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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Judge Orders Special Master To Review Seized Mar-a-Lago Documents; Biden Starts Final Midterm Sprint With Stops In PA, WI; Liz Truss To Be Next Prime Minister, Replacing Boris Johnson; Suspect Charged In Abduction Of Still-Missing Memphis Teacher; Police Charge Two Men Still At Large After Deadly Stabbing Spree In Canada. Aired 4- 5p ET

Aired September 05, 2022 - 16:00   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: And so bottom line, he lied on the paperwork.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He didn't have a little history. It was incredible, the history of his issues.


CAMEROTA: We have so much more to talk about. Don't miss my special report, "The Baby Business", tonight at 9:00 right here on CNN.

And THE LEAD with Jake Tapper starts right now.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: A ruling so urgent it had to come on a holiday.

THE LEAD starts right now.

A judge siding with former President Trump allowing a special master to sift through documents seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago and forcing a major delay in the Justice Department's case.

Plus, battleground blitz. President Biden is on the road, his midterm message to voters in key swing states, 64 days out from election day.

And a billionaire's granddaughter abducted on a jog. Police say they know who is responsible. They just don't know where she is.


COLLINS: Welcome to this special edition of THE LEAD. I'm Kaitlan Collins, in for Jake Tapper.

We start today with our politics lead and a major victory for Donald Trump for now. A federal judge who was appointed by Trump who has now granted his request for a special master, allowing a third party attorney to come in and review the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago last month. Judge Aileen Cannon cited several reasons for her decision, including the potential stigma that Donald Trump faces after the search plus what she calls, quote, swirling allegations of bias and media leaks.

Trump's lawyers argued he needed a special master because they couldn't trust the Justice Department, and in today's ruling, the judge said federal investigators can not continue reviewing the materials they took until the special master has finished their work.

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

Evan, I know this filing is 24 pages long. It came out on this holiday, but what are the main takeaways from it?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kaitlan, the judge says the reason for this action that she's taking is the need to insure at least the appearance of fairness and integrity under the extraordinary circumstances presented. That's from her ruling today.

What this means, though, is the Justice Department has to pause its investigation or at least its examination of these documents. The judge said that by Friday, what she wants is for the justice department and for the Trump lawyers to agree on a name of a person who she can appoint as a special master as well as the parameters and the duties of this person, of what this person is going to be looking at. She also wants a timeline for these two sides to agree to. If they can't agree, she says she's going to obviously decide it for herself.

What this does, though, is it does allow for the intelligence community to continue their examination of the risk assessment. I'll read you another part of the ruling from the judge. She says as a function of plaintiff's former position as president of the United States, the stigma associated with the subject seizure is in a league of its own. A future indictment based to any degree on property that ought to be returned would result in reputational harm in a decidedly different order of magnitude.

The judge, Kaitlan, basically kind of putting the former president in a special category of citizens. You know, most of us don't have the right to appeal at this stage in any investigation. But she's saying because he's a former president, he does have that right.

COLLINS: And, Evan, one other thing that stood out to me was the judge said the FBI took Trump's medical documents, some tax information, in this search. What do we know about what was taken and why the judge felt the need to talk about that in her ruling today?

PEREZ: Yeah, she really said that this influenced her decision making, certainly she had a report from the Justice Department, remember, there was a special team of lawyers who were going through every document and separating it out from the investigative team. She said after reading their report, she found two instances in which documents were transferred from this group that was supposed to be perhaps have attorney/client privilege material and sending it over to the investigative team.

She also said that there was accounting information, tax information, as well as medical records that were seized by the FBI. These are the things she cited as part of the reason why she felt the need to bring in a third person to oversee this.

COLLINS: And, Evan, how is the Justice Department responding to all this? Have they said whether or not they want to appeal the judge's ruling?

PEREZ: Yeah, one of the things they raised in court, Kaitlan, last week was the idea they wanted the judge to rule in a certain way, to structure her ruling in a way that allowed for appeal. Right now, they're not saying that directly but they say they're studying the ruling and will make a decision in the coming days as to whether or not to appeal.

COLLINS: Evan Perez, thanks for that update.

And joining me now to discuss is former assistant U.S. attorney Elie Honig and former principal deputy attorney general, Tom Dupree.


Elie, I want to start with you. What -- from your perspective in this ruling, did it seem was the judge's bottom line for granting this request from Trump's legal team?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Kaitlan, really the judge's bottom line seems to come down to a question of why not? Why would we not want to be as careful as possible to bring in a third party independent outsider to make sure that all rights and privileges are protected here? This is a win for Donald Trump, no question about it, for now at least.

But it's also important that people understand, this is not ultimately likely to prevent DOJ from bringing a charge or not bringing a charge. The bottom line result, yes, DOJ will have to go through this process. It will be a burden. It certainly will take time.

But ultimately, the only documents that are going to be kept out of DOJ's case are documents that are privileged and they shouldn't be using privileged documents. They shouldn't want to use privileged documents. So, Donald Trump has won this battle, but the war remains very much unresolved.

COLLINS: It does remain unresolved, as people have noted, it may delay the case. It's not going to derail this investigation. Tom, I wonder, given you've worked at the Justice Department, how do you think they will respond to this? Do you think they will appeal it, could they appeal part of but not the entire ruling that they heard from the judge today?

TOM DUPREE, FORMER PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Justice Department can appeal this ruling and my prediction is they will appeal this ruling. Look, the court they would appeal to is the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. It sets in Atlanta. It's a conservative court so they're not going to have judges who may be ideologically sympathetic to some arguments, but if you're in DOJ shoes, I think today's ruling is a road block, it's going to slow down their investigation. And if you're in DOJ seat, why not take your shot on appeal and see if

you can get that reversed?

COLLINS: Yeah, and they haven't said yet how they'll respond, they say they're weighing their options. They likely saw this coming.

Elie, when it comes to executive privilege, the Justice Department's view is Trump doesn't have executive privilege. He's no longer the executive. He's no longer president.

But in her ruling, the judge seemed to say not that Trump definitely does, but instead left this role of executive privilege as an open question here. What did you make of that?

HONIG: Yeah, DOJ overstepped a bit in their brief. They tried to argue and sort of conclusionary fashion, Donald Trump is a former president, hence he has no ability to invoke executive privilege.

But the judge I think correctly pointed to a Richard Nixon case, not the tapes case, but one that came a few years later, in 1977, where the court essentially says it is difficult for a former president to invoke the privilege, particularly where the current president disagrees, but it's still possible. In fact, the current Supreme Court, this year, in a case involving January 6th committee and the Archives, essentially said the same thing, said it's a serious uphill climb for a former president, but it's not impossible.

And for that reason, again, let's be careful, why not cover all our bases and bring in this independent third party?

COLLINS: Tom, what do you make of the executive privilege argument that you saw and what the judge said today? What did you read into it?

DUPREE: Well, I was going to say executive privilege is one of those things lawyers like to talk about, everyone likes to debate it, but there actually isn't a lot of case law giving concrete guidance as to when it applies and doesn't apply.

I think in this case, the president's legal team is going to have two challenges. One is they're going to have to persuade the judge that executive privilege can be invoked by a former president against the current president. That's a challenge.

Number two, even if it does apply, I think the president is going to have an uphill battle in claiming a lot of these seized documents are actually covered by executive privilege.

COLLINS: Once they actually get to that. That was kind of the surprise here, it wasn't just what's an attorney/client privilege, which isn't that surprising, but this argument which she said is a question for another day.

Elie, I do want to ask you about something you saw in "The New York Times" over the weekend. You have written a book on Attorney General Bill Barr. He was asked by "The New York times" what he thought about Trump's request for a special master, which was granted to him today by this judge. Barr's response to "The New York Times" was, quote, I think it's a crock. There you go. I don't think a special master is called for.

He has been very outspoken in his criticism of Trump, more so in a way than I think most people initially expected when it comes to this investigation.

HONIG: Yeah, Kaitlan, I have been surprised at suddenly a turnabout by Bill Barr, who, of course, spent his two years as AG backing Trump essentially no matter what, I think distorting facts, distorting the law, and doing whatever he could to support Trump.

Now we see him coming out and saying this search was justified, DOJ had no other choice. I think he's right on that. I think he's wrong on the special maker. I think the judge today certainly disagreed with him.

It's not nothing. It's not a crock of blank. It's way to protect rights and privileges. So, I agree to some extent with Bill Barr, which is a bit of a departure from the norm.

COLLINS: Many departures from the norm happening here.

Tom, also today, the judge's reasoning included something, this really stood out to me. She said, quote, the interest in insuring the integrity of an orderly process amidst swirling allegations of bias and media leaks.


This is something I know as the Trump team was making their argument that she brought up to the Justice Department, asking them, Jay Bratt, the top official on this, about this idea of what's leaking from this and if the Justice Department is somehow responsible. He said he didn't know of anyone leaking but obviously this information is getting out there.

Were you surprised that she included that in her ruling?

DUPREE: That line jumped out at me too. It's not something you normally would see in a judicial order. I think what it underscores is this case is extraordinary in so many respects.

That's really the theme that resonated throughout today's opinion. The judge saying in so many ways, so many forms, this is a unique, unusual, extraordinary case. This point about bias and media leaks and all that sort of thing, I think her point is to stay this case has gotten unprecedented attention. It's captured the focus of the nation, and I want to make sure we do so in an orderly way, with integrity, and that the American public can have full faith and confidence there's a arbiter making these decisions.

COLLINS: Well, it sounds they're going to get one. They have a deadline of Friday.

Tom, thank you so much. Elie, thank you as well for joining on this holiday.

Up next, the current president, Joe Biden, is on a battleground blitz today and defining what he means by the team he's been using lately, MAGA Republicans.

Plus, they promised to change buildings named after Confederates, but that was more than two years ago. CNN is asking why so many of those names are still etched in stone.



COLLINS: Also in our politics lead, it's the end of the summer and the start of the midterm blitz. We're just 64 days away from the crucial November midterm elections and President Biden is visiting two battleground states, first in Wisconsin this afternoon, where the president once again tried to clarify what he meant by defining some Trump supporters, some Republicans, as MAGA Republicans.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The extreme MAGA Republicans in Congress have chosen to go backwards, full of anger, violence, hate, and division. But together, we can and we must choose a different path.


COLLINS: Next hour, President Biden is going to be speaking in Pennsylvania as well. His third visit to the commonwealth in just a week.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is there near Pittsburgh.

Jeff, what is President Biden's message going to be tonight?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kaitlan, President Biden has just landed here outside of Pittsburgh. He'll be making his way here where hotdogs and hamburgers are on the grill, labor union members are here to rally support and hear from the president. And we know from his speech earlier today in Wisconsin that President Biden is trying to tout his economic record, tout his accomplishments over the second part of the summer that they believe give them some momentum going into the fall campaigns, now just two months from tomorrow.

But he also, as you said, is drawing a distinction with Republicans, that may be the biggest takeaway message here. Again trying to make the case in his view, not all Republicans are MAGA Republicans. So clearly, trying to peel away some of those establishment Republicans, if you will, some of the independent voters who may not be thrilled with everything in the Biden administration but do not like the fact the former president is front and center back in the campaign. He was here on Saturday, Donald Trump was rallying support Saturday in Wilkes-Berry, Pennsylvania, and President Biden back for his third visit in a week here in the commonwealth.

COLLINS: Yeah, and we'll talk about the visit that Trump made on Saturday. But, Jeff, today, when President Biden is there, is he going to see Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman while he's there?

ZELENY: That is our expectation, that John Fetterman, of course, the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, will be here at the rally and will be on hand. Of course, this is one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country. It's an open seat where Democrats believe they can win a Republican seat that is held by a retiring senator, Pat Toomey, and Pat Toomey is going to be appearing with Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee, tomorrow in Philadelphia.

But today, John Fetterman is scheduled to be with President Biden. Of course, the reason that's significant is he's still recovering from a stroke that he had earlier this year. So it's only been sporadically campaigning. He's been picking up campaigning but that's been an issue front and center in the campaign.

We're told by aides by John Fetterman, they told me that he will be here with the president. So, certainly, that is something Democrats are eager to see, because again, this seat in Pennsylvania, why the president is here, is going to be certainly one of the most important Senate races in all of the country, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yeah, and the White House is feeling hopeful about it. Jeff Zeleny, thank you.

Let's discuss all of this now with my panel who is so gracious to join me on this holiday.

Maria, I want to start with you because President Biden is on his third trip to Pennsylvania. There's no hiding the strategy there, of course, but as he's been on the road, he's been making this distinction, intensifying these attacks not only on Trump, but also on the loyalists to Trump still in the Republican Party, all they be voters or lawmakers.

Do you see that as a viable strategy he's taking on for the midterm elections?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. I think it's super smart for a couple reasons. Namely, I believe a lot of the Republicans who are done with Trump were hoping to be done with Trump once he was out of the White House. What they have seen is completely the opposite, that Trump has actually injected much more energy into the extremist MAGA agenda following Republicans.

And number two, more than 80 Republicans who do follow Trump's big election lie, who can be described as those extremist MAGA agenda following Republicans, won their Republican primaries, Kaitlan. And many of them are running in positions that if they win in November, they will be able to control elections and many of them have said scarily enough, that they would not have certified Joe Biden's election. And these are people who will be in a position to change those

election results if they don't believe that the way it turned out is fair or was something that benefits them. So that is an extremely huge and scary threat to our democracy. And we have seen that American voters across the board also realize that.


There's been more than one or two polls out there showing that threats to democracy has become a big priority issue for voters in the midterm elections. I think it's really smart of him to do that.

COLLINS: That's part of the reason the White House has said Biden is out there with this message.

But I wonder, Kristen, about this distinction he's drawing when it comes to Republicans and he's really going out of his way to say it. You know, he's like, I'm not talking about all Republicans. I'm talking about those who are loyal to Trump. Is that a nuance that Republicans pick up on, that they're accepting, that other Republican lawmakers are not trying to kind of take advantage of?

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, whenever I ask Republican voters, do you think of yourself more as a Republican first or as a Trump supporter first, the party tends to be pretty split on that question. It sort of ping-pongs around depending on how much Donald Trump is or isn't in the news that month. For the last almost two years that number has gone a bit back and forth.

The problem that I think Democrats are running into with the strategy of trying to go after these quote/unquote mainstream Republicans by attacking the other half of the party is we're not seeing even those party first, not Trump first, but party first Republicans say you know what, gosh, I'm going to vote for a Democrat this time. What this is really about is telling Democratic voters, hey, I'm not going to just sit back.

I think you're much less likely to see the speeches do anything to peel off Republican voters from their own party. It's more about trying to speak to his own base in my opinion.

CARDONA: And independents.

COLLINS: And independents as well, something that he has made clear in his call-outs to them. He's also not just talking about Republicans. He's talking about what they have done because they have the wind at their backs at the White House and for Democrats as they have talked about what they have gotten done. President Biden himself is pretty fired up talking about prescription drug prices.


BIDEN: We beat pharma this year. We beat pharma this year. And it mattered. We're going to change people's lives. Finally beat pharma.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COLLINS: Jeremy, we both cover the White House. That's probably one of the most fired up instances you have seen of Biden.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, the last time I saw him this fired up was in Cleveland, and he was also in front of a union crowd. I think there might be something to the fact when the president addresses union voters, he really feels that energy.


DIAMOND: What was interesting today was not only was the president delivering this message, touting these victories and talking about these MAGA Republicans, but he started to meld the two messages together. That is that he starts by talking about MAGA Republicans and the threats to democracy, but then soon enough, the lines get blurred.

And suddenly, he's talking about MAGA Republicans wanting to gut Social Security. He's talking about MAGA Republicans opposing every single Republican in Congress opposing the Inflation Reduction Act. So, he is blurring those lines increasingly and it's also clear from listening to the president's speech today that just about every speech the president delivers, especially in the key battleground states between now and November, he's going to continue to use this MAGA Republican line.

Today is Labor Day. You thought maybe he would just focus on economics, just focus on his policy wins. No, he also brought this message as well.

COLLINS: Yeah, what do you make of that, Nick?

NICHOLAS WU, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, POLITICO: Yeah, it's something that Democrats see as a way to not only gin up base support heading into the midterms but also to try to reach out to independent voters. We saw President Biden's gains in approval rating lately came from a lot of independents who had gone away prior.

That said, a lot of those voters were people who in some polls showed they disapproved of President Biden but still wanted a Democrat in congress. This is why we see President Biden linking a lot of it together, both with this message about Republicans and also showing voters what Democrats have delivered for them.

COLLINS: Yeah, and Jeff Zeleny was talking about how important Pennsylvania is. Obviously, it's no surprise we have seen President Biden there three times in just the last week alone. When it comes to the governor's race there, it's getting very interesting. It's been interesting but getting very interesting with Josh Shapiro, who Shapiro is a Democratic nominee for governor. He's running against Doug Mastriano.

He's really using abortion and Mastriano's stance there, and he dropped almost $17 million on the first ad of this fall campaign season focused on abortion rights and the impact he says it has on Pennsylvania's economy, saying, you know, it's very clear that Democrats feel this is the momentum from this and that is an effective way to run against a Doug Mastriano.

CARDONA: I think that's exactly right, Kaitlan. Not only because Doug Mastriano represents this sort of extreme view that Democrats can use to paint most of the Republican party with in terms of wanting to take away a woman's right to choose, to have her be a second class citizen in her own country, which is how women feel, but I'm sure he's also seen how successful that tactic has been recently for Democrats, right? New York 19, that's exactly what the gist of the whole campaign was. In Kansas, the referendum was tremendously successful, not just among Democrats.


So I think this message about how Doug Mastriano represents the most extreme views and how he wants to impose that on all Pennsylvanians if he were to be elected, I think is extremely useful, and it also, I think, melds all of these messages together, right?

Somebody who feels like Doug Mastriano does about abortion can be painted as a MAGA Republican. He can also be painted as somebody who wants to take us backward, who wants to take away the gains that President Biden along with Democrats have given not just the American people but specifically people in Pennsylvania.

DIAMOND: That's how the White House feels about this, too. They view this abortion ruling and the extreme stances by some Republicans with no exceptions for life of the mother, et cetera, as tying all of this together in terms of portraying the opposition, the Republicans, as extremists in many senses of the word.

ANDERSON: The problem Republicans face on this is while yes, saying you want to completely ban abortions is considered an extreme position by most voters, it's also extreme to say you don't support any restrictions. And yet, for instance, you know, the RNC today was circulating a clip of John Fetterman in Philadelphia saying he wouldn't support any restrictions on abortion.

That's not a mainstream position, but abortion is not an issue that's firing up Republican voters. So while you're likely to see Democrats pouring money into pointing out what they would say is Republican extremism, you're less likely to see Republicans sort of using what they would say is Democratic extremism in the same way.

COLLINS: But I wonder how do Republicans feel with Trump back at the forefront? He's the one campaigning for them. He's very popular. This was his message in Pennsylvania over the weekend when it came to his first rally since the FBI searched his home.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: The FBI and the Justice Department have become vicious monsters, controlled by radical left scoundrels, lawyers, and the media who tell them what to do. He's an enemy of the state. You want to know the truth. The enemy of the state is him and the group that control him.


COLLINS: Is that the message that Republicans want Trump using on the midterm trail?

WU: As my colleagues and I have reported, there's a lot of frustration among Republicans this is the kind of controversy that they're being forced to answer questions about and deal with right now as opposed to talk about the economy, something Republicans had seen as a much stronger suit.

So I mean, the Republicans would much rather talk about gas prices and the like, but instead, Democrats and President Biden are able to then focus attention back on Trump with this back in the news.

COLLINS: All right. We'll have to leave it there. Thank you to all of you for being here on this holiday.

CARDONA: Happy Labor Day.

COLLINS: Happy Labor Day.

Up next, the woman set to take over one of the most powerful positions in the world, her promises, her plans after months of scandal and an administration in crisis.



COLLINS: Topping our world lead, outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is congratulating her successor today, Liz Truss will replace him as the next British prime minister, the country's third woman to hold the position.

And as Bianca Nobilo now reports, Truss will be in charge of governing a country facing its most serious economic crisis in a generation, but she promises she's up to the task.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Britain's new prime minister is an ambitious political comedian.

LIZ TRUSS, INCOMING BRITISH PRIME MINISITER: We will deliver, we will deliver, we will deliver. And we -- and we --

NOBILO: During her acceptance speech, she promises to cut taxes, grow the economy, and deliver a plan to tackle soaring energy costs. One of two candidates selected by Tory lawmakers after Boris Johnson was pushed to resign following one too many scandals.


NOBILO: Truss was ultimately chosen by less than 1 percent of the British electorate. A slither of the conservative base, older, whiter, and more right wing than the average voter. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Enough already.

NOBILO: She promised a hard line on immigration and tax cuts to a party drifting further to the right, channeling their hero, Margaret Thatcher, even dressing like her. Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted his support, calling her victory decisive.

But with just 57 percent of the votes, Truss's first challenge will be to unite her party, let alone the country.

Like half of Britain's prime ministers, she studied here at Oxford University. But back then, she was a liberal Democrat activist in favor of legalizing cannabis and abolishing the monarchy.

TRUSS: Abolish them. We've had enough.

NOBILO: Now, she's the darling of the right wing of Britain's conservatives, the pro-monarchy party of law and order, quite the 180.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she fought a good campaign and I'm not surprised she's been voted in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does it make me feel warm and cuddly and soft all over? Not really because nothing will change.

CHELSEA DUFF, WAITRESS FROM BARNSLEY, 28: She said she's going to help energy costs, living costs. That's what we need.

NOBILO: Truss inherits a nightmare. War in Europe, a biting cost of living crisis, the country braced for a winter of potential blackouts and fuel poverty. Britain is desperately hoping she's leverage her ambition and adaptability to rise to the challenge.


NOBILO (on camera): Kaitlan, it is profoundly atypical for a prime minister to end office at this level of unpopularity within the country at large. And that's solely because she was only ushered into this post by 0.2 percent of the electorate, just the Conservative Party base. So without a clear mandate with the scale of the economic challenge facing the UK and with a party that's now in a tired state of disrepair, it would take a politician of towering gifts and stature to make a success of this.


And no one I have yet spoken to, Kaitlan, is entirely convinced that she's got what it takes.

COLLINS: Yeah, no clear mandate and an economic storm facing her. Bianca Nobilo, thank you so much, outside the British parliament.

Up next, a teacher, mother, and granddaughter of a billionaire missing for days now. We have surveillance video and a pair of sandals that gave investigators new leads in this case.


COLLINS: In our world lead, the Canadian prime minister just spoke moments ago about a string of stabbings that killed at least ten people and left 18 wounded. Police are warning the public to be on alert for these two suspects who are still at large having left 13 separate crime scenes in their wake.


CNN's Paula Newton joins us live from Ottawa.

Paula, what are we learning about the investigation so far and how it's proceeding?

Paula, we're going to get back to her in a few moments to get an update on what is happening there on the ground in Ottawa.

Right now, we're going to go to another disturbing case in Tennessee, where a judge has set bond at half a million dollars for a man who was arrested and charged in connection with the abduction of the Memphis mother, teacher, and billionaire's granddaughter, Liza Fletcher. She was attacked while jogging very early Friday morning. She is still missing.

As CNN's Gary Tuchman reports, police say a pair of sandals helped police identify the suspect.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to find her.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A major break but still no sign of Liza Fletcher. Police have arrested a 38-year-old man named Cleotha Abston in connection with the Tennessee teacher's disappearance. He's now charged with kidnapping and tampering with evidence. It's unclear if he has an attorney.

The arrest comes after U.S. marshals tracked down what a criminal complaint affidavit says is the SUV seen in this surveillance video. It shows 34-year-old Liza Fletcher early Friday morning before dawn jogging next to the university of Memphis campus, when the driver of this black SUV forced her into the passenger side of the vehicle.

The affidavit against Abston obtained by CNN reveals the SUV remained in a parking lot for about four minutes. There appeared to be a struggle between the two before the suspect drove away.

U.S. Marshals found the GMC Terrain near Abston's home. The vehicle had the same damage and license plate seen in the surveillance footage according to the affidavit. Investigators contacted Abston's employer to help confirm the vehicle believed to be involved in Liza Fletcher's kidnapping belongs to a woman associated with his address.

In addition, the affidavit reveals DNA recovered from a pair of sandals found at the crime scene helped investigators identify Abston. It said surveillance video from a local theater showed Abston wearing the same sandals the day before Liza's disappearance.

According to the affidavit, Abston has declined to share Liza Fletcher's whereabouts.

POLICE OFFICER: Our concern is to locate Ms. Fletcher. So, if anybody knows where she's at, call the police immediately.

TUCHMAN: Eliza Fletcher who goes by Liza is a wife, a mother of two, and a junior kindergarten teacher at the St. Mary's Episcopal School in Memphis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's a teacher and she has two young boys that obviously are worried about and just a great lady, really the best mom.

TUCHMAN: Eliza Fletcher is an heiress whose late billionaire grandfather ran Orgill Incorporated. The Memphis-based company is the nation's largest independent distributor in its field of hardware and home improvement, according to "Forbes".

CNN affiliate WMC posted a video statement from Eliza's family members saying they have met with police and shared all the information they have. The family is offering a $50,000 reward for crime stoppers for information leading to her safe return.

HART ROBINSON, FRIEND OF ELIZA FLETCHER'S FAMILY: More than anything, we want to see Liza returned home safely. The family has offered a reward for any information that leads to her safe return. We believe someone knows what happened and can help.


TUCHMAN (on camera): And, Kaitlan, we have this disturbing detail from about 22 years ago. The suspect today back in 2000, he was found guilty of kidnapping a man, a lawyer here in Memphis, who got away. But he served jail time, 20 years in prison. He was released November 2020, a little less than two years ago. He will go to court tomorrow for an arraignment.

One more thing we want to add. Three new lesser charges have been added today. They include identity theft and fraud use of a debit or credit card under $1,000. We don't know exactly what it means but we can figure he's alleged to have stolen one of her cards and used it -- Kaitlan.

COLLINS: So disturbing. Also, the news about that previous arrest.

Gary Tuchman reporting live from Memphis, thank you for that update.

I want to get back to Canada now where that manhunt is under way after the series of deadly stabbings.

CNN's Paula Newton is joining us live. Paula, what are we learning about this investigation so far?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, the problem here is that the trail has essentially gone cold, and it's been well over a day now since they have had any sightings of those two suspects that you mentioned, both Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson. They're, of course, dangerous.

What is interesting about this attack and has been so devastating and unnerving for people in that community who are afraid the suspects will still come back is the fact the attacks are both targeted and random. At this hour, there are still 18 people who are injured, 10 dead, and really everyone wondering why there have been no sightings of these suspects. Are they hiding out or are they laying in wait?

And the issue here is the nature of these crimes.


So vicious. These were stabbings. Firearms were not used and they were absolutely brutal, according to the witnesses that gave their statements to police.

I want you to listen to Justin Trudeau, the prime minister, talking about this moments ago. Listen.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Sadly, over these past years, tragedies like these have become all too commonplace. Saskatchewanians and Canadians will do what we always do in times of difficulty and anguish. We'll be there for each other. Be there for our neighbors, lean on each other. Help grieve and help heal.


NEWTON: Now, Kaitlan, while those words may come as some comfort, so many people in the community saying they remain terrified. Police also saying that people should shelter in place, remain indoors. If they do see the suspects, they are not to approach them. They're to leave the scene and call police.

At this hour, as I said, the manhunt continuing and spanning several thousands of miles -- Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yeah, you can't blame people for being unsettled.

Paula Newton reporting from Ottawa, thank you.

Up next, the red tape that is slowing down the process of removing Confederate names from buildings and schools.



COLLINS: A 1960s plaque emblazoned with the words Ku Klux Klan. No, it's not a hidden historical relic of a racist organization. Actually, that plaque is still hanging outside the science building at West Point. Now, the Congressional Naming Commission wants the pentagon to include KKK memorabilia in its efforts to identify and rename confederate markers in military institutions.

CNN's Nadia Romero reports on the obstacles blocking change at this site and others.


NADIA ROMERO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A new school year brings new hope in the years-long fight to change a trio of names that loom over this building and two others in Montgomery, Alabama -- Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Sydney Lanier High Schools.

Melvin Brown grew up in Robert E. Lee's hometown. Today, he's the superintendent of schools.

Just weeks into his tenure, Brown is determined to see the names go.


ROMERO: What do you say to those who believe we're trying to erase history, to erase heritage?

BROWN: The gentleman for whom this building is constructed and names was a brilliant military tactician. At the same time, he was a slaver. At the same time, he led a rebellion against his own country.

ROMERO: The Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit with a mission of challenging racial and economic injustice, says Lee High was named in 1954 as retaliation of Brown versus Board of Education, ending separate but equal in U.S. schools.

Jefferson Davis high named 1968, right after integration. As of 2021, EJI identifying more than 240 schools in 19 states named in honor of Confederate leaders.

In response to George Floyd's murder, school districts across the South and beyond pledged to rename schools named after Confederate leaders.

In Atlanta, Forest Hills Academy, named after Confederate and one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forest, is now Hank Aaron New Beginnings Academy.

In Baton Rouge, Lee Magnet School renamed Lee Magnet School. But in Montgomery, Alabama, where three public high schools have an at least 80 percent Black population, Confederate schools still remain. But school board member Lesa Keith argued changing the names would be more divisive than helpful.

LESA KEITH, SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER: My perception of this whole thing is that it's divided us as a board. And it is divided us as a city.

ROMERO: Despite the objection, the school board had enough votes to change the names of all three schools in July 2020, but more than two years later, not much has happened.

BROWN: You have a lot of work to do.

ROMERO: One of the major obstacles slowing them down is the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act signed in 2017 by Governor Kay Ivey. Will says if they change the school names without getting state approval, they could face steep fines.

CLARE WEIL, MONTGOMERY COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION PRESIDENT: There are fines that have been collected to pay those fines.

ROMERO: And more money would be needed to change everything from signage to letterheads to uniforms. A price tag the school district hasn't determined. But as Superintendent Brown sees it --

BROWN: There's no price that is too steep to help kids and their wellbeing.


ROMERO (on camera): And here in Jackson, Mississippi, the school used to be Robert E. Lee elementary. Now, it's Shirley Elementary, named after two prominent black doctors who helped develop medical institutions all across the state.

Kaitlan, there's a school district in Virginia who changed the names of some Confederate names schools but right now there's renewed push to reinstate those old names -- Kaitlan.

COLLINS: It's an important story. Nadia Romero, thank you.

Up next, another water emergency, a second filtration plant has failed in the United States in just two weeks because of a major flooding event.

Plus, women who take on some of the riskiest assignments to bring us the headlines.


COLLINS: The latest once in a thousand years flooding event has forced yet another water treatment plant to shut down, this time in Summerville, Georgia. The area got about a foot of water in 12 hours yesterday causing dangerous flash flooding as people in Summerville are now supposed to boil all water before using it.

Our coverage continues right now in "THE SITUATION ROOM."