Return to Transcripts main page
Live Coverage of Brian Walshe's Court Appearance; Evidence Given in Walshe's Court Appearance.; Santos Tapped for Two House Panels; Lance Ulanoff is Interviewed about AI Art. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired January 18, 2023 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LYNN BELAND, PROSECUTOR: Ana Walshe was a contributor to the DNA that was found on the Tyvek suit. There was tissues which found that Ana Walshe contributed to the DNA.
There was one other earlier Google search which you will note on December 27th the defendant Googled, what's the best state to divorce for a man. Rather than divorce, it is believed that Brian Walshe dismembered Ana Walshe and discarded her body. The bags were later discarded in Swampscott and contained Ana's property and the items used to clean up, as well as the DNA that was left behind.
The commonwealth is asking the defendant be held without bail for the murder of his wife.
MARK COVEN, DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: Thank you, Ms. Beland.
Do you wish to be heard at all?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, Your Honor. Thank you.
COVEN: All right. Defendant will be held without bail pending indictment.
Do we have a date for probable - or, Ms. Beland, have you reserve time (INAUDIBLE) jury?
BELAND: Not at this time, but I will.
Your Honor, we have a date of February 7th already for the (INAUDIBLE) Police (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's February 9th.
BELAND: What's that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's February 9th.
BELAND: Oh, February 9th, I apologize. If we want to put it on for status on that day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that's by Zoom, Your Honor, correct? COVEN: By Zoom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, thank you.
COVEN: On status date or probable cause date?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Status date is fine, Your Honor.
COVEN: OK. February 9th for status (ph).
BELAND: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Your Honor.
COVEN: So, sir, you're held without bail until February 9th, 2023, for a status date.
We're all set. Thank you (INAUDIBLE).
, BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, you are looking, again, at live pictures from inside a courtroom in Quincy, Massachusetts. An extraordinary level of detail as prosecutors laid out their case against Brian Walshe, charging him with murdering his wife Ana.
We learned new details about just the long litany of Google searches they say he made about how to dismember a body, how to dispose of a body, what happens to parts of a body after it's dismembered.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: How does formaldehyde work.
BERMAN: And then beyond that for the first time we learned information about their DNA and scientific investigation.
Let's get right to that. Defense attorney Misty Maris is with us and CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller back with us right now.
John, first to you. You have the Google searches and you have this DNA found in some of the bags disposed of by Brian Walshe. Didn't have body parts, but it had blood consistent DNA with that of Ana Walshe.
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: So, if you take this in total, we are far beyond the standard of, is there probable cause to bring a charge or to hold the defendant. Now, all of this will have to be proven in court. We have to say, you know, the mandatory, he's innocent until proven guilty.
But what prosecutors laid out today was an incredible trail of means, of motive, of actions, affirmative steps taken from the Google searches, which were basically a blueprint of questions, you know, and things he planned to do and allegedly did.
But the key is, if you've got biological material in the basement of the house, if you have the murder kit, which is the tools that were purchased and the Tyvek suits and the things to carry that out, and then on the other end of the garbage dump, after taking it to the garbage by his mother's house, the dump where that garbage goes to be processed, you find the back end of that, it is highly suggestive evidentiary wise that there was a murder, that there was a body, that it was moved and disposed of.
GOLODRYGA: Misty, if I could get you to weigh in, because we've been questioning how prosecutors could weigh a murder charge without a body. And now we've got a treasure trove of evidence from them, as John laid out, some of these Google searches, using a friend's iPad, how long before a body starts to smell, ten ways to dispose of a body, what does formaldehyde do, what's - and prior to that, in December, what's the best place to divorce for a man.
What is your biggest takeaway here from all of these searches in particular?
MISTY MARRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, great question. So, all of these internet searches, and specifically one that stood out to me is, can you identify a body with broken teeth. But all of these searches very, very damaging evidence.
So, with a no body murder case, you're going to be basing this off circumstantial evidence. And what I expected is exactly what unfolded in court. It's a map of forensic evidence and placing Brian Walshe in the locations where that forensic evidence was found. This all under the guise of those very, very damaging social media searches that really was that blueprint of his actions according to prosecutors.
So, again, the probable cause affidavit where no body murder cases are absolute difficult to prove, here the standard of probable cause is reached and now this really unveils the mystery of how prosecutors were going to show probable cause for that other charge of moving a body and improperly moving a body. Now we see forensic evidence and a trail of forensic evidence leading to these different locations. So, this really put the puzzle together to show the story which is what was needed in a circumstantial evidence case to establish probable cause.
BERMAN: Yes, is a hacksaw the best tool to dismember a body? Can you be charged for murder without a body? Just gruesome stuff.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, and they've got details on what he bought at stores, as well - at hardware stores as well. So, clearly, they have been following his actions, have a long list of items there.
And we will continue to follow this case, obviously, at the top of the hour. But a lot more to delve into.
John Miller, Misty Marris, thank you so much.
BERMAN: The Republican Party is in power in the House, and they are handing key committee assignments to some Republican hardliners. The implications for what is about to happen in Washington, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [09:40:45]
BERMAN: This morning, embattled Congressman George Santos, who has admitted to lying about several parts of his past, has been awarded seats on two congressional committees, that's despite mounting legal issues and growing calls for him to resign.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, CNN congressional correspondent Melanie Zanona is up on Capitol Hill with more.
So, Melanie, Santos wasn't the only, shall we say, unusual committee assignment that we saw. Tell us more.
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: That's right. There were actually multiple controversial House Republicans who did receive committee assignments yesterday.
But let's start with George Santos because GOP leaders were really debating how to handle him. They decided, though, that they felt like they needed to give him committee assignments because they didn't want to start this precedent where they punished members before they were actually convicted of a crime.
However, multiple committee chairs said they did not want Santos serving on their committees. So there was some internal debate there. Ultimately, he did wind up on two low level committees, that includes the Small Business Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee.
So, then there's the other question of what was going to happen to Margorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar. As you may recall, they were both kicked off of their committees in the last Congress for incendiary behavior and remarks. They both spoke at a white nationalist conference. But Speaker Kevin McCarthy has long been promising to put them back on committees, likely recognizing that he was going to need their votes at some point to become speaker. And he made good on that promise yesterday. Marjorie Taylor Greene is going to be serving on the House Homeland Security Committee, which is going to have jurisdiction over the border. Paul Gosar is going to serve on the House Natural Resources Committee, which is where he served previously. And both of them are going to serve on the House Oversight Committee, along with other members like Scott Perry, Lauren Boebert, Anna Paulina Luna and Byron Donald. Some of those names you might remember because they were part of the group that was opposing McCarthy in the initial rounds.
So, all of those members, including controversial members like Greene and Gosar, are going to have a major hand in helping to shape some of the most aggressive investigations into the Biden administration.
BERMAN: All right, Melanie Zanona, on The Hill. Keep us posted.
With us now, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Alice Stewart, and CNN political analyst and anchor John Avlon.
So, John, the Republicans didn't want to set a precedent on Capitol Hill by not giving a guy who admitted to lying about much, if not most, of his past a committee assignment, so they gave him what's considered bad committee assignments. Like, only in the House do you get this kind of justification. Yes, we didn't give him good ones. Is that enough?
JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR AND SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, but - but -- no, of course not. But it's not just that. They gave him Small Business. This is a guy who lied about having an MBA, lied about his business experience entirely. I mean it's kind of a chef's kiss. The only way it could be worse is if you put him on the House Ethics Committee. It's ridiculous on its face.
GOLODRYGA: Well, and, Alice, he is facing multiple investigations now. Why did they feel that out of all people they owed him anything?
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, to your point, he is facing many charges, and there are many investigations underway. But to Melanie's point, until he's found actually guilty of something, House members really didn't have much choice. I spoke with many members of the Republican conference and most of them did not want Santos to serve on their committees. But, at the end of the day, he is a duly elected member of Congress. He is a freshman. And the obligation and the privilege of serving on a committee is part of that.
And they did say it's important that these are small committees, small in scope, as well as significance, and the scope of the work that they actually do. But they do acknowledge that this is compromising for some and that this type of behavior, the kind of behavior that Santos has engaged in, is compromising. And for this to go on with impunity is really discouraging. And they are glad that the true depth of his fraud was brought to the surface before he was appointed to any major significant committee assignment because they acknowledge that would have been truly embarrassing for the GOP.
But, at the end of the day, until something more concrete is found on him, he is a -- certainly free to do so. But my recommendation to Santos, if he cares to listen, is, you made it to Washington, you are in Congress, you need to keep your head down, you need to remain disciplined and you need to make your top priority is to protect and defend the Constitution, which you were sworn in to do.
BERMAN: I don't get the no choice thing. I don't believe for a second they had no choice. And I don't know where in the Constitution it guarantees the right to any committee assignment at all for elected members of Congress, John.
And you and I have talked about this. I get the quandary that McCarthy thinks he's in, that he doesn't want to give up a seat with such a small margin here, but they do have a choice if they wanted to take a stand on ethics and honesty.
AVLON: Absolutely they do. And they're basically dignifying a litany of lies. This guy -- you know, this is a guy who lied about every aspect of who he is to his constituents. He basically defrauded his constituents before an election. And, you know, these facts are not even being contested, but the story keeps getting worse as more detail keeps coming out. If you need to wait for an indictment, well, then what? You know, but this guy lied about everything. And putting him on small business in particular is an insult to small business owners given the amount of lies he told, in particular about his alleged business experience, which less we forget was core to his pitch to his constituents before the election.
GOLODRYGA: Alice, how are you and other mainstream Republicans feeling about Marjorie Taylor Greene being assigned to Oversight and Homeland Security Committees?
STEWART: Look, she has said some extremely outlandish things. And there's no denying that and no disputing that. And she said a lot of things that are really disrespectful to the Republican brand. But she was taken off committees. She served her time in time-out. And she made a commitment to McCarthy she would help garner votes for him as speaker. And he made a commitment to her that he would put her back on these assignments -- on these committees that are of significance.
But regardless of whether or not Marjorie Taylor Greene is on some of these big committees, it's clear that the GOP is committed to homeland security, which is her committee, securing the border, and another priority is oversight on how we've gotten to where we are right now with the crisis at the border. So, look, I think she has learned her lesson. She's going to color within the lines now moving forward.
STEWART: And I certainly hope that she is going to work on furthering the Republican commitment to addressing the economy and inflation.
GOLODRYGA: You said -
AVLON: Alice -
GOLODRYGA: You said it. I'm not sure she's ever said she has learned her lesson. But this conversation will be continued for sure. John Avlon -
AVLON: No, I mean, she's a 9/11 truther on the House -- on the Homeland Security Committee.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, and that's -
AVLON: That's the beginning and end of this conversation.
STEWART: But it's -
GOLODRYGA: Yes, and we'll leave it there.
John Avlon, Alice Stewart, thank you.
STEWART: Thank you. BERMAN: So, artificial intelligence can turn your words into art, but
a lawsuit says AI isn't creating, it's just copying what already exists.
BERMAN: So, is it art oar theft? Just one of the questions arising out of a growing number of lawsuits against artificial intelligence art tools. These increasingly popular online tools can essentially turn anything you type in into an image in any style you want, like something completely improbable, unnecessarily, and, frankly, offensive, like David Ortiz in a Yankee's uniform.
GOLODRYGA: That's just for you, right?
BERMAN: Yes. I mean this - this doesn't exist anywhere on earth.
BERMAN: Nor should it.
GOLODRYGA: We wanted to get you emotional on that one.
GOLODRYGA: That's why we put this one up.
But, seriously, here's what's raising concerns. The illustrations generated often clearly evoke the works of other artists. Some of the latest action taken, Getty Images accuses Stability AI behind the tool Stable Diffusion, of scrapping millions of its images without proper licensing. One of those imaging you can see still shows the Getty watermark.
So, joining us now to discuss is Lance Ulanoff. He's an independent technology expert.
Thank you so much for joining us.
LANCE ULANOFF, INDEPENDENT TECHNOLOGY EXPERT: Thanks for having me.
GOLODRYGA: So, for those that aren't so read in on this side of technology, tell us how these AI art generators work to begin with.
ULANOFF: So, they're trained on millions of images, right? They're - they're intelligent systems, you know, with powerful processors behind them. They don't know anything. But you want to train it, for example, to understand what a dog is. The way you do that is you feed it thousands of images of dogs in all different scenarios. And then it can say, that is a dog. Do the same with a tree. Do the same with a baseball. Do the same with David Ortiz. Do the same with a baseball player, you know, in a uniform. You train it on these things, and then it knows, and then it can construct brand-new images based on its understanding of what you've asked it. And one of the big innovations here with all of these AI image
generators is natural language processing, right? Someone who created that David Ortiz image just typed in David Ortiz in a Yankee uniform running off base - you know, running home after hitting a home run, OK. That's what they put in because they don't have to write code. The system understands it, and it's able to create brand-new imagery based on that information.
BERMAN: Look, David Ortiz in a Yankee uniform should be illegal. But that's not what is illegal, though. What's illegal is stealing someone else's property, intellectual property, and using it. So, where is the line here? I guess the computer is using all the Getty images. But if it publishes them, isn't that copyright infringement?
ULANOFF: So, it's not actually copying and pasting. That's the thing that's - it's really hard for people to understand this, but these systems are not simply cutting and pasting the head of David Ortiz, of an image of a Yankee uniform, the field. What they're doing is they're taking their understanding of all of those elements and creating a brand-new representation. You have trained these AIs to understand how to do - and it's -- obviously it's not just building these brand-new images of people you know.
It's how -- what's the style? Do you want it to be photo-realistic? Do you want it to be Daliesque? And how does it do that? It's not taking a Dali (ph) paint stroke and putting it down. It's understanding how to apply paint is a Dali (ph) way. And the paint is basically, obviously, just digital.
So, there's a real issue here. One of the real issues is Getty is terrified, as is Shutterstock, because they have millions of images that everybody pays to license all the time. And not just images of real people, but they have a whole creative library. If you have a system like this where you can just type in something, and I've done this because I would need art for a story at Tech Radar (ph) and I would just like type it up and, boom, out it would come. I don't have to credit. I don't have to pay, right. So, that's the big issue. That's what they're concerned about.
But I know that Getty is not trying to put -- no one can stop this. No one can stop AI. It's not going to stop. But they want some rules in place. So is it a question of some sort of licensing so they with scrape it, you know, so they can do that, or they can do something to just acknowledge where they started.
By the way, on the Getty thing that's appearing with all of them, that's a perfect example of how AI works. It saw Getty on every single image and it understood it as an element of everything. So that's why it suddenly appears in these brand-new images.
BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) -
GOLODRYGA: We should just note that A-Rod or Derek Jeter in a Red Sox uniform would not be offensive to Berman. It's just the opposite. BERMAN: It turns my stomach.
Lance Ulanoff, thank you very much.
GOLODRYGA: Thank you.
BERMAN: As you noted to me, like, the idea of the law actually just is so far behind the technology. It needs to close that gap.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, and it keeps improving every day, it seems.
GOLODRYGA: Thank you, Lance.
Well, up next, prosecutors' detail stunning new evidence in the murder case against Brian Walshe in the death of his wife from the terms they say he searched online, to the blood they say was found in his car. We are live outside court, up next.