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Trump In Legal Battle: Former President Seeks Dismissal Of Charges In Classified Documents Case; Biden Hits Campaign Trail In Michigan As Swing State Visits Ramp Up; Historic Visit: VP Harris Makes First-Ever Presidential Administration Trip To Abortion Provider; Boeing Investigation: Black Boxes Recovered From 787 Incident, NTSB Faces Hurdles In Obtaining Boeing Records; Parental Accountability Under Scrutiny: Jury Deliberates On Father's Role In Oxford School Shooting; Autopsy Results Revealed In Non-Binary Teen's School Fight Death. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired March 14, 2024 - 14:00   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Former President Donald Trump away from the campaign trail today, or is he? He's attending another legal hearing in Florida, trying to get, One of the many cases against him dismissed while waiting on another pivotal decision in Georgia, one that could deal a major blow to the election interference case in that state.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And Israel reveals its plan to protect civilians in the city of Rafah, but it only leads to new questions. Now Israel plans to move nearly one and a half million Palestinians to so-called humanitarian enclaves as a proposed offensive threatens to lead to even more bloodshed. And actress Olivia Munn revealing the troubling details behind her recent breast cancer diagnosis. How she caught it two months after a negative mammogram. We're following these major developing stories and many more, all coming in right here to CNN NEWS CENTRAL..

Welcome to CNN NEWS CENTRAL. I'm Brianna Keilar alongside Boris Sanchez. And right now a 2024 split screen is playing out, and it's one we're going to see a lot of here in the coming months. On one side, President Biden set to campaign in an absolutely critical swing state, Michigan. Then on the other side, former President Trump in a federal courtroom for a critical hearing in his classified documents case.

SANCHEZ: And Trump is trying to get those charges tossed. But so far, the judge has expressed scepticism about some of his lawyer's arguments. The prosecution has also used the former president's own words against him. We have full team coverage with CNN Chief Legal Affairs Correspondent Paula Reid, CNN Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Perez, and at the courthouse, CNN Senior Crime and Justice Reporter Kateyln Polantz. Let's start there outside the courthouse. Katelyn, what is the latest out of this hearing? KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Boris and Brianna, this was a big, bold argument that Donald Trump's lawyers have been making in court, especially this afternoon, trying to tell the judge he had a lot of ability to claim the classified documents at the end of his presidency were personal. And that's the reason he took them to Mar-a-Lago. He should not be prosecuted for a crime.

Judge Aileen Cannon already is expressing scepticism at that argument and an argument they made earlier today that the law is too vague around national security records. Just now, just a few moments ago, she told Trump's lawyers, it's difficult to see how this gets you to the dismissal of an indictment. She also pointed out that perhaps some of the things that Donald Trump's lawyers are arguing today are the sort of things that you would have as a defense at trial, saying he didn't know he was taking the documents. He didn't willfully want to break the law in this situation.

That might be a question for a jury. That's what the judge has been signaling so far. She also has said in court today that perhaps this Presidential Records Act pushback that Trump's team is making, saying that Trump should have so much latitude here to decide the records of his.


Judge Cannon seems to be saying that that would allow future presidents to clearly say that a document is theirs when it's clearly the federal government's. That does not seem to be an argument that she's buying. The Justice Department has been making that to her as well, saying that these records that Trump had after the presidency at Mar-a-Lago are so sensitive that it put national security at risk. And they're the type of records that should never have been out of the hands and control of the security of the federal government. Boris and Brianna.

SANCHEZ: And Katelyn, walk us through how prosecutors tried to undercut Trump's argument by actually quoting him.

POLANTZ: They did. Earlier this morning in the arguments, one of the things that prosecutor Jay Bratt brought up was what Trump was saying in Bedminster, New Jersey. After he left the presidency to people who didn't have the ability to look at classified documents when he referred to and held up, waved around a piece of paper that was an apparent military plan from his time in government.

Prosecutor Jay Bratt read from that transcript when Trump acknowledges that the record was classified and says to the crowd in front of him. He wishes he could have declassified it and shared it more publicly, but he can't. Prosecutor Jay Bratt said in court today that that is the sort of thing that would show you he knew these weren't personal records.

He also knew the law. And so, these arguments that the Trump team is making today should not be able to get the case tossed. We're still going to wait to see what else the judge has to say. It's very likely she'll write some lengthy opinion on these motions and other motions Trump has made in court to try and get the case out from this courthouse. But we will see if she says anything more today that indicates which way she's leaning.

KEILAR: All right. We'll be looking for that. We know you'll be following it, Katelyn. And Paula, obviously, Trump's words have played such a key role in so many cases from E Jean Carroll, the case there. The Georgia election subversion case with the find the votes call. What about the factor it's going to be in this case?

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: It's such a big factor. That tape, that audio recording is such a critical piece of evidence. We broke the story that that tape existed. And I remember talking to lawyers who were on his team at the time. They only found out that tape existed pretty late in the investigation because of witnesses who had gone into the grand jury. And I remember them telling me the existence of that tape changed the way they viewed the legal jeopardy that their client was facing.

Because remember, at the time, he had all these varying explanations for declassifying, that he had a standing order to declassify things, that he could declassify things with his mind. But this recording undercuts all of that. It also, as the judge has to weigh now, really undercuts these arguments as well. So, it is a critical piece of evidence.

SANCHEZ: And Evan, what are the implications of this argument that Trump deemed these personal matters? When you look at what was actually among these boxes, these are sensitive documents, right?

EVEAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT Right. I mean, we're talking about nuclear secrets. We're talking about the U.S. vulnerabilities to a foreign attack. What are the things that the U.S. would do in response to that? And as Paula just pointed out, I mean, you know, that tape makes clear that he knows that these defense programs, these very sensitive defense programs, were still classified. And that he had not actually done some kind of blanket declassification order. And by the way, I mean, you know, the idea of the limit of a president to be able to declassify things, you know, it's not been tested, really.

And so, you know, until that tape emerged, there was some question as to whether what is, you know, whether he had that power and what is the limit of that power. You know, I think members of Congress and certainly in the Senate have said you can't just declassify nuclear secrets. It's not like that because of the way the government works. So, the implications are huge if this judge sides with him on this.

KEILAR: Can you talk a little bit, Evan, about what the judge is saying here, that the arguments the Trump lawyers are making, that it's premature, this is something that, I mean, she's leaning against them, clearly, in what she's saying.

PEREZ: She's leaning.

KEILAR: Can you explain why and where that leaves Trump?

PEREZ: Well, you know, first of all, what it does is it sort of puts this onto a jury to make that decision. She's saying, look, this is not for me to make that decision. And, you know to be honest, I mean, I'm kind of surprised that we're even having this hearing. She could have had these things briefed and then she could have made a ruling and said this is something for a jury. But, you know, she's having this hearing where the former president doesn't have to even be there.

He's choosing to do this. He also could be campaigning in Michigan if he wanted to. But, you know, she's giving him this opportunity. Every one of these hearings helps him delay this whole process. And so, I think what she's saying is a jury will have to make that argument-I mean make that decision. And this is an argument for you to present to the jury.


SANCHEZ: Yeah, she actually said to Trump's attorneys, quote, it's difficult to see how this gets you to the dismissal of an indictment using the Presidential Records Act, essentially --


PEREZ: --an extraordinary thing to do--

SANCHEZ:-- as an argument. What do you make of her seeming to oppose this motion?

REID: I think they knew that, but really, the number one priority right now is to delay this case until after this case and the other federal case until after the election, because if he is re-elected, he can make both of these federal cases go away. He can, as Attorney General, dismiss the special counsel and the cases , so really their number one priority right now is delay so that even if shes willing to hear the arguments, they know they're unlikely to prevail on the merits. That for them is a win. Because every day, every motion, every filing that helps them push this back, possibly until after the election.

SANCHEZ: Kicking the can down the road.

REID: Yep.

SANCHEZ: Paula Reid, Evan Perez, thank you so much. So as former President Donald Trump spends his day in court, President Biden is campaigning in the critical background state of Michigan, where he landed just moments ago.

KEILAR: Yeah, this is a state where the president faced a significant, uncommitted protest vote in the Democratic primary last month for his handling of Israel's war in Gaza. We have CNN's Kevin Liptak, who is live for us in Saginaw, Michigan. What's on the president's agenda today, Kevin? KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Brianna, it's been a week since we heard the president deliver that State of the Union address, and this is the fifth battleground state that he's visited in that span. And part of what he's doing, in each of these stops, is really overseeing the buildout of his campaign infrastructure. So, what we'll see the president doing today is visit the private home of one of his supporters and attend what they're calling an organizational meeting. Talking to supporters as they work to get out his message. In all, the campaign says they are planning to hire 350 new staffers this month, open 100 new offices.

And that's going to be critical in a place like Saginaw, where we are now. We have to get out of those true bellwether counties. It has voted with the winner of the last four presidential elections. There are only 25 counties in the entire country that can say that. There's a large concentration of Black voters here in Saginaw. Those, of course, are a critical component of the coalition that President Biden is trying to reconstitute as he looks to win re-election, and particularly in a state like Michigan, where other parts of that coalition seem to be softening for the reasons you just mentioned. The war in Gaza.

That will be particularly important for President Biden. Now, we were out this morning talking to some voters here in Saginaw. I will say many of them, most of them probably, say they have not started tuning into this election at all. But we did find one woman. Her name is Deadra Bond. She said she voted for President Biden in 2020, but she isn't sure how she'll vote this time around. Listen to what she said.


LIPTAK: What could Biden do between now and November to make you want to vote for him again?

DEADRA BOND, MICHIGAN VOTER: Oh, well, I mean, I think that he's doing a pretty good job so far.


BOND: But it all depends on the candidates and what they're going to, you know, what they're bringing to the presidency and to the people as to who I'm going to vote for next year.

LIPTAK: Would you say you're enthusiastic about Biden running again right now?


LIPTAK: Your mind is still not made up.

BOND: My mind is still not made up.


(END VIDEO CLIP) LIPTAK: Now, one consistent thing that we did hear from voters here is the centrality of the economy as their decision making comes together. And certainly, that is something that we will hear from President Biden when he speaks later today. Trying to draw that sharp contrast with Donald Trump, particularly when it comes to the issue of Social Security, of Medicare, really trying to frame this election as a contest between himself and Trump as voters start to make up their minds. Guys.

KEILAR: That was a long pause in that interview you did there. Kevin Liptak, thank you so much. Live for us from Saginaw, Michigan. So right now, Vice President Kamala Harris is visiting a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota. We're going to hear her speak in moments.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, this is a historic moment. It's the first time a sitting U.S. president or vice president has visited an abortion provider. CNN senior White House correspondent MJ Lee joins us now. MJ, what more do we know about her visit and what we can expect her to say?

MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you know, this is a really significant political stop for Vice President Kamala Harris for the reason that you just noted. We don't see a sitting president or a sitting vice president visiting an abortion clinic. And that is exactly what we are seeing her do right now in St. Paul, Minnesota. And this, of course, is just a striking visual, given that we know how much this White House and the campaign are wanting to make the issue of reproductive rights so central to the upcoming election.


You know, Democrats have said that this issue is mobilizing, it's galvanizing for voters, and they point back to the recent midterm and off-year elections as proof of that. They say that we have seen that be a mobilizing issue for voters ever since the Supreme Court, of course, overturned Roe v. Wade. And if you look at this recent KFF survey, it does show that around half of registered voters say that the 2024 elections will have a major impact on access to abortion. And some one in eight said that abortion is their most important issue as they head into November.

Now, the vice president has, of course, become one of the most prominent and high-profile faces for this administration and campaign on this issue. We saw her back in January launching this reproductive freedoms tour. And this actually marks the sixth stop in that tour for the vice president. The White House is also just sort of leaning into a lot of the testimonials that they think will tell a compelling story. You know, talking to and highlighting the stories of women and families and the issues that they have had to deal with, incredibly personal ones, of course. And we saw that reflected in some of the guests that were invited to sit with the first lady in the president's State of the Union remarks last week as well. SANCHEZ: Yeah, really a priority for the White House in the re- election effort. We're going to keep an eye on what the vice president says, and we'll monitor it and bring it to you as we get it. MJ Lee, live from the White House, thank you so much. Coming up, officials have recovered the black boxes from that Boeing plane that suddenly plunged in midair on Monday. What details those could reveal?

Plus, we're standing by in Michigan for a possible verdict in the trial of the Oxford school shooter's father. Should he be held responsible for his son's actions. That's what a jury is trying to decide. And actress Olivia Munn sharing her breast cancer diagnosis. How an attentive doctor and an online tool helped to save her life.



KEILAR: The airliner that went through a scary quote technical event that injured past passengers and crew on its way to New Zealand was in the air again today but with no commercial passengers. The Boeing 787 flew from Auckland to Chile where it's registered and will be further examined for more evidence. Investigators are trying to find out what made the plane suddenly drop on Monday forcing some on board to actually hit the plane's ceiling violently. A passenger photographed how a compartment was even broken.

At least a dozen people were hurt in this according to LATAM Airlines. But responders in New Zealand say some 50 people needed medical attention. We're also learning that investigators have removed the black boxes from the plane. We have our CNN aviation correspondent Pete Monteen here with more on this. Okay get us up to speed on where this investigation is.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Two big developments here. One is that this 787 flew from Auckland, New Zealand to Santiago, Chile where LATAM Airlines is based today and that will be key to the investigation. But also that investigators in New Zealand have now recovered the black boxes. This flight experienced this mysterious jolt on Monday powerful enough to injure 50 passengers and tossing them to the ceiling.

One passenger tells CNN that one of the pilots told him the displays went dark leading to the pilots briefly losing control. The real question here is to the accuracy of that account and there's a lot of suspicion about that in the aviation world. The flight data recorder will be the unvarnished truth. It is key here. It can show the airspeed, the altitude, the position of the flight controls, even the position of some of the switches on board the airplane. About a thousand different points of data recording multiple times a second.

So, we'll be able to see if something happened. Like maybe, the pilots bumped into the controls or maybe there was an issue with the autopilot. That will really be able to shed a huge amount of light on the exact story here.

KEILAR: What a scary incident there. Okay so Boeing obviously has been the news quite a bit and that also has to do with that door plug incident on an Alaska airlines flight in January. This sort of door plug just blew off in the middle of the flight and the NTSB is now saying right that it's been having a hard time getting some information it needs.

MUNTEAN: They've been stonewalled multiple times here by Boeing and that is the latest from the head of the national transportation safety board Jennifer Homendy really putting Boeing on blast once again. She essentially says here that Boeing has left the lack of a proper paper trail and that is hampering this investigation. Remember the NTSB's preliminary report on this January 5th incident said Boeing did not reinstall the critical door plug bolts before this 737 MAX 9 was delivered to Alaska Airlines, the bolts were removed at the Boeing factory for corrective work on another part of the plane.

But the NTSB says Boeing has not been able to produce the paperwork that details that work. Here is what NTSB chair Homendy says in her new update to senators overseeing the committee on aviation. She says the absence of those records will complicate the NTSB's investigation going forward.


She's also underscored that Boeing has been unable to locate the security footage of that work and that it may have been overwritten. Now Boeing has responded saying it supported the investigation from the start and will continue to do so. Sources at Boeing really describe it to me like this. There's been a major change at Boeing. There was a lot happening above the surface. If you think of it like an iceberg, there's plenty more happening below the surface. They've done these safety stand downs. They've issued these edicts to workers. There's really a lot of concern about the quality control at Boeing and trying to change Boeing's reputational image here in the public's eye.

A lot of these things like the LATAM Airlines incident, that may not be a Boeing issue. But the 737 MAX 9 issue, that is very clearly on Boeing. And it's a big wake-up call for them to make sure that they make sure that everything is in the right place and where it should be before planes leave the factory and rent in Washington.

KEILAR: You kind of think that lack of paperwork is as much of a problem as the fact that the lack of paperwork isn't allowing them to get some information. Because that's part of the chain of accountability here.


KEILAR: Pete, thank you so much.

MUNTEAN: Anytime

KEILAR: Really appreciate it. So, should a parent be held responsible for a mass shooting committed by their child? Jurors in Michigan are attempting to answer that question right now and we could get a verdict any moment in the James Crumbley case. Plus autopsy results have been released in the case of a non-binary teen in Oklahoma who died just one day after a school fight. What those reveal next.