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Don Lemon Tonight

President Joe Biden Arrived In Europe With His Transformative Agenda In The Balance Back Home; Rupert Murdoch Letting His Media Empire Spread January 6 And Election Conspiracy Theories; Chauvin Trial Jurors Speak Exclusively To Don Lemon; Alec Baldwin Movie Investigation. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired October 28, 2021 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST (on camera): This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Our breaking news, President Joe Biden in Rome tonight and the vote on his transformative agenda on hold. The House delaying the vote on his bipartisan infrastructure deal, but Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal says the Biden agenda is going to pass.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-W): We are going to pass both bills.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): How long do you think it's going to take?

JAYAPAL: I think it can happen pretty quickly.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Do you think you can get it done this this weekend?

PRAMILA: I don't know. Let's see.


LEMON (on camera): Democrats are closer than ever before to making this happen. It is not a done deal yet. Not yet. But it is a really big deal. And if they can get it across the finish line, it will change everyday life for millions of Americans.

Free universal pre-K, expanded access to affordable childcare for some 20 million kids, home care services for seniors and peoples with disabilities, the largest legislative investment in combatting climate change in U.S. history, lower cost for middle class Americans. It's all in there.

The president personally making his case to Democrats today.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I am pleased to announce that after -- after months of tough and thoughtful negotiation, I think we have a historic -- I know we have a historic economic framework. No one got everything they wanted, including me. But that is what compromise is. That is consensus. And that is what I ran on.


LEMON (on camera): It did not get done today despite the president's last-minute trip to Capitol Hill, where he reportedly told the caucus they are within inches of a deal with Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, though he didn't mention them by name. It didn't get done and that's not a good look for the president's party. It is political sausage making and it's not pretty. Never is.

The former president, Barack Obama, today urging Democrats to support the framework -- quote -- "The fight continues, but today's landmark agreement is an important step on our long journey to live up to our highest ideals."

The stakes couldn't be higher. Now, it's up to the Democrats to get the deal done.

I want to bring in now White House correspondent John Harwood and congressional correspondent Jessica Dean. Good evening to both of you. I appreciate you joining us.

Jessica, it was, I think, crazy day on Capitol Hill today.


LEMON: Democrats are not at the finish line yet, but they're closer than ever before on an enormous $1.75 trillion deal. Give us the very latest. What is in this package?

DEAN: Right, Don. I think you just pointed this out. Look, there's a lot of back and forth right now, but if you zoom out and look at this big picture, there are really some big things in here and things that President Biden then campaigning on, the campaign trail promised and is hoping to deliver as well.

Premier among that, chiefly among that is pre-K for three and four- year-old across the United States. That is going to be funded for six years. That was a big one for President Biden and it is within that framework.

They also have a child tax credit extension, which is very important to a number of Democrats. That only goes for one year for the expanded benefits, but what is important here is they are making it fully refundable forever. And what that means is it is capturing really the poorest Americans. The people that weren't getting this benefit before, they will now get this in perpetuity. That is going to help cut child poverty moving forward.

There is also a number of clean energy tax credits in here. That's the biggest part of this bill, the climate provision.

[23:05:00] It is upwards of $500 billion. It is the biggest chunk within this framework. There's also an expansion of Obamacare subsidies. So, what that is going to do is capture roughly two million people who states did not expand Medicaid coverage under Obamacare. So, they've kind of been in this coverage gap without coverage for medical insurance. They are now going to have health insurance moving forward if this is passed.

And then in terms of Medicare, Bernie Sanders had one vision, dental and hearing. Hearing is going to make it ultimately into this package if this framework holds up, Don. And then also, a big part of paying for this is going to be some new taxes on very high earners in this country.

So, that is the working framework. As you mentioned, it is about $1.75 trillion. That is up a little bit from Joe Manchin's $1.5 trillion, down pretty significantly from the three and a half trillion where they really kind of started from with Senator Bernie Sanders's budget proposal there.

But that are some of the big things, the big ticket items that likely will make it into this package.

LEMON: And John, the president raised the stakes today, framing this is an inflection point for his presidency and the country to show the world that they can govern. It didn't work, at least not in the short term. How big of a blow is this if the president heads off on the world stage and doesn't have this done?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Not very big. The inflection point isn't today. It's this moment in his presidency. Look, it was slightly embarrassing to raise the stakes, as you say, and go up to the hill and have Nancy Pelosi say, I want to vote on the infrastructure bill tonight. That did not happen. But everybody knows the reason it didn't happen.

It wasn't about what Biden did or Pelosi did or even about the progressives. It was because two members of the Senate, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, refused to come out and say that they were for this reconciliation framework that Jessica just outlined that was designed to meet their specifications.

In a 50/50 Senate, you need every single member. Any member for any reason can hold it up. Now, if they ultimately decide not to support the package and take it down, that would be catastrophic blow. But it appears that the likely scenario is the one that Congresswoman Jayapal referred to, which is that they, before too long, week, two weeks, three weeks, could have passed both of these bills, and that is going to have a significant set of investments both for families and for climate.

And the climate is the one that is relevant to this international meeting. Five hundred billion dollars over the next 10 years is a very significant investment. I think the leaders of the other countries that Joe Biden is going to be meeting with are knowledgeable enough about the (INAUDIBLE) of politics to understand that sometimes it takes a little extra time.

LEMON: Jessica, I'm going to speak with Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee and ask her this very question, but I want to know what you know. What happens next? When can we expect a vote on these bills?

DEAN: I was asking lawmakers that on the House side as they were kind of pouring out from their last vote this evening when it became clear they were not going to vote on the infrastructure bill.

I spoke with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of course, a member of the House progressives, and she just really wants to see commitment, specifically from Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. And so, I asked her what is commitment, what does that look like. And she said, well, maybe, it is legislative text, maybe it is a vote in the Senate, it could be either of those things, but she just wants to know -- she wants, in her words, clarity from them that they are with the House progressives on this, that it is going to move forward.

What is ironic about all of this, as John alluded to, this started with all eyes on Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, and ultimately come all the way back around to that because House progressives are now saying they're behind the Build Back Better Act. So, they have said that they've had to make some adjustments to, but they are willing to vote for it and the infrastructure bill. They just want to hear from Sinema and Manchin.

And Don, the important thing as of tonight, right now, neither of them had explicitly said they support it. They put out these comments. They have said things to us in the halls. Manchin has said things to us in the halls, that they're kind of vague about progress and they want to keep working and looking forward to getting this done, that sort of thing. But no explicit support for this framework. I think that is what people are waiting to hear from --

LEMON: Yeah.

DEAN: -- when it comes to the House progressives.

LEMON: Yeah. Well, I mean, the American people are waiting to hear a deal. Deal or no deal.

DEAN: Yeah.

LEMON: Thank you very much. I appreciate both of you. Thanks.

So, joining me now, Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas. She is the vice chair of the Progressive Caucus. Representative, thank you so much. I really appreciate you joining us. Are you on board with President Biden's framework for this massive domestic spending package? And if so, why not move forward with the infrastructure bill right away?

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Don, very good to be with you.

[23:09:52] I am excited about the fact that the Congressional Progressive Caucus endorsed enthusiastically in principle and in its base text the framework that the president has laid out for the Build Back Better Act. And, of course, we have voted for, many of us, the INVEST Act in the House.

And I think the real message here today is -- the president was brilliant in his message to us this morning. He was further very informative to the American people and he took charge by saying, this is going to be a momentous opportunity for the lives of generations of Americans. That should be the breaking news today.

We will get it done. We will vote the Texas in. We have to hold a hearing with the various leaders of the different committees to be able to present to the Rules Committee so we can craft a rule.

LEMON: Congressman, I understand all of that. I get -- listen, we know that there are rules and all, but the American people want something done. What they are hearing from you guys is, well, couldn't do it because of this, we can't get here because of this, we can't get here because of that. And there is a frustration.

If Democrats are in charge and they can't govern now, they can't get this done, what makes us think that -- why should they be allowed to be the majority party in Washington if they can't even get it done now?

JACKSON LEE: Well, I think the real story is that there's absolutely no agenda. But the Republicans in the House and the Senate, their agenda is not --

LEMON: I know. But the Republicans are winning on a message of a lie. Democrats have a good narrative, a good message. You are in control and you are not winning. You are not winning. You are not governing right now. So --

JACKSON LEE: Don, may I? I beg to differ. We are governing in a transparent way and so it doesn't look pretty. We are governing in the form of democracy. We've got two Houses. I'm hearing good news from the Senate now. We will come back next week and we will move these bills. I frankly believe the momentum is at our back and we simply need to move both bills. We are ready to do it.

And with the Senate, with the House, and all parties in agreement, we will be able to present to the American people this monumental package of climate responses, of childcare, of attention to those who are home bound, of the universal pre-K for three and four. There is so much. And because --

LEMON: Do you think you will be able to get this to the American people next week? Because, you know, we've heard the same thing from the House speaker, we've heard the same thing from Democrats, both progressive and moderate, in Washington. We heard it from every network. We heard it in the newspaper. We are going to get this done. We're almost done, we're almost done. And then -- but it's not done. Do you think next week? JACKSON LEE: Don, it's about counting the votes. Every small business person knows that they got to count their dollars. We got to count our votes. We are counting the votes today. We had a text. We had our hearing. Everyone should know that. We have the Rules Committee hearing. I know that sounds like Washington talk, but we are getting ready and got ready for moving this forward like a torpedo.

I'm going to say that and I hope that I will not be having it on my plate to eat because I see the enthusiasm among members and I see the movement in the Senate.

LEMON: Look, the holdup has been, in large part, because of two people, right? I want you to hear what Senator Joe -- I'm talking about Manchin and Sinema. This is what Joe Manchin said about being asked for a public statement on the support of the agreement. He said, if they can't take the word of the president of the United States and the speaker, we are in trouble.

If they can't take the word of the president of the United States and the speaker, we are in trouble. What is your response to him? Do you trust the president and the speaker's word?

JACKSON LEE: Oh, I absolutely do. We spent today in meetings engaged, counting votes, and frankly carrying forward the agenda of the president of the United States. We want to be able to trust the word of our friends in the United States Senate. We understand that we might be able to do that. And as doing that, we will lead, we will put these bills on the floor of the House and the Senate, and we will get them passed.

I think that the actual narrative has shown a lot of mashed potatoes. A lot of moving pieces. I would simply say to the American people, it is because we wanted to be right for you. We want the generations of Americans to see the finishing of this agenda, that it impacts then.

What I understand, Don, when I go home, people want to know how it's going to help them. Once you give them a morsel of it, they'll say, keep on working, keep on moving. That is what we are doing. If we weren't moving, that would be the challenge and the difficulty.

I think the narrative only comes from people who have an empty wagon. That's why we have this narrative. Not you, but our friends on the other side. They like this because I think it helps them make more noise. We are not going to stand while the empty wagon makes noise. We are on the move. All of our meetings have been a sense of momentum and they all created the kind of pathway --

LEMON: Okay.

JACKSON LEE: -- to move forward next week. We got what we needed today. The affirmation of the president's agenda, a standing ovation in the democratic caucus, and the go ahead --

LEMON: I understand that.

[23:15:03] A standing ovation, though, is not a deal. You understand that. It's not a deal. Look, anyone should -- we should all stand for the president of the United States no matter who is. We should have respect for the office. But that is still not a deal. Did you just say, before I let you go, you took a test vote, right?

JACKSON LEE: No. What I'm saying is that we were collecting or analyzing votes, ready to go --

LEMON: And what -- did you -- was it a broad support? Did you get -- do you have enough people on board? Because there are reports that there are still some holdouts from Democrats here. There are holdouts from Democrats. It's not going to pass.

JACKSON LEE: I will say to you that we had the affirmation of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the president's agenda, his framework. We're going to move into next week. I believe, as we continue to count votes, I'm a chief deputy chip, we will continue to count votes, but I think the momentum is with us. People are excited about what was said by the president. When I said standing ovation, standing ovation to affirm his excellent presentation in our democratic --

LEMON: I hear you. I hear you.

JACKSON LEE: So, momentum is there. Yes, Don, I'm going to answer the question. I'll give you a simple answer. Yes, I think we will ultimately have the votes and we'll pass the president's agenda. That is what Democrats do. We govern and we govern by being transparent and letting everybody's voices be heard.

LEMON: Okay.

JACKSON LEE: Even though you trust the president and the speaker. I say to my good friend, yes, we do, and we look forward to the trust in the Senate and the Senate --

LEMON: We will have -- we will have you back and let's see next week. We'll see if it's still on your plate. I appreciate it.

JACKSON LEE: I would be delighted to be back.

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you, congresswoman.


LEMON: Thank you, congresswoman.

JACKSON LEE: Thank you. Good to be with you.

LEMON: So, if Democrats get this done, it will be massive. I'm going to ask the Transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg, how the president's agenda will change American lives. That's next.




LEMON: Democrats getting closer than ever to passing President Joe Biden's sweeping economic agenda. Progressives and moderates signaling broad agreement on a framework for the deal. But key disagreements pushing a vote on infrastructure back again tonight.

Joining me now, the Transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg. Secretary, thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us. There's broad agreement on this framework, but progressive are again the vote on infrastructure back even in the face of the president saying that his presidency and the party's future are on the line. Why can't Democrats get this done?

PETE BUTTIGIEG, SECRETARY OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Well, we are closer to getting this done than we have ever been, and that reflects, you know, almost a year of careful listening, negotiation, building this.

And the reason at the end of the day, I think, it will happen is because it has to. This isn't just for Democratic Party reasons. This is because America needs it. Definitely we need the transportation investments that I'm looking forward to delivering in my department.

But also, look at what's possible in this framework. I mean, dramatically transforming the ability to get preschool education in this country, a tax cut for tens of millions of families with kids, making it easier for people to get the care that they need and stay in their homes when they do it, not to mention what's in there for climate and just a fair tax code that asks corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share.

LEMON: We are going to talk about more of what's in the package. But with all due respect, though, the question is, what's taken -- Americans want to know what's taking so long. We've heard from you, we've heard from other Democrats, we've heard from the speaker of the House, oh, we're going to get this done, and we've been hearing it for months. The question is, why is it taking so long. Even at this final hour, there's still in fighting.

BUTTIGIEG: Look, crafting one of the largest and most consequential legislative packages in American history is not something that happens overnight. It's not something that happens easily or simply. But it is happening before our eyes.

And the president has shown the leadership to say, look, here are all the things that we've taken into account, we've listened to everybody, and now it's time to do this. It's time to act. The American people are ready, the president is ready, and we're counting on Congress to get it done.

LEMON: Let's talk about what is happening now, what is in it, and the social spending safety net here. The social proposal is still a whopping $1.75 trillion, focusing on care for families, as you mentioned, addressing the climate crisis, expanding access to health care and more.

When you add an infrastructure, if they pass it, it would be a massive investment in this country. If they can get this done, what kind of a change, do you think, this is going to bring to Americans' lives?

BUTTIGIEG: I think every American is going to see a difference. I mean, you're going to see it in better roads and bridges. You're going to see it in better airports. By some measures, we don't have one of the top 25 airports around the world here in America. We got to change that.

You'll see it in better port. Infrastructure ports don't get a lot of attention until a time like this where you see how important they are to our supply chains. Americans are going to see it in having more access to broadband internet. Getting lead out of the pipes that take water to families and children. Again, that's just the infrastructure part.

Thirty-five million Americans stand to benefit from the provisions around the child tax credit. That's the vast majority of anybody watching this interview right now who has kids, anybody who is thinking about preschool for their kids, anybody who has an elderly relative worried about home care and being able to afford it, millions of Americans being able to get their health care premiums reduced or get out of these gaps when it comes to Medicaid.


And of course, anybody planning to be around 10 or 20 or 30 years from now when we will either have succeeded or failed at tackling climate change. This is by far the biggest investment that our country has ever made in tackling climate change. It's not a moment too soon.

LEMON: Let's talk about what's not in the bill. Key democratic promises like paid family leave, free community college and more left on the cutting room floor. President Biden says that he's going to continue to fight. But realistically, how are you going to get those passed if you can't do it now?

BUTTIGIEG: Look, I'm a big believer in policies like paid family leave, so is the president. What I would say is not only are we going to keep fighting for them, but if we deliver this historic passage, if we pass that, then anything else that we try to do as an administration on the road ahead, we'll be doing from a position of even greater strength.

One thing that I think everybody from moderates who are coming from very close districts to progressives who are eager for us to make big transformative change, one thing everybody gets is that we need to deliver. You know, success begets success.

LEMON: Right.

BUTTIGIEG: But let's also be clear. I don't think we should describe any of this as half a loaf. This is a lot of loaves all at once. Any one of the provisions in the "build back better" framework would on its own represent a historic achievement. Taken together, this is truly massive. I mean, I think this could come to be known as the big deal.

Teddy Roosevelt had the square deal. FDR had the new deal. Getting all of these things delivered in one administration, in one Congress will be a very big deal for the American people and, of course, something that will demonstrate that democracy, as the president often says, can get things done and it's still the best way to govern a country in the face of some of these competing models that are out there around the world trying to say that they can do a better job delivering for their citizens.

LEMON: Secretary Buttigieg, thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

BUTTIGIEG: Thank you. Great being with you.

LEMON: So, the Fox propaganda network has long been spreading disinformation about everything from the coronavirus to January 6. Now, Fox host Tucker Carlson is hitting a new low, completely rewriting the history of the Capitol insurrection in a way that defies belief.




LEMON (on camera): Fox propaganda network host Tucker Carlson plugging a blatantly bogus new series featuring people who referred to January 6th as a false flag operation. That's on the heels of a "Wall Street Journal" op-ed from the former president that's riddled with lies. And no coincidence at all, both are under the umbrella of the Murdoch family.

Here is CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter.



BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This is Rupert Murdoch's media machine in action.

CARLSON: U.S. government has, in fact, launched a new war on terror. But it's not against al-Qaeda. It's against American citizens.

STELTER (voice-over): Tucker Carlson trying to scare people into resisting what he claims is a government assault.

TUCKER: This is an attack on core civil liberties and it's essential that you know what's happening and that you resistant.

STELTER (voice-over): What's really happening is that Carlson is helping Murdoch and Donald Trump rewrite history, turning January 6 into the new lost cause. This week, Murdoch's "Wall Street Journal" publishing a live (INAUDIBLE) from Trump full of debunked voter fraud claims.

A few hours later, Carlson urging viewers to watch his new streaming series.

TUCKER: It's called "patriot purge." We're proud of it.

STELTER (voice-over): It's an entire series stoking fear about the government trying to violently silence conservatives, showing someone being waterboarded, referencing Guantanamo Bay, and showing heavy weaponry.

TUCKER: They began to fight a new enemy in a new war on terror.

STELTER (voice-over): Carlson suggested that government is the big threat, excusing the rioters who threatened lawmakers, and then comes this.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): False flags have happened in this country. One of which may have been January 6th.

STELTER (voice-over): False flag, the implication that the insurrection was a setup, staged to make Trump voters look bad. This is the type of programming supported by Fox bosses Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch. Carlson is their biggest star and he's imagining a plot against the people.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): The domestic war on terror is here. It is coming after --

CARLSON: (voice-over): Half of the country. The helicopters have left Afghanistan, and now they've landed here at home.

STELTER (voice-over): Pernicious conspiratorial talk is now the norm on Murdoch TV. And all the in-house critics like Geraldo Rivera can do is tweet their objections. Journal reporters vented their frustrations about Trump's letter anonymously. And the editorial board defended it by saying, we trust our readers to make up their own minds about his statement.


LEMON: Wow! Joining me now, CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter. Brian, good evening to you. The CEO of the ADL has just sent a new letter to Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch. What is it saying?

STELTER: That's right.


Jonathan Greenblatt saying, where is the line for you and Fox? He says, how many more people need to die or how many more individuals must subscribe to groundless conspiracies before you say enough is enough? Greenblatt trying to link the on-air rhetoric that we see from Fox to the all-fair consequences that we hear about in the news.

But in the past, Murdoch and Fox have ignored Greenlight or just tried to smear him as some liberal agent. It seems, Don, at this point, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch are shameless. Rupert had a big 98 birthday tonight in midtown Manhattan, having a big party with his friends. He doesn't seem to have any regrets or any concern about the consequences of his content.

LEMON: Wow! And Carlson's propaganda project features a January 6 denier who talked about that day as a false flag operation. I mean, people died on January 6. We saw the video with our own eyes. Let's remember the Fox argued in court that no reasonable person should take what Carlson says as fact. The Murdochs have no concern over the credibility of their news organization?

STELTER (voice-over): They may have a lot more concern over the profits and loss. And the profits right now are still tremendous. When you talk about credibility, they do have credibility among a minority of the country, among a loud but relatively small base that is willing to tune in, that is excited to tune in at all hours and support Fox News and read the Wall Street Journal editorial page and support the other right-wing brands.

So, credibility is certainly within a very short supply. It's been negated among the majority of the country. But they have this base audience, this MAGA audience that is still absolutely committed.

And that, unfortunately, Don, is the dynamic here. They are trying to appeal to a shrinking but very loyal group of people in the same way that Trump is doing. The overlap here between Trump and Murdoch is very, very substantial. And so, they are aligned, they are allied whether they want to be or not.

I thought it was funny last week, Trump talked about launching a social network and launching Trump TV shows. I thought, he already has all those. He has Fox News.

LEMON: Yeah. Brian Stelter, thank you, sir. I appreciate it.

Jurors in the trial for George Floyd's murder speaking out, telling me in an exclusive interview what it was like to decide a case that reverberated around the world, why they say race was not a factor in their verdict.




LEMON: Derek Chauvin's trial for the murder of George Floyd, one of the most consequential and heartbreaking criminal trials of our time. In the last hour, you saw my exclusive interview with five of the jurors and two alternates and heard firsthand what unemotional and powerful experience it was for each of them.

Let's bring on now Laura Coates. She is our senior legal analyst who is also a former prosecutor. I mean, look, she has that credential, but also, she is from the Twin Cities. I'm interested to hear what she has to say.

Laura, good evening to you. These jurors, they consider the testimony. They went through all the videos and the language and the charges. As one of the jurors told me, there was no room for error at all. As I said, you're from the Twin Cities. What stood out to you? And you're also a prosecutor with a legal mind.

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know what, Don, when I was watching it, I really was watching on baited breath because I know that there are obviously always opportunities for appeal and the defense team is always going to try to look out for information that might be able to assist in the appeal to try to overturn a conviction of any kind. This is across the country in any case.

So, I watched wondering what the jurors would say. I have to tell you, I was extraordinarily, pleasantly surprised to find that this jury was able to actually, according to what they've said, follow the jury instruction, which was to weigh the evidence, not let emotion overrun even though it was a very emotional experience. Many of them, I think all of them, really talked about having just seen the video in its entirety for the first time inside that courtroom.

It reminded me a lot of what happened during the conversations about how are you going to be able to find a jury who is essentially unbiased by what they've seen, who can come in and objectively weigh the facts and the evidence that has given to them in that courtroom. They all talked about how they pointed to particular aspects of the testimony and the evidence that yielded their conclusion and guided them.

This is exactly what you want out of a jury in any criminal trial, particularly because it is so important for people to understand, when you got case of this high profile and magnitude, that the court of public opinion did not enter into a court of law. It seems, from what you're talking about, it did not.

LEMON: To a person, I said, it did not at all. The last thing they wanted to do was talk about this trial. Obviously, they couldn't. But they said that they just wanted to be human beings once they got home at night. They didn't even tell family members, you know, who didn't live with him that they were even on the jury.

They told me that they spent most of their time, Laura, on the second charge which is third-degree murder. They say the lightbulb moment for them was more of what Derek Chauvin didn't do. He didn't provide lifesaving measures when he knew George Floyd needed medical attention. Give me your legal analysis on this.

COATES: Well, remember, this case turned on the duty of care that was owed to somebody who was in police custody.


And you heard one of the jurors say, he was in the custody of the police, but never in the care. He unpacked that and think about the testimony, the really powerful testimony at the likes of Dr. Tobin who actually went through methodically the moment in time when life left the body of George Floyd.

You had one juror talk about, well, if there was any indication that an overdose was the issue, if drugs were involved, well, the officers had access to Narcan. That was not used. That piece of evidence, I think, for a lot of people may have been over their heads during the trial and not thought about it. But the jurors were so engaged and enthralled with what their duty was.

What struck me really was thinking about how each of those people expressed with no hesitation just how impactful and how traumatic watching the video was. They multiple said, the videos don't lie. One woman in the front row talked about the notion of as a mother, imagining what it was like for the children who were watching this. We know that it was through the lens, figuratively and literally, of a then 17-year-old, I believe, who actually captured the footage.

And what they said about, look, we would never even be here it were not for that footage. The trauma to all these adults, who each of them have their own personal journeys in life, they were so impacted. Imagine what those eyewitnesses and onlookers are dealing with.

I think, ultimately, what really surprised me, Don, when they said it wouldn't have made a difference for them if Derek Chauvin had testified. As a prosecutor, I felt wow because that's one of those moments you prepare for. As defense counsel, you prepare to figure out, what impact their clients' testimony can make?

And for the government's case in chief to be so overwhelming to carry that burden, if the testimony of the defendant would not have made a difference, that shows you the strength of the government's case.

LEMON (on camera): I want to play this for you because I think it was really important and it was surprising. The moment jurors talked about race. Watch this.


I mean, I think we got here because of systemic racism within the system, right, because of what's been going on. That's how we got to a courtroom in the first place. When it came down to all three verdicts, it was based on the evidence and the facts 100%.

UNKNOWN: Absolutely.

UNKNOWN: You're shaking your head. Tell us why.

UNKNOWN: (INAUDIBLE) the facts and the evidence and the jury instructions (INAUDIBLE). So, that's what we're following.

UNKNOWN: I agree. The fact of the matter, we are dealing with a murder case and we all decided that he's guilty of it regardless of (INAUDIBLE).


LEMON (on camera): The facts and the evidence here, Laura, they said that they honed in on the evidence. They firmly say race was not a factor. And then there was what's happening on the outside with protest and how the world looked at this case. I mean, wow, how's that for dichotomy, huh?

COATES: It's so intriguing. I mean, the idea of trying to compartmentalize at a time of such national interest, the fervor surrounding it, the protests.

I mean, remember, people often forget now that we are in October of 2021, that at the time that George Floyd was killed, we were really at the very infancy of the COVID-19 pandemic. People were turning out in troves in spite of the pandemic because of how strongly they felt.

We know that there were those who tried to hijack otherwise peaceful protests and that became a talking point to try to turn the tide of cases like this. But you see these jurors being quite steadfast in their resolve to have the evidence guide them. That's what you want for juries.

Of course, one thing that's really important to consider here is the prosecution did not introduce race or racism into this. They went to great lengths to talk about how this was not the entire law enforcement organism. It was not all police officers who were on trial. It was this police officer. It was Derek Chauvin who was on trial. And you even had officers who took the stand to give the daylight needed to make sure that was clear and testify against him.

You know, this is why it's so important to think about and why I think the prosecution as a whole in this case was so eloquent about this, because they needed to make it about this case even though to the world, it was (INAUDIBLE) of so much more.

LEMON: Yeah. Laura Coates, thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us. Excellent analysis as always. We will be right back.

COATES: Great interview, Don. Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you, Laura.




LEMON (on camera): Tonight, authorities in New Mexico focusing on crew members who handled the gun as they investigate the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Alec Baldwin's movie "Rust." We get the latest now from CNN's Josh Campbell in Santa Fe.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): Nobody has been cleared as of yet.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No one cleared, but the investigation is narrowing. The Santa Fe County sheriff telling the "Today" show he's now focused on two people involved in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by Alec Baldwin. Those two, Hannah Gutierrez and Dave Halls, two crew members who allegedly handled the firearm before it was given to Baldwin, according to authorities.

ADAN MENDOZA, SHERIFF, SANTA FE COUNTY: Those two individuals are obviously the focus of the investigation.


So, they're the focus.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Halls, the set's assistant director, told detectives he did not thoroughly inspect the weapon before giving it to Baldwin, according to court documents obtained by CNN. He could only remember seeing three rounds. The affidavit for search warrant reads, he advised he should have checked them all, but didn't.

In addition, the documents also show Gutierrez, the film's armorer, told detectives no live ammo is ever kept on set, a statement roundly contradicted by the sheriff.

MENDOZA: We regard this specific spent casing and recovered projectile to be the live round that was fired from the revolver by Mr. Baldwin. We have recovered what we believe to be possible additional live rounds on set.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): All is quiet today on the set just outside Santa Fe as we begin to learn new details about the factors prosecutors will be focusing on in determining whether to bring criminal charges, including how live rounds got on the set in the first place.

MARY CARMACK-ALTWIES, SANTA FE DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I can't believe that that happened.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): In a one-on-one interview with CNN, Santa Fe County's district attorney says despite crew members raising concerns about safety on the set, bringing charges may prove difficult.

CARMACK-ALTWIES: So, when we're talking about potentially charging someone or not charging someone, that's where we have to start our legal analysis is, can we get to that bar of somehow proving that reckless standard, that willful disregard? And it is -- it's just simply far too early to say that we can -- we can show it and to whom or on who we could show that.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Could someone who brought live rounds to a place where others around them didn't expect them to be, is that negligence, is that criminal?

CARMACK-ALTWIES: I don't know. I can't say if it's criminal negligence. I think there's certainly an argument that it's civil negligence at this point.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): At least one staff member on set has obtained legal representation.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): We need some help. A director and a cameraman -- camerawoman have been shot. I'm a script supervisor.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): The script supervisor who first called 911 is now represented by Gloria Allred, who says --

GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: My client wants to know what the truth is. She wants accountability. I'm ready to come to a conclusion that it is negligence, gross negligence, reckless endangerment from a civil standard, which only requires a preponderance of the evidence.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Josh Campbell, CNN, Santa Fe, New Mexico.


LEMON (on camera): Josh, thank you. And thank you for watching. Our coverage continues.