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Pence Ordered To Testify About Conversations With Trump About January 6; Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) On Top Fed Officials Ripping Silicon Valley Bank Executives At Hearing; Adnan Syed's Murder Conviction Reinstated Months After Release. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired March 29, 2023 - 07:30   ET



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Trump's attorney went and testified in a separate investigation -- the docs case -- last week without attorney- client privilege. Mark Meadows has to go testify in this January 6 case without executive privilege. The idea that all these people around Trump are now being ordered to go and testify without these protections that typically some of them would have about their private conversations with him -- remarkable.

JAMIL JAFFER, FORMER ASSOCIATE COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY INSTITUTE AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: Well, that's exactly -- that's exactly right, Kaitlan. And look, these folks have a lot of information on what the president knew in the lead-up to January 6, on the day of. And so I do think that some of this testimony could be very damning to the president who clearly had a sense of what might take place that day.

You know, we heard that testimony during the January 6 hearings about the president and what he said about the folks around the mall and whether they had weapons or not, and that they weren't there to -- they weren't there to harm him, and then he directs them to the Capitol.

There's a lot going on here that the special counsel could get into once he has access to testimony from folks like the ones you mentioned, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes, it could be critical.

Jamil Jaffer, thank you for your perspective this morning.

JAFFER: Thanks for having me.


COLLINS: All right. Also, federal regulators slamming the executives of the two failed banks, even suggesting they may claw back bonuses those executives got. We're going to ask Republican Sen. Mike Rounds. He was there at that hearing. That's next.

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MICHAEL BARR, VICE CHAIR, FEDERAL RESERVE: This is a textbook case of bank mismanagement. The risk the bank faced -- interest rate risk, and liquidity risk -- those are bread and butter banking issues. The firm was quite aware of those issues. They were quite vulnerable to risk, to shocks, and they didn't take the actions necessary.


COLLINS: The Federal Reserve's top banking regulator with some tough words for Silicon Valley Bank's management. Of course, SVB's downfall sent waves of panic through the financial system earlier this month. Regional banks still dealing with the fallout from that.

Now lawmakers investigating -- are investigating what led to the second- and third-largest bank collapses in U.S. history. Why no one said it's coming or why no one did anything about it.

Joining us now is a member of the Senate Banking Committee, Republican Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota, who was in that room. Thank you so much, Senator.

And this morning let's start with do you feel like you got a sufficient answer from these supervisors? And do you think that ultimately this will result in raising that $250,000 insurance cap?

SEN. MIKE ROUNDS (R-SD): Yes. I think the regulators yesterday -- I think they've begun to provide the information that they need. It's -- we're not done yet. There's at least three separate investigations that we'll be looking at.

They went a little bit farther than what I had expected them to yesterday with regard to sharing just how serious the mistakes were that SVB made. I wasn't sure they were going to go that far. They did make it clear that there is more work to be done.

They also made it clear that there were clear warning signs and that the regulators had notified the bank and that they were expecting an immediate response. What he didn't give us was what that response was or how quickly it was sent back out.

So those are the things that we're going to be learning more about in the next six weeks.

This was really a hearing to set up and to make sure that they understood that there was a lot more information that we were expecting them to be able to deliver.

The other piece that did not come out as well, I think, is the regulators themselves are really kind of under scrutiny. Were they using the tools that were available to them? I think they wanted to start out with their best foot forward and say look, we're really working on it. But in this case I think those are some of the questions we're going to be asking.


ROUNDS: Were they on top of it? Did they use the tools that were available to them?

COLLINS: I noticed that was one of the big things you pressed on was the timeline of how long they have to respond to warnings like that.

I have a -- do wonder though if you have a concern that this kind of creates a nationalized banking system to a degree if you are allowing officials to have regulators pay these depositors out even if they're uninsured, which typically would not be the case.

ROUNDS: Yes. I think there's two questions to it.

First of all, did they do the right thing to protect the depositors immediately over the first couple of weeks? And I think they did. I think that helped to slow down the fear that some depositors had that a smaller bank would be at risk.

With the creation of Dodd-Frank we've really already created a tiered system in which you have some banks that are too big to fail -- the biggest banks -- and that by -- almost by default would suggest that if you've got your money in one of those banks that's too big to fail that then you don't have to worry about how large your deposit is. Whereas, if you're in a medium or a small bank, are they protected? Would the federal government step in?

So there is a really good question moving forward that we don't have the right answer for yet, and that is how do we take out that marketing capability that the big banks have for that advantage that Dodd-Frank provides to them being too big to fail. Part of that could be an increase in the size of the deposit protection program and -- but with that comes a question of who pays for that cost? Who should pick up the major cost of insuring that --


ROUNDS: -- or paying the bill? And that's a -- that I think is something that we want to do after we get all the facts in. Then we can sit down and we can actually talk about long-term, what is the best way to approach it so that we don't have that disadvantage for small and medium-sized banks.

COLLINS: Senator, after the shooting in Nashville, President Biden called on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban again. Do you think that there should be action here in the wake of that shooting?

ROUNDS: I -- look, I put myself in a position where I look at those families and I see these things, and I look at my colleagues up here and there isn't anybody here that if they could find the right approach wouldn't try to do something because they feel that pain. And yet, when we start talking about bans or challenging the Second Amendment I think the things that have already been done have gone about as far as we're going to with gun control. I do think there are some things that can be done and let me just give

you one example. It's one that we already started working on. We've already introduced legislation.


We've got about $500 million that we think over a five-year period of time -- that's already been allocated for putting in solar panels at schools. Could we reallocate that back over a five-year period of time and provide grants back to the states and allow them to go back in and help individual school districts to actually protect those schools? Make them more difficult to get into.

Yesterday, one of the things we found out was that in the manifesto that this individual had published they actually looked at other locations and decided this was the least safe location and they walked away from some of the others.

Maybe -- as we take small steps but more steps to take care of our kids and to prevent these kinds of things, maybe the next step should be how do we protect those most vulnerable in our society at a place where they should absolutely be safe.

COLLINS: It's pretty stark to hear you say that you don't think there's anything else legislatively that Congress can do when it comes to guns.

You voted against the gun safety legislation that was passed and signed into law last year. Some of your Republican colleagues voted against -- or voted for it. Do you still stand by that vote, Senator?



ROUNDS: Look, in this case, it's a matter of implementation. And when we start talking about implementing let's find out exactly what does happen with regard to mental health and do you have the appropriate safeguards to protect individuals who are being accused of not having -- or not being able to get a weapon. Let's work our way through those. That -- or that particular piece of legislation has not even been implemented yet to the full extent.

But I'm not prepared to start talking about implementing more stuff when we know right now that we could be making our schools safer than what they are today if they had the resources to do so. And we know based on yesterday's activities that this particular shooter went out of their way to try to go to one where there was less protection than at other locations.

COLLINS: Well, the shooter also purchased these guns legally, we are told. The shooter had an emotional disorder according to the shooter's family yet they were still able to get access to these guns.

Do you think Tennessee needs a red flag law? Is that clear that would have helped here? ROUNDS: Look, I think there's a little bit more involved in this and I'll just give you an example. I remember years ago when I was governor in South Dakota there was actually the move on the part of the federal government at that time to try to look individually at veterans coming home who were asking for emotional or help working their way back out of a warzone back into -- you know, to life back home.

And they actually were trying to look at the medical records to determine whether or not they should be put on a list that would have prohibited them from actually getting a gun. These are the folks who were trying to get help.

So when we start talking about whether or not we should prohibit someone from being able to exercise a Second Amendment right because they've asked for help I think we're starting to move down the wrong direction. And this is the fine line that -- I don't think anybody wants to see that happen where you want people that are emotionally disturbed to be able to try and get help but you -- and you don't necessarily want to just simply say that because you're getting help you should be limited.

And those are the types of things that I think make a lot of us think whether or not you want to put a red flag law in as opposed to what I would call a yellow flag, which is where you can actually go get help but you don't have the case necessarily of having your rights being prohibited or taken away at that time. I think that's when we start to get to a point where you're really going to have a problem getting something like that through Congress.

COLLINS: I think there's a lot of debate on that.

But one last question before you go. The former president opened up his rally in Waco, Texas on Saturday with a choir of people who have been in prison for their actions on January 6 singing. Do you think that was a mistake on his part?

ROUNDS: No, I didn't see it. I saw excerpts of it. If it highlights January 6 and what happened on January 6, that was a bad day for America. It was --

COLLINS: It does highlight it, Senator.

ROUNDS: Yes, and that was a -- that was a bad day for America. It was -- I was there. I saw it. What happened on that day we never want to see happen again.

And so, my opinion, if they're trying to identify that as being an appropriate response they're wrong. And I personally think that it was the closest thing to an insurrection that we've seen in a long, long time. It was not an appropriate thing to have happen in our country and I don't want to see it happen again.

COLLINS: Senator Rounds, thank you for your time this morning on all of these very important issues. We really appreciate it.

ROUNDS: Thank you.

LEMON: Four months after his conviction was vacated the murder charge for Adnan Syed, the subject of the "Serial" podcast has been reinstated. We're unpacking this latest legal twist.



LEMON: A Maryland appeals court has reinstated the murder conviction of Adnan Syed in the case that was made famous by the podcast "Serial" in 1999. Syed's high school girlfriend Hae Min Lee was killed -- her body found buried at a Baltimore park. A year later Syed was found guilty of her murder and sentenced to life in prison.

In 2014, the "Serial" podcast uncovered new evidence. And in 2016, a judge granted Syed a new trial. Six years later in 2022, his conviction was overturned and Syed walked free.

Then yesterday, though -- this is the twist -- a court reinstated Syed's conviction because Hae Min Lee's family was not given adequate notice to participate in the hearing that resulted in Syed's release.


So we want to turn now to Hae Min Lee's attorney -- the family attorney, Steve Kelly. Steve, thank you so much. We appreciate you joining us here.

What do you -- what do you think of yesterday's ruling, and what does it say about the conduct of the state attorney's office?

STEVE KELLY, ATTORNEY FOR HAE MIN LEE'S FAMILY (via Webex by Cisco): We are very pleased with yesterday's ruling and more than -- more so than one person's conduct we think it really represents a step towards transparency and the rule of law that you can't have a trial by podcast or trial by publicity.

We are very proud of our criminal justice system in Maryland. We have issues like everybody else but we have a very solid judiciary.

And there's a process and the process wasn't followed here. What happened here was backroom secret hearings and things being sort of rammed through while a lot of cameras were watching.

COLLINS: Can you respond to what former state attorney Marilyn Mosby said because she, in a response, said, "This decision [actually] sets a dangerous precedent over a prosecutor's ability to reverse an injustice." She says, "We notified the families -- the victim's family in line with Maryland law and best practices, and they attended virtually and spoke." She said to now send this case back to court prolongs the pain not only for the Lee family, it also leaves a cloud hanging over a man who deserves to be free.

What's your response? KELLY: My response is that that's the whole problem. Ms. Mosby thinks that she is -- her judgment should be substituted for that of the Supreme Court of Maryland. This is a conviction that's 21 years old that's been affirmed by every single court at every single level. And Ms. Mosby was able to use a law, because she didn't like the conviction, to essentially reverse it. And that's not how things are done.

It's in everyone's interest, including Mr. Syed, to have all the evidence aired publicly. Let us know what it is that she contends exactly clouds this conviction. But to have a prosecutor substitute her judgment for that of a jury and of the entire Maryland judiciary -- it's just not appropriate.

LEMON: Marilyn Mosby said that she moved to have Syed's conviction overturned because of new DNA evidence found on the victim's shoes that didn't match Adnan Syed. Now, I understand that your clients are distraught, right, but shouldn't a burden of proof be on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Syed was guilty and not on Syed or on a podcast to prove that somebody else is responsible for the killing?

KELLY: The DNA is a red herring. All the DNA shows is that Mr. Syed's DNA wasn't on the shoes. But you know who else's DNA wasn't on the shoes? Hae Min Lee. Shoes are notoriously contaminated with all sorts of DNA from all sorts of different places. And the Maryland court addressed that issue dead-on when it said look, the absence of DNA does not exonerate someone, especially when you're talking about touch DNA -- touch DNA on shoes.

So the idea that the DNA evidence really says anything is really just not true. It's not true. It doesn't show -- all it shows is his DNA wasn't on there -- wasn't on the shoes. But there was no evidence presented at trial that he handled the shoes.

So the DNA -- and perhaps there is more to the story and that's why we want this hearing. Let the -- let the information be brought out in the -- in the public light in a transparent way so that we can all understand exactly what Ms. Mosby is talking about. It's not enough for her to say trust me, this is a bad conviction.

LEMON: And you want him to serve out his time, right?

KELLY: No, we don't. We want the truth. If Adnan Syed is not the guy then we want him out, absolutely. You know, the family is open-minded. They're good people. They're not vengeful and the last thing they would want is for him to serve a single day that he doesn't deserve to serve.

LEMON: All right.

Steve Kelly, we thank you for appearing. Best of luck to you. Thanks so much.

KELLY: Thank you for having me.

COLLINS: A real-life "Oceans Eleven?" Not quite, but we are going to tell you why an attempted casino heist in Colorado went bust.

LEMON: Singing Steve Miller Band's "Take the Money and Run."


LEMON: Singing "Take the Money and Run."



LEMON: So we need you to look at this dramatic new video this morning of the moments of a deadly fire -- when the deadly fire sparked a migrant detention center -- sparked at a migrant detention center. So it happened Monday in Juarez, Mexico near the El Paso border crossing.

And we want to warn you the footage is disturbing, so here it is. You can see the flames and smoke filling the detention area. In just seconds, migrants scrambling, scared for their lives as Mexican immigration officers walk away from the cells where many were still locked up.

Now, Mexico's president says that some migrants set the fire by igniting mattresses because they were being deported.

At least 40 people died in the fire and dozens of others are injured. The U.S. says it's now prepared to process them for emergency medical care.

COLLINS: Also this morning, a barge in Kentucky that was carrying toxic and highly-flammable methanol stuck in the Ohio River. It's also sinking. It is one of three runaway barges that is a the Pentweed (PH) dam in Louisville. Officials say the barges broke loose from a boat early yesterday after it hit something stationary. Not totally clear what that is yet.

So far, they say there's no evidence of any leaks and that crews are monitoring the water and air quality. But obviously, a cause of concern for that community.

LEMON: A woman in Hawk -- Black Hawk, Colorado facing theft charges now in what could be the largest casino heist in Colorado history. Cops arrested cashier Sabrina Eddy after they say surveillance video caught her taking half a million dollars in cash out of the vault.

Now, Eddy says somebody called her and said that they were head of operations at the casino and to bring the money to a lawyer at a specific address.