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Trump Lawyer Claimed No Classified Material Was At Mar-a-Lago; FBI Recovered 11 Sets Of Classified Documents In Trump Search; Interview With Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA); Salman Rushdie Attacker Charged With Second Degree Attempted Murder; West Coast Drought Severely Impacting California Water Supply; Cheney Faces Primary Opponents Tuesday. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired August 13, 2022 - 18:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Violence against law enforcement, it's uncalled for, it's lawlessness at its finest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since the Mar-a-Lago raid, CNN has found ramped up extremist rhetoric.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fact that he had SCI material out in the wild, so to speak that risk is particularly stunning and particularly egregious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actress, Anne Heche has been declared brain dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A fiery 2022 car crash put her in a coma and left her with severe burns. Anne Heche led a life of public highs and lows. But through it all, she shined on screen and strived to stay hopeful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He came in the left side and leapt across the stage and just lunged at him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is currently breathing with the help of a ventilator. The question is looming over investigators right now as to what drove this 24-year-old suspect that's been identified as Hadi Matar from New Jersey to charge that stage and carry out this attack.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: Good evening, I'm Alex Marquardt in Washington, in tonight for Pamela Brown, and you are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

We begin this hour with the unfolding investigation into the handling of classified documents and materials from former President Donald Trump's time in the White House. Sources are now telling CNN that one of Trump's lawyers stated back in June, so two months ago that there was no more classified information being kept at his resort, Mar-a- Lago.

But that does contradict what we learned this week after the FBI searched the former President's Palm Beach Resort and found 11 -- eleven sets of classified documents, some of which were marked "Top Secret." And now, new this afternoon. The Democratic chairs of the House

Intelligence and Oversight Committees have written a letter to the top Intelligence official in the country, the Director of National Intelligence, saying that they want a damage assessment and a briefing in regards to those documents that were retrieved at Mar-a-Lago.

Now all of this as the FBI deals with what it is calling an unprecedented number of threats against the Bureau, against its agents in the wake of that search at Mar-a-Lago.

CNN's Katelyn Polantz is here with more.

Katelyn, what more do we know about this letter from the Trump lawyer claiming that there were no more classified materials at Mar-a-Lago? And that was back in June.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: That's right. So Alex, this is filling out the timeline a bit more about why it was so necessary in the Justice Department's opinion to go in and search the home of Mar-a-Lago -- the home of President Trump and take documents out of there.

So if you look back at the timeline of June, of what led up to this search, there was just one visit to Mar-a-Lago in early June, where Federal investigators were looking at documents or looking at boxes that were there, they were speaking to two lawyers for Trump, Christina Bobb and Evan Corcoran.

And then after that meeting, there was a request from the Federal government to secure anything that was there to put a padlock on the door. There was also a subpoena for documents, please return everything, not just a request, a demand return everything to the Federal government. And then now, we do understand that there was a letter attesting from the Trump lawyers, saying we have turned everything over that would be classified.

Now, that clearly, ultimately was not the case because whenever the Federal government went in, the FBI went in to Mar-a-Lago on Monday, they did remove 11 sets of documents that had markings on them at different levels of classification, literally every single level of classification in the system: Top Secret, Secret, Confidential, and even the type of documents that should only be kept in a SCIF, a very, very secure location.

MARQUARDT: A SCIF, being where officials will go to look at the most sensitive locations. Katelyn, it's not just former President Trump, but also one of his top former officials who are now claiming, in fact, these documents were not classified, that President Trump had already declassified them. So, explain that.

POLANTZ: Right. So this is -- we're talking about Kash Patel here.

He actually isn't just a former official. He is also one of the designees to handle presidential records for Donald Trump as of just a month ago, in a recent letter Trump announced, but what Kash was saying yesterday was that Trump has issued sweeping declassification orders, so there was nothing left that was classified at Mar-a-Lago.


POLANTZ: Donald Trump on Truth Social, his social media platform also tweeted or so truthed yesterday right around the time of this search warrant being released saying number one, it was all declassified. Okay, that's possible. He was the President. He had that authority.

But three things here, he no longer had the ability to declassify records after he left the presidency, the moment that Joe Biden was sworn in as President. Also, there's a formal process for declassifying documents. Donald Trump just can't think it and it is so. There is usually some sort of record of this sort of thing in the Federal government.

And then finally, in this particular investigation, in the statutes we know that the Justice Department is looking at, it doesn't necessarily mean that they have to be classified documents that were mishandled. Any mishandling of federal records, especially pertaining to the national defense, that would be important in this investigation as well.

MARQUARDT: And these are potentially some extraordinarily serious documents.

Katelyn Polantz, thank you so much for explaining all of that. Thank you for your terrific reporting on the story. We'll definitely be coming back to you. Appreciate it.

I'm joined now by former Federal prosecutor, Renato Mariotti, and Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, a CNN military analyst and former Commanding General of US Army-Europe and the Seventh Army.

Gentlemen, thank you both for joining me this evening.

Renato, I want to start with you. What do you make of this reporting that I was just talking about with Katelyn that a member of former President Trump's legal team signed this declaration back in June that all of these classified materials were in fact returned to the DOJ?

We now know, that was not the case. There were 11 sets of classified documents that were retrieved in this search in August.

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I think that lawyer needs her own lawyer is what I think. There are some serious liability there because making a false statement, if it is done knowingly and willfully, in the course of a Federal proceeding, in this case, the Federal investigation is itself a crime.

And so, frankly, I think, first of all, that may be why we saw the obstruction statute listed in the search warrant, 18 USC 5019. It also may mean that there's an ongoing investigation in which that lawyer may either be put in a situation where he or she has her own liability. And/or she or he points the finger at the former President and says that she was relying on the statements or representations made by the former President. MARQUARDT: And Renato, could you explain how the President is

defending himself, saying -- the former President saying that these documents were actually declassified. Does that hold water at all?

MARIOTTI: Not really. I mean, it is better than some of the defenses like the FBI planted the evidence or things like that, but I have to say, there are some problems with it.

As Katelyn mentioned, obviously, this is not the way the system works. As far as we know, no one was ever told that these were declassified other than maybe some close aides. It was never written down anywhere. No formal process was followed.

But also, you know, there was a lot of discussions and negotiation with the Justice Department. I suspect that the Justice Department wasn't told by the former President and his aides that this was declassified. They were told, in fact, as was just reported that the classified materials had been returned, if really, they had been declassified, they would have mentioned that earlier.

But legally, the issue here is none of the statutes that were cited by the Justice Department, and that search warrant required that the materials be classified.

So as long as these are highly sensitive, closely held National Defense documents, they're subject to the statutes. So I actually don't even think that that's going to matter legally whatsoever, whether or not these were technically declassified by Trump.

MARQUARDT: General Hertling, some of these documents we now know were classified at an extremely high level, it's called Top Secret SCI. Can you explain what that means? How sensitive they are? And really what it would mean if they fell into the wrong hands?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Alex, what you have to understand is when documents are put together with secret information or with classified information, the people that put them together determine what level they want to put on.

So when you say secret, if the release of that information is provided to someone, it could cause what is called serious damage to national security. If it's top secret. The phrase is, it would cause exceptionally grave damage to national security and its programs.

Top secret SCI -- Sensitive Compartmented Information is top secret, it's not a different category, but it's top secret documents that are restricted to those not only with that top secret clearance, but who have a need to know because those SCI documents have certain details, things like sensitive intelligence sources who is giving the information, it points to specifics in terms of individuals or programs or methods or analytical processes.


HERTLING: So all of those things are part of the document. So you can understand why if it's a top secret document and the release of which could cause grave damage to national security, SCI documents stamped that way, could not only cause grave damage, but they could identify sources and methods in the security system.

All of this is extremely dangerous and as Renato just said, you can't just declassify those things without warning the people who might be affected. An agent somewhere or a program somewhere in another country that needs to be pulled out are safeguarded.

So all of that is critically important whenever you declassify these kinds of documents.

MARQUARDT: General, "The Washington Post" did report that these documents, some of them pertain to nuclear weapons. So, is the real fear here that if they are in an insecure location, at you know, at a hotel, that the Iranians or the Chinese or whoever else could get their hands on them? Is that the main concern?

HERTLING: Well, it is. It's one of the concerns, Alex, but what I'd say is, it doesn't matter what they're about. You know, nuclear weapons, yes, that gets everybody fired up and saying "Oh, my gosh, we're going to lose our nuclear secrets."

But truthfully, any document that is stamped TS-SCI has those kinds of secrets on any kind of programs or any kind of methods. You know, if I can say, I've unfortunately controlled these kinds of programs and units that I've commanded, and had to discipline a few soldiers who were under my command for not properly caring for or securing classified documents.

And in my view, those same standards, which we apply to soldiers should be applied to our elected leaders and those who support them.

So, this is really scary stuff from my perspective, because I know that the release of some of this information could harm national security or even get people killed.

MARQUARDT: And Renato, we did have the warrant unsealed by that Judge down in Florida and on it were listed three Federal crimes that prosecutors are looking into, and that includes violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice. So what does this tell us do you think about the legal jeopardy that Trump could now be in?

MARIOTTI: Well, the first few statutes, the Espionage Act, I should just say that doesn't really involve traditionally what we think about espionage, but it involves, you know, keeping and refusal to produce and concealment of the highly sensitive, closely held Defense information.

And so I expected that the first two statutes that had been cited, I was surprised at the time that the obstruction statute was included. It wasn't clear to me why that was, but that very well may relate to the false statement we just heard a moment ago.

And that statute 1519, I charged that when I was a Federal prosecutor relates to when you're either concealing or altering or mutilating a record in order to obstruct either a Federal proceeding like usually an investigation or potentially obstructing the operations of a Federal government program.

MARQUARDT: All right, Renato Mariotti, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling; gentlemen, thank you both for your expertise this evening.

MARIOTTI: Thank you.

HERTLING: Thank you, Alex. Thank you.

MARQUARDT: Coming up next, we will be speaking live with Representative Zoe Lofgren. She's right at the heart of the January 6 insurrection investigation. I'll be asking her about the parade of former Trump Cabinet members that they've spoken with recently and the talks behind the scenes about removing the former President from office.

Now also ahead, there is a new witness video that captures the moment that Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage. We do have an update on his condition and more information on the suspect's motive.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. Stay with us.



MARQUARDT: And now to the investigation into the January 6 Capitol riot. It has been a busy summer for the House Select Committee with eight public hearings so far. There will be another one, the next one coming up this fall.

And since the last hearing on July 21st, we have learned some deeply troubling information including missing text messages from the Secret Service and outgoing military officials.

Just this week, the January 6 Committee interviewed former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and has been in talks with the former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, both of whom resigned from their positions in the Cabinet the day after the riot, that was on January 7th.

Now here to discuss all of this is Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.

Congresswoman, thank you so much for joining me this evening. I want to start there. At least nine Cabinet level officials who were still in the roles on January 6 are known to have either cooperated with or are engaging with the Committee. Most recently, Secretary Chao and the former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. How did they help you flesh out what you're pursuing in your investigation?

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Well, the fact that they are prominent people should not signify that there's something extraordinary that we're trying to discover.

We're trying to tie up all the loose ends. We did touch upon in our prior hearing the issue of the 25th Amendment that was at least discussed, but as we know that amendment was not invoked and so, I would say we're just tying up loose ends on that issue.


MARQUARDT: Secretary Pompeo, I think you could fairly say was among the Cabinet members considered to be one of the closest to the President, certainly in the inner circle when it came to national security issues. How seriously did Secretary Pompeo entertain or pursue the 25th Amendment to remove Trump?

LOFGREN: Well, as you know, that the Committee rules don't allow the members to discuss the testimony of witnesses without a vote of the Committee and that has not occurred with any of these witnesses. So, I can't violate the rules and discuss it.

But I'll just say this, in the end, the 25th Amendment was not invoked and one of the things that the charge of the Committee is, is to make recommendations about potential changes that could be adopted, that would make the country safer.

The 25th Amendment has a provision that is either the Cabinet or a body set up by the Congress to make these decisions of disability. Congress never did that. And maybe we shouldn't, maybe the way it is outlined in the amendment is good enough. But it's one of the things at least to take a look at that we may be informed about.

MARQUARDT: We are just showing there some of the high level officials who you are hoping to speak with soon. How close do you think you are to getting the former Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, to sit down with your Committee?

LOFGREN: Well, again, I can't -- we can't discuss the scheduling of witnesses, but I will say overall, I think we're on the back end of the investigation, obviously not the first 50 percent, but there are some things that need to be followed and understood better than they are now.

As I mentioned, a minute ago, the missing material from the Secret Service is of some concern. And as I think, you know, there was concern that the Inspector General sat on this information for over a year before telling Congress. And then when we found out and subpoenaed the Secret Service for records, we've been collaborating with them in a voluntary basis. Prior to that, a very large amount of information was only then made available. And then the Inspector General inexplicably stopped the forensics work to recover information from phones.

So we have a lot of concerns. This doesn't look good. Maybe there's innocent explanations, it is always possible, but we need to get to the bottom of this and find out whether this is an ongoing problem there.

MARQUARDT: On those disappeared, text messages, we have learned that officials at Homeland Security tried to alert Congress about those erased text messages; that memo disappeared.

So how culpable do you think the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security, Joseph Cuffari is?

LOFGREN: Well, I can't reach that conclusion now. I'll just say, there are certainly more questions than answers at this point, and we intend to get the answers. It does not look good for the department, and I'm not saying all of the Secret Service agents. Obviously, they are enormously brave and committed to our country and to our Constitution, but there was something wrong, I think, with this.

I mean, the service was told to preserve everything by the Committees of jurisdiction, and 11 days later, they erased everything. Very problematic, and then that information was withheld from the Congress for a very long time. We need to get to the bottom of this.

MARQUARDT: The big news, of course, this week was the search at former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate and in the receipt of what the FBI took away, there were documents pertaining to the pardon of Roger Stone. Of course, the Committee knows his involvement deeply in the insurrection.

Is there any reason that the pardon of Roger Stone might overlap with your investigation?

LOFGREN: Well, it's theoretically possible. Obviously, we don't know what the FBI got and if they got it, it doesn't mean the Committee will get it. I mean, they're not necessarily sharing their information with the legislative committee.

But clearly, Roger Stone was one of the individuals who was tied up with the insurrectionists in many ways. He came into the Committee and took the Fifth Amendment at every question. And so yes, we're very interested in that. I mean, we don't know whether there were -- what was communicated between the former President and Mr. Stone, but it would be of interest to the Committee.


MARQUARDT: After the search earlier this week, President Trump, his allies, right-wing media, there's been this furious reaction and it has been rather familiar. There's been conspiracy theories that have been floated, accusations of the politicization of the FBI. How worried are you that some members of the Republican Party could be fueling potential violence?

LOFGREN: Oh, it's very clear that they are. For example, Congressman Gosar tweeted, "We've got to destroy the FBI to save America." Well, you know, shortly thereafter, some unhinged guy who was involved in the January 6 insurrection attacked the FBI office in Ohio.

MARQUARDT: Cincinnati.

LOFGREN: Now, I'm not -- yes, I'm not suggesting that Representative Gosar approves of attacking physically the FBI, but certainly that kind of rhetoric is heard by people who are extremists, and who are apparently feel that they're being called on to save their country by engaging in violence, and that is something that all of us in public life ought to think about before we start saying these inflammatory things.

And I think I'm understanding that law enforcement is under extraordinary threats. I mean, we should be thanking our law enforcement personnel for what they do to keep the country safe and to protect us instead of attacking them, as so many in the Republican Party are doing today. It's really shameful.

MARQUARDT: Yes, an unprecedented number of threats we are told.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much for joining us this evening. Really appreciate it.

LOFGREN: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: All right. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Still ahead, new Video and details on the attack against the famous author, Salman Rushdie, what we're learning about the suspect who stabbed him and how badly Rushdie was hurt. Stay with us.



MARQUARDT: According to the District Attorney, prosecuting the alleged attacker of Salman Rushdie, this stabbing was targeted and pre- planned. The assailant arrived at least one day before the event, brought cash and prepaid cards and used a fake ID.

Now, the stabbing occurred on Friday when Rushdie was set to give a lecture in Western New York. Take a look at this video. It shows multiple members of the audience rushing on stage to help in the immediate aftermath of the attack. CNN's Polo Sandoval has more from outside the Pennsylvania Hospital where Rushdie is being treated.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alex, it's been over 24 hours and that video is still shocking to see, showing the moment of the attack. It wasn't long Salman Rushdie had actually taken to the stage to participate in the lecture event, some 40 miles east from where we are here at the hospital where he's recovering and that video capturing the moment when an individual charges the stage, stabbing the celebrated writer multiple times.

Both hospital spokesperson, as well as the New York State Police not offering an update on his condition. However, the literary agent representing Rushdie did tell The New York Times on Friday that he's currently breathing with the help of a ventilator that he suffered damage not just to his nerves in one arm, but also to his liver and faces the possibility of losing an eye.

So while we wait to hopefully hear an update about his condition, the other big question is a possible motive. Certainly no secret here that Rushdie had been living under constant death threat since the publication of the Satanic Verses novel back in 1988. That eventually led Iranian government officials to issue a religious decree calling for the assassination of Rushdie. And it was one that was reaffirmed as recently as 2017.

And now this weekend, you have some of the more hardline conservative newspapers in Iran that are basically celebrating Friday's attack while Western officials are strongly condemning it. National Security Adviser at the White House calling the attack appalling and reprehensible. Other officials also calling it an attack on freedom of expression and free speech.

So as the investigation presses on, we do know that Hadi Matar, the man who's been identified by New York State Police as the individual who allegedly is responsible for the attack. He pleaded not guilty to second-degree attempted murder and assault in western New York earlier today, Alex.


All right. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much for that report.

And tomorrow night on CNN NEWSROOM, we will be speaking with a man who witnessed the attempt on Salman Rushdie's life firsthand. That starts at 7 pm Eastern. I hope you'll watch that.

Now still ahead, the impact of the climate crisis Europe is facing extreme levels of heat and drought. And here in the U.S., the governor of California is making a dramatic set of plans to help face really stunning drain on California's water supply. We will be live alongside the L.A. river that's coming up next.




This summer's unprecedented heat has affected Americans all across this country. And with numerous wildfires and severe drought impacting the West Coast, experts say that California could lose 10 percent of its water in the next two decades. CNN's Mike Valerio is standing by from the Los Angeles River. Mike, we've heard from Gavin Newsom he has laid out his multibillion-dollar plan to save the state's diminishing water supply for the future. What is in this plan?

MIKE VALERIO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alex, a big part of the strategy here is to build more storage space, think reservoirs, tanks, cisterns to hold water that falls in the winter months and keep it here for the dry months.

And Alex, one of the reasons why we wanted to come to this spot about eight miles away from downtown L.A. is to show you that this part of the Los Angeles River is almost the exact opposite of what the Newsom plan is calling for. This part of the river is essentially designed to channel water from here 20 miles south out of the city into the Pacific Ocean without saving most if not all of it.

[18:40:00] So the main tenants of what Newsom is calling for starts with 4

million acre feet of storage capacity, again, reservoir cisterns, storage tanks to hold the water that falls here in California and across the West, mostly during the winter months to use for times like right now. We also have a strategy to use more wastewater, recycling, water that goes into your neighborhood drain and would end up right here essentially, where we're standing and go out into your largest body of water, in this case, the Pacific Ocean.

There's also, Alex, desal, taking salt, desalination out of ocean water, out of brackish water using that for drinking water. Take a listen to what the Governor had to say on that point.



This technology is much older than I. It's much older than each and every one of you and the reality is we need to be more creative and we need to be more aggressive in terms of not just promoting this technology, but delivering on its promise, moreover, delivering on its potential.



Okay. So that is creating a new water source. But for, again, collecting the water that we have in the winter, right now just take a look at this, we're in the middle of the river, what should be the river, and we only have about one to two inches in the middle of the channel. Into December, January, February timeframe, yards and yards high is what the water level is. The aim of the game is to store that water, Alex.

MARQUARDT: Mike Valerio, thank you so much for that report on a very dramatic situation out there in California.

Now scorching temperatures are also sweeping across Europe causing all kinds of havoc transforming the famous English green into drought ridden barren land. You can see right there over in France across the English Channel, monster wildfires have consumed 10s of thousands of acres and destroyed homes forcing evacuations all across France. CNN Salma Abdelaziz has more on what Europe is facing.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER (voice over): Five thousand hectares more than 12,000 football fields burnt in a single night. Temperatures inside the fire zone in this community in Gironde, France reached a thousand degrees Celsius according to the local fire department, enough to bend steel.



We are still in the phase of trying to contain the fire. Our mission is to direct it where we want, where there was fewer vegetation where the layout allows our vehicles to position themselves best in the most efficient manner.


ABDELAZIZ (voice over): Scorching temperatures and months of dry weather are causing dangerous conditions across Europe. The continent is in the midst of its fourth heat wave this summer. E.U. Chief, Ursula von der Leyen tweeted Friday that help was incoming for Portugal, Slovenia, Albania and France as part of the bloc's civil protection mechanism. Following an emergency plea from Paris on Thursday, the E.U. sent four firefighting planes to France's southwest where emergency services have battled wildfires for six consecutive nights. Reinforcements from Romania started to arrive Friday morning.


CRISTIAN BUHALANU, ROMANIAN FIRE CHIEF: Doesn't matter the country, we are firefighters and we have to help people around the world.


ABDELAZIZ (voice over): In the U.K., the London fire brigade remains on high alert and describes the city as tinderbox dry. Water companies have introduced bans given the drought conditions stopping people from watering their gardens, washing cars or cleaning windows. Even the River Thames has dried up further downstream than ever before.


ALISDAIR NAULLS, RIVERS TRUST ENGAGEMENT OFFICER: This is the climate crisis in action that I am stirred in about that deep of the Thames 15 kilometers into it. I should be a lot wetter than I am right now.


ABDELAZIZ (voice over): Germany's River Rhine was also exceptionally low, threatening further disruption on Germany's most important inland waterway. Used for transporting chemicals and grain, the Rhine is particularly crucial for the movement of coal, which is in higher demand as Germany races to fill storage facilities ahead of next winter.

Meteorologists say the current wave of extreme temperature sweeping Europe is associated with a robust dome of high atmospheric pressure. Not only does that dome bring hot air into the region, it also suppresses storms and clouds, trapping the heat and preventing it from rising.

Scientists say that every heat wave the world experiences today has been made hotter because of human-induced climate change.

Salma Abdelaziz CNN, London. (END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUARDT: All right. Thanks to Salma for that terrific report. Now, extreme weather, hungry predators stormy seas, high altitudes and a baking sun tomorrow night. See what film crews had to cope with over one dramatic year as they capture the story of life in one of the world's wildest places, Patagonia. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By the time the storm passes, the crew have just one day left before they have to return to port.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's usually tricky, not this tricky. This has been like spectacularly difficult.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then Domas (ph) get some exciting news. Wales had been spotted only two hours away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blue whale. To your one o'clock.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got some whales. Nice.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A big blue and a small blue.


MARQUARDT: It's beautiful. A new episode of Patagonia: Life on the Edge of the World that airs Sunday at 9 pm.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. Next week, Congresswoman Liz Cheney will be facing voters in Wyoming, does she have a chance of keeping her job or will she work on - or will her work on the January 6 Committee cost her, her position in Congress. Harry Enten is here next to run the numbers, stay with us.



MARQUARDT: In just a few days, voters will decide if Congresswoman Liz Cheney will have a chance to keep her job. CNN Senior Data Reporter Harry Enten joins us now to run the numbers. Harry, this is one of the most - well, one of the biggest primaries in this season. How are things looking for Congresswoman Cheney?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: It's one of the biggest primaries, but I feel like the outcome has been foretold for many, many months. The polls have been quite stable on this and that is Congresswoman Liz Cheney just doesn't stand that much of a chance. It would take a minor miracle for her to win. You can see that she's down 20 plus points here. This is my aggregate sort of my estimate of where the race basically stands.

And the polls have been really stable on this over the last few months. The real question is whether she loses by 15, 20, 25 or 30 points. I know primary polling and while primary polling can be inaccurate from time to time to overcome a 22-point deficit would be really something quite historic to be honest with you.

MARQUARDT: And if she were to lose, would the number one reason be because of her decision to - her vote to impeach Trump and her role on the January 6 Committee?

ENTEN: I would say so. And I think the way you can sort of see this is you go back to 2020 and you say, okay, Wyoming voters, do approve or disapprove of the job that Liz Cheney is doing representing you in Congress? Her disapproval rating before voting to impeach was 26 percent, that's not awesome but it's pretty gosh darn good in this polarizing era even a state as Republican as Wyoming.

And then you look at her disapproval rating after voting to impeach Donald Trump and it jumps up by more than 40 points. That doesn't happen by accident, Alex, that happens because of a dramatic event. And really the only thing that I can really point to is in fact that vote to impeach Trump.

And the training name in Wyoming has been quite popular over the years. Remember, her father represented the state in Congress. So her going down to defeat and her seeing these high disapproval ratings clearly indicate she did something that really upset the very Republican voters in the state of Wyoming and voting to impeach Donald Trump to me is the clear line through as you can see right here.

MARQUARDT: And she just enlisted her father to do an ad in which he called Donald Trump a coward. But, Harry, this is a primary that's quite late in the season. We've had a series where Republicans who have criticized Trump or voted to impeach Trump have been running, how have they fared in this primary season?

ENTEN: Not particularly well and I think Liz Cheney will just be the latest example of that. Four retired, two won their primaries and top two primaries were Democrats and basically anyone could vote where all the Democrats and Republicans were on the ballot at the same time. Three loss, Jaime Herrera Beutler was just the latest who conceded this past week. I think that Liz Cheney will be added to that last primary column, so it's going to basically be end up being two and eight, with the four retiring plus the four losing their primary not being in the next Congress.

MARQUARDT: It'll be very interesting to see, I think, how this search at Mar-A-Lago goes down with voters both Democrats and Republicans. You've been keeping tabs on what people are saying. What are they saying? What has been that reaction to the FBI's search at Mar a Lago?

ENTEN: Yes. These are very preliminary numbers. But I think they generally track with what we've seen about how voters and Americans feel at large about Trump. He's very popular within the Republican Party. But when you get to that general electorate, it's a whole different ballgame. And you can see that here with 51 percent approving of the FBI search on Mar-A-Lago, 35 percent disapproving.

And that net, basically, of that minus 16 Against Trump is basically the net that we've seen nationally, which is that more people have an unfavorable view of the former president than a favorable view and it tends to be by about double digits.

MARQUARDT: Okay. Let's talk about something a little bit more fun. You have a podcast, of course, and this week, we are looking at ghost stories. Tell us more about that.

ENTEN: Yes. So I was up in New England, I was up in Maine this past weekend, so I could feel the autumn - first wipes of the autumn breeze. And on my podcast what I basically looked at was something that I think is really quite interesting and that is belief in ghosts. In 1978, it was just 11 percent, now it's up to 40 percent. What the heck is going on? Why are we, Americans, all of a sudden so much more likely to believe in ghost?


And so that's what I explored in this particular podcast episode. But I have to ask you, Alex, do you believe in ghosts?

MARQUARDT: I think I'm part of the 60 percent who don't and that's - you're absolutely right, that's stunning. I thought those numbers would have been reversed.

ENTEN: It turns out that maybe in the Internet era where people are getting more and more access to interesting stories, that maybe they're willing to believe in something that they might not have believed in before and who knows, maybe this segment might actually be haunted, although I believe it's truly - it's just has beautiful vibrations all the way through.

MARQUARDT: We have seen a propensity for people to believe in more things perhaps because they do have that internet access. Harry Enten, thank you so much. Please be sure, everyone out there, to check out Harry's podcast Margins of Error. You can find it on your favorite podcast app or at We'll be right back.