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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Former VP Pence Testifies For More Than Five Hours To Federal Grand Jury Investigating Trump, January 6; Federal Prosecutors Say Pentagon Leak Suspect Has History Of Making Violent Threats And Possessed Arsenal Of Weapons; Signs Ukraine's Counteroffensive Against Russia May Be Underway; Trump Rape Accuser E. Jean Carroll Testifies Again At Civil Trial; Manhunt Continues For Two Mississippi Inmates After One Is Captured And Another Is Confirmed Dead; Public Defender Alleges Former San Francisco Official Attacked Homeless Man With Bear Spray Prior To Metal Pipe Attack; CNN Kfile: Trump Previously Backed Policies On Social Security For Which He's Now Attacking DeSantis, Calling The Program A "Ponzi Scheme". Aired 8-9p ET

Aired April 27, 2023 - 20:00   ET


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Where she will live out her final years. She just might be the world's most politicized Panda, a beloved bear that brought the US and China closer now being used to divide.


RIPLEY (on camera): China heavily censors social media so they allowed this online backlash to happen, and yet, they are accusing us, CNN, of being the dividers here.

They called our reporting about the panda an arrogant distortion, saying that the Western media demonizes panda diplomacy because they want to suppress China -- Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Will Ripley, thank you very much for that amazing report, and thanks for joining us to all of you.

Anderson is now.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: One for the history books tonight. Former Vice President Mike Pence testified today before the federal grand jury investigating the former president's action surrounding the January 6th riot and attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

I'm John Berman in for Anderson.

Just pause and listen to that, again. A former vice president just testified in an investigation about whether a president, hist running mate, illegally tried to overturn an election.

So much has happened the last few years, it's easy to get numb to the mind-bending historical explosions taking place. It is the first time in modern history a vice president has been compelled to testify about the president he served beside. And add to that, he might run against Trump in 2024.

It's also the first time that this vice president has testified under oath about the day where rioters were seeing yelling "Hang Mike Pence" at the Capitol, as well as perhaps personal interactions with Trump and the events leading up to that day.

He previously declined to testify before the House Select Committee that investigated the riots.

A source says Pence testified for more than five hours putting the investigation one step closer to a big decision for special counsel, Jack Smith, whether to charge the former president or others around him.

Sara Murray joins us now with the latest.

Sara, what do we know about the circumstances surrounding the testimony today and the blanks that the special counsel might wanted to fill in?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, as you point out, this is a momentous occasion, a historic occasion.

The former vice president testifying in a criminal probe against the man who was once his running mate against the man, you know, who once sat in the Oval Office, and this came after a prolonged court battle.

You know, we know that Mike Pence has talked publicly about standing up to Donald Trump about not doing his bidding on January 6th. We know he wrote about it in his book, but this is the first time he is appearing.

He is testifying under oath, and was poised to answer questions from prosecutors about his direct conversations with Donald Trump in the run up to January 6th.

And you know, as you pointed out, this lasted for five hours. So, it gives you an indication of the painstaking detail that prosecutors likely wanted to get into with Pence perhaps a couple of things they heard from other witnesses, but also just events that were playing out between Pence and the former president that perhaps only he could speak to, only he could provide in firsthand detail.

BERMAN: So does this appearance by the former vice president suggest anything about the special counsel's timetable at this point?

MURRAY: Well, you know, it doesn't mean that Mike Pence is the last witness that they're going to want to talk to in this investigation, but in many ways, he is the pinnacle.

You know, he is the person who was the target of Donald Trump's pressure campaign to try to block the certification of the 2020 election. He, as you pointed out, was the target of many of the rioters who were chanting, "Hang Mike Pence" and prosecutors had to go into this knowing that it was going to be a fight to get his testimony. You know, we saw both Donald Trump, as well as Pence try to block this testimony unsuccessfully. Pence got a carve out where he would not have to answer questions about the time he was serving as president of the Senate.

But in so many ways, this is a crucial witness and really setting the stage about what happened in the run up to January 6, and how you know, important and historic the aftermath was -- John.

BERMAN: Sara Murray, terrific reporting, as always. Thank you so much.

I'm joined now by CNN senior legal analyst and former Assistant US attorney, Elie Honig, author of "Untouchable: How Powerful People Get Away with It." Also with us, CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI deputy director, Andrew McCabe.

Andy, let me just start with you. How nervous should Donald Trump be that Mike Pence was being questioned for five hours before a grand jury today?

What about that testimony could concern him?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: In a word, John, very, very nervous, right?

And we know that because Donald Trump made significant efforts to try to block that testimony by again raising claims of executive privilege, which failed.

So the significance of the Pence testimony can't really be overstated. As we know from the work of the January 6 committee, there were numerous lines of potential criminal conspiracies that the committee looked into, but two of them involved putting pressure on Mike Pence.

One, to pressure Pence to refuse to certify the election at all, and the second line of attack was to pressure Pence to delay the certification of the election.

We know that there were meetings about those topics, between Pence and Trump on January 4th, on January 5th, and then of course the infamous outrage phone calls from Trump to Pence on the morning of January 6th.


Mike Pence has likely provided intricate, direct, first-person testimony about the substance of those conversations, and after relating the substance of the conversations, the prosecutors can ask him things like how did that make you feel? Did you feel pressured to do what the President was telling you?

So it really wraps up those moments in a way that no other witness can. So, it's potential (AUDIO GAP) testimony.

BERMAN: So Elie Honig, counselor, take that one step further.

If he was asked questions about those conversations, what answers about those conversations might be problematic for Donald Trump?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So Mike Pence is a crucial witness here. As a prosecutor, you absolutely have to have his testimony, for better or for worse, and this is why I think prosecutors are willing to go into the courts and fight and win to get his testimony.

I would absolutely focus on exactly what Andy just pointed out, especially the one-on-one conversations between Mike Pence and Donald Trump, and let's keep in mind, there are no other witnesses to these conversations.

Donald Trump is not going to be going into the grand jury. They're not going to subpoena him. He's not going into the grand jury.

So it's really all on Pence's own recollection and testimony about it. And I do have some questions about, frankly, just how forthcoming he will be.

There is no tape of these conversations that we know of to keep him in check, and if we look at his public stance about Donald Trump and January 6th, Pence has not been willing to forcefully condemn Donald Trump.

He has given us this wishy washy stuff, we don't see eye to eye, and so I think as a prosecutor, I'd be very wary of that when I question him.

BERMAN: He has written about the conversations in his book.


BERMAN: So what more could be revealed?

HONIG: Well, so a lot more because when a person -- when Mike Pence is writing a book, he gets to decide how much he puts in there, how far he wants to go.

If I was a prosecutor, I would absolutely read that book with a big yellow highlighter in my hand, and I would use everything he says in that book as a starting point.

I would say, okay, you tell us this detail about the conversations, but how long was that conversation? Forty minutes? Twenty minutes? Tell me everything.

So the book is valuable to prosecutors, but they need to go way deeper.

BERMAN: You know, Andy, you've been involved in a lot of investigations. Generally speaking, and I've learned this from people like you and Elie Honig, when you do an investigation, you work your way up the food chain, as it were.

There is no one higher on the food chain than Mike Pence here in terms of their job status. I'm not sure whether in terms of what role they played in possible crimes here, that's the case. But does this indicate that Jack Smith may be close to done?

MCCABE: I think it does indicate that they are clearly towards the end of their investigation. How much is left? That's hard to say.

Pence is certainly, as you say, at the top of the food chain, although I want to be clear, I don't -- I would really doubt that Pence is being looked at as a target of this (AUDIO GAP). I think he is pretty, pretty fully in the witness category.

The one other person that I would say, John, who is really the remaining outlier here that we're wondering (AUDIO GAP) yet, or when he will, is Mark Meadows and Meadows, you know, we could sit around and argue all night as to who could be the more significant witness, Pence or Meadows? There are good arguments on both sides.

The bottom line is I'm sure Jack Smith wants to get Meadows in front of that grand jury. He won a motion in front of the court a week or so ago that blew out some of the obstacles to getting Meadows in there.

So I think that's probably the last really big one that we're aware of that should be happening soon.

BERMAN: So Elie, there were some parameters here that a federal judge had stipulated before Mike Pence testified. He had to testify about his conversations, but he theoretically still had some protections because of the speech or debate clause.

HONIG: If you are a constitutional scholar, yes.

BERMAN: The speech or debate clause. So how would that work during these five hours potentially?

HONIG: So Mike Pence did win himself a narrow victory before he testified, which is that he does not have to testify under that speech or debate clause about his role as the president of the Senate when he was vice president.

And so the way I think that would work is basically if he is asked a question that he thinks falls under that he can say, I believe I'm protected here by speech or debate. If prosecutors disagree, they can then take it to a judge and say, force him to answer this. So we'll learn I believe in the next couple of days whether he tried to invoke that.

Also, just picking up on a point Andy made, Jack Smith deserves credit here, because he has aimed right at the top of the power structure in stark contrast to Merrick Garland who never went anywhere near subpoenaing and fighting for testimony from people like Mark Meadows, never mind, the vice president.

And as a result of Jack Smith's much more aggressive approach, I think we're seeing this investigation proceed much more, much more quickly, much more aggressively in a much more directed way.

BERMAN: Elie Honig, Andy McCabe, thank you both so much for being with us tonight. Perspective now from someone who served as the former president's White House communications director, CNN political commentator, Alyssa Farah Griffin.

You also served as press secretary for Mike Pence when he was vice president of the United States, so he is someone you know well.

Inside the Republican primary electorate right now, how does today's testimony change a view of Mike Pence or do you think that was already set because of what happened on January 6?


ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think the narrative was already set. If somebody -- you know, the wing of the party that showed up on January 6th that still thinks the election was stolen and that Vice President Pence had the right to overturn the election, they're never going to be in his camp.

What Vice President Pence would be very wise to do and he's a very savvy political figure, I think he, in my view, has a real opportunity if he does end up getting into the race is play to the rest of the party.

Most of us don't think January 6th was a good thing. We may like the Trump policies, or some of them, but we don't want Trump, the character, and that is the lane he needs to run it.

If he tries to cater to that vote, he's going to lose. But there is a much broader coalition of Republicans who would like to see a different direction.

BERMAN: I'm going to ask you about another person, Andy McCabe brought up another person, you know well. You're sort of like the Zelig figure here, Mark Meadows, the former chief-of-staff, and he suggested maybe Mark Meadows is a key figure in this investigation.

What importance Do you think he might have if you were to get before a grand jury?

GRIFFIN: I would argue he is probably the most important figure other than the president who you're never going to get under oath. He was intimately involved in the deliberations around challenging the election results, whether it was bringing in different people promoting conspiracies to have an audience with the former president, whether it was coordinating with members of Congress about challenging the election results.

He is going to fight it tooth and nail. Just candidly, you know, as somebody who previously advised him, this is not a good story for him to tell, whereas Mike Pence is an honest person who is going to do what he needs to do in the eyes of the Justice Department. I don't know where this goes --

BERMAN: We heard a lot about Mark Meadows during the Congressional investigation. Cassidy Hutchison, among others, suggesting Mark Meadows, knew a lot and saw a lot. So he may have a big story to tell.

I will say, and I'm the lawyer, but one is still sitting close to me over here, Mark Meadows may be someone who has his own legal liability here or Mike Pence did not.

GRIFFIN: Well, exactly.

Mike Pence very much will be a witness in this and I think the most illuminating conversations he could shed light on are ones that are directly between he and the former President.

Marc Short, his former chief of staff has already testified. I think a lot of the conversations that involved groups are already something that the Department of Justice has had for months.

But these are the intimate, you know, phone calls that might have taken place, last minute conversations.

Meadows is a completely different figure in this and I think he's somebody with a lot of legal liability.

BERMAN: You know what, since he is still standing next to me, let me ask him, Elie Honig, CNN senior legal analyst.

Mark Meadows as a possible witness here. Could he be compelled to testify? Or does he have too much at stake legally?

HONIG: Oh, he can absolutely be compelled to testify. Now, if Mark Meadows gets in that chair, I think Alyssa is right, he may take the fifth, because unlike Mike Pence, he has legitimate potential jeopardy here.

If he takes the fifth then, that raises an interesting conundrum for prosecutors because the countermove now if you're the prosecutor is, you can immunize Mark Meadows, meaning we're not going to charge you, we're not going to use your testimony against you, but now you have to testify.

Now, that's a strategic decision, but I agree with Alyssa and Andy McCabe, I think he's the most important single witness.

If I was in the prosecutor's chair, I would immunize Meadows because you need him to get the whole story.

BERMAN: All right, Alyssa Farah Griffin, Elie Honig, thank you for that. Illuminating as always.

Defense attorneys for the 21-year-old Air National Guardsman accused of leaking classified Pentagon documents tried to secure his release today while awaiting trial while prosecutors painted a portrait of a man with an arsenal at home who has made violent threats online.

Also tonight, a San Francisco public defender says new video upends just who started a fight between a homeless man and a former fire department official who was brutally beaten with a metal pipe.

Details ahead.



BERMAN: According to prosecutors, the 21-year-old near Air National Guard member accused of leaking a huge number of documents online was once suspended from high school because of violent and racist comments. They also say he had an arsenal of weapons at home.

Those are just some of the new details we learned as Jack Teixeira appeared in a Massachusetts courtroom for the first time today.

Prosecutors and the defense argued whether he should remain behind bars while awaiting trial. Defense lawyers have asked the judge to release Teixeira share into the custody of his father who was in court today.

CNN's Jason Carroll has the details.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The detention hearing got underway with Jack Teixeira's father first taking the stand. He told the court he would not hesitate to report his son if he was released on bail in his custody and broke any rules the court impose.

The defense argued that 21-year-old Air National Guardsman is not a flight risk nor a security risk, and that Teixeira did not intend for the classified information to go beyond the chatroom where he had shared it.

Judge Hennessy challenged that notion: "Someone under the age of 30 has no idea they put something on the internet that could end up anywhere in the world? Seriously?"

"He had no idea that would go beyond the little people on the server? That is like someone arguing I pulled the trigger, but I had no intent to kill him."

Prosecutors argued Teixeira could still have access to hundreds of documents. The defense filing asserts Teixeira no longer has access to those documents, saying prosecutors are exaggerating their client's threat.

Court documents filed by the US Attorney's Office Wednesday argued Teixeira should not be released on bail claiming he poses a serious flight risk writing, he could take refuge with a foreign adversary to avoid the reach of US law.

Prosecutors claim the information Teixeira allegedly accessed far exceeds what has been disclosed on the internet.

The filing also includes pictures from the search warrant executed on Teixeira's bedroom. The photos show a gun locker next to his bed containing multiple weapons including an AK-style high capacity weapon, handguns, shotgun rifles, and a gas mask.

Prosecutors say law enforcement also found a smashed tablet, laptop, and a gaming console in a dumpster at the home.

Prosecutors say Teixeira also obstructed justice by telling those he was communicating with online to delete all messages. And if anyone comes looking, don't tell them (expletive).

Prosecutors also questioned why Teixeira was a candidate for the Air National Guard given his history surrounding guns.

Tonight, the Pentagon is defending its procedures.

BRIG. GEN. PATRICK S. RYDER, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think it's important not necessarily to take the actions of one individual and somehow paint a picture that that indicates a systemic breakdown.

Again, this is under investigation and the investigation will tell us a lot more about this particular individual and what he did and did not do.


CARROLL (voice over): The court documents states in 2018, he was suspended while in high school after a classmate allegedly overheard him making remarks about guns and racial threats. That same year, prosecutors say he applied for a firearms ID card that was denied due to the concerns of the local police department over the defendant's remarks at his high school.

Court documents mentioned his social media posts reviewed by the FBI. One post from last November reads, "I hope ISIS goes through with their attack plan and creates a massacre at the World Cup," going on to say, "If I had my way, I'd kill a ton of people."


BERMAN: And Jason Carroll joins us now. Jason, what else did the judge have to consider today?

CARROLL: Well, John, the judge is going to have to consider a number of factors. When you look through the court filings, a lot of alarming allegations, including one from February of this year where prosecutors say that Teixeira was speaking with one of the Discord users and talked about trying to turn a minivan into what he called an assassination van.

He talked about allegedly wanting to target a you know, a large urban area or a suburban area. There are also those searches that he did about mass shootings like Uvalde in Las Vegas.

And then there was the odd thing, you know, in the bedroom. They found an insignia on the wall bearing the insignia of the Russian military, and so, there are a number of things that the judge is going to have to consider before he makes his final ruling as to whether or not he will grant bail.

BERMAN: And besides that, what's next in this case?

CARROLL: Well, that's what we're waiting for, waiting for the judge, in this case, Judge Hennessy to decide whether or not he would grant bail. He did not make a decision at the very end of today's detention hearing.

In all likelihood, John, it could end up being some sort of written ruling. We're waiting to see, but still no timeline on that just yet.

BERMAN: Jason Carroll in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Jason, thanks so much.

So, some of the classified documents leaked online included sensitive information about the war in Ukraine.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is there in Ukraine now where there are signs that a major Ukrainian counteroffensive may already be underway.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Spring is here after winter's frozen horror, and the buzz and sting of Ukraine's looming counter offensive is growing.

Aiming at Russian positions, within 30 seconds the Ukrainian unit has moved away. It may be a precise operation, but the Russian response is not, slamming into the nearby town, edging closer to us.

WALSH (on camera): Impossible to tell what the Russians are trying to hit, but another example of the intense bombardment their bid to stop the counteroffensive from starting.

WALSH (voice over): It is ordinary civilians caught in the rising dust behind us who bear the brunt of Russia's frustrated rage.

Along and around the brutalized towns where Ukraine says it may launch its attack, there are more signs it is underway lurking in the foliage than Ukraine has given publicly.

That's because Ukraine has said nothing at all about when, where, or how it will attack.

But among machine gun fire in the nearby trenches are drone operators hidden in the rubble. The detailed intimate picture they have of their enemy just two fields away is startling, watching and trying to kill each other every hour, they've noticed the Russians pulling back.

(DANILO speaking in foreign language.)

TRANSLATION: I doubt with these noises they can hear the drones.

They got smart, they took everything to the rear.

Heavy armor and stuff, they don't have it.

Sometimes, I noticed some real professionalism. They precisely lock the drone with an anti-drone gun and then shoot it with all they've got.

WALSH (voice over): Another drone team has seen the Russians also left defending ruins ridden by chaos in their ranks.

(SAMURAI speaking in foreign language.)

TRANSLATION: Often, they shoot at each other. They fight amongst themselves, too.

They live like they do at home.

Helicopters shoot at them -- their own.

WALSH (voice over): It won't be long until that cunning or chaos meets a decisive test in this flat, open, and perilous space.


BERMAN: And Nick Paton Walsh joins us now.

Nick, why is it still strategically important for Ukraine to get a quick win this summer?


WALSH: Yes, it's partly about Ukraine's friends and enemies here. Obviously, the Ukrainian people, I think probably their morale could do with a lift over this particular summer in a city like this, always exposed to air sirens going off with a potential for airstrikes, would obviously desperately love to have the Russians pushed further back away from his territory.

But Ukraine's friends have been training, planning a potential offensive in the summer, providing a lot of weaponry, which it seems 90 percent or so in play or already in the country.

It is always unclear to know where exactly is what and what's been deployed. And I think there are concerns amongst analysts that we may over the year ahead possibly see electoral or economic changes in Ukraine's western allies that can't guarantee the same kind of support next year or even by winter, indeed.

So there was some, I think, you know, urgency for a quick win in that regard. And Ukraine's enemies, well, Russia is at a pretty weak position right now.

It struggled to take Bakhmut after expending endless resources there and its defenses are pretty dated, frankly, substantial trench networks defended with dragon's teeth, bits of concrete, whatever they can put in place.

But the troops, they seem to have, a lot of them are newly recruited conscript, some professional soldiers perhaps, too, but I think many analysts think Moscow could do with a slow war of attrition here. They don't really have the sophistication or the weaponry to hold back a fast- moving combined attack by Ukraine.

So I think they're hoping that Ukraine's move forwards will be slow, will be plodding and will end up, frankly, in a war of attrition along the very long frontline, certainly we're seeing here potentially, in the south of Ukraine.

But really, Ukraine looking to push through and separate Crimea from the rest of occupied Ukraine. Many think that's the goal we're going to see. It just depends with what we're seeing so far here and the change of tempo, it is the prelude to this counteroffensive, beginning Ukraine, has been clear, it is not going to announce that start -- John.

BERMAN: Nick Paton Walsh in Zaporizhzhia. Nick, you and your team, stay safe. Great to have you.

Up next, new testimony today from E. Jean Carroll who alleges the former president raped her back in the 1990s. She took the stand for a second day where she was subjected to fierce cross examination.



BERMAN: A dramatic day in court as E. Jean Carroll returned to the stand in her battery and defamation lawsuit against former President Trump. Carroll faced intense cross-examination from the defense team. The former president has repeatedly denied the allegations in the civil lawsuit.

CNN's Kara Scannell joins us from the courthouse. Kara, what can you tell us about what happened in court today?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John. So there were four hours of cross-examination. And during that time, Trump's attorney Joe Tacopina challenged E. Jean Carroll's version, of her story of her events of being raped in the department store in the mid-1990s.

And under oath, Carroll acknowledged that she said some of her facts here, she said that they were, you know, difficult to understand, they didn't make sense, they were odd. But she never strayed from her allegations that she was raped in the department store dressing room.

You know, one of the facts that she said she understood was odd was that she doesn't recall there being anyone on the 6th floor when this alleged attack took place. But the most intense moments during the cross-examination came when Tacopina asked Carroll repeatedly why she didn't scream as she was battling in that dressing room for her life.

And Carroll told him, "I'm not a screamer". She said, "I'm telling you, he raped me whether I screamed or not." Now, Tacopina also challenged some other details there, asking how she could have pushed Trump off of her. He weighs more than twice what she does while wearing 4-inch high heels, holding onto a handbag, and not ripping any of her tights.

This was, you know, a fairly intense moment in this cross-examination. But Carroll still stuck to her story. She never freight from it, and she said that she was fighting for her life in there, and she was kind of overcome with adrenaline in the moment. John?

BERMAN: Carroll, was there any theme or line of questioning from the former president's attorney, Joe Tacopina, that really stood out?

SCANNELL: You know, it's interesting. One area that he also questioned, John, was he said, you know, in 1990, you didn't come forward with this story, in part, because you were afraid that Trump, then a real estate businessman, would bury you. So why, in 2019, when Trump is the president of the United States, one of the most powerful people in the world, would you come forward with your story?

And Carroll said that she was inspired by the Me Too moment and by all the women that came forward with allegations of sexual assault and rape by Harvey Weinstein. She said that she realized then that silence was not an option. John?

BERMAN: Kara Scannell, great to have you there. Thanks so much.

I'm joined now by CNN Legal Analyst Karen Friedman Agnifilo, a former Manhattan Chief Assistant District Attorney. Karen, thanks so much for being with us. A big day in this case, maybe the biggest day with E. Jean Carroll on the stand facing cross-examination. How do you think she held up?

KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It sounds by all the reporting that she held up quite well under this cross-examination, but I really think the type of cross-examination she was subjected to is Exhibit A, about why women don't come forward.

I mean, just the fact that she was questioned about what she did and didn't do, why she didn't scream, and really making her feel like she did something wrong when she was the one who was attacked, right? And she froze and she did the best she could in the moment. But this is the type of truly blistering cross-examination, that why women don't come forward in the first place.

BERMAN: How does, what you describe, as blistering cross-examination? How does that play inside the courtroom, though? Joe Tacopina, he was actually warned several times by the judge to back off in certain lines of questioning there. Is that something the jury takes notice of? How hot is too hot?

AGNIFILO: Yes, I think so. I mean, this is -- the Me Too movement, as E. Jean Carroll has said, has really done a lot in terms of awareness for women and just people in general, that there really is no way that women are supposed to respond or there's no perfect way to respond. You know, people do the best they can.

And when people like Joe Tacopina, who is a skilled lawyer, but in this particular instance, his method of cross-examining her really seems questionable to me. That he would do this bull in the china shop method where it's like he's victim blaming, victim shaming. I mean, this isn't -- this is a situation where he's saying nothing happened, not that, oh, it was consensual, you know.


This is the type of cross-examination you would expect someone like Joe Tacopina to give in a case where he's saying it was consensual. You were laughing, you didn't scream, et cetera, but instead he's saying these things to her that are just actually quite offensive.

And you can tell the judge was very upset with him and repeatedly struck him down and told him he was being argumentative and he was being repetitive and stopped him from doing making these arguments. And the jury will notice that for sure.

BERMAN: Now, the date. E. Jean Carroll says, and has said all along, she can't remember the exact date, even the year that this necessarily happened.


BERMAN: How does that play? And how does the fact that she has been so forthcoming with that? And I think she and the plaintiffs were trying to protect her against cross-examination here, how do you think that lands?

AGNIFILO: So I think a lot of the issues that are being raised, like the dates, like why you didn't scream, et cetera. I think that that's why in a prosecution where you have to, beyond a reasonable doubt prove a case, you would call a sexual assault expert to the stand that would talk about these types of things.

Like, you might not remember the year if it was decades ago exactly. But you'll remember there are certain aspects of a trauma that will be seared in your brain forever. And it's a well-known phenomenon when it comes to sexual assault that there will be types of information that never varies, never changes, and is truly steered in your brain forever.

But other things, like what year it was or the exact date, what other people were on the 6th floor, that was I know that was something that Joe Tacopina was trying to say. Oh, you didn't notice other people there. Why would she notice other people there, right? She was highly uber-focused, you know, highly-focused on her attacker.

And that's -- those are all things that experts in sexual assault will say is entirely consistent with a trauma such as a sexual -- violent sexual assault like this.

BERMAN: And very quickly, just remind us the difference between a civil and a criminal trial here.

AGNIFILO: Yes. So a criminal case is a much higher burden. You have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and there someone would go to prison potentially if they're convicted. A civil trial is a much lower burden where it's a preponderance of the evidence. And the way people describe it, it's like the scales of justice, you know, are 50-50. And you put a feather on the scale. It's like 50.01 percent gets you over the finish line of preponderance of the evidence. And in a civil case, it's about monetary damages.

BERMAN: Karen Friedman Agnifilo, thank you so much for being with us. Really appreciate it.

AGNIFILO: Thanks for having me.

So the search continues for two of four inmates that escaped from a Mississippi jail last weekend. What happened to the other two? Next.

Plus, we are learning more about the former San Francisco city official who was allegedly attacked with a metal bar by a homeless man earlier this month. The public defender says her client was not the aggressor and attacked the former fire commissioner in self-defense. That's ahead on 360.



BERMAN: Tonight, an update on a story we brought you last night. The manhunt continues for now two of four inmates that escaped from a Mississippi jail. One of the escapees was captured earlier today in Texas, and a second escapee is now confirmed dead after a standoff with police yesterday.

CNN's Amara Walker joins us now. Amara, what can you tell us about the arrest today in Texas?

AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, 51-year-old Jerry Raynes, one of the four escapees from that detention center near Jackson, Mississippi was captured this afternoon. Here is an image of that. This happening in Spring Valley, Texas, just outside of Houston. So now this man faces extradition back to Mississippi to face charges, including auto theft, among others, of course.

Now, days before, John, this man was actually spotted at a service station on surveillance in that area in Texas. And that is why police continue to concentrate their search there. We also know that he had allegedly stolen a Hinds County, Mississippi maintenance vehicle the night that he escaped with the three others from the Raymond Detention Center, and drove it more than 400 miles west to Texas.

And get this, John, we also learned from the sheriff there that this is not the first time he has actually escaped from a detention center. He actually escaped from this particular detention center in 2021 and he was recaptured in another state.

BERMAN: Amazing. What about the other two? Any leads on where the other two inmates could be?

WALKER: So you can see their photos there, Casey Grayson and Corey Harrison. Those are the last two detainees that authorities are searching for. That search remains focused in central Mississippi, and that is because it is believed that these two men may have stolen a red Chevy Silverado in the area of Jackson, Mississippi. It has a silver stripe on the side of the car, and that vehicle was last seen heading east toward neighboring Rankin County early on Monday morning.

So that's all they have right now. They are still searching for these two escapees.

BERMAN: And Amara, I do understand there's new information you're getting on the standoff in Mississippi that left one of the inmates dead. What have you learned there?

WALKER: Yes, so this is the last one we're talking about. It has been confirmed that the remains of Dylan Arrington was discovered inside a home in Leake County, Mississippi, yesterday morning after a shootout with police. It was a very tense standoff. We know that he was apparently hiding out in that property.

The homeowner happened to discover that he was there. He alerted authorities. When they arrived, they surrounded the home, and there was a shootout. We understand that Arrington shot at authorities and injured an investigator in the leg. We're told the investigator is doing just fine, in stable condition, but that he also set the house on fire.

Listen to what the sheriff of Hinds County had to say.


SHERIFF TYREE JONES, HINDS COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI: This individual had violence on his mind. And I will say I believe that he did not intend to leave here alive today.


WALKER: All right, so the manhunt is now in day five, and we do want to mention the Jackson community is mourning the death of a local pastor, Reverend Anthony Watts. It is believed that Arrington shot and killed him when the past had pulled over to help Arrington, not knowing that he was an escapee.


BERMAN: That is so tragic.

Amara Walker, thank you very much.

Meanwhile, the former San Francisco Fire Department Commissioner who was allegedly beaten with a metal pipe by a homeless man, is now being accused of initiating the altercation. The public defender says the former commissioner attacked the homeless man first with bear spray.

CNN's Veronica Miracle the story. First of all, a warning. Some of the video you're going to see is disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A violent attack with a metal rod caught on camera.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clearly, he was hitting his head. He was bleeding from his head.

MIRACLE (voice-over): The victim, former San Francisco Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani. The suspect, a homeless man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really? At what point do you fight back? I mean, Donny (ph) could die.

MIRACLE (voice-over): In a neighborhood where some locals are fed up with the problem, it seemed like a clear cut assault case until it arrived in court, and the public defender for the suspect, Garrett Doty, released this video, saying it shows the ex-fire official walking up to Doty, pulling out a can of bear spray and spraying the man as he lay on the ground. That's when the man appears to get up and the pair begin to scuffle.

A short chase leads up to the beating.

KLEIGH HATHAWAY, PUBLIC DEFENDER: Unless Mr. Carmignani is credible and believable, they don't have a prosecution.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Doty's public defender says it may not even end there. She also points to this video entered into evidence by the district attorney, she says, showing the 2021 bear spring of another homeless man. The question now is this also Carmignani?

HATHAWAY: I don't know. I have a strong suspicion that they are because of similar descriptions and a similar M.O. But I think most importantly, it's the district attorney and the police who chose to include these in the discovery for this case.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Hathaway says there are eight separate instances of bear spray assaults on homeless people entered into the case by the district attorney.

HATHAWAY: The victims are either asleep in their tents, sitting on a bench, minding their own business.

DON CARMIGNANI, FORMER SAN FRANCISCO FIRE OFFICIAL: I'm an old guy, and I could have been a dead guy.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Carmignani himself told CNN Affiliate KPIX that he denied to authorities that he was the man in the other attacks, including this one from 2021.

CARMIGNANI: They show me a person of interest, and that wasn't me.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Carmignani says he is a victim attacked after trying to remove homeless people, he says, were doing drugs outside of his parents' home. His attorney releasing this video of his alleged attacker picking up a metal rod, then practicing his swing.

CARMIGNANI: The impact in the back of my head went through my skull.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Carmignani did not show up for a scheduled court appearance Thursday where he was subpoenaed to testify. Prosecutors say he's still recovering from extensive injuries and said they are not dropping the case against his alleged attacker.

These new videos now making justice in this case curious and complicated.


MIRACLE: And John, because Carmignani did not show up and testify in court, Doty, by law, had to be released. Doty's attorney says he is relieved to be released. The prosecutor says they need Carmignani to testify in order for this case to move forward.

The next hearing is in about a month. John?

BERMAN: Quite a development. Veronica Miracle, thank you very much for that.

Still ahead, Former President Trump is attacking Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for supporting the privatization of Social Security. But it turns out he wants back the same idea. I'll talk it over with the Kfile's Andrew Kaczynski, who has that story, next.



BERMAN: New reporting from CNN's Kfile, former President Donald Trump has attacked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for supporting the privatization of Social Security and raising the retirement age to 70, as a former member of Congress and congressional candidate. Turns out that Donald Trump wants back the same things.

Kfile's Andrew Kaczynski joins us now with more. So Andrew, what have you uncovered here?

ANDREW KACZYNSKI, CNN KFILE SENIOR EDITOR: Yes, that's right. So Donald Trump has -- is attacking his rivals for the same positions that he once had on Social Security and Medicare. I want to take our viewers back on a little history lesson here to 1999.

Donald Trump, he's flirting with a run for president as a member of the Reform Party. What does he do? 2000, puts out a book, "The America We Deserve." What does he call Social Security? He calls it a Ponzi scheme. And he says the answer to fix it is to privatize it and to raise the age all the way up to 70.

Now that's one. Actually both of the positions that he's attacking Ron DeSantis for taking in 2012, when he first ran for Congress. Now let's fast forward now to 2011, 2012, Trump again is flirting with a run for the presidency. Around that same time, Paul Ryan is putting out that Ryan budget that Democrats are saying is going to turn Medicare into a voucher system. Trump was very, very critical of Ryan for putting this budget out, but he wasn't actually critical of the policy. He was critical that Ryan was putting it out before an election, before the midterm election, before the presidential election.

And then when Ryan gets selected by Mitt Romney to be his running inmate, Trump actually praises Ryan pretty effusively on Medicare. Take a listen to what he told Sean Hannity in October of 2012.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I like the energy he brings. I like a lot of the things he's saying.


TRUMP: He's smart. He truly understands what's going on with the 17 trillion and the budgets and everything else. And I think he's very strongly in favor of -- I know for a fact that he wants -- he's going to save Medicare. The other side is going to destroy Medicare. He is going to save Medicare.


BERMAN: There you have it. He's actually saying he's going to save it.

KACZYNSKI: He praised him. He praised him quite a bit, actually, during that race. And then, you know, when Trump runs in 2015, 2016, he goes against this Republican orthodoxy for years, which is that we need to reform entitlement programs very successfully. He's saying the same thing now.


But we should note that those -- some of those budgets that his White House proposed did actually have cuts to Medicare in them.

BERMAN: So, you reached out to the Trump campaign. What do they have to say?

KACZYNSKI: So we reached out to his spokesperson and we asked them, how does he square this? What does he say? And they did give us a statement I'm going to read from here. He says that, "Trump has consistently showed he was always protect entitlements. In contrast, DeSantis has consistently voted to cut entitlements and has long advocated raising the retirement age.

When President Trump was elected and went to Washington, D.C., he saw the corrupt and dangerous Paul Ryan was and prevented his disastrous ideas like cuts to Social Security and Medicare from coming to fruition."

BERMAN: Looks like a flip flop. Andrew Kaczynski, thanks so much for being with us. Thank you for your digging.

A programming note, tonight on CNN Primetime, is the world closer to a cure for obesity? Promising results in a new trial for a weight loss drug, but is it healthy? Answers tonight at the top of the hour.

Still ahead for us, the movie "Bull Durham" is about a career minor leaguer chasing a shot of the big leagues. Drew Maggi's real-life Crash Davis story 13 years in the making, next.


BERMAN: So some guys don't know when to quit. And Drew Maggi is one of them. Bless him for that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the third time, Drew Maggi will pinch hit for Andrew McCutchen, making his major league debut.


BERMAN: So after 13 seasons, 1,154 games, 4,494 plate appearances for six different minor league baseball teams, Maggi had his first major league at bat last night as a pinch-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates in an 8-1 win over the Dodgers. Today, he got his first start at third base.

Here's for perseverance.

The news continues, "CNN PRIMETIME" with Michael Smerconish starts now.