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Don Lemon Tonight

Lawyer Refused Trump Instruction To Tell Archives All Records Were Returned; How Did Disaster Relief Get So Political?; NFL Faces Intense Scrutiny Over Concussion Protocols; CA High School Cancels Football Season After "Slave Auction" Prank; Cheating Scandal Rocks Competitive Fishing World. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired October 03, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: There is new information tonight about those documents at Mar-a-Lago. Source is confirming to CNN the former president asked one of his lawyers back in February to tell the National Archives everything they wanted had been returned, but the lawyer refused because he wasn't sure it was true. "The Washington Post" also says that it was Trump himself who packed up the boxes that were returned to the National Archives in January.

Let me bring in now CNN law enforcement correspondent Whitney Wild, also former deputy assistant attorney general Harry Litman, and former assistant special Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman. Good evening, one and all.

Nick, let's see, let's start with you. What does this new reporting mean for Donald Trump and the classified documents?

NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: It is all bad news. I mean, it shows that he is the guy who packed the documents, for starters. So, I mean, he knew it was there, he knew what he was taking, he knew he had classified documents. He can't blame it on anybody else. And then he tries to get a lawyer basically to lie for him, and he refuses.

I mean, there are going to be at least two or three of Donald Trump's lawyers that are going to wind up testifying against him, because there is no attorney-client privilege for engaging in a conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruct the archives in their normal duties.

LEMON: So, how does that work? His own lawyers are going to testify against him saying, what? That they didn't believe these documents were --

AKERMAN: That they knew, in fact, that the documents had not all been returned.


AKERMAN: I mean, you're going to get lawyers saying that, or if they don't say that, they're going to say, well, I just took Donald Trump's word for it, and that is what he told me, even though one of them actually signed an affidavit saying that she had done a thorough search of all of the places where these documents should be and there was nothing. Now, that is a hard one to swallow.

LEMON: Okay, so Harry, how does this all work? How then does the DOJ investigate this supporting that Trump asked his attorney to make a statement that we now know is false without running into attorney- client privilege issues, as Nick says?

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Because, as Nick said, it is the crime fraud exception. They bring in Cannon right away, they ask these questions if by chance he or Trump interpose attorney-client privilege, they go to the court and say, we want him to talk.

This is the biggest piece of evidence so far in the investigation because it is the only one that goes all the way to Trump. We have learned before about the noncompliance with the subpoena, the false report there were only 12 boxes and some newspaper records. It's the first time that anyone says, Trump told me to do it.

And moreover, it is (INAUDIBLE) in and of itself that the guy doesn't want to sign it. Why not? What made do you think that about the former president and the like?

So, it is really the most direct evidence on the most serious charge, that being obstruction. Remember, the charges are he took them, but then he kept them knowing there was investigation. On that latter charge, this lawyer, Alex Cannon's evidence should be gangbusters.

LEMON: Okay. So, knowing all of this, Harry --


LEMON: -- why on earth didn't he just say in the beginning, we screwed up, here are the documents, instead of lying about this and they raided and they planted evidence and they did all of this, because he just seems to be digging himself a deeper hole, especially when you think that his own attorneys, as you guys say, will possibly have to testify against him?


LITMAN: No kidding. And I think you are asking me to psychoanalyze Donald Trump. As long as I have been doing this --

LEMON: Also -- it is not just that --

LITMAN: You know, anybody's guess.

LEMON: -- strategy from his legal team as well. Wouldn't a good legal team say, look, come clean, that is the easiest way, that is the best way moving forward?

LITMAN: The team did that, like Herschmann, we've learned, said exactly that to him. Two different lawyers did. Guess what? He is the most incorrigible, uncontrollable client of all time. His instinct is to lie and get past it, lie and get past it. They've got the worst client in America.

LEMON: All right. Whitney, I want to talk about something else, this dramatic first day in the trial, five alleged members of the Oath Keepers who were at the Capitol on January 6. Give us the latest on that, please.

WILD: Well, Don, the major witness that DOJ brought to the stand today was an FBI agent who accounted several details of the day, several crucial details, and one of the pivotal moments was when he said that senators were crying as they hid from the rioters.

DOJ came out with an opening statement that sought to use the words of these alleged Oath Keepers against them, attempting to convince the jury through their own text messages, through their own correspondence, that the defendants had planned these efforts for months, that they believe that their leaders, including at the very end Trump himself, had failed them and that they had decided to take matters into their own hands.

The DOJ is saying this in the opening statement, that if Congress could not meet, it could not declare the winner of the election, that was their goal, to stop by any means necessary the lawful transfer of power, including taking up arms against the United States government, Don.

LEMON: Hmm. So, all right, listen, I got to tell you, you're about to hear some harsh language here, some graphic language. Prosecutors use videos like this, showing Oath Keepers members storming the Capitol. It also showed them wearing combat gear, moving in military stack formation. Seditious conspiracy is a rare charge, but does this kind of evidence go a long way to making the government's case, Harry?

LITMAN: For sure. It is a rare charge. And often, the DOJ has a checkered history with it, especially because it is always claimed political activity. Here though, we know it is going to happen. It is very interesting and it is not good for Donald Trump.

Rhodes is going to take the stand. He is going to say, oh, I said all those things, but the reason I did them is I was coming out for my president who was going to use the Insurrection Act. That is a nonstarter. The Insurrection Act is to bring in soldiers, not private citizens.

Nevertheless, we are going to hear that from him and that is going to only emphasize sort of in the daily news cycles the role of Trump and his direct inspiration at a minimum to the actual marauders on the ground.

LEMON: Harry, you shorthanded. You said Rhodes, but Rhodes is the leader --

LITMAN: Yes, excuse me, five defendants, but the number one guy --

LEMON: Stewart Rhodes.

LITMAN: -- brought into trial, but generally, for the organization, Stewart Rhodes, he with the eye patch and the Yale law degree.

LEMON: So, defense -- Nick, defense attorneys for the leader, Stewart Rhodes, said that Oath Keepers members were at the Capitol as part of a peacekeeping force waiting on President Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act. Does that make any sense to you?

AKERMAN: It makes absolutely no sense. This is probably one of the worst defenses I have ever heard, and I have heard a lot as a prosecutor and as a criminal defense lawyer. I mean, it defies the evidence. If you have a theory of the case, the theory of the case has to match what the evidence is going to show.

You just read that indictment, you read the text messages that were never supposed to see the light of day because they were all encrypted. But you've got three cooperating witnesses, all of whom are going to confirm those text messages, and apparently, there are even more that are going to go into evidence that show that Stewart Rhodes from day one, two day or three days after the election, was intending to perpetrate a civil war. I mean, to say --

LEMON: I was going to say, isn't that the admission we were waiting on -- isn't that admission that they were there to wreak havoc on the Capitol?

AKERMAN: Of course. And they say that. There are admissions all throughout that indictment. It should be a slam dunk.

LEMON: Oh, boy. Thank you, all. I appreciate it.

So, next, they haven't always voted for money for FEMA. Now, Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, they are changing their tune in the wake of hurricane Ian. How did disaster relief get so political?




LEMON: So, we are learning more about the catastrophic damage left in the wake of hurricane Ian. The latest CNN reporting shows the current death toll in Florida is at least 101 people. And as of tonight, more than half a million people are still without power.

For more, I want to bring in now CNN political commentators Errol Louis, Scott Jennings, and Maria Cardona. Good evening to one and all. Good evening to one and all.


LEMON: Errol, I'll start with you. You have President Biden scheduled to fly down to Florida on Wednesday to survey the damage. What are you expecting from him during this visit, sir?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think what we are going to see is an unusual falling of the frosty relationship between the president and Governor DeSantis. Governor DeSantis needs a lot of help. He has already gotten some. He is going to ask for more.

This is somebody who right from the beginning -- I mean, he asked for a disaster declaration in all 67 counties although that wasn't necessary. You know, he is going to do what a governor should do. He is going to get every penny he possibly can out of the federal government while the president is in the state.

The president for his part is going to be in a swing state. That is going to be very important to him in two years when he runs for reelection.


And, you know, putting aside the politics for just a minute, they are both going to do the right thing, I think. They are going to try and do the best they can to help the hundreds and indeed thousands of people who are really in a lot of trouble.

LEMON: You're right, there are folks who are really hurting right now. But here is the issue, Maria. Senator Scott -- senators Scott and Rubio, Marco Rubio, are along Florida GOP congressional lawmakers asking the government to fund hurricane relief for the state. But just last, Scott voted against a stopgap spending bill that included money for FEMA. Rubio didn't vote.


LEMON: Is that the height of hypocrisy or do you think there is something to what they are saying, why they voted against it?

CARDONA: No. I think it is not just the height of democracy, it is the definition of hypocrisy, Don. And I think voters should really take a look at what their stances are, why Rick Scott voted against $18.8 billion for FEMA, a lot of it for exactly these kinds of natural disaster reliefs, why Marco Rubio didn't even show.

We know he has one of the worst records of showing up for work in the Senate and not showing up for a vote where your own constituents' lives depend on it. I think it is something that he should be held accountable for.

But this goes even past Rubio and Scott. I think it shows the hypocrisy of a lot of Republican leaders in congress. Ever since 2013, when they had to vote for -- when they were asked to vote for hurricane Sandy relief, many of them started voting against it, then they talked about it was full of pork. "The New York Times" relayed that that was actually not true.

And so, I think they really need to take a look at the reasons why they vote against this relief because in this era of climate change where many of those states where these senators are from are going to be hit with these kinds of disasters, it is going to be them and their constituents who are going to need this money.

So, they should really take a look at how they can really support coming back from these horrible disasters where their own constituents have lost everything. They should put hypocrisy and politics aside --

LEMON: Okay.

CARDONA: -- and finally do what is right.

LEMON: Okay. So, you have this, right, we talked about what senators Scott and Rubio did, Scott Jennings. So back in 2012, Senator Marco Rubio voted against relief money for states impacted by hurricane Sandy. He spoke to our Dana Bash. This is what he told her.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: After hurricane Sandy hit northeastern states in 2012, you voted no on a $50 billion relief package. I know you supported a smaller version. But why should other senators vote for relief for your state when you didn't vote for a package to help theirs?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Oh, I have always voted for hurricane and disaster relief. I have even voted for it without pay force. Why I didn't vote for Sandy is because they had included things like a roof for a museum in Washington, D.C., for fisheries in Alaska. They had them loaded up with a bunch of things that had nothing to do with disaster relief.


LEMON: How did disaster relief become so political, and what do you think of what he said, Scott?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDNET TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, he didn't want to vote for a bill that he thought had nongermane stuff in it, that had nothing to do with the disaster. I think it is a pretty valid argument.

I actually think the time for politics is going to come but it is not right now. I am very heartened, frankly, by the fact that Biden and DeSantis appear to be working well together, that the FEMA director, the Democratic president, and the emergency officials of a Republican governor appear to be working well together. I think the Republican senators are going to do what Errol said and get all the money that they can get for Florida.

I think people are expecting the politics to go away for a bit, for the people to work together right now. And that appears to me to be what is happening. I think one thing that is on the minds of a lot of voters these days is when the big problems occur, can we actually pull together as a country and as two parties and solve them? I have no complaints about any of these folks right now in either party. I think they're actually doing it, and I want them to keep doing it. LEMON: Okay, Scott, we sat here a long time talking about all of this, right? For 16 years, you have been -- I don't know how long you've been here. And people always say, now is not the time to talk about politics, now is not the time to actually talk about the issue that is at hand because, as you know, next week or the week after, hurricane Ian will not be the lead story. It will be off of the front page. And then no one will want to talk about it. And you will say, why are you still talking about that? That is no longer an issue.

So, when exactly is the right time to talk about an issue that is pertinent, hypocrisy in it, the people who are needing it now all of the sudden want the money, but they voted against it for other people? I think it is probably the best time to talk about it, while everyone is paying tension to it, even if there is some credence to what you are saying and Marco Rubio is saying.


This is when you have everyone's attention and they are listening. Why is this the wrong time to talk about it?

JENNINGS: If somebody wants to make a partisan attack om Marco Rubio in the wake of a massive hurricane, they are welcome to do it.

LEMON: It doesn't have to be partisan. It doesn't have to be partisan.

JENNINGS: It is. It is.


LEMON: Let's take Republicans and Democrats out of the names. Out of the whole discussion. If you are a politician in general, your state is having a problem, you voted against the exact funds that would help another state that was facing the exact same problem as you are, forget about Republican and Democrat, how is that not hypocritical? How is that an attack, a political attack? This is just about hypocrisy. Let us talk policy now.

JENNINGS: There were --

LEMON: Forget about the political.

JENNINGS: If you listen to Rubio, there were two versions. He voted for one and not the other because he felt one had nongermane issues and the other one was a clean disaster bill. I mean, that is his explanation. I think it is a pretty valid explanation.

LEMON: So, then, what is wrong with talking about that then?

JENNINGS: Nothing. I just think it is a partisan attack when it is not -- totally not necessary.

LEMON: You just said politics.

JENNINGS: It is my view.

LEMON: That's why I asked. I don't see if there's anything --

CARDONA: But it actually came out, Scott, that what Rubio -- and maybe he did think that it was there, maybe he didn't really look, but "The New York Times" had a whole story about this in 2017 when another hurricane was barreling down and this became an issue.

And I agree with Don. We should be talking about this because this is exactly what these leaders -- quote, unquote -- "are hired to do" by their constituents, and if they can't vote for disaster relief that will save their constituents' lives for whatever reason, they should be held accountable.

LEMON: But also, maybe there is something in to what Mark Rubio is saying. Why would you want that to be on page 38 instead of page one? Why would you want it to be in the C block of a news broadcast instead of the A block? I don't see anything wrong talking about it now. They should be discussing it.

JENNINGS: I don't mind to talk about it. I think Rubio has a very valid explanation for his previous votes. I think people who are making partisan attacks on him or Rick Scott or anyone else today probably haven't read the latest Florida polling and see that he is several points ahead of his Democratic challenger and they're grasping at straws --

LEMON: Maybe well and good but pointing out something that is true, that what happened, isn't necessarily a partisan attack. Let me just say this. I want to talk about this because this is also really important. There are also reports, Errol, from New York City being -- you know, New York City being recruited to go down -- people in New York City -- migrants from New York City being recruited to go to Florida to assist in the cleanup efforts.

Mayor Eric Adams says that he is looking into it. Florida is the same state whose governor shipped migrants to sanctuary cities just a few weeks ago. I mean, if this is true, the irony is off the charts here.

LOUIS: The irony is off the charts. The danger is off the charts. People -- there are reports. Nobody knows who is recruiting them. FEMA says it is not us. The city government knew nothing about it. Florida is not commenting. Nobody knows why 100 people apparently got into vehicles this afternoon and evening and said that they are going to go to Florida to work.

What we do know is that there -- you don't have a work permit. If you came here the way these migrants did come here, temporary protected status is -- there is such a backlog. It takes on average 10 and a half months to even get that.

So, they are going down there without authorization. God forbid anything should happen on the road while you are on your way. Who is responsible for that? What is on the other end of this trip? Where will they say? How will they be fed? Where is this money coming from? All of those are just big question marks. And, you know, the great irony, of course, is that they are apparently going to the state of Florida whose governor was engaged in these pranks and stunts, kind of sending migrants here and there to try and play for political points. But the reality is, these folks who have arrived, they need help and they need work.

LEMON: Yeah.

LOUIS: This is possibly the worst possible way to handle that.

LEMON: It never ends. It never ends. To be continued. Thank you, all. I appreciate it.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is going to sit out Sunday's game after suffering two apparent head injuries in consecutive games, but the question remains, why was he back on the field just days after his first injury in the first? Bob Costas is here, next.




LEMON: Increasing scrutiny on the NFL tonight as Miami Dolphins announced quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will miss the team's next game after suffering two apparent head injuries in consecutive games. Disturbing images as Tua Tagovailoa laid motionless with his fingers contorted after being sacked Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals just days after his helmet hit the turf against the Buffalo Bills last Sunday.

Now, the NFL P.A has been announcing this weekend that an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant involved in his concussion evaluation against the Bills has been terminated and saying modifications to the concussion protocol are needed.

What is also needed is a discussion now with Mr. Bob Costas, a CNN contributor. Bob --


LEMON: -- appreciate it. Good evening. What is going on here?

COSTAS: Well, first of all, the NFL P.A. can unilaterally, just as the commissioner's office and ownership, dismiss any of the independent consultants, the neurologists.


So as the NFL P.A. that did that. But subsequent to that, the league has issued a statement saying that they agree that with the NFL P.A., there's maybe some back and forth on the particulars, but that the protocols need to be revisited.

In fairness, it could just be that the protocols were not violated in this case but that the neurologist made a faulty judgment which is why Tua came back in the game against Buffalo, and then was cleared to play four days later because they played a Thursday night game against the Bengals and was also thrown violently on to the turf in that game.

What seems to be the objection among people that are knowledgeable about this, Chris Nowinsky from the Concussion Legacy Foundation and others, is that even if the independent neurologist, for whatever reason, good or otherwise, cleared him to play and come back into that very game, there are indications that a lay person can see, indications of the likelihood, if not certainty, of a concussion.

One is the way that he staggered to his feet and was wobbling. Then he shook his head from side to side to kind of clear the cobwebs. He held his hands up to his helmet. Those things alone should have been warning signs no matter what the independent neurologist said.

LEMON: And then also the way --

COSTAS: That was the second game.

LEMON: The second game. But the way that his fingers in that curled motion --


LEMON: It's a fencing response. It is a clear sign of traumatic brain injury.

COSTAS: Yes. And no one doubted that he had suffered a concussion at that point. But where the real problem came in was that he was allowed to go back into the game on Sunday against Buffalo. Prior to that game on Thursday against the Bengals, he was allowed to go back into that game, and then allowed to play four days later.

And we know that if you suffer a concussion, a second concussion so soon after the first one, that the compound effects of that are likely to be much greater than if you suffered a concussion, you know, a year ago and then another one subsequently. They're all bad as are the sub- concussive hits that are never diagnosed as concussion. But clearly, playing football can lead to a lot of problems.

Junior Seau never had a diagnosed concussion. You played 20 years in the NFL plus all the high school football and college football. We know he had CTE but never had a diagnosed concussion. So, there are many levels to this but the problem was him being allowed to go back in the game when there are indications he shouldn't have on Sunday and then being allowed to play four days later against the Bengals. Now, the team has said he will not play next week.

LEMON: I've got get this statement in. The NFL and the NFL Players Association released in a joint statement on Saturday acknowledging that updates are necessary to the league's concussion protocol with particular attention to be paid towards gross motor instability incidents. How important is that? It is important to get this right.

COSTAS: Yeah. LEMON: But one would think, at this point, they would've gotten it right.

COSTAS: Well, when you saw the way he staggered to his feet in the game against Buffalo and was wobbling around like a punched drunk fighter, that ought to have been an indication in and of itself.

Even if for whatever reason the independent neurologist said he is good to go out of the so-called abundance of caution, you have to say, wait a minute, there are indications here. The early indications of a concussion which you don't have to be a doctor to realize, when you see someone exhibiting those kinds of motor skill impairment, that is a red flag.

LEMON: Just quickly, I want to get this in. J.J Watt yesterday of Arizona Cardinals, after the win, very emotional because he suffered a heart procedure and was announced on Twitter that his heart went into an irregular rhythm on Wednesday. Doctors have to shock it back on Thursday.

COSTAS: An atrial fibrillation. He had to go under anesthesia, obviously, to have the rhythm restored as they shock it back into alignment, I guess. He was told that he was okay to play, this shouldn't be put in the same category as the Tua situation, and that it was no more likely that he would have any incident from playing a few days later that he might have a recurrence of this 10 years or 20 years down the road.

The reason he was emotional was that somebody revealed this, someone close to him revealed this when he preferred to keep it private. His wife is pregnant. They are expecting a baby boy very soon. He was upset about all of that.

LEMON: I think they are going to reveal. He wanted to beat them to the punch by revealing it.

COSTAS: That's right. By the way, Aaron Judge (INAUDIBLE) single tonight but no home run.

LEMON: No home run.

COSTAS: Three games left, doubleheader tomorrow, still on 61.

LEMON: That is all anyone is talking about. Is he going to do it? Thank you, Bob.

COSTAS: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: We wish all those guys, everyone whose injured, J.J. Watt and Tua, that they all get better. We will be right back.



LEMON: The football season is over for one California high school after a horrible racist prank. A video has surfaced showing some players at River Valley High school acting out a slave auction on some of their Black teammates. Students involved have been barred from competing for the rest of the season, and that left a team without enough players.


CNN's Stephanie Elam has the story.


CASSANDRA MUNOZ, BROTHER ATTENDS RIVER VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL: We are a 2022, about to go to 2023, and this is still happening?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Frustration and shock in a Northern California community after videos showing members of the River Valley High School varsity football team taking part in a disturbing prank where they appeared to stage a slave auction of three of their Black teammates.

School officials in the Yuba City Unified School District obtained the video, described as a -- quote -- "slave sale" last week and barred the students involved from competing.

CNN has not verified the video. CNN affiliate KCRA says it shows about a dozen students pointing and yelling dollar amounts at the Black students standing in their underwear up against a wall. The rest of the varsity football season will be forfeited since the team doesn't have enough players to continue.

UNKNOWN: They need counseling or something, whatever. We can help them. This should not happen.

ELAM (voice-over): Re-enacting a slave sale as a prank tells us that we have a great deal of work to do with our students so they can distinguish between intent and impact, school district superintendent Doreen Osumi said in a statement, adding, the may have thought this skit was funny, but it is not. It is unacceptable and requires us to look honestly and deeply at issues of systemic racism.

MUNOZ: Whoever made the video, I feel like they should -- even if they are football players, I don't care. You need to have get kicked out the game or, you know, don't even play for the rest of the season because that is messed up.

ELAM (on camera): And Don, the school district says these players have violated their student athlete code of conduct, something they had to sign at the beginning of every school year, and they are not taking this lightly.

However, the superintendent, in her statement to CNN, did say that she sees an opportunity to educate the students, especially since some of these kids thought something was humorous when, in fact, it was truly offensive. Don?

(END VIDEOTAPE) LEMON: Stephanie Elam, thank you so much.

Joining me now to discuss is CNN analyst Areva Martin. Areva, oh, boy, where do we start? Because the players not involved now have their season canceled because of this slave auction. Do they have any options?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, Don, first, you know, we shouldn't be surprised. We've seen these slave auctions take place both being conducted by teachers and students and school districts across this country from North Carolina to New Jersey to New York where you are. So, this is not the first incident. This is not the first time that we've seen students behave in this manner.

And given that so many school districts on this country are banning books, books by noted authors like Toni Morrison, and also making it more difficult for teachers to teach the facts about the horrors of slavery and Black history, I don't know what we expect from our students. We denied them the important historical information that they need, and then we expect them to understand how offensive and how racist this conduct is. It is not fair to the students, Don.

LEMON: Say again?

MARTIN: It is not fair to the students.

LEMON: Got it.

MARTIN: If the adults won't allow them to learn Black history but yet expect them to comport themselves in a way that would demonstrate an understanding of the horrors of slavery, what we're seeing is just the opposite. School districts are saying, no, we don't want you to learn it.

LEMON: Let's put it into perspective here because I want people to know what is on the video. CNN has not seen the video, but it shows students pointing and yelling dollar amounts at Black students lined up in their underwear. It is demeaning. That sort of disgusting experience can stay with someone for a long time.

MARTIN: Absolutely. It is called racialized trauma. We don't talk enough about it, I think, in this country. Many students will have symptoms very similar to those individuals that have experience post- traumatic stress disorder.

Noted psychologist and professor emeritus at Columbia University, Professor Robert Carter, has written extensively about racialized trauma and how it causes real physiological symptoms, sleeplessness, physical pain.

I would expect many of these students to have those symptoms, and to report those students to their parents and school district. I wouldn't be surprised, Don, if we did start to see lawsuits being filed by parents or their students experiencing this kind of trauma.

LEMON: Areva, thank you. I wish we could talk under better circumstances, but I appreciate you joining.

MARTIN: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: A major scandal in the fishing world. You heard me, a fishing scandal.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): We got weights in fish!





LEMON: So, you hear about a lot of scandals in sports. But fishing? We have a cheating scandal rocking the world of competitive fishing. On Friday, the would-be winners of nearly $29,000 at a tournament in Cleveland were disqualified when it was discovered that their fish were stuffed with lead weights.

The goal is to come in with the heaviest bucket of five walleyes caught in Lake Erie. But the director of the tournament thought the fish were too heavy, so he cut them open.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): We got weights in fish!




LEMON: Wow! So, I want to talk about this scandal with Ross Robertson. He is a professional angler and host of the podcast "Big Water Fishing." Ross, thank you so much.


LEMON: Tell me about it. I grew up in Sportsman's Paradise or Fisherman's Paradise down in Louisiana. I watch the fishing all the time. Every Saturday morning, you can catch me watching some type of fishing. Last night, you spoke with the director of the tournament, Jason Fischer, on your podcast. This is what he said about his reaction and how shocked he was.


JASON FISCHER, LAKE ERIE WALLEYE TRAIL DIRECTOR: I got a little animated and just basically a wild emotion came out at that time. I said, get the heck out of here. I said, get the F out of here. And then, at that moment, it turned into -- from a fishing tournament to a mob scene. I mean, these anglers, these guys that pour their heart and souls and money to this were just pissed.


LEMON: Okay, so Ross, I have to ask you. Did he tell you why he was so suspicious? Because usually when I watch, they do the scale, I know it is unofficial, then they do the scale on the boat, right? But did he tell you --

ROBERTSON: I think, to answer your question, I think it really comes down to a lot of anglers who kind of self-policed. There was just a lot of smoke, you know. But again, in today's day and age, you can't make accusations to somebody unless you have some harder proof.

But time and time again, there was just a lot of little signals. A lot of the other anglers had actually filed protests. One of the suspects there he actually had failed a lie detector test. So that kind of help perpetuate this.

But I think a lot of what it came down to is people in the tournament fish can tell you this and people that don't probably can't is to win is extremely difficult no matter how good you are. To be very consistent, I won't say easy but that is double unbelievable. But to win like they have out of nowhere, that's like one in a billion, to be honest.

LEMON: Okay. So, wait, you said they failed a lie detector test. What was the lie detector test about? Did you cheat? Did you stuff your fish? Did you -- what is a lie detector?

ROBERTSON: Well, I wasn't there for that, but I know that any of these big prizes in the fall, there will be a league, this one (INAUDIBLE), so first place is like $150,000 (INAUDIBLE) just like I drive every day.

And, when you're in the top five and you're getting a check, I think, like third or fourth places, like, $50,000 cash. So, everyone has to take a lie detector test in that, and he did not pass that. But again, that is kind of a separate incident. As you can imagine, this kid of adds to the drama in the whole situation.

LEMON: And the suspicion, right? You mentioned the amount of money. And this particular prize, I think it was up to $29,000 in prize money, that was what was at stake here. Has the sport of competitive fishing become even more competitive? If so, why?

ROBERTSON: Absolutely. When I started, I didn't have YouTube to watch. We had a couple fishing shows like you talked about. They were not focusing on education. Nowadays, the top professionals are teaching you about fishing. It is much easier for younger guys coming into the sport to learn much, much faster than what we did. Quite frankly, there's just a whole lot more money. And the eagles are probably mixed in there, too. If you get that combination together -- that is not always the best combination and results when you get those three things.

LEMON: Listen, as I told you, as we were talking before the taping started, I used to go fishing with my parents every weekend and, you know, what is good about watching the shows is that you get to see the good part, when they catch the fish. You don't have to sit there all day --


LEMON: -- waiting and waiting and waiting to get a bite, you know, for the cork to go down or whatever. Listen, this is what is astounding here. These anglers, Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan, they are a big deal in the walleye fishing world. Almost legendary. They came in first place in each of the three previous Lake Erie walleye trial events this year. They won several other tournaments. Does this call into question all of their previous wins?

ROBERTSON: I think it does. Again, I'm not here to judge people. But I don't know if I would stay that they are legendary or this is kind of a regional or local deal. The Lake Erie Walleye Trail is an amazing organization, but it is still a club-level deal, so there is no one there making a living doing that like some of the other tours.

But the elephant in the room, absolutely, is that these guys have a lot of other suspect things. And again, I'm not here to accuse people, but I think most people (INAUDIBLE) there is a lot of smoke, if you will, and a lot of the other things, and it definitely brings suspect to some of the other stuff, no doubt.

LEMON: Do you think their fishing careers are over?

ROBERTSON: Oh, guaranteed, yeah. I can't speak for the organizations, but most of the major ones that I fished with through the years, if you have a blatant drastic cheating where there is no question like we do here, we are cutting fish open and there are weights coming out, other organizations will also not allow you in.


And obviously, this one has got -- you know, we are sitting here talking about them. This one has gotten a lot more attention than it normally would. And it is a black eye for fishing a little bit. But to be honest, it's a good thing because here I am sitting and talking to you, talking with people all over the world literally about this.

We have educated a little bit about alternate (ph) fishing, about walleye fishing, the Lake Erie Walleye Trail. And, you know, I think maybe there's going to be some rule changes and things. Hopefully, for the better for fishing. We are looking at bigger and better things.

LEMON: Ross, we appreciate you joining us. Thank you, sir. Best of luck to you. And hopefully, you won't have to come back and talk to us about this, right?

ROBERTSON: Next time, we are talking what we will be doing on a fishing boat. (LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Thank you very much. I appreciate that. And we should note that CNN asked both fishermen for comment and neither responded. Thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.