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Ukraine: 18 Killed in Helicopter Crash in Kyiv Region; Husband to be Charged with Murder in Missing Mom Case; Federal Investigators Interviewed Biden Attorney; New Details in Classified Documents Saga; Embattled Congressman George Santos Gets Committee Assignments; Defeated Republican Charged with Attacks on Democrats; Allies Promising More Military Support for Ukraine. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired January 18, 2023 - 04:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: Live from London, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world. I'm Max Foster. Bianca off this week. Just ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brian Walshe tonight facing murder charges in the mysterious disappearance of his wife, Ana Walshe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even without the body you're going to have enough evidence seemingly, as they put it all together, to focus on nobody else but him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're trying to draw a contrast with the way Trump has handled his own documents issues. They're trying to draw a picture of cooperation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You guys can ask me this 100 times, 200 times if you wish, I'm going to keep saying the same thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aviation experts are calling it a narrowly avoided disaster at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

FOSTER: It's Wednesday, January 18th, 9 a.m. here in London, 11 a.m. in Kyiv, Ukraine. And we're following this breaking news for you developing right now.

At least 18 people have been killed in a helicopter crash in the Kyiv region. This happened in the city of Brovary near a residential building and a kindergarten. The national police chief says 22 people are in the hospital including 10 children. CNN's Clare Sebastian joins me now. You're getting new information.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Max, according to the head of the national police, the interior minister and his first deputy minister and the Secretary of State, and the interior minister were all on the helicopter all believed to have been killed in this crash. They are among now, as you say, 18 people who have died. 29 injured according to the Kyiv regional military administration. Among the dead believed to be three children.

This was a helicopter crash that crashed in the suburb of Kyiv of Brovary, that's very close to the capital just to the east of the city. It is a -- it appeared to have crashed near a residential building. You can see there's a fire in those images that broke out nearby. Our producer Brent Swails on the ground has taken images of a sort of mangled wreckage of the chopper. He says victims' bodies are still there covered in gold foil. And he said that there was very thick fog in the area, very low visibility. But as yet we do not know the cause of this crash.

FOSTER: But the helicopter carrying the interior minister landing near a kindergarten which is where people are making the assumption the children died because they think they were in the helicopter. That's the sort of story people are talking about right now.

SEBASTIAN: You know, it's just another tragedy on top of the many that Ukraine has had to deal with. We know that the reported deaths -- there were a number on board the helicopter. We don't know the exact details of the locations of the people. Yet it seems that this is still a sort of moving situation. They're still unearthing the scale of the damage there. That may have to do with some of the level of fire that you can see in the area there.

But we have a comment today also from the adviser to the interior minister, Anton Gerashchenko. He says that investigators are still determining the cause of the tragedy. He said they'll soon find out if it was sabotage, equipment failure or violation of flight safety rules. And he called the three members of the Interior Ministry leadership team on the plane patriots of Ukraine.

FOSTER: No one's suggesting that it was shot down, have they?

SEBASTIAN: We just don't know as of now, Max. We just don't know the cause of the crash. It looks like they're still investigating it and frankly, still determining the scale of it.

FOSTER: Ok, Clare, thank you. Back with you as you have more.

In just a few hours the husband of a missing Massachusetts woman will formally be charged with murder. Brian Walshe, he has been in custody -- police custody since his arrest earlier this month. He's already being charged with misleading investigators after his wife Ana disappeared on New Year's Day. Prosecutors say police found a bloody knife in the family's basement but no body as of yet. CNN's Jason Carroll reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the number one concern is finding Ana and finding out what happened.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The timeline and the mystery of what happened to Ana Walshe spans more than two weeks starting on New Year's Day. That's when her husband Brian Walshe claims she left her Cohasset at home in a rideshare or taxi to fly to Washington, D.C., for work. But prosecutors say there is no evidence Ana got a ride or went to the airport.


Brian Walshe tells investigators on this day he ran errands for his mother in a nearby town. But they find no evidence those trips occurred.

January 2nd prosecutors say Walshe went to a Home Depot and spent about $450 in cash on cleaning supplies like mops, buckets and tarps.

January 4th Ana Walshe's workplace, a D.C. real estate firm calls police to report her missing. A police log would later confirm the head of security of the firm was the first to report her missing to police and that her husband has not filed a missing person report on female. Her friends begin to fear the worst.

PAMELA BARDHI, ANA WALSHE'S FRIEND: I think something has gone horribly, horribly wrong when it comes to her.

CARROLL (voice-over): January 6th police start a massive search in Cohasset. Law enforcement sources say her husband's internet records in the days following her disappearance show searches for how to dismember a body and how to dispose of a 115 pound woman's body.

January 8th Walshe is charged with misleading investigators.

MICHAEL MORRISSEY, NORFOLK, MASSACHUSETTS DISTRICT ATTORNEY: During this investigation the police developed probable cause to believe that her husband, Brian Walshe, age 47, had misled police investigators on material matters important to the search of Ana Walshe.

CARROLL (voice-over): Walshe is taken into custody and a not guilty plea is entered on his behalf the next day.

January 9th, prosecutors say investigators recover a bloody knife in the family basement. Also finding a hacksaw and torn up pieces of cloth with apparent bloodstains at a trash facility. This according to law enforcement sources.

January 17th Walshe is charged with his wife's murder. His arraignment set for Wednesday. District attorney says additional details about the case will be released. His attorneys declined to comment on the latest charge. Those who knew Ana Walshe now left wondering why the mother of three young boys would have been killed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was beautiful every day. When I saw -- every day she was decked out and she was just -- her smile. She smiled. And I never saw her upset. I never saw him upset. It was just the strangest thing.

CARROLL (voice-over): Jason Carroll, CNN, Cohasset, Massachusetts.


FOSTER: We are now learning federal investigators have conducted multiple interviews as part of a review of how U.S. President Joe Biden handled classified material. Sources tell CNN that Mr. Biden's personal attorney was amongst those interviewed. He made the initial discovery of documents found in Mr. Biden's former office and Delaware home. CNN's Evan Perez has those details.


EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR U.S. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This is a long-time attorney for President Biden, political campaign attorney. His name is Pat Moore and he's based out of Boston. And he was among the people who was at the Penn Biden Center, the private office that President Biden was using during the Trump years and this is where the first set of documents were found back in November. And you know, as part of that initial review that was done by the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, John Lausch.

The FBI, you know, was doing an assessment. They interviewed Pat Moore as well as a number of other people who were involved in the moving of the documents. And in the case of Pat Moore, he was there when they found these initial documents.

Now among the things that we've learned is that, you know, they immediately obviously returned those documents that they found, the classified documents, to the National Archives. And our Jamie Gangel also reports, said, you know, they basically out of an abundance of caution took a bunch of boxes, even if they didn't have classified information, decided to return it, give it to the National Archives, saying, here, take a look at these.

And then as a last measure Pat Moore had had some documents including personal speeches and some reference materials taken to his office back in Boston. He had the National Archives come and retrieve those documents.

You know, what you're getting a picture of there is, you know, a Biden team that is, you know, I think trying to draw a contrast with the way Trump has handled his own documents issues, right. And they're trying to draw a picture of cooperation.


FOSTER: The investigation is now in the hands of Robert Herr who was appointed special counsel just last week. CNN's law enforcement analyst Andrew McCabe weighed in on some of the questions that may be asked.


ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It's going to first be -- you think of it as chain of custody type of questions. They're going to say to somebody who was present when the documents were discovered in the Penn Biden office, they're going to say, OK, where were you in relation to the closet where the documents were found? What did they look like? What were they stored in? Was that storage container sealed with tape or with other materials?


You know, who lifted it out of the closet? What did you do next? You know, where did you then keep these documents until the National Archives folks came to retrieve them? All down to the details of any movement involving in a sense and then broader scope. People who were in that office who can talk to you about the scope of people who had access to the office over time. People who can talk about President Biden's habits in terms of how often was he at the office? When he was there, where did he sit? Did he ever ask you to get things out of the closet for him or things of that nature. So, it's going to be very broad and specific and probably very wide in scope.


FOSTER: The White House is facing criticism over its handling of the matter including what it disclosed publicly and when. But on Tuesday it defended its actions and the press secretary found herself defending her own answers to questions about the investigation.


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I have been forthcoming from this podium. What I said yes to was what the statement at the time that we all had come right. You all had the statement and I was repeating what the counsel was sharing at that time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you upset that you came out to this podium on Friday with incomplete and inaccurate information? And are you concerned that it affects your credibility out here?

JEAN-PIERRE Well, what I am concerned about is making sure that we do not politically interfere in the Department of Justice.


FOSTER: The spokesman for the White House counsel's office explained that protecting the Justice Department's investigation has meant restricting which details can be released publicly.

Police are investigating after a gunfire broke out at the end of a basketball game at an Oklahoma high school on Tuesday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Smith Fieldhouse tonight where the --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll go to break.


FOSTER: The game had just finished when the shots were fired sending fans running and the game of commentators there ducking for cover. The school's principal said it happened after a fight broke out. At least one man was shot and taken to hospital. There's no word yet on his condition or whether he's connected to the school.

The Los Angeles county coroner has conducted an initial autopsy on Lisa Marie Presley but has not yet determined what caused her death. The only child of Elvis Presley died last week after being hospitalized for an apparent cardiac arrest. A spokesperson said the medical examiner's office is requesting more information and more investigation and additional studies. A public memorial for Presley is planned on Sunday at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.

Michael Cohen says it appears he'll probably be meeting with New York prosecutors again. The former personal attorney for ex-President Donald Trump, met on Tuesday with the Manhattan district attorney's office. The authorities investigating the Trump Organization. The meeting is the clearest sign yet that investigators are zeroing in on the Trump Organization involvement in hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. If you recall, Cohen was a key player in the scheme.

Still ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, a failed Republican candidate in New Mexico has been charged with shootings at the homes of Democratic officials. Details just ahead.

Plus, embattled freshman Congressman George Santos has been given his committee assignments even as some members of his own party are calling for his resignation.

And Americans are pinching pennies in the new year's. But what kind of spending are they cutting back on? Those stories and more after the break.



FOSTER: Despite calls to resign for lying about his life's story and qualifications during last year's mid-terms, Republican Congressman George Santos got his committee assignments on Tuesday. He'll serve on the House Small Business Committee and the Committee on Science, Space And Technology. Our chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju asked some of Santos's Republican colleagues if they had concerns?


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you have any concerns about naming someone and all these questions about his past to your committee?

REP. ROGER WILLIAMS (R-TX), SMALL BUSINESS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Well, I don't condone what he said, what he's done. I don't think anybody does. But that's not my role. He was elected, he represents a million people.

REP. BARRY LOUDERMILK (R-GA): He hasn't committed a crime. He hasn't been indicted on anything at this point. And in this country, you're innocent until proven guilty. So, we're going to treat him like any other member and, you know, keep an eye on him. So, but --

RAJU: There's been precedent. Steve king lost his committee assignments after those controversies. What's different here?

LOUDERMILK: Well, I think it's the nature of what was said. You know, where it was feeling like some of the things others have said in the past, we're condemning of other people. I mean, basically, he said some things about himself.


FOSTER: Meanwhile, Santos's legal problems aren't going away. Prosecutors in New York are investigating his finances whilst law enforcement officials in Brazil will reinstate fraud charges against Santos related to a stolen checkbook in 2008.

Two other Republicans with a history of bad behavior have also been given committee assignments in the Republican-controlled House. Marjorie Taylor Greene who has made incendiary and violent statements but will serve on the Homeland Security Committee and Paul Gosar got seat on the Natural Resources Committee despite having posted photoshopped anime video that depicted him appearing to kill a Democratic Congresswoman. The assignments are an apparent reward for their support of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy who was elected by the skin of his teeth.

A Republican candidate who ran unsuccessfully for a Senate House seat in New Mexico last November is under arrest. Solomon Pena has been charged with contracting four gunman to shoot at the homes of Democratic officials after he visited them to dispute his election defeat. Police say he's scheduled for a pre-trial detention hearing this afternoon. CNN's Kyung Lah has the story.



DEBBIE O'MALLEY, FORMER COMMISSIONER, BERNALILLO COUNTY, NEW MEXICO: One came right through here and then we've got the rest over here.

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): About a dozen bullets embedded in the outside of Debbie O'Malley's home.

O'MALLEY: Well, I was very angry, and just disgusted about the whole thing.

LAH: And these are significantly-sized holes.

O'MALLEY: They are. It was so loud. This happened when my husband and I were asleep.

LAH (voice over): O'Malley immediately suspected who the gunman might be this man.

SOLOMON PENA, EX-GOP NEW MEXICO CANDIDATE: Hi, my name is Solomon Pena, can I speak with Debbie O'Malley.

LAH (voice over): Solomon Pena, who had been looking for O'Malley went to her daughter's address and then to her home a month before the shooting. This is him on the other side of the fence.

O'MALLEY: He seemed agitated. He seemed a little aggressive to me. I didn't consider him a threat then, but he was upset that he had lost the election.

LAH (voice over): Police arrested him Monday in connection with a string of what they call politically motivated shootings of homes of four Democratic leaders in New Mexico. No one was injured.

CHIEF HAROLD MEDINA, ALBUQUERQUE POLICE: It is believed that he is the mastermind that was behind this.

LAH (voice over): Police say he is suspected of hiring a contractor for cash to commit at least two of the four shootings from December 4th to January 3rd.

Pena was a Republican candidate for a State House seat in New Mexico and he spent years in prison for burglary and larceny, but a Judge allowed the convicted felon to be on the ballot in 2022, calling it unconstitutional for Pena to be denied the ability to serve.

PENA: I have nothing more than a desire to improve my lot.

LAH (voice over): He lost in November by a landslide, then accused his opponent of rigging the election. Wearing a MAGA sweatshirt, Pena tweeted he stands with Trump, and he never conceded his own race in New Mexico -- election denialism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's some shenanigans going on.

LAH (voice over): That he heard at Trump rallies like this one in Phoenix in 2021. Pena tweeted this picture saying he camped out all night to see Trump.

Photographs on the arrest warrant show Pena pictured with this man. The warrant alleges he is one of the suspected shooters who was arrested with a gun used in one of the shootings.

Police say Pena texted the home addresses of four Democratic targets to four suspects to carry out the shootings and in an exchange, texted, they just certified it. They sold us out to the highest bidder. They were literally laughing at us while they were doing it,

ADRIANN BARBOA, BERNALILLO COUNTY COMMISSIONER: Everybody is going to have to be more worried now.

LAH (voice over): Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa was also targeted. Four bullets ripped through her home into the room where she had just been playing with her granddaughter. BARBOA: It makes me angry that one person, it makes it angry that we

have a former President and current elected officials in highest level of government that think it's OK to, you know, invoke violence in these situations. So yes, it is a range of emotions -- anger, sad, disappointment.

LAH: Despite how emotionally draining and scary this has all been, what we're not hearing from any victims is that any of them are backing down from representing the people in politics and in government. Pena makes his first court appearance on Wednesday.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Albuquerque, New Mexico.


FOSTER: Looking now at U.S. futures, all eyes on the Nasdaq. Can it extend its winning streak for an eighth straight day -- that's what people are asking. And the futures are suggesting it could but only marginally up at the moment. Tech stocks have soared this month pushing the Nasdaq up hundreds of points altogether.

Now Americans aren't spending as much money as last year and that trend could continue through the year -- according to a new survey. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says spending fell to 7.7 percent at the end of last year and that's down from a series of higher marks over the last few years. The survey also revealed that Americans are holding off on large purchases like cars. Responders who recently bought a vehicle fell to their lowest level since August 2020.

Spending will likely not be an issue for former CEO of the Walt Disney company after a regulatory filing showed that Bob Chapek is eligible to take home a severance pay package worth about $20 million. That's in addition to the 24 million that he made last year, which includes stock options and awards. Chapek exited the company in November after a turbulent two year run. He was replaced by his predecessor, Bob Iger.

Ukraine could soon be getting a boost on the battlefield in its fight against Russia. Thanks to promises of more public military aid from Western leaders. The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted at the possibility during talks with his British counterpart in Washington on Tuesday. The top U.S. diplomat says the best path to a diplomatic into the war is to give Ukraine a strong hand on the battlefield.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: As this aggression has evolved, so, too has our assistance to Ukraine.


Making sure it has what it needs to meet the aggression head on. And I would anticipate that you'll hear more announcements in the days to come.


FOSTER: Meanwhile, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte met with President Joe Biden in Washington and announced his country intends to join the U.S. and Germany to sending Patriot Missile Defense Systems to Ukraine. He says military support to Ukraine will end when the war ends.


MARK RUTTE, DUTCH PRIME MINISTER: We have the intention to enjoy what you were doing with Germany on the bedsheets project. So, the air defense system, I think that is important and we joined that. I discussed this also this morning this with Olaf Scholz of Germany.

And then on accountability, we can never accept that Putin and Russia get away with it. So, our accountability to take them to court.


FOSTER: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to address the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland today. He's under growing pressure to send leopard tanks to Ukraine. Anna Stewart is going to be watching that. It's extraordinary, isn't it, watching Germany issue all of this military aid which it just wouldn't have been done ten years ago.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: And yet there's huge pressure to do more, particularly in terms of tanks, their own tanks but also approving the re-export license of tanks from elsewhere -- for instance from Finland. Lots of countries have pledged this, and I feel like this speech is coming at a bit of a crunch point for Germany.

Now we know last night that the German Chancellor actually spoke to U.S. President Joe Biden on the phone. So, that came ahead of the speech. We heard there from Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State. He said they're going to make sure Ukraine has what it needs and we could have more announcements in the coming days.

So, there is a lot of pressure from Scholz today to make some sort of announcement. Now, it might be a diplomatic speech. It might just be the importance of the Western alliance, the need for unity, the need for coordinated action. But we know from the call last night, from Scholtz's spokesperson that the leaders have agreed there must be effective, sustained and closely coordinated action.

In addition to that, I think what we will be looking out for today is comment on Germany's economy, the European economy which has been in the grips of an energy crisis and that is a by-product of this war in Ukraine. I think you'll hear some bullish comments from the Chancellor saying they have met that challenge head on. That they have introduced new gas infrastructure and that they will weather this storm. So, that's what we can expect in a few hours.

FOSTER: OK, back with you after the speech.

Still to come, House Republicans push to impeach U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. But are all party members on board? Will have the detailed report.

Plus, Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa acquitted of four tax evasion charges in the Philippines. But it's not the last of her legal worries. We'll have the latest in a live report.