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Russia Unleashes Airstrikes After Ukraine Makes Major Gains; Trump Asks Judge To Reject DOJ Request To Continue Document Review; Trump And DOJ Clash Over Classified Documents Seized At Mar-a-Lago; Biden President Biden Spotlights Bipartisan Infrastructure Law At Boston Logan Airport; Biden To Mark 60th Anniversary Of JFK's "Moonshot" Speech With Announcement On "Cancer Moonshot"; Soon, Royal Family Gathers At St. Giles Cathedral For Vigil; Harry Thanks "Granny" For "Sound Advice" & "Infectious Smile". Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired September 12, 2022 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: And it's in essence, with the exception of the agriculture regions, which cover all of this area, the most important part of Ukraine from an economic standpoint.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: I remember earlier, when this invasion began, we talked about how Ukraine might have a fighting spirit in a much greater amount than Russia but that Russia had the numbers.
However, that seems to have flipped. Russia says Ukrainian forces outnumber them by eight times in the counteroffensive in the east. Although, I don't think Russia has the same fighting spirit. When I say it's split, I'm just talking about the numbers.
Do you see this as a tipping point? Are you confident Ukraine will be able to hold on to this territory they've regained?
LEIGHTON: I think they can do it. Of course, there are lot of things that have to happen.
Let's look at the northeast in detail, Ana. What you have is the area around Kharkiv, right over here, and then you have where Melissa was, which is right here, right on the line between -- right now between Russian and Ukrainian forces.
The Ukrainians were able to move in this direction. This is the Russian border right here. The Ukrainians can keep this if they can continue to get the weapons from the West and if the Russians continue to have supply chain failures.
If that continues to happen, then I'm reasonably confident the Ukrainians can keep this area.
CABRERA: OK, Colonel Cedric Leighton, good to get this update. Thank you for offering your expertise and your insights.
We'll continue to stay on top of these developments in Ukraine. I also want to bring you up to speed on legal developments. Trump's
legal time firing back, calling the DOJ investigation into documents seized by Mar-a-Lago a, quote, "document storage dispute that spiraled out of control." We have more on this intense legal showdown when we come back.
CABRERA: A document storage dispute. That's how former President Trump's legal team is now characterizing the criminal investigation into dozens of classified documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago.
After a judge hit pause on everything to appoint a special master, the Justice Department came back and said, at least let us take out the classified documents and continue to process those.
And then this morning, Trump's lawyers urged the judge to reject that request.
So CNN senior legal analyst, Elie Honig, joins us now.
Before we get to this morning's filing, Elie, let's just remind our viewers of kind of where we are, how we ended up here, and what's at stake when it comes to what is being argued over.
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Ana, we are in an agree-to- disagree scenario here. The parties, the United States Department of Justice and Donald Trump, essentially disagree on everything when it comes to the special master, starting with who the special master should be.
Now, on Friday night, late on Friday night, both parties suggested two candidates each. One of Donald Trump's recommended parties, Paul Huck Jr, is a private attorney. He's done work for conservative and Republican causes. And he has some overlap with some of Donald Trump's lawyers.
The other three, however, are all retired federal judges who have enormous amounts of credibility and respect that really sort of crosses over political lines.
I should note, Judge Barbara Jones was the special master for the Rudy Giuliani search and the Michael Cohen search. So she's done this before.
They also disagree on who pays. Donald Trump says, why don't we split the cost 50/50? DOJ's response is, you want the special master, we don't, so you should pay it all, Donald Trump.
They also disagree on timeframe. Trump's team wants to slow this down. They say 90 days is what they need. That will take us into mid- December. DOJ says the special master should be able to get his or her work done by October 17th, about a month from now. And importantly, they disagree on the scope. Donald Trump's team says the special master should review all 11,000 documents, for all privileges, including executive privilege.
DOJ is arguing, however, the special master should not be able to review classified documents and should not be able to make decisions on executive privilege.
CABRERA: Those classified documents they're saying really relate to national security issues. They want to be able to review those immediately and continue with their investigation.
If they're classified, is there an argument for privilege of any kind?
HONIG: DOJ's point is, if they're classified, they can't be covered by executive privilege.
HONIG: Donald Trump's response is, it is theoretically possible you have a document that is both. That's a conversation between the president and one of his close advisers. That's a legitimate strategy or police discussion. That could also be privileged and classified at the same time.
CABRERA: OK, so that brings us to today's filing from Trump's lawyers. What do they say?
HONIG: So Donald Trump's lawyers last week had asked the judge, they said -- sorry, DOJ asked the judge, we want you to hold off on part of the ruling relating to the 100 or so classified documents.
They said, Judge, we need to use these documents in our investigation, and the special master, we shouldn't have to wait for the special master to conclude her review of those documents.
Now, Donald Trump just filed his response to that. Consistent with our theme, Donald Trump completely disagrees.
His lawyers called it, as you said in the beginning, a document storage dispute that has spiraled out of control. That's not a credible statement. This is much more than a document storage dispute.
But Trump's position is there may be executive privilege. We need the special master to do that review before DOJ can use the documents in an ongoing criminal investigation.
CABRERA: We have 30 seconds. What about the appeals process? The DOJ also appealed the special master altogether, right?
HONIG: Yes. DOJ said they're going to appeal up to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. We're at the trial-court level right now, the district court level.
If they appeal, they'll go up to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. This is a famously conservative court of appeals.
If you look at the composition, there are significantly more Republican-nominated judges, including six of these are Donald Trump's own nominees than Democratic-nominated judges. If you include senior judges, it's actually 12 Republicans, eight Democratic nominees.
And the way they would choose this is there would be three judges chosen at random who would become the panel. So the odds are very much in favor of Donald Trump on the 11th Circuit.
CABRERA: Just to keep expectations for our viewers in accordance. This could take months, this appeals process, if it does come down to it.
HONIG: And worth remembering, Ana, we're already more than a month out from the search itself and we still haven't worked out the special master logistics yet.
CABRERA: OK, Elie Honig, thank you.
HONIG: Thank you.
CABRERA: Appreciate it.
President Biden set to unveil his administration's next steps to fight canner today. It's coming in a major speech this afternoon. What we know about the plan when we come back.
CABRERA: President Biden begins a packed week with a pair of high- profile speeches today in Boston.
In just a couple hours, he'll mark the 60th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's "moonshot" speech with his own "cancer moonshot" speech. He'll talk about his administration's push to end cancer.
Now, earlier, President Biden was at Boston Logan Airport to highlight how the new bipartisan infrastructure law has kick started some much- needed upgrades there.
And I want to bring in CNN's chief White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins.
Kaitlan, first, what have we heard from the president so far today?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He was at Boston Logan International Airport just a few hours ago, Ana, talking about the $62.5 million that they're getting in federal grants from the infrastructure law that was signed into law last year for upgrades.
And the president talking about how it's not just that airport. You're seeing other airports across the United States, including LaGuardia in New York, right now, undergoing these massive renovations. As the president is making this bigger argument about making sure things like U.S. airports are on par with other airports throughout the world.
It's not just this infrastructure touting he's doing today. He's also going to have this big celebration event at the White House tomorrow talking about the Inflation Reduction Act.
That's the bill he signed into law last month talking about climate and health care. And making sure that people, the White House says, know what's in that.
Because they're hoping to really use that to show voters what they have accomplished since President Biden has been in office ahead of the November midterm elections.
CABRERA: Look ahead to his speech today later. Because so many lives, so many families are impacted by cancer. So we await his cancer moonshot announcement.
Explain the timing, the setting, and what kind of details he's going to lay out.
COLLINS: Notice the timing here is really important. And also the location of where President Biden is doing this speech. It's happening at the JFK Library on the 60th anniversary to the day of JFK's moonshot speech, talking about putting a man on the moon.
The White House is not being shy about drawing the parallels here because they feel they're making an equally ambitious and important announcement.
Because, you're right, this is something that affects nearly every family. And the president is going to be setting a goal of cutting the deaths from cancer in the United States in half in the next 25 -- quarter century, 25 years.
So that's something they're saying is their big basically on par with JFK's moonshot speech. They want to say this is going to be what we're shooting for, this is our ambition.
So expect the president to be leaning heavily into those parallels when you see him speaking in a few moments from now.
CABRERA: Kaitlan Collins, at the White House for us, thank you.
Ahead, we go back live to Scotland. The new king and queen consort will be joining other members of the royal family there honoring the late Queen Elizabeth.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Stay right there.
[13:51:39] CABRERA: Happening now, His Majesty, King Charles III, is preparing to leave a reception at Scottish parliament. We brought you his remarks there just moments ago.
He's going to soon make his way back over to St. Giles Cathedral where his late mother, Queen Elizabeth, is now laying in rest.
The royal family are all set to hold their final event of the day soon, a vigil, just about an hour from now at this cathedral.
CNN royal historian, Kate Williams, is joining us now.
And, Kate, there's so much that leads up to the funeral for Queen Elizabeth, which is a week from today. It's all truly historic.
Explain why all of this is taking place, the significance of the day's-long procession and all the stops along the way.
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL HISTORIAN: Yes, Ana, there's so much taking place. It really has been an emotional roller coaster in the U.K. The queen passed only on Thursday and here we are already with the king, in the first few days of his reign, he's addressed the nation and had the privy council.
And this morning, he was at the London parliament, addressing the M.P.s in parliament, receiving condolences, talking about how he would uphold the neutrality of parliament, protect the neutrality. The king must not meddle.
And doing the same in Scotland, receiving condolences. And there you showed his speech to parliament. And Ms. Sturgeon, the first leader of Scotland, her speech, in which she talked about how the queen was the anchor of the nation.
And they will remain the rest of the day in Scotland. They will be in vigil around the coffin, as you were said, this evening.
And then tomorrow, Charles goes to another part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, to Hillsborough Castle, the royal residence there.
And the queen will begin to make her journey towards London for Wednesday, which is a very significant day in the leadup to the funeral. Because on Wednesday, the queen will be lying in state in Westminster Hall. That's the part of parliament that Charles is in this morning.
She'll be lying in state there and the public can go and pay respects. The public have been doing so in Edinburgh but now it's in London. Really, the crowds that are expected, Anam are very significant. I've seen estimates of a million.
And I have to say, I think that's conservative. I think it will be more. Because there has been crowds outside the palace. You know, London is overtaken. It's overwhelmed. People coming in from all over the country, all over the world to pay their respects to the queen. And also, to be a part of history. This historic moment, we will never have a moment like this again. We will never have another reign 70 years on the throne.
She's seen everything. She came to the throne when there was no man on the moon, when people didn't have a television or telephone. She was born when not all women had the vote just after World War I. She's seen almost the entirety of the 20th century and much of the 21st.
So really, we will never see anything like this. And everyone is both paying respects and being a part of history. So --
WILLIAMS: -- it is significant.
And then to Monday, this great state funeral. We haven't had a state funeral since Winston Churchill in 1965. So there were very few of us that ever seen this before.
CABRERA: Right. I think it was 80 percent of the British public who have only known Queen Elizabeth as their monarch. So it goes to speak to how this is just truly a remarkable moment in history.
There have been tributes pouring in from around the world. But for her family, this is so deeply personal.
Obviously, Prince Harry put out a touching statement today. I want to read part of it.
He recalls words the queen herself spoke after the passing of Prince Philip when she talked about "life consisting of final partings and first meetings."
And so Harry writes, "Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I'm forever grateful for our meetings."
"From my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first TIME as my commander-in-chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great grandchildren, I cherish these times with you and the many other special moments in between."
"Thank you for your sound advice. Thank you for your infectious smile."
I just want to leave our viewers with that thought.
Thank you so much, Kate, for being here with us and guiding us the last few days with your expertise and helping us to understand what this moment means there in the U.K. and as all of the world processes the death of Queen Elizabeth II and welcomes a new king to the monarchy there.
That will do it for us today. Let's do it again tomorrow, same time, same place. Until then, you can always find me on Twitter, @AnaCabrera.
The news continues with Alisyn and Victor next