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Alec Baldwin Fatally Shot Cinematographer With Prop Gun; Interview With Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) About The Virginia Governor Race And Infrastructure Bill; Facebook Papers Paint Damning Picture Of Company's Role In Insurrection; Questions Linger After Brian Laundrie's Remains Found; Haitian Gang Vows To Kill 17 Hostages If Ransom Is Not Paid. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 23, 2021 - 19:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: All right. Andy Slavitt, thanks for joining us. As always, we appreciate hearing your perspective on all of this.


BROWN: And join me tomorrow when I speak to the director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins. That's at 6:00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN.

Your next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.


LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An assistant director yelled cold gun as he gave a prop firearm to Alec Baldwin according to an affidavit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Usually you would try and avoid using a real gun unless you have to.

KAFANOV: Investigators are now combing through the evidence from the movie set including Alec Baldwin's bloodstained clothes.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Next in the Gabby Petito case investigators turn to Brian Laundrie's parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Making a statement that we haven't seen him is not reporting someone missing.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Part of that investigation will be to discern and determine what if anything the family members know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Powerful Pacific storms set to bring heavy rain, flash flooding and strong damaging winds to the northwest and California starting tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I travel light so in the face of evacuation I'll just get the hell out of dodge. ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Obama on the stump

for Terry McAuliffe's gubernatorial campaign in Virginia slams Republicans.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Why is it Republicans don't want you to vote? What is it that they're so afraid of?


BROWN: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM on this Saturday.

And new information coming in tonight about the deadly film set shooting involving Alec Baldwin. An affidavit says some of the clothes he wore at the time appear to have bloodstains on them. And new video sheds light on the kind of gun training some of the actors received.

Listen to what one of Baldwin's co-stars said just days before the fatal shooting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They had me pick my gun. They're like, all right, what gun would you like? And I was like, I don't know, and the armorer was like, do you have gun experience?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like what's a gun?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was like, a little, and she's like, OK, well, this is how you load it. This is how we check it, make sure it's safe. And she's like, OK, I'm going to put some blanks in there and I want you just to go and fire off a couple of rounds towards the hill. And I was like OK, so I put the belt on, I put the gun there, and I walked out. And she's like, just make sure that, you know, you pull the hammer all the way back and you aim at your target.


BROWN: Obviously those comments taking on new meaning now. CNN's Lucy Kavanaugh is near the film set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with the very latest.

KAFANOV: That's right, Pam. New details emerging from the affidavit which helped shed light on a little bit of the timeline on what took place on that fateful Thursday afternoon. We understand that the team was shooting inside a structure on the film set for the movie "Rust." this is the Bonanza Creek Ranch. We also understand that the head armorer, that's the person inside of weapons prop safety on movie sets, had placed three prop weapons on a cart outside of the structure.

The assistant director then picked up one of the weapons. He walked it inside the structure where Alec Baldwin was in full Western regalia. He handed the gun to Mr. Baldwin while shouting cold gun, which in the industry means that there was no live rounds. The weapon should have been safe to handle, and of course we all know that something went terribly wrong in the aftermath.

According to the affidavit Mr. Baldwin took the gun and fired. We understand that Halyna Hutchins, 42-year-old, director of cinematography, suffered a fatal wound to the chest. The director of the film, Joel Souza, was shot in the shoulder. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

Now it's not clear where the armorer was during the shooting. The affidavit names her as Hannah Gutierrez. She's 24 years old. We understand that she was trained from the age of 16 by her father, the legendary gunsmith -- pardon me, Feld Reed. She graduated from college a year ago and this was actually just her second time ever working as the head armorer on a film set.

She previously worked on "The Old Way" with Nicholas Cage, and she gave a podcast interview about that experience which aired in September in which she shared some concerns about her ability to do the job. Take a listen.


HANNAH GUTIERREZ, ARMORER FOR THE MOVIE "RUST": I was really nervous about it at first and I almost didn't take the job because I wasn't sure if I was ready, but doing it, like, it went really smoothly.


KAFANOV: Now she also admitted in that same podcast interview that she found loading blanks into a gun, quote, "the scariest thing" because she didn't know exactly how to do it and apparently had to ask her dad for some assistance. Now again, this was on a separate production of a Nicholas Cage movie.

We don't know the details what happened in the film "Rust." investigators are certainly combing through the property and we know that they've seized all of the digital material, the films, the phones, anything that might help them piece together the timeline.


But we do also understand that there were broader concerns about safety on the set. Prior to Thursday's incident several crew members actually quit the production over concerns about conditions including gun safety and COVID safety protocols. This is according to the "Los Angeles Times." So many unanswered questions, Pam.

BROWN: All right. Lucy Kafanov, thanks so much.

And CNN has reached out to "Rust" movie productions and has yet to receive a response. They did give a statement to the "L.A. Times" saying, quote, "The safety of our cast and crew was the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associate with the company.

Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shutdown. We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities and their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time."

Joining me now to discuss this a little bit more, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney, Joey Jackson. Also Steve Wolf, he is a stunt coordinator and theatrical firearm safety expert.

Good to see you both. Joey, let me start with you here. Could Alec Baldwin or any of the film's crew members face any legal consequences for the shooting?

JACKSON: You know, it's possible. But let's start with Alec Baldwin where I think it's highly unlikely. I think just pivoting quickly, Pam, to this point is that other things will happen, of course. I think the sheriff's office as we know is undertaking an extensive investigation to determine what, when, who and how, et cetera. I think in addition to that there's an internal review with regard to that particular production.

I think there'll be an industrywide review and I think we'll see legislative efforts potentially also to have other reforms and training here as to whether or not Alec Baldwin would be criminally responsible. You know, when we do things, Pam, in any job we have we reasonably rely upon other people because we operate as a team.

And in the event that it was indicated cold gun, he had no reason to believe that it was just that. It was a prop and it would never hurt anyone. And so it's difficult to charge him. I think moving on from that last point, Pamela, and that is that they'll look at other people and what their roles, responsibilities and jobs were. And I think you could make the argument clearly there was negligence here.

As to whether that arises to the level of criminality, that's really a harder thing to establish. But certainly they'll look at everything here to determine what's warranted moving forward.

BROWN: Right. And Alec Baldwin is in this unique position in this case because he obviously was someone that fired the gun, but he was also a producer of this movie.

Steve, that gun that Alec Baldwin used has been referred to as a prop gun. Is there any reason why a live round might have been inside the gun's chamber? If not, are there any firewalls in place on the film set to ensure that doesn't happen?

STEVE WOLF, STUNT COORDINATOR, FIREARMS SAFETY EXPERT: Well, there's no reason to have had a firearm that was capable of discharging live ammo on the set. Anything that an actor touches is a prop. So if an actor touches their cellphone, you know, it becomes a prop. But when we say prop gun it means that as a gun that the actor handles, it means that's a gun that's been mechanically modified so that you cannot put live ammo into it. Only blanks should put into it.

BROWN: OK, we're having some issues, Steve. WOLF: I'm sorry?

BROWN: Go again, sorry. We were having some issues. It was hard to hear you and you were pixilated. Go again.

WOLF: OK. So I was just saying that a prop gun is a gun that's been specifically manufactured for shooting blanks, not bullets. In fact, the bullets won't fit into a gun that's been modified properly, only blanks will fit into it. And that's a safeguard to ensure that live ammo is not loaded into guns that are used on set. So if you don't use the right type of gun, you're not going to get the safety benefit that's been engineered into it.

BROWN: Joey, I want to bring you in on this because the "L.A. Times" is reporting that members of the film crew complained about long hours, waiting for paychecks and poor gun safety on the set. How could that factor in, this walkout, this alleged walkout according to this reporting? How could that factor into potential legal concerns?

WOLF: Yes, Pamela, so I think it speaks to the broader issue of how this particular production was run and potentially and apparently it was run in a poor way such that people walked off the set. I think it also speaks to potential civil liability. What do I mean? I mean that people were acting negligently. That is they were careless. That is they consciously disregarded a risk that something could happen.

It means they acted unreasonably. Now whether that translates into criminality, you have to establish really a gross deviation from a standard of care.


Look, someone is dead here. That's horrific. It's tragic. It needs to be looked into and investigated to the full extent. But when you talk about criminality, you're talking about another level. And I think they will check and see whose responsibility was it? Did they do it adequately? Were they appropriately trained? What specifically did they do at that particular time such that Alec Baldwin had a gun in his hand, not a prop?

That will all be examined. But I think it's a really quantum leap to establish that there was a crime committed. You just need a lot more other than civil sort of liability, negligence, carelessness, but we'll see as the investigation proceeds.

BROWN: What does it tell you, Steve? Does it suggest that there were corners cut? Is that something that happens on these movie sets if the budget is tight, they would cut corners when it comes to safety?

WOLF: It happens all the time, unfortunately. And you could raise an objection and say, hey, wait, I don't think this is safe and then, well, all right, why don't you go home and we'll find some who thinks that they can do it under these conditions.

And it's really deplorable, but a lot of pressure is put on people to act unsafely to try and get a film done on time and on budget. And unfortunately, it's very shortsighted when you think, you know what, I'm going to save a couple bucks an hour by hiring a prop person who doesn't know what they're doing and now someone's dead because of it.

So when you look at the lists on the legal side, you know, what should have been done, what was done and the delta between them, that's where we just can figure out whether, you know, there's both criminal and civil liabilities.

BROWN: I don't know if you heard --


WOLF: I'm sorry?

BROWN: Sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off there but I did want to ask about that podcast with the prop master who was on this set. Her first job was on another movie set just before and she was talking about how it was new and she wasn't sure if she was ready and so forth. What did you make of that?

WOLF: That's really scary. I think when someone is new and not sure, that's fine. We all start somewhere. But you work under somebody's tutelage and you will practice until you have mastery. And then the person that you're apprenticing under tells you, OK, you're ready to go do this on your own. And until then, no, you work with supervision.

BROWN: All right. Steve Wolf, Joey Jackson, thank you so much.

JACKSON: Thank you, Pam.

WOLF: Thank you.

BROWN: And coming up this hour what leaked documents reveal about Facebook's role in the insurrection. Our Donie O'Sullivan is live with his new reporting coming up. And then we're live in Haiti. That is where authorities are racing to save the lives of 17 kidnapped missionaries including Americans.

You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.



BROWN: The clock is ticking and Democrats are rolling out the heavy hitters with just 10 days until two crucial governors races. President Obama campaigning today in both Virginia and New Jersey where he accused the Republican Party of trying to rig upcoming elections.


OBAMA: If you got good ideas, people will flock to your ideas but that's not what they're trying to do. Instead, they're trying to rig elections. Because the truth is people disagree with your ideas. And when that doesn't work, you start fabricating lies and conspiracy theories about the last election, the one you didn't win. That's not how democracy is supposed to work.


BROWN: These two races will be a roadmap for both parties ahead of next year's midterms. So Democrats are certainly watching this closely as are Republicans, and it's a test of the influence of former President Donald Trump.

Even more urgent for Democrats, the disagreements still unfolding on Capitol Hill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying that she hopes to have a vote next week on both the massive spending bill and the bipartisan infrastructure deal. But members of her party have yet to come to an agreement on the trillions of dollars' worth of legislation.

So here to discuss all of that and more, Congresswoman Barbara Lee. She is part of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Congresswoman Lee, thanks for coming on and for your time tonight.

REP. BARBARA LEE (D-CA): Thank you, Pam. Thank you for having me. Glad to be with you.

BROWN: So how much of the Virginia and New Jersey races are a roadmap for Democrats when it comes to winning in the midterms in your view?

LEE: Sure. The Virginia governor's race is extremely important in terms of a roadmap, and it's really quite frankly all about turnout. It's about the message. It's about what we're doing as Democrats to make people's lives better. And of course we have to make sure that we get every vote out because, as President Obama said so eloquently, I mean they're trying to change the rules of the game.

We know that voter suppression didn't just start. They've been working on this for years. They want to suppress the vote, and so we've got to make sure we have turnout. And when we turn out, we win. So this is a very important election. All hands on deck.

I have many family members in Virginia who are working day and night to make sure that the turnout is what it should be to make sure that Terry McAuliffe wins this race. It's a critical moment. It's a defining moment.

BROWN: So you're saying it's all about the turnout there and essentially getting Democrats excited, but are you concerned that the fact that Democrats have not been able -- have not passed the infrastructure bill first and the president's spending bill on climate change, the social safety net, that that hasn't happened, that that could hurt the Virginia race, that could hurt the Democratic candidate? Was it a mistake not to pass the infrastructure bill already?

LEE: No, this was not a mistake. Look, we've been working on this and negotiating now, which is what happens when you create legislation that's going to affect people's lives. We, remember, are very familiar with the last four years where you did not see the process take place.


Donald Trump really was on the road to a dictatorship. And this process of democracy, this legislative process really in many respects is new to people because of the last four years. So we're going to get there. We have to have both bills. We have to have the infrastructure bill, create good paying jobs. And we have to have Build Back Better because you have to have both bills go together.

You have to have childcare. Look at all of the women, for example, especially black and brown women, who want to get back in the work force and they can't afford childcare. Look at our housing crisis in the country. Congresswoman Maxine Waters has been working day and night to make sure that vouchers are expanded, that our public housing is retrofitted, and resiliency programs put in so that they can become cleaner and greener.

She's working to make sure that we have pathways to ownership when you know that the pathway to wealth accumulation especially for people of color and African-Americans is through owning a home. Well, that's just about gone. And so there's so many provisions in this bill that are going to help everyone. It's inclusive and it's going to help everyone get back to work. It really is an economic bill and it's going to provide for the caring of our seniors, for the caregiving economy.

BROWN: Right.

LEE: And also I'm sure that people's lives are changed.

BROWN: And I know it's important to continue to discuss what is in these bills, right? But it's changing minute by minute, and the reality is the entire Biden agenda, it could still fall apart. It is not a guarantee, all because Democrats can't make a deal on this larger spending bill.

So I mean these two Democrats running for governor need all the momentum they can get, right? Again, do you think as you look back in hindsight that infrastructure bill should have been passed so at least they can be running on a win right now?

LEE: Listen, no. I think we're doing exactly what we need to do. Both of these bills must go together. President Biden, he campaigned on primarily the Build Back Better bill. This is the bill that the American people voted for, is an economic bill. It creates good paying jobs. It addresses the climate crisis, puts people back to work. It has gender and racial equity embedded throughout the entire bill.

And so you can't have one without the other. That was not a mistake. What we're doing and what we're doing very well I think, even though it's a hard lift, it's a heavy lift when you have a couple of senators who just haven't quite frankly at least negotiated the final deal, but our speaker, President Biden, Senator Schumer, everyone's working really hard on this. I've been in three meetings with the president, and I have to just tell you he's very forthright, very honest about this. And he is working on both bills since we have to have both in order

for the first one to be a bill that will work with the participation of everyone in our country. So Build Back Better, infrastructure bill, both of them are what the president campaigned on, and we've got to pass them both. And we're heading in that direction.

BROWN: I want to ask you about -- switching gears a little bit -- January 6th. A federal judge said yesterday that the defiant rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6th are fueling threats against judges. And your Democratic colleague Eric Swalwell, well, he shared a voicemail he received from a Trump supporter after he was slammed by Tucker Carlson on FOX News. Let's listen to that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You atheist, communist, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), are a threat to our democracy, our Constitution and our way of life. And I hope these foreign invaders you're letting in this country I hope they chop you and your family up and feed them to the dogs. Trump nation, baby.


BROWN: I mean that is so disturbing to hear obviously. Are you concerned about your safety or your fellow Democrats? What is your reaction?

LEE: Well, let me tell you, safety is a big issue and hate speech leads to hate violence. I was sitting on the floor of Congress on January 6th. I saw what took place, and I know good and well how Donald Trump and his henchmen promoted what took place. And so we've got to get this under control. I'm glad that Chairman Bennie Thompson is moving forward, that Congress is moving forward, to hold those accountable for what took place because it is a very dangerous situation.

And it is very reflective, though, of what hate speech does and how Donald Trump has just revved this up in terms of his base. And so everyone has to be careful. We know that there are those out there who would like to do harm, but that's not going to stop us from continuing with our agenda to Build Back Better and our agenda to work for the people because the dangers that there as an African-American woman, we know the threats of white supremacy.

Black people have lived through this all of their lives, so this is nothing new for us. And so I'm sorry in listening to what Eric has to go through with this madness. It's very serious. But I just want to remind you all this hate speech, what happens after hate speech at least, the hate violence that people can get, you know, are put in harm's ways as a result of that.


So this has got to stop. And I have to say some of the media is extremely responsible for a lot of this.

BROWN: When you say some of the media what do you mean?

LEE: Well, some of the very -- if you listen to the conservative media and how they pump up the big lie, what they talk about in terms of others who are invading the country. You heard that man speak. When you talk about their messages that they're putting out there to rev up the Trump forces, to make others -- make others the enemy when we should be trying to unify the country, bring the country together.

They're supporting the big lie. We know good and well Donald Trump did not win the election. They're trying to take away voting rights. The right-wing media is talking about suppressing the vote. Look how many members of the Republican Party voted or did not vote just to even allow debate on the Freedom to Vote Act. Come on.

So this is really a dangerous moment to our democracy. But we're going to prevail because the people are with us, and we're going to continue to fight until we stamp out hate and ensure that there's justice and equity for all in this country.

BROWN: OK. Representative Barbara Lee, thank you again for joining us.

LEE: Thank you.

BROWN: New documents from Facebook paint a damning picture of the company's role in the January 6th insurrection and the spread of misinformation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So these are like potato chips that they feed to somebody who's got a potato chip addiction, and that is the reality of the platform. It is an addiction engine.


BROWN: CNN's Donie O'Sullivan is standing by to share his new reporting right after this break.



BROWN: It might be the most significant peek behind the curtain about the role Facebook played in the deadly Capitol riot on January 6th. Internal Facebook documents reviewed by CNN reveal how the social media company fell short in shutting down the so-called Stop the Steal Movement.

And days after the insurrection, Facebook officials tried to downplay its role in what happened.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan joins me now. So Donie, what did we learn from these new documents?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Pam. Yes, some really shocking revelations in this, a consortium of 17 U.S. news organizations are going through tens of thousands of Facebook documents that were leaked by Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen, and here is what we learned about January 6th. Have a look.


O'SULLIVAN (voice over): On January 6th, Facebook executives condemned the attack on the U.S. Capitol, but internally, some employees began to push back.

Facebook, they suggested was culpable. One writing an internal Facebook company chat, "All due respect, but haven't we had enough time to figure out how to manage discourse without enabling violence? We've been fueling this fire for a long time and we shouldn't be surprised it's now out of control."

Another wrote they were tired of "thoughts and prayers" from Facebook leadership. "There were dozens of Stop to Steal groups active up until yesterday," another Facebook employee responded.

Stop the Steal -- the conspiracy theory movement that helped fuel the interaction had been organizing on Facebook for months.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): How did you guys hear about this event today?


O'SULLIVAN: Facebook events? Instagram? How have you been doing this?

SCOTT PRESLER, "STOP THE STEAL" ORGANIZER: Well, I created a Facebook event for yesterday's event. And I posted after the fact that we were again coming today. I will be again making another event in regards to tomorrow.

JOAN DONOVAN, HARVARD'S SHORENSTEIN CENTER ON MEDIA POLITICS AND PUBLIC POLICY: Facebook provided the fundamental coordinating infrastructure, they were sharing ride share information. They were sharing resources. They were talking about, you know, what they were going to wear and if they were going to have Trump flags.

O'SULLIVAN (voice over): We now know that an internal Facebook report described the company's attempts to crack down on Stop the Steal as piecemeal.

That document leaked by Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen, who spent her final months at the company photographing thousands of internal documents and company chat logs.

DONOVAN: These documents are vindication that what we've been saying as a field has been true all along and that Facebook knows it and could take action on it and decides not to.

LAWRENCE LESSIG, ADVISER TO FACEBOOK WHISTLEBLOWER, FRANCES HAUGEN: For many years, people have been talking about the Facebook effect, what Facebook is doing to culture, to society, to politics, but we didn't really know from data from Facebook whether these theories were true. What Frances has given us is an extraordinary archive of material that

helps us see exactly what's going on and what they know is going on, and it is the biggest and most important contribution to understanding this incredibly important problem that we've ever had.

O'SULLIVAN (voice over): The leaked documents, many just becoming public, were given to a consortium of news organizations including CNN formed the basis of a complaint to the S.E.C. where Haugen alleges the company misled investors and the public about its role perpetuating misinformation and violent extremism relating to the 2020 election and January 6th insurrection.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Facebook executives like Nick Clegg will say it's unfair to blame Facebook for the insurrection.

DONOVAN: It's a red herring to say people are blaming Facebook for the entire thing. That's not what's happening here. And you can't at the same time be Facebook and trying to take responsibility and being very proud of all the organizing work that you've helped Black Lives Matter do or the Occupy Movements or Standing Rock, you can't take credit for all of that, and then say, oh, that thing called the insurrection, we had nothing to do with that.


O'SULLIVAN (voice over): Another revelation from the documents, an internal memo, including details of a Facebook staffer setting up a test account to see what Facebook's algorithms were recommending to users.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): 2019, a Facebook employee sets up an account designed to look like a 41-year-old conservative mom living in North Carolina. Her name is Carol Smith. She likes a few pages. She likes Trump. She likes FOX News.

But in a week, she's getting a QAnon recommendation. I saw in there that after three weeks, there was actually a recommendation for a page that was the Three Percenters, the militia -- self-described militia involved in the insurrection.

LESSIG: Right. Yes, no, I mean, again, we've suspected this dynamic. What's striking about what Frances has revealed, is that we now know that Facebook itself saw this precisely. So, these are like potato chips that they feed to somebody who's got a potato chip addiction, and that is the reality of the platform. It is an addiction engine and it profits the more it can manipulate us to consume what we want to consume most.


O'SULLIVAN (on camera): And as you might expect, Facebook is pushing back. Here is what their spokesperson, Andy Stone, had to say to us. He said: "The notion that the January 6 insurrection would not have happened but for Facebook is absurd. The former President pushed a narrative that the election was stolen, including in person a short distance from the Capitol Building that day. The responsibility for the violence that occurred on January 6 lies

with those who attacked our Capitol and those who encouraged them. We have a long track record of effective cooperation with law enforcement, including the agencies responsible for addressing threats of domestic terrorism." But as you heard in that report there, Pamela, there's a lot of questions for Facebook to answer.

And no doubt, we know that the January 6th Committee has asked Facebook for some documents related to the Stop the Steal Movement in January 6, and no doubt a lot of the revelations that will continue to come out by the way throughout the week, there are more of these documents, many more documents to come on all aspects of Facebook and how they police their platform will be of interest, no doubt to the January 6 House Committee.

BROWN: All right, Donie O'Sullivan, thank you so much.

Well, the manhunt for Brian Laundrie has ended, but so has any chance of getting him to explain what happened his fiancee, Gabby Petito. We break down the biggest lingering questions and the case up next.



BROWN: Well, the man had for Brian Laundrie might be over, but the hunt for answers has gotten more complicated. This week, the F.B.I. confirm remains found in a Florida nature preserve were Laundrie's. But there are even more questions tonight about his possible role in the death of his fiancee, Gabby Petito, and there is hope a notebook found next to Laundrie's remains may hold some clues.

CNN's Polo Sandoval breaks down where investigators go from here.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, the actual manhunt for Brian Laundrie that's been over, but the search for actual answers for so many questions that are being asked here in North Port, that is still far from over here.

One of them is, of course, exactly how he died. We know, according to information from the Laundrie family attorney that his skeletal remains are now in the hands of a forensic anthropologist. The purpose there is to actually perform an analysis and try to find out a little bit more.

And then you also recall that we heard from the Laundrie family attorney saying that based on conversations he had with Brian's parents is when he left this home in North Port, that they felt that he was upset at the time. So there is certainly a big question as to what if anything, they potentially were told by Brian before he went to that nearby reserve.

The parents did say at the time that he seemed upset, and in the meantime though, investigators are also processing other pieces of evidence including a backpack and notebook that was located there at that location, hoping that they could potentially provide some clues here.

Meantime, though, here at the Laundrie family home, we've only seen Mr. Laundrie a couple of times. He has not answered any questions publicly. But as his attorney has maintained, they have been cooperating with the F.B.I. from the very start -- Pam.

BROWN: All right, Polo Sandoval, thanks so much for that well.

New concerns tonight for the lives of 17 American and Canadian missionaries held hostage by a Haitian gang. Our Matt Rivers is live in Port-au-Prince with the very latest right after this break.

And be sure to watch the all-new episode of "This is Life" with Lisa Ling tomorrow night at 10 Eastern and Pacific only on CNN.



BROWN: The U.S. Embassy in Haiti issuing a new security alert warning about widespread kidnappings inside the country including that of American citizens. This alert coming less than two days after a horrifying video message was released showing the leader of the gang that kidnapped 17 American and Canadian missionaries threatening to kill them if he doesn't get the $17 million ransom he has demanded.

CNN's Matt Rivers is live in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Matt, you spoke to a man who was kidnapped by the same gang earlier this year. Tell us about that.

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly right, Pamela, and he was able to shed some insight into perhaps some of what these 17 kidnapped missionaries are going through right now.

This priest went through some pretty harrowing times for nearly three weeks that he spent as a kidnapping victim and this made even more chilling by that video threat that you just mentioned.


RIVERS (voice over): The threat from 400 Mawozo gang leader, Wilson Joseph was chilling. If his ransom demands are not met he says, he will kill the 17 missionaries his gang kidnapped last weekend from its stronghold in the suburb of Croix-des-Bouquets, the gang has terrorized this community for years.


RIVERS (voice over): Kidnapping now a hallmark tactic to make money.

Something French priest, Michel Briand knows firsthand. We met him in a church compound in Port-au-Prince where he told us about the day that same gang took him and others back in April. He says, "We had to go through Croix-des-Bouquets to get to a work

event and on our way there, we were intercepted by young men with guns. The gang forced our driver to follow them. That's when I knew we were being kidnapped. I just kept calm."

They were taken to a more rural area, at first forced to sleep outside on cardboard under a tree, then they were moved to one abandoned house and then another in difficult conditions to say the least.

He says, "It was like a dark hole, like a prison cell, the last place we were in with no windows. At the beginning, they were giving us food once a day. But by the end, they stopped feeding us. They forced us to go hungry," he said, believing it was a negotiation tactic.

RIVERS (on camera): A source in Haiti Security Forces tells us that he believes these 17 missionaries could be going through a very similar situation right now somewhere several miles down that road, made even more difficult by the fact that five of them are children, with the youngest being just eight months old.

RIVERS (voice over): In the small town where the missionary group is based, a protest calling for their release, palpable anger rising toward what they see as an incompetent government.

This protester says, "These missionaries do things for us in our village, the government doesn't. They've handed the country over to the gang. We demand their release because these missionaries are everything for us here."

People remain angry because there have been little updates from the government as to what if any progress is being made, though a government source says that is on purpose so as not to make negotiations any harder. But it remains impossible to know how long the 17 missionaries will remain captive inside whatever location the gang has placed them.

For Father Briand, it was nearly three weeks in total. He says the kidnappers play with time, they test the nerves of their victims, especially when they are negotiating. So, the victims can't lose faith. They need to keep their hopes up. In our case, our faith was our best ally.


RIVERS (on camera): Now Father Briand also told us that he is someone who has been living and working here in Haiti for several decades. He knows the language. He knows the culture here and he said that you know, the people that are kidnapped, we believe that, you know, they don't have those same kinds of experiences here.

So you're talking about difficulties in communicating on a very basic level. He said that was what made his experience even that much more bearable because he could communicate with the people who kidnapped them. In the case of these particular missionaries, we're not totally sure, but we don't believe that many of them speak Creole and that and that's going to make all of this situation for them that much harder, according to this priests that we had a chance to sit down with.

BROWN: That was just so enlightening to see that and what the priest said and what they could be going through right now as we speak, just horrifying.

Matt Rivers live in Haiti for us. Thank you.

Well, he pushed a baseless election fraud claim and nearly inspired Justice Department officials to resign en masse.

Now, Jeffrey Clark is said to be the first Trump administration official to sit with January 6 investigators. A look ahead to that critical testimony, next.



BROWN: New developments tonight in the January 6 Committee's investigation. Sources tell CNN that former D.O.J. official Jeffrey Clark is set to testify before the Committee next Friday. A Senate report said Clark was a central player in Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the election.

CNN's Katelyn Polantz is following the story. So Katelyn, remind us who Jeffrey Clark is and why he is so important?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Pam, Jeffrey Clark is the official that Congress has been trying to talk to you for months now. The Senate Judiciary Committee had wanted him to sit down and talk, he didn't go into talk to them.

Now, the House January 6th Committee then hit him with a subpoena, and we are learning from sources, they are telling us that Clark and the Committee both are preparing for him to come in on Friday to testify.

Now, Clark is not a household name among people in the Justice Department, but he is a very important figure in this investigation because he was from what we know central to Donald Trump using the Justice Department to try and overturn the election of 2020.

Now after the election, Clark was leading the Civil Division at the Justice Department. And so, he was proposing to officials, his bosses at Justice, to send a letter to Georgia and two other states to use their legislature to potentially throw out votes and allow -- he wanted the Justice Department to give those states cover.

He also was the person that Trump wanted to install as the Attorney General because he was sympathetic to these election fraud claims. And so what that does, if he does come into the Committee and he does speak freely about what he was hearing and what he saw, that allows the committee to have a new level of insight into the people around Trump, what Trump was saying directly to acolytes of his and what other people who were pushing this election fraud idea, thought and wanted to do at that time.