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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Interview With Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Trump Trial Moves To Final Phase; New Filing In Classified Documents Case Reveals Additional Docs Found In Trump's Mar-A-Lago Bedroom After FBI Search; Ex-Trump Aide Peter Navarro's Prison Interview With Semafor. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 21, 2024 - 16:00   ET



ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But the NFL says they remain committed to this. They think it's good business.

And they say they want to lead in this area. They want to set the benchmark across the sports industry, but eventually across all companies to show that they're -- that they are paying attention to the need to expand opportunity here.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Athena Jones, thank you so much for that report.

Thank you so much for being with us this afternoon.

Jessica --

JESSICA DEAN, CNN HOST: Thanks for having me always.

SANCHEZ: -- thanks for sitting in the chair, come back tomorrow, please.

DEAN: I will.

SANCHEZ: You do the same, but don't go anywhere because the lead with Jake Tapper starts right now.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

And we were following breaking news out of New York. Of course, where today in Donald Trump's hush money trial, the defense rested. Right now in court, there's a meeting to determine what the judge will tell the jury next week before the jury begins deliberating what will no doubt be a monumental verdict, one way or the other in the very first ever criminal trial of a former president.

Trump himself is at this court meeting. And we'll bring you all the updates coming up. But leading this hour, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joins us live from Jerusalem a day after the historic decision by the International Criminal Court in The Hague to seek arrest warrants not only for the three top leaders of the terrorist group Hamas, but for Prime Minister Netanyahu and his defense minister, Yoav Gallant, over what the top ICC prosecutor calls war crimes in Gaza.

According to the ICC, the charges against Netanyahu include -- quote -- "causing extermination, causing starvation as a method of warfare, including the denial of humanitarian relief and supplies, and deliberately targeting civilians in conflict."

And Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu joins us right now.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, thank you so much for joining us.

A central part of the ICC's charges against you and Gallant is -- quote -- "starvation of civilians as a method of warfare."

Now, I know that Israel repeatedly claims that enough aid is getting in and there is not a purposeful starvation, that those claiming otherwise are misinformed, are lying. Is Israel going to send a delegation to The Hague to present any evidence to defend itself?

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I think these charges are exactly as President Biden called them. They're outrageous. They're beyond outrageous.

This is a rogue prosecutor that has put false charges and created false symmetries that are both dangerous and false. And the first false symmetry is, he equates the democratically elected leaders of Israel with the terrorist tyrants of Hamas.

That's like saying that, well, I'm issuing the arrest warrants for FDR and Churchill, but also for Hitler, or I'm issuing arrest warrants for George Bush, George W. Bush, but also for bin Laden. That's absurd.

Secondly, the charges are completely false. Let's take this charge of starvation. We have put in 500,000 tons of trucks, of food and medicine for this population. We have taken 20,000 trucks. We have paved roads to put those trucks in. We have opened border crossings that Hamas closed down. I have had airdrops that have facilitated, sea route supplies.

I mean, the whole thing is absurd. You should know this. I mean, the prices of food in Gaza has dropped by 80 percent. The markets don't lie. They talk about 23, I think, or 30 cases of malnutrition in a population of two million.

OK, the United States in 2022 had 20,000 deaths of malnutrition. That's three times more than in Gaza. This is completely false. It's the kind of slander that has been leveled the Jewish people for ages, and it's renewed now against the Jewish state. It was false then. It's false now.

But one thing, this prosecutor, this rogue prosecutor... TAPPER: Mm-hmm.

NETANYAHU: ... didn't even bother to come here.

He said he'd come here and check the facts. He didn't check the facts. He just went out and demonized the Jewish state, and he's taking the ICC down the route of the General Assembly that passes infinite resolutions, flat-Earth resolutions against Israel, or the Human Rights Council that used to have a reputation that is completely blown because half their resolutions are against Israel...

TAPPER: Right.

NETANYAHU: ... not against Iran, not against North Korea, not against Syria. It's the same thing.

TAPPER: So, we should...

NETANYAHU: It's outrageous and false and dangerous, because it endangers every democracy.

TAPPER: We should note, though, it's not just the ICC expressing concerns about the lack of humanitarian aid getting into Gaza.

President Biden and his administration and their officials, not to mention European allies of Israel and their officials, they have all been making this case for months that Israel is not letting enough aid in.

So, when President Biden expresses concern about you not letting enough aid in, is he wrong?

NETANYAHU: Well, no, we have the same concerns. We were trying to get the aid in. We got the aid in, and Hamas was looting the aid. That's what was happening. They were taking it for themselves or extorting the population.


We were letting the aid in from the start.

And, look, I have been -- this was my directive from day one. The day one thing was, we have to provide -- we comport with international law. We comport with the rules of war. We have to get those trucks in.

We're getting hundreds of trucks every day in. And that's been an aspect of our conducting -- conduct of war, because we try to get civilians out of harm's way. We have done things that no country, no army has done in history. It's not me saying that. It's General Petraeus saying that. The head of the urban warfare at West Point, Colonel John Spencer, says it.

Israel's gone out of its way, both in humanitarian aid and getting civilians out of harm's way with millions of text messages, millions of phone calls, and leaflets that we have been dropping, giving up the element of surprise. Israel is given here a bum rap. It's -- I think it's dangerous, because, basically, it's the first democracy that is being taken to the dock when it is doing exactly what democracy should be doing in an exemplary way.

I think it will endanger all other democracies. Israel may be first. You're next. Britain is next. Others are next too.

And the second thing that is dangerous about this, Jake, is, I think this fans the fires of antisemitism that are raging on American campuses and throughout Western capitals. They're pouring gas. He just poured gasoline on it...

TAPPER: Mm-hmm.

NETANYAHU: ... this rogue prosecutor, Khan.


NETANYAHU: Because people initially will think this is serious. They think the ICC, this is a serious thing.

It's not.

TAPPER: Well...

NETANYAHU: It's a travesty of justice, and it's a pack of lies.

TAPPER: Let me ask you, because what Hamas did on October 7 -- just to make this clear, what Hamas did is abhorrent, as is the refusal to return the hostages, abhorrent.

But whether or not it was Israel's intent, tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians, including countless children, have been killed and maimed by the IDF in your war against Hamas. Is there anything you and the IDF could have done any differently to avoid all the loss of innocent lives in Gaza?

NETANYAHU: First of all, every civilian casualty is a tragedy. Every child lost or every woman lost or every innocent person lost is a tragedy.

But, for Hamas, it's a strategy. So while we go out of our way to get them out of harm's way, Hamas goes out of its way to keep them in harm's way, shooting at them if they try to leave the battle zones. But many have left the -- thankfully, I can say that.

Now, the ratio -- because of our actions, the ratio of civilians to combatants killed is the lowest in the history of urban warfare, and certainly dense urban warfare like this. It's about one to one. There are about 14,000 casualties -- or 14,000 to 15,000 terrorists killed and an equal amount of civilians that were unfortunately killed, because that's what happens.

But, in other arenas, in Fallujah, with a handful of terrorists, 3,000, 4,000, compared to 35,000 in Gaza, the ratio was much bigger than that. The same thing in Mosul. So we have gone out of our way to stop it. And let me tell you, I think that the numbers are also inflated. The U.N. -- the U.N. organizations that are dominated by Hamas in Gaza is giving false information, as is Hamas itself. And people believe these numbers.

The other day, they came and said, well, it's about 35,000 who are killed, but 10,000 of those we said are women and children, now we can't say that. We don't know who they are.

TAPPER: Well, whatever the numbers are, it's too many.

NETANYAHU: So, they -- in the meantime, the lie circles -- well, look, yes, one is too many. But the reason they're there, the reason we have civilian casualties at all is because Hamas is preventing them from leaving.

I'm happy to say that, in the Rafah operation that we have conducted, a million people actually left. People said, well, there are a million people, 1.2 million, in Gaza. Where are they going to go? They're going to be trapped.

Well, a million, 950,000 have already left. And there are very few civilian casualties because we're doing everything to get them out. This is our policy.


NETANYAHU: It's humanitarian. It's responsible. We comport with the laws of war. And we're the ones taken to the dock.

And it doesn't give any -- it doesn't give any solace that they're also taking these killers of Hamas, these murderers, and putting them in the dock. As I said, Hitler's in the dock, but so is FDR and so is Eisenhower. Absurd.

TAPPER: After seven months of unity for your wartime government, there seems a lot of disagreement now about your plans for Gaza, or lack thereof, after major military operations in Gaza is over.

Benny Gantz wants a plan, or he says he's going to leave your government. Your defense minister, Yoav Gallant, says you don't have a plan. He's basically accusing you of trying to lay the groundwork for an occupation, either civilian or military, in Gaza in the future.

Are you denying that the plan is for an occupation of Gaza, or are you taking it off the table?

NETANYAHU: No, I have a very clear plan.

I think, the first thing, the day after Hamas, Jake, is the day after Hamas.


We have to get rid of Hamas. Otherwise, there's no future for Gaza, no future for peace, and it'll be a tremendous victory for -- not only for Hamas, but for the Iran terror axis that backs it and organizes Hezbollah, the Houthis, and all these other sundry terrorist organizations.

So, I think we have to defeat Hamas, and we will defeat Hamas. Rafah is the last stronghold of Hamas terrorist battalions. We will defeat them. That ends the intense part of the fighting.

But once Hamas is defeated, what we have to do is have sustained demilitarization of Gaza. And, yes, on this, I think the only force that can prevent the resurgence of terrorism for the foreseeable future is Israel. At the same time, we want, I want a civilian administration that is run by Gazans who are neither Hamas nor committed to our destruction.

TAPPER: So you're taking it off the table?

NETANYAHU: And the third thing that we need to do is -- no, I'm not. I'm putting it on the table, on the contrary.

No, that's not true. In fact, I'm...


TAPPER: Yes, I'm saying you're taking off an Israeli occupation of Gaza? You're taking off the table an Israeli...

NETANYAHU: If you mean -- if you mean resettling, if you mean resettling Gaza, yes, I -- it was never in the cards, and I said so openly. And some of my constituents are not happy about it, but that's my position.

The third thing that I would do is have a reconstruction of Gaza, if possible, done by the moderate Arab states and the international community. That's demilitarization, civilian administration by local Gazans who are not committed to Israel's destruction, and responsible reconstruction.

That, I think, is a realistic plan, and I have said so. Look, if some people are not happy with it, maybe they want to put in the Palestinian Authority that is -- still teaches its children to seek the destruction of Israel, pays terrorists, the more terrorists -- the more Jews they kill, the more they pay, and supports terrorism.

That's not my position. I want a different future for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

TAPPER: I have two...

NETANYAHU: I think it will affect the future of peace in the Middle East.

TAPPER: Two more questions for you, sir, because I know your time is limited.

Three people familiar with the cease-fire discussions that fell through earlier this month tell our reporter Alex Marquardt that Egyptian intelligence quietly changed the terms that Israel had already agreed to in order to get Hamas on board.

Does this raise concerns for you about Egypt being involved moving forward?

NETANYAHU: Look, I think we have a goal, which is not only to defeat Hamas, but also to release the hostages.

My government has been able to secure the release of 124 hostages so far, and we're committed to get the rest. Hamas, unfortunately, has been hunkering down on a demand that is simple. They say, well, we can release the rest of the hostages, maybe, but, in order to do that, you have to get out of Gaza, end the war, and allow us basically to regroup and reconquer Gaza.

And they vow to commit the October 7 massacre, this horror of beheadings and raping of women, beheading women after they rape them, the burning of babies, the slaughter of the innocent, the taking of hostages, we will do that again and again and again.

So that's something I won't agree to. And I hope Egypt understands that we can't agree to something like that. That's not something that we can countenance. And neither can the people of Israel.

By the way, the overwhelming majority of Israelis support this policy. And I can tell you that, the other day, by the way, yesterday, we had a resolution in the Knesset where 106 out of 120 Knesset members supported a resolution that says you cannot accept the ICC statement. You cannot accept it. We reject it. It's a farce, and we have to stand up to it.

And I can tell you, I don't remember that Israelis -- I don't remember the Knesset agreeing, 106 Knesset members out of 120 agreeing on anything.

TAPPER: But, Mr. Prime Minister, you say that the majority of the American people are with you on this plan, but a poll from the Israel Democracy Institute from this month showed a majority of Israelis, 56 percent, say getting the hostages back home should be a higher priority than military action in Rafah.

So, don't you just fundamentally disagree with the majority of the Israeli people?

NETANYAHU: Well, I have seen other numbers, but I take a different thing.

I don't say this is more important and that is more important. I say both of them are important. And, in fact, the military action that we've taken against Hamas is, in fact, the way to get these hostages, because, without military pressure, basically, without squeezing them, Hamas is not going to give up anything.

That's the reason they gave up the first half of the hostages. And that's the reason they will give up the second half. So I don't see -- I see them as complementary and not contradictory goals. And I intend to fulfill both of them. TAPPER: Before you go, sir, we should note, while we appreciate your talking to us, according to the independent Israeli media monitor The Seventh Eye, you have done about two dozen interviews since October 7, but all of them in English and all the outlets outside Israel.


I don't want to begrudge that. I appreciate you doing an interview with us. But why are you not speaking with Israeli journalists the way you are with me?

NETANYAHU: That's the tendentious reporting of some of -- a lot of the Israeli media.

So I can tell you, what they're not telling you is, I have done -- I don't know if it's two dozen or 20 or 15 press conferences with Israeli media. They can ask anything they want. And they do.

And I just met Israeli reporters the other day in Rafah, in fact, three days ago, and they asked me all the questions they want. So that's simply not true. I speak to them, and I speak to you, and I welcome the opportunity to tell the truth and dispel the lies in both -- in both mediums.

TAPPER: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it.

NETANYAHU: Thank you.

TAPPER: Let's get some reaction to what we just heard from the prime minister.

Plus, catch you up on the key arguments happening right now in the New York hush money cover-up case.

We're also just getting in some brand new details on another criminal case against Trump, the federal classified documents case.

We're going to squeeze in a very quick break. We'll be right back with all that new stuff.



TAPPER: Back with our world lead, we just heard Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defend himself and his government after this historic application for his arrest by the International Criminal Court. Netanyahu also said, the numbers of civilians killed in Gaza are, quote, inflated by Gazans and by Hamas and the outright said he did not want a reoccupation of Gaza by the Israeli military or government though far-right members of his cabinet are indeed calling for it.

Joining us now to help digest, former deputy director of national intelligence and CNN, national security analyst Beth Sanner. Beth, what was your biggest takeaway from the interview?

BETH SANNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think the idea is for me is how he's arguing this and I feel like he's arguing it in the way I wouldn't argue it.

You know, first, absolutely, I'm not equivocating what Hamas did and what Israel is doing, totally fair. But I don't really feel like he's arguing it on the merits of the case. There are lots of things about the lack of merits of this case that can be argued.

And instead, he's kind of doubling down on, you know, all the things that Israel has done to provide food and all -- you know, there's no starvation, nothing to see here in Gaza. But, you know, for all of us watching the TV, I think you can say, okay, I don't think this rises to war crimes, but I feel like something isn't going well in Gaza regarding human rights and the State Department report that you referred to kind of says that.


SANNER: It just -- you know, so why not --

TAPPER: You think you would be more credible if he acknowledged that -- look, we had to make for example, look, we had to do security checks to make sure that these trucks didn't have weapons and that took a long unfortunately, that took a long time or whatever. I'm just but some sort of acknowledgment of the reality.

SANNER: Yes. I think that this kind of -- I feel like were looking at were in an alternative universe when I listened to him. And that doesn't mean I think that the ICC is right, but here we are again where were kind of arguing about things that you don't like the realities don't comport.

All we have to do is watch our own TV and see that that doesn't feel right.

TAPPER: So there's obviously a lot of division in his war cabinet right now with both Gallant and Gantz saying there's no plan for the day after.

SANNER: Right.

TAPPER: The so-called day after when the mate major military operations come through. He presented a plan. It was a very kind of, I don't want to -- I don't want to say glib, but it was a four-point plan with not a lot of detail saying that you want the major moderate Arab nations to come in and help out. It's not the same thing as saying, we have secured commitments from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and E -- you know what I mean? So --

SANNER: It's not a plan.

TAPPER: Yeah. SANNER: That's not a plan. That's like a statement of theory. That's

like, you know, what China says is there peace plan for Russia, Ukraine. It's not a plan. It's a statement.

And, you know, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff just said yesterday publicly that Israel isn't conducting this war in a way that solves the problem. That's why they keep having to go back in and refight battles is because there's no one on the ground now in order to manage what he said Hamas taking over aid shipments, true, right? All of this is true, but you -- if you don't actually have a plan and you're not doing something to set up some sort of authority on the ground now --


SANNER: -- then it you're going to be in an endless cycle. I mean, we are in -- we're on the gerbil wheel here and no one is -- I don't know when we get off.

TAPPER: Well, and it's not just, you know, Americans saying that its members of his own wartime cabinet --

SANNER: Exactly.

TAPPER: -- which is got to be troubling for him.

SANNER: It should be, but all of a sudden, we have one issue that everyone agrees on for the first time in -- since the beginning of this war. And that is that the ICC process of moving towards these arrests is absolutely unwarranted and everybody agrees on this.

So this is -- you know, this is a gift to Netanyahu. I remember we were here at the very beginning of this war and you asked me about Netanyahu and you said, well, what do you think is prospects are and I said, you know, glibly, dead man walking, right?

And now I don't feel that way at all. I feel like this is giving Netanyahu and other lease on life even if Gantz ends up pulling out of the war cabinet. He's not -- his government's not going to fall. So, you know, I think that we are in a very different place.

TAPPER: Beth Sanner, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

The debate over jury instructions is happening right now in that courtroom 39 in the hush money cover-up trial.


Plus, brand new details in another criminal case involving Trump.

And stunning images coming in from Iowa, near Corning, Iowa, that's southwest of Des Moines, a reported tornado on the ground. Take a look at that.

This is breaking right now. Keep it here for updates on this one. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: What will be the last words to the jury before those 12 men and women decide the fate of Donald Trump in the hush money cover-up trial. That's what the prosecution and defense are debating in a meeting with the judge, right now, Donald Trump is there. We expect them to speak publicly once the meeting is over.

Both sides have rested their cases, which means all that is left is closing arguments. We're told that will be in one week, Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, a week from tomorrow, deliberations are expected to begin after the jury gives -- the judge gives the jury instructions.

So let's bring in the legal panel.

So let me start with you. The defense wants the judge to add a jury instruction on how they should consider testimony about reactions to moments like the Access Hollywood tape, specifically Trump's team says Hope Hicks's testimony regarding her own reaction to it could be confusing to the jury if they don't understand its meant to demonstrate the impact on Trump -- on Trump's state of mind.


Judge Merchan said he would think about it, but he's inclined to side with prosecutors saying the evidence is likely clear enough.

First of all, I don't know what any of that means. So, translate it to English from lawyeries and what do you think about it?

WILLIAM J. BRENNAN, FORMER TRUMP PAYROLL CORP. ATTORNEY: Well, it's similar to the issue that came up the other day where judge Merchan, I believe said you consider Mr. Cohen's plea in the federal case as to his character and credibility, you're not to hold it against anyone else.

And, you know, you limit what the jury is supposed to focus more. But let's say if I say to you, Jake, seven, think of a number between one and ten. I mean, you've got to think is seven. So it's hard when its out there.

The more important ruling I thought the judge made or said he was likely to make is that if it's shown that the payment would have been made anyway, then he was going to instruct the jury that that would not be election interference. So if he if he -- if I'm right about that.

TAPPER: If -- so, they would've paid off Stormy Daniels, even if you weren't running for --

BRENNAN: Right, like he paid off the bogus doorman story, McDougal --

TAPPER: Right.

BRENNAN: -- if he was going to make the payment anyway, that it would not be election interference, if I -- if I'm getting this right, I mean, that would be a huge concession for the defense.

TAPPER: What do you think about the case? Like you've now heard everything except for the closing arguments. You have struck me as somebody who has not been super wowed by the power of this prosecutorial presentation.

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. I mean, from the beginning of the day that the indictment was announced, I think I was on with you and said I thought it was underwhelming. I think as they've gone through, I've always thought the most difficult part of this case for the prosecution to prove is that connection to any underlying crime that they have to show that Donald Trump was intending to violate by falsifying records.

TAPPER: In other words, in other words, they false -- they falsified the records.

CORDERO: Yeah. So, they've got the records. They've shown that those are falsified.

TAPPER: Right.

CORDERO: You know, that potentially if it was only on its own, my understanding would be a misdemeanor. So then the issue getting to the felonies is whether or not there was some this underlying crime. And that I think has been the issue that the prosecutors arguably have not going to -- gotten two.

And I think the defense really could have had an argument for just closing their case after the prosecution not putting on these small number of witnesses and just saying the prosecution hasn't met the burden of their case and they haven't gotten there. And I think it pertains to this underlying crime that they haven't necessarily made the connection.

TAPPER: Sean, you disagree I bet.

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, not so much on the fact apart, but that's why the jury instruction on this point is so critical and there's been a huge win for the prosecution on that, which is that the judge has says they don't -- the jurors don't have to be unanimous as to which of the crimes and to prove the underlying crime. Now it's possible the judge may du a special verdict, meaning checkbox, which of these crimes, tax, election fraud, federal election campaign finance.

But the more broad that jury instruction is, which is the way that the judge is going, the easier it is for them to make that connection evidentiary.

TAPPER: And, Leslie, Judge Merchan today told the jury not to talk about the case, not to research the case. He said, quote, it might be tempting to think now that both sides have rested, you can kind of let up a bit.

But in fact, these instructions take on even greater significance how realistic do you think that is that people are not going to go home and hit Google, they're not going to go home and see what Kimmel or Colbert are saying about this?

LESLIE ELLIS, JURY CONSULTANT: It is really attempting and there is research that shows that some jurors do that. But I think news flash, I think a lot of these jurors are going to take them next week to not think about this trial and spend some time on their regular lives and their family and their work and getting back to things.

TAPPER: Sure. But they go to the beach and somebody says, hey, Marty's on the jury and like, you know, everybody, laughs and they talk about it. And that's not going to happen?

ELLIS: Well, that does happen and I think at that --

TAPPER: I made up Marty, by the way. That's not a real name. So, don't -- don't be hunting down Marty's. I made it up. Sorry.

ELLIS: Right, right, that very well may happen. I think the jury is anonymous, so it's up to their family members to keep their identity secret.

TAPPER: Have you been to New York?

ELLIS: Well, true, true.

TAPPER: It's not a close lift crowd.

ELLIS: That's true. That's true. That's true.

So, I -- it's going to be up to the jury to decide if they want to engage in that or not. But I think for the most part, they're just going to want to stick their head in the sand and pretend it's not happening.

BRENNAN: Jake, it's going to happen. some juror over this long week recess is going to be up at 3:00 in the morning. And when they get sick, a playing Wordle and the crossword puzzle, they're just going to hit Trump trial. I'll just look at one thing and then it's going to go down a rabbit hole. You can't avoid it.

TAPPER: I'm just saying over burgers and brat, somebody's going to have a couple of beers to act too much. But we'll see. We'll see. The jury has been exemplary so far true.

BRENNAN: That's true.

TAPPER: I'm just acknowledging that as humans, it's difficult.

BRENNAN: Human nature.


TAPPER: It's difficult, that's all. But they've been wonderful. That's all. I do think that.

Thanks to one and all. Appreciate it.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

TAPPER: Also in our law and justice lead, a brand new court filing by special counsel Jack Smith in Trump's classified documents case. It shows a team hired by Trump attorneys found documents marked classified in Trump's bedroom. And this is after the FBI raided Mar-a- Lago in August 2022.

Remember this is the Florida case where prosecutors alleged Mr. Trump took classified documents from the White House improperly and stored them in non-secure locations at Mar-a-Lago, including in bathrooms and ballrooms to which the public had access.

CNN's Evan Perez joins me now from Fort Pierce, Florida, ahead of tomorrow's hearing in the case.

Evan, walk us through this new filing.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, this is a filing from Judge Beryl Howell and she was ruling on a request by prosecutors to get information, to get documents from Evan Corcoran, who is a former attorney for the former president and what she did was she essentially -- she ruled that prosecutors had a right to get that information from him because it fell under the crime-fraud exception.

What she found according to this document, which has just been unsealed today is that in -- sometime after December of 2022, in a search of mar-a-Lago, the people working for the former president and his legal team found a classified document, something that was mostly empty, a folder that read classified evening summary. This was found in the former president's bedroom.

There were four additional documents that were found in an office there at Mar-a-Lago. And so, this is part of the reason why, judge, decided that this cast doubt on the former president's claim that he had no idea via that they were classified documents being stored all over Mar-a-Lago. She said that there was strong evidence that the former president intended to hide classified documents. And again, that's why she ruled that Evan Corcoran had to provide documents and testimony to the prosecution.

Now, what we know now Jake is a tomorrow, we're going to have a hearing, all-day hearing. Part of it, looking at the issue that Walt Nauta, who is one of the co-defendants here, he's arguing that he was picked out for selective prosecution. And then in the afternoon, we're going to hear additional motions on -- by the entire defense. I'm sorry, by the entire defense team, saying that the prosecution has not provided enough information as part of this case.

A lot -- another thing that were waiting for Jake is to hear from Judge Aileen cannon when we might see this trial.

Right now, there is no indication that we're going to see this trial before November. And so, we wait and see what she -- what she says tomorrow -- Jake. TAPPER: All right. Evan Perez in Fort Pierce, Florida, thanks so much.

A former Trump aide who is sitting behind bars is talking to the press. What former White House aide Peter Navarro predicts will happen if Trump is re-elected. The report order who interviewed him will join us next.



TAPPER: And we're back with our law and justice lead. Former Donald Trump adviser Peter Navarro is spending his four-month prison sentence in the prison's law library, preaching what the first hundred days of another Trump White House might look like.

Navarro is behind bars for contempt of Congress after he defied the January 6 House Select Committee's subpoena. He hopes to get out in time for July's Republican national convention.

In an email interview with the new site "Semafor", Navarro predicts a second Trump term includes getting rid of the Federal Reserve chair altogether and starting mass immigrant deportations, millions of people.

"Semafor's" senior editor Gina Chon interviewed Navarro and is with us now.

Gina, thanks so much for coming on THE LEAD. We appreciate it.

Explain why you think it's important to highlight Navarro's insight is to what a second Trump term might look like.

GINA CHON, SENIOR EDITOR, SEMAFOR: Well, he's obviously very influential because he did go to prison for the former president. He is still very much tied to the inner circle. He is regularly visited by people like Don Trump, Jr. So --

TAPPER: He visited him in prison?

CHON: Yes, just recently -- just over one of these past weekends. And so, I think if Trump wins, he will have a prominent role. And so, what he says matters and he was obviously one of the big forces behind the Chinese tariffs and a lot of others, sort of protectionist policies.

So, it's important to hear him out, even though he is in prison.

TAPPER: Absolutely. So, on Navarro's prediction about Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, Navarro says, quote, my guess is that this punctilious non-economist will be gone in 100 days one way or the other. He then brings up in his interview with you possible replacements, former Council of Economic Advisers chair Kevin Hassett, former CEA chair Tyler Goodspeed.

When you talk with economic experts, what do they say about such a move? CHON: I mean, they are worried about what is going to happen to the

Fed. Traditionally that is a very independent agency. Obviously needs to be to steer the economy without regard to politics and given how difficult the fight against inflation has been, who sits in that chair really matters.

And one of the things that Wall Streets really worried about is this move around the Fed and whether politics could interfere with managing the American economy.

TAPPER: But is he talking about getting rid of power or getting rid of the entire Federal Reserve?

CHON: Well, it would be a bit difficult to get rid of the whole your board because they are approved by the Senate. There's a whole nomination process.

TAPPER: No, of course, it would be difficult, but it's his goal to get rid of it all?

CHON: There are some people on the Fed right now who have been more supportive of Trump policies and have been critical of the current Federal Reserve.


But certainly, Jay Powell was in the hot seat even before all of this in Trump's first-term. Trump called him an enemy of the people, something that you don't traditionally hear about a Fed chair.

And so, I think he will be a major target in another Trump term.

TAPPER: So, Navarro touted Trump's tough stance on China, advocating for more tariffs on Chinese products. What do economists think about that? What kind of impact might that have on the economy?

CHON: I mean, economists have already talked about how the tariffs have affected inflation. That adds on to consumer prices. But honestly in this area, this is where Trump and Biden agree and they're trying to outdo each other on the tariff. You know, Biden just recently unveiled tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles and various other products and Trump then immediately said he would put 200 percent tariff on Chinese products.

So, in this area, they're actually on the same page. When it comes to the mass deportations, I heard Senator Marco Rubio the other day speculate there might be 20 or 25 million undocumented immigrants in the country, that the 15 million that people talk about, that's like 10, 15 years ago.

How serious are they about actually rounding up 20, 25 million people many of whom, whether or not wed like it contribute a great deal to the economy, especially when it comes to agriculture and manufacturing -- how serious are they about all 20, 25 million?

CHON: I think they are very serious and they will figure out ways to pull the levers of government to do that.

But to your point about the economy, we already have more job openings and people to fill them. And so, having these people removed could actually be a detriment to our economy.

TAPPER: So I do have to ask you about just the process of this all.

CHON: Yes.

TAPPER: Because, obviously, he's in prison. You know, I didn't know that prisoners -- maybe he's at a low security one. I don't know. But you had access to the internet like I assume you reached out to him through a friend or a lawyer or whatever?

But tell me about interviewing him by via internet when he's in prison?

CHON: Yeah. No, it was through contact. He has the prison consultant who is in regular touch with him, so he's the one who passed on the message to Peter.

I had so many questions that was actually difficult to do it over the phone, and he actually he works in the law library. He's 74, and was given a more coveted job.

At one point, there was actually discussion about whether Don Jr. would be the one to take handwritten responses from Peter, get the -- hand them to Don Jr., and then get them transferred to me. He decided there were so many that he would actually type them out in email, which by the way is also where he's been wrapping up his book. That's coming out around the Republican National Convention.

TAPPER: And how much do you think he's still plugged into Trump world. It sounds like a lot if he's still talking to Trump Jr. who's obviously a very prominent member of MAGA world. In terms of policy and planning, how much do you think he's still contributing ideas?

CHON: I think he's contributing a lot. I mean, there's always a question about who has influenced in the Trump world. But obviously with his connections and his loyalty to the president, which he, which Trump really values, I think puts them in a pretty good spot. And if he gets out in time, he's actually hoping to speak at the Republican National Convention in July.

TAPPER: He could have participated -- I mean, he could have honored the subpoena and just pleaded the Fifth. He just -- he didn't. Did he regret that?

CHON: Yeah, I don't think he regrets it one bit. Now, he's a martyr. He gets to show what he did for the president and hopefully, I think he's hoping that will pay off in a second term.

All right. Here's the defendant himself, Mr. Trump after court today.

Gina Chon, thank you so much. Really, really interesting stuff.

Let's listen to the former president after this big day in court.


Jonathan Turley just stated that he thinks that this case is collapsing of its own weight. He thinks it's a disgrace to our country, to state of New York. Never seen anything like it.

Steven Calabresi says an outrage and the district attorney brought this case, and then the judge did not declare a mistrial, from highly respected Steven Calabresi who says, and operated (ph) the district attorney brought this case and the judge did not declare a mistrial, and everybody's saying in one form or another.

Andy McCarthy, what they have is January cases that the federal prosecutors at my old office of southern district of New York wouldn't take it the first place.


They would not take it at. The Southern District turned down this case, and the case that Cy Vance looked at and wouldn't take it. And the case that Bragg himself looked at in 2022, and shut it down. And this is what we've been wasting all this time.

Alan Dershowitz, I've observed and participated in trials throughout the world. I have seen justice and injustice in China, Russia, Ukraine, England, France, Italy, Israel, as well as in nearly 40 or 50 states, but on my 60 years as a lawyer and law professor, I have never seen the spectacle such as the one I observed sitting in the front row of the court, hasn't ever seen anything like it.

He's a great lawyer, great legal scholar, for years. He's never seen anything like it.

It's all politics, said Leo Terrell, if anyone tells you otherwise, they're not a lawyer.

Let me just tell you that the White House is the person who -- whatever -- they're one the trying this case. You heard I was doing off the talking. Representative from the White House just recently, this is all about Biden can't campaign, so he's tried to injure his opponent. They're trying to hurt the opponent because they can't win fair and square.

It's a lawfare. There are a lot of terms for it. It's a third world country way of campaigning. It's such a disgrace.

(INAUDIBLE) what's happened to our country. Our country is going to hell under Biden. But look at the person, why are you looking at the person that argued their case almost the entire case.

Look at the person, where did he come from. Unbelievable, he came from Biden and I don't know if it's Biden, because I don't think Biden has any idea what the hell is happening. But it's from the fascist circle in the Oval Office. They circle the Resolute Desk, the beautiful Resolute Desk, that makes speak out (ph).

Byron York, campaign finance laws extraordinary complicated. Back in 2013, in an oral argument, the Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said this campaign finance law is so intricate that I can't figure it out. What he's referring to is the fact that we had on legal expert, the number one expert on campaign finance law who wasn't allowed to participate. He wasn't allowed to participate.

They said he can't be a witness unless you want to talk about what's the definition of the law, you couldn't talk to him about it anything else.

Gregg Jarrett, this trial is now officially a sad and pathetic job. It's a crime. Merchan and Bragg are the head clowns. It should be patently obvious that the leading Republican candidate for president is on trial not for what he's done, but for he is. Trump is that potential nemesis of the Democrats.

By the way, I just got (INAUDIBLE) may receive, I'm reading a few now for the first time, I haven't looked and opened. I'm just giving to you, because everybody says it's a sad day.

Bragg loathes him, such a surprise, and so does Merchan loathes him. The judge hates Donald Trump, just take a look. Take a look at him. Take a look at where he comes from.

He can't stand Donald Trump. He's doing everything at his power. I understand that (INAUDIBLE) could have reliance on counsel. I can't rely. And this guy was counsel, I don't have any reliance on counsel. I might be the only one ever that doesn't reliance on counsel.

We have so many bad decisions. Just everything we asked for, we get nothing.

So he says, Biden despises Trump, Bragg loathes and does Merchan and (INAUDIBLE) who's taken it upon himself to serve up as a co-prosecutor of the case. This is from Gregg Jarrett, very talented guy.

It's a persecution, not a prosecution of any legitimacy. Bragg has abused his position now and spend tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer -- you see how many people from his office are there, while people are being mugged and killed outside, never saw anything like it in my life, nobody has.


Bragg has abused his disposition of power, spent tens of millions of dollars to denigrate an electoral candidate, the enemy. To denigrate an electoral enemy to benefit his opponent, President Joe Biden, commonly known as crooked Joe.

The D.A. falsely asserts that Trump unlawfully tried to influence the 2016 election, but it is Bragg who is guilty of interfering in the 2024 election. They're doing it in 2024, just like they did in 2020. Can you imagine with all of the wrong going for we found that, you know, existed? They're coming after me for election interference, that's the classic

of all. That's a classic of all.

Tim Fitton, the sham Democratic Party prosecution of Trump may be collapsing in New York, but the process is to punishment as Trump is held political hostage for weeks in this court proceeding in the middle of a presidential election is your trial as already compromised the election.

They're already cheating the election with this. And you don't know what's happening because the judge is so biased, so corrupt. He's so corrupt and he's so conflicted, that you never know how things are going to (INAUDIBLE) honest judges.

But a corrupt judge will far surpass a great case for us. When you have a corrupt judge, lots of bad things happen.

Katy Tur asking, this is such an embarrassment of a showing of prosecution that I imagine the judge wouldn't grant the motion to dismiss the case. You can't imagine it. There has been no evidence. There's no evidence and there's no crime. There's no crime.

Everybody says, oh, there's no crime, where's the crime? And these are the top legal scholars.

Doug Schoen and Carly (INAUDIBLE) are finding and these very big Democratic. I don't what they're going to say, I'm reading it out (INAUDIBLE) -- are finding the large pluralities and outright majorities of Americans perceive these indictments as politically motivated, should be a warning sign to the Democrats. He said Democrats (INAUDIBLE).

John Yoo, I'm not sure there isn't going to be backfire on prosecution, having a judge who so aggressively on their side. He is so pleasantly on their side, but he has to be. He has to be. He has to report.

Joe Concha, good guy, starting to this all lawfare strategy wasn't a good strategy at all, and is having the inverse effect Democrats had hoped for. So the Democrats are, they're going to take me out with lawfare, and it's so bad at least I have a voice. I can talk to you the press, in many cases, the fake news. But even the fake news has to cover it.

The Long Island, the state of New York, and the image of the state of New York is a place of freedom and fairness is in tatters.

Mike Davis, this is obviously a political hit against Trump, as well as a blatant election interference and is totally unconstitutional. The American people see in this trial as a complete sham.

Well, so far, they have because I'm leading crooked Joe Biden by a lot. They couldn't they can take me out with this, and don't forget, I'm like eight of them going. This is one, and let this go into and were doing very well in them. So -- and this was going on. There's not one person, the legal scholar

that this has a merit. Now, I haven't previewed everything, but I can see none, ones when you have Mark Levin, likewise a phenomenon (ph), stated, a sham and disgrace to America.

All great legal scholars, Andy McCarthy, many, many documents, many papers written by somebody I respect, but he's tough and he's legit and he said, this is terrible what's going on. It's terrible what's happening to our country.

Mark Thiessen wrote, likewise, terrible what's happening to our country. It's an embarrassment and it's so sad and I appreciate your listening but I just watched something over there. And you have to look at the man that they're all talking. Who's representing -- he wasn't in the D.A.'s office. He wasn't -- he came in for one reason. And when they come from? He came from Washington, D.C., the White House, and the DOJ, and he argued the case.

That means it's Biden.