Return to Transcripts main page
Don Lemon Tonight
Victim Turned Into A Villain; Trump Allies Subpoenaed By January 6th Committee; Kyle Rittenhouse Made His First TV Interview; Climate Change Leaves Its Mark To Communities. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired November 22, 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): All right. That's it for us tonight. Thanksgiving week, already got turkey tongue. DON LEMON TONIGHT with the upgrade Laura Coates right now.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: You know what, I'm not going to take it personally that you stutter when you saw me. That's OK. I'm with it -- I'm with it still. I'm glad about it.
CUOMO: The intelligence alone knocks me speechless.
COATES: Not just tongue-tied. Wow. Now that's something.
CUOMO: Trip off the tongue. Must be this new piercing I have.
COATES: That's something. I really appreciate it.
CUOMO: That's a midlife crisis coming for you right there.
COATES: That, I don't know what to say. Is that happening right now, Chris, you know what, happy New Year in advance because wow.
CUOMO: That's the least of my problems.
COATES: I'd like to talk to you.
CUOMO: Hey, I got to ask you something.
CUOMO: I got to ask you something.
COATES: Not about a piecing, please. Let's go. Keep going.
CUOMO: No, never. The idea of all these trials, you know, it's not a coincidence. This is society on trial right now. These are really important questions. We haven't even gotten to the reproductive rights stuff yet with the Supreme Court in the Mississippi case. But Ahmaud Arbery -- Arbery, Rittenhouse, Wisconsin isn't a good law
the stand your ground vibe of self-defense laws make it easier to kill. This Ahmaud Arbery case, though, if those, now the one guy, Roddie, the buddy whose lawyer calls him an idiot basically, that guy should have within a witness in this trial, he should have turned by the state.
But what happens, Laura, if they don't get the dad, they don't get Roddie and they get the man who shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery but not on the highest charges? Is that justice?
COATES: I would say if I'm the family of Ahmaud Arbery, anything short of a full conviction after the video people have seen would not feel like justice to me. I watched his mother in that courtroom having to leave the courtroom, having to endure what she's gone through but eventually, it will be in the hands of jurors who are going to decide where the prosecution met its burden.
But that videotape and what we've seen. I mean, this is personal to me in the sense that every time if my husband says he wants to go out for a run, Ahmaud Arbery crosses my mind. The idea of just running, the idea of debating whether to get a treadmill inside your house to be able to run outside as a black man in this country is a debate in conversation happening all across this country for far too many.
We talked about the debate and the conversation with your kids. There are right now these conversations between people who love one another who are asking what will keep them safe. And so, you talk about justice coming down to just one trial, justice has to be more expansive.
The idea of what it's like to not have this fear, this feeling of inevitability that you're going to have a confrontation that has nothing to do with anything you've done just how somebody else perceives you. I think I'll define justice when that happened when I can have a conversation with my husband, he goes out for a run and I don't hold my breath for the entire time.
CUOMO: I can't wait to hear how that defense counsel justifies describing him as having long dirty toenails.
COATES: There's the justification. There's -- don't hold your breath for that. There is no reason to bring it up. I haven't tried to vilify again in some odd way.
CUOMO: They know why.
COATES: They know why. And you know why. And I know why. We'll see if 12 jurors know why.
CUOMO: Laura Coates, nobody is going to cover it better than you, that's why you're the upgrade.
COATES: Thank you. I appreciate you. Have a good night.
CUOMO: You, too. COATES: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. I'm Laura Coates in for Don.
And we got headline news on multiple big stories tonight. Jury deliberations expected to begin tomorrow in the trial of three white men accused of chasing down and killing Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old unarmed black man running through a Georgia neighborhood.
The crime ugly. It's what we heard from the defense was ugly, too. One attorney disparaging Ahmaud Arbery's appearance after another infamously said he wanted more, his word, bubbas on the jury. No black pastors in the courtroom and compared a prayer rally in support of the victim's family to a lynching.
That as the committee investigating the riot at the United States Capitol on January 6th issues a new round of subpoenas to the former president's allies including Roger Stone and conspiracy theorists Alex Jones.
Plus, in the latest in the civil trial against the organizers at the deadly Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville. I want to go right to the trial of three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery.
CNN's Martin Savidge has that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As the trial reaches its critical final days, protests outside the Glenn County courthouse have grown in size and volume. For the first time, armed citizens with semiautomatic weapons were seen patrolling the perimeter of the courthouse grounds.
While inside the courthouse, attorneys began making their closing arguments. Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and William Roddie Bryan face murder charges and potential life in prison for the killing of 25-year-old jogger Ahmaud Arbery.
LINDA DUNIKOSKI, LEAD PROSECUTOR: This case is really about assumptions and driveway decisions. They made their decision to attack Ahmaud Arbery in their driveways because he was a black man running down the street.
SAVIDGE: And reminding the jury the definition of a citizen's arrest according to the law.
DUNIKOSKI: They never, ever said on February 23rd, 2020 that they were doing a citizen's arrest. A citizen's arrest is for emergency situations when the crime really happens right in front of you. They never said that. None of the defendants saw Mr. Arbery commit any crime that day.
SAVIDGE: Travis McMichael's defense attorney trying to drive home the argument that his client was simply acting out of civic duty of responsibility. JASON SHEFFIELD, TRAVIS MCMICHAEL'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Travis
McMichael spent almost a decade of his life learning about duty and responsibility.
SAVIDGE: Arguing to the jury his quote, "duty was necessary that February day."
SHEFFIELD: His neighborhood was being covered in suspicious persons, in extra watches, in neighborhood patrols, in concerned citizens.
SAVIDGE: Insisting Arbery's presence was suspicious.
SHEFFIELD: There is no evidence whatsoever that Satilla Shores was a place of exercise and jogging for Ahmaud Arbery.
SAVIDGE: Gregory McMichael's attorney continue the team Arbery was in the neighborhood up to no good, suggesting that was obvious by his appearance.
LAURA HOGUE, GREGORY MCMICHAEL'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores. He has khaki shorts with no socks to cover his long dirty toenails.
SAVIDGE: Laura Hogue repeated over and over that Arbery was to blame for his own death.
HOGUE: He was a reoccurring nighttime intruder and that is frightening and unsettling.
SAVIDGE: And William Bryan's attorney Kevin Gaugh arguing there wouldn't even be a trial were it not for his client, his cell phone and the video he took.
KEVIN GOUGH, WILLIAM BRYAN'S ATTORNEY: Roddie Bryant didn't shoot anyone. At the time of the shooting, he was some distance back. He was armed only with his cell phone. Isn't it time, isn't it time, ladies and gentlemen, that we send Roddie Bryan home?
SAVIDGE: But the growing protests outside the court threatened the proceedings. The presence of demonstrators with guns had Bryan's attorney Kevin Gaugh again motioning for a mistrial. It was denied. The judge did say he decided to move the jury deliberations to an interior room of the courthouse to keep jurors out of sight and earshot of the demonstrations.
After court recess for the day, attorney Lee Merritt said the Arbery family appreciated the support from protesters but urged them not to go so far as to possibly interfere with the trial itself.
LEE MERRITT, ATTORNEY FOR ARBERY FAMILY: The community's presence here has been a great encouragement to the family, but we cannot allow anything to disrupt justice in this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: The family of Ahmaud Arbery and their attorneys were absolutely outraged after court. They could not believe that the victim in this case was somehow turned into the villain by the defense attorneys in their closing arguments. Not only blaming Ahmaud Arbery for his own death but then the way that they physically described him in court they just could not believe it.
Meanwhile, closing arguments will continue on the part of the prosecution tomorrow and yes, the jury is expected to get the case to begin deliberations. Laura?
COATES: Thank you, Martin. I want to bring in Michael Moore. He's a former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, and Joey Jackson, he's a criminal defense attorney and CNN legal analyst.
I'm glad to have you both.
I can't help but shake my head when I hear the description of how the defense tried to characterize the victim in this case.
Michael, let me bring you in. Just the prosecution's rebuttal that's left tomorrow, then this case in the hands of the jury as you know. I wonder what you think of the closing arguments today and which side do you think was most effective?
MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: I'm glad to be with you, Laura. Thanks for having me on.
You know, I really think the prosecution carried the day in the arguments. I think she was methodical on when she kind of went through dismantling the argument of self-defense. I wasn't particularly impressed with the defense closing arguments, of course as you know sometimes you dance with what bring you when you're sitting on that side of the aisle.
I thought the efforts to make Arbery out as somehow like he was a villain in the neighborhood was a mistake and I thought that talking about the neighborhood sort of in this way of we want our neighborhood the way we want it where we do things and saying as long as the neighborhood is us, I thought that was probably an overreach.
I recognize that they've got to defend the clients. And let me address sort of the toenail comment. I know some of the lawyers in the case. They're friends of mine and good lawyers, and so I know them personally and I don't make assumptions about their motive or their bias racial feelings based on that because I know them not to be racist.
And I think -- but I do think the toenail comment was over the edge. The only thing that I can think of and he's had me scratching my head because they are friends of mine. I know them. Is why would you say this? What could possibly be the motive?
I'll throw this out as an alternative, it doesn't really make this less palatable but let me throw it out. If maybe during the jury selection the defense lawyers learn that some of the jurors or a juror or just one because you just need to have one was a runner, was an avid runner, marathon runner, half marathon, whatever it is, they would be particularly in tune with sort of the care that runners take with their feet and what can happen and, you know, this kind of thing. That's what the other thing --
COATES: Michael, I'm sorry, I'm shaking my head because I just -- it's not even passing the straight face test for me. It doesn't -- you know, I know you're trying. I know you said you know them personally but you know, the idea of them not wearing socks, I see white people run without socks on in khaki shorts all the time.
Maybe it's a Washington, D.C. thing. I'm also from Minnesota. I see people running in those shoes that don't even have the laces on them, Joey, the ones that just have your feet in them, it's like a little foot on top of your low -- a monster foot. I just don't see any justification to how that would move the needle. But I do hear you when you say that this is part of sort of the attempt at a defense.
But Joey, you're a defense attorney here and I got to ask you. You know, what did you make of the self-defense claim here? I mean, only one of them took the stand. They didn't really call any other witnesses. You have them saying that he didn't even feel threatened by Ahmaud Arbery, they're shouting or even grabbing the gun that was also impeach in that part. What did you make of the defense?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Laura, good to be with you. First, is to the toenail comment. I thought it was deplorable, I thought it was reprehensible and I think in this particular trial, it's part of a larger pattern. Right? You have to look initially, Laura, at the 11 to one mix in the jury. And let's not be stereotypical.
We know that people can make independent judgments irrespective of how they look, black, white, who they love and where they pray. But the reality is that it seemed to be systematic with respect to the exclusion by the defense from the outset. And so, it's further troubling.
And then you go into the courtroom I know this isn't your question, Laura, but then you have one particular attorney who's constantly besmirching the integrity of black pastors and we don't want them here, et cetera, and then you follow it up, follow it up with an attorney who is completely dehumanizing and revictimizing the person who is dead.
And in addition to that, Laura, you listen to the closing carefully, it's our neighborhood. And we have to keep our neighborhood. And there were interlopers coming to our neighborhood. It was clear to me who she was playing to and I think that's reprehensible.
Yes, I am a defense attorney and I'm glad to be but I think cases have to be about issues, cases have to be about justifications, cases have to be about a narrative that's resonating not predicated upon race but what's predicating upon facts. Very quickly to your point, I thought the defense fell flat in every
regard. I thought the prosecutor really brought it home where citizen's arrest law what? We don't have a crime here that he's committing. We don't have it certainly in your presence or in immediate knowledge of.
There was nothing with respect to him being in that construction site for 12 days before that. How's that immediate knowledge. I think she completely nullify that by showing there was no justification for chasing him.
Last point, she then nullified the issue of self-defense by pointing out the exceptions. With respect to self-defense, you don't get it if you are the initial of wrestle chasing someone. You don't get it if you provoke someone.
You certainly don't get it if you're committing a felony. So, I think the defense had a really uphill battle in addressing that but address it in the manner in which they did, I mean, listen. We have to play fair in this ethics in our -- in what we do, Laura.
You know that. Michael, you know that. We fight hard for our clients. We do everything we can within the bounds of the law but I think you really transcend that. You call your character into question when you say things like that that are just reprehensible. And I don't care what justification was provided, it's not enough for me.
LEMON: And Michael, I'll give you the final word here on this point. Your point earlier is well taken. The idea that you have to dance with who bring you. Right?
MOORE: Right. Sure.
COATES: I know that phrase. And the idea that they work with the facts they actually have. But you know, I know as a prosecutor that I would relish the opportunity to have my rebuttal be the first thing and the last thing they hear tomorrow before they deliberate. That's a good strategy for this prosecution. Will it be enough, do you think?
MOORE: It's always good to be -- to have your argument closest to the jury deliberations. I think, you know, you want them -- the proximity of the argument to the time that they go out to think about it is important, you know? But let me say this.
I mean, the defense attorneys and I have from the outset of this case said that there should be convictions and I still believe there should be convictions. But I also appreciate the fact that people have to defend folks. And that's not always an easy job and sometimes you push things.
But nobody expects when the defense is self-defense to extol the virtues of the victim. And that maybe reprehensible but that's reality. And when folks are sitting on their facing life in prison because of this, I'm sure that the lawyers are trying to, you know, use what they can what arguments to combat it.
Here I imagine they were trying to say he's not a jogger through the neighborhood. He's been out here before. He's here for no other reason. He's not where -- I mean, whatever it is. And again, we can disagree with it personally and I do and that's what I've tried to say.
JACKSON: The problem, Michael, briefly, there is a manner to do that. We know in this profession it's very difficult and we know we represent people in some very extreme circumstances but you have to thread that needle. Yes, you have to defend your climate. Yes, you have to say you're an immediate fear. Yes, you have to say that there were issues in the neighborhood that were amiss and I reasonably believe that this was the issue, but to try to completely dehumanize someone, what does nails or anything else? I just don't get it.
And so, look, you know, I'm going to win cases, I'm going to lose cases but I think I'm going to try the best I can to do what's ethically proper and not to bury and nail the coffins of the dead and I just thought that there is very little justification and all due deference to you knowing these people. The reality is that I'm a little appalled and I'm feeling pretty badly for my profession on the defense that you would stoop that low.
COATES: Well, look, let me tell you both this. Obviously, your points are both well taken. Ahmaud Arbery according to the prosecution was fighting for his life and the defense attorney is using this tactic to fight for their client's life. But it's up to the jury now, not just us to talk about this.
And I want to bring in -- thank you, fellas. Nice talking to both you and hearing your insight.
MOORE: Good to be with you, Laura.
COATES: I want to turn to Robert Hirschhorn who is a jury and trial consultant. I'm curious to take -- to hear his take because of course, ultimately it will go into the hands of the jury. And as much as I can be appalled or Joey or Michael or anyone can have their view points about what precisely was said at the closing or any other state in time, the key is what did the jurors cumulatively understand and how will they take it?
So, I want to ask you, Robert, and welcome. I'm glad that you're here. I really want to start with what happened at the end of the day? As we're talking, picking up on that. The jury decided that they wanted to hear the prosecution's rebuttal tomorrow morning rather than continue on for several more hours tonight.
And I'm wondering in your experience, I know as a prosecutor I want what I'm saying what they hear and deliberate. But what does this tell you about the advantage or what they may be thinking about when the jury hears them? ROBERT HIRSCHHORN, JURY & TRIAL CONSULTANT: Yes, absolutely. Laura,
thank you for having me. I want you to know I really enjoyed watching you grow from being a guest to a guest-host. And you're doing a great job, Laura.
COATES: Well, thank you.
HIRSCHHORN: So, let's talk. You got it. So, let's talk about this jury. Lawyers love closing arguments but the reality is it's the least important part of the trial, most jurors have made up their mind by now. I think what happened with this is they wanted to go home. They've had enough. They know they weren't going to reach a verdict today.
By the way, Laura, I think it's going to be a verdict that's coming in before Thanksgiving. So, they wanted to, you know, have the night to rest because they know they've got a big day starting tomorrow. I think it's advantage Roddie that his lawyer got to go last.
Because remember, remember the theme about Roddie is, the only thing that guy shot was the video. The video that but for that video, you've got no case here.
So, I think the prosecution is going to have a big advantage in the morning because she's going to get two hours, unincumbered, no response from the defense, that's good. But I got the tell you, Laura, I think that with respect to a couple of the defendants, I think the state has some problems with their case.
I think they've got problems as I've said with the, what I called the filmer, you know, with Roddie. I think they've got problems with the dad's case. Travis' case, the shooter, I think that's the strongest case that the prosecution has but I want to say just to everybody --
COATES: Wait, let me ask you. Hold on.
HIRSCHHORN: Go ahead.
COATES: Before you get into that, can I, because I do from the perspective of the jury, that's why I'm why I'm curious about in terms of what the shortcomings might be, because, you know, you're really jury jury consultant. And I'm wondering --
HIRSCHHORN: Thank you.
COATES: -- what the jury thinks about this. It consist of 11 white jurors and only one black juror. There's no question of course that race is a huge component of this case and the court of public opinion, certainly were on the backdrop of why he was actually pursued for as long.
So how do you think the jury is going to address the role that race may have played? I use the term may have played loosely in Arbery's killing knowing that they're sitting after this for a federal hate crime prosecution as well?
HIRSCHHORN: Yes, so they've got one black juror in there with them. I think that black juror is going to have a lot of power back in that jury room. OK? Because those other jurors and by the way, I want to be clear with everybody. Those defense lawyers, we may think what they did was reprehensible but they're not playing to the court of public opinion. They're playing to that jury and that courtroom.
HIRSCHHORN: They're playing to those 11 white jurors that are in there and I'm going to talk truth to power right now, Laura. Are you ready? They wanted bubbas and they were talking to bubbas. That pathetic line about the dirty toenails, that was straight dog whistle is all that was.
They are playing to that jury because what they're trying to do is get the jury to feed into stereotypes that they have that they want to keep their homes safe and we got to be careful about people that come into our neighborhoods. And the only point I want to make is I really hope the prosecutor says tomorrow close your eyes.
And if those three men, if the man that was running was white and the three men that were chasing after him were black, what would your verdict be? Because it ought to be the exact same in either case.
So, the defense lawyers are playing to that jury. That's all they care about is that jury. The prosecutors, they want to impassion that jury with the idea that the law has to be treat everybody the same. But here's the reality, Laura.
People that are gun owners and people that are conservative are much more lenient and much more accepting of self-defense and that's the -- that's the mountain that the prosecution is going to have to fight against in terms of Roddie, the filmer and the dad. In terms of the son who shot the man, we'll see.
I think he's going to be convicted of something. We'll see what it is.
COATES: We'll see what it is and we'll see if you're right. Remember the voir dire process as you well know probably contemplated each of these aspects of it and the idea of asking questions to surmise somebody's ability to be impartial with perhaps a wink.
Thank you for your time, Robert Hirschhorn. I appreciate it.
HIRSCHHORN: Thank you, Laura.
COATES: The January 6th committee issues a new round of subpoenas targeting Trump allies including Roger Stone and Alex Jones. What do they know? And what is the committee looking to find out from them?
COATES (on camera): More subpoenas tonight from the House committee investigating the capitol insurrection setting their sights squarely on the stop the steal rally planners including Trump allies Roger Stone and Alex Jones.
Joining me now to discuss, CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.
Nice to see, Andrew. A lot going on tonight and the committee is issuing subpoenas as you know for five people including Roger Stone, Alex Jones, two pushers by the way of the big lie. So, what does this tell you about where their investigation is truly focused, Andrew?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Laura, I think it's clear that the committee is really focused not so much on the mechanics of the assault on the capitol but rather the planning, the recruiting, the raising of funds and the decisions that were made in the days leading up to January 6th. A lot of that focus is on the activity and the individuals around the so-called war room at the Willard Hotel. Many of these folks fall into that category.
COATES: So, kind of the premeditation leading up, but not a coincidence January 6th happened. That's the theme of this and the committee saying, by the way, that Roger Stone was reportedly he used the Oath Keepers as personal security guards while he was in Washington, D.C. And that one of them of course has been indicted for involvement in the capitol riot.
So, this is an example of what they're trying to figure out, maybe a possible connection between the rally planners and what was going on, on Capitol Hill?
MCCABE: Absolutely, because you know that gets to the very heart of the issue with the planners is, was violence ever a part of the plan? You know, we know all the different steps that the Trump administration went through to kind of, you know, to try to force the vice president not to certify the election and to mount their legal attacks and all these other things.
So, the question is when they -- when all of those efforts fail, was the final step that they were prepared to take actually inspiring and driving the violent assault on the capitol? Was that part of the plan? It will be interesting to see if they can peel them for that.
COATES: And whether a subpoena ultimately lies for the former president himself Donald Trump. Andrew McCabe, thank you for your time.
MCCABE: Thanks, Laura.
COATES: Lots of trials happening right now that have the entire country watching as you well know. But the one without cameras in the courtroom could just have the biggest implications for democracy and civility in this country. I'll make my case next.
COATES (on camera): A jury in Virginia will continue deliberations tomorrow in the civil trial over the 2017 unite the right rally. This is not a criminal trial where the prosecution is required to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. It's a civil trial where plaintiffs must prove their case by preponderance of evidence, meaning it's more likely than not that the defendants engaged in wrongdoing.
Ten plaintiffs have sued 10 white supremacists and nationalists' organizations and 14 individuals claiming that the violence that occurred over two days in August of 2017 was no coincidence. In fact, the plaintiffs believe that the planners of the deadly unite the right rally actually conspired to commit race and religious-based violence and hopes of a civil war.
Plaintiffs will include town residents and protesters injured in the clashes now seek to hold the defendants financially accountable to the tune of millions for their physical, emotional and psychological harm.
Now unlike the successful criminal prosecution of James Alex Fields, Jr. who is serving two consecutive life sentences for plowing his car into a group of protesters killing Heather Heyer and injuring many others.
This case has not been brought by prosecutors, instead, this case is brought by private litigants under a 150-year-old law called the Ku Klux Klan Act. The law was enacted after the Civil War to allow private citizens to sue other citizens for civil rights violations in federal court. But like a prosecutor, they must still prove their case.
The defendants claim that they were simply exercising their first amendment right to protest because law enforcement failed to maintain order and they only reacted to violence, they did not initiate it. Well, the jury will be back tomorrow morning. For now, a third day of deliberations and those 12 jurors they have been asked to decide whether there were very fine people on both sides or just right and wrong.
Next, Tucker Carlson getting Kyle Rittenhouse's first interview as two commentators quit the network citing his quote, unquote, "reporting." Stay with us.
COATES (on camera): Kyle Rittenhouse's first interview airing tonight, he's giving the exclusive to Fox's Tucker Carlson. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KYLE RITTENHOUSE, ACQUITTED OF MURDER CHARGES: This case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race. It had to do be right to self-defense. I'm not a racist person. I support the BLM movement. I support peacefully demonstrating. And I believe there needs to be change. I believe there is a lot of prosecutorial misconduct, not just in my case but in other cases.
And it's just amazing to see how -- how much a prosecutor can take advantage of somebody like, if they did this to me, imagine what they could have done to a person of color who doesn't maybe have the resources I do or is not widely publicized like my case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES (on camera): And it's not just tonight's interview, the Fox team followed Rittenhouse throughout the trial for what they're calling a documentary.
Joining me now, CNN senior media reporter, Oliver Darcy, and CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams.
I'm glad to have you have you both gentlemen here. Elliot, let me start with you. Because I first want to know what do you think about what Rittenhouse said there?
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Look, he just shouldn't be talking. If I were his attorney and I think any sound attorney would just advise him to keep his mouth shut for a couple reasons. Number one, he's going to be sued for wrongful death or any other number of things falling from the events.
Now look, he may believe that he has a righteous sort of moral or political case to be made here but at the end of the day he's going to face a number of lawsuits and everything he says on the record here ultimately can come back to bite him.
So, number one there is -- he has a huge interest in not talking. You know, number two --
COATES: You know, on that point, Elliot, though, you know, his attorney told Chris Cuomo and saying the interview that he's not worried about civil suits. Is he just being two glass half full or naive or just trying to essentially downplay it?
WILLIAMS: I think -- I think he's essentially downplaying it. Any attorney knows that an individual who commits an act of homicide, and I don't say that as an insult. He acknowledged that he did it, is going to face those kinds of civil suits.
And then again, by being followed around by a camera crew, he might have waived attorney client privilege for anytime somebody else was in the room when he's talking to his attorney. So, there is all kinds of legal risks to him here and it's pretty unwise to take that on. COATES: You know, Oliver, to Elliot's point the idea of just advising
your client not to speak. I mean, Kyle Rittenhouse's own attorney did not approve of the access that Fox was getting. Listen to this, Oliver.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK RICHARDS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I did not approve of that. I threw them out of the room several times. They were -- and I'm not suggesting that Fox or some other network. I don't think a film crew is appropriate for something like this but the people who were raising the money to pay for the experts and to pay for the attorneys were trying to raise money and that was part of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES (on camera): Oliver, tell me more about that. What do you know?
OLIVER DARCY, CNN MEDIA REPORTER: Yes. I mean, it's certainly intriguing that his attorney is coming out and saying that he was not comfortable with some of these Fox cameras but if you did watch Tucker Carlson's previous coverage of him, it sort of makes sense, right?
Tucker Carlson has bene extremely sympathetic to Rittenhouse's case and if you watched his interview tonight you saw that, you know, he not compliments him and calls him a sweet kid, those are Tucker Carlson's words, not mine. But he is complimenting him and lavishing praise on him. And not on excusing his actions on that night but really saying that we need more people like Kyle Rittenhouse in society.
And so, it's, you know, not too surprising I guess from a public relations standpoint if you're handing out an interview to someone, you know, Tucker Carlson has the biggest microphone on the right. He's certainly talking to an audience that is very sympathetic to Kyle Rittenhouse's case. And he's giving and painting Kyle Rittenhouse in the most sympathetic light possible.
COATES: And of course, a double edge sword comes along with that. Right, Elliot? But I mean, here is more from their interview because he's explaining what he said to police right after by the way he killed two people and injured a third. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RITTENHOUSE: I said hey, I just had to shoot somebody. I just had to shoot somebody and then they say go home and I didn't know this until --
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Go home?
RITTENHOUSE: Yes. The officer said to go home. I don't think he knew what happened or heard me. There was a lot of chaos going on. CARLSON: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES (on camera): I mean, Elliot, he says his case is not about race but just looking at this objectively, police tell him to go home. I mean, this says something about the justice system to you, doesn't it, Elliot?
WILLIAMS: Yes. I mean, to some extent. It's just, we're seeing this playing out down in Brunswick, Georgia right now and sort of the freedom and flexibility that people have flowing from what the reason is. It's hard to envision a scenario in which a young 17-year-old black kid with an AR-15 is treated the same way but look, that's where we are.
He's spoken quite clearly, Kyle Rittenhouse has about how kind the police were to him. And so yes, it does say something quite profound about the justice system.
COATES: Well, I mean, Elie -- I mean, Oliver, excuse me, I've got to ask you speaking of Tucker Carlson and what his reaction was. There is two Fox contributors who quit the network over Tucker's January 6th quote, unquote, "documentary" that was just a conspiracy latent push for the big lie for being honest. What are they saying?
DARCY: Yes. I mean, this is remarkable. Because these are not only two conservative Fox News contributors but they are really the backbone for some time of the intellectual conservative media movement. And so for them to quit says something about where Fox has gone where these two people have been sidelined.
They're no longer comfortable working at an organization like Fox and it's because according to them, of Tucker Carlson and the things that he's promoting on his program. It's beyond promoting conservative policies but he's really promoting things like one-sixth truthism these days and that makes them uncomfortable and they said they had to quit over it.
COATES: Gentlemen, thank you. I appreciate your time.
WILLIAMS: Take care.
DARCY: Thank you.
COATES: Rising sea levels, extreme weather pollution, disease, these are threats to the whole world but some minority low-income communities in this country are facing much higher levels of threat. CNN goes there, next.
COATES (on camera): The climate crisis, extreme weather and rising rates of disease from pollution are problems that potentially affect all Americans, but often it's low-income communities and people of color who bear the brunt of those growing threats. And some areas of Louisiana are a prime example.
Here is CNN's Rene Marsh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: It's been nearly three months since hurricane Ida, a category four storm slammed Louisiana. Yet, this small black community of Ironton looks like the storm hit yesterday.
UNKNOWN: They got people who lost everything, and they don't know where they are going to get the next meal from.
MARSH: What is that like knowing that every hurricane season, you don't know if you're going to lose everything?
WILKIE DECLOUET, IRONTON FESIDENT: You know, I've never been to war, but I can imagine that a young man who has been to war, and dealing with post-traumatic stress because this is a form of post-traumatic stress.
MARSH: Steps away from the destroyed homes, caskets with the dead inside sit under the warm Louisiana sun. The state-run cemetery task force has not been returned to their resting place after floodwaters forced them from their grave sites.
CASSANDRE WILSON, DECEASED FAMILY MEMBERS DISPLACED: It's heartbreaking to see that no one really trying to put them back.
MARSH: Ironton is in Plaquemines Parish where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico, south of New Orleans. Much of the area is below sea level and it has the dubious distinction of being one of the fastest vanishing places on the planet due to climate change induced sea level rise.
A recent EPA study found that minorities are more likely to live on land endangered by rising sea levels and more likely to die from extreme temperatures. But extreme weather is not the only dangers, a drive along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge reveals an 85-mile stretch of more than 100 petroleum and chemical companies that have sandwiched whole neighborhoods while spewing harmful emissions, more vulnerable to climate change and more exposed to pollutants.
It's the proverbial one-two punch EPA administrator Michael Regan ever came to see as the Biden administration promises to address environment injustices and minority and low-income communities.
The general feeling here is that their government has failed them.
MICHAEL REGAN, ADMINISTRATOR, EPA: I think the state and federal government and local government has failed the people in terms of effectively communicating and being transparent and offering some levels of relief. MARSH: Failing people like 81-year-old Robert Taylor, a life-long
resident of Louisiana's Cancer Alley, where the nation's highest cancer rate is concentrated.
ROBERT TAYLOR, RESIDENT & ACTIVIST, CANCER ALLEY: We want him to stop the slaughter. This is outright slaughter.
MARSH: These are all of Taylor's family members diagnosed with cancer. Almost everyone here has a cancer story.
REGAN: When you look at how much industry is here, and the suffering that we are seeing, there has to be a correlation.
MARSH: The state has not declared this a public health emergency. Are you prepared to go against that?
REGAN: We are going to assess the data, and we are going to follow the facts, and we are going to follow the science and we are going to follow the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARSH: Well, Laura, the people within these Louisiana communities did get a commitment to fix the decades of environmental injustice, but what we did not hear from the administrator is a specific time line for when he will have deliverables for these communities, and these people within the community are very clear that they want to see action, and there is a level of urgency.
As far as the caskets in the story here, we did reach out the state about the issue, but we did not get a response. Laura?
COATES: Rene Marsh, thank you. And thank you for watching our coverage. It continues.