Return to Transcripts main page

At This Hour

Queen Elizabeth Makes Final Journey To London; Justice Department Subpoenas 30+ People In Trump Orbit In 1/6 Probe; Columbia University Drops From #2 To #18 In U.S. News Rankings After Admitting Mistake. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired September 13, 2022 - 11:30   ET



MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: To this idea that not only was she the grandmother and the mother of a family, but she lived her life as a public figure. And that's why it is appropriate and why she thought it was appropriate clearly, that the majority of the commemorations, the majority of the funeral organization should be a very public affair, not just for the British public, but for the public -- for the public, for people all over the world, who will be flocking to this region of London over the course of the next week to pay their respects to this much-loved monarch.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Absolutely. Well, Matthew, if you could stick with me. So we also know that King Charles III and the Queen consort, they have wrapped their first visit to Northern Ireland as monarchs. He -- they're on their way now back to London. Greeting the public -- the king greeting the public along with his wife before heading back to London. CNN's Nic Robertson is live in Belfast, with more on this portion of this very, very important part of this tour of nations. I mean, this was one of the most diplomatically delicate stops for the new king, what happened, Nick?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It really was difficult in many ways because this, of course, in Northern Ireland is divided by different views of should Northern Ireland be part of the United Kingdom. There are those that want a united Ireland and those who want to be part of the United Kingdom. And it's a very deep divide. And Prince Charles -- King Charles threaded his way very neatly through that today when talking about the work that his mother had done to build reconciliation and help peace here.

He talks about how she had wanted for the people of this land by saying this land he stepped raid delicately around the language that often differentiates people who those who want to United Ireland call this the north of Ireland. Those who want to remain part of the United Kingdom call it Northern Ireland. So even the words -- the nuances in the words make a difference here, and he threaded his way through that but it was very clear we were standing here outside St. Ann's cathedral.

As King Charles arrived, the window was down on his vehicle. He was waving at the crowds when he arrived. We could hear that he was coming because the cheers were coming up from the crowds. They were shouting God save the king. They were -- they were singing the national anthem. And as the service ended and King Charles and the queen consort came down the steps of the cathedral there, he doesn't hesitate. He crossed the road and came up to those people who'd been cheering him when he arrived.

We were standing just a few feet away from the king and his first words to the crowd were he thanked them for singing so wonderfully the national anthem, it would seem to be. And then he and the Queen Consort worked their way along the crowd shaking hands, taking the time to connect with people. And that's my takeaway today that he threaded the difficult thread of the political divides and aspirations here and try to connect with people. And it does seem and the first reflection here, that today has been a huge success for him.

BOLDUAN: Yes, absolutely, Nic. Matthew Chance is still with us. Matthew, we know -- we've seen quite a bit -- we've seen this outpouring of support of mourners coming kind of lining the streets, especially when, during her journey through Scotland. And as she makes her way in returns to London from Scotland for her lying in state at Westminster Hall, just talk me through the next days. What is expected? What is known so far?

CHANCE: Right Well, I mean, this -- as we've -- as we've said, there's a very complicated, very well planned program of events, I suppose that are going to unfold and have already begun unfolding over the next couple of days. Shortly within a few hours, the queen -- the coffin will be flown to RAF Northolt, which is here in the southern part of England from Scotland. She'll be accompanied by Princess and her daughter. It will then -- at about seven o'clock here, local time, by 2:00 p.m. Eastern time over there in the United States, it will be brought the coffin to Buckingham Palace right here where it will be posted in the -- in the ballroom at the back of the palace.

Then tomorrow at about two o'clock just after I think 2:22 is the time they've given, local time here in the afternoon, it will make the slow procession towards Westminster Abbey where the casket of Queen Elizabeth II will lie in state for about five days -- until Monday morning until the -- until the morning of her funeral.

And in that time, hundreds of thousands of people possibly more are expected to turn out into the streets of central London to line up very patiently. They've been told that they're going to be after going through something like airport security, you know before they are allowed to go anywhere near the caskets and they may have to queue overnight -- to line up overnight in order to eventually get there.


But the expectation is hundreds of thousands of people from around the world and from around Britain are going to be -- are going to be doing that. So that's a big security operation. Then, of course, on Monday, the state funeral will take place. And that's going to be a huge event in which world leaders as well as dignitaries, of course, from Britain, and her family will be -- will be attending before she's finally buried in the ground side of the sand of Windsor Castle. And so that's how the next few days are going to unfold. I think it's very interesting what Nic was saying out there about King Charles and about, you know, his attempt to engage with the local populations. He's done it here in London, he did it in Scotland and he's doing it in Northern Ireland as well. These are very anxious moments for the new king because even though the succession was automatic and he automatically became king after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II died, what's not automatic is the transfer of the esteem and the authority that she held in people's hearts and minds to him.

So, he's having to work very hard to try and sort of convert this public outpouring of sympathy at the moment into some kind of longer- term support for him and for the institution of monarchy, in general. We -- you know, the monarchy is very strong in this country. But a big part of that was the popularity of the queen herself. And now she's gone, you know, it potentially, you know, raises all sorts of questions, not just here, but around the world as well.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And that work for the new king continues. Thank you so much, Matthew, and -- Matthew Chance, Nic Robertson, for your insights. It's really great to have you both there. As we've been watching just this morning, we'll continue to watch the queen making her final journey through Scotland heading back to London, where she will lie in state for four days ahead of the funeral on Monday. We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: The Justice Department issuing a flurry of new subpoenas in just recent days in its criminal investigation into the Capitol insurrection. Dozens of people in the former -- in former President Trump's orbit are now facing these requests for documents and even grand jury testimony. CNN's Katelyn Polantz is joining me now with more detail on this. Katelyn, what is this all about?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Kate, this is part of this broad inquiry into January 6 and then what happened after the election in November of 2020 around Donald Trump's political universe. And these new subpoenas our reporting team was able to confirm that there are more than 30 people in the upper echelons of the Trump world and Trump's White House that have received these subpoenas asking for their testimony before a grand jury for some of them, and many of them asking for a large swath of documents. So some of the people receiving these subpoenas I want to mention because they are top names.

Bill Stepien, the campaign manager of Trump's campaign, also from the White House side. People like Dan Scavino, the deputy White House Chief of Staff. There was also an organization Women for America first behind that rally on January 6 that is now confirmed to have received a subpoena. And then people that would have been working on the election fraud push in court and then publicly after the election people like Bernie Kerik working with Rudy Giuliani, who obviously took some of these claims into courtrooms on behalf of the former president or the president at that time. And the one thing and when you step back, and you look at what the Justice Department is doing here, they're looking into things like the fake electors, they're looking into this election fraud push, and also funding behind a lot of the Trump world efforts after the election. Really, this is going to give them a lot of documents that the Justice Department will be able to drill down on to continue their investigation, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Katelyn, thank you for that. Joining me now for more on this is former U.S. Attorney Michael Moore. It's good to see you, Michael. So these subpoenas for more than 30 people close to the former president in just recent days in this -- in this investigation, what do you see in this kind of like a slew of subpoenas?

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, I'm glad to be with you this morning. And I'm not surprised to see the subpoenas go out at the timing is a little bit questionable and that we are so close to an election and has already been claimed that this is a political move as opposed to a legitimate investigation. And it's unlikely the department to necessarily just leave the issue open or at least an argument I've been on whether or not it may be somewhat politically motivated. What I see really are people who are not lawyers who are getting subpoenas and being asked for information.

That's because the department has run into a little bit of a roadblock when they've had some lawyers testify and you stated in other jurisdictions where there'll be a claim of attorney-client privilege, you know that here in Georgia, we've had witnesses called for the grand jury and they've claimed attorney-client privilege and that freezes out the information. So what you're seeing are people who are close to Trump, who would have the information that may be important about what happened, who ordered who to do what, and they won't have that same obstacle to overcome.


This is a great tool at a prosecutor's toolbox and that is to subpoena people, to get them in there, and to then try to use the information they have to see if you can flip them to testify against another target. I don't know if that target is at the end of the day got to be Trump. I don't know if they can get that high but it may get to other people especially talk about who came up with a scheme to put the fake electors in place, what communications where they are, their messages, their other documents that would prove or sort of lay out the timing of that -- of that plan. So it seems to be what they're doing that they're really activating a pressure point when they're reaching out to these other folks.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And, Michael, there has also been movement on kind of the fight over the classified documents that were found at Mar-a-Lago, the Justice Department now saying that it's OK with one of the special master candidates that the Trump legal team put forward, retired judge Raymond Dearie. He's a Reagan nominee, served as a federal judge in New York since the 80s, and retired in 2011. If they've come to an agreement on a special master, does that now mean this process just moves forward with lightning speed? I mean, is this a done deal? MOORE: It's not a done deal yet. I think it was a smart move and I almost like they were a little bit backed into a corner needing to agree on the judge. He's had FISA court experience that you really can't claim that he should not be authorized to look at these classified documents and things. So he's a -- he's a logical choice in at least some common ground that we've seen. Now we're going to have a debate over what the duties should be, should it be a review for executive privilege or just attorney-client privilege? How far should that go?

So, for the scope of the special master's duties will be at play here. I think it takes some pressure off of the judge in the sense that, you know, this is -- we've got somebody she can say, OK, this has got to be the special master that will look at this and the parties have agreed now, I'll just narrow it down and maybe clean up my prior order as it related to the injunction and things it's been an issue, it's sort of a burr under the saddle for the department.

The real issue, I think, for the department has been the claim for the special master almost was completely legitimized. Once there was this leak, this media leak about what the documents contain, and as soon as we start to hear like, well, there's nuclear secrets, there's this, somebody's talking about that. And it's either coming from somebody in the FBI or somebody in the government that has access and has looked at the documents.

But that's why a special master is important because it's almost another veil of protection around a leak of information. And so I think it gives the judge a chance to clean up the order. I think it's a smart move to have some agreement, but at the same time that the battle may be beginning as to the duties that the special master, if in fact, the judge has been chosen by the court. You know, it will be a debate over what documents should he consider, what documents should he not consider it sort of a time, and when that information is made available so that the national security assessment can continue forward.

BOLDUAN: Michael, thank you so much. It's good to see you.

MOORE: Good to see you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us. An Ivy League university admits that it used inaccurate data to get to the top of college rankings. Up next, a college president, on why her school won't even take part in those college rankings anymore. That's next.



BOLDUAN: Columbia University, one of the nation's top-ranked colleges, admitting that it gave inaccurate data to U.S. News & World Report for its annual college rankings. A Columbia math professor actually noticed that the school had jumped 16 spots from 18th in 1988 to second in 2020 and 2021. And he decided to run the numbers, finding big discrepancies between his data and what the school had submitted. So Columbia University officials, they now admit that they submitted inaccurate numbers, say they regret what happened. And so in -- so -- or did not submit any data to this year's rankings.

Joining me now for more on this is Audrey Bilger. She is the president of Reed College, which withdrew from the U.S. News ranking system back in the mid-90s. It's good to have you here, President. Thank you so much for coming on.

AUDREY BILGER, PRESIDENT, REED COLLEGE: Kate, it's good to be here with you.

BOLDUAN: What's your reaction to the situation with Columbia, like admitting now that it was reporting inaccurate information to U.S. News now that -- now -- and now not taking part in these rankings for a very different reason than your school?

BILGER: Right. Well, I will just say my first reaction is a sort of eye roll. Here we go again, another rankings scandal, and this time Columbia is in the spotlight. But the real scandal is that we are still taking these rankings seriously as a measure of college value. Anyone can see the way that certain colleges bounce around. And honestly, the view of accuracy or inaccuracy is complicated when you look at the way that U.S. News does their algorithm.

BOLDUAN: How flawed do you think these rankings really are?

BILGER: Well, I think that they can be quite flawed, although I do understand why parents and families are trying to get clear information. But it's a kind of pseudo-science. For instance, one of the variables that the U.S. News uses is what college leaders say about other institutions. They rank other institutions whether they know those colleges or not. And that's highly problematic.

BOLDUAN: Reed College, your institution, has not taken part in the rankings since the mid-90s. The reason being is basically what you're laying out. That's the school then and now thinks that the methodology used in these guidebooks is just fundamentally flawed. Since pulling away from these very popular rankings, what has been the impact for your school? I mean, did it have an impact on admissions at all?

BILGER: Well, I can tell you one of the impacts immediately the year after we withdrew, we moved down to the lowest tier. And I would say that Reed has been pretty consistently penalized in the rankings because we don't submit to their ideas about the data we should submit. But our admissions have been healthy. And what I'll say is that Reed knows who we are. And those who know us know who we are. We have small classes, we have a community of intellectual inquiry, and students who find their way here are very proud that we don't participate in these rankings.

BOLDUAN: President, if these rankings, I guess, for lack of a better term, aren't worth the paper that they're printed on, so to speak, what is your best advice for students to find the best college for them because they see real value in having an independent comparison and review of universities all across the country? Because how would Kate Bolduan from Indiana find a Reed College across the country in Oregon?

BILGER: Sure. Well, I mean, there are things that we feel proud to be included in. There's a reference called colleges that change lives and Reed is been part of that. I would say too, that these days, there's a lot more content available for students who are poking around online since the pandemic, we all have more video content. And people can hear from community members and from our faculty and get a real sense of what colleges are like now.


BOLDUAN: President Audrey Bilger, thank you so much for coming on. Appreciate your time.

BILGER: My pleasure. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Queen Elizabeth's coffin will soon be loaded onto a Royal Air Force plane to be transported to London. You're looking at live pictures still of her final journey through Scotland heading through Edinburgh as this procession continues. We're going to continue our coverage of the queen's final journey home just after this quick break.


JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everybody, and welcome to "INSIDE POLITICS," I'm John King in Washington. You're watching right there, we begin the hour with a key moment in the farewell to the queen, Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty now on her journey from Scotland to London. A short time ago, the Queen's coffin left St Giles cathedral where thousands of Scots paid their final respects over the past 24 hours. Any moment now, the Queen's coffin will be loaded onto a Royal Air Force plane and route London. Lines are already forming in London as Britons wait for a chance to say goodbye to the monarch whose reign spanned 70 years, 15 Prime Ministers dating back to Winston Churchill, 14 U.S. presidents from Harry Truman to Joe Biden.

CNN's Nic Robertson and Matthew Chance join me live now as we watch this remarkable journey. And, Matthew Chance, let me begin with you in London, already crowds waiting and waiting for the queen to arrive back in London, Buckingham Palace. And then the ceremony is, of course, capping with the state funeral on next Monday.

CHANCE: Yes, that's right, John.