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Don Lemon Tonight
Four Trump Aides Served With Subpoenas; Immigrants Driven Away From Southern Border; Fox's Tucker Carlson Promotes Conspiracy Theory; House Committee Will Find Answers; Democrats Not On The Same Page On Infrastructure Bill; FBI Issued Arrest Warrant For Brian Laundrie; From Drug User To Life Saver. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired September 23, 2021 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST (on camera): You want (Inaudible) how it is that she wound up on a podcast and what it was that she was there to say. So, you're not going to miss it.
All right. Open up the camera on your phone and point it at the Q.R. code at the bottom of your screen, OK? That is going to take you to a link where you can listen. Open up the camera, point it at the Q.R. code just like it's a menu.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Where's the Q.R. code?
CUOMO: All right. It should be at the bottom of the screen. I don't think we have it on our monitors.
LEMON: There it is, I got it.
CUOMO: I don't see it. But that's OK.
LEMON: I got it. That's odd.
CUOMO: That's Don Lemon. He is the co-star of the handoff.
LEMON: No, your mom is a star. Your mom is a star.
CUOMO: He is usually the main star. He is the co-star.
LEMON: There is no other co-stars.
CUOMO: She didn't care. That's one thing our mother share.
LEMON: No, we are cameos. This is cameos.
CUOMO: No respect for what we do.
LEMON: So, here's the thing. My mom has been on my other podcast Silence is Not an Option and she takes over. And when she's on the podcast everybody loves her. My gosh, Don. We're loving your -- I think your mom and my mom should do a podcast. Forget about us. They're way more interesting than we are.
Chris, your mom -- Chris' mom turned 90, by the way. She looks fantastic.
CUOMO: Should not (Inaudible), D. Lemon.
LEMON: She looks younger than you.
CUOMO: You're lucky you better hope she doesn't have her hearing aid.
LEMON: I mean, she turned 60. She turned 60, I'm sorry.
CUOMO: Sixty. The nine is upside down.
CUOMO: It's not a nine.
LEMON: Yes, I screwed up.
CUOMO: She wasn't -- here's the funny part. My mother wasn't supposed to be on the podcast.
CUOMO: She heard me talking about her and came down to where I was because she wanted to make sure if I was going to be talking about her I would push her program, and she came down --
CUOMO: -- with a business card and gave it to me and said read this. Anyway, --
CUOMO: -- it's one of those -- one of those nice surprises.
LEMON: It's really great.
LEMON: Honestly, we talk about the times, what's happening now, not being able to see family especially during COVID, not being able to spend the time with our mothers especially who are, you know, they're getting up there as -- I know they're going to get mad and say I'm not getting old, I'm not getting up there, don't say that. But it's been really tough.
I mean, you've been a little bit closer to your mom. I'm not sure how much you've been able to see her. I've been further away from my mom. I've only gotten to see her once --
LEMON: -- in the past 18 months.
CUOMO: I've been a lot more lucky. Obviously when I was sick and then after that we were kind of, you know, keeping my mom protected. She's healthy, though. I mean, she really is doing well. But she was actually with us for the weekend, so that was great. And that's how she found her way onto the podcast.
CUOMO: But it really is turning into taking a look at people's reactions to the handoff. I'm glad that the depth of it is being provocative and evocative for people, of listening to things, thinking about it, challenging, feeling different ways. It's good, makes it worth the time.
LEMON: Yes, Yes. Hey, listen, I got to get to this breaking news which was your breaking news we're going to follow up on involving the Petito investigation. So, I will see you soon, my friend. Take it easy.
CUOMO: I love you, D. Lemon.
LEMON: I love you more. I'll talk to you later.
This is Don Lemon Tonight. Thank you so much for tuning in.
As I said we have some breaking news and it's on the investigation of that brutal attack on the United States Capitol on January 6th. We have that and the Petito information as well, obviously, January 6th, one of the worst days in this country's history.
So, the first subpoenas tonight from the select committee targeting some of the closest aides and allies of the former president. Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is in that as well. If you look up on your screen, you'll see that.
They want to ask him about reports of his involvement in efforts to contest the election. Also, if you look on the screen there's also the communications guy, Dan Scavino. The committee wants to find out what he knows about videos -- check it out -- like this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Go home. We love you. You're very special. You see what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): And there's also Steve Bannon. Remember he told the then-president to kill the Biden administration in the crib. Also, Kash Patel, they want to ask him about reports that he was talking nonstop to Mark Meadows on January 6th.
Now, the committee is investigating efforts that the Trump White House took to potentially overturn our free and fair election and how big -- the big lie fueled the violence that exploded into the capitol insurrection.
A lot more to come on that in just a moment so make sure you stay tuned. Meanwhile, there is this crisis -- this ongoing crisis on the border. The Biden administration ramping up deportations as heavy machinery and dump trucks clear out the makeshift migrant camp in Del Rio, Texas.
The scenes there are really horrific. They are hard to watch.
And then true to disgusting form, over at the propaganda network, the Fox propaganda network, Tucker Carlson cynically using what's happening at the border to stoke white nationalism, push the bogus great replacement theory that falsely claims that white Americans are being intentionally replaced by black and brown migrants.
It's all about fear. It's about riling up his viewers. It's about profiting off of the very human tragedy happening at the border.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Here's Biden explaining the entire point of mass immigration back in 2015 when he was vice president.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: An unrelenting stream of immigration, nonstop, nonstop. Folks like me who were of Caucasian and European descent for the first time in 2017 we'll be an absolute minority in the United States of America, absolute minority. Fewer than 50 percent of the people in America from then and on will be white European stock. That's not a bad thing. That's a source of our strength.
CARLSON: An unrelenting stream of immigration, but why? Well, Joe Biden just said it, to change the racial mix of the country. That's the reason.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): OK, listen. You can take any sound bite and manipulate it, OK. So, let me explain what's happening right there. Let's stop right there. I know that you will be shocked to hear that he is misrepresenting what Joe Biden said, right? That's when he was the vice president.
The reference to an unrelenting stream of immigration, the then vice president was talking about immigration throughout America's history starting in the 1700s if you listen to the entire thing. I want you to listen to what he actually said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BIDEN: We are a melting pot. It is the ultimate source of our strength. It is the ultimate source of who we are, what we become. And it started all the way back in the late 1700s. There has been a constant unrelenting stream of immigration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): So that speech was about celebrating our immigration -- celebrating immigration and how it makes America stronger. But Tucker Carlson, he wants you to be afraid of immigrants. He wants you to believe they are part of a nefarious plot to replace what he emphatically calls legacy Americans -- I wonder what you mean by that -- with foreigners.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Joe Biden just said it, to change the racial mix of the country, that's the reason. To reduce the political power of people whose ancestors lived here and dramatically increase the proportion of Americans newly arrived from the third world. In political terms this policy is called the great replacement, the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far away countries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): OK, listen, when you don't see people for who they are, people, fellow human beings risking their lives for a better life for themselves and their families, that's what you get. So, yes, do we have problems at the border, yes. But people are human beings trying to get here for a better life.
There should be a humane way to do it, and there should be a system in place to make sure the reason they're coming is for the right reasons, what they say. But I want you to listen to one of those people who was deported back to Haiti telling his story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN (through translator): When we arrived in the U.S., the authorities put us on a bus and sent us to jail and said we would be released in two days. They put chains on our feet, around our stomachs and our hands. They put us in cars and took us to the airport. There were Haitians working on the plane who told us not to resist because there were many soldiers on the plane, and they warned us that otherwise we would be mistreated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): So, here's what I'll say. You can rant and rave on your white power hours about replacement theory, turning a crisis into a propaganda, stoking racism. That's your thing.
But it does nothing, not a single thing to help solve any of the very real problems at the border, and it hurts America. We need to solve the problems at the border not politicize them and not divide people. OK? So, I want to turn now to our breaking news on the January 6th select
committee issuing subpoenas to four of the former president's key allies.
Here to discuss now CNN's senior legal analyst Mr. Elie Honig. Elie, good evening. Thank you so much for joining this evening.
We've got a big news night tonight. First up, let's talk about Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, Steve Bannon, Kash Patel. Where are does subpoenas tell you about where this investigation is headed?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Don, it tells me that the committee is looking directly at the White House here. We already knew the committee of course was focused on what happened inside the capitol on January 6th. This is a really important development because it tells us they want to know what was at the heart of this, what was behind this.
And when you look at this line up here, Meadows is an obvious person to subpoena. He was the president's chief of staff by his throughout January 6th. The other three tell us that the committee is looking at the planning, the communication strategy. That's Scavino, Bannon. And what was the defense over at the Defense Department? That's where Kash Patel comes out.
So, they're taking a holistic look here but they're looking at the people really behind all of this.
LEMON: Yes. Let's look at the time line here. The committee says that all document requests are due by October 7th. They want Patel and Bannon to appear before the committee on October 14th and Scavino and Meadows October 15th.
This is really lightning fast. They surely won't cooperate, so what does the committee do then?
HONIG: Yes, this is a lightning fast schedule and rightly so, Don. Because what the committee cannot do is let itself get slow played to death here. That's why they've only given a couple of weeks.
If these folks decline to comply with the subpoenas and I think you can bet they will not comply with the subpoenas. Then the committee needs to a, refer over to the Justice Department because there is a potential crime for defying a subpoena. Merrick Garland is going to have a decision to make.
And b, get into court right away. And everyone says the courts take so long. They do, that's right. But the courts have to do better here. The courts can't take months and years like they did with Don McGahn to make these decisions. Courts have to put -- take these important cases and decide them quickly. They can do it, and they need to do that here.
LEMON: OK, so bottomline is should the former president be concerned tonight?
HONIG: Sure, I mean, to the extent that he did anything wrong on January 6th, and there's plenty of evidence that he did, this committee has made clear they are dead set on getting that information. They're making clear they don't intend to tiptoe around him. They don't intend to tiptoe around powerful players. They've made clear with these subpoenas. We want the truth. We want it from the heart of the White House whoever it may hurt or help.
And by the way, if the president really has nothing to hide, he should tell all these folks go ahead, comply, get in there and testify. If that's not the case then you have to ask why and what are they hiding.
LEMON: Well, we'll see in the coming days, weeks and months as this will all play out of course right in front of the American people's eyes.
Thank you very much, Elie Honig. I appreciate that.
So, are we about to find out the truth about January 6th and will anybody be held accountable? And what about the continuing GOP assault on vote? Big questions for the former Attorney General Eric Holder. He's next.
LEMON (on camera): So, we are back now with our breaking news tonight. In their first subpoenas the January 6th committee targeting four of Trump's closest allies, the subpoenas coming after multiple bombshell revelations about how far the former president and his loyalists were willing to go to keep him in power.
Let's discuss now, the former Attorney General Eric Holder is here. Good evening, Mr. Holder. Thank you so much for joining.
ERIC HOLDER, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: Good evening.
LEMON: A huge -- a huge step in the investigation into the capitol insurrection zeroing in on Trump's inner circle. Are we getting any closer to finding out the truth about this attempted coup?
HOLDER: Yes, I suspect we are. I mean, this is a big first step. It's only a first step but I think it's actually a pretty instructive first step. Those first subpoenas are going, as Elie indicated, to the White House. You could have started in a whole variety of different places.
But the fact that they're starting out at the White House is an indication that there's at least some basis to believe there are some White House involvement in the events of January the 6th. And I'm sure what they're going to try to do is figure out who in the White House was involved, to what extent that they were involved and ultimately to see if the president was involved. LEMON: Well, speaking of, let's dig into that a little bit more. The
Biden White House is also moving to release information to investigators about Trump's activities on January 6th. Just, you know, this just only days after we were learning about a memo from Trump lawyer John Eastman trying to influence Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election.
Do these people need to be held accountable to heal our democracy? What do you think needs to happen here in order to make this right with the American people?
HOLDER: Well, I certainly think this investigation needs to carry on. They need to act with some degree of haste to make sure. There are going to be delays. That's kind of what the Trump people do. They try to find ways to delay proceedings, and so I think they need to have as they have issued subpoenas with relatively short return dates.
But I think you also need to hold responsible people like Eastman, people like that guy Jeff Clark, lawyers who were trying to facilitate this coup attempt. Lawyers who are officers of the court need to be held responsible for their involvement in these matters.
Now, it may mean there are criminal sanctions, but it could also mean that there are bar proceedings that are taken so that we send this message to members of the bar that you can't do this kind -- you can't do these kinds of things.
LEMON: Listen, you have much experience with what's happening at the border, and I want to ask you about that. It's not just the big lie that's poisoning our democracy. The Fox propaganda network and some of the Republicans over there using the border crisis to push the white supremacist great replacement theory, a great conspiracy theory. What are they unleashing with this hateful rhetoric?
HOLDER: Well, you know, they're unleashing that which has probably existed in this nation for as long as it has existed. But the difference is it was usually confined to a small group of people who were not very well-respected.
Now you have a political party and an apparatus that supports that political party spouting this same kind of divisive, hateful stuff that is factually inaccurate but also divides the country, keeps the nation on edge.
And so, I think we have to understand what's going on here and what is different from what we've seen during the course of the history of this nation. One of our two major parties, the Republican Party, it has adopted, you know, this kind of stuff. They're using this kind of rhetoric to energize their base. They're trying to use it for political advantage, and that's extremely dangerous because at the end of the day it puts our democracy -- it puts our democracy at risk.
LEMON: Listen, I've been having discussions with many folks about the Democrats not realizing where we are now, playing by the old rules and whether or not they are in a good position or if they're governing properly. Democrats face an existential threat from GOP voter suppression
efforts. Legislation to fight back is going nowhere in Congress, and right now states are redrawing congressional maps. Are Democrats letting themselves be legislated out of power?
HOLDER: Well, I think it's a little early to say that, you know, Democrats are not doing the right thing. We still have to see, you know, what comes of these budget talks that are going on. We see -- have to see what goes on ultimately in the Senate with regard to the Freedom to Vote Act, the new Manchin compromise.
You know, I think we need to start acting with a degree of haste, a degree of rapidity. But it's a little early to say that Democrats are not reacting in an appropriate way. As I said, I would like to see a little more speed with regard to the consideration of the things that are before -- before the Senate in particular.
LEMON: Well, I think that's what the question really is, if the Democrats recognize where we are now. Because this is certainly, you know, not the place where we were four years ago, not the place where we were 8 or 12 years ago when you were the attorney general. As you said haste is important but also a degree of urgency. There needs to be some sort of urgency if they want to get their agenda done, no?
HOLDER: No, I think that's right. And I think that, you know, most Democrats feel that sense of urgency. It's why you see so many in the House, as well as the Senate pushing for a consideration of a whole multitude of -- of legislation.
And I think that you're going to see, I hope in the next few weeks Democrats coming together to pass budget bills. Democrats coming together to push on the Freedom to Vote Act which would, you know, protect the American democracy to make sure that we ban partisan gerrymandering. A process which as you said is now underway.
And you can, just watch. It's happened in Ohio. It'll happen in Texas. Republicans are going to try to use the advantages they have there to try to gerrymander themselves as they have said into a decade of power. And so, Democrats have to stop that, and they have to stop it as soon as possible.
LEMON: I want to get back now to the subpoenas that we spoke about. I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you about the current attorney general, and that is Merrick Garland. Do you think if these, you know, the former administration aides, if they defy the congressional subpoenas, do you think that they will? And if they do, what does the law say about that? Can they do it?
HOLDER: Well, I suspect that they're going to try to use every legal mean that they can to not have to appear, not answer questions, not turn over documents. But I suspect I think all those arguments will be found to be, you know, inappropriate and will not pass muster in front of a court. If they do not then comply once a court orders them to do so, they can
be held in contempt of Congress, and then they can face, you know, criminal sanctions. But my guess would be, at the end of the day, once they've exhausted their appeals to the court system and they're going to certainly do that to prolong the process if nothing else, I'll suspect that they'll turn over the documents and they will in fact, you know, have to -- have to testify.
LEMON: Attorney General Eric Holder, thank you, sir. I appreciate you joining. Have a good night.
HOLDER: You too, take care.
LEMON: Joe Biden's presidency on the line. Democrats division threatening everything that he is trying to build. Stay with us.
LEMON (on camera): Tick tock, the clock is ticking for Congress to get things done. A bipartisan bill on infrastructure and the massive spending bill to address jobs, climate change and inequality all on the line right now. There could be a government shutdown, and the U.S. government could default on its debt which could lead to what has been described as financial Armageddon.
Joining me now is Brian Fallon, he is the executive director of Demand Justice.
Brian, there's a lot on this president's plate. I mean, and Democrats as well. Good evening to you, by the way. President Biden is under immense pressure. His party is still divided. His agenda is on the line, and we have no idea how this is going to play out. How does Biden pull this out? Can he?
BRIAN FALLON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DEMAND JUSTICE: Well, I do think the biggest most popular part of his platform that he campaigned on in 2020 is at stake here and it's reconciliation passage that progressives in the House of Representatives are threatening to walk on this bipartisan deal if the moderates and the party won't agree to pass this $3.5 trillion package.
They're the ones that I think are holding the line on trying to make sure that Biden's agenda gets enacted and that Democrats deliver on what they campaigned on in 2020, things like prescription drug price reform, things like raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans in order to fund expansions of the Medicare program and do -- get started on confronting climate change.
These are things that the public overwhelmingly supports. And what you're seeing, Don, is some centrists in the Democratic Party that like to sort of performatively zig when their party zags.
Also, you see a faction in the House in particular of Democrats that are aligned with the Chamber of Commerce and groups like No Labels that don't like the tax increases on the wealthiest Americans that are part of this reconciliation package. They're uniting to slow this thing down.
I think Biden will ultimately prevail and Nancy Pelosi has proven to be very capable of getting these bills through the House when people are always counting her out. But the problem is I think it's taking so long and attaching so much unneeded controversy to this that it's bogging down the rest of Biden's agenda.
And the opportunity cost here might be provisions on things like the Voting Rights Act that need to be passed and are waiting for infrastructure to get resolved before the Senate can take those measures on.
LEMON: Brian, listen, OK, I understand that. But there's got to be, in order to do that there's got to be a whole lot of politicking done. That's the, you know, the official word for it.
I mean, just tonight, the House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told CNN that he would not guarantee that the Senate's infrastructure will would get a vote in the House on Monday. He says the next 72 hours are critical. The thing is will it happen? Who has the most leverage?
FALLON: Well, I have to give credit to people like Pramila Jayapal and the House progressive caucus, which traditionally, Don, have not been a force. They tend to fold. They tend to be the ones that fall in line during the '88 fight. There was a standoff back in 2009, 2010 between more centrist Democrats and progressive Democrats and centrist prevailed.
This time more than half of the House progressive caucus are saying we will not vote for this bipartisan package on Monday unless we're guaranteed movement on the larger $3.5 trillion package. And I think that Pelosi and the House leadership are taking that threat seriously and as they should.
You know, Biden has a lot invested in that larger reconciliation package and a lot of the complaints that are being floated by the so- called centrists are not -- I don't think being floated in good faith. They're saying that, $3.5 trillion --
FALLON: -- is too high a price tag, but they won't say what number they could support. And they are -- you are raising concerns about the deficit and inflation. Well, this package is fully paid for. All these provisions are extremely popular.
So, there's no political -- good political reason to oppose this package. I think it's just a political standoff. And if the progressives hold their ground, I think Biden will get this, you know, the crux of this reconciliation package through. It just might not be as quickly as next week. LEMON: OK, Brian. You just mentioned Congresswoman Jayapal and she
broke into tears when arguing for immigration reform during a White House meeting with the president yesterday. Lawmakers have real personal connections to the work that they are doing, but are they risking letting the perfect be the enemy of the good here?
FALLON: I don't think so. So, I think that it's progressives that are actually challenging the party to stay true to what they campaigned on in 2020. Again, what are the biggest ticket items in this reconciliation package that some of the centrists are balking at? It's prescription drug pricing reform.
That is something that even Krysten Sinema who is one of the moderates that has expressed reservations about this package, she herself campaigned on that issue when she won election with the Senate from Arizona in 2018. So, and yet, you have people from very safe blue districts, Kathleen Rice, New York congresswoman, she's from a 13 plus Democrat district.
She's one of the people that's balking at this prescription drug pricing reform measure and the reconciliation package. These are -- this is good politics. These are -- these provisions are supported by the public. These are issues that Biden himself and down ballot Democrats campaigned on.
The Democrats in swing districts, Colin Allred from Texas, other people whose political livelihoods are at stake here in 2022, they want to vote for this package.
So, I think that it's good policy and it's good politics. And it's just sort of, special interests case three (Ph) interest that are, you know, prevailing here right now with people like Josh Gottheimer, Kathleen Rice, Ed Case, which from one of the bluest districts in Hawaii. Ed Case is another naysayer on this package. I don't think they are going to carry the day because Pelosi and Biden are aligned with the progressive caucus on most of these policy measures.
LEMON: Yes. And listen, when you listen to -- I think that the progressives have a very compelling argument in the sense that they so far have been the ones who are doing most of the compromising, agreeing that these two bills that should -- should go in tandem, and so, you know, I think they make a very good point, but at the end of the day everybody is going to have to do so compromising on this.
Brian Fallon, I appreciate you joining. Thank you, sir.
FALLON: Thank you for having me.
LEMON: Thank you.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Gabby Petito's fiance, Brian Laundrie. We're going to tell you why after this.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON (on camera): There's more breaking news tonight, a major development in the case of Gabby Petito. The FBI saying a federal arrest warrant has now been issued for her fiance Brian Laundrie related to his activities after Petito's death which has been ruled a homicide.
This happening as investigators are still searching for Laundrie in a swampy nature preserve -- or reserve, excuse me, in Florida. And so far, they're coming up empty.
I want to bring up now Stuart Kaplan. Stuart Kaplan is a former FBI agent. Good evening, Stuart. Thank you so much for joining.
Let's talk about today the FBI Denver issuing an arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie in connection with Gabby Petito's death. The warrant was issued for, and I quote here, "use of unauthorized devices," end quote. That's related to Laundrie's activities following the death of Gabby Petito. What might they have found, and how significant is this new development?
STUART KAPLAN, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Extremely significant. First, let me just tell you we've learned a lot today. We first learned that the investigators have a lot more information than they led us to believe.
Second, I can tell you that there's no doubt more than probable cause. In fact, enough evidence with respect to presenting a case to a grand jury with respect to being able to prove that Brian Laundrie used that debit or credit card after Gabby Petito was dead.
I can also tell you that I would suspect that once they were able to identify where that debit or credit card was used, they have already gone to that location, retrieved video surveillance, had them on video utilizing that credit card, and that is why they went to the grand jury and indicted him. And this is synonymous with a bank fraud type of credit card case.
LEMON: Yes. Chris, I want to ask you -- a source is telling the other Chris on this network, Cuomo tonight that Brian Laundrie left his parent's home in North -- in North Port, Florida last Tuesday without his cellphone or wallet and they were concerned that he might hurt himself. The police and the FBI haven't commented on that. So, what is your reaction to this new information?
KAPLAN: I will tell you, Don, there is no doubt -- first of all, I can tell you the fact that the Ford Mustang was readily returned to the parents this afternoon. In fact, there was video of the mother driving the car back home, is a clear indication that the family, meaning mom and dad are onboard with law enforcement, they are fully cooperating.
I'm not so sure back then with respect to last week with respect to some of the information that was conveyed to law enforcement whether or not it was credible. But there is no doubt -- and when I say no doubt I'm going to underscore no doubt that the law enforcement is utilizing those efforts at that state park because there is a definite indication, a pin, a digital footprint, something more that he is there or evidence with respect to being able to prove that he killed Gabby Petito.
LEMON: But Brian -- excuse me, I just said Brian Fallon, Chris, how do you know that -- Stuart, sorry.
KAPLAN: How do I know that? Because look, investigations take a logical -- take logical steps. The steps that they are taking right now -- and keep in mind, two days ago, they indicated that they were returning to the state park to insert divers into the swampy lakes.
I can tell you from the video footage and my sources and you see the number of law enforcement agencies and personnel that are on scene, those are not just divers. Those are people that are combing the entire 25,000 square acres of that park to find something that is critical. They're not wasting their time. They're spending a lot of money, a lot of resources, a lot of man hours because they are more than sure something that we don't know at this point is there.
LEMON: Listen, you're right. K9 units, drones, ATVs, dive teams. I mean, it's a ton of resources, Stuart. You're absolutely right on that. The city of Moab, Utah, is launching an investigation into the Moab Police Department's handling of the dispute, OK? Between Gabby and Brian several weeks before she was killed.
At the time police just had Gabby and Brian separate for the night. Was there more that could have been done here or should have been done?
KAPLAN: Yes, you know, typically, Don, in domestic type of situations it is not left up to the discretion of law enforcement to kind of separate the parties. It actually is if there's any physical signs of injuries notwithstanding either one may not want to press charges against the others, typically, law enforcement is compelled and obligated to arrest that person that they believe is the aggressor.
In this particular case I think there was an indication that Gabby may have sustained scratches or Brian may have sustained scratches. It is highly irregular and it probably was a misstep and may have been ultimately the beginning of the end with respect to Gabby Petito's fate.
I can tell you here in Florida and in New York with respect to law enforcement, they would have made an arrest and would have allowed the courts to sort it out thereafter.
LEMON: Right on. What are you looking for next, Stuart?
KAPLAN: They -- I mean, obviously, look, they want Brian Laundrie -- I mean, look, they needed to go to the grand jury for the single purpose they need to contain him. If he murdered one person already which I think everybody is satisfied he is the responsible party for killing Gabby Petito, the potential is he may kill again or may kill himself or do something else with respect to fleeing and alluding which is the obvious case right now.
We need to apprehend him, certainly with respect to this arrest. There's going to be an issue with respect posting bond or bail in Wyoming on these federal charges. And just so you know the potential sentence exposure on this single this type of crime is up to 10 years in jail. They're going to squeeze him.
So, they are going to exercise patience with respect to collective evidence on the murder. I mean, ultimately, the end game is to solve the murder, meaning being able to put him behind bars for the rest of his life in connection with killing Gabby Petito. But they're going to exercise patience because if they bring a case, they want to make sure that they are confident that they can get a conviction.
LEMON: Yes. Listen, we know that you're a former law enforcement. Our reporting does that indicate that. At this point he's still a person of interest, not a suspect in the death of Gabby Petito. Thank you, Stuart. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.
KAPLAN: My pleasure always, Don.
LEMON (on camera): She took her personal struggle with the opioid epidemic and turned it into a movement.
CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is highlighting this Champion for Change. Take a look at Joanne Peterson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOANNE PETERSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LEARN TO COPE: OxyContin. Perc 30s. It was always the opiates. And then they would turn to the heroin.
UNKNOWN: Unprecedented drug overdose.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: When he takes an overdose call, the usual suspect is a painkiller. Many cities reported a surge in heroin use.
So many times, when we talk about the opioid crisis, we talk about it in dozens of people may have overdosed in a particular city, or tens of thousands of people have died of drug overdoses when we talk about it from a policy perspective.
But what makes this distinctive is this is an organization that recognizes not only the trauma to the individual who is dealing with substance abuse, but the whole family.
PETERSON: I lost my niece a couple years ago to an overdose. I lost a brother 10 years ago with complications of his addictions. GUPTA: Joanne Peterson's family had a long and difficult history with
PETERSON: I learned when my niece passed away, the most important thing to do is no matter what tell that person you love them and kind of be there for them. I have terrible guilt because in the end I really wasn't there for her in the very end, and it haunts me.
And it wasn't that I didn't want to be, it was that I knew that I couldn't fix her problem or change it. You know, she just kind of disappeared and then I got a call that she was in Beth Israel hospital on life support. So that haunts me.
GUPTA: It was another part of the struggle with the stigma of substance abuse that she had dealt with for most of her life until she met other families like her at a community meeting about drug overdoses.
PETERSON: I started saying to people, let's start meeting.
GUPTA: In 2004, Learn to Cope was born.
PETERSON: We're there to help the family and remind the family that no matter what, you're going to be OK. And I've had so many people say to me they feel grateful that they were a member of a peer group like Learn to Cope because they understood the disease.
I know a mom, her son had cancer. He was prescribed OxyContin because he was in pain. He was taken off it and he turned to heroin, and she told me she missed his cancer. She said, you know why? Because everyone loved him then. No one gives anything about him now.
GUPTA: Even after 20 years of covering these types of stories, I still learn something every time I meet someone like Joanne Peterson, the idea that the ultimate first responder in this opioid epidemic is usually a family member.
PETERSON: We really want to educate the families on how to recognize an overdose and what puts them at risk and make sure they have Narcan in their home.
GUPTA: Narcan or Naloxone is a drug that can literally reverse an opioid overdose and give families a chance for a family to rescue someone they love.
Do you know how many rescues have been reported?
PETERSON: I know that for Learn to Cope, it's been over 200.
GUPTA: A volunteer with Learn to Cope, Jim Derick says the group is vital support as he wrestles with his own son's Fentanyl abuse.
People come to a meeting and they walk away with a kit including Narcan. How important is that?
JIM DERICK, VOLUNTEER, LEARN TO COPE: It is critically important. Two people that I've trained have used it directly to save their loved ones, including my son's mother who saved his friend from a lethal overdose about six months ago.
PETERSON: Good morning. Learn to Cope.
GUPTA: The stories that end up having, I think, the greatest impact are the ones that start off the way this story does. It's an individual who channels that grief into something really meaningful and starts an army, it's not just about accepting the status quo, it's about doing everything you can to change it.
UNKNOWN: I'll never give up.
PETERSON: I was scrappy, not afraid to speak up. I've never considered myself a champion, but I'm a fighter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): So, Dr. Gupta is here with me now. Doctor, you have been reporting on this crisis for much of your career. What was it that really struck you about Joanne and Learn to Cope in particular that gives you hope?
GUPTA: Well, you know, I think a lot of it, Don. Just over the last 20 years I've now transitioned, you know, to being a dad. I have three teenagers and I met a lot of parents out there whose kids are dealing with this. You know?
GUPTA: And a lot of parents are surprised. They have no idea and then all of a sudden, they sort of learned, they see these clues of what's going on with their child. And they feel very powerless at the time, and that's what inspired me about this organization, because it empowers these families, they meet other families like them.
That's something that's very helpful, but then also this idea, Don, that the first, first responder, the person who usually finds somebody in the throes of an overdose typically, is a family member. And can you imagine? You suddenly come upon a family member who is dying of an overdose, you know, you call 911, you do all those things, but this organization also empowers them to do something about that, to potentially save lives.
And as you heard from Joanne, 200 times now they've reversed overdoses.
GUPTA: So, a pretty incredible organization.
LEMON: I got to ask you. Listen, you're a doctor, you work in a hospital, but even being a doctor, were you surprised by the rise in overdose numbers even during the pandemic? GUPTA: Well, I was initially but, you know, there's obviously the
social isolation, the economic instability, all the disruption to our daily life. But also, Don, what I was really struck by this, you know, recovery programs and counseling programs and programs that help people that are in recovery overall, they work.
And you know, this, in some ways proved it because so many people, at least in the initial days of the pandemic, were not able to access many of those services. I don't think that's the only part that fueled this increase, but I think that made a difference as well. People did not have the safety net they typically have. Some of that is now been addressed by telehealth and things like that so it's making a difference, but I think those programs, I think it's another reminder of why we have to invest in them.
LEMON: Yes. Dr. Gupta, I mean, always amazing stories that you bring to us. Thank you so much. I appreciate that.
And there's a lot more where this came from. We're spotlighting this everyday people, changing the world for better. Champions of Change, it airs Saturday night at 8.
We'll be right back.