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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Dow Closes At Record High, Nears 40,000 Barrier; CNN To Host First Biden-Trump Debate On June 27; Trump's Lawyers Resume Cross- Examination Of Michael Cohen Tomorrow; Jury Hears Opening Statements In Sen. Bob Menendez Trial; Arizona Prosecutors Can't Find Rudy Giuliani; Boeing May Be Prosecuted After Breaking Safety Agreement With DOJ. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 15, 2024 - 16:00   ET


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Gave hope to investors that the Fed could soon cut interest rates.


ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: So with just few seconds to go, we will see if it closes at a record high, the previous high close was 39,807. You can see that it is just under 100 points above that mark that was never reached the 40,000 point benchmark, but it is close.

The Dow Jones Index was founded in 1885, so history made for the index for the first time today after 139 years of history, just seconds to go before the close.

KEILAR: And the lead with Jake Tapper starts now.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Ladies and gentlemen, two presidential debates have been set.

THE LEAD starts right now.

President Biden and former President Trump putting it in writing, saying that they will face off in two debates, one and just weeks here on CNN. The political jabs already are flying okay.

And, really seriously, where is Rudy Giuliani? The onetime Trump attorney is still missing nearly three weeks after word of an indictment and officials in Arizona trying to serve him with papers, charging him in alleged election scheme and their states. So how extensive has this search been?

Plus, the charges that could soon beyond the way for Boeing, one of the biggest plane manufacturers in the world after all those investigations into deadly crashes of 737 MAX airplanes.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

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

We are starting with breaking news in the money lead, a record close for the Dow, flirting with a major milestone, nearing the 40,000 mark after two big economic reports out today, one showing U.S. inflation easing off. Consumer prices up 3.4 percent for the 12 months ending in April, compared to 3.5 percent the month before.

The other report showing retail sales were flat unchanged during April.

Turning to our 2024 lead, mark your calendars for June 27th. After a whirlwind of a day, both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have committed to not one, but two presidential debates. The first one coming up right here on CNN in just six weeks in which I will co-moderate along with my colleague Dana Bash at CNN Studios in Atlanta, Thursday, June 27th.

That will be followed by a second debate hosted by ABC News in September.

And while sources say the two presidential campaigns have been informally discussing debate plans for weeks, this all seem to get kicked into high gear this morning when President Biden released this video.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then, he hadn't shown up for debate. Now he's acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal. I'll even do it twice.

Let's pick the dates, Donald. I hear you're free on Wednesdays.


TAPPER: That last comment, snarky jab at Donald Trump's court schedule in New York. Trial is not held on Wednesdays, like today.

In response to Biden's offer, Mr. Trump posted on Truth Social, quote, I am ready and willing to debate crooked Joe at the two proposed times in June and September. I would strongly recommend more than two debates. And for excitement purposes, a very large venue, although Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds, that's only because he doesn't get them. Just tell me when, I'll be there. Let's get ready to rumble, he says.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny starts off our coverage.

Jeff, take us through how this all came together and also what are the rules for these two face-offs?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Jake, as you know, I mean, former President Donald Trump has been talking for months about this. Never mind he did not debate in the primary season, but this morning, President Biden took him up on the offer.

He also one-upped him on the rules. He said it'll be a one-on-one contest, no audience, and it will be held in June, almost three months before the debates would have been held if the rules had gone before. But all this question is he's shaking up the conversation about to debate, the question is, can his debate performance shake up the race?


BIDEN: Well, make my day, pal. I'll even do it twice.

ZELENY (voice-over): With those words today, President Biden formally challenged and Donald Trump quickly accepted two presidential debates with their first face-to-face encounter now set for late next month on CNN.

The June 27th showdown, followed by a second one on September 10th on ABC, would become the earliest presidential debates in memory. It's a sign that both rivals are eager to appear side-by-side to gain advantage in their historic rematch.

After weeks of taunting from Trump, who often deploys an extra podium as a prop --

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's for Joe Biden. I'm trying to get him to debate.

ZELENY: -- the Biden campaign sought to gain the upper hand and the debate over debates in a video today.

BIDEN: Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. And since then, he hadn't shown up for debate. Now he's acting like he wants to debate me again.

So, let's pick the dates, Donald. I hear you're free on Wednesdays.

ZELENY: That message, a not so veiled reference to the former president's criminal trial now underway in New York.


Court is not in session on Wednesdays.

Even as he accepted two debates, Trump called for more.

TRUMP: I really think he has to debate. He might as well get it over with, probably should do it early so that he can -- you know, he's not going to get any better.

ZELENY: Televised debates have long been a storied part of presidential campaigns, with history-making moments for candidates.

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience.

ZELENY: And their running mates.

SEN. LLOYD BENTSEN (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.

ZELENY: But American history offers no modern-day guide for a sequel to this -- TRUMP: Because I want to give good health care.

CHRIS WALLACE, DEBATE MODERATOR: In fact, if I may ask that question, sir.

BIDEN: Will you shut up, man?


TRUMP: And you used the word smart. So you said you went to Delaware State but you forgot the name of your college.

BIDEN: He's racist. You're the worst president America has ever had, come on.


ZELENY: As their 2024 contest intensifies, Biden and Trump are both hoping to keep the debate stage free of third-party candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who blasted his rivals saying they are trying to exclude me from their debate because they are afraid I would win.

Advisers to Biden and Trump have been working behind the scenes in an effort to bypass the Commission on Presidential Debates. The group has organized such forum since 1988, and at three presidential and one vice presidential debate already set for this fall.

In a statement today, the commission said: The American public deserves substantive debates. We will continue to be ready to execute this plan.


ZELENY (on camera): Now, the Biden campaign is eager to have Americans focus on this race and the choice between him and the former president and sooner rather than later.

Jake, talking to Biden advisers today, one described this race as stubbornly stable. So they are hoping that his debate performance in an earlier stage will shake up this race.

Now, not debating, I'm told was not an option for him because they simply did not want this dogging them for the rest of the campaign. The question is, though, can he show American these up for the task? That's one of the central questions of his campaign.

TAPPER: And I believe the third party rules, it's just -- in order to be on that stage, you have to be on ballot in enough states that 270 electoral votes is possible, right? Is that the thing?

ZELENY: It is possible? And those are the rules.


ZELENY: That's why it's not likely that there will be a third party.


ZELENY: Of course, that rarely happens. Ross Perot, of course, being the last one, but the Kennedy campaign has been getting on ballots, no doubt, but not that many.

TAPPER: No, not enough to reach 270 electoral votes. Thanks so much, Jeff Zeleny.

I want to bring and CNN political director David Chalian.

David, put into context how big a moment this is for the campaigns. I have to admit, I thought it was entirely possible there wouldn't be debates.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yeah, I -- clearly, we have seen each campaign, Jake, make the calculation. A debate is in their interest. For one, on the Biden side, as Jeff just laid out, because you don't want to be dogged that you're afraid to debate.

And for Donald Trump, he is eager for the contrast on the stage physically side-by-side, as we know, throughout this entire campaign, he's made that clear to stand on the stage with Joe Biden.

I would just say because of the stability of the race, there really is a potential for this to be a major shaking up kind of event. It's also got massive historical significance, Jake. I mean, you and I were not around for those televised debates in 1892, but we haven't seen a former president of the United States who was defeated as president debate the guy who succeeded him as president on the stage together in a televised debate.

It's just a totally unprecedented situation, so much of this election could be described that way.

TAPPER: Thank you for acknowledging I was not there for the Grover Cleveland debate. I appreciate it.

David, will CNN's debate differ in any key ways from those past election years?

CHALIAN: Well, one of the things that is pretty clear from both CNN and ABC in terms of what they put out is that there will be no audience, studio audience in this debate. It will be the candidates and the moderators.

Now, in recent presidential debate history, we have seen in those debates put on by the Commission on Presidential Debates that there is an audience, and at times, even if they are sort of guided not to clap or jeer or what have you, that they have been sort of participants in these debates.

So that to me is one of the biggest differences the audience factor is not the case here. Audience will be all the American voters at home getting the information they need to make this monumental choice.

TAPPER: I will say, and obviously, it's different, but I will say having done a few debates now in my career, the one that we did during COVID in March 2020 between president -- now President Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, it had -- it had no audience because it was, you know, COVID was hitting and it was actually -- there were just a lot of exchanges because this -- the dynamic was so different.


CHALIAN: Yeah, it allows for more exchanges. And I think it allows for the substance of the debate to be the star of the show.

TAPPER: All right. Well, let's see what happens.

David Chalian, thanks so much.

CHALIAN: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: I really appreciate it.

Again, the very first 2024 general election presidential debate is set and I will be there moderating along with my friend and colleague Dana Bash. It will be June 27th, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, only here on CNN.

This has been a day off in the New York hush money trial, but not a day off from planning for the trial.

Coming up next, what CNN is learning about the new cross-examination strategy that Donald Trump's defense team plans to use when Michael Cohen returns to the stand tomorrow.

Plus, the deadly Baltimore Bridge collapse, what an investigation is now revealing feeling about what went wrong on the cargo ship in the minutes and hours before that ship slammed into the span.



TAPPER: In our law and justice lead, tomorrow, Michael Cohen will be back on the witness stand. Donald Trump's defense team says they plan to spend most of Thursday continuing their rather aggressive cross- examination of the president's former lawyer and so-called fixer.

This comes after the combative cross yesterday where Defense Attorney Todd Blanche painted Cohen as a liar who hates Trump and wants to see him behind bars and is motivated by making money off of this hatred of Trump.

CNN's Kara Scannell is with us now.

So, Kara, you have some new reporting on the tactics that we understand the defense team, Donald Trump's team, will take tomorrow.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, it seems like they're going to continue to focus on trying to undermine Michael Cohen's credibility and focus him on suggesting that he is a liar. And the one area that they didn't get into, but that they've said that they want two is some of Cohen's past statements under oath. That is when he pled guilty and then also when he testified at the civil fraud trial in the fall, it was then when Michael Cohen was on the stand, he went back and forth saying that he had previously lied when he pleaded guilty because he's saying that he wasn't guilty of tax fraud in these other charges.

The prosecution tried to get ahead of that when Cohen was under direct examination, but it's an area that Trumps lawyers are expected to try to dig more into -- to try to suggest to the jury that Cohen is not afraid to lie, and he's not afraid to lie under oath.

They also haven't gotten into any of the substance of the actual criminal allegations in this case. So, we'll look for them to ask Cohen some questions about his alleged conversations with Donald Trump.

TAPPER: So, the defense, Donald Trumps team says that they plan to spend most of tomorrow on cross. But Michael Cohen is expected to be the prosecution's last witness. So what does the timeline look like for the rest of the trial? I mean, could this be over by next week?

SCANNELL: It could, Jake. I mean, things seem like they have really sped up. Now, Michael Cohen is expected to be the prosecutions last witness. They said they're not going to call anyone else. Trump's lawyers said that they might call an expert, but they won't know until they have a discussion with the judge tomorrow afternoon about what the guy can testify about and what he can't testify about.

If they don't call that witness, the question then is, does Donald Trump take the stand and Trump's lawyers said that has not yet been determined, but that will be the next big question. And if Trump doesn't, then they would move pretty quickly to closing arguments and then the jury could get the case and deliberations could begin as soon as next week. If Donald Trump does take the stand, then that changes this timeline pretty significantly.

TAPPER: So I got to sit it in on one day of the trial last Thursday. It was fascinating. You've been sitting inside there for -- going on four weeks now. What's it been like to watch this historic trial play out right in front of you?

SCANNELL: In some ways, this is like any other trial. I've covered more than two dozen trials, because the judge is handling this as a normal case. He's treating Trump just like anyone else. The prosecution's putting on their case, Trump is putting on his cross- examination of these witnesses, but obviously, it's not. It's different.

And the fact that it is a former president in there is not lost on anyone. There's increased security. You know, this was just a recent moment in history when we were all covering these stories and now were seeing the main characters come in, tell their stories under oath, be pushed in prodded by the cross-examination to unearth the truth.

So we're getting a lot of the behind the scenes things that we've already seen so much of in the real time that it was, it was playing out just a few years ago. I mean, one thing to that as a criminal case, there is so much extra weight and intensity in that in this moment, even though if convicted Trump is not facing decades in prison, but he could go to prison.

And I remember when Donald Trump walked in for his arraignment, it was the first of the criminal charges that he faced. It was the first time that is ever been to a former president. And when he walked in the door, there was such an intensity to the moment.

And as you probably remember, when he walks in the door and this courthouse, it's very quiet. It's almost eerily quiet as you see him walk to the defense table and for the proceedings to get underway? But now that we are so close to their being of jury deliberations and a verdict in this case, it feels like the intensity is growing because there is nothing like sitting in the courtroom for the moment when someone is there waiting for that moment of when the judge or the jury, depending on how its handled, says guilty or not guilty. And that is such a significant moment in someone's life. And it's really something to sit there and witness.

TAPPER: Right, and in this case, in the country's life.

Kara Scannell, thank you so much.

A reminder, this New York hush money cover-up trial is about alleged payments to intend -- intended to influence the 2020 election. And the big question, of course, is how airtight is the prosecution's case? We're going to talk to two retired judges, one of them has been in the courtroom every day.

And that's next.



TAPPER: And we're back with more in our law and justice lead.

Donald Trump's criminal hush money to cover up trial picks back up tomorrow with Michael Cohen returning to the stand for day two of his cross-examination. With us now to give judges' perspectives of the case are retired Judges Jill Konviser and George Grasso.

Thanks to both of you for joining.

Judge Konviser, let me start with you. How do you think the defense has done in terms of undermining Michael Cohen's credibility so far?

JILL KONVISER, RETIRED NEW YORK SUPREME COURT JUDGE: I think they came out of the box fairly strong. The truth is Michael Cohen is low- hanging fruit. Even a junior -- junior lawyer could probably have a whole field day with Michael Cohen because he really is a damaged witness.

[16:25:09] He has perjured himself before. So he's really someone who they need to get under his skin. But the truth is, the fact that he's lied before is definitely something that will assist the defense.

I think they should come out hitting hard. I think you'll see more of that tomorrow because Mr. Cohen kept his composure, which they were hoping he wouldn't. So we'll see what happens tomorrow in that regard.

TAPPER: Judge Grasso, you've been inside the courtroom every day of Trumps trial. I know no one can tell exactly what jurors are thinking. But in your view, do you think Cohen's testimony is holding together well enough? Or is Todd Blanche unraveling it and sowing reasonable doubts in the jury's minds?

GEORGE GRASSO, RETIRED NEW YORK CITY JUDGE: So far, I think he's holding together very well. I thought Todd Blanche came out gate very strong and aggressive. He went right to some tweet, some insulting tweet Cohen made about him personally, but the judge shut that down because it's not about Todd Blanche, and I think that Todd Blanche started to run out of steam.

Sure, as Judge Konviser said, in some respect's, Michael Cohen has low hanging fruit because you've got prior convictions, you've got perjury. But what about the center of his testimony, the core elements of his testimony? So far, as far as that goes, he hasn't been nicked.

And the thing about Michael Cohen's testimony is not only did he -- add new critical information, putting Donald Trump right in the middle of the plot, the so-called Trump Tower conspiracy, starting on in August of 2015 in Trump Tower, Michael Cohen brought that all -- all the way into Trump Tower with Weisselberg, January -- on or about January 17 of 2017, and then into the Oval Office on February 8.

So they've got a lot to overcome there. It was a clean narrative. It was a strong narrative. It was compelling. And they still have -- the defense still has a big, big problem to overcome with Michael Cohen. We'll see if they can get more steam when we're back in court tomorrow. But for the sake of their case, they better.

TAPPER: Judge Konviser, do you think the prosecution has met the burden beyond a reasonable doubt and prove that not only were these business records falsified, but they were falsified in the service of a different crime, that this federal crime of hiding information from the public and causing election interference?

KONVISER: Well, obviously, that's a decision that will be made by the jury who's heard all the evidence. It's really their purview. I certainly think that people have put out there evidence to support their claims to that extent, whether or not the jury decides to credit it is a different story.

And that is its why the cross-examination of Michael Cohen by Todd Blanche is so important because the truth is, if Todd Blanche gets under his skin and creates a situation where the jurors do not believe him, the people probably won't prevail. The converse is also true, and I assume that the D.A.s are going to

argue with respect to Michael Cohen that even a broken clock is right twice a day. We told you who he was. We told you what his background. We didn't hide that.

We don't get to pick our witnesses. Wed love to have a member of the clergy on the stand, but this is what we have, and this is why you need some (INAUDIBLE). And that's why and I know your show has spoken about this, why they started and with a guy like Pecker and went through all the steps, so that when Michael Cohen came on, the jury can say, aha, he is dotting the I's and crossing the T's -- at least that's the government's hope.

TAPPER: Judge Grasso?

GRASSO: So I totally agree with Judge Konviser. I mean, it's the jury that ultimately gets to make that decision. But if the question is, have the people done enough to legally put the jury in the position where they will go to the jury. And two, they have enough evidence already on the record right now to find Donald Trump guilty in this case, the answer is absolutely yes.

TAPPER: I interviewed a retired U.S. district court judge yesterday. I'll come right to you, Judge Konviser. A different court judge yesterday, who said it was disruptive when Trump surrogates showed up in the courtroom during Michael Cohen's testimony.

Take a listen.


SHIRA SCHEINDLIN, RETIRED U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: I do think it was wrong of them to walk in during the testimony, walked to the front row, be seated, and I thought the judge did the exact right thing in ignoring it and not making a big point of it. If he had done that in front of the jury, the jury would have focused on these people and maybe even figured out who they were.


TAPPER: Judge Konviser, do you agree?


TAPPER: Take a listen.


KONVISER: I do. I think it was disruptive. I think they -- I guess they thought they were sending a message or trying to intimidate someone. That's just not going to work in a court of law.

These people, along with the defendant, quite frankly, has treated the courtroom as a campaign rally, and it's not. And I would think that government -- governors or Congress people would have a great deal of respect for the courtroom and the courtroom arena. That is at the end of the day, the basis of the judiciary branch of our government, and the fact that they went in the way they did was an inappropriate at best, and probably unkind as well. It really was a spectacle for no reason.

TAPPER: Just Grasso, are you surprised that no alternative jurors have been brought in? The 12 jurors seated are still there?

GRASSO: I'm actually not. You know, I was there not only for every day of the actual testimonial proceedings, I was there for every day of jury selection. And literally from the first day and from everything I've seen, this is one serious focused jury.

And when you're in the courtroom, I think there's a sense throughout the courtroom of just how compelling it is.

And I have an interesting aside on the last question you asked Judge Konviser about the Trump entourage coming in. I was so locked in to the testimony at the time, I barely noticed them. And I'll patch -- I mean, if you weren't in there -- but I was so locked into what was going on when I heard the reports after, I saw, yeah.

So that's the kind of sense that's going on and you have a feeling that the jury and I glance to the job taking very copious notes. So I can't be looking at the jury all the time.

But whenever I look at them, these are the prime 12. I actually have a much better view of the prime 12 than six alternates. These are six -- these are 12 serious and focused jurors.

TAPPER: They did seem very focused when I was there last Thursday.

Thank -- thank you, Judge. And thank you, Judge.

Tune in tomorrow morning as the New York hush money cover-up case resume.

CNN's special coverage will begin again at 9:00 a.m. Eastern sharp.

Another trial is developing right now in New York, the alleged corruption and bribery case against Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. Opening statements are underway after a jury was seated today. How is the prosecution laying out the allegations in that case? Well, we'll tell you, next.

Plus, what CNN just learned about the whereabouts of Rudy Giuliani. Arizona authorities are trying to hand deliver an indictment to him. But where is he?



TAPPER: In our law and justice lead, this afternoon saw opening statements in the Justice Department's bribery case against Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. Menendez has been charged with acting as a foreign agent on behalf of Egypt, and assisting the government of Qatar, all while taking bribes from several New Jersey businessmen.

Let's go to CNN's Jason Carroll outside court in Manhattan.

Jason, what have we heard so far in opening statements?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, opening statements still underway, but at this point, let me just tell you, some of what the prosecution and the defense had to say, first, starting with the prosecution.

Lara Pomerantz stood in front of jurors as she delivered her opening statements, oftentimes pointing directly at Senator Menendez and the other two co-defendants, Wael Hana and Fred Daibes, telling that the jurors that this was a man who put greed first. She said he put his power up for sale, telling jurors that this was not politics as usual, this was politics for profit, summarizing her case this way, Jake, saying he was powerful, he was also corrupt.

For years, Robert Menendez betrayed the people he was supposed to serve by taking bribes and what was his price? Gold bars, cash for his -- cash for his wife, and a job for his wife. Of course, he's referring to the hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash that was found at their New Jersey home when it was raided by -- raided by the FBI.

And the defense for its part got right to that, Jake, calling what he said, the green and the gold elephant in the room, saying that what had happened between the senator and his wife, that they had lived separate lives. They did not share bank accounts. They then put up a slide so they could show jurors the closet. Nadine's closet, a locked closet, where the defense says those gold bars were found.

And you could see where they're going to go with the defense when they said the following. Abi Weitzman said the following, he said she wasn't going to let Bob knows she had financial problems. So she tried to get cash and assets anyway she could, of course, referring to Nadine Menendez, but she kept Bob sidelined. Nadine made sure Bob was kept out of conversations involving money. In this case, we need to figure out where's Bob?

And it was a sort of a strange moment at that point because they had put up a cartoon referring to where's Waldo, telling jurors that they have to figure out where is Bob in all this, sort of many people in the courtroom started laughing thing at that point. But he also went on to tell jurors had gotten a little bit more serious, saying that in no way that they're going to be able to show evidence. The prosecution is not going to be able to show evidence directly linking Senator Menendez to any bribes, no emails, no phone calls he said, no text messages.


But clearly, the defense is going to be laying blame clearly at the feet of Nadine Menendez, who as you know, is being tried separately. Her trial is going to be in July. This trial expected to last several weeks. TAPPER: Do we know -- do we know how the prosecution might call to


CARROLL: Prosecution is laid out several people they plan to call, including Jose Uribe. That name may sound familiar. Jose Uribe was initially charged with all of this. He has pleaded guilty to a bribery charges. He is now flipped and is cooperating with prosecutors.

They say he is the man who gave Nadine Menendez $15,000 in exchange for the senator's influence. He is one person who they expect to testify also, a former official from the USDA. And in addition to that, a U.S. attorney for New Jersey, just some of the folks we're planning to hear from is this trial goes forward.

TAPPER: Did the defense explain any reason as to why these meetings were happening with the Egyptian officials?

CARROLL: They did. They called it diplomacy. They said this was a senator who was acting on behalf of the people, acting on behalf of his constituents. And when he met with these Egyptian officials, again, not saying that in any way that they knew anything about any money being exchanged, but that he was doing it in terms of working through diplomacy.

So, we'll see what more they have to say about that, as well as Qatari officials as the trial continues.

TAPPER: All right. Jason Carroll on the Menendez trial, thanks so much.

Also in the law and justice lead today, one of the most recognizable faces in the United States has apparently difficult to find. Arizona prosecutors had been trying and failing for weeks to serve Rudy Giuliani with notice of his indictment related to an alleged scheme to overturn the 2020 election results in the Grand Canyon State.

John Miller, CNN's chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst, is here to help us crack the case.

John, we know prosecutors and investigators for the state of Arizona say that they've made multiple attempts to locate Giuliani with no luck. What do you think is going on?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, I, first of all, I can't believe how we have seamlessly transition from where's Bob in the courtroom to where's Rudy, not in the courtroom.

But friends and associates tell CNN today that Rudy Giuliani is hiding in plain sight in his Palm Beach condo that he's been going back in forth between New York in Palm Beach working on his appeal, which a judge sidelined yesterday. That's in the defamation case where he owes $148 million in damages, his preparation for the defense in the Atlanta case, the alleged election interference fraud, and a few other matters. So, he -- he says he is around through those associates, but when

those investigators from Arizona showed up at his apartment in New York, they said they watched his podcast, which has him live in a background, they said matches the pictures of the apartment which is now for sale for $5.7 million, so that they know he was home but the doorman said he wouldn't accept service of this notice of indictment. And Giuliani didn't respond to calls to come down, so I guess they're going to have to try again, but it's got to happen by May 21st.

TAPPER: This is not something that simply goes away, right? I mean, eventually, Mayor Giuliani will be served with these papers, right?

MILLER: So, Jake, you know, there's a plan A and there's a plan B and a plan C. Plan A is that they want to serve him almost as you would in a civil matter. But this is a criminal matter.

Plan B is that they can give it to New York authorities and say, we don't have time to stake him out. But if you'll do that for us, please serve him when he comes out of the building or when arrives at the airport, or when he comes back, they could do the same in Palm Beach.

But plan C is they can drop an arrest warrant saying he is avoided this service and have him picked up by the authorities wherever he is. So between now and May 21st, I think that's a conversation that's going to have to happen between Rudy, his lawyers and those authorities about how we're going to get through getting this piece of paper to him, which is more of a formality than anything else, but it beats being arrested in public for a former mayor.

How common is it for suspects to I don't know if he's trying to avoid being served or if he's just not helping and being incredibly operative. But how common is it for it to be difficult to serve somebody with papers?


MILLER: You know, this is unusual in a criminal matter. You know, the people in Arizona were brought to court for arraignment but the subjects who were not an Arizona, they have to go through this process to serve them with the charges. But if it appears they're deliberately avoiding that, they can issue a bench warrant from the judge.

So it's a little unusual. The bottom line here is that out of all the defendants in that case, Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, close associate of Donald Trump, is the only one who has not been served. So they're focusing their efforts on him right now.

TAPPER: All right. John Miller, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

The U.S. Justice Department says Boeing breached terms of its 2021 agreement after two deadly crashes involving its 737 MAX planes. How real is the threat of a criminal prosecution in the Boeing case? That story is next.



TAPPER: In our national lead, Boeing may soon be charged with a crime. In Tuesday's letter to Boeing, the U.S. Department of Justice says Boeing violated a 2021 safety agreement which helped Boeing avoid criminal charges for two deadly 737 MAX crashes.

This just days after the Justice Department says it's opening a new investigation into Boeing's operations in the wake of that Alaska Airlines door plug incident.

Let's bring in CNN's Pete Muntean.

So, Pete, what has been the response to the Justice Department's accusation here?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, remember that Boeing was able to avoid this single fraud charge based on this $2 billion settlement. The plane maker insists it's done everything right, did not defy that deal. And that problem was what the 737 MAX 8 stem from the work of two lower level employees.

Here's the Boeing statement. We believe that we have honored the terms of that agreement and look forward to the opportunity to respond to the Department of Justice on this issue.

Now, Boeing has until June 13th to respond. The final decision from the Justice Department due in July 7th, 737 MAX 8 victims' families say this is necessary because they believe Boeing has shirked the agreement, especially when you consider the 737 MAX 9 quality control issues that came to ahead with the door plug blowout on January 5th, just days before this agreement with the Justice Department was set to expire, MAX 8 families say this, this is a positive first step, and for the families, a long time coming, but we need to see further action from the Department of Justice to hold Boeing accountable.

The difference between those crashes and the MAX 9 door-plug blowout, nobody died, but it no doubt inspired investigators to once again begin prodding at Boeing, Jake.

TAPPER: So somebody did die in that catastrophic Baltimore Bridge collapse, six construction workers and separately, there's this major hearing on Capitol Hill about this Baltimore bridge collapse.

Did we learn anything new about the government's response to that March 26 disaster?

MUNTEAN: Well, this is the first time we're hearing from the NTSB since that release of its preliminary report late yesterday. It took investigators 50 days to release those findings, not the usual 30.

Now, their focus is a total of four blackouts on the cargo ship. We knew about the two blackouts while the ship was underway, but now were learning for the first time about two more while the ship was still duct and those have the attention of investigators.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MUNTEAN (voice-over): Major new investigative findings lay out a new timeline of multiple blackouts on the cargo ship Dali, before it rammed into Baltimore's Key Bridge.

Wednesday on Capitol Hill, investigators, along with those overseeing the cleanup and rebuilding efforts, said a chain of glitches that started in port set up the collision and collapse.

JENNIFER HOMENDY, NTSB CHAIR: They were essentially drifting.

MUNTEAN: National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy says her biggest questions are now focused on the Dali's electrical system. In a new report, the NTSB says only ten hours before leaving Baltimore, the ships crew experienced an electrical blackout followed by another.

After the second blackout, investigators say the crew then switched the configuration of electrical power to run through a pair of circuit breakers that had not been used for several months.

HOMENDY: Switching breakers is not unusual, but may have affected operations the very next day on the accident voyage.

MUNTEAN: The NTSB says the day of the collision, the crew reported that the ship was in good working order. With the ship underway and only six-tenths of a mile from the bridge, another power blackout, rendering the ship's propulsion and steering useless. A port pilot on the ship frantically called for tugboats that helped it out of the harbor to come back. But they were already three miles away. The entire disaster played out in four terrifying minutes.

VICE ADMIRAL PETER GAUTIER, U.S. COAST GUARD: That's too early in the investigation to understand whether tugs would or would not have helped in this circumstance.

MUNTEAN: Demolition began this week on the largest section of the bridge wreckage, critical to releasing the Dali, which is blocking the port of Baltimore. Investigators say the bridge was designed without structural redundancies and not well-protected, with the Dali sailing past the bridges protective barriers known as dolphins.

The Maryland agency that oversees the Key Bridge now says it will also reassess protections on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, on the same shipping channel.

HOMENDY: If you own a bridge, if a state owns a bridge or other entity owns a bridge, look at the current structure. Do a risk assessment. You can do that now. You don't have to wait until we issue an urgent recommendation.


MUNTEAN (on camera): Right now, investigators are working with Hyundai. That is the company that made the electrical system in question on the MV Dali. The other question is when the Dali will be moved, so the port of Baltimore can reopen. [16:55:02]

That could happen in the coming days. Also, we learned today about the timeline to rebuild Baltimore's iconic Key Bridge, the Army Corps of Engineers. It says the goal is to finish a new bridge by 2028.

TAPPER: All right. Pete Muntean, thank you so much.

Tomorrow morning, in that New York hush money cover up case, an intense line of questioning is expected to pick up with Michael Cohen returning to the witness stand. Cohen's former attorney, Lanny Davis, is here in D.C. He's going to join us next on THE LEAD. What does he say about Cohen's lies in the past and why the jury should believe him now?

Plus, the political attacks already from President Biden and former President Trump as they accept invites today to upcoming debates. One of them held next month here on CNN.