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CNN International: Two Major Legal Threats Collide For Trump In New York; NY AG Could Start Seizing Trump Assets If He Can't Meet $464M Bond; Trump In NY Court For Hearing In Hush Money Case. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 25, 2024 - 11:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN Breaking News.

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Good morning. I'm Rahel Solomon live in New York, and we are following all of the fast-moving developments.

On a big day, big even by Donald Trump's standards, Trump coming face to face with two legal cases that could result in enormous consequences, and one, he could face time behind bars, and the other, Trump could potentially see some of his biggest properties seized. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee right now inside a New York courthouse. That's where he will find out if he will become the first former President to go on trial.

Now, after today's critical hearing in the hush money case, the judge may set a new trial date or rule on Trump's motion to dismiss the case entirely. The other major obstacle legally for the former President is the bill that's coming due. Trump has just hours, just hours to come up with a $464 million bond in his civil fraud case, or he could see pieces of his financial empire seized by New York Attorney General Letitia James. And today's developments will likely be felt well beyond the courtroom with possible political ramifications impacting the 2024 presidential race.

And we have this covered from all angles today with our CNN team of reporters along with legal analysts, CNN Senior Crime and Justice Reporter, Katelyn Polantz; Reporter Alayna Treene, and Legal Analyst Michael Zeldin, all with me now from Washington.

Katelyn, let's start with you. The trial has been in session about an hour now. What's the latest you're hearing from our reporters inside the courtroom?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yeah. The judge is on the bench, and it is not -- it's going a little rocky for Donald Trump's team as far as we can tell. There isn't a decision yet from the judge on when this trial should start. But, what is happening here and what is at issue is that Donald Trump's team made a request for documents from federal prosecutors related to Michael Cohen, who had been under investigation for a long time before this case was charged by state level Manhattan prosecutors. And they got a lot of documents very recently. And so, they've used that to get before the judge today and to ask for essentially a long delay to the trial that was supposed to start. They have also accused the district attorney in New York of some level of prosecutorial misconduct.

And so, the judge is right now going over that with Trump's team, and saying it's a very serious accusation that they're making. And perhaps Donald Trump's team should have known better than allow this to become a last-minute issue that they should have known they could have been asking for this material from federal prosecutors a long time ago. What they've gotten may not be relevant if it's about the Russia investigation, the Mueller investigation back before the Manhattan DA's Office started investigating Trump for criminal charges. That's not coming into the trial. So, they shouldn't think that.

And the judge even said directly to Donald Trump's lawyer, Todd Blanche, who is a former prosecutor himself in New York, he said, you were there for 13 years. So, you know that the defense has the same ability as the prosecution to obtain these documents. So, as the judge goes over what is happening here, he seems to be getting a little bit animated about this idea that there are serious accusations where Trump's team has brought him in the court. And he is not finding a lot of meat there to allow them to continue making those accusations. But, we still have to see. There is a long way to go in this hearing still, Rahel.

SOLOMON: Katelyn, beyond just the delay, which we should say the state had argued, they would like to delay as well. I mean, the trial was scheduled to begin today. I think the debate was over how long of a delay. What else is Trump and his legal team, what are they hoping to accomplish beyond the delay?

POLANTZ: Well, delay really is the name of the game in this particular case. They would like to have the case dismissed or they would like sanctions of the prosecution. It doesn't look like that is going to go that direction. The question of how long they can push this trial back is a big one for Donald Trump's legal team. It was supposed to start today. The DA's Office agreed to a 30-day delay. And so, the judge put a new date on the calendar of April 15. They're in court today talking about all these additional documents that were handed over to the defense because the defense wants that to mean an even longer delay, into June. And remember, nothing happens in a vacuum with these court cases against Donald Trump.

So, if this case gets planted on the calendar for May or even June of this year, that's a time when we may see other judges want to look at their calendars in these other criminal cases against Donald Trump.


And if this case is set to go to trial, then those dates would be unavailable for say a federal case trial against Donald Trump in the January 6 case, the federal trial in Florida related to classified documents. It's all about how to balance each of these and where they land on the calendar. SOLOMON: Yeah. I mean, you certainly make a great point that nothing

happens in a vacuum, both in terms of these other legal cases, but also in terms of what this means for him politically. So, we're going to talk to Alayna about that. Katelyn Polantz, don't go far. Thank you.

So, Alayna, talk to us a little bit about that. I mean, we know that Trump in the past has used these courtroom appearances as campaign stops, using them to his advantage politically. How is he messaging around this case in New York?

ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: Right. Well, they have successfully used these cases all for criminal indictments to fundraise, to galvanize Republicans around him. However, I have to point out that Donald Trump himself is pained by these four indictments. He has said as much both privately and publicly. He has told reporters in the past that he does not want to be indicted, that he wishes he wasn't facing any of these charges. And so, I think that's important to keep in mind for all the bravado that we see from his team, from the politics around this. We could hear from Donald Trump later. We know that he likes to speak around these court appearances and kind of use them as a campaign stop in addition to being a legal battle. Despite all of that, behind the scenes, he is concerned about this.

But, I also want to point out that when it comes to this case, in particular, out of all of the four criminal indictments he is facing, this is the one that he and his team are actually the least worried about, and more so I should say that they think it'll be the least publicly damaging despite some of the personally mortifying details in this case regarding hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Now, we have heard from Donald Trump this morning. He has been speaking on Truth Social. He actually posted on his way to the courthouse. But, I want to point out that he is actually more consumed at the moment with the bond deadline that you were mentioning at the top of the show, Rahel. That is something that Donald Trump, even though he is in court today for this criminal case, or for this hearing about whether we might find out if there is a trial or not, he is really consumed by what will happen with that bond deadline. And as of now, he does not have the funds to pay for the $464 million judgment.

And so, that's really been consuming him and he has been railing against that publicly. He has been railing against that in his conversations behind the scenes. And it really strikes to the core of who he is, because, one, it's a public perception. He really does not want people to believe that he doesn't have as much cash that he claims. On the other part, of course, is that he -- it strikes to the core of who he is as a businessman, and it's something that he has avoided for several years. He has been a real estate developer. He has this real estate empire he has been tangling with the legal side of this for many years, even before he became President. But, this is the first time that he is actually facing a scenario like that. Rahel.

SOLOMON: Yeah. And yet, Alayna, we saw over the weekend him send an email to his supporters with the subject line "Keep your filthy hands off Trump Tower", and apparently fundraising off of this issue as well, the bond issue as well.

TREENE: That's exactly right. We are -- we did see, and you can see it right there, that fundraising appeal from Donald Trump. They sent that out yesterday, the Trump campaign, saying "Trump Tower is mine. You'll never seize my property." And we heard, again, something similar from Donald Trump this morning. I will just read for you what we saw. He said quote, "Crooked polls", he said referring to the politicians. "There should be no FINE. Did nothing wrong. Why should I be forced to sell my "babies" because a CORRUPT NEW YORK JUDGE & A.G. SET A FAKE AND RIDICULOUS NUMBER", the post went on to say "WITH HUNT".

So, clearly, this is top of mind for Donald Trump, and again, yes, they are fundraising this. Yes, fundraising off of this. Yes, they are using this issue to animate Republican voters. But, there -- this is a huge concern behind the scenes. Rahel.

SOLOMON: All right. A lot to watch, certainly. Alayna Treene, thank you.

Let's discuss this more with our legal analyst, former Federal Prosecutor Michael Zeldin. Michael, always good to have you on these momentous legal days. It seems like there are more and more of them as of late. Let me ask, what are you watching in this hush money case? Katelyn said that it sounds like the judge may be sort of slapping the wrist of Todd Blanche, the defense attorney, saying, look, prosecutorial misconduct, that's a really big deal. What are you watching?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: How he evaluates the reasons for the delay? Who he holds responsible for that delay? And what he views as the substance of the materials that were just recently ported over to the Trump team and to Bragg? If he says, look, these -- this is much to do about nothing. Most of this documentation is irrelevant. You, Trump, had the right to get this years ago. So, don't blame it on other people. And in the bottom line of this, there is only 100 pages, 50 pages that are all digitized and easily searchable.


This case can go to trial. Let's go to trial. That's what I'm sort of just looking for, Rahel, mostly. Who does he blame, and how significant does he believe the contents of these documents are for the defense?

SOLOMON: And the likelihood of this being thrown out, the likelihood of Bragg being sanctioned as the defense team, how likely do you see any of that?

ZELDIN: I don't see that as likely at all. But, whether this case survives a motion to dismiss at some point in the future, either by the district court or by the appellate court remains to be seen, because remember, the theory of prosecution in this case is that Trump took business records and transformed them into a fraud. Those are generally misdemeanors. But, if they're combined together to create a felony by violating another law, then that's a righteous prosecution. In this case, the problem is that other law which hasn't been specified yet by Bragg is most likely a federal election case.

So, the question that judge is going to have to answer at some point is, can you add two misdemeanors to create a felony to violate a federal election under New York state law? So, he has got to deal with that. If he gets past that, the facts of this case are pretty strong for Bragg, because the evidence is quite clear that Trump engaged in a scheme to evade the business reporting requirements under New York state law.

SOLOMON: And Michael, I just want to read for you something that I -- I'm just receiving from the team that's inside, where the judge is apparently raising his voice at the Trump defense team. This is sort of what we were talking about a moment ago. The judge saying, and I'm going to read it, "You are literally accusing the Manhattan DA's Office and the people assigned to this case of prosecutorial misconduct and of trying to make me complicit in it and you don't have a single cite to support that position", a question from the judge there. So, talk to me a little bit about, when you make motions in front of a judge, how important it is to sort of be well received, if you want to put it that way, by the judge?

ZELDIN: Well, what we've learned over the years of being prosecutors and defense attorneys is you have to have a substantial basis for any motions that you file in court. You just can't file frivolously. And it seems like the judge is saying, there is no legal basis for what you're saying here, sort of put up or show up. And so far, you're not putting up anything. You're just showing up and railing. And I'm not going to countenance that. And I'm not going to sanction them for that. And I had the question whether or not he is going to sanction the Trump teams for the way it's proceeding in this case. So, so far from the reporting we've heard in the courtroom, it's not going well for Donald Trump and team, both as a matter of the law of the case and the tenor of the judge and the courtroom.

SOLOMON: Michael, let me switch gears a bit and ask you about this, the civil case, the disgorgement case, the half a billion dollars, nearly half a billion dollar sort of bond that Trump has to make today. What's the next move here? I mean, if he cannot raise these funds, which he claims he has the money but his lawyers argue he doesn't have the money, what's the next step for Letitia James?

ZELDIN: To start collecting. It's a judgment that's been issued by a court. They owe money, just like if any of us were found to be responsible in a car crash or otherwise, and we had to pay money, then, if we refuse to pay that money, they can come and try to take our car or our house or our bank accounts. So, it's very basic blocking and tackling stuff. But, I have to say, I'm a bit of an outlier on this. I do think that a $400 million bond is a lot to ask of a person. And I think that the Court of Appeals or the trial judge could well have a compromise here, where he puts up $100 million, $200 million, and then they take out liens or other collateral against his property, collateral -- protect it from being disgorged someplace else. And I let -- and let the case go forward. I just -- I don't like bail. I don't like bonds. I think that they've

been used abusively in the criminal justice system, and now sort of in this case too. I'd like to see a way by which he puts up something less than the money and can still go less than $400 million and still go forward. But, as I say, I think I've been an outlier and that most people want him to have to be treated like everybody else, and put up the bond and go forward or have his assets seized.

SOLOMON: And just for our viewers who are watching, what you're watching, is apparently court is taking a recess in the hush money case, as Michael Zeldin and I talk about the civil fraud case affecting his businesses. We're going to continue to keep one eye on the court and the camera. But, Michael, let me ask, the important context in the civil fraud case is that Trump and his team are appealing.


And so, what his team is asking for is either reduce the bond, waive the bond, or sort of just let us see how the appeal process plays out.

ZELDIN: Well, that's right. And so, the question is, does he have to come up with the full bond in order to move forward, or is there some compromise by which the state can be secure in its belief that if he loses at the end, there will be assets for them to make them hold for the judgment they've received? And I guess what I'm saying in the prior comments is I think there should be a compromise that's available to the parties, not to deny trump the opportunity to proceed, not to have his properties seized and sold at fire sale prices. I think that the state should be able to satisfy itself that it can obtain the full value of its judgment at the end of the case, if they prevail, essentially forcing him into this fire sale situation, which I just don't like. I just don't --


ZELDIN: -- like the appearance of it.

SOLOMON: Well, and so many questions too. Michael Zeldin, we'll leave it here. But, I know we're talking later -- a little later in the show is, if the state begins to seize upon some of these properties, what happens then depending on the outcome of appeal? I'll save the question. I'll get to you in just a moment. Don't go far. Michael Zeldin, thanks so much.

All right. Sill ahead, memorials are being held for victims of the Friday shooting at a Russian concert hall. What we are learning about the suspects and what Russia was warned about before the attack? Plus, new hopes that a deal can be reached between Israel and Hamas, possibly within days, that would exchange hostages in Gaza for Palestinian prisoners. And throughout the hour, we'll continue to track Trump's legal battles in New York, both the hush money hearing and the civil fraud deadline. A lot to watch this hour. Don't go anywhere. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SOLOMON: Welcome back. We continue to keep a close eye on Donald Trump's major legal threats colliding today in New York. A pre-trial hearing is underway. We just showed you that a moment ago, where the judge could decide to further delay a trial date in Trump's hush money case. And the clock is also ticking for him to pay a $464 million bond in the New York civil fraud case. Now, if he cannot come up with a payment, well, then the New York Attorney General could begin seizing some of his assets.

All right. As we continue to watch that, we want to turn to some other major news this morning at the United Nations. Just moments ago, the Security Council adopted a resolution calling for "immediate ceasefire in Gaza" for the first time since the start of the war. It also demands the unconditional release of all hostages as well as the lifting of barriers to the delivery of humanitarian aid. The U.S. Ambassador did not use veto power, choosing to abstain instead, allowing the resolution to pass.


LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: We're getting closer to a deal for an immediate ceasefire with the release of all hostages, but we're not there yet. Now, let's be clear.


A ceasefire could have come about months ago if Hamas had been willing to release hostages, months ago. Instead, Hamas continues to stand in the way of peace.


SOLOMON: And there is new hope today that a ceasefire deal can be reached. A CNN affiliate in Israel reports that the Israeli government has agreed, has agreed, to a U.S. proposal on a prisoner hostage swap. So, the deal would secure the release of around 700 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 40 Israeli hostages. A CNN analyst says that Israel is waiting on Hamas response and that could take days, but Hamas says that more issues remain unresolved beyond the prisoner release and called the reports attempts to "pressure negotiations".

Let's bring in our CNN Paula Hancocks. She is following developments from Doha. So, Paula, what is the latest based on what you can tell on this potential hostage-prisoner swap?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rahel, the reports are that the U.S. proposal surrounds some 700 Palestinian prisoners being released as part of this deal. Now, we understand this from our CNN analyst, also CNN affiliate Channel 11, saying that 100 of those 700 would be Palestinian prisoners who are serving life sentences for having killed Israeli nationals. Now, what we're hearing from Hamas' side is that they're pushing back on that being a significant breakthrough, saying that they believe that it is Israeli and American media trying to put pressure on these talks. These leaks have come from Israeli government officials. And they're pointing out that there is much more to be worked on than just the Palestinian prisoners, pointing out that they have not had a response at this point from Israel when it comes to a complete ceasefire.

Now, we know that Israel is not ready for a complete ceasefire. They had been very clear that they need a ground offensive in Rafah, they believe, in order to secure what they have called a complete victory over Hamas. Rahel.

SOLOMON: All right. Paula Hancocks live for us there in Doha. Paula, thanks so much.

All right. We want to get back to some news, some pretty big news, in fact. The appeals court ruling on the bond of Donald Trump deciding that Donald Trump has to post $175 million in 0 days to meet the terms of his $464 million bond judgment.

Let's bring back in our legal analysts. We have with us now former State and Federal Prosecutor, David Weinstein, and also with us again is former Federal Prosecutor Michael Zeldin. Good to see you both.

David, let me start with you. $175 million, by my math, that's about 37 percent of the original amount. What are your -- what's your take on this?

DAVID WEINSTEIN, FORMER STATE AND FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, it's a benefit for the Trump Organization and for the former President. It was the last-minute lifeline he needed. It's better than bankruptcy court. As you pointed out, that's 37 cents on the dollar it will guarantee. Some of this judgment is secured by an actual bond. Now, let's see if the varying bonding companies that he has reached out to will actually let him put up that money, or if, as he said, he has that much cash available, he puts it up. But, it's a lifeline for him and it's a 10-day lifeline for him. So, it gives him a breather on this issue for now. We may all be back here in 10 days talking about how he couldn't post the bond and he is right back to where he started.

SOLOMON: And Michael, what's your take? I mean, we also know that as the appeal played out, interest continue to accrue to the tune of I want to say $100,000 per day. Walk me through the applications of this decision.

ZELDIN: Well, it means that he should be able to make this bond. David is right that we have no guarantees of it. But, it seems like it's a number that's reachable for him. We'll see if there are any other conditions like liens be allowed to put on some of his properties to make sure that they aren't wasted in some way. But, I actually think, as we talked about just before the break, that this is the right decision, that there are issues in this case that are worthy of appellate consideration, and that to allow him to proceed with a bond that's substantial, where the state most likely, if it prevails in the end, be able to be made whole is the right decision. And so, we'll see how it plays out in the courts of appeal. But, I think this was a good day for sort of the legal system in a sense.

SOLOMON: Michael and David, stand by for just a moment. Let me bring in CNN's Katelyn Polantz, who has been covering the story very closely. Katelyn, what more can you share on this news, as we said, coming out just moments ago?

POLANTZ: Yeah. I mean, this was the thing that could come in today to help Donald Trump just elongate the process of his attempts to skirt or get out of this loss in this civil fraud case.


There is the possibility that the decision by the judge in this fraud case remains and that the amount that he has been -- he and his sons have been fined of $464 million comes through. What today does is it just gives him an extra 10 days to secure the

money, to put up the bond, to continue his appeals. So, within that period of time, Rahel, remember, think about this in the big picture, before the bond companies or the insurance underwriters were telling him, he went to 30 of them. They were telling him that they weren't willing to secure more than $100 million, and he needed to do it with cash, not real estate as collateral.

And so, if those insurance underwriters are coming through now for Trump, it remains to be seen. He probably will have to go back to them and see if they will be willing to give him a bond of $175 million, more than the $100 million he was hoping the appeals court would give him and if they will do it in the next 10 days. So, he is on a short leash. He has to figure this out, or the attorney general will be able to go in and start seizing properties, businesses, freezing bank accounts, putting liens on things, all of the things that the Attorney General's Office has the ability to do, not just in New York, but potentially in many other states.

And also, remember, there is already $100 million or thereabouts tied up for another bond, where Donald Trump lost the case against E. Jean Carroll. He has posted bond for that. He would have to post bond for this. It would lock down a significant amount of money for him. And he already may have a large number of existing loans. And if you get a bond, you know this, I'm sure there has to be so much additional money available to you because you have to pay back your lenders or your underwriters.

SOLOMON: Well, Katelyn Polantz, good to have you. Thanks so much.

Actually, I want to bring in Matt Egan now, who has been tracking and sort of researching all of Trump's properties and the value of those assets. So, Matt, give us a sense based on your reporting of sort of how the former President might be able to come up with this sum.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Rahel, the news just out this hour as far as this ruling from the New York appeals court is big. It does feel like the former President is going to be able to pull a rabbit out of his hat at least for the next 10 days or so. And remember, he had been referring to his real estate properties as his babies. And so, this ruling certainly buys some more time for the Trump team to protect his babies. But, when we're talking about the former President's assets, we do have to remember that this is a tangled web of assets, right, and unraveling them and then selling off pieces would be messy at best. Let's look at some of the specific assets that have gotten some

attention, specifically real estate in New York. I'm starting with Trump Tower triplex. Right? This is the iconic real estate property that the former President owns. And, in 2015, the former President claimed it was worth $327 million. Forbes values it at $52 million. That is quite the gap. And it goes to one of the problems here, which is how to value this stuff?

Another property that has gotten a lot of attention because Letitia James has mentioned it specifically as something that she sees every day is 40 Wall Street down in the financial district in Manhattan. This space has been valued at $220 million back in 2012. That was based on a bank-ordered appraisal, but Trump has valued it at much higher levels. And then, there is Seven Springs. This is the estate and golf course in Westchester County. Forbes has valued this property at $25 million. And this has gotten some attention, because just last week, Letitia James's office started to set in motion the paperwork to potentially begin seizing this property.

But, again, the ruling that just came out calls into question whether or not there is anything that has to be done anytime soon.

But, eventually, if we do have to go back to this question about seizing properties, it's really important to remember that it's one thing to say you're going to seize the property. It's another thing to actually do it and then try to liquidate it, because real estate is just notoriously illiquid asset. It's not like they can just go look and see what these properties are trading at on the New York Stock Exchange and then immediately get matched up with the seller. It takes time. And if you don't have that time, you do run the risk of a fire sale, where the price is depressed because the seller really was forced to sell too quickly, and that wouldn't be good for Trump or for the New York State authorities either.

And it's also just important, Rahel, I think to remember and you know this well that this is not taking place in a vacuum. Right? Some of these properties, they own office space. And we know the office market has been in a meltdown because of remote work. So, that also calls into question some of the valuations here.


Another issue here is that some of these properties, many of them actually, they're not outright owned by Trump. They're actually owned by a maze of LLCs. And so, that adds to the complexity. And from the financial side of things, a lot of these properties also have mortgages and loans against them. And so, those would have to get paid back first before anything went to the New York authorities. So, I think if you put all this together, it shows why the idea of seizing properties and then liquidating it, it would be messy, for sure.

SOLOMON: Yeah. You sort of explained very well there why real estate is notoriously illiquid, as you point out. What about shares? What about stock market shares? Truth Social apparently getting a pretty high valuation. Talk to us about how this might factor into Trump's net worth. EGAN: Yeah. Ridiculously high valuation, if you talk to some of the

experts that I've been talking to, because Truth Social itself is shrinking in terms of the number of users. The parent company, Trump Media, has very little revenue, and yet, it's being valued at in the billions of dollars. And one professor telling me that it's clearly a bubble.

And so, what's happened on that front is Digital World Acquisition Corporation. That is the blank check company that's already publicly traded. You see that stock is up 13 percent. The higher that stock goes, the more the richer, really, that the former President is, at least on paper, because the merger calls for President -- former President Trump to own a massive, massive stake, worth billions of dollars. And the deal does appear to be very close to finishing up. Shareholders of Digital World, they overwhelmingly approved the merger on Friday. Now, SEC filings say that the expectation is for this deal to close within two business days of all of the different obstacles being completed.

So, that suggests that maybe tomorrow we could hear that the deal is closing, except I should note that there is ongoing litigation here aimed at stopping the merger. So, that does add to some legal uncertainty. But, this would be a financial win for former President Trump. The problem for him is that there is a lot of restrictions over what he can do with that stake. A lot of deals like this. They have a lock-up restriction. And in centers, they can't sell for six months because it doesn't really look good to have a major shareholder sell as soon as the deal closes. And those restrictions also prevent insiders like former President Trump from borrowing against that stake.

And so, for those reasons, experts say that it would be hard for Trump to quickly monetize this stake unless some of those restrictions are waived. And then even then you go back to the problem over valuation, in that a lot of people think that this company would be overvalued. So, for those reasons, this does not seem to be the immediate source of cash that former President Trump needs.

SOLOMON: Yeah. A lot of cash but apparently not necessarily immediate cash.

EGAN: Right.

SOLOMON: Matt Egan live for us in New York. Matt, thank you.

EGAN: Thanks, Rahel.

SOLOMON: All right.

Still coming up, we continue to watch what happens if Donald Trump cannot cover his multi-million dollar bond. We're going to dive into a discussion on Trump's major deadline for his civil fraud case, especially in light of that appellate decision within the last 10 minutes or so. We'll also check in on the hush money hearing. We'll be right back.



SOLOMON: Welcome back. You are watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Rahel Solomon live in New York.

I want to share with you some breaking news. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled an Israeli delegation's trip to Washington. That's after the U.S. abstained from a UN Security Council vote calling for a Gaza ceasefire rather than vetoing it. The delegation was going to visit to discuss Israeli plans for a ground invasion of Rafah.

Let's bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks. She is following all of these developments from Doha. Paula, what more can you share with us about this news?

HANCOCKS: Well, Rahel, this coming to us from two Israeli officials saying that that delegation will now no longer be going to Washington later this week. It was going to be two of the top advisors to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, who we're going to go. And what we heard from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office a little earlier was that Israel had threatened to cancel this delegation if the U.S. did not veto that UN Security Council resolution that has just passed in the Security Council.

Now, this was going to be a trip where they were going to discuss this ground defensive in Rafah, which Israel is insistent it needs to do in order to defeat Hamas. We've heard from the Biden administration, which convinced its delegation to go to Washington, that they have alternatives. They have other plans that they believe will allow Israel to defeat Hamas but without the humanitarian catastrophe that countries around the world fear would happen if there was this massive ground offensive in an area like Rafah where you've got up to 1.5 million Palestinian sheltering at this point.

So, this really widens the gap between the U.S. and Israel. It's a relationship that has been tested significantly recently. We know there is a very significant difference of opinion when it comes to what is happening in Gaza at this point between the Biden administration and Netanyahu's administration. And certainly, this is not going to help matters. So, Israel deciding not to send this delegation later this week. Of course, the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, is already in the United States. He is planning to meet with the National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan this Monday. He was planning also to meet with the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to talk about a potential ceasefire, about how to increase the efforts to work to release those hostages from Gaza as well. Rahel.

SOLOMON: Netanyahu canceling the official delegation. Paula, let me ask, we know that similar resolutions at the UN had failed before, some four times. Walk us through why the U.S. chose to abstain this time rather than veto it. What was the difference this time?

HANCOCKS: Well, I think, potentially, one of the differences was the Biden administration has shifted in its view of what is happening in Gaza at this point. It has in the past vetoed resolutions, which called for an immediate ceasefire. We had heard as well from the U.S. Ambassador to the UN today saying that they did agree with the principles of this resolution, the fact that it called for an immediate ceasefire. It linked it to the hostage release from Gaza, and also pointed towards an immediate allowing of significant humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Now, the U.S. actually proposed its own resolution back on Friday in the security cabinet -- Security Council. It was vetoed by Russia and China, which the U.S. accused them of playing politics with that particular veto. So, what we're seeing today is the U.S. Ambassador saying they couldn't vote for the resolution as there were parts of it that they didn't agree with, but they abstained, which meant that it did pass. So, I think what it does is it shows where the international community is at this point that there are growing calls for an immediate ceasefire, something which the Biden administration resisted for some months, but which it is very much behind now. Rahel.

SOLOMON: OK. Paula Hancocks live for us there in Doha. Paula, thanks so much.


We also want to get to some other breaking news. We are tracking the Trump's major legal battles today. The former U.S. President has just won a partial victory. An appeals court has ruled that he must pay $175 million in bonds rather than the $464 million today. That came hours ahead of this deadline on that bond in his civil fraud case. Meanwhile, his pre-trial hearing, his hush money criminal case, well, that is in recess right now until about noon.

Let's bring in today's political panel. Joining us is Democratic Strategist Paul Begala.

Paul, good to have you. So, look, this is a partial victory for him. How do you see him messaging this?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah. Well, it is a victory for Mr. Trump, that's good for Mr. Trump. But, what he needs to do and what he will do is very different, Rahel. What he is going to do is talk about himself. That's what he does. I mean, let's face it. He is going to pick for his running mate a handheld mirror. Well, he is the most solipsistic, most narcissistic politician I've ever seen. And so, he talks about his own problems, not the voters. Right? None of this. All he talks about are his alleged participation in January 6, his alleged hush money payments, his legal problems, his properties.

Somewhere out there, there are Americans who are struggling to meet the rent, who are worried about the cost of prescription drugs, and he is not speaking to them. He solidified his space. That's good for him. But, if he wants to reach those reluctant Republicans who voted for Nikki Haley, he has got to get out of his own head, his own problems, and get into their lives.

SOLOMON: So, what about that group of Republicans? What about the independents and the moderates who are in the middle? Because the Never Trumpers are let's just say they're never going to vote for Trump. But, what about those in the middle? A sort of decision like this, a partial victory, does that do anything to perhaps change any of their minds?

BEGALA: I think not. First, thank you for asking about them, because those are the most interesting voters. The Trump base, I mean, God loved them, but they're not analytically interesting because they're not going to move no matter what. But, you are getting, even last week in Ohio, one out of five Republicans opposing Trump. What he needs to do for them is show a face of moderation and unity. And he is, I think, showing anything but that. He is alienating them with increasingly inflammatory rhetoric celebrating the rioters on January 6, for example.

According to our colleague, Jim Sciutto, his Chief of Staff, John Kelly, told Jim that Mr. Trump actually said admiring things about Adolf Hitler. That's not a way to get moderates. And so, he has to shift. He won't. But, I can't help as a professional to give him free advice. He has got to shift to those moderate voters.

SOLOMON: And let him bring in now former House Member, Charlie Dent. Charlie, always good to have you as well. I'm just sort of curious of your take of how you think this decision today, this partial victory, $175 million versus $464 million. I mean, certainly a partial victory for Trump. How do you see him playing this and how do you see a messaging this?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, certainly, Trump is going to play this as the victim. He is the guy that -- who is being persecuted by our legal and judicial system. And so, he'll claim this as a victory. And he thinks he might actually get some political benefit out, and I'm not sure I see that political benefit other than maybe with his hardcore MAGA base that thinks -- who agree with him. But, for those persuadable voters, I think the Paul was just talking about, those people who are kind of more centered, I don't think this is helping Donald Trump in any way, whatsoever.

There used to be a time in politics when the elected officials or candidates were charged with a federal crimes or hit with major civil judgments, those would be personally devastating and be career-ending. With Trump, though, he sees some political advantage. But, at the end of the day, I'm kind of traditional thing, and this is still a big net negative.

SOLOMON: Well, let me ask you both, and Paul, let me start with you. I mean, I hear both of you say he has to change his strategy. He has to move more to the middle. And yet, you look at recent polls. You think about that CNN polling last week from key battleground states like Pennsylvania and Michigan where he is at the very least neck and neck with the President, if not beating the President. And so, I don't know. I mean, how do you explain that, Paul?

BEGALA: Well, both Trump and Biden have huge challenges. Look, the country doesn't like either one of them. But, that is the choice the country will have. Trump's challenge, I think Charlie is right, get those voters who sent Charlie Dent to Congress from Pennsylvania for so many years. Those are sensible, moderate-leaning Republicans. Mr. Biden has another problem, and it's tied into the previous report about Bibi Netanyahu and Israel. There is a lot of young Democrats, a lot of black Democrats, a lot of Arab American Democrats who are furious about the Israel-Gaza war, and are taking it out on Joe Biden.

Biden has got to get them back. It looks like Biden is making steps to do that, both by having a tougher line on Bibi Netanyahu, but also by talking about things like abortion rights, which those voters want. So, I think Biden is at least trying to get the voters back that he needs. I haven't seen Mr. Trump make the same sort of effort for his problem.


SOLOMON: And Charlie, what do you think?

DENT: I've been saying for some time, both candidates have real basic problems. Paul just laid out Joe Biden's. It's a lot of younger voters, erosion among Hispanics and some African Americans. Clearly, the age issue is causing real problems for Joe Biden. Trump similarly has a problem too. He -- that Nikki Haley voter, there are a lot of Republicans who are just never going to vote for Donald Trump. And so, that is a big challenge right now in this campaign that we have two, frankly, very flawed candidates where close to two thirds of voters don't like the choice, and they want something else.

And so, I think this race ultimately got to come down to what these double haters think, people who don't like either candidate. How many of them are going to hold their nose and vote for one of them, or just do a protest vote and vote for one of the independent candidates or small party candidates or just not vote at all?

SOLOMON: Paul, I hear you say, sort of outline some of Joe Biden's problems. He may have 99 problems, but one of them is not money. He is far outpacing Donald Trump when it comes to fundraising. So, if you were advising him and his campaign, what would you do with that money? How would you translate that into votes?

BEGALA: I would attack, attack, attack, attack. When your -- my pal, Carville, my partner, says when your opponent is drowning, throw him an anvil. All right? Mr. Trump is in trouble. He -- and he is focused on his own legal problems and probably prudentially. Biden doesn't have those problems, and he has got all this money. Trump has been a terrible fundraiser lately and the Republican Party seems to be in chaos with the Republican National Committee. So, use that advantage to attack as a Democrat. And I'm for Biden. I'm tired of seeing ads extolling Biden's accomplishments. I want to see ads attacking Biden's opponent. That's going to be a lot more effective while Mr. Trump is tied down and distracted by his legal problems.

SOLOMON: All right. We'll leave it here. Good to see you both, Democratic Strategist Paul Begala and former --

BEGALA: Thanks, Rahel.

SOLOMON: -- House Member Charlie Dent. Thank you. DENT: Thank you.

SOLOMON: All right. And still ahead, CNN's Stephen Collinson joins me for a closer look at what is an especially wild week for Donald Trump. We'll be right back.



SOLOMON: Welcome back. We continue to keep a close eye on Donald Trump's court proceedings in New York. The hearing on his hush money case is set to resume shortly after a short recess. We expect that to begin in about 10 minutes, at 12 p.m. Eastern. And earlier this hour, you might remember, he won a partial victory in another case, as an appeals court ruled that he could pay $175 million in his civil fraud trial within 10 days, the bond, rather than $464 million that was due today. By most standards and probably even by his own, this is an especially wild week for the former President, as you look at these shots of the courthouse again, set to resume proceedings, set to begin in about nine minutes or so, as we keep a close eye on that.

But also, in an OpEd today, CNN Politics Senior Reporter Stephen Collinson writes, "Donald Trump's tumultuous life has been rocked by bankruptcies, personal scandals, impeachments and election wins and losses, but nothing quite compares to the personal and financial crisis facing the once-and-possibly future president this week."

And Stephen joins me now from Washington. So, Stephen, you lay out sort of well the sort of roller coaster of events happening between Truth Social and it going public, and also all of these legal proceedings. Walk me through just sort of what your sense is of this partial victory. I think a lot of people would call it $175 million versus $464 million.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Well, it looks like the roller coaster is going back up, at least until we hear from what happens in this hush money case when it could go plunging back down again. But, that's the way Donald Trump's life and presidency and business career has always been, these crisis that he manages to stave off. He sometimes comes close to political or financial ruin, and often somehow manages to put off the inevitable or the moment of accountability.

This ruling by the appeals court is a big break, because it's less than half the amount of money he was supposed to come up with by today. What it doesn't mean, though, is that he gets out of eventually having to pay the $450 million that is owed because of this fraud trial and the judgment against him. The appeal in this case is set to go ahead in September. If he loses that, he is still going to have to make good on that award. But, for now, he has put off the consequences of that fraud trial, at least for a few months, as he takes aim at the White House and what would be a pretty significant political comeback if he wins in November.

SOLOMON: Speaking of consequences, I want to play for you, Stephen, a clip from the Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from over the weekend. Take a listen to what she said to CNN.


FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: All while that was going on, we were writing responsive briefs. We were still doing the case in a way that it needed to be done. I don't feel like we've been slowed down at all. I do think there are efforts to slow down this train, but the train is coming.


SOLOMON: So, Stephen, to your point about delaying, but ultimately consequences will be felt, unclear obviously what happens in the Fulton County case, but the DA making clear that they've been working even though there was this delay about her and her financial -- her personal relationship with Nathan Wade.

COLLINSON: Right. She escaped, as you remember, being disqualified from the case over perceived conflict of interest over that relationship. It's still quite hard to see that that case into the alleged attempt to overthrow the election in Georgia in 2020 will go ahead before the next election in November just because it's such a wide case. It doesn't just involve Donald Trump. There are multiple associates and aides of the former President that caught up in that racketeering case. Often, those kinds of cases take months just to choose a jury. There is no real possibility I think that that goes ahead at least until the late summer. And the chances of getting a verdict out of it before November, which is the thing that Trump politically most cares about at this moment, seem rather slim.

SOLOMON: And then, just lastly, Stephen, before we go, you point out in your piece just sort of how, I mean, at the heart of Trump's brand is that he is a successful businessman and you say the saga, the civil case has been a humiliating one for the ex-President since it raises questions about his claims to a huge fortune. Say more about that.


COLLINSON: Right. So, the problem that Trump had was that he didn't have -- despite saying that he is a multi-billionaire, he didn't have this nearly half a billion dollars to put up as a bond to stop the New York authorities starting to seize his properties to execute that civil fraud judgment. One possible reason for this is that most of his wealth is tied up in real estate. But, it adds to an impression that has been there for many years that perhaps he is not as rich, as he is saying he was. After all, this case in itself was about inflating the value of his assets, which he was found to have done by the judge in the civil court case. So, that's an issue here. I think for Trump's supporters, this partial victory today will almost re-embroider that legend a little bit that the authorities once again tried to get Trump.

SOLOMON: And Stephen, let me jump in here see as we see the former President. Let's see if we actually hear him say anything right now.

DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. And Judge Engoron has done a terrible disservice to the state of New York. What he has done is terrible. Businesses are fleeing, and you see that. We just released a statement on Truth. Businesses are fleeing and crime is flourishing all over the state. And what he has done is such a disservice and should never be allowed to happen again. New York State is being battered by his decision. So, I greatly respect the decision of the Appellate Division, and I'll post either $175 billion in cash or bonds for security or whatever is necessary, very quickly, within the 10 days. And I thank the Appellate Division for acting quickly, but Judge Engoron is a disgrace to this country, and this should not be allowed to happen. Thank you very much.

SOLOMON: OK. So, you've just been listening to the former President there, as he walks into court for his hush money case, but he did make a comment about an unrelated case, the New York Civil disgorgement judgement, essentially saying that he plans to be able to pay the $175 million very quickly within 10 days, which was the decision. He thanked the appellate court, but he also took another dig at the judge who made the decision, Judge Arthur Engoron. Clearly, a very eventful day, a very busy morning.

We know your time is money. So, thank you for spending some time with me today. I'm Rahel Solomon live in New York. Stick with CNN. One World, it's coming up next.