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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Trump Team Requests Special Master To Review Mar-a-Lago Evidence; DOJ Promises Response, Says Warrant Was Properly Authorized; Daughter Of Putin Ally Killed In Car Bomb Attack; Three Arkansas Officers Under Investigation After Video Shows Punching, Kneeing Of Suspect; New Conservative Group Receives $1.6 Billion From Single Donor; At Least One Woman Dead After Massive Rains, As Dallas County Declares State Of Disaster; Stunning New Pics Of Jupiter From NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 22, 2022 - 20:00   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Now, trees where there was once ice, and in what may be one of the most striking before and after's, this glacier that was there nearly a century ago, has vanished. Researchers say the world can expect to see another 60 percent loss in glacier mass by the end of the century.

Thanks so much for being here.

I'm Kate Bolduan. AC 360 starts now.



Two full weeks after the search of Mar-a-Lago and two full weeks of total Courtroom silence on the subject, the former President's legal team has finally weighed in. In their first filing of any kind since the search, they've asked a Federal Judge to stop any review of seized material until a third-party attorney or Special Master, as it is called is named to review the evidence.

Now beyond this specific request, it contains the filings by the former President's attorneys is notable for the tone it strikes and the claims it makes, neither of which are typical of the category.

Quoting now from the introduction's first line: "Politics cannot be allowed to impact the administration of justice." So, we'll focus on the filing ahead, and the chances that a Judge will agree with any or all of it, given how late in the process it is.

We'll also examine how the various assertions of fact in the filing actually stand up to the facts themselves.

Also tonight, a CNN exclusive, late word that the Justice Department has issued a new subpoena for more January 6 related documents. CNN's Kaitlan Collins starts us off.

So, what is the former President and his legal team seeking in this filing? KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A few things:

One is this third-party attorney which is known better as a Special Master that can really go through these documents if they are appointed, see what has legal privilege, what doesn't. It takes up time, though.

And so, it's a little unusual that they waited two weeks to file for this because there is a chance that the Justice Department has already kind of gone through this, the investigators who are looking at it because they've had their hands on these documents for two weeks.

The other thing they want is a pause on what the investigators are doing, the review of these documents until a Special Master has been named.

The third thing is a more detailed inventory list. We saw a generic one, I would say, where it talked about, you know the note about Roger Stone's clemency that he got, information about the French President, the rest of it, nine sets, I believe, of classified documents, in addition to that, they want a more detailed list of really what they have.

And they also would like for essentially, anything that they say that was outside the scope of the search warrant to be returned to them.

We know for example, they had some of the passports of the former President, they already returned those. We don't actually know if they have anything else that is outside the scope of that.

But basically, his legal team is arguing, if you do have anything else, we'd like to give it back, which is pretty standard.

COOPER: So, what would the timeline of any legal action be? I mean, this would -- as you said, this would basically just delay the entire thing.

COLLINS: And they know that that would work potentially to their advantage.

It is not that unusual that they asked for a Special Master. We've seen that in other situations where there is potentially attorney- client privilege material. What is unusual is that they waited two weeks to do so.

It has been two weeks since the search was carried out. This is their first actual Court filing.

They didn't see anything --

COOPER: Why did they wait so long? Is it clear?

COLLINS: I think it's a sign that there is disagreement behind the scenes of what the legal strategy should be, what it should look like. They have not really coalesced under a single strategy: "Let's pursue this, let's do this." There was some debate over the Special Master and actually filing this

motion with some critics saying, you should have done this two weeks ago. People who were even usual allies of the President saying you kind of waited too late.

I think that's a sign of the trouble and the disagreement they've been having over which avenue to pursue.

COOPER: You're also learning more about this purported message from the former President to Merrick Garland.

COLLINS: This is probably the most fascinating part of this filing. One of it, to me, I mean, we knew the Special Master thing was likely coming based on our reporting, but they have confirmed for the first time that Trump did try to get a message to Biden's Attorney General, Merrick Garland, and he tried to do it through his attorney Evan Corcoran and Jay Bratt, who is the lead Justice Department official on this.

And it says in the filing that basically, the attorney relayed this message to Jay Bratt who is the Justice Department official who is actually at Mar-a-Lago in June and he said that: "Trump has been hearing from people, one word to describe the reaction to the right is angry and Trump instructed his counsel to say the heat is building up, the pressure is building up, whatever he can do to take it down to bring the pressure down, just let us know."

It's very unusual to have a former President who we know is under investigation for how we handled this information, trying to send a message to Merrick Garland. It's not that unusual for Trump, I guess, because remember, of course, when Nancy Pelosi was pursuing those impeachment charges against him, he tried to reach out to her.

But it is notable that they confirmed that in this filing that they did try to relay a message to the Attorney General who signed off on the search warrant.

COOPER: Yes. stay with us, Kaitlan, because I also want to bring in our political analyst, "New York Times" Washington correspondent, Maggie Haberman; CNN contributor and Nixon White House Counsel, John Dean; former Federal Judge Nancy Gertner, as well. She is currently a senior lecturer at Harvard Law School.

Judge Gertner let me start with you. How unusual is a request for a Special Master two weeks into after an event like this?


NANCY GERTNER, FORMER FEDERAL JUDGE: It would be very unusual to do it two weeks after because as we've said, the odd size are that the government has already been going through these documents.

It is usually done in a situation where the search of a law firm where the documents are presumptively privileged because they had been in a law firm and you say you don't want the government to be going through attorney-client privilege documents. This is the reverse in a way, if the coverage is right, these are

presumptively presidential records, not privileged. And so the notion that you need a Special Master to win your way through what presumptively belongs to the American people is a little odd.

COOPER: What sorts -- excuse me -- what sorts of things would a Special Master be likely to throw out or prevent the government from looking at, Judge?

GERTNER: Well, that's been any kind of attorney-client privilege issue, but there is no indication and they haven't mentioned that there is a privileged document there.

They -- you know, the President does have -- the former President has an opportunity to figure out, you know, things that are personal to him, but that's hardly something that you would say the government can't see.

And the letter that started all of this, which is the letter from Kim Jong-un is hardly personal to him, that classically belongs to the American public.

So this is a stretch. Now, the question is whether a Magistrate Judge would say, this is a special case, we should do special things in this case to make sure that the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed, but it would be extraordinary here.

And as I said, the presumption is that everything in those boxes belong to the American people and not to Trump.

COOPER: Maggie, do you have a sense of what the former President's overall strategy is right now? Because his lawyers included this purported back-channel message to Merrick Garland.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right, Anderson, this is a Court filing, and I'm not a lawyer, but this Court filing seems to have a lot of public relations elements to it, less a defense strategy, or any kind of a Court strategy, and more about trying to sway public opinion.

It is notable that he referenced that conversation, that an intermediary had with Garland, that is, as Kaitlan said, a classic Donald Trump move where he starts trying to have a negotiation with a prosecutor, but there is also an implicit threat, it seems in what he is saying, which is, well, people are angry, and who knows what will happen.

You know, for all the reasons that were said here, Anderson, his argument, not only is it coming very late, but he is making an argument about privilege that it is hard to see where it applies here.

I think that everything they are doing right now is about basically a time buy which is another classic Donald Trump's strategy.

COOPER: And Maggie what is the advantage -- why buy time? HABERMAN: Because he doesn't tend to think in long-term strategy, he

tends to think in terms of minute to minute. And I think that his folks were -- I know, his folks were caught very off guard by this search warrant. They were very surprised by it.

Now, there were a lot of discussions going on, one that included a subpoena, so they should not have been surprised that the government was trying to get these documents back that was pretty clear from the subpoena.

But regardless, they were clearly surprised. They didn't realize that the case was going where it was going, and now, they are sort of playing catch up. And Donald Trump, I would note, it is interesting about how late this Court filing has come, however questionable, it might be that privilege, because it's not a lawyer, it is not a law firm.

When Michael Cohen's home and office and hotel room were searched a couple of years ago, in 2018, Trump moved very quickly to file a request for a Special Master and that was one of his lawyers. So, it does suggest they recognize this is not a clear standing issue.

COOPER: And Kaitlan, based on your reporting, you believe that they think giving them time helps their cause.

COLLINS: It doesn't hurt, I think is really the argument that we've heard and it does raise questions of why they didn't do it two weeks ago, because it still would have bought them some time. Eleven boxes of documents to go through is a lot of documents to go through.

I think it is a sign of the legal strategy and what Maggie was saying there, they struggled to figure out exactly how they were going to respond to this and they were very caught off guard by it.

We should note the Justice Department is responding tonight. They say they're aware of this filing by Trump. They are maintaining as they have been that there was a Federal Judge signing -- a Federal Court signing off on probable cause being behind this search warrant.

They're very critical of it as Maggie was saying, it is very PR related if you read through the filing today. They're very critical of the Judge doing that and the DOJ says they will respond.

COOPER: Yes, John, when -- I mean when you read this, is this a substantive legal document? Or is it I mean, as Maggie and Kaitlan were saying, you know a lot of public relations?


JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think it's a lot of public relations. In fact, it is so weak that the law they rely on, first they don't even cite it properly in their brief, but it's US versus Nixon, they claim gives a presumptive privilege to all presidential documents. Well, that's nonsense.

If they read the case, that's citing a Court of Appeals agreement, and then the Court -- the Supreme Court immediately marches away from that, and says, there is no such privilege presumption. In fact, it is subject to the rule of law, which embraces grand jury information of this nature.

So it is a PR document, that's all it is.

COOPER: Judge, have you ever seen a filing like this? I mean, is it -- you know, as these filings go, how does it relate to others you've seen?

GERTNER: I don't even know where to begin, and have I ever seen anything like this? First of all, there is a search warrant affidavit in which an FBI agent has sworn to facts on which the probable cause and that by which the search was based.

There are pages and pages in this document, in which they're just saying stuff, not sworn to, they're just making statements. You know, that on their face, someone needs to swear to and I imagine there was some concern about swearing to any of this.

And, you know, as John Dean was saying, there is no presumption of privilege here. It is really just the opposite.

The documents that were in those boxes, first of all, presumably match the scope of the warrant, which was then based on probable cause, and are covered by the Presidential Records Act or classified documents.

So I mean, I think this is a PR move and nothing more.

COOPER: Maggie, do you have a sense of what the team -- I mean, who is around the former President who is involved in these sorts of -- I mean, how do things get decided in Trump World right now?

Who are his attorneys? What is the process?

HABERMAN: Look, at the end of the day, Donald Trump is always first and foremost his own adviser on everything, and that includes legal issues. He is obviously not a lawyer, so people can do with that what they will. He likes to find lawyers who will do what he wants.

But he has been the person as I understand it, who was slow on wanting to do anything. He has a handful of lawyers around him in various cases, Anderson, remember, this is not the only legal front he is fighting on. You know, one is a man named Evan Corcoran, who was present on June 3rd when Federal officials came -- counterintelligence officials came from the Justice Department and retrieved additional classified material that was still there.

He has a lawyer named Jim Trusty. He has a few others. But you know, there are a lot of lawyers who have told him or told his team, they don't want to represent him. He is notorious for not paying his bills. He is notorious for not following advice.

So, you know, it didn't matter so much, Anderson. A: He had a different group of lawyers, I should just point that out when he was in the White House, a very different group, number one. But number two, when he had the power of the presidency behind him, and essentially the State, for lack of a better way of looking at it was investigating him, he still was the State, and so it was just a different position.

He is not in that position right now and we don't know where this is leading. We don't know if there will be charges. We know at the moment, it appears to be about the documents, but he is in a very different position than we've seen him in, I think, ever.

COOPER: John Dean, we've seen defenders of the former President kind of put out every kind of reason for why he would have classified documents sitting in a storage unit at Mar-a-Lago. I just want to play something that Kash Patel, the former Chief of Staff to the Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, in the waning days of the Trump administration said.


KASH PATEL, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE ACTING DEFENSE SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER MILLER: In October of 2020, President Trump put out for the world to see a sweeping declassification order, and he did it via social media. And then in December in January on the way out, I witnessed him declassify whole sets of documents.

So, it is not incumbent upon President Trump and his lawyers and he, as a target of this investigation to show heed, in fact, did declassify them. It's up to the government who has the burden of proof who are trying to deprive a man of his liberty to show that no such order was in fact, given.


COOPER: John, does any of that makes sense to you? I mean, do you see any kind of coherent legal strategy in all of this?

DEAN: It's a public relations strategy. Again, it's not a legal strategy. He really -- it is questionable if he did anything that would have declassified the documents that are relevant --

COOPER: But there would be a paper trail.

DEAN: That was the subject to the search. There would be a paper trail and the documents would have been marked as declassified and the rest of the world would have been told they were declassified because they're not isolated documents.

There are multiple copies. They are logged. They are carefully cared. That's how they knew they were missing because these documents are logged everywhere and their whereabouts is known.



DEAN: So this is -- I think what Mr. Patel is doing is getting himself a front row seat at the grand jury where he will be testifying very soon, under oath and we will hear what his story is later.

COOPER: I just want to bring one more person to the conversation because our panel boxes are not big enough.

CNN's chief political commentator, former Obama senior adviser, David Axelrod.

David, what would the former President potentially gain or lose by requesting a Special Master and prolonging the process?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, as has been said by others squeezed into these boxes, I do think it is a lot about politics and public relations. I think that it implies that there is something untoward about the materials that were taken that they may be being used in ways that are inappropriate.

You know, I don't want to use the word "spying," but that's what the conspiracy theorists think that, you know, the FBI went and seized the President's documents.

As the Judge pointed out, these aren't his documents; these documents belong to the American people.

I remember how rigorous the Presidential Records process was when I was in the White House. And, you know, so the whole thing is absurd.

And by the way, Patel in that same interview was asked, you know, about the process of declassifying and he says, well, the President just says it, and then they're declassified. And they say, well, says it to who? And he says, well, you know, a witness.

I mean, the whole thing was absurd. So, I don't know that -- I think the advantage is political in his mind, Anderson.

COOPER: David, there is also this new NBC poll where it asks: Do you consider yourself to be more of a supporter of Donald Trump or more of a supporter of the Republican Party? The former President's numbers have actually gone up since May from 34 percent to 41 percent, where his general support for the Republican Party has gone down.

Do you think these investigations are helping the former President?

AXELROD: Well, they may be helping him within his base within the Republican Party. I think it's riled them up. It's not helping him overall; his numbers are not improving overall.

And 57 percent of the people of the American people in that poll said they think these investigations should continue, and I think the fact that Republicans are begging him not to announce his candidacy for President until after November, because they think it will hurt their candidates tells you everything.

He is an albatross around the Republican Party now, even as he is strong within the Republican Party.

COOPER: To all my friends in tiny boxes -- David Axelrod, Kaitlan Collins, Maggie Haberman, Nancy Gertner, and John Dean, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, the White House now weighing in on the car bombing outside Moscow that killed a pro-Kremlin TV commentator, the daughter of a prominent supporter of Vladimir Putin.

We will get a live report from the Russian capital and explore Russia's claims that Ukraine was behind it; Ukraine's insistence that it's not, we will talk about that with former CIA officer, Bob Baer.

Later, a live report from Dallas hit by nearly a foot of rain in less than 24 hours, flooding parts of the area in to virtual islands.



COOPER: The Biden administration tonight says it has not reached any conclusions about who might have been behind the car bombing outside Moscow that killed the daughter of a prominent Russian ultra- nationalist.

National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby telling CNN's Alex Marquardt, "We actually don't know a whole lot about this attack which took the life of Darya Dugina, herself a pro-Kremlin propagandist." Kirby did say that Ukraine which Russia claims is behind the killing has been very transparent in its denial of involvement, adding whoever that he couldn't comment much on the subject.

We have live reporting tonight which only CNN can from both sides of the story. CNN's Sam Kiley in Kyiv, Ukraine, and CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Moscow.

We begin with Fred Pleitgen's report.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Shortly after the explosion that caused Darya Dugina to crash on a Moscow highway, her car engulfed in flames.

Darya Dugina was dead at the scene, police say.

Her father pro-Kremlin ideologue, Alexander Dugin looking on in dismay.

Tonight, Vladimir Putin with an angry response: "A vile cruel crime cut short the life of Darya Dugina. She proved by deed what it means to be a patriot of Russia." The Russian leader said in a condolence letter.

After only a short investigation, the Russians now blaming Ukraine for the murder. The Intelligence Service releasing this video which CNN cannot independently verify, claiming to show a Ukrainian Special Services operative who allegedly entered Russia together with her young daughter shadowed Dugina, carried out the car bombing and then fled to neighboring Estonia. Alexander Dugin, who some believe may have been the actual target of

the plot lashing out against Ukraine.

"Our hearts yearn for more than just revenge or retribution. It is too small, not the Russian way. We only need our victory. My daughter laid her maiden life on her altar, so win, please." Dugin wrote in a statement.

Dugin has long advocated Russian expansionism and some believe laid the ideological groundwork for Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukrainians deny they had anything to do with his daughter's killing. "Russian propaganda lives in a fictional world," an adviser to Ukraine's presidential administration said and hinted the Ukrainians believe it may have been an inside job, adding: "Vipers in Russian Special Services started an intra-species fight."


PLEITGEN (voice over): The incident comes as Russia's invasion of Ukraine nears the half year mark and Moscow is keen to keep public opinion in favor of the operation, with a massive show of patriotism on Russia's National Flag Day in a series of events around the country.

PLEITGEN (on camera): In these trying times, as Russia's military is fighting in Ukraine and the country is under heavy sanctions, it has become increasingly important to display patriotism.

At this event, the organizers have brought together hundreds of people to create a giant Russian flag.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Flags in public spaces and on Moscow streets. At this massive nighttime convoy, many of the drivers flashed the "Z" symbol of Russia's invasion forces fighting in Ukraine.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)

PLEITGEN (voice over): "Our Commander-in-Chief and the Army are doing everything right," this man says, as the pro-Putin convoys circles Moscow in a display of power, trying to show that Russia won't be deterred from its current course.


COOPER: Fred, has there been any signal from the Kremlin about what could come next after this attack?

PLEITGEN: Well, it is very clear that all of this is extremely important to the Kremlin. In fact, an hour-and-a-half ago, Anderson, right about, we got an e-mail from the Kremlin Press Service that Darya Dugina had been awarded the Order of Courage from the Russian Federation. You also heard Vladimir Putin there in that condolence Telegram that he sent.

But it is also the case and very clear that there are a lot of prominent people in Russia, who as brutal as things are in Ukraine right now want Russia to hit Ukraine even harder than it already is, and take even more Ukrainian territory.

And one of those people is actually Alexander Dugin, who has been advocating that for a very long time, but those voices have now become even louder.

You hear that from the top echelons of Russian Kremlin-controlled media, for instance, where there have been people who have been calling for strikes on Kyiv in response to this, and also hitting Kyiv's as decision making centers as they say.

Whether or not the Russians have the capacity to do that is of course, a whole another thing, but there certainly are a lot of prominent people here in Moscow right now calling for an escalation in what's going on in Ukraine -- Anderson.

COOPER: Fred Pleitgen, appreciate it. Thanks.

I'm going to turn next to CNN's Sam Kiley. He is in Ukraine, also CNN intelligence analyst and former CIA officer, Bob Baer.

So Sam, you heard Fred's reporting? What is Ukraine saying in response?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Ukrainians are rejecting out of hand any suggestion that they would go after a civilian target, anywhere, they would say -- they have said, let alone inside Russian territory rejecting absolutely, both from the military and the Office of the Presidency are all saying that they are not responsible.

And we heard that from Fred also suggestions that this may have been part in the Ukrainian view, the counter argument is part of internee- signed squabble, potentially in Russia.

Again, that's probably as much propaganda chaff, similar to the sort of stuff that's coming out of the Kremlin so frequently, but no, as far as the Ukrainians are saying, officially and privately, this is not a Ukrainian operation, but that doesn't answer the question as to who had done it -- Anderson.

COOPER: Bob, do you know -- I mean, what stands out to you about the method that was used in this killing?

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, Anderson, it looks very professional to me. It was done on a road, no cars nearby, it was undoubtedly remote controlled. It takes some skill. It took some casing of the parking lot to following the car, someone had to watch it. It was very well organized.

You know, if it had been a car bomb alongside the road, it could have been Chechens, it could have been anybody. But clearly, to my view, this is speculation again, it was a professional job.

COOPER: And does -- I mean, does Ukraine have the capabilities, Bob, to operate near Moscow?

BAER: We haven't seen it so far. I mean, not to this sophistication. You know, there could have been some small attacks that would have been echoed, but I don't think they would and another thing is why would they pick this target?

The Ukrainians have a lot of military and intelligence targets in Moscow, which are vulnerable, which they could have gone after, and they didn't.

So, you know, this is so mysterious, this attack, and she wasn't particularly a valuable target politically, nor was even the father because there's a lot of Russians who have been urging the invasion of Ukraine for years, for decades.

So why her? Is it mafia related? It's always possible.

COOPER: Sam, is there a concern in Ukraine that Putin will -- I mean, I don't know if he needs a pretext, but use this car bomb attack as a pretext for a general mobilization for further escalation of the of the war?


KILEY: Well, it is very hard to read that the -- you know who is telling who to say what, because if you -- as Fred was reporting there, there are a lot of high-level people calling particularly in the media for an even more violent response, but very difficult to see how the Russians could get more violent, unless, as you suggest they go for a sort of general mobilization. But a general mobilization would be an indication that the Russians are even further on the backfoot than they already would appear to be. There is a danger as this war faces, the six month anniversary in a couple of days, or a day and a half, that it all looks like a stalemate.

But at the same time, there are profound fears because of the anniversary of the war, that there could be some kind of spectacular attacks or big gestures, big military gestures already in the planning. And this would certainly add to the energy behind that. It wouldn't appear to be some kind of ultra violent response to this killing would be seen within Russia as a positive and patriotic move whether the Russians actually have that capability, though, remains an open question, Anderson.

COOPER: And Bob, I mean, in just a little over a day, Russia Security Services announced they'd solve the bomb attack that killed Dugina, they had a name for the alleged attacker. Video and the route that she supposedly took when she left Russia. Does the speed of that say anything to you?

ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE & SECURITY ANALYST: It's absolutely impossible to piece back together and attack like this within 24, 38 hours or whatever, it's impossible. You know, putting CCTV cameras together, you know, the pieces of the bomb, figure out how it was exploded, it's just impossible to come to a conclusion like that. And the fact that they claim that this woman lived in the same apartment building makes no sense at all. And the fact she was traveling with a child and I heard a cat, it's just it makes no sense at all. And the FSB, Russian intelligence has never released the forensics of an attack like this.

But what I'd like to say Anderson, is when a bomb goes off, in a suburb like this of Moscow, a high end suburb, Putin is in some sort of trouble, and I don't think we're going to know what kind until it actually happens.

COOPER: Sam, Ukraine's President said today that Russia may be planning quote, something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel ahead of Independence Day, which as you point out, is, is on Wednesday. Has there been any indication of what they he or they are anticipating?

KILEY: Whether it's very interesting, there had been an anticipation of quite widespread celebration on Independence Day, a very important day for this young country and in terms of its independence from Russia, which of course, ultimately has provoked in the view of the Russians this Russian invasion. But even though they have for example, line some of the main streets particularly the my down here in Kyiv with destroyed Russian vehicles ahead of that celebration, there is now gone a country wide ban on all celebrations and indeed in some cities, even an overnight curfew to keep people off the streets because of this fear that they could be targeted.

So, they've stepped rail back from any kind of massive public celebration for fear it would attract Russian military attention.

COOPER: Sam Kiley, Bob Baer, appreciate it. Thank you.

Two Arkansas deputies are suspended, one officer on leave after incredibly disturbing video capture at least two of them punching, kneeing a suspect during an arrest on Sunday. We'll show you more and we'll have the latest, next.



COOPER: Three Arkansas police officers now under investigation after a bystander video should at least two of them repeatedly beating a man outside of store during an arrest. We're also learning more today about the suspect that they were arresting.

CNN national correspondent Nadia Romero has the latest.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is bad. We got to get out of here.

NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three Arkansas law enforcement officers have been removed from duty after this disturbing video was posted online, showing them beating a man outside a convenience store. Arkansas State Police have now opened an investigation into the use of force by all three officers and the FBI is also investigating.

The Crawford County Sheriff's Office has identified them as deputies Zach King, Deputy Levi White and Mulberry Officer Thell Riddle. CNN has reached out to all three but so far hasn't heard back.

JIMMY DAMANTE, SHERIFF, CRAWFORD COUNTY, AR: They will be punished for what they did if they are found to be in violation of any rights, laws or anything like that.

ROMERO (voice-over): The incident happened Sunday in Mulberry Arkansas about 140 miles northwest of Little Rock.

On the video, you can see at least two officers punching and hitting the man and kneeing him repeatedly as they try to arrest him. That's when a bystander off camera yells at the officers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't beat him. He needs his medicine.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get in your car.

ROMERO (voice-over): Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said the officers' response was not consistent with the training they received.

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR): That is reprehensible conduct in which a suspect is beat in that fashion. We saw a glimpse of that it is under investigation.

ROMERO (voice-over): Police say the man in the video is 27-year-old Randal Worcester of Goose Creek South Carolina. An attorney representing Worcester tell CNN that Worcester was wanted for allegedly threatening a gas station clerk in a nearby town. The Crawford County Sheriff says when officers located him he was cooperative at first then got violent and tried to attack the officers.

DAVID POWELL, ATTORNEY FOR RANDAL WORCESTER: We've all seen the video I don't believe that the excessive amount of force that was used would be justified. If my client did in fact spit on someone I believe it was above and beyond what the officers were trained to do and what they should have done in that situation.

ROMERO (voice-over): Police say Worcester refuse medical treatment, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution. He's facing numerous charges including assault, battery and resisting arrest. Worcester is now out of jail on $15,000 bond.


POWELL: There were multiple variations to his face, scratches. He did complain of pain to his head when he was only able to sleep on one side of his head because the nights and the injuries to the other side.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: And Nadia joins me now from Arkansas. What were you learning from the attorneys representing this man? Does other video exist to what happened?

ROMERO: Yes, Anderson the sheriff says that the officers involved were not wearing body cameras but there is dashcam video from at least one of the patrol cars and that hasn't been released to the public but is part of this ongoing FBI and State of Arkansas investigation. Now, I did speak with the attorneys representing the suspect and attorney Carrie Jernigan says that she made an excessive force complaint last month against one of those now suspended deputies. She says Deputy Levi White used excessive force against one of her other clients back in an incident in July. She believes there's a pattern there.

Anderson, I asked the sheriff when was the last time your deputies had use of force training? He says that he didn't really know but he said likely back when they were in the academy and for some of those deputies that would have been several years ago.

COOPER: Nadia Romero, appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up, a dark money conservative group that was until recently almost unheard of has now become one of the most well funded in the country. Next, CNN's Drew Griffin gives us the details of the man who runs it. His name is Leonard Leo, a name many America may not know, but whose influence reaches all the way to the current membership the Supreme Court.



COOPER: A new nonprofit led by a prominent conservative lawyer receive the largest single donor contribution to a politically focused group that's ever been made public $1.6 billion. That's how much was donated to the Utah based Marble Freedom Trust last year, according to a tax form that was just obtained by CNN. The massive donation is taking the group with almost no public profile. It's one of the most well funded in the United States.

CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin tonight has details.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This IRS document obtained by CNN is evidence of the largest anonymous dark money political donation ever reported, $1.6 billion. It is according to experts a staggering amount.

ROBERT MAGUIRE, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, CREW: I am just stunned. We are talking about income that is many multiples larger than the largest dark money groups ever found.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): And it's going to a new organization called Marble Freedom Trust. While you've probably never heard of it, or the man in charge of it, the whole country is familiar with his work. His name is Leonard Leo, a devout Catholic known as Donald Trump's Supreme Court whisperer.

LEONARD LEO, CO-CHAIRMAN, THE FEDERALIST SOCIETY: There are lots of really smart people (INAUDIBLE) who can serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, dozens and dozens. But you need people who have courage.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Leo helped usher in the most conservative Supreme Court in decades, along with helping block Merrick Garland from the court. He and his colleagues at the Federalist Society are given credit for the confirmations of Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

MAGUIRE: It was Leo who is in the driver's seat of those nominations. Leo is the person who can raise the money and has the background to put in place judges who will build a conservative judicial infrastructure around the country.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Leonard Leo now has an unprecedented amount of cash to spend on whatever political projects he likes. And while the donation was meant to be kept secret, name and address withheld on the IRS form, CNN has confirmed the sources 90-year-old businessman and philanthropist Barre Seid, who donated the stock of his entire company the Tripp Lite Company of Chicago to Marble Freedom Trust, which turned around and sold it for $1.6 billion. CNN has attempted to reach Mr. Seid without response, his donation will leave behind a dark money political legacy that could last decades.

Already, Marble Freedom Trust has given more than $200 million to other causes, including 40 million to Donors Trust, which has doled out millions to conservative causes. In a statement to CNN, Leonard Leo said it's high time for the conservative movement to be among the ranks of George Soros and other left-wing philanthropists going toe to toe in the fight to defend our Constitution and its ideals.


COOPER: And Drew Griffin joins us now. So if reporters didn't dig into the $1.6 billion gift would anybody know about it?

GRIFFIN: This happened last year Anderson, but for a an IRS form that one of our investigators Casey Dolan got a hold of and follow the breadcrumbs back through the SEC filings, we wouldn't know a thing. It's just dark money at its darkest.

COOPER: And this is tax free?

GRIFFIN: That's unbelievable. A $1.6 billion electrical devices company on the south side of Chicago trades hands twice, right? Ends up in the ownership of an Irish company and nobody in the whole deal pays any capital gains on any of it. Leonard Leo has 1.6 billion in his political pocket to play with.

COOPER: Drew Griffin, appreciate it. Thanks.

Coming up, the latest in the massive flooding in Texas has now claimed at least one live. CNN's Ed Lavandera joins us now from next from Dallas.



COOPER: At least one woman in Dallas County Texas now confirmed dead as a result of the heavy almost unprecedented rains in the area, which in turn produce massive flooding. Authorities blamed for car may have been swept off the road.

Earlier today, Dallas County declared a state of disaster. Some city sewers are now overflowing.

Our Ed Lavandera has more.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A one in 100 year rainfall event in Dallas Fort Worth. Drenching some parts with more than 10 inches of rain in less than 24 hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god. I can't get home.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The storm left major roadways flooded, vehicles submerged and some residents waking up Monday morning to kitchens, living rooms and hallways submerged in water. Emergency officials in Dallas and Fort Worth say they've responded to hundreds of high water incidents in traffic accidents.

LT. JOSEPH MARTINEZ, DALLAS FIRE & RESCUE: I think everybody wasn't anticipating this much rain this fast.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The sudden and drastic change in weather has stunned the Dallas Fort Worth area after months of extreme and exceptional drought. Since January there has been a rainfall deficit of more than 10 inches. That deficit has been erased after a summer's worth of rain soaked the area in less than a day. The storms have been moving over the same path since the overnight hours. Dumping relentless amounts of water along the way.

MARTINEZ: The ground is very dry, but it can only absorb so much so fast.

BRITTANY TAYLOR, DALLAS APARTMENT FLOODED: I'm freaking out. My apartment is literally flooding. I just woke up. Should I call (INAUDIBLE). What am I going to do? OK.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Brittany Taylor says she moved into this Dallas apartment just two days ago. She woke up at 3:00 a.m. to what she describes as quote torrential rain and two feet of water on the first floor of her home. Now she's waiting through the aftermath to see what if anything, remains undamaged.

TAYLOR: Oh good. You guys look MacBooks can float. Yes, there's all my trousers keepsakes.



COOPER: And those images just incredible. Is there a possibility more rain for those areas in the coming hours or days?

LAVANDERA: Right. Yes, the -- you know the flood warnings have been pushed back hour after hour. In fact, they're still technically under flood warning throughout the area for a little bit longer here. But more rain is expected and that's why people and emergency officials are urging people to be very careful. Be very aware. What we heard repeatedly today from emergency officials and first responders Anderson is that so many people were shocked and surprised by just how quickly the waters rose up.

COOPER: Yes. Ed Lavandera, really appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up next, a story many millions of miles away from the troubles here on Earth, a new portrait of Jupiter from the Webb Space Telescope and the remarkable images. Will show you them what they reveal.


COOPER: We leave you tonight with something heavenly and majestic and hopefully a break from Earthly cares if only for a minute. New images of the planet Jupiter and come to us from NASA's James Webb Telescope -- Space Telescope. They were taken with an infrared camera and then artificially covered -- colored but the level of detail is extraordinary.

Now the top and bottom of Jupiter, you can see stunning images of the planets in northern and southern auroras. And then the famous great red spy which is essentially giant storm is actually white here from the sunlight that it's reflecting. The second image is this wide field view which -- I mean check that out. It's incredibly. You can see faint outlines of Jupiter's rings and also two of its moons, one's very bright in on the left of your screen and then the other a little fainter to the right almost where the rings are.


NASA says the fuzzy spots in the lower background are likely other entire galaxies. That's it for us here on Earth.

The news continues. Let's hand over Laura Coates in "CNN TONIGHT." Laura.