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At This Hour

King Charles III Meets With Mourners Outside Buckingham Palace; DOJ Appeals Decision To Have "Special Master" Review Evidence. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired September 09, 2022 - 11:00   ET



TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: And he was extremely prescient about it. Now, I mean, it's not -- I don't think it's particularly at least here politically contentious to be concerned about that. But I put no doubt at all at this as the monarch, as the head of state now, he will abide by the Constitution in a very faithful way you'll follow in the Queen's footsteps. And he's a very, very committed and caring person. And so I mean, I personally have a lot of confidence going forward.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: Amazing. So Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1997 through 2007, thank you so much for joining us. Back to you, Poppy and Jim.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: So wonderful to hear from him today. Christiane, thank you very much for that. And thanks to all of you for being with us today. I'm Poppy Harlow.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: So much history to cover and witness. I'm Jim Sciutto. "AT THIS HOUR" with Kate Bolduan starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm Kate Bolduan. AT THIS HOUR, a nation and the world is waiting to hear from a new king as the world also is coming to terms with the loss of the U.K.'s longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth. This morning bells told it cathedrals across the United Kingdom in honor of the Queen whose reign spanned 14 U.S. presidents, seven Popes, and 15 British Prime Ministers.

Gun salutes were fired throughout the country today to mark her death, one round for every year of her life. And a moment that will definitely be remembered as King Charles arrived at Buckingham Palace for the first time since his mother's death. He stopped to meet and greet and really mourn with the swelling crowds outside the palace gates, even getting a kiss from one woman in the crowd who we spoke with on CNN just a short time ago.

In just two hours, King Charles will deliver his first address to the nation as King. CNN will bring that to you when it happens. The King has asked for a period of royal mourning to be observed from today. And until seven days after the Queen's funeral, a funeral date has not yet been confirmed. This historic moment is not only being felt in the U.K., but watched and marked around the world very clearly. We've seen since her passing yesterday. Let's begin this hour with CNN's Max Foster live at Buckingham Palace. Max, can you talk to me more about what more we're going to see today?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the King is now in Buckingham Palace. He's taking residents there for the very first time as King, which must be a really eerie situation. If you've imagined he knows that palace so well. He was born in that palace. But now it's his, it's his primary residence. He will -- he's inside. And I think what I understand from sources is that he will be meeting the Prime Minister Liz Truss inside the palace for his first official audience with his first prime minister.

Just for a moment, think about the fact that this country has lost a prime minister and the monarch in one week and had both replaced at a time when the economy is collapsing and there's a huge amount of uncertainty going into the winter. So I think this is a very unsettling time, which is why we're all looking ahead to the King's national address, which we'll get at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, where his duty as a monarch is not just to pay duty to the -- credit to the previous monarch, but also to unite the country around his own monarchy.

And it's interesting watching these images, and I think you'll be very heartened by those images to see how the public reacted to him. He would have been concerned that he wouldn't be as loved as his mother, I'm sure. But those crowds really did make him feel loved and they were calling out. God save the King. There'll be a church service tonight at St. Paul's Cathedral as well. I understand that for the country to have a moment to reflect the King won't be attending.

BOLDUAN: Yes, there's going to be so much. Let's go to St. Paul's Cathedral actually right now. And Max stick with me. CNN's Bianca Nobilo is live at St. Paul's cathedral where there that service of prayer and reflection will be held. Bianca, what can you tell us?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Two thousand members of the British public, Kate, have been able to reserve places inside St. Paul's Cathedral behind me for the service later today. They were all given wristbands. It was first come first serve. So as you can imagine there was a lot of demand because there's an outpouring here of grief and respect and people wanting to be there and to be able to have those moments of reflection and gratitude for the monarch that served them for seven decades.

St. Paul's Cathedral is one of the most recognizable landmarks in London. It's where Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as they were then got married. It's where the funerals of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher occur. So this is a real important part and part of British history. There's been a church on the site for every 1,400 years. And it's quite large which is one of the reasons it may have been selected for this event.


In terms of what we can expect, the beginning of the service will coincide with when we expect to hear for the first time from King Charles III. So that will be broadcast, I understand inside the cathedral so that people who were there for the service will be able to listen, then we will have readings, I understand we might be hearing also from the Prime Minister Liz Truss, she could partake in the service, and give a reading along with important religious figures. Because this, you know, we shouldn't forget that the sovereign of the United Kingdom is also the defender of the faith and the supreme governor of the Church of England.

So the religious element of the role is deeply profound. And we'll see that reflected in the service today throughout the Victorian hymns, prayers and readings, Kate.

BOLDUAN: And to be sure, it's going to be a beautiful service in that beautiful cathedral. Bianca, thank you so much for that. I want to go now to CNN's Matthew Chance. Matthew, you've been talking to people in London, what are you hearing from them?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hang on a minute. I'm just going to get run over by a truck as you come to me. Well, I mean, look, there is a prevailing sense of sadness about the passing of Queen Elizabeth. Of course, she was highly respected, an iconic figure in the country rule for, you know, 70 years.

And so everybody is coming out here to Buckingham Palace, and I'm just a short distance away from the palace now, in fact, building right at the end of this avenue, the mile, and there's thousands, upon thousands of people going there to witness history, going there to pay their respects and to mourn as well.

But, you know, from the soundings I've taken, there's -- and it's pretty unscientific, but there's a, you know, there's definitely a division in the sort of level of sadness that people are exhibiting, the older generation people here, they've known the Queen, you know, 70 years, some of them, you know, certainly all of that, they've grown up with her. And so obviously, she occupies a central part in their view of the country. And for her to die like this, so suddenly, is an enormous shock to them.

But to contrast you that, you speak to younger people, and they're still very respectful to the Queen, and lots of them come out here today, to lay flowers and to just show that respect, but it's not such an emotional experience. And I think that's, you know, a definite division and the sorts of people that we're seeing coming out here, and it's sort of, you know, changing the mood a little bit from one of, you know, utter sadness to one, which is a bit more limited than that.

I think it's also very interesting that one of the great legacies of Queen Elizabeth was that she made the monarchy so strong. And so the, the accession of Prince Charles to become King Charles III was automatic. It's not controversial at all that that has happened. But what's not automatic has been the transfer of, you know, respect for the Queen to him. And so I think that's why there was such trepidation on his part, in his face when he stepped out of the car earlier on, so the gates of Buckingham Palace when he arrived there to see how the crowds would greet him. And it must have been very encouraging for him to see that he got such a warm welcome.

BOLDUAN: Well said, Matthew, thank you so much for that. I think, yes, very well said. Thanks for that, Matthew, really appreciate it.

Let me bring back in CNN Max Foster, as we've been leaning on you so much, Max, with your expertise and knowledge and great sourcing with regard to the Royals, and really what we're going to be seeing. But if we can take a moment in the control room, if we can show that video, that extraordinary moment that you called a heartening moment, today, when the new king upon returning to London immediately leaves his car at Buckingham Palace, and then goes to meet the crowds that were all gathered around taking, I was surprised how long that he spent shaking hands and meeting with people, people were visibly emotional to be with him to shake his hand. What did you think of that?

FOSTER: Well, you can prepare for these moments as much as you like, it's very hard to follow in. You know, arguably, the greatest monarch in British history's footsteps. Particularly when it's your mother, and, you know, you see that the public perception of her is so, you know, revered. I mean, there's a devout devotion to Elizabeth, frankly, in this country. So you get ready for it.

You try to do things your own way, you try to define your own monarchy, particularly when you have your own very strong views like Prince Charles. And you just don't know how the public is going to respond to you when you become King. And so this was the first opportunity for him to meet his subjects. And there was huge adoration for him.

People were singing God save the King. I mean, it was a really, really positive response. And they're not just royal fans down there. They're just a lot of inquisitive people who know there's something going on in London and headed down there and they were largely Queen fans, if I'm honest, because they were largely affected by what -- the Queen's death, and they wanted to go down there and express their feelings for it. But I think the Queen was, of course, handing over very willingly the crown Charles.

And I think a lot of people who adore the Queen will put their souls behind Charles as well, because she would have wanted that. And I think for her to have seen the scene would have been very touching indeed.


BOLDUAN: Max, how firmly set are the events of the coming days? I mean, how much can things shift and move, bend and change? What are you hearing?

FOSTER: Well, there's a plan that's set, and a huge amount of people have worked on it for many decades. And it gets tweaked every month, effectively, as things change slightly. And the Queen signed off on it, as did Prince Charles at the time. So it is effectively set in stone. But what you can't predict is certain logistical challenges which come along, you know, even the weather might affect things and the time that she died meant that a lot of things happening today would have happened tomorrow in the plan. So things are shifting in that sense.

Also, the reality is, nothing is signed off until it's signed off by the King. And we don't know what he might be changing as the plan develops. And he might make have to make judgments as the plan develops. So I've seen a broad plan of what to expect, but we're only really reporting on things that are confirmed by the palace as dead certs for happening. So there's a few things that, you know, we, you know, we can assume there will be a funeral at Westminster Abbey, and there'll be a procession to Windsor where the body will be laid to rest.

But around that, there's lots of digging around, let's say, and it involves a huge amount of people. So they want to be sure before they tell us, something's definitely going to happen.

BOLDUAN: One of the one of the important and big moments today will be when the new King addresses, does this national address. What are you expecting or what are people expecting? And what are the challenges? And what is he up against with this?

FOSTER: Well, you know, what will he be like as King? Will we attach ourselves to him in the same way, as we did the previous monarch? These are the things that were going through his mind. So how do I present myself as the person that can now unify the nation in the same way as the previous monarch did, or at least show that potential, because his job is to unify and to express continuity and to rise above politics, and he has arguably got involved in some sensitive issues in the past, he needs to make it clear that those times behind me now is a political independent, and doesn't support any political party.

But the same time, he has to express on behalf of the nation how the nation feels about the death of his mother. I think he can do that by simply talking about what it is must feel like to lose your mother only yesterday, because the nation looks to her like a mother as well. But that's a very big challenge for him to have that position, to express the nation's feelings right now and it's frankly very confusing.

BOLDUAN: Yes, absolutely. It's so good to see you, Max. Thank you for being there.


Coming up still for us, we're going to have much more of our coverage of the Queen's passing and what the new King will say to his country. Also still ahead for us AT THIS HOUR, we are looking at a deadline today in the court battle over the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago. Why the Justice Department says that it's now appealing the special master.


BOLDUAN: We're going to be showing you right here is going to be a live look outside Buckingham Palace where crowds have gathered since yesterday really to pay respects and mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth dying yesterday at the age of 96. Buckingham Palace is also where her son and successor King Charles just returned to. In less than two hours, we'll be hearing from King Charles in his first public speech since the passing of his mother. We're going to bring that to you when it comes in.

And we will also have much more on the passing of the Queen and all of the events taking place to prepare for her funeral. But let's turn now to some other big news of the day. Today is deadline day for the justice -- for Justice Department lawyers and former President Trump's legal team to submit a joint list if you will of potential candidates that could be named a special master, the person that would review the documents found during the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, but this is also now happening after the DOJ has made clear that it is appealing and plans to fight the appointment of that very same special master. There are a lot of moving parts with us.

Joining me right now to work through it is CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig. So Elie, first and foremost, can you remind everyone what this special master will do? And what we could learn about it?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Kate, so a special master is essentially just a legal filter. Here's how this is going to work. So the special master will take all the documents seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago, about 11,000 documents in all, will filter out any documents that may be attorney-client privilege, or executive privilege and then pass on the rest of the documents to the Justice Department.

Now, DOJ did not want a special master. They said to the judge, it'll interfere with our investigation. We don't need a special master. The judge, however, disagreed. Judge Cannon she wrote the other day, the country is served best by an orderly process that promotes the interest and perception of fairness. The judge also said I'll tell you what DOJ you cannot use these documents while the special master is doing his or her work. However, the intelligence community it's OK, you can use the documents to do your intelligence assessment to make sure that we're protecting our assets out there in the field.


Now the judge also told the parties, Donald Trump's lawyers and DOJ, by Friday by today, I need you to confer to get together and try to work it out a list of special master candidates who might be able to fill this job, what exactly the duties and limitations will be on the special master. And what's the schedule. DOJ is going to want to get this done quickly.

BOLDUAN: What do you make then, Elie, of DOJ appealing now?

HONIG: Yes, Kate. So DOJ filed a notice of appeal yesterday saying we intend to bring this up the line. Right now we are here. We are at the district court level. That's the trial court. If they appeal, they will be going up to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Now, of course, that will take time. That can take months. Also, if DOJ does follow through and actually file this appeal, they're going to be swimming upstream because if you look at the 11th circuit is one of the most conservative circuits in the country. Seven of the current 11 active judges are Republican nominated, four of them are Democratic nominated seven -- six of the seven are actually Trump nominees.

If we include the senior judges who have reduced caseload, five more Republicans, four more Democrats, so they could be in difficult territory here, Kate.

BOLDUAN: But Elie, DOJ also asked the judge for a partial stay. What does that mean?

HONIG: So a stay is essentially a pause. So what DOJ has said to the judges, while this is all working out, while we may be pursuing an appeal judge, we want you to pause a certain narrow portion of your ruling. DOJ's request for a stay relates to only about 100 classified documents, out of the 11,000 documents total. DOJ is arguing there's no privilege claim over classified documents, and judge you cannot halt our investigation that would do great damage. So DOJ says we are going to appeal and in the meantime, please pause these aspects of the case.

BOLDUAN: So with this deadline, and with all of it, how could today then play out?

HONIG: Well, Kate, we have a deadline of tonight at midnight. So it could be that the party say, we just can't agree on anything judge. We need you to solve this. Or it could be, Kate, that the parties do reach an agreement, there seems to be a potential middle ground here with the party say, OK, the classified documents, those are something that DOJ can use, but the rest of them the other 10,900 of them, they'll go to the special master. So it'll be interesting to see whether the parties are able to come to some agreement, Kate, that filing is due by midnight tonight, given the way things have gone so far. I expect that finally to drop at, oh, 11:57 p.m.

BOLDUAN: I mean, why not use the time that you have? That will be interesting to see. Well, we'll wait and see together, it's good to see, Elie. Thank you for laying that out. I really appreciate it. I want to go now -- I want to bring it now, CNN's Chris Wallace, host of Who's Talking to Chris Wallace for more on this. I'm interested in your take, Chris, because it seems clear as Elie is laying out and as we're learning, as we're watching these filings come in, this is now going to be something of a big legal fight. And maybe no one should be surprised by that, of course. How does this fit into the broader and now bipartisan ask for more information about this investigation?

CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it certainly puts it on hold. I think what the Justice Department did, Kate, was very interesting. Some people were saying, just appeal the whole decision by Judge Cannon to the 11th circuit. As Elie just pointed out, one, that means there's likely going to be a long delay. Two, you've got a majority of Republican appointed judges.

So you might get a ruling by a court of appeals as opposed to a district judge that you don't want to live with. And so what they're specifically saying to Judge Canon is suspend this one part of the ruling, the 100 classified documents, and they're saying it for two reasons. You're saying one, we can conduct our investigation of what's happened to those documents, because as you we know that there are a number of folders that said classified and there was nothing inside the folders.

So if they can't use the documents, they can't find out which ones are missing and what those ones that are missing are about. And secondly, the Justice Department said we can't do. You said you want an investigation by the intelligence community about the damage from these documents being held, the classified documents being held at Mar-a-Lago, we can't do that if we don't have access to the documents.

So they're saying stay that one part of it. And then we can decide what we're going to do with the 11th circuit in a delayed fashion. But that's the more immediate question, what are they going to do and what is the judge going to do because in effect, they're asking the judge to do a do over and say, you know what I said before, nevermind, we're going to change it.

BOLDUAN: That's a good point of what kind of the position it puts the judge in with this. The slower this moves, though, Chris, the longer this goes, the further into the election cycle this gets, who does this hurt? And who does help? Can it be both?

WALLACE: Yes, but I think I would certainly say that in terms of the midterms, and we're now less than 60 days away. And according to the Justice Department, not for firm rules but guidelines you don't take legislature -- you don't take judicial action in the final 60 days before an election. I think to the degree that Donald Trump is on the front pages of the papers I think that benefits the Democrats.


Remember, Republicans want to make the midterm elections, a referendum on Joe Biden and the Democratic policies and the Democratic problems like inflation and crime, and people coming across the border, to the degree that they are focused, and we and the media are focused on Donald Trump and what went on with these classified documents, and supposedly some that have nuclear secrets.

That makes it more of a choice. Do you want to go to the Republicans and Trump or do you want to go to Biden, and as Biden always said, I'd rather have it be a choice out of alternative, not the Almighty. He wants a choice election, not a referendum election.

BOLDUAN: On the midterms, this week, we saw very clearly Joe Biden trying to pull off something of a delicate dance or a balancing act. However you want to describe it right? Walking a line, condemning the insurrection, as Sanders supporters, while trying to make clear that he is not meaning all Republicans, something, there was something that Van Jones, I was having a discussion with Van Jones about this earlier, something that he said is kind of stuck with me and I wanted to ask you about it. Let me play it.


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The challenge is how you do it. And are you calling people out? Are you calling people in? Are you painting with too broad a brush where you actually wind up strengthening the thing that you're fighting? Or are you being more surgical? I think he could be accused of not being surgical enough in the initial statements. Who are you talking about in particular? Because you're talking about 60 million people, I know, he's not.


BOLDUAN: Do you think that balance is possible these days?

WALLACE: Well, yes, I mean, in a politically effective sense, I do think it is. Remember what some Republicans are saying that his condemning MAGA Republicans, Joe Biden is similar to Hillary Clinton in January -- I mean in 2016, talking about the basket of deplorables. And after the fact, a lot of people thought that that turned off persuadable Republicans.

He's specifically saying, look, I'm talking about people who oppose the peaceful transfer of power, who support January 6th, you know, there are an awful lot of Republicans who would still identify as MAGA Republicans, whether they're specifically going to identify with all of the things in terms of election denial, is more questionable.

And remember, you don't need all of the let's say, 25 or 30 percent of Republicans who don't support Donald Trump. You only need maybe 10 percent. In addition to which by making this a choice election, what we're trying to do versus the election denialism of Trump and his hardcore supporters, it may mobilize Democrats or Independents and say, you know, if it's a choice election, we'd rather be on Biden side than Trump's side.

BOLDUAN: That's a great point. It's great to see you, Chris. Thank you.

WALLACE: You bet. Thank you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Have a great weekend.

Coming up for us, we're going to take you back to London. The new King, Charles III arriving at Buckingham Palace, and expected to meet today with the country's new prime minister, a live report on that next.