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Don Lemon Tonight

NYT: Trump Was Warned Last Year Of Potential Legal Peril Over Documents; Questions Surround Donald Trump And QAnon; Catastrophic Hurricane Fiona Cripples Puerto Rico; Paducah School Shooter Makes Plea For Parole After 25 Years In Prison; Signs Of Torture Are Inside A Liberated Russian Detention Center; World Bids Farewell To Queen Elizabeth II As A New Era Begins. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired September 19, 2022 - 23:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Your reaction to this new "New York Times" reporting that Trump knew there could be legal problems if he didn't return government documents but refused to anyway? What do you think?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Don, you and I have been talking quite a bit over the last several weeks about the importance of proving knowledge and intent.

As I described on the show, one of the most difficult tasks for prosecutors is you have to establish beyond a reasonable doubt, not just that the documents were there, that is fairly easy to establish, but that Donald Trump knew they were there and that he had a criminal intent.

Well, if you have a reliable person, a lawyer like Eric Herschmann, saying, I told him to his face you have these documents, you shouldn't have them, they could get you in trouble, well, A, that shows Donald Trump knew he had the documents, and B, it shows that he knew holding on to that was wrong in some respect. So, that could be a really crucial piece of evidence, Don.

LEMON: John, according to this report after his conversation with Eric Herschmann, Trump returned 15 boxes to the National Archives but held on to other documents with the highest security classification. Does that raise the stakes in this investigation?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I think it does. As Elie points out, the intent issue has always been a question mark. We didn't know what he knew and whether he realized this act was going on and was a willful act which required under the statute.

But now, this reporting indicated that apparently, the conversation, they don't know precisely the day, it's late 2021. So, Herschmann is not talking to him as his lawyer but he's probably trying to give him some good, friendly advice because Trump is, at that point, in a hefty discussion with the National Archives. He's trying to get documents back. So, it's after that, in January of the next year, that he starts returning 15 boxes that have 184 classified documents. That's when it goes to the Department of Justice and an investigation starts.

So, this reporting, we don't know, you know, why it has come up now, but this is certainly a key witness. Herschmann was a witness in front of the January 6 Committee, we had clips of him, he's a very strong witness, and apparently, he warned Trump, don't hold on to these documents, which would be deadly testimony.

LEMON: Yeah. Elie, this all is coming when we're just hours away from special master, Judge Raymond Dearie, meeting face to face with Trump's legal team and the DOJ. Both sides submitted letters to Dearie tonight. What are they saying? What can we expect from the preliminary conference, you think?

HONIG: The most interesting thing, Don, is it looks like Donald Trump's team has been called out on this claim that he declassified documents. Trump has been saying that publicly, of course, many times over. But the lawyers, conspicuously, have declined to say that unambiguously in court. And what it looks like here is the special master has given the parties a draft plan. Here's how we are going to go about this.

And in the letter that Donald Trump's team just filed a couple hours ago, they say, well, judge, in your draft plan, you say that we have to specify which documents we believe Donald Trump declassified. We don't want to do that right now. We don't think it's the right time for that. There will be a later time when we will need to do that.

Now, that sort of conspicuous, why are they being so wishy-washy about that? They argue, look, procedurally, they will come a time for this in the future, but let's also keep in mind, as a lawyer, you have an ethical duty, you cannot lie to the court. So, if you believe that your client did not declassified documents, you cannot say that he declassified documents.

So, they're going to really -- they're really sort of in a corner here and they're going to have to answer questions about that tomorrow at the hearing.

LEMON: Okay. Wow! Okay, so, we're also just hours away from the Trump legal team's deadline to respond. The DOJ appealed to continue accessing classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. John, do you think the 11th Circuit will intervene?

DEAN: I think the 11th Circuit got to make decision. They do have to resolve the case. The stay has been appealed to the 11th Circuit. We don't know what the panel is yet. It will be a three-judge panel initially. If they lose, they might take it to the full panel. It's not a friendly circuit for the government. It's very conservative, a lot of Trump appointees.

But they're going to have to make decision. And the question is, will they continue to let the classified documents be a part of this body of information or will they follow the government request and extract those and take them out and say, under no circumstances will Trump ever get these documents back, they belong to the government, nor is there any executive privilege with these? And that would resolve that issue and take that out of the special master's hands.

LEMON: But, Elie, if the appeals court is going to intervene, it needs to do it pretty soon because the special master will review the classified documents first. So, what is the play here?


How do you see this going?

HONIG: Yeah, there's an interesting sort of play going on with calendar and timing. Keep in mind, Don, we're six weeks out already from the search. If DOJ had not objected to the special master, the special master could have theoretically already been through these documents.

So, yes, I think the 11th Circuit has to act quickly here. But as John Dean just said, we are going to start with a three-judge panel. But whoever loses that can then ask the entire circuit to rule. And whether they do that or not, whoever loses can then ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.

LEMON: Oh, my gosh.

HONIG: So, by pursuing this appeal, I understand that DOJ really, really did not like the ruling on the special master, especially on classified documents. I understand the DOJ felt like they had to protect an institutional interest and fight this, but they are contributing to the delay by pursuing this appeal if the give and take is a strategic decision that DOJ made.

LEMON: I'll get your take, John -- Elie, I should say -- on Tom Barrack, assistant to -- former assistant to President Trump -- adviser, I should say. So, this judge is overseeing the foreign lobbying trial of the former Trump adviser, Tom Barrack, telling potential jurors that Trump could be called as a witness. That is according to lawyers observing jury selection. Do you think the former president will actually be called to the stand?

HONIG: I think it is very unlikely --


LEMON: Elie, Elie, Elie.

HONIG: Yeah. You will see in criminal trials where one party or the other will list a bold face name such as Donald Trump, it is very rare that those people end up taking the stand. The gist of the allegation here was that Tom Barrack who was, at one point, an associate and advisor to Donald Trump, was essentially lobbying the United States on behalf of a foreign country, the United Arab Emirates, without disclosing that.

How Donald Trump might fit into that? Well, Trump was one of the people being lobbied by Barrack. So, if there is some relevance there, we may see him as a witness, but I think it's very unlikely a district judge allows that.

LEMON: All right, John, now I want you to weigh in on this because we are learning -- also learning that Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz was looking for a preemptive pardon related to the DOJ investigation to his potential violations of federal sex trafficking laws. That is according to a former Trump aide who testified before the Select Committee.

Apparently, Gaetz told the aide that he didn't do anything wrong, but they are trying to make his life hell. Does this news make Gaetz's life an even bigger hell because innocent people don't often push for preemptive pardons?

DEAN: That is correct. I think he has a lot of greens (ph) as well, so he has a little bit more understanding than the average citizen. So, I think yes, this is not a good move for him, to have this information out. Obviously, Trump did not act on it. He did not get the pardon.

And so maybe he -- you know, what surprised me, Don, about most throughout this case, it has been a longtime cooking. And if it was going to go somewhere, you think it would have gone.

The key witness against him has already confessed and is trying to get a break from the government. I don't think he has been sentenced yet. So, he may -- you know, he may or may not be a good witness and that's maybe what's holding up the case.

So, this is kind of that never land where we don't know but we just get little signals every now and then that is still cooking.

LEMON: John Dean, Elie Honig, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

I want to bring now CNN's Sara Sidner. She has been looking into former President Trump and QAnon conspiracy theories. Okay, Sara, good evening to you. How does Trump apparently linking himself -- how is he linking himself to QAnon conspiracy theory?

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In many different ways. This weekend, he gave this very dark speech about the state of America as we know it. And while he was doing so, some music began playing at the end of the speech, sort of this music that was very low, but you could hear it, you could clearly hear it. Let's listen to a little bit of what people were listening to during that speech in Ohio.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And perhaps, most importantly, we are a nation that is no longer respected or listen to around the world. We are a nation that, in many ways, has become a joke. And we are a nation that is hostile to liberty, freedom, and faith. We are a nation whose economy is floundering, whose stores are not stocked, whose deliveries are not coming and whose educational system is ranked at the bottom of every single list. We are a nation whose once revered airports are dirty and crowded and a mess.


SIDNER: Donald Trump talking about all the bad things that he can say about America. Of course, he's blaming that all on Joe Biden, not himself.


But that low music that you are hearing play under there that is sort of classical sounded exactly like the song called, WWG1, WGA, which is an acronym for "where we go one, we go all," a slogan that has been co-opted by QAnon conspiracy theories and inextricably linked to their conspiracy theories.

For some in the QAnon world, in hearing the song, they look at it as yet another message, a wink and a nod (ph) to them that Donald Trump is with them, that he is a believer in their outlandish conspiracy.

And you've heard these conspiracies, Don. You've heard some of the things about them being Democrats, that he is going to come and he is going to, you know, put them all in jail, that he is going to execute them.

That is the mentality of some of these conspiracies, and also that they drink the blood of children. I mean, they get more and more outrageous as you sort of go down the rabbit hole.

But, that music pales in comparison to something that is much more avert, and that is what we need to show you as well. Trump showed this picture on his Truth Social website. There it is. You will see it is re-tweeted by Donald Trump. That circled in red. And it shows him with a "Q" pin on his lapel. And the words, storm is coming, emblazoned below. And below that is "where we go one, we go all," the acronym for that.

That is a direct reference to QAnon. No bones about it. And Donald Trump re-tweeted that. That is just one of many, by the way. There are many more where he's retweeting people who are very well known as QAnon conspiracy theorists.

LEMON: But then if you ask in an interview, I know nothing about QAnon, I have nothing -- whatever.

SIDNER: Yeah, yeah, but -- you know.

LEMON: So, he is denying that this was a QAnon song.

SIDNER: Right.

LEMON: But you have looked into this, right? They're saying that it was a song to his team.

SIDNER: Right.

LEMON: They are saying it is a song called "mirrors." You listened to both. They sound alike?

SIDNER: They certainly do. I cannot tell them apart. One of them is the "where we go one, we go all" song that was put out on one of the music websites. And the other one is indeed called "mirrors." And they sound identical. As I try to listen to the two of them side by side, they sound identical. But, Trump's team says, look, this is nothing to do with QAnon. It is just a song that we are able to play because it is free and we can use it.

Here is the issue. They still have not said anything about that re- post that Donald Trump put on his own Truth Social website showing him with a "Q" pin on his lapel. That has no response at this point. We haven't seen anything from them about that.

LEMON: What is the danger in engaging this group of conspiracy theorists? I mean, beyond the sheer madness of what they believe here.

SIDNER: You know, in June, CNN reported that the FBI has warned other lawmakers that online QAnon conspiracy theorists may end up carrying out violence as they move from serving us what they call themselves "digital soldiers" to actually taking real world action and violent action.

The report suggests that, you know, all these different conspiracy theories have come out from the "Q" ideals, right? None of them have come true. They haven't materialized. But the FBI says that has not led followers to leave or abandon the conspiracy.

Indeed, it has done something that makes them double down and believe that they have to take greater action or control in the direction of the movement. That could lead to more violence. And therein lies the danger, Don.

LEMON: All right. So, you reached that team. What they say about that?

SIDNER: They did not respond about it. You know -- look, they have responded about the song. That was the big thing over the weekend. But this, more than a hundred re-post on Donald Trump's behalf linked to QAnon, according to Media Matters, which has been tracking this all year, he has about 104 at this point repost or something linked to QAnon on his Truth Social site.

LEMON: Where are we? What the hell is going on?

SIDNER: There is a real idea here from experts who track this. That because this group of people are so virulent and they are so interested and they are so engaged, that it appears he is trying to engage this group that has some form of political power now, and that's what is going on.

LEMON: He wants the vote --


LEMON: -- of all conspiracy theorists, QAnon. Thank you, Sara. SIDNER: Welcome.

LEMON: Always a pleasure. Good to see you.

So, it is happening again in Puerto Rico, catastrophic flooding, a power blackout, water rescues. That as hurricane Fiona cripples Puerto Rico five years after the devastation of hurricane Maria. Communities have never fully recovered then, say it may be even worse now.




LEMON: Hurricane Fiona triggering catastrophic flooding in Puerto Rico where over a thousand rescues have already been made. And tragically, we are learning that two people have died.

So, here you can see, take a look at this, there's a temporary bridge getting swept away by floodwaters. The video shows flooding in Hormigueros sets near the Guanajibo River, which is currently at record heights, higher than the record set during hurricane Maria. The storm coming nearly five years to the day after hurricane Maria nearly leveled the island.

So, joining me now, Carmen Yulin Cruz. She is the former mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Thank you so much. I appreciate you for joining us. I cannot believe that it has been five years. Here we are again, Carmen. Appreciate it. Are you doing okay?

CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, FORMER MAYOR OF SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: Well, you know, it has been very rough. I'm going back to Puerto Rico this Friday. I am right here at Weissman Center in Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.


And it is very different seeing things unfold from another perspective. But knowing what I have already know and what the people that I work with in San Juan and the rest of the mayors know -- and one of the things is that we have wasted five years, five years of a reconstruction that should have been way much more advanced than it is, especially when it comes to the electrical grid.

My parents who live in Trujillo Alto, which is a town very close to San Juan, lost power about three hours before the hurricane actually hit Puerto Rico. And right now, they are without water and without electricity. When Maria came by, they spent six months without water and electricity.

So, the fear of the Puerto Rican people is that history will repeat itself, that the aid will be kept at the central level and not deploy through municipalities, that it will not be a robust and consistent aid, and that FEMA will not have learned enough from the lessons of the past and continue to request things of Puerto Ricans that cannot be done.

For example, sue the communications and start to be spotty because the communication towers will stop their generators to put gas or diesel or to take care of them and shut them down for a couple of hours before they can run over. Just today, I had difficulty getting in contact with people in Puerto Rico.

So, I think that it is very important. And I have to say that I was very happy to hear the new director of FEMA state that the number (INAUDIBLE) was to save lives.

LEMON: Yeah.

YULIN CRUZ: I remember when I said that to President Trump, October 4th of 2017, this is not about politics, this is about saving lives.

LEMON: I want to hear from the governor, what he said on Anderson Cooper tonight. Listen to this.


GOV. PEDRO PIERLUISI, GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO: I hope that it's going to be a matter of days to get the service back to most of our customers. One thing to keep in mind is that our grid is quite fragile still. It got fixed after Maria but not really improved since Maria. We are in the process of rebuilding our grid so that it is more reliable and more resilient. But that is underway. It hasn't been accomplished by any means yet.


LEMON: So, listen, a couple of things there. You know, immediately, right, they need aid, they need to be able to get warm and dry and so on, they need food and shelter, but what you're saying is most urgent, I think, in the long term. It is what he is saying as well. They are going an infrastructure, they need the grid. You are in contact with a lot of people on the ground there. How are they coping? What are they saying?

YULIN CRUZ: They are not coming at all. But most of the mayors are saying that what we need is equipment, equipment to get the mud out of the streets before it starts hardening and it is a lot more difficult and then aid cannot be deployed.

But what we need is a waiver from the Stafford Act that will allow for the aid to go directly to the municipalities, but also to establish that grid and transform the electrical grid.

For example, in Massachusetts, there are programs based on federal money that allow people to turn their homes from electrical power to solar power. That can be done in Puerto Rico with it. Nine billion dollars have been allotted to Puerto Rico for the electrical grid and only 40 million have been used at this point in time. Micro grids can be put into place in different communities, in the ones where people needed the most.

LEMON: Yeah.

YULIN CRUZ: But also, the transformation of that grid has to be built differently. The Stafford Act says, you build according to what it was. Well, you have two polls on a mountain and the wire going through -- you know that there is going to be another hurricane coming over. We need to transform and to build the grid in a different way. Also --

LEMON: Probably need to bury those lines instead of building them in the air where they can be torn down.

YULIN CRUZ: Exactly.

LEMON: Well, Carmen, I've got to run, but if you can give us your final word on this, please.

YULIN CRUZ: Well, you know, Puerto Ricans have had redefined the word "resiliency." We have two hurricanes, Irma and Maria, political instability, an ousting of governor, the bankruptcy of the central government, two earthquakes that devastated more than 10,000 homes, the pandemic, and now this.


And we have come through each and every time, but we have to begin to look for permanent solutions to recurring problems. We will make it because our hearts and our minds only follow one truth, and it is that (INAUDIBLE) and we are going to pull through.


LEMON: The former mayor of San Juan, thank you very much, Carmen Yulin Cruz.

YULIN CRUZ: Thank you very much.

LEMON: You be well. Thank you and come back and update us. Thank you so much.

YULIN CRUZ: Thank you.

LEMON: So, he pled guilty to three counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder, and a count of first-degree burglary in Paducah Kentucky School in the school shooting there. But after 25 years in prison, he is now asking for a parole. We are going to tell you about the case, next.




LEMON: A convicted killer in a mass shooting at a Kentucky high school is making his plea for parole. On December 1, 1997, 14-year old Michael Carneal fatally shot three people in a prayer circle at Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky. He was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to the three counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder, and a count of first-degree burglary. But Kentucky law requires minors to be considered for parole after 25 years.

Well, now, 39-year-old Carneal will present his case for parole tomorrow morning in front of a two-member panel from the Kentucky Parole Board.

And for more, I want to bring in now CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem and Michael Moore, the former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Good evening. Thank you for joining.

Juliette, you first. Many survivors and family members of victims are upset by this parole plea and they want him to stay behind bars. Listen.


CHUCK HADLEY, FATHER OF VICTIM NICOLE HADLEY: We have missed Nicole's high school graduation, her college graduation, a wedding, her kids, our grandkids, many birthdays and holidays together. Everything is gone in an instant, lasts forever.

CHRISTINA HADLEY ELLEGOOD, SISTER OF VICTIM NICOLE HADLEY: Today, I'm asking that you deny parole for Michael Carneal. Nicole was given a life sentence. Michael pledged to a life sentence, which I believe he should serve out. I believe that he should have to spend the rest of his life incarcerated. Nicole does not get a second chance, why should he?

MISSY JENKINS SMITH, HEATH HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I could speak for hours about what my life has been like every minute of every day for the last quarter century without the use of my legs. From the way I get out of bed in the morning, to the shower, to reaching cabinets in my kitchen, to getting in and out of my car, to the limited seating in a public area, to the embarrassment of special accommodations that I have to -- that has to be made wherever I go.

Continuing his life in prison is the only way his victims can feel comfortable and safe without being haunted by the what ifs.


LEMON: Carneal was 14 and had paranoid schizophrenia. Do you think he could actually be granted parole because of his age? What would that mean for these families, Juliette?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It means a lot. I want to start with the families, which is essentially that -- I think this testimony shows just how hard and long that these school shootings impact not just the individuals, not just the victims, but the communities at large.

I think we become a little bit immune to school shootings since -- in the last 25 years. Columbine happened after this incident. So, this was sort of the beginning for those of us who know a lot about school shootings. It was sort of the beginning of the schools being targeted, especially by students. Columbine short of change that dynamic.

So, I want to start with the victims, which is, you know, that this never goes away. But going to the law, it also shows that the age of which these are happening, 14 at the time, 25 years is a long time to spend in jail, to seek mental health, the kinds of things that we're hearing that are being put before the court.

And so, I think that there is a possibility that he gets out. I think that the overall part of this that we should take away from this story though is how immune we have somewhat gotten to school shootings and how actually personal and historic they are in this country. This is 25 years since the first sort of real school shooting.

LEMON: Michael, so, I understand you don't think Carneal will get parole, but one of the shooting survivors actually argued for this. Listen to this and then I'll give your response.


HOLLAN HOLM, HEATH HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I was a 14-year-old child. I laid on the floor in the lobby of Heath High School, bled from the side of my head and believed I was going to die. I said a prayer and readied myself to die. When I feel that anger, I think about the 14-year-old boy who acted that day, and I think of my own children. And I think the man that boy became should get the chance to try to do and be better.


LEMON: So, you say our penal system is about punishment and rehabilitation. So, what will this decision be based on?

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: Yes, well, I'm glad to be with you both. You know, I am struck by even the suggestion. I think Juliette is 100 percent right. I think that we have become much too accustomed to these school shootings (INAUDIBLE).


Our penal system is about rehabilitation and punishment and sort of this blend of having justice tempered with mercy, and so that's why we have a parole system. But I think, really, when you hear from these victims and you think about the lasting impacts and you've got a young man, now a middle-aged man, coming up for parole for the first time, I just don't think that there's going to be the appetite with the parole board, especially in the wake and looking at this case through the lens of the Uvalde massacre.

Would it surprise me if he could get parole? No. I'm moved to hear the mercy that comes out of the victim that you played, but I'm just as moved to think about the families who have sort of lost these last 25 years having daily interactions with their kids and missing weddings and birthdays and those things with them. The tragedy for those families, it is for the young man that was involved. At the same time, we did have a system at loss. And when you killed three people, when you maimed other people, you can talk about mental health issues and those are real.

But the fact that he's getting counts like that, given drug treatments and therapies that are helping him, that still leaves a question for the parole board of whether or not he'd be able to function in society, outside of this very restricted and confined process of supervision that he's under in the prison system.

So, it would not surprise me at all. In fact, I think that you will likely see him getting that parole. You've got other people to think about. You've got famous people who have been killed. You see, their parole -- their killers deny parole time and time and time again. And it is tragic that this was a 14-year-old boy that committed his offenses. But I think the parole board is going to be listening to the tears of those moms and dads who lost their kids.

LEMON: Thank you both. That's what our time permits tonight. I appreciate you both. See you soon.

CNN getting access to a former Russian detention center in Ukraine, now in territory reclaimed by Ukrainian forces, and signs of torture are among the scars left behind.




LEMON: Russian forces continuing to conduct airstrikes on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine as Ukrainian officials say Russia carried out a missile strike near the South Ukraine nuclear power plant. But Ukrainian troops are gaining back more territory in the Luhansk region, and the carnage left behind is revealing evidence of torture. Here is CNN's Nick Paton Walsh.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (VOICE-OVER): There is no rest point and victory here. An artillery battle still shaking the liberated city of Kramatorsk (ph). This occupation slogan, "we are one people with Russia," seems comic now that Ukrainians have chased the Russians across the bridge and further south.

A shell has landed under 100 meters. Another swiftly follows. It is unlikely Moscow can retake places left in the past weeks. So, this is about vengeance and spite. This prisoner has claimed to be local, but they think that he is a Russian soldier deserting or left behind.

What else Moscow left behind is far uglier. These tiny rooms were their detention center, where as many as 400 prisoners were held at one time, we are told, eight or nine prisoners per cell. Booby traps now in their place, a warning written next to this room.

So, he's writing grenade there on the wall because as they move through these cells, they are finding booby traps left, it seems, by the occupying forces. That one in there, a grenade, left under a tray of half-eaten food. And it just shows you the hazards the ordinary people are going to find coming back.

A place like this, sure used as a key detention center by the Russians. But across this town, the damage is extraordinary. But also, too, is the risk of unexploded ordinance and potentially booby traps.

They are discovering, too, other scars from torture. This former prisoner is introduced to us by the Ukrainian Security Service. He says he was imprisoned about a month ago because he was once a cook in the army.

UNKNOWN (on screen text): This is the room where I was interrogated. They put me on this chair. There the investigator sat. And there was the guy with the telephone and another one who helped.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): The telephone was an old wind-up model used to send electric shocks into him. He thinks his interrogator was experienced from the Russian security services.

UNKNOWN (on screen text): They told me, you think you are tough. Let's find out how tough. I was also shot with some kind of pistol. Here and in the leg.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): They asked him who he was in touch with from the army.


The Russians burned their interrogation records hurriedly.

UNKNOWN (on screen text): The main thing is to survive and to withstand. It took me a week and a half to recover when I got out. They promised I'd only see the sun and sky again if they forced me into a minefield.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): Elsewhere, signs of the mindset fueling the Russian invasion. They found time to paint this mural, a Russian soldier, see the "Z" on his arm, next to a pensioner and the flag of the former Soviet empire burnished in flames. Pause a moment here in the bloodshed and ruin and consider how truly odd this is. They were only here a matter of months, yet so speedily tattooed this building with their machinery of pain.

So much here are clearly beyond use. So few locals huddled in its empty husk. Winning does not heal the wounds. It just gives them enough time to feel them.

(On camera): Now, today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that there hasn't really been a law, as he thought. Some suggested in the counteroffensive that they were merely looking to see precisely where their next main focus would indeed be. And, at the same time, Ukrainian officials say that they are taking a new town not far from here in Kramatorsk or Bilohorivka. That is important because it shows that they are moving forward in another front apart from that around Kharkiv where they showed enormous progress in the past weeks.

Many are asking exactly where the next Ukrainian thrust will be. Will it be near here where I'm standing? Will it be towards the south? And the big question of course is, does Russia actually have conventional manpower? Does it have the juice, frankly, on the battlefield to repel any future counteroffensive? That is fundamentally going to chart the course of the war over the next month. Don?


LEMON: All right, Nick Paton Walsh, thank you very much.

The queen's funeral ending today with the sound of a bagpiper.


LEMON: The queen's former bagpiper is here with me, next.



LEMON: Today, millions of people pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth, emotional goodbyes from the royal family, prime ministers and presidents, and from the public who lined the entire route from Westminster to Windsor Castle. At the end of the ceremony, the queen's crown and scepter removed from atop the casket. And as the coffin was lowered into the royal vault, the bagpipes that played the queen awake every morning, now played her to her final rest.


LEMON: So, joining me now, Queen Elizabeth's former bagpiper Scott Methven. Scott, thank you so much for joining. How are you doing? Sorry for your loss, as well.

SCOTT METHVEN, QUEEN ELIZABETH'S FORMER BAGPIPER: Good morning, Don. Thank you very much.

LEMON: Thank you. So, you were the queen's bagpiper from 2015 to 2019. What it has been like for you seeing her laid to rest?

METHVEN: Don, it has been a very sad occasion. But also, for me, personally, fantastic to have had the opportunity to be the proverbial fly on the wall and to observe (INAUDIBLE) of what royal family really do from 2015 to 19, and all the heads of state, and getting just to see how all actually works. So, it was a fascinating experience for me but, obviously, a sad thing for me and my family.

LEMON: So, the queen specifically requested the pipe to be played at her final ceremony. What did the pipes mean to her? METHVEN: The bagpipes, I think, are on an integral part of her life. I, mean, she is -- her history, her family line is all Scottish. In fact, you can argue that her lineage leans more towards the Scottish throne than the English throne, ironically, with the late Queen Elizabeth's mother. She is actually a Scottish heritage.

But what the bagpipes actually mean? I asked the queen exactly that. You know, whether she likes the bagpipes, whether she likes listening to them. Because I didn't really want to play for someone who doesn't like the bagpipes and that goes for any musician. You want them to enjoy what you're playing.

And she said to me that she loved the bagpipes because she grew up with them. You know, the same as all of her great grandfathers and grandparents would listen to wireless and the radio back in the 40s. (INAUDIBLE) queen would listen to the bagpipes and her (INAUDIBLE) and with all the bagpipes and accordions and pedals (ph). You know, that was how she was brought up when she came to Scotland.

LEMON: You have a moving story about the kindness that Queen Elizabeth showed after you suffered the devastating loss of your parents and wife in just months of each other. Can you share a bit of that, please?

METHVEN: Absolutely. Yes. My family, as you said, my parents, they both died and as did my wife. Not at the same time but within a 12- month period. And I was actually in the service of the queen. Actually, I was playing in Balmoral Castle with my wife and two children. They were invited to come up and stay while I was working up in Balmoral.


When my wife was there, she was diagnosed with unopenable stage four cancer.


METHVEN: And I was asked very -- I was in shock. I remember, I came back to Balmoral Castle to speak to my boss. I said -- you know, they asked how my wife was. I said, sadly, she is going to die, only weeks to live. I wanted to play the bagpipes that night not because of Marven but just to clear my head space and just process the information that had been given to me.

And then the queen took me in and said, look, there is a point in everyone's life that you have to stop being a professional, and you need to go and sit with you wife because it has to be family first. So, I went away. I left my children. Everyone looked after my children. They stayed the night in the Balmoral Castle. For them, it was a big adventure.

I went away that night. I went back to see my wife in the morning. And the queen (INAUDIBLE) departments, got strawberries and lots of fresh food from the garden, went to the pastry chefs and got them to make muffins, and they gave it to me and said, you know, this is for all the (INAUDIBLE), so hopeful, to look after your wife more than especially well. You know, little things like that.

And her majesty was great. You know, she was the best employer that anyone could ask for because the army wanted to replace me. You know, they went to the queen and said, you know, your piper is not doing his job, and the black and white (INAUDIBLE) let's get him replaced for someone else.

And her majesty said, no! You know, I have one piper and the reason that he's not here is because he's looking after his dying wife. So, he wouldn't be replaced because he needs some constant and something -- you now, if his wife does die, then he needed somewhere to go back to. And she just said categorically no to the military. So, she was fantastic.

LEMON: Wow! Scott, I'm so sorry again. Sorry for your loss, of your wife, and sorry for the loss of your beloved queen as well. You and your family take care. Thank you for sharing those memories and stories with us. We appreciate it. Be well.

METHVEN: Thank you for your time. Bye-bye.

LEMON: Thank you. And thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.