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Judge May Force Rupert Murdoch To Testify In Dominion Case; Appeals Court: Trump Attorney Must Testify Before Grand Jury In Docs Probe; Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rates By 25 Percent Amid Inflation Fight. Aired 3:30-4:00p ET

Aired March 22, 2023 - 15:30   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Warren and Bernie Sanders, several other senators that CNN exclusively obtained. It's calling for the Fed to crack down on large regional banks. But the likelihood of Congress now, you know, unrolling back some of those measures that they undid related to Dodd-Frank back in 2018. That's not very likely, is it?

JASON FURMAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS CHAIRMAN UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Look, there's two different issues. One is, will Congress pass a new law? I'd like to think it was likely, but I agree that you're probably correct and more realistic in your assessment.

But the Fed also still does have a decent amount of discretion. And you saw under the last administration, the Fed decided to take a less active role in supervising banks. We now see what the consequences are, if you're not paying as much attention. And I think they can pay a lot more attention now, even under the existing laws. And that's something that I believe they're actively exploring, and we're going to hear more about when they come out with a report by May 1st on all the events that have happened.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we will. We will see what it says.

Jason Furman, thanks so much for your expertise. We appreciate it.

SANCHEZ: Still ahead, lawyers for Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems are facing off in court over the electronic voting company's $1.6 billion lawsuit. Now, the judge is weighing in on whether Fox Chairman, Rupert Murdoch, himself must testify.



DEAN: The court hearing to decide whether Dominions $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox goes to trial concluded this afternoon. It was both side's final chance to convince the judge to declare them the winner and avoid the trial stage.

SANCHEZ: They both badly want to avoid that trial stage. CNN Jessica Schneider and Oliver Darcy are following the story for us. Jessica, is there any indication as to when we can expect a ruling?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Now that the hearing is wrapped up, Boris, the ruling really could come at any time from this Delaware judge. So he's state court judge, Eric Davis. He was appointed by a Democratic governor in 2010. He's deciding right now, whether the facts that have been presented, so far, both in his courtroom and in court filings, whether those facts are sufficient for him to rule in favor of either Dominion or Fox News without this case going to trial. That is a very high bar, though. And the likelihood is that this case will go to trial, unless Fox News and Dominion settle before then.

And, you know, in the hearing this morning, there were these questions about how a trial would proceed. And notably here, Judge Davis said that he could possibly compel Fox Corporation chairman, Rupert Murdoch, to testify at a trial because as this judge put it, Rupert Murdoch does have this special role at Fox Corporation and he was aware of the guests appearing on Fox News air.

In fact, Rupert Murdoch even acknowledged in his deposition that he could have stopped Trump's legal team from appearing on the network's air, but he didn't. So Fox News attorneys, they're saying that any appearance by Rupert Murdoch on the witness stand or his son, CEO Lachlan Murdoch, they say it would just create an undue burden. It will create a media circus.

And in response to that, guys, the judge did say this morning that he would consider if they were brought in to put them either via Zoom or other teleconferencing platform. But, you know, this case, very high stakes. It's not only a $1.6 billion defamation case, but this is also a very important case when it comes to the implications of the First Amendment. Fox News is saying that they are fully protected by the First Amendment here. So this could be a big case about that issue as well.

DEAN: And, Oliver, to some of what Jessica was just talking about, we're hearing that the judge seem particularly interested in this point about whether Fox executives had any duty to stop known liars from going on the air. What do you make of that? And what are you expecting to see if this actually does go to trial?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Well, I would expect that Rupert Murdoch would have to testify, and we're seeing indications like Jessica said that the judge will compel that testimony. And that's because of all the evidence that's come out in discovery that shows that people like Rupert Murdoch knew the election lies that were being pushed on Fox's air were not true.

And they acknowledged, and Rupert Murdoch himself acknowledged that some of his top hosts, people like Sean Hannity, they endorsed those lies on air. If this does go to trial, I expect it not to be good for Fox News. Outside the legal case that's being presented in court, it's going to be a reputational problem for Fox. I mean, you could potentially have people like Murdoch, top hosts like Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, called to the stand. And I really have a hard time thinking that that's going to be good for Fox from a reputational standpoint, seeing -- or really shedding light on how that sausage is made over at that network.

So, you know, we'll see what happens going forward, whether the judge averts this trial, but it seems right now everything is headed that way. And we'll see some of these prominent officials on the stand sometime next month.

SANCHEZ: Interestingly, the fox lawyers are trying to argue that the Murdochs have limited knowledge of what's going on inside Fox News, even though, as you noted, we've seen the documentation that that is apparently not the case.

Jessica Schneider, Oliver Darcy, we got to leave it there. Thanks so much.

SCHNEIDER: A fast acting security guard may have prevented a deadly shooting at a Tampa Bay nightclub over the weekend. Look at that video.


SANCHEZ: Yes. Police released this security cam video. It shows an armed man wearing a double mask. You see him in the red there. He gets knocked over. He's trying to enter the club with a gun. The security guard grabs it out of the man's right hand, eventually wrestles him to the ground as others help. There he snatches it and he pushes him away.

Police say the suspect had additional ammunition in his pocket and even more in his truck. And one notable factoid apparently the bodyguard that took this guy down, he used to be a pro wrestler called the Puerto Rican Punisher. Good for him.

DEAN: Wow. Wow. What a hero, the Punisher.

All right. Right now. Let's take a look. Stocks are down as investors digest the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates once again. We're going to discuss this when we come back.



DEAN: We are following breaking news. An appeals court has ruled on whether former president Donald Trump's attorney has to testify before the grand jury in this federal documents probe. Let's go right to Katelyn Polantz. Katelyn, walk us through what this means.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN REPORTER: We've been looking at this for the last day. And it appears that Trump attorney, Evan Corcoran, must testify against his client, Donald Trump, in the ongoing investigation into classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. This is a very big decision coming down from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals this afternoon, just a few days after a trial level judge did say that Corcoran would have to testify to the grand jury to speak about his interactions with Trump directly, and also turn over documents he had, of notes that he had. So Kaitlan Collins and I were able to confirm and looking at this court order that just was popped up in the docket of this case. It does say that a three-judge panel, all three judges together are denying requests for Donald Trump's team and Evan Corcoran to put a stay on the case. So that's putting a pause on the case.

That means that the subpoena of the Justice Department, the Special Counsel's office, is valid, is going forward. And time is really running out for Donald Trump and Evan Corcoran as they have been trying to keep the grand jury off of them as they've tried to avoid answering these questions.

SANCHEZ: So, Katelyn, let's step back and put all of this into context, if you could, essentially the appeals court is confirming what the lower judge ordered that Corcoran must testify because the lower judge found that Corcoran may have helped the former president in the perpetration or the hiding of a crime, right?

POLANTZ: That's right. And specifically, what we have learned is that it was Donald Trump that the Justice Department believes was trying to commit a crime of some sort or advance a crime as he was using his lawyer, Evan Corcoran, to defend him in this classified documents probe.

Now, Evan Corcoran was a pretty central player for a very long time, including before the FBI search found all of those documents at Mar-a- Lago last year. He was one of the people drafting a statement, saying that they had done searches and that they had turned over all of the classified records in their possession. Obviously, that turned out to be wrong.

And so the Justice Department really has wanted to ask more of Evan Corcoran, what were those conversations like between he and Donald Trump? And when you look at this, this is the sort of thing that could make or break a case if they get it. Trump still has the opportunity to appeal, but he's really running out of opportunities here.

SANCHEZ: A huge step we'll see what the response from the Trump camp might be.

Katelyn Polantz, thank you so much for bringing us the breaking news.

DEAN: Right now, we have a little less than 15 minutes until U.S. markets close after Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, announced he is raising interest rates by a quarter point.

Jake Tapper is here now. And, Jake, we hear you're going to be discussing all of these things in an exclusive interview with a key senator in this debate on "THE LEAD" today.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: That's right. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is on both the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Banking Committee, will be our guest coming up on "THE LEAD." She's been a very, very loud and aggressive critic against the appointment of Jerome Powell to be Fed chair and also what he has done as Fed chair. She says that he has failed in regulation, he has failed with monetary policy. Obviously, what he is announcing today, the raising of the interest rate which will, by the Fed's own prediction, result in unemployment going up to 4.5 percent by the end of the year, which means the loss of about a million jobs by Americans. That's something we'll get her take on as well.

SANCHEZ: A major call from the senators for a change in policy from the Fed. Jake Tapper, thank you so much for that.

Stick around for "THE LEAD." It starts at 4:00 P.M. right here on CNN. Stay with NEWSROOM. We're back in just moments.



DEAN: In Los Angeles the second largest school district in the country has canceled now a second day of classes. Thirty thousand workers are on strike, including cafeteria workers, janitors, bus drivers, and other support staff. Their union is demanding wages above the poverty level and also more staffing.

DEAN: United Teachers of L.A. says its union educators are going to honor the picket lines. The strike is expected to last through tomorrow.

DEAN: Well, age is just a number for an elderly tortoise named, Mr. Pickles, at the Houston Zoo. Buckle up, this is a story. The 90-year- old radiated tortoise just became a first-time father after his mate, Mrs. Pickles, 53 years old herself, recently surprised keepers by laying eggs.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Three babies have now hatched and they were named accordingly. Dill, Gherkin, and Jalapeno. Radiated tortoises are native to Madagascar and they're actually critically endangered because of the illegal pet trade. They are known to produce few offspring, so these little bundles of joy are really, really special. Dill, Gherkin, and Jalapeno obviously welcomed additions to the zoo. A first-time father at 90.

DEAN: Miracles do happen, sometimes with those little turtles.

SANCHEZ: They do. They do.


DEAN: Thanks so much for joining us today. I'm Jessica Dean.

SANCHEZ: And I'm Boris Sanchez. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts after a quick break.


TAPPER: Breaking news, Donald Trump's lawyer must testify in the classified documents case. THE LEAD starts right now. Moments ago, a federal court ruled that Donald Trump's defense lawyer has to be called back to answer more questions and turn over more documents as part of the criminal investigation into whether Trump mishandled classified documents. What does this mean for the case? That's next.

Plus, series of Russian strikes targeting the Ukrainian town, Zaporizhzhia, children among the victims. Why this town and why now?