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Justice Department Asking Appeals Court To Throw Out Special Master's Review Of Mar-a-Lago Documents; Airlines On Hiring Binge To Avoid Holiday Chaos; Supreme Court Clears Way For House Committee To Get Trump's Taxes; Lt. Gov Geoff Duncan (R-GA) Discusses GA Senate Runoff Between Walker & Warnock. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired November 22, 2022 - 14:30   ET



DR. TARA NARULA, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: So if you test for RSV and COVID and the flu, you can identify if they really need it or not. And obviously help out with a situation right now that we're facing with shortages.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: All right. Dr. Tara Narula and Jeremy Diamond, thank you.


Right now, an appeals court hearing is happening over the fate of the special master in charge of reviewing documents taken from former President Trump's Florida home. Why the Justice Department wants him removed. That's next.

GOLODRYGA: And early voting starts in Georgia's Senate runoff between Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock. Details on their dueling campaign events, straight ahead.



GOLODRYGA: Right now, a federal appeals court is hearing arguments on whether to remove the special master who is reviewing materials the FBI seized from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

BLACKWELL: Federal Judge Raymond Dearie was appointed special master in September and tasked with removing privileged material that may have been seized in the search.

CNN's Paula Reid is live outside the federal courthouse in Atlanta.

Paula, the hearing is happening right now. What can you tell us?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Victor. We've been listening in to this hearing. Arguments are under way as prosecutors try to convince this three-judge panel to get rid of the so-called special master. This is this third-party review of materials seized at the former president's Mar-a-Lago home back in August.

But this is also a big day because this is the first hearing since the appointment of special counsel, Jack Smith. He's not here today. He's not arguing in court. But he has approved the arguments that are being made.

And it was really interesting to hear the first few questions from this panel. The first question really asked, is this kind of special master traditionally put in place when a search has not been determined to be unlawful? The answer was no.

Also another question about whether, if you have a former president, get a special master, if that request is granted, if every criminal defendant is then going to want this kind of third-party review.

So, so far, it sounds like this could be favorable for the prosecution.

Now, this court has previously granted prosecutors a carve-out from this requirement for a special master and said, look, you can look at, you can investigate classified materials.

And prosecutors got some good news early this morning when they found out two of the three judges that made that decision were going to be on today's panel.

We are not expected, though, to get a decision today. That will likely come in the coming weeks. But this is all about how quickly they can move this investigation along, Victor.

A lot of concerns about how far this will extend into the 2024 presidential race. And as we know, the former president, for decades, has been very successful at using delay tactics in ongoing litigation and investigations.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, he has.

Paula Reid, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: Airlines are hiring a whole bunch of people. They're trying to keep up with the holiday travel demand. We'll have more on that just ahead.



BLACKWELL: Before many of us can actually enjoy the festivities of Thanksgiving, we'll have to face an unquestionably busy travel time of year.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, it's unavoidable, it appears. Airports like Chicago O'Hare are already busy and working to avoid massive delays or, even worse, cancellations.

And airlines are on a hiring binge in an effort to avoid a Thanksgiving travel meltdown.

CNN aviation correspondent, Pete Muntean, has more.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Airlines have been preparing for the rush at airports with a rush all their own, hiring thousands of new workers from the front desk to the flight deck.

Twenty-four-year-old Ellie Gall is about to follow in her dad's footsteps as a new commercial pilot.

Ellie Gall, NEW HIRE FIRST OFFICER, PIEDMONT AIRLINES: This is probably one of the best times in history to become a pilot.

MUNTEAN: Ellie is joining Piedmont Airlines, which operates thousands of regional flights for American Airlines. At its Charlotte training center, 400 new pilots have been trained here since June.

EDDIE LEVERTON, VP OF FLIGHT OPERATIONS, PIEDMONT AIRLINES: We have real ambitions to grow the airline and essentially double the size of the airline.

MUNTEAN: Seasoned pilots are also in demand. Piedmont just announced a $100,000 signing bonus for new captains.

DOUG MCFARLANE, NEW HIRE CAPTAIN, PIEDMONT AIRLINES: The opportunities have never been better.

MUNTEAN: New industry numbers show staffing at the major airlines has not exceeded pre-pandemic levels. The hiring blitz comes after airlines struggled this summer, canceling 55,000 flights due, in part, to staffing shortages.

But hiring is happening beyond just pilots. American Airlines says it has hired 12,000 employees this year company-wide. Southwest Airlines says it has hired more than 15,000. And at United Airlines, 2,000 new customer service representatives are helping passengers in new ways.


MUNTEAN: Called "Agent on-Demand," you scan a Q.R. code for a video call. Agents can now connect with a stranded passenger at O'Hare when they are not busy at another airport like Dulles.

REYNOLDS: I think this is going to be a great help, especially now that we're having snow everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to be there for our customers and support them, make it easy, and just make them feel good about the trip and take off some of the stress.

MUNTEAN: Airlines insist they now have the right people in the right places. Now the pressure is on them to perform. MUNTEAN (on camera): Are you worried at all?

NICK CALIO, CEO, AIRLINES FOR AMERICA: I'm worried about the weather. I always worry about the weather because that's the number one thing that can ruin a flight.

I think we're flexible enough now that if there are cancellations or delays we will be ready to try to get people to where they're going to go.


MUNTEAN: We will see if all of this hiring pays off. So far, so smooth, Victor and Bianna, especially considering how busy it has been at airports across the country, especially here at Reagan National Airport.

Cancellations, so far, pretty minimal. Just checked FlightAware. About 80 across the country yesterday. Only about 40 so far today. Although, today, the FAA says will be one of the busiest in the skies, 48,000 flights scheduled nationwide.


Tomorrow, though, will be one of the busiest in terms of passengers. TSA anticipating screening 2.5 million people at airports nationwide, the highest since COVID hit -- Victor and Bianna?

BLACKWELL: Packed flights. Get ready.

Pete, thank you.

GOLODRYGA: And we have breaking news to bring you. The Supreme Court has just cleared the way for Congress to get Donald Trump's tax returns. More details straight ahead.


GOLODRYGA: More about the breaking news. Supreme Court has just cleared the way for the release of Donald Trump's tax returns to the House committee.

BLACKWELL: Let's get right to CNN Supreme Court analyst, Joan Biskupic.

What happened?

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: This is a big loss for former President Donald Trump at the hands of the Supreme Court today. He had tried to get the Supreme Court to intervene to block his tax records from going to the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee.


Former President Donald Trump had lost in lower courts. He had gone up to the Supreme Court saying, of all the requests for documents that had been going on during his presidency and since, this was the worst request, he said in his filing, because it involved his personal tax returns.

The Supreme Court today, in just a two-sentence order, said, no, it's denied.

There were no recorded dissents, including from any of the Trump- appointed justices or any of the other conservatives on this very conservative court. Unanimously, at least on paper, against President Trump.

Again, there might have been some dissents behind the scenes but none were made public.

So a major loss for former President Trump and a major victory for the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee -- Victor?

BLACKWELL: A two-sentence order is stark, so they are clear there.


BLACKWELL: The question is, within just a couple weeks left in a lame- duck session, what will a Democratically led Congress be able to do with that? We'll get into that always later with some of our political experts.

Joan Biskupic, thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Thanks, Joan.

BISKUPIC: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Well, early voting is under way in Douglas County, Georgia, the first county out of the gate in the Senate runoff between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker.

BLACKWELL: The state's Republican lieutenant governor has called Walker an untested and unproven first-time candidate. That's certainly on display on the campaign trail.


HERSCHEL WALKER, (R), U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE FOR GEORGIA: I don't care the color of your skin. It don't matter whether you are black, white, yellow, green. If you are Martian and you live in the United States, I'll protect you, too, because you belong to my family.


WALKER: You all watching a stupid movie hoping you don't get better but keep watching anyway.


WALKER: I was watching this movie called "Fright Night, Sleep Night" and sometime tonight, it was about vampires.

I'll tell you know vampires but they're


WALKER: Something else I found out. Do you know how to kill a vampire. Did you know that? So I don't want to be a vampire, I want to be werewolf.



BLACKWELL: Georgia's Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan is with us now.

Sir, thank you for being with me.

You've got this op-ed on that I want talk about in a moment, the three calls that you think the Herschel Walker campaign needs to make.

Do you want Herschel Walker to win this race?

LT. GOV. GEOFF DUNCAN (R-GA): I've been critical about the process we went through to pick Herschel Walker in a Republican primary. Right? We had very qualified individuals that have a career and a resume that show that they were ready to take on this role and lead Georgia in the Senate.

So it has been a difficult process. And I think the voters have spoken so far in watching Governor Kemp, who has just really ran away with his race, and see the difference between his outcome and what is launched Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock into a runoff.

BLACKWELL: I heard all of that. I didn't hear whether you want Herschel Walker to win this race, though.

DUNCAN: What I want is I want the Republicans to have the U.S. Senate, control of the U.S. Senate, control of the U.S. House and eventually win the White House in 2024.

Really all we've got is an un unimpressive margin in the House because I think that we ran a bunch of candidates that really were allegiant to Donald Trump in too many races and we miscalculated there.

It's not like you couldn't see it coming. And also in the Senate, candidate quality matters, as Mitch McConnell states a few months ago.

GOLODRYGA: You won't have control of the Senate regardless of what happens in this race in Georgia, as you know. So given that, does Herschel Walker have your endorsement?

DUNCAN: Yes, I think it is interesting to watch the statistics. AARP came out with a poll today that, 51-47, still within the margin of error, breaking towards Warnock.

And I think it is a little bit surprising. It feels like the delta should be more than that.

But I think that it's, one, Governor Kemp came out strong Saturday in support of Herschel Walker, which he's done well.

But also Donald Trump failed in his announcement. It just seems like a national dud. And if it would have been a success and talk of the town, I think that you would have seen Herschel Walker may have had a tougher time keeping it as close as it is.

But another interesting statistic, 54-39 is Independents in that same poll for Warnock. And I think this is a turnout game. If we can get folks to turn out -- and I've been critical throughout the whole process.

I just felt like Herschel Walker had a hard time getting my attention. Just because he was famous and just because Donald Trump supported him wasn't enough to get my respect or my vote.

BLACKWELL: So let's turn on your op-ed on You say there are first calls that the Walker campaign should make. First, Trump needs to stay home, don't come to Georgia. Also to Ron DeSantis to be one of the surrogates on the trail.


But also, as you mention, to Brian Kemp, to the governor of Georgia to come out and support him. He's done that on Saturday. But it was a 7- minute speech. He got off the stage while Herschel Walker was speaking.

I don't know if there are any other announced appearances with the two of them.

Is one appearance enough or does Governor Kemp need to be out with Herschel Walker on a sustained basis?

DUNCAN: Well, Governor Kemp did show up on Saturday. And I have all the respect in the world for Governor Kemp, so does millions of voters.

Including those who are left of center that showed up and voted in favor of Brian Kemp and put leadership on display for four years. And he deserved to continue to be called governor.

I knew that they would be difficult if you broke them down. The juxtapose is, if you tell Trump to stay away and you ask Ron DeSantis and likeminded individuals to show up, you put them at odds with each other at a national stage. But that is what needed to happen.

So I think two of the three calls probably were made. I'm not in the war room with those guys. It does feel like Donald Trump has stayed away, although he did include in his speech, when he announced that he was going to run for president, he included Herschel Walker and showing up for him.

Governor Kemp has shown up and offered some of his support from his team. But it doesn't feel like anybody from Ron DeSantis' camp will be here and attach their political wagon to Herschel Walker.

GOLODRYGA: All right, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, thank you for your time.

DUNCAN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, sir.

We're following more news just in. Prosecutors just unsealed charges against a man they say threatened to kill a California congressman and FBI Director Christopher Wray. We'll have details, next.