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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Soon: Police To Release Office Body Cam Footage From Bank Shooting; Mayor: Change State Law To Give Louisville Autonomy On Gun Reform; Biden Lands In Northern Ireland For Diplomatic, Family Visit; Anti-Netanyahu Protesters Briefly Block Tel Aviv Highway; Jury Selection Set To Begin Thursday In Fox Defamation Trial; New Lawsuit From Manhattan Prosecutor; White House: U.S. Focused On Securing Release For Gershkovich, Whelan. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired April 11, 2023 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: I'm not saying that, but you know, we should always keep working. Keep our brains working as well.
All right. THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: We're standing by for police body cam footage from the tragedy inside that Louisville bank.
THE LEAD starts right now.
New details about a bank employee-turned-killer in Kentucky and the five people he murdered. Why did he live stream the attack? Why did he target his colleagues?
The investigation to get answers as we learn the actions of heroic officers who took out the gunman before he took even more lives.
Plus, the mayor of Louisville with an urgent plea to elected leaders in his state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CRAIG GREENBERG, LOUISVILLE, KY: Let us, the people of Louisville, make our own choices about how we reduce gun violence in our city.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: But will anyone in power heed his request?
And setting the stage for the blockbuster trial, Dominion versus Fox. A judge's stern warning today as the Murdoch network faces a $1.6 billion lawsuit for its many lies to the American people.
Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
We start today with our national lead. Next hour, we expect Louisville officials to release police body camera video of officers responses to yesterday's mass shooting at a local bank. The city's mayor says the video will be played at a press conference scheduled right now for 5:00 p.m. Eastern, which we will bring to you live as soon as it begins today.
Louisville officials also released more information about the gunman who they say purchase the AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle legally last Tuesday. Police also confirmed that they have carried out a search warrant at the shooter's house.
Overnight, tragically, another victim passed away in the hospital, bringing the death toll of innocent people murdered yesterday in Louisville and this incident to 5. Five-seven-year-old Deanna Eckert, 40-year-old Joshua Barrick, 63-year-old Thomas Elliot, 45-year-old Juliana Farmer, and 64-year-old James Tutt.
Doctors say that the rookie officer who was shot in the head by the gunman yesterday, is still in critical condition. Officer Nikolas Wilt graduated from the police academy just 10 days before he responded to the scene yesterday.
CNN's Adrienne Broadus starts off our coverage today from Louisville, where police have released new dispatch audio revealing that the gunman left a voicemail before his deadly attack.
ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another American city in mourning following a mass shooting that killed five and left eight others injured.
DISPATCHER: Twenty-five-year-old White male, Connor Sturgeon, 6'4". He's texted a friend, called a friend left a voicemail. He's going to kill everyone at the bank. Feeling suicidal.
BROADDUS: Police dispatch audio, revealing that the gunman left a voicemail for friend before the shooting. This as we also await the release of 911 calls and surveillance video from the scene.
Police say the gunman livestreamed the attack on Instagram. It was later taken down.
A city official who has seen the video tells CNN, the attack on bank workers lasted about a minute, with the gunman stopping to sit down in the lobby, apparently waiting for police. The official says, in the video, you can hear female coworkers saying, quote, good morning to the gunman. Then the gunman is heard telling her, quote, you need to get out of here.
The official says the gunman then tries to shoot, but the safety is on and the weapon isn't loaded. And once the weapon is loaded and the safety is off, he shoots her in the back. Her condition is not known. Five people were killed.
MAYOR CRAIG GREENBERG (D), LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: Late yesterday, we learned that Deanna Eckert passed. She was 57 years old.
BROADDUS: Several others remain in the hospital, including a rookie police officer who was shot in the head.
Police say they have executed a search warrant on the gunman's home and have new information about the weapon.
INTERIM CHIEF JACQUELYN GWINN-VILLAROEL, LOUISVILLE POLICE: We have also learned that he purchased the weapon used in this tragic incident on yesterday on April, the 4th. He purchased the weapon legally from one of the local dealerships here in Louisville.
BROADDUS: And now, another community tries to wrap their head around devastating gun violence, including Dr. Jason Smith.
DR. JASON SMITH, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE HEALTH: To be honest with you, we barely had to adjust our operating room scheduled to be able to do this. That's how frequent we are having to deal with gun violence in our community. I'm weary.
There's only so many times you can walk into a room and tell someone they're not coming home tomorrow. And it just breaks your heart.
BROADDUS (on camera): That was Dr. Smith. After I asked him what was on that was Dr. Smith. After I asked him what was on his heart. He told me for 15 years he has treated victims of violence and those who come into the hospital with gunshot wounds. Among those he's treating, Officer Wilt, who is still in critical condition. Officer Wilt was trying to protect people when he entered this bank that's now boarded up from those gunshot wounds.
We're also learning Officer Wilt has a heart for public service. I spoke with someone who knows him well, who told me he was a volunteer firefighter in a neighboring community. That's something he's done since 2016 -- Jake.
TAPPER: Adrienne Broaddus in Louisville, Kentucky, for us, thank you so much.
Today, Louisville's mayor pleaded with Kentucky lawmakers to try to find a way to work together to pass new gun restrictions, noting this about the weapon used in yesterday's horrific attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREENBERG: Undercurrent Kentucky law, the assault rifle that was used to murder five of our neighbors and shoot at rescuing police officers will one day be auctioned off. Think about that. That murder weapon will be back on the streets one day under Kentucky's current law. It's time to change this law and let us destroy illegal guns and destroy the guns that have been used to kill our friends and kill our neighbors.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Let's bring in CNN security correspondent Josh Campbell.
Josh, walk us through this law and other relevant gun laws on the books in Kentucky.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Jake. So under Kentucky law, whenever police confiscate a weapon, if it's not retained for what they call official purposes, the law says that it shall be auctioned off. Not that it may be auctioned off, it shall be auctioned off.
And it's important note that the spirit of that law was likely intended for a positive purpose, and that was generating revenue. The law states that funds from those auctions sales will go to purchase police supplies, purchase service animals, increased safety at school. But of course, the big question here is after a mass shooting, under the state law, you -- that law is now being required to be auctioned off. And so, as the mayor pointed out there, it could end up in the hands of someone else. So that is obviously something that that lawmakers there will be taking a look at.
Let's look at some of the other laws in the state of Kentucky. Of course, after these mass shootings, the big question comes, how did the shooter get access to the weapons? It's important to note that there are quite lax gun laws in the state of Kentucky. It is a strong gun rights state. Under the state law, there is no requirement of a universal background check before you get a weapon. There are no so- called red flag laws.
So even if someone in the shooter's orbit, had concerns and wanted to petition a judge to have a firearm taken away, in that state, that's not on the books. And there's also no permit to require the carrying of a firearm.
It's important to note, I'll have you listen here to our colleague Jennifer Mascia on the CNN guns beat (ph). She points out that when that permit law was rescinded back in 2019, lawmakers also got rid of a requirement that would have made gun owners show that they're actually proficient with the weapon and how to operate it safely.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER MASCIA, CNN GUNS IN AMERICAN CONTRIBUTOR: Before permit list. Carrie was enacted in 2019 and Kentucky in order to get a concealed carry permit. Somebody had to prove that they knew how to fire a gun, and they actually had to pass a shooting test. So you went to a shooting range and you had to make 11 out of 20 shots on a target in front of an instructor and the instructor had to sign off. When permitless carry was adopted, that requirement was eliminated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMPBELL: Now, take a look at these final elements of gun ownership in Kentucky. And these have been quite controversial as of late. We've heard people calling for reforms, particularly because under Kentucky, you can get a gun despite having mental health issues, despite being subjected to a restraining order for domestic abuse, despite having been convicted for a violent misdemeanor, and, of course, a lot of questions here after the shooting will wait and see whether lawmakers there actually get together and try to tackle some of these issues.
It's important note check that we know national polling shows that nearly 90 percent of Americans favor gun background checks, looking into someone's past before they can get a deadly weapon. We'll have to wait and see whether lawmakers in Kentucky actually move forward on any types of reforms and changing some of these laws.
TAPPER: All right. Josh Campbell, thanks so much.
Let's bring in CNN contributor Stephen Gutowski. He's the founder of "The Reload", which focuses on guns and gun policy.
Stephen, let me start with a question that I ask you quite often, sadly, which is do you know of a law that might have prevented this particular shooting from happening?
Because as far as I know, the shooter didn't have a criminal history, didn't have a history of -- and, you know, we're going to learn more about him in the coming days, didn't have a history of drug abuse, didn't have a history of emotional or mental problems.
Do you know of anything that would have stopped this legal purchase from happening?
STEPHEN GUTOWSKI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No and the reality is in this situation. He went through a background check to purchase the gun that he used, so they did check on all of those things, even though it's not required for carrying a gun in Kentucky now, that he did go through that.
TAPPER: Because he bought it at a gun dealer, and there's a federal background check system.
GUTOWSKI: Exactly, that's correct. So, any licensed dealer has to do a background check whenever they sell a gun to a civilian, like what happened in this situation.
So, you know, as far as signs that we're aware of right now for what could have made him prohibited from owning a gun, we don't have any. He didn't have a criminal history that was severe or any at all. It seems like from what we understand right now, and you didn't have a history of being committed. There are other ways, you know, there's red flag laws, which is something we talked about a lot, and --
GUTOWSKI: -- and was discussed in that segment. That's sort of a middle ground between what can be done for somebody who's been who's experiencing severe mental health issues with a threat to themselves or others. TAPPER: And we've seen that with the Buffalo shooter, with the Uvalde
shooter. There was -- I mean, we see a troubled young man who the society knows that they're troubled, but you have to use the red flag law.
GUTOWSKI: Right, and there are other laws, not just read flag. There's more severe options that are available in almost every state, which is involuntary commitment, but that's a much higher bar to actually get someone to be put through that process. Then that's where advocates of red flag laws come in. They want this sort of temporary removal of firearms with lower standards for what qualifies somebody to have their guns removed.
And obviously, that's also what makes them controversial to gun rights advocates who believe that the standards aren't high enough. Don't protect the rights of people involved.
TAPPER: So, Louisville police say this was a targeted incident. The shooter knew the victims. Is that common in most mass shootings?
GUTOWSKI: It is according to violence project, insider attacks like this where the person is -- has some relation to the target that they're going after --
TAPPER: These are people he worked with.
GUTOWSKI: Yeah, that's unfortunately a common feature of these sorts of mass killings that we've seen. Additionally, the suicidal ideation that was discussed as well, is a common feature among mass shooters of this nature.
In fact, that's one of the things where, you know, mass shootings of this type where someone goes and kills a lot of people in a single incident in public, they are -- the people who carry those out are very frequently suicidal. They very frequently want to die during this incident, and perhaps one of the ways we can look at prevention of these particular types of shootings, not all gun violence, of course, but these particular types is really to look at the same methods we would use to prevent suicides because you're trying to off ramp somebody from doing something like this, just like you would try to offer him somebody from taking their own life.
TAPPER: Yeah. Our society, as of right now, really relies a lot on individuals to step in, and do something if they see somebody who is troubled. Whether or not that's enough is another issue.
Stephen Gutowski, always good to see you. Thank you so much.
Louisville police -- Louisville mayor says 40 people have been killed from gun violence this year alone and because of that, he has an urgent request for lawmakers, but is his ask realistic?
Also ahead, President Biden's phone call today with the family of "Wall Street Journal" reporter Evan Gershkovich who is detained in Russia, what the president also revealed about another American also behind bars. Stay with us.
TAPPER: And we're back with our national lead.
The Louisville, Kentucky mayor today begging for legislative action on gun reform after five people were killed, innocent people were killed in a mass shooting yesterday in his city. One of those victims was a close friend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREENBERG: Let us implement policies that work for us. Please change our state law to let Louisville make its own decisions about reducing the amount of illegal guns on our streets and gun violence that is killing far too many people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: With us now, CNN political director David Chalian.
And, David, obviously, as we've covered now, you and me together literally for decades, legislative action on gun reform is much easier said than done.
Let me bring up a map to give an idea of what the mayor of Louisville is up against. This is the 2020 presidential election results map. A sea of red, Louisville is that small blue dot at the top, Kentucky predominantly Republican, 80 of the state's legislators, 100 House seats, are Republican, is he asking for the -- I mean, they do have a Democratic governor.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: They do.
TAPPER: But, you know, is he asking for the impossible here?
CHALIAN: Well, I don't want to say anything is impossible in politics, but it certainly is an uphill climb of what he's asking. You note the 80-20 split in the House. I will just say, there are 37 senators right now there's a vacancy in the Kentucky Senate. Okay, seven of them are Democrats. Five of those seven are from Louisville . That's that that is just like we're all the Democrats living.
Jake, we see this in state after state after state in the country, the way we Americans sort of sort ourselves politically, where, you know, those Democratic population centers like Louisville. All the Democrats are in there and then it's a big sea of red. So it's not.
It's not just Kentucky, which, by the way, only seven states did. Donald Trump in 2020 have a wider margin of victory than he had with his 26 percent point victory in Kentucky in 2020. So, yes, it is a red state, but it also mirrors sort of how America sorts itself. TAPPER: And how is Kentucky do you think an example of the larger
issue of cities begging for help when it comes to gun violence? But the state and federal level having to answer with the political reality that even if most Americans support common sense gun measures like red flag laws --
CHALIAN: Or universal background checks.
TAPPER: -- universal background checks, politically, it's very heavy lift?
CHALIAN: It's a very heavy lift. Obviously, we've talked a lot about the power of a lobby like the NRA that has on Republican politicians. So where you have supermajorities in these states and some of these states of Republicans, the idea that gun laws are somehow going to be loosened or restrictions are going to become more loose, that that just seems hill too far to climb.
For activists we have seen, we should note, we have seen some legislation. Just last year, there was a bipartisan bill in Congress that got past that Biden signed into law that dealt with some gun issues. But as you know, that's sort of like tinkering at the edges around these other issues that you described have massive popular support. But the political structure is such a blockade. So it requires a way around that, and I don't think we've seen our politicians find that.
TAPPER: Yeah. We should say also, after the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that Republican state, Florida, actually did pass a number of measures, not just school safety measures, but also red flag laws and a bunch more with the Republican governor, Rick Scott. Who did not support bringing those same laws on a federal level when he became a senator.
David Chalian, thanks so much.
Coming up next, it's not all smiles for this homecoming. The volatile landscape President Biden is walking into as he arrives in Northern Ireland this hour.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: You're looking at images, live images from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Air Force One just touched down. It's a trim (ph) that President Trump -- a trip that President Biden hopes is both a celebration of diplomacy and a homecoming.
But his timing may not be that lucky, as the security situation in Northern Ireland is increasingly getting dicey. Today, Irish police say they found four suspected pipe bombs in a cemetery in Derry, Northern Ireland, which is about 70 miles northwest of Belfast. And yesterday in Derry, fringe, pro-Irish members of the so called New IRA threw Molotov cocktails and gas bombs at police.
CNN's Phil Mattingly and Nic Robertson are live for us in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
And, Nic, this trip coincides with the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. That's a deal brokered by the U.S., signed 25 years ago to end the bloodshed between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. There's President Biden getting off Air Force One.
But now you say that that Good Friday Agreement, Nic, is under strain. Tell us more.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yeah, the peace did come, the bombs and bullets stop playing -- stop going off. But what didn't happen was an exploration and coming to an agreement on the future identity of Northern Ireland. Of course, there's the unionists who want to be pro-British. And there's the nationalists would like to be a part of a united island.
And this has never been reconciled, and that gets to the underlying tensions and that gets to the group who were throwing the Molotov cocktails yesterday at the police, the same group who went in the cemetery, who we went in there with them yesterday.
There was a moment where they all head under umbrellas so that the police helicopters flying overhead and police drones couldn't spy on them. Today, the police went in that cemetery and in that same area where those young men were hiding, they found four pipe bombs today. The police believe these would have been used against the police.
There's nothing this group would like more than to cause explosion and mayhem when President Biden is here because it would put the spotlight on them when there's so much international coverage here. So it's a likely that this sort of uptick in violence is going to impact the president directly. More security, of course in Belfast because of it.
But the reality is it underscores that there are still those tensions that some of the issues the Good Friday agreement just didn't resolve.
TAPPER: You're looking at images right there. In addition to President Biden, I should note, you see the U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Also, if you recognize the tall redhead on the right there, that is former congressman from Massachusetts, Joe Kennedy III, I believe, and he is the special envoy to Northern Ireland.
Phil, are President Biden or his team concerned about the security situation in Northern Ireland?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, the president was asked about the increased security threat a week ago, and he said they can't keep me out. And I think that underscores, one, his determination to make this trip, something that's been essentially circled on the calendar since he took the oval office in January of 2021. But also, I think this moment and everything Nic just described
underscores the rationale for being in Northern Ireland at all for coming to Belfast and behind -- it kind of gets behind the scenes of the speech the president plans to give tomorrow at Ulster University, a recognition that despite the very real good and peace and stability brought by the good Friday agreement 25 years ago, there is still so much more that can and should be done, particularly on the economic side of things.
You mentioned Joe Kennedy, who's here is the special envoy to Northern Ireland specifically on economic issues. And the core of the president's message, while he will be here, will certainly be about maintaining the Good Friday Agreement, about seeing through the Windsor agreement that was signed onto in February but also about the economic possibilities and development that need to happen here that could mirror to some degree the development of this transpired in Ireland over the course of the last couple of decades.
TAPPER: All right. Phil Mattingly and Nic Robertson for us in Belfast, Northern Ireland, thanks to both of you.
Now to Israel. Overnight, hundreds of protesters blocked the main road in Tel Aviv in opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and the actions the government has been taking, specifically its role in soaring tensions during the overlapping Jewish and Muslim holidays, Passover and Ramadan, as well as proposed judicial reforms and much more really.
CNN's Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem, where some are starting to question Netanyahu's judgment, especially as his far right security minister, Ben-Gvir, continues to inflame this already quite volatile situation.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Benjamin Netanyahu entered office for his third stint in December. He did so only with the support of far right parties, once considered the fringe of Israeli politics.
TAPPER: The way it is now you think --
GOLD: But when asked by CNN's Jake Tapper about their influence in his government, he brushed them off.
TAPPER: But I don't know --
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER: I've got my two hands on the wheel and believe me, it's going to be a good direction.
GOLD: Even if Netanyahu's hands are on the wheel, people like National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir are making it a bumpy ride.
AMIT SEGAL, CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CHANNEL 12 NEWS: I think Netanyahu got his hands on the steering wheel, but it is Ben-Gvir and Smotrich with their legs on the gas. Netanyahu is the prime minister, no doubt, but he's not the leader of this government.
GOLD: Now overseeing the Israeli police, whose multiple raids into the Al Aqsa mosque last week after Palestinians barricaded themselves inside helped spark rocket fire from Lebanon and Gaza.
Former Prime Minister Yair Lapid calling on Netanyahu to strip Ben- Gvir of his police powers over the holy sites.
YAIR LAPID, HEAD OF OPPOSITION, FORMER PRIME MINSTER (through translator): The Temple Mount during Ramadan is the most explosive place in the world. It is not possible that it is being dealt with by a clown on TikTok that has lost the confidence of the police and the forces on the ground.
GOLD: On Monday, Ben-Gvir marching alongside thousands of Israeli settlers to an outpost still deemed illegal under this government as Palestinians clashed with Israeli security nearby.
Last month, protests against Netanyahu's massive judicial overhaul plan exploded into the biggest general strike in Israeli history.
Four hours, Netanyahu was nowhere to be seen, just a tweet urging protesters to behave responsibly.
Instead the news of a pause to the legislation came in the form of a statement from Ben-Gvir, who seemed to be the final stumbling block before the pullback could be announced.
Guaranteed a new national guard under his ministry in exchange for agreeing to the pause, although he promised his supporters that the overhaul will still happen.
EHUD BARAK, FORMER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: So that's a lunatics step of Netanyahu, which shows to what extent he cannot make sincere judgment.
GOLD: Now, even Netanyahu's own former top lieutenants are questioning his judgment.
EFRAIM HALEVY, FORMER MOSSAD HEAD: I believe that the Benjamin Netanyahu of today is not the Benjamin Netanyahu that I knew when he appointed me head of Mossad. And I grieve for this, but I cannot accept that he could -- should continue and lead the country.
GOLD: As Israel quickly approaches its 75th Independence Day, Netanyahu driving the country into unknown territory.
GOLD (on camera): Now, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu earlier today announcing that non-Muslims will be barred from going to the Temple Mount/the Al Aqsa compound for the remainder of Ramadan. This announcement likely bringing a sigh of relief too much of the security establishment here, who believe that will help calm the rising tensions. But Itamar Ben-Gvir, the minister of national security, saying in a
statement that this is a serious mistake that he believes will not bring peace, will only escalate the situation, saying that they must strike back to terrorism with tremendous force not surrender to it and to its whims -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Hadas Gold in Jerusalem for us, thank you so much.
Coming up, the lawsuit just filed by the Manhattan D.A. who indicted Donald Trump. It's a lawsuit against the top House Republicans.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our politics lead, a judge today ruling that Dominion voting systems cannot bring up the January 6th insurrection during its upcoming defamation trial against Fox. But the judges also blocking Fox from bringing up certain evidence that the company had hoped to present to the jury and from making some First Amendment argues to defend the numerous lies they presented to their viewers. Jury selection begins Thursday.
CNN's Oliver Darcy is following the case for us.
And, Oliver, what's the significance of these rulings today ahead of the start of this trial?
OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Well, Jake, these rulings are pretty significant in that they will shape some of the rules at the trial, which is set to start on Monday. The judge, as you said, ruled that Fox or the Dominion cannot bring up the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol the judge saying that this maybe for another court at another time, but it's not for this court at this time.
That said, Jake, that judge did rule in favor for Dominion on a number of issues, the judge ruling that they can bring up financial information that they found in discovery as it relates to Fox or compensation, for instance, they can bring that up . He says economics are irrelevant, and he also talks about how Fox cannot bring up some of the broadcast they aired in which they fact check some of Dominions or some of Trump's election lies. He says, that's not relevant to the case at hand here because you can't absolve yourself, he says from defamation by putting someone on a different time.
So, some victories for Dominion, some for Fox. Again, like you said this jury selection starting on Thursday, and the trial will go on on Monday with opening arguments, unless a settlement can somehow be reached between the two parties.
TAPPER: Meanwhile these lies that Trump and his minions, including those who work at Fox, told about Dominion, they're still here and still impacting how Republican voters look at electronic voting. Tell us about that. DARCY: Yeah, Jake, lies have consequences, and it's pretty clear at
this point that a significant portion of the GOP base has been influenced by these lies and some of them are in charge of, you know, voting, and, coming up with the systems in place for people to vote.
And so, for instance, over in Shasta County, a county in California, there are no longer comfortable with Dominion voting machines because of some of these lies. So these lies did have consequences. That's why Dominion is taking Fox to court and we'll see what happens in the weeks ahead.
TAPPER: Oliver Darcy, thanks so much.
Let's bring in former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst Elie Honig.
Elie, we've already seen so many of these damaging texts and emails from Fox executives and hosts in the case in which they acknowledge that the nonsense they were putting on their air and putting guests on their air sharing. They knew to be false. If you were a Fox attorney defending Fox, how would you feel going into jury selection this week about your case?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I feel queasy, Jake. I would not want to be in the position of defending Fox here. I think they're headed for a full blown journalistic and legal disaster.
It is very difficult to successfully suing media outlet for defamation in this country. What you have to prove is what we call actual malice, meaning the statements were false, and the defendant made those statements knowingly or with reckless disregard of the truth.
Now that's a very high bar. But here we have Fox's own texts in black and white, where they call the election fraud claims, and I quote, nuts, insane, B.S.
And so, you contrast that with the things that Fox said on air, and I think Fox is in a very difficult position here.
TAPPER: Now, the judge granted partial summary judgment to Dominion in this case. What does that mean? How significant is it?
HONIG: Well, that's a big win for Dominion because the judge has now ruled as a matter of law and fact, these statements about election fraud were false. That's not even going to the jury.
So the judge will tell the jury, I instruct you jury. These statements were false. Your only job is to decide that actual malice question. Did Fox know or were they reckless?
And so, with that ruling, Dominion's really halfway to where they need to get.
TAPPER: Are we going to hear do you think from some of the high profile names in the case, whether it's Rupert Murdoch or Sean Hannity? HONIG: Absolutely. Rupert Murdoch, the judge ruled, has to testify.
Sean Hannity is on both sides witness list. Maria Bartiromo and others are very likely witnesses.
And, Jake, when someone's a news anchor, they're sort of used to asking the questions and to dictating what the topics will be. Let me tell you, the tables are going to be turned, when those folks are sitting in the witness box. It will not be up to them when the questioning is over. It will not be up to them what the topic will be. They're going to be at the mercy of the judge and the lawyers.
TAPPER: Bill Barr, the former attorney general, who's been pretty clear about these lies being lies, he wrote an op-ed saying that he did not think that this would be a good decision for journalism writ large if Dominion wins.
I don't know if you read his case, but you've heard the First Amendment arguments. What do you think of them?
HONIG: I disagree. I think there that the First Amendment needs to be very broad. It should be broad. We in the media take advantage of the First Amendment as we should. It's part of our system.
But it's not limitless. And if, as the allegation is here, any outlet or any person lies knowing that it is false, then yes, there can be some awful consequences. So I disagree with Attorney General Barr on that.
TAPPER: On another matter, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who indicted Donald Trump, he's suing Republican House Judiciary Committee chairman, Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio. He's accusing Jordan of a, quote, transparent campaign to intimidate and attack his office, because it is bringing this case against Donald Trump. What's your reaction?
HONIG: Well, first of all, I should note, I worked with Alvin Bragg. He's a former colleague of mine, but I applaud him here, as much as I have raised questions about the merits of the case. He's taking a stand.
He's striking back here, and he's saying essentially, you in the United States Congress have no jurisdiction here. You do not have the right or the legal ability to interfere with, to open up a local criminal grand jury investigation. I think he's right and I think he's taking an important stand for the independence and integrity of his office.
TAPPER: All right. Elie Honig, good to see you. Thank you so much.
HONIG: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Coming up at the top of the hour, we expect Louisville police to release bodycam video -- police body cam video of that tragic bank shooting. We're going to bring that to you when it happens.
Also ahead, the message today from President Biden when he called the family of that detained "Wall Street Journal" reporter unfairly imprisoned in Russia.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our world, lead the family of Evan Gershkovich, "The Wall Street Journal" reporter detained in Russia is reacting to a phone call today from President Biden. A new statement from the family says quote. We are encouraged that the State Department has officially designated heaven is wrongfully detained. We appreciate President Biden's called to us today, unquote.
The White House says that during the phone call, President Biden made mention of another unfairly detained American.
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KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president made it clear that his national security team has been and will remain focused on securing Evan's release as well as that of Paul Whelan.
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TAPPER: Both Gershkovich and Whelan are detained on what are largely believed to be false trumped up charges of espionage.
Whelan is a former U.S. marine. He was left behind in the last two prisoner swaps, one for former Marine Trevor Reed, the other four, WNBA star Brittney Griner.
With us now, Paul Whelan's brother, David Whelan.
David, your parents were able to speak to Paul yesterday for the first time in nearly two weeks. He has now spent four years wrongfully detained since December 2018, living a bleak life inside a Russian penal colony right now.
How is he doing?
DAVID WHELAN, BROTHER OF PAUL WHELAN, AMERICAN DETAINED IN RUSSIA: He seems to be surviving as well as you can. That sort of situation, he said that his weight is mostly stable.
He'd lost a little bit -- food portions in the prison have been reduced as the sanctions start to bite in the Russian economy. He's -- he's doing the best he can to get by.
TAPPER: Your folks say that Paul is aware of Evan Gershkovich's case and his fear of being left behind a third time was apparently palpable. Now, today, you wrote in a blog post, quote, I can't conceive a scenario where the U.S. government conceded anything to the Kremlin for an Americans released that did not include Paul. It would be an unconscionable betrayal, unquote.
Did President Biden or any other U.S. officials assure you and your family that Evan Gershkovich will not come home without Paul?
WHELAN: No, and we wouldn't expect that assurance. I don't think we want to have Mr. Gershkovich not coming home either.
But these cases are identical. They're identical charges. They're identical. They're the only two Americans who are designated wrongfully detained in Russia, and so, if there are resources to bring home, either of them, I would expect those resources to be applied to Paul's case, and not exclusively. If it could bring both Paul and Evan home, that would be super.
TAPPER: Paul told CNN that he thinks his case for release is tougher because the Russians have baselessly accused him of being a spy. Unlike Brittney Griner and Trevor Reed, who were accused of lesser charges, other charges.
But now, Evan Gershkovich, "The Wall Street Journal" reporter, is also being baselessly accused of being a spy. Do you think this puts both of their cases on the same level in terms of how Russia is going to negotiate?
WHELAN: I think that's correct. I think that they have applied the label of espionage to both of the Americans, Paul and Evan, and, we'll probably be trying to get concessions that are in their view equivalent to those charges.
TAPPER: We interviewed last week, Nicholas Daniloff, rather. He was a journalist. I believe he was with "U.S. News and World Report". He was unfairly detained on trumped up charges of espionage during the Soviet Union days. Gorbachev was the premier.
He said that they didn't even present evidence of this so-called espionage. It was just a crack to begin with. But then again, he was only detained for a couple weeks.
Have the Russians presented any evidence against your brother that is even remotely credible?
I think even talking about it is playing the playing into the Kremlin's narrative. There was a secret trial. There was secret evidence. Paul was not given the opportunity to bring witnesses to testify to his innocence. So I think, even talking about whether they have evidence or what that evidence could be is just really playing towards the Kremlin's attempt to make this into something that it isn't, which is, it's false charges.
TAPPER: Fair enough.
Are you concerned that the U.S. will view Gershkovich as a higher priority because he's a journalist and therefore, too many people represents freedom of the press?
WHELAN: I think that would be disappointing. I think they are both American citizens, and they both deserved the full weight of the U.S. government behind them. Regardless of what their profession is, regardless of how they ended up in this situation they've been labeled wrongfully detained. They've been charged with the same crimes and I think they deserve the same treatment.
TAPPER: Do you think that the two prisoner swaps for Trevor Reed and Brittney Griner uh, which got Russia some pretty bad guys in return for of these two innocent Americans, do you think this might have motivated Russia to detain another American, Evan Gershkovich because they might be able to get something more out of it?
WHELAN: I don't think it would have been a motivation. I think that the U.S. -- the Russian government is motivated by its own particular interests. And I think the fact that they have charged Mr. Gershkovich with espionage shows that they have some sort of intention of using that for parity for whatever concession they're trying to extort from the U.S. government. I don't know that any of these cases have any impact on any of the other cases.
TAPPER: David Whelan, thank you so much. We're going to continue to pray for your brother and more importantly, perhaps, we're going to continue to cover his story. Thanks for joining us.
WHELAN: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Coming up next, I'm going to speak to one state governor who is stockpiling the abortion pill, while the courts sort out this judge's recent ruling suspending access to the drug.
Plus, any minute we do expect police to release new body cam video showing the heroic actions of police in Louisville responding to that horrific mass shooting inside a bank.
TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
This hour, as reparations for the legacy of slavery and racist policies and official city of San Francisco task force proposes giving $5 million to each and every qualified Black adult in San Francisco. But the proposal is raising a lot of questions, including, where is that $175 billion going to come from?
Plus, while the future legality of the abortion pill remains up in the air, the leader of one state has been stockpiling that drug. Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey is here to explain.
And leading this hour, any moment, Louisville police will hold a press conference where they are expected to play police body cam footage from the deadly bank shooting that killed five innocent people and injured eight. Louisville's mayor say they're only going to show the police interactions with the gunmen, and it will be respectful of all the victims.
Let's get right to CNN's Omar Jimenez who's at -- live at the press conference.
Omar, do we know how much body cam video the police are expected to release?
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Jake.