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Biden Speaks on Decision to Renominate Powell as Fed Chair; Biden Nominates Lael Brainard as Fed Vice Chair; Closing Arguments Resume in Ahmaud Arbery Murder Trial. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired November 22, 2021 - 13:30   ET



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Extreme weather has cost our economy over $600 billion over the last 10 years. We have to make sure our financial system can withstand climate change and is prepared to transition to clean energy.

The Fed must be a leader among central banks global in addressing climate-related financial risks.

He's also underscored the importance of the Fed taking a more proactive role in the months and years ahead and making sure that our financial regulations are staying ahead of emerging risks, be they from innovations and cryptocurrency or the practice of less regulated non-bank financial institutions.

Having served as vice president during the depths of the 2009 financial crisis, having worked with President Obama to put in place a stronger financial rules of the road, I understand the stakes of our regulations falling asleep at the switch, regulators falling asleep at the switch.

Jay, along with the other members of the federal board that I will nominate, must ensure that we never again expose our economy and American families to those kinds of risks.

I respect Jay's independence. And I also trust that he will follow through on his commitment to prioritize these issues with the skill that he has shown in his service to date.

Now, some will no doubt question why I'm renominating Jay when he was the choice of a Republican predecessors. Why am I not picking a Democrat? Why am I not picking fresh blood or take the Fed in a different direction?

Put directly, at this moment of both enormous potential and enormous uncertainty for our economy, we need stability and independence at the Federal Reserve.

Jay's proven the independence that I value in the federal -- in the Fed chair.

In the last administration, he stood up to unprecedented political interference. And in doing so, successfully maintained the integrity and credibility of this institution.

It's just one of the many reasons why Jay has support from across the political spectrum.

In 2018, he was confirmed with 84 votes in the United States Senate.

His approach as Fed chair has earned the respect and support of groups from the raffle awful to the business roundtable.

Which brings me to one more reason why I have chosen to renominate Jay. I believe having Fed leadership with broad bipartisan support is important, especially now in such a politically divided nation.

I believe we need to be doing everything we can to take the bitter partisanship of today's politics out of something as important as the independence and credibility of the Federal Reserve.

This is vital to maintain public trust in an independent institution like the Federal Reserve,

And that is why aim so proud as well to nominate Dr. Brainard, you know, to serve of as vice chair of the Federal Reserve. You know, by promoting Lael today to the vice chair, I'm elevating one of the country's most qualified and dedicated public servants.

She's one of the nation's leading micro economists. She spent years at the Treasury Department representing American capitalism around the world on international economic issues.

And she's spent nearly the last decade as a member of the Fed, most recently, working side by side with Jay as the Fed navigated a historic and economic financial crisis and reaffirmed its commitment to a full employment economy.

Throughout her time at the Fed, Lael's also been a steadfast voice for tough rules to protect the pensions and savings of the American people.

She's led the Fed's efforts to make sure that the banking system serves everyone in the communities they serve.

So that regardless of where you live or your background, every American can have access to credit that they need to start a business, buy a home, and just have a fair chance at life.

She's done pioneering work on how the Fed should account for the emerging risk of climate change to our financial system.

And like Jay, her expertise and leadership have earned her the respect and support of Republicans and Democrats alike.

I'm proud to nominate her to the vital role of vice chair of the Federal Reserve.

Beyond Jay and Lael, I look forward in the coming weeks to nominate additional members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, including a new vice chair for supervision.

These individuals will help safeguard our financial system, and alongside Jay and Lael's leadership, help to support and continue this historic economic recovery.

While Jay and Lael bring continuity and stability to the Fed, my additions will bring new perspectives and new voices.

I also pledge that my additions will bring new diversity to the Fed, which is much-needed and long overdue in my view.

Last year, the pandemic shut down much of the global economy. Now there's a worldwide reawakening and it's creating both an incredible opportunity and tough challenges.


As economies all across the world come back from this pandemic, America is leading the way.

Like every country in the world, we have to deal with these issues of rising costs. But we should remember we have the skill and tools to get turned control.

While other countries are stumbling out of this pandemic, we're racing ahead.

Because so much of the rest our economy is doing well because we have created so many new jobs as fast as we have, we're in a position to attack inflation from the position of strength, not weakness.

And in times like these, we need steady, tested, principled leadership at the Fed.

We need people with sound judgment of proven courage to preserve the independence of the Fed.

And we need people of character and integrity who can be trusted to keep their focus on the right long-term goals of our country, for our country, and I'm confident that Jay and Lael are those people.

Now I would like to give both Jay and Lael an opportunity to say a few words.

I'll start with Jay and then I'll turn to Lael.

Jay, it's all yours.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: OK. The president making it official. He is renominating Jerome Powell to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. That is pending Senate confirmation.

For now, let's take you back to closing arguments of the trial of the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery. This is the defense continuing their closing arguments. This is the attorney of the defendant, Greg McMichael. LAURA HOGUE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR GREG MCMICHAEL: He spent years as a

life insurance salesman, not because he liked it -- he didn't.

He did it because he had three kids that he wanted to see grow up in a neighborhood that was safe and secure. A safe home surrounded by a community of neighbors who cared for each other.

Band-Aids for skinned knees, July 4th parties, block parties that went on for hours, crocheted baby blankets when a new child was born, casseroles when we had lost a loved one.

He worked hard day and night to provide those things for the people that he loved.

Larry English was a contractor in Douglas, Georgia, who worked hard every day to provide for his wife and two children.

And to save for his dream, to live on the water in a neighborhood just like that, safe, secure, filled with people who would care for each other.

And when he became ill, he and his wife, Amy, had to fast forward their dreams. They fast forwarded that retirement dream, bought that land and began working on their dream home, the project of building that home in Satilla Shores.

It's the sort of life we all have the right to seek, the safety and security and comfort of people that we care about and who care about us.

We work hard for our stuff. It's ours. And no one has the right to take it. And we should never ever have to fear intruders.

The police can be counted on to help, to respond, but they can't be everywhere, and they can't be everything.

A good neighborhood is always policing itself. Mr. Moore, you really need to put a fence around that swimming pool. I'm worried a child will fall in.

Mrs. Pannoch (ph), Bobby is flying down Crossbrook Drive again in that new car. You have to talk to him and get him to slow down so no one is hurt.

The police can't be everywhere. And in a safe, secure neighborhood, police are helped by those neighbors.

Officer Rash testified neighbors help neighbors. And neighbors help the police.


There are really only two questions for you to answer to reach your verdict in the charges that the state has brought against Greg McMichael. Did Greg McMichael have reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion

to believe that Ahmaud Arbery had committed a burglary at 220 Satilla Drive?

And did he have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that Ahmaud Arbery was escaping or attempting to escape yet again on February 23rd?

It is a nine-count indictment, nine counts. So why only two questions? Well, I want to suggest to you what the state suggested, but in reverse.

I'd like to suggest a methodical efficient way to think about all this law and all of these charges.

I suggest that you begin at the beginning. Count one, malice murder. And then take all the rest of those counts, two through nine, as one big chunk as you consider these important questions.

Even count one, that malice murder count, is defended by the answers to those questions. But with malice murder, I suggest to you, you don't even have to get to those questions.

Greg McMichael pulled no trigger. How could the state seek a conviction for malice murder as Greg stood in the bed of the pickup truck on the phone with 911 as the fatal shots were fired, as a party to the crime?

Dunikoski told you about the law that the judge will give you. If someone intentionally helps or aids or procures or hires or assists in the commission of a crime, they can be as guilty as the principal, as the person who fired the shots.

But what is very different about count one it that it's malice murder.

It requires the desire and the intent to kill, the deliberate intention to take the life of another human being, where all of the circumstances of the killing show that an individual acted with an abandoned and malignant heart.

The state will have to be asking you to find that Greg McMichael advised or encouraged Travis McMichael, his son, to take the life of Ahmaud Arbery because that's what he wanted to do.

For no reason other than to see that young man die. And to see him die at hands of his own son. And to do it, right there in front of his eyes because the guy keeps breaking down, breaking into that house down the street.

That's the level of criminal intent, the level of depravity, heartlessness, sickness that you would need to find beyond a reasonable doubt to find Greg McMichael guilty of malice murder.

That's why I suggest that you begin with count one and quickly dispatch of it with a not guilty verdict. And then move down to the remaining counts, counts two through nine, because it comes down to this:

If Greg McMichael was authorized by law to attempt to execute a citizen's arrest, to try to detain Ahmaud Arbery for the police to come and do their job, to try to keep peace and safety within that neighborhood, then they were within the law to hold him there for the police.


How else does one hold an individual who does not want to be arrested for the police? You have to contain him, not false imprison him, contain him.

You have to possibly hold him at gunpoint without firing a shot. Not an aggravated assault, but the use of a reasonable and measured amount of force to make him stay where he did not want to stay.

So if they were acting within the law in trying to execute a citizen's arrest, to detain Ahmaud Arbery for the police, then Travis had every single right to defend himself.

When Ahmaud Arbery inexplicably took the sharp left turn at the front of the truck seeking to disarm Travis McMichael.

So, who has got to prove what?

We begin as we always begin in a courtroom, with innocence.

And we stay there unless and until the state proves to you that this was not a citizen's arrest and that Travis was not justified in defending himself against Ahmaud Arbery's attack.

And they have to convince you of that, remove your belief in that citizen's arrest or justification to such a degree that you've got left nothing in your minds to doubt it.

And that sounds like an enormous burden. Why? Because they have to make you sure of it.

You have to have no hesitation, no ambivalence, absolute certainty because the stakes are as high as they come. It's the highest level of proof we ever ask for in a court room.

The court will tell you, when they say murder and the facts raise justification -- and the judge will tell you, justification in self- defense, justification is citizen's arrest.

That when the facts are raised to support those particular defenses that the state has to disprove them that you were justified.

But why? Why is the standard so incredibly high?

The answer is something you witnessed in this very courtroom. Even in science, errors can happen. And without diligent investigation and inquiry, people can be convicted on the slightest errors, stripped of their freedoms for another's inattention for mistakes. Imagine if Dr. Donohue, with all that experience, who made the

decision, the conclusion that the muzzle-to-target rage, the end of Travis' shotgun to the chest or Ahmaud Arbery was four feet away.

Based on a photograph compared in a book without having watched the video and more egregiously without even having to look at the clothes that covered the body.

Imagine if that initial conclusion had been all you needed in this case, would that have misled you? Wouldn't that have led you to wonder how what you saw in that video could match the opinion of a scientist.

Imagine if Bryan Leopard hadn't tested Ahmaud Arbery's shirt and scientifically concluded, based on that stippling, that these were contact or near-contact wounds.

Imagine, further, if I hadn't e-mailed Dr. Donohue to take another look at his conclusions based on the clothing and Brian Leopard's expert report.

And further imagine if Dr. Donohue was not an honorable scientist. If he wasn't willing to admit he had made a mistake and take another look at the science.


So that instead of three to four feet, we now know it's contact was three inches, three inches as opposed to four feet.

That is a demonstration to you why this system has to work this way.

Why the state has such a high burden with evidence that leaves absolutely no reason to doubt before any one of you can consider declaring that man seeking to protect himself and his community is a murderer.

You determine the facts. And the judge will tell you the law. So, of course, you need to be given the facts accurately and completely.

The painful beauty of this case is that almost all of it is recorded. Security videos from outside of people's homes on Satilla Shores, difficult to listen to 911 tapes.

And then, of course, the really hard thing to look at, the cell phone video that captured the last moments.

Based on those undisputed recorded facts, still, in the face of all that you heard and saw, the state's case demonstrated in opening statement -- what Mr. Hogue told you in opening statement:

He told you, Greg McMichael was absolutely certain and he was absolutely right.

You were so attentive. And I thank you for that. We all do.

You took a lot of notes and there was a lot of things to take notes about. So you know that the very first words out of Greg McMichael's mouth is that there was no doubt in his mind as to who this guy was.

He told Officer Brandeberry that. And it was captured on the body cam that you saw.

And later, interviewed at Glynn County Police Department by Parker Marcy, that investigator told you here is his statement -- here is what he told me:

"I watched him and when he came by me, I got a good, a really good look at him. So I mean it's the same guy. And it was Ahmaud Arbery on the video. He was an intruder."

Larry English had reported, because he believed that an intruder had taken thousands of dollars of boat equipment off the off-shore boat that had been parked in his R.V. parking garage.

It was Ahmaud Arbery returning night after night, without authority to a place where valuables were stored, with no legitimate reason for being there.

And it was Ahmaud Arbery, as Greg McMichael told immediately after being questioned, who had "hauled ass" from that house on February 23rd after he looked through the window at Matt Albenze on the phone that he ran from that home.

Add all that knowledge, that certainty to what he learned when Travis jumped into the truck and shared with him what he saw on the driver's side of that truck.

LINDA DUNIKOSKI, PROSECUTOR: That is not in evidence and I object to -- this was never in evidence and arguing with facts not in evidence.

HOGUE: I believe that is in evidence. And I believe that Travis McMichael testified and these statements that I'm talking about did come into evidence. I believe the jury will remember the evidence.


TIMOTHY WALMSLEY, SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE: All right, ladies and gentlemen, it is up to the jury to recall the evidence that has been presented in this trial.

What the lawyers say is not evidence. So it is up to you to recall what the evidence is in the case and go ahead and address this matter on that basis.

I will have a complete listing of all statements made. But it is to you, ladies and gentlemen, to recall that. And just because a lawyer said something, that does not mean it is evidence, and this is argument.

Go ahead.

HOGUE: You will be the decider of the fact. You took the notes. And I trust what you will remember from this trial. That Travis jumped into the driver's seat of that truck after having

seen Matt Albenze standing in front of 220 Satilla Drive and pointing down that street, signaling down that street.

That's the man that Travis McMichael had seen only 11 days earlier, with his own eyes, and then slowly pulled up alongside so that he could confirm for himself, dad's right. This is the guy.

And the judge will tell you, you will gather the facts from the totality of the circumstances.

Did they have a reasonable and probable cause to believe that this was the guy? And you can know and the judge will tell you that you gather that from every sense that you have, your hearing, your sight, your sense of what is going on around you.

Certainty, though, is way higher standard than what you even need to find in this case. Certainty was way more knowledge than they needed to detain Ahmaud Arbery to execute a citizen's arrest.

And that was Greg McMichael 's intent. He said it from the very beginning.

He was asked by the investigator, Parker Marcy testified to you, what was your intent had he stopped? And he said as clear as a bell, hold him for the police so that he could be arrested.

The judge will charge you that a private citizen can effectuate an arrest, detaining someone for the police to arrive if a crime happens within his knowledge -- oops, there's the other one -- or his immediate presence.

Thanks. I appreciate it.

So here is what you have to know. That you haven't yet heard from the state. There are no magic words that are required.

The court will tell you there's nothing special you have to say to be effectuating a citizen's arrest. There's nothing special you can't say while effectuating a citizen's arrest.

If it happens within your knowledge or immediate presence, then you can effectuate a citizen's arrest.

And criminal trespass, the court will tell you, going on someone's property without the authority and for an unlawful purpose is a crime, the misdemeanor offense of citizen's arrest.

And again, what you haven't heard from the state and got some misdirection about, there's no requirement, Judge Walmsley will tell you, for a posting of a "no trespassing" sign.

There's no requirement that any officer execute this trespass warning.

It's your place and people should stay off it. We don't need to be telling people ahead of time and giving them warnings if you don't want to.


And he'll also charge you that as private citizen can effectuate an arrest, detaining someone for the goal of holding them for the police if he has reasonable grounds of suspicion to believe that a suspect is fleeing or attempting to flee from a felony.

Burglary is a felony.