Return to Transcripts main page
Fox Defamation Trial To Start After One-Day Delay; An 84-Year- Old White Man Was Accused Of Shooting A Black Teen; Justice Clarence Thomas To Amend Financial Disclosure Forms; Pentagon Is Conducting Assessment To Determine Extent Of Intel Doc Leak Damage; "CNN Tonight" Presents "On the Lookout." Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired April 17, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Hi, everyone. Thanks for tuning in for this hour where we bring you "Tomorrow's News Tonight." We have our great lineup of reporters to share their scoops. Here with me, we have Sara Fischer, Jessica Dean, Athena Jones, and Kylie Atwood. Great to have all of you here tonight.
So, at first, what's about to happen in this $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox over election lies? It's set to begin just hours from now. Now, today, there was an abrupt and unexplained delay that spurred speculation of a possible settlement. And now, there's a tent that's gone up outside of the courthouse. We think that this could shield some of the high-profile witnesses like Rupert Murdoch, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson who are expected to show up and have to take the stand.
Sara Fischer has been covering this case. So, Sara, what is going to -- is this -- let me start with that. Is this going to happen tomorrow?
SARA FISCHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Well, it's looking more likely by the minute. If they were to settle, it has to be done before 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. That's when the judge is adjourning, bringing us all together to start the trial. He will start by finalizing the jury selection before opening arguments.
Now, there were some rumors that we would get a settlement potentially today because, as you mentioned, the start date was pushed back by one day. But as it stands now, it's looking like this thing is going to go to trial.
CAMEROTA: Okay. First of all, there's a lot of hours between now and nine, and I'm sure that the lawyers are working overtime. I just feel that because -- the reason I feel that is in every single lawsuit against Fox that I can remember, maybe you know of something different, but I mean, off the top of my head, roughly a dozen, they settle because they don't want their dirty laundry aired.
FISCHER: Totally. But two differences here. One is that the folks that they're up against, which is Dominion, feels so strongly about having a strong case. They're not just looking for damages. They're looking to embarrass Fox. They're looking to make sure that Fox has to take account for what they put on their air. So that's one.
And the number two is that Fox in this situation, if they were to try to get a settlement for this case, that would set a precedent for every single other defamation lawsuit that they face. So, this is a $1.6 billion suit. They're looking at a $2.7 billion suit for Smartmatic after this.
Do they want to set the precedent that they're just going to settle and pay out all of these defamation lawsuits? I don't quite know, especially because it might not be that Dominion actually gets all $1.6 billion. A jury would have to be convinced that it is awarded -- it deserves to be aware of those damages.
For Fox, it might be worth it to see this in front of a jury and see if they can get a lower down amount than what they would had to settle for.
CAMEROTA: That is very interesting.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is. I mean, you know, it's notoriously hard to prove a defamation case. That's a very high bar. But Dominion, again, you're the expert. You're right. It seems, based on everything we read, they're so convinced. They've got the text messages. They -- it's all there in black and white.
FISCHER: Yes. So, I think it's pretty clear from legal experts that Dominion has a strong case on the actual malice legal front, which means that they would be able to likely prove that Fox acted with intent or actual malice when it aired these election lies. Basically, it knowingly aired these election lies.
But what's harder is to prove that Dominion deserves $1.6 billion worth of damages. That is what's going to be interesting in court.
ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At the same time, if they do settle, look at how Fox has already been embarrassed by a lot of the revelations that have come out already. And so, you can understand why Dominion would want its day in court because they can make a big, very public case. Lots of attention on this case.
But already, some of the things that have come out in discovery, if Fox were to be able to reach a settlement, you almost wonder, well, you know, why did you let all of this interesting -- interesting information come out? That is damaging to the brand.
FISCHER: Well, that's a good point. Now, the Fox -- the judge in this trial has already said that Dominion can subpoena Rupert Murdoch and his son, Lachlan, as well as other Fox executives. So, if Fox were to go to trial, we can and should expect those people to be walking through that tent.
But in terms of what's incriminating that could come out, during this process, pretrial, we've had to go through a lot of different legal proceedings to see what we could do in the actual courtroom.
And one of the things that we found is that the judge has opened Dominion up to potentially interview even more witnesses, gather more information and discovery because of the way that Fox had presented its executives' role within Fox News.
That's a whole little thing that I'm not going to get into. But what I'm trying to say is a lot more could come out.
And so, from that perspective, it does. But who Fox to settle, because you don't want to embarrass yourself. But there's a key thing to remember. This is not a televised trial. This is not Johnny Depp-Amber Heard. This is not Gwyneth Paltrow and her ski incident, I wish you well.
This is a private trial. We can't even rebroadcast the audio from this trial. And so, you know, there is a cartoonist that's going to be doing a few sketches. But, otherwise, you know, you're stealing them from potentially incrementing -- increment -- incriminating things that we could report on. But it's not like that the public is going to be hearing what they're going to say.
CAMEROTA: And if there were a settlement, there is -- there is a suspicion that if Dominion were to settle, they would still demand an on-air statement --
CAMEROTA: -- from Fox of some sort of responsibility. And so, it's hard to know which would be more damaging for them going through the trial. By the way, their audience doesn't know this is happening. Much of their audience.
JONES: Not being reported all in there.
CAMEROTA: Not at all. And so, if their -- their audience, when they're just completely Fox devotees, which many are, they have never heard of this.
CAMEROTA: So, it's hard to know which would be more damaging, going to trial or them settling and having to read a statement.
FISCHER: Having to read the statement or having to admit to doing something is what's actually the most legal perilous thing for Fox because, again, there are so many other defamation suits that they're facing. So, if they admit to wrongdoing in this one, it's very hard for them to try to argue their way out of the future ones.
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Do you think, Sara, that there are long-term implications for Fox here as well? Like, if Dominion wins, right, and they are able to prove that, you know, this defamation case, does Fox then have to actually think about how it is presenting certain topics on air?
FISCHER: Totally. Fox is not going to want to put election deniers upfront in its programming if they lose over a billion dollars to a defamation suit the year before and if they're facing future defamation suits.
The other big problem that Fox faces is that some of their shareholders are now reportedly upset. So, there was a Reuters report today that said shareholders are looking to potentially investigate whether or not the directors of the board knew about these decisions that were being made at the Fox News level. That is a big problem. As soon as you're going to get your shareholders upset, now you have a serious issue.
CAMEROTA: And then what about the Trump factor of all of this? I mean --
UNKNOWN: Well, that's the other thing, right?
UNKNOWN: That's a big one, yeah.
ATWOOD: I mean, because all this boils down to lies that he wanted spread out there, right? But he is still -- I mean, as of like recent weeks, we cover his campaign for presidency, he's still out there spreading these same lies. He may not be talking about Dominion, you know, specifically, but he's talking about 2020 being a presidential election that was full of fraud.
And so, when you have that happening and you have this lawsuit happening, I mean, as a reporter, you kind of look at this space of, okay, you know, we don't want there to be lies out there spread by news outlets and all that, but when you have a candidate for president who is still spreading the lies, it's sort of like, you know, this case could have implications for Fox but will have implications in the space of, you know, spreading of disinformation.
DEAN: I mean, well, you were just saying, right, the people who are only watching Fox or if that's their only news diet, right, they -- they don't -- and they're only listening to Trump.
CAMEROTA: And they also just did an interview. Tucker just did an interview with Donald Trump. And Donald Trump isn't backing off of these.
CAMEROTA: So, would they still put Donald Trump on the air knowing that they would, you know, have had to pay, cough up millions of dollars, billion dollars because of these?
FISCHER: There is couple of things that they're going to have to think about. One, do you put his allies on the air? The Sidney Powells of the world are never going to go back on Fox air after this. But then two, do you have to be sort of strategic about how you cut your tape? Do you do all pre-interviews with Trump? You don't air them live because if he has election falsehoods, are your primetime anchors going to be willing and ready to rebuff him and are going to be willing and ready to fact check him?
These are all things that Fox is going to have to consider. But there's also one other problem. It is not just Donald Trump. We have Kari Lake who might run for Senate. There are a bunch of election deniers that Fox is going to want to go have on their air. And they're going to want to be on Fox's air.
And so, this is not just a Trump problem. Fox has to kind of do a little bit of soul searching here to figure out what they're going to do for 2024.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. All right, thank you all very much. We will just be watching the clock to see if this is actually going to happen in the next few hours.
All right, we also have developments tonight in that shooting, where an 84-year-old man in Kansas City, he was charged this evening with shooting 16-year-old Ralph Yarl in the head last week after Yarl apparently rang the wrong doorbell. The prosecutor says there's -- quote -- "a real racial component to this case." Athena has been covering this for us. So, we'll have more, next.
CAMEROTA: In Kansas City, prosecutors announcing two felony charges for the 84-year-old white man who allegedly shot a 16-year-old Black teenager who had reportedly done nothing but ring the doorbell.
Athena Jones has been covering this story for us. Athena, what's going to happen next here?
JONES: Well, we know -- we've seen the charges now. Charges have been brought in this case. There was a lot of --
CAMEROTA: It took a few days.
JONES: It took a few days and that was a concern. We saw protests outside the suspect's house over the weekend because there was this concern that once again, what's been true in American history for centuries, that this man would go unpunished, you know, violence against Black person would go unpunished.
But now that these charges have been announced, my question is, how is the community going to respond and how is the public going to respond not just in that county or in that state but in general?
And as is so often the case with these stories with racial component, if you go on Twitter, Twitter is not real life, but you go on Twitter, there's a lot of talk about, you know, well, they don't have the facts. You know, he had entered my house.
I would have shot him, too. He did not. He never. He just rang the doorbell. There was -- he was shot through a glass door. The probable cause and the documentation suggest that there were no words exchanged. But the thing is people don't necessarily want to address what is the real issue here, and that is that to a lot of Black people, this is not just enraging, it's chilling.
Because anyone can make the mistake of going to the wrong house, going to the wrong -- going -- ringing the wrong doorbell. And yet, as -- as many have said today, you don't often hear about a white person being thought to be dangerous and being shot on sight.
And also, this is not the first time this has happened. Remember Renisha McBride? That was in Michigan. Maybe 10 years ago. She had a car accident, went looking for help, shot dead.
So, this is this -- is sort of part of a pattern. And so, my biggest -- my biggest question or -- or sort of curiosity is going to be how do people deal with this. Can any bridges be crossed? Can any -- can anyone coming together happen and understanding happen to why, you know, we, a lot of us see this is very, very obviously an issue of black and white. If not racism, then, you know, racial prejudice and sort of, uh, lack of racial understanding.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. Couple of things. I mean, the difference here -- this kid was trying to go to 115th (INAUDIBLE). He went to 115th Street.
JONES: Just that. For that. Just a block off for so. Wrong time of night.
CAMEROTA: Any of us can make that mistake. It's 10 p.m. And here he is. And I just want -- I wanted to show that picture because what the defendant said, who was 84-year-old white man, what he said was -- what he apparently told police, this was in the charging document, was he was scared to death. When he looked at me, he was scared to death.
JONES: Right. We're hearing that this is a very majority white county. We also know that this touches on a theme we see a lot when it comes to Black children. It's called the adultification of Black children, boys and girls, especially boys. I don't actually know how tall, uh, Ralph Yarl is.
CAMEROTA: I don't either. I want to find that out.
JONES: The suspect believed he had to be six feet tall. But there's just -- it's sort of a lack of familiarity. There's a general sort of societal tendency to do this, to sort of -- I think that a Black child boy or girl is much older than they actually are and to then expect them to act much more maturely than they actually are. But in this case, it was really a matter of him -- this just added to his fear. He thought he was looking at a grown man. And, I mean, a lot of Black people will say, look, every -- a lot of people in the country are -- are conditioned to fear Black people or at least to fear people that they're not familiar with the community, they might not be familiar with.
So, this is complicated. It's multilayered. But there are too many people, very clearly a racial component, and that's exactly what we heard from the prosecutor and others who spoke about this in the case.
DEAN: Yeah. What did they -- I heard them say today there was a racial component. But what else did they say beyond that? Were they able to get at the root of --
JONES: Not so far because -- one thing is interesting is that there's not on video. There are -- there were apparently no other witnesses. And who knows if they didn't charge this because they weren't sure if they could -- they could prove it.
But when they were -- when the prosecutor was asked about this today, why didn't you bring a hate crime charge if you say there's a racial component? His explanation was that the first -- the class A felony, which is this guy could get up to life in prison, he is 84 years old, but it's 10 to 30 to life, that's more serious.
And so, the hate crime charge, it would be a felony but a lesser felony, and so they're going with the biggest charge they can have. And so, others would say maybe they're avoiding bringing the whole idea of race into it because it will be more fraught to try to make that case.
ATWOOD: I also think like we should just talk about what happened here. I mean, this 84-year-old didn't even have a conversation with this guy before he fired a shot at his arm and his head.
JONES: Through a locked door.
ATWOOD: I mean, it's just -- it's just kind of crazy to think about it. I mean -- and this guy was, you know, going to pick up his, I think, his siblings.
ATWOOD: Right? He clearly wasn't, you know, coming up to the house in a very aggressive way. Just, you know, coming to knock on the door bell. And just reflecting on -- on that, that happens in America and what it means about, you know, where our society is and the tensions that exist within communities. I just -- I just think it's something that like we need to talk about and it's really sad.
JONES: And there's so much fear because we just heard earlier tonight about another case in upstate New York. We don't know about the race -- if race is involved here, but of kids ending up at the wrong property and the owner there shot -- shot and ended up killing while the people -- they never even got out of the car.
UNKNOWN: Oh, my God. JONES: And so, there's clearly a lot of fear and certainly some profit on promoting that kind of fear, but we're seeing that it has -- can have deadly results.
CAMEROTA: And we should also mention that the 16-year-old -- it does look like he's going to recover.
JONES: Yes. Thank goodness.
CAMEROTA: Thank goodness. He was released from the hospital. His mother is a nurse. He was released, I think, through her care.
CAMEROTA: We also learned about him. He's an honorable student. He plays the clarinet. He was going to pick up other siblings. I mean, he's -- he's a stellar student. You know, every -- the kid you would want to actually -- here is another picture of him. And the fact that he's had to go through this is just stunning.
Okay, so now, tell us about what is happening in Akron, Ohio.
JONES: All right. So, Akron, Ohio is a case of Jayland Walker. He -- you may remember this was back last year, June of 2022, 25 years old. This is a young man who had no criminal record, but he ends up in a chase and then a foot pursuit with police who tried to pull him over. Ah, they say that he fired at least one shot at police in the earlier part of this -- this -- this car chase.
What you're going to see right now, I believe we have video, a clip from one of the many, many body-worn cameras these officers were wearing, and you're going to see the kind of the last moments of this -- his -- his 2005 Buick slowing down and him jumping out of the car.
Now, the Ohio attorney general says, here you see it, this is the police officer arriving, jumping out of the car, that is the Buick slowly rolling to a stop there, and in a moment, you'll see Jayland Walker getting out of that vehicle and running away. You have to listen to it because it's very disturbing, not just to watch but to listen to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: That's awful.
JONES: That's a lot of gunshots.
UNKNOWN: And did you say it was 40?
JONES: He was hit 46 -- well, he had 46 wounds on his body. UNKNOWN: In seven seconds?
JONES: In less than seven seconds.
CAMEROTA: And what was the -- what precipitated that? What -- why did they shoot?
JONES: They believe that he was Believe reaching for -- they described as from (INAUDIBLE). They thought he had a weapon. And because he had apparently fired earlier in the -- in the in the pursuit, he had fired at least one shot, according to the attorney general, they thought he still had the gun on him.
Now, later, they found that this recently purchased handgun was in his -- in his -- in the front car seat, but they didn't know. They also said he was wearing a ski mask and gesturing. There's a lot you can't see, we can't see in that video.
But keep in mind that these investigators, that this grand jury spent more than a week looking through -- through this because of all the testimony and all of the evidence, a hundred or so recorded videos, and more than 50 -- sorry, recorded interviews and more than 50 videos because you had all these responding officers, you had surveillance videos, you had traffic video camera, you have dash cams.
CAMEROTA: And so, the grand jury decided not to charge any of them.
JONES: Not to charge. They believe that this was justified and because of that shot that he fired.
DEAN: That they did -- that they did think he had a gun.
JONES: And they did think he had a gun. They actually -- they lay it all out. They spell it all out. You know, it's very transparent in that case. They say that this he was seen on -- he was captured on video, on a separate officer's video, with the firing that gun out of the window.
FISCHER: Quick question. What does this mean for policing? Because I thought the point of everybody having a body cam was to ensure accountability in the way that they're using weapons. But clearly, that's not the case. If there are so much body cams being worn, there's so much footage, and we're still getting over 40 rounds hitting the --
JONES: I think this is more complicated. Some of the explanations we've heard is that, you know, these are -- these are powerful modern weapons police are using. And I don't know exactly what weapons they were using. But you can imagine they're probably not in that short amount of time. They're not firing multiple -- they're not pulling trigger multiple times. You pull the trigger, you squeeze it, and more than one bullet is going out.
Now, they broke down even how much, um, how much each officer shot. So, a few of them only shot three times. I think one of them a few, like, 11 shots. And couple -- several shot 18. But part of it also is that once the firing, the shooting begins, it becomes unclear who's shooting at whom and where the shots coming from, and there's a sort of pile on effect.
But the bottom line is that the AG of Ohio said, look, they were justified. Each of them individually reached a conclusion that there was a threat and they were justified. There's going to be an internal review in the police department there in Akron, and they're going to have to account for all the bullets they fired. But as it is right now, you have this -- this grand jury of nine people who said that this was -- this was legally justified.
CAMEROTA: Thanks for explaining all that. Really helpful to understand. Okay, meanwhile, a source tells CNN that Justice Clarence Thomas will now amend his financial disclosure forms now that a real estate deal that he made with Republican mega donor has come to light. Jessica has the latest on this developing story for us, next.
CAMEROTA: Justice Clarence Thomas is expected to amend his financial disclosure forms. Source close to Thomas tells CNN that the justice intends to amend the forms so that they reflect a real estate deal that he made with the GOP mega donor, Harlan Crow, back in 2014.
Justice Thomas has also accepted and not reported luxury travel from Harlan Crow. He and his wife, Ginni, took trips with the Crow family.
Jessica Dean has been following this story closely for us. Okay, so --
DEAN: There's a lot here. There's a lot. Where do you like to begin?
CAMEROTA: I don't know. What's going to happen next?
DEAN: That's a great question. Well, okay, if we're looking ahead to what comes next, then it naturally goes to the Hill and calls for an investigation. We've heard from Democrats that want him to be investigated by the kind of the appropriate council that would do that. They -- you know, there have been all these calls for them to have an ethics code.
DEAN: What a lot of people may not know is that the Supreme Court doesn't have a formal ethics code.
CAMEROTA: That has been a shocker.
DEAN: It's almost like it goes against everything you would think would be. It's the Supreme Court. You know, high justice. But they haven't. And back in 2019, even Elena Kagan was testifying on the Hill and she said, listen, Justice Roberts is really thinking through this. We've been discussing this. We were -- you know, the lower courts have this, but not the Supreme Court. And that was years ago. And they just have not quite gotten there.
So -- so, there's calls for these investigations. There's calls for them to put together an ethics code by the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dick Durbin. But the fact of the matter is Congress doesn't have a terrible amount of power here.
And it's worth noting and, you know, reminding everyone that the split in Congress right now is not really set up for any of this to happen, right, because you have the House that is Republican and then a very slight edge for Democrats in the Senate.
So, the question of what happens next is like, uh, we're not -- even as probably people talk -- if we're being honest, there'll be a lot of talk about it, but in terms of action, that's a much heavier lift, right? And so, there's that piece of it. And then --
CAMEROTA: I also want to ask you about what the mega donor, Harlan Crow, is saying because we learned, thanks to the reporting from ProPublica, that this has been going on for two decades.
DEAN: Right. That --
CAMEROTA: Justice Thomas and his wife, Ginni, have been taking these very luxurious trips with this family, courtesy of their private jet, their superyacht. They have been traveling -- I think Indonesia was one trip where they traveled around in these like --
DEAN: Yes. Indonesia, California --
CAMEROTA: I mean, what they say is that it would have been $500 to half a million had the Thomases paid for this themselves. So, what does Harlan Crow say about all of this?
DEAN: Well, he actually has a quote that I think we can put up, the talks about how they're legitimately friends and that he's kind of genuinely shocked that anyone would question a friendship. And I think we can put that up now. I could read the whole thing to you. There it is.
A lot of people that have opinions about this seem to think that there's something wrong with this friendship. And he says, you know, it's possible that people are really just really friends. It blows my mind that people assume that because Clarence Thomas has friends, that those friends have an angle.
CAMEROTA: Well, I -- I hear him. Obviously, we want everybody to be friends with whomever they want. But why didn't he disclose it in that case?
DEAN: We do -- we support friends on this show.
CAMEROTA: We support friends. We like friends. But why didn't -- why then was he keeping it a secret, Justice Thomas?
DEAN: Right. And I think that's a very important question because it looks secretive, right? It looks like he's keeping this a secret because he's not disclosing it. And it goes back to kind of this -- you know, they have financial disclosure but over the years, you know, it has kind of lacked more and more specificity for what exactly you have to disclose.
Now, with this real estate deal, just to walk everybody through this latest thing, and again, excellent reporting by ProPublica here, but the real estate deal was three homes in Georgia, where Clarence Thomas is from. Harlan Crow bought those homes.
His -- Clarence Thomas's mother currently lives in one. So, she now lives rent-free but pays insurance and taxes. Clarence Thomas says he doesn't have to report this because he took a loss on that deal. So, he said that he and his wife put in $50 to $70,000 in capital improvements, but he only made some $40,000 on the sale. And so, because he took a loss, he didn't have to disclose it.
Turns out that's not right. So, he's now, as we've said, our sources are saying he's going to have to amend that. Um, but -- and then Harlan Crow in this case is saying, well, the only reason I bought these is because I think eventually there should be a museum, you know, kind of honoring Clarence Thomas and his place in history.
So -- but -- look, you know, I work in Washington, D.C. Optics of things are very important, right? So, let's just, you know, even if you give everyone the benefit of the doubt here that it really was just an accident and oversight, think about what it looks like, right?
FISCHER: Okay. Question. What is Clarence Thomas saying about all this? Is he is using the, like, we're just friends defense? Because I have friends but not friends that are taking me on half-million-dollar trips.
UNKNOWN: I know.
FISCHER: I mean, this is --
CAMEROTA: And you don't have the right --
FISCHER: Can we get better friends? Maybe we should be looking -- I love my friends. But don't you think that's unusual? Is he saying anything about it or he is just hiding?
DEAN: No. He actually took the rare step of releasing a statement when the first bit of this reporting came out about the trips and all of that. And he did comment on it and said, you know, again, he had been advised that he didn't have to report it. He's going to be admitting that. He wants to follow the rules.
But other than that, you know, again, we don't see him out and about the time, you know. And especially, the Supreme Court justices on the whole are generally, you know, working and kind of keeping to themselves. They're not out and about all the time. It is flashy job, yeah.
ATWOOD: Do you think it will be interesting to see how Congress continues to approach this because if they do call him up to testify, which seems like it's possible, like initially, Durbin said that he didn't really want to put focal point on this specifically, but he would have conversations about confidence in the court.
But now, it seems like today, there were some comments where it seems like Durbin is more open to maybe having Clarence Thomas come up and maybe even subpoenaing him to come up and talk to Congress about this. So, that's going to be like pretty interesting to see play out.
ATWOOD: And it's just so rare that we see these two bodies of government having to interact with each other in this way.
DEAN: Such a great point. It is so rare that we see those two bodies of governments, those two branches of government interacting with each other this way. It's a very rare thing. I think -- focus on Senate Judiciary for a second. Because of the Democrats' small majority in the Senate, they do have that subpoena power now, which is a big deal.
However, you'll remember Diane Feinstein is absent right now, and she sits on that committee, which then kind of deadlocks them and it's -- they're having a hard time getting these nominees through. So, what does that mean going forward? How does that play out?
You know, it all kind of starts to connect back and back, you know, to the other issues up there.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. Let me -- let me get Athena in right before we go.
JONES: Well, you know, I think that people on the Supreme Court, justices of the Supreme Court, should be held to a higher standard. This is -- or the highest standard, really. I mean, it should be something that they want to do. They want --
JONES: -- regulated to know that they are conflict-free, there is full transparency here. My question really is about recourse. Even with -- even if Congress would establish a new ethical code, okay, but like if he doesn't -- if he doesn't follow that code, which he hasn't been so far, you know, what -- what then happens? It's a lifetime appointment.
But I do think that people who are in this -- this high -- this high position should be held to the highest standard, particularly someone who had ethics issues, let's call it, in his confirmation.
DEAN: Yeah. And look, it's the highest court, right? I mean, you have a great point. And at the end of the day, in terms of recourse, there's not a ton of avenues here, and that's what's kind of confounding about the whole thing.
I think everyone or a lot of people look at this but I'm sure there's some -- something will happen. There'll be some sort of, you know, something they can do. And it's kind of -- there's not a ton that they can do. Again, it is just a very, very unique branch of government in that way.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Very interesting. I mean, maybe now they will establish a code of ethics.
DEAN: Yes. And maybe this is the impetus that gets them there.
ATWOOD: And maybe the other justices are now learning something that they shouldn't go on trips with like donors to either party.
CAMEROTA: Excellent. All right, meanwhile, the Pentagon is still working to figure out if there are more classified documents that were leaked online. Up next, Kylie has new reporting on that.
CAMEROTA: The alleged leaker of those highly classified documents is in custody, but the Pentagon is still trying to determine the extent of the damage. One official tells CNN that General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is -- quote -- "pissed" at the leak and deeply concerned about its national security implications.
Okay, Kylie, you've got some new reporting. What's happening?
ATWOOD: Yes. So, I mean, we now have Mark Milley, who is one of the top officials at the Pentagon whose pissed about this. And that's just significant because I think a lot of people have been downplaying this information that's out there. You know, oh, it's not altogether surprising. And, you know, a lot of this, we knew, or maybe the Russians already knew this information about the Ukrainians' military capabilities.
But if you have Mark Milley, who is the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, being frustrated about this, there is reason to believe that there is actual concern for the national security implications for the United States and, you know, for the Ukraine war and the like.
Obviously, we have to, like, dig into that a little bit more to find out exactly why he's so frustrated, but I do think that is something for us to consider very seriously.
CAMEROTA: Help us understand this. Is it crazy that a 21-year-old IT guy had access to all of this top-secret information or do millions of people have access to this?
ATWOOD: Um, I think a lot of people have been dwelling on his age. His age doesn't really matter. Right? We have Americans who fight wars for us, and they have to have access to top-secret information in order to affectively carry out their duties on the battlefield. You know, there are plenty of men and women in Washington who have top secret security clearances and are very young.
The age doesn't really matter. It's a question of what was the process like for him to get this top-secret security clearance, right? How long did he have -- how long was he vetted for? And when he was initially vetted, did they go back and let him again after he had already been on the job for a while? And was his boss watching over him while he was doing his jobs? Did he have the capability to print documents or was he actually stealing those documents from someone else in the office, right?
So, there are a lot of questions about his security clearance. But it's not necessarily, you know, that he was an air man who had this top security clearance. I think it's more having to do with the process related to how he got the clearance, and then the follow up after he got it.
FISCHER: Question for you. The platform that he leaked all of these documents on is Discord, which is one of many newer, you know, sort of social media chat-type apps.
Forever, we've heard the national security community talk about, oh, Russian disinformation on Facebook or on Twitter. But are they paying attention to these types of apps? Because it seems like more and more often, I'm hearing about things on Discord, I'm hearing about things on Reddit, places that don't sound like they are part of everyday conversation in the Pentagon, but maybe they are.
ATWOOD: I think that's a really good question. And it's what -- what the national security community, intelligence community is now asking itself right now, because the fact that these documents were on Discord for months before the Pentagon actually started to investigate this, before the Department of Justice started to investigate this, after "The New York Times" was alerted to these documents being on the social media sites, indicates that the intelligence community probably has to do a better job of monitoring what are number of social media sites to make sure that this kind of thing isn't happening.
And I also think, you know, when we talk about it being on -- these documents having been on Discord, just to remind folks, it wasn't as if he dumped these in in one fell swoop. It was over the course of months and it was, you know, different dumps on different topics at different times. And so, that's why we're seeing this slow drip of information come out because some of those documents lived on Discord for a while and then were taken down or put on two different social media sites. And so, now we're watching in real time as those documents are found on corners of the internet, and reporters are able to report on different U.S. classified secrets as they find these documents.
DEAN: I mean, that's the thing, right? Like any PR person will tell you, it is the drip, drip, drip that will kill you, like it's just like it keeps coming. There are more and more stories. But I'm curious, though, like Kylie, where are we with the fallout in all of this? Because we know millions pissed clearly.
DEAN: But like where are we in terms of where we are with our allies, with our adversaries, like what happens now with all of that?
ATWOOD: So, when I talked to U.S. allies, particularly five eyes countries, and so those are the countries that we share intelligence with, so those are the Brits, the Canadians, the Australians and the New Zealand (INAUDIBLE).
When you talk to them, they are extremely frustrated because they share intelligence with us and we share intelligence with them, meaning that this classified top secret U.S. intelligence information could have come from their sources. And now, it's out in the open, and that jeopardizes their capability to continue collecting that intelligence.
So, they're extremely frustrated, but what they're not saying right now, at least, is that they're going to stop sharing with the U.S. So, I think this is -- you know, this is a road bump and this is not a great situation, but they do appear to be getting through this and recognizing that this was, you know, one airman, a 21-year-old, who is doing this to impress his friends, and hopefully, they can get beyond it.
When it comes to the implications, in terms of the changes that need to be made to security clearances and the like, that's what we're watching play out in real time. This week, Congress is going to have a briefing expected later this week, a classified briefing to kind of bring them up to speed as to where the Department of Justice criminal investigation into Teixeira actually stands, and then also where the Pentagon's investigation into the implications of these documents stands as well.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. And very quickly because we have to go soon, Athena, you were asking something funny, which is like, why can't an alarm bell ring if you print out something? But did he print it out or did he take like a screen grab of the stuff or write it down?
ATWOOD: What it looks like is he took the documents, folded them up, and put them in his pocket. And I say that because all of them have four wrinkles on them. That would show where, you know, actually folded documents, took them home, took pictures of them, and put them on to the social media.
CAMEROTA: Right. So, Athena is right, we do need a bell to go off --
ATWOOD: Right. But we also don't know if he was the one who printed them. He could have been picking them up from other people's desks. But the printer log is going to be key here.
CAMEROTA: We shouldn't have been on their desk, though, also. Just sitting there. Thank you very much for all of that. Okay, up next, on the lookout, our reporters are going to tell us what they're looking out for on the horizon.
CAMEROTA: Okay, our wonderful panel of reporters are going to tell us what stories they are keeping an eye on. We call this "On the Lookout." Okay, Jessica, what are you looking at?
DEAN: All right, Ron DeSantis, Florida governor, potential 2024 candidate, heads to D.C. tomorrow to meet with GOP lawmakers. And when Trump is demanding that everyone get on board, it is going to be very interesting to see who meets with him.
CAMEROTA: Oh, yes.
DEAN: So, I'm watching that. And the other thing that everyone needs to keep watching is the debt ceiling because that is continuing to kind of come to the forefront and that is what we are going to be talking about a lot.
CAMEROTA: What is the deadline?
DEAN: It is in the next several months, but they're not just moving very quickly. But there is going to be some movement this week with the Republicans. So -- but I don't think it is going to actually go anywhere. More theater (ph), Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Oh, good to hear. Fantastic.
DEAN: We are watching these two things.
CAMEROTA: Sara, what are you keeping your eye on?
FISCHER: So, Netflix reports earnings tomorrow after the bell and they had a huge disruption yesterday. Folks were trying to watch "The Love is Blind" reunion live and it crashed and it didn't work. So, they're going to have to explain to investors what happens.
And then the other big thing we are watching is that Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, did an explosive interview with "60 Minutes" on Sunday basically saying that he doesn't know how his AI works. That's going to be a story that we're going to be following up on for years to come.
CAMEROTA: I mean, we all need to be listening to him sound the alarm on that.
If he's saying he doesn't understand how their AI works, I think we all need to take heed of that.
FISCHER: I agree.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. All right. Thank you for that. Kylie?
ATWOOD: Ukraine. There's going to be hearing on Wednesday. The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is holding hearing on the atrocities that Russians have committed in Ukraine, the war crimes and the like. And his goal here, according to sources, is to try and get Republicans who are wary of continued support for Ukraine on board with the need to continue supporting the Ukrainian.
So, we'll see how that goes, but it's going to be a pretty moving hearing and we'll see if politically, it works for him.
CAMEROTA: Okay. Thank you. Athena?
JONES: Well, in Akron, we've seen already that this grand jury reached this conclusion not to bring charges against the officers, but there is still going to be an internal investigation by Akron Police Department into, you know, whether they acted appropriately.
And we understand, at least from the lawyer representing the family of Jayland Walker, that they do plan to file a civil -- a civil case, a civil suit. He said that they would do it by the time of the first -- of the anniversary of Jayland Walker's death, which is in late June or so. So, maybe not tomorrow, but that's what we're looking for in the coming days out of that case.
And in terms of just the community, how do they respond because, again, seeing that video which has resurfaced, you know, people may have forgotten about it, but it's re traumatizing a lot of ways, seeing that many hearings, that many gunshots. And so, people might -- you know, we'll see how they respond.
CAMEROTA: For sure. Ladies, thank you so much for sharing all of your reporting with us. It's so great to have you all here tonight. Okay, make sure you tune in to "CNN This Morning" tomorrow. Don has a one on one with Billy McFarland. That's the convicted fraudster behind the bogus Fyre Festival who has plans for a sequel, we're told. So, be sure to tune in starting at 6:00 a.m. Eastern.
And thanks so much for watching tonight. Our coverage continues now.