Return to Transcripts main page

At This Hour

Flynn Sues to Stop January 6 Committee from Obtaining His Phone Records; Obamacare on Pace for Record Enrollment in 2022; New Move Captures the Legacy of Fallen U.S. Soldier. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired December 22, 2021 - 11:30   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN AT THIS HOUR: At this hour, an important legal development for the January 6th committee. Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's former national security adviser, he is suing the committee. He wants to stop them from obtaining his phone records. Flynn was supposed to testify before the committee on Monday.

CNN's Paula Reid has much more on this. She's joining me right now. Paula, more than half a dozen court challenges have now been filed against the committee. Tell us more about this.

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: That's right, Kate. I mean, the investigation has really turned into lawyer-full employment act. Four attorneys willing to represent former President Trump and his associates related to January 6th.

Now, in this lawsuit Flynn is trying to block the committee from obtaining its phone records but it's not clear that the committee has actually requested his phone records or records from anyone in his family. In this lawsuit, he argues that trying to obtain his phone records violates his constitutional rights.

It's also revealed in this lawsuit that for a time he was engaging with the committee, he was preparing documents, but then he decided he wanted to invoke his Fifth Amendment right. Look, you have a right to assert your Fifth Amendment if you have concerns that there could be some sort of any criminal consequence for your answers. But here, the committee has been insisting that anyone who wants to do that has to come in, hear the questions and invoke the Fifth Amendment to each individual question.

Now, Flynn did not show up for his deposition, instead taking his case to court. But the lawsuit is one that is very similar to one that was filed by another Trump ally, right wing media personality and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. He too has sued the committee trying to block access to his phone records and also saying that he too would like to plead the Fifth.

And, look, it appears to be a trend. We're also seeing a new lawsuit by four people related to the organizing of the pro-Trump rally on The Ellipse that preceded the deadly Capitol insurrection. What's different though with their lawsuit as compared to Flynn and Jones is that they say that they have answered extensive questions from the committee about what they saw and experienced that day and their lawsuit is just focused on preventing the committee from obtaining their phone records.

BOLDUAN: Paula, thank you.

So, let's turn to this now, day three of jury deliberations is underway in the trial of former Minnesota Police Officer Kim Potter. She's charged in the shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright. And she claims that she mistook her gun for her taser when she shot him during a traffic stop.

CNN's Adrienne Broaddus is at the courthouse in Minnesota for us once again, joins me now. Adrienne, the jury has had some interesting questions for the judge. How are things going today?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, good morning. Members of the jury started deliberating early. And, yes, they have had some interesting questions. So far, three questions have been submitted to the court on the record. The most telling one of two questions we heard yesterday, members of the jury wanted to know if the jury can't read a consensus, what is the guidance surrounding the steps they should take and how long they should deliberate. Judge Chu responded by rereading an instruction she gave those jurors on Monday saying in part, deliberate with a view in mind toward reaching an agreement if it doesn't violate your individual judgment.

Also, members of the jury wanted to know about Exhibit 199. What's that you ask? It is the gun potter used the day she shot and killed Daunte Wright. They wanted to know if the zip ties that are securing that weapon could be removed.


The answer was yes. You might remember, if you listened closely during closing arguments on Monday, the prosecutor said, jurors would have the opportunity to hold and feel that gun as well as the taser. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Adrienne, thank you for that update.

Coming up for us, Enrollment through Obamacare is booming. A breakdown for you on the record-high new numbers just coming in. That's next.



BOLDUAN: New today, a record number of Americans signing up for health insurance made possible through the Affordable Care Act, 13.6 million Americans, to be exact, have already signed up for 2022 coverage. And the deadline for enrollment is still weeks away.

CNN's Gabe Cohen has the very latest for us. He is joining me now. What are you learning about this, Gabe?

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, we got an exclusive look at the ACA Enrollment numbers this morning and they show a record number of people have signed up for coverage for next year. And experts tell me it really reflects the massive investment the federal government has made to drive down health care costs and to expand eligibility.


SARAH MORLEY, ENROLLED IN ACA HEALTH PLAN: I'm just waiting for January 1st.

COHEN (voice over): Sarah Morley spent two years without insurance but she just enrolled in an Affordable Care Act health plan after getting an $8,000 hospital bill that she's paying out of pocket.

MORLEY: It became a necessity.

COHEN: What did you think of the prices?

MORLEY: I was relieved and kind of shocked, actually.

COHEN: New numbers released Wednesday show ACA enrollment has hit a historic high for 2022 with 13.6 million Americans already already signed up for coverage and the deadline is not until January 15th. Since President Biden took office, 4.6 million people have gained health insurance.

Why do you think we're seeing record Enrollment?

MATTHEW FIEDLER, FELLOW, USC-BROOKINGS SCHAEFFER INITIATIVE FOR HEALTH POLICY: So, a major factor is likely the expanded subsidies in the coronavirus relief package that Democrats passed earlier this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The motion is adopted.

COHEN: The American rescue plan pumped billions of dollars of subsidies into the ACA marketplace, lowering premiums for 90 percent of consumers and expanding access to an additional 3.6 million uninsured people, many of them middle class. More than 2.8 million Americans signed up during a special Enrollment period earlier this year.

FIEDLER: It's quite plausible that the subsidies could explain most or of all what we're seeing.

COHEN: The Biden administration also extended the current Enrollment period and reinstated millions of dollars in funding that President Trump slashed for advertisements --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New law, lower prices, more people qualify.

COHEN: -- as well as navigators.


COHEN: Jodi Ray's team connects uninsured people with coverage in Florida. RAY: Probably one of the most contributing factors has got to be that we're in a pandemic.

COHEN: A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows public support for Obamacare is at an all-time high. 58 percent have a favorable opinion, compared to 43 percent when President Trump was elected.

CYNTHIA COX, VICE PRESIDENT, KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION: The long-term trend shows that the ACA has gained popularity over time.

COHEN: Today, some Republican state leaders are still throwing up roadblocks, like restricting the work of navigators even though several red states have high Enrollment numbers. Florida leads the nation in ACA Enrollment, but Jodi Ray says state and local health departments are actively keeping navigators out of buildings where people access government services.

RAY: Well, that's a lot of uninsured people that we could potentially provide assistance to that we cannot.

COHEN: I reached out to Florida State Health Department several times but didn't hear back. Roughly 27 million Americans are still uninsured and 64 percent of them are eligible for coverage assistance.

The Build Back Better bill would extend those subsidies and expansions from the American rescue plan through 2025. But if the bill doesn't pass, those benefits could expire by the end of next year.

COX: Late in 2022, people are going to find out that their premium payments are going to double. And those announcements are going to go out right before the midterm elections.


COHEN (on camera): In a statement this morning, President Biden touted the Enrollment numbers and he called Build Back Better the most consequential expansion of affordable health care since the Affordable Care Act.

I also want to note the website, it was dealing with some problems this morning related to what the Biden administration called an Amazon web services issue, and folks were unable to sign up for coverage. But the administration tells me this hour that it is back up and running. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Gabe, thanks for the reporting. I appreciate it.

Coming up for us, how one fallen U.S. soldier made sure he would leave a lasting impact on his young son. The new movie that tells their incredible story, next.


[11:45:00] BOLDUAN: In October 2006, Army First Sergeant Charles Monroe King was killed in an IED attack while serving in Iraq. He served his country. He loved his family. He left behind his fiancee, Dana Canedy and their six-month-old son Jordan. But Sergeant King also left behind a journal, 200 pages of lessons written to his newborn son on life, character and courage.

Dana, a New York Times reporter at the time, turned his journal for Jordan into a best-selling book. And now a major motion picture directed by Denzel Washington.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There we go, little head, spine and heartbeat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dana, thank you. I love you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys want to know the sex?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I knew it. It's a boy. What's up, little fellow. How are you doing? It's papa.


I knew it was a boy. I knew it.


BOLDUAN: Joining me now is Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, now the first black publisher of Simon and Schuster and the rock star, Dana Canedy. It's great to see you, Dana. Thank you for having me.

DANA CANEDY, AUTHOR, A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN: It's great to see you. Thank you for having me.

BOLDUAN: Of course. This is a story of love and resilience. This is a project that has been a labor of love of yours for years. What does it feel like for you and Jordan to have it about to release on the big screen all over?

CANEDY: We feel very blessed and grateful, both of us. I feel strongly that I am a vehicle to tell the story, but it's not about me, it's about, you know, so many military families who serve and sacrifice year after year. It's about this honor roll man Charles who I had the pleasure of having be the love of my life and about our son. And so I'm just blessed to be able to do this, and Jordan is very proud. BOLDUAN: I can imagine so. So, you said it's not just your story. This is Jordan's story as well. What were those conversations like, Dana, with Denzel Washington, when talking about making this into a movie?

CANEDY: Well, I've known Denzel for about 13 years now. We've been friends for a long time. And at the start, I said to him, the only thing I really want from you is that you do this movie with keeping in mind that there is a real Jordan behind a journal for Jordan.

And so he met my son. He invited us to the set of one of his movies and he carried Jordan around all day. Jordan was three. And I watched the two of them together. And, obviously, I know Denzel is the best at what he does, but he has such heart and character and he's a peripheral man. I knew we were in good hands.

BOLDUAN: What did you mean when you said that to Denzel, that, remember, there is a real Jordan behind this?

CANEDY: Well, it's interesting. A few years ago, he called me and he was going through the script and he was a little emotional about it. And I said, it's because we're no longer characters on a page to you. We're real people. And I think that keeping that in mind is what makes the performances that viewers will see so personal and so deep, because Michael B. Jordan, who plays my Charles, and Chante Adams, who portrays me, they did their homework. They took seriously that we were real people.

And so the first day we went to set, I brought Charles' dog tags and the actual journal and his Purple Heart and the outfit that Jordan wore to his father's funeral. Jordan was only six months old at the time. And Michael B. wore the dog tags that day and was very emotional about it, and you see they poured everything into these performances.

BOLDUAN: Amazing. This is the real journal that Charles wrote in while he was deployed and you gave it to him before he left. Talk about why did you. What was it?

CANEDY: Well, I was five and a half months pregnant, and I thought, you know, if something happens to him over there, I would at least like our son -- we knew we were having a boy -- to see the words, I love you, on a page and the word, daddy. And so I thought he would write a page or two, and he became obsessed with this journal. He wrote 200 pages. He told him about the power of prayer. He told him why he loved me, why he wanted a son. He told him life lessons on the war zone, how to treat a woman on a date, bible verses he included in there. He made an exercise program for him.

And on the last page, he wrote a letter that essentially said, this is everything I could think of to teach you to be a man if I don't make it home. He had 30 days left when he was killed.

BOLDUAN: It's just remarkable. It really is. You've told me some of these details before. I've seen the film and I still get emotional whenever I think about it.

Even today, are there parts of the film that you have a hard time with that you can't watch?

CANEDY: Yes. Without giving away too much, I mean, the scenes of his death. I have to leave the theater for that. I saw it once and then I had nightmares for a week. I can't watch that again. I do want people to know, though, I have to say, Kate, there are parts that are laugh out loud funny. I mean, there are --

BOLDUAN: 100 percent.

CANEDY: And there are parts I hope that are uplifting to people. I think it's a good reminder about patriotism in this country and that we're all in the United States, where we are united and we need to be together, but I also think that there are lessons about resilience after tragedy. I think about the reminder of love and the importance of love in your life. And so take the people you love to see it and then come out of the theater and hug them a little tighter.

BOLDUAN: 100 percent. What does Jordan think about -- I don't know. Does he think about this as a bit of a fuss? I mean, what does he think?

CANEDY: He's an old soul like his father was, and I think you'll be interested to know this. Up until a few weeks ago, he hadn't told a single one of his friends or anyone in his school, including his teachers about the movie, that he even knew Michael B. Jordan or that he called Called Denzel Washington Uncle D.


No one knew. And I asked him about that and he said, mom, I don't want to feel as though I'm bragging. And he said, and I also wanted to figure out who my friends were first.

In addition to that, the first day we went to set, I said, Jordan, I'll let the school know that you won't be there today. And he said, no, mom, I don't want to miss algebra. And so he would only come on his lunch hour.

So, he's very proud but he has it in perspective. He knows that we're not Hollywood by any sense of the imagination, but that this is a moment where we can share his father's legacy, we can hopefully inform people about the sacrifice that military soldiers and their families make every day. And so that's what we're focused on.

The only thing that makes him cringe is the love scenes. No 15-year- old wants to think about their parents' being romantic. And so he would say, mom, can you just tell me when that comes up can you tell me so I can close my eyes and ears?

BOLDUAN: Well, I'm just saying, when it involves Michael B. Jordan, I think a lot of women in America are very fine that you kept those scenes in though.

But all kidding aside, Dana, this is a message. You're bigger than Hollywood and this is the message that everyone needs this holiday season, the message of those who have sacrificed and who continue to serve as we continue to celebrate these holidays. Thank you so much.

CANEDAY: Thank you for having me, and God bless everybody and happy holidays.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. A Journal for Jordan is in screens nationwide, in movie theaters nationwide, Christmas Day. Thank you, Dana.

We'll be right back.