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Donald Trump Jr. Testifying In $250M Civil Fraud Case; Paul Pelosi Could Testify Today In Trial Of Accused Attacker; Study: Wight Loss Drug Wegovy Can Reduce Heart Attack Risk. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 13, 2023 - 11:30   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: That as they're just starting to lay out their defense.

KRISTY GREENBERG, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I think for two reasons. One, this is more of a political defense and kind of putting on a P.R. campaign about how great this organization is that the consequence of this case could be to shut it down. So, I think there is a P.R. aspect to this.

But then as to the legal aspect, I think they're going to look to build on this. The defense is going to look to make the argument that when these banks were doing business with the Trump Organization, the Trump Organization is special. And so, the nitty-gritty details of these financials are less important than a personal -- you know, private wealth management group looking to build a relationship with the Trump family business.

BOLDUAN: It's interesting. What do you think of the choice by the defense team to bring Don Jr. first to the witness stand? Brynn was kind of describing the light-hearted kind of atmosphere within the courtroom today. Does it tell you anything about the approach kind of going forward for the defense team?

GREENBERG: I think you're going to hear from Eric Trump, and I think you may even hear from the former president himself. They're looking to now tell their narrative. The state has gotten the opportunity to tell their story, and now they are going to want to show that the Trump Organization again, in their words, Ivanka testified it -- their iconic assets, Don Jr. is on the stand talking about how spectacular it was. They want to paint this picture.

Again, I'm not sure of the relevance of all of that. I don't know that this is really going to move the needle for the judge who has already found persistent fraud. But I think the judge is looking to give them the leeway to tell the narrative that they want to tell.

BOLDUAN: That's kind of what I was going to ask you. When it comes to the nitty gritty -- when it does come to being asked about financial statements from this perspective, do you see it as the job of Don Jr. and others would be to play clean up a bit or do you think that they've got some -- they've got some room to run here? GREENBERG: Well, I think this seems based on what we've been -- the reporting that's been coming out so far, his testimony seems like a love letter to the Trump Organization and to his father. But again, the legal significance of all of that is how much this is grounded, this is really going to get for them in terms of was their intent to defraud.

You know, were the false statements that the judges already determined to be false? Were those materials did anybody rely on those statements? This kind of testimony is background testimony. It's not necessarily going to be relevant as to those key aspects.

BOLDUAN: And I'm kind of wondering, in light of this ruling from the judge, kind of allowing for this extended testimony in the history of the Trump Organization. Are there limitations on what the defense team can ask the witnesses they're calling in terms of the scope of the questioning?

GREENBERG: Yes. I mean, this is kind of right on the line of whether or not it's relevant. And I think he's giving them a lot of latitude here. But at some point, there's going to be -- I would imagine, the judge is going to rein it in and say, let's get to -- let's get to the actual facts of the case.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Move along, folks.

GREENBERG: Move along.

BOLDUAN: Move along, folks, at some point. It's good to see you. Thanks for coming in again.

GREENBERG: Thanks for having me.

BOLDUAN: Fredricka?

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thanks so much, Kate. Can Republicans avoid another U.S. government shutdown, which is just now four days away? The major hurdles House Speaker Mike Johnson faces from within his own party.

And the trial for the man accused of attacking former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband is underway right now. Paul Pelosi could take the stand as soon as today. The other witnesses we could also hear from, straight ahead.



WHITFIELD: U.S. government funding runs out Friday at midnight unless Congress can agree on a plan to keep the lights on. And this morning, we're learning House Speaker Mike Johnson does not have the support he needs from his Republican colleagues to pass his funding bill. At least six House Republicans are opposed to the two-part proposal that would keep some government programs funded through mid-January, and others funded until early February. And this could force Johnson to turn to Democrats for help.

CNN's Lauren Fox is on Capitol Hill this morning. Lauren, is there a chance that Democrats can, you know, help keep the speaker's bill from sinking completely?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Fredricka, it really does feel like we were just here during the last government shutdown showdown back last month. But what is becoming very clear is that Johnson is going to need Democrats if he is going to be able to get this across the finish line.

Now, the expectation is that despite the fact that this two-step proposal is not exactly what Democrats were envisioning, it is a bill and a plan that does not cut the current government funding, it keeps government funding levels where they are, and that was a red line for Democrats.

So, at this point, it seems like Democrats could be open to this proposal. They're signaling that they may open the door, may be able to back it. But obviously, it's a big test for Johnson because this is the first fiscal crisis that he's coming to terms with as a newly minted speaker, and how he handles the next couple of days. Even if he can get some Democratic support, obviously, it's going to say a lot about his tenure and his ability moving forward to both govern his own conference and make sure that the basic work of governing gets done up here on Capitol Hill.

WHITFIELD: So, Lauren, what is the first hurdle that Johnson has to overcome right now at this juncture?

FOX: Yes. The House Rules Committee is going to meet today. That expectation is obviously that they have to be able to pass the rule in order to vote on this underlying bill.


Now, this is a little bit weedy but important because typically the majority party is responsible for passing that first procedural step on the House floor. If for some reason, some of these six Republicans who are opposed to the underlying bill don't want to support that rule on the floor, that would send a significant synth -- a significant symbol to Johnson that some of his members might be harder to deal with going forward.

There were a lot of conservatives who used to bring down rules when Kevin McCarthy was the speaker just to sort of put a finer point on the fact that they were opposed to something. That's certainly a liability for Johnson here.

If he can't pass a rule with just Republican votes, he may need Democrats. The other option is to try to pass this on suspension of the rules, which means you would need a two-thirds majority of the House of Representatives. That obviously would be a much higher threshold of the number of Democrats that he would need to ensure that his plan could pass in the House, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. Deja vu all over again. All right, Lauren Fox, thanks so much. Kate.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us. The man accused of attacking Nancy Pelosi's husband is in court right now. And Paul Pelosi himself could take the stand today. We'll be back.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: As soon as today, Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could take the stand in the federal trial of the man accused of attacking him with a hammer. David DePape is charged with attempted kidnapping and assault in the attack on the Pelosi home in San Francisco.

CNN's Josh Campbell is covering the story. Josh, what do you expect today?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John. So, we're waiting to see what additional prosecution witnesses are called in this case. Just moments ago, the court reconvened for the day. An FBI special agent is on the stand right now testifying. Of course, this attack against Paul Pelosi who was the husband at the time of the House speaker. That then brought in the federal government to launch this investigation involving multiple agencies.

So, right now again, it's the FBI testifying. Some other potential witnesses we could hear from today include Paul Pelosi himself recounting that terrifying day last year when the suspect, David DePape was accused of going to his home, holding him captive, and then assaulting him with a hammer. We're also expecting to hear from members of the Capitol Police who of course, protect the Pelosi family.

Now, DePape obviously faces very serious charges. Those include assault on the immediate family member of a federal official, as well as attempted kidnapping of a federal official. Again, we're waiting to see whether Paul Pelosi himself will take the stand today. That obviously could be gripping testimony about what he endured that day, John.

BERMAN: Josh, what is the defense? I mean, the defense is not denying that DePape went after with a hammer, are they?

CAMPBELL: They're not. They're in fact admitting it, which is somewhat of an interesting strategy here saying that this defendant did assault Paul Pelosi on that day. The issue, as far as their strategy goes, comes down to what his lawyer says is the why.

Of course, these very serious federal charges pertain to Nancy Pelosi's association here. Again, a threat to a family member of a federal official. The suspect also allegedly told Paul Pelosi that he was waiting for Nancy Pelosi to come home so that he could kidnap her.

Now, his attorney -- David DePape's attorney, of course, he's pleaded not guilty to these charges. She laid out last week in court what that strategy is. I'll read you part of what she told the judge.

She says that this case is about whether David acted because of, on account of, Nancy Pelosi's duties as a member of Congress. He didn't. And he only struck Paul Pelosi in a quick moment of despair because the police arrived, and his larger plan was thwarted.

Now, as far as what that plan was, again, this seems like a very troubled individual. But at least according to his interview with authorities after his arrest, he said that in his view, Nancy Pelosi was involved in some plot to take votes from Donald Trump. Of course, that follows along the lines of a lot of the conspiracy theories that we've heard. He seems to have bought into some of those, at least, according to his confession.

But again, his attorney not disputing that he assaulted Paul Pelosi but saying it was not because of Paul Pelosi's association with the House speaker at the time. Of course, if he is convicted of these charges -- very serious charges, he could face up to 30 years in prison for one set. 20 years for another, John.

BERMAN: All right. Again, Paul Pelosi, we could hear from him as soon as today.


BERMAN: Josh Campbell, thank you very much for that.

CAMPBELL: You bet.

WHITFIELD: All right, John. Coming up. Weight loss drug Wegovy showing promising results for more than just weight loss in a landmark clinical trial. That's next.



BOLDUAN: A big new finding from a landmark clinical trial about the weight loss drug Wegovy. New data is showing that it may also be good for your heart. The trial finding dramatic -- finding a dramatic cut in the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other heart-related deaths in certain patients taking the medication.

CNN's Meg Tirrell has more on this one. She's back with us. Talk to us about what this trial shown.

MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: And so, this was such a big deal because it's never been shown with a weight loss drug before that you can actually prevent things like heart attacks and strokes. So, everybody takes it to the conventional wisdom that, you know, if you have obesity or you're in the overweight category, that losing weight should protect your heart, but it's ever -- never actually been borne out in the sort of gold standard clinical trial. So, now we are seeing that with a major clinical trial.

More than 17,000 patients followed for an average of more than three years, folks that already had some kind of heart event like a heart attack or stroke or had clogged arteries and their arms or legs, and so this was to try to prevent another one.

And so, what they found was that not only did this lead to weight loss of almost 10 percent, but it also lowered blood sugar, blood pressure, inflammation, and triglycerides, and then had a 20 percent reduction in the risk of heart attacks and strokes or heart-related deaths. And so, this was presented at a massive meeting of heart doctors in Philadelphia. A lot of folks in that room now are going to come back and start prescribing this for their patients.

BERMAN: Any safety concerns inside of this trial?

TIRRELL: So, no major ones emerged. And that was really important because so many people are taking these medicines for diabetes and for weight loss. But we did see that 10 percent of patients on Wegovy stopped taking the drug because of GI issues like constipation, nausea, and vomiting that we hear about with these medicines.

WHITFIELD: Because so many people have been taking it, it also means there's been a shortage, right?


TIRRELL: There has been. And so, people who are just starting out on the medication getting prescribed sometimes have trouble finding it because Novo Nordisk, the maker, is actually limiting the starting doses because they can't make enough to satisfy the whole market.

There was a new drug approved though that will compete with this one. It's called Zepbound. It's from Eli Lilly. It doesn't have the heart data just yet, but folks expect it's probably going to work in the same way.

WHITFIELD: Fascinating.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Meg.

TIRRELL: Thanks, guys.

BERMAN: And thank you all for joining us. Great to have you here with us today, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Hey. Thanks. It's been fun.

BERMAN: Back tomorrow?

WHITFIELD: I'm back tomorrow.

BERMAN: Excellent. All right.

BOLDUAN: You -- we didn't scare away.

WHITFIELD: Don't kick me out of the door -- (INAUDIBLE)

BERMAN: Exactly. BOLDUAN: If you say, it was like, I actually pushed him.

BERMAN: All right. This has been CNN NEWS CENTRAL. "INSIDE POLITICS" is up next.