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Bionic Leg Helps People with Amputations; Trump Seeks to Overturn Hush Money Verdict; Trump References Political Retribution; Biden Warns about Immunity Ruling; Lower Court to Decide Immunity; Jamaica Braces for Storm; Mistrial in Declared in Karen Read's Trial. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired July 02, 2024 - 09:00   ET



JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Site on a person's leg and the bionic leg itself. And signals from the nervous system direct the leg's movements and the leg is able to sense its own positioning and send signals back to the persons nervous system. And in one study, John, people with amputated legs, who were equipped with this bionic leg, they underwent a specific type of surgery. Researchers found that the bionic leg was able to help increase their maximum walking speed by 41 percent. So, this helped people with amputated legs to walk more smoothly and more quickly using the bionic leg.

And one woman in the study told CNN that she felt like she had no amputation at all. As soon as she was equipped with the bionic leg, she said she wanted to take off running. And that's the kind of impact this has on people, John. We know about 2 million people in the United States live with limb loss. So, even though this is just experimental now, it could have potential impact for millions of people out there.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Look at that. What an amazing thing.


BERMAN: All right, Jacqueline Howard, thank you very much.

A new hour of CNN NEWS CENTRAL starts now.

SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: President Biden slamming the Supreme Court's presidential immunity ruling as an affront to the rule of law he says. Biden hoping to turn the legal decision into a political boon for himself, as Democrats continue to discuss whether Biden should actually stay in the race.

And Donald Trump doing a victory lap after for the decision. He's already trying to use it to overturn his criminal conviction in the New York hush money case.

And people thrown to the plane's ceiling, bones fractured, and a forced emergency landing after a flight hits strong turbulence. Passengers saying, we thought we were going to die.

I'm Sara Sidner, with Kate Bolduan and John Berman. This is CNN NEWS CENTRAL.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: New fallout, new warnings this morning about the future of American's democracy after the Supreme Court's decision on presidential immunity. It delivered a significant legal win for Donald Trump. How far does that reach? Other very real questions this morning, how much power does a president really have? And what is and is not an official act?

The answers there matter in many ways. In the most immediate, to the criminal charges that Donald Trump is facing. It also matters when it comes to the now core reelection message that President Biden is trying to capitalize on as his campaign remains in full on post-debate crisis mode.

CNN's Paula Reid has the very latest. Let's start there.

Paula, we have not yet really heard from the special counsel since the ruling. Do we know what his next steps are?

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know where this case is headed, and that is back down to the trial court before Judge Tanya Chutkan. And it's going to be up to her. The Supreme Court has deferred to her to suss out which actions alleged in Smith's indictment constitute official actions that are part of the core constitutional responsibilities of the president. Those would enjoy absolute immunity, likely not be able to be brought as part of this case. Then you have other actions that are official acts, but not necessarily something that's part of your core constitutional duty. So, those have a presumption of immunity, but that would likely have to be litigated. And then there's going to be other acts alleged in the indictment that fall outside of that, things that were not official acts.

Then she's going to have to look at what is left of that indictment. And then we know from my sources on the Trump legal team that the Trump legal team is also going to try to get certain pieces of evidence tossed out. And they argue that what remains of that indictment will need to be supported by pieces of evidence that are also blocked by this opinion because the justices ruled that even evidence of official acts. So, official acts cannot be used as evidence to support charges. So, they believe that they can pretty much undermine this entire case, but that will take time.

Now, they're also going to use yesterday's opinion to attack some of the other cases that Trump is facing down in Mar-a-Lago, the documents case. They're going to use this in part to argue that Trump had this classified documents as part of his official duties. They can use it to attack that case.

Of course, down in Georgia, that's the most similar case to the January 6th case. Clearly, they're going to use it there.

But as we broke this story yesterday morning, they're also going to use it in the next few months to attack the New York conviction. Specifically, they are going to try to get tossed out Hope Hicks' testimony, portions of that, as well as specific tweets that were used in evidence.

Now, late last night they sort of sent out a long-shot bid to try to delay his sentencing based on this. Unclear if that's going to be successful.

But as we've been reporting, they are going to use this opinion to try to get that conviction overturned on appeal. That is also a process, though, Kate, that takes a long time.


WILL SCHARF, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: What we have in New York is a situation where a substantial number of official acts of the presidency, things that we believe are official acts, were used as evidence to support the charges in that New York trial.


We believe that that corrupts that trial. That that indicates that that jury verdict needs to be overturned and, at the very least, we deserve a new trial where those immune acts will not come into evidence.


REID: So there, one of Trump's attorneys arguing why he believes his conviction will be overturned. Again, not clear that they're going to be able to delay the sentencing because of this opinion, but this is absolutely something that is going to factor in to their ongoing appeals as they try to overturn that criminal conviction in New York.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Paula, thank you so much.


SIDNER: All right, Donald Trump celebrating, as you might imagine, the court's decision, hoping to use it to get rid of all the cases against him.

CNN's Alayna Treene has more on this.

Trump is offering a bit of a preview, I think, of what's to come. He's been all over social media talking about the decision.

ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: That's right. And in recent days, Sara, he's actually ramped up his rhetoric, calling for retribution against his political enemies.

And, look, this is - this language from Donald Trump isn't exactly new. He has been calling for retribution for several months now and really made it a big part of his campaign. However, in light of the Supreme Court's decision, especially saying that, you know, presidents have absolute immunity for official acts, it has called into question whether or not if Donald Trump were to seek retribution as a president, what that would mean and if he could face any blowback for it. Now, we did here Donald Trump yesterday speaking to a local radio

station in Virginia criticizing Steve Bannon, his former aide, for going to federal prison for contempt of Congress. And he said Biden is going to pay a big price for it.

Take a listen to what he said.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What they've done in this century is unthinkable. And Biden is going to pay a big price for it, I believe, because I think that the people are going to say, well, wow, you've opened up a pandora's box. This is a terrible thing that they've opened up. They've unleashed this. This is for third world countries. No, they've - they've wanted to silence Steve Bannon. And the only way they could do it was by putting him in jail.


TREENE: Now, Donald Trump also, over the weekend, in a much more troubling post, called for Liz Cheney - or I should say he reposted a Truth Social post saying that Liz Cheney should face military tribunals. I'm going to read for you some of what this post said. It said, quote. "Elizabeth Lynne Cheney is guilty of treason. Re-Truth if you want military tribunals."

Now, we did hear from Cheney herself, the former congresswoman. She wrote that, "this is the type of thing that demonstrates yet again that you are not a stable adult and are not fit for office."

We also saw Donald Trump share a different post calling for the jailing of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, his former vice president, Mike Pence. Again, all very troubling posts that I think it's hard with Donald Trump. We know that a lot of people kind of take this as just kind of language he uses, rhetoric he uses. However, many of his strongest and fiercest supporters do read these posts and take them in some ways as marching orders.

Now, we also heard from President Joe Biden at the White House yesterday denouncing this type of language, as well as criticizing the Supreme Court's decision on immunity. And he's also made this central to his campaign. But again, I really do think that all of this is getting heightened attention after that decision, particularly with many critics, worried about whether or not Donald Trump is emboldened by this decision and may further seek retribution if he is elected.


SIDNER: Yes, it should be noted, there are no criminal cases against Joe Biden or Kamala Harris, but he's already talking about jailing them. Alarming to say the least.

Thank you so much, Alayna Treene. Appreciate it.

John. BERMAN: Look, if you're commander in chief, military tribunals are arguably within your core constitutional duties. So, open for interpretation there.

As for President Biden, he is warning that the Supreme Court rule - the Supreme Court's ruling could mean an unchecked Donald Trump if he is elected in November.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This nation was founded on the principle that there are no kings in America. Each - each of us is equal before the law. No one - no one is above the law. Not even the president of the United States. But today's Supreme Court decision -


BERMAN: CNN's Arlette Saenz is at the White House.

What else are you hearing from the president on this?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, President Biden is trying to use this Supreme Court ruling on immunity to turn the attention back to one of the central arguments of his campaign, as his team is still grappling with the fallout after last week's halting debate performance.

Now, this speech by President Biden marked the first time he was speaking back at the White House after spending a few days at Camp David with his family, who has been encouraging him to stay in the race.


The president spoke for just under five minutes, using a teleprompter and taking no questions, but he once again warned that Donald Trump poses a direct threat to democracy and criticized the Supreme Court rulings, warning of the implications it could have for the power of the presidency. He said that this ruling would allow Donald Trump to do whatever he wants, whenever he pleases. And he is also using this as sort of a rallying cry for his supporters, saying that they need to vote in November to show their dissent to the Supreme Court ruling.

Now, at the same time, the Biden campaign is also pushing back on Trump's legal team, which has indicated that they want to try to use this immunity ruling to challenge that hush money verdict. A spokesperson writing, quote, "the Supreme Court's decision is an affront to the rule of law and the very ideals our country was built on. But it has nothing to do with Donald Trump being convicted of 34 felonies for paying hush money to a porn star and then breaking the law to cover it up."

It comes as Biden's team behind the scene for days has been working to try to ease some of the concerns of anxious Democratic lawmakers and donors as well. We know that the campaign chair and other top officials last night held a phone call with about 500 donors to try to defend the president's health and also argue that the president's candidacy remains on track.

Now, some allies have been encouraging Biden to have more informal sessions, things like a news conference or a town hall. It's unclear whether his advisers will go ahead and move forward with such type of events to try to prove the president has the stamina and is ready for a second term.

But it does come at a time when the campaign continues to face many questions about the path forward for President Biden after that debate.

BERMAN: Arlette Saenz at the White House.

Arlette, thank you very much.


BOLDUAN: And joining us right now is CNN's senior legal analyst, Elie Honig.

So, Elie, next steps in terms of the special counsel's case and the impact of the Supreme Court case. This hearing that Judge Chutkan is now going to need to oversee and preside over, we don't know when it is, we don't know how long it will all last. What could it look like?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So, Judge Chutkan's in a tough spot here. She's just been reversed by the United States Supreme Court. They've sent the case back to her. They told her, your job is to go through - for the first time in history - and decide which presidential acts are official, therefore immunized, and which are not official.

They've given her some broad hints -


HONIG: As to how they expect her to do, but she has to figure this out on the fly.

I think what we're going to see, we're not going to see it because there's no cameras in federal court.


HONIG: But I think what's going to happen is going to be like a mini trial. I think the prosecution will put on live witnesses, including potentially some very important, explosive witnesses. And I think Judge Chutkan, based on that, is going to then have to go through the indictment and the evidence and decide some parts are in, some parts are out.

I think the big question is, how much is even left on the page there for Jack Smith to use in light of yesterday's ruling.

BOLDUAN: That's right. How clear cut or not is official versus not official act? HONIG: Well, that's where the whole nexus is right there.


HONIG: That's the big question, right? There are some things that are obviously official acts, vetoing legislation, issuing pardons, firing, and hiring federal officials. But then there's a whole lot of gray area. To use the example we just saw in the lead in. What if the president started ordering military tribunals of his political rivals? I think any reasonable judge would say that's outside the scope if it's a personal political motivation that's driving you.

But there's a legitimate question. This is the point of Justice Sotomayor's dissent -


HONIG: Where she says, well, the president can order an assassination by SEAL Team Six of a political rival and be immune. I don't think that's right. I don't think that's clear. I think any reasonable judge or justice, up to and including Justice Sotomayor, if presented with that fact pattern would say that is far outside the scope of the official acts. But it does raise the question that there's now a lot of gray area, a lot we just don't know about what's in or what's out.

BOLDUAN: And then there's the fallout on the other cases that Donald Trump is facing.


BOLDUAN: Most immediately we know that the - Donald Trump's legal team is moving to try to use this against the guilty verdict in New York. We played a little - I want to play once again some of Trump's attorney who was on last night talking about how they're moving to get that verdict overturned because of it.


WILL SCHARF, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: What we have in New York is a situation where a substantial number of official acts of the presidency, things that we believe are official acts, were used as evidence to support the charges in that New York trial. We believe that that corrupts that trial, that that indicates that that jury verdict needs to be overturned, and at the very least we deserve a new trial where those immune acts will not come into evidence, as the Supreme Court dictated today.


BOLDUAN: He says this includes communication made through official White House comms channels, including tweets from the president.

HONIG: Yes. I don't think that's going to hack it. I don't think the fact that Donald Trump sent a tweet from the White House Twitter account is going to be enough to make it official. I mean think of some of the ridiculous, irrelevant stuff Donald Trump has tweeted from that account.


But I do understand their argument. They're saying, well, his communications with Hope Hicks, for example, his comms director, while he was president, they're going to argue that should be protected, therefore he's immune for it. Therefore, it never should have been allowed in his trial. Therefore, they will argue, we're entitled to a new trial. I don't think Judge Merchan will be on board with that, but this will become part of the appeal moving forward.

BOLDUAN: How big of a deal is it, this part - you've written about this.


BOLDUAN: It's not just what's official and non-official, it's also prosecutors cannot even introduce evidence of an official act as part of a prosecution.


BOLDUAN: That means what?

HONIG: That is the biggest surprise in yesterday's ruling. It was no surprise that the Supreme Court said, prosecutors, you cannot charge somebody -


HONIG: Based on an official act. What caught me by surprise - I think everybody - is they said, and, you can't even introduce evidence of an official act as part of your trial presentations. I mean when you're trying a case as a prosecutor, a lot of your evidence is stuff that's not a crime in and of itself, but it's necessary to tell the story. It's necessary to explain the narrative, the context. And so now, for sample, in the January 6th case, apparently Jack Smith can't even let the jury know about Donald Trump's communications with DOJ, which are a central part of the whole story.

So, that indictment is going to get torn to shreds by the time the courts are done with it. We'll see if there's even enough left there for Jack Smith to ever bring this case to trial.

By the way, no way this case get tried, or any of the remaining cases get tried before the election. That much is now clear.

BOLDUAN: Yes, that seems - that's the only certainty right now.

HONIG: Right. That's about it.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Elie. Thank you.

HONIG: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Sara. SIDNER: All right, Hurricane Beryl now a category five storm and still

growing more powerful this morning. Where it's headed and a look at the damage that it's already done, even in those outer bands.

Also, a mistrial in the murder case of a woman accused of killing her police officer boyfriend. What prosecutors are planning to do next in a case that has garnered a ton of conspiracies.

And actor and singer Jamie Foxx revealing new details about his mysterious illness last year. How he says a headache led to his hospital stay.



BOLDUAN: Right now, category five Hurricane Beryl is on its way to Jamaica, with winds clocking in at 165 miles per hour. This is not - this massive storm is not just dangerous with at least one death reported so far, it's also the strongest hurricane to hit the eastern Caribbean since 1851. The storm has already left a trail of destruction across the island of Grenada, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines, where power is still out in many places today.

CNN's Elisa Raffa and Patrick Oppmann, they're tracking the storm for us.

Elisa, first to you. Can you talk to us about the latest on the track of the storm?

ELISA RAFFA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's still going to track through the Caribbean Sea, headed towards Jamaica. What we're watching closely is to see if this intensity can get trimmed off at all before it gets there. We still have a monster category five hurricane right now with 165 miles per hour winds, gusts over 200 miles per hour. That eye still so clear, so organized, so symmetrical.

We need to see, though, if it can get racked a little bit to bring down this intensity. The reason why it got so intense in the first place, rapidly intensifying more than once, is because these ocean temperatures are in the middle and upper 80s. This is more typical for late August or early September, which is the peak of hurricane season. That's why we have never really had a storm this strong, this early.

As it continues its trek east, it will run into some dust and some wind shear, which could level off some of that intensity, but it still heads towards Jamaica as maybe a category three or a category four hurricane. Hurricane force wind - hurricane-force winds expected with hurricane warnings in effect for Jamaica, a watch for the Cayman Islands. Then it continues to head towards Mexico as we go towards the end of the week.

Rain totals in Jamaica could be upwards of a foot, especially in the high elevations. That could cause concerns with flash flooding. We're looking at hurricane-force winds, tropical storm-force winds possible for southern parts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Kate.

BOLDUAN: Elisa, thank you for that.

Patrick, what more are you hearing about damage now that's been sustained so far?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's really just heartbreaking. As communications get restored in the Windward Islands, we are starting to see new pictures and the damage really is very, very widespread, as you'd expect about, you know, just looking at some - some video of a woman in Barbados talking about how the entire fishing fleet there has been sunk and destroyed and how this is the livelihoods of people who live there. And you can imagine the impact for years because, of course, you know, people work so hard to be able to own a boat and then it's sunk like this and, you know, they've lost essentially their livelihood overnight.

You know, the storm right now, category five, 160 miles an hour. Kate, if you've ever driven in a car going 80 miles an hour and stuck your hand out the window, you know, think about the - how powerful the wind is there. And you double that. If you're in a category five storm, you cannot be outside. You cannot stand up. Most houses will not sustain that kind of wind force. Roofs get torn off. If you're anywhere near the ocean, the storm surge is incredibly, incredibly dangerous and comes in very, very quick. Something I've seen over the years. So, people, certainly in Jamaica and other places where this storm could hit, you know, need to get to shelters, need to get to places that are well-built, built to sustain this kind of storm.

And in Jamaica, the prime minister addressed the island last night and said, people have a window now to get prepared but, of course, time is running out.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

Patrick, thank you so much for that.

We've got much more to come. As Patrick's saying, Jamaica now preparing for what they're about to see.


SIDNER: All right, this case caught the nation's attention. The murder case that spurred 1,000 theories, left a blog charged with a crime and a police officer fired, ended in a hung jury, but prosecutors are vowing to retry the case. The defendant, Karen Read, so relieved after the mistrial that she embraced her family and supporters in the courtroom. Read is - was accused in 2022 of killing her boyfriend, a Boston police officer.


Investigators say Read drove a car into her boyfriend while she was drunk, killing John O'Keefe, and then leaving him to die outside the home of another officer. Read insists she is innocent. Here's what Read's attorney says after hearing prosecutors say they are going to retry this case.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The deep division is not due to a lack of effort or diligence, but rather a sincere adherence to our individual principles and moral convictions. To continue to deliberate would be futile and only serve to force us to compromise these deeply held beliefs.

I'm not going to do that to you folks. Your service is complete. I'm declaring a mistrial in this case.


SIDNER: That, of course, was not the prosecutor. That was the judge saying there that the jury could not come together after days of deliberations, and she had to declare a mistrial.

CNN's Jean Casarez is following this in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Jean, good morning.

This case has so many twists and turns.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Well, the defense attorney, the lead attorney, Alan Jackson, said yesterday they will not quit. They will never quit, the defense. And the fact is that the lead investigator for this case, Massachusetts State Police, Michael Proctor, has been under internal investigation for quite a while now in regard to a personal texts chain that he had with some old high school friends on his personal phone during the investigation where he said vile things about the defendant, Karen Read.

We also know that the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Massachusetts is in the middle of an investigation of the arrest of Karen Read and also the investigation.

But nonetheless, the prosecution for weeks put on direct evidence. And here are some examples. The first responders that went to the scene when the body of John O'Keefe was found, it was covered with snow. There had been a blizzard that night in January of 2022. Karen Read was there at the scene. And the invest - and the first responders testified that she kept saying, I hit him, I hit him, I hit him. A few hours after that, investigators came to the front lawn of that home where there had been a party in that night with police officers and their wives, and they started finding pieces of taillight, red pieces, clear pieces, close to a shoe, which was John O'Keefe's shoe that was flush with the curb out near the street.

Now, the prosecution is saying that she hit him. And the forensics showed that she put the car in reverse after letting him off for this after-party at this house, and that she was going, forensics experts said, 24 miles an hour and she drove backwards for 62.5 feet. Prosecutors say she hit him. He went down. And that's how he lay in the snow as the blizzard began and died. But the defense is saying, no, not at all. He went into that house.

And a fight began with his friends, off duty police officers, but he was hit. He was mauled by a German shepherd. And people in that house threw his body out in the snow. And it lay there as that blizzard kept accumulating through the night.

But there will be another trial. Prosecutors have vowed. I think we've got some footage though because this was amazing. The support for Karen Read during this two month trial was amazing. Listen to their reaction when there was announced a mistrial.


CASAREZ: They were ecstatic to know that Karen Read would walk out of that courthouse.

But in three weeks, on July 22nd, in this courthouse right behind me, the judge is having a status hearing. All parties are to be there to discuss this retrial of Karen Read.


SIDNER: Jean Casarez, it is a case that I know you'll be keeping your eye on. It is a fascinating case.

Thank you so much. Appreciate it.


BERMAN: All right, mid-air turbulence so severe a passenger actually became lodged in the overhead bin. Dozens of people injured.