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The Lead with Jake Tapper
FBI Searches Trump's Mar-a-Lago Home In Classified Doc Probe; Source: Mastriano "Didn't Answer A Single Question" From January 6 Committee; Police: Suspect Detained In Killings Of Four Muslim Men; Several States Consider Laws Forcing Homeless Out Of Tents. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired August 09, 2022 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Baby Cora, her mother tweeted, okay, but how does our daughter look like Woody Harrelson? And she does, though. I think it -- the nose, it's -- all right. She was delighted when the actor responded with his self-titled ode to Cora seen in the upper right-hand corner.
He said, you're an adorable child. Flattered to be compared. You have a wonderful smile. I just wish I had your hair.
THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Even Mike Pence is coming to Donald Trump's defense on this one.
THE LEAD starts right now.
Republicans rally around Trump, questioning the DOJ stunner, executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. Why now? What documents are so important?
I'll speak with a top Republican demanding an investigation.
Plus, new questioning by the January 6th committee shut down. The appearance by a Trump ally today that ended in just 15 minutes.
Also ahead for you, tent city, sleeping on the streets, where leaders are making homelessness a crime. But are their tactics only complicating the problem?
BROWN: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Pamela Brown in for Jake Tapper.
And we start in our politics lead, and strong reaction to the Justice Department's historic move. A search warrant executed on the home of a former president, taking boxes of items from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, a source tells CNN. The warrant escalates the Justice Department's investigation into his handling of presidential documents, including some classified material. With many Republicans today questioning why the FBI executed this warrant now.
At the time, Trump himself was in New York, where a single photo outside Trump Tower today captures the mixed reaction. Look at this. One group with a large sign that reads, "Arrest Trump", while another group carried a flag reading "Trump 2024, save America". On paper, Trump blasted the search saying in a statement, agents even broke into my safe.
Then he came in more guarded when he called into a campaign rally last night for Sarah Palin. Listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: That's right, another day in paradise. This was a strange day. You probably all read about it, but very important.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BROWN: And we start with CNN's Jessica Schneider with a closer look at how the FBI got to this point and the outrage coming from many Republicans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's another unjust, made up thing.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Signs of support for Trump along with Trump detractors as more details emerge of the FBI's extraordinary step Monday to execute a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.
TRUMP: That's right, another day in paradise. This was a strange day.
SCHNEIDER: Trump reacted during a virtual rally for Sarah Palin after he issued a lengthy statement: These are dark times for our nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States before.
Trump was in New York at Trump Tower when the search began Monday morning. His son eric said he alerted Trump about what was unfolding in Florida.
ERIC TRUMP, SON OF FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP: The purpose of the raid, from what they said, was because the National Archives wanted to, you know, corroborate whether or not Donald Trump had any documents in his possession. And my father has worked so collaboratively with them for months. In fact, the lawyer that's been working on this was totally shocked. He goes, I had such an amazing relationship with these people, and all of a sudden, on no notice, they sent, you know, 20 cars and 30 agents? SCHNEIDER: The National Archives asked the Justice Department earlier
this year to investigate Trump's handling of White House records after the Archives recovered 15 boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago and discovered some of the presidential records had been torn up or contained classified information.
Sources tell CNN, Monday's search was focused on Trump's office and personal quarters at Mar-a-Lago and it included examining where records had been kept to make sure everything had been previously handed over to the Archives.
In early June, four federal investigators visited Mar-a-Lago. Sources say Trump's attorneys met with the investigators and took them to the basement room where boxes of material were stored, with the investigators later leaving.
However, a source says some of the documents had top secret marking markings, and Trump's attorneys later receive a letter asking them to further secure the room where the documents were stored.
ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I really don't believe that the department would have taken such a significant step as getting -- pursuing a search warrant for the president's residence about information that they already had back. There had to be a suspicion, a concern, and indeed specific information that led them to believe that there were additional materials that were not turned over.
SCHNEIDER: Monday's search has ignited Republican rage.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Merrick Garland, Chris Wray, come to the House Judiciary Committee this Friday and answer our questions about this action today, which has never happened in American history.
What was on the warrant? What were you really doing? What were you looking for? Why not talk to President Trump and have him give the information you're after?
SCHNEIDER (on camera): Our team has learned that Trump was aware of federal investigators probing these potentially classified documents he took to Mar-a-Lago. In fact, Trump interacted with investigators when they visited his Florida home, and in April and May, Trump aides at Mar-a-Lago were interviewed by the FBI as part of a probe into the handling of presidential records.
But, Pamela, so far, there's been no comment from the attorney general, Merrick Garland, nor the FBI director, Chris Wray, and the White House press secretary actually just said that President Biden has not been briefed at all on this search or any investigation here.
BROWN: All right. Jessica Schneider, thank you for that.
I want to bring in former FBI senior intelligence adviser Phil Mudd, along with federal and white collar criminal defense attorney, Caroline Polisi.
BROWN: Phil, you served as the deputy director of the national security branch at the FBI. Tell us about the high bar for the FBI to execute such an unprecedented search.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Boy, high bar would be a sort of low bar in this investigation. The bar has to be beyond whatever we have seen before.
Let me give you a couple different perspectives, Pamela. First, people who don't deal with classified information, I had the highest security level, security clearance you could get in government, don't realize how common it is that classified information and how much stuff is overclassified.
The chance the attorney general and the FBI director went in and said, hey, he's got some secret document down there he hasn't given us, and to insure we recover those, we're just going to go to Mar-a-Lago, I would put that near zero.
The characteristic you have to look at here is whether there are secret documents that relate to an ongoing criminal investigation. To get to the bar where you're going to the residence of the former president, classified documents don't get you there.
I had them in my house sometimes, inappropriately. It happens all the time. There has to be the additional piece that they have to do with an investigation and they have to do with stuff that the FBI can't get someplace else. That's all I can figure out, Pamela.
BROWN: All right. So, Caroline, I want to bring you in on the heels of what Phil said, because again, there's a lot we still don't know here. We don't know exactly what federal agents were looking for at Mar-a-Lago, but we do know when Trump did hand documents back to National Archives a few months ago, there were some classified documents inside.
But couldn't Trump just say, hey, look, I declassified these documents when I was president. When I was in the White House, I had the authorities to do so.
CAROLINE POLISI, FREDERAL AND WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, he almost certainly will say that, Pamela, but to some extent, that's beside the point. The president does have very large and unfettered ability to declassify information. However, there are policies and procedures for doing so. And he can't do it retroactively.
However, we are looking at some statutes, potential violation of statutes that don't involve classified information, that simply involve the mutilation or destruction of official documents. That statute, for example, carries with it a potential for three years in jail as well as a disqualification from holding office.
Now, asterisk there, it's highly debatable whether that carries weight constitutionally, but there are a range, I would note, of 18 USC 1001 violation. It seems pretty clear that, you know, Trump and his team withheld information or perhaps gave false statements to investigators.
I agree with Phil. You know, this goes beyond a mere violation of the Presidential Records Act. This had to be signed off by the highest levels at DOJ. Merrick Garland, Lisa Monaco, Chris Wray of the FBI.
You know, these are pretty heavy hitters. They wouldn't do so -- they know the political implications of this, even though DOJ is not supposed to be political. They understand what's happening. They better have the goods.
BROWN: You mentioned some federal laws there. One of them says whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys official documents should be fined or imprisoned not more than three years or both and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.
So, then, Caroline, and I want to get your reaction to this, Phil, does this mean if Trump is convicted of this charge, he cannot run for office again?
POLISI: No. It doesn't. It almost certainly will be litigated.
As with so many things, Pamela, in Trump world, we are in unchartered territory here. That statute has never been challenged in this way, and indeed, many legal scholars have commented that it's likely an unconstitutional prohibition on who can run for office.
That's not to say it won't be litigated. I would also note that the Plain Sight Doctrine allows federal officials to use evidence of other crimes if they uncover in plain sight while at Mar-a-Lago, to use that. It's hard not to connect this to January 6th, maybe they got information relating to January 6th. They could then move forward with the prosecutor for that.
BROWN: So, Phil, there's been mounting pressure on the FBI director, Christopher Wray, and Merrick Garland, the head of DOJ, to come out and say something about this, to offer more transparency. Of course, DOJ policy is to not comment on an ongoing investigation. Of course, you could argue, well, James Comey upended that.
But do you think they need to come out and talk about this, say something?
MUDD: Oh, hell no. Not now, not ever. If you have to take away from the Comey investigation, it is you treat these investigations aside from the approval process, and to be clear, Pamela, it's not whether the attorney general and the FBI director were involved. When I was at the FBI, there was a formal approval process for investigations that are politically sensitive. They have to know. So you get beyond that process if you're going to get into
investigating somebody and the president is a private citizen now, you do not want to treat him differently than you would treat a U.S. citizen. James Comey taught us that. As soon as you get out and speak about the case, number one, you violate a U.S. citizen, that is President Trump's privacy.
The second issue I'll tell you is you're then required, not required, but it's then on you to say if you close the investigation, are you going to speak like James Comey spoke? It was the president's choice to expose the investigation. That was not the FBI and DOJ. They should never speak about it because they want to say, we handled him like we handle other citizens. End of story, that's it.
BROWN: Yeah, that search warrant under seal, although Trump does have a copy of it.
So, Phil Mudd, Caroline Polisi, thank you so much.
MUDD: So what was so pressing for DOJ then to pursue this search warrant now? I'm going to speak with a top Republican demanding answers.
Plus, the notable price strip that may signal our days of rising inflation may slowly be turning a tide.
BROWN: Back with the politics lead. This evening, former President Donald Trump is set to meet with a dozen House Republicans at his home in Bedminster, New Jersey. Now, this meeting was planned before the Mar-a-Lago search, but the topic is bound to come up. And it comes as many Republicans are lashing out at the Justice Department.
I want to bring in Congressman Mike Turner of Ohio. He is the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, and he sent a letter to the FBI director calling on him to explain his decision to authorize the search.
Hi, Congressman. Thanks for coming on.
So, you still haven't heard back from the FBI --
REP. MIKE TURNER (R-OH): Thanks for having me, Pamela.
BROWN: -- from this letter you sent. What are next steps if you don't hear back?
TURNER: Well, we've already begun to ask for additional documentation. Our first letter to Director Wray was to ask him what national security risk rose to the level of him ordering a raid on the former president's home. I mean, this is unprecedented.
And in history, we have never seen two members of a president's administration order a raid on the president's political rival, his former opponent and perhaps potential opponent in the past president of the United States.
Certainly, whatever they're searching for must rise to the level of national security threat for these -- you know, for the director to have ordered a raid on his home. We asked in in addition, we want to see, reportedly, this is about the archivist sending over a criminal referral. We want to see what that is.
We also want to see what Christopher Wray filed in court, what he said to the court that he was going to find there, and we want an inventory of what they found. Obviously, we've been told in reports that even personal materials of the president were taken. What were they looking for, what did they find, and what did they tell the court that they were looking for?
BROWN: Right, that there's still a lot that we are hoping to learn. But if Republicans win the majority in the midterms, what would oversight look like?
TURNER: Well, the American public are going to require, obviously, a review here. You can't just have two men who are in the Biden administration go after the president's political rival and not have the type of scrutiny that is going to be necessary here.
We need to make certain that appropriate laws were filed -- followed. We need to make certain that these two gentlemen are held to oversight, and the American public wants to know.
I mean, we obviously have two different standards here where Hillary Clinton --
BROWN: But, hold on, I just want to stop you --
TURNER: Hold on a second.
BROWN: Go ahead.
TURNER: We have two standards where we have Hillary Clinton with her own computer system and classified information on it being given a subpoena and the ability to go through that, you know, server to see whether or not it's personal material or official material. And this president, president, not a secretary of state, being raided.
Clearly, two different standards and we want to know why.
BROWN: Hold on a second, though, because when it comes to Secretary Clinton, there's a lot to break down from what you said, but let's go to the last part. Secretary Clinton, you at the time indicated that you were outraged by her -- the way she handled her classified information, saying, quote, Secretary Clinton can be held accountable for her extremely careless actions.
So why don't you share that same concern with Donald Trump who is now a private citizen taking 15 boxes of documents from the White House, including classified documents to the White House, to his private residence? Why was it concerning for you with Hillary Clinton and not now with Donald Trump?
TURNER: Sure, they are two different things. When Hillary Clinton, while she was secretary of state, had classified material about her classified communications traveling through her computer server in her house, putting it at risk for any counterintelligence or any others who are hacking into her materials, putting the United States materials at risk.
In this instance, we don't really know that these informations are classified. The archivist saying that something is labeled classified doesn't mean that it is.
We have to look at what the substance of what the president has. These aren't ongoing conversations of the United States and the ongoing United States diplomacy matters that Hillary Clinton was conducting through her home.
And also, the president of the United States unlike Hillary Clinton has the ability to declassify those materials. So, you don't know what the status of these materials. That's why the FBI director needs to tell the American public, what did he go after? Certainly, there must be something higher on the national security level for him to do this.
Remember, President Trump has more classified material in his head than he's going to have in his desk. But yet they raided his home to see what he had in his desk. I think the American public wants answers.
BROWN: They executed a search warrant that was signed off by a judge who clearly found probable cause.
But really quick, I want to talk more about that, but earlier in the conversation, you were talking about -- you were claiming that DOJ is basically going after the president's political rival. But, I mean, Donald Trump, there is example after example, I think there are like 25 examples of him when he was president trying to weaponize DOJ to go after his political rivals.
So why do you feel like there should be more scrutiny now on DOJ and not also -- and we see it on the screen here as well -- not also share that same concern back then when Trump was trying to go after his political rivals?
TURNER: Well, I have shared it.
Actually, this actually goes all the way back to the Obama/Biden administration where this -- you know, Clapper, Brennan, Comey, where they began the politicalization of the FBI and of the Department of Justice. And that where we saw the two standards, where Hillary Clinton was given a pass and other people who were in the military were not. And certainly then you had Donald Trump who continued to raise that issue of what were these two standards, why was there -- why was he being pursued. And as you even note today, "The New York Times" has reported that even the Russia dossier that the Department of Justice used to identify FISA tappable warrants was found to be totally not even, you know, factual.
So there's a number of things the president was very concerned about that were ongoing during his administration.
BROWN: Right, but --
TURNER: And certainly we're seeing them now continue in this administration.
BROWN: But there were examples of 25 times where he wanted to use the DOJ to go after political rivals, some with absolutely no evidence at all to support wanting to use DOJ in weaponizing it for that reason.
But I do want to go back and talk about, you know, you share a concern, like a lot of Republicans do, saying this is FBI overreach.
But again, this was a search warrant that was executed after a federal judge signed off, finding probable cause.
So is your issue with how the criminal justice system works? I mean, what is it exactly that you --
TURNER: Pamela, right, so this is actually very easy, and you and I were never discussing this before. This has never been done in our history --
BROWN: That is true.
TURNER: -- to a former president, a political rival of the sitting president. Remember, these two gentlemen ran against each other and Donald Trump said he might run against Biden even now, and Biden said he might run. We'll have to see whether or not he does.
This is an absolute political rival of the sitting president. Now, we don't know what they said in the court --
BROWN: So you think DOJ is just going after -- hold on, I want to be clear.
TURNER: We don't know -- we don't know what they said.
BROWN: You think -- hold on, hold on, Congressman. I'm trying to give you the time to convey what you want to convey, but I want to be very clear here.
BROWN: What you're trying to say here is you believe that the Justice Department under President Biden is trying to go after his political rival Donald Trump because of 2024? I mean, is that what you're trying to say here?
TURNER: No, Pamela. I didn't say that. Thanks for trying to put words in my mouth.
BROWN: I'm not -- no, I did not try to. I'm trying to clarify to make sure what we understand.
TURNER: What I said was they need to answer these questions. There better be something of important national security for them to have breached the confidence of the American public if they would go into the home of a past president, possible political candidate against this current president.
This is so outrageous that this has to rise to the level of there better be -- this better not be a clerical issue between the archivist and the former president. Even former New York Governor Cuomo has said the same thing I'm saying on your show, is that this better not be some clerical issue or some minor issue that the FBI has gone in.
And that's why we're asking, as the Intelligence Committee. We're in charge of classified material. We're in charge of the issue of the national security issues and secrets of the United States. If they're going into this man's house claiming that it's national security that brought them in, then they deserve to tell us. They deserve oversight. They deserve to answer the American public, why a political rival of this president, that FBI agents raid his home.
BROWN: Well, and just to be clear, I was not putting words in your mouth. I was clarifying because you keep bringing up political rival. So I was trying to bring up the significance of that would be and the relevance here of that would be.
TURNER: But they are. I mean --
BROWN: OK. All right. Republican Congressman Mike Turner -- look, I really appreciate you coming on the show --
TURNER: Thank you, Pamela.
BROWN: -- and sharing your point of view on this. We're going to be covering this for quite some time. And please let us know if you hear back from the FBI in that letter.
TURNER: Thank you.
BROWN: Well, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said he spoke with Donald Trump twice today. The former president's tone a day after the search, next. Day after the search, next.
BROWN: In our politics lead, 15 minutes. That's how long Doug Mastriano's appearance lasted before the January 6th committee today. A source tells CNN he didn't answer a single question.
Mastriano is the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania and led efforts in that state to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump's former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also met with January 6th investigators today. The panel has shown particular interest in talking to former cabinet members about conversations they might have had about invoking the 25th Amendment. All of this comes amid the political fallout from the FBI search at Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.
Let's discuss, and boy, is there a lot to discuss today. Where to even start?
I'm going to start with the Republican here at the table. The outrage came quickly. From Republicans in the wake of the FBI search at Mar-a- Lago. But a few voices haven't -- have been absence. It's really interesting.
You have the minority leader, Mitch McConnell, staying quiet at last check, saying he wanted to focus on the flooding in Kentucky just recently. Senators Roy Blunt, John Thune, they haven't said anything about this.
You have a lot of people in the Republican side, I just interviewed one, Congressman Turner, outraged about this or conveying outrage, but some are staying silent. What do you make of that?
JOE WALSH (R), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Very few, Pamela. Look, every Republican should say no one is above the law. The Justice Department is doing their job. No Republican has said that. But the vast majority of Republicans are reflecting what I'm hearing every day, the last day or two, from Republican voters.
I have never heard Republican voters this angry and fired up, and I'm behind Donald Trump now all the way. I haven't heard this in a long time. You can bet those Republican office holders are hearing it as well.
BROWN: You're hearing from Republicans.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I am, and I was talking to a Republican who is very close to Donald Trump who speaks with Donald Trump regularly, and he said I have not seen this party as unified in a long time. When do you see DeSantis and Pence on the same page defending Donald Trump?
And that is what we are seeing right now, because it's an easy target. It's, you know, the FBI has long been a target of Donald Trump's. This way, they can unite with Donald Trump. Donald Trump becomes the victim here, which he loves to play. And it gives him an opportunity to talk about something other than 2020, and the rigged election.
BROWN: What do you make of what some analysts have said, look, if this is just about the FBI going in to search for classified documents, this is handing Trump a win in 2024?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the theory is, oh, we must not offend the Trump base. We must not trigger them.
You know what triggers the Trump base? Everything. Sunrise, sunset, Sesame Street, for real, Dr. Seuss, everything pisses those people off.
So, what? You know what they're not? They're not the majority. Troubling, tripling down, quadrupling, quintupling down on the Trump base has gotten the Republican Party this, lost the House, the Senate, and White House in four years.
That hasn't happened in 90 years. Not almost a century has one party lost the White House, the House and the Senate all at once in four years. That's what doubling down and tripling down on their base. I love their base. I hope they find a happy place.
BROWN: But do you see, you know, the argument that look, this is unprecedented. A search warrant on a former president's private residence?
BEGALA: Absolutely, and I agree. First, he's entitled to the presumption of innocence, he is. He's a citizen. He's an America, and we better know.
What I don't know is why Donald Trump doesn't release a search warrant. It could be under seal. I talked to a prosecutor not involved in the case.
BROWN: There is -- the search warrant is under seal, but my understanding is --
BEGALA: So why not release that? If he's also innocent -- I love your interview with Congressman Turner, because he said a lot of things, he's throwing (INAUDIBLE). I think you did a good job trying to get to the real point. A lot of what-about-ism, what about Hunter Biden? Or what about Joe Biden? Or what about Hillary?
You what he didn't say? I think Trump is innocent. Not a single Republican has said that.
WALSH: Well, they never have, yeah.
BEGALA: Because -- well, I don't really want to. You have to ask them why they won't say that.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't know if they care if he's guilty or innocent. They're going to defend him no matter what he does. Trump said this when he was running for president. He can do whatever he wants. He can shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue and wouldn't lose any supporters.
You were saying -- you're hearing from Republicans they're behind him all the way. They're behind him all the way all the time, right? I mean, maybe they were 85 percent, maybe 87 percent now, but he was always the front-runner, right, for 2024 and he's the front-runner today.
WALSH: There was a softening in the base even in the last couple of months, and I've now guys now say, screw it, Joe, look at what you're doing to him. Now we're all in again.
BORGER: But we don't know the whole story.
BORGER: We do know there was this meeting in June where the lawyers were meeting with each other. We don't know what happened before, and we don't know what happened. Were there more meetings? I mean, the Justice Department, the FBI, they just don't run in and say, oh, let's search a former president's house.
Did they reach a point where they said, you know what?
We have to -- put up or shut up. We've got to -- we've got to figure out what is missing and what are they looking for?
WALSH: We may not know that for a while.
BROWN: You're right, and I mean, the reports, I can tell you, myself included, we're all going to be trying to figure this out.
BROWN: Right? I mean, we're going to be working around the clock trying to figure out more about this, but you make an important point, could this backfire on some of these Republicans who are coming out expressing this outrage and indignation when we don't know all the facts, and as we have heard from anyone on our air so far, they have to have something there to want to go in.
WALSH: So, within the Republican Party, this is gold because it's not just the base. Other Republicans outside the base are rallying behind him. But in the general election, you look at people like Tim Ryan in Ohio, I mean, J.D. Vance in Ohio, Mastriano in Pennsylvania, and this guy Blake Masters running in Arizona.
I worked for an organization called Center Street, where we're releasing interesting data tomorrow. Blake Masters is in a lot of trouble because these people have to toe this extremist line. And that's going to hurt them I think in the general.
HENDERSON: It gets at why Donald Trump didn't win in 2020. People were sick of Donald Trump. Republicans were sick of Donald Trump. Democrats were sick of him, independents. I mean, people were dancing in the street when Donald Trump lost because people were just tired of him.
BROWN: I want to get to this on that note. How this has sort of seems to have galvanized people to be more interested in Donald Trump. Here's what Senator Lindsey Graham said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I have talked to him twice today. And I told him that, you know, there's legal systems in this country, avail yourself of it, and time will tell as to what's going on. I think Donald Trump is determined more now than ever to straighten this country out. I think this president, President Trump, is going to push through this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BORGER: Well, look, I think we're hearing this over and over again. And it is, if this happened to Donald Trump, it can happen to any one of you. If he can be treated this badly as a former president of the United States, you can be treated this badly too. And this is kind of the broad --
HENDERSON: Which is a ridiculous argument. Do we have fears around this table that the FBI is --
BROWN: But there are -- there are people in this country --
HENDERSON: But they have always believed that, right?
BROWN: They have always believed, but this feeds into the narrative, the government is coming after me.
I want to ask you on that note, is there anything DOJ should say or do, any steps they should take to -- that could remove the specter of politicization?
WALSH: Stick to protocol.
BROWN: That's interesting. That's what Phil Mudd said, too.
BEGALA: We got Donald Trump because James Comey violated that --
BROWN: Right, exactly.
BEGALA: -- 11 days before the election, smeared Hillary Clinton. I don't want anyone to do that to Donald Trump either.
BORGER: That's why they're an easy target, because they can't answer the charges.
BROWN: All right. Thank you all, great discussion.
And this hour, we're also getting new details on the killings of four Muslim men in New Mexico. A car found and a suspect detained. We're going to go live to Albuquerque next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:42:16]
BROWN: Topping our national lead, police say a suspect has been detained in the killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The announcement coming a short time ago amid growing fear and grief over the murders.
CNN's Ed Lavandera joins us now live from Albuquerque.
So, Ed, what do we know about how police were able to track down this suspect?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This story has changed dramatically in the last 13 hours. The police chief here in Albuquerque announcing on social media that they were able to find the vehicle, this gray Volkswagen Jetta.
And because of that, they were able to take -- that person who was driving that car into custody. That person according to police chief was detained, and they now are saying that the primary suspect in the police chief said in the murder of a Muslim man, but police here in Albuquerque for days have been saying that they believe the murders of four different Muslim men in this area are all connected.
Police have scheduled a press briefing for 5:30 Eastern time, 3:30 Albuquerque Time, where we presume to hear more information, but police here in Albuquerque now saying they have a suspect in this case.
BROWN: And CNN spoke with a Muslim family whose home was searched by investigators. Tell us about that.
LAVANDERA: This was a surreal moment. This morning, as we were hearing word of a possible arrest, we learned that there was a home of a Muslim family here in the Albuquerque that was searched by Albuquerque police last night. We were allowed inside the home by family members.
And community members who have been speaking with law enforcement tell us they believe this home is connected to the suspect that police here are now talking about. We spoke with several family members. We believe that there is a father and two sons at some point that have been detained and questioned in regards to this investigation. CNN is not identifying these family members at this point.
But those family members did say that they believe that the father had nothing to do with the murders in this case. But it is interesting to point out that all of this happening here late last night, as investigators were continuing to gather more information.
We're also told, Pamela, by community leaders who have been speaking with law enforcement that the father was arrested while driving to Texas. And we were told by the family members when we were inside their home that just a few hours before the police searched the home, that the father got in his car and left Albuquerque saying he wanted to find a place to live and to move his family to in Texas -- Pamela. BROWN: Ed Lavandera, thank you.
Up next, new tactics to combat homelessness and clean up tent cities.
But critics say the new ways will now make it impossible for people to get off the streets.
BROWN: In our national lead, pushback on New York City Mayor Eric Adams who recently blamed a rise in homelessness in the city on a flood of asylum seekers.
Well, community advocates say Adams himself is part of the problem. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH GOLDFEIN, STAFF ATTORNEY, THE LEGAL AID SOCIETY: We have no evidence that what we're seeing right now is purely a result of the asylum seekers. What we're seeing is a result of the city's failure to plan, to provide enough permanent affordable housing for everyone who needs it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Other places are taking a different approach. As CNN's Nick Watt reports, they're making homelessness a crime.
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tennessee just became the first state in the nation to brand this a felony. Pitching a tent on public land that's not actually a camp site.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're out here homeless, trying to struggle to make it and they're trying to make it worse on all of us by criminalizing it.
LINDSEY KRINKS, OPEN TABLE NASHVILLE: It's a huge deal because a felony offense carries up to six years of jail and the loss of voting rights.
WATT: And makes finding a job or a home even harder.
PAUL BAILEY (R), TENNESSEE STATE SENATE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
WATT: The bill's sponsor declined our offer of an interview but said this.
BAILEY: This bill requires law enforcement give a documented warning for the first incident and any punishment thereafter is up to the prosecutorial discretion of the district attorney.
TUNISIA GREEN (ph), HOMELESS PERSON: It's a felony to survive.
WATT: Tunisia Green (ph) says police have already told her she must now obey that sign.
GREEN: They said that it will be an action that we'll go to jail.
WATT: Do you have anyplace else to go?
GREEN: I don't. I have been here a year.
WATT: Next door in Missouri, a similar law takes effect this month. A misdemeanor not a felony, but local governments that don't enforce the camping band can be punished, and money earmarked to build permanent housing must instead be used to fund treatment programs and build state sanctioned temporary homeless camps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a push to put the most vulnerable people into internment camps.
WATT: Similar bills are now being considered in Arizona and Georgia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're sitting right on the tipping point right now.
WATT: In Oklahoma and Wisconsin, similar bills were introduced but failed, and those similarities are no coincidence. They're all based on a model bill produced by the Cicero Institute, a think tank in Austin funded by a tech billionaire. Texas passed a version of Cicero's bill last year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no influence except the power of persuasion. We're merely saying, here -- here seems to be a better idea. We know what's not working.
WATT: Something called Housing First has become the primary approach to tackling homelessness, get someone an actual home, not a shelter bed. Offer but don't mandate addiction treatment. And the rest should follow.
Many studies support the approach. Cicero does not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't have decades to wait to build up brand- new houses for any one of those people. We need to have a solution that's acting right now.
WATT: He's addressed lawmakers in Tennessee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Homeless encampments are bad for the homeless themselves.
WATT: And in Georgia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can offer the alternatives, but you have to move. You need both the stick and the carrot, and this bill provides this.
WATT: In a leafy Nashville suburb --
I can see your issue.
BECKY LOWE (ph), RESIDENT: Yeah. You haven't seen anything yet.
WATT: This is what Becky Lowe's (ph) local park now looks like.
LOWE: Nothing has been working. Nothing has worked.
WATT: She now supports the stick approach, the threat of a felony conviction for just camping.
Where do you think these people should go?
LOWE: Well, we have dozens of shelters throughout Nashville.
HOWARD ALLEN, CO-FOUNDER, NASHVILLE HOMELESS UNDERGROUND: I was in a temporary shelter and I didn't like it.
ALLEN: Because you're not treated as a human being.
WATT: A sentiment shared by many.
Howard Allen now has a permanent home.
ALLEN: When I moved into my house and they put that key in my hand, I cried. Then I cried again, because my brothers and sisters have earned the same thing I have, housing. And we can do it.
WATT (on camera): Maybe we can do it, but we seem to be increasingly disagreeing over how we can do it, how much carrot, how much stick. Even here in liberal leaning Los Angeles, just a couple hours ago, after let's say a very lively public comment section, the L.A. City Council voted to ban camping within 500 feet of every day care center and every school in the city -- Pamela.
BROWN: Nick Watt, excellent reporting there. Thank you.
And up next, after months and months of rising prices, some positive signs in a place where many of us shop.
BROWN: In our sports lead, it may be game, set, match for 23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams. The tennis ace explained in a "Vogue" article today she's stepping away so she and her husband can give her daughter the sibling she keeps asking for. And she writes, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a
family. I don't think it's fair, but I'm turning 41 this month, and something's got to give.
Reaction from the sports world is pouring in. The Wimbledon championship, which Serena has won seven times, tweeting some play the game, others change it. We hope the next few weeks bring you joy.
Williams hasn't said when she'll officially leave tennis but did say she intends to compete in the U.S. Open later this month.
And in our money lead -- parents, cover your kids' ears because online shopping for toys is the cheapest it's been in years. And it's not just toys actually. New data shows when shoppers click add to cart for a new computer or pair of jeans, they'll likely find price cuts, too.
But don't go on a shopping spree just yet. Online grocery shopping still reflects inflated in-person prices and soaring pet supply prices are making pet owners say woof.
Economists point to a few reason for declining points. More supply, a backlog of inventory and low consumer confidence coupled with a pullback in spending.
Our coverage picks up at the top of the hour with Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."