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California Reeling After Third Mass Shooting in Three Days; Today, Hearing on Fate of Report in Trump Election Plot Probe; Attorney General Garland Defends Document Probes as FBI Searches Biden's Home. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired January 24, 2023 - 07:00   ET




VICE MAYOR JOAQUIN JIMENEZ, HALF MOON BAY, CALIFORNIA: This is something that we get to watch on the news, never think this is going to come and hit home. Today, we are on the news.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Here we go again.


LEMON: Good morning, everybody. Kaitlan is off, Poppy and I are here. Kaitlan is on assignment, I should say.

Seven more lives lost to gun violence in California, and this is just two days after a mass shooting killed 11 people there in the state. A suspect is in custody this morning. The latest on the investigation is straight ahead.

Plus this --


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Did you ever think maybe somebody I know would be involved?

VAL ANTHONY ALVERO, SON OF SHOOTING VICTIM VALENTINO ALVERO: Definitely not. I read the article and heard it was a dance studio, it crossed my mind.

CULVER: you thought about your dad potentially?



HARLOW: That is the young man whose father was murdered at the dance studio in Monterey Park, California. He is now speaking out in a heart-wrenching interview. LEMON: Gun violence never seems to end. Two students shot and killed at a Des Moines, Iowa Center for At-Risk Youth.

CNN This Morning has reporters on the ground to bring you the very latest.

HARLOW: And just a few hours also, a critical hearing in Fulton, Georgia. A special grand jury has just finished their report on Donald Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election in their state and now a judge decides whether the public gets to read it.

LEMON: Well, here is where we start this morning in California reeling from three mass shootings in just three days. This time it's a small Northern California city of Half Moon Bay. Investigators say the gunman killed at least seven people at a mushroom farm and trucking facility.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come here. Come here. Hands up.


LEMON: There you see it right there. Sheriff's deputy found the suspected gunman sitting in his car at a police substation. The dramatic arrest playing out in front of news cameras. Officers approaching the suspect with their guns drawn and then slamming him to the pavement.

His name is Chun Li Zhao. The sheriff says that it is believed the 67- year-old was a worker at one of the locations he attacked.

CNN's Veronica Miracle is on the story live for us in Half Moon Bay this morning. Good morning to you, Veronica. What's the latest?

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Don. Well, we know that those two crime scenes, the two shooting locations that took place were less than a mile apart. At that first location, sheriff's deputies arrived to find four bodies, a fifth person who is still critically injured, and then less than a mile away, sheriff's deputies discovered three more bodies.

You saw that video of 67-year-old Chun Li Zhao being arrested at a substation. That occurred a little over two hours after that first 911 call came in. But what is so incredibly devastating that authorities really touched on yesterday is that this happened in the afternoon after school got out. Some of these victims believed to be farm workers, and they live at some of these locations where the shootings took place. So, there were children present, children who were there to see this massacre unfold. Don?

LEMON: All right. Veronica, thank you very much.

HARLOW: From Half Moon Bay, California, to Monterey Park, California, our David Culver spoke to a man who lost his father in the Saturday night shooting. Another victim died in the hospital. That brings the number of people killed in that Saturday night shooting up to 11. Four of them so far have been identified. David, good morning. Thank you for joining us. And you spoke with one of the victim's sons?

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We did, Poppy, and he said that you're left in the aftermath trying to replay the final moments of your loved one's life. For him, it's his dad. He's really craving those details wondering how his dad acted, how he felt. Now, he's confident knowing his father that in those final moments the reason his dad did not get out alive is that he's the type who could not leave others behind.


CULVER (voice over): In the chilled glow of candlelight, the Monterey Park community gathers to honor the 11 lives taken and 9 still recovering. Images like these with flowers, balloons and tributes, you know them well. You've seen them before. And you will see them again. A community vigil following a mass shooting, it's become disturbingly routine, except when it's your loved one they're gathering for.

The one that we have, I just want to see if this is okay.

Val Anthony Alvero helping me choose the photo that best depicts his dad. He liked this one.

ALVERO: Yes, it's a good picture. I think it represents his attitude towards everything.

CULVER: Always upbeat and caring for others, that is how Anthony sums up his dad, namesake, Valentino or Val. He says the 68-year-old hospitality worker hoped to retire in a year or so and plan to return to his native Philippines. In his free time, you'd find him here at Star Ballroom Dance Studio moving to the music.


Growing up, was he dancing a lot?

ALVERO: Yes. Dad is around the house singing, stuff like that, he loved that kind of the stuff.

CULVER: Video from last year posted on social media showing one of the many joy-filled gatherings at Star Dance. On Saturday night, as Val and dozens of others celebrated the Lunar New Year here, gunfire cut the music short and destroyed so many lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Addition units requested, multiple victims, gunshot wounds.

CULVER: Anthony says he heard about the shooting Sunday morning.

Did you ever think maybe somebody I know was involved?

ALVERO: No, definitely not. I haven't read the article and they heard it was a dance studio, it crossed by mind. But --

CULVER: You thought about your dad potentially?

ALVERO: Yes, because he's not the type of person to run away from danger. Once I knew he was there, and very likely he was either injured or unfortunately passed away.

CULVER: While Anthony wants to know more about his father's last moments, he says anger hasn't really surfaced.

ALVERO: I don't think it adds anything to be angry to the situation. You know, what happened, happened. You can't change it. I just would like for, you know, better to come out of this, right?

I think the biggest thing I'd want other people to takeaway, I think, regardless of this situation I think that's always so important is just the time you have with other people.


CULVER (on camera): Anthony acknowledges there that there's still a lot of processing to be done here, Poppy. And you'll notice his demeanor. He really had this calm approach to everything that was playing out, but he said his dad was the type of person who would push through emotions in moments of crisis and he's trying to honor him by doing the same, but says that he's still, at the same time, knowing it will come in waves over the next few days in weeks, months, that's when the real challenge will continue.

HARLOW: Of course it will. And, David, you're so right in your piece. You said, you see it and you will see it again, the vigil, the candles, and we will, right? 38 mass shootings in American in just over three weeks. We appreciate the reporting, David. Thank you.

LEMON: That's as of right now.

And this morning, two students are dead after a gunman opened fire at an educational program for at-risk youth in Des Moines, Iowa. The program's founder is in serious condition right now. Police have arrested and charged an 18-year-old suspect charged with murder.

We turn now to CNN's Adrienne Broaddus live for us in Chicago with more. Good morning to you. Do we know the reason why? Are investigators saying, Adrienne?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Don. Investigators say this shooting was not random and they say it was targeted. They say at least two of the three people involved were related to gangs.

I want to take you through what we do know. An 18-year-old has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder as well as attempted murder. That suspect is in custody after shooting and killing two teens at a school or charter school, it was described as a charter school, by the police in Des Moines for at-risk youth. More on what police told us. Listen in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SGT. PAUL PARIZEK, DES MOINES POLICE: It was not random. There's nothing random about this. It was certainly a targeted incident. But as far as, again, motive, that's something that we are going to try and figure out.

We've got to get everybody around the table and start finding the solutions to this, because the police cannot do it all. And, again, we're good at what we do but that doesn't give families any peace. That doesn't give the friends of these kids any hope that it's going to get any better. We need the support.


BROADDUS: investigators also say the 49-year-old founder was seriously injured and is still listed in serious condition.

As far as that 18-year-old who police say is responsible for this shooting, about 16 minutes prior to the incident, investigators say he cut off an ankle monitor, which he was ordered to wear by the courts. Don and Poppy?

LEMON: Adrienne Broaddus, thank you very much for that.

And much, much more ahead on the violence in America, straight ahead this hour. Next hour, I should say, we are going to speak to a San Mateo County official to talk about the deadly shooting in Half Moon Bay. Poppy?

HARLOW: Well, the Arkansas man who was photographed with his feet, you'll remember that now, infamous photo on then Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Desk during the January 6 insurrection has been found guilty on eight counts by a Washington, D.C. jury. Here he is during that insurrection. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You broke into Nancy Pelosi's office?



BARNETT: I got pushed in.

I paid a quarter for this. I'm not a thief. It has my blood on it and I left her a note and it's on her desk right now. And, Nancy, when you go back to work, you can read it. I'm going to tell you what it says so she won't have any surprises. It says, Nancy, Biggo was here, you (BLEEP ).


HARLOW: That was 62-year-old Richard Barnett.

[07:10:00] He will be sentenced in early may. He will remain on home detention with a GPS ankle monitor until then. And he faces up to 20 years in prison for the top charge of obstructing an official proceeding. The jury deliberated for only a few hours before reaching that verdict. Afterwards, Burnett's lawyers told reporters that his client did not receive a fair trial because there were, quote, mostly Biden voters, close quote, in the nation's Capitol.

LEMON: In just a few hours in Georgia, a Fulton County judge will hear arguments on whether to make public the report from the special grand jury. That is that grand jury is investigating former President Trump and his allies' efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. This is an investigation that started with a now infamous phone call the former president made to Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (voice over): All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.


LEMON: Joining us now to talk about this, CNN Political Analyst and New York Times Senior Political Correspondent Maggie Haberman, CNN Anchor and Senior Political analyst John Avlon. Good morning to both of you.

I was telling Poppy earlier this morning, like when I hear that phone call, I can't believe that we actually listened to that, that was real, that he actually asked for that. So, this investigation now is expanding. The likelihood, Maggie, that this report is going to be made public?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it is likelier than not, Don. It has been a little hard to navigate from behind closed what is happening with the special grand jury. Remember, it's a fact- finding grand jury. They're not capable of making charges. If they make this report public, I think it necessitates. And if it says what we assume it does, which just makes recommendations about people getting indicted, that means that Fani Willis will have to move relatively quickly because the information will be public.

HARLOW: Yes. And, I mean, she's been proven to move quickly and aggressively with racketeering charges in her past. I thought it was interesting, Maggie, what you tweeted in terms of how her staff is preparing for potential violence.

HABERMAN: It was really jarring. My colleagues who had covering this very closely in Georgia have a very thorough, comprehensive report on our website talking about exactly what this might show, and what the investigations look like, and, yes, they are bracing for the possibility that if the there are charges against Trump that this could again prompt violence. And we forget that right after January 6th, 2021, there were preparations for potential violence in state capitols around the country. I think that is part of what is informing this and there's also, I think, some staffers have taken to wearing bullet-proof vests was, I believe, part of that report as well.

HARLOW: It was. I mean, that is stunning.

HABERMAN: Yes. And it speaks to the moment that we are in.

Now, has the political violence that was expected right after January 6th nationally happened? No. But there is that cloud of it constantly.

LEMON: One would think that people that are watching closely all the people who have been charged and found guilty and face sentences, that they would not want to get involved in violence again and not be co- opted by lies again.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right. I mean, just yesterday, we saw additional members of the Oath Keepers were convicted of seditious conspiracy. And that speaks to, I think, accountability that's beginning to come that should be a constraining factor. But the threat of violence itself is something I think you cannot -- we can't fledge from as a society. We need to be wide-eyed about it but we need to ensure equal justice under law and not have threats determine our actions. You can't live in fear that was as a free society.

I will say that the grand jury here made a recommendation.

HARLOW: If they did -- they made some recommendation.

AVLON: They made some recommendation that it be released. And I think the overriding public interest in this case I think would be good for the country to get the information out because we're talking about something that's so much more serious. It cuts to the heart of our democracy. So, I hope in this case the public interest that we do get to see this as American citizens.

LEMON: Is it fair considering how serious this is when you think about the possibility to ask, like what does this mean for 2024?

AVLON: Look, obviously, that's implications for 2024. But, no, I think you've got to be dealing with them on a separate track. I mean, this is isn't simply the past. This is about an active attempt by a sitting president to overturn an election. And there's just nothing more serious than an investigation.

HABERMAN: And I would actually flip the way it's constructed a little bit. I think so much of all of our conversations about 2024 for which Donald Trump at the moment is the only declared candidate, now I expect that's going to change very soon and there will be at least one more on the Republican side and I expect we'll hear from President Biden at some point fairly soon.

But every story about his political future needs to mention the fact that he is under multiple investigations in multiple jurisdictions at the state and federal level because this is so unprecedented.

HARLOW: Maggie, can we just talk about where he's going, the fact that he's -- did you want to make a point?

AVLON: I'm happy to make a point but I don't want to cut off Maggie. So, take the ball.

HABERMAN: That's okay.

HARLOW: Talk about where he's going, New Hampshire, where he won in 2016, and South Carolina, obviously two crucial early voting states. South Carolina is front of the pack now Democrats.


But why is he going to these two states now?

HABERMAN: Well, a couple reasons. There have been a lot of stories and we've talked about it on this set, about how he's essentially been walking for president, not running for president, since he kicked off his campaign.

HARLOW: Or sitting. He's like sitting at Mar-a-Lago.

HABERMAN: Like golfing. Look, I mean, he has not been running, what one would consider a rigorous effort.

So far, I don't know how much of that is his lack of desire, I don't know how much of it is -- that his fundraising might be struggling, but he is going to plant a flag especially because other candidates, this is the period where they're looking to get in.

I think they are also finding, his team, that people are not swelling around him in the Republican Party in these states the way they had believed. Now, he still has supporters and still has his operation, it's pretty small, and I think that they thought they were going to be able to get all of these people to just show up for him. He's over and over and over learning the lesson that he is not president anymore and for a lot in the Republican Party, he is someone they want to be passed. And so I think he is just trying to create momentum around himself.

But every time he goes to New Hampshire, the only thing, Poppy, that I remember is him campaigning right before the primary in New Hampshire at the beginning of February, end January of 2016, and him complaining at an event about how long his commute was to go back to Manchester. So, this is not somebody who does retail campaigning especially well. I don't think we'll see him do it.

LEMON: What about diamond and the silk?

HABERMAN: Actually, it's the exact same thing.

LEMON: It's too long.

HABERMAN: It's literally the exact same thing. LEMON: But, listen, no one -- John, we've got to run, you would think it would be Democrats? Democrats were like, yes, run, please. No one is trying to marginalize Donald Trump more than Republicans and conservative media at this point.

AVLON: Well, yes. But they need to take proactive actions now. Here's the thing. Trump's team pointed the fact that he's got a solid 30 percent. If you have a crowded Republican field in a winner-take-all primary season, he is going to win those. So, Republicans, you want one simple trick to stop the inevitability of Donald Trump being your nominee, go to proportional representation. This isn't as nerdy as it sounds. It's incredibly important to get a more representative result. Otherwise, Donald Trump, a number of people run, he's going to be able to steam roll through. And Republicans are going to have the nominee they know is the most damaged and most flawed.

HABERMAN: That's what they think anyway. I think there's an element of that that is fighting the last war. That's the only point that I would make. Trump's folks make that point, too, that he will be able to -- if it's him and he's getting 30 percent and everybody else is splitting the vote, I mean, yes, math, and indicate it, yes.

I don't know what this is going to look like. None of us knows what this is going to look like if he does get indicted. None of us knows if this is going to look like if DeSantis gets in, if DeSantis will be at all effective as a candidate. There is a degree to which they are refighting 2016 and when you are refighting a past campaign, that's not a great position to be in. That's my only point.

HARLOW: For now, we don't know, and there's a lot you don't know.

LEMON: Here we go again. Thank you, Maggie. Thank you, John.

HARLOW: Maggie and John, thanks.

Are you buckling up for here we go again?

LEMON: I just can't. I mean, I'm surprised --

HARLOW: Well, you can and you will be here by my side, through it all.

Okay. That's a yes.

Next, the fact check on the questionable, more than questionable, some just fact list, claims that Speaker McCarthy has made just in his first few weeks as speaker.

LEMON: Yes. And video could soon be released showing the police traffic stop that ultimately led to a Memphis man's death. What we're learning this morning.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was an unadulterated, unabashed, non-stop beating of this young boy for three minutes. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God.




LEMON: The House speaker, Kevin McCarthy, has had his hands on the gavel for just over two weeks now, and if you're a person in power, you better believe your expert fact checker Daniel Dale is watching your words. Daniel, good morning. You found some of McCarthy's claims misleading and some are just plain wrong. So, let's start with the speaker using Nancy Pelosi's name to defend his position on the debt ceiling. Listen.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): When Trump was president and Nancy Pelosi was speaker, they became a debt ceiling agreement and it was a cap agreement for two years to cap spending and make those decisions.


LEMON: Daniel, what did you find?

DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: Don, this stuff is highly misleading. McCarthy is trying to say, look, why is it crazy for us Republicans to impose a spending cap? Nancy Pelosi, Democrat, did a spending cap in 2019. But that is not actually what happened. What this 2019 Pelosi deal actually did was loosen, soften, raise a pre-existing spending cap that was already in effect because of a 2011 law known as the Budget Control Act. So, Pelosi got the government to spend tens of billions of additional dollars over and above the cap that was already in place at the time, and her deal ensured that these discretionary spending caps would expire after 2021.

So, that Pelosi example is not at all the same as what McCarthy and the conservatives in his caucus are now talking about, which is cut government spending by creating a new spending cap. In fact, Don, I think it's basically the opposite.

LEMON: Daniel, we've also been hearing Speaker McCarthy repeat the Republican talking point about getting rid of tens of thousands of IRS agents. Listen to this.


MCCARTHY: We put out a commitment to America to tell them exactly what we would do if they gave us the power. And in this first week, we continue to keep that commitment. We repealed 87,000 IRS agents.


LEMON: Is that accurate? DALE: Don, McCarthy is wrong in two ways here. First of all, House Republicans didn't actually repeal anything. They did vote to repeal, they passed a bill to repeal more than 70 billion in new IRS funding but that bill is not getting through the Senate or President Biden, so they have not changed the law.

Second of all, this frequent Republican talking point you hear how Democrats are hiring 87,000 new IRS agents is just not true. It's an exaggeration. Inflation Reduction Act that Biden signed into law last year includes $80 billion in additional funding for the IRS. That will very possibly allow the IRS to hire tens of thousands of additional employees. But not even close to all of these employees, Don, will be agents.


The people who conduct audits and investigations sometimes frighten people. Non-agents make up the vast majority of the IRS workforce and many of the newly hired employees we know will be in things like customer service and operations, in I.T. And experts tell us that many new hires will be making up for attrition, filling posts left by tens of thousands of retirements, departures, not taking newly created jobs. So, the image McCarthy and other Republicans are trying to conjure, Don, of this army of 87,000 new agents coming to get you is not based on facts.

HARLOW: McCarthy echoes Trump's claim that federal law enforcement was wrong for executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, at his resort, something the FBI says resulted in recovery of more than 100 documents marked classified and hundreds of other government documents as well. Is this claim true, Daniel?

DALE: We know it's not true, Don, that the government could have just come to Mar-a-Lago at any time, as McCarthy, without executing a formal search warrant and gotten all the government documents there. The feds, first, the National Archives, then DOJ have been trying for more than a year at the time of the August search to get government records back from Trump without a warrant. It did not work. We know that. The Trump team didn't even give back all records marked classified after DOJ went beyond asking and issued a subpoena for them in May. The Trump team hadn't even given all records back at the time a Trump lawyer signed a certification in June saying they had all been given back.

And there was actually a day, June 3rd, were reps from the FBI and DOJ went to Mar-a-Lago without a search warrant. What happened? Well, according to a DOJ court filing, and I quote, the former president's counsel explicitly prohibited government personnel from opening or looking inside any of the boxes that remained in the storage room, giving no opportunity for the government to confirm that no documents with classification markings remained.

So, McCarthy claims that they could have just come and gotten these documents in Mar-a-Lago without a warrant. Well, they were there. They weren't even allowed to look let alone take anything. Don?

LEMON: Daniel Dale, you're going to be busy in the coming weeks and months and years. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Poppy?

HARLOW: All right. So, let's talk more about the classified documents found at President Biden's home.

Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut. Congressman, good morning and thank you.

REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT): Good morning, Poppy.

HARLOW: Since on Thursday, the president said, quote, there's no there, there and he has no regrets about the documents. The FBI searching his home for 12 hours on Friday found six more classified documents. Some of the documents they took from his home date back to his time as senator. So, that ended in 2009. After the classified documents were found at Mar-a-Lago with President Trump, you said that you were profoundly troubled. Are you profoundly troubled about this discovery in Biden's home as well?

HIMES: I am profoundly troubled. Anytime there are classified documents outside of a secure space, I am profoundly troubled, whether that space is owned by a Republican president or a Democratic president. And I make that point, Poppy, because the Americans, I can just see Congressional approval ratings going down right now as my -- as the American people watch the Republicans behave in a radically different manner now that Biden has apparently done what Trump did in retaining classified documents.

And, look. Americans can smell an absence of integrity. So, yes, I'm going to answer your question by saying, any time, any one, president or no president, has classified documents outside of a classified, it's a big problem.

Now, as you and I both know, and as your story just indicated, Biden has been cooperative and Trump was not cooperative. So, at some point, when a moment comes to talk about whether one of them was obstructing or now, we will have that conversation. But, let's be very clear -- and, by the way, yes, we want to know which documents are particularly secret and which ones are not, but at the end of the day, any classified documents outside of a classified space is not good.

HARLOW: You just said, quote, Biden has done what Trump did, and you're very right to point out handling of it and the cooperation has been very different from what President Biden has done and what Trump has done. But about Trump's classified documents, you said that it is a significant risk to the national security of our country. Do you have a concern that these classified documents that Biden has held are also a national security risk?

HIMES: Of course I do, Poppy. Again, remember, and people need to understand this, if something is classified at whatever level and there are lots of different levels, if something is classified, it is classified because the emergence of that information could damage national security. So, of course, the answer to that question is, yes.

Now, people need to understand that. They also need to look at the responses here. Now, remember, when the Trump documents were found, my Republican colleagues were drawing all sorts of distinctions between, well, was it really classified or is it an administrative matter? And, by the way, what about this attack on his home? Well, the FBI, they didn't have to actually get a search warrant because the Biden people let them into his spaces.


But, you know, this has been a case in which the FBI has treated both the current president.