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Biden To Issue Exec Order Targeting Violent Settlers In West Bank; Emotional Testimony Underway In Trial For School Shooter's Mother; Sources: D.A. Willis Will Not Step Down From Trump GA Election Case. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired February 01, 2024 - 11:30   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Israeli settlers in the West Bank, who he -- whom he has said have undermined stability in the area. You've been so outspoken on these issues. What's your reaction to this? What do -- what do you think this executive order could do?

REP. DAN GOLDMAN (D-NY): I fully support it. The settler violence in the West Bank is absolutely unacceptable. And it must stop right now.

It must stop for a number of reasons. One is lawless, and Israel needs to make those who are engaging in that kind of violence are brought to justice. And for my conversations with their government, they are doing that.

But two, politically and strategically, it is devastating to the future of Israel, where they are defending themselves in Gaza against Hamas. But there is no threat to the settlers from Palestinian civilians that warrants such vigilante justice. And so, Israel has to be able to defend itself.

Hamas is a terrorist organization that can no longer be in control of Gaza. But Israel must take the proper precautions to adhere to the rule of law, and to make sure that this conflict is contained in Gaza.

BOLDUAN: Yes. It'll be interesting to learn more details about what this -- what these sanctions -- what this executive order is going to move to do. And when we learn more this afternoon. Congressman, thank you so much for coming in. John.

GOLDMAN: Thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. The shocking journal entries from the Michigan school shooter just revealed in court how they could impact the manslaughter case against his mother.



SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: We have seen really high emotions. Right now, we are looking at the judge in the case there in Michigan as this case goes forward, where Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of Ethan Crumbley who shot and killed four people in a Michigan school is on trial and charged with involuntary manslaughter.

With us now is CNN's Jean Casarez and CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson. Jean, I want to get to you first because there have been so many things coming out in court that the public didn't know, so many things that are quite damning.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me tell you. Argument right now in court, your producers are telling me, Ethan killed a baby bird in his room. And he videotaped it. And there was audio.

And this was already determined it wasn't going to come in because there was no knowledge the parents knew. But they're arguing right now in court about whether the aspect that he killed the baby bird in the bedroom will come into trial.


CASAREZ: But earlier this morning is Lieutenant Timothy Willis. He was the lead investigator for this case. And because this is a homicide case that Jennifer Crumbley is responsible for the deaths -- caused the deaths of those students because of her gross negligence, some of those autopsy results had to come in. Listen to Lieutenant Timothy Willis.


DET. LT. TIMOTHY LEWIS, OAKLAND COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: The official cause and manner of death from the autopsy protocol is multiple gunshot wounds. Homicide. She was shot in her upper torso, her abdomen, her thighs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could you refer to exhibit --


CASAREZ: And as you see, Jennifer was starting to sob right there too. That was Hana St. Juliana. Also, the contents of the backpack that were at school that he took to school every day came out, a journal of 22 pages. The writings were all about the mass shooting that he was going to commit.

But there were also some other entries on some papers that he wrote that he was begging. Asking his parents for mental health treatment. They wouldn't do it. They would not at all help him to get to a therapist.

The defense wants in as part of those writings, I have to find where my dad hid the nine-millimeter. I don't know where my dad hid it. So far, that has not come before the jury.

SIDNER: That will be a really interesting juxtaposition to what we've been seeing. Joey Jackson, there is a lot of evidence coming down in this case.


SIDNER: And all of it is written down. It's either in a text message or it's in a journal. How does this impact the jury?

They have cold, hard evidence of what he was going through mentally. And if what he's saying in this journal is all true that he tried to get help from his parents, is that going to hurt the defense's case?

JACKSON: So, it will, Sara. Right? But then you have to go back to the legal issue. What are we doing here? We're trying to establish prosecutors are a degree of carelessness --

SIDNER: Right.

JACKSON: On the part here of Jennifer and later on James Crumbley, the dad, who will go on trial next month.

SIDNER: Right.

JACKSON: But the reality is a degree of carelessness. What does the evidence say about a few things? Number one, foreseeability.

In the event, you put a gun in the hands of this child, would it be reasonably foreseeable that something like this can happen? So, does the evidence, as it's coming in, pointed that reasonable foreseeability? So, I would suggest, Sara, that that turns on the issue of notice.

To what extent did the parents have knowledge about his maladies, the killing of the bird that you heard Jean talk about just now? And the admission of that, whether it be admitted or not, did they know about that? And if they didn't know about it, what -- well, what would they do about it?

Did they know the extent of what was happening? There was no issue that he had any disciplinary history at school or anything else. You have this issue with a backpack, and the school didn't search the backpack at the time.

SIDNER: Right.


JACKSON: Wow. And so, at the end of the day when you look at the issue of foreseeability, what does the evidence point to in that, that parents noticed? Did they have any knowledge?

Did Jennifer know about this? And did she act reasonably? And all of that will point to the critical issue of whether she's guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

SIDNER: I did want to quickly ask you, Jean, about whether or not we're going to hear from Jennifer. Very quickly, your thoughts on that. You've covered so many of these cases, and it is very unusual to have a defendant in a case like this to take the stand. Do you think that this could possibly be the defense's first witness?

CASAREZ: Well, as we know in opening statements, the defense attorney told the jury, you're going to hear from her. So, they're sort of stuck, right?

SIDNER: Right.

CASAREZ: Because if you don't put her on now --

SIDNER: Right.

CASAREZ: You've got an issue. Well, as Joey could tell you, I think sometimes they want to start as the strongest witness with Jennifer Crumbley to tell her story step by step. There's going to be a lengthy examination, and then probably a vicious cross-examination.

Would they want to end with her? Possibly. More likely near the beginning. What do you think, Joey?

JACKSON: Listen. The reality is, is that it's always a game-time decision. I think they'll evaluate what evidence has come out with the prosecution.

SIDNER: Prosecution.

JACKSON: Whether they've met the burden of proof. And then of course it's risky putting a defendant on to begin with. They've committed to that, which is very unusual, right?

As Jean mentioned it in the opening statement, the issue is in a strategically, do you allow any other witnesses to go first to set up, to build-up, the setup the build-up, and then boom, she testifies giving the narrative as to I may not be the best parent right, that we're not here on a referendum on me and my horses and my affair? We're here on whether I had knowledge of whether my son can do this and whether I knew when I did not.

It's going to be riveting and compelling. I mean, look, primacy recency. You put start strong, you end strong.

SIDNER: Right.

JACKSON: What they decide to do will be a game-time decision for them.

SIDNER: We'll have to see --


SIDNER: Joey Jackson, thank you so much for your insight.

JACKSON: Of course.

SIDNER: And, Jean Casarez, you follow every single detail of this so well and explained it so well. We appreciate you as well.

CASAREZ: Thank you.

SIDNER: All right, John.

BERMAN: All right, a CNN exclusive. Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis has no plans to recuse herself from the case against Donald Trump.



BERMAN: All right, a CNN exclusive. Sources tell CNN that Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis will not recuse herself from the election subversion case against Donald Trump despite scrutiny and subpoenas regarding her alleged affair with the lead prosecutor that she appointed. Sources say Willis is worried that if she steps down, that could end or severely delay the case.

CNN legal analyst, and former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers is here. Is she right? If she stepped down, would it end or delay the case?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I think so. You know, she was recused off of the case last year, and no one has picked it up. So, if there's no other prosecutor to do it, then it'll kill it altogether. At a minimum, it would delay it significantly.

BERMAN: So, there will be a hearing in two weeks then that you will have to participate in? At some level from Judge Scott McAfee who's overseeing this case, what questions do you expect he will want answered?

RODGERS: Well, she has a written response due tomorrow. So, that will kind of lay the groundwork for what he's going to want to know. It'll depend on what she says tomorrow.

But he's looking for conflicts that impacted the case. So, he's going to want to know about, you know, what -- if they were involved in an inappropriate relationship, what that meant as far as their work together on the case? Is it possible that they extended the investigation, that they had in charges just so they could continue working together?

I mean, that's the sort of thing it would have to be in my view, in order to impact the case. And that's the only way she's going to get kicked off from this.

BERMAN: You explain this so well. And you have, for several weeks now. Say what you want about an affair but the fact of an affair in and of itself isn't necessarily enough to sink a prosecution.

RODGERS: That's right. It could be a violation of kind of Human Resources type rules. I mean, she may not be allowed to without at least disclosing it and having a relationship with a subordinate, that sort of thing. But she only would be taken off the case if it impacted the case in some way. And so far, we haven't seen any evidence that it did.

BERMAN: It -- Norm Eisen -- Ambassador Norm Eisen was off and on with all of us here. He says that he thinks Fani Willis should step aside. Is there a way to do it and guarantee the prosecution continues? RODGERS: No. Because the rules are that if she steps aside, her whole office is recused. And if they take that office off of this case, there's a commission that would then look to try to appoint another prosecutor's office.

But again, I don't know that other prosecutors in Georgia are going to be willing to take it on. It will take a lot of time for that to happen. I think if she steps aside, this is effectively over.

BERMAN: Now, if she is allowed to stay in the case after February 15, what then could Donald Trump's lawyers or other lawyers devolving clients here? How could they use her situation -- alleged situation in the trial going forward?

RODGERS: Well, there's no real way to use it legitimately. But it does create a distraction. Now, remember, the jurors who will ultimately sit on this case are just everyday citizens right now.

They're out there. They're looking at the news, that sort of thing. If this blows up into a big scandal, if both she and Wade stay on the case and Trump and his co-defendants continue to pound it, you know, in the news, then, you know, you're starting to think about whether your ultimate jurors are going to know about that.

Are they going to look askance at her for having had this affair? He, I guess, was married at the time. And that's the sort of thing you look at, kind of a poisoning of the jury pool. But legitimately, you can't raise it as an argument within the four walls of the courtroom.

BERMAN: So, not inside the courtroom, but it will have to happen outside.



BERMAN: All right. Jennifer Rodgers, as always, thank you so much.

RODGERS: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Kate. Oh.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us. Nikki Haley is heading home as a new poll shows that -- shows her just how long the road ahead may be against Donald Trump. And here is Dr. Sanjay Gupta with today's "CHASING LIFE."


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta, host of CNN's "CHASING LIFE" podcast.

Journaling is a great way to track your habits, both the positive ones and the ones you want to work on. You know, years ago, I spent a week just keeping a detailed journal of everything I did, and everything I ate every day. Suddenly, I had this map of my own life. And I learned a lot about myself. Like when I do my best writing. It's in the morning. And foods that inspire me, pickles. Not sure why pickles, probably my microbiome, but the point is I learned all this through simple journaling. It helped me learn how to best structure my days for success.

Now, for anyone looking to improve their focus and their productivity and even get some insights about themselves, start by simply keeping track. There is no one right way to do it. Some people write for a few minutes every day, others weekly, others just when the inspiration strikes.

But research has shown journaling regularly has important benefits including stress relief, anxiety reduction, reinforcement of your own positive personal qualities. It just makes you feel good. So, pick up a pen and get to know yourself better.

And you can hear more about how to optimize your health and chase life wherever you get your podcasts.



BOLDUAN: Nikki Haley is heading home today. And there's a fresh new look and a fresh new poll out this morning showing her that she still has a long road ahead if she's going to top Donald Trump and secure the Republican nomination. CNN's Kylie Atwood is on the trail following Nikki Haley. She joins us now.

Kylie, Donald Trump up 26 points as we're looking at in this latest Monmouth poll. What are you hearing from the Haley campaign about this new mark that we now see three weeks out? And what -- if the -- if that means the strategy is changing?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, listen. The Hayley campaign isn't saying anything -- excuse me, Kate, specifically about this poll, which is not altogether surprising because if it is an accurate portrayal of where South Carolinian voters are right now, there is a substantial ground that she would need to make up here in her home state of South Carolina, which to remind folks she has committed she will do better here than she did in New Hampshire, where she trailed Trump by 11 percentage points. The differential in that poll, it's a snapshot in time, but a 26 points behind former President Trump right now.

The poll that Nikki Haley has pointed to this week is that matchup -- that hypothetical matchup between her and President Biden if she were to become the nominee. We chose her winning in the general election. That is the type of polling that the campaign likes to point to.

Now, when it comes to the campaign and their messaging here in South Carolina, it's really twofold this week. They're putting out some new digital ads that cast Trump and Biden as Grumpy Old Men, as stumbling seniors, as basement buddies, as they say, in these new efforts. And then the other part of it is they're trying to remind South Carolinian voters what Nikki Haley did for them while she was governor of the state. Listen to part of the digital ad they put out today.


NIKKI HALEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because it's a great day in South Carolina. When we get to South Carolina, Donald Trump's going to have a harder time falsely attacking me. The great people --


ATWOOD: Now, falsely attacking her is something that Trump has done throughout the entirety of this primary season. And he's doing it again today. He has launched South Carolinian lawmakers who have endorsed him in the state to bash Nikki Haley on a number of events when it comes to immigration. And when it comes to China, we'll have to see if that has any impact.

But, Kate, when you look at that new Washington Post poll, Nikki Haley's favourability numbers have gone down since the marker that they were at in September. So, clearly, these criticisms of her have made some impact. She's going to try and get in front of South Carolinian voters to change that, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Kylie Atwood, great to see you. Thank you. Man, Hilton Head looks nice right now. This is --

BERMAN: I know.

BOLDUAN: I know. Right?

BERMAN: I was thinking the same now. I was listening to every word. But I was also thinking that.

BOLDUAN: It's always about the reporting, but still.

SIDNER: That was the takeaway.


SIDNER: All right. Thank you so much for joining us. This is CNN NEWS CENTRAL. "INSIDE POLITICS" is up next.