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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

January 6 Committee To Hold 8th Hearing Next Week; Who Is Sidney Powell; Inflation Surges By 9.1 Percent, Highest In 40 Years; Inflation Surges By 9.1%, Highest Level In 40+ Years; Lawyers: Family Told SC Seeking Murder Charges Against Alex Murdaugh; Texas House Committee Still Plans To Meet With Uvalde Families And Provide Report, Despite Video Leak; NASA Releases First Images Taken By Webb Telescope; William Shatner Reflects On His Historic Space Flight. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 13, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Tonight, a mystery heartbeat detected in space. Researchers say every fraction of a second they recorded, a boom-boom- boom. That heartbeat similar to what's been heard when stars run out of fuel and collapse.

So what about real heartbeats out there in space? The new James Webb telescope might change our most fundamental understanding of life in the universe. Already, the telescope has picked up water vapor on a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a distant star in the atmosphere. That star is only about a thousand light years away.

Water vapor -- just imagine what that could mean.

AC 360 starts now.



A day after the seventh public hearing by the January 6 Committee, we've gotten new information about a separate Justice Department investigation and how it ties in with some of the testimony that we've heard from Republican officials about the effort to overturn the election, specifically that scheme to install fake electors.

We want to start with that tonight on Capitol Hill with CNN congressional correspondent, Ryan Nobles.

So what have you learned about this Justice Department coordination with the January 6 Committee?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that it's starting to happen, Anderson, and this was of course, a big roadblock to the Department of Justice's investigation as it expanded into two areas beyond just the rioters that breached the Capitol on that day, and started looking into more of the efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

And they were very interested in many of the interviews that the January 6 Select Committee had already conducted, but the Committee was reluctant to hand over those transcribed interviews to the Department of Justice because they considered it their work and their property and they wanted to be able to make sure that they had it in their possession as their investigation moved forward.

And this became somewhat of a standoff between DOJ and the January 6 Select Committee, but now they're starting to find areas of common ground and the Select Committee Chairman, Bennie Thompson telling us today that the first batch of information that they're going to hand over to the Department of Justice is the information that they've gleaned about this effort to file a fake set of electors that would have been sent to the Congress ahead of January 6.

And that's pretty significant, because we've not seen a lot of detail about that aspect of the Department of Justice's investigation. So it shows that that investigation continues to grow.

Thompson also said this won't be the end of that cooperation, that they are engaging right now, and as that engagement continues, they will find ways to get the Department of Justice, what they're looking for.

And of course, Anderson, at the end of the January 6 investigation, they plan to issue a final report and make all of their interviews public. So of course, at that point, the DOJ would have access to all that information as well.

COOPER: And what do we know about next week's hearing? Because there was supposed to be a hearing tomorrow, that got moved. They don't have a date yet. Do we know what's going to happen next week?

NOBLES: We know it's going to be next week and we expect that it'll be in primetime, probably later in the week. And this is, of course, the hearing that the Committee has been building to from the very beginning.

It is what they believe is the most damning evidence related to Donald Trump on January 6, and it was that 187 minutes that the Capitol was under siege. And what Donald Trump was, and probably more importantly, was not doing. They've already described his conduct on that day as a dereliction of duty and we expect to hear firsthand accounts of what was happening in the White House on that day from people like Pat Cipollone Cassidy Hutchinson, and others that were in and out of the Oval Office, that were in and out of that dining room, where Donald Trump was holding "watching" it all unfold.

And many of them we assume, are going to have to offer up testimony that shows that he was not making too much of an effort to help quell the violence, despite the fact that it was his supporters that were here at the Capitol on that day.

The Committee, as you mentioned, Anderson, had planned on doing it this week. They have pushed it back to next week because I'm told they have gotten in so much information, even new information in the last week or so that will be a part of this hearing and they're just trying to get it all together and put it in a way that is most digestible to the American public.

They've been pretty successful at that up until this point, but this next hearing could be the biggest one yet.

COOPER: Ryan Nobles, appreciate it. Thank you.

Let's get some perspective now from CNN legal analyst, Carrie Cordero, a Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security; former Republican Congressman Denver Riggleman, a former senior technical adviser to the January 6 Committee; and CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, who co-anchors CNN's "State of the Union."

So Carrie, how significant do you think it is that the Justice Department is working with the January 6 Committee to look at least at these fake electors?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think it's really important to their investigation that they are able to gather as much information that's relevant to ongoing investigations that they already have.

So, if they are working under a theory, for example, of conspiracy to defraud the United States as an effort to overturn the election. If they are looking at violations of the Electoral Count Act or basically, the issue of fraud that was conducted against the United States by trying to file fake electors and trying to change the outcome of the election through fraudulent means.

Then anything that the Committee is obtaining, whether it's documentary evidence or interviews would be relevant to the Justice Department's investigation, both from the perspective of evidence that they might want to obtain, and also from the perspective of exculpatory evidence or conflicting evidence that the Committee might obtain as compared to what the Justice Department has learned through its means.


COOPER: Carrie, can you just tell me, why wouldn't the Committee just turn over everything they have to the Department of Justice? I mean, obviously, their interests are aligned. Is this sort of -- is this politics? I mean, they feel protective of the interviews they've done? I don't understand.

CORDERO: I think there's a variety of reasons. One is there are just these prerogatives and these separations between the branches of government and it is a separate legislative branch, it is conducting its own inquiry, and so there is just some turf issues with respect to the information it has collected.

It couldn't be a manpower issue. The Committee is not big. It does not have a large, huge staff and resources, and they have been conducting their own hearings and putting on their own evidence. And so it may be that they just haven't had the bandwidth to be able to comply with all of the information that the Justice Department wants to obtain. But in order to have both tracks go efficiently and have the Justice

Department to be able to move as expediently as the legislative branch and the public would like it to be able to move, it is a good step, I think that the Committee is finally finding a way to work with them.

COOPER: Dana, the Committee has indicated that we're going to hear more from White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone, next week from his already done testimony, his videotaped testimony. Is there any sense of what those excerpts are likely to entail?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: A big part, I'm told of what we're going to hear from Pat Cipollone is to fill in the blank, the 187 minutes. This is the key question that the Committee really hasn't answered.

What was the President doing when he was getting desperate phone calls from pretty much everybody saying, "Do something, tell your people to stop," basically call off the mob? And I'm told that was about seven hours that Pat Cipollone sat and talked with the Committee this past Friday, and that he -- though he was careful to not divulge anything that would be attorney-client privilege, even though it's a little bit suspect, because he's White House Counsel, not the President's personal attorney.

There are a lot of blanks that will be filled in by Pat Cipollone, about what the President was doing, and more importantly, not doing during that time.

COOPER: And Congressman Riggleman, from your experience working on the January 6 Committee, how much do you think Cipollone's testimony will bolster the evidence that the Committee already has about the then President's actions or inactions on around January 6?

DENVER RIGGLEMAN, FORMER US REPRESENTATIVE: When you see it, they've conducted over a thousand interviews, and you look at what they've already talked about on the legal side of this, I think Cipollone sort of seals the deal for them, and validating the information that they already had.

And when you see it, what they're looking at as far as the investigation, it's interesting to talk about the alternate electors also, right, what happened from the White House on down with the alternate electors, and I think there's three things that they're going to look at.

First of all, look at the alternate electors themselves and who they were communicating with, right? And if they have people like the legal team, like Cipollone talking about the alternate electors, this could be very, very sort of a bombshell, I think, for the Committee and that is what is very interesting to me about this, you know, when we talk about alternate electors.

I think they're also going to look at the communications. They're going to look at how these people actually interacted with State Legislators, but also with the Trump legal team, if they were getting any type of constitutional advice from the Trump legal team. And, you know, I think that's what's really interesting about all of

this, again, to me is that they're going to combine the data from, you know, call detail records and text messages, they're going to bind the voluntary data given up on encrypted chat, but they're also going to look at the communications or what the alternate electors were saying or the State Legislatures.

And when you're looking at the legal team, you know, whether it is talking to Trump or when you're looking at Cipollone, when you're looking at Rosen, when you're looking at all these individuals, I'm actually pretty confident that the DOJ and Congress working together on the alternate electoral strategy is going to bear fruit.

And lastly, I'm going to say this is that I think they should work together, you know, turf battles, calls, communication, intelligence breakdowns. I know they want to productize that intelligence and make sure it's finished.

But I do believe I think that sharing now is actually imperative based on the timeline with midterms coming up and things of that nature.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, Carrie, it seems to me, again, this is naive of me, probably, and I know they have a small staff. But I mean, you know, there's plenty of Xerox machines still in existence. And I mean, I'm not sure how much it takes to actually just copy the interviews you've done and it's not like the Justice Department is going to immediately release those interviews and steal the thunder of the January 6 Committee, right?

CORDERO: Right. No, I mean, look, as a practical matter, information some might be provided in paper or others might be put provided digitally., The Committee wants to know what it is actually providing though and so there is a due diligence that has to be done where people have to actually look at -- they have to go through all the information before they provide it.


But, you know, just with respect to looking ahead in terms of the hearings that are coming and the one that was this week, from my perspective, what transpired on the day of January 6th and the missing time and what transpired in the White House.

I tend to view that as more relevant politically in terms of folks on the Committee wanting to damage the former President for his political future versus, I view, the several days and weeks of leading up to January 6th as the more relevant time period from a legal perspective, in terms of gathering evidence and building a case that demonstrates conspiracy or seditious conspiracy or conspiracy to defraud the United States.

And so what Representative Raskin said the other day was that they had -- the Committee had in its possession hundreds of messages between individuals connected to the violent extremist groups and folks in the former President's inner circle, and he said they have only released a fraction of those. And to me, that was the most important pieces of information that we

still don't know in terms of evidence that the Committee has obtained.

BASH: Anderson, I think that's true that the Committee has very much especially in the hearing that they had this week, laid out the fact that the former President was very much involved in getting the word out there that this rally was going to happen.

He is the one who did it. In fact, the protesters -- then, they were protesters -- changed the date of the time that they were going to come to Washington after they saw his tweet. He was communicating with him the best way that he knew how, which was through Twitter.

But the time that he was not doing anything when this was actually happening when stuff was going down. It is even more, potentially more evidence and more damning, because it is even more proof that that's what he wanted, and that perhaps when that was happening, that he had some idea in his head that there -- one of the other sort of fantasy theories of how he could stay in power could come to fruition even though there was no way because as we've heard from testimony after testimony after testimony, that was not legally possible.


BASH: So Anderson, every time you talk about Xerox machines, I can see all the millennials and the Gen Z people Googling what that is, so keep talking about it.

COOPER: It is okay. You know what? They can look it up. It's fun. I didn't say dido machines.

BASH: Me neither.

COOPER: Dana Bash, Carrie Cordero, Denver Riggleman thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Still more to come on the January 6 investigation, including the woman who promised to "release the Kraken" and also apparently thought she had been appointed as Special Counsel by the former President, Sidney Powell. Our Gary Tuchman dives into the background of this person who was at the center of the effort to help Trump overturn the election.

And later, who better to talk about these mesmerizing new pictures of the cosmos than a man who boldly went or no one has gone before, William Shatner, who did actually go into space sort of last year, that's ahead.



COOPER: Yesterday, during the January 6th hearing, we heard extraordinary testimony about a lengthy White House meeting in December of 2020. Hear former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and others describing that meeting in the White House that descended into a vortex of basically crazy with Sidney Powell, General Michael Flynn, the guy, all trying to talk the former President into using powers they thought he had to upend the election.


PAT CIPOLLONE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I was not happy to see the people in the Oval Office.

QUESTION: Explain why?

CIPOLLONE: Well, again, I don't think they were providing -- well, first of all, the Overstock person, I've never met, I never knew who this guy was. Actually the first thing I did, I walked in, I looked at him and I said, "Who are you?"

QUESTION: In the short period of time that you had with the President, did he seem receptive to the presentation that you were making?

SIDNEY POWELL, ATTORNEY: He was very interested in hearing, particularly about the CISA findings, and the terms of 13848, that apparently nobody else had bothered to inform him of.

CIPOLLONE: The three of them were really sort of forcefully attacking me verbally, and we're asking one simple question, as a general matter, where is the evidence?

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: I'm going to categorically describe it as, you guys are not tough enough. Or maybe, put it another way, you're a bunch of pussies.

ERIC HERSCHMANN, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE ATTORNEY: One screamed at me that I was a quitter, and everything kept on standing up and turning around and screaming at me. And then at a certain point, I had it with him. So I yelled back, either come over your sit your effing ass back down.


COOPER: Among the people you saw there was attorney Sidney Powell. She was the one swigging the Dr. Pepper or actually I think this Diet Dr. Pepper.

Our Gary Tuchman has more than the woman at the center of the effort to overturn the election.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Here is what Sidney Powell says Donald Trump was planning for her while she was helping him promote his election fraud claims.

POWELL: He asked Pat Cipollone if he had the authority to name ne as Special Counsel, and he said yes. And then he asked him if he had the authority to give me whatever security clearance I needed, and Pat Cipollone said, yes.

And then the President said, okay, you know, I'm naming her of that, and I'm giving her security clearance.

TUCHMAN (voice over): And what was then White House Counsel Pat Cipollone's response?

CIPOLLONE: Well, I was vehemently opposed. I didn't think she should be appointed to anything.

TUCHMAN (voice over): And she wasn't appointed.

Sidney Powell has a history of dabbling in conspiracy theories and spreading lies about election fraud.

A week and a half after Election Day, she was asked by a sympathetic TV host if she believed election results were part of an effort to overthrow Trump's presidency.

POWELL: Oh, absolutely. And it's been organized and conducted with the help of Silicon Valley people, the Big Tech companies, the social media companies, and even the media companies.

And I'm going to release the Kraken.


TUCHMAN (voice over): "Release the Kraken, a catchphrase from a four- decade old movie became a catchphrase for releasing the evidence.

POWELL: I can hardly wait to put forth all the evidence we have collected on Dominion, starting with the fact that it was created to produce altered voting results in Venezuela for Hugo Chavez.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Donald Trump ranted about the Dominion Voting Systems Company, too.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With the turn of a dial or the change of a chip, you could press a button for Trump, and the vote goes to Biden.

TUCHMAN (voice over): But those allegations from the former President and the attorney who was part of his post-election legal team is evidence free. None of a true.

POWELL: It's really the most massive and historical egregious fraud the world has ever seen.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Not only is Sidney Powell, an attorney, she's also a former Federal prosecutor who made these comments without any evidence.

POWELL: We have counterfeit ballots, we have dead people voting by the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.

TUCHMAN (voice over): This past summer, Powell did an interview on Australian television. If she thought her Australian interviewer would be receptive to her conspiracy theories, she was mistaken. QUESTION: All of the organizations who had the responsibility to

check the nature of this election and to verify its results, say there was no fraud.

POWELL: That's the propaganda they're putting out. I disagree with that completely, and we have and will produce additional evidence that shows otherwise.

QUESTION: Are you saying that thousands of Americans participated in a fraud?

POWELL: I am saying that thousands of Americans had some role in it knowingly or unknowingly.

TUCHMAN (voice over): These claims have led to lawsuits against Powell. Her own lawyers defending her in a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion made a notable claim arguing that no reasonable person would conclude that her statements were truly statements of fact, but her attorneys also declared she believed the allegations then, and she believes them now.

QUESTION: Do you ever hear yourself and think that it sounds ridiculous?

POWELL: No. I know myself very well. I've been in me a long time. I know my reputation.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Gary Tuchman, CNN, New York.


COOPER: That's an interesting phrase.

By the way, you know, we said that it's from a four-decade old film and it is, "Clash of the Titans," 1981. It was made, but we showed a clip of Liam Neeson, I believe in the 2010 remake.

I just don't want to get letters from my film friends, nerd friends who will be like, "You messed it up."

We go on.

Up next, inflation reached a 40-year high in June according to a new report, just as President Biden spoke out about a possible rematch with the former President. We'll show you what he said and our senior data reporter, Harry Enten, actually he would probably complain about us getting it wrong, "Clash of the Titans," he'll be here to talk about how things could turn out if the two men meet again.

We'll be right back.



COOPER: New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows inflation surged by 9.1 percent in June, marking the biggest year-over-year jump in consumer prices in more than 40 years.

Overall prices for goods and services rose by 1.3 percent from May to June, that's the biggest monthly gain since September of 2005. Inflation woes and worries of a looming recession are obviously high on a lot of people's minds and with midterms later this year, it'll likely be foremost in people's minds on Election Day.

The President today called the inflation reading "unacceptably high" and said tackling inflation is his "top priority." He also claimed that the reading is out of date, noting decreasing gas prices in the last 30 days.

Now, this comes as President Biden hinted he would welcome another run against the former President.


QUESTION: Are you predicting a Biden Trump rematch in 2024?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am not predicting, but I -- I would -- I would not be disappointed.

QUESTION: You will not be disappointed. So you look forward to that rematch?

BIDEN: No. Look, the one thing I know about politics, in American politics in particular is there is no way to predict what's going to happen. We're -- I'm not even halfway through my term yet, and so there's a lot of room to figure out what's going to happen.


COOPER: We've decided to release the Kraken tonight.

Joining me is our favorite analyst, CNN senior data reporter, Harry Enten.

So you don't even know what that film is.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST: Well, you explained it to me in the break. So, it's all good now. I am caught up.

COOPER: And the remake as well.


COOPER: So obviously inflation, huge concern. Number one concern for many people. How is it affecting the President's job performance?

ENTEN: So you know, I made an unlimited number of slides tonight, because the first slide is somewhat complicated. So, I'm going to walk us through it.

COOPER: Okay. Please. You know, I am --

ENTEN: And so -- I know, I know.

COOPER: Easily thrown by slides.

ENTEN: I know. So we're going to keep --

COOPER: Advanced age.

ENTEN: You're not that old. My mother perhaps has a few ages -- a few years -- in any event.

COOPER: Don't say that.

ENTEN: Well, I love my mother -- any way, the point is, take a look at Joe Biden's job disapproval rating since last year, July of 2022. Then look at it seven months ago in December of 2021 or July of 2021, December of 2021 and now, what do you see? You see his disapproval rating is rising from the 40s into the high 50s.

At the same time, look at the percentage of people who say that their top familial concern is in fact inflation.

Back in July of 2021, a year ago, it was basically nobody who was saying that inflation was a large concern maybe outside of Larry Summers, then it started picking up in December of 2021. And now, it is a clear number one issue and we see this clear correlation as more people are concerned about inflation, Joe Biden's disapproval rating climbs ever higher.

COOPER: Yes. Larry Summers did get it right.

ENTEN: He did.

COOPER: He was a really. How about, how does President Biden stack up against other Presidents at this time in administrations past?

ENTEN: Yes, so we can look at both Joe Biden's disapproval rating on inflation and Joe Biden's disapproval rating overall and what we see is his disapproval rating on him inflation is topping 70 percent. His disapproval rating overall, it's still in the 50s.

But if you compare that every single other President at this point in their first term, throughout polling history, this goes all the way back since the 1940s, he is the worst on both.


And the reason he is the worst overall is because inflation is eating his presidency alive at this point.

COOPER: And what does it look like in comparison with him and former President Trump?

ENTEN: You know, one of the things I love about politics is a song I think nothing from nothing was a song back in the 1970s.

COOPER: Take it away. ENTEN: There you go. You -- if you match up, yes. If you match up Joe Biden and Donald Trump right, and you look at their favorable ratings --


ENTEN: -- you can see that Joe Biden's favorable rating is actually slightly higher than Donald Trump's, it's not that he's a popular guy. But if you look at that slight 41% is a higher favorable rating than 39%. And so, this something gets at what Joe Biden was talking about of why he welcomes this, because I'm fairly convinced at this point that the only candidate that Joe Biden could be is Donald Trump.

COOPER: And where do things stand overall with voters choice for president?

ENTEN: So we had a New York Times/Siena College poll that came out earlier this week, my buddy Nate Cohn at the Times put it out. And what did it actually show it show, look at this, and your choice for president for 2024 Joe Biden actually leads Donald Trump 44% to 41%. But of course, there's that 10% who say they vote for another candidate or won't vote, which isn't so surprising when you have two candidates with a favorable rating around 40%.

COOPER: Are you friends with all the other data people (INAUDIBLE) --

ENTEN: We all get together.

COOPER: Right.

ENTEN: You know, I'm actually going to Cohn's wedding, I believe it's in December.


ENTEN: And, you know, and maybe one day I'll invite him to my wedding but that is not in the near future.

COOPER: You run some numbers on that.

ENTEN: You know what, I'll run some and I'll get back to you.

COOPER: Harry Enten, thanks very much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

COOPER: Up next, new developments in the mysterious murder of Alex Murdaugh's wife and son. Why his lawyers say he could be facing more charges soon.

And what a Texas House committee plans to do this weekend as they continue to investigate the slow police response, the Robb Elementary School shooting, where 19 children, two teachers were murdered.



COOPER: An update tonight and two mysterious murders in South Carolina. Now you may remember more than a year ago the wife and younger son of a guy named Alex Murdaugh were found shot to death on the family property. Now since then three other deaths in the family's orbit have come under scrutiny. And the Murdaugh family's legal dynasty has unraveled Alex Murdaugh is now disbarred attorney facing more than 70 charges including insurance fraud, attempted insurance fraud and financial fraud.

Randi Kaye has been covering this story for years joins me now with new information about possible murder charges against Mr. Murdaugh. Randi?

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this grand jury is meeting here in South Carolina tomorrow, and I spoke today with both of Alex Murdaugh's lawyers and they both told me that SLED the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has informed the family that they are seeking murder charges against Alex Murdaugh, the lawyers have always defended him saying that he was not at the family property at the time that his wife and son were murdered. But now it will be up to this grand jury here in South Carolina to decide if there's enough evidence to indict Alex Murdaugh. And here's what we know about the night that Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were murdered.


ALEX MURDAUGH, SUSPECT: I need the police and ambulance immediately. My wife and child have been shot badly.

KAYE (voice-over): June of last year, a disturbing 911 Call from the Murdaugh family home in Islington, South Carolina.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are they breathing?

MURDAUGH: No, ma'am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. And you said it's your wife and your son?

MURDAUGH: My wife and my son.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your name?

MURDAUGH: My name is Alex Murdaugh.

KAYE (voice-over): That's Alex Murdaugh on the line. The victims are his wife Margaret and their 22-year-old son Paul.

(on-camera): The shooting happened here at the family's home. You can't see the house from the road. It's behind this gate, when Colleton County Sheriff's deputies arrived at the house that night of June 7th, they quickly determined both victims had been shot multiple times.

(voice-over): This is Paul Murdaugh's death certificate. It shows he suffered shotgun wounds to his head and chest. Alex Murdaugh said he returned home and found his wife and son had been shot. He's denied having anything to do with their deaths. Listen to how he tells the 911 operator he checked to see if they were breathing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't want you to touch them at all. OK. I don't know if you've already touched them. I don't want you to touch them just in case they get any kind of evidence, OK?

MURDAUGH: I already touched them trying to get, to see if they were breathing.

KAYE (voice-over): From the start despite Alex Murdaugh's denials, his lawyers now confirmed to CNN he was identified as a person of interest in the double murder, but say he was visiting his mother at the time of the murders, and has alibis to back that up. As far as evidence in the case, South Carolina's FITSNews first reported, and a source with knowledge of the investigation confirmed to CNN high velocity impact spatter was found on Alex Murdaugh's clothes, which could place him at the scene and in close contact with at least one of the victims when they were killed. High velocity spatter is associated with the use of a high velocity weapon like a rifle, especially used at close range, and it creates a very specific blood pattern.

(on-camera): FITSNews also first reported that Paul Murdaugh's phone was found on his body at the scene, and we've confirmed with that same source that on that phone there is video which contains audio of Alex Murdaugh talking with his wife Maggie close to the time of the murders. Alex Murdaugh is not seen on the video, but he is heard speaking with her, and that recording has a timestamp, which could be key to the investigation.

(voice-over): We reached out to both of Alex Murdaugh's lawyers about all of this, they would not go on camera but told me by phone, they don't know the existence or quality of any evidence since he hasn't been charged. They did confirm that SLED, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has informed Murdaugh's family that they intend to charge him with the murders, but said neither SLED nor the Attorney General has shared any evidence with them.


COOPER: And Randi, if the state does bring murder charges, is it clear what motive they would allege?


KAYE: It's quite unclear Anderson, in fact there are a lot of questions about the motive and it is really still a mystery. When I spoke with his lawyers today they described his relationship with his wife Maggie as a loving relationship. The lawyers also told me that Maggie did not have any life insurance. So it seems as though that could not have been motive and she did leave all of her property to him. We had a look at her well, so all of her property did go to Alex Murdaugh, but his lawyers told me today that he is looking to renounce his interest in her estate and let it go directly to his only surviving son Buster. So, perhaps that wasn't a motive either. So that's why it's really still a mystery. But if he is indicted Anderson, he will remain in jail. He's there facing many charges for financial crimes, some of which he's already admitted to, and he has not been able to make that $7 million bond. So he will remain in jail and we should know sometime tomorrow afternoon if the grand jury does indict him here in South Carolina.

COOPER: All right, Randi, thanks so much.

Now at Texas were an investigative committee looking into the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, plans to meet this weekend with the victim's families. Seven weeks after the massacre the families of the 19 children and two teachers murdered are still demanding answers. Why took more than an hour for law enforcement to storm a classroom at Robb Elementary and kill the gunman.

CNN Shimon Prokupecz joins us now from San Antonio. What is the latest on the investigations into the shooting?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: While they're still ongoing, Anderson, and I've been talking to officials who say we still don't even have a complete picture. Yes, we have that video that's been leaked. And it's out there now. But there's still, just think about this Anderson, there is still a lot of video that we haven't seen, there's audio transmissions, there's communications between just the cops talking in the hallway, that could also explain a lot. There's other angles inside that hallway that we have not seen yet. All of that is still being tightly held.

And really right now, from this video, we're only getting one perspective, right? It's horrific to see. But there are other perspectives that I'm told, are going to answer a lot of questions, and there are people certainly pushing to have that release. So we still don't have a lot of answers to many of the questions. And the investigations, as far as we know, are still ongoing Anderson with the district attorney, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and of course, the legislators who are expected to release their findings this weekend.

COOPER: And this, this briefing that's supposed to happen this weekend by law enforcement to the families who have been obviously waiting and deserve answers. Do we know how that's going to happen and when the report might be made public?

PROKUPECZ: Right. And so that's going to be those Texas legislators, that's going to happen on Sunday. This was that committee that was formed by the state representatives, they formed this committee, there's three of them. They've been interviewing police officers, they've been interviewed the former school police chief, Pete Arredondo, they've interviewed the mayor, they've interviewed other officials. So all of those findings are supposed to be made public over the weekend, the family is going to have access to that information. They're going to bring them in fairly early and then they're going to spend the afternoon taking questions from the family members, it's going to be in private, the family members are going to get to see the video sadly, again, the right way this time. And then at some point, those officials the Texas legislators as well as city officials are going to have a press conference and we're going to be able to ask questions.

But still Anderson I think despite all this, despite all of this that's going to happen in the next days and over the weekend, there are still so many unanswered questions and there are still a lot of information that we're still fighting and trying to get.

COOPER: Yes, Shimon Prokupecz, as appreciate it. Thank you.

Up next, I'm going to speak with their favorite space explorer William Shatner, a NASA's new breathtaking images from the James Webb Space Telescope. We'll be right back.



COOPER: Well, after years of anticipation, NASA this week released stunning new images from the James Webb telescope. I mean, they're just incredible. The images depict what NASA calls the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date, showing the creation of new stars, the interactions between galaxies and providing new insight on black holes.

Now, in just a moment, we're going to talk about these new images with a favorite space explore William Shatner. But before I bring him on, one of the last times I spoke with him, he just landed for a brief visit to space. Here's what he had to say.


WILLIAM SHATNER, ACTOR: And you look down there's the blue down there and the black up there and it's just there is Mother Earth, comfort and there's -- is there a death? I don't know, was that death? Is that we death is. And it's gone. Jesus. It was so moving to me.

What you've given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened. I just, it's extraordinary, extraordinary.


SHATNER: I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it.


COOPER: And with me now actor, author and spoken word poet, singer, William Shatner.

Bill, it's great to have you back. I'm wondering just looking at that --

SHATNER: Thank you.

COOPER: -- have you been able to hold on to that feeling since returning from space you were saying -- SHATNER: So much so Anderson. So much so. We -- my team wrote a song

called So Fragile, So Blue and I was entertaining for an hour at the Kennedy Center a couple of months ago. And we performed numerous songs, but among them was So Fragile, So Blue, which was like the keynote song about that very experience. In which I use the phrase I hope I never forget. And it I -- why was I crying? Why was I weeping uncontrollably and I had to sit down and figure it out. I was in grief for what we've done to the earth. I know we're losing the earth.


You know, we're, as everybody knows, we're on the brink of the terrible things. And unless we do something like now, it'll be too late and our, your, your, your five-month-old child will, will be suffering the worst of it. I'll get out first and with your gray hair, you'll be nice. But the --

COOPER: And we're going to take it to the next generation.

SHATNER: (INAUDIBLE) little boy will be suffering. So, I realized that was my reason for this grief.


SHATNER: And I've liked to it and talk about it. And I entertained about it.

COOPER: But when you see --


COOPER: When you see these new, I mean these breathtaking images though of our universe --

SHATNER: Yes, but that's exactly the phrase isn't a breathtaking. Here's what's breathtaking to me, 20 years ago about this Webb telescope idea came to somebody, and they put it together with billions of dollars and overruns because as time went on, things improved. And so what they thought was working 20 years ago, 20 years later, they have new equipment, say it so you can see how, how complex it is. And finally, they fire it off. Apparently 350 things have to go wrong. Go right and any one of them. That doesn't happen. The mission is scrubbed $10 billion. It goes to an eddy in the gravitational flow.

Now all I know is that learning to kayak, you learn that as the stream goes this way, there's an eddy of water going the other way. So Native Americans paddling the canoe would go to these eddies. Apparently that's the same thing in gravity. So there's an eddy where they parked the Webb telescope, so that gravitational pull would be at the minimum.

Now, the whole thing is aimed at gathering knowledge, the magic of human beings sending out these complex, expensive things that were the money, people would say, well, why did you spend it on X, Y and Z? This is the search for pure knowledge. What drives us to kill and maim, and then drives us to look for knowledge that has no direct meaning, except what is the universe made of? How does it work? And when thing where does the universe go?

COOPER: I also -- I mean, I feel -- by the way, I feel like you and I are having like one of those conversations have very late at night after a long night out, you know, and like maybe we're in a pickup truck looking up at the stars and --

SHATNER: (INAUDIBLE) I'm talking to a guy in Korea, it's late at night there. So maybe we are.

COOPER: But I mean, I look at these images. And you know, I like I've tried to read about this stuff. I'm just not smart enough to understand even what I'm looking at. I mean, NASA said that this telescope can look backwards billions of years practically to the Big Bang. I cannot wrap my head around the idea.


COOPER: That we're seeing galaxies and stars being born.

SHATNER: No, but, no, yes, we're seeing them being born. But they've long since been born --


SHATNER: -- and probably died. It's, here's the mystery, like one of the great mysteries. So, this photon of light hits our retina, and is 13.8 or more billion light years old. In all that time, which is billions of years, that thing that is, that that object that that is shedding that light is long gone.

COOPER: Right.

SHATNER: It's, it's gone. When our telescopes look back, what I think looking back at the late 13.8, or the beginning of --

COOPER: I don't know, I don't know.

SHATNER: Exactly.

COOPER: That's thing.

SHATNER: So we need people on this program that tell us --

COOPER: Right, but we only got you and me. We could have had like Neil deGrasse Tyson, but I wanted to talk to you know.


COOPER: I love Neil deGrasse Tyson, but I wanted to talk to you.

SHATNER: (INAUDIBLE) because the more you know, the less you know.

COOPER: Exactly.

SHATNER: And you know so much (INAUDIBLE).



SHATNER: So where did, where did those, where did those constellations go?


SHATNER: Where did they go?

COOPER: The other -- OK. Here's what just blows my mind. Yes, they said the universe is endless. What does that mean? How can it be endless? How can it just keep going?

SHATNER: See, that's the brain, that's the brain that came out of the tree and was looking for nuts and fruit. That's our brain.


But we're looking for, where did we go?


SHATNER: It's gone, it's gone into endless space we get them in.

COOPER: I don't understand. I don't understand.

SHATNER: It is, it's that's what that's it. See --

COOPER: But I liked that (INAUDIBLE) --

SHATNER: The one you say is, you don't understand.

COOPER: Yes, I liked it. I like that we look for all the fear about what lies ahead. I like that there are -- it's like religion I like that there are these mysteries that we cannot explain. And we had --

SHATNER: Why don't use the phrase, it's unexplained.

COOPER: Oh, it ties, it ties in.

SHATNER: (INAUDIBLE) that ties in with what --

COOPER: You have show on Netflix. Are you -- do you have a new show on Netflix I've noticed this --

SHATNER: No, it's an old show.

COOPER: Oh. But it's popped up in my algorithm.

SHATNER: It's good and popular. Yes. And my new book Boldly Go which is coming out in October.

COOPER: What is this?

SHATNER: Feels with some? COOPER: What's the new book called?

SHATNER: Boldly Go. And boldly go with knowledge. Boldly go with vibration.

COOPER: I'm intrigued to go.

SHATNER: Of course, that's the object.

COOPER: Well listen, when the book comes out, I know you probably already have a whole line of people, Oprah's probably got first booking --

SHATNER: No, no.

COOPER: -- I'm sure.

SHATNER: I cross my fingers you would ask me.

COOPER: Gayle King's probably got the second book and because she gets everyone grade on the over there. So, but you know, I would love to have you even like if I'm 20th in line, I would love to talk to you about your new book.

SHATNER: No, no, you're on. We're booked, you and I are booked. We got to be booked already. But, but going back for as long as time is we have --

COOPER: Twenty seconds to go.

SHATNER: -- the magic -- oh 20 seconds?

COOPER: Yes, that's what we have right now.

SHATNER: Yes. The magic of this object that manmade needs we the whole world needs to be watching with all in wonder what America and Canada and the Great Britain done.

COOPER: It's extraordinary.

SHATNER: Its search for pure.

COOPER: And those folks at NASA at JPL are extraordinary. I know you've been out there a bunch of times.

SHATNER: And Canada.

COOPER: They're the best, they're just incredible and thank goodness for them. William Shatner, I love having you on. We'll talk to you later.

We'll be right back.


[21:00:51] COOPER: The news continues. Let's hand over Laura Coates in "CNN TONIGHT." Laura.