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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Local Man Charged With Carrying Loaded Firearm To The Capitol On January 6; Special Committee Subpoenas Stop The Steal Rally Organizers; Vigils In Waukesha, Wisconsin After Driver In SUV Killed At Least Five, Injured Dozens More; Prosecution To Deliver Rebuttal Tomorrow Morning In Trial Of Men Accused Of Killing Ahmaud Arbery; Federal Judge Calls Out Trump's False Election Claims; Says Al Gore Was "A Man" For Accepting Defeat In 2000; CNN Signal Censored Again In China Over Peng Shuai Story; "Dancing Grannies" Among Those Killed In Parade Crash. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired November 22, 2021 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And yet today, I looked at Jackie Kennedy with blood, and worse all over her skirt walking up those stairs, and I had chills.

She rose to that moment and I thought, "My, my God, if she could do that, we can rise to this moment, too." Thanks for joining us. Anderson starts now.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Good evening, in a very busy news night this Thanksgiving week. We start with breaking news on a new round of subpoenas from the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th riot. Two big names in the mix -- Roger Stone, a longtime ally and adviser of the former President, and Alex Jones, the far-right radio host and conspiracy theorist -- all involved in the Stop the Steal Movement and rallies that preceded the riot.

And also a fresh reminder today about what is at stake and about why it is important to get to the bottom of what happened that day. Federal prosecutors have brought five charges including carrying a loaded weapon and assaulting police officers against an Indiana man. He has denied assaulting police officers. More frightening however, maybe what investigators say he told them.

According to investigators, Mark Mazza said he wanted to talk to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that day. He didn't. Then investigators say he said this to them, quote, "I was glad I didn't because you'd be here for another reason."

CNN law enforcement correspondent Whitney Wild joins us with the latest on this new round of subpoenas. Whitney, what's here? What does it seem the House Select Committee is focusing on?

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, specifically when it comes to Alex Jones and Roger Stone, they are focusing on the way in which these two men used their enormous platform and possibly their connections to the President to promote the big lie, to promote the Stop the Steal rally that preceded the riot.

Specifically for Alex Jones, the Committee is also acutely interested in his role in finding a major donor for the Stop the Steal rally. The subpoena also notes that the Jones was either asked or directly told as of January 3rd, that he would lead a march from the Ellipse from that Stop the Steal rally to the Capitol where we know that violent insurrection then took place.

For Roger Stone, the subpoena specifically mentioned that the Committee understands that he used again his enormous platform to promote his appearance at the Stop the Steal rally and then further used the Oath Keepers, a far-right extremist group as protection in Washington, D.C. surrounding the dates of the Stop the Steal rally on the sixth and then another rally that happened on January 5th.

But what's very clear is that the Committee is now circling Trump. They are specifically going after people who had a direct line into the former President, longtime confidantes and then obviously a longtime conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones -- John.

BERMAN: So, who else beyond those two was issued a subpoena and what was the reason for these?

WILD: Well, the other people are Dustin Stockton, Jennifer Lawrence, and Taylor Budowich. Taylor Budowich, now a spokesperson for the President, they are specifically interested in Budowich because they believe that he funneled around $200,000.00 to the Stop the Steal rally. So, there, another indication that the Committee is very interested in how this was funded.

Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence were major parts of the Stop the Steal Movement following the November 2020 election. So, they want to know why they were promoting the big lie, how they were doing it, how it was funded, and really get to their roles in promoting the Stop the Steal rally.

And then further, the subpoena notes that Dustin Stockton had a direct line into President Trump, into Mark Meadows who we know is not cooperating with the Committee in the way that the Committee wants. And then further, this subpoena points out that Stockton actually raised alarm bells, was very concerned about potential violence should this march from the Ellipse to the Capitol take place.

So all of these questions about what is the -- what was the line between then former President Trump, his allies, what did they know about possible violence? What did they believe could happen? And then ultimately, John, how this was all funded?

BERMAN: Whitney Wild, thank you so much for that report.

For perspective on what this means for the investigation, let's bring in former Nixon White House Counsel, John Dean, now a CNN contributor; and Carrie Cordero, a CNN legal analyst.

So Carrie, Roger Stone, Alex Jones, they are performers, among other things. What reason would the Committee have to think that they would cooperate?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I don't know that the Committee really thinks that they will cooperate, but the Committee is going to use all of the tools available to it to try to compel their cooperation.

So the question at this point, now that we know that the Committee is willing to refer for criminal prosecution individuals who don't cooperate and don't respond to the subpoena to the Justice Department, and we know that the Justice Department is willing to prosecute such a case, as it is doing with Steve Bannon, this is the last option the Committee has available to it to try to compel them.


And given the nature of the way that they behave, and the way that they conduct their work, I think it tends to be unlikely that they will be persuaded to cooperate. But there is always that threat of additional criminal prosecution. And so, I think the Committee is just doing everything within its power to try to get that cooperation.

BERMAN: What do you think of the totality of the five names on this list?

CORDERO: Well, I think the Committee is casting a wide net. It is casting a net from individuals who were advising the President who might have been in the involved in the financing and the planning. At its heart, the January 6th Committee's work is about protecting our democracy, it's about protecting the constitutional transfer of power and the effective functioning of elections. And on January 6th, that process didn't work. The certification did not proceed smoothly, it did not proceed without violence in the first time in the country's history.

And so that's the goal of the Committee, and so they are trying to speak and hear from and receive testimony from anybody who had knowledge about how we got to that point.

BERMAN: Carrie, standby for a second, if you will. I want to bring in David Freedlander, a contributor to POLITICO Magazine, who has done extensive reporting on two of the individuals subpoenaed, who were key players in the former President's Stop the Steal Movement.

David, you interviewed Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence extensively over the last few years, a remarkable article that came out just a few days ago. You called them what -- the Bonnie and Clyde of the MAGA Movement.

Describe to me why you think they received subpoenas? And if you think they'll comply?

DAVID FREEDLANDER, CONTRIBUTOR, POLITICO: Well, I mean, they received subpoenas, I think because of that article, and in that article, they sort of intimate towards the end of it that they're really ready to talk about what happened on January 6th, their role in it, and the role of many of these other figures who were involved that day. BERMAN: So talk to me a little bit more. If they are, in fact willing

to talk as it does seem like they were hinting to you in that article, what do they know? I mean, they weren't involved directly with January 6th, per se, at least according to your article. So what did they see? What do they know?

FREEDLANDER: Well, they're complicated, because they actually went around the country on an RV bus tour holding these kind of like, Stop the Steal rallies, and trying to get people really jazzed up about what was going on in Washington and how the election was being stolen from Donald Trump, and they were, you know, in touch with figures, they say, from the Trump family and with the White House as they were planning this.

And then they came to Washington, days before January 6th for the big rally. But there are also these sort of conflicting rivalries within the MAGA Movement, within the sort of far-right nationalist movements.

And what Dustin and Jen say is that they were planning a rally. There was going to be safe and peaceful for the 5th, and then part of the day on the 6th, and then a sort of smaller group actually broke away from -- they sort of lost control and that these other folks organized another rally that moved on to the Capitol.

BERMAN: Interesting. So they could be the type of figures who do have a story to tell, might be willing to tell it and might have some pent up resentment against some others involved there in different aspects of it.

John Dean, glad to see you joining us now. Broadly speaking, what do you make of what the Committee is after in all of this?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think they're clearly trying to narrow down what happened in the White House to use an old phrase, what did Trump know and when did he know it? They are talking to the people around him who might know, but I think they know a lot more than we think they do.

Zoe Lofgren this weekend told CNN, that 200 people have been interviewed. They have 25,000 documents. They've I've received 200 tips. They know a lot. And I think they're just trying to get these witnesses to step forward and put it on the record under oath.

BERMAN: So John, given that, I mean, how much time would you spend trying to get Roger Stone or Alex Jones to talk?

DEAN: Well, they can multitask, they can clearly have their lawyers pursue Stone and keep on with the work. It won't hold the Committee up to do so. But you know, they might get something out of it if they can get him to come before the Committee and testify.

BERMAN: Carrie, how hard is it to walk and chew gum at the same time if they are pursuing these reluctant witnesses? And by reluctant I mean, you know, refusing witnesses, how hard is it to pursue those witnesses at the same time you're doing the investigation, and at the same time, lawyers for the Committee say they want the former President's record soon -- the record soon -- because, you know, they're up against midterms in a year and this committee may not exist in a year.

CORDERO: That's right. Although, with respect to these individuals, none of these individuals were government officials. So some of the issues that, at least are being raised by former government officials in terms of executive privilege and other things that are being litigated, that doesn't apply to any of these individuals. It is pretty straightforward.


They are private citizens, they receive a subpoena from a Congressional Committee conducting a valid investigation, and they are either going to cooperate or they're not. And if they're not, they are going to probably be referred for criminal prosecution.

So I think in these particular cases, it is pretty straightforward, and just because some of the individuals like Stone or Alex Jones, are clownish personalities, we need to make sure that that person -- those personas don't cloud the seriousness of the issues that they were involved in if in fact, they were involved in the planning and the financing and the organizing of the events that led up to January 6th.

BERMAN: John Dean, Carrie Cordero, David Freedlander. Everyone should go check out David's article because you will learn a ton about two people who could become important figures in this investigation. So congratulations to you, David on that.

Still to come, what police are learning about the man accused of driving an SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, at least five dead, dozens injured.

And later closing arguments in the trial of three men accused in the killing of an unarmed black man, Ahmaud Arbery, what happened in court when 360 continues.



BERMAN: Tonight, vigils being held in Waukesha, Wisconsin as residents remember those who died and were injured when an individual drove an SUV through an Annual Christmas Parade on Sunday. At least five confirmed dead, dozens more injured. The Fire Chief today said first responders who had have been in the military likened it to a war zone.

Omar Jimenez is in Waukesha with the details including what we now know about a suspect in custody.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A shocked community learning the names of the neighbors they lost. CHIEF DANIEL THOMPSON, WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN POLICE: Virginia Sorenson,

79-year-old female; LeAnna Owen, 71-year-old female; Tamara Durant, 52-year-old female; Jane Kulich, 52-year-old female; Wilhelm Hospel, 81-year-old male.

The victims five and all ranging in age from 52 to 81 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have multiple casualties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People down in the street. Forty casualties down Main Street.

JIMENEZ (voice over) Along with the dead, 48 people were injured, some as young as three years olds. Eighteen children, including three sets of siblings are being treated at Children's Wisconsin, a hospital in Milwaukee.

THOMPSON: Two of the 48 are children and they're in critical condition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Injuries range from facial abrasions to broken bones to serious head injuries.

JIMENEZ (voice over): Police identified the suspect as 39-year-old Darrell Brooks.

THOMPSON: The suspect prior to the incident was involved in a domestic disturbance.

JIMENEZ (voice over): Brooks was released on $1,000.00 bail earlier this month in connection to charges including domestic abuse. He allegedly ran over a woman with his car, and the incident came after another 2020 case where he was charged with two counts of reckless endangering safety. He allegedly fired a gun during an argument.

CNN reached out to his attorney from the incidents, but did not get a response.

Meanwhile, new audio of the parade incident makes clear the chaos of the moment heard in the voices of the first responders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A red Escape, black male. I couldn't stop it. He's going westbound blowing his horn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alert all the hospitals.

JIMENEZ (voice over): Along the parade route, Kaylee Staral thought at first the vehicle was in the parade. Seconds later, she realized it wasn't.

KAYLEE STARAL, WITNESS: You see people running around and screaming and crying and running into the storefronts and you realize that that like this is real, this is serious, and people are hurt because of it.

JIMENEZ (voice over): Among those dead, members of Milwaukee's Dancing Grannies. A post to their Facebook page said: "Those who died were extremely passionate grannies. Their eyes gleamed with the joy of being a granny. They were the glue that held us together."


JIMENEZ (on camera): Now, as the community here tries to recover, the investigation into the suspect, Darrell Brooks, continues.

He has a criminal history going back to the 90s, but on that incident that he posted $1,000.00 bail for, the woman he allegedly ran over claimed to be the mother of his child and also claims that that car part of it didn't happen until after he allegedly hit her with a closed fist.

Now, the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office said that bail amount set was inappropriately low and is not consistent with their risk assessment procedure and it is why they are now launching an internal review.

On this Christmas parade incident, the suspect has his initial court appearance scheduled for tomorrow where police have said they would be referring five counts of first degree intentional homicide -- John.

BERMAN: Omar Jimenez, thank you so much.

So, our next guest not only was there yesterday and witnessed the violence, he had two children marching in the parade. One of those children as you see spotlighted here nearly hit by the SUV as it went through the crowd.

I'm joined now by Kelly Davis. Kelly, thank you for being with us. I'm so sorry, it is under these circumstances. How were you and your family holding up tonight?

KELLY DAVIS, PARADE TRAGEDY WITNESS: We're still in shock. You know, it was an unfortunate incident that something you would ever expect to happen, especially at a Holiday parade. I know my two children that were in the parade were just really shaken up last night, you know, from seeing a lot of their friends, their bandmates, you know, be hurt in such a horrific fashion.

And you know, it's taken a lot with them to try and really grasp what happened over the last 24 for 36 hours here.

BERMAN: All right, walk us through where you were on the route and when you noticed something was going wrong.


DAVIS: I was sitting with one of my other son, and we were on Main Street right around East Avenue, and that's when we saw the car first coming through. And the car wasn't going that fast at first, but when we noticed the car was like, wait a minute, what is this? What is this person doing? That something is not right, and I thought maybe they were trying to get to the apartment buildings that were across the street from us.

Well, as they started to keep going west on Main Street, they started getting faster and I'm like, something's not right. And then they passed over Barstow Street or Avenue, and that's when I noticed when the car, the red SUV started to swerve in and out of the parade route.

BERMAN: Something is not right.

DAVIS: And at that point -- yes, something's not right. And then I saw what I thought was kind of like a skip, like maybe it had hit a car, and that's when I said to my son, who I was with, I'm like, we've got to go. Something's not right.

So we took off down in that direction, and by the time we got down to Barstow, I mean, there were people running everywhere, screaming and you know, bodies were on the ground at that point. And for me, it was about trying to find out where my son and my daughter were.

BERMAN: Now, your daughter, Isabella, right? Isabella --

DAVIS: Yes, Isabel.

BERMAN: Isabel, you couldn't find her. How long did it take you to find her?

DAVIS: No. it took about 10 minutes to find her. I was fortunate enough, as we were getting closer and closer to the accident scene, I ran across Philip, who you highlighted earlier, and he was with a couple of his bandmates. And I just told him, look, you've got to get out of this street, because it's not safe right now. Go with your friends find somewhere safe, and we will find you.

And then that's when my son and I started to search for my other daughter. Now, I did have my third son, my oldest son was sitting a little further down the street on Buckley and Main Street, and he was coming towards the accident scene, trying to see if he could also find her.

BERMAN: I can't imagine what was going through your head when you couldn't find your daughter. How awful that must have been, not can I imagine what it's like to see the video now that we've shown of how close the truck came to Philip.

DAVIS: Exactly. You know, later on that evening, when I was able to, you know, actually see Philip, met up with him later on that evening, it was -- it was very disturbing to see how close he came.

BERMAN: And lastly, I know that you have coached kids who were hurt.


BERMAN: Your children have friends who were hurt. What do you know about their condition?

DAVIS: A couple of kids, you know, I've heard they're in stable condition. I know one of the kids had to go through surgery again today. And he had surgery last night. I heard he's in stable condition. So that made me happy to hear that, you know, they both were in stable condition and getting better. Now, it's never easy to see kids, like you said who've you've coached

before get injured like that. And after I found my daughter, one of the things that will always stick with me is, you know, just watching and seeing, you know, the bodies laying in the street and the blood that was all over.

As much as I wanted to help, I do have to say that, you know, there are a lot of people, a lot of first responders there in the street, helping everybody out. The community really seem to have come together and really helped out in everybody's time of need.

BERMAN: Kelly, I'm so sorry you had to see that and go through it. I'm so happy for you that you and your children are well. Please, know that we are thinking about you and thinking about your community tonight.

DAVIS: Thank you. Thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight.

BERMAN: Up next, we have more breaking news.

The defense attorney's comments about Ahmaud Arbery's quote, "long dirty toenails" cause his mother to get up and leave the courtroom. She'll join us after the break.



BERMAN: Breaking news. The prosecution will deliver its rebuttal tomorrow morning in the trial of three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery. Today, jurors heard two drastically different perspectives on what happened the day Arbery die.

During closing arguments, prosecutor said the three white men on trial assumed the worst about a 25-year-old black man running in their neighborhood, chased him down, and killed him.

In contrast, one of the defense attorneys argue that the men had a duty to catch Arbery, whom she described as a frightening burglar with, and I quote, "long dirty toenails."

Martin Savidge has the latest from Georgia.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As the trial reaches its critical final days, protests outside the Glynn County Courthouse have grown in size and volume.

For the first time, armed citizens with semi-automatic weapons were seen patrolling the perimeter of the courthouse grounds. While inside the courthouse, the attorneys began making their closing arguments.

Travis McMichael; his father, Gregory McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan faced murder charges and potential life in prison for the killing of 25-year-old jogger, Ahmaud Arbery.

LINDA DUNIKOSKI, LEAD PROSECUTOR: This case is really about assumptions and driveway decisions. They made their decision to attack Ahmaud Arbery in their driveways because he was a black man running down the street.

SAVIDGE (voice over): And reminding the jury the definition of the citizen's arrest according to the law.

DUNIKOSKI: They never ever said on February 23rd, 2020 that they were doing a citizen's arrest.

A citizen's arrest is for emergency situations when the crime really happens right in front of you. They never said, none of the defendants saw Mr. Arbery at any time that day.

SAVIDGE (voice over): Travis McMichael's defense attorney attempting to drive home the argument that his client was simply acting out of civic duty and responsibility.

JASON SHEFFIELD, TRAVIS MCMICHAEL'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Travis McMichael spent almost a decade of his life learning about duty and responsibility.

SAVIDGE (voice over): Arguing to the jury his quote, "duty was necessary that February day."

SHEFFIELD: This neighborhood was being covered in suspicious persons, in extra watches, in neighborhood patrols and concerned citizens.

SAVIDGE (voice over): Insisting Arbery's presence was suspicious.

SHEFFIELD: There is no evidence whatsoever that Satilla Shores was a place of exercise and jogging for Ahmaud Arbery.


SAVIDGE (voice-over): Gregory McMichael's attorney continued the theme Arbery was in the neighborhood up to no good suggesting that was obvious by his appearance.

LAURA HOGUE, GREGORY MCMICHAEL'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts, with no socks to cover his long, dirty toenails.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Laura Hogue, repeated over and over that Arbery was to blame for his own death.

HOGUE: He was a recurring nighttime intruder. And that is frightening and unsettling.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): And William Bryan's attorney Kevin Gough, arguing there wouldn't even be a trial were it not for his client, his cell phone, and the video he took.

KEVIN GOUGH, WILLIAM "RODDIE BRYAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Roddie Bryan didn't shoot anyone. At the time of the shooting, he was some distance back. He was armed only with his cell phone. Isn't it time? Isn't it time, ladies and gentlemen, that we send Roddie Bryan home.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): But the growing protests outside the court threatened the proceedings. The presence of demonstrators with guns had Bryan's attorney Kevin Gough again motioning for a mistrial. It was denied.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Denied mistrial.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): The judge did say he decided to move the jury deliberations to an interior room in the courthouse to keep jurors out of sight and earshot of the demonstrations. After court recess for the day attorney Lee Merritt, it said the Arbery family appreciated the support from protesters, but urge them not to go so far as to possibly interfere with the trial itself.

S. LEE MERRITT, ARBERY'S FAMILY ATTORNEY: The community's presence here has been a great encouragement to the family. But we can never allow anything to disrupt justice in this case.


SAVIDGE: Prosecutors will have two hours for their rebuttal closing arguments tomorrow morning, then there'll be the charging of the jury and then the case will be delivered into the jury's hands for them to begin to make some kind of judgment. That's about midday Tuesday, then there's Wednesday. And of course Thursday is Thanksgiving. Many wonder what the impact that that kind of timetable could have on the jury's potential decision. John.

BERMAN: Martin Savidge thank you so much for being there for us.

Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones joins us now along with her attorney Lee Merritt.

Ms. Cooper-Jones, I thank you once again for being with us tonight. I've heard defense lawyers prosecutors over the last several hours say it was just out of line with the defense attorney said about your son the quote, long, dirty toenails. For you, as a mother, it prompted you to get up and leave the courtroom, what was going through your head.

WANDA COOPER-JONES, AHMAUD ARBERY'S MOTHER: Thanks for having me as well. It was very, very disturbing. I thought it was very, very rude to talk about his long dirty toenails, and to totally neglect that my son had a huge hole in his chest when he shot with that shotgun. She chose not to, to recognize that that gunshot wound but to pay attention to the actual his long toenails.

BERMAN: Why'd you get up and go?

COOPER-JONES: I was afraid that it was -- I just was afraid. I sat there for the last two weeks and let them dehumanized my son who wasn't doing anything wrong the day that he chose to go for that afternoon jog. And after he's deceased, they go as far as the scrubbing his toenails as being long and dirty. Despite like I said earlier that my son had a huge hole in his chest where he was shot with a shotgun. Very disrespectful.

BERMAN: Why do you think they're doing that?

COOPER-JONES: I think that the defense's doing that because they know they don't have the proper evidence to get a conviction. So they're actually going to any measures to get it to get a conviction which is not there for them.

BERMAN: One of the other things they're doing in addition to the physical descriptions there, they're saying things like he was, quote, running away instead of facing the consequences, unquote, and that he was, quote, making terrible unexpected, illogical choices, unquote. In essence, trying to blame him for what happened. What did you think of that?

COOPER-JONES: On February 23rd, the day that Ahmaud was killed, Ahmaud had no clue that he was under attack. Ahmaud knew that he had not committed a crime. So it was it was no reason for him to be out there and attack like that. So my son got as a very confused scared individual.


BERMAN: The defense also seems to be going to great ends in physical descriptions of your son. How do you think they are subtly or not so subtly trying to make race an issue?

COOPER-JONES: I do think anything that they think they can bring them abroad to get a mistrial or to get a conviction, which, you know, which they won't get. They're going to any image, any measures.

BERMAN: Do you feel good right now, about the outcome here? Do you think the case is going? Well, as far as you're concerned?

COOPER-JONES: I do think that the prosecution has presented the evidence very well, that we will even (INAUDIBLE) for Ahmaud eventually.

BERMAN: And Lee Merritt very quickly, if I can ask you. At the end of Martin Savidge's piece, we played you delivering a message to the demonstrators who've been gathered outside the courthouse. Why did you feel the need to tell that to people?

MERRITT: Well, I understand the need for the community to exercise the First Amendment right, to support the family. But, you know, sometimes that passionate enthusiasm can take them a bit too far. And we've heard things like coffins outside of the courtroom, things that can be interpreted as a threat, either to the defendants or to others, and we don't want that kind of thing interfering with justice.

Well, Lee Merritt we appreciate you being with us. Wanda Cooper-Jones. Again, thank you for being with us.

COOPER-JONES: Thank you so much.

BERMAN: Up next, another federal judge calls out the former president for his lies that fueled the violence on January 6, and makes the comparison to former Vice President Al Gore that is sure to get under the former president's skin.



BERMAN: So just days after a federal judge said the former president was responsible for the attack on the Capitol and a Capitol rioter was a pawn provoked into action. Another federal judge is going after the former president for lying about voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election. And today a different judge took it a step further. During the hearing for a Capitol riot defended today Senior District Judge Reggie Walton said former Vice President Al Gore had a better -- had better standing to challenge the 2000 election results but that he was, quote, a man and walked away.

The judge also was told defended Adam Johnson who was photographed carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's lectern through the Capitol on January 6, that he was concerned he was, quote, gullible enough to come to Washington D.C. from Florida based on a lie, and that the person who inspired him is still making those statements. That person, of course, is the former president, it continues to spread lies about the outcome of the 2020 election.

Joining us two people who have experience in federal court, former federal judge Nancy Gertner and former federal prosecutor and CNN chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.

Judge, let me start with you. Is it unusual for a federal judge to weigh in like this questioning the former president's manhood?

NANCY GERTNER, FMR FEDERAL JUDGE: That's a great question questioning the President's manhood. No, that's not usual. But it's certainly not unusual for a judge to want to give some context to a sentencing. You know, you -- we are all this is a moment when you address the defendant. And you say that what you did was wrong. And it, you know, you have to sort of get your life in order all the kinds of things that a judge might do at sentencing.

The problem here is that the crime itself that these guys were charges is relatively minor. It's essentially disorderly conduct in the Capitol. So the crime doesn't convey the seriousness of the moment. So the judge is trying to say, you know, this was very, very serious. So as far as questioning the former president's manhood that is in a separate category. But I can see it was part of a larger picture.

BERMAN: Jeff, what are you hearing that?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, (INAUDIBLE) Judge Gertner can correct me if I'm wrong, but federal judges are actually human beings. And I think you need to realize the context here. These judges in the district court in Washington are hearing dozens of these cases, one after another. I mean, there are likely to be hundreds of cases, ultimately. And they're frustrated, because they keep seeing all these mopes to us a technical legal term. You know, being brought in pleading guilty, but they don't see a single person who has org who organized this rally, who conspired with these people, none of them have been prosecuted. And it's frustrating to them, because that's what they're used to seeing in federal court. They're used to seeing higher level criminal -- higher level criminals, and they're getting all these losers instead.

BERMAN: So Judge, what about what Jeffrey saying, right there? Are these judges trying to operate on two planes here? They're yes, they're sentencing. And they're talking to the people who's standing right in front of them. But they're also talking to the larger issue?

GERTNER: Sure, they're talking to the larger issue. There's no question, but that's part of the, you know, the ceremony of sentencing is also talking to a larger and a wider audience. And I mean, I agree with Jeffrey, that the, the, you know, the more serious people have really not come before, we haven't seen a lot, there are a couple of more serious cases coming down the pike. And this is really like, this is disorderly conduct in the Capitol. And the only way to convey the seriousness of the moment to the wider public into the defendant is to say what they have been saying. Otherwise, it becomes an empty gesture.

And I agree with Jeffrey, by the way, that federal judges are human beings. I just want to make that clear.

BERMAN: And Jeffrey --

TOOBIN: We agree about that. But, you know, there's, there's another part. Well, there's another part of this, and Chief Judge Beryl Howell has made this point, which is, there is some unhappiness among some of these judges that the Justice Department is not prosecuting serious enough crimes here. There have been a lot of misdemeanor cases. Now, mostly those are the ones that are moving through the process first, and there are more serious felony cases in the works.

But I think that's also what's going on here is that there are judges in that courthouse who think that the Justice Department is going too easy on these people who invaded the Capitol.


BERMAN: So Judge, you know, this other federal judge last week who suggested the former President Trump had some responsibility for the attack on the Capitol and called the rioters, quote, pawns. You know, if he has responsibility for what happened there, is it legal responsibility?

GERTNER: That's not for these judges to decide. Obviously, that's for the January 6 commission. That's for whomever is doing the investigation in Georgia with respect to election issues. That's for maybe the Justice Department to be looking into what his relationship was to these events. That's a -- that's not for them to decide. They don't have that in front of them.

But I mean, Jeffrey was right that Jeff was right, that this -- these are not the kind of usual cases you see in federal court. But part of the problem here is that the prosecutor have a limited menu of options. There are minor disorderly conduct in the Capitol cases. And then there are the bigger tech cases which require proof of conspiracy. They're, you know, arguably, you know, interfering with the election sedition, that require more substantial proof. So there's sort of nothing in between.

And I think that's why the Department of Justice has been doing what it's doing, because they don't have, they don't have very many things to -- they don't have very many weapons to deal with these guys. They're dealing with --

BERMAN: Jeffrey --

GERTNER: -- the bottom. And there are couple that are dealing with too.

TOOBIN: But they do have one important weapon. And Judge Gertner knows this is something federal prosecutors use all the time, which is cooperation, which is people pleading guilty for lesser sentences and cooperating against higher ups. The more serious cases have not yet come before the courts yet. And if those senior people involved in invading the Capitol start to cooperate against the people who organize this, if there were other people who organized that that's where you could really start to see some serious cases, but we haven't seen them yet.

BERMAN: Jeffrey Toobin, Judge Gertner --

GERTNER: Right, these guys have nothing to cooperate with.

BERMAN: Now yet. Judge --

TOOBIN: That can be.

BERMAN: -- I appreciate you being with us, Jeffrey, thank you, sir.

So tennis star Peng Shuai resurfaced over the weekend but not in public instead on a video chat who she spoke with, and why it's raising a lot of questions? That's when "360" continues.



BERMAN: There are new questions that are in the disappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. The head of the International Olympic Committee says he spoke with the former number one ranked doubles player over the weekend on a video chat. But some are questioning the Olympic leaders motives due to his connections to the former communist leader who Peng says sexually assaulted her. Peng hasn't been seen in public since she first made those allegations three weeks ago tomorrow, and ever since there's been concern for her safety.

More from seen as Will Ripley.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Free Peng Shuai the growing call of protesters.


RIPLEY (voice-over): Politicians, professional athletes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just have to unite and stand together.

RIPLEY (voice-over): a global outcry for the Chinese tennis star many fear is being silenced.

ENES KANTER, BOSTON CELTICS PLAYER: It's time to speak up because there is less than 100 days till the winter Olympics.

RIPLEY (voice-over): The International Olympic Committee trying to calm the controversy. In IOC statement seems to support the Chinese government narrative that the three-time Olympian is safe and well, despite growing concern for freedom. The IOC handing out this single image Sunday of a 30-minute video call between Peng IOC President Thomas Bach and two other officials. The IOC not giving CNN access to the video asking to quote, respect her privacy.

An IOC official on the call says, I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was our main concern. Some suggest the governing bodies real concern is not Peng, but profits. The IOC statement fails to mention Peng's explosive allegations three weeks ago that one of China's most senior communist leaders photograph with the IOCs Bach in 2016 sexually assaulted her.

Unlike the IOC, the Women's Tennis Association prepared to pull hundreds of millions of dollars in business out of China demanding direct communication with Peng unmonitored, uncensored. The WTA telling CNN, this video does not change our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation without censorship.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: The history books look back at this time, they will say the WTA what an incredible master class and humanitarian leadership, the right way to do it to call China on its abuses. And the International Olympic Committee sitting there, as they always do, basically doing nothing,

RIPLEY (voice-over): Which some say makes the IOC complicit in the apparent silencing of a tennis icon, who dare to speak out against former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. He's known to keep a low profile portrayed in Chinese propaganda as down to earth, a crusader against corruption.

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR: The Communist Party will deal with this as an internal matter. I really doubt that they will actually refer this to prosecutors of the state, because that would raise just too many issues. All senior leaders have the goods on everybody else.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.


BERMAN: And what you're looking at there is a picture of CNN's current feed into China. China blocked our feed the minute we put this report on Peng Shuai. They don't want the people there to see it.

Up next, we pay tribute to the dancing grannies who as we mentioned earlier, lost some of their members in the parade tragedy in Wisconsin.



BERMAN: More now in the parade tragedy was constant that left at least five people dead. Among those killed were members of a beloved group called the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. So far we know that 71-year-old LeAnna Owen was one of the dancing grannies who lost her life. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports you enjoyed being a minor celebrity during their performances. Last night, the dancing grannies were doing what they love to do bringing smiles to the crowd.

Here's "360s" Gary Tuchman.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are all part of a beloved institution in the state of Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Dancing Granites and they've been performing for crowds around the state since 1984. Just yesterday, group members posted this message on their Facebook page, encouraging their fans to come out to the downtown Waukesha festivities. Grab your hot chocolate and head downtown tonight they wrote, the grannies are kicking off their holiday parades.

They perform at about 25 parades a year, like this one in June 2019. Here they are practicing for a St Paul Patrick's Day parade and here they are showing off their holiday moves that are Christmas parade two years ago.


The grannies are anywhere from their 50s to their mid 70s according to their website, the only requirement for membership is to be a granny. And they say among them, they have approximately 100 grandchildren and even some great grandchildren.

They practice together once a week. And while they love the camaraderie, they say the smiles they see while performing is the reason why they do what they do. The Milwaukee dancing granny say those who died were extremely passionate, whose eyes gleamed with the joy of being a grantee.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.


BERMAN: Such a loss.

The news continues, so let's hand it over Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME."