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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Mark Meadows Testified In Trump Grand Jury Probe; Chris Christine Announces 2024 Presidential Campaign; Evacuations After Ukraine Dam Collapses; Legacy Of FBI's "Most Damaging Spy", Robert Hanssen, Who Died In Supermax Prison Monday At Age 79; Prince Harry Testifies In Phone Hacking Case; Prosecutor: DNA Led To Arrest Of Boston Serial Rapist Suspect After 15 Years. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 06, 2023 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: More than 40 million people across the northeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic are under air quality alerts.

Thanks so much for joining us. It's time now for AC 360 with Anderson Cooper.



Tonight on 360. It is not just Washington, now it's also Miami. A second grand jury in the Mar-a-Lago documents probe, what it says about the investigation, perhaps any trials to come.

Also new word that Mark Meadows, the White House chief-of-staff with the former president on January 6 has gone before grand jury.

A dam in Ukraine is breached at a key point in the war with accusations flying about who did it.

And a retired FBI spy catcher remembers the spy he caught, the notorious, Robert Hanssen, who sold secrets to Moscow and more for more than two decades and died in prison yesterday.

We begin tonight with a previously unknown second grand jury in the documents case and word late today that former Trump chief-of-staff, Mark Meadows has in fact testified before a grand jury unclear, which one.

Also unclear, when he testified or which line of inquiry this special counsel is pursuing, the documents or January 6, or perhaps both. CNN's Kaitlan Collins is here. What have you learned?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: A lot of questions about this, especially when it comes to the Mark Meadows investigation. Of course, that's -- or the Mark Meadows testimony. We knew he was going to have to testify because they subpoenaed him. The Trump team tried to fight it, citing executive privilege. They lost that.

So we knew it was going to happen, we just didn't know when and now we know he has testified. He is a key figure in both of these investigations and so that is notable here.

COOPER: And was with the former president throughout the day on January 6th?

COLLINS: Was with him throughout the day on January 6th, was once his representative to the National Archives, which of course is at the center of the documents investigation, was on the phone that Trump had -- the phone call Trump had with the Georgia Secretary of State.

And now we know, there is that audio recording of Trump talking about classified documents and having them --

COOPER: He also went down to Georgia.

COLLINS: He also went down to Georgia several times trying to broker meetings with officials there, but also the audio recording that we now know Jack Smith, the special counsel has was because Mark Meadows was writing a book, ghostwriting and his autobiographers recorded the conversation.

COOPER: What is this grand jury in Miami?

COLLINS: So when you hear that people are going for the grand jury when it comes to the documents case, it's always been in Washington we have seen this, but we hadn't seen any activity since May, and now we know that there is a grand jury that has also convened in Florida, in Miami, where witnesses are going before them when it comes to the documents case.

And so it has raised a lot of questions, confusion, even in Trump's world about what exactly the second grand jury is doing, what the purpose of that whether or not charges, if they're brought would be brought in Miami or in Washington, which would make a difference.

What we do know is a witness has already gone before the grand jury, multiple witnesses. Another is going tomorrow, and so it certainly is continuing to progress.

COOPER: So that Miami one is still -- they're still having witnesses.

COLLINS: Yes, it appears that they've only convened in the last several weeks. It's not clear when exactly, but they're hearing from a witness tomorrow we're told.

COOPER: Kaitlan, stay with us, we want to bring CNN senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Elie Honig; also CNN contributor, John Dean who served as Richard Nixon's White House counsel during Watergate.

Elie, what do you make of this Miami grand jury?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So, it could be a couple things. First of all, it could just be of convenience the prosecutors are extending as a courtesy to witnesses down there. If there are witnesses who are unwilling or unable to come up to DC, what you do is you take their testimony in front of a federal grand jury in Florida, and then you can just read their testimony to the grand jury in DC.

Option B, it could be that there is some piece of the case that's only chargeable in Florida, for example, if they're looking at potentially charging someone who worked at Mar-a-Lago, that person would have no connection to whatever happened in DC. So they would need to charge that case in Florida, and then option C, the big one is it could be that they're considering -- prosecutors are considering charging the big case, potentially against Donald Trump in Florida, rather than Washington, DC and prosecutors have a lot of discretion about where they can --

COOPER: Why would they do that?

HONIG: So the rule as a prosecutor is you get to choose what federal district you're going to bring your case in, but it has to be a federal district where some portion of the crime occurred. So here you can see how the crime occurred in Florida, the document retention and mishandling crime and the obstruction crime.

Now the other option is DC. The argument would be well, he took the documents from DC, right? That would be sort of the scene of the crime. But the counter argument to that is yes, but if the facts are, and Kaitlan would probably know this, if he took the documents out of there and sent them down to Mar-a-Lago before noon on January 20th while he was still president, that's not going to be a crime, it doesn't become a crime until he loses the power of the presidency and then he illegally has those documents.

And if that's the case, then the whole crime happened in Florida, not in DC and you can't charge it in DC.

COLLINS: Well, and also the question, a big question in that case is not just the taking, it is the keeping of the documents and the obstruction factor in that and so the other question I have about it, though, is a lot of the aides who have gone and testified have come to Washington to testify before that grand jury including Walt Nauta, that was the body man in the White House or his valet in the White House.


He is now Trump's body man. He has gone and testified we know, and he talked -- he said he didn't move any boxes, and then when he went back and it was clear prosecutors had surveillance footage of him moving boxes, he changed his testimony and then went dark.

COOPER: John Dean, I mean, it's tough to overstate Mark Meadows' importance in the Trump White House and his closeness to Trump on January 6th. How big a deal is it that he has testified to a grand jury? Again, we don't know when this was or, you know, obviously what he said.

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It's a big deal, because he is a remarkably important witness. We don't know, Anderson, whether or not he has personal liability or exposure from any of his activities at the Trump White House or if he has some sort of cooperation deal. I do know he has one of the better attorneys in this whole picture,

and one of the more able attorneys in Washington, who has got two decades at the Department of Justice, including deputy attorney general. This is somebody who could guide him through the process and possibly get him through with minimal problems.

So this is a breaking story still, but a very important one.

COOPER: And Kaitlan, is it clear to you how the former president's team feels about Mark Meadows? I mean, do they -- do they know where he stands or what he is doing?

COLLINS: My sense from my reporting is they don't really talk to him that much and it is not totally clear to me what Trump thinks of it, but Trump's legal team certainly is worried about it, because he's obviously central to like three of these investigations, and maybe four and has gone very quiet. They haven't been speaking to him.

John mentioned his attorney there. Last time, I was told they were not speaking to his attorney either. So, there is not -- and these attorneys frequently speak in these investigations, and so I think that has raised a lot of questions for them on what he is saying to the government.

COOPER: I mean, Elie, if he had cut a deal, we would know about it, when would we know about it?

HONIG: So we would certainly know about it at some point, either through reporting or just when he testifies in court. If you gave me a choice as a prosecutor, any one witness in this whole case that I could have, if I was guaranteed full and truthful testimony, I'd choose Mark Meadows.

I mean, as Kaitlan said, he is right -- he is the chief-of-staff in word and in deed. He is by Trump's side at key moments before and during January 6th. Remember, he is the one who Republican members of Congress, members of Donald Trump's own family are texting him as January 6 is happening saying you have to get the president to do something.

He is the key point of contact with Archives. He is a crucial player, and his testimony could be invaluable.

COOPER: Could he just plead the fifth? I mean --

HONIG: Yes, so there are a couple of ways that Mark Meadows could testify. He could just go in there, testify and hope for the best that would be very risky because he has potential criminal exposure.

I think the most likely scenario is his lawyer said he's going to take the fifth and then what you do as a prosecutor, if you want his testimony, immunize him. Meaning, okay, we're not going to use your testimony against you, meaning we really can't prosecute you. Now, you have to testify.

COOPER: John, how likely do you think it is at this point that they actually will seek an indictment of the former president?

DEAN: I think it's highly likely. All the signs point that way. The evidence is certainly overwhelming. What I'm curious is whether we'll offer him a deal in the documents case. That's the norm with high level people who violate the law and get themselves in trouble with security clearances, but I don't know even Donald Trump would take a deal if he was offered one.

COOPER: John Dean, appreciate it. Elie Honig, Kaitlan, thanks very much.

Kaitlan's going to be back at the top of the hour for "CNN Primetime" at 9:00 PM with more.

Joining us now, CNN senior political commentator, former Illinois Republican congressman and former January 6 select committee member, Adam Kinzinger.

Congressman, I'm wondering what your reaction to this revelation of a Florida grand jury is?

ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, it is all the possibilities. I'm as confused as anyone. You know, I think it's quite possible that maybe the DC grand jury is focusing on things maybe more related to January 6th or whatever the DC connection is to the documents case and they are resting, it seems like. They haven't met recently.

And Florida may be again, because according to the Sixth Amendment, you have to give somebody an opportunity in their own area, and particularly if the crime was only committed down there. But you know, the one thing I'm hoping is that it's not in essence, a restart. It doesn't seem like that. But yes, I think it's just confusing to me as it is to anybody else.

COOPER: You were obviously on the January 6 committee. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on Mark Meadows. We now know he has reportedly already testified to a federal grand jury. We don't know when, we don't know exactly what he said or which line of inquiry, whether it is classified documents or January 6 or what it may have been?

KINZINGER: Well, look, Anderson. This is huge. And I heard Elie saying earlier about, you know, text messages and everything else. Let me say this to be very clear. Had we not gotten the first tranche of Mark Meadows' text messages on the January 6 Committee, it would have been much harder for us to get to the answers that we eventually got to.

He turned over an initial tranche of text and then he quit cooperating with the committee, but in that initial tranche, we saw the text with the Fox News hosts. We saw the text with members of Congress and other actors that allowed us then to be able to connect the dots.


He was really the all-star on that committee in terms of the evidence provided. So if he now goes in front of a grand jury and is fully cooperative, I've got to tell you, I mean, the stuff we got from him will pale in comparison to a truthful testimony by him in front of a grand jury.

COOPER: Elie was lounging here while you were talking, he is actually back with us. I want to ask you, Elie, John Dean mentioned the idea of a deal for the former president. What would that entail?

HONIG: Yes, so there's a couple things that that could be. That could mean, he took a guilty plea and in exchange, is testifying and hoping to get a reduced sentence. That is sort of your standard cooperator deal, but they would have to know that Mark Meadows actually committed a crime.

The other option, this sort of less serious version of that is what I talked about before, the immunity deal, meaning, we're going to give you a free pass, not going to make you plead guilty to a crime, but we're not going to use your testimony against you and now you have to testify carefully.

And to the point that Representative Kinzinger was making that's so important is, Meadows did cooperate with the testimony he gave them that dynamic, all his of texts, which were remarkable, but then he stopped cooperating with the committee sort of midstream and so left a lot hanging out there. And as Adam correctly says, prosecutors are going to be able to get all of that.

COOPER: Congressman, when he stopped cooperating. I mean, how did that actually play out? Does he just stop? Did his lawyer say we're no longer cooperating? I mean, was there any explanation?

KINZINGER: No, basically, it began, as far as I remember on this, a kind of back and forth on negotiation. So he'll come in and speak and we went through like a month-and-a-half to two months, which we know, by the way, a lot of these witnesses, well, that doesn't work for us. You know, two weeks later, let's try this date. And eventually, he just kind of went radio out or NORDA (ph) as we call it in the flying world, and so --

But we have enough to start that. I mean, had we gotten everything, you know, it would have been even more intense, but we were able to work from that for sure.

COOPER: Congressman, just politically, do you think any of the former president's rivals for the nomination will try to use these legal cases to attack him? Or would that just strengthen his support?

KINZINGER: You know, I wish they would, because this is important, and it's important for our party, my party to hear this from people that are running for president, but I don't know. I think they're going to talk around it like they have. So far, Chris Christie may go directly at him, and eventually if they start to smell blood in the water, I think everybody will go after him.

But until that, they are just going to talk around it and say things like we have to look to the future, not the past anymore.

COOPER: Yes. Adam Kinzinger, appreciate it. Thank you, Elie Honig. Thanks so much.

Coming up, more breaking news. Former New Jersey governor, Chris Christie as Congressman Kinzinger was just mentioning, launches his presidential campaign today. That happened just a short time ago in New Hampshire. We'll take you there.

Plus two live reports from Ukraine as accusations fly over who destroyed a huge dam flooding the battlefield, submerging homes and putting a massive nuclear plant potentially at risk.



COOPER: More breaking news: Former New Jersey governor, Chris Christie launched his primary campaign tonight in Manchester, New Hampshire and aimed it straight at the former president.


CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A lonely, self- consumed, self-serving mirror hog is not a leader.

Well, let me be clear, in case I have not been already, the person I am talking about who is obsessed with the mirror, who never admits a mistake, who never admits a fault and who always find someone else and something else to blame for whatever goes wrong, but finds every reason to take credit for anything that goes right is Donald Trump.

And if we don't have that conversation with you, we don't deserve to ask for your vote. We don't deserve the mantle of leadership. We don't deserve to have you think of us as people worthy of leadership.


COOPER: That's former Governor Christie tonight. He has famously had a bumpy history with the former president. He was sharply critical during the 2016 primaries then dropped out, reentered the fold as a born again Trump supporter, then broke with him again after January 6th.

Here is a sampling of some of the tough words he's had for the former president in the 2016 race and the run up to tonight.


CHRISTIE: When he gets criticized, he can't take it. He sits in his jammies in Trump Tower and phones in.

I'm happy to take any observations he has, even if he can only do them in 140 characters or less.

When you say that it is patriotic to suspend the constitution, if you believe the election is being stolen from, that person is disqualified in my view from being president of the United States again. We keep losing and losing and losing, and the fact of the matter is

the reason we're losing is because Donald Trump has put himself before everybody else.


COOPER: The question now and it is no longer academic, how will he turn that critique into primary votes?

Joining us tonight CNN political commentator, former Obama special adviser, Van Jones; former Georgia Republican lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan, also CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

Gloria, what does Governor Christie believe his lane in this race is?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we always ask about these lanes and I was talking to a senior adviser to Christie and asked him that exact question and he said, Chris' is going through Trump. It is the only way someone can win.

And as you saw today, what Chris Christie did was take him on frontally, which quite frankly, the other candidates are not yet doing in a way that Chris Christie is doing it.

Remember how he took on Marco Rubio in 2016 in that infamous debate and kind of destroyed him? He may have destroyed Marco Rubio, but he also destroyed himself in the process and I think that's a little bit of the danger here, because he is not really popular with the Republican electorate at this point, so he has to ingratiate himself to Republicans while taking on their favorite soldier.

COOPER: Lieutenant Governor Duncan, do you think he has a lane?


GEOFF DUNCAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I certainly do. I mean what I heard tonight was somebody who wants to win, but not afraid to lose. I think that's a dangerous combination for somebody like Donald Trump to have to face that type of music.

I think Chris Christie needs to stick to the script that he was a two- time governor in a blue state. He's been a Republican longer than Donald Trump ever has. I think he needs to stick to that script and continue to hammer.

COOPER: It's interesting Van, because I mean, Chris Christie has pushed against this notion that he's simply going to attack Donald Trump in the primary. He says he wouldn't run if he didn't believe he could actually win this thing.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He's got the same chance of getting the Republican nomination as he has getting the Democratic nomination. I mean, he has no support in that party that even rival some of the people who are in the single digits.

But I think it's important for the country that he's doing it. I think it's important for the country that somebody with his backbone and courage does challenge the president. It's been remarkable to me to see someone like Donald Trump, who lost the White House, lost the midterms, basically be able to skate by, even people who want to be president are scared to say anything bad about him.

So I think it's good for the country, but his chance of getting the nomination in his party, he has about the same chance to get the nomination in his party as he does with the green party, any other party -- zero.

COOPER: Gloria, Christie's relationship with the former president has obviously been a roller coaster. Does that give him a credibility problem with voters?

BORGER: Yes. I think it obviously does. I mean, we all remember that he was prepping Donald Trump for the debate when he famously caught COVID after that debate, and he was supporting Donald Trump, and then he turned on him after January 6th and his adviser said to me, look, we're going to make that distinction, that after January 6th Chris Christie could no longer support Donald Trump.

But there is a flip side to this, Anderson, which is he's out there already saying, I know Donald Trump better than most of you. So I can testify firsthand about what kind of human being he is and what kind of president he would be if he is elected this next time.

So it kind of works both ways, but he does have to get over that hump of why were you so close to him and now you hate him?

COOPER: Lieutenant Governor, do you think that the race, that there are too many candidates already?

DUNCAN: Well, look, I'm one of those Republicans, I said this earlier today, I'm excited to see qualified candidates show up and I think we've got to put our best foot forward.

You know, I'm just also one of those Republicans that think the weight of gravity is going to catch up to Donald Trump. I mean, he's going to have three or four indictments that are going to be wrapped around him all the way through this entire process and I think we've got to have somebody who is qualified and ready to go.

COOPER: Right, but even with three or four indictments, if you've got a whole bunch of candidates who divide up vote of those who don't want Trump and Trump has a base of 30 to 35 percent, isn't that inevitable?

DUNCAN: It is a math problem, but you're never going to limit this field out of the gates for three or four candidates, so you're going to have a whole slew of them, and you're going to have to have cream rise to the top.

I think a guy like Chris Christie, I think Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, these are qualified candidates that could legitimately win the nomination, but you've got to have Donald Trump fall apart and I think that's possible. COOPER: Van, the problem is, I mean, cream rise to the top, but the

froth stays around for a long time, you know, like some people can run with no money and just keep showing up.

JONES: Well, I mean, if you look at what happened to the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders was getting out front, scared the jeepers out of everybody. As soon as one person got ahead, which is Biden, everybody just dropped out.

And so there is at least an example in the modern context of a party coming to its senses. You know, I love Bernie Sanders, who doesn't? But people in the party didn't feel like he should be the standard bearer. Biden won and then Cory Booker dropped out, everybody else dropped out.

Somebody has got to beat Donald Trump in one of these races, and whoever that person is, could make a credible case. The rest of you guys get out of my way, let me go one-on-one, but nobody is going to drop out before somebody has actually put a win on the scoreboard.

COOPER: Gloria, I mean, the first Republican primary debate is in August. Do you think Christie has enough time to qualify between now?

BORGER: Right. He may not.

COOPER: And also would he commit to the RNC rule of supporting the eventual Republican nominee?

BORGER: I think that's a good question, it is unanswered right now. They refuse to answer that.

I think Chris Christie, it's a high bar for him. He's not popular right now in the Republican Party, but he has to get on that debate stage. He has to be able to take on Donald Trump if Donald Trump participates. Remember, Donald Trump is saying, you know, why would I show up if I've got such a large percentage of the vote?

He needs to go mano-y-mano with Donald Trump and I, right now, can't see how he is going to get to do that. I don't think Trump wants to share a debate stage with him. That would be pretty toxic to watch.

COOPER: All right, appreciate it all. A programming note now, on this coming Monday, the 12th. I'll be hosting a town hall with presidential candidate, Chris Christie. It'll air live at 8:00 PM. That's Monday, 8:00 PM. So I'll be able to ask him that question. Will he commit to supporting the nominee because that is the rule now for anybody to participate in this Republican debate.

Coming up tonight, a dam collapses in Ukraine and there is major flooding threatening an area of Ukraine that is seeing increased fighting. We will have two live reports and the disaster that is prompting evacuations.

Also tonight, retired FBI agent, Eric O'Neill and his incredible story of exposing Robert Hanssen as a spy, his thoughts now on Hanssen's passing in the supermax prison. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


COOPER: An ecological disaster now unfolding against the backdrop of sharply increased fighting in Ukraine, a dam in a hydroelectric power plant collapsed earlier today potentially threatening thousands of lives. It's the largest reservoir in Ukraine in terms of volume and about the size of the Great Salt Lake here in the US.

Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations over who is to blame for what both say was an attack. Satellite imagery analyzed by CNN shows damage days before the collapse of the dam.

I'm joined now by two of our correspondents in the region, Sam Kiley and Kharkiv, northeast of the dam and Fred Pleitgen is near it in Kherson where evacuations are underway.

So Fred, you're in the biggest town downstream from the dam. What is the scene there?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Anderson, well that town is quickly actually also getting flooded as well. We were going around the area earlier today. Right now, there is actually a curfew. That's where we've had to had to go into this area now.

However, there's two things that really stood out to us and I think you alluded to them a little bit. First of all, the area that's been flooded is gigantic, and second of all that area pretty much all of it is the frontline between the Russians and the Ukrainians, and that is the Dnipro River, which right now is getting a lot wider.

And just in the short time that we were on the ground there, we saw the water rise extremely quickly. And there were some people that we were speaking to who said in the morning, there was nothing. It was completely dry, but after the dam burst, the water rose so quickly that many people did not manage to get out of their houses and then we're essentially stranded there. The other thing, Anderson, that I think people need to keep in mind in all of these, is this is one of the most active war zones in all of Ukraine.


And so what we're seeing a lot of here, this night, as I'm speaking to you right now, but also throughout the entire course of the day is a lot of shelling that's been going on. And of course, if you look at some of the things that have been happening, people trying to get out of their houses, that is happening against that backdrop of that shelling. People are still getting wounded as that's taking place. So it's an extremely dangerous situation here on the ground in those flooded areas, Anderson.

COOPER: So, Sam, is it clear who destroyed the dam?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, it's not, Anderson. The dam was fragile. It had shown signs that it was in danger of structural failure several days before this final breach. Now, the Ukrainians have said that it absolutely was the Russians. The Russians have blamed the Ukrainians, saying that they blew it up because things were going so badly for them in the east.

But I think one of the interesting side effects this was, if there was malice aforethought in that the Russians blew it up. According to a Ukrainian officer who operates in the area very close to where Fred is right now, he told us that he had seen catastrophic effects on the Russian troops. This is what he said.


CAPT. ANDRII PIDLISNYL, ARMED FORCES OF UKRAINE: Their positions were fully destroyed. They are full with water. They have a lot of wounded people and dead people for now. We see them all because they are just running and they try to evacuate themselves. They left not only positions, they left all their weapons, equipment, ammunitions and vehicles, including armored vehicles, too.


KILEY: So clearly, Anderson, there some of the shelling, perhaps that Fred has been hearing and seeing applies to Ukrainian troops actually taking advantage of the Russians being driven out of their own military positions and chasing them aboveground when they couldn't see them because now they were being driven out of the flooded trenches and other accommodation that they were in.

COOPER: And so, Fred, how extensive have evacuations been?

PLEITGEN: They've been extremely extensive, and we got firsthand look at that a little earlier today. Everybody who can right now is pitching in. But one of the interesting things that we learned on the ground there is that, first of all, many people didn't have the time to get out of their buildings.

A lot of people were stranded there, and a lot of people remain stranded there right now. And that's one thing to keep in mind, is that you have the shelling going on. It's the middle of the night and people are hearing these mortars and artillery going over their heads as we speak right now. So that's definitely something that's extremely difficult.

But what the folks who are conducting this, who are trying to get people out of their houses are telling us is when this started, in the early stages, they were able to take regular cars and get there and tried to get these people out. But it became very, very quickly and very soon afterwards that they needed big trucks. And right now it's pretty much all boats.

So the situation certainly is deteriorating. As of right now, the Ukrainian official says about 1,000 houses remain underwater, and that's just in the area that's held by the Ukrainians. Obviously, as Sam was saying, situation on the Russian side or on the Russian held side, we should say, seems to be as bad, if not worse, Anderson. COOPER: And Sam, does this benefit anybody on the battlefield? I mean, you talked to that Ukrainian officer who is saying this has hurt Russian troops, but, I mean, how do you fight within these conditions?

KILEY: Well, from the Russian perspective, it helps because it makes that water crossing that the Ukrainians would have to use for any kind of offensive that much bigger. It soaks the land so that even when the water recedes, it's much harder to move armor across it. But the Ukrainians have countered that argument and saying, hey, basically we anticipated something like this happening.

We built that into our military planning and we're OK with it. This is all to assume that there was going to be some kind of an offensive over that Dnipro river in the first place, whereas, in fact, what we've seen is probing attacks elsewhere near Zaporizhzhia, up in the east, and of course, into Russia itself, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Sam Kiley, Fred Pleitgen, appreciate it. Thank you.

Just ahead, one of the most notorious and damaging spies in the U.S. -- in U.S. history is dead. Robert Hanssen was his name. He badly betrayed the U.S. We'll talk to the man who helped capture him next year.



COOPER: The FBI has called Robert Hanssen, quote, the most damaging spy in bureau history. The former FBI operative turned trader died Monday at the age of 79 in the supermax prison where he'd been serving life sentence for over two decades. No cause of death was announced. Hanssen worked as a spy for the Soviet Union and later Russia for a total of 15 years.

He held key counterintelligence positions. And according to the FBI, the information he shared compromised dozens of Russians secretly working for the U.S. Some of whom were executed. It also gave the Russians insight into U.S. eavesdropping surveillance and communication techniques.

Joining me now, CNN Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst John Miller, former NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism, and former FBI Operative Eric O'Neill joins me as well, who worked undercover as Hanssen's assistant to help capture him. He documented the experience in the book, "Gray Day: My Undercover Mission to Expose America's First Cyber Spy".

Eric, I mean, the story is fascinating. You were 25 when the FBI signed you to work undercover as Hanssen's assistant. What was his -- I mean, what was he like? What was your relationship with him like? And I'm wondering what do you think on his death?

ERIC O'NEILL, NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGIST, VMWARE: Yes, Anderson. Well, first, thanks for having me on 360. And, John, always good to see you. John and I actually go way back. It was a difficult investigation. As you said, I was 25. I was an FBI ghost. So catching spies, following them, surveilling them, that's what I was used to.

But working face to face in the FBI headquarters Room 9930 in the most unique case the FBI had ever run in its history up until then, was certainly daunting. Hanssen was a very difficult person. He was a narcissist, had a huge ego, very quick temper, and he was quick to call me, for example, a moron when he didn't like me.


I had to do the overt job of building cybersecurity for the FBI. At the same time, I did the covert job of investigating Hanssen and trying to find the information that was going to give us a slam dunk case to put him away forever.

COOPER: Was he ever suspicious of you?

O'NEILL: He had to be suspicious. So Hanssen had been sent to the State Department to a liaison job. He was supposed to just end out his career, and he was going to retire in April of 2001. We only learned about him in December of 2000. So he's brought back to FBI headquarters, promoted to executive service, given his dream job and given one person to work with him to build cybersecurity for the FBI. And that happened to be me.

So he had to be suspicious that this was an investigation. But until he was able to confirm those suspicions, he had to assume that it was real. So my number one job was don't screw up.

COOPER: John, just put it in perspective, how damaging was Eric Hanssen to America?


COOPER: Robert, my apologies.

MILLER: -- was singular in the type of damage. You know, you could look at Edward Snowden, who, you know, released entire NSA programs, but Hanssen gave names, names of spies that the FBI and the CIA had spent years trying to recruit who were operating both stateside and in Russia. These are people who were called back home or captured in Russia, who were likely tortured.

At least three of them were executed. Others were imprisoned. And these are not just critical national security resources. Our vision into what Russian espionage and intelligence is doing, but, you know, also human beings. It was quite callous to sell thousands of documents for more than $1 million, but sending people to their certain death.

COOPER: Eric, I mean, based on your time with him, you said he was a narcissist. Was that part of the reason he was spying for the Soviet Union? Was it solely about money? Did he like the feeling important?

O'NEILL: It was a combination of things. First of all, he had asked for a transfer to the New York field office, which is the most expensive FBI office in terms of quality of life and living on an FBI salary. So he needed money. He was having children. He couldn't support his life.

At the same time, he was a disgruntled employee. He wanted to be a field operative. He wanted to do the sort of things I was doing as an FBI ghost undercover, chasing targets, using disguises, telephoto lenses, that sort of thing. But his skill set was as an analyst.

He was very adept at analyzing large amounts of data and distilling it down to that one actionable intelligence point that would allow someone like me to do what I did. He was angry at the FBI because he wanted to be James Bond. And they made him, in his mind, a librarian.

So you have a disgruntled employee with a large ego who had the financial problems, which is a triggering event. And those are all the ingredients you need for a trusted insider. He was not recruited by the Russians. He volunteered his services and maintained a code name.

Never let the Russians know who he was for his 22 years of espionage. And so that was how he protected himself and lasted that long.

COOPER: And how did he get brought down?

O'NEILL: A KGB source was identified by a joint FBI, CIA task force. It was a former KGB intelligence officer. The KGB was disbanded when the Soviet Union collapsed. And he had been a sky in a business. And I guess he wanted a retirement somewhere nice in the U.S. He sold a slim file of information that pointed the finger at Robert Hanssen.

This was December of 2000. Hanssen was going to retire in April, just a few months. And so the FBI very quickly put together an operation to catch Robert Hanssen, which was called the Information Assurance Section. It was a way to lure him back from the Department of State, put him in a highly prestigious position, give him access to information and hope he made that final drop to the Russians, that would give us a slam dunk case to put him away.

And my job was find the information that will put us there ahead of him before he makes that drop so we can catch him red handed.

COOPER: What kind of changes, John, made -- were made to the FBI after him?

MILLER: After Robert Hanssen, you know, the polygraph policy about having a top secret clearance and going through a national security polygraph. Are you a spy? Have you ever been a spy? Have you mishandled classified information became mandatory, but a lot went into looking for between Aldrich Ames, the CIA turncoat, and Robert Pitts, the FBI agent, Robert Hanssen and others searching for what were the common traits between these men who turned on their country to figure out how can we see them ahead of time?

And people like Greg Satloff at Virginia University, worked with FBI profilers to try and develop that. And that will always be also a work in progress.


COOPER: Yes. So interesting. I appreciate it.

John Miller, thank you. Eric O'Neill, really fascinating. Thank you so much.

O'NEILL: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Up next, what Prince Harry did today in a London courtroom that has not happened in more than 130 years.


COOPER: Today, in a London courtroom, a rare sight. A member of the British royal family on the stand testifying. It was Prince Harry who's taking his show down with their tabloid media to new -- to a new level. More now from CNN's Max Foster.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prince Harry's years long battle with a tabloid press reaching its most dramatic moment yet as he arrived at London's high court to testify in his landmark trial against British publisher Mirror Group Newspapers, MGN.

Court sketches showing a senior royal in a witness box for the first time in more than 130 years. Prince Harry's tell-all memoir "Spare" and recent Netflix documentary have already detailed so many of the Prince's grievances with the press, which he partly blames for his decision to leave the U. K. and life as a working royal.

PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: I didn't want history to repeat itself.


FOSTER (voice-over): And while this is the Duke of Sussex's first time giving evidence, it's just one of several lawsuits filed by him and his wife Meghan in which they accused the British tabloids of breaches of privacy and publishing false stories.

The Duke of Sussex's central allegation in this case, the publisher's journalists hacked his phone and others in a circle and used other illicit means to gather information about his life between 1996 and 2009. He alleges that about 140 articles published by MGN contained information gathered using unlawful methods.

33 of those articles, including stories about his time at school in Eaton, his gap year in Australia, and stories such as these about his first serious relationship with Chelsy Davy, are being considered at the trial. He says these invasions of privacy, especially when he was a minor, caused him distress and affected his mental health.


FOSTER (voice-over): Speaking in court in a measured and harsh tone, Harry accused some British editors and journalists of having blood on their hands for the distress they caused him. And he added, perhaps inadvertently deaf in reference to his mother, Princess Diana. He faced forensic and detailed questioning from MGN's lawyer Andrew Green. Green questioned how the articles in Harry's witness statement could have caused him distress if the Duke was unable to specifically recall reading each article when they were published. Green also pressed Harry on whether the articles contained information that could only have been obtained through illegal means, such as phone hacking.

Harry believes both the U.K.'s press and government are at rock bottom, according to his witness statement. But his time in London isn't over yet. He's expected to continue giving evidence on Wednesday.


COOPER: Max Foster joins me now from London. As you mentioned, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have filed several lawsuits against tabloids. What about the other cases?

FOSTER: There are several cases he's involved with. Two of the key ones involve illegal information gathering at other newspaper groups. So news group -- newspapers, which includes The Sun newspaper, not phone hacking there, but other forms of illegal news gathering effectively.

Then, separately, there's Associated News Limited, which oversees the Daily Mail. And there we're talking about bugging and blagging. So listening devices and getting hold of private information, using that, putting it into stories. We're going to hear from the results of both those judgments later on this year.

But between these three cases, really, you've got the entire tabloid media. Harry's taking them on. He wants them reformed. He wants to make sure these techniques are known about and never allowed again.

COOPER: Max Foster. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Here at home. Up next, how a drinking glass utensils and genetic genealogy is connected to a case against an attorney accused of four sexual assaults more than a decade ago.



COOPER: In Boston, a 15-year manhunt for a serial rape suspect is over. It's a remarkable case. The accused is now a New Jersey attorney, and detectives say they tracked him down by using DNA and forensic genealogy. Jason Carroll reports.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT ((voice-over): Matthew Nilo, an attorney by trade in a Massachusetts court defending himself against allegations he is a serial rapist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you plead to those offenses? Guilty or not guilty?

MATTHEW NILO: Not guilty.

CARROLL (voice-over): Nilo appeared stunned at times as prosecutors laid out their case alleging that about 15 years ago he raped three women and tried to rape a fourth. Prosecutors say the attacks occurred in Boston's historic Charleston neighborhood. The victims, they say, between 23 and 44 years old at the time. The prosecutor detailing how she says Nilo trapped some of his victims.

LYNN FEIGENBAUM, SUFFOLK COUNTY ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: One is outside of the car, the male told her to shut up or he would kill her, and that he had a weapon. He flashed a small knife at her. He then drove to Terminal Street in Charlestown, where he ordered the victim out of the car, knocked her to the ground and raped her.

CARROLL (voice-over): Nilo, who is now 35, faces three counts of aggravated rape, two counts of kidnapping, one count of assault with intent to rape, and one count of indecent assault and battery.

KEVIN HAYDEN, SUFFOLK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Investigators never stop analyzing evidence, collecting information, and running down leads in order to bring dangerous offenders to justice.

CARROLL (voice-over): Prosecutors say the investigation went cold for over a decade, until last year, when investigators were able to link DNA from the crimes to a genealogy database and zero in on Nilo, who had since moved from Boston and was living in New Jersey. They put him under surveillance and got the DNA sample they needed to make an arrest.

FEIGENBAUM: FBI agents were able to obtain various utensils and drinking glasses they watched the defendant use at a corporate event.

CARROLL (on-camera): Nilo was arrested at this apartment building in Weehawken, New Jersey last week. We tried to speak to his fiance, who lives here at the building, but we were escorted off the property and told by the building's management that we were not allowed to speak with her.

(voice-over): Nilo's attorney says his client maintains his innocence and may fight how investigators obtained evidence in the case.

JOSEPH CATALDO, MATTHEW NILO'S ATTORNEY: It seems that they obtain DNA evidence without ever obtaining a search warrant. If that turns out to be true, that's an issue that will be pursued vigorously.

CARROLL (on-camera): Legal experts say publicly accessible genealogy databases have become an effective source for investigators to link DNA from crime scenes to individuals. Law enforcement officials in Boston say without it, the arrest of Nilo may not ever have happened.


CARROLL: And Nilo remains behind bars. His bail is set at $500,000. He was arraigned last week. His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

COOPER: Jason Carroll, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

News continues. CNN Primetime with Kaitlan Collins starts now.