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CNN Tonight

Abbott Wants To Pardon A Convicted Murderer; Dominion $1.6 Billion Defamation Trial Against Fox News Will Start On Monday; Bill Maher And Guests Answer Viewers' Questions. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired April 14, 2023 - 23:00   ET



ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And in a Facebook message in May 2020, just months before the deadly shooting, Perry wrote he might have to "kill a few people on my way to work." Another text said, I might go to Dallas to shoot looters.

Perry's attorneys called the release of the documents a political move by prosecutors and said Foster also made posts advocating violence. In this 2020 post, Foster praised the burning of a Minneapolis police station. Perry's attorneys are calling for a new trial, saying they want to introduce evidence that Foster repeatedly instigated confrontations and was the -- quote -- "first aggressor."

When the murder happened on July 25th, 2020, Perry, now a 35-year-old army sergeant, worked as a rideshare driver and had just dropped off a passenger near a BLM protest. Prosecutors say Perry drove into the protest and instigated a confrontation.

Perry's attorneys say Foster, a 28-year-old Air Force veteran, motioned to Perry as protesters were beating on his car. Foster was legally carrying an assault-style weapon that night. Perry had a handgun in his car. At some point in the exchange, he fired multiple times, killing Foster. During the police interrogation, Perry gave several versions of the position of Foster's gun.

DANIEL PERRY, MURDERER: I believed it was aimed at me. I believe he was going to aim it at me. I didn't want to give him a chance to aim at me., you know?

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Perry also told police he did not try to kill Foster.

PERRY (voice-over): I honestly did not want him to die. All I wanted to do was incapacitate him.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): A Texas jury rejected his claims of self- defense.

(On camera): We reached out to Texas Governor Greg Abbott's office to find out if he was still pushing for a pardon of Daniel Perry given this new information that has come to life. His office responded with a simple one sentence statement which read, all pertinent information is for the Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider, as this is part of the review process required by the Texas constitution.

And what he's referencing there is that the governor has to wait for the recommendation from that board before he can issue a pardon. But right now, there is no timeline on exactly when that will happen. In fact, we should all remember that this trial isn't even over yet. The sentencing hearing hasn't even been scheduled. Alisyn?


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Ed, thank you. I'm joined now by Garrett Foster's longtime partner, Whitney Mitchell, and his mother, Sheila Foster. And Sheila is joined by her attorney, Quentin Broaden. Ladies, thank you so much for being here.

So, Sheila, let me start with you. When you found out that Governor Abbott wanted to pardon the man convicted of murdering your son, what was your reaction?

SHEILA FOSTER, MOTHER OF GARRETT FOSTER: Disbelief initially, and then nausea, and I've been sick for the past week.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. I mean, Whitney, you both waited so long for a conviction. You waited so long for a resolution to this. And then a day later to find out that the governor had plans to pardon this person, do you understand his thinking, the governor's thinking?

WHITNEY MITCHELL, GARRETT FOSTER'S FIANCEE: No, I can't understand his thinking. Um, I -- I don't understand how you can put, um, all of us through -- through this, and I really don't think he has actually looked into this case and has seen everything with the evidence, and I -- yeah, this is just -- it's just horrible and it's really hard to describe this entire -- I don't know -- this entire -- just going through all of this, honestly.

CAMEROTA: We can imagine. Sheila, now that all of these threatening social media posts have come out, that Daniel Perry had written, saying things like he might have to kill someone on his way to work and -- quote -- "shoot looters," do you think now that Governor Abbott will change his position?

FOSTER: I don't know what he has seen up to this point, and I don't know if he's looking at this stuff that has been released. Um, I would -- that would be my hope, that he would see all of that and say, there's no way we're going to put this guy on the street. He is clearly dangerous.

CAMEROTA: Whitney, have you read some of these social media posts?

MITCHELL: Yes, I have. Um, I've seen all of it. So, um, I felt sick to my stomach, and I still do.


And there's not really any way to process any of that. It's just -- it's beyond disgusting. Um, yeah. CAMEROTA: Yeah. Um, Whitney, you were next to Garrett, um, when he was shot and killed. You witnessed it. Was there any question as to who the aggressor was?

MITCHELL: It was Perry. Um, he drove into the crowd. He drove into the crowd and that -- that's what happened. Um -- and yeah, that -- that's what happened. Um, and yeah, I -- I'm sorry. It's just, um, all of this is hard to like, you know, it's just I've been reliving all of this and it's just hard going over -- over that night.

And it's just -- I've had so many people like gaslighting me about something that I saw with my own eyes. And I watched -- I watched Garrett die in front of me. And it's just absolutely insane that I have to argue and like -- and humanize Garrett when I was there. So, yeah.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. I'm so sorry that you have had to relive all of this. You know, it's hard enough going through a trial. And now, the fact that the outcome is now in question because of what Governor Abbott said the day after, and it's very unusual for the, you know, a convicted murderer not even to be sentenced for a governor to announce a pardon even before a sentence. That's just -- that -- we can't find another case of Governor Abbott doing that.

But Whitney, as I understand it, you and Garrett were together since you were 17 years old. And you --


CAMEROTA: -- and then -- and then when you got sick, you developed an infection. You lost your limbs. And he became your fulltime caregiver in addition to being the love of your life. And so, can you tell us about him?

MITCHELL: Um, like he was my best friend and, um, he was everything to me. And when I -- when I got sick, we'd had only been together for a year and we were like only 18 years old. And he watched me go through so much during that time. And he -- he stayed through all of it.

Um, he never left my side. And nothing changed. You know, when we got together and then, you know. And after this happened, like nothing changed between us like -- and I just -- I've I always felt like a teenager with him until the time that he died. Um, like it's just been a huge hole in my life.

And I haven't tried to figure out how to like live without him and be okay, which I don't know. There's not a way for -- there is not -- there is not any way to be okay with this. Um, it just -- this just destroyed everything. I struggle with it every day. So, um, yeah, I just -- I miss him so much. Um, yeah.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. He sounds really, really remarkable. And so, Whitney, what do you want to say to Governor Abbott? What do you want him to know? MITCHELL: Um, he has to know that this is -- that this is wrong. And after all this stuff that has come out like even -- you can't tell me that you look at all of that and think that it's okay to let him walk, um, because everything there pretty much tells you who he is as a person.

Um, and yeah, I can't understand why, you know, he's still okay with doing this. And even -- and he was found guilty even when that -- all of what we've like -- all of that's been out, wasn't like the jury hadn't seen it yet.

And so, I feel like that speaks volumes. You know, um, people hadn't seen everything. That's out right now. So, I just -- I feel like everything is right there to tell you what kind of person he is.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. You're saying that he was found guilty even without the jury seeing these, you know, vile social media posts.



CAMEROTA: And so, um, Sheila, so, what do you want to say to Governor Abbott tonight?

FOSTER: I just -- I would hope that he has the discernment and the wisdom to look over all of the trial evidence before he makes any decision. Um, I can't let -- I can't believe you said it. This is -- you've never heard of this happening because it never has.

This has never happened in the state of Texas where the governor goes to the Pardon and Parole Board and says, I want you to release this guy. It's always the board coming to the governor. And this is the first time this has ever happened.

And this is a guy who was found guilty by a jury, who sat in court for two weeks, and they deliberated for 10 hours the first day, and I believe close to eight hours the second day. And they completely wasted their time if this is -- if this is how we're going to do things now. Right? The judge, the jury, the prosecutors, and the defense attorneys, everybody. What was the point of the trial if the governor is going to come in and undo it all? It doesn't make any sense. I don't understand it.

CAMEROTA: Well, Sheila Foster, Whitney Mitchell, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for sharing the story, and we're going to stay on this story until whatever happens happens because we, too, are following it closely and want some more explanations from the governor. So, thank you both very much. We're thinking of you tonight.

FOSTER: Welcome. Thank you.

MITCHELL: Thank you. Good night.

CAMEROTA: Joining me now, we have our friend, legal eagle Joey Jackson, here, and senior reporter for "The Root" Jessica Washington. Defense Attorney Misty Marris is here and former Senate candidate Joe Pinion.

Um, Misty, he was convicted. Daniel Perry was convicted by a jury of his peers. Twelve Texans took the time out of their lives because this is our judicial system. And then the next day, um, before he has been sentenced, Governor Abbott announced his desire to pardon him. Have you seen something like that? How unusual is something like that?

MISTY MARRIS, DEFENSE AND TRIAL ATTORNEY: It's completely unusual, and I think unprecedented. This -- before the verdict sheet is even dry. The ink hasn't dried. No sentencing. No appellate process. And the governor is stepping in and essentially saying, I just don't agree with this jury verdict. It is a complete abomination. It is an abuse of power.

And it's him infusing himself improperly into the legal system to the extent that he wants to refer this case into the pardon process. You have to let the legal process play out, the sentencing and all of the appeals that you would see go into place in any criminal trial. For him to come in at this point and just say, I don't like this verdict, so it is overturned, what a dangerous precedent to set.

CAMEROTA: Joe, we don't know exactly what Governor Abbott's motivation is. He hasn't explained it. However, um, there was a loud drumbeat on Fox that this -- that Daniel Perry should never have been convicted and that if he were to be convicted, he should be pardoned. So, let me just play a moment of that for you.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: That's not a justified shooting. There's no such thing. So, this is illegal atrocity.

UNKNOWN: This officer acted in self-defense.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): I would shoot in this instance.

UNKNOWN: I think he should be pardoned. I think he spent far too much time in jail already.


CAMEROTA: And then lo and behold, the governor said that he would like to pardon him.

JOE PINION, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, FORMER SENATE CANDIDATE: Look, I'm not going to kind of dignify the assumption that Governor Abbott is (INAUDIBLE) pardons because people at 9:00 p.m. on a different network told him to.

I will say that whoever is suggesting that he should issue this pardon at this particular point in time when the ink is not dry, when the verdict had not been rendered, is giving him bad advice. It is a false errand. It is doing great damage to our justice system.

I will say here that, you know, this to me brings back memories of 2013 where a Black man who also was an Air Force veteran by the name of Michael Giles found himself sent to prison for defending himself with a firearm.

And I think that the Republican Party does itself a great disservice when you have a person who is lawfully carrying an AK-47, when you look at the place of Michael Giles who is still in prison, by the way, 25 years, sent to rot in a jail cell, a man who raised his hand as this man did to serve his country.

We do a great disservice when we don't say, yes, you have the right to defend yourself, yes, you have the right to bear arms, and then suddenly, when we don't like the cause for which you are bearing those arms, suddenly, all of a sudden, you're abandoned.

As that poor mother said, it's as if the jury wasted their time because her son's life had no meaning in the eyes of this pardon board and this governor if they actually go forth in doing what they seem like they're intent on doing right now.

CAMEROTA: Joey, do you think the fact that these social media posts that the jury did not see, that now they have come to light, do you think that will change the thinking in Texas?



But when you look at that, this is a judge who was trying to be as fair as possible, right, in preserving and defending the defendant's right, as opposed to allowing a jury to see this and be inflamed by it, and perhaps convict predicated upon that and not the actual facts said, you know what, I'm going to exclude that.

You know, on the other side, there are social media posts certainly that the victim, the decedent, had that, you know, you might argue. Should the jury have seen them? Perhaps. That is a decision for appellate review. There's an appeal's process wherein an appellate court evaluates whether the judge made any judicial errors. And if the appellate process plays out, they make that determination, you get a new trial, potentially.

There are series of state appeals, Alisyn, and then it goes to the federal level. I just don't see how we can have a system that's workable when it's predicated upon politics.

Trials have to be about two things. The facts and the law, the facts and the law. Not about whether you see someone waxing poetic who happens to be in your party, who happens to be on Fox News, who happens to string this out to be a political -- well, I'd acquit him, I'd do the same thing, etcetera, etcetera.

The jury didn't. They sat there for eight days. They adjudicated after that for two days of verdict. They rendered that verdict of guilt. And this is a convicted felon.

And so, to circumvent that entire process because you don't believe in a verdict, Mr. Governor, you didn't sit through the trial. Mr. Governor, you were not in the deliberation room. Mr. Governor, you were not there for the 40 witnesses.

And so, to anybody who practices before the court, and I'm sure Misty will agree as a practitioner, an outstanding practitioner herself, this just is an affront to the judicial process and it's sickening, quite frankly.

CAMEROTA: Jessica, I have 10 seconds. Go.

JESSICA WASHINGTON, SENIOR REPORTER, THE ROOT: Yeah. Just watching his fiancee talk about it, I think that really just drives home how disturbing this was, that she had to sit through this trial, sit through -- hearing all of these details, you know, hoping for this verdict, and now it's done.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. Thank you all very much. Okay, another important trial. Dominion's $1.6 billion defamation trial against Fox is set to start on Monday. We've learned some of the questions that perspective jurors were asked behind closed doors. We will tell you what those were, next.




CAMEROTA: Dominion's $1.6 billion defamation trial against Fox is set to start on Monday. On Thursday, the court started the jury selection process. Roughly 300 potential jurors were summoned to the Delaware Superior Court. Those 300 will be winnowed down to 12 jurors and 12 alternates. And to do that, the prospective jurors were peppered with questions, including about their viewing habits.

My panel is back with me now. So, Misty, one of the questions they were asked, the lawyers got to ask the perspective jurors, do you regularly watch any Fox programs on television or any other social media and, if so, would this affect your ability to be fair and impartial, or do you avoid any Fox programs on television or social media, and will that affect your ability to be fair and partial? That's a good question.

But how will they weed out like a super fan, like a Fox super fan, or somebody who loathes Fox?

MARRIS: And that's really the problem with jury selection is that you can never be absolutely sure. So, actually, Dominion had wanted more in-depth questions to dig into the consumption of Fox, and the judge said, no, we're going to limit it to this one question, which really just says, are you -- are you a big fan or do you hate it, because they want to buy us people, and then try and figure out, okay, can you put aside your opinions and be fair in the course of the trial? So, there is no perfect way to do it.

CAMEROTA: Here are the questions, Joey, that were not allowed. These were excluded by the judge. Um, whether or not you believe the 2020 election was legitimate and whether you had any connection to the January 6th insurrection. Those seemed important.

JACKSON: They may be important, but of what relevance is that to whether or not the Fox personalities were spinning a web of falsehoods predicated upon an election? We're not talking about an insurrection. We're not talking about what your feelings are about an insurrection. We're talking about your ability to discern whether the personalities were giving information.

Here's the standard, right? Actual malice is the standard. Knowledge of falsity, when you said it, you know it was false or reckless disregard as to the truth. That's what it's about. So, why are you bringing this information? So, the judge said, we're going to keep the trial about what it's about, and we're going to limit the questions to what should be proper before.

CAMEROTA: Okay, but I kind of think if you don't believe that the 2020 election was fair, that colors your opinion about whether Fox was feeding you misinformation, Jessica.

WASHINGTON: I would heavily agree. It is kind of seems like then you're already getting this information. Whether or not you're directly watching Fox News and getting this information, this is something you clearly have -- believing because it's coming from Fox or similar networks. So, I do think that would color your opinion on this case. But I do think it's incredibly difficult to find people who don't have any opinion on this since it's all been so highly publicized.


PINION: Look, we have a highly divisive political environment right now. Society is deeply divided. That has bled over into our politics. And now, even going back to our last block talking about can we find people to be fair, impartial, I think increasingly the answer has become no. And I think, again, we have more politics wading into the mess of this, but I trust, hopefully, the jurors in this case will see the facts and come to --

CAMEROTA: Misty and Joey, do you think that it has gotten harder and harder to find jurors?

MARRIS: It is difficult because of the social media and all of that. So, you're finding people that don't -- that aren't biased can be tough. But you still weed through the processes the same. And interestingly enough, in this case, the falsity of the statements isn't even a question in a really unprecedented decision, pretrial by the judge. The statements are false. It's just whether or not there's actual malice. We could see these jury questions are really tailored to that.

CAMEROTA: Here's another question that I think is fascinating, Joey. Do you personally know or have any opinion at all about the following persons who may be identified? Mike Lindell, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell.

[23:25:00] JACKSON: Listen, the bottom line is you want a fair and impartial jury. And if they have particular opinions about those individuals that may be negative or too positive, that makes them not fair, that makes them ineligible, and that makes them not right for that jury.

CAMEROTA: Um, okay, and what do you think is going to happen, Joey?

JACKSON: Uh, well, let me say, as I am a predictor of all things but nothing --

CAMEROTA: You're visionary.

JACKSON: -- into the future. There are two parts, very quickly. One part is liability, right? Is there a liability? And that means, did Fox do this with actual knowledge that it was false? And then after you get through that, you get to the question of, how much money they have to pay? I think the jury finds, if it goes that far, that they acted with actual malice, knowledge of falsity, reckless disregard, and that they issue a damaging award.

CAMEROTA: I'm taking that as agreement.

MARRIS: I agree. I think based on the pretrial decisions, I think liability is going to be -- they're going to get liability, but I think they're going to have a tough time on what the damages actually are.

JACKSON: You know --

CAMEROTA: Hold that. Hold that thought for the commercial because Bill Maher in "Overtime" is next. Stick around.




CAMEROTA: And now, let us turn it over to our friends at HBO. Every Friday, after "Real Time with Bill Maher," Bill and his guests answer viewer questions about topics in the national conversation. We are excited to bring you this lively discussion first every Friday night. So here is "Overtime with Bill Maher."



BILL MAHER, HBO POLITICAL TALK SHOW HOST: Hi, CNN. Bill Maher here with my panel from today's show. Actor, director, and author of the forthcoming book "Easy Money" Ben McKenzie is over here.


Democratic Congresswoman from California Katie Porter --


-- and host of TalkTV "Piers Morgan Uncensored" Piers Morgan.


Here are the -- here are the questions from people who want to know what we think here on the panel. What does the panel make of the two TN -- oh, Tennessee lawmakers who were expelled from the state legislature? Oh, that was a big story this week. We didn't get to it.

Yes, uh, they -- they were protesting because there was a shooting there. They wanted -- you know, I think I agree with what they were saying. We need better gun control laws. But these are legislators and they used a bullhorn inside the well of the Senate of Tennessee. Was it? This is state -- state legislature.

PIERS MORGAN, TALKTV HOST: And interrupted the proceedings which, of course, when that happened on January the 6th in a much larger and more violent way, all the people currently cheering on the two Tennessee legislators were the ones who would have been condemning and castigating what happened --

MAHER: Well, I would --

REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): You're not actually comparing.

MORGAN: No, no, I'm not.

MAHER: That's a crazy --

PORTER: You actually did just compare.

MORGAN: No, no. Here is what I'm comparing. When you have a mob of protesters and they're going into a legislative chamber, whether it's at the Capitol or whether it's in Tennessee, the principle is the same. And if you don't have the same principle response to both of those things, regardless of scale, the principle --

PORTER: Listen, the principle is different. They were Tennessee legislature -- legislators who went into the chamber and admittedly broke the rules of decorum partly because they were being silenced when they wanted to talk following the rules of decorum about gun violence prevention.

What happened on January 6th was a bunch of crazy (bleep) with guns. You can't police people.



PORTER: That is not the same.

MORGAN: It's complicated, Katie. I like bill. I agree with what the legislators who were doing the protesting. I agree with them about guns. Everyone knows. I think -- I left CNN. MAHER: Right.

MORGAN: It's nice to be back, by the way, on CNN. I agree with them --


MORGAN: Thank you.


Thank you.

MAHER: That's right.

MORGAN: It has been a while. The last time I was on CNN, I was talking about guns. Thank you, Bill. (INAUDIBLE) again. Um, but I just think, in the end, you've got to be consistent about the way you view --

MAHER: But that is a terrible -- that is a terrible analysis.

MORGAN: They're not the same thing, but the principle is the same.

MAHER: Then why bring it up? That's a terrible analogy.

MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE) a mob of people going in, stop democratic proceedings --

MAHER: But it is not --

MORGAN: It not democracy whether you're on the right or left.

MAHER: Okay. What I --

PORTER: What is the principle?

MORGAN: The principle is I don't think a mob of protest should go into a legislative building to stop the proceedings.

MAHER: I agree with --

BEN MCKENZIE, ACTOR, WRITER, DIRECTOR: They were a mob? The two guys were mob?


MAHER: But here's the thing. These guys are legislators. What I would say to them is, look, I admire your passion, young people your age are in government, I think that's good that you want to be in government and that just oblivious to it. The issue, okay, we have valid point.

But you're in the legislature now. The legislature. You don't need the bullhorn. That's for when you're out on the street where you have to modulate. This is what -- this is what they do on college campuses. We just stop you from talking if we disagree with a bullhorn or shouting. They have to leave that behind.

Now, you're inside. You're in the building. You got elected. The way that affect changes, write a law, do it that way. The bullhorn was --

PORTER: Well --

MAHER: -- outside.

PORTER: I think you have a point --


I think you have a point about they were in there, they had other opportunities, they can introduce the law. I also do want to say that rules of decorum are often used to silence people who do not have voices.

And in this case, we're talking about two younger men, two Black men, two people in the political minority in Tennessee. And so, we've seen rules of decorum be used over and over and over again in this country as an excuse to exclude people and to silence people.


So --

MAHER: Okay.

PORTER: -- I think you're right, though, that -- that -- that -- I can't believe I'm saying this, like I so deeply, deeply agree with you about the January 6th --


-- and how wrong Piers is to try to equivocate those things.

MORGAN: But I didn't know. So, what you were doing was playing politics. I talked purely about the principle of a mob of people going --

MAHER: Okay.

MORGAN: -- to stop democratic proceedings.

MAHER: Let's -- let's stop --

MORGAN: It shouldn't be happening, whether it's on the left or the right.

MAHER: Let's stop digging.


MCKENZIE: I just love that they've been reelected immediately and raised all this money and they're national heroes. Oops!


Didn't work.

MAHER: What do you make of Prince Harry's plan to attend his father's coronation without Margaret -- Meghan Markle? God, why do we give her -- I don't -- damn.


I didn't say it. I didn't say it.

MORGAN: We're on CNN.

MAHER: I know.


You swore on CNN. Not me.


How about that? What do you make of Prince Harry -- well, I don't know why we care so much. You -- you have -- you can care. You have --

MORGAN: America has sent -- America -- I hate to say this, but America has sent two women into royal family. The first was Wallis Simpson.

MAHER: Yeah.

MORGAN: It led to abdication.

MAHER: Right.


MORGAN: And the second is Meghan Markle. You are two for two and it's not looking great. So, frankly --


MAHER: That's hysterical. So, what happened -- so Prince Harry is going and she's not.

MORGAN: He is going and all his family basically want to kill him, and she's staying here because they feel the same way about her. I mean, look, from my point of view, they're just a pair of little royal renegade grifters who want to have the royal cake and eat it.

They want to keep the titles, make hundreds of millions trashing their family again and again and again and again, and eventually, the royal family is going, you know what, shut up.


MAHER: Right. I'm basically with you. I mean, I would -- I would defend Harry only into for is that he went to Afghanistan.


MAHER: You know? I mean, he could have got out of that as certainly the people in this country do --


MAHER: -- with that kind of standing. And he didn't. He went.

MORGAN: He did honorable service for his country and he was a beloved prince. To give you some idea how far he has fallen, he is now less popular than Prince Andrew.

MAHER: Right.

MORGAN: Exactly.

MAHER: But her thing about -- you know, the royal family being racist, maybe they are. Certainly, the history is.

MORGAN: She never produced a shred of evidence to support that.

MAHER: Well, they were cold to me. They're cold to everybody. They were cold to Diana. And who was whiter than Diana?


They're just cold people. That's who they are.

MORGAN: If you're going to call the royal family racist, like she did on Oprah Winfrey, you've got to back it up with some evidence. Not a shred of evidence has either of them ever produced for any racism from the royal family. So, put up or shut up and stop smearing our royal family.

MAHER: Okay.

MORGAN: That is my opinion.

MAHER: Ben, this is for you. How much do you think the failure to regulate crypto is due to lawmakers not understanding it? Well, we just said we don't understand it.

MCKENZIE: Yeah, exactly. I mean, yeah, Jon Tester (INAUDIBLE). No one knows (INAUDIBLE).

MAHER: Right.

MCKENZIE: But the salt -- no. Sorry.

MAHER: We are on CNN.


MCKENZIE: Sorry. MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE) swearing on CNN --

MAHER: I'm telling you.


MORGAN: Yeah. I got to get them renting (ph).


MCKENZIE: I do think -- I do think it is part that -- that -- that legislators didn't understand it. But I went there over the summer. I went to D.C. with the journal -- Jacob, who wrote the book with me. And we had meetings, some of which I talk about the book, some of which I can't talk about. And the general attitude was, you're probably right, but I'm sorry, Sam Bankman-Fried has given us too much money.

MORGAN: That's right.

MCKENZIE: Sam Bankman-Fried gave the Democrats $40 million.


MCKENZIE: His lieutenant gave the Republicans 23. I believe the total is somewhere around $90 million in this draw donor's scheme. That is alleged to have happened. They bought them up both off. And they bought them off not necessarily in the sense that they passed bad legislation, which they could have done. There was a bill called Sam's bill. That was going, you know, through the ad committee, potentially.

But they kept them from doing anything that was actually would have stopped this Ponzi scheme from collapsing and ruining tens of thousands of people's lives. If not -- I mean, millions of people now don't have access to their accounts at FDX.

MAHER: You've been very tough on the pitchman of celeb --

MCKENZIE: Oh, the celebrities are -- the celebrities are not the core problem, of course. They're just the megaphone necessary to spread the Ponzi.

MAHER: Do you think they shouldn't have done that?

MCKENZIE: Well, of course, they shouldn't have done it. I mean, they shouldn't --


You shouldn't sell and register unlicensed securities. This is a -- this is actually against the law. And you also shouldn't (INAUDIBLE) for the exchanges that are doing that. But they're -- they're the -- this is what happens at the end. And the end of the Ponzi lifecycle, it gets as big as possible, and you need the biggest celebrities out there.


I won't name names.

MAHER: Right.

MCKENZIE: But Lindsay Lohan obviously -- sorry. But other -- other big celebrities to sell for you, and that's what happened.

PORTER: How much of this do you think, though, was an enforcement problem versus -- because you -- you just said they are securities. You're selling unlicensed securities.


PORTER: We have a Securities and Exchange Commission.


PORTER: Ponzi schemes have been illegal for 100 years. Give or take.


PORTER: What's the explanation that you have for why the SCC didn't take an action?

MCKENZIE: Uh, couple reasons. I think one of them is that its regulators don't have much incentive to pop a bubble and potentially get blamed for it until it's popped. Once it's popped, you come in, you clean it up, you go, yeah, you should have done that.

But the other -- the other thing is that we're the only country in the world that I'm aware of that separates its securities regulation from its commodities regulation. We have a CFTC and SCC. It created a gray area. We need someone to oversee these agencies, in my opinion. Someone to basically -- because they're fighting over it. And they're fighting over it.

Why? In part, in terms of my opinion, the CFTC, in order to get the donations. Sam Bankman-Fried met with the CFTC chair 10 times. Ten times Sam met with them.

MAHER: Monday is tax day, and I'm going to be investing in crypto because --


MAHER: All right, thank you, CNN. We'll see you next week.



CAMEROTA: And thank you, Bill. You can watch "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday nights on HBO at 10 p.m., and then watch "Overtime" right here on CNN Friday nights at 11:30.

All right, next, our Friday night news quiz, and we're ready.




CAMEROTA: Okay, everybody, it's Friday night, and you know what that means. It's news quiz night. Let's see what you at home and my panelists know about this week's news stories.

Okay, number one, now again, when I count to three, you turn over the right answer or whatever answer you believe. Okay, here we go. What act is not considered free speech in California? Is it A, using A.I. to mimic the voice of a public figure, B, holding up a sign on the highway, or C, honking your horn at a rally? And one, two, three. It's C. You guys all got it wrong.


You can't punk your horn anymore in California unless it is because you're in imminent danger in your car.


CAMEROTA: You can't just like honk, honk, honk, you know, as you drive by like a rally.

UNKNOWN: They do have bad traffic.

UNKNOWN: That's incredible.

CAMEROTA: Wow, I like this. We're --


JACKSON: We're all wrong.

CAMEROTA: You're all wrong. Okay, let's try it again. Okay, here we go. The Dalai Lama apologized this week for doing what? A, criticizing President Xi's visit to Russia, B, asking a young boy to suck his tongue, or C, skipping evening prayer? One, two, three. Nope, Joey. No. It's asking a young boy who suck his tongue.

JACKSON: Did he do that?


UNKNOWN: On video. On a video.

CAMEROTA: It is hard to believe, but yes.

JACKSON: That's crazy.

MARROS: That's the one he was never going to (INAUDIBLE). I missed that. JACKSON: Geez.

CAMEROTA: Okay. This is working. Next, a VHS tape of which movie sold this week for $27,500? Is it A, "Fantasia," B, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," or C, "Rocky?" In one, two, three. Turn up your paddles. It's C, "Rocky." Joey, you're doing really well. You go "Fantasia," Misty. That's very cute.

MARRIS: I thought so.

CAMEROTA: That is very cute. Okay, so Joe and Jessica got it right. You got it right.

JACKSON: Listen, this will be the only question I get right tonight. All right? So, I want full credit.

CAMEROTA: I gave you credit. Okay, here we go. What dirty jobs czar did New York City hire this week? Is it A, rats czar, B, garbage czar, or C, sewer czar? In one, two, three. Oh, you all knew that. You all knew rats czar.

JACKSON: Oh, yeah.


CAMEROTA: Is that right? That's so cool.

PINION: The rats don't run the city. This is not "Ratatouille," as the mayor would say.

JACKSON: Listen, I hope the czar is working tonight. What do you think?

MARRIS: (INAUDIBLE) outside late night --

CAMEROTA: I liked it. One of the --

PINION: I would simply ask for a crime czar but, you know, maybe I'm old fashioned.

CAMEROTA: No. Rats are a big problem. One of the job descriptions was you had to be bloodthirsty. Okay, last. Two million dimes worth what were stolen from a Philadelphia truck? Is it A, $200,000, is it B, $20,000, or is it C, $2000? Okay?


JACKSON: I know about dropping dime.

CAMEROTA: I know. I mean --

PINION: Are they like -- are they vintage dimes?

CAMEROTA: No. Okay, we're doing this. A, 200,000, B, 20,000, C --

JACKSON: But how many dimes again? CAMEROTA: Two million.

JACKSON: Two million dimes, okay.

CAMEROTA: One, two, three, go. Okay, it was A. I mean, I'm sorry, guys. I promised there would be no math. Joey, you lose.


CAMEROTA: We'll be right back.

JACKSON: The winner.

CAMEROTA: Well done, Joe. Well done.


We will be right back with the CNN hero. Well done, Joe.

PINION: Oh, my goodness.


CAMEROTA: The state of California has the highest rate of homelessness in the country. This week's CNN hero has made it his mission to offer free veterinary care to pets living on the streets of California. Meet Dr. Kwane Stewart.


KWANE STEWART, VETERINARIAN, CNN HERO: I've seen people give up their last meal for their pet.


And people who have $3 to their name. And after I'm done with the treatment, they will try and give me that $3.

This is your partner, obviously, huh?

UNKNOWN: My best friend.

STEWART: They see me with my stethoscope and my bag.

You look good. Dog who was days away from dying. And then they start sharing stories about their dog and the history.

UNKNOWN: It makes me feel good. And he loves me. I know he loves me.

STEWART: I can treat about 80% of the cases I see out of a really small bag.

UNKNOWN: You do vaccines, too? Oh, that's really cool.

STEWART: It's antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, flea and tick, heartworm prevention. It's all there. It said no cost to them. It's free. I'm building a network of trusted volunteers, technicians, hospitals and clinics we can go to, we can call on.

Let me take a listen here.

It doesn't matter what your situation is or what your background or past is. I see a pet need, and I see a person who cares for them dearly, who just needs some help.


CAMEROTA: To see more of Dr. Stewart's story, you can go to Thanks so much for watching tonight. Have a great weekend. Our coverage continues.