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Police: Believe Suspect Is Still In Chester County, PA; Rescues Ongoing In Morocco But Destroyed Roads Hampering Efforts; Meadows Asks Federal Judge To "Hold" Ruling That Rejected Effort To Move GA Case To Federal Court; Gun Rights Groups Sue NM Governor Over Emergency Gun Ban. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired September 11, 2023 - 14:30   ET



CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I mean, pretty much work with this person to try to get him to come out so that they can get their hands on him.

I mean, so, right now, they're going through that process. They're not going to put a whole lot out publicly around that sort of thing. But that's what they're doing now.

Apparently, the first two people he reached out to were acquaintances he had not been in contact with for some period of time.

And so they could provide additional information as well as to who are some of the other people that worked with you in that group that he might reach out to.

And so it's not just family and friends. It's also those acquaintances.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: And, Chief Ramsey, I want to dig in on this concept of a perimeter around a certain area.

The lieutenant colonel was asked multiple times whether it was secure enough or not. Some 300 up to 400 people at any given time searching for Cavalcante.

You spoke about weaknesses in the perimeter. How is it possible that he could have gotten through if there were so many people out there looking for him?

RAMSEY: Well, he also is in an eight-square-mile area. Think 400 people in eight square miles. There's gaps there. It's unfortunate. I wish they had been able to capture him during that period of time.

In fact, he's bringing in additional resources so they could do a more thorough search of that particular area. But he was able to get out before that took place.

So, I mean, when they debrief later and they look at all of the things, they'll certainly go over all of the different issues and things that they did right, things they did wrong, you know, gaps that may have been there they could have plugged.

But the bottom line right now, the focus has to be on catching him. That's the biggest thing that they have to do right now.

He is a very dangerous person. He is desperate. He needs money. He needs food. He needs transportation. And he'll do whatever it takes in order to get it. And so people need to be very aware.

And these folks out there on their own, think this is a game, you know, they may have their gun and they're out there trying to find him, they are just getting in the way and they better be very careful. This is nothing to play with.

SANCHEZ: No, certainly not. He's a convicted murderer on the loose, armed --potentially armed and dangerous, we should say.

He was able to get some 20 miles way from where police are looking for him. So are you confident from the assessment he's still in Pennsylvania, still in Chester County?

RAMSEY: I can only go by what the lieutenant colonel said. I mean, they have more information than they're putting out publicly. I have no way of knowing.

But if he's not been able to get access to another vehicle of some kind, he probably still is in the general area, at least within the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Because it's too far for him to walk- out.

I believe he's still there. And of course, they always have more information than they put out publicly.


RAMSEY: Bad guys watch television, too. You have to be very careful with that.

SANCHEZ: Yes. That's a good point.

Chief Charles Ramsey, thank you so much.

And, of course, good guys watch TV, too. If you see anyone that looks like the person in that photograph, again, taken over the weekend, you should contact authorities right way. Again, there's a $25,000 reward for any tip that leads to his capture.

You're watching CNN NEWS CENTRAL. We're back in just a few minutes. Stay with us.



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: Nearly 700 people are confirmed dead in Morocco. Entire villages razed after an historic 6.8 earthquake struck the Atlas Mountains just outside of the famous city of Marrakech. For days now, the Moroccan government and relief workers have

struggled just getting to some of the hardest-hit areas. That is because the terrain is treacherous. Many roads have been destroyed.

Earlier today, the Moroccan military finally reached some of those areas at ground zero of this quake. Some survivors have to make due with aid dropped from helicopters.

Field hospitals are now being set up near some of those hard-hit villages. Survivors living in makeshift tent camps as countries across the globe pledge resources, people and money to boost these desperate efforts.

There are a lot of reporters on the ground. We'll continue to follow it closely.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: And we're joined by someone involved in these relief efforts, Mey Al Sayegh, who is the head of communications for the Middle East and North Africa office of the IFRC.

Mey, thanks for being with us.

What can you tell us about the status of the search-and-rescue efforts? Or are survivors still being found at this point in time? I know it really is a critical point in this window for rescue.

MEY AL SAYEGH, INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE RED CROSS & RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES: First of all, hello, Dana, and thank you for having me.

As you know, it's 72 hours. It's the window that we have to be able to rescue and save the lives of those under the rubble.

And that's, the rescuers and volunteers are on the ground supporting local authorities. They have been deployed there to do search-and- rescue operations. And they have been providing first aid, food and water, and transferring injured to hospitals and providing social support.

As you know, this area, it's very hard to reach area and mountainous area so teams on the ground face difficulties and challenging in accessing these areas.

So the ongoing search-and-rescue operations are ongoing. But it's still, there are a lot of abilities, you know, that people cannot access to. It's a -- a huge disaster, and the Moroccans responding the very first hour.

But --


KEILAR: Mey, let me ask you, and I know.


KEILAR: We see the pictures, Mey. It's very mountainous and very challenging for the rescues.


How long is this recovery going to take, do you think, as this is moving from rescue and also into recovery?

AL SAYEGH: Yes. As I was mentioning, from previous experiences we have in dealing with disasters and earthquakes, what we have witnessed in Syria and Turkey shows that to recover from such massive, you know, disasters, it takes months and years. So we are expecting a longtime recovery for people there.

So in the meantime, the water networks, sanitation, electricity, there are no shelter for people. So it will take a lot of time to be able to -- to assist the people and to have them have recovery as soon as possible.

But this needs investment in infrastructure and providing also livelihood opportunities and support and people until now are still traumatized.

So providing health care as well, as you see a lot of health facilities are damaged. And before the crisis, this disaster, Morocco already suffered from shortage conductors.

But luckily, with this disaster, there are doctors on the ground and sending supplies in and try to support local communities struggling in this crisis.

KEILAR: It's a long road ahead.

Mey, thank you so much for the work your group is doing and in speaking with us. We appreciate it.

AL SAYEGH: Thank you.

KEILAR: Boris?

SANCHEZ: So a legal battle is brewing in New Mexico over gun rights after the governor declared a public health emergency over gun violence.

Stay with us. You're watching CNN NEWS CENTRAL. We're back in just a moment.



SCIUTTO: Former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, asked a federal judge to put a ruling on hold. That ruling denied his effort to move his Georgia election case to a federal court. The judge in his ruling said that Meadow's actions outlined in the

indictment were largely related to political activities and not to his role in the White House. That's key to the decision.

Meadows lawyers say they should get a chance to appeal first.

Let's discuss with CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Elliot Williams.

So let's be frank. This was a big loss for Meadows but also for other defendants in the case --


SCIUTTO: -- because it makes it clear it will be tough to move these cases to federal court.

Tell us where his case is now to at least stay this while he appeals.

WILLIAMS: Right. So on the big question, Jim, I think he ultimately loses on this point of, "I was a federal official. Therefore, I shouldn't be sued in state court." I think he'll lose on that.

To this point where he's asking to stay the appeal, stay the lower case while it appeals, he's actually on to something, because you don't want to rush somebody to trial when he has an open legal question might be resolved in his favor.

SCIUTTO: If he gets a stay, how long would the appeal process happen? And does that push back the trial?

WILLIAMS: You'll notice in his quote, before the standard timeline, before a federal appeal plays out. It could be months to get the appeal to play out. So, yes.

SCIUTTO: That's key. I'm going to jump up to the calendar here. Right?


SCIUTTO: Because we were talking about a proposed trial date as soon as next month?

WILLIAMS: You were. Here's the thing. Once someone is charged with a crime -- to be clear. He's accused doing grave things to the United States and the people of the state of Georgia.

But once he's a defendant in a criminal trial, he has a lot of rights. That includes to appeal certain aspects of the case.

So he was never going to be tried in October to begin with. Donald Trump is not going to be tried in October. Other defendants might in the case.

SCIUTTO: The ones requesting a speedy trial.

WILLIAMS: Yes. SCIUTTO: Their right. Some people seem to want the opposite.


SCIUTTO: We can talk about that later.

But there are lots of trials. These are all the defendants in the Georgia case.

Of course, we have the federal election interference case, the federal classified documents and the New York hush money payments case.

First, let's begin on the federal election interference case. Where does that trial stand and how quickly is a practical trial date for that?

WILLIAMS: It could happen relatively soon. Because that is here in Washington, D.C.

What they're litigating over questions now is, frankly, Donald Trump's own statements, statements he made about the judge and Jack Smith, the prosecutor.

He has the right to speak. Again, he's an American. We all do. But he also can't impede the administration of justice. So the judge has to sort out questions like that.

But the questions in the case aren't all that complicated. Like you saw in Georgia, where you have 19 defendants all fighting with each other.

SCIUTTO: OK. Tell us about the federal classified documents case. This is the one, which I speak to my lawyer friends, like yourself, they say, this is probably the trial that happens the quickest?

WILLIAMS: Could be. The problem, they have to -- haven't resolved the question of what to do with sensitive information in court. They have to litigate that question.

Summaries of it? Does everyone look at it? Show it to the jury? None of these people have background checks. They have to sort that out.

One of the witnesses agreed to turn evidence, to testify against Donald Trump. That is itself significant.


SCIUTTO: Exactly.

WILLIAMS: Yuscil Tavarez.

SCIUTTO: Exactly. And by the way, seems to have information relative to the case.


SCIUTTO: Final one to deal with, of course, the hush money criminal trial.


SCIUTTO: Now set for March of 2024. Going to happen?

WILLIAMS: It could. Look, this all seems quaint at this point. The idea of a trial happening in New York City court, given all the serious federal questions going on here.


But this has been pending quite some time. The wheels are turning on that one. It could still happen in March 2024. That's still six-months away. It could happen.

SCIUTTO: We should note, of course, the federal elections subversion trial, for now, that trial is scheduled for March 4th, the day right before Super Tuesday. That's a busy calendar.

Elliot Williams, thanks so much.


KEILAR: The lawsuits from gun rights groups are rolling in against New Mexico's brand-new emergency public health order on guns. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the edict last week.

She suspended all open carry and concealed carry permits for Bernalillo County, which is the most populous county there. That's home to Albuquerque.

Lujan Grisham saying that the orders are in response to the shooting deaths of three children in the last several weeks. Those victims ranging in age from 5 years old to 13, according to the governor's office.

She also cited two mass shootings in the state back in May that killed six people.

The National Association for Gun Rights is one of the groups suing. It's arguing that the order violates the Second Amendment.

CNN contributor and writer for "The Trace," Jennifer Mascia, is with us now.

Jennifer, we should be clear. There are some pretty liberal Democrats and voices who want to see more gun legislation, who agree that this is not constitutionally sound. We're going to talk about that here in a moment.

The bigger issue for the governor may be that local officials don't believe they can legally enforce this.

The D.A. in the county, in the state, saying, "As an officer of the court, I cannot and will not enforce something that is clearly unconstitutional." Where does that leave this ban?

JENNIFER MASCIA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: According to New Mexico law, the governor can suspend gun possession on public and state property in an emergency. The question here is, does gun violence in New Mexico constitute that type of emergency that's laid out in state law?

The courts might not agree that it does. And one of the reasons is because of the Supreme Court decision last year that changed the calculus for deciding these gun cases. And that's the basis of these suits.

These gun groups are saying, you know, you need to have a historical precedent for this type of law, and that's missing. And there's no way -- I mean, they're arguing that it's not constitutional.

And it is very controversial. Even some gun violence prevention advocates came out this weekend and said that this is not OK, that they don't agree with it. And one of them was a Parkland survivor.

So, this is very controversial on both sides of the debate.

KEILAR: The Supreme Court, last summer, ruled that the conditions the governor is putting into place here, restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon in public, on an emergency basis, yes, in this instance, that's a little different, but that it's unconstitutional.

Is that enough to make this constitutional or OK in the courts, that it's on an emergency health order basis?

MASCIA: Well, as we saw with Covid, that has mixed results. It really comes down to, do the courts view gun violence as a public health emergency in New Mexico?

But also, this actually isn't entirely without precedent. In January 2020, then-governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, declared a temporary state of emergency and banned guns on the state capitol grounds ahead of a big gun rights rally tied to their lobby day activities.

A court actually upheld that ban. That was only for four days. This is for 30 days.

This hasn't been tried before in this fashion. So, we'll see. I'm curious to see how the courts are going to decide on this one.

KEILAR: We should note that when you talk to the majority of Americans, including gun owners, they actually are in favor of stricter gun control laws.

CNN polling found 64 percent of Americans say they favor stricter gun control laws with only 36 percent opposed.

I think you see some folks, like David Hogg, which is who you were mentioning, the Parkland survivor, they're really hoping to channel that kind of enthusiasm.

But it makes you wonder if they look at what's happening in New Mexico, are they worried that it's actually going to backfire?

MASCIA: Yes. I believe so. They're worried this is a misfire.

You know, this is valuable political capital, and we all know the environment. If you pass something, it is going to inspire 30 lawsuits. So, you want to use that political capital very carefully.

The governor was firmly elected. Her term doesn't end for several years. I don't think it's an immediate political risk.

But for the movement as a whole, and for the, you know, fight for stronger gun laws as a whole, a setback like this is a significant setback.

And I think a lot of gun violence prevention groups have been silent on this, because they are also in wait-and-see mode. Nobody really wants to put all of their stock in a decision that's going to backfire.


KEILAR: Do you think the governor saw this coming, this reaction to what she's doing here?

MASCIA: She said she did. I mean, I can't imagine that she didn't. And I believe, you know, she even remarked governors in California haven't done this.


KEILAR: But the reaction from the left?


KEILAR: The reaction from the left? As well as the right?

MASCIA: Well, that -- I honestly, I don't know. It has been surprising. It's been more quiet. Usually, gun groups applaud lawmakers who make bold moves. This is a bold move. Whether you agree with it or not, it's very bold.

I really -- I don't know if she anticipated it. It would be very interesting to see.

She knows that her contemporaries, who feel just as strongly about guns, like Governor Newsom and Governor Pritzker, they've never tried anything like this before.

And New York and Illinois have declared gun violence a public health emergency. What this usually does is trigger funding for community violence prevention on the ground.

It's never come with a gun carry ban before. So, this is a big test, and we'll see if any other lawmakers do anything in this fashion if this fails. KEILAR: It's just so interesting. There are so many people who, I

think, very much in their heart agree with ultimately what she would want to see. They agree with what she sees is a problem. But they're really worried about how she is going about it. And it's a really interesting reaction to this.

Jennifer Mascia, great to discuss it with you. Thank you.

MASCIA: Thanks.

KEILAR: Boris?

SANCHEZ: North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un appears to be making his way to Russia right now. We're going to explain the significance behind this key visit and what U.S. officials are watching for when we come back.