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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Judge Orders Release Of Redacted Mar-a-Lago Affidavit By Noon Friday; Source: Trump Asked Inner Circle About Possible Indictment; Biden's Loan Forgiveness Plan Sparks Heated Debate; Pentagon: 3 U.S. Service Members Injured After Rocket Strike In Syria; Ukraine: 25 Killed In Train Station Attack; NYC Officials: Record 237 Migrants From Texas Arrive In One Day; Uvalde Report Found "Lackadaisical Approach" By Law Enforcement; California To Ban Sales Of New Gas- Powered Cars By 2035. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired August 25, 2022 - 16:00   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: I feel like this is a supply chain issue masquerading as makeup. That's what I think has happened here.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: There's not enough lipgloss, so let's them some ketchup.

I don't understand this at all. I love Rihanna. I don't get it.

CAMEROTA: I relish this story.

BLACKWELL: All right, all right. Wrap it up.


BLACKWELL: Wrap it up.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Breaking news. A redacted version of the Mar- a-Lago affidavit will be released tomorrow.

THE LEAD starts right now.

Moments ago, a judge set a deadline to release a redacted version of the Mar-a-Lago affidavit. How much could we learn tomorrow about why the FBI executed its unprecedented search at Trump's home?

And, under attack. The U.S. responds after three U.S. servicemembers are injured in Syria by rocket fire. Could high level negotiations be an explanation of this new surge in military activity?

Plus, news you can use about forgiving student loans. CNN is asking, what exactly is the rollout plan to relieve millions of dollars in student loan debt? Senator Elizabeth Warren will visit THE LEAD as well to respond to some of the criticisms of Biden's plan.


TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

We're going to start with breaking news. Just moments ago, a judge ordered the release of the Mar-a-Lago affidavit, but with the redactions proposed by the Justice Department. The affidavit is the document that outlines why prosecutors thought they needed to take the step of searching the home of a former president and why they believed there was probable cause that crimes had been committed.

Let's get straight to CNN's justice correspondent Jessica Schneider.

Jessica, what did the U.S. magistrate judge Bruce Rinehart say in his decision?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, the judge here acting with remarkable speed. Less than four hours after the DOJ submitted their redactions, the judge has said those redactions are sufficient and they should be revealed to the public.

So, the judge putting it exactly this way. He says I find that the government has met its burden of showing good cause to seal portions of the affidavit, because disclosure would reveal one, the identities of the witnesses, law enforcement agents and uncharged parties. Two, the investigation strategy, direction, scope, sources and methods. And three, grand jury information protected by federal rule of criminal procedure 6E.

So the judge here saying that the DOJ has sufficiently laid out why they need to redact all of the things they suggested to redact. And he is satisfied with what the DOJ has put forward here. We heard prosecutors argue repeatedly how any real disclosure from this affidavit would significantly derail their ongoing criminal investigation into these classified documents. So the DOJ had about a week to come up with what might be sufficient for the judge. They presented their plan to him by noon today.

And, Jake, the judge here is satisfied with what the DOJ has put forward, which could mean that the DOJ is going to give us a little bit of a glimpse into this investigation. They had previously said if they were to make any redactions, it could make the whole document unreadable. When they made that argument in court, the judge didn't seem to be satisfied with that.

So it's possible here the DOJ is maybe giving a little more than they had wanted to and just enough to satisfy the judge. We'll, of course, know more tomorrow by noon or it could even be sooner when DOJ unveils this to the public.

TAPPER: So, Jessica, will we see this affidavit tomorrow?

SCHNEIDER: We will. The judge ordered it be made public by noon tomorrow. Of course, that means DOJ would make this public at any point, between now and noon tomorrow. They could make it public sooner.

So, yes, the judge's orders are quite clear here. And, you know, DOJ, you probably knew this going in, they had to make enough redactions, not too many redactions so the judge would be satisfied. They will not be revealing any significant part of this investigation, and the judge has said they have made their case, and he's happy with what they are presenting. So, we will see it soon, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Jessica Schneider, thanks so much.

Turning now to some brand new CNN reporting. Despite Donald Trump's claims he's been cooperating with the National Archives, he's been listening to outside legal advice to do the exact opposite. And now, allies are becoming concerned about a potential indictment.

CNN's Kristen Holmes and Gabby Orr are part of the team breaking this new reporting.

Gabby, tell us about this legal advice Trump is getting about cooperating with the archives.

GABBY ORR, CNN REPORTER: Well, Jake, we know some of the folks that have been helping Trump navigate these matters for the past couple of months. You know, Christina Bobb, Jim Trusty, Evan Corcoran, these are familiar names. But what we now know is that Trump began taking advice from Tom Fitton, who is the head of a conservative legal activism group, Judicial Watch, earlier this year, shortly after he returned those 15 boxes to the national archives in January.

And what Fitton was telling Trump behind the scenes is interesting, because he was essentially saying, in his belief, Trump had full authority over the documents that he brought from the White House to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his presidency. That he never should have returned the documents to archives in the first place, and if the archives came knocking again, that he shouldn't turn over any more documents. We know that president Trump didn't always listen to Tom Fitton, because in June during that meeting with federal investigators, his attorneys did turn over additional documents. But this is -- it really speaks to sort of behind the scenes advice that he was getting from people outside of his legal team.

TAPPER: And, Kristen, it's not just Trump allies we should note worried about a possible indictment. Sources say Donald Trump himself is even posing questions about it to his inner circle about whether or not he's going to get indicted.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. So, we knew he had been grilling his attorneys on whether or not they believe he would be indicted, expressing skepticism that would happen. But we have learned these conversations have expanded to members of his inner circle, asking what do they believe the endgame is going to be? Do they believe he's going to be indicted?

And many of these sources are telling us, they think it's because he is actually concerned. Now, one of them noted to me, while, of course, Donald Trump has been in legal peril before, even when he was president, this time did feel different, and potentially more dangerous, particularly given that he doesn't have that same legal protection he had in the executive office.

TAPPER: Gabby, part of the effort to get the documents back included using FedEx to deliver letters from Kim Jong-un. Tell us about that.

ORR: Yes, I obtained an email from a senior archive official to representatives of Trump that was sent last June. And in that email they agreed to allow Trump's representative to send the letters between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump when he was president back to the Archives via FedEx overnight. Just overnight shipment to them. They even laid out instructions, here are the specific days that we would be comfortable with you mailing them to us.

Of course, Trump didn't follow through with that. It took another seven months for the Archives to get their hands on the correspondence between Trump and Kim Jong-un. This really speaks to just how accommodating they were willing to be.

TAPPER: The Archives to Trump.

ORR: Correct. They were so desperate to get this material back, they were willing to allow his team to FedEx documents as sensitive as correspondents between two foreign leaders. It just speaks, again, to all of the struggles that they dealt with, as they were trying to get classified and nonclassified materials back from Mar-a-Lago.

TAPPER: Kristen, this -- the legal team that President Trump has around him, I have heard folks question their legal competence. Apparently, people close to Trump are doing that, as well.

HOLMES: That started almost immediately after the search. A lot of folks pointing me between an interview between a Fox News host, a Trump ally, and Christina Bobb, who is one of Trump's attorneys, in which Bobb seemed to be in over her head when being pressed by this Trump ally on what that legal strategy was.

Just a reminder, Bobb is a former TV host at One American News that pro-Trump right leaning news network. So that was one of the big concerns, what is the legal strategy? The other was that it took them two weeks to actually file anything. And when they did, the judge said it was problematic and sent it back for them to make clarifications.

And then, lastly, this is obviously something we have seen over the entirety of Trump's tenure in and out of office, is that Trump appears to want to play this out not legally, but in politics, the court of public opinion. So this is always a problem for Trump's attorneys.

But one example is that letter from the National Archives that was released from a conservative writer and Trump ally. Trump picking up on it say thing is political. You can see that this shows that the Biden White House was behind it. But legally, we're hearing from experts who say this is a damning letter, that this goes against everything that Trump has said.

So all of this is adding into why people are concerned about the legal team, particularly given when we are talking about people who are concerned he is going to be indicted, there is real legal peril this time.

TAPPER: Yeah, people who don't want him to be indicted or people he will.

Thank you very much to both of you for that excellent reporting.

Joining us now to discuss is Don Ayer. He served as the deputy attorney general under President George H.W. Bush.

Thanks so much for joining us. We know we're going to see this redacted search warrant affidavit tomorrow.

What do you suspect the DOJ will have allowed to have unredacted? What will we actually see?


DONALD AYER, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, GEORGE H.W. BUSH ADMINISTRATION: Jake, I think what we're going to see is not very much information about the reasons for the search and any information about the ongoing investigation. And the reason I think that is the Department of Justice made very clear in court when this was raised that they couldn't produce much of anything. And then the judge on Monday made his own statement that he really understood and sort of saw the problem the government had been pointing out, but nonetheless wanted to go forward and see what the government would propose.

So, I think the best speculation I can offer, and I think it is speculation, is that the government follow through pretty much on what they had foreshadowed in court, that they really couldn't allow much of it out consistent with their concerns about the integrity of the investigation and the protection of confidential witnesses and that sort of thing.

And the judge, in his order, was very clearly agreeing with what the department proposed. So I think we're going to see a document that is mostly blacked out, and I really don't know, you know, the speculation about whether maybe they tried to disclose more than they thought they could before. I really don't -- I don't think that's terribly likely. I think the concerns they had were pretty hard and solid, and I think it's pretty likely that they stuck with those concerns. We'll see -- we'll see tomorrow, I think.

TAPPER: There are obviously two competing principles here. One, the desire to protect the investigation that is ongoing, to protect the witnesses, and to not give a road map to potential defendants.

And then there is the public right to know, and the public right to have confidence that this raid by the FBI, this search, which was obviously legal, that it was just, that there were good reasons for it.

Do you have any concerns that if the document is mostly black, and so redacted, that it could lead to a loss of credibility, or at least an opening for the Trump forces to, you know, throw up gorilla dust and make it seem as though this is conspiracy?

AYER: Well, Jake, I think they definitely will spin whatever occurs tomorrow in a way that will be designed to foment distrust and suspicion of the FBI and of the Department of Justice. That's the game plan here all the way around. And -- so we'll have to see what they do.

But I think the most important thing to have in mind is that everything we know in terms of facts is that the government had very powerful reasons for getting this search warrant. They tried every way from Sunday to try to get the documents otherwise. We've seen various correspondence showing how diligently they work to get the material without having to go through a search warrant and they failed. And so, they had to do what they had to do.

And clearly, the judge feels that the search was totally justified and, clearly, they came up with documents that were seriously classified at some of them at a very high level. So I think the thing that people should keep in mind is that everything we know as a matter of fact, not spin, but fact, shows the government's doing exactly what we as citizens would all want it to do.

TAPPER: Uh-huh.

AYER: And Donald Trump is, you know, and others on his side, are trying to spin the story in strange ways to make it sound suspicious. It's not suspicious.

TAPPER: Right.

AYER: It's completely straight up and sensible.

TAPPER: You heard the new CNN reporting, sources saying Donald Trump is concerned about a pending indictment, asking people in his inner circle about the odds. Do you think an indictment might be coming?

AYER: Oh, I mean, you have to qualify the question you're asking about an indictment for what and what time frame do you think an is one coming? I think any thought that there's an imminent indictment coming related to this search I think is highly improbable. Now, whether down the road, it may depend upon if he has the nuclear secrets in his basement, you know, that's one thing. You know, we don't know what these documents are.

I think the bigger question in the long run is whether there may be charges filed relating to the much, much, in many ways cosmic and bigger question that Donald Trump was involved in. And we all saw if we watched the select committee hearings, the evidence is very strong from those hearings, that Donald Trump was engaged systematically on multiple levels in trying to overturn an election which he knew had been fairly and accurately handled.

And that's the big banana here. I think that's the big issue, and that's the issue that Merrick Garland and the department are going to have to grapple with over the next coming months.


And also the investigation in Georgia relating to the pieces of what went on down there that are pretty graphically portrayed -- TAPPER: Yeah.

AYER: -- in the tape recording and other info.

TAPPER: Don Ayer, thanks so much. Really appreciate your time.

Coming up next, Biden's grand plan to forgive student loans. Do you need to sign up or is the relief going to be automatic? CNN will answer your questions for you.

Plus, nuclear fears amplified with Russian trucks possibly packed with explosives sitting inside a nuclear power plant. A Ukrainian nuclear power plant.

And Uvalde community members say they're not done after the firing of a police chief. What's next in the name of accountability after the killings of 19 students and their two teachers?

Stay with us.


TAPPER: Topping our money lead, when can I get my student loan debt relief? That's what millions of Americans are asking today, even as the debate grows over whether Joe Biden's forgiveness plan is fair, if it goes too far, if it doesn't go far enough. Some argue that the proposal is transformative, and will improve the lives of tens of millions of Americans. Others say it's socialism and will drive up inflation.


Everyone has an opinion about President Biden's plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really excited. It's going to cut my loan almost in half.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It means nothing. The amount that they're trying to forgive is just not going to go far enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just tough to swing that in this era we're in right now, where every -- costs are going up and then you have people who are getting a bunch of debt forgiven and other people have other types of debt and those aren't being forgiven. So, it's just -- it's tough to swallow.


TAPPER: Let's bring in CNN's Rahel Solomon and Phil Mattingly.

Phil, let me start with you. Republicans obviously slamming this plan. Some Democrats even say it misses the mark. Do you think there's any scenario in which the pushback forces Biden to change or even reverse this plan?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I really don't, Jake. In talking to White House officials, they have made clear this is the proposal, it's moving forward. They expect legal challenges at some point, but the president is all in behind this proposal. The biggest issue the White House has right now is this goldilocks principle, not really making anybody happy, but they feel like it will have a very tangible benefit for tens of millions and energize a base that's been frustrated to some degree on this issue.

One thing that's clear, however, some of their key frontline Senate races, the Democrats from those races are not happy with it. Senator Michael Bennet, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Congressman Tim Ryan who's running for Senate in Ohio, all of whom panned this proposal, saying it should have been paid for.

There were definitely different routes the administration could have taken. They chose this one. They knew not everybody was going to be happy. The president alluded to it. Now they're going to have to continue to push for it now that it's out the door, Jake.

TAPPER: Yeah, we'll ask Senator Elizabeth Warren about those Democrats' opposition coming up.

Rahel, break it down for us. Who is eligible for this and how do people sign up?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, chances are if you have a federal student loan, you are eligible, right? By some accounts, 45 million Americans have federal student loans, and the White House says 43 million will receive some sort of relief from this program, 20 million will have their debt wiped.

The big question, first, of course, is how much you make. There is a cap of $125,000 per person or $250,000 per couple. If that is your situation, well, you could have up to $10,000 canceled. If you were a Pell grant recipient and also have a federal student loan, you could get up to $20,000 canceled.

The big question, the big thing here, Jake, this just doesn't automatically happen. You will actually have to apply. That application in that portal hasn't been unveiled yet, but we'll put on the screen where you can go to sign up to be notified when that application and when that portal is launched, I'm told within a few weeks.

So you sign up there, that website is But look, 8 million people, the federal government says they do have their income operation. So, that will automatically be erased when that happens.

But, by and large, most people will have to apply on that website. This is a huge program. It's going to take some time to get this off the ground, which the White House says is part of the reason they've extended the moratorium.

TAPPER: All right. Rahel Solomon, Phil Mattingly, thanks to both of you.

Coming up next, what we are hearing from the Pentagon about strikes in Syria, and three U.S. service members who were wounded.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our world lead today, the Pentagon confirms three U.S. service members have been wounded in rocket attacks in Syria. Defense officials blaming fighters backed by Iran for the attack. The U.S. responding with a strike of its own, destroying vehicles and rocket launchers and releasing video proof.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is at the Pentagon for us.

Oren, this rocket attack comes after a series of incidents involving U.S. service members in northern Syria.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Jake, this has all moved quickly over the past 24, 48 hours. First, let me show you a map here so you have a better sense of where in Syria we are talking about. There's the At-Tank garrison that you see there, Green Village and Conoco. And that's where all of this has focused. So, in eastern, northeast Syria there.

It begins about a week and a half ago, on August 15th, when there is a drone attack and a rocket attack on two of those facilities. The U.S. carries out its response earlier this week, striking a series of bunkers. And that's the attack video you saw there from U.S. Central Command a short while ago. Carrying out those strikes against bunkers used by Iranian backed militias.

Within 24 hours, a series of rockets are launched at two U.S. bases or bases used by U.S. troops, Conoco and Green Village. At Conoco, the military says three troops suffered minor injuries. One has returned to duty, the other two remain under evaluation. The U.S. in response carries out strikes on vehicles and rocket launchers as well as follow-on strikes against more launchers earlier this morning.

So this has all escalated very quickly. The Pentagon says their assessment is four Iranian backed militants were killed in the U.S. strikes. But for now, and that's a key part of this, for now, the assessment is that U.S. official says the U.S. has established or reestablished deterrence for now.

TAPPER: Oren, the timing of all, it's interesting. These Iranian- backed fighters, militiamen, they're targeting U.S. troops right at the same time that the U.S. and Western allies are trying to negotiate reviving a nuclear deal with Iran.

Is that a factor in how servicemembers from the U.S. respond to these attacks? LIEBERMANN: So the U.S., the administration have tried to make it

clear it views these as two separate issues. There's the question of negotiations around the nuclear deal and it will deal with that separately from what's happening in Syria, dealing with each by its own standards.

But the Pentagon has also made clear that it views Iran as responsible for these attacks on U.S. troops and it will attack and it will respond in what it calls proportional and deliberate responses if Iran attacks U.S. forces in the region and the U.S. presence there. So, a stern statement coming today from the Pentagon.

TAPPER: Oren Lieberman at the Pentagon for us, thanks so much.

Also on our world lead, the death toll from Russia's attack on a train station in Ukraine has risen to 25, including two children. That's according to Ukrainian officials.

While Russia's defense ministry is claiming to have killed more than 200 Ukrainian soldiers in the same attack, CNN cannot independently verify Russia's claim.

Meanwhile, the power line to the Russian controlled power nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine has been cut off twice today because of nearby fires. It was later restored. But all of the reactors at the plant remain disconnected from the power grid now.

CNN's Sam Kiley has more on a region on edge amid fears of a potential nuclear incident.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A test for radioactive fallout. It's an essential ritual repeated several times a day. It's safe for now.

But the war and the shelling that puts this city on the frontline of a potential nuclear disaster continues.

The pattern over the last month is that this city has been hit mostly at night. But in the last week, the locals are telling us there's been regular attacks during the daytime, more or less at exactly this time of day, around 3:00. While communications are reestablished, an officer explains why the shelling is coming from, pointing to three locations close to a Ukrainian nuclear power station captured by Russia in March.

And now, Ukraine's top nuclear official is raising fears that Russian trucks, which have been parked inside the plant's turbine hall, could be laden with explosives or cause an accidental fire.

PETRO KOTIN, ENERGOATEM PRESIDENT: And if that happens, then there will be a major fire in the turbine hall. After that, it can actually impact the reactor builder.

KILEY: Essentially, are you saying that risks a meltdown of the reactor?

KOTIN: Yes, could be, because, you know, you cannot stop this fire if it goes.

KILEY: There's been a renewed exodus of civilians living under Russian occupation in the town's close to Europe's biggest nuclear power plant. Safely, in Ukrainian held Zaporizhzhia, they consistently told CNN Russian troops were bombarding locations close to the plant, shelling that Russia blames on Ukraine.

The internet is switched off before it starts, probably so that nobody can film it. But we already know that if the Internet is down, we should expect Russian shelling in half an hour. Amid international demands that Russia leave the nuclear power plant and demilitarize the area, the Russian shelling from the power station has increased.

This is the result of one of 70 artillery and rocket strikes here in the last 24 hours, officials said.

The shelling every day, it just happened to hit here. Good thing no one was at home or there would have been casualties, she says.

Russia has responded to enter national demands to demilitarize the power plant by adding troops, inevitably increasing the chances of a disaster, whether by accident or design.


KILEY (on camera): Now, one of the designs that Russia has on the nuclear power station, Jake, according to Ukrainian officials, could be rerouting its product, the electricity it generates into the Russian system, the Russian controlled system. To do that, they would have to change its frequency, and that would require a shutdown of the nuclear power station.

Now, that that may explain speculation, but it could explain why these six reactors are currently offline. There's still generating electricity but it's not going anywhere at the moment. Certainly not into the Ukrainian grid, according to the IAEA -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Sam Kiley in Kyiv, Ukraine, thanks so much.

Coming up next, the new bus loads of migrants arriving along the East Coast, as Democrats accuse Republicans of using these individuals as political pawns.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our national lead, Democrats are accusing Republican governors of using human beings as pawns in a cynical political game. New York City officials say a record breaking 237 migrants were bused into that city on Wednesday, migrants who reached the U.S. border, many seeking asylum, and then put on buses by Texas officials and sent away on the orders of Republican Governor Greg Abbott.

This has been going on for weeks. Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey has been busing migrants to Washington, D.C.

CNN's Polo Sandoval joins me now from New York.

And, Polo, one of the I don't know if it's an irony, but one of the things here is that this Republican governors are making it much easier for these migrants have their asylum requests approved by the more liberal judges in New York and Washington, D.C.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There certainly is a bit of irony to this story, because you do have the announcement that was made by Texas Governor Greg Abbott months ago to begin busing these migrants. And we have to remind viewers, they have crossed the border, have turned themselves into federal officials and been processed and released. They are free travel throughout United States as long as they continue to adhere to their next court date.

Well, many of these families have spoken to on the southern border after save up as much as they can to buy their plane or bus ticket north. In this case, you do have in this particular case, Texas Governor Greg Abbott who is offering these free rides here to Manhattan. And tomorrow will mark three weeks since we began to get the first buses into New York, the first buses according to Washington, D.C. That was back in April.

But as for New York here, anyway you look at it, whether it's political theater that critics argue is happening.


Or as the governors of Texas and Arizona are saying is meant to provide relief to border communities, the result is added strain and really stretching the capacity of many of the infrastructure here.

As you're about to hear from the migration officer, Manuel Castro, he has recognized that more needs to be done to make sure that migrants, now thousands that arrive in New York City alone, have the opportunity to receive shelter.


MANUEL CASTRO, NYC IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER: We need to support them. We need to find a way to make sure that we feel proud of our welcoming and how we are receiving these asylum seekers.


SANDOVAL: Over 7,000 asylum seekers in New York City, Jake. They've already turned to the shelter system. That's why the officials are not only expanding capacity, but asking some of the shelters that -- they have very few if no ties to the U.S., to make sure they are admitted until they can find a place of their own and find out exactly what happens to their asylum cases -- Jake.

TAPPER: Beyond the shelters, how are the big cities coping with this influx?

SANDOVAL: The Department of Education are preparing to receive the children of these asylum seekers. They announced their plans to enroll up to 1,000 children this coming fall semester. The chancellor of the Department of Education says they have plenty of room. It's more about the resources and making sure they have faculty on hand.

So, that's one of the ways that cities like New York are preparing to deal with these numbers as they continue to add up -- Jake.

TAPPER: Polo Sandoval in New York City for us, thanks so much.

Also in today's national lead, the school board in Uvalde, Texas, voted unanimously to fire school district police chief Pete Arredondo. The decision came during an emotional meeting last night. Arredondo, as you remember, has come under intense public scrutiny over the law enforcement response or lack thereof during the horrific mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in May.

Officers waited more than an hour, as you recall, before confronting the attacker inside a classroom and 19 children and two teachers were killed.

Listen to what one young girl who lost friends during that massacre said two officers during last night's meeting


CAITLYNE GONZALEZ, 10-YEAR-OLD ROBB ELEMENTARY STUDENT: I have messages for the law enforcement that were that day. You earned your badge and step down. You don't deserve to wear one.


TAPPER: So what is next in the push for accountability?

Texas State Representative Joe Moody joins us now. He's a Democrat. He's the vice chair of the Texas House Committee investigating the Robb Elementary School shooting.

Thanks for joining us.

Your committee released a preliminary report last month, describing an overall lackadaisical approach by authorities on the scene. But you also said in that report that your work was complete. You are still looking to talk to more witnesses and get more evidence.

Where does your investigation stand as of now?

STATE REP. JOE MOODY (D), TEXAS: Well, first of all, thanks for having me.

There's a number of interviews we have -- our committee has continued to conduct through our investigators. When we met with the families prior to the release of the report, there were several families that wanted to meet with and be interviewed. Prior to that, some of them maybe we're not ready to do that.

So those interviews have been ongoing. There are also some other pieces of evidence, we don't have final medical examiners reports yet. Those are things that we don't have at our disposal because they're not complete. And certainly, the medical evidence is something that will allow us to better understand what that delay meant in terms of lives lost.

So that's what we are working on. The speaker is giving us this task to work on it, and we have up until January to deliver any more information to the public and the legislature.

TAPPER: In a preliminary report, your committee writes, quote, there is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives in terms of the response. Instead, we found a systemic failures and egregious, poor decision-making, unquote.

As you know, a lot of people in Uvalde blame these officers and described them as cowardly.

Does cowardice count as malice or ill motives?

MOODY: Look, our task wasn't to get into peoples motivations. I don't think any one of those officers would want something horrific happening. But the fact of the matter is, law enforcement is a profession in which we have to hold people to a very high standard. Big mistakes are not acceptable.

Pete Arredondo did not do the job he needed to do that day and certainly several other officers fall in that category as well. I think what the report allowed to go forward, these investigations, this accountability -- you know, seeking of accountability -- DPS is doing a review of their troopers, the police department in Uvalde is doing the same. So, I don't think this is the end of the conversation at accountability.


TAPPER: Parents who lost their children that date say that the firing of the chief was a good first step, that they have so many unanswered questions about the police response that day and why more wasn't done. Why officers didn't charge the shooter, as we know is common police procedure ever since Columbine in 1999.

Are those families ever going to get the answers they so desperately are asking?

MOODY: Well, I mean, I think that what we laid out in the report was the abject failure to apply those trainings and those principles. They had it planned. The district had a plan in place to address an active shooter, and they didn't follow that plan.

Them and that is where we have to go. We need to start holding people accountable. The school district did their part of that. It's a comment upon all the other agencies to the review and make sure that we hold people accountable and make sure if you failed in this task, there were hundreds of officers in ever set foot inside the hallway. We are going to look at them differently. Some officers were there to provide medical care. But there are those that were in positions of decision-making authority them. I agree, this is a good first start. And the accountability did not end last night.

TAPPER: Texas State Representative Jim Moody, thanks much for your time today. We appreciate it.

Out West, tapping out, California is charged to get rid of cars that run on gas, making a hard turn toward electric.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our money lead, California is taking an ambitious, perhaps even radical step to reduce emissions and combat the climate crisis. State air regulators just voted to approve a plan that would ban the sale of new gasoline powered cars in California by 2035. The proposal would not impact any cars that were used before then.

CNN's Chris Nguyen is in Los Angeles.

Chris, explain what we can expect from this policy.

CHRIS NGUYEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake. That ban was passed unanimously by the California air resources board. Given the size of California's economy, this decision is going to have a major impact, major implications on the U.S. car market.

Here in California, each year, nearly 2 million vehicles are sold, 2 million new vehicles. That's why this decision is such a big deal.

This vote was years in the making. It will encourage more people to consider buying an electric vehicle.

Here's what a transportation expert has to say about the significance of the decision.


ASHA WEINSTEIN AGRAWAL, MINTEA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE, SAN JOSE STATE UNIV: This is a historic moment. And by having a clear, fixed target when we stop selling gas invitees all vehicles, we are going to be making a really important dent in our need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


NGUYEN: However, this isn't going to happen overnight. Officials have drafted up some benchmarks for the state to meet. For example, the goal is to have 35 percent of new vehicles to be zero emission by the year 2026. The target numbers then go up each a year until that 100 percent mark in 2035. Now, earlier, we spoke with the California new car dealers

association. They say they are all in on electric vehicles. However the president of that association did express some concerns over the affordability of these vehicles moving forward -- Jake.

TAPPER: Chris, how is this going to be enforced?

NGUYEN: Great question. We know that this ban will add some cheese to Governor Gavin Newsom's executive order from two years ago, mandating that gasoline powered vehicles be phased out by 2035. As for enforcement, we expect civil penalties to be enforced on car dealerships that do not comply with the new rules. Jake?

TAPPER: All right. Chris Nguyen in Los Angeles, thanks so much.

President Biden coming off vacation to push his huge economic accomplishments, but are Democrats overselling it? I'll press the issue next when I speak with Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

This hour, multiple hazing allegations impacting several high school football teams all in Pennsylvania. And now one high school near Harrisburg is canceling the entire football season before it even kicks off.

Plus, a look at the new laws going into effect in three states that make it more difficult, if not impossible, for more than 10 million women to get access to abortions, even in cases of severe risk to their health or rape or incest.

And leading this hour, any moment between now and noon tomorrow, we could see the actual affidavit from the Mar-a-Lago search. The version of the document will include redactions proposed by the Justice Department.

Remember, the affidavit outlines why prosecutors felt they needed to conduct an unprecedented search of Donald Trump's home and what they believe was probable cause that crimes had been committed.

Let's get straight to CNN's senior justice correspondent Evan Perez.

Evan, what did U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Rinehart say about his decision to release this redacted version of the affidavit?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, the judge ruled very, very quickly, right after the Justice Department had filed its -- what we assume is going to be a heavily redacted version of this affidavit. He said he was satisfied this was the least onerous alternative to sealing the affidavit. I'll read you another part of his ruling. It says: I find the

government has met its burden of showing good cause to seal portions of the affidavit because of disclosure would reveal the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties.