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Interview With Memphis Pastor Earle J. Fisher; Interview With UCLA Professor Of Law And "Shielded: How The Police Became Untouchable" Author Joanna Schwartz; Interview With "Reckoning Author And "The Vagina Monologues" Playwright V; Interview With "The New York Times" Investigative Reporter Jodi Kantor. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired January 30, 2023 - 13:00:00   ET




SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Hello and welcome to AMANPOUR. Here is what's coming up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The blood of black America is on your hand. So, stand up and do something.

CROWD: Tyre Nichols.


CROWD: Tyre Nichols.


SIDNER: In Memphis, calls for change after the brutal killing of Tyre Nichols. But is the political will and commitment there to change policing

in America? Then.


V, AUTHOR, "RECKONING" AND PLAYWRIGHT, "THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES": We've made violence against women a front-page issue. But in fact, we have not

dismantled patriarchy. We have not ended violence.


SIDNER: "The Reckoning" V, the acclaimed playwright and activists behind "The Vagina Monologues" on continuing the fight of her life, ending

violence against women. Plus.


JODI KANTOR, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": What sources were saying, initially, is like we don't think the justices were

questioned. And people inside the building were alarmed by that.


SIDNER: Inside the Supreme Court inquiry. The investigation into the abortion opinion leak and the search that followed with award-winning

journalist Jodi Kantor.

Welcome to the program. I'm Sara Sidner in New York sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.

I'm just trying to go home. Those were the words of Tyre Nichols as five Memphis police officers violently beat him during a traffic stop. He died

in a hospital three days later. And the world has now seen the video. Harrowing scenes of Tyre being struck multiple times, kicked and punched

while restrained while he screamed for his mother.

Nichols' death, at the hands of police, has left the City of Memphis and the country reeling once again with protesters taking to the streets over

the weekend in several cities. And the name Tyre Nichols now joins a list of black Americans who have died at the hands of police. A painful reminder

of police brutality that comes to -- continues to blight this country. After the death of George Floyd, change was promised. But the George Floyd

Justice in Policing Act is still stalled in Congress. Activists ask how many deaths will it take.

The five police officers charged in Tyre Nichols death were part of a special unit to tackle rising crime in Memphis. That so-called SCORPION

unit has now been disbanded. And there are still many unanswered questions about the officers' account of what happened that night. A warning, that

you may find some of the video in my report disturbing.


SIDNER (voiceover): Police body camera and surveillance video are bringing into question the initial statement made by the Memphis Police Department

regarding the brutal arrest and death of Tyre Nichols. The initial statement writes that officers attempted to make a traffic stop for

reckless driving. Further writing, as officer's approach the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred.

As seen in the police body camera video, Nichols was actually pulled out of the car and thrown to the ground. Tased and beaten. The Memphis Police

Department statements said that Nichols fled the scene on foot and officers pursued the suspect and again attempted to take the suspect into custody.

While attempting to take the suspect into custody, another confrontation occurred. That second confrontation includes officers spraying him with

pepper spray and punching and kicking him repeatedly.

ANTONIO ROMANUCCI, TYRE NICHOLS FAMILY ATTORNEY: I have more and more doubts that there was any issue of reckless driving or whatsoever. I think

it was a narrative. I think it was a justification for the stop. Just as they pleaded on some of the video that you saw in the second encounter that

they were saying, did you see him reach for my gun? That never happened. Those are all excuses. Those are all lame defenses and just a reason for

what they did. Which is now, we know, has no basis at all.

SIDNER (voiceover): According to the Memphis Police, the suspect complained of having shortness of breath at which time an ambulance was

called. The video shows Nichols propped up against a police car, clearly in distress, while the officers stand around chatting with each other.

Medics arrived but it is not until 25 minutes after Nichols is subdued that in ambulance arrives on the scene.


This is certainly not the first time that videos and evidence contradict initial police accounts that favor the officers involved.

In the case of George Floyd, the Minneapolis police said, Floyd appeared to be suffering medical distress. When in reality, video evidence showed

officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck. In the case of Breonna Taylor, the initial statement from Louisville Police said she had no

injuries, even though six shots struck her when police entered her home using a battering ram to execute a search warrant. The report also says,

there was no forced injury.


SIDNER (on camera): Let's get more now on the situation now in Memphis and state of police reform in this country. Earle J. Fisher is a senior pastor

of the Abyssinian Baptist Church there. I'm also joined by Joanna Schwartz, professor of law and police reform at UCLA. She's also author of the

forthcoming book, "Shielded: How the Police Became Untouchable." Thank you both so much for joining the program.


EARLE J. FISHER, MEMPHIS PASTOR: Thank you for having me.

SIDNER: Pastor, I'm going to start with you. You are on the ground there in Memphis. This has been an excruciating week -- tough week and weekend.

Can you give us a sense of what people are telling you. What is your flock telling you? What are you hearing from those in the community about what

happens and what happens next.

FISHER: Well, Sister Sara, you've been hearing enough so you felt and saw how much of what I felt and saw and heard. The congregation members,

community members talking about how frustrated they are. How much trauma we've encountered. And what we're all -- we're trying to figure out the

ways to hold the police department and all of the parties involved, adequately accountable, and responsible for the developments.

Our heart goes out to Tyre Nichols's family. His mother, his father, his siblings, his child. And we want to do what we can to encourage everybody

to stay engaged because this is not an anomaly. This is indicative of the broader structure in a system of policing in our country. And so, there is

a lot that needs to come from this and we're trying to make the most of the moment.

SIDNER: I'm going to just let us hear for our viewers, both national international. Tyre's mom, RowVaughn Wells, spoke so sorrowfully and so

eloquently. As she is going through this and standing in front of the world, explaining what happened. I'd like to let you hear something that

she said that I think will stick with a lot of us for a long time.


ROWVAUGHN WELLS, TYRE NICHOLS' MOTHER: I was somewhat that I had this really bad pain in my stomach earlier. Not knowing what had happened. But

once I found out what happened, that was my son's pain that I was feeling.


WELLS: And I did not even know. But for me to find out that my son was calling my name and I was only few feet away, it -- and did not even hear,

you know, you have no clue how I feel right then. No clue.


SIDNER: What we heard in the video is that her son, the last words he said were mom, mom, mom. And he screamed it. And I asked her, do you think he

was trying to actually let you hear him, because he was only about 80 yards away from the home. And she said, yes. And that is what is tormenting her

as much as anything. That she couldn't help him in his greatest time of need.

Pastor, how do you work through this in the community? How do you work through the pain with everyone, including the family, the friends, and the

community at large who has now seen this horrific video.

FISHER: Yes, it's a gargantuan task, to say the least. We have to put the family's needs and requests and desires front and center. And the way that

we move and I know several activists and organizers and community members and faith leaders have been doing that. We also have to make sure we

continue to put in the context, not just what happened, but how we got here. And how is the byproduct of so much negligence and the insensitivity

coming from the police department, coming from the city administration.

We have to do our best to amplify the voices of those who have been on the ground. Advocating for reforms of last several years but have been met with

all manner of demonization and dismissal. So, we are fighting for justice for Tyre, absolutely. We're also fighting for justice for everybody who's

encountered similar things like this.

And so, we put the family front and center. And even the family has articulated that this is much bigger than this incident is not also

isolated. It is part of parcel the broader system of structural policing that we have to challenge and change.


SIDNER: And I want to ask you Joanna Schwartz, author of "Shielded: How the Police Became Untouchable". About a couple of things, one of which is

you look at the police -- the initial report that everyone, sort of, went out and said, OK. Here is what happened that was sent out of the media and

to the public. And you look at the video that we all saw. The video is telling the truth. The police report is not.

What does it tell you about how or should we trust what police say about what happened at the hands of officers, especially when there is wrongdoing

on their part if something goes awry.

SCHWARTZ: This is a problem that we have seen, not just in the case of Tyre Nichols, not just in the case of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, but

in many, many cases. Dozens. Countless cases where there is video that emerges after the police reports -- the official police reports have come

out. And it indicates a systemic problem. A systemic problem in systems of police oversight.

It really raises questions about whether police are capable of policing themselves. And when departments and law enforcement officials oppose

outside reforms, oppose the kinds of greater accountability. that I think we need, often, what the talking point is is that police can do a good job

of policing themselves. That police are able to step in when something wrong has happened.

And yes, there was swift justice or swift action taken against the officers involved in Tyre Nichols's horrific fatal beating, but that is an anomaly.

And far more often than not, officers are not given any discipline through their own departments. And part of that is because, as you see in those

reports, there is no indication that anything wrong happened.

SIDNER: If the videotape hadn't been looked at and if there hadn't --

FISHER: Sara, can I have the --

SIDNER: Yes, so if there hadn't been cameras, we may never have known exactly, correct?

SCHWARTZ: Absolutely.

SIDNER: Go ahead.

FISHER: Yes, I wanted to interject because Professor Schwartz is on to something. There's been too much, in my estimation, benevolence given to

the city and the police department for this "Rapid response". This is the byproduct of aggressive and fierce organizing on the brow for the last

several years. And these two entities, the mayor's office and the police department are the ones who implemented the SCORPION Unit in the first

place. It's almost like starting a fire and then getting credit for trying to put it out.

And so, I think it's important for us to hear Professors Schwartz's primary argument which is this is not an anomaly. This is the part and parcel the

broader system and structure of policing and an inadequate amount of oversight. So, people on the ground want to see more structural and

systemic and substantive changes and not just a bunch of superficial symbolic stuff.

SIDNER: You are correct that the police chief who is in place now. He's only been there about a year and a half instituted the SCORPION Unit.

Saying that the, you know, the officers needed to get tough on people who were tough. So, get tougher on crime, basically. And it was a crime

suppression unit.

I do want to ask about the element of race because you will hear this from a lot of people. They will say, well, Tye Nichols is a 29-year-old. Whose

mother says, he was a free spirit. His friend said he just walked to the beat of his own drama. He loved to skateboard. He loved to take pictures.

He was nonviolent.

And so -- and you see that play out in the video. He's saying, you're doing too much, man. I'm complying, I'm complying. The police officers who beat

him were also black. All five of them that are charged in this case or African American themselves. And I think you've talked a little about this.

But I want to ask, Joanna, like -- you know, does this make a difference? Because people will say racism but then they see that the officers are

black and they'll say, well, then that can't be racism. Are they wrong?

SCHWARTZ: They are wrong. Study after study has found that African American people. Black men in particular, are disproportionately stopped,

searched, assaulted, and killed by the police. That is a racial problem. And the studies that have tried to look at the issue have not found that it

matters as much, if at all, what the race is of the officers involved.

What that points to is that this is a cultural problem, this is an institutional problem, and it is a racial problem. There is nothing in our

society that is divorced from issues of race and racism. Law enforcement, least of all, given the way in which law enforcement began in the south is

a form of slave patrols.


So, to say that the fact that these officers are black means that there is not racism in policing. It's overlooking an enormous history and also

significant data about what happens to victims and the disproportionate effect of police violence and misconduct on black victims.

SIDNER: It's a really interesting point that you make there. And Pastor, I'm going to play your words back to you that you talked about this in your

sermon just this weekend.


FISHER: There are signs out here. Say, signs.

CROWD: Signs.

FISHER: There are signs, brothers, sisters, friends, and kin, that we are misinterpreting. There is a sign that is suggesting that we're in this

moment because of the radicality of five black officers. That's only partially true. Don't leave me up here by myself. Talk back to me.


FISHER: On its face, is a few bad apples. But some divine discern that should allow us to see a deeper sign. Because if two is company, and three

is a crowd, then five or more is a system and a structure. I can hear everybody talking back to me. That we peel back the layers, we'll see it's

not about the race of the officers. It's about the race of the person that the officers encounter.


SIDNER: You speak in the tradition of Martin Luther King who, in Memphis, was assassinated. And at this time, in our history, in 2022, to see this

happen in the City of Memphis, can you give us a sense, Pastor, of what that does to you as a black American and to your parishioners and to just

everyone. It's not just about black and white. This impact us all.

FISHER: Yes, and let me give kudos to Professor Schwartz for preaching in her own right. Because what she has said is absolutely true. You know, I

try to put this into the historical context and perspective I learned from what has happened in the past. And I think many of colleagues in the clergy

and community activists and organizers are doing the same, which is why we've been able to be as effective and impactful as we have been.

Several years ago, at the height of the Black Lives Matter Movement, when people were saying, black lives matter. Others would respond saying, blue

lives matter. And the implication there was that it didn't matter if the officer was black, white or brown. When they put on their uniform, I guess,

they became a Smurf or something. They became blue.

And I think at the end of the day, is the ideology and the psychology of white supremacist, anti-blackness that was pervasive during the days of Dr.

King and is far too pervasive now. Which is why you cannot just do cosmetic change. There are several things in terms of reforms that we've advocated

for and let the people in the political infrastructure tell it, they endorsed those things. You might endorse them but you haven't enforced


So, that's the thing we're trying to push for. To actually get some substantive changes. So, that people don't look around 50 years from now

and then we're still talking about the next person whose name has become a hashtag.

SIDNER: And I wanted to bring that up to you since you spoke on it there, Pastor. Joanna for, you know, a moment it looked like the George Floyd Act

was actually going to potentially pass. It did not. And now, you've got a different group of folks that are in control of the House, the Republicans.

Can you talk a little bit about what the act of, you know, meant.

I mean, we've got it here. I'll read it to you on the screen. It would have established a registry of police misconduct so that you could see where

this was happening and by whom. Would have banned racial and religious profiling by law enforcement, chokeholds, and no-knock warrants would be

manned. And it would have overhauled qualified immunity which is a huge issue that is talked about a lot.

Can you give me a sense of why can't the Congress get something passed, having seen these things continue to happen, especially after everyone said

change must happen after the George Floyd murder?

SCHWARTZ: I think the George Floyd Act that failed did a lot of very important things or proposed a lot of important things, as you mentioned.

And right after George Floyd's murder, there was a sense in the country. In Congress and in the state legislatures and around kitchen tables that

something had to be done. That we had to prevent something like this from happening again, and that is where this act came from.

But quickly, too quickly, there were pushes against these kinds of reforms. And a lot of those arguments against these kinds of changes, bright line

rules, prohibiting chokeholds, and end to qualified immunity doctrine were opposed by law enforcement unions and other sympathetic folks who told

overblown stories about the terrors that would be inflicted upon our society if it was too easy to hold law enforcement to do responsibility and



That officer would be bankrupted. That local governments would be bankrupted. That no one would agree to be a police officer ever again if we

got rid of qualified immunity doctrine and created these bright line rules. None of these claims are true.

Available evidence suggests that they are false but they're frightening. And they're frightening to legislators who are being told by law

enforcement that if they pass this bill, they're essentially opening the door to chaos in our society. Those are claims that are going to be

happening. They, in fact, have been happening again.

Just last week, I testified in Washington State legislature as they're considering a bill that would essentially do away with qualified immunity,

and it's happening again. We need to get past these myths and these frightening tales about what police reform would do. And we need to keep

thinking about people like Tyre Nichols and all of the other people in our country who are abused by police, killed by police, and who don't have

adequate remedy in the courts.

SIDNER: We are almost at a time. I just want to mention that Tyree Nichols will be buried on February 4th, so, on Wednesday. And I know that the

community is going to be going through a whole lot of pain, but most of all, his family trying to go through this. He used to go home every night

for dinner with his mom and dad. They won't see him walk through that door anymore.

Earle J. Fisher, our pastor there and Joanna Schwartz, the author of "Shielded, How the Police Became Untouchable". I thank you both for such a

great conversation.

SCHWARTZ: Thank you.

FISHER: Thank you.

SIDNER: Turning now to someone whose life's work has focus on changing another ugly aspect of our culture, the patriarchy. V, formerly known as

Eve Ensler shot to fame in the '90s with her blockbuster book and play, "The Vagina Monologues". "The New York Times" said it was probably the most

important piece of political theater of the last decade. Now, she's out with "Reckoning" a memoir drawn from her journals about a life and activism

and standing up for women. Here is Christiane's conversation with V.



V, AUTHOR, "RECKONING" AND PLAYWRIGHT, "THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES": Thank you, I'm so thrilled to be back.

AMANPOUR: Well, you know what, I say welcome back. But the last time we had an interview, you were still Eve Ensler. So, I just want to ask you why

you are V? What made that happen?

V: I wrote a book in 2019 called, "The Apology", which was a letter I wrote by my father to myself. Writing me the apology I've been waiting to

hear for many, many years of my life. For apology for sexually abusing, for physically battering, and for essentially devastating me as a child.

And that book was the profound experience. It really forced me to go into my father. To listen to my father. To try to understand, not justify what

he had done to me, but to understand it so that I could really break out of his narrative which I've essentially been living in most of my life.


V: And when I got done with that book, which was an excruciating but also a very liberatory experience. Because I finally was able to see it was

about him and not about me.


V: And I really kind of enacted that apology that I needed to free myself. I realized that I didn't -- I had not more anchor. I had no more

bitterness. My father was essentially gone.


V: But I didn't want that name anymore. I wanted my name. And I feel very -- I don't -- ever since I took the name V without a last name, I always

joke now, I'm down to a letter and soon all be nothing. But it is --

AMANPOUR: But what is V? Tell us what V it.

V: Well, V for me has always been this miraculous letter. It's an opening, it's an invitation, it's vagina. It's vulva, it's victory, it's voluptuous,

it's -- to me, it's everything that is about beginnings and life. And it felt like Vs have been good to me in my life.

AMANPOUR: Yes, well --

V: And --

AMANPOUR: And of course --

V: Yes.

AMANPOUR: -- "Vagina Monologues" was what sent you into the stratosphere and made you so well-known around the world, not just as a brilliant

performer on stage and a writer and a journalist but also as a human rights activist, really. A women's rights activist.

And I recall for, you know, total transparency partaking in your "Vagina Monologues" here in London back in 2002. And I remember very prudishly

telling you that I would do it as long as I didn't say the word vagina publicly. So, that was, you know, 20 years ago. We've changed. But

seriously, we talked about the Afghan women. All the women who you had been, you know, lobbying for and I've been reporting on all over the world.

And it is still happening, V.


V: I mean, the truth of the matter is, if I look at -- this is a 25 anniversary of V Day, our global movement and violence against all women,

transwomen and non-binary people. And we've had victories. Of course, we've had victories. We can say the word vagina now. We've changed laws, we've

opened safehouses. We've made the world a place where women can tell their stories. we've made violence against women a front-page issue.

But in fact, we have not dismantled patriarchy. We have not ended violence. And what we're seeing now, and particularly since COVID, there is a piece

in the book called, disaster patriarchy.


V: Looking at the parallel to Naomi Klein, a disaster capitalism because in COVID, the push back against women were so dramatic, right? I mean,

we're just seeing horrible pushback. And then we look at the situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban is back and stronger than ever and unleashed

in their power. We look at the situation in Iran where women are bravely and unbelievably rising in the face of incredible oppression. We look at

everywhere in the world.

I mean, I have to say in terms of our 1 billion rising movement around the world, this year, we are seeing more risings all across the planet, across

Africa or across Asia. You know, the situation for women until we dismantle this paradigm of patriarchy, we will be working on individual specific

cases but the paradigm itself will keep pushing us under.

AMANPOUR: So, I want to take you up on a couple of points. Because disaster patriarchy, you likened it to disaster capitalism by Naomi Klein.

Just tell use what you mean by that. And also, I read that you struggled over whether to use the word patriarchy.

V: I think people are so frightened by the word and wary of the word but I don't know a better description of a situation than patriarchy where

essentially, the patriarchy, the father, the system is one where very, very few people have power over the many and dominate them and determine their

lives and control their lives.

And I think when I was discussing disaster patriarchy, I was looking at investigating during COVID what happened to women's rights around the

world. And I interviewed women all over the world to say, what's going on with you? And in fact, the disaster of COVID, the pandemic, allowed all

kinds of pushbacks to women's rights in various forms in shapes and different places.

I mean, for example, in places where people had made strides with anti- female genital mutilation work, right? Suddenly, girls were no longer going to school.


V: Able to go to school. And s, that became a push back because when girls were going to school, they could make money, they could take care of their

families. So, people were willing to stop the practice of female genital mutilation. When girls couldn't go to school because of the shutdown in the

economic situation, that all began to change.


V: We look at workers' rights where the same thing was happening. We look at women, for example, who were on the front lines, right? Nurses,

restaurant workers, and the pushback against their protections. Women nurses being forced to wear garbage bags and reuse masks, right? We look at

school and the fact that girls have stopped going to school in so many places where those rights to education were moving women's rights very far


AMANPOUR: Yes, so -- but you write about all those where these abuses are happening to one degree or another. But it's so interesting that in the

"Reckoning" you say, we live with two incompatible ideas when it comes to women. That they are essential to every aspect of life and that they can

easily be violated, sacrificed, and erased.

To me, that is the unbelievable paradigm. That half the human race, as essential as it is, is still the most abused, the most discriminated group.

And I'm just wondering, you know, you've talked just now about some of the positives. But how long is this going to go on? I mean, this is just


V: I could not agree with you more. You know, two nights ago, I was at a beautiful event where women were reading stories about abortion and sexual

abuse. And I have to say, I've been doing this work for 25 years. I was sitting in the room and my mouth was open. And all I wanted to do was wail

and scream and say, is it impossible that women are being treated this way in 2023? Is it possible we are still here?


And I think part of it is we, as a world, have to understand -- and one of the reasons I believe in global solidarity and global organizing is that

this is a global situation. There is no country in the world that I've been to, except perhaps Sweden, where women are not essentially second-class

citizens. Where we are not respected, where we are not honored, and where we are not doing all the work of keeping that culture and that society


And women around the world have to unite now, we have to rise up, we have to demand and we have to be bolder. And I think more outrages in our

demands in the way we are demanding things.


V: Because the truth of the matter, you know, yes --

AMANPOUR: Yes, go ahead. The truth of the matter what? Because I wanted to say, you know, women were bold and even their male allies in the United

States during the midterms. Nobody thought all the conventional wisdom was, oh, voters don't care about Roe V. Wade. The pushback women's rights. They

don't care about democracy. But, oh, no, they do. And they went to the polls.

That must be, for you, an optimistic building block. How can one build on the fact that actually there are people out there who will be bold?

V: 85 percent of people in America believe that abortion is a human right and should be a right. It is a fringe minority that is pushing this other

agenda. And I think, indeed, the elections were a very positive sign of women knowing that their rights are -- were on the line and that they need

and deserve those rates.

I think what we have to do is go further and push the Congress to be bolder, to make this an essential priority issue, and not have it something

that gets put in the back until all the issues get taken care of. Like you were talking about at the beginning of this program. Why aren't women's

rights and transgender rights and non-binary peoples' rights, why aren't those rights the primary rights that we are thinking about?

We are the majority of people on this planet. A new program -- a new policy from the Economic Policy Institute, a piece came out this week saying

abortion denial and the denial of abortion rights is economic subjugation. Most of the states where that was happening are states where women aren't

even making or making a bear income. So, it will keep them from rising out of poverty.

AMANPOUR: And I want to ask you what you think of -- let's say you talked about Sweden. We know that the former Swedish foreign minister, a woman,

Margot Wallstrom, famously called for a feminist foreign policy. In other words, pushing women's rights at the top of the G7 agenda in their

discussions or everybody 's agenda in their discussions on, you know, in bilateral aid and all the rest of it.

As long as women's rights are not met, we will not help you. Well, they tried that in Afghanistan and look where it got them.

V: Yes.

AMANPOUR: And on the other end of the spectrum, Jacinda Ardern, one of the most inspiring young female leaders in recent times said that she just

doesn't have any more in the tank. And after six years of elected politics, as leader, she has resigned. But we hear that part of that decision was

because of the unbelievable abuse that she got, misogyny, sexism, online, and all the rest of it.

I know those are two different questions, but they're -- it's about the same thing. How does one --

V: It is --

AMANPOUR: -- strengthen women to be able to survive these things?

V: It's such an important question, Christiane. I think -- look at what our congresswomen are going through in this country. The abuse, the

attacks, the fact that they're all being threatened -- their lives are being threatened because of their policies. I think we have to figure out

how we build more solidarity of protection. More support for women leadership. More ways that women can -- I don't know, be supported while

they're in leadership to process what they're going through. To find ways to help them with the attacks that come at them.

But also, what -- there's so much that has become acceptable in social media, in the world of violence and violation of women, in the way we speak

about women and the way we talk about women. And how do we begin to create cultural processes where we stop this and we begin to transform the way we

are thinking about women?

And I don't have all the answers. All I know is, like, when we are doing our work this year and I'm looking at, for example, Italy where they just

put out an amazing video looking at how women are treated, for example, in sports. And I'm looking in the Philippines where people are rising for

workers' rights and women's rights.


V: I know that if we keep building the solidarity, we keep building movements of strength, we keep uniting in coalitions and bringing everybody

into the story. Particularly grassroots women on the ground who are rising out of poverty and trying to find a way to have a life. And if we are

indeed in solidarity with them, things will, I hope, begin to change, you know.

AMANPOUR: They will.


V: I never realized, when I was younger, how stubborn and intractable patriarchy is. And I think, you know, you and I have been both doing this a

very long time. Whether it was being in Bosnia, where we watched the horrible rapes of women in camps. You know, it's still going on. The war in

Congo is still going on, you know.

AMANPOUR: And in Ukraine, Eve -- V. And in Ukraine, yes.

V: And in Ukraine and in Syria, let's go down the list.


V: We are living in a war driven patriarchal world. And we need women who are powerful, who are united, who actually know that we have the power, we

just have to step into it and finding the vehicles for that.

AMANPOUR: Well, you've been finding vehicles and telling the world about them. So, V, thank you so much. There you go, vehicle, V, that's another

good word, vehicle.

V: That's right. Thank you, Christiane.


SIDNER: And V's book, "Reckoning", is out tomorrow.

Next, the overturning of Roe V. Wade created a political firestorm, both outside and inside the U.S. Supreme Court. A leaked draft opinion sparked

an investigation into the institution but failed to find whoever was responsible. "New York Times" investigative reporter, Jodi Kantor, has

reported extensively on the leak and the inquiry with her latest piece detailing the distrust that now exists among the courts' employees. She

talks about the impact of this investigation with Hari Sreenivasan.


HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jodi Kantor, thanks for joining us. This is a story you have been following and reporting on at

"The New York Times" for months, the leak from the Supreme Court. Just in case people have forgotten what happened, what was the leak itself?

JODI KANTOR, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Last spring, the Supreme Court overturned the right to abortion, they overturned Roe V.

Wade. But as if that was not major news enough, the decision actually leaked well beforehand. And it -- slightly similar things had happened but

nobody can really remember this exact thing ever having happened at the court.

You know, this draft opinion that was written in February shows up in May, in public, in "Politico", and that is how the public learns that the right

to abortion has been overturned. And this is a very secret institution. It guards its deliberative process very closely.

And so, you know, there is the, sort of, vague story of what's going on with abortion in America. But there's also a story of what's going on with

the Supreme Court, which has had many problems in controversies and scandals recently. And the latest one has become what happened to the

investigation into that leak and was the investigation fair? And did the courts attempt to, sort of, fix its own problems or actually make things


SREENIVASAN: You know, for people who aren't familiar with the processed of the Supreme Court, I mean, they actually have the justices make their

decision, so to speak, and then the opinion is kind of circulated around. Their clerks are all writing it and redrafting it, et cetera. It's not like

the day before the opinion comes out is when the vote happens, right?

So, what is it in between that time when the justices have kind of weighed in. They've heard their argument, until the time that you and I

traditionally hear about the decision from the court. How many people have access to this information? Who gets to see it? Who could have possibly

leaked it? What did the investigation find?

KANTOR: Well, so the justices spoke after the oral arguments in Dobbs which were in December of 2021. And they take -- you know, they have a

meeting where they take a kind of, like, early vote. And at that point, it looks like Roe -- it looked like Roe was going to be overturned. So, some

people in the building knew that, for example, the clerks, you know, who are very close to the justices knew that. But here was no draft opinion


The draft opinion that leaked has a February date on it. So, you know, in February, this draft goes around the chambers of the Supreme Court. And to

answer your question, at that point, it goes to a pretty big group of people. The Supreme Court said in a report that it was about 80 people who

got that, and there are both electronic and paper copies.

And one of the, sort of, surprises of this reporting is that people really talk to me about how weak the information security was at the court. They

talk about, like, burn bags (ph) filled with documents waiting to be destroyed just sat around for days. You know, we're left in places they

could be accessible. There weren't clear rules on what could be brought home and what couldn't.


So, when you really look at the number of people -- the number of people who definitely had access to the draft is around 80. But then if you really

look at the holes, it begins to get kind of exponential.

SREENIVASAN: So, let's talk a little about the process of the investigation itself. Chief Justice John Roberts, he wanted to do this

himself within the court. Why was that important to him?

KANTOR: Well, he wanted the courts marshal to control it. And I think that's because John Roberts really prizes the courts independents. And for

good reason, I mean, he says this is the separate branch of government and for separation of powers issues and for the health of our democracy. You

can't -- you -- you know, it -- his viewpoint is, I think, very logical in so many ways.


KANTOR: I don't think any of us would want political incursion on the court. So, that would be really, really scary. But there's also a question

of, can this institution truly run itself? Because you've got, essentially, nine individually confirmed justices. And while John Roberts is the Chief

Justice, he's not really their boss.


KANTOR: I mean, it's actually kind of surprising and confusing. He is more an administrator of the court. Someone compared him to, like, a faculty

dean, you know, who has all these professors, you know --


KANTOR: -- to wrangle. And so, when the court has a problem, when there is a scandal, when there is a controversy, when there is an ethics breach, who

-- how do you really address it, right? This is a riddle because in its very nature, the court is supposed to be the last word and the highest


SREENIVASAN: So, what was the infrastructure that Chief Justice John Roberts had at his disposal to carry this out? Who actually did the


KANTOR: It was slender compared to what a lot of other Washington bodies have. So, the marshal of the Supreme Court, her name is Gail Curley. She's

a former army lawyer. People describe her as, you know, experienced, smart, professional person. So, none of this is meant to impede in her personally.

The question is just whether she had the infrastructure to do this. If you go over to the FBI, or if you go over to the Department of Justice, there

are people who do, like, very little about investigations, right. This is their business. The fine points they're really versed in.

The marshals' office of the Supreme Court is much more of a grab bag. You know, they've got a security function but providing security for a justice

who's going to a cocktail party is very different than performing a leak investigation. And also, there are parts of the marshals' office that have

nothing to do with, you know, security -- you know, secrecy, et cetera, et cetera, investigations at all.

So, you know, there is always this -- from the moment of the leak, pretty much, there were some public debate about who could do this. Because, you

know, the Supreme Court is not going to call an outside law firm, you know, the way most businesses would to perform their investigations. And so, you

know, the dilemmas were genuine and they were structural. And yet, even knowing that John Roberts had some very difficult choice, this

investigation still turned out, I think, much worse than most people thought it would. And that's because the justices were not interviewed in a

rigorous way.

SREENIVASAN: Explain that. What does that mean?

KANTOR: So, what my reporting was really about, the question I was really pursuing is that, you know, I started to hear weeks ago from sources who

said some things that almost didn't make sense. What they were saying is that employees, clerks, you know, Supreme Court staff, these people were

being grilled hard, you know. Truly investigated. Forced to sign affidavits, you know.

Some of them had to hand over their cell phones. They were told that misstatements could result in criminal liability. That their jobs were at

stake. They were pressed about, you know, very -- like, for example -- you know, the report says, some of them admitted that -- you know, they told

their partners, for instance, about this. So, they were pressed on all these fine points. And then, what sources were saying, initially, is like,

we don't think the justices were questioned and people inside the building were alarmed by that.

They felt it was unfair. You know, a basic principle of the law is that everybody is equal under it. And in fact, it says that on the Supreme Court

building. And so, I think people inside the building were asking a legal question of on a fairness basis, how could you not question the justices?

But they were also asking a logical question which is, how can this be a real investigation if the central nine figures who, by the way had more

access to the draft than anybody else are not questioned?


SREENIVASAN: So, did the Supreme Court justices ever have to give interviews, interrogations, however you want to put it under oath, so to

speak? Is it written in transcripts somewhere that under threat of perjury that here is what I declare about that I had nothing to do with leak?

KANTOR: No, the Supreme Court has basically admitted that it didn't happen. So, they released this report with a fair amount of detail about

the investigation. But they left out the glaring question of whether the justices had been interviewed. And they got so many questions that they had

to release a kind of follow-up statement that was very vague and said that the marshal had had iterative conversations with the justices. And that she

felt satisfied that they did not need to sign the affidavits.

So, that was very confusing. What's an iterative conversation? What were they asked, especially in contrast with the kind of stark detail about what

everybody else asked?


KANTOR: And, you know, it basically it amounted to an admission that the marshal had spoken to the justices, but not in the rigorous structured way

that other people had been spoken to.

SREENIVASAN: It almost lands credence to the idea that you should have somebody from the outside come in because it's almost like --


SREENIVASAN: -- you're giving the Supreme Court justices some difference. I mean, you know, obviously, this is Supreme Court Justice. You are good

for it. What I'm asking you this question. Versus your clerks, the janitor, everybody else, who I'm going to almost put under oath and say, hey, you're

never going to work in this town again if you lie to me.

KANTOR: Placed to the bigger theme of a lot of controversy about the Supreme Court now, which is the same question keeps coming up, which is,

could it be that the people on the highest court in the land are actually held to lower standards than everybody else? For instance, Supreme Court

justices are not bound by the same ethics rules as their federal judges. Why is that? Why do we subject people who have more power to less scrutiny?

SREENIVASAN: That's been coming up because, in part of Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and her support of some

of the activities that were happening during the January 6th Insurrection. Supreme Court Thomas hasn't recused himself from anything.

KANTOR: Correct. And it also came out because of a story that Jo Becker and I published about the "2014 Hobby Lobby" decision which allegedly was

shared before it was shared with the public. And there's a man named Reverend Rob Schenck, he used to be a leader of the anti-abortion movement.

He since changed his views. But he essentially told us the story, not only of how he says, he got that information early, but a kind of influence

campaign. The story he has to tell he can prove. We found a lot of documentation.

So, essentially, he placed wealthy conservative donors with Supreme Court justices to kind of stiffened their spines on abortion rulings. So, you

know, the question is, if something like that happens, how do you prevent it, you know? Is there any accountability? Are -- what are we -- one of

them is fascinating parts of that reporting is delving into, well, what are the rules of the Supreme Court and how much of this is actually against the


SREENIVASAN: What are the rules they are bound by? And compare that to public officials where we expect X or Y behavior.

KANTOR: OK. So, when I started writing about the court last year, one of the things I was most surprised by, and I don't think that, you know, most

Americans and even maybe most Americans who watched the show know this. Supreme Court justices are actually not bound by the same ethics rules that

other federal judges are required to obey.

The justices consult these rules, but they are not hard in facts to the way they are for lower court judges. And that's really surprising because you

say to yourself, like, how is it that, you know, the people at the very top of the heap don't have to abide by the most stringent ethics rules there


And, you know, I will give you some comparisons to other branches of government just to give you a sense of the difference between, sort of,

what the Supreme Court does and how other places do it. The White House as visitor logs. So, we have the ability to know who is visiting the

president. They are not perfect. But, you know, they serve a real purpose. Congress has lobbying rules and disclosure rules. Has that solved the

problem of lobbying being, you know --


KANTOR: -- too great a force in American public life? No. But there's a fair amount of disclosure and there's a fair amount that's visible.


The Supreme Court is much more -- it is much obscured. Now, they would say that because they hold the oral arguments in public, and because they

actually publish their decisions. There is a certain kind of visibility in that. But I think it's -- I think it's absolutely true that we know very

little about this institution and about the justices. They really do work from behind a curtain.

SREENIVASAN: Did you have a chance to speak to any of the Supreme Court justices or did they respond to you in any way about your reporting?

KANTOR: You know, we always go to the, sort of, the public information office at the Supreme Court and they did not engage on the story but, you

know, they released this public report.

SREENIVASAN: Why is this time different? If there have been leaks in the Supreme Court in the past -- I mean, look there are some reporters who

covered the courts who are so good at this, that you kind of feel like you must be talking to a justice because you almost telegraph --

KANTOR: Yes, that's a great point.

SREENIVASAN: Right? I mean -- so, let's just assume that there is communication of some sort that gets out of the Supreme Court. Was it just

the specific -- the nature of this case because it had to do with such a third rail issues like abortion? Was it something else that makes this so

impactful on us?

KANTOR: Well, I think the answer is in two parts. The first is, sure. I mean, this is -- this was the overturning of a right that people had. That

abortion has long been, perhaps, the most, you know, sensitive hot button issue in America. Public opinion has been divided for a long -- as long as

we've known, it right? And we've -- I don't think you or I have ever lived in an era in which, you know, Americans really agreed about abortion.

And so, part of it was the scale of the case. How intimate it is, you know, to people's bodies. It's literally who's going to be born, you know, or

not. But I think that now it's entering into a second stage, which is that, because the leak investigation had this giant problem, the story is

shifting. And in my interviews, people talked less about the right to abortion, a lot less, and much more about is the Supreme Court a fair


SREENIVASAN: So, what kinds of things will the Supreme Court do to try to prevent this from happening again?

KANTOR: Well, I mean, there is -- the most literal answer, is that there are plenty of new security measures in place. I mean, over the summer they,

you know, redid some of their security measures. The report released last week has yet more promises to do so.

But I think your question hints at a bigger one, which is what can the court really do to repair and write itself with? And how do you -- you

know, does it matter what the public thinks because there are purists (ph), you know, who believe, like, that the court should be so independent, that

it cares only about the law. And are there are steps that can take to regain the public trust? Is it equipped to do? And you know, we'll have to


SREENIVASAN: Jodi Kantor of "The New York Times", thanks so much for joining us.

KANTOR: Thank you.


SIDNER: And finally, he was a trailblazer who revolutionized music, Barrett Strong, one of the pivotal figures behind the legendary Motown

records has died at the age of 81. No cause of death has yet been provided. He was a phenomenal singer and songwriter who gave the label its very first

major hit in 1959 with "Money, That's What I Want". Let's take a listen.


Barrett Strong, singer and songwriter: The best things in life are free. But you can give them to the birds and bees. I need money, that's what I

want. That's what I want, that's what I want. That's what I want, that's what I want. That's what I want, that's what I want.


SIDNER: I'm going to be singing it all day. Founder Berry Gordy said that Strong's music was revolutionary and sound and captured the spirit of the

times. And his prolific career earned him a spot in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004. Crowning his extraordinary journey as one of the best

lyricists in the business.

And that is it for us for now. And we leave you with another one of Barrett Strong's hits, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine". Here is Marvin Gaye's

version. Thank you so much for watching, and goodbye from New York.


MARVIN GAYE, SINGER: People say believe half of what you see.


Son and none of what you hear. But I can't help being confused. If it's true won't tell me here. Do you plan to let me go for the other guy you

loved before? Don't you know, I heard it through the grapevine.