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House Adjourns Without Electing A Speaker; Should The Next Speaker Come From Outside The House?; Biden Says Chaos In The House Floor Is 'Embarrassing'; Suspect Bryan Kohberger Arrives In Ohio; Severe Weather Hits California. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired January 04, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the House voted in a nighttime session tonight to adjourn until noon eastern tomorrow. Still don't know why 9:00 a.m. wasn't a possibility if you are now in day three of trying to get a speaker, but that's fine.
We're going to into a second -- a third day tomorrow about this very issue. Of course, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, he has been enduring a series of stinging defeats, now losing a total of six rounds of voting in his attempt to become speaker of the House.
He is saying tonight that there -- that while there's no deal yet -- emphasis on yet -- he says there's a lot of progress that has been made in talks with some of the holdouts to end the ongoing impasse. This possibly now paves the way for him to become the speaker.
But, of course, it seems to be far from certain knowing that there seems to be at least 20 who have not budged in many a vote at this point. Now, some of his most strident opponents are vowing again tonight that they are going to block his bid.
I want to go right now to CNN's Melanie Zanona who's on Capitol Hill tonight. Melanie, where did these negotiations stand tonight? Is McCarthy right to be optimistic?
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: I would say he's inching a little bit closer to the speakership, but negotiations are very much still ongoing. However, we did see some signs that the talks from earlier tonight are progressing, and that is that Kevin McCarthy has made an offer to some of the critics. This is something that came after he was huddled in his office with some of the holdouts, some of his allies were there. It's unclear whether that's going to be enough to get him the votes.
Sources were telling me that perhaps it could move maybe 10 votes or so, which would not be enough to get him to 218. But it is a sign that Kevin McCarthy is ready to give concessions, that he is prepared to do everything it takes in these final moments to try to get him the speakership.
COATES: What are those concessions? We had a whole list before. You're adding to it tonight?
ZANONA: Yeah. So, there's three main things that we're hearing tonight that were offered in this concession. The first big one is that Kevin McCarthy has agreed to empower any single member to call for a vote on ousting the sitting speaker. That's something called the motion to vacate the speaker's chair.
It's something that Kevin McCarthy initially said he was not going to budge on. It's something that back in the day, years ago, any member used to be able to call for that vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi changed the rules.
And the House conference rules that were decided on in November amongst just Republicans decided to just do a simple majority of their conference.
Then McCarthy came down to five members in the negotiations. And now, he's back down to one, which is what conservatives wanted from the beginning. So, he's completely caved on that.
The second thing we're hearing is that he has agreed to add more members of the Freedom Caucus to the House Rules Committee. That is a powerful committee. It dictates how bills come to the floor and whether they come to the floor. That is something, again, conservatives have been pushing for.
And then the other thing that we're hearing is that McCarthy made a couple promises to bring bills to the floor and have votes on those.
So, again, you know, negotiations are still ongoing. I caught up with Scott Perry, one of the members who has been part of the discussions. He declined to say how he feels about the offer, but he did say that they're going to continue. He's going back to his office right now to continue the sessions.
So, we'll see if it's enough to get him to 2018.
It's unlikely that that alone is going to get him there. But it can shrink the opposition. It could get at least close the gap a little bit. And for McCarthy's allies, right now, they really do want to show some momentum. They're moving in the right direction, not the wrong direction.
And so, if there is another speaker vote tomorrow, when they adjourn at noon, they want to be able to show that they have made some progress even if they're not at 218 just yet, Laura.
COATES: Melanie Zanona, great reporting. Thank you so much. A lot to talk about now with CNN political analyst Alex Burns, an associate editor and columnist at "Politico," Jonathan Martin is a senior political columnist at "Politico," and former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh.
First of all, the screen that shows the concessions, the font is getting smaller and smaller, maybe I'm getting older by the second, because you're adding to the bottom list and thinking about this, just thinking about immediately on this point, the idea here that they're going to have a threshold of one, this is quite (INAUDIBLE).
I mean, if he can't get to this number, Kevin McCarthy, at this point -- excuse me -- without having to try to secure and get all the 218 votes, the fact that one person could move for a motion to vacate, that's very significant.
JOE WALSH, PODCAST HOST, FORMER ILLINOIS REPRESENTATIVE: I actually don't think there's much difference between one and five moving to vacate. Laura, this is about -- look, Kevin McCarthy wants to be speaker more than anything else in the whole wide world. That's all he's wanted. That's all he's wanted for a long, long time. so, it's a battle between his ambition and a number of members who just can't stand and don't trust him. And I don't know how that battle is going to play out.
COATES: I mean, is this the job he thinks he wants still? I'm not going to put my mind in his mind and think about it, but this does not bode well for what is ahead.
COATES: I mean, he's got a lot of work to do, Congress in general. Remember, speaker, former Speaker Pelosi actually was tweeting tonight about the work to be done, and she called out Republicans on this speaker vote. This reads, all who serve in the House share responsibility to bring dignity to this body. Sadly, Republicans' cavalier attitude in electing a speaker is frivolous, disrespectful and unworthy of this institution. We must open the House and proceed with the people's work.
Jonathan, when you think about the people's work, there's a lot of work for whoever is going to be the speaker to try to herd cats.
JONATHAN MARTIN, SENIOR POLITICAL COLUMNIST, POLITICO: Yeah. I was talking to a member tonight, a Kevin McCarthy ally, who said, you know, even if we get through this and Kevin does find the votes, he said very candidly, he said, this is not the end, this is only the beginning.
And this was supposed to be the easy part, getting Kevin to be speaker. We haven't even talked about the more contentious issues relating to matters like funding the government, which they're going to have to do eventually later this year. Obviously raising the debt ceiling, which they're going to have to do even sooner than that. And even smaller things behind those two elements that are going to be daily or at least weekly challenges.
Because this is not a single part. This is basically two parties under the same roof. They have no shared identity at this point. And there's no leverage that Kevin McCarthy or whoever the speaker winds up being is going to have at his disposal to ensure that these folks fall in line when those very votes do come, right, as mentioned here down the road.
COATES: And falling in line, I mean, the big question that many people have is, what do you want? Right? What do they want? It's a question, frankly, that was asked of Senator Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema for the better part of four years about what do you want when you have this particular power.
But tonight, on Hannity, you had Congresswoman Lauren Boebert who was asked that very question, essentially, about being one of sort of holdouts. Here's what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: If by Friday, you and your group of 20 don't have a name with 30 votes, is it time for you to withdraw? And if not, why do you support a double standard? Last question.
REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): Kevin McCarthy does not have 218 votes. Kevin McCarthy will not be speaker.
HANNITY: And you have 20.
BOEBERT: I -- Kevin McCarthy does not have 218.
HANNITY: I asked you a very specific question. If by Friday, you don't have 30 --
BOEBERT: I will not, Sean. I will not withdraw. (INAUDIBLE). We are not petty of Kevin McCarthy. They were not self-serving. We simply were asking for commitments on what the American people want to see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: Alex, she says (INAUDIBLE), we're not (INAUDIBLE), we're not petty, but I mean, I do remember a letter to the architect of the Capitol calling McCarthy a squatter. I'm not saying it's petty. It might be accurate.
ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: In fairness, he was asking if he was a squatter.
COATES: Yeah, he was asking if he was a squatter.
BURNS: Just asking question. No, but seriously, obviously, this is intensely personal for some of these members, right? You mentioned Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
You know, I think we all remember very well months and months and months of Democrats all over the country saying, how can one man stand in the way of something that everybody else in the party wants? And the answer is he can do it just fine. If he has a decisive vote in the Senate, the way you eventually get him on board is you cave, you give him what he's asking for. So, what we're seeing tonight is Kevin McCarthy trying that approach, right? He is caving. He is giving up so many levers that make the speakership a powerful body. He is giving up the tools he has to make the House a functional chamber.
If at the end of that, he's not appreciably within striking distance of 218, and I don't mean picking up, you know, six votes, eight votes, 10 votes, I mean really in a place where you can see the distance from point A to point B, I think you really do have to ask yourself, what on earth could possibly bring the Lauren Boeberts of the world (ph)?
WALSH: Lauren, to Jonathan's point, the great irony of all of this is, it really doesn't matter which Republican speaker.
WALSH: The next two years are going to be mega chaos in that House, in that body. They're going to investigate Hunter Biden, they're going to haul Dr. Fauci in front of the committee, no matter who the speaker is, and the speaker can't stop that, because that's where this body is right now.
COATES: So, even without all the concessions, you're saying that there is a level of political impotence for the speaker?
WALSH: Yes, and this party is animated now. The base of the Republican Party is radicalized. The House caucus reflects that. They want Hunter Biden. They want all these things done. No speaker would stop that.
COATES: So, that's why maybe Congressman Jim Jordan is like, my focus is singular, on the investigation. It is not at all on this thing you call speakership.
MARTIN: It's one of the great subthemes. You know, a chamber full of really ambitious former class presidents. You don't see many of them stepping up to try to take this job. You asked Byron Donalds today how he accepted his moment.
But there's no effort among people who you would think -- the Patrick, McHenry or the Steve Scalise, the Elise Stefanick, people who are seen by their colleagues as potential leadership material, you know, you don't see them plotting to sort of make a move, or if they do, they're being so delicate in plotting about it, sort of hoping that Kevin can fall first.
I think the reason for that, congressman, is because it is not a job worth having, at least in the next couple of years.
BURNS: And to Jonathan's point at the start, right, this clearly isn't the end of a fight, it's clearly the beginning of a fight, even McCarthy does get through. All these ambitious folks who are one wrong or two or three wrongs down in leadership, they know as well as the rest of us, everybody talking around town, that the person who winds up a speaker on the first day of this Congress does not necessarily have the best odds of being the speaker on the last day of this Congress, right? And that's sure than ever with the concessions McCarthy has made tonight.
COATES: So, I guess in D.C., you got the donkey, the elephant, and the scapegoat. There you go. Well, there's another potential wrinkle in all of this, everyone. The speaker doesn't have to be a member of the House. And my next guest says, look, the speaker actually should come from outside of the house.
COATES: It's already been two days of historic chaos on Capitol Hill, leaving Kevin McCarthy, who has his aspirations to be the speaker in limbo. It's frankly unclear whether he'll have the votes when the House returns tomorrow at noon. My next guest says that the House should be looking not within their own ranks, but outside their ranks for the next speaker.
Joining me now, former defense secretary, William Cohen. Secretary, thank you for joining me tonight. I read your really interesting opinion piece for "The New York Times," where, frankly, you remind the nation or maybe inform for the first time for some, that the Constitution doesn't actually require that a speaker of the house has to be a sitting member of the House of Representatives. It does provide for the election in the Constitution, but not that the member is a current member.
Who do you think should be looked at? And why look outside of the ranks of Congress?
WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: I think we look outside under very extraordinary circumstances where you have a party that is so split, where you have a minority of the majority in the Republicans dominating and dictating the terms under which they will support speaker.
So, I think the founders of this country, they had very strong apprehensions about so-called political factions or political parties. They thought that the parties would be the end and the (ph) undoing of our democratic system.
That seems to be what's playing out under the full view of the American people right now where some of the non-supporters of Kevin McCarthy are saying, we want to do what the people sent us here to do. Well, the American people didn't send these new members to Congress to simply stultify, nullify and block legislation coming in the future.
They sent -- I think they rejected the extremism that we have seen take over our politics and they said, we want more moderation, we want people to be able to govern, we want to see them produce things for the majority of the American people.
So, I suggest along with Elton Fry (ph), an old friend of mine and real academic and someone I have enormous respect for, he and I talked about it. He said, why don't we suggest someone who is a Republican who could be respected or would be respected by the other Republicans, a retiring member, a former governor, John Kasich, a member of the Congress and governor of Ohio, et cetera?
A number of people who could qualify just to bring some calm, so that you would have an ability to bring a consensus within the Republican Party so they could do things on behalf of the American people.
So, it's unusual. We recommend it only for the next two years, and then you get the next election and you would have a different scenario. But the times are piled high with difficulties. As Lincoln said, we have to think anew and act anew. If we do that, we will save the country.
COATES: Secretary, just the idea of the names being floated or thinking about it, it wasn't that long ago that people were incredulous at the notion of floating the name of Donald Trump, for example. Somebody -- it can be from somebody outside of the House. Obviously, there is always, depending on your perspective, the risk or the reward of having someone from the outside.
But what I find really fascinating about it, thinking about the founders and the framers you speak about, today, we think of the speaker as maybe the ultimate partisan. But you suggest that that's really not the vision and that actually is a disservice to the functioning of Congress.
So, if this were somebody who were from the outside, do you think that would be able to solve that crisis of partisan divide?
COHEN: I think it could. And it's -- again, a temporary fix for the situation we find ourselves in. This is all predictable. If you had a vote -- in republican conference, they voted for McCarthy. And now, they're trying to turn him, if they're going to even elect him, into a figure for the past Charlie McCarthy, a warden figure that was being programed by the powers that are really controlling the Congress.
The people who are controlling the Congress are those super PACs who are dictating the terms to the opponents of McCarthy to say, we cannot speak, so we will have more of an opportunity to control legislation or obstruct legislation.
So, you know, I don't know what to say. I have mixed emotions. I hate to see what's taking place in the House. I think the Republicans had an opportunity to show they were able to govern. And I think this is just a shape of things to come. We are going to see this play over and over and over again in the next two years. So, you worry about the debt ceiling, what is the agenda of the Republicans now? Is it to reduce social security, Medicare? Is it to oppose the debt ceiling increase? What's the agenda? And they simply talk, oh, we've got to get the country on track. And the question is, to do what?
I don't think they have any program other than, we're going to do anything we can to embarrass President Biden, his son. Simply obstruct movement toward a more unified, a more perfect form of government. I don't think they have that at heart at all. So, that's distressing to someone. I spent a quarter century of my life there. It is difficult for me to see what's taking place.
COATES: As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The electorate is watching the opportunity for Republicans to now be in the majority. I mean, other names that were floated as well, you talk about governor -- former Governor Kasich. But also, Congressman (INAUDIBLE) is retiring. You mentioned departing Maryland governor, Larry Hogan.
I have to say, I mean, if we're looking at all the issues you've laid out, there are significant political hurdles ahead for whoever is the speaker. Not the most attractive position to sign up for, even from the outside.
COHEN: No. It's going to be difficult for any person that they nominate and elect, I think, the next two years of this country. We're seeing actually a second wave of the insurrection. Most of those in the 20, the gang of 20, were actually election deniers. They were the ones who fought the space lasers and the other exotic activity taking place as really space lasers were altering the vote. They're worried about Asian paper being doctored, so only vote for Biden, not the other.
I mean, it's just crazy. But being crazy now is getting into the center of the party. And those people are going to be dictating the terms. That's why they're going to weaken McCarthy. Whoever they pick will have very weak powers. That means they will have more, not to do things in a positive way, but to obstruct and to frustrate the will of the American people.
So, let's have less extremism. We need more moderation. We need more -- you had Frank on before. We need more decency, more civility, more willingness to work across the aisle to say, why are we here? Are we here to benefit the American people or simply here to promote ourselves and feed our egos? And that's what's distressing about it.
I think it's the shape of things to come, and I think we're in for a rough two years. And beyond that, hopefully, the American people will see that we need to get back to the basics of governance, of integrity, of principle, and of treating each other with some dignity as fellow human beings.
COATES: Secretary Cohen, so well said, thank you so much. COHEN: Pleasure to be with you, Laura. Thank you very much.
COATES: Everyone, the split screen really tells the story. A display of bipartisanship from President Biden. Yes, that is Senator Mitch McConnell behind him as well as others. At exactly the same time that the House was displaying its own dysfunction over the speaker vote.
COATES: President Joe Biden speaking out today about the display of dysfunction on Capitol Hill. And no surprise, the president, a champion of bipartisanship, is not really all that impressed with what he's been seeing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's embarrassing for the country. I mean, literally. It's just the reality. You know, to have a Congress that can't function is just embarrassing. We're the greatest nation in the world. How can that be?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: How can that be? Here with me to try to answer that question, CNN chief White House correspondent Phil Mattingly, and Jonathan Martin is back along with CNN political analyst and historian at Princeton University, Julian Zelizer, author of the new book, "Myth America." A great read, by the way, thinking about it.
We're going to go right to you, Phil, on this because how can this be? I mean, it's not really a rhetorical question. There is a history as to why this is the case.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Longstanding history. It developed over years. I think anybody who's just tuning in right now and thinking that this is something that just transpired over the course of the last several weeks or even since the Trump years to some degree is missing a huge amount of context and to why this actually happening right now.
You go back to 2011 and all the fights we saw back then on the debt ceiling, government shutdowns, kind of all driving to this point. It is why John Boehner is no longest speaker of the House. It's why Paul Ryan is no longer speaker of the House. It's why Kevin McCarthy failed in his first effort to be speaker of the House.
And what's different now from then is that the core group of kind of -- you put them insurgents or radicals, however you want to frame them, I don't necessarily mean in pejorative sense, they have grown, they have more power. Leadership has gotten weaker.
And step by step by step as leadership in the party, in the House conference has gotten weaker, they have kind of moved their way into this position where their weakness is exacerbated every single day. We are watching it play out in the most humiliating fashions. And those who once considered just a small group trying to find some semblance of power now very much control the conference to some degree.
COATES: You're a resident historian, Professor Julian Salazar, at that point, the context that he just provided, we have seen this before in the sense, right, the idea of what it takes.
There was a different majority margin before. There are now concessions, even more tonight. We've been showing on the screen the concessions that have already been agreed to, tentatively. The font is getting smaller and smaller because there's more and more coming at this point.
That was the initial one. Now, there's the rest of them that come out, everyone. But these concessions really are important to think about. And historically, what does it tell you about the role of leadership and the trajectory where this is all going?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, it's a twofold problem. One is the issue of the Republican Party and the caucus which is just difficult to govern. It's a change that has been happening since Newt Gingrich in the 1980s, the party keeps shifting to the right, and the guardrails keep falling away in terms of what the party is willing to do.
That said, you then weaken the institutional power of the speaker and you're going to make it much more hard to govern over this ungovernable caucus. And it can have long term precedent. We've had periods where the speakership is weakened and it will take decades to kind of put together some of that power again. So, it's a combo that can be pretty powerful in the coming years and making the House a difficult place to work.
COATES: By the way, when you weaken that, it doesn't just impact the party that isn't the majority, right? This might have an impact on a Democrat speaker in the future, right?
ZELIZER: Yeah, there will be a Democratic speaker if these rules go into effect. They will probably have a party that's easier to manage, but they won't have the same kind of levers of power, and that makes it much harder when you don't have centralized authority to keep everyone in order.
MARTIN: I think in the recent past, congressional leaders had sticks and they had carrots, and they can use either effectively. Right? You had some control over fundraising. That was essential. That was the life blood for these, their capacity to raise money to win election and re-election. You also have the ability to dole out favors, whether it was earmarks or help with something in their district or state parochial interests.
Guess what? Nowadays, the people in Congress don't need to rely on leaders for money because they can go on social media or TV and create their own identities and personalities, and raise all their money online. So, they don't need the fundraising help. Secondly, bringing home the bacon for a lot of these folks on the far- right is sacrilegious. They don't want earmarks back home. They want to run against Washington and run against all the pork barreling happening in Washington.
So, you take away those two traditional elements that leaders have used as their sot of levers of power and you deprive leaders of their ability to keep folks in line, and we're left with the chaos of today.
COATES: Phil, bring us the idea of some of those earmarks and the impact of that funding.
Right now, in stark contrast, you see the president of the United States and Senator Mitch McConnell, you know, not the best of friends, we'll just say, political speaking or otherwise, but today, they're shaking hands, they're down in Kentucky talking about infrastructure and the bridge development and the $40 billion that was earmarked to aid in those endeavors. And it does stand in stark contrast.
If you are the president and the Senate for that reason, how is this being viewed, what's happening on Capitol Hill and the House floor?
MATTINGLING: It's unsettling. I don't this there is any question about that. I think what's most interesting, President Biden is really taking pains not to insert himself into this process whatsoever.
And yet, he was quite candid throughout the course of the day, speaking to the reporters on multiple times on his own volition, calling it embarrassing, taking kind of a wider lens view of things in the sense of this is undercutting the progress I think we've made over the course of the last several months in showing that the U.S. government can actually work, that we can actually deliver.
And the people in foreign countries that are watching the United States go through this kind of very unsettled period of the last several years, perhaps they can feel more comfortable about the direction of things.
The interesting kind of contrast, look, this was set up, this event today was set up as a figurative split screen, Tuesday to Wednesday. It became a very little one because they could not get a speaker of the House. We've talked to White House officials. They are thrilled with the image of that split screen.
And yet, the president less so, because he knows what this means in the near term, whether it's funding the government, whether it's raising the debt ceiling, and longer term, what this means for the institution.
One official told me today, the president is an institutionalist at his core, 36 years in the Senate, believes deeply about institutions. You can't be an institutionalist and find any of this entertaining. The chaos is bad. I think that's his view here, despite the fact that politically, it's probably advantageous for him. COATES: Have we been here before?
ZELIZER: Yeah, we've been here before for many years, I mean, you don't even have to go back 100 years. You can just go back to 2011 when the Tea Party came to town and threatened not to raise the debt ceiling to get concessions from President Obama. That can have, you know, huge financial fallout. It showed procedures were malleable.
Senator McConnell who, yes, today had that split screen, he has also played with very fundamental processes for partisan purposes, including leaving the Garland seat vacant.
And so, I think we've seen the party leadership keep opening the doors to this kind of politics. So, I don't have to look back 100 years. I just look back at where the party has grown and where the leaders have been, and that's exactly what's all coming together.
MARTIN: And look at that picture today in Kentucky. Rob Portman who's leaving office right now, his last term, Mitch McConnell probably in his last term, Mike DeWine almost certainly in his last term as governor of Ohio. These are people on the back nine of their career.
Who is not there? Rand Paul. Rand Paul also from Kentucky is not at that event today for good reason because he's not the kind of person who's going to show up for a big pork barrel event.
MATTINGLY: Or J.D. Vance.
COATES: I wasn't there either. None of us were there. But your point is well taken about what's going on.
MARTIN: You want me to talk to somebody about your flight?
COATES: I do not.
MARTIN: I know people over there.
COATES: But I am going to Kentucky soon. Listen, I will not disparage any state. Thank you very much. I'm a fan of all 50 of them. Thank you so much, everyone. Thank you for being here. This is a good book, "Myth America."
Everyone, suspect in the University of Idaho killings now returned to the state where the crime happened. So, what's next, especially when police haven't revealed a motive. We'll discuss it, next.
COATES: Bryan Kohberger, the suspect arrested in the killings of four University of Idaho students, landing in Idaho earlier this evening. This after he waived extradition in a Pennsylvania court just yesterday. Upon landing in Idaho, he was escorted to the Latah County jail.
I want to bring in CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller, CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson, and criminologist and behavioral analyst Casey Jordan. Thank you all for being here this evening.
There are still so many questions that we're waiting to have answered. John, let me begin with you here. What do we know about any motive? What do we know about how they were able to apprehend and find this suspect? Is it anything been revealed?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, we're about to know, Laura, because with his presentation in Utah before a court, they'll be able to unseal the document that gave them probable cause.
But I think yesterday, before the judge put the gag order on everybody involved in this case, the defense, the prosecution, the police, authorities in Pennsylvania, gave us a very interesting story, and I think just about everybody missed it.
The first assistant district attorney, Mike Mancuso, in a press conference yesterday said that he will be working with authorities in Idaho, but he wants to go back through Bryan Kohberger's life.
He said, we want to look at any evidence of possible motive, we want to look at any evidence of a pattern, a modus operandi or a method, we want to get into the subject's character and mental state as best we can both before the murders, during the years he was in Pennsylvania, and after the murders, which was the two weeks before he was arrested when he was back in Pennsylvania.
What he's telling us is they are going to go back through Kohberger's time in Pennsylvania, they're going to look at unsolved cases, any double murder where people were stabbed in a house where they have no solution, whether there were any stalking incidents when he was at DeSales University or working as a security guard in that community college.
What they are saying is pretty much what FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole told me yesterday, which is, an individual who is mission- oriented, who goes into a house, murders four people, at least two of whom fought back with a fixed blade knife, and then escaped into the darkness, is probably not in his first act of violence.
MILLER: So, I think what Pennsylvania prosecutors were saying is, they're going to go back through his life and see if they missed anything there, which I thought was really very interesting.
COATES: It is. It is to think about that. I want to bring in Joey into this as well because, I mean, what John --
MILLER: Until we see that document, though, where they lay out their probable cause. Of course, you know, we've got to go with the system, which is he's innocent until proven guilty.
MILLER: That will also be the first time he sees what is in that document and what they say they have on him.
COATES: And Joey, to that point, and again, I mean, I was a prosecutor, I know the burden is always going to be on the government to prove and try to overcome that presumption of innocence.
But just thinking about where we are procedurally right now, Joey, you are an extraordinary defense attorney, I'm wondering if you are getting in the mindset of what it would be like if this were your client. He is not. But if it were, what are the things you're looking at and what are you expecting to see tomorrow in a case like this?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, quite a bit, Laura. I think that you want to look at the probable cause affidavit because that's where it begins, right? Remember what that document is. That's the document which gives the indication of how we're justified, we being the police, not me the police, to arrest him.
So, what's there? Is there DNA? If there's DNA, you're going to determine what is the connection of that DNA. Where was it and how did it get there? That's something the defense will certainly have to overcome. In the event his DNA is there, what, if any, innocent explanation is for that?
Number two, this Elantra. We've heard a lot of speaking, Laura, about the Elantra and the tracking of it. What was the basis for it being there? Is there an innocent explanation as to it being there? Number three, are there any surveillance that would have him, the defendant in this case, in or around that general area? Was he tracking them?
Number four, is there any particular alibi that he has that can demonstrate that he did not do this? Number five, were there any witnesses that could establish him there?
There's so much that goes into this, not the least of which whether or not this is going to be a death penalty prosecution. We don't know that it is. But I think those are the things that are going to be very significant as the case unfolds and he goes to court, answers his plea of not guilty, et cetera, and the matter begins. Certainly, he'll be held without bail.
COATES: For that, number six, Joey Jackson knows his stuff and what to do in this matter. Casey Jordan, let me bring you into this as well because as John was speaking about, I mean, the phrase that comes to mind in just his discussion was serial offender, serial killer.
Now, again, this is somebody, as everybody does deserve, the presumption of innocence. We are not here to try to opine in a way that condemns and excuses that burden of proof that's required. But I'm wondering from your background, particularly as a criminologist, as a behavioral analyst, how are you seeing this case?
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST AND BEHAVIORAL ANALYST: Oh, I agree with John and with almost all the criminologists and investigative profilers who weighed since the beginning. I kind of went out on a limb at the very beginning because I never believed that this was targeted by someone who knew the victims. We always knew that the person who did this was highly organized. Maybe we underestimated the extent of his intelligence.
Again, I was not surprised to find out that he was a criminology major, just kind of disheartened by all of that. The bottom line is that even though technically, by the numbers, this would be a mass murder, four more victims killed in one particular location at one time, but the psychology has always been that of a serial killer.
And, you know, we will find out more to determine whether or not he would be a mission-oriented killer. I see far more signs of sexual motivation. Just because there was not sexual assault doesn't mean the motivation wasn't sexual.
And again, I'll be surprised to find out if he did indeed know these people. I see a lot more power control in this particular attack. I think that it was definitely planned. He cased the joint. He may have hidden inside of the apartment, waited for them to come home.
But John is correct and the Pennsylvania authorities are correct. When you have this kind of really outlier, aberrant behavior, you are going to look for any similar crimes that might fit that modus operandi and see if he links to them. It may be the first time, this could be the advent, but it's entirely possible he has done this before.
And they are going to look at all unsolved crimes that are similar to see if it's possible. He could be responsible for those as well.
COATES: There's so much more to learn. We'll learn more tomorrow. Thank you all. We'll be right back.
JORDAN: Good to be here.
COATES: Hurricane-force wind gusts are hammering parts of the central California coast tonight. Part of the bomb cyclone that's bringing with it, heavy rain and wind gusts. CNN's Stephanie Elam has more from San Francisco, where the storm is bearing down tonight. Stephanie, what are you seeing?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are now starting to see the bulk of the storm making its way on shore with the heaviest rains. And also, those hurricane-force winds are now starting to impact the San Francisco bay area.
Take a look here in San Francisco behind me. You can see just how (INAUDIBLE) here tonight. And this is why officials are so concerned. They're saying that they're seeing these hurricane-force winds in some parts of the bay area, up to 85 miles per hour, down in the south bay. That's really strong winds in places that normally don't see this.
They're also worried about flooding. They're worried about mudslides as well. In fact, there are some mandatory evacuation orders in parts of the bay area because of the threat, because the soil is already so saturated.
And a lot of that has to do with the series of storms that we're seeing since New Year's Eve. The ground is so saturated in the middle of this multi-year drought that I guess is not used to having that much water. It can't accommodate anymore. So that's why it's flowing off and now we're seeing this flooding that is occurring.
Officials are telling people to stay in place if they can because of these dangerous roads. You can't tell how fast it may be moving underneath. They're asking people to be very vigilant of these next few hours, leading into Thursday, as it's going to be a very difficult for a lot of people out here tonight, where there's some more flooding in their areas. As you can see, this rain not relenting right now, Laura.
COATES: Stephanie, stay safe and thank you. And thank you all for watching. Our coverage continues.