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Lawyer for Indicted Gaetz Associate: "I'm Sure Matt Gaetz Is Not Feeling Very Comfortable Today"; Pulmonology Expert: Floyd Died "From A Low Level Of Oxygen"; Biden Takes Executive Action, Urges Congress To Act On Gun Control. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 08, 2021 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": That is an excerpt from "THE PEOPLE V. THE KLAN," the new CNN Original Series. It's going to premiere this Sunday night with back-to-back episodes, beginning at 9 P.M. Eastern, and it's extraordinarily powerful.

The news continues right now. Want to hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, thank you, Anderson.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

We have more news breaking on our watch, and some big developments to discuss, specifically in the Gaetz scandal. Congressman Gaetz's buddy, Joel Greenberg, is working on a plea deal with the Feds prosecuting him for dozens of crimes, including sex, potentially with a minor.

Now, people are getting this wrong. So, these matters. They're hearing he's negotiating a plea deal and interpreting that to mean Greenberg may cooperate with authorities about others. That's wrong.

That means that Greenberg has already been cooperating with the Feds, in all likelihood, and for some time, and in ways that have satisfied authorities that what he has given them, or promised to give them, on others, warrants a deal. That's how a plea deal works, in this context. You get one, after you've shown that you can be of value, cooperating.

Now, if you think about it, the sequencing should make sense. Remember, the Gaetz sex trafficking and prostitution investigation sprung from what? The sex trafficking probe of Greenberg, the former county tax collector.

And if there were any doubt that Gaetz is on the menu of what Greenberg had to offer Feds, listen to his lawyer, today, try to downplay the obvious.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does Matt Gaetz have anything to worry about?

FRITZ SCHELLER, JOEL GREENBERG'S ATTORNEY: Does Matt Gaetz? That is such a - does he have--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it comes to what happened today in court?

SCHELLER: Does he have anything to worry about? And you're asking me to get into the mind of Matt Gaetz.

I'm sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today.


CUOMO: First of all, good for Scheller. You don't represent Gaetz. You represent Greenberg. You're not here as a legal analyst. That's a real lawyer. But what's interesting about it is that what does it sound like? A "Yes."

Now, of course, the House Re-Trumplican Gaetz has not been charged with anything yet. And who knows if he ever is. Gaetz maintains there's absolutely nothing to any of the allegations or reports.

But here's what we know. If Gaetz has legal exposure, it almost certainly will involve Greenberg, and proof may be emerging tonight of questionable ties. We have that coming up for you straight ahead.

We also have a lawyer tonight for one of Greenberg's alleged victims. He was in the courtroom today. He can put some meat on the bones of the theory I laid out about what is going on here, and when.

But let's keep first things first. The George Floyd murder trial is in the most critical phase of argument. The issue is "What caused the death of George Floyd?"

The jury was said to be fixated on Dr. Martin Tobin. He's a renowned pulmonologist, lung doctor, who took the stand.

Reports out of the court say just about every juror touched their necks, when the Doctor was demonstrating the anatomy of the neck, and watched every video, every chart, every illustration, closely, and even took notes.

Dr. Tobin was there for the prosecution to make painfully clear that it was Chauvin's actions that caused Floyd's death. He literally showed an obviously upset jury "The moment" he believes Floyd died from the video.

Now, I'm asked to warn you that you may not want to watch this because it's graphic. But I believe you need to see what you seek to understand. And here it is.


VOICE OF DR. MARTIN TOBIN, PULMONOLOGIST: At the beginning, you can see he's conscious, you can see slight flickering, and then it disappears.


TOBIN: So, one second he's alive and one second he's no longer.

That's the moment the life goes out of his body.


CUOMO: As important as what Tobin believes caused the death was his equally adamant analysis of what he believes did not cause the death, drugs or some kind of previous condition. Listen.


BLACKWELL: Do any of those conditions have anything to do with the cause of Mr. Floyd's death, in your professional opinion, whatsoever?

TOBIN: None whatsoever.

The cause of death is a low level of oxygen that caused the brain damage and caused the heart to stop.

BLACKWELL: You were asked questions about Fentanyl and meth.



BLACKWELL: Any evidence that he died from meth?


BLACKWELL: Any evidence then that any Fentanyl in his system depressed his breathing in any way whatsoever?



CUOMO: Now, here is the key for you in understanding what may be the outcome in this case. "To cause," all right, "To cause," something, in Minnesota law, means that what you did was a substantial causal factor in Floyd's death. What does that mean?

It means you are responsible for all consequences that reasonably occur from what you did. The fact that other causes contribute to a death does not necessarily relieve the defendant of criminal liability. That will be the operative concept that decides this trial with the jurors.

The better minds, former federal prosecutor, Elliot Williams, Dr. Joye Carter, also joins us, forensic pathologist, involved in the case. She helped review the autopsy reports for the Chauvin prosecution.

It's good to have you both.

Elliot, how big a day for the prosecution on the issue of proving causation?


And Chris, I think one of the most important revelations that Dr. Tobin made today that I didn't - I hadn't thought about before, he makes the point that even any healthy person would have succumbed to the pressure that was on Floyd's neck.

So, what that point does, is it allows the prosecution to concede that the Fentanyl and methamphetamines were in Floyd's system. OK, let the defense have that.

Even if he had Fentanyl, and methamphetamines, and, frankly, heart conditions or anything else that still doesn't matter, because even healthy people who weren't, who hadn't ingested drugs, in any way, would still have died. And it sort of gives the prosecution an out, almost to say that, whatever, the substantial causal factor is quite clear.

And so, that testimony from a believable expert, the defense can put theirs on - but note - and also one more important thing to note, Chris, notice that the prosecution put this witness on before they even called the Medical Examiner, right?

CUOMO: Right.

WILLIAMS: Before even calling the person, who examined George Floyd, after his death. This sets the stage for the jury, when they actually do hear from the Medical Examiner.

CUOMO: And again, under the law in Minnesota, what you do doesn't have to be the only factor in why somebody dies.


CUOMO: Now, Doctor, that said, thank you for joining us again, and do you agree with everything that Tobin said and in the way he said it today?

DR. JOYE CARTER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, REVIEWED AUTOPSY REPORTS FOR CHAUVIN PROSECUTION TEAM: Well, he's testifying as a medical practitioner. A forensic pathologist testifies a little bit differently and explains the cause and manner of death.

Dr. Tobin is explaining the physiology that happens when conditions exist that are incompatible with life. So, he is explaining the mechanism that happens when someone cannot get enough oxygen.

CUOMO: What is the difference, for the lay people, in terms of how he testifies versus how you would or a medical examiner?

CARTER: A forensic pathologist is there to explain to the jury why the person is dead, what injuries are present, what injuries are significant, and those that might be insignificant.

And it deals certainly with the cause of death and all conditions that are incompatible with life that they have found, on examining the deceased body, as well as all the circumstances of death that they are aware of.

So, it's a little bit different, and most forensic pathologists do not treat living patients. And so, they're explaining a manner and cause of death as well as mechanism of death.

CUOMO: So, in reversing the analysis, having reviewed the records yourself, for the prosecution, to the defense theory that "Well look, lot of things came together to cause the death here. Obviously, the officer had something to do with it.

But look at all this Fentanyl. Look at all this methamphetamine. Look at this fragile heart. This amount of stress is not that unusual that the officer used on him. But it was because of George Floyd's fragile and drug-induced intoxication."

What would you make of those findings?

CARTER: Well, I don't think that information has been introduced into the court, from the Medical Examiner's perspective. So, I can't comment on that, again, to say that we explain what has happened to that particular deceased body.

CUOMO: All right. I'll take your integrity on point, as unsatisfying as it is.


But Elliot, let me bounce it to you as a legal question that if they come and say, "Sure, sure, substantial causal factor. But you got to weigh it out here. It's percentages, people. And look at all the drugs, you know?"

And look, we know from the autopsy that they're going to say there were amounts of Fentanyl that could have killed him all by himself. I mean, that's a good reason not to have the Medical Examiner on first is that that finding was probably the biggest wave that hit the boat for the prosecution before this trial ever started.

How do they handle it?

WILLIAMS: Right. But again, what they - what we heard today was testimony that indicated that it wasn't an overwhelming amount of Fentanyl, that would have led to an overdose amount, but also - but I think like a DUI level of substance in his system. So that's the big point there.

Again, it's - and also what we saw in testimony of today was, he might have gone into a coma, had he actually been overdosing, or something like that. So, I think this was very valuable testimony for framing up what we will see later.

Again, getting back to the legal point, you'd raised Chris, substantial causal factor, it's pretty clear, based on the testimony, the scientific testimony we've seen thus far--

CUOMO: Right. WILLIAMS: --that a major factor in his death was the asphyxia, and not any other substance or any other factors that might have sort of led to a less than perfectly healthy body.

CUOMO: Here's some sound on that from the trial.



DR. WILLIAM SMOCK, EXPERT WITNESS/LOUISVILLE POLICE SURGEON: He is saying, you know, "Please, please get off of me. I want to breathe. I can't breathe." That is not a Fentanyl overdose. That is somebody begging to breathe.

TOBIN: With Fentanyl, his respiratory rate should be down at around 10. Instead of that, it's right in the middle of normal, at 22.

What you're seeing is that the increase in his carbon dioxide that is found in the emergency room is solely explained by what you expect to happen in somebody who doesn't have any ventilation given to him for 9 minutes and 50 seconds.


CUOMO: And the rebuttal to this, Doctor, was "Then why don't we see the kinds of wounds on George Floyd, ligature marks from choking, and that kind of pressure on his body in the autopsy" said the defense?

CARTER: Well, it's well-known and accepted in forensic practice that you don't always have to see a physical sign of asphyxiation. You have to consider the circumstances of death. That's the most important.

Many articles in scientific literature have demonstrated that you don't have to have petechiae to have been asphyxiated. You don't have to have ligature marks. So, consider the situation and the circumstances that a thorough investigation will lend itself to not only the situation of death, but also the autopsy findings.

CUOMO: I've spent all the time on this because it is all that is going to matter, when those jurors go in the room.

Almost invariably, their debate is going to be on the single issue. What killed George Floyd? How much of it was Chauvin? What does that mean under the law? And that's why this case is pivotal.

Dr. Joye Carter, thank you for giving us the forensic perspective.

And Elliot, as always, a plus, for the audience, to understand, the thinking, in the mind of the attorneys, at play.

Thank you very much both.

All right, now, as I promised, we do have breaking news on the Gaetz scandal unfolding on our watch. There is new reporting out tonight about a possible money trail between the Congressman, Joel Greenberg, and young women.

We have a reporter who has just broken the story. Let's get into it. Let's get after it, next.









CUOMO: There is new reporting tonight from "The Daily Beast." The question is did money go from Gaetz to Greenberg to women? "The Daily Beast" says they have proof the answer is "Yes." CNN has not yet confirmed this.

So, let's bring in Jose Pagliery, one of the reporters, breaking this, for "The Daily Beast."

Good to see you, Jose.


CUOMO: What do you got?

PAGLIERY: So, so far, what we've heard is this reporting that started with "The New York Times" about how this investigation, a corruption investigation to a local tax official in Florida extended over to Congressman Matt Gaetz. And what we've heard is that investigators have been looking at receipts, looking at payments.

Well, what we got ahold of, at "The Daily Beast," are receipts. And what we have are Venmo payments that show payments from the Congressman, to this local official, and then hours later, payments that add up to the same exact amount, to three young women, one of whom later turned out to be a porn star. And all of these women are extremely young.

CUOMO: Extremely young, meaning what?

PAGLIERY: Well, one just turned 18, about six months before that happened. But let's talk about what these receipts actually show.

Are you familiar with the Venmo app? When you make an online payment, you have to do two things. You have to pick who you're going to send this to, how much, right, but what it's for. You list what it is for. And that's key to understanding what we have here. Because what we've

obtained are Venmo payment records that show that late one night, in May 2018, the Congressman sent two payments, to Joel Greenberg, this local official.

The first payment is $500. It says "Test." The second payment is $400. And it says "Hit up" and then it names a girl. Now, we've chosen not to name her yet. But just seven hours or eight hours later, Joel Greenberg makes three payments, totaling $900, including one of them, who was named by Matt Gaetz.

CUOMO: All right, let's check some boxes here. Do you know what the payments were for?

PAGLIERY: So, this is fascinating. Let's put two things together.


When these payments, again, when you make a payment, on Venmo, you describe what it is for. And so, when Matt Gaetz sent them to Joel Greenberg, it said "Test" and "Hit up" this girl. When Joel Greenberg paid them to these girls, it said "School" and "Tuition."

Now, we know from the indictment, against Joel Greenberg, the 33-count indictment that was just updated last week that he's being accused of having sugar daddy relationships and using taxpayer funds to do so.

And so, what we're trying to figure out, of course, is the next step, which is what exactly were these payments for?

CUOMO: Right.

PAGLIERY: But we have so much more reporting on this that we have not broken yet that is about his circle, about Joel Greenberg, about his behavior, and about his relationship with this Congressman.

CUOMO: So, this is very suggestive. But to be clear, we don't know, or you don't know, you're ahead of us on the reporting, you don't know exactly what the money was for. And it is not clearly indicated in the Venmo slips.

But I get where you're going with what's in the indictment, and the constructive suggestion of it, and that you're still looking at it.

PAGLIERY: Well, I want to - I want to make sure Chris, that we were really clear about this.


PAGLIERY: We were able to get these payments because through our sources, we have been asking for specific things.

We asked for "What is the proof that these sources have that would show that Joel Greenberg had a relationship with Matt Gaetz, in which he would be paying for sex?" So, we had asked our sources--

CUOMO: Right.

PAGLIERY: --"Show us proof." And what we've been able to get is a list of Venmo payments.

CUOMO: I got you.

PAGLIERY: Now, as our story very clearly stated, the reasons that were given for these Venmo payments were "Test" and "Hit up" this girl.

CUOMO: Right.

PAGLIERY: What happened right afterwards was "Tuition" and "School" payments from this tax official in Florida to these young girls.

Now, we have additional reporting, that shows a lot of the relationships that this local tax official had with young girls, all across Florida, all of them have overlapping relationships with Matt Gaetz, either on Instagram or Venmo.

And again, one of these girls ended up being a porn star. She's still connected to Matt Gaetz.

CUOMO: Understood. I'm just saying, in court, where this may play out, you only know what you can show. And if they want to say "Gaetz paid for sex" or "Greenberg paid for sex," they're going to have to show that that's exactly what it is.

When you say the women you haven't - you've decided not to name one of them once. One of them turned 18, six months before the date of the transaction. So, she'd be legal, under the federal statute of trafficking--

PAGLIERY: That's right.

CUOMO: --they may be looking at. But have you gotten to speak to any of the other women yet?

PAGLIERY: So, we have been reaching out to all of these women. We have not heard back. We can say that there are some women we have - we have called that have chosen not to talk to us yet. There are others that are agreeing to speak to us in the short-term.

So, of course, there's more reporting to be done. And there's a lot more reporting that's going to be coming out in the next few days.

But this is why it's pivotal to pay attention to the news that happened today, right, where Joel Greenberg's attorney is making very clear that his client is indicating, where he might be taking a plea, and he could very well be helping prosecutors get to the bottom of this.

Because, in the end, it's about Joel Greenberg, what he knows, and whatever favors he might have done for his friend.

CUOMO: Well, there is no question that the way a plea deal works is you don't get the deal first and cooperate second. You cooperate first. And then you get a deal. You may cooperate thereafter, and likely so.

But if he's getting a deal, that's because of what he has already shown, and what they believe they can get going forward.

The ages of the women, the one you say had just turned 18, before, do you have any indication that any of the women involved here were minors at the time of their involvement?

PAGLIERY: No, not in this instance. So, we have a big group of Venmo transactions, the ones that we decided to break news with today, no, there's no indication that the three women that we know of were under the age of 18.

But there are lots of other women's names that we're trying to confirm and get to the bottom of. So, there are other Venmo payments that we're looking into. We just haven't been able to confirm their ages.

And so, the one I think that's pivotal here, which is one that other people have reported on, "Politico," for example, had reported on one of the women who was a porn star, and it appeared that maybe she wasn't of age. No, we were able to confirm that she actually was of age.

So, if there was any relationship, between her, and this Congressman, she would have been 18, at the time, just turned 18. But she would have been 18 at the time.

CUOMO: Right. And remember, that age is a federally significant age. States have different ages of consent, depending on what the activity is. But it is an important distinction. It's good that you got on it.

What about Gaetz's response?

PAGLIERY: So initially, we reached out to the Congressman's office, and his Chief of Staff told us that they were still preparing a response, they would be looking at a legal response.

And then, shortly after that, they emailed us again, and told us that they are totally fighting back against what they call any of this rumor, any of this gossip. So, they are coming out hard against this.

And from the beginning, the Congressman has said that none of this is true whatsoever. So I mean, there - he's given no bit of room here. He's saying this is absolutely false.

CUOMO: But to be clear, did he say "I never sent any Venmos to Greenberg?"

PAGLIERY: Interestingly, no. They did not directly answer our question.

CUOMO: Right.


PAGLIERY: We asked about these specific payments to these specific young women. And no, we didn't get answers on that. The answers we got was that "The Congressman denies any of these rumors and gossip and all this talk about him."

But let's be really, really clear about what we have here. We started out with "The New York Times" report last week that pointed out that this federal investigation to a local official in Florida extends to the Congressman.

And what we were able to get today were receipts that show that there are payments, late into the night, from this Congressman, to his friend, who is now under indictment. One of those charges is sex trafficking, but there's a lot more at play.

CUOMO: Understood. And Jose, I look forward to a continuing conversation with this. I know you're good at the job because we used to work together, all right?

Jose Pagliery, good luck going forward. Thank you for being conscientious about the reporting.

PAGLIERY: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, be well.

As I said, if Gaetz has trouble, it has to flow through Greenberg. I'm not blaming Greenberg. I'm just talking about the way this investigation has to be going.

It can't be a coincidence that they started with Greenberg and then just happened to start investigating Gaetz for the same things. Does it mean that they can get them? Absolutely not.

The standard for journalism is not the standard that is present in a court. Proof is going to have to be beyond a reasonable doubt. So, we are a long way from anything like that. But this is very interesting development in terms of "There's nothing here." Well it's certainly not "Nothing here."

We have someone who was inside the Greenberg courtroom today, a lawyer for one of the tax collector's alleged victims. Interestingly, wait until you hear what Greenberg accused this lawyer's client of, next.









CUOMO: The response, by the lawyer, for Matt Gaetz's friend, is why today's talk of cooperation matters. Take a quick listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did your client introduce Matt Gaetz to any underage girls for sexual relations?

SCHELLER: All right, so I'm just going to let you sit down there, and so I can look over your head, and ignore that question.


CUOMO: Look, Scheller doesn't represent Gaetz. And I'm sure he doesn't want to be part of any political process or drama. He's trying to get his client, Greenberg, the best deal he can. He can ignore the press. But you don't get to ignore this point from prosecutors. And they already know the answer, OK?

And our next guest understands these realities very well. He's the Florida attorney, who first pointed authorities in Greenberg's direction. David Bear was in the courtroom today.

Good to have you, Counselor.


CUOMO: So, you got into the Greenberg sphere, by him accusing your client, who was a political opponent of his, of being a pedophile, correct?

BEAR: That's basically what it comes down to. It's the irony runs thick, I guess, given the charges that we see here. So, like a lot of people that get involved in lots of different crazy stuff, sometimes, it's just one of those things that opens the door and everything else comes spilling out.

CUOMO: Right.

BEAR: And that's what this is a story of. So--

CUOMO: So, you're in the courtroom today. What was your understanding? Does it meet my own, and your, experience in practice that you don't get a deal from the Feds, unless you've already given them something that is valuable to them?

BEAR: In order to get to where the conversation was today, where you have both, Roger, the prosecutor, as well as Fritz, the defense attorney, both standing up there saying, "We anticipate there being a plea deal reached in a month and a half," there's already been some substantial conversations and show-mes that have happened.

This isn't some like willy-nilly process where, before a court, they're like, "Ah, I don't know, how about 10.5 years, and we'll say what we know?" It's much more thorough, meticulous than that.

CUOMO: Right. And you don't believe it's a coincidence that these types of investigations and charges, started with Greenberg, and then moved to Gaetz, that that would seem to square with the understanding that once Greenberg started talking, it expanded the ambit of the investigators to include Gaetz?

BEAR: I don't think it's a coincidence. And I know that the investigation into Greenberg led to the Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney's Office being interested in Gaetz. So, yes, it's not a coincidence. It was a linear process.

CUOMO: What do you make of Greenberg?

BEAR: He is a very smart guy. But he has a lot of demons. And he's a loose cannon. And he's a little unpredictable. And so that ties in with what we're, you know, everybody's wondering what's going to happen here with this criminal trial, and how it dovetails into the other one?

So, the options that the Mr. Greenberg has, he's facing 33 counts, all of which have a whole lot of evidence, and the jury's going to hear them all together. Nobody's coming out of that trial, without a whole lot of convictions, which are going to send you to jail for the vast majority of the remainder of his adult life, like, that's not an option.


And so the alternative is, is to plea. And any normal rational person is going to do that. But yes, what I just said, Joel is sometimes unpredictable, to say the least bit. And so, you shouldn't necessarily assume he's going to do the same thing that a, you, or I, or a normal rational person would do standing in his shoes.

CUOMO: How damaging are the Venmo transactions that were mentioned from "The Daily Beast," Jose Pagliery, in the last segment?

BEAR: Oh my Gosh, that's incredibly powerful evidence.

And, as a former prosecutor, sitting here, hearing that recounted, it sort of strikes me as a lot of people think, "Well, if I don't directly hand the money to that person, or I don't directly shoot that person, or whatever the crime might be, then I can't be responsible."

That's certainly not true, like, if you operate through an intermediary, you're just as responsible, whether it's a financial transaction, or a violent crime or whatever.

So, a lot of people that aren't prosecutors or aren't practicing law might not think that way. They might think they're building themselves some insulation, if they have some go-between, some intermediary.

CUOMO: Right.

BEAR: But that certainly is not the case. CUOMO: But it doesn't say it's for sex explicitly. We don't know whether or not the woman who got the money says that that's what it was for. And if Gaetz denies it, how likely is it that that is enough to get him in trouble with authorities?

BEAR: Well, if you didn't have a cooperating witness that had first- hand information, then all you have is circumstantial evidence, which can certainly be strong enough but--

CUOMO: But if Greenberg says "Oh, it was for sex," Greenberg said, let's say, theoretically, Greenberg says, "Oh, it was for sex." Gaetz says "This guy's a liar. He's trying to help himself by working with the Feds."

BEAR: Yes. So--

CUOMO: "The woman doesn't say it is. And even if she does, it's just prostitution. And she was of age." So, how big a deal is that to federal prosecutors?

BEAR: Yes. So, anytime you have a witness testifying, yes, it's another specialty (ph), for a plea deal, you're right to be skeptical of the veracity, and credibility of their testimony. And so, you should always look to find some corroborating evidence for what they say.

If it just this, testifying flipping witness saying it, well, maybe that's not enough beyond a reasonable doubt. But if you have some corroborating evidence, which these Venmo transactions, certainly could provide that--

CUOMO: And the women.

BEAR: --especially understanding - you know circumstantial evidence is evidence.


BEAR: We don't need - we're not limited to just explicitly written directions. We can read between the lines. Jurors can read between the lines.

CUOMO: Right.

BEAR: So yes, all those things tied together into a bow, totality of the circumstances, that could, certainly be a very powerful story for prosecutors to tell.

CUOMO: And again, we haven't confirmed it at CNN. Daily Beast has it. Jose Pagliery is no joke. But we haven't confirmed it yet.

The women, we'd have to know what they say it was for. And prostitution is a problem, not a big federal haunt. But if they were underage, and if it was for prostitution, and they were traveled for that purpose, this then becomes a federal matter of concern for Matt Gaetz. A lot of ifs, and thens, and we'll see. And thank you very much, David Bear, for helping us understand the trail that we are on. Appreciate you.

BEAR: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

CUOMO: All right, be well.

BEAR: You too.

CUOMO: And again, we don't have the reporting. But court, different than court of public opinion. But this is not a good development that someone who says there is no connection between me and any of this stuff has these kinds of payments pop up.

So, be on the lookout for another potential flipper. Not on Gaetz. On Trump. New pressure may have been added today on Allen Weisselberg. Remember that name?

The longtime Trump Org CFO, worked for Trump's Daddy, who knows all about all the money, in and out, and everything that Trump did. The Feds just got more help from an ex-relative, whom we spoke to, on this program.

Big BOLO, next.









CUOMO: More legal news, a BOLO, Be On the Lookout for a big name possibly cutting a deal with prosecutors. No, it's not about Gaetz, but it is in Trump world.

Nobody knows more than Allen Weisselberg. He is the longtime CFO of The Trump Organization. His role in the Trump business dates back decades to when the former president's father was running the operation.

His former daughter-in-law told you, on this show, how investigators were turning up the pressure on her husband, Weisselberg's son, and Weisselberg himself.




WEISSELBERG: I think that his sons have too many - too much criminal liability.

CUOMO: You think your ex-father-in-law might turn on Trump to save his own sons?

WEISSELBERG: Yes. It's the only way.


CUOMO: Of all the investigations, civil and criminal, that Trump faces, this is the one to watch, because the Manhattan District Attorney's case is built on one thing, documents.

And the D.A. just obtained boxes of documents from that same key player that you just saw on CUOMO PRIME TIME.


WEISSELBERG: I'm being bullied and abused by Donald Trump's power. And the investigation going on is serious. And I'm a witness.

I'm a character witness for the control, the misuse of power, for who they are, and how they've done things for let's, you know, for decades. I've been close to the - in the family for 25 years.


CUOMO: Not only does the D.A. have documents. They're also adding muscle to follow the money.

They just hired a former FBI forensic accountant, who played a key role in Bob Mueller's prosecution of Paul Manafort. And it tells you something when the Trump Org just beefed up its own criminal defense team.


Keep in mind, this investigation is into whether Trump was telling the banks and insurance companies his properties were worth one thing while telling the taxman they were worth something else.

This is not going to come down to how you interpret Trump's words or needing testimony from someone like a Michael Cohen. It's about what was on paper. And nobody knows that part of the former president's money world more than Allen Weisselberg.

And also, the idea that "Well if Weisselberg's that close, he'll never do anything," we know he already worked with prosecutors in the case, involving Cohen, and the payments to two women, early on, in Trump's political tenure. You remember that? So, Weisselberg was part of that then too. Now, also tonight, two mass shootings in our country within 24 hours. The timing, just as President Biden reveals details of his new gun control push. He calls the violence, an "Epidemic," an "International embarrassment."

Is he ever going to be able to get Congress to help change gun laws? We'll see. We got an Obama White House vet, next.









CUOMO: Another mass shooting, this time in Texas, at an office park. One person is dead, at least. Five others are wounded. Texas State Troopers included in the number of injured. The suspect is in custody. The details are terrible, of course.

Our hearts should go out. But they never do enough to change anything, right?

Every time it comes down to why this happened, you have mental health. That's still totally stigmatized, and we see it as an excuse more than an explanation about behavior in society too often, and how to treat it.

Guns? Forget it. These shootings seem to mean as much to people who want less gun control as those who want more. So, it's a story I tell too often, but nothing changes.

In fact, if this doesn't tell you just how screwed up we are, just hours before this shooting, Texas' Governor tweets, Governor Abbott, "This is what I'm seeking for Texas, a law to defy any new federal gun laws. It will make Texas a Second Amendment Sanctuary State," very clever, a preemptive strike on the executive actions President Biden took today on gun violence.

But how does it look to tweet that people who want guns should be worried about their rights being restricted, and then exactly what the real problem is, occurs right after, and what does the Governor say now?

It is not about keeping good people from getting guns. It's keeping the wrong people from getting guns. And frankly, there's not enough discussion about how to keep bad guys from getting guns. Now, Biden put out the executive actions, he can't do that much. He

needs Congress to step up. And I don't know how that happens.

But listen to it from the President himself.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: There's much more that Congress can do to help that effort. And they can do it right now.

They've offered plenty of thoughts and prayers, Members of Congress, but they've passed not a single new federal law to reduce gun violence. Enough prayers. Time for some action.


CUOMO: Let's bring in Van Jones. "It's time for action." But you're not getting action. Let's discuss why.

Whether it's this, or anything else, the filibuster will keep it from happening. But is it really the filibuster's fault? Or is it the complete breakdown of political culture of compromise?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, that culture of compromise has broken down, and the filibuster is keeping the breakdown in place. I think it needs to be reformed.

I do think it's terrible that you have a Governor suggesting that he wants to have a sanctuary state for the Second Amendment. We need sanctuary from the shooters. The shooters don't need sanctuary.

And so, we're already, with the Governor's statement before, there was anything that happened today, that horrible thing happened, in Texas, the idea that it's the people who have the guns that need the protection.

The people who have guns have too much protection, especially when you're talking about weapons of war, et cetera. What we need is protection for the rest of us who are being victimized.

And so, I think that where we are now, we had, Joe Manchin come out today, and say he doesn't want to reform the filibuster. I hope that he's in a process of thinking that all the way through.

I know Senator Manchin. He's been a great champion for working people.

But you got a lot of Republicans now doing the "Happy Dance," saying "Joe Manchin just made Mitch McConnell president, because now nothing can get done unless Mitch McConnell wants to cough up 10 votes."

That's not what I think Manchin wants. I think he's trying to solve this problem to bring people together. But on the questions of guns, and voting, and infrastructure, I think it's very unlikely that his strategy is going to pay off. CUOMO: A pushback that will be proof of why you're so much more popular than I am. I think that Manchin has been put in a bad spot by the Democrats, because, here's why.

There is no attempt to work with Republicans because you know that Mitch McConnell keeps baiting and switching.

You don't have Schumer meeting with McConnell. You don't have Democrats wanting to even put bills in the Senate into committee. They want to go right to reconciliation and play power politics.

But in doing that - I'm not criticizing the move, because as I started this, I believe the culture of compromise has passed, and the filibuster was born from an unholy place to begin with.

But Joe Manchin, who believes in working across the aisle, and has relationships, Democrats aren't giving him anything to work with. They're not trying to work with Republicans.


CUOMO: Shouldn't the Democrats force the hand, put it in committee, put it on the floor, "Let's hear what the amendments are, let's see how hollow the opposition is," and then make a move on Manchin, and say "Now what? Are you going to reward this?"

Why not do it that way?


JONES: Well, look, part of the thing is everybody's driving by looking in the rearview mirror.

And we all remember 2009, 2010, where we bent over, backwards, and forwards, and left ways, and right ways, and back between our legs, and 15 different pretzel moves, and we still couldn't get a single Republican vote on Republican proposals.

Obamacare was Romneycare. Don't forget, "Cap and Trade" was The Heritage Foundation's idea that George H.W. Bush had used against acid rain.

So, we were putting Republican proposals forward, under the Obama administration, going through everything you just said, and came up with--


JONES: --zero, zilch, nothing, nada.

CUOMO: And that's why you guys had the high ground because you did it the right way. They showed bad faith. And then people were with you. I'm just saying if you take too much of a shortcut, this time, you lose the high ground.

JONES: Yes. CUOMO: Everybody knows Mitch is going to play you. Let people see him play the game. And everything will be a little bit more obvious.

JONES: Well--

CUOMO: Because otherwise you're never getting gun control.

JONES: Well what I'll--

CUOMO: I got to - I got to go.

JONES: What - if anybody can figure this out--

CUOMO: Well, go ahead. I'll give you the quick word.

JONES: --if anybody can figure this out, it would be Joe Manchin, Joe Biden, and some of the - some of the better minds, on the Democratic side. Don't give up on Joe Manchin.

CUOMO: Never, or you. Van Jones, be well.

We'll be right back.