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Trump Faces Two Legal Threats Today: $464M Bail Deadline in N.Y. Civil Fraud Lawsuit and Hearing Before the Hush Money Trial; If $464M Bail is Not Paid, N.Y. A.G. Will Begin Taking Trump's Assets; Former RNC Chair McDaniel Says Biden Won "Fair and Square"; Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun Stepping Down, Along with Two Other Top Company Officials; U.N. Security Council Approved Draft Resolution, U.S. Abstained From Vote. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired March 25, 2024 - 10:30   ET




KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR, THE SOURCE AND CNN CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: And welcome back to CNN's special live coverage. I'm Kaitlan Collins here in New York. And right now, Donald Trump is inside the courthouse behind me for a hearing on the hush money case. I'm here covering it all with CNN's Paula Reid and Kristen Holmes.

And Paula, we're getting live updates from what's happening inside the courtroom. We don't actually have cameras inside of there, but we can hear what's going on. And the judge is raising what, I think, is a pretty good question, which is Trump's legal team is complaining about when these documents were turned over.


COLLINS: And the fact that they had to seek them out, that they had to issue this subpoena to the southern district of New York to get these documents, which is why there's a delay. And Judge Merchan is asking, well, if you issued this subpoena on January 18th, we had a hearing here on February 15th. Why didn't you bring up this issue then?

REID: Yes, and the response from the Trump team was that they didn't know what they were going to get because these documents came from federal prosecutors. And then, it's interesting because prosecutors also weighed in here and they said, look, only a small -- quite small number of these are actually relevant to this case. And then there was a pretty heated exchange between the prosecutors, the defense attorneys, and the judge about this question of what is relevant because this evidence is all related to the federal investigation and prosecution of Michael Cohen.

And Trump's lawyers suggested that one thing that they believe was relevant was an FBI interview related to this investigation, also interviews with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And interestingly, the judge stepped in and pretty aggressively asked, well, that's not relevant. What does that interview, an interview between Michael Cohen and the former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, have to do with this case?

He insists that that investigation, the Russia investigation, has nothing to do with this case. He says to the lawyers -- he said, I'm telling you, if you try to introduce something in the Muller investigation, it's not coming in.

So, here, Judge Juan Merchan drawing a bright line that anything related to the Russia probe is not coming in in this hush money case. But it seems like the judge is trying to get to the bottom of, OK, why did it take so long to get these documents into the hands of the prosecutors, the defense attorneys, and how much of this is really relevant? Because how much of this is relevant? That gets to how much time they need to review it. If there are thousands of relevant pages, well that might take longer to review than just a few hundred pages. So, that's why the judge is really drilling in on that question right now.

COLLINS: And all of these documents are related to Michael Cohen himself. These are phone logs, text messages, all of these documents, it had to do with this. We talked to Michael Cohen about this. He doesn't think that there's going to be anything in there that helps Donald Trump in his defense here. But his team, ultimately, what they care about here is not necessarily what gets included and what doesn't, but it's how long it could potentially help delay this case, which is what they're seeking to do.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. They want every single document in these hundreds of thousands of documents, or over 100,000 documents to be relevant, because the more documents that are relevant, the longer it will take them to go through. And essentially what you saw was the whole reason that they had a delay in the first place was because, essentially, D.A. conceded that there was about 30 days of relevant documents in there for them to delay.

So, it's not surprising that you're going to see Donald Trump's team argue through each one of these documents and say, no, this is relevant. We need more time to do this because, again, the ultimate goal here is to push this as far as they possibly can. They can get 90 days out of it. They're going to want 90 days out of it. The other part of this is how close is to the election can they get this? The closer they get to the election, the more political it becomes.

REID: So, we -- we're getting a little more from the Trump attorneys. They're pushing back on the judge saying that nothing from the Mueller investigation can come in. For example, Todd Blanche, one of Trump's lawyers said, look, during the Mueller interview with Michael Cohen, they talked about what Cohen was doing with Trump before Trump took office.


He says, that could be relevant here because the allegations are that Michael Cohen helped to facilitate this hush money payment to Stormy Daniels in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election. So, Michael Cohen's job, his role, in terms of his relationship with former president then not even President Trump, that's relevant. They're saying to their defense.

I think that's a fair point, but it's unclear how exactly the judge will take that. We're getting these updates from our colleagues in the courtroom right now. Again, the judge apparently pressed Trump team to say exactly how many documents they believe are relevant. Now, the Trump team is saying thousands, but it seems like the judge wants something more specific.

COLLINS: They're not saying 3,000 or 4,000.

REID: Exactly, thousands.

COLLINS: They're just saying thousands.

REID: And the judge is like, all right, I need more information. Just asking for a ballpark because that's how he's going to decide how long to delay this. OK. It looks like the Trump team just said, tens of thousands. Now, the judge still not satisfied with that answer.

COLLINS: But they do have a point to -- Michael Cohen is going to be a central witness here. This judge has recently decided Michael Cohen can testify here, something that the Trump team wanted to block.

REID: Yes.

COLLINS: Not only him but also Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal from being able to testify. They can all testify. And if there are documents related to Michael Cohen who was being investigated that could potentially be relevant to this. That's why they want to be able to see them and introduce them here.

REID: Yes, exactly. And the judge is saying nothing related to the Russia probe can come in. But the Trump team is saying, hey, there are some aspects of the special counsel interview with Michael Cohen, even though it was many years ago. It was about Russian interference. There are some things that are relevant here, including what was Michael Cohen's relationship with Trump at that time? What was he doing for him? What were his other tasks, his duties, contextually, in the larger, you know, picture of this case?

Yes, they have a fair point. That might be relevant. But look, it's ultimately up to the judge to decide if that is relevant.

COLLINS: Yes. Obviously, a robust back and forth happening inside the courtroom behind us as the judge is hearing from Trump's legal team right now and also prosecutors for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office as to what the timing of this case could look like. We are monitoring these live updates. We'll take a quick break and be right back in just a moment.



JIM ACOSTA, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: All right. Welcome back to CNN special coverage this morning. Today, Former President Donald Trump's real estate empire and his reputation of extravagant wealth are at risk. His assets, including some of these prize properties on the screen right there, could be seized if he can't make a nearly half billion-dollar bond payment by the end of the day.

Joining me now, former adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, Olivia Troye, and CNN political commentator and Republican strategist, Shermichael Singleton. Guys, thank you very much. Good to see you this morning.

Olivia, what do you think? I mean, you've been in the room with the former president from time to time. You've seen him in these kinds of situations when, you know, he's dealing with, you know, a lot of stuff flying around. This feels different. What do you think?

OLIVIA TROYE, FORMER ADVISER TO VP MIKE PENCE: Yes, I think -- look, I think no doubt he knows how real the gravity of the situation is. I also think he's very concerned about how this is perceived by his followers and the public. Certainly, you know that.


TROYE: I think he's trying to figure out what is the best lane for him to choose, given the options. I mean, I certainly don't think that bankruptcy is on the table for him because that would really lead to his followers being like, OK, so this is a guy who ran saying he doesn't need our money. All this other stuff. And now this guy is broke, how does that play out in the in the overall scheme of things?

So, you know, I think, this is a damaging day for him. But this is Trump. And I think if there's an opportunity to delay, obscure and spin, that is his expertise. And so, I really am just interested to see how this plays out.

ACOSTA: Yes. I mean, Shermichael, I mean, he walked into the courthouse this morning and it was sort of the old, I mean, whether it's the Russia investigation, whether it's impeachment, he always -- it's the same thing. It's a witch hunt. It's a hoax.


ACOSTA: I mean, he said the same things this morning. I guess he --

SINGLETON: I mean --

ACOSTA: -- he can't help himself. Those are the things that he says.


ACOSTA: But you know, the fact that some of these properties could get seized, the fact that they could go into his bank account. I mean, at some point, as we were saying earlier with the legal panel, I mean, He can't delay some of this stuff. It can't be delayed --

SINGLETON: It's inevitable in many ways.

ACOSTA: It's inevitable, yes.

SINGLETON: Yes. I mean -- you know, I think -- I guess the only thing with more lives than a cat may be Donald Trump.



SINGLETON: I mean, this guy's luck is really phenomenal to me. I mean, it's just -- it's almost mind boggling. With that said, though, you said something, Olivia, that I think was very poignant. How do you spend this? Every moment that he has to talk about this, you're not talking about the economy. You're not talking about immigration. You're not talking about Middle Eastern policy issues. And these are all issues that he actually leads if you are to believe some of the early polls against President Biden.

So, I think the question for the Trump campaign and more than likely what I expect to see, Jim, is that they're going to try to twist this to say, here are individuals, friends of the president, using the justice system to go after me because they can't beat me any other way. I think that's probably how they're going to spin this.

ACOSTA: But Olivia, as we -- I mean, that isn't true. I mean, you know, these are cases that have been brought by various authorities, whether it be at the federal government with Jack Smith down in Georgia, Fani Willis in New York, Letitia James and Alvin Bragg. I mean, Donald Trump's gotten himself into this jam, but at the same time, I mean, to what Shermichael was talking about a few moments ago, you know, throughout this entire election cycle, the courthouse has been the campaign trail. The campaign trail has been the courthouse. And he's been able to milk this --

TROYE: Yes, I mean --

ACOSTA: -- to no end.

TROYE: -- you know, every court appearance to me is just another Trump rally. It's basically how it looks like.


TROYE: And he doesn't have to pay anything. So, I mean, I guess that's to -- you know, benefits him because there's no cost to that. Except for the fact that he's got all these legal ramifications to go with it. And it is. It's the rule of law. It's the rule of law playing out because he broke the law. That's what's really happening here, right? It's not the witch hunt. It's not the attacks that he claims it to be.


But you know what I think is interesting? I'm paying attention to what he does to shift the policy stances that he has on the campaign based on the highest bidder, based on which donor is going to donate the most money on a topic, and then it's going to be whatever issue they care about that becomes the forefront. That's what we saw sort of play out with TikTok when he flipped his stance on it, right? I mean, Republicans were all about banning TikTok, and then suddenly Donald Trump's like, well, maybe, A, let's talk about this.

ACOSTA: Yes, but here's the question I have, Shermichael. And -- you know, he's trying to delay all of these cases, but that may work against him, potentially, politically, if the hush money case is the one case that goes to trial. It's sorted. It's unseemly. It's about an alleged affair with a porn star, he has denied that it took place.

But, you know, yes, Trump has been able to use these cases to his benefit during the primary process with his base, it's solidified his base. Suburban female voters outside of Philadelphia, outside of Detroit, outside of Atlanta. I mean, when we start hearing the details from the Alvin Bragg case, the hush money case, I can't imagine that's helpful.

SINGLETON: I mean, that's the crux of this that's difficult for me as a strategist to figure out how do you get over this? If I'm sitting in that war room and I'm looking at groups outside of the base that we have to target, engage, and ultimately turn out for my guy. What is the message to those voters?

Now again, my point would try to pivot to some of those more kitchen table issues. But can you do that effectively if this is on the news every single day? Can you do that effectively if the --

ACOSTA: Something tells me --

SINGLETON: -- if the candidate doesn't want to talk about?

ACOSTA: Folks will be talking about Stormy Daniels and this stuff around the kitchen table once we get into the details on all of this.

SINGLETON: Right because it's interesting. It's salacious. And so, I think the former president, it would behoove him to not focus on these things, focus on what impacts the American people today and address what his plan is to solve those problems.


SINGLETON: And if you can't do that, if you're stuck on 2020, if you're stuck on January 6th, if you're stuck on these cases, you're likely not going to win in November, Jim, because voters don't want to hear that.

ACOSTA: They want to hear about tomorrow, not yesterday.

SINGLETON: Absolutely.

ACOSTA: And to that point, let's talk about Ronna McDaniel's interview, the former RNC chair. She was on NBC this weekend, and after years of sowing doubts about the 2020 election and trying to overturn the election results. She was a part of that, process. And she seemed to shift her tune yesterday. Let's listen to this. We'll talk about the other side. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


RONNA MCDANIEL, FORMER RNC CHAIR: Ultimately, he won the election.

WALLACE: Pardon?

MCDANIEL: Ultimately, he won the election but there were lots of problems with the 2020 election. 100 percent.

WALLACE: And that's fair. But --

MCDANIEL: But I don't think he won it fair.


MCDANIEL: He won. He's the legitimate president --

WELKER: Did he win fair and square?

MCDANIEL: Fair and square, he won. It's certified. It's done.


ACOSTA: Wow. I mean, let -- not to get into all the stuff of what's happening at NBC and hiring Ronna McDaniel. Just that -- I mean, just total 180, 360, I don't know what that is. Double backflip.

TROYE: It was something.

ACOSTA: On her part.

TROYE: Yes, I mean --

ACOSTA: It didn't exactly stick the landing.

TROYE: not quite.


TROYE: I also just, kind of, was struck by she just didn't seem remorseful at all. And she didn't -- the sincerity there of understanding her actions and the implications and the impact of those actions didn't really come through. And quite honestly, I'm like, hey, thanks for coming forward three plus years later. Thanks for telling the truth now --

ACOSTA: After you got hired by a network --

TROYE: -- when the damage has been done after you've gone. And think about the lives that she's impacted. Think about the election workers that have gotten the death threats based on this. Think about FBI agents with those -- the fundraising that went on after the classified documents case in Mar-a-Lago and everything that happened there.

All those messages were pushed out by the RNC. So, I want -- if -- you know, if she's really going to change her tune, I want to hear about that.


TROYE: I want her to tell the truth to people about what really was behind that.

ACOSTA: Yes. Shermichael, I mean, if you're an election denier, you're a reality denier.


ACOSTA: That's just -- that is it.

SINGLETON: Yes. I mean, look, the truth bears no lie. And this is a part of the credibility issue with the former RNC chair. It's one thing to bring on a conservative. We're conservatives.


SINGLETON: I'm a conservative.


SINGLETON: We just talked about the former president.

TROYE: Actual conservatives.

SINGLETON: I just laid out what I think he should do politically. We talked a little bit about what his voters likely want to hear from him. And I think the viewers, folks who are watching this program, they can understand that. OK, Shermichael's a conservative, Olivia's a Republican, no big deal. But they want to be told the truth. People don't want to listen to someone who's telling lies and those of us in the press, Jim, we've talked about this.

ACOSTA: Oh, yes.

SINGLETON: We have a moral and ethical obligation, particularly in this climate, to tell the truth. To bring on truth bears. And with all due respect to the former chairwoman, I'm not certain if she's that person. Now, that's not to say that she shouldn't be permitted some level of redemption. She certainly should be given that opportunity, Jim. But is that the best platform? I don't think it is, and I think a lot of Americans would probably feel the same way.

ACOSTA: Yes. Well said, both of you. Thank you very -- the truth matters.


ACOSTA: It's --

SINGLETON: Absolutely.


ACOSTA: It does still matter. All right, guys. Thank you very much. Great discussion.

SINGLETON: Thank you.

ACOSTA: Really appreciate it.

And we are monitoring developments out of New York this morning at the courthouse and the Trump hearing. We're also following other breaking news, the CEO of Boeing, other executives announcing they are leaving that beleaguered company, that's next.


ACOSTA: All right. This morning, we're learning about a major shake- up at Boeing. CEO Dave Calhoun is stepping down, along with two other top company officials.

CNN's Pete Muntean joins us now. Pete, tell us more about this, and this is a huge shake-up at Boeing.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: And many have been calling for something like this for a while now. The only person to get the axe at Boeing before this was the head of the 737 MAX line, which many saw as a scapegoat.


And now CEO Dave Calhoun is leaving along with Larry Kellner, the board chair, as well as Stan Deal, the head of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Remember, Calhoun came in as Boeing CEO after the two 737 MAX crashes of 2018 and 2019, 346 people killed. Nobody died in the January 5th Alaska Airlines door plug blowout but it exposed a huge quality control issue at Boeing. Calhoun said this in his message to employees, as you all know, Alaska Airlines flight 1282, that accident was a watershed moment for Boeing. We must continue to respond to this accident with humility and complete transparency.

There is some surprise in the aviation community that Calhoun is not leaving immediately. His resignation takes hold at the end of the year. But Calhoun notes there are these investigations taking place. Not only the NTSB investigation that found Boeing workers did not reinstall the door plug bolts at the factory in Renton, Washington, but also the FAA audit of Boeing quality control, and a Department of Justice investigation to see if passengers on that flight may have been victims of a crime. The timing is telling here.

And just last week, Boeing reported a huge financial loss in the first quarter. Boeing has also lost the confidence of some of its major customers. Alaska Airlines wants compensation from Boeing. United says its new plane orders are now in limbo. The saying in corporate America is the buck stops at the top. But in this case, really, the money is talking to here, Jim.

ACOSTA: Oh, yes. And people have been clamoring for this kind of a shake-up and it's now happened.

All right. Pete Muntean, thank you very much.

MUNTEAN: You too.

ACOSTA: More breaking news coming into CNN right now. The United Nations Security Council just approved a draft resolution. Calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the month of Ramadan. It also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages and the urgent need to expand the flow of aid into Gaza, 14 nations voted in favor. The United States, we should note, abstained from the vote. We will continue to monitor that breaking news. More on all of this, we'll be right back


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

ACOSTA: All right. Good morning, everybody. Welcome back to our special coverage. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington alongside Kaitlan Collins in New York. And right now, Donald Trump is in court. The former president is repeating familiar false allegations of a supposed witch hunt. Incorrectly calling his hush money criminal case a, "Hoax".

Today, for the first time in American history, we could learn when an ex-president stands criminal trial.