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Classified Documents Found At Pence's Indiana Home; DOJ Sues Google Over Its Dominance In Online Advertising Market; Manhunt Underway For Shooter Who Killed 3 In Washington State. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired January 24, 2023 - 14:00   ET




VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Victor Blackwell. Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. Alisyn is off today. Good to be with you, Victor, on this busy Tuesday afternoon.

BLACKWELL: Good to have you.

GOLODRYGA: Any moment now, Attorney General Merrick Garland will hold a press conference to announce that the Justice Department is suing Google accusing the search engine giant of harming competition with its dominance in the online advertising market. Now, the move marks the Biden administration's first blockbuster antitrust case against a big tech company.

BLACKWELL: Now, Garland will also very likely be asked about another major development first reported here on CNN. Multiple sources tell us a lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence discovered about a dozen classified documents of Pence's Indiana home last week. Now, those sources say that attorney turned over those classified records to the FBI. The FBI and the Justice Department's National Security Division have now launched a review of the documents and how they ended up in Pence's Carmel, Indiana home.

We will bring you the Attorney General's remarks when he begins speaking. But for now, let's bring in CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel breaking this story on the Pence documents. Jamie, tell us more about what you know about this discovery.

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So, what happened was in light of the Biden documents, and of course, the Trump documents, we're told that former Vice President Mike Pence asked his personal lawyer to go back and triple-check that there were no classified documents. And he went through four boxes and found roughly 12 documents with classified markings. They informed the archives immediately, the archives informed the Justice Department, and last week, January 19 at 9:30 p.m., the FBI showed up at the Pence home in Indiana and picked up those classified documents. The boxes have not been kept in a secure place. Our understanding is that it is likely that these documents were inadvertently packed up in the rush of the final days. It appears that they were at the vice president's residence. And that's why they didn't go through the same procedure as classified documents that were being kept at the White House. First, the boxes were moved to a temporary rental house the Pences had in Virginia, and then more recently to their house in Indiana.

However, I -- we are told that the boxes had been sealed. And that once the classified documents were found that they were put in a safe for safekeeping. And as you mentioned, Victor, our colleague, Evan Perez, is reporting that the Justice Department National Security Division and the FBI have launched a review of the documents, who pack them up, how they ended up getting there, and exactly what's in those documents because we really don't know yet the level of classification or how sensitive they are.

GOLODRYGA: And, Jamie, these revelations must have come as a surprise and shock to the former vice president given what he recently said about this issue to CBS just a few weeks ago. Take a listen.

GANGEL: Right.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our staff reviewed all of the materials in our office and in our residence to ensure that there were no classified materials that left the White House or remained in our possession. And I remain confident that that was done in a thorough and careful way. Clearly, in the waning days of the Trump-Pence administration, that process was not properly executed by staff around the President of the United States.


GOLODRYGA: So, given what we just heard from him, I mean, how does his camp plan on responding now?

GANGEL: So, he said that to CBS, he said it to ABC to AP. He has repeatedly said that they didn't have any classified documents. I think it's clear that they thought they didn't have any classified documents just the way President Biden said he was surprised. There is a problem with the system here. There's a problem with the handling, the papers --

BLACKWELL: Jamie, I'm sorry, we have to interrupt.


BLACKWELL: We're going to go to the Department of Justice and Merrick Garland is speaking.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: As used anti-competitive, exclusionary, and unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies. These technologies which are known as ad tech, automate advertising sales by website publishers to online advertisers. When an internet user opens a web page that has ad space to sell, ad tech tools almost instantly match the website publisher with an advertiser looking to promote its products or services on the website -- to the website's user. This product and process typically involve the use of an automated advertising exchange. This exchange runs a high-speed auction designed to identify the best match between a publisher selling internet ad space, and advertisers looking to buy it.

As alleged in our complaint, for 15 years, Google has pursued a course of anticompetitive conduct that has allowed it to halt the rise of rival technologies, manipulate auction mechanics to insulate itself from the competition, and force advertisers and publishers to use its tools. And so doing Google has engaged in exclusionary conduct that has severely weakened if not destroyed competition in the ad tech industry. As detailed in our complaint, we allege that Google's anti- competitive conduct extends to three significant elements of the digital ad-buying process.

First, Google controls the technology used by nearly every major website publisher to offer advertising space for sale. Second, Google controls the leading tool used by advertisers to buy that advertising space. And third, Google controls the largest ad exchange that matches publishers and advertisers together each time that ad space is sold. As a result of this scheme, website creators earn less, and advertisers pay more. That means that fewer publishers are able to offer internet users content without subscriptions, paywalls, or other forms of monetization.

Our complaint alleges that Google has violated section two of the Sherman Antitrust Act by monopolizing the market for the technology used by publishers to offer ads on the websites, monopolizing or attempting to monopolize the ad exchange market, and monopolizing the market for the ad network technology that advertisers use to buy digital advertising space. Our complaint also alleges that Google has unlawfully tied its ad exchange and its publisher ad server in violations of sections one and two of the Sherman Act. And finally, we allege that the United States as an advertiser has incurred damages by reason of Google's violations of the antitrust laws.

In addition to the declaratory relief, our complaint seeks damages and the divestiture of certain Google ad tech products. It also seeks an injunction preventing Google from continuing to engage in the anti- competitive practices described in the complaint, and any other practices with the same purpose and effect as a challenge practices. I am grateful to Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Cantor, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Doha Mekki, and the attorneys and staff at the antitrust division for their tireless work on this case.

Monopolies threaten the free and fair markets upon which our economy is based. They stifle innovation. They hurt producers and workers, and they increase costs for consumers. Today's complaint is only the latest example of the department's work to challenge antitrust violations that undermine competition and harm the American people. No matter the industry and no matter the company, the Justice Department will vigorously enforce our antitrust laws. We will aggressively protect consumers, safeguard competition, and work to ensure economic fairness and opportunity for all. I will now turn the podium over to Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta.



GOLODRYGA: Merrick Garland announced the first major antitrust lawsuit in the Biden administration now against a tech behemoth and that is Google for its online dominance or its dominance over online advertising. Let's go to CNN's Matt Egan who is joining us now to sort of break down for us the significance of this lawsuit. These are the types of suits we typically see from European regulators, not the United States.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Yes. This is a blockbuster case. I mean, the Biden administration is clearly flexing its antitrust muscles right here. As you mentioned, this is the first time they're going after big tech on an antitrust front.


And it's important to note that some of these complaints about Google, they're not new. But AG Garland noted that they're not new. He said, "for 15 years, Google has pursued these anti-competitive techniques." And he says that Google has tried to severely weaken, if not destroy the competition.

So, this loss being brought by the DOJ and eight states, it's alleging a few things. It's saying that Google has illegally stayed dominant through this campaign to thwart competition. That they're gobbling up their rivals through anti-competitive mergers and bullying publishers and advertisers. Let me read you a key line from the complaint itself. The DOJ wrote, having inserted itself into all aspects of the digital advertising marketplace, Google has used anti-competitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital ad technologies.

Now, we should note that Google, of course, is disputing this. They're pushing back. They just put out a statement where they say that today's lawsuit from the DOJ attempts to pick winners and losers in what they call the highly competitive advertising technology sector. And they warned that this is a flawed argument that's going to end up backfiring by stifling innovation and raising advertising fees. But clearly, this is a big step from the Biden administration on the anti- trust front.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Matt Egan, thank you -- (INAUDIBLE)

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Matt.

EGAN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: And, of course, we will, if we hear the Attorney General takes any questions about this discovery of documents at Pence's home, of course, we'll bring that to everyone as well.

GOLODRYGA: Let's get back to our conversation with CNN's Jaime Gangel about that discovery at the former vice president's home. Also with us is Brad Moss. He's a National Security attorney. And he is also a partner in the law office of Mark Zaid. And Beth Sanner is a CNN national security analyst and former Deputy Director of National Intelligence.

Beth, so here we are, again, another discovery of classified documents at the home of a former president, this time of vice president. We hear from elected officials, both Republican and Democrat who are outraged by these revelations, and they walk us through the process of they're seeing classified documents. They go into a skiff. They have to leave all their devices behind and check them at the door. And the question arises as to what happens when people like the president or the vice president are given these classified documents because clearly that is not the case, and they managed to inadvertently or advertently bringing them home.

BETH SANNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes. So, the way that the Hill uses and accesses classified documents is really different than the White House compound, which is considered much more secure, and as you know, many more rules about classified documents. So, it is correct I think that you know, in the -- in the case of the senator, you go into the skiff, but there -- you can also, in some cases, committees can access classified documents up to a certain level in these committees.

So, like the armed services committee might be able to access information. Those aren't necessarily supposed to go anywhere outside of those rooms. But there does need to be more control over documents, I think both in the case of the Hill, if it is outside of these committee Intel rooms, and certainly at the White House where we are seeing a systemic failure.

BLACKWELL: Brad, to you. These three cases, the Trump documents, the Biden documents, and now the Pence documents, they're not identical. But I'd say that the Pence discovery, the Biden discovery are more alike than they are as compared to the Trump discovery. How should the attorney general approach this? You already have two special counsels now investigating the first two discoveries, what do you think the approach should be or you expected will be to this third?

BRADLEY MOSS, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: Sure, if I'm Attorney General Garland, I'm appointing a U.S. Attorney just like he did with President Biden to initially start conducting the review in coordination with the FBI. I would wait on any issue of a special counsel, at the moment, I don't think it's necessary to determine how these records got to vice -- former Vice President's place -- Pence's house who was involved. If Vice President Pence decides to run for president, obviously, that would raise a political factor just like it did when Donald Trump made his announcement for the White House as to whether or not there needs to be a special counsel.

But right now, you play this by the book just like you've been doing with the Biden probe and just like you've been doing with the Trump probe. You're going to figure out how he got there, who was involved, and to what extent if any, there was any intent to remove them to these places, and if there was any obstruction and efforts to discover them and return them to the U.S. government.

GOLODRYGA: And, Jamie, we are just hearing about this from your reporting in just the last hour, but we're already hearing from former President Trump. And it's interesting, he took to Truth social and defended his vice president and said -- called Mike Pence an innocent man who never knowingly had done anything wrong. Quite the opposite from how he characterized how Biden has handled these classified documents.


That having been said, what does this revelation? Does it impact the investigation in both legally or politically into both the former president and current President Biden and their handling of classified documents?

GANGEL: Absolutely, it does. I think for Joe Biden, where it seems to have been inadvertent, a mistake, this is a political gift to him because he's not alone. Mike Pence also found classified documents. I also wouldn't be surprised if, in the next couple of days, we see the archives reach out to all the former presidents and all the former vice presidents asking them to review their records.

For Donald Trump, it does something else. And that is, I think, in his case, it may take the heat off of him legally because it establishes a pattern that, as Beth said, the system is broken. And that needs to be fixed. And even though the Trump case is completely different from the Biden case and the Pence case where they were immediately cooperative, I think it may help him with how Merrick Garland moves forward.

BLACKWELL: All right, Jamie Gangel, thank you for the reporting.


BLACKWELL: Brad Moss, Beth Sanner, appreciate the analysis. Still ahead, America on edge, an urgent manhunt happening now in Washington after a man shoots and kills three people at a gas station, and another fatal shooting in California involving a suspect over the age of 65, we'll look at the gun violence plaguing our country.

GOLODRYGA: Plus, decisions are imminent as to whether charges will be filed in Donald Trump's efforts to overturn Georgia's 2020 elections. We'll have the details straight ahead.



GOLODRYGA: Well, there is no break from America's gun violence epidemic. And now, we're learning of yet another incident in Yakima, Washington where police say this man is now on the run and gunned down three people. And in California, there have been three mass shootings in just the last three days alone. The farming community of Half Moon Bay is in shock after a 67-year-old man allegedly shot and killed eight people in two locations.

BLACKWELL: And, of course, that happened just days after another shooter killed 11 people inside a dance hall in Monterey Park. In Oakland, someone started shooting last night on a city street hit eight people, one of those people died. There have now been at least 39 mass shootings since the start of this year according to the gun violence archive. Since 2009 -- 19, I should say, they are sharply on the rise.

GOLODRYGA: But we're going to go first to the manhunt happening now in Washington State. CNN's Lucy Kafanov is tracking the latest. So, Lucy, Yakima police know the name of the shooter. What else are they saying?

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Bianna. Police in Yakima, Washington have named what they're describing as the presumed homicide suspect in a Facebook post as Jarid Haddock, a 21-year-old rope -- local residents, they are describing him as armed and dangerous. As we speak right now, police have surrounded a home in eastern Yakima, roads there are closed off, there's a SWAT team on the scene along with several drones. Police have confirmed this is related to those early morning homicides.

The Yakima Police tell us they got a call at about 3:30 a.m. about a shooting. When they arrived on the scene at the Circle K store there, they found three dead people, the man responsible for firing those shots was still at large. Take a listen to Yakima police chief, Matt Murray.


MATT MURRAY, CHIEF, YAKIMA, WASHINGTON POLICE: It appears to be a random situation. There was no -- there was no apparent conflict between the parties. The male just walked in and started shooting. This is a dangerous person and it's random, so there is a danger to the community. We don't have a motive. We don't know why.


KAFANOV: A dangerous to the community. We know that he pulled into a gas station, he tried to get in he couldn't, he then walked across the street to the Circle K, walked inside, shot two individuals there, walked out shot another individual outside, and then shot into a car and got away. Initially, police described it as a carjacking. They now believe that was his vehicle. And again, that standoff -- the SWAT standoff is still underway in a residential neighborhood. Police are urging folks to stay away from the area, Bianna, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Lucy Kafanov with the reporting, thank you, Lucy.

Let's turn now to CNN's Veronica Miracle in Half Moon Bay, California. So, the sheriff says that children actually saw some of these killings. What more do you know?

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So disturbing, Victor. You can see behind me there are some RVs and some mobile homes here and this is because at here at Mountain mushroom farm, it is not only a place where people work, they also live here. This shooting -- these two shootings happens in the afternoon after school and so authorities say children were here and present during the time of this horrific shooting.

Now, we understand that these shootings happened at two separate locations. One here where authorities say the suspect, 66-year-old Chunli Zhao, may have been an employee -- that he was an employee here. They say that evidence points to this shooting -- this massacre being a workplace violence. And they also say that some of the victims may have been his co-workers.

So, this was the first location where when authorities arrived, they found four bodies and a fifth person critically injured. And then about five minutes from here was the scene of another shooting where they found an additional three bodies bringing the total dead to seven. They have not yet identified those victims.

And early this morning, I was at the sheriff's substation where Chunli Zhao was arrested yesterday. That's where he was taken into custody. And I was there this morning and there's a man who showed up and said he was looking for his ex-wife. He hadn't heard from her that she works at one of the farms. And he has been frantically trying to get a hold of her. Here's what he had to say.


FEDERICO NUNEZ, EX-WIFE WORKS SAT SCENE OF HALF MOON BAY SHOOTING: I want to know how if she is OK. I want to know if she is OK. My kids, they must be really worried about it.


MIRACLE: He told me that he gave his information to the sheriff and that they would not release any information to him, so there's a lot of people here in this community who are checking in on their family, on their friends and making sure that those who have been killed, you know, are not close to them. It's a devastating reality of this mass shooting here. Of course, that suspect now in custody and is expected to be arranged tomorrow. Victor, Bianna.


GOLODRYGA: All right, Veronica Miracle, thank you.

Well, now to yet another shooting tragedy and that is we're going to turn to Nick Watt in Monterey Park. Nick, all 11 victims who were killed at the Star Ballroom have now been identified. And I know you're getting more details about the shooter who ended up killing himself. Tell us what you've learned.

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen. The community here and authorities want to know why, what could possibly drive somebody to murder 11 people who were just out dancing on New Year's? Now, we, this morning, have spoken to an old friend of the suspect. They haven't seen each other for a while, but they were pretty close at one point.

This man, Adam Hood, tells us this suspect didn't trust people, didn't like people. He was a -- lead a simple life. He had very few friends, very few hobbies. "He hated people to the bone." But apparently didn't act on it. He wasn't a fighter or an arguer obviously until he came into this club on new -- on the Lunar New Year.

Now apparently, he did dance a lot and he complained a lot about the people who own the studios where he worked and about the other instructors. Now, remember, he also targeted a second Ballroom in Alhambra near here. Take a listen to what one of the family members who owns that Hall had to say about this suspect.


ILIE BARDAHAN, LAI LAI BALL ROOM: Very bad temperament. And -- I mean, I don't know people say he was a little bit psycho, in a sense. Very sharp movement, pushing a little bit like you know, not being satisfied with certain improvements of whatever students he had.


WATT: He was 72 years old. Investigators found a lot of ammunition in his house and evidence that he was making suppressors silencers in that home about 80 miles from here. As for the victims, 11 people dead, six women, five men, ages ranging from 57 to 76. And, of course, there are others here still in the hospital. And local leaders are telling this community, we have to rally around, we have to help the injured, and we also have to try and make sure that this can once again become a place where people feel safe to socialize, guys.

BLACKWELL: Nick Watt. Nick, thank you for the reporting. Jennifer Mascia is a CNN contributor and senior news writer for The Trace. And Charles Ramsey is a CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former Washington DC police chief. Welcome to you both.

Chief, let me start with you. You've got these two Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park mass shootings within the AAPI community by a member of the community and the shooter over the age of 65. No connection, but it's fair to question whether one potentially hastened the other. What does experience tell us about that possibility?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, you do have to look into that. I mean, it is unusual. You have one suspect that is -- was 72 years old, another 67. When you look at mass shootings and just shootings in general, you usually don't find people of that age involved in that. So, we obviously have to take a look at that.

But one -- the Monterey Park appears to be some kind of personal grievance, the other, another example of workplace violence perhaps even though they haven't clearly come up with a motive yet. But you know you have to look at all avenues when you're investigating these things. And one of the things that I'm always concerned about whenever we do have a high-profile incident like this occur is whether or not you're going to have copycats elsewhere. They could be totally unrelated, but it could be a result of a -- of a copycat.

GOLODRYGA: And, Jennifer, the Half Moon Bay suspect had a semi- automatic handgun found in his possession. The other shooting that we had earlier this week, we also saw a semi-automatic firearm was used. So, this is happening in a state that has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and that has banned semi-automatic weapons. So, how does this happen?

JENNIFER MASCIA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the Half Moon Bay shooter's gun was registered to him. And this was troubling. That means he did go through a lot of vetting to get a firearms license. Earlier today, you had with the San Mateo Sheriff and she recommended that maybe more frequent security checks should be done on registered gun owners. Instead of every five years, you get a renewal, you have a psych exam every year. Now, that would get a lot of political pushback but that's how they do it in other countries and that's how they're able to keep this violence at bay.

Someone just mentioned that the Monterey Park shooter hated people. And that is something that would have come up if the gun applicants, family members, or friends were interviewed before getting a gun license. All of that behavior would have risen to the authorities and they would have been denied. But in this country, that doesn't happen.

BLACKWELL: Jennifer, let me stick with you.