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Don Lemon Tonight

Trump Is Plagued By Legal Setbacks; Stocks Fall To Lowest Level Since 2020 Amid Recession Fears; AZ Judge Rules State Can Enforce Near-Total Abortion Ban; Rolling Stone Magazine Founder Speaks Out; First Federal Case Solved With Genetic Geneology. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired September 23, 2022 - 23:00   ET



NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: It's basically going to put him out of business. It's asking for $250 million. And he really has no defense because on every single one of those allegations, I am convinced that the A.G. got him to take the Fifth Amendment on each one of those, meaning that a truthful answer would tend to incriminate him.


AKERMAN: And on that basis, I mean, a judge or a jury has no choice but basically to find him guilty on those charges.

LEMON: You still have sources in Trump world, right? And what's --

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDNET TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, tonight, in North Carolina, he had a big rally for Ted Budd, the candidate for U.S. Senate down there. Of course, he was using this as part of his speech to the crowd. You know, the witch hunts, they're after us again. And he has effectively done this really since he started --

LEMON: That's what he's saying publicly. But I mean, behind the scenes, what do you think of it?

JENNINGS: Well, I mean, behind the scenes, I think that it's not just him. I mean, there's a whole world of people around him who are also obviously -- I mean, if I were one of his lawyers dealing with this Mar-a-Lago issue right now, I guess I'd be worried because some of them are on the hook for some of the statements that were made.

So, I'm sure it is anxiety inducing for a lot of them and on top of everything else that they're watching politically, which if you look at any of the national polls that have come out lately, even though his base remained solid, I mean, you can see just incremental degradation with the general electorate.

LEMON: Yeah.

JENNINGS: Losing to Joe Biden. And I'm sure some Republicans are going to come along and make that point in the primary.

LEMON: To Scott's point, we've seen very bad weeks for him before, and he has managed to, you know, publicly, at least right in the court of public opinion, he has been able to skirt around it. This feels different to me.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, yeah, and it may be different in part because, first of all, when it comes to public opinion, something like 60%, 61% of the country does not want him to run in 2024. His base is solidly behind him and the Republican Party is -- Republican voters are solidly behind him, but independents have walked away. In fact, the number goes up to 67% for independents who don't want him to run. So, things are not working that well for him politically.

In the commercial sphere, which is really what the heart of the attorney general's case in New York is against him, this is going to hamper, even before they come to a resolution on these issues, it's really going to hamper his business operations.

I mean, if you're a lender, if you're a counterparty, if you're a vendor, are you going to just sign on to help him build, you know, a new golf course or a new apartment complex or something knowing that the attorney general is asking for a quarter of a billion dollars from him, knowing that they're making allegations that he has committed widespread fraud on the valuations of his property over a course of a decade?

You can't just of say, oh, yeah, sure, let's give him another hundred million line of credit. It's just not going to happen.

LEMON: I never thought about the future of his business -- you know, having -- had this happened.

Nick, I want to talk about the CNN reporting about this behind-the- scenes court battle to prevent aides from testifying about efforts to overturn the election. Once again, questions of privilege are front and center. How crucial is this fight for the case going forward?

AKERMAN: Oh, I think it's extremely crucial, but it's also one he's going to lose, because there is no privilege here for any of these people. First of all, they're trying to claim attorney-client privilege. but the fact of the matter is the people like the White House counsel were not his personal attorneys. They cannot claim attorney-client privilege for those conversations.

As to executive privilege, that's basically been decided in U.S. versus Nixon back in 1974. I mean, you cannot claim a privilege when you're talking about overthrowing the government. That is not covered by a privilege. It is not an absolute privilege, executive privilege.

And generally, with respect to any kind of privilege, whether it's attorney-client executive privilege, marital privilege, any conversations in furtherance of a criminal enterprise or crime is exempt from that privilege.

LEMON: Do these secret proceedings, do you think it is just lined on just how concerned -- that was my initial question about how -- what is this scuttlebutt behind the scenes in the Trump world -- how concerned Trump and the people, you know, closely associated with him are and the exposure that he possibly has here?

AKERMAN: Oh, absolutely. They're keeping total watch on this. We know this just from the January 6 Committee.

And look, what they wound up doing was basically paying everybody's attorneys' fees. And as a result, I'm almost certain that what they did is they entered into a joint defense agreement, which is a common thing to do when you've got multiple individuals who have what's known as a common interest involved. And what that means is that the individuals and the lawyers can exchange information, and it's all covered by a privilege.

But as we found out from the January 6 Committee, that was abused, that this was used to find out who was snitching to the January 6 Committee, who was cooperating.


You saw with Cassidy Hutchinson that she had to change lawyers because of that, because she didn't feel comfortable with the lawyer that they had provided her and were paying for.

So, they did that. they're on top of that, and they're also on top of this whole issue of trying to keep people in line by having them assert privilege. You didn't see the January 6 Committee actually zero-in on that because they have a much more limited lifespan in the sense that they're assuming that they could well be out of business by the end of the year because of the election.

LEMON: What happened?

AKERMAN: And they don't want to let these guys run the clock, so they let people like Cipollone come in and testify to certain things, and he refused to testify to others, particularly conversations with Donald Trump. But the DOJ doesn't have that issue.

LEMON: Yeah.

AKERMAN: And they've got the ability to immediately go before the primary judge in the district of Columbia, Beryl Howell, who is the chief judge, and press these issues. These are going to be -- I don't see them winning on any of them. These are all losers.

LEMON: Listen, Scott, nobody knows where this is all going to end up, these legal blows for the former president. But, I mean, with even some GOP senators, they're coming out, they're criticizing the handling of the documents that were seized at Mar-a-Lago. Can he paint himself as a victim? As you said, he had this rally tonight. Can he paint himself as a victim here even when asked? He's the one who asked for the special master.

JENNINGS: Well, can he? Yes, he can, because --

LEMON: Will he? Yes, he will.

JENNINGS: Correct. And he's doing it as we mentioned tonight at the rally. You know, the average Republican would probably look at all this and say, you know, I've been hearing this since before he was sworn in. You know, there was a plot to impeach him twice. You know, we were always on the brink of indictment. The walls were always closing in. Snd somehow, nothing ever happens to Donald Trump.

The line of demarcation, I guess, will be if he ever actually gets indicted. You know, if something beyond just a bad week happens. We sat through a lot of bad weeks and ultimately, he got away on all the issues that were supposedly going to bring him down. So, I think he will continue to play the victim status until we crossed that line of, okay, now, it's taken the next step.

LEMON: In 2016, there's sort of this new entity, right? Everyone thought it was sort of this renegade, right? And the he wasn't -- he was an unknown. Now, it's a known, and I get the feeling. I get the sense that people in the party feel like he's an Anvil, that he is drug on the party. I donk know. Even the voters are, like, I'm tired of it. You heard what Errol said about the polling. It is like, enough already, we're sick of him, we like him -- we like his antics, but enough already.

JENNINGS: I think it's 50/50. I think half the people want him and would love to have him back, and half sort of aware you are on the sentiment you just expressed that, you know, he had his time, now he's an Anvil.

The thing is it doesn't take half the Republicans in a general election to sink the party. It just takes a few. And that's what happened in 2020. You had center right-leaning voters who decided either to not vote for him or to vote for Biden. It will be a bigger chunk next time. I see a very little path for him to win a national election, even if I see him with a real path to get a nomination.

LEMON: Yeah. Listen, next week, he'll probably declare something. I've been saying -- as you know, I don't believe he's going to run. I've been saying that for a while. But next week, he'll probably say, I'm going to run for president. We will see.

Listen, Errol, I think what's happening with the New York attorney general is probably the most aggravating for him because he is way concerned about his personal brand always. I have billions of dollars, I'm a billionaire, I'm the best businessman, on and on, powerful, whatever. Is this the most aggravating for him?

LOUIS: For sure. This is something that he has built up over the course of decades. He would sue people. Remember, he sued writers at publications that said he was worth a certain amount, and he would accuse them of defamation. He is worth this much more.

It's going to be clear and it already is clear, actually, if you read through the court papers that. He's valuing Mar-a-Lago, $739 million, saying that it's worth that much because he can develop hundreds of houses and that's worth hundreds of millions of dollars, when in fact, he had already signed away the right to do that. He got conservation easements and he cannot build it and it is not worth that much.

The attorney general says it is actually worth $75 million, you know, which is maybe an understatement, but that is the kind of trouble that he is in. It is also something he can't let go because let's say he decides not to run for reelection, as you are predicting, well, then what's left?

What's left is the Trump Organization. If you're going after the Trump Organization and you're barring him from doing business and you're asking him for a quarter of a billion dollars that they may or may not have in liquid assets, that is a real serious problem.

LEMON: But to your point, it's already been exposed because if you look at the valuations that they're actually worth and you see what he has done over time, then future people who may want to do business with him may not want to do business with him.

LOUIS: Exactly right.

LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate it. Good to see you.


Up next, the worst day on Wall Street in nearly two years. What will it mean for you and your money? We're going to break it down. Look at that. Boy, that's next.


LEMON: A brutal day on Wall Street. The Dow plunging to its lowest level since November 2020 to end another dismal week. Mark sounds (ph) sharply amid fears that additional rate hikes from the Federal Reserve could land the U.S. economy in recession.

Let us discuss now. CNN international correspondent Marc Stewart is here. Hey, Mark. Appreciate you joining us.


LEMON: It was a day after day markets being in the red this entire week. What is creating all this economic fear?


STEWART: All right, Don, let's just take a step away from the numbers and talk about the broader narrative that's at place. Supposed you're on a road trip, you always are looking for a place to stop to get a bite, to eat, a place to fill up your car, place to spend the night, but sometimes, you get bumps in the road, and that's what's happening with the economy right now. The economy basically has an unknown road map for the future.

As you mentioned, it was a really rough week. Earlier this week, we heard from the Federal Reserve expressing concern that the high inflation that we're feeling when we pay our rent, when we go grocery shopping, even household supplies could linger for a bit longer, perhaps even a lot longer, we're dealing with so much uncertainty right now with the war in Ukraine, that could cause these low gas prices that we've seen to rise once again.

And then the Wall Street bank, Goldman Sachs, just today felt that the future outlook for the economy was somewhat murky. That is what its strategists are saying.

So, for all of those reasons combined, it makes people's stomachs turn, makes them not want to invest money. So, that's likely why we saw a rough day on Wall Street, although, Don, one economist said today, he felt this was a bit of an overreaction.

LEMON: Okay, well, we'll see what happens with the markets on Monday, right? A lot of people see these numbers and they know that they're bad, but the big problem is, are we headed toward a recession, Marc?

STEWART: So, the indications are not necessarily encouraging that we will avert one. As we've talked before, Don, I hear from economists with so many different perspectives that, yes, we could see a recession because things are not so encouraging.

I should point out this is not just an American problem. This high inflation that we are seeing is also happening in England. It's happening in Turkey. It's happening in South America, in Argentina. So, this is really a global problem.

So, not only are we facing the threat of a recession here in the United States but also globally, and that's a sentiment that I've heard from economists from so many different political perspectives. So, I think it's fair to say, yes, there is reason for concern.

LEMON: So, the fed chair, Jerome Powell, has admitted that the job market will have to get worse if we want inflation to fall, and the U.S. economy could grind to a near halt this year to combat historic inflation. Should people be worried about their jobs? How will this impact their finances? Shouldn't they be worried about that?

STEWART: That is a concern that I think people on Wall Street and Main Street are sharing. What does this mean for the job market? Already this year, we have seen layoffs. And no matter what industry you make, no matter how much money you make, if you lose your job, it certainly hurts.

LEMON: Uh-hmm.

STEWART: However, I have been hearing from some economists who focus specifically on labor issues, they have some feelings of optimism. And what I mean by that, Don, it has taken so long for companies to get their staffing levels back to -- quote unquote -- "normal levels." It was a real struggle.

So, while we may not necessarily see mass layoffs, it's something that I think a lot of companies from what I'm hearing may want to avoid. We may not necessarily see jobs be filled that are vacant, we may not see listings. Plans for future hiring may be put on hold. So, that's where we're at right now.

LEMON: Yeah. All right. Marc, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

STEWART: Good to see you, Don.

LEMON: A source telling CNN today federal prosecutors are now recommending against charges for Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz. The Justice Department was investigating Gaetz for -- over allegations involving sex trafficking and prostitution, including whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

Gaetz has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. The source saying that the recommendation comes in part because of concerns over whether their star witness, Joel Greenberg, a former Florida County tax official who pleaded guilty to six charges last year, would be perceived as credible before a jury. He had told the DOJ about encounters he and Gaetz had with women and were given cash or gifts in exchange for sex, CNN has reported.

So, while Justice officials have not made a final decision on whether not to charge Gaetz, they are facing a looming deadline to bring charges so as to not interfere with an election under DOJ policy. Gaetz is up for reelection in November. We'll continue to update.

Next, an Arizona judge ruling tonight the state can enforce a near total abortion ban. With less than 50 days until the midterms, what will voters think?




LEMON: New tonight, an Arizona judge ruling a 1901 ban on nearly all abortions in the state can be enforced. The ruling effectively outlaws all abortions except when necessary to save the mother's life. Arizona joins the growing list of states with the most restrictive abortion laws following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

For more, I want to bring in now CNN political commentators Alice Steward, Ana Navarro, and Maria Cardona. It is good to see all of you. Thank you so much.

Maria, I'm going to start with you because Arizona now joins the list of states with the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. What does the ruling mean for women in Arizona and, quite frankly, across this country?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It means, Don, that this ruling will take women back 158 years.


That was before the shootout at the O.K. Corral, Don. I mean, this is just so astounding, but I guess not surprising given what happened over the summer when Roe v. Wade was taken away by this extremely conservative Supreme Court.

So, I think what you'll see is that this will continue to energize and mobilize women in a way that has surprised the country. I don't think it surprised women because when you tell women they can't do something and you take away a right that they had for more than 50 years, they are going to do something about it.

In Arizona, Don, granddaughters today will have less rights, will be less than the full citizens than their grandmothers were. I mean, that is just insanity. And so, you're going to see in November, women are going to use their right to vote to make things right.

LEMON: We'll talk about the politics of it all, but I want to get your reaction, Ana, because this 1901 ban has no exception for rape or incest, mandates jail time for abortion providers. I mean, women didn't even have the right to vote in the United States in 1901. What do you think about this ruling?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's somewhat shocking, right, and it is jarring. That's something that was passed in 1901 when Arizona wasn't even a state. That's the year when Marconi first a transatlantic radio signal. I mean, I guess we should be glad that they didn't go all the way back to when men and women were walking on fours and living in caves and dinosaurs were roaming the earth. But it is jarring.

And I think since the Dobbs decision, we've seen some of the horrible, heartbreaking, shocking consequences. The 10-year-old raped girl who couldn't get an abortion. The woman made to carry the baby without a skull. So, she gave birth to him so she could bury him. We've seen what it's meant for women having miscarriages and not able to get a D&C. We've seen what it means to IVF and birth control. We've seen what it means to doctors having to think twice and some of them denying critical services to women because they're afraid that they're going to be prosecuted.

The consequences have been killing, sobering, and I think they are going to result in women taking to the polls in massive, massive numbers.

LEMON: What do think? What's your reaction, Alice?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SENATOR TED CRUZ: Oh, God, I think there should be exception for rape and incest when we're talking about abortion. But, look, what this really means is what pro-life advocates have been fighting for decades, since Roe v. Wade was first put in place, is that the abortion issue and the policies are back in the hands of the legislature.

I joined the attorney general of Arizona in applauding this judge for putting this back in the hands of elected officials and not unelected justices. If people don't like the outcome of this, then it is their prerogative to vote people into office that represents their views and values on this. And the key thing here is protecting the sanctity of life, protecting the unborn, and the fight for overturning Roe v. Wade was just for this very reason, was not make this a federal issue, not a national ban on abortion or abortion policies but to put this back where it should be best served, which is at the state level, and that's exactly what is happening here.

Clearly, we have pro-choice advocates who will appeal this decision. This is not by any stretch of the imagination, the final ruling on this, but this from a pro-life standpoint is a step in the right direction.

LEMON: I mean, listen, the people may have a final ruling. I said we'll talk about the politics. Go ahead, Ana. I know you want to jump in.

NAVARRO: What Alice just said was the purpose of it. It not being federalized and not being national policy is precisely what people like Lindsey Graham, the Republican from South Carolina, are going to pass. And the only thing standing in the way of a Lindsey Graham actually being able to pass something like that in the Senate is Chuck Schumer being majority leader and Nancy Pelosi being speaker of the House.

So, I think this is going to mean that women all over the country think very hard as to who they vote for and what that's going to mean when it comes to who is going to hold that gavel in the Senate and the House.

STEWART: I think with regard to the Lindsey Graham --

CARDONA: To that point, Don, to that point, I think that this is going to have more repercussions than just Arizona because women are going to look at this and say, wow, this could happen in my state. And so, to the point of the midterm elections, I think this is absolutely going to boost democratic energy mobilization and the chances that we will not only keep the senate, Don, but add several seats to our Senate majority for exactly this reason because women are not going to take this.


STEWART: And if I could just follow up on Ana's point with regard to Lindsey Graham. Look, what he is proposing, putting this back on the federal level, I think is a huge mistake. He does not have republican support for this.

When Roe v. Wade was overturned, pro-life advocates spiked the football. We can't move the goalpost now. He's wanting to go back to putting this at the federal level, which is exactly what we have been fighting against this entire time. So, I don't see that proposal getting any speed.

LEMON: I want to talk to you, Ana, about something, all of you, but I'm going to start with you, Ana, because Arizona is also among the battleground states where the Latino population is expected to play a really big role in determining who remains in control of Congress.

And according to "The New York Times," they make up as high as 20% of the voters in Arizona and Nevada and more than 20% of the registered voters in states with highly competitive house races like California, Florida, Texas. How much can this group sway the outcome of these critical races?

NAVARRO: Oh, listen, I'm in a district, district 26 in Florida where certainly the Latino vote makes or breaks who is going to end up representing that district. And, you know, on governor's races, on Senate races, there are some close races in all of those states, including Arizona, where I think frankly the only person that benefits from this ruling today, and I'm sure he doesn't want it, is Mark Kelly, the Democrat senator running for reelection.

The Latino vote is -- for me, it's been somewhat of a frustration because so often we talk about the potential of the Latino vote and we've talked about it as a sleeping giant. I do think that Latinos are finally waking up and coming to their own.

They're not a homogenous block. Not everybody votes the same way. Not everybody supports immigration. Not everybody is on the same page when it comes to abortion. Not everybody is conservative. Not everybody is New York liberal. And people need to understand that when they think of the Latino group.

LEMON: I want to talk about that because, Maria, polling from "The New York Times" shows that Democrats have strong support from Latino voters but they are losing ground. Fifty-six percent say that they would be more likely to vote for a Democratic candidate. That is a slight drop from 2020 where polling, according to Pew Research, 59% voted for Joe Biden compared to 38% for Trump.

Why do you think the shift with Latino voters is happening and should Democrats be worried? I actually think the polling may be for Latinos becoming more conservative. It may be, you know, a bit different than what it is actually showing. I think there are more Latinos who are becoming conservative.

CARDONA: I disagree, Don. I actually think this whole narrative that Latinos are running into the hands -- into the arms of Republicans is completely overblown. I think we absolutely had issues in 2020 in places like Miami-Dade and places like the Rio Grande Valley. There is no question about that. And yes, Democrats --

LEMON: Why there?

CARDONA: -- need to be worried.

LEMON: Why do you think that's -- do you think that is an anomaly among Latinos?

CARDONA: Well, it was an anomaly in those two places for several reasons. In Miami-Dade and in Florida in general, there was a massive misinformation and disinformation campaign that focused on smearing Joe Biden and the Democrats as socialists. In the Rio Grande Valley, there was a big uptick in conservative Latino men liking the kind of machismo that Donald Trump and the Trump Republicans show.

So, we absolutely have work to do, Don. You know, I have said this many time on your program, that Democrats cannot rest on our laurels (ph), that we have to treat the Latino vote as a swing vote and do everything that we can to communicate our message that it is our policies that allow families, Latino families, to live better lives in this country.

But I do mean to make one other point on this abortion issue, Don, because there now has been two national Latino polls by pollsters who know how to poll the Latino community in this country, and abortion has become a top priority issue for Latinos on the side of wanting abortion to remain legal. This is astounding and it is completely different and a flip side to what Republicans have thought was going to be a big issue for them, positive issue for them, for Latinos, and then has been exactly the opposite.

LEMON: That's got to be the last word. TBC, to be continued, as they say. I appreciate the conversations. Good to see all of you. Thanks so much.

STEWART: Thanks, Don.

CARDONA: Gracias, Don.

LEMON: The biggest stars (INAUDIBLE) events have shaped decades of history, and Jann Wenner was there. We are going to sit down with the founder of "Rolling Stone." That is next.




LEMON: The music bible, that's how a whole lot of people refer to "Rolling Stone" magazine. And tonight, the man who started it all when he was just 21 years old is telling all about his front row seat to the golden age of rock. I want to bring in now Jann Wenner, the founder of "Rolling Stone" magazine and author of "Like a Rolling Stone." Thank you very much. I appreciate you joining us.

We can talk all about your career, but what has this journey writing this been like for you?


I mean, writing a book is a tough thing. Did you -- is this like a --

JANN WENNER, FOUNDER, ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE: It wasn't. I enjoyed it enormously because I've discovered to write well and to get the descriptions right. You have to really bring yourself fully back to that moment. You were thinking of it and had to put yourself in that frame of mind, be in physical place (ph). And I think, what did I really feel or believe that that what was going on?

LEMON: Yeah.

WENNER: And so, you end up reliving it all, because you're feeling just going back and feel moments (INAUDIBLE) with people. I mean, it is a wonderful thing.

LEMON: This is a big book. I mean, this is 1967, right, when you founded "Rolling Stone" magazine. The impact that music had on the culture then, I'm not sure it was even realized then, but now you see -- Does this still have that same cultural impact?

WENNER: Well, it doesn't (INAUDIBLE). It still has enormous -- the current music has enormous relevance to its younger audience today. Not with that same passion and, I think, impact that it did when I was young (INAUDIBLE). It came at a time, at a moment of great change in America (INAUDIBLE) youth culture (INAUDIBLE). It spoke to them in a way that nothing else did.

Today, you can hear lots of messages if you're young from lots of different places, on the internet, everywhere. But then, you could hear only in the music was kind of travel telegraph (ph).

LEMON: But you -- I mean, this is -- look, this was the civil rights movement.

WENNER: Right.

LEMON: It was the gay rights movement. It was women's lib. It was the Vietnam war. You had a lot going on and music was speaking --

WENNER: To all those. And music (INAUDIBLE) can listen to us. And the message of music was so in favor of equal rights and human justice. Every single one of the issues that you mentioned, music impacted and spoke to and told people how to feel about, to think about, how the relationship to other people were, and all responsibilities of generation were to the world. That is what made it so powerful, how the message, you know, just the beating (INAUDIBLE) all that stuff. It meant something.

LEMON: Let us take one album, I think, that had a huge influence. Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On." So, I did a documentary last year on his song, "What's Going On." It was about racism, it was about poverty, it was about police brutality. It became an American protest anthem. I mean, do you think music is still -- does it still speak to the marginalized and oppressed the way this did?

WENNEER: No, not like that. This is a different time and era. My impression and what I see in art (ph) today is not as intense as it was when you first heard Marvin Gave singing "What's Going On?"

LEMON: There was much more on the line there?

WENNER: I think there was more today. The (INAUDIBLE) is still in play but it is not quite passionate or a new as it was then.

LEMON: That's a good thing. It wasn't as new. There were people who were really going against the system in ways that they created the pathway for the people who are coming now and maybe speaking to that music. Is that a fair assessment?

WENNER: (INAUDIBLE) Sam Cooke sang "A Change is Going to Come," but there is nothing in there, especially in the cases about civil rights. You read between the lines. Passion is powerful as ever. In fact, more than ever.

LEMON: Yeah. And so, the other thing is about cultural impact. Aides crisis began in the early 1980s, quickly became an epidemic, disproportionately affected gay men.

Talk to me about the social stigma, Jann, that is attached to the disease and how "Rolling Stone" covered it at the time, and what you witnessed as the head of "Rolling Stone" at that time.

WENNER: Well, I mean, we knew a lot because we were in New York and (INAUDIBLE) goes really kind of a local story for us because that is where the impact first was felt. And I started reading about "The New York Times." There was a small island with some strange disease. It just didn't make sense to me. So, we put over (INAUDIBLE) for about nine months to a year, and send that to find out what was going on.

We won the National Magazine award for our coverage of aides. It was the first time we talked to then Fauci who we never heard of. We talked again to Larry Kramer (ph) (INAUDIBLE), and all the research scientists and all the -- fascinating story, but, you know, the impact was severe.

LEMON: Yeah.

WENNER: Now, we see, you know, the positive results here. I mean, the silver cloud underlining. The silver lining of the clouds with a lot more dignity.

LEMON: Did you realize it the moment that you're in there? Because sometimes you don't. Sometimes, you realize it, this is huge. When I was covering COVID, when I was covering George Floyd, I knew the immediate impact. Did you realize that?

WENNER: No. COVID impacts everybody. Aides is impacting a small marginalized segment of America.

LEMON: Then.


LEMON: Then it was, right.


WENNER: Now, as I said, I mean, the curse of it is off between the medical treatments available, and just the stigma is off. Just as the stigma is off today.

LEMON: Yeah. I mean, speaking of that, you ended your marriage to your wife, Jane, after 26 years. You now have been with your current husband. His name is Matt Nye, since 1995. You didn't come out as a gay man until you're in your 50s. Everyone has their own coming out journey, but tell me about yours.

WENNER: I didn't mind about it much because I don't think it's that different than anybody else. I think the story of coming up has been told many times by many people. And there's always difference in the details. In my case, it wasn't an urgency to me. I wasn't urgently feeling I have to come out.

LEMON: Really?

WENNER: It took me 50 years. I was perfectly happy. A good marriage, three kids, houses I loved, and a wife I loved. You know, just falling in love with -- I mean, I know I was gay --

LEMON: (INAUDIBLE). You didn't feel an urge that you needed to come out?

WENNER: No, I didn't. I mean, when I was young, in the 50s and early 60s, you could go to jail --

LEMON: Right.

WENNER: -- for being gay. I mean, people didn't talk about it. There was nothing on TV. You didn't even know what gay was. You just knew something was bad. You're clear, something like that. So, ah, I don't know why.

LEMON: So, you had this great life. You ran the most influential magazine in history. You had this book. Is there anything -- if you had to do over, would you do it again?

WENNER: I don't think so. There are people you would not have hired up. I feel so lucky for where I am being healthy and happy, having houses and kids. I wouldn't take anything back.

LEMON: Are you happy?


LEMON: Yeah. It's a fascinating life and it's a fascinating book. The book again is called "Like a Rolling Stone," a memoir, and it is by Jann Wenner. We thank you so much for appearing.

WENNER: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Best of luck to you.

WENNER: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you. We will be right back.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: It's like something straight out of a TV crime show. Genetic Genealogy leading authorities to solve a years' long case involving a stalker victimizing "CSI: Miami" actress Eva LaRue. It is the first case at the federal level to use such technology to identify a suspect.

CNN's Jean Casarez has more.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 12 years, Eva LaRue was stalked by a man who threatened to kidnap, rape, kill, and then dismember her and her young daughter. He sent detailed letters threatening explicit sexual violence, signed Freddie Kruger, a fictional serial killer.

EVA LARUE, ACTRESS: Hellish, nightmarish, deviant, perverse, sick letters.

CASAREZ (voice-over): The FBI shared the letters with us.

AMY WHITMAN, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: So, from one of them, he specifically said, my main mission in life is to stalk you, rape you, and to terrify you. I want to make your life so miserable that you can't stand it.

CASAREZ (voice-over): Approximately 49 letters in all.

LARUE: Every time he would find us, we would move.

CASAREZ (on camera): You sold your house.

LARUE: Sold my house, yeah. Sold my house.

CASAREZ (voice-over): When the letters began, Eva LaRue played a DNA investigator on "CSI: Miami."

LARUE: This is what I do.

CASAREZ (voice-over): But in real life, she was dependent on investigators to save her. There was evidence.

UNKNOWN: And the defendant licks the letters in the envelope. He left traces of DNA.

CASAREZ (voice-over): But the perpetrator's DNA didn't match any database.

LARUE: So, we are playing the fact that we have this technology and we catch everybody, but in real life, the technology had not been invented yet.

CASAREZ (voice-over): Then, the science of genetic genealogy emerged. Investigators granted CNN an exclusive interview about the procedure, first used on the state level in California to identify the golden state serial killer.

UNKNOWN: We use it as an investigative tool to reverse engineer family trees and figure out who he was.

CASAREZ (voice-over): Investigators compared DNA on the stalker's letters with DNA in public databases like those where consumers trace their family connections and ancestry, consenting their DNA could be used by law enforcement.

STEVE KRAMER, FORMER FBI ATTORNEY: Family trees and identify the common ancestors between the matches and the suspect, and then you build down until you find the person that had the right age, lived in the right location, and maybe matched the physical description of the suspect at the time.

CASAREZ (on camera): And you knew that the letters were coming from Ohio?

UNKNOWN: The letters were all postmarked.

CASAREZ (voice-over): Meanwhile, the stalker was becoming even more threatening, now targeting LaRuse's daughter at her school.

KRAMER: Now, he's tracking down the high school that the victim goes to, the 17-year-old girl, and calling that school.

WHITMAN: So, this is a recording from a voice message left at the high school.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Hello. I want to leave a message for Kaya Callahan (ph). This is the man who's going to rape her, molest her, and kill her.

CASAREZ (voice-over): The investigation had ramped up. They had a suspect. His real name, James David Rogers.

WHITMAN: So, when this last recorded call came in, we hit the gas pedal as quickly as we could.

CASAREZ (voice-over): Agents took a public tour of the suspect's workplace at a nursing care and assisted living facility. They saw the type of item they would need for DNA comparison.

UNKNOWN: It's actually an Arby's cup and straw.


UNKNOWN: They watched him dispose of some trash into a trash receptacle. They were able to pull that trash. We took the DNA off of the straw, the Arby's straw, to compare to the DNA on the letters, and it was a one-to-one match. It was 100% match.

CASAREZ (voice-over): Rogers was arrested in an early morning FBI raid at his home last November.

UNKNOWN: We decided to arrest him because we weren't sure what he was going to do.

CASAREZ (voice-over): Rogers pleaded guilty to federal crimes ranging from stalking to mailing threatening communications and was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

LARUE: This happened from the time my daughter was five years old. This happened during her formative years.

KAYA CALLAHAN, EVA LARUE'S DAUGHTER: I feel okay now, so we know where he is for the next three years. We know we're safe for the next three years.

CALLAHAN: I feel okay. That's nice to feel. Thank you.

CASAREZ (on camera): The FBI says if you are the victim of a stalker, reach out to your local FBI office. And even if you don't know who is doing this, the FBI has resources that can help solve the case. Don?


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