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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Trump Co-Defendant Makes First Court Appearance; Judge Denies Trump's Attempt To Block Georgia D.A.; DeSantis Unveils Economic Agenda On Campaign Trail In New Hampshire; Nurse And Her Child Kidnapped In Haiti; Saudi Arabia To Host Talks About Ukraine Peace Plan; Memphis Police Shoot Man Who Fired Gun At Jewish Day School; Source: Hunter Biden's Ex-Business Partner Was Selling The "Illusion" Of Access To His Father; Alito Defends Independence Of Supreme Court. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired July 31, 2023 - 16:00   ET



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: That is so nice. I wish that is the way social media really was.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Yeah, instead you get awful comments.

Brianna, you wanted to share something with us.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: I did something bad when I was little. It wasn't nice like that kid.

SANCHEZ: What did you do?

KEILAR: I filled my grandparents, the gas tank of their camper van with sand. We're playing gas station.

SCIUTTO: Oh my gosh.

KEILAR: We didn't have any gas. We only had sand.

SANCHEZ: You're poor grandparents.

KEILAR: Yeah, delayed their trip.

SCIUTTO: That's genuinely surprising, Brianna.

SANCHEZ: I hope the statute of limitations has passed.

SANCHEZ: I think it has. I think it has. I hope.

SCIUTTO: We'll call her grandparents up.

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: Two courts, two states, two cases and one former president.

THE LEAD starts right now. Another Trump associate makes his first court appearance in the

classified documents case in Florida. The Mar-a-Lago property manager is accused of trying to help delete security footage from Trump's resort. While in Georgia, signs that we're close to a key decision in another Trump case.

And then, a search intensifies for an American nurse and her child who were kidnapped in one of the most dangerous places in the world, Haiti. What the State Department is saying today.

Plus, a mic drop that could land Cardi B in trouble with the police. A fan throws a drink at her while she's on stage, and Cardi B hurls her mic. But this may turn into more than just a water fight.


GOLODRYGA: Welcome to THE LEAD, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga, in for Jake Tapper.

We start with our law and justice lead and two different cases against the former Trump -- former President Trump in two different states. In Florida, Mar-a-Lago property manager is the newest co-defendant in the classified documents case. Carlos de Oliveira had his first court appearance today in Miami. He was indicted on four counts including conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements to the FBI. Prosecutors say de Oliveira told another Mar-a-Lago employee that, quote, the boss wanted security camera footage deleted after it was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury.

And in Georgia, the Fulton County district attorney says the investigation into Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election is done, and quote, we're ready to go. Today, a judge rejected president Trump's attempt to disqualify the attorney and block any indictments stemming from her investigation.

CNN's Randi Kaye kicks off our coverage today from Miami where Mar-a- Lago employee Carlos de Oliveira was in court.

So, Randi, what happened inside that courtroom today?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was very brief court appearance, Bianna. He was huddled with his attorney and surrounded by a handful of U.S. marshals. He did not enter a formal plea. That is because he had a Washington, D.C.-based attorney with him and he needed a Florida-based attorney who is barred here in Florida to officially enter that plea. So that will happen next week.

He was also released on $100,000 bond. He cannot discuss the case with any of the potential government witnesses. His attorney was given a list of those witnesses. And his travel is also restricted. He told the judge that he had a U.S. passport that was expired but judge still told him that he had turn over that passport within 48 hours.

He entered the courtroom with John Irving, his lawyer from D.C. Now, Carlos de Oliveira didn't speak but his attorney did make a short statement. Listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN IRVING, CARLOS DE OLIVEIRA'S ATTORNEY: The Justice Department has decided to bring the charges against Carlos de Oliveira. And now, it's time for them to put their money where their mouth is.


GOLODRYGA: And, Randi, we're also learning another Mar-a-Lago employee Yuscil Tavares received a target letter from prosecutors back in June after President Trump was first indicted. So what was his role in all of this?

KAYE: I should point out, Tavares has not been formally charged and it's unclear how much he's cooperating with prosecutors. But we do know that he is -- from sources telling CNN that he is employee number four in the indictment. He's the I.T. worker that Carlos de Oliveira was talking to, who he spoke with in the audio closet as it is called in the indictment and he asked him about the security camera footage and how to delete it and how long it lasts on the server and telling him that the boss wants the server deleted.

So that is who Yuscil Tavares is. What's key here is that CNN has spoken with some sources and those source are telling us that it was the information coming from Tavares that led to these additional allegations against the former president, his aide Walt Nauta, as well as de Oliveira.

Back to you.

GOLODRYGA: Interesting. Randi Kaye, thank you.

And in another investigation into President Trump is in its final stages. In Georgia, the Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to announce the findings from her investigation into Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.

CNN's Sara Murray is in Atlanta for us.


So, Sara, over the weekend, we heard from the district attorney. What did she say?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Our affiliate caught up with her at a back-to-school event over the weekend and she was praising the local sheriff for beginning to take steps to increase the security here around the courthouse. She made it clear that some people may not be pleased when she does make her charging decision over the next couple of weeks but says her investigation is pretty much ready to go.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Some people may not be happy with the decisions that I would make and sometimes when people are unhappy, they act in a way that could create harm. The work that is accomplished, we've been working for two and a half years. We're ready to go.


MURRAY: Now, of course, she has not said if she's actually going to seek charges against former President Donald Trump or his allies in the state, but we are expecting her to attempt to get these indictments before a grand jury.

My bet on timing is that we're talking about sometime in the next week or two. Not in the next day or two. But we are firmly in the window where she could make these announcements -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: So in the next week or two. Meantime, we know that Trump's legal team has tried to disqualify Fani Willis. Today, a judge rejected that, though.

MURRAY: That's right. I mean, this is really a smackdown from a judge here in Fulton county, Trump's team wanted the district attorney disqualified from the case. They wanted much of the evidence she collected with the special purpose grand jury and interviews with more than 75 witnesses tossed out.

And here is a portion of what the judge said in response to the Trump team taking issue with Fani Willis. He said: The drumbeat from the district attorney has been neither partisan in the political sense nor persona, in marked and refreshing contrast to the stream of personal invective flowing from one of the movants. It appears to be a swipe at the Trump team.

The judge continues: Put differently, the district attorney's office has been doing a fairly routine and legally unobjectionable job of public relations in a case that is anything but routine.

So, now, we wait to see if this judge is going to have the last word or if another judge in another court who had been slated to take this up on August 10th still moves ahead with that hearing -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Sara Murray, as always, you will continue to follow it all for us. Thank you.

Let's discuss with CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig and CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel.

Good to see you both. Jamie, so Trump's legal fees are piling up and his political action committee has spent, we now know, more than $40 million covering those fees since the beginning of the year. We also know that the two co- defendants in the classified documents case, Walt Nauta and Carlos de Oliveira, are being represented by attorneys paid for by Trump Save America PAC.

What is the reaction been to these revelations?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So, first of all, let's just talk about what a remarkable amount of money this is.


GANGEL: The trials have not even started and we expect more indictments are coming. Also, look, big picture, we hear about these millions and millions of dollars in fees. I think as we look at today's court proceedings, as we're expecting these other indictments to come, but let's just talk about the January 6 documents case.

And let's remember this. All Donald Trump had to do was return those documents and he wouldn't be here today, Walt Nauta wouldn't be here today, and Carlos de Oliveira wouldn't be here today. He was asked over and over again, over 18 months, there is really -- it would have been as simple as giving them back.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah and he continues to say that he had every right to possess them.

Meantime, Elie, is there any indication that de Oliveira flips? And if he does, how significant would that be for prosecutors?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Bianna, it's quite clear at this point that de Oliveira has not flipped. For one thing, he was just charged, as Jamie reported. He's continuing to use a Trump funded lawyer. He actually was interviewed by the FBI a few months ago and he lied in order to try to cover up for Donald Trump. He said he knew essentially nothing about anything.

So as of this moment, zero indication that he has flipped. Now things do change. Sometimes actually finding yourself on the other end of an indictment could be a wake-up call. And people can flip really at any point in the process as long as prosecutors are still interested in that person.

I do think prosecutors will remain interested if Mr. De Oliveira has a change of heart primarily because he is the individual who according to the indictment had a 24-minute phone conversation with Donald Trump about the surveillance system. They don't know exactly what was said there. But if Mr. De Oliveira flipped, I guarantee you, they would want to go into depth on that topic.

GOLODRYGA: And this is where he's waiting for legal representation in the state of Florida.

Elie, sticking with you. Is Yuscil Tavares also cooperating? I know it can be confusing with all of these Trump employees --


HONIG: Right.

GOLODRYGA: -- involved in the story. But what's the difference between these two specific individuals? HONIG: So, Mr. Tavares is the person who apparently is referred to in

the indictment as Trump employee four. All indications are that he is cooperating with DOJ. Number one, he's not been charged. Number two, he reportedly received a target letter.

Now, the reason DOJ would send a target letter to somebody like that, first of all, is just to warn them as with any defendant, but also to give them a chance to come in and cooperate. And if you look at the DOJ indictment, there are pieces of that indictment that appear to relate solely to testimony that they got from Mr. Tavares, from employee four.

For example, he gives an account of a conversation that he had with de Oliveira, where de Oliveira asked him to delete the surveillance footage. That only could make its way into the indictment if DOJ prosecutors knew that they had that piece of testimony from employee four locked in.

So, it appears to me that Mr. Tavares, again, employee four, is in fact, cooperating with DOJ.

GOLODRYGA: And, Jamie, obviously, multiple investigations we're covering but I do want to you ask about the one in Fulton County. Is the former president expecting charges in Georgia?

GANGEL: How could he not be expecting charges? I mean, when Fani Willis says, quote, we are ready to go, it couldn't be any clearer. So, Donald Trump clearly knows it is coming.

Look, as Sara Murray has reported, we're in this window now. We've seen security preparations going on. What's interesting, I think, to discuss is the timetable for Georgia, which we don't know yet. But a lot of discussion has been on the January 6 docs case. Could this happen before the election? Or more likely after the election?

Georgia, my understanding, is could be a very complicated case. Obviously, we know Donald Trump wants to push these cases as long as possible. So I think that is going to be something that we'll look at once we see the indictments come down.

GOLODRYGA: Boy, it's looking like it's going to be a busy august in Georgia and potentially Florida and potentially D.C.

Jamie and Elie, thank you.

Well, the new numbers that spell trouble for Ron DeSantis' presidential campaign and what it says about Donald Trump and the Republican nomination.

Then, one Supreme Court justice is telling Congress to mind its own business when it comes to one very sensitive topic.

Stick around for more on this.



GOLODRYGA: In our politics lead, today, a new sign of the campaign reboot for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis may not be going according to planned. A "New York Times"/Siena poll shows former President Donald Trump crushing the GOP field. And while DeSantis is still in second place, he trails Trump by 37 percentage points, a jaw-dropping amount.

CNN's Steve Contorno is following the DeSantis campaign in Concord, New Hampshire.

Steve, DeSantis today laid out his new economic agenda but it's really in the shadow of this poll. And it must be a gut punch to the campaign. What are they saying?

STEVE CONTORNO, CNN REPORTER: Certainly, this is not the kind of poll you want to see after you reboot your campaign, Bianna. And especially today, you saw him go up on the stage and he held a press conference where he actually said he wasn't going to take any questions that weren't about his economic proposal.

So clearly this is not something he wanted to talk about. And why would he. It shows Donald Trump, this poll, 45 percent to DeSantis' 17.

But I want to talk about the underlying elements of poll because they get at the heart of the problems that DeSantis is having with his central argument. He has said that he would be a more effective executive than Trump. He is someone who could come in and get his agenda accomplished.

Well, Republican voters right now disagree. Sixty-seven percent said Trump would actually be the better nominee to get stuff done. DeSantis trails at 22.

What about electability? That's been a big part of his argument as well. Well, Republican voters again think that Donald Trump is better suited to take on Joe Biden, 58 percent think he would be able to beat Joe Biden to 28 percent for Ron DeSantis.

Now, it's early. We're still in July here. And that is something that the DeSantis campaign has stressed. They said that he is just started to speak to voters one-on-one. But it shows the difficulty that he's going to have and the uphill climb he faces as he reboots his campaign and tries to look ahead with a more forward-looking vision, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Steve Contorno, thank you.

Let's discuss more with Ashley Allison, CNN political commentator and former national coalitions director for Biden/Harris 2020, and Dan Eberhart, GOP political donor and CEO of Canary.

Thank you both for joining us.

Dan, let's start with you.

In an interview with "Rolling Stone Magazine", Republican strategist Ed Rollins is really laying the blaming for DeSantis' inability to connect with voters at least thus far on DeSantis himself. Here's what he said: I don't think it's the campaign's fault at all. It's his. I think he's been a very flawed candidate. At this point in time, I don't see how DeSantis is going to turn it around. I think it is Trump's game and at this point in time, I would be shocked if Trump were not the nominee.

You are a former Trump donor, and now a DeSantis donor. How do you respond to that?

DAN EBERHART, DESANTIS SUPPORTER: Look, I think it's early and I think you're just going to have to ask, you know, President Hillary Clinton or President Jeb Bush, both of those folks were way out in front and Barack Obama came from behind and won because he had a better message and connected with voters.

I think as voters in Iowa and New Hampshire and, again, those polls matter more than the national polls, as voters and in Iowa, and New Hampshire and Nevada get to know what DeSantis has accomplished here in Florida, I think you're going to see people coalesce around him. Trump is weak a front runner at 50 something percent. He's much weaker than, you know, Biden, and he lost last time anyway.

I think that, you know, Trump's numbers are very weak and he's an ice cube that's going to melt.

GOLODRYGA: So, what is DeSantis's message, if you don't mind me asking? I mean, he spent the first few weeks focusing on culture ago issues. That didn't seem to work for him. He's talking about the economy today. I know you highlight specifically what he's done in the state of Florida. But thus far, that's not resonating nationally.


EBERHART: Well, look, first of all, I would say that Governor DeSantis won election to the governorship in 2018 with 1 percent. He got re- elected with 19 percent or almost 20 percent of the vote in 2022. I think as voters got to know him more and saw he delivered on his promises, they liked him more.

But I think that his message, you know, to answer your question more specifically about economic group, about being a conservative without the baggage of Trump and his message about, you know, what he's going to bring in terms of an energetic executive that is pro-America, I think it's going to resonate very well with primary voters and with all voters in the general election. And you're going to see him coalesce support.

Look, none of the -- none of undecided voters are going to break to Trump. If they're going to -- if they're not with Trump now, they're not going to be with Trump. They're going to break to folks like Governor DeSantis and it's a two person race.

So, I think --

GOLODRYGA: So, why is he -- EBERHART: -- you're going to see him build support. I think you're

going to see Trump leak.

GOLODRYGA: So, Dan, why is he avoiding going after Trump at this point then? What does he have to fear?

EBERHART: Well, I think he decided to not go into the gutter with -- he's decided into the to go into the gutter with Trump on, you know, some of these divisive personal attacks and he hits back on policy. So, look, he said in the past, these are Trump policies. He didn't actually get the wall built. He had, you know, added trillions in debt to the national deficit. He didn't solve the immigration problem.

DeSantis has hit back on policies, not as flashy, but it's much more substantive and it shows real Americans what he's going to do for folks and not just sound bites. And I think that's how Governor DeSantis is. When you meet with him in person, when you hear him speak on the stamp, he talks about policy and what he's going to do.

Trump talks about all these side issues and who he hates and has grudges against, and I just don't think that's going to fair well. Trump hasn't faces primary voters in seven years and I think when he does, he's going to be in for a rude awaking.

GOLODRYGA: Well, Ashley, there's a difference obviously between general election and primary, and another bad sign for DeSantis in this poll. I mean, take a look at these numbers, 58 percent of Republicans say Trump has better odds of beating Biden while 28 percent said of that DeSantis.

You know that electability was a key argument of DeSantis' candidacy. So, how should he be selling himself, if you were advising him, if this argument right now isn't holding?



GOLODRYGA: No, I'm sorry, let's give -- get Ashley to weigh in.

ALLISON: Well, right now, it doesn't seem like Ron DeSantis has a very clear strategy. Even though he attempted today to introduce a new economic message, he still continues to go back to his -- what seems like to be his core around the cultural issues.

He's not going after Trump and I understand the other guest saying that he doesn't want to go tit-for-tat, but it is not going tit-for- tat. Going after Trump is saying, you know, he tried to compromise our whole democracy. He tried to overthrow the election. He also isn't focusing on the other candidates that are in the race.

Now, in order for DeSantis to close the gap with Donald Trump, he has to be able to shrink that field. If you're with Donald Trump now, you're most likely not going to jump ship, but there are a still of host candidates that have a few percentage points that are actually taking away from Ron DeSantis being able to close that gap. So he needs to focus on the people he's actually running against and get off of these culture wars and tell people what he's really going to do. And then Republican voters can decide if he's the one.

The final thing I will say is that the one thing about politics, particularly in a primary, is you have to be charismatic. You have to be doing that retail politics and it seems like every time Ron DeSantis goes out and tries to shake hands with voters, it's not really landing with the folks in Iowa. So even if he can't break through nationally, he's still not able to break through at the state level which really requires ground game grassroots organizing, people being in all of the counties in Iowa and New Hampshire and those early states to be able to connect and understand who this candidate is, who this campaign is. And he hasn't been able to do that to date.

GOLODRYGA: So, Dan, how do you respond to that question, whether he's charismatic enough and whether he's a people person enough? I mean, I know he got a lot of heat for telling a young child that her icy had too much sugar in it.

But aside from that, you say that he's out there meeting voters and they are surprised and happy by what they see. That doesn't seem to be resonating, though, to Ashley's point.

EBERHART: Well, I disagree with that. Look, on Friday, at the Lincoln Day dinner in Iowa, you know, Governor DeSantis was the only candidate that got a standing ovation.

I'd also tell you, I've been around him, he's made -- he's made me laugh. He's joked a little bit. He's, in general, a serious guy.

He's, you know, an ex-member of the navy forces and a veteran. And I think that he's going to be an energetic campaigner and energetic executive.

I think Trump is the low energy Jeb of the 2024 cycle. I also think that governor DeSantis, what he said about the seven dwarves, which is call the other folks in the race, the folks will get out as we move through the calendar and we hit November, December, January.


Those folks are going to ill get out of the race and those voters are going to coalesce around Governor DeSantis. They're not going to go back to Donald Trump. They left Donald Trump for -- they left Donald Trump and they're searching for someone to support. Those folks are going to coalesce around Governor DeSantis because it's a two-person race.

You know, you already see Mike Pence struggling to make the debate stage. You know, Asa Hutchinson and these others are not making the debate stage. And Nikki Haley is going to run out of money.

When folks get out, their voters are gong to coalesce around Governor DeSantis because they weren't with Trump to begin with for the 2024 cycle. This is a two-person race and we're going to see at the end of the day, I think Ron -- Donald Trump is a melting ice cube and Governor DeSantis is going to build support and he's going to add, you know, Lego blocks to his base of support and we're going to see -- we're going to see him, you know, be victorious in Iowa and New Hampshire.

GOLODRYGA: Ashley, how do you see voters responding to the news that Trump's leadership PAC has spent more than $40 million on attorneys fees for himself and his associates. Now, his argument is that I'm taking the incoming for you, right? That they're coming after you and I'm standing in the way.

Is that really resonating and selling?

ALLISON: Well, look, I think if you support Donald Trump now, you want him to be able to defeat the legal challenges that he has. So, you are donating to the victory of Donald Trump, whether that be for president of the United States or whether that be to overcome his legal challenges. So I think people will continue to donate. He's raising more money after every indictment. So I do -- I don't think that voters or donors are going to turn their back on them.

The one thing I will say about the other point about the debate stage, Donald Trump is likely not to come to this Republican debate in August. And so, it is really anybody's game at that opportunity to come out as the front-runner who can beat Donald Trump.

And so, while you have people like a Nikki Haley and a Tim Scott who are trailing Ron DeSantis, they have an opportunity, they have a real opportunity to shock on that debate stage and become the person that's going to take Donald Trump down in a Republican nomination.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Ashley Allison and Dan Eberhart, thank you.

EBERHART: If I could --

GOLODRYGA: Quickly, quickly. Dan.

EBERHART: Look, as a Republican donor, I think the fact that he spent $40 million on his own legal defense is galactically absurd and offensive.

GOLODRYGA: All right. We'll leave it there. Thank you.

Up next, what we're learning about an American nurse who was kidnapped along with her child while working in Haiti. That story is up next.



GOLODRYGA: In our world lead, an American nurse and her child were kidnapped in Haiti four days ago. And there is still no clue as to who took them or where they might be. The Christian nonprofit that Alix Dorsainvil had been working with said they were taken near the capital city Port-au-Prince. That's the same day that the U.S. State Department asked all Americans to leave Haiti amid gang violence in the country. CNN's Paula Newton was in Haiti earlier this month and following the

story for us.

So, Paula, what are U.S. officials doing to try to find Alix and her child?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, all they can. But you could imagine how difficult it is. They say that they are in contact with Haitian authorities. And that includes police and government authorities. But the truth is, they don't have any control over this country. Least of which the capital, about 80 percent is by the government's own admission now in the hands of gangs. The U.N. says the same. It's extremely violent and kidnappings have been a problem for a while.

Now, this nurse from New Hampshire and her child, what is so alarming is that they were taken directly from the charity and I can tell you having visited these charities that they have a compound that usually some kind of security, they assume they're safe, right? These facilities for these charities are within that compound.

So the charity itself in a statement said, look, they were taken directly from their Christian -- from their community service is what they're saying. But this is a person apparently, the charity says, who knew all of the risks but decided that she had to help patients and was, in fact, gratified by her work.

I want to listen now to Alex Dorsainvil her own words. Listen.


ALIX DORSAINVIL, AMERICAN VOLUNTEER KIDNAPPED IN HAITI: Sandro invited me to come to the school to do some nursing for some of the kids. He said that was a big need that they had. At first, I didn't think there was going to be much of a need there but when I got there, there were so many cases.

Haitians are such a resilient people. They're full of joy and life and love. And I'm so blessed to be able to know so many amazing Haitians.


NEWTON: You know, Sandro, who she referred to is her husband. He's also the director of the charity and I'm sure all of us could imagine the terror they are feeling right now especially because there is such a young child involved here.

Again, we wait to hear word. They're saying it is best not to speculate on anything, like ransom at this point. They are just trying to get ahold of the people who captured them and understand what the demands are and why their still captive.

GOLODRYGA: And, tragically, these stories are becoming increasingly common there. There's been a surge of kidnappings and violent clashes between gangs and the police in Haiti. What did you see when you're reporting there earlier this month? NEWTON: You know, I think in all of my times going to Haiti and in

over 12 years now, what was interesting was how much that wave of violence is now effecting the entire country. That is not to say in the southwest where we spent most of our time that it was as violent as Port-au-Prince. But people were paralyzed. The guys have basically a stranglehold even on all the transportation routes.

And, Bianna, it goes right to the fact that health workers aren't where they are supposed to be. Clinics are being closed, farmers are not planting their crops because they can't get them to market.

The U.N. said what is needed is an international force that may happen in the coming days but still will not happen soon enough for this family. They continue to await for more information from Haitian authorities.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. We'll continue to follow this story for us well.

Paula Newton, thank you.

Well, now to Ukraine where hundreds of rescue workers are trying to pull people from rubble and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's hometown of Kryvyi Rih. This after Russian ballistic missiles killed six people, injured 70 others according to Ukrainian officials.

Meanwhile, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and other Western allies are preparing for next week's peace talks in Saudi Arabia, spearheaded by Ukraine as Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, insists an agreement will be impossible, while Ukraine is on the offensive.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in south eastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia.

And, Nick, what is the outlook for these peace talks?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. I mean, peace talks is interesting way of characterizing them. I think that seems more about trying to galvanize a position with the United States and Ukraine leading the way there between countries that may in the past have shown sympathy with Russia. They're African nations there that may possibly, Saudi Arabia being chosen because of its closer relationship with China perhaps who have at times voice significant support for Russia, or appear to be holding back from direct military aid being given to them.

So, these talks don't involve Russia. So, it isn't straightforward negotiation between two warring sides, but it does appear to be aimed at trying to create an environment in which African nations, who may have had sympathies with Russia in the past understand where Ukraine fails about this. It's quite clear and frankly from here if we did suddenly see a cease-fire emerging. It's been muted that that would simply computation -- Russia's invasion over the past 17 to 18 months. And so, while Ukraine's counteroffensive moves forward to retake that land, Vladimir Putin suggesting they couldn't possibly agree for a cease-fire. Important also to point out, too, that Russia doesn't normally engage

in diplomacy and good faith. They're used it in the past as chance in order to try and refits, to buy time to achieve their military goals.

And, of course, Ukrainians here today not only hearing of the six dead, including a ten-year-old girl in Kryvyi Rih. Also learning about shelling against more civilian targets in Kherson, that's left four dead and 20 injured. These civilian death tolls, constant every day now as Russia seems to vent its rage on the ordinary population here -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Just terrifying. Nick Paton Walsh in Zaporizhzhia for us, thank you.

Well, Republicans claim he would deliver evidence connecting Joe Biden to his son's business dealings. But what did Hunter's former business partner really tell the Republican-led House oversight committee? That's next.



GOLODRYGA: We're back with breaking news. A man fired shots and try to gain entry into a Jewish day school in Memphis, Tennessee, this afternoon. That's according to Memphis police.

CNN's Ryan young has more.

Ryan, what happened here?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, this news conference just wrapped up about 11 minutes ago. We learned from police that this man showed up at the door around 12:30 and try to gain entry into this academy. And he could not get on the inside of that academy because they have doubled or system. At some point, he started opening fire on those doors, the academy calling 911. They're able to get police there very quickly. The man took off in a pick up truck, and because of the pictures of these surveillance cameras that were able to capture the man, they were able to put out a pretty good bulleted to find the man.

There was a traffic stop, the man apparently, according to police, exited his truck with that weapon in hand. And officers opened fire. From what we're told, that man's in critical condition right now.

Now, it appears that school was closed. As you could see, nowadays with all the active school shooters we've had. Those double doors did their job in terms of keeping this man out.

We're told the TBI and FBI is investigating in this. No motive right now. They haven't been able to talk to this man, but the Hebrew academy with a man showing up with a loaded weapon trying to gain entry. Luckily, they're able to stop him from getting inside.

GOLODRYGA: Just horrifying. Thank goodness no one was injured.

Ryan Young, thank you.

YOUNG: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Well, in our politics, late new twist in the Republican-led investigation into President Biden's son, Hunter Biden. Today, Devon Archer, Hunter's former business partner, testified behind closed doors before the House Oversight Committee.

Joining us now is CNN Capitol Hill reporter, Melanie Zanona, and senior White House correspondent Kayla Tausche.

Kayla, welcome to the network. It's my first time welcoming you.

Melanie, let's start with you. What more do we know about Devon Archer and why did lawmakers want to talk to him today?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: So, Devon Archer is a former visit association of Hunter Biden. They both served on the board of Ukraine energy company, and Republicans thought that he could reveal key confirmation about President Joe Biden and whether he was involved in any of his son's foreign business deals. That is a link that the White House is curiously denied, but the link that Republicans have yet to establish.

And one of the things that Republicans were particularly interested in was whether President Joe Biden ever spoke to any of Hunter Biden's business partners.

Now, Democratic Congressman Dan Goldman who's present for today's deposition and he confirmed that Hunter Biden did put Joe Biden who's then vice president at the time on the phone, on speakerphone, multiple times, almost 20 times in the presence of his business partners. But Goldman was adamant that business was never discussed. Take a listen.


REP. DAN GOLDMAN (D-NY): There is still is no connection of any of Hunter Biden's business dealings with President Biden. Hunter may have put his father on the phone with any number of different people. They never winds spoke about any business dealings as he described it was all casual conversation.



ZANONA: A source told my colleague, Zach Cohen, that Archer testified that Hunter Biden was selling the illusion of access to his father, but never provided any evidence today linking President Joe Biden to his son's business dealings. And according to this source, he also testified that he had no knowledge of any allegations of a bribery scheme involving Joe Biden and a foreign national.

Now, Republicans are saying that they're continuing to believe that this testimony shows that Joe Biden lied to the American people, and that he was involved or had knowledge about his son's business deals. Republicans are showing no sign of letting up these probes. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump continuing to push Republicans to go after Joe Biden as he faces legal issues of his own, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: And, Kayla, in the meantime, how is the White House responding to this?

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the White House has been silent about most of these issues. But today, Bianna, it appears bolstered by those takeaways from Congressman Goldman.

In a statement to CNN, Ian Sams, the spokesman for the White House counsel's office says: It appears that the House Republicans' own much-hyped witness today testified that he had never heard of President Biden discussing business with this fun or his son's associates or doing anything wrong. House Republicans keep promising bombshell evidence to support the ridiculous attacks against the president. But time after time, they keep failing to produce any.

The official line from the White House had been from the White House press secretary that President Biden had never been in business with his son. And the president himself several years ago said that he had never spoken to his son about business. And it was that comment by the president that Republicans were trying to get Archer to refute.

The White House has also talked about Hunter Biden's legal battles, and business dealings as personal matters. But there is one personal matter that President Biden is weighing in on and that's Hunter Biden's child in Arkansas, Navy Roberts, which President Biden and his wife the first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, have acknowledged as their seventh grandchild. In statements beginning on Friday, and again in a podcast released this morning, talking about his seventh grandchild, talking about how important family is, and a source telling CNN that the president does hope to meet her one day. We are still waiting on those plans -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Kayla Tausche and Melanie Zanona, thank you both.

Well, the behind the scenes drama at the Supreme Court and why one justice is telling Congress to mind its own business. That's next.



GOLODRYGA: In our law on justice lead, the U.S. Supreme Court is at a stalemate. But this time, the debate is over creating a formal code of ethics for the justices to abide by, in the wake of public criticism over reports of lavish travel and potential conflicts of interest. Democrats in the Senate have been pushing legislation that would impose new rules on the court. But in a recent interview to "The Wall Street Journal" opinion pages,

Justice Samuel Alito said, quote, Congress did not create the Supreme Court and I know this is a controversial view, but I'm willing to say it, no provision in the Constitution gives them the authority to regulate the Supreme Court, period.

Here is CNN senior Supreme Court analyst, Joan Biskupic.

What's at the center of this ethics debate, Joan? And these comments from Alito are still reverberating.


And you know that there's been an escalating controversy over the fact that the justices don't have a formal code of ethics as lower coaches do. But we have learned that Chief Justice John Roberts has been working very hard behind the scenes to try to formalize some code of conduct, but he wants unanimity. He wants all the justices to sign on.

And when they left town in June, after they finish their recent session. They were at an impasse. And these comments from Samuel Alito suggest what kind of resistance the chief is facing as they try to have some sort of unanimity here. You made that great quote up on the screen about what Justice Alito said about Congress's interference. But Justice Alito also said, hey, we already follow what the rules that lower court judges follow. We're not sure if they do, because it's hard to find out exactly what they're abiding by because they have no written code.

And then Justice Alito also attributed the current problems over the complaints about legitimacy over the courts not to the justices themselves, but to outside critics. Now this interview that he did with "The Wall Street Journal", Bianna, actually raised its own questions about conflicts of interest.

One of the writers of the piece that ran in the opinion section of "The Wall Street Journal" is David Rivkin, who has a current case before the justices. In June, the justices accepted his petition to hear this tax case. And David Rivkin also has represented his defendant, Justice Alito, Senate Democrats who have inquired about Justice Alito's travel with the hedge fund billionaire that was not disclose.

So, as Justice Alito brushed aside concerns about conflicts of interest and tried to defend the court saying that no one else will defend as if I don't speak to "The Wall Street Journal". He raised new questions about conflicts and these are all going to play out as the justices return for their new session in October, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. So, curious to hear what these other justices think about Alito's comments.

John Biskupic, thank you for that insightful reporting.


BISKUPIC: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Well, the water fight between Cardi B. and a fan that police are now investigating. That's up next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


GOLODRYGA: Back with our pop lead, Grammy-winning rapper Cardi B acted on that warning this weekend. Well, now, the Las Vegas Police Department is investigating. On Saturday, she chucked her microphone at a fan at a Las Vegas concert, visibly infuriated after that fan through a drink at her.

Las Vegas police say the incident was documented on a police reports, but no arrest has been made. Cardi B's concert tussle is hardly the first. Artists such as Harry Styles, Pink, and Bibi Rexha have been clocked and even injured by flying fan objects. Folks, just be respectful and enjoy the show.

That is it for us this hour. I'm Bianna Golodryga, in for Jake Tapper.

Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM".