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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Sources: DOJ Subpoenas Georgia Republican Party Chairman As Part Of Investigation Into Trump Fake Elector Scheme In State; Rep. Cheney: "We Think The American People Deserve To Hear From Mr. Cipollone Personally"; NM Sheriff Is Refusing To Use The Existing "Red Flag" Law In His County. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired June 22, 2022 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The Justice Department appears to be widening its probe, into the fake electors scheme, the former President's campaign, tried to use, to overthrow the election.
A day after the January 6 committee presented evidence, for the first time, directly linking the former President, to the scheme, the Justice Department has now issued subpoenas, to individuals, in a number of states, including the Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party.
David Shafer is his name. And he's said to have played a central role, in organizing the slate of fake electors, from Georgia, and coordinated the effort, with the former President's campaign. We'll have more of that, in a moment.
We'll also talk to Jocelyn Benson, tonight. She's the Michigan Secretary of State. You may have seen, during Tuesday's hearings, she spoke about how the election fraud conspiracies, fueled by the former President, ended up with angry protesters, just outside her house, screaming.
And later, the school's Police Chief, in Uvalde, Texas, put on leave. We'll have the latest into the investigation, and the police response, to the Robb Elementary School mass shooting.
We start with those Justice Department subpoenas, and our Chief Congressional Correspondent, Manu Raju.
What more do we know now, about these subpoenas?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is actually a significant escalation, by the Justice Department, which is investigating this fake electors scheme, and has been focused on mostly the lower-level Republicans, up until this point.
But our colleagues have now learned that there has been a subpoena issued, for David Shafer. He's the Republican Party Chairman, in Georgia. And he also played a significant role, a central role, in coordinating, with the Trump campaign, over its efforts, to try to find these so-called fake electors that would essentially try to deny Joe Biden, an electoral victory, when the Joint Session of Congress met, on January 6, to count the votes, from each state.
Now, we also are learning that there were several other states that were subpoenaed, by the Department of Justice, individuals involved with that effort, not just Georgia, but also Michigan and Pennsylvania. And, of course, those three states are states that Donald Trump lost.
A sign here that this probe that lawmakers, on Capitol Hill, have called for, to go in a quicker pace, is broadening. The question is how broad, and when - what will eventually come of it, Anderson.
COOPER: Why has the committee postponed next week's hearings?
RAJU: There is a, what one Democratic congressman, Jamie Raskin, told me, earlier today, a quote, "Deluge of new evidence."
They're citing a number of new developments that have come up, over the last several days, including does - subpoenaing footage, from a documentary filmmaker, Alex Holder, a British filmmaker, who had followed around Ivanka Trump, and also got - had exclusive interviews, with Donald Trump, on and around January 6. And they have - they're meeting with him, behind closed doors, tomorrow.
And Anderson, they also said they have new information, from the National Archives, as well as new tips that have come in, through the tip line that they're trying to run down.
So, the committee is reassessing how it plans, to present this new information, and how much of it will come out. So, ultimately, Anderson, there were expected to be hearings that would wrap up, next week. Now, those will be pushed into July.
COOPER: Earlier, in our last hour, we played the moment, you asked Senator Ron Johnson, about this whole fake electors controversy, yesterday. He clearly didn't seem here to talk to you.
Has he had any more to say?
RAJU: In fact, we asked him today, my colleague, Ted Barrett, asked him whether or not he, in fact, asked his aide, any more information, about this.
He told me, yesterday, he had no information, no idea, who was providing this fake electors, to his office, and which he would try to provide, to Mike Pence, on January 6, 2021, if Pence had agreed. He said he had no idea who that person was.
And he told, our colleague, Ted Barrett today that he would - he wasn't going to ask any more questions about it, because he called it a non-story. And when also asked, whether or not he looked inside that envelope that included information about that fake electors, he said, "No, I don't believe I did."
So Anderson, a lot of questions about, why he accepted information that was not vetted. Says he doesn't know where it came from. Says it might have - came from a House intern, initially, that ultimately ended up in his Chief of Staff's hand, and they made the offer, to go to the Vice President of the United States, just before the Joint Session of Congress.
No real explanation, from the Senator. And he's also very clear, he doesn't want to get to the bottom of it.
COOPER: I mean, I'm sorry, this is just ridiculous. This the lamest thing, I've ever heard!
An intern forwarded a phony slate of electors, to Ron Johnson's office, and his Chief of Staff, without consulting with Ron Johnson? Approached the Vice President's staffer, on the most important day, probably in the Vice President's career, on a critical day, in American history, with fake electors?
And on top of that, Ron Johnson says, he still doesn't know, and he's not going to ask any questions, of anyone in his office, about how this happened? I mean, just, in terms of office management, wouldn't you want to figure out, how it was possible that some unnamed intern, is able to pass along a document, to your Chief of Staff, who then directly tries - I mean, it's insane!
RAJU: Yes. He also said that he did the right - his Chief of Staff did the right thing, even though he didn't exactly know exactly - well, who was behind this effort. He says he doesn't know--
COOPER: But he doesn't - he doesn't know what the Chief of Staff did. But he did the right thing? And he's not going to look into it anymore? I mean, it's amazing!
Manu Raju, I don't know how you do what you do. I appreciate it, though. Thank you.
RAJU: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Much of Tuesday's hearing dealt with the intimidation tactics, and threats of violence, state election officials faced, after election conspiracies, promoted by the former President.
Now, one of those, who spoke to the January 6 committee, is Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson who, as we noted earlier, had angry protesters, outside her house, screaming at her, alleging all sorts of things, video of which was shown, during the hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(PROTESTERS CHANTING "STOP THE STEAL!")
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop the steal! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are a threat to democracy!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop the steal!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are a threat to us!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're a threat to democracy! You're a threat to free and honest elections!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love America! We love our rights and our freedom!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joined now by Michigan's Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson. Also, CNN's Senior Law Enforcement Analyst, Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Director of the FBI.
Secretary Benson, I mean, the video of people protesting outside your home? I mean, I don't care what side of the political aisle, somebody is on. The idea of protesters going outside their homes, screaming at them, in the middle of the night, just seems ridiculous to me.
It obviously can't even capture the full scope of what it must have felt like, to actually have that happen to you. What is that? How do you describe that?
JOCELYN BENSON, (D) MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE: As I said, to the committee, the uncertainty, I mean, everything that unfolded minute- by-minute, we didn't know what's going to happen next. And for a full 45 minutes, all that stood, between my family, and those, on the street, was one neighborhood security guard.
And it was - it wasn't just my house. It were my neighbors, who also have kids, in the middle of the night, hearing these things, shouted outside their windows. It was terrifying. It was terrifying.
But, at the same time, I also vividly remember feeling - recognizing that these folks, they weren't protesting me, as a person. They were protesting our elections, our democracy, the will of the people, in the State of Michigan.
And through that recognition, I found strength to keep doing my job, but - and make it through that scary moment. But it wasn't easy. And it's something, even hearing the videos, and the sound, it still is unnerving, to recall.
COOPER: And Andrew, I mean, can any legal action be taken against people, making threats, in support of the former President's election lies?
I mean, does it depend on the state, or in some of the threats? For example, the one that Congressman Kinzinger recently disclosed, in the new threats against, talking about executing his family, or new threats against other members, of the January 6 committee. Is that a federal matter? [21:10:00]
ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, you certainly can't threaten a member of Congress. That alone would make it a federal matter. You can't threaten people with acts of violence really anywhere. There's all kinds of federal, but even more importantly, state laws that that might violate.
The sensitive thing, in this circumstance - which is horrific, and I can only imagine how disturbing, it was. Having myself been the target of some, certainly not that bad, but some activity, kind of right out in the street, in front of my house, at different times? I understand how terrible that is.
But because it inextricably involves political speech, authorities have to be very careful, about limiting, what could be considered lawful protest, in a public space. You have First Amendment-protected activity. You have freedom of association. So, there are some sensitive constitutional issues, here.
Now, that doesn't give people the right to make a massive scene, in front of someone's house, in a neighborhood, late at night. There's - there can be local ordinances against noises and things like that that could come into play. So, it's a very kind of complicated analysis, for law enforcement, on the ground, responding to an incident, like that.
COOPER: Secretary Benson, I want to ask you about these new subpoenas, from the Department of Justice, regarding the fake electors. We saw this in Michigan. What are the questions you have?
I mean, we want to play this video from outside the Capitol, in Michigan, when people, who were claiming to be electors, were trying to get into the building, which is just - I mean, it's worth watching.
Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: We're electors. We're electors. We're here to take part in the electoral process.
POLICE: The electors are already here. They've been checked in.
CROWD: Not all of them. They're also electors. Not all the electors are inside.
POLICE: The Capitol is full. All 16 electors have already been advised by the governor's staff that were going to be here to vote in the Electoral College have been checked in. They're already here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But these are--
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the GOP electors--
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --these are the rest of the electors. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I mean, it's ludicrous, and almost comical, seeing that. But, I mean, this is really serious. These are - this was a scheme that we're learning more and more about. Do you think the country fully grasps, just how dangerous and crazy this whole thing was?
BENSON: I hope so. I think that's part of what the truth and the granular details that the committee hearings are unveiling, is meant to accomplish. I mean, this was not a hypothetical idea. This was an actionable plan, to physically disrupt, the electoral process, and subvert the will of the people, in Michigan, which was clear and unequivocal.
And the second thing to note is that these are folks, including the people, outside my home, they're motivated by a lie, and misinformation, by falsehoods that had been told to them, by people trying to, again, subvert the will of the people, and overturn the results of a legitimate election.
So, it wasn't just, people were upset about the results. They were acting on a lie. And we have to remember that when we continue to hear candidates, lie today, that that can transform, into these actionable plans, to overturn an election, and threaten election officials.
COOPER: Yes. Jocelyn Benson, Andrew McCabe, appreciate it. Thank you.
More to come, on the hearings, including the man, who wasn't there, Pat Cipollone. The former President's White House Counsel has refused to testify, before the committee, even after a plea by Republican committee member, Liz Cheney. We'll talk about what he may know, and whether he would ever testify.
Later, the embattled school's Police Chief, in Uvalde, Texas no longer in charge. We'll have the latest, in a live report, from Texas, when we come back.
COOPER: One of the biggest moments, of Tuesday's hearing, involved someone, who wasn't there. The former President's White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone.
Today, the end of the hearing, Vice Chair of the Committee, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, appeared to speak directly, to him, about why they wanted him to testify.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): The American people have not yet heard from Mr. Trump's former White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone.
Our committee is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify, here. Indeed, our evidence shows that Mr. Cipollone, and his office, tried to do, what was right. They tried to stop a number of President Trump's plans, for January 6th.
Today, and in our coming hearings, you will hear testimony from other Trump White House staff, explaining what Mr. Cipollone said, and did, including on January 6.
But we think the American people deserve to hear from Mr. Cipollone personally. He should appear before this committee, and we are working to secure his testimony.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joined by CNN Chief Legal Analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, former federal prosecutor. And CNN Political Analyst, and Journalist, Carl Bernstein, Author of "Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom."
Jeff, on what grounds, can Cipollone refuse to testify? I mean, is it entirely his decision? Or is it - I mean, he was White House Counsel, can you just say there was executive privilege?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: As a practical matter, it is his decision. He is not a private lawyer, sir. There is not attorney-client privilege, the way there is for a private lawyer.
CARL BERNSTEIN, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, AUTHOR, "CHASING HISTORY: A KID IN THE NEWSROOM": Yes.
TOOBIN: Executive privilege can be gotten around.
But what I mean by, as a practical matter, is there's no time to litigate this. Even if the committee wanted to subpoena him, and then force him to testify, the clock would run out. So, this is really entirely up to Cipollone. And it sounds like, he's just not going to do it.
COOPER: How real, Carl, how realistic, do you think, it is that he would agree to testify, even with this public cajoling, by Liz Cheney?
BERNSTEIN: The committee knows, from those who are closest to Cipollone, from his aides, an awful lot of what Cipollone would say. And it is extremely damning.
Because what the committee has been able to do, is put together evidence, now the same is happening in the Justice Department, of a massive conspiracy, before, during, and after January the 6th, from the President, through his closest aides.
And Cipollone is aware of what happened, and he can provide a dramatic picture, on camera, in the hearing room, of what happened. They've got a lot of this evidence, already, from his aides. But they want him, in the room.
But also, the meaning, of the testimony, thus far, is an airtight case. It might not get Donald Trump indicted. But it sure shows that his aides were complicit, in this conspiracy, to keep the vote, from becoming real, and Joe Biden being the duly-elected President of the United States.
COOPER: Jeff, I mean, if Liz Cheney's right, and Pat Cipollone, was doing the right thing, in trying to stop the some of this stuff, why wouldn't he testify? Is it - would it be a business decision that he's got - he wants to continue in MAGA-world, getting clients?
TOOBIN: Well, that may be - that may be part of it. He may be worried about the privilege issue. He may feel that since others have talked about, what he's done, remember Jared Kushner said, "Oh, Cipollone was always whining about"--
TOOBIN: --threatening to resign. He may feel like his story is out there, and he doesn't have to exacerbate his fight, with the President, by telling it himself.
And it, you know, Donald Trump does not have people, immediately around him, turn on him. I mean, well, I don't know, whether it's fear. But if you look, at his history, the people closest to him, do not turn on him. And that's one reason why, he's never actually been indicted.
Here, Mark Meadows didn't turn on him. Rudy Giuliani didn't turn on him. And Cipollone hasn't turned on him. These are the people, who could probably do him, the most damage. But they haven't done it yet.
COOPER: Which is interesting, Carl, given, I mean, the former President's, what he has shown, over the course of his life, is he has no loyalty, to anybody, who has served him well, if he, on a whim, decides that they no longer suit his needs, or if he feels it's in his best interest, to throw them under the bus.
BERNSTEIN: There's great fear of Donald Trump, in the Republican Party, because members of the Republican Party, have been craven, in not telling what they know, about Donald Trump.
Look at the wife of Mitch McConnell, who resigned, on January the 7th, because of what she had seen happening, on January the 6th. McConnell knows what happened. McConnell knows a lot of this.
The Republican leadership, and the Republicans, in Congress, are afraid of Donald Trump that he will turn on them. As we've seen in some of these elections, in some of these primaries, he has enormous strength. But he also has a party, whose members have been craven, and beholden to him, no matter how authoritarian, demagogic, illegal, his acts have been.
That may be starting to crumble a little bit on the inside, as it becomes more evident, to McConnell and others that this is a criminal President of the United States, who was engaged, in a criminal conspiracy, to stop the American people, from choosing their president. It's interesting to see, when McCarthy - Kevin McCarthy, and McConnell, may take a turn. And let's take a look at Elaine Chao, his wife, and what she did, on the 7th of January, in resigning, and engaged in discussions, of invoking the 25th Amendment, to the Constitution, because of doubt, about the stability of the President of the United States.
COOPER: Jeff, what--
TOOBIN: Boy, Carl! Can I--
COOPER: Go ahead, Jeff.
TOOBIN: Can I just say four words? Don't hold your breath, for those folks turning on him.
COOPER: Yes. I mean?
TOOBIN: I see the opposite.
TOOBIN: They have decided to make their peace with Donald Trump. And McCarthy, all he wants to do is be Speaker.
TOOBIN: And he knows the route is "Don't make Donald Trump angry."
BERNSTEIN: It's more complicated than that, I think. And we'll see in the coming days.
But you're right, Jeff, that this is a very difficult thing, for McConnell, or McCarthy, to do. At the same time, they know the cards are falling, a very different way, than they thought, at the beginning of this investigation.
COOPER: We shall see. Jeff Toobin, Carl Bernstein, thanks.
Up next, breaking news, on the Uvalde School Police Chief, who authorities say was responsible, for the long delay, before police went in, and actually killed the shooter.
Plus, Randi Kaye speaks, with the New Mexico Sheriff, who says he would never implement a Red Flag Law, in his county that would block certain people, deemed safety risk, from owning firearms.
COOPER: After weeks of scrutiny, over law enforcement's response, during the Robb Elementary shooting, Uvalde School District Police Chief, Pedro Arredondo, has been placed, on leave.
The School District Superintendent said, he placed Arredondo, on leave, due to the lack of clarity that remains, including unknown details, from the investigations.
And victims' families are still waiting, and desperate, for answers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERLINDA IRENE ARREOLA, GRANDMOTHER OF AMERIE JO GARZA: Everything that's coming out, everything that we're finding out, it's just getting harder and harder by the day.
And we have to speak, for all these children, and all these families. We have to - we have to make things right. We need to get down to the bottom of everything that has happened, and find out the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining me now, from Texas, is Shimon Prokupecz.
Shimon, what more do we know, about this guy, Chief Arredondo, being placed on leave? Because he's been obviously avoiding you, avoiding really answering questions. He gave one interview. And now, he's placed on leave.
But he's still on the City Council, and they seem to be standing by him.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. He's still on the City Council. But he - they voted on something, last night, regarding him, on the City Council, whether or not, to give him a leave of absence. And they've denied that.
They've denied a leave of absence, for him, at the City Council. So, that means that he's going to have to start showing up, if he wants to continue serving the City Council. Because, at one point, once he stops showing up, they could vote him off the City Council.
Certainly, significant for the school, to make this move, the Superintendent announcing that they're putting him, on administrative leave.
And simply, Anderson, after what went on here, yesterday, at Texas Senate Committee, where the Head of the Department of Public Safety just, in devastating fashion, really laid out this minute-by-minute, play-by-play, of what went on, inside that hallway, for more than an hour.
The Head of DPS saying that they - basically, the Chief made every excuse, not to go inside that classroom. Really just baffled, and confused, as to why he didn't act sooner.
He said that yesterday, the Head of DPS, it should have only taken three minutes. And in three minutes, they could have gone in, and could have killed the gunman, calling it an abject failure.
So, after all of this, of course, today, we get this news, from the school that they're placing the Chief, on leave. And ultimately, what I sense, is that they want the Chief, to resign, on his own, so that they don't have to vote, the school board doesn't have to vote, to force him out, basically.
COOPER: So, I mean, it was startling to hear, finally some facts, and information, and to learn, that the door may not have been locked at all, that they waited for a key that they had shields, early on, that they had long rifles, early on, that they had enough people, enough gun power, to kill the shooter, and that they all just waited.
I mean, again, it is so disturbing and damning, the incompetence, and whether it's just the incompetence of this one Chief, who made this call, or I don't - I mean, I don't even know, what it would be. Because any law enforcement personnel, in this country, by now knows, how you go after an active shooter.
PROKUPECZ: Right, Anderson. And it's infuriating, right, sitting there having to listen to this, certainly, for the families, members of this Senate committee, who, at times, described this as maddening, upsetting.
You could tell that people were really, really upset, yesterday, as they were listening to this testimony. It's just so confusing, because no one understands why he didn't do more.
The door - you mentioned that door. Anderson, all they had to do, was go to the door, turn that doorknob, that handle, and the door would have opened.
PROKUPECZ: And they would have been able to go in and kill him.
COOPER: Right. And all that talk--
PROKUPECZ: They had all the equipment to do it.
COOPER: Right. And all that talk, early on, I mean, really, from the first day the shooting, about the gunman barricading himself, in the classroom? That wasn't true.
PROKUPECZ: Right. And that's why we kept asking. Remember, at every press conference, at every moment that we had, we kept asking the Police, "Explain how he was barricaded?" At one point, I even asked, "Really, was the door locked? How was the door locked?" No one had answers.
But you know what? It took a while, but we're finally starting to get answers here, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Well, again, you've done great work, on this. Shimon Prokupecz, appreciate it. We'll keep after it.
So-called Red Flag Laws have been an area of focus, in the gun debate. The new unveiled - newly-unveiled bipartisan gun safety bill, on Capitol Hill, includes $750 million, for crisis intervention programs, which could be used, to implement and manage Red Flag programs.
The Red Flag Laws are aimed at keeping guns, out of the hands, of those, who may pose a threat to themselves, or others, not only reduce killings of others, but potential suicides, as well.
Randi Kaye went to New Mexico, to speak with the Sheriff, who is pushing back, against them. Here's her report.
RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Just let me get on the record. Would you implement the Red Flag Law, in your county?
SHERIFF GLENN HAMILTON, SIERRA COUNTY, NEW MEXICO: No.
KAYE (voice-over): In Sierra County, New Mexico, Sheriff Glenn Hamilton, is refusing, to use the Red Flag Law, in his state. He calls it ineffective and unworkable.
HAMILTON: I can tell you, right now, a temporary restraining order, issued to an individual that says "You can voluntarily turn your firearms in, in 48 hours," is not going to be adhered to at all.
KAYE (voice-over): And that's where this Sheriff takes issue with the law.
Adopted in 2020, New Mexico's Red Flag Law, known as the Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order Act, does not allow law enforcement, to seize someone's weapons, outright.
Instead, it gives an individual, 48 hours, to voluntarily relinquish their firearms, to law enforcement, after being served.
HAMILTON: How is allowing an individual, self-compliance, with an order, who is not thinking correctly, how is that saving the community? How is that in any way, shape, or form, solving the problem?
KAYE (on camera): In some cases, that individual will turn in their weapon, right?
HAMILTON: I doubt it. Not if the individual had in his mind that they were going to go perpetrate a mass shooting, somewhere.
KAYE (on camera): But why not at least try?
HAMILTON: I'm going to go after an inanimate object, but I'm going to leave the individual, who is allegedly in crisis? I'm going to leave him alone, and let him cool down, on his own? Makes no sense whatsoever!
KAYE (voice-over): Sheriff Hamilton, argues that giving someone 48 hours, to turn in their weapons, will only cause them, to move up the timeline, for whatever crime, they may be planning.
KAYE (on camera): But you don't know that for sure. So why not serve the order?
HAMILTON: No, I do know that for sure.
I have had 28 years, of dealing with the criminal mind, out there. And I'm going to tell you, no Red Flag Law, in any way, shape, or form, is going to change a criminal's mind that is dead-set, on committing such an atrocity, as a mass shooting.
KAYE (voice-over): But Sheila Lewis, with New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, says the Sheriff has it all wrong.
SHEILA LEWIS, LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINER, NEW MEXICANS TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE: There has not been a reported case, of somebody, running out, to commit a violent crime, in that 48-hour period, because they were served with the order.
KAYE (on camera): What does tend to happen in that 48-hour period?
LEWIS: They bring their guns in to law enforcement. And they go to court.
KAYE (on camera): With New Mexico's Red Flag Law, after a person, is ordered to turn over their guns, there's a 10-day cooling off period, and then a court hearing. A judge will determine, if those guns, should be returned to the individual, or removed, and for how long.
After the Red Flag Law took effect, here, in 2020, it's only been used nine times. In five of those cases, the guns were removed, from the individual, for one year. In the other four cases, they were returned to the owner.
STATE REP. JOY GARRATT, (D) NEW MEXICO: This is a stopgap measure that can remove the firearm from a challenging situation.
KAYE (voice-over): Representative Joy Garratt co-sponsored the bill that became New Mexico's Red Flag Law.
KAYE (on camera): What do you think is the danger, in the case of Sierra County, where the Sheriff is not going to implement this law?
GARRATT: I think the danger is that there may be a life that can be saved, or many lives that can be saved.
KAYE (voice-over): Like the life of Alexia Rael. The 16-year-old, was gunned down, with her cousin, in a different county, last month, in a murder-suicide, by her mother's former boyfriend, who had allegedly been sexually assaulting her.
The Red Flag Law was in place, and this restraining order shows he possessed two guns. But the Red Flag Law wasn't used, to have those guns removed.
The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office told us they didn't red-flag the suspect, since they had no information, he posed an immediate danger, of causing personal injury, to himself, or others, with a firearm.
GARRATT: The Red Flag Law, would have taken the firearm, out of the hands, of an extremely upset individual, would have taken the gun, out of the equation, and prevented a murder, and a suicide.
KAYE (on camera): And you believe that girl would be alive today?
GARRATT: I do believe that girl would be alive.
KAYE (voice-over): But Sheriff Hamilton still prefers to lean on the state's emergency mental health law, which he says allows authorities to immediately take a person, into custody, for mental health treatment.
LEWIS: That is not what we want to do. We don't want to seize people. We want to seize the firearm.
KAYE (voice-over): Sheriff Hamilton says the Red Flag Law has no provision, to treat the individual, who is dealing with a mental crisis.
HAMILTON: I would much rather that individual be receiving mental treatment at a - one of the local mental facilities, than to rely on that individual, to have some kind of a revelation that he now wants to start abiding by the law.
COOPER: And Randi joins us now.
I certainly defer to the Sheriff, on his expertise, over his long law enforcement career. But he's talking about a criminal mindset. He's not taking into account, the huge number of suicides, used - with weapons. And studies show, any kind of intervention, with somebody, who has suicidal ideation, can be successful, and they may not do it again.
So, if somebody's in a mental health crisis, I don't understand, his aversion, to asking them, to bring in, to remove their guns, from their home. Many people probably would do that.
KAYE: Yes. I think he's very concerned about this 48 hours, that's voluntary, Anderson. He just doesn't believe that people are going to turn in their weapons, whether it's something that they're considering, whether it's suicide that they're considering, or it's a, some type of mass shooting.
In fact, he pointed out a case, when we spoke to him, where there was a suicidal individual. And his deputies, he told us, went and took that person, into custody, instead of just taking his - the means that he was planning to use, to harm himself.
So, he still believes that whether it's a criminal situation - a crime that somebody's trying to commit, or potentially harming themselves, he still believes that this mental health law, is the way to go. And he really believes that he would - there should be some type of psych evaluation, in the first 24 hours, when somebody is flagged, with this Red Flag Law. He'd like to see the Red Flag Law, and the mental health state law, merged actually, because then there would be a better evaluation, early on, Anderson.
But the State, right now, Anderson, has no plans to merge that legislation, although the Representative we spoke with, said that she is open to it, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Well, certainly mental health evaluations also sounds like a very good idea.
Randi Kaye, appreciate it. Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up, the Supreme Court could release an abortion rights decision, as soon as tomorrow that if it lines up, with the draft opinion, leaked, back in May, would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case.
How could that affect the upcoming election? We'll take a look at that, next.
COOPER: The Supreme Court, today, announced they're adding days that they'll release their rulings, from this session.
The most anticipated one, of course, is a challenge to Roe versus Wade. Last month, a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion, would strike down the landmark ruling. It led to a wave of demonstrations, of the High Court, across the country.
With the added days, we could learn, as early as tomorrow, if that draft opinion is indeed the court's ruling. If it is, it would be probably an earthquake, is fair to say, for abortion rights advocates, and a generational achievement, for abortion opponents.
So, as we wait for that decision, we wanted to get a sense, of where the country is, on abortion right now. So, for that, we turn to our favorite, and only Senior Data Reporter, Harry Enten.
So, what is the overall picture, on views, on abortion, in this country?
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: I mean, look, the overwhelming majority, of Americans, support Roe v. Wade.
There's a Quinnipiac University poll, out today, north of 60 percent of Americans support Roe v. Wade. But it's not just that. The vast majority of Democrats, near 90 percent, the vast majority of Independents, over 60 percent. Even nearly 40 percent of Republicans, support Roe v. Wade.
There're just no other issues, in which nearly 40 percent of Republicans agree on something, and 90 percent of Democrats agree on something. So, there's very clear majority support, for Roe v. Wade, nationally.
But, of course, if Roe v. Wade gets overturned, right, this goes back to the state level. So, I think, it's important to know how the states fall.
And what we see is most states, in fact, you see the majority of voters, with a plurality of voters, in most states, I believe it's 34 states, in an Average of Polls since 2012, say that they do, in fact, support abortion to be legal.
But there is, in fact, 16 states, most of those, in the southeast, but there's some of those, riding up into the Great Plains states, where in fact, a plurality of voters do not believe that abortion should be legal.
So, it shouldn't be surprising if Roe v. Wade were in fact to get overturned that you would see a number of states, with the voters, backing them, in fact try to limit abortion rights, significantly.
COOPER: And how - I mean, just in terms of the politics, of this, the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade, how would that affect, like the midterm elections?
ENTEN: Well, this is one of those interesting things, where I think, when that leak first came out, were like, "OK, there might be a massive change in the polling," right? Didn't happen.
It did not happen, even though most Americans support Roe v. Wade. In fact, if you look at the generic congressional ballot, what you see is Republicans held a 3-point lead, before the leak. And after the leak now, what is it? It's the exact same 3 points.
COOPER: So, that's not an issue people vote on?
ENTEN: It does not necessarily seem like an issue that people vote on.
And what more than that, we know, is that when you ask about enthusiasm, which I think is key, right? Because midterms are not just about, who is going to, you know, how people are going to vote? It's whether they're going to vote at all.
And, in fact, what we see is that the enthusiasm, Republicans had an edge, before the leak, and still have that edge, now post the leak.
COOPER: That's interesting. So, we'll see. We'll see.
ENTEN: I mean, we're going to see. But here's the other things, I'll point out for you, right? You've pointed out what people are necessarily going to vote on, right? COOPER: Yes.
ENTEN: And if you look, most people are going to vote on the economy.
ENTEN: It's the number one issue. Abortion is way down on the list. It's number three, at this particular point, I do believe.
COOPER: And gun violence is at 17 percent.
ENTEN: Right. It's 17 percent.
But, right now, economy, at around 50 percent, the vast majority. And that's why, I don't think, we're seeing people, really change their minds--
ENTEN: --at this particular point.
COOPER: It's great to look at the numbers. Harry Enten, thank you so much.
ENTEN: That's what I tend to do.
COOPER: And you're the data guy! Yes.
ENTEN: Thank you.
COOPER: That's what they say!
ENTEN: That's what they say! That's what you say!
COOPER: Coming up, the war in Ukraine, on the cusp of hitting the four-month mark, as many analysts wondering, if Vladimir Putin's apparent plan, to just grind the country into submission, is working.
Up next, I'll talk to a Founding Member, of the anti-Putin protest group, Pussy Riot, for her thoughts, on the future of Ukraine, and Russia.
COOPER: The war, in Ukraine, is about to hit the four-month mark, and with it, a grim assessment.
This may be the toughest week of fighting, the country has suffered, since the long-fought battle, for Mariupol. Ukraine defended that city, and the steel plant, in it, for weeks, before finally falling to Russia, in May. Now, many observers are wondering how much longer Ukraine can continue, to fend off, the deadly grind, of Vladimir Putin's war. One woman, who knows the wrath of Vladimir Putin, firsthand, is Nadya Tolokonnikova, a Founding Member of the Russian protest group, Pussy Riot. She was sentenced to two years in prison, after an anti-Putin performance.
She joins me now, for the first time, here, in New York.
It's so cool to actually meet you. We've only talked over satellite and stuff.
NADYA TOLOKONNIKOVA, PUSSY RIOT FOUNDING MEMBER: Amazing to meet you.
COOPER: Yes. So, when you look at the war in Ukraine, I mean, the - obviously, there were huge failures, of the Russian forces, and incredible victories, by Ukrainians, early on, in the fight, for Kyiv, and other part - places. Russia is obviously having more success, in parts of the Donbas, right now.
What do you see - I mean, what do you see Vladimir Putin's position? How do you see it, right now? Is he stronger than ever, in Russia?
TOLOKONNIKOVA: I don't - I don't feel - I don't feel it's like that. A lot of experts, inside of Russia, they propose to divide this war, in two stages, and some people talking about two wars. So, the first war, Putin has lost it.
TOLOKONNIKOVA: Because he wanted to capture Kyiv, really quickly, and--
COOPER: Right, which they thought they could do, in 12 hours or so.
COOPER: And, obviously did not.
TOLOKONNIKOVA: And there are multiple, the hackers, from Bellingcat, and other agencies, there, to try to capture what Russians were talking with each other about.
TOLOKONNIKOVA: And they were totally shattered (ph) that they're going to be able to capture Kyiv. So, they lost that war, and they completely had to change, not just their strategy, but also people who head the war. So, it's basically completely different operation returns (ph).
TOLOKONNIKOVA: Completely different war. And also goals that Putin state for the internal use, that the goals that they announced, in Russian propaganda, are completely different as well.
COOPER: Right. TOLOKONNIKOVA: So, they stopped talking about denazification, basically, because nobody believes in denazification, for - any more, because nobody actually understood, what actually they're talking about.
COOPER: We talked, one time, a while ago, and you were saying that you had members of your own family, in Russia, who believed what Vladimir Putin, was saying, about the war.
COOPER: Is that still the case? I mean, that they still believe that?
TOLOKONNIKOVA: They do still believe that, yes. They still - they still believe everything that was being told them, on the TV. But, as colleague of mine, reported today Hafez (ph) says, imagine if you guys were able to watch just Fox News for the last 20 years, so what - what would happen, in your mind?
Like, we all know about how flexible, and I mean, like, how flexible our mind is, and how easily it's manipulated and changed by things, like Cambridge Analytica, or, like Russians are mentioning, the United States politics.
TOLOKONNIKOVA: And so imagine living under, like under Putin's oppressive rule, and listening just to Russian propaganda, for years like obviously you'll start to believe it.
COOPER: Yes. When Alexey Navalny who you're - I believe, you know, you're friends with.
TOLOKONNIKOVA: He's my friend, yes.
TOLOKONNIKOVA: Since 2007.
COOPER: He's been moved to another prison. You were sent to a penal colony, for two years.
COOPER: I can't imagine just the terror of the unknown of going there, and then having two years of your life taken away from you, for something you believe in, for something you do. I think, for many people, it's something they - it's unimaginable.
What is it like to be in a Russian penal colony, for two years, for something you think, and speak about?
TOLOKONNIKOVA: It's really important to keep talking about what's happening with Alexey Navalny.
[21:55:00] I think the biggest fear that every political prisoner has, is to be forgotten, because you can't actually use your voice, and it's really difficult to communicate with the outside world.
And the government makes, everything they could, to move you, as far away from public eye, as possible. So, would have - would have just - what they just done with Alexey Navalny, they moved him, further away, from Moscow, in hope that journalists are not going to follow him, and his family, as well.
And the more we talk about him, the more we give hope, not just to - not just to ourselves, but also to him. Because, I think, for him, it's important to be - for his voice, to be amplified.
Another really - another thing that really worries me right now that he was moved to this penal colony. And, I think, partly he was moved there, because Russian authorities did not want to hurt, or possibly murder, Navalny, with their own hands. But they would rather, it be done, by hands, by other prisoners.
And it's just something that happened with me, in penal colony. I was receiving death threats that were delivered to me, not through hands of our government officials, themselves, but through other prisoners--
COOPER: Through the other prisoners.
TOLOKONNIKOVA: --who work for the administration, again.
COOPER: Wow! It's really such a pleasure to talk to you, and I hope to talk to you again soon.
TOLOKONNIKOVA: Thank you for having me.
COOPER: Yes. Nadya Tolokonnikova, thank you so much.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: The news continues. Let's turn things, over to Don, and "DON LEMON TONIGHT."