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Abortion Rights Groups Rally Nationwide; Daughter Of "Jane Roe" Reacts To Nationwide Protests For Abortion Rights; New Images Show Russia's Failed Attempt To Cross Key River; Germany: Russia Is Stealing Grain From Eastern Ukraine; Video Shows Russian Soldiers Shooting Unarmed Civilians In Back; Pence Breaks With Trump, Will Campaign For GA Governor Kemp; Pennsylvania Senate Wild Card Has Republicans Reeling; Trump Endorses Doug Mastriano For GA Governor. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired May 14, 2022 - 15:00   ET



JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington.

A Supreme Court leak leads to a flood of protests. People filled the streets across America in response to the Supreme Court's leaked draft opinion indicating that Roe vs. Wade could be struck down, and with it the constitutional right to an abortion.

Just a short time ago the first wave of abortion rights activists began marching across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, and in Washington, D.C. crowds rallied on the National Mall before heading towards the steps of the United States Supreme Court. Many of the protesters say they know what's at stake. The Supreme Court's official ruling could be released within weeks. If the vote remains unchanged from the leaked draft, a new reality awaits.

Thirteen states have so-called trigger bans in place that would immediately enact near total bans on abortion if Roe is struck down and 23 states have laws that would create major limits on abortion.

Our Shimon Prokupecz is in Washington and Polo Sandoval is New York for us right now.

Shimon, let me start with you. What are the activists telling you? What are you hearing so far?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hey, Jim, so, you know, most of them out here just saying that they want to keep fighting despite this leaked draft opinion. They're not giving up hope. They still think that things can change and that they can perhaps prevent the Supreme Court from issuing a final ruling that would obviously overturn Roe. That is certainly on the top of minds of many of the people here.

Concern being that this ruling, should it stand, should this draft become the actual decision of the court, that it would affect underserved communities, poor communities mostly, and that is something that everyone out here has certainly talked about. They also, you know, the chants that we're hearing out here today, abortion is a right, we won't give up this fight. We've been talking to people out here who are just happy to be able to be out together in this fight to be as a community.

I also spoke to a man from Ohio -- look, Jim, there are people here from all across the country who have travelled here today to be here. And he said, why would we want to go back 50 years? He said, to go back living the way we were, who wants to do that. And he said, that is why he is out here with his wife fighting for women's rights really he says.

So as you can hear the chants continue here, Jim, just to tell you where we are, we're passing the Capitol now, and so we're a short distance here from the Supreme Court where all of the marchers here are heading to -- Jim.

ACOSTA: And how long will you be there at the Supreme Court, Shimon?

PROKUPECZ: So this is supposed to go until at least 4:00. At least that's the information that we have. Certainly when we get to the Supreme Court, I'm assuming there will be some counter protesters. We've seen them out along the marching line here, just on the corners, just a few of them, all across the avenue here, Constitution, that they've been gathered there, using megaphones to speak, but obviously the folks here who are in this march are focused on one thing.

They're not getting into any kind of altercations with those people, just passing them by. But the big event here now after we left the rally on the steps of the Washington Monument is now at the Supreme Court which is where we're heading. And you can see, I think sadly we can't give you an overhead shot here, but there are thousands of people here, Jim, you can see holding various signs, young people, older people, people who protested the Vietnam War are out here.

And so it continues. And as the day has gone on, the rally started around noon or so, Jim, and then by 2:00, just hundreds and hundreds of more started pouring in to the area and then they joined this march. We're now headed up this hill here on Constitution Avenue as we approach the Supreme Court. People carrying their children on their backs. You can see this one woman here bringing her daughter here, carrying her on her back.

And these are the signs that we're seeing out here. So many families out here in support of this, rallying together, marching together, Jim, as we make our way to the Supreme Court.

ACOSTA: All right, Shimon. That is a big crowd moving through the nation's capital right now. We'll check back in with you when you get over to the Supreme Court. Keep us posted, Shimon. Thank you very much.

Let's go to New York, Polo Sandoval is there for us.


Polo, what are you seeing there?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Jim, the NYPD basically cleared the way for these activists to march from Brooklyn, New York, over the iconic Brooklyn Bridge into the Lower Manhattan. We've been standing, we actually marched with this group. We were at the head of the group earlier today. And once we've made it on to the Manhattan side, we've been standing here and I have to tell you for the last hour we have seen the flow of demonstrators come off the Brooklyn Bridge and make their way into a park that's actually not far from where I'm standing to the right in front of these federal buildings -- federal courthouse where this large rally is basically getting under way here.

The message very similar, actually, identical to what we just heard from our colleague Shimon in Washington. The only thing that I would add is I heard two -- a male participant in this demonstration from Queens. He said he was here not only for his sister and his wife but also standing in solidarity with women living in states where lawmakers would likely, almost immediately ban abortion should we see that reversal.

So that's just basically another layer of the message that we're getting here in New York City that might be perhaps different from what we're seeing in other parts of the country. But again it is, regardless of where you may stand on the issue, an impressive turnout here in New York City.

Again, a large group of demonstrators started in Brooklyn and the New York Police Department basically blocking off vehicle traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge so that these thousands of demonstrators, according to city officials here I had a chance to hear from, made their way to this side of the bridge.

So it's something that we continue to see. We've been seeing for the last several hours. This rally expected to just get started here shortly and last for hours -- Jim.

ACOSTA: And Polo, you know, one of the things that obviously we've heard from people who want to see Roe vs. Wade stay in place is that this is going to energize those voters come this fall. Are you hearing those sorts of things when you talk to people out on the streets?

SANDOVAL: It absolutely is. I've heard it from people and even from various lawmakers who've also participated in this demonstration. I saw at least two Democratic lawmakers that were participating. In addition to them, we even saw New York Mayor Eric Adams as well leading the group.

And it's certainly an issue that they are aware of. They understand that this is certainly be a crucial issue, especially nearby states like Pennsylvania and the Senate midterm race that's happening there. And I think that goes along with what you just heard a little while ago and what I heard from that Queens resident who said this is also a show of support for women in other states where the stakes are extremely high, more than perhaps here in New York state. So yes, the midterms are certainly heavy on people's minds. And you

not only hear it in their voice but you also see it on the signs that they carry with them from one borough to another.

ACOSTA: All right. Demonstrations in the streets of Manhattan. It's certainly something you see on a regular basis, and a lot of passion out there today as well.

Shimon and Polo, thank you both very much. We'll get back to you shortly.

My next guest is the eldest daughter of Norma McCorvey, the woman immortalized as Jane Roe in the landmark decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Melissa Mills joins me now.

Melissa, thank you so much for being with us. We really appreciate it. A little later in the show we're going to be talking with someone on the opposite side of this issue but wanted to get your reaction on what we're seeing on the streets of the U.S. today. And I have to ask you, Melissa, if your mom were alive today, what do you think she would say about the women out there marching for the same rights that she was fighting for 50 years ago?

MELISSA MILLS, DAUGHTER OF NORMA MCCORVEY AKA JANE ROE: She would be so happy to see all of it, and she would be so happy to know that people are fighting back, and that they don't want to let go of their rights. She would be really happy. I know she would. It would make her feel good.

ACOSTA: And I know you have said publicly that her reaction was certainly be quite, I guess quite negative, quite aghast at what has come out of the Supreme Court in this leaked draft.

MILLS: Yes, sir.

ACOSTA: That would overturn Roe v. Wade. Tell us about that. Tell us more.

MILLS: Yes. I mean, she wouldn't believe -- I mean, she would be -- yes. She would be unbelieved about it all, I know she would. And this would -- this is just setting us back so far. And I know she would just be devastated to all the things that can happen to all of these women that we've had for 50 years and it would take us back. All the strides we've made up to this point would take us back so far.

And a lot of people are going to be hurt. And it's going to affect everybody. Not just the people that it's happening to. It's going to affect everybody else around us, too. And if they could have fixed it, they would have already fixed it for the women that needed these things. They're saying in places that they're going to fix it for the women that do decide to have those kids.


They would have fixed it before if they could. So we need Roe. We need that autonomy. We need that for ourselves to be able to choose what our lives are going to be and how we live our lives. And we need doctors and the women that it affects to be able to talk and take care of that, and nobody else should be involved. It should just be that woman and that doctor and her family.

ACOSTA: And Melissa, I'm sure you know this, 13 states have so-called trigger bans, they've in the news quite a bit. These trigger bans are in place that would almost immediately enact near total bans on abortion if and when Roe is struck down, perhaps in a few weeks from now.

Before Roe your mother sought an abortion when she was 22, single and pregnant for the third time, but it would have been illegal in Texas so she went through with the pregnancy and gave the child up for adoption. How did that affect her? Tell us about that.

MILLS: Well, it affects any woman that -- you know, whether you want the child or you don't want the child. And then you know that that child is out there, I mean, just part of your life is just always a mess. It always will be.

I'm not saying, and I don't think she would, she said the same thing. There needs to be realistic things for women. I mean, not use it as something that just -- you know, just to take care of things. But it needs to be for women that really need it at the time and that need to make those choices, because everything happens -- not every life is affected the way, you know, that it affects some people. And we have to see the differences in those difference times for other people. You know --

ACOSTA: Yes. And I have to ask you, you know, there is this bill in Louisiana, I guess that was ultimately paired down, but it originally included language seeking to classify abortions as homicides and potentially allow for women to be criminally charged for terminating their pregnancies. Obviously there was a lot of condemnation for this, caused a lot of controversy. What was your reaction to that? How would your mother have reacted to that?

MILLS: She would -- the same thing, she would just be mortified. She would just -- yes, this is nuts that it's happening and that a woman could lose a child at six months or seven months and it's not her fault. But then they can investigate her and try to, you know, put that on her. I mean, things happen.

I mean, just all types of different, you know, instances can happen, and it's like, I just can't believe a woman, all the stuff that's out there, and people are killing people, just walking up and shooting somebody, but a woman should have -- and a woman should have a choice on what she does with her body but they're making that woman a criminal and a demon or a devil for taking control of her life and that's just unbelievable. It's just unbelievable.

ACOSTA: Yes, and Melissa, your mother, she expressed regret for switching sides in her later years and doing work for the anti- abortion movement and she called this her deathbed confession. Talk to us a little bit about that. Why was that important for her to say at the very end of her life? MILLS: Like I said, what I told a lot of people before, she was --

they condemned my mom for years for taking the part or the role that she did, but also because she was -- her lifestyle and the way she lived. They wanted her to change. And that's just not -- that's just not who she was. The kept, the pro-life people wanted to put words in her mouth.

They wouldn't let her speak. And a lot of times she had to, you know -- you know, everybody wanted her, because of the particular role that she played with Roe v. Wade. But nobody wanted her to really talk the way she wanted to talk and to, you know, take care of what she needed to take care of.

ACOSTA: Did she finally speak her mind at the end, though, before she passed?

MILLS: She did.

ACOSTA: Did she finally speak her mind?

MILLS: She did. She sure did. She said what she needed to say, and everybody knows that was involved in it how it really played out. And she was trying to save her soul too because they condemned her all her life for her lifestyle and her views and what she thought. And I'm glad she had the views she did and she fought for women's rights. And, you know, and now we see why we had that and all the trouble that it was before to get that.


And people are realizing now what we had that we might not have that, and it's crazy. I'm glad people are going out and taking -- you know, taking an active voice and I hope people start voting and they see where women need to be, not where we shouldn't be, you know.

ACOSTA: All right, Melissa Mills, thank you so much for taking some time with us. We appreciate it you talking about your mother. Thank you so much.

MILLS: Thank you. Appreciate it. Thank you.

ACOSTA: All right. And as we go to break, some live pictures to show you of the protests happening all across the country. There you are looking at Washington, D.C. We were just talking to Shimon Prokupecz about this a few moments ago.

Abortion rights activists making their voices heard in the wake of that leaked Supreme Court draft opinion. Some of those demonstrators up by the Supreme Court shortly. We'll check in on that, show you some of the other rallies taking place across the country.

More on all of that in just a few moments. Quick break, we'll be back in just a few moments.



ACOSTA: Marches and rallies in support of abortion rights are taking place all across the country today. You're looking at some live images right now coming out of the nation's capital as abortion rights demonstrators are making their way over to the Supreme Court. We're going to check in on that in just a bit. Thousands of people are joining in the Bans Off Our Bodies events from coast to coast.

The demonstrations come in the wake of the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe vs. Wade. CNN's Camila Bernal is in Los Angeles for us where demonstrators have turned out there as well.

What are you seeing? Can you describe the scene for us?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Jim. Thousands and thousands of people, I'm talking children, women, men, everybody here, to support a woman's right to an abortion. It's actually wrapping up as we speak but you're still seeing a lot of people out here in downtown Los Angeles. You see the signs, you see and hear people cheering because they are extremely passionate about this issue.

This is an event that was scheduled even before the leak, but after the leak, organizers say they ramped up their efforts, trying to get as many more people as they could. They want to get people engaged when it comes to this issue. And all of these organizers and activists tell me that California is a key player, in a sense, in this whole issue because abortions are protected here in this state until a fetus is viable.

So they believe that there are a lot of women all over the country that are going to start coming to California. In fact, they say they're already seeing women coming to California in search of a safe abortion.

I spoke to the founder of the Women's Right Foundation, and here's what she told me.


EMILIANA GUERECA, PRESIDENT, WOMEN'S MARCH FOUNDATION: In Los Angeles, in California, the fight is to help our sisters in Texas, in Georgia, in Missouri because we're safe in California, and we can't take that for granted because if no woman is safe across the country, how are we safe in California? So we take that personal to make sure that we fight for the other women across the country, fight with them for reproductive rights.


BERNAL: Now as a Latina she told me that she is particularly concerned about black and brown women, women of low income. She says that that's who we need to fight for in particular, but overall they say they're going to continue doing this no matter what happens in the Supreme Court -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, Camile Bernal, thank you very much for that report. Coming up, Ukrainian forces stopped an attempted Russian advance

across a key river. We're live on the ground with the latest. Plus, horrific video obtained by CNN shows the moment unarmed men in Ukraine are gunned down by Russian fighters.



ACOSTA: Another high-ranking U.S. delegation has made it to Ukraine's capital of Kyiv. That's Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and a cohort of Republican senators meeting with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. This as Congress is trying to push through roughly $40 billion in crucial new aid for Ukraine as it battles Russia. While that show of solidarity played out in the capital, Ukraine's forces have thwarted a Russian advance in the eastern part of the country.

You can see in these drone images remnants of destroyed Russian military vehicles at a key river crossing. It's being described as a disastrous Russian attempt to get across that river this week.

CNN's senior international correspondent Sam Kylie is in eastern Ukraine.

Sam, yet another Russian advance that's been stopped. This one is shaping up to be a blunder. What more have we learned?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's an extraordinary series of events, Jim. If you go back to middle earlier part of last week, you'll recall a 60-odd civilians that were killed in an air strike in Bilohorivka, that is a small village very, very close to those pontoon bridges that you're seeing in those satellite images. They were killed in a Russian air strike during or just before this attempt to thrust across the Donetsk River, which is a natural line of defense for Ukrainian forces.

The Russians built some pontoons, the Ukrainians already had kind of worked out that that would be a likely crossing point that they might attempt. They already had artillery and other weapons lined up on that location and blew it up. Now rather typically of the Soviet doctrine, they then simply reinforced failure with another two attempts at least to try to get across that river, losing many dozens of men.

The Ukrainian figures are astronomical, up to about 1,000 they claim. We've got absolutely no independent corroboration of that, with the Ukrainians claiming and there are some support for that that they have knocked out at least 70 Russian vehicles, among them, tanks and other heavy weaponry during that process.

Now similar attempts to break through the lines are being conducted north of the city of Sloviansk as well. Indeed across the front line where I am because this is the target they're after, the city of Kramatorsk, the last big city in the east, in the hands of the Ukrainians -- Jim.

ACOSTA: And Sam, we're also learning about the Russians looting Ukrainian grain supplies? What can you tell us about that?

KILEY: Well, Jim, this might sound kind of an obscure side story. But if you look back to what happened during the Arab spring when the price of grain went through the roof across the Middle East for mostly connected with drought, you saw international instability.


Now the Russian foreign minister now leading international calls for a drastic response to the interruption of grain supplies coming from Ukraine.

There's going to be a grain shortage because Ukraine supplies a vast amount of the grain exported onto the world market, alongside Russia. And above all, it's very difficult to get any grain out of Ukraine because their ports are blockaded.

And now, on top of that, the Russians are stealing grain, shipping it to Sebastopol, putting it on ships. We've been able to trace, at CNN, one ship carrying many thousands of tons of grain, attempting to export it to Egypt, being turned around and offloading or eat least docking in Latakia in Syria.

The irony there, in that Syria was nearly destabilized by their own grain shortage that nearly caused the collapse of the Assad regime.

So this, in terms of the international implications of what's happening here, is profound -- Jim?

ACOSTA: Absolutely.

All right, Sam Kiley, thank you very much for that report.

New surveillance video obtained by CNN shows Russian soldiers shooting two unarmed civilians as they had their backs turned.

CNN's Sara Sidner takes us through the video.

And we do want to warn you, the images in this report are deeply disturbing.


SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a stark example of a potential war crime perpetrated by Russian forces. An example the world has not yet seen. Russian soldiers shooting into civilians in the back.

CNN obtained a surveillance video taken from this vehicle dealership that sits along the main highway to Kyiv.

The video is from the beginning --


(GUNFIRE) SIDNER: -- as Russians tried and failed to shell their way to the capital. The fight along this road was clearly fierce.

But what happened outside this business was not a battle between soldiers or even soldiers and armed civilians. It was a cowardly, cold-blooded killing of unarmed men by Russian forces.

The soldiers show up and begin breaking in. Inside of a guard shack, two Ukrainian men prepare to meet them.

We tracked down the men's identities. One is the owner of the business, whose family did not want him named. The other was hired to guard it.

YULIA PLYATS, FATHER KILLED BY RUSSIANS (through translation): My father's name is Leonid Oleksiyovych Plyats.

SIDNER: His daughter, Yulia, wanted the world to know his name and what the Russians did to him.

Both civilians, both unarmed. We know this because the video shows them greeting and getting frisked by the Russian soldiers, and then casually walking away. Neither seemed to suspect what it was about to happen.

That is what a member of the civilian fighting force who talked to the men a couple of days before the attack told CNN. He did not want to be identified for security reasons.

UNIDENTIFIED VOLUNTEER CIVILIAN FIGHTER (through translation): We came there earlier, warned people to leave that place. We also hope for the humanity of Russian soldiers. But, unfortunately, they have no humanity.

SIDNER: You see the two men walking in the shadows towards the camera. Behind them, the soldiers, they were just talking to emerge. A few more steps, and their bodies drop to the ground. Dust shoots up from the bullets hitting the pavement. The soldiers have opened fire.

Minutes later, the guard, Leonid, gets up, limping but alive.

He manages to get inside the guard booth to make a call to the local guys for help.

This is one of those guys, a Ukrainian-truck-driver-turned-civilian- soldier.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): First of all, we felt a big responsibility. We knew we should go there because a man needed our help. He was still alive.

SIDNER: He's the commander of a ragtag team of civilians who took up arms to fight for Ukraine and tried to save the men.

When the guard called them, he explained what transpired with the soldiers. He said the soldiers as who they were and asked for cigarettes, then let them go, before shooting them in the back.

When his men finally got to Leonid, he had lost massive amounts of blood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): One man from our group went there, and the guy was still alive. He gave him bandages and tried to perform first aid, but the Russians started shooting.

SIDNER: They tried to fight back but were unsuccessful. They didn't have the firepower to save the countrymen.

(on camera): Yulia, have you seen the video?

PLYATS (through translation): I can't watch it now. I will save it to the crowd and leave it for my grandchildren and children. They should know about this crime, and always remember who our neighbors are.

SIDNER (voice-over): Her neighbors to the north, these Russian soldiers, showed just how callous they are, drinking, toasting one another and looting the place minutes after slaying the two men.

(on camera): What were the last words that you remember he said to you?

PLYATS (through translation): Bye-bye. Kisses. Say hello to your boys.

SIDNER (voice-over): Her boys will be left with a terrible lasting memory, the death of their grandfather, now being investigated as a war crime by prosecutors.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Kyiv.



ACOSTA: Just incredible.

Coming up, an election denier who repeatedly questioned whether Barack Obama was a Muslim -- he's not -- now a major contender for Pennsylvania's open Senate seat. Who is Kathy Barnette? And why are Trump and McConnell so afraid of her?


ACOSTA: Some breaking news to report. Police in Buffalo, New York, say they have a suspect in custody after a mass shooting at a grocery store there in Buffalo.


We're told this happened at a Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue. Police saying multiple people were injured. We have very limited information at this time.

But New York Governor Kathy Hochul just tweeted, "I'm closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo. We have offered assistance to local official. If you are in Buffalo, please avoid the area and follow guidance from the law enforcement and local officials."

Again, the latest information is that a suspect is in custody at this hour. And of course, we'll bring you the latest updates on all of this as they come in. Please stay tuned for that.

In the Georgia governor race, former Vice President Mike Pence is picking sides against Donald Trump. Pence announcing he will campaign for Georgia Governor Brian Kemp later this month. Calling him a friend and one of the most conservative governors in America.

His former boss, Donald Trump, is backing Kemp's opponent, David Perdue. Trump urged the former Senator to get into this race, still angry that Kemp certified Georgia's 2020 election results that found that Joe Biden won the election.

Pence is not the only big-name Republican backing Kemp. Former President George W. Bush will also headline a fundraiser for him in Dallas.

Three days away from the highly anticipated Pennsylvania primary and, for Republicans, a last-minute wildcard in the Senate race is causing serious headaches inside the GOP.

Most of the race so far has been focused on Trumped-back Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund manager, David McCormick.

But conservative political commentator and former radio show host, Kathy Barnette, has surged in recent polls, leaving Trump allies to sound the alarm saying that Barnette is not a well-vetted candidate.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (voice-over): Kathy is going to be a lot of trouble. I think she's going to be a lot of trouble. She may have a great future but she's totally, totally an unknown and we can't have that.


ACOSTA: CNN's Dan Merica joins me now.

Dan, Barnette has a history of expressing some bigoted statements and views about gays and Muslims. How might that affect the race? Tell us about that.

DAN MERICA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: This is what happens when an unexpected candidate rises like this.

For so long, this has been a two-person race between Oz and McCormick. But because the two were so focused on attacking each other, tearing each other down with millions of dollars of ads from the campaigns and super PACs, Barnette rose from the middle and kind of caught them by surprise, an admission that McCormick made to me yesterday. You're right. And "KFILE," our team here at CNN, went through the

history of statements that Barnette has made and did express a number of bigoted statements, made a number of bigoted statements about gays and about Muslims.

Take a listen to some of things she said.


KATHY BARNETTE, (R), PENNSYLVANIA U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: Two men sleeping together, two men holding hands, two men caressing, that is not normal.

You are not a racist if you reject Islam or if you reject Muslims because they are not a race of people. They are a particular view. They're a people that have a particular view of the world.

And we have a right to discriminate against world views. We discriminated against Hitler's Nazi Germany view of the world, right? That was a world view.


MERICA: Jim, this is all happening very late. A lot of this is usually litigated during a primary for months on TV. But this is happening very late, which Republicans admit has hamstrung their efforts to try and stop Barnette's rise.

She just started an event here. Press was not allowed in. But I have to say, she has a lot of energy behind her -- Jim?

ACOSTA: Dan, weird how the press is being treated at some of the events in the Pennsylvania right now.

As you know, this morning, a late Trump endorsement for another Pennsylvania candidate. Very interesting here. Trump is now backing State Senator Doug Mastriano in the primary for governor. This endorsement just days before the race for a candidate who's already doing well.

What do you think? Is that going to matter? Is that Trump, fearing that he might lose with his endorsement in the Senate primary, trying to hop on the bandwagon of somebody who looks like he's going to win the primary race for governor?

MERICA: Yes, I think the term might be a bandwagon. He looked like he was going to win and Trump endorsed him in the last few days, trying to notch maybe another win here in Pennsylvania. It does seem like Mastriano has all of the momentum here in Pennsylvania.

He just also campaigned with Barnette. And as you know, kept the press out. Did not want any attention on his events. Which is really unique. You've covered campaigns for a long time. So have I. You know this is when candidates want attention.

Barnette and Mastriano actively did not want press attention today. ACOSTA: All right. And of course, we have to note, as we should when

covering these things, that Donald Trump, who incited an insurrection, his endorsement is being coveted across the country by Republican candidates --


Merica: Yes.

ACOSTA: -- everywhere.

All right, Dan Merica, thank you very much. Appreciate that.

Coming up, a major move by the January 6th Select Committee. Subpoenas issued for five Republican members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. But will they cooperate?

Plus, discover a side of D.C. besides the monuments. An all new "NOMAD," with Carlton McCoy, airs tomorrow night at 10:00, right here on CNN.



ACOSTA: The House Select Committee investigating the January 6th capital insurrection is taking an extraordinary step. The panel has now issued subpoenas to House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other congressional Republicans who have refused to voluntarily cooperate with the investigation.

CNN's senior legal analyst and former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Elie Honig, joins me now.

Elie, great to see you.

We know this testimony may be critical in all of this. But how likely are we to hear from them?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Jim, if there was a way to express probability as a negative percentage, I would use that.

Realistically, we are not going to hear voluntary or forced testimony from Kevin McCarthy or the others. We know that, in part, because they've already been invited to testify.

Now, they say they have nothing to hide. But when they got those prior invitations, the response was sort of anger and bluster.

Now keep this in mind, however. Just because they won't testify doesn't mean they're in the clear or they won't be the subject of the hearing.

I mean, McCarthy, for example, maybe he won't testify, but you know what the committee has? They have recordings of Kevin McCarthy saying Donald Trump is to blame, in his view. Saying Donald Trump acknowledged some responsibility.

Maybe Jim Jordan won't testify. They have texts. They have other witnesses.

And that's going to be one of the tasks for the committee. You don't always get testimony from key players, but you can put together a case using documents, e-mails, texts and other witnesses.

So I think these five members of Congress are still going to be very much a focus of these hearings.

ACOSTA: And the committee is going to be getting interesting testimony next week. We have confirmed here at CNN that a former aide to Mark Meadows, Cassidy Hutchinson, is going to be appearing before the committee to give a deposition. That will be very interesting.

But getting back to these five House Republicans refusing to testify and comply, what legal options does the committee have? Would they pursue those options?

HONIG: So, Jim, you and I have been talking for months now about the need for the committee to subpoena other members of Congress if they have relevant information.

The good news is they've done it. The bad is that they've done it in the middle of May with these hearings less than a month away.

They have two options, but both are timed out. One, they can do a civil court judge and ask for an order requiring for these folks to testify, but that will take well more than a month. That will take several months. They don't have time.

Two, they can vote to hold McCarthy and others in contempt. Send it to DOJ for potential prosecution.

But it's realistically too late to get that done before the hearings as well. As example, the Mark Meadows case has been sitting with DOJ for over five months.

So the committee has done the right thing but they've essentially timed themselves out.

ACOSTA: It's just ridiculous that you can have subpoenas and people not comply, people not testify in something as important as this.

I have to ask you about this Elie. FBI investigators issued a subpoena to the National Archives for access to these classified Trump documents taken to Mar-a-Lago. I suppose the National Archives will comply with that subpoena. They're the National Archives. So they'll do that.

But what does all of this tell you?

HONIG: Yes, it tells me that the DOJ at least has what we call predication. Meaning some basis of fact is suspected that there might be a crime here. That's what you need in order to issue grand jury subpoenas.

Does not mean anyone will be charged necessarily. The key issue here is going to be intent. What is in the mind of Donald Trump? Did he know, did anyone know these documents were classified? And did they remove them without authorization?

If they did those things, then you could have a potential crime. But the key here is going to be intent. We know the documents were removed. We know there were classified. But who intended what? That's really the question.

ACOSTA: Right. Those are the ones that weren't flushed.

You know, Elie, if you or I were subpoenaed, we'd have to comply. We'd have to do that. That's what happens with normal people, with regular guys like you and me.

HONIG: It's one of the many norms we're seeing tested here, Jim.


HONIG: And I think Congress is letting its subpoenas be discarded with far too few consequences.

ACOSTA: It's just outrageous. It's just outrageous.

All right, Elie Honig, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

HONIG: Thank you very much.

ACOSTA: And too often, people working hard to help improve the lives of others do not receive the recognition or appreciation they deserve. "CNN Heroes" wants to share their stories with the world and help them continue doing the work that makes them special.

This week, Anderson Cooper has some tips to help you help them. Maybe your hero may just become the next "CNN Hero of the Year."


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Since 2007, "CNN Heroes" has honored hundreds of everyday people making the world a better place. We shine a light on their causes, help them raise funds for their work for their life-changing work, all while inspiring people with their incredible stories.

But the first step in the "CNN Heroes" journey is a nomination. That's where you come in. It only takes a few minutes and you can do it right now at

Just think about what makes this person special and tell us about them in a paragraph or two. We want to know about their impact and what makes their work unique.


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This is your opportunity to help that amazing person you know reach more people and change more lives and maybe even become the next "CNN Hero of the Year."


ACOSTA: And you can find everything you need to nominate your hero right now at



ACOSTA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta.