images out there at all. She said they would be put at a substantial risk of harm if that were the case.
And you know, Brooke, some of these jurors have done interviews after the case about their view of the prosecutors, their view of the trial. She said they were well within their right to do these interviews.
But the judge noted that after the backlash they've received online that is why she's decided to move forward without allowing their images or names to be used in this hearing.
BALDWIN: Let me turn to Elie and ask about what you've just reported.
What do you make of the judge's comments here?
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's really important the judge said what she said. The point she's making is these are jurors. They're not here to be used as political pinatas. They're not here by choice. They're doing the most basic civic duty and don't deserve to be on the other end of president tweets and info wars pieces.
She's doing a good job. I appreciate this as someone who's practiced in federal courts. If we have to litigate it, we'll litigate it, but don't turn them into political puppets.
BALDWIN: Because team Stone wanted her recused, right? They're saying because she said the jurors served with integrity, they feel like she's not impartial.
HONIG: Now they do. At the time, they were fine with her. They questioned her at the side bar in front of the judge. She said she ran for Congress. She said she was a Democrat. She said she knew about Stone. She knew about Trump.
And now they're saying she hid things and she should have been thrown off, even though they don't throw her off then.
BALDWIN: Team Roger Stone wants a whole new trial. What's the likelihood of that?
HONIG: Low but not impossible.
HONIG: The one thing we don't know is -- so each juror has to come up and get questioned by the judge and the lawyers. In some high-profile cases, they submit written questionnaires and that we've not seen yet.
If the juror lied in an important way in the written questionnaire -- and why would she if she told the truth in front of the judge -- if she did, then there could be a problem.
BALDWIN: OK, Elie, thank you very much. Elie and Sara on that.
Let's talk about Harvey Weinstein. As he heads to prison, we'll talk to a woman whose story helped open up the rape investigation from the get-go. Why she is now violating her NDA, this nondisclosure agreement, to sit here with me and share her story.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [14:48:26]
BALDWIN: Despite decades of accusations, nearly two years since his arrest and his conviction on sex crimes, Harvey Weinstein has yet to spend a night in an actual jail cell.
The 67-year-old disgraced movie mogul was admitted to a Manhattan hospital en route to jail. His attorney says it was due to heart palpitations and high blood pressure.
A jury convicted Weinstein just yesterday morning of first-degree criminal sex act and third-degree rape, but he was acquitted of the most serious charges.
Now six women testified against him, but more than 80 women had accused him of some kind of sexual misconduct from harassment to rape to inappropriate touching.
And that includes my next guest. Model, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez was 22 years old when she said Weinstein groped her.
In 2015, a recording of Weinstein admitting to the offense helped expose all that became the Weinstein saga when the "New Yorker" went public with the audio in 2017.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARVEY WEINSTEIN, FORMER MOVIE MOGUL SENTENCED TO PRISON: Please, I'm not going to do anything. I swear on my children, please, come in on everything. I'm a famous guy.
AMBRA BATTILANA GUTIERREZ, MODEL & WEINSTEIN ACCUSER: GUTIERREZ: I'm feeling very uncomfortable now.
WEINSTEIN: Please, come in now. If you want to leave --
GUTIERREZ: Why yesterday you touch my breast?
WEINSTEIN: Please, I'm sorry. Come on, I'm used to that.
GUTIERREZ: You're used to that?
WEINSTEIN: Yes, come in.
GUTIERREZ: No, no, but I'm not used to that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Gutierrez obtained the audio when she wore a wire for the New York Police Department, but the New York district attorney chose not to press charges against Weinstein citing not enough evidence.
And Ambra is with me today.
Ambra, thank you so much.
GUTIERREZ: Hi Brooke.
BALDWIN: What is it like listening to that audio again?
GUTIERREZ: It's -- yes, getting back to that moment every time.
What was your reaction to the verdict yesterday?
GUTIERREZ: I was home with my best friend, and I literally jumped of joy, and I start crying of happiness.
BALDWIN: You did?
BALDWIN: And the fact that he has yet to spend a night in jail, that he was having some sort of chest pains is now in the hospital, do you have any thoughts on that?
GUTIERREZ: Well, I could say that I've been through a lot also with my health, and my mental situation through the years, so I feel that things go back to where they're supposed to go and so I think, yes, this is what is happening to him.
BALDWIN: You did sign an NDA so the fact that you are talking, that you're sitting here talking to me is in direct violation to that. Why are you risking that?
GUTIERREZ: I already violated the NDA when I kept those recordings. Yes, I was supposed to remove every type of proof from all my devices when I signed that, but I knew that deep in my heart I needed to do something and that the system was failing me so I had to do it that way. I knew that those recordings were very, very important to help other women and so I decided to keep them.
BALDWIN: Do you feel that it did?
GUTIERREZ: Yes. It did. I really, really feel that, yes, without that probably it would have been more difficult situation to --
BALDWIN: For other women to speak up.
You are here because you and other Harvey Weinstein survivors are getting together this coalition because you want to work to pass the adult survivors act in New York State.
GUTIERREZ: Yes. BALDWIN: What is that? What would that achieve?
GUTIERREZ: So the adult survivor's act is a bill that was introduced last year from Senator Brad Homan and Senator Rosenthal, so it would give a window of one year to look back to a situation of assault and abuse to adult survivors so that they could outside the statute of limitation, again, reopen the case.
BALDWIN: Statute of limitation that would be outside so they could reopen their case.
Weinstein wouldn't comment on your specific allegations of touching you inappropriately. A spokesperson has said in the past, quoting, "With respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual."
My question, Ambra, to you, is, you know, if a survivor of sexual assault, rape, what have you were to come forward to you today, perhaps who was -- somebody who's afraid to report it, what would you say to him or her now?
GUTIERREZ: Now we have this example to follow to understand that we're more safe to come forward, but I absolutely understand that is very traumatizing and very hard to right away talk about those type of situation. I could say that I'm still lucky that I didn't have to go through what the other women been through.
BALDWIN: How do you mean? How are you lucky? That's quite a word to use.
GUTIERREZ: Rape is a much bigger word than being assaulted. I know it's very, very hard to go through both situations, but I feel that recovering from a trauma like rape, it's very hard.
BALDWIN: If you could say anything to Harvey Weinstein, what would you say?
GUTIERREZ: I don't think he deserves any kind of word from me.
BALDWIN: Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, strong woman. Thank you for coming forward.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you for having me.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
As moderate Democrats get worried over the rise of Senator Bernie Sanders, is the Vermont Senator actually the best choice to compete against the president?
Plus, the Dow falling and falling as fears grow over the coronavirus outbreak. And an interview by a Trump adviser. That's next.
BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being here.
I've got some breaking news right now. Stocks falling again as fears grow over the coronavirus. You see the big board here, the Dow diving more than 800 points this afternoon following steep losses yesterday as well.
All of this comes as public health officials warn it is only a matter of time before the coronavirus outbreak spreads right here in the United States.
Let's go straight to Alison Kosik, our CNN business correspondent, live there at the New York stock exchange.
We know that, you know, the coronavirus outbreak started weeks ago. Lay it out to us as to why investors are so spooked?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You think about yesterday, they became even more spooked as the virus extended beyond China's borders. The number of cases rose, and those cases weren't in China.
Fast forward to today, we saw the market start off in the green this morning. There was some hope for some good news.