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Donald Trump Indicted, Likely To Be Arraigned Early Next Week; Sources: Donald Trump Expected To Turn Himself In On Tuesday; Sources: Donald Trump Facing More Than 30 Counts Related To Business Fraud. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired March 30, 2023 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, and that is the big question. And again, we can confirm more than 30 counts are expected in this indictment, which is still currently under seal, and we understand that includes the former President himself has not yet seen these charges.
Thank you so much for joining us.
Our breaking news coverage continues right now with Anderson and AC 360.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
No sitting or former President has ever been charged with the crime until now. Donald John Trump has.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: No former President has ever surrendered to authorities or been fingerprinted, photographed, and arraigned. Soon Donald Trump will be.
Here in Washington, DC, shockwaves are spreading from that Manhattan grand jury's surprise decision to indict the former President in connection with hush money payments to porn star and director Stormy Daniels.
COOPER: Here in New York, where the tremors began and from which Donald Trump first sprang to national attention nearly 50 years ago, authorities are preparing for his arrival in what could potentially occur because of it.
If you look at live pictures of Trump Tower right now, consider that the man who came down the escalator there almost eight years ago has already incited an attack on Congress. And as you look at the Courthouse where he is expected to be arraigned, considering he has already verbally attacked the District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, many times including again tonight.
TAPPER: Consider also, Anderson that in addition to railing against Alvin Bragg, as he recently also did in Waco, Texas, Mr. Trump is already fundraising on this indictment. So in one sense, we are on something of familiar ground here with an angry apparently cornered Donald Trump lashing out and also cashing in.
In another sense of course, this is a whole new world for all of us, and the first sad words in a never before written chapter of American history.
COOPER: Tonight, we're going to have the reaction from all corners as it happens. This is very much a story just breaking.
In the hours ahead, we'll look at what is happening now, what happens next in this indictment and potentially other indictments to unfold, and what our legal and political team make of it all as we look there at the airport in West Palm Beach where the former President will be expected to depart likely next week.
We have reporters on both ends of the former President's upcoming journey.
CNN's Kara Scannell is at the Courthouse in Lower Manhattan, CNN's Leyla Santiago is near Mar-a-Lago. I want to start with Kara Scannell in New York.
What's the latest -- Kara.
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, as you said, this is an unprecedented moment in US history, a former President indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, and our sources tell us that the grand jury voted at the end of the day today, so just before 5:00 PM. They voted to move forward with this indictment.
It had been widely anticipated with the District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, moved forward with this indictment and now, we are learning this whole process isn't secret, but we're learning that they did it.
The DA's office confirming now on the record that there is an indictment under seal. They say that they informed Trump's attorneys earlier today that he had been indicted, and that they are working on figuring out when the former President will appear in Manhattan to face these charges in Court.
Now Trump's attorneys tell us that he is likely to be arraigned next week. They are still working out because of the big security issues involved in that. But Donald Trump, although this is an extraordinary moment, and he is not a regular defendant, he will go through a lot of the same process that defendants do.
He will be fingerprinted, he'll have his mugshot taken and he will appear before a Judge and be forced to enter a plea.
Now his team is saying they're going to fight these charges. So, we expect that plea to be a plea of not guilty, and then he will be released. These are nonviolent crimes. So there is not an issue of bail in New York with the expected charges that he will face.
Now, we don't know what exactly these charges are. We do know that they've been investigating his alleged role in the hush money payment scheme involving particularly, Stormy Daniels. Now, one thing that prosecutors have been looking at was falsification of business records as a potential felony. We're going to be looking to see what these charges are.
And, you know, one of the issues with the charges that we knew they were exploring is that they are an untested legal theory as the big charge in this case. So, it's going to be a big question of what they have and what they're alleging in this indictment once it is unsealed, and we do expect the indictment to be unsealed when he is arraigned.
So it may be several days before we know the specific charges here, but this is a big decision for the District Attorney, Alvin Bragg.
You know, he came into office one year ago and he was widely criticized for not wanting to move forward of an indictment of former President Trump related to the accuracy of the Trump Organization's financial statements. He shut down that grand jury that was investigating that case.
He continued to work, he said he was going to speak either with a statement saying they would decline any prosecution or through an indictment, and that his team had won a conviction of the Trump Organization at a tax fraud trial in December, that seemed to really embolden the team.
We saw this grand jury get underway in January, ultimately leading to this historic moment -- Anderson and Jake.
COOPER: Kara, is it clear to you how the former President will get to his arraignment? Obviously, it's a highly secured area downtown. There's a lot of underground passages for a defendant to go through, particularly somebody like the former President with security concerns.
SCANNELL: Right. I mean, this is going to be a very secure area. There will be the Secret Service involved, NYPD, you know, other Court security officers, and in this Criminal Court here, there are underground tunnels, there are passageways and if there is an otherwise pretty open area in front of the Courthouse is a park, so there's a big open space, but it is an area that is on a regular day, has a lot of law enforcement around it.
You know, there are other Courthouses nearby. The FBI is around the corner, so they can secure this area, but there are open vantage points, so we would anticipate he will likely be brought in through one of these tunnels and then appear in Court and then exited quickly without being out in the public -- Anderson.
COOPER: Kara Scannell, thanks so much.
TAPPER: Let's go next to CNN's Leyla Santiago who is near Mar-a-Lago in Florida. What is the latest there -- Leyla.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is right behind me, Jake. That is it right there behind me in the distance, you see that is Mar-a- Lago, and I've got to tell you, we're not seeing the type of presence of protesters that we have seen in the past here.
Remember, last week, President Trump called for protests. Our team absolutely saw that here in the nearby bridge near Mar-a-Lago. In August, when I was here almost immediately after that search warrant was executed, we saw protesters and we saw them really showing their force, really large flags and a lot of the MAGA sort of paraphernalia, support for President Trump after these big moments have happened in the past, not yet -- not to say that will not come, but really not seeing that at the level that we have seen it in the past when he has had these big moments.
Now, we understand that he has been here in Mar-a-Lago over the last several days. Our Kristen Holmes reporting he has been meeting with advisers, but this is one that caught them off guard in terms of the timing, so that may play a role also in why we don't see what we have seen in the past here.
You know, what this will look like in terms of any sort of surrender as that is being coordinated, we will have to wait and see. But the law enforcement presence that we do see out here right now is mostly traffic control, local police, who are making sure that folks don't park on the side of the road as they typically do when we see these type of protests on the bridge.
But again, not seeing what we have seen in the past and still waiting to see what sort of movement we can take note of here at Mar-a-Lago -- Jake.
TAPPER: Yes, and it is important to remind people, Leyla, you when you refer to the search warrant, that was an entirely separate investigation that had to do with the classified documents investigation.
TAPPER: One of several investigations into the former President. There is the classified documents investigation by the Special Counsel, Jack Smith; the January 6th investigation by Jack Smith. There is in Georgia, an investigation into the President trying to overturn the results of the election, the Fulton County District Attorney has a grand jury about and then of course, this case, not to mention some civil cases as well.
SANTIAGO: That's correct. And really a lot to keep track of here. But again, whenever there have been headlines made with these various investigations here, we typically do see this sort of support for President Trump from his base and we're not seeing that yet.
I also should note that in terms of movement, I believe you may have showed it off the top of the show there. The plane still remains at the airport. It has been there since really Saturday when he returned from Waco.
So lots to keep up with here, but in terms of what the mood is and what we're seeing in terms of changes or support or protests against the President, because you see that here as well, really not seeing that at this hour.
TAPPER: All right, Leyla Santiago right outside Mar-a-Lago. Thank you so much.
COOPER: Joining us CNN senior legal analyst and former Federal prosecutor, Elie Honig, Jessica Roth, also a former Federal prosecutor. She currently teaches law here in Manhattan; also CNN chief law enforcement intelligence analyst, John Miller; CNN chief correspondent Kaitlan Collins; and Van Jones, CNN political commentator and former special adviser to President Obama.
John Miller, I understand, you've obviously been following very closely. What have you learned?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, it was very interesting day today.
COOPER: To say the least.
MILLER: What we were understanding was this grand jury was going to be hearing evidence on other matters outside the Trump case and then this afternoon at two o'clock, a final witness is brought in, in the Trump matter.
That witness testified for about half an hour.
COOPER: Do you who that witness was?
MILLER: We do not. That witness testified for about half an hour and then the District Attorney called for the charging documents with the more than 30 counts, and then the grand jury took its vote, and that is the document that remains under seal pending the surrender.
COOPER: So more than 30 counts. We don't know what those counts are.
MILLER: Well, it all relates to the business fraud or the falsification of business documents. And then the question is what's going to be behind that?
If I stole your ATM card, that would be grand larceny. But they would charge a single account for every time I used it. So in a case like this, they've presented to the grand jury, every document, everything that was signed, every contract, every everything, and it is likely that they are citing each one of those as a count in the overall charge.
COOPER: And in terms of the security preparations, they are already underway.
MILLER: So just after the news of the indictment broke because the indictment itself has not yet been unsealed publicly, the NYPD sent a citywide message to 36,000 police officers saying all officers of all ranks in all command, so that includes detectives, narcotics people, people working on terrorism, all have to show up in full uniform, as of 7:00 AM tomorrow, and familiarize themselves with the disorder control, patrol guide rules and so forth.
COOPER: Why full uniform? Why everybody?
MILLER: Because it gives them the maximum option, which is if suddenly there are -- is a massive demonstration in one place or multiple demonstrations, they are able to mobilize units that are not normally in uniform and create the kind of large numbers.
Anderson, when you look at the challenges of January 6th, you see the Capitol Police, you know with 800 something people in the DC Metro Police with, you know, hundreds more. Scale-ably, New York is going to be different, and that's where you can mobilize thousands -- a thousand officers at the press of a button, or thousands more if needed.
Now, nobody is saying any of that's needed for right now. I think what they're anticipating is to have that option in case multiple spontaneous demonstrations emerge or one large one at the DA's office. But I think they're getting ready for the idea that there's going to be a date, possibly as soon as next week where former President Trump is brought to New York City to be booked on these charges, to face arraignment where a large crowd could gather.
COOPER: Kaitlan, we've already heard from the former President, from the people around, his attorneys, as well as a number of Republicans in Congress.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Yes, nothing specific on him showing up or whatnot. We have been told in the days leading up to this when there was speculation looming that this indictment was coming that he would show up in New York, there would be no issues with that, that he would surrender himself. That's when we would see potentially a mugshot. He would be fingerprinted. They had been bracing for those logistics.
But you are already seeing the former President weigh in. He is attacking Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan District Attorney here, unsurprisingly. He has been delivering broadsides against him for weeks now. He has been going after him.
He got him to backpedal on some criticism that he had from over the weekend, when there was a photo posted -- Trump posted -- of Trump holding a baseball bat standing next to a picture of Alvin Bragg, but he is still attacking him and trying to basically make this argument that Alvin Bragg is politically motivated here.
And Trump's allies have been going through past things that Alvin Bragg has said or written to try to use those against him in the weeks ahead of this indictment.
COOPER: And George Soros constantly is coming up with Ron DeSantis and the former President.
COLLINS: Because he is a large Democratic donor. Some of this indirectly was helping, Alvin Bragg, basically making that argument here. But of course, we know this is something that they've been working on for a long time. This is something that has been in the public eye for about seven years now.
We've been talking about it since we were covering Trump in his first year at the White House when he was on Air Force One, when he initially denied knowing who made those payments, saying ask my attorney, Michael Cohen.
And so they were a little caught off guard tonight by this. They obviously knew that there was an idea this could come, but they've been kicking around this idea that maybe because of the delay, and what we were saying we hadn't actually heard about an indictment, that maybe the case was falling apart. Okay, clearly, that's not happening. They still have confidence that it will not stand, but we'll see.
COOPER: Elie Honig, just walk us through what actually will happen when he shows up? What an arraignment -- what happens at the arraignment?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: All right, so at the arraignment, that is usually the moment when the indictment is unsealed. So that's when we will all see that indictment publicly.
There is a chance that it comes out before then because there may be motions made to the Judge perhaps by media organizations to unseal it earlier, that will be up to the Judge. But that will be the moment we see the charges.
The charges will be read to Donald Trump, who by the way will be sitting or standing at the defendant's table in the Courtroom. It feels surreal, but this is the reality.
He will enter a plea, he will plead certainly not guilty.
The Judge will ensure that Donald Trump has a lawyer and that it's a lawyer of his choosing. Again, there won't be any issue with that. He will be able to certainly pay for his lawyer.
The Judge will then set bail. There is no way Donald Trump is going to be held here in prison pending these charges. For violent offenses, sometimes people are, but he will be, what we call released on his own recognizance, meaning just -- you can go home, come back when we need you.
And before that, he will be fingerprinted, and he will have a mug shot taken and people -- a lot of people are wondering, are we going to see the mug shot? The answer under New York law is probably not, because law varies here jurisdiction by jurisdiction.
But in New York mug shots, the law changed on this a few years ago. They are supposed to be private, confidential, unless there is a specific law enforcement need, unless there's a fugitive or a wanted situation.
So you know, things can leak, but we should not under the law, see a mugshot. And just big picture, it is really a remarkable moment. I mean, we've never been here before. It's been 230-plus years as a Constitutional Democracy. Our system can handle this.
Our system, our legal system is not perfect, but it works. And so I know people have strong emotions either way, and indictment is the beginning of the process. Nobody should jump to conclusions here. Let's let the criminal justice system play out.
COOPER: And again, Jessica, we have not seen the indictment. We don't know all the counts.
JESSICA ROTH, NEW YORK CARDOZO LAW SCHOOL LAW PROFESSOR AND FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: We have not seen the indictment, and I think the timing of this being returned, and taking us also by surprise, I think is a good reminder that we should be humble about what we don't know.
And so we were all anticipating that the charges are going to be based on falsification of business records. I think that's probably likely given the reporting, but maybe it will be something else. Will there be something else included as well? We don't know if it's charged as a felony, meaning that the falsification was to conceal another crime, what that other crime is?
And I think it's just a good reminder to take a step back and wait until we see the charge.
COOPER: It's hard to imagine it not being a felony prosecution, though.
ROTH: I think that's fair to say, yes.
HONIG: Just as a matter of prosecutorial discretion, they cannot bring 34 misdemeanor -- they are allowed to bring 34 misdemeanors, but that would be preposterous, and John makes a really important point. The sheer number of charges does not necessarily equate with seriousness.
Prosecutors always have the option of breaking down charges. And so I suspect every single entry in those books is its own shard.
MILLER: Nor is it unusual.
COOPER: We're going to have more from here in New York -- Jake.
TAPPER: Reaction from lawmakers is coming in, CNN's chief congressional correspondent, Manu Raju joins us now.
Manu, tell us what the responses are like.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we are getting loads of reaction from the Republicans and some Democrats as well, and also some divisions within the top Republican ranks.
House Republican leaders are rushing to defend Donald Trump. The Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy issuing a statement saying that they plan to, in his words go after the "unprecedented abuse of power" and hold Alvin Bragg, the prosecutor to account. That has been echoed down the line as House Republicans look to haul in Bragg, seek his testimony, demand documents, demand he turn over documents, even as they face accusations that doing so would interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation.
But on the Senate Republican side, it is different. The leadership there, Mitch McConnell, the top Republican leader, the number two Republican, John Thune, both have been silent so far in the aftermath of this news.
And of course, McConnell and Trump and Thune have a much different view of Trump and McCarthy and his allies do. McConnell and Thune are eager to move past the Trump era. Kevin McCarthy has aligned himself with Donald Trump and credits him with winning the Speakership.
Now, on the Democratic side, most Democrats have either been mum or suggested that Donald Trump is not above the law. One Democrat just weighed in, a very important one, Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader saying that this investigation should be and these charges should be "There should be no political influence," no outside political influence, a sign that he is pushing back against the House GOP efforts to intervene in this case.
Now I did to also reach out to Matt Gaetz, who is one of Donald Trump's closest allies and asked him about whether he spoke with Donald Trump tonight. He did and he said that Donald Trump was in his words, "fierce and focused" on this historic night.
So Jake, you're seeing Trump's defenders on Capitol Hill rush to his defense, but also some of Donald Trump's critics in the Senate GOP staying away from this so far.
TAPPER: Interesting. Manu Raju, thank you so much.
With me here in studio Laura Coates, CNN anchor and former Federal prosecutor; CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe; CNN special correspondent, Jamie Gangel; CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger and CNN senior political correspondent, Abby Phillip.
Andy McCabe, let me let me start with you because there's an interesting comment from Governor DeSantis who said that he is not going to cooperate with any requests that might come to bring Donald Trump from Florida to New York. Is that even a thing? Would there be an extradition request from New York to Florida?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I put it at about one and a million, but basically what happens in a high profile, typically white collar cases, non-violent cases, defendants are given the opportunity to surrender at the office of the law enforcement entity involved here, that's of course, the Manhattan DA's office. They get processed and then they get taken into Court to be arraigned.
TAPPER: What is process? What does that mean process? MCCABE: Process basically means you're photographed, you're fingerprinted. And of course, fingerprints are electronic now. You don't roll people's hands with ink anymore and you have to give biographical information.
So they fill out things like your height and weight and whether or not you have tattoos and things like that identifying marks that may be on you. All that information is put into the system and then you're taken and presented in Court in the way that Elie described a few minutes ago.
Now, if you have been indicted, and you are outside the jurisdiction, you are subject to arrest in whatever jurisdiction you're physically located in. So typically, if this were a you know, garden variety, violent criminal, New York would communicate with, let's say, Florida and say we think he's at this location and Deputies would go out and arrest that person, and he would then be processed and arraigned in Florida and then extradited to New York.
That's unlikely to have --
TAPPER: I think Bragg said something like they were in touch with his attorney.
MCCABE: Of course.
TAPPER: To negotiate his surrender, as it were. I mean, that's not the language he used, but --
MCCABE: But that's exactly what it is.
Now, prosecutors typically will not have that conversation with the defendant's attorneys until after they have the indictment in hand, and that seems to be exactly what happened in this case.
They'll call up and say, your client has been indicted. Let's agree to a time in place that he'll come into our office and self-surrender.
LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: But they need not hand over that indictment to the actual defendant yet. It's likely still under seal, meaning he doesn't actually have a copy of it, Donald Trump.
But remember the indictment and the extradition, the Constitution requires intrastate extradition. The role of a Governor is largely administerial. It is not intended to try to do anything besides look to see that the document is actually authenticated, there was actually an indictment there.
But he can slow walk it. Florida law does allow him to have somebody at his Office of Legal Affairs look over it, figure it out and do a report of some kind or investigate to figure out if it's a sound indictment. That might be one tactic not to assist or he could actually delegate --
TAPPER: Who has the right to do that?
COATES: Governor DeSantis.
TAPPER: Governor DeSantis.
COATES: He can do that. He can delegate to someone to say, look into this issue for me as in kick this can down the proverbial road as long as I can to get political cover. Or they can also say, listen, I want somebody else to sign off on that. We have the cover.
But the idea that there's already conversation, as you're saying about surrendering likely will not happen to that point. But that is a tactic that can be used by the former President.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Can I just add from a political perspective, though, this seems clearly to me to be Governor DeSantis playing to his perhaps future presidential ambitions.
Donald Trump does not want to hide out in Mar-a-Lago in Florida. He is going to New York. He has made it clear, not only that he is going to New York, but he doesn't want to hide, he does want to go to some other location. That was made clear to us a couple of weeks ago.
So you know, this is not --
MCCABE: It would seem the last person he wants to go to for shelter and protection.
MCCABE: Would be Ron DeSantis.
TAPPER: Yes, I know. Don, Jr. was insulting Ron DeSantis earlier.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: And don't forget, Donald Trump has been insulting Ron DeSantis for the last few weeks.
BORGER: Now, Ron DeSantis needs Donald Trump's people. So, whether he would do something to benefit his enemy because he wants his enemy's legions, right, is -- you know, it remains to be seen. But it seems as Jamie is saying, you know, completely calculated.
TAPPER: Abby, let's take a step back for a second, especially from the 2024 politics. This has never happened before in the history of this Republic. It has never happened, a former President of the United States has been indicted.
Now, that doesn't mean that there aren't former Presidents that should have been indicted for various crimes, but Alvin Bragg is doing something very risky, very bold and I know that his critics will say very foolhardy.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT AND ANCHOR OF "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY": Yes. And historic in nature to your point, but this is also a former President who has also been impeached twice. So I mean, Trump is really ticking off a lot of historic firsts, and none of them in a good way.
And this is part of the problem is that I think that one of the tactics Trump has often used is, you know, just making people so accustomed to the extraordinary and really, frankly, the crazy in how, just far in front of the line that he goes on everything, that you become numb to the fact that what he is doing is historic in a bad way.
And I think that an indictment of any kind, no other President has gotten to this point and you can say what you want about the merits of this case. I don't think we really know the degree to which it is a good or a bad case.
But no other President has gotten to a point where a prosecutor at the State level or the Federal level has decided that there was enough evidence to indict him. That alone is extraordinary, and it speaks to the degree to which Trump has always gone up to that line.
And, you know, people will make all kinds of hay about what kind of case this is, but it is a case at a grand jury had it and they came back with an indictment.
COATES: That's a great point.
TAPPER: So just was to underline the point, though, this is an indictment.
TAPPER: It's very easy. We've talked about this, you know, anybody, a decent lawyer can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich is often said.
COATES: I mean, your point, Abby, is so well taken, because he has laid such a foundation for us all here to be judging and comparing. Well, it's not as bad as starting an insurrection. So why are you doing this?
If that's the comparison point, you've laid the foundation in a PR move to suggest to the American people that this should be dismissed, but there is a time in this country and there are still laws on the books that look very seriously at false business records, look very seriously at anything that would be an attempt to try to influence an election, which by the way, if this what the charge entails, the same rhetoric he is using to be dismissive of this would be the very rhetoric that would substantiate a case and say, listen, we don't want anyone engaged in behavior that could have an iota of an influence on our elections, if that means a hush money payment with that intent or otherwise.
And so I think what we're seeing here is the foundation in every brick laid for us all to even discuss, is it as bad as trying to stop the peaceful transition of power or an insurrection? A law violated is a law violated. BORGER: This is the way Trump has broken through every norm all along, whether it's institutional norms that we're used to in Washington and legal norms now. When you want to talk about executive privilege, for example, attorney-client privilege, all of those things may be pierced. And it's just one more example of the way Trump operates outside the lines.
TAPPER: And one of the other things that's interesting, though, is that, again, we don't know what's in this indictment. But if it is based on a potential violation of a campaign finance law, in other words, that this payment that Michael Cohen made to Stormy Daniels really was, should have been counted as a donation, a political donation, and it wasn't at the time. That is shaky. That's risky.
TAPPER: And the prosecutors went after John Edwards for that, and ultimately, he was not convicted, and one of the reasons was is, he was able to say, and I think Donald Trump could argue, I wasn't trying to hide that from voters. I was trying to hide it from my wife.
MCCABE: That's exactly right, and I think he was acquitted on one count and hung jury on five others, something like that.
So what we have here is the underlying charge, which in normal situations is a misdemeanor is a falsification of business records. It becomes a felony, if it's done with the intent to violate a different crime. In this case, we are guessing, we don't --
TAPPER: We don't know, right.
MCCABE: One of the possible other crimes they might be using could be a violation of Federal campaign finance laws. So it brings a question as to whether or not a New York State prosecution for falsification of business records can be elevated to a felony based on an intentional violation of Federal law. There is a Federal-State sort of potential mismatch there. It's unsettled law.
So prosecutor Bragg is going out on a bit of a line.
COATES: But to be clear, the John Edwards case is distinct in a number of key ways. One of the issues in terms of trying to prove a case that you are using or you're spending the money trying to substantially influence an election. The Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal instances were close in time to the actual presidential election. Remember, it happened in 2016 and there were threats that they would go public and payments were made. The instances of Rielle Hunter predated either primary season.
TAPPER: So I want to go to Evan Perez right now who has some breaking news on this historic night -- Evan.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake.
We now know that there is now a Court date, a confirmed Court date on Tuesday in Manhattan, there at the District Court in Manhattan. Lauren Del Valle is told by a source that he is now, the former President is scheduled to appear before Judge Juan Merchan at the Courthouse there in downtown Manhattan, again on Tuesday.
I'm told by the way by a source also that the Secret Service is making plans also for him to be brought to Court on Tuesday. Again, those security plans, Jake, have been in the works. They've been working with the NYPD about how this will go down and how best to secure the former President as he goes to Court.
This is expected to be a very short thing, probably 10 minutes, 15 minutes. It is very rudimentary and they expect or they anticipate that they can get him in and then get him out before there's any danger that is posed to the former President.
Again, right now, the plan is for him to be presented to a Judge on Tuesday to hear what these charges are -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Evan Perez, some interesting and breaking news. Thank you so much.
So, I'm sorry, Laura, I interrupted you. But let's take a step back on the case --
LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.
TAPPER: -- on the larger case, as Omar in The Wire once said, "If you come for the king, you best not miss." Is there any chance that this case is not strong?
COATES: Yes. Candidly, yes, there's always the chance. One of the reasons why there can be a little bit more confidence that is displayed, though, is that a grand jury has to be convinced at least on a probable cause finding and they have to be asked to actually vote on specific charges.
Now, it doesn't mean that it's beyond a reasonable doubt, but that's not the burden or standard at this particular juncture. It's merely probable cause, but of a case of this extraordinary consequence. The idea that you would try to scratch your way by under a microscope is extraordinary to me. I can't imagine that, but there is always a chance that a jury would not be convinced.
TAPPER: So we're going to continue this conversation throughout the night next conversations with lawyers for the former president and Stormy Daniels. And later, the many political repercussions, some of them surprising from the former president's GOP supporters and potential rivals.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Ahead tonight, former Vice President Mike Pence talking live with Wolf Blitzer right now more on his former boss more than 30 counts related to business fraud. That is what two sources familiar with the case against Donald Trump teller John Miller about tonight's indictment.
TAPPER: Before the break, our Evan Perez reported that a court date has been set for this coming Tuesday, when Donald Trump is expected to turn himself in in Manhattan. And to give you some idea of the gravity of the former president situation, our next guest, one of his attorneys has already given testimony to a grand jury hearing a different case, one of at least three others we know of.
Timothy Parlatore joins us now. Mr. Parlatore, thank you so much for joining us. Again, you're not representing him in this matter. But what is your reaction to President Trump, former President Trump being indicted?
TIMOTHY PARLATORE, DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Well, it was kind of a surprise, obviously, the timing of it. But, you know, the New York County District Attorney, it's an office that I've gone against many times I served my career in New York City. And they have often brought in my experience cases that they really should.
I've seen him indict in many cases that I'm later, you know, take into dismissals or quills, because they don't really instruct the jury on what the law was. And so even if you have a situation where the facts aren't in dispute, the judge isn't in the room. And the prosecutors who want the indictment are the ones telling the jurors, hey, by the way, this is the law as we interpret it. But if that's not what the law actually is, that indictment gets dismissed.
TAPPER: So sources have told CNN that Donald Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud. If that number is correct, does the quantity of charges surprise you based on what you know about this case?
PARLATORE: No. The Feds when they bring the case, they do it in a pretty concise manner. New York County District Attorney I've seen them many times where they take each individual little transaction and they separate it into different counts. I once had a gambling case, it was a small sports book that they put into 1,000 different counts for every single bet that they placed. So the quantity doesn't really mean anything here.
TAPPER: Do you know if the President's team and the state of New Yorker are discussing the arraignment logistics, we know that the court date is Tuesday?
PARLATORE: That is my understanding, is that they're working out the logistics. And again, that's not my responsibility, but it is my understanding.
TAPPER: Yes, no, understood. Do you know if your colleagues who are specifically on this case been given details of the indictment, which, obviously, we're told, still is under seal?
PARLATORE: No, they wouldn't be given the -- really, the fact that we're even talking about this kind of demonstrates the double standard, because ordinarily, you wouldn't have any of these details because it's sealed. It's illegal for them to be leaking details, like how many counts, what the counts are and things like that, until a judge actually orders it unsealed. So now, they wouldn't be sharing that with the team at this point.
TAPPER: So Donald Trump has made a lot of public statements and statements on social media attacking District Attorney Bragg, attacking this case, spell out the evidence, in your view, that the D.A. has done anything improper?
PARLATORE: Well, really what's wrong here is the allocation of resources. You know, this is a district attorney that not very long ago, there were pretty significant calls for his removal by his failure to prosecute crime in New York City and the rising crime in Manhattan that matched his failure to prosecute.
And instead he diverts, presumably millions of dollars into something that really doesn't have any effect on keeping New Yorkers safe. Now, again, it's not my case, so I'm not going to comment on the specific facts here.
But this is the problem with elected district attorneys, because elected district attorneys, particularly in one party jurisdictions on either side of the aisle, they oftentimes they don't pursue what keeps the voters safe, but rather what they think is going to help them win the next primer. And so, it is that prioritization of politics over what is going to be keeping the New Yorkers safe. That's really the big misconduct in my mind.
TAPPER: What about the argument that's under Donald Trump's administration? There was a U.S. Attorney Mr. Berman in New York who brought the case against Michael Cohen for a related crime. And if that was criminal, then, you know, individual A, you mentioned in that indictment of Michael Cohen should also, at some point, face consequences.
PARLATORE: Well so there's two points to that. First of all, that is a decision for the U.S. attorney's office to make. You know, the U.S. attorney's office, they had Michael Cohen sign a cooperation agreement. They went through all of this stuff with him. They had him in for several proper sessions, and they ultimately decided he was not credible enough for them to bring a case against anybody else.
And he was sentenced without a 5k letter or a cooperation letter. But the other point is this, just because somebody has pleaded guilty to something as part of a cooperation agreement, does not mean that other people committed that crime. I've had many clients acquitted based on the say so of a cooperating witness who pleaded guilty to something that judges or juries later said was not a crime.
TAPPER: As you know better than I, this is not the only criminal investigation into Donald Trump's actions. There's the DOJ special counsel investigation in D.C., which encompasses the documents that were at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump's involvement in January 6. There's the Fulton County, Georgia Special Grand Jury investigation into election interference in Georgia. How concerned are you on your client's behalf?
PARLATORE: Well, my focus is both of those special counsel investigations and really those two investigations on the facts, he shouldn't have any problem at all because no crime was committed by him in either of those circumstances.
In a lot of ways, the difference between DOJ and the elected district attorney is on full display here because these elected county district attorneys are not really as accountable as DOJ is to make sure that they're bringing viable cases. The facts of this indictment doesn't really have any effect on the other cases, but for the fact that Alvin Bragg has gone and kind of, you know, crossed the line to be the first to say, yes, we're going to actually indict a former president.
And I do think that Jack Smith is probably going to look at it not so much for the, you know, the factual or the legal aspects, but the atmospherics of it, of -- as the American people crosses the line from the concept of indicting a former president to the reality. And how does that play?
TAPPER: Yes. Timothy Parlatore, thank you so much for answering our questions. Really appreciate it.
PARLATORE: Thank you for having me.
COOPER: More now on the woman at the center of this. Joining me is Stormy Daniels' attorney Clark Brewster. Mr. Brewster, I appreciate you joining us. You tweeted, quote, "The indictment of Donald Trump is no cause for joy." I'm wondering what is going through your mind tonight and what you make of the reporting that he faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud?
CLARK BREWSTER, STORMY DANIELS' ATTORNEY: Well, I think it's a sad day where we had, you know, a former leader of our country, president of the United States, indicted. And so it doesn't give me any joy to see that. I mean, he's loved by many, followed by many, respected by many. And the idea that he gets indicted is going to be sad to many people.
I don't think it brings joy at all. But on the other hand, I have great respect for the process. The grand jurors that listened to this evidence, listened to the testimony, reviewed the documentary evidence, and made a decision. They were conscientious, I think, spent a lot of their time, public service time.
And if it does go to show one thing, I mean, he has a presumption of innocence, but now the system puts in the task of determining his guilt or innocence. And also, it's a simple concept. No man is above the law. So I think in one aspect, we've got a system that's really working correctly.
COOPER: I understand you actually informed Ms. Daniels of this indictment, what did she say? BREWSTER: Well, I mean, she just had come in from the outside and just like returned my phone call, and her phone had blown up. She didn't have her phone with her, and she wasn't surprised because I really do believe over the last three or four weeks, particularly, it was -- it seemed to be likely or inevitable that an indictment would be returned.
But I think she's relieved. I think she really -- really it's a fight against his rejection of truth and his manufacturing of stories that really motivated her to try to cooperate in any way, certainly to get the truth out and to have this jury, at least the grand jury make that decision.
COOPER: Ms. Daniels did not testify to this grand jury. I know you met -- you both met via Zoom, I believe, with New York prosecutors about two weeks ago. Can you talk at all about the substance of that meeting or how that meeting went?
BREWSTER: Well, I mean, obviously, I can't -- I don't want to talk about the new, specific questioning, but basically it was a discussion about the chronology and the development of what happened back when she interacted with Mr. Trump back in '06 and forward and then the events that led up, obviously, to the payoff, the nondisclosure agreement or the hush money and so she, I think, was able to give some context and some specifics to that.
COOPER: I know you said in the past, obviously, that she would be willing to testify if this -- and when this goes to trial. You know, a lot of the facts in the case. You certainly know Ms. Daniels representation of those facts. What do you think -- what kind of a case -- how difficult do you think this is for the former president's defense team?
BREWSTER: Well, you know, to the extent that they play the hand they've been playing, which is just denial and accusation and character assassination of her and others, including Mr. Cohen, I don't think that's going to be effective, frankly, in a courtroom. It might play out in the court of public opinion for people that still adhere and believe to what he says.
But I think in a court, that's not going to play very well. I really think it comes down to documents, statements made, captured conversations, and the application of the law that this prosecutor and this grand jury has decided form the elements of a cause of action or the counts themselves. So that's not going to play that room (ph).
COOPER: Clark Brewster --
BREWSTER: I don't think.
COOPER: -- appreciate your time. Thanks very much.
Coming up, we'll be talking to one of the central figures in the indictment, Michael Cohen, a one-time attorney and fixer for the former President, and more Republican reaction to the indictment just ahead on this historic night. Stay with us.
TAPPER: Again, big breaking news, historic news. Sources telling CNN that Donald Trump is expected in a New York courthouse on Tuesday, where he will face arraignment on criminal charges. Also, sources say that Mr. Trump will face more than 30 counts related to business fraud.
Next hour, my colleague Wolf Blitzer will sit down with former Vice President Mike Pence for an extensive one on one interview to get Mr. Pence's reaction. I mentioned earlier that another potential contender for the 2024 Republican presidential race, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, criticized the indictment. He called it, quote, stretching the law to target a political opponent, unquote.
And as our Manu Raju reported earlier, many Republicans in Congress are also criticizing the indictment and the Manhattan D.A. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called the indictment an injustice. His number two majority Leader Steve Scalise, said it was outrageous.
I'm joined now by CNN Political Director David Chalian. David, I can't say that there are many surprises in these reactions, but it is amazing to see the degree to which so few people are willing to either wait to see what the indictment says.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, no. And, in fact, this was sort of rehearsed when Donald Trump put out on social media a couple of weeks ago that he was going to get arrested on a Tuesday. And we saw the first round of this rallying around of Donald Trump by Republican officials mostly taking on his talking points of going after the Manhattan D.A.
I would just note one difference in the 2024 presidential field, Jake. Asa Hutchinson, who is no fan of Donald Trump, the former governor of Arkansas is considering getting in. He didn't join in on the going after the prosecutor here. He called this a dark day for America when a former president is indicted.
And he said that presumption of innocence must follow here for Donald Trump like any other citizen, but that Donald Trump should not be the next president, but it's that the voters should decide that, that shouldn't be decided in a court. But pretty much every other potential rival of his in that 2024 field is indeed putting out statements going after this prosecution as something, as they see, purely political.
TAPPER: Although we should note that it was a week or so ago that Governor DeSantis, who issued this very strong statement defending Trump and attacking District Attorney Alvin Bragg this evening, that a week or so ago, he was kind of dismissive of this as an issue. He said he had other things to focus on running the state of Florida, and he also twice, in an almost cheeky way, said, I don't have a lot of experience in paying hush money to porn stars, which was interesting. CHALIAN: Well, yes, the fact that he saw an opportunity here to talk about the underlying facts of the case here, which we know are tawdry, was certainly something that caught the attention not only of Donald Trump, but some of his allies.
And in fact, right after that, Jake, it was Matt Gaetz, one of Donald Trump's most vociferous supporters from Florida, congressman, who went on Newsmax and gave an interview and basically said he didn't think Ron DeSantis was being strong enough and suggested that he should get behind this notion of not having Donald Trump extradited out of Florida to New York. Now we saw Ron DeSantis seems to be taking his cue.
TAPPER: All right, David Chalian, thanks so much.
COOPER: Back with us, our panel. Joining us, CNN Political Analyst and Senior Political Correspondent for The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, CNN Political Commentator David Urban, who once served as campaign adviser for the former president, , CNN Political Commentator and former Special Adviser to President Obama.
Maggie Haberman, you just joined us, a historic night.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It certainly is, and a busy one. Look, there's so much that we don't know, and I know that we have been saying a version of that for many, many weeks, but I would just like to remind people that the word that people, you know, supporting Trump were putting out yesterday was fanning the flames of reports that the grand jury was out for a month.
So I think there's a lot of twists to take on this. He is now going to go through the process of getting arrested, and I think that that is going to be much more jarring for him than I think people realize. I've been told that he's been briefed on what that will look like. It will involve finger printing.
It's going to be unlike, you know, a normal arraignment because he's going to have Secret Service and this is going to look different. This is somebody who has spent more than four decades trying to avoid being arrested or being indicted. And so, this is a really scary moment for him, despite whatever he says.
Now, you talk to different people tonight, you hear he's fine. You talk to others who say that he's very angry. I expect that we will be hearing all of those emotions going in various ways for the coming days. I don't know what the fallout is going to be politically, and I think this is the first time that I can think of where he can't control this.
He was able to control impeachment in some way because Mitch McConnell was on his side in the Senate trial and because House Republicans were on his side. He was even able to control the second impeachment to some extent. With the Mueller report and the investigation, he was never going to get indicted as a sitting president. And I think that he has an overconfidence in his ability to impact events by intimidation tactics, by pushing out headlines. This is now in the hands of whatever judge he draws and what the voters think.
COOPER: There's so many potential ripple effects on public perception, voter perception. It's impossible to kind of game it out many steps in advance.
HABERMAN: It is, in part, because he's such an agent of uncertainty, right? I mean, if you think about the fact that we had a week of a news cycle that he created by saying he was going to get arrested on Tuesday, which literally no one was saying in the news media.
And he created that, and then when that --
COOPER: He also fundraised off it.
HABERMAN: And he fundraised off it. And then when that day came and went, he said, look, you know, it's all falling apart. It didn't happen. So I don't know how he's going to handle this. I do notice that, you know, he did not reiterate his call for protests. I thought that was pretty striking.
I did notice that Elise Stefanik, a very close ally of his, put out a statement saying that people should organize peacefully, and everyone is trying to stress that around him because there are still these echoes of January 6, 2021.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And I think it's also something we should note -- we were talking about earlier that we've both heard from people is that they genuinely had an idea that this maybe falling apart, that it may not actually be happening. This is from Trump's attorneys.
Now, there are a lot of attorneys around him at the moment. He's hearing from a lot of different voices, but that is why they were so caught off guard by how quickly this transpired today.
HABERMAN: Yes, they believe the grand jury was not coming back. They believed that this was not going to happen for a month. And then others of them, not all of them, but others of them did believe that the case was falling apart primarily on the word of Bob Costello, a Giuliani lawyer and briefly a Michael Cohen, either lawyer or legal adviser, depending on who you believe, who came in as a defense witness in the grand jury in New York, that you have the right to do that.
There was no evidence that they ever offered as to why they believed that, just things that people were hearing. And as I said, Trump likes to create headlines that he thinks influence events, that obviously did not happen here. And if anything, frankly, all the stories yesterday about how the grand jury was going to be off for a month, probably alleviated a pressure valve for Bragg. It sort of -- it took the heat down a little bit. COOPER: I want to bring in David Urban and Van Jones. David, I mean, this is a remarkable, historic night. I'm wondering what your thoughts are and what happens now.
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. So, you know, Anderson, I was just thinking back 20 years ago when I was a chief of staff of the United States Senate, and they had the impeachment of Bill Clinton. And Bill Clinton, you know, was impeached and was acquitted, similar to President Trump, and then remained in office.
And, you know, Ken Starr went away, and special prosecutor Robert Ray was still lingering around, and there was the threat of Clinton being indicted when he left office, right. That was always kind of out there. And the day before he left, on January 19, 2001, former special prosecutor Robert Ray cut a deal with then-President Clinton to not prosecute him, right?
And to let him surrender his law license for five years, pay a fine and put it aside. And, you know, there was a great deal of pressure on Ray to indict him at the time, and he didn't. And he said, you know, the American people in history will judge me and judge whether I did the right thing or not.
And in retrospect, you know, I think Robert Ray did the right thing. And I'm not so sure history will be so kind in this case to Alvin Bragg.
COOPER: Van Jones, what do you think?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think that, you know, Democrats and progressives are swinging back and forth between being very, very worried and very, very relieved. You know, on the one hand, geez, you know, this case, it's hanging on a novel theory, it's not the insurrection, it's not the coup, it's not the election interference, it's a hush money payment.
There's worry that this is maybe not the bridge to try to die on. At the same time, I think a lot of people are saying finally, finally something has happened to get some kind of accountability here. You've had our social norms run into the ground. You've had our political norms run into the ground.
At least our legal norms are not being run into the ground in this case. You have a prosecutor who went to everyday ordinary Americans and said, here's what I've got, do you think it's chargeable? And they said, yes.
And I think that there is a sense among some people that somebody had to do something at some point. And that everybody's just kind of standing on the edge of the swimming pool looking in all these prosecutors, all these cases, and nothing has happened to happen yet. And so, on the one hand, I think people are concerned and they're worried and they hope that this doesn't set some precedent where presidents start just getting prosecuted.
There's real concern, but there is a sense that finally some kind of accountability may land on the doorstep of Donald Trump.
COOPER: John Miller, it's going to be interesting when, you know, we were able to look back and know exactly what happened in that grand jury room over the last several weeks, because clearly, the last witness that was supportive of the former president or at least critical of Michael Cohen made seemed to affect the course of the grand jury in some way.
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: I mean, when you talk to people in the District Attorney's office who have been following the plan of the grand jury presentation, they expected to get that indictment back on Monday, I think the 13 March.
COOPER: Two Mondays ago.
MILLER: Right. Putting Bob Costello in as a witness in place of Donald Trump, who they invited to testify on his own behalf and declined, seemed to be something that they planned to do and then put it to the vote of the grand jury.
I think we don't know what effect Costello's testimony had on the grand jurors. That is something that's only in their minds, but we know the effect it had on the prosecutors, which is they thought he did damage to their case. They didn't want him to be the last thing grand jurors heard before they went to a vote.
And the people I've been talking to said, you know, they went in todays of strategy to say, what do we need to put in front of this grand jury to repair that? And so doubt into what Costello said.
COOPER: And they brought in David Pecker on Monday and another witness as you reported today, we don't know who that is.