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Senators Hold Floor Fight with Tuberville; Judge Asked to Jail Trump Co-Defendant; Police Looking for Two in Teen's Beating Death; Baldwin Video from "Rust" Set. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired November 16, 2023 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: And the senator who tried to come to his defense.
And in Georgia, a request to protect video evidence and prosecutors are asking the court to jail one of Trump's co-defendants. All of those moves in light of that leaked evidence that could lead to witness intimidation.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: This morning it looks like they're going to be able to keep the lights on for at least a little while. The short- term funding bill to avert another government shutdown is now headed to President Biden's desk. He is expected to sign it. The Senate passed the bill late last night.
But moments after that vote in the Senate, the senators turned their attention to another ongoing fight also threatening to disrupt the government, Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville's ninth month long hold on military confirmations.
Several of his Republican colleagues pulled something of an all- nighter on the Senate floor to try and force Tuberville to end his block. It didn't work.
CNN's Lauren Fox is tracking this. She'll bring us up to speed.
Lauren, Senator Mike - Republican Senator Mike Lee, he jumped in to help Tommy Tuberville. What happened here and now what does it mean for what happens next with this battle that just does not seem to end?
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, on the one hand, nothing changed here, right? Senator Tuberville still is standing by all of his military holds that have been going on now for nine months. But on the other hand, last night once again illustrated that his colleagues are getting deeply frustrated with these tactics and they're making some pretty stark warnings.
Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): If you do not believe these holds are having an effect on the military, I don't question your sincerity, I question your judgment.
This will be the last holiday this happens. If it takes me to vote to break loose these folks, I will.
SEN. TODD YOUNG (R-IN): This is personal to me. This is personal to this United States senator.
SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): All you have to do is suspend, your godless, lawless, abortion travel policy.
You're blaming him for our supposed lack of military readiness. I can't believe anybody buys this crap. I really can't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOX: And all eyes have been on whether or not Senator Tuberville will take some kind of off-ramp in order to end these holds.
Now, I asked him yesterday if he had made a decision. Because if you remember, Kate, Republicans had sort of a closed-door family meeting to discuss this issues specifically, and Tuberville was presented a number of options. Tuberville said he was still thinking about those options. One of the top options on the table right now is this idea of filing a lawsuit. Essentially you would have the House of Representatives file a lawsuit against the Department of Defense to end this policy. And I am told that Jay Sekulow, who Senator Lindsey Graham has argued would be good at representing the House in that kind of lawsuit, actually talked to Senator Tuberville earlier this week, telling him that he thought that this was a strong pathway forward.
But, again, it's just not clear Senator Tuberville is going to take the offer of trying to find a way forward.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are threatening to bring a rules change to the floor that would allow the Senate to move these military nominations in a mass vote. But, again, it's not clear that they would have nine Republicans needed to pass that rules change right now.
BOLDUAN: What an absolute mess.
Lauren, thank you for bringing us up to speed on the late night antics in the Senate. Appreciate it.
SIDNER: There have been many antics, as we have seen this week.
All right, Fulton County prosecutors are asking a judge to jail one of Donald Trump's co-defendants in the Georgia election subversion case. In court filings they accuse Harrison Floyd of trying to intimidate potential witnesses and other defendants. This is the first time Fulton County DA Fani Willis has asked the court to revoke a defendant's bond in the case.
CNN's Nick Valencia is in Atlanta.
Nick, just - just, wow. I mean this is extremely unusual. What did defendant Floyd say that sort of sparked this? Besides the fact that there is video leaked that puts the witnesses in danger as well?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hey there, Sara. Good morning.
You know, for somebody who is facing these kinds of charges, Harrison Floyd is surprisingly saying a lot and he's going to his social media. And it's the statements that he's made on social media that have been interpreted by Fani Willis as efforts by him to intimidate or harass potential co-defendants or witnesses in this case.
And as you mentioned, this is the first time that she's asking the judge to revoke bond in this case. She's clear, she wants Harrison Floyd to be thrown back in jail. And in a legal filing yesterday, she seemed to ring up more than a dozen social media posts, as well as an interview on conservative talk radio. And this is what she said in part of her filing, saying, quote, "the defendant's actions demonstrate that he poses a significant threat of intimidating witnesses and otherwise obstructing the administration of justice in the future, making him ineligible for bond. So, she's calling this a flagrant violation of the bond concerns.
Of course, according to this indictment, Harrison Floyd is accused of trying to harass and intimidation Fulton County election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss here. He's an election denier. One of the many that are still out there in the United States. And from what has been said by his defense attorneys in open court, it appears as through one of his defense strategies is to relitigate the election results here in Georgia of the 2020 election.
It goes without saying, Sara, that there have been three recounts done here by the secretary of state's office, a Republican secretary of state.
And all of those recounts have found that President Joe Biden won the election here in Georgia.
SIDNER: It has been three years and we are still talking about this, even though all of the evidence shows that Joe Biden won the 2020 election.
Nick Valencia, thank you so much for all your reporting there.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Police are looking for two new suspects in the beating death of a 17-year-old outside a high school.
And a Virginia mother whose six-year-old son took a gun to school and shot his first grade teacher, that mother sentenced to prison.
BOLDUAN: Police in Las Vegas are asking for help now. Help in locating these two teenagers that you see right behind me on the wall.
They say they're linked to the death of a 17-year-old young man, Jonathan Lewis.
Now, eight teenagers are already facing murder charges in that young man's death. And we're learning half of the teens arrested will be tried as adults.
Stephanie Elam is tracking this one for us and she joins us now.
Stephanie, eight kids already facing murder charges? Who are police looking for now?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's unbelievable, Kate. You're talking about ages 13 through 17 of these eight children that have already been arrested and are facing murder charges. And the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department looking for two more individuals that are allegedly connected to this brutal beating that left Jonathan Lewis with severe head trauma that he died from six days after this event took place on November 1st.
So, those two images that we just saw, those are the two people that homicide detectives are asking the public for any information to help them identify who these two people are.
Now, whether or not others will be charged, that's still up in the air.
In fact, take a listen to the Clark County district attorney, Steve Wolfson, on that point right there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE WOLFSON, CLARK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: This was a senseless, gruesome death that was unnecessary.
There could be. And there could be additional people charged as well. Just because you didn't directly get involved, if you encourage other people to commit a crime, if you're there egging people on, come on, come on, hit him, hit him, and you're encouraging, there could be culpability on those folks as well. And we're going to be looking into that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELAM: Now, it's also worth noting that according to "The Las Vegas Review Journal," four of these teens are automatically going to be charged as adults because they are 16 or 17 years old. As for the other four that are involved, they will have it left up to a judge to decide whether or not they are charged as adults as well.
Just to remind you of what depravity occurred here. This happened off school grounds near Rancho High School. All of the students are -- are believed to have been students there. Where this group of people, and it's been video that has been all over social media, attacked and jumped Jonathan Lewis. They're punching him, kicking him, beating him. And he's not defending himself.
A good Samaritan saw him there in this alley and took him back to the school where they took him to the hospital and he died six days later.
And just listening to his father describe what kind of individual Jonathan Lewis was, he's saying that he was a loving, caring person and that he was looking out for one of his smaller friend, who was being bullied at the school.
All of this, according to law enforcement sources, is because of a stolen vape pen perhaps and some stolen wireless headphones. Unbelievably tragic story, Kate.
Stephanie, thank you for -- thank you for the reporting.
SIDNER: Yes, the picture of the father there in the hospital is -- it's heartbreaking.
SIDNER: All right, still ahead, the never before seen video from the "Rust" set, filmed just days before cinematographer shot and killed on set. Alec Baldwin seen firing the gun and saying to the film crew, "I don't want to shoot towards you." We'll have more on that coming up.
SIDNER: New this morning, videos exclusively obtained by NBC News shows Alec Baldwin handling at least one prop gun while filming scenes for the "Rust" movie. The never before seen videos were taken days before Baldwin's prop gun fired on set killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring the director in 2021. They show Baldwin preparing for scenes, firing the prop gun with blanks, and interacting with crew members, talking, by the way, about safety.
And they are merging as a grand jury is expected to decide soon if Baldwin could face new charges.
Our Josh Campbell is joining us now.
Josh, what do these videos show that to you is significant and could be significant in a potential case?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, interesting new insight here in this video obtained by NBC News, Sara. You know, previously prosecutors had alleged that Alec Baldwin was reckless. He denied that. And in this new video, this was preproduction on that film, you actually see him discussing safety with people who are on the set. Have a listen of just part of that video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEC BALDWIN: Step back to your original mark. So, one, 1,000, two, 1,000, three - I'm getting up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
BALDWIN: Then when he drops his arm -- Halyna, get out - he drops his arm, that mean's Brady's (ph) close, I'm going start to really get up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
BALDWIN: Here we go. Let's try it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rolling roll (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And everyone doesn't need to be right here, like, in the path of the gun. Could you please move.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just want to be over him a little bit so I can see (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not a quarter load?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a quarter, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Now, wait a second, I'm going to shoot right. You want to go on the other side of the camera. I don't want to shoot toward you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're OK here.
BALDWIN: OK. I don't want to shoot close to you.
Here we go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Set. Here we go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready and action.
BALDWIN: Ah. Ah. Ah. Ah. Ah. Go! (END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMPBELL: Now, of course, we'll have to wait and see what a grand jury decides regarding whether to re-file charges against Alec Baldwin. Those individual videos do show him concerned about the safety, but, of course, Sara, as we've reported on, this was a movie that had a lot of problems on the set.
SIDNER: Yes, you know, despite the clips that we see here where you hear Alec Baldwin directing basically from the point of view of the actor. He's got the gun. He's like, move, get out of the way, please go to the other side of the camera.
There is this culture that has been brought up by prosecutors of unsafe practices on set. What ultimately in the end - I mean how will this be used because this actually sort of dispels that a little bit it seems?
CAMPBELL: No, it does. But, you know, as we've reported, there were alleged accidental discharges on the set. There were members of the crew who were complaining about safety practice. And, interestingly enough, Alec Baldwin was not only the person who accidentally pulled the trigger that killed Halyna Hutchins, but he was also a producer on the film. So there's this question about his culpability.
Now, after charges were filed the first time, I spoke one-on-one with the lead prosecutor in the case. Here's what she described about what their investigation found regarding safety on that set, Sara.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY CARMACK-ALTWIES, NEW MEXICO FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY: There was such a lack of safety and safety standards on the set that there were live rounds on set. They were mixed in with regular demi rounds.
He didn't check it. He didn't do any of the things that he was supposed to do to make sure that he was safe or that anyone around him was safe. And then he pointed the gun at Halyna Hutchins and he pulled the trigger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMPBELL: So, of course, that's the big question, what will this grand jury ultimately decide, not only in the moments when Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot, but also in the moments leading - or the days and weeks leading up to that, Sara, where there are things that could have been corrected in advance that may have prevented her death. A lot of serious questions that these grand jurors will have to decide.
SIDNER: That's right. But the case has also been a bit bungled because you - you see them charging him and then not charging him.
CAMPBELL: Yes. SIDNER: The whole thing has been a bit of a mess.
CAMPBELL: To say the least. Yes.
Josh Campbell, thank you so much for the reporting.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, 100 minutes of horror. The new video obtained by CNN of how the October 7th terror attack unfolded from a perspective we have not seen before. A view we have not seen, from the camera of hone Hamas terrorist as it played out.
Also this, any moment now the House Ethics Committee could release its final report on Congressman George Santos. They've been investigating him for eight months. So, what it's going to mean now for the embattled lawmaker and all of his colleagues that want him gone.
We'll be back.