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FBI Holds Press Conference, Massacre Suspect In Custody; Texas Massacre Suspect In Custody, Found Hiding Under Laundry In A Closet; FBI Found Suspect After A Tip Called Into Tip Line; Senate Debates Over Calls For Supreme Court Code Of Ethics Reform; A Bill In Wisconsin Proposes 14-Year-Old To Serve Alcohol; Late Night T.V. Shows Affected By Writers' Strike. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired May 02, 2023 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Alisyn.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Abby, great to see you, thanks so much.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota. Welcome to CNN TONIGHT.
We begin with breaking news. The suspect in the massacre of five people in Texas, including a nine-year-old boy, has been captured. We expect an FBI press conference at any moment. Francisco Oropeza was arrested tonight in a town called Cut and Shoot, Texas. That's about 17 miles from the scene of the killings.
Let's go right to Ed Lavandera. he's live for us in Cleveland, Texas, the scene of the killings. What do we know, Ed?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Alisyn. Well, actually, the address that we have where this arrest took place tonight is actually within ten miles of this scene here, where the murders took place, four nights ago. Francisco Oropeza has been booked into the Montgomery County Jail, which is the neighboring county from San Jacinto, where we are, and he is being held tonight on a $5 million bond.
Law enforcement sources tell our Josh Campbell that he was found in a home there hiding in a closet. We are expecting law enforcement officers and they are just now starting to gather. So, we will talk here as they start to make their way to the press conference here that is expected to begin any second, and, hopefully, get more details as to when this could happen.
Let's listen in to -- this is the public information officer for the FBI. So, he's helping out the photographers here at the scene.
So, the FBI special agent in charge, the San Jacinto County sheriff is also over there in the wings and they'll be making their way over here shortly. But this is a manhunt that has had more than 250 officers combing through the region. And there were many people and residents in the neighborhood who had told us they were beginning to suspect that perhaps this suspect had not made it very far from the crime scene since this happened on Friday night, Alisyn.
So, a great deal of movement here. We are told that all of this unfolded rather quickly throughout the evening here. And we're hoping to get more details exactly how all of these unfolding. And you'll excuse me because I'm trying to talk to you and also listen to what they're saying, make sure I'm not missing anything here as all these is all unfolding here tonight.
So, there'll be -- we're told by a special agent will be making a comment and also that sheriff will be making a comment, and taking some questions. So, we're hoping that we can be able to expand on exactly what is happening here. And I'll let our photographer may be like kind of zoom in on the scene here as the -- you can see the law enforcement agents starting to make their way over here, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Yes, Ed. I don't know if you can hear me, Ed, but can you just tell us how the neighborhood is feeling? I mean, I can't imagine the huge sigh of relief.
LAVANDERA: Yes. As soon as we heard the news that this had happened, I reached out to two -- one of the survivors and a couple of the family members of survivors that were in inside the home. You can imagine they were incredibly ecstatic, one of them said, we are so happy.
But what they were doing initially is watching some of the video that was captured by a resident. And it shows the arrest of Francisco Oropeza. They were frantically looking at this video, trying to see and confirm that it was indeed Francisco Oropeza. They were trying to remember the tattoos that they had remembered seen on their neighbor and comparing notes about whether or not this was indeed the suspect that they have been hoping would be caught here within the last four days. So, that's the kind of emotion and rollercoaster that they've been through over the last couple of hours.
Initially, when I talk to them, they had not been told by law enforcement that this arrest had taken place. But I believe that that has now happened. I think law enforcement here will be able to expand on that and confirm whether or not those conversations have happened. I suspect that they have. But, obviously, a great deal of emotion for those family members who have been through so much in the last four days.
I'm going to step out of the way here, Alisyn, so you can start seeing them and we can listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to introduce Sheriff Greg Capers of the San Jacinto Sheriff's Office.
SHERIFF GREG CAPERS, SAN JACINTO COUNTY, TEXAS: Good evening. I'm Sheriff Greg Capers of San Jacinto County Sheriff's Office with great news. The suspect is in custody. I have just left Montgomery County Jail where he was taken and he has been magistrated. He now will be taken to my jail and where his new residents will be. I would like to thank the men behind me and the women behind me. They're not women here right now, but they -- everybody played a very, very integral part in the arrest and capture of this coward.
Everybody behind me has worked tirelessly. I know that there are several people out of these 225-plus officers at this scene, not to include the millions of people, thanks to the media, you all pushed the message out, but we've had calls from Wyoming, Florida, South Texas, North Texas, Oklahoma, Maryland, and those are just a few of the places.
We were here, they were there. Bottom line is. We now have this man in custody. He was caught hiding in a closet underneath some laundry. They effectively made the arrest. He is uninjured and he is currently being taken to my facility in Cold Springs. Thank you.
LAVANDERA: Could you tell us how you guys were able to find him, what clues led you to him tonight?
CAPERS: Well, it was a multijurisdictional operation, to say the least. Somebody got a tip, DPS, CID, U.S. Marshals, FBI, we had a tag team. They all meandered over there and found that tip to be true.
LAVANDERA: What is this home a relative's home? And did they know where he was?
CAPERS: That's unknown to me. Maybe one of these guys behind me can speak to the actual information on how he was actually captured.
REPORTER: What is your message to the family members, the surviving family members, of those people who were killed in this attack?
CAPERS: Well, they can rest easy now because he is behind bars, and he will live out his life behind bars for killing those five.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, we have time for questions afterwards. Sheriff, if --
CAPERS: The ASEC (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, please.
CAPERS: He's the ASEC (ph).
JIMMY PAUL, ASSISTANT SPECIAL AGENT, FBI HOUSTON DIVISION: Hey, good evening. Thank you Sheriff Capers. My name is Jimmy Paul. I'm an assistant special agent in charge with the FBI Houston Division. Thanks for having me.
So, I just wanted to say it, first and foremost, the victims and their families are in the forefront of our minds and we are extremely delighted that the suspect was captured. The tip for the suspect's location came in through the FBI's tip line and we just want to thank the person who had the courage and bravery to call in the suspect's location.
TED WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Special Agent Paul, Ted Williams with Fox News. Do you know if this individual will be facing federal charges?
PAUL: Currently, it's an ongoing investigation and he is being charged by the San Jacinto County Sheriff's Office.
REPORTER: What is the connection to the person who was harboring Oropeza?
PAUL: Sorry, it's an ongoing investigation, I can't comment on that.
REPORTER: Did he give any indication why he did this? What was his demeanor when he was apprehended? Was he agitated? Was he tired?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, guys, we're going to let him get through his statement, and the U.S. Marshals, and afterwards we will take questions.
PAUL: Okay, thank you. I just wanted to thank the person who had the courage to call in the tip, and also I'd like to thank the many FBI personnel and local law enforcement agencies who work nonstop to bring this person to justice, to bring a sense of justice to the victims, and also a sense of security to the community of San Jacinto County community.
I mean, this is basically what we do. We show up, we bring the adequate resources and then we don't let up. We always said it's not a matter of if but a matter of when the suspect can be caught and we're extremely glad that today was the when.
At this time, I'd like to turn it over to the U.S. Marshal Service representative.
JOE RUIZ DE CHAVEZ, SUPERVISOR DEPUTY, U.S. MARSHAL: Good evening, my name is Joe Ruiz de Chavez. I'm a supervisor deputy of the U.S. Marshal. I oversee the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force here in Houston, Texas.
First, I want to say, this was an atrocious crime that devastated this community and this country. We received a call from a request from Sheriff Capers and we brought expertise and fugitive investigations and personnel to assist in this investigation.
The Marshal Service is the oldest federal law enforcement agency and we have expertise in hunting fugitives. This is a very sad time for the victims and I hope that this will bring them some comfort and they could grieve.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will open up for questions now. LAVANDERA: Can you tell us if Oropeza had any help from anybody? Can you tell us if Oropeza had help from family members or any other friends in the area that helped him hide for the last four days?
CHAVEZ: I can say that we've contacted many families, associates, not only here in the Houston area, but across the country.
LAVANDERA: But does that mean he's had help over the last four days?
CHAVEZ: I can't comment on that.
LAVANDERA: And did he ever reach out to any family members after the shooting incident on Friday night?
CHAVEZ: I can't comment on that.
REPORTER: -- detained at the scene, the female detained at the scene, who was that?
CHAVEZ: Again, this is an ongoing investigation, and we can't disclose that.
REPORTER: Sheriff Capers, you mentioned previously that there were multiple occasions and you weren't sure how many at least being called to that property for a firearm being discharged. Then we learned that Oropeza remove from the country four times, and then in 2022, a protective order that was filed by his wife with domestic abuse. At any point, did that prompt further investigation from your office?
CAPERS: Yes, we actually filed charges on him in 2022. And to the best of my knowledge, we got a warrant for him. And the constable went to serve him in another county because he left here and never could make contact with the subject. And then a few days later, the victim went to the district attorney's office in our county and filed a non- prosecution statement.
LAVANDERA: (INAUDIBLE) this point, but the address where this arrest took place have court documents that show it traces back to what of an aunt of Oropeza, I believe. Is that still the case, that this would be a home of family member? Can anybody confirm that?
CAPERS: I can't. I mean, it's really -- it's still ongoing, the investigation part. I wasn't part of the arrest team.
REPORTER: Do you have an idea how he got from the place of the shooting happened to Cut and Shoot? And did he a vehicle, did he walk? Did you guys have any idea what the timeline was?
CAPERS: Once again, not that I know of. I have no knowledge --
REPORTER: You mention multiple agencies. Was DHS also involved? Was BORTAC the agency who actually went in and made the apprehension?
CAPERS: They were part of that team, I do believe, yes, ma'am.
REPORTER: And now with the wife, the surviving wife, that's still living at that home, she is currently an ICE fugitive. Is anything happening with her? Is she being investigated? Are there follow-ups happening with her? I've understood from deputies that she has been cooperating?
CAPERS: Into my knowledge, she is still there because the officers are still there. I have no direct knowledge because this has all happened within the last couple of hours. But she is still there.
REPORTER: Sheriff if you don't mind, you don't believe that large reward that was put out, is that what made that person calling this tip? And will that money be going to the person who called in that tip?
CAPERS: The money will be going to the person that called in the tip through the proper channels. Yes, ma'am. I'm thinking it's still $80,000.
REPORTER: Sheriff Capers, we know that he's been in this country since 2016 illegally, meaning Oropeza. The question is, and he had an AR-15 rifle that he was shooting the night of this incident, have you been able to connect the dots as to how an illegal alien was able to purchase or get that AR-15 weapon?
CAPERS: Well, I can just speak to conjecture, buy it from somebody else on the street.
REPORTER: Are you conducting an investigation to try to connect those dots?
CAPERS: Yes, sir, we are. That is an ongoing investigation as well.
REPORTER: When did you learn about that the suspect was at this address and when did you actually go in? What was the time, the time specific time?
CAPERS: For tonight's arrest?
REPORTER: Well, yes. When did you first learn that he was there, and then when did you actually go in?
CAPERS: We would probably need to defer that to the FBI or the U.S. Marshals.
PAUL: We received a tip at 5:15. Sorry about that. We received a tip at 5:15 P.M., and the arrest was made at 6:30 P.M.
REPORTER: Can any of the participating agencies discuss how surprised were you that you ended up finding him 15 miles away or less from where this crime scene?
PAUL: I can't really speak on that. I can just tell that you we're just extremely happy that the citizen had the courage and the bravery to call in that tip.
REPORTER: Have you guys search that area before you got the tip or did you do (INAUDIBLE) you got somewhere in that search (ph)? PAUL: I'm not sure it was searched before but we immediately dispatched the team out there as soon as we got the tip.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to take three more questions.
REPORTER: Were they're other homes searched as well, known areas, known accomplices, or any of his family members, where those areas searched specifically as well?
I know you spent time talking about, family, we're obviously hearing that this was a family home that this person was found. So, were other family homes searched as well? Was this one just a random tip? What happened? Where there any families around?
PAUL: As far as we know, this was just a one-time, random tip, but we've contacted multiple houses and families throughout the area.
REPORTER: What does contact mean? Have you gone in? Did you search these homes, looking at their laundry and tiles and other family's homes and just all that?
PAUL: We have done knock-in talks with multiple homes throughout the area and we have gotten consent from the homeowners to go in and take a look. So, we've done those kind of actions, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two more questions.
REPORTER: Was anyone else in custody or any in questioning? Sheriff, is anyone else in custody or in questioning tonight?
CAPERS: No, ma'am, nobody else is in custody tonight. And I'm assuming that they are still at the house questioning the people that were at the house, where the suspect was arrested.
REPORTER: Did you guys find anyone else, any other injuries while the suspect was on the run? Was anyone hurt in his quest to kind of evade law enforcement?
PAUL: As far as know, we do not know anybody else that was injured.
REPORTER: Is there formal criminal charges that has filed sir?
REPORTER: Can you make any comment on what was his demeanor when he was placed under arrest?
CAPERS: Yes, sir.
LAVANDERA: Is there any formal criminal charges filed, you know what those are yet?
LAVANDERA: Five counts of murder?
CAPERS: Five counts of murder, $5 Million bond.
LAVANDERA: Not capital murder?
CAPERS: No, sir. Not at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.
REPORTER: There is a video in social media is the correct person, is Francisco Oropeza?
CAPERS: Say it one more time?
REPORTER: There is a video in social media, is it the correct video, the correspondence of Francisco Oropeza?
CAPERS: I haven't had time to visit social media.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much, everyone. I'm going to clarify -- thank you very much, everyone, thank you guys very much.
Guys, I want to clarify some of the spellings and answer some of the round of questions here. I know that there are --
CAMEROTA: Okay. We've been listen there to the press conference that just announced that that suspect, Francisco Oropeza, has been captured. He was captured at 6:30 local time tonight after a tip came in to the FBI at 5:15. This, of course, is the suspect who was wanted for the killing of five people, some of them family members, one of them a nine-year-old boy, after his neighbors asked him to stop shooting his rifle that was making so much noise near their sleeping baby, and he shot them for that.
It sounds like he was arrested without incident, but he was found hiding in a closet underneath some laundry. We heard from our own correspondent there, Ed Lavandera, it sounds like it may -- according to court documents, that may have been the home of his aunt or a relative, but the police were not willing to go that far. They do believe that the $80,000 reward money that was offered did help bring this suspect to justice.
I want to bring in now Andrew McCabe, CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analyst and former FBI Deputy Director. Andy, I am struck once again by the power of the public, the public and the partnership between the public and their eyeballs in law enforcement that then goes and execute the capture and it worked.
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFOREMENT ANALYST: Alisyn, I'm telling you, it is one of the most powerful tools in law enforcement has to work with today, and that is essentially crowd sourcing the investigation. It is so important in one of these manhunt situations to get the photograph of the offender out there, to get the name and identity out there. If you have the vehicle description, that's great too. And then you further incentivize that crowd sourcing by putting a significant reward on top of it. So, yes, you're right, it's another example of how effective that can be. And let's look at it from the other perspective, it is not easy to go on the land, to run from hundreds of law enforcement officers who are looking for you. It's almost impossible to do without a pre-existing support system and a fair amount of cash to get you along. And all that gets 1,000 times harder when everyone else in the public, in your town, in your county, knows what you've done, and is looking for you. It's very hard to hide.
CAMEROTA: He also had distinctive tattoos. We just had a picture of one of them. That wasn't his only one. And so that is also hard to hide from. I mean, that's what tipsters -- we had heard as the press conference was starting, that one of the ways they confirmed that, in fact, it was him was matching those tattoos to previous photos they had had and to what neighbors testified as him having.
MCCABE: Yes, that's really key, those distinctive physical attributes or qualities, whether it's a tattoo, or a particular scar, or other mark, those things really make the identification quite easy when you have a good view in the suspect.
So, it's a remarkable story, my hats off to my former colleagues at the bureau, and all of their partners in the state and local law enforcement there, a lot of work.
You know, let's not minimize how dangerous this work is. This is somebody who killed five people, and there was a question from one of the reporters at the press conference, whether or not they went, essentially, house to house, everywhere around Cold Spring and the surrounding cities. That's very hard to do. It seems easy but it would take thousands of people to do that quickly.
But every place you search, every structure, every vehicle, the officers who are doing that work are thinking, if he's in this place, he might shoot me before I see him. So, it has to be done carefully, and that sometimes means slowly and deliberately, but they really did their jobs here.
CAMEROTA: Excellent police work, because, again, that the tip came in at 5:15 P.M. to the tip line, and basically, an hour later, at 6:30 P.M., he was arrested hiding under that pile of clothing. So, everyone is relieved, obviously, particularly that community that lost so many people.
Andy McCabe, thank you very much, really appreciate you being here tonight.
And, again, our breaking news, the suspect in the Texas massacre is in custody. He was found under laundry, in a closet, just about ten miles away from the scene of the killings. There's a lot to talk about with my panel right after this very quick break.
[22:25:00] CAMEROTA: We do have breaking news tonight. The suspect in the Texas massacre is now in custody. He was found hiding in a closet under a pile of laundry.
My panel is here with me. We have Coleman Hughes, Host of the Conversations with Coleman Podcast, Jessica Washington from The Root, Mosheh Oinounou, Host of the Mo News Podcast, and Elie Honig, CNN Senior Legal Analyst.
So, great news, guys. I mean, that is so rewarding for law enforcement and for that community to know that this suspect who is wanted for such a heinous crime is out, I mean, is now in custody.
So, Elie, we just heard from the sheriff, we heard from the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI about this guy. Basically, they got a tip into the FBI hotline. His picture had been posted everywhere, we have been broadcasting it, all sorts of T.V. stations had. They got a tip at 5:15 P.M., he was arrested at 6:30 P.M. It sounded like he may have been his aunt's house, though the police would not confirm that. Now what?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. So, now he's going to be prosecuted. And one of the questions that people may have that somebody asked I think the sheriff, is this going to be a federal or state prosecution? The sheriff seemed a little unsure but I'll tell you, the answer right now appears to be state.
Yes, the FBI was at that press conference. Yes, the U.S. Marshals were at that press conference. They're federal agencies. But federal agencies often assist in this type of manhunt. It looks like he's going to be prosecuted in the state of Texas. Not a great place to be prosecuted, by the way, if you're defended.
And there was a question asked of the sheriff, is he -- what is he charged with? And the sheriff just said, murder. And the follow-up was, well, capital murder, which is known and most other jurisdiction as first-degree murder. And I believe the sheriff said, no, but that's a decision to be made later. And that will be a decision to be made by prosecutors. And as I understand Texas law, if you kill a person under the age of ten, and one of the victims he reportedly is nine, then that could be account of capital murder.
So, either way, this person is certainly going to be charged with murder, prosecutors are going to have to figure out within the next several hours, if they haven't already, what degree of murder are we going charge this guy with?
CAMEROTA: Mosheh, your thoughts?
MOSHEH OINOUNOU, HOST MO NEWS PODCAST: So, Oropeza, in the interesting timeline that we've learned over the last few days, right, deported from the U.S. four times, as we were talking earlier, '09 twice, 2012, deported a third time, 2016, deported a fourth time. Last year, as the sheriff saying, his wife reported that he had assaulted her, domestic violence. The cops clearly interacted with him.
CAMEROTA: But then she wouldn't prosecute, it sounded like.
OINOUNOU: She didn't press charges against him.
But he felt comfortable enough and was able to own at least five weapons and be shooting in his backyard, after all of this. So, it certainly leads to questions about generally our policies.
CAMEROTA: Yes, absolutely. Coleman your thought?
COLEMAN HUGHES, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, THE FREE PRESS: Yes, I mean, I think everyone is going to be thinking how did this guy -- if he was deported four times, that would imply he crossed the border illegally five times, right? So, how does a guy like this that clearly is just red flags out there wazoo, how is this guy still in the country and able to commit a crime like this, right? I mean, it makes us question our border security, first of all, and the extent to which if this guy, if police come into contact with this guy, what is their protocol, right? Do you deport someone? Do you detain someone?
CAMEROTA: But do we think is really coming through a border crossing and showing papers? I mean, we don't know is the answer. But might he also just be sneaky across the border?
HONIG: Sure. I suspect once you've been deported once, they will have a file on you at immigration. And so if you try and come through again and you present your actual I.D., they'll turn your right around or arrest you.
CAMEROTA: Right. Jessica, your thoughts?
JESSICA WASHINGTON, SENIOR REPORTER, THE ROOT: Yes. I mean, it is incredibly troubling that he was able to own this many weapons, especially with these red flags, including kind of the fact that his wife had originally said that he committed domestic violence, even if she decided not to go forward with filing those charges.
So, I think that's a huge concern that he had all of these weapons and this history of suspicion of domestic violence. And the fact that he didn't end up being deported is there are some questions about how that ended up happening, how he was able to stay in the country after being deported four times. So, I think there's a lot we're going to have to unravel in the next couple of days.
CAMEROTA: Yes, you're right, there're still so many questions, but thank goodness he's behind bars tonight.
Okay, we'll bring you more on the capture of that Texas massacre suspect later in the program.
Up next, we want to talk about the Supreme Court's ethics problem. Who's going to make the highest court in the land address the ethics? My panel is going to weigh in on that.
[22:30:00] CAMEROTA: The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land, so who governs them? That's the question after a series of ethical violations coming to light about a couple of the justices, particularly Clarence Thomas who was reportedly had a billionaire friend bankroll his lavish vacations for decades. Now, Congress is debating what to do about this and no surprise that debate turned immediately partisan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): This is not about making the court better. This is about destroying a conservative court.
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): Judges are expected to comply with high standards of ethics and integrity, and it does appear that there needs to be better oversight. I've been a longtime advocate for transparency and accountability because I believe the public's business should be public.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Back with our panel now. Joining is former Senate candidate Joe Pinion. Joe, should Congress -- does Congress need to do something to set an ethics code for the Supreme Court?
JOE PINION, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes. I think that at this juncture it's clear that we need the code of ethics not just for the Supreme Court but for Congress itself. This is a wonderful opportunity.
CAMEROTA: But Congress does have a code of ethics.
PINION: Not really, if we talk about insider trading that is rampant on the congressional hill. So, I think, at some point we should just be embracing the opportunity to simply say that if at the highest court of the land doesn't have a code of ethics then how can they assume to be the guardrails for our democracy and our republic.
CAMEROTA: And it's up to Congress you think to set that for them. They can't be trusted to do it themselves.
PINION: Well, I disagree. I think it is an opportunity for Chief Justice Roberts particularly since he has said he's not going to go testify before Congress to come up with the most stringent code of ethics ever set forth and then have all the justices combined, collectively say they want Congress to go ahead and implement that.
I think that's what the Republicans should be pushing for, not trying to play pin the blame on the donkey with the Democrats because of this perceived threat to what they call a conservative court.
CAMEROTA: Elie, what needs to happen right now?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: This should have nothing to do with partisan politics. There are 800 plus federal judges in this country, all of them except for nine are bound by a code of ethics. This is a Supreme Court that is just out of control. They've absolutely lost the right. They've lost us and the public and it's their fault.
Now, just in the last year or so let's just recap. They've leaked the Dobbs opinion. We've learned that they --
CAMEROTA: One of the justices did.
HONIG: Yeah, but somebody in the Supreme Court, within the Supreme Court's (inaudible). I am counting them all together collectively. We've learned that there are lobbying groups that donate money to the Supreme Court historical society, get to rub shoulders with the justices and in the case, as reported by "The New York Times," Justice Alito allegedly leaked what was going to happen in an opinion to one of those donors.
We learned that Clarence Thomas has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of gifts and not reported them. We have seen other --
CAMEROTA: In the form of travel.
HONIG: Right, in the form of travel and flights, and vacations. And we've seen other justices who either themselves or spouses have had big money, financial dealings with people, and again not reported them. And when they get called on this, finally, by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and asked for a testimony, they get this condescending letter from the chief justice.
And by the way signed by all nine justices. So, this isn't about one side or the other saying no, thank you. We shan't appear. And by the way, what they say in the letter is the reason that you all are having problems with us is because you misperceive us. It's your fault because we are above the law and we do not answer to anybody.
CAMEROTA: I will read a portion of that letter. I don't remember it being in old English, but as always (inaudible) --
HONIG: I was (inaudible).
CAMEROTA: I like that. "The Justices, like other federal judges consult a wide variety of authorities to address specific ethical issues. They may turn to judicial opinions, treatises, scholarly articles, disciplinary decisions and the historical practice of the Court and federal judiciary. They also may also seek advice from the Court's Legal Office and from their colleagues." Basically, Jessica, as I was saying, they're not going to change anything.
JESSICE WASHINGTON, SENIOR REPORTER, THE ROOT: Yeah. And it just -- it's such a disservice to the court not to want to be bound by these ethics, and I think that's why it is so important for Congress to do this, or for the court to do it themselves because, I think, obviously people have lost trust to the Supreme Court.
And a lot of that has to do with the decisions, but it also has to do with these things that we've seen come out about Thomas, you know, the reporting on Gorsuch. All of these different things whether or not you agree with them, it adds to this concern that why is the highest court in the land not bound by these basics ethics rules?
CAMEROTA: What is the answer, Coleman?
COLEMAN HUGHES, HOST, CONVETSATIONS WITH COLEMAN PODCAST: Look, I think if Congress really wants to tackle corruption it should get its own house in order, okay. There is insider trading, dumping stocks, buying stocks the day before that industry is regulated, and they have to disclose that if it's over $1,000 within 45 days.
And the penalty for doing that is a mere $200 and they still don't pay it. This happens all the time, right? So, it's a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. If we're looking at, you know, the federal government in general, was the most corrupt branch, I would say probably Congress. That doesn't I'm against Supreme Court getting its house together too, but Congress is somewhat the wrong messenger.
CAMEROTA: I hear you, but who should govern it? I mean, since the Supreme Court is not doing it themselves, who should govern the Supreme Court?
HUGHES: Well, then it -- I mean, it should either be the executive branch or the legislative branch for sure. And none of these branches can be trusted to police themselves.
PINION: I mean, this is lunacy. I mean, it is obvious the Supreme Court has to have a code of ethics, particularly when the trust of that sacred branch has been effectively besmirched. So, at the end of the day, yes, if Republicans are going to bang the table about AOC wearing a ridiculous dress to the Met Gala, which was just yesterday, then perhaps we should think -- we should have a code of ethics for the Supreme Court.
And while you're at it, perhaps we should have a renewed code of trust for the people in Congress who have America's deepest secrets and are using them to put money in their own bank accounts. So, these are undeniable truths. It's not partisan. We should just be able to get around, get it done, and this gridlock in D.C. over something so basic is why we see people so dissatisfied with our representation across the political spectrum.
CAMEROTA: But you're not suggesting a dress code for AOC? That's -- you're just bringing it up. You're just weaving it in. I see what's happening. Elie, I mean, we have a few seconds left. That's -- so, the answer is if they can't do it themselves, Congress.
HONIG: Yeah, Congress can come in and be just like here's your ethics code or you have to do it yourself. We'll let you do it, but you have to do it.
CAMEROTA: Great. Thank you all very much. Stick around please. Should a 14-year-old be allowed to serve alcohol at restaurants? Wisconsin is considering that. We're going to talk about it next.
[22:40:00] CAMEROTA: So, should 14-year-olds be allowed to serve alcohol at work? "The Washington Post" reports that Wisconsin is considering allowing teenagers as young as 14 to serve booze at restaurants. There is a growing trend in some states to rollback restrictions regarding minors working. My panel is back with me to discuss all of this. Jessica, what's wrong with a 14-year-old serving alcohol?
WASHINGTON: I don't like it. I think, I mean, just this idea of children being kind of this in-between between adults -- adults who are drinking and kind of -- and their drinks. So, okay, so you have the situation where a 14-year-old has to say you are cut off to like a drunk angry person.
Now, I know that's difficult for even, you know, young adults to do, but now we're asking like children, you know, who could still be in middle school, 14-year-olds can be in middle school, and that just -- I think that's the line that I don't -- I don't want us to cross.
HUGHES: You can also picture a scenario where you have drunk male customers with underage girls and now, you're subjecting them to the potential come-ons of drunk patrons.
CAMEROTA: Accept it, that 14-year-olds are allowed to be bus boys and bus buys who are still around drunk patrons. I'm not sure what the difference is between walking up and handing a beer to somebody and clearing their plate from them.
HUGHES: No, that's, I mean, I supposes that's right but there is -- there is something -- I think there is something more -- it sets up situations to be worse, I think, if they're actually the ones bringing the drink and if you have to contact the 14-year-old girl to get your next drink, right? You have to call her. That it sets up way more opportunities for things to get weird.
CAMEROTA: I think the reason Wisconsin is considering it is because they do have 14-year-olds allowed to work in restaurants and what they say is when they cannot serve drinks it causes -- it's like a break in the, you know, responsibility line. Like they are sort of milling around the bar waiting for a waitress to be free to be able to go get them their drink for their table and they can't bring it to their table. You can see that there is a traffic jam issue at restaurants. That's why they're considering doing it. Joe, do you like it or di you hate it?
PINION: I think we are fundamentally asking the wrong question. I think that on some basic level, I think all of those are really good points, but I think there is a deeper issue that we're not talking about, which is that it used to be that kids would work to save up for the first car, to save up for that dress they really wanted for prom, and now they're saving money to buy the insulin that their parents can't afford. So, there is a real deep, deep pain on main street that hasn't been
addressed. The economy is not working for far too many Americans. And until we want to address those underlying issues, then all of this is really just, you know, band-aids on a gashing wound.
CAMEROTA: So that's why you think 14-year-olds are going to work?
PINION: I think that reality, well, look, I think that you raise an interesting point. I think, again, anyone who has been in the restaurant business, hospitality business knows that when you've got one bartender and five servers bad things happen, customers get mad. So, I think just being able to reach around and pour the beer makes it a lot easier.
But I do think that it is a symptom for a much deeper problem, which is that the American economy has stopped working for far too many Americans and the reality is that whether we're talking about the immigration issues, whether we're talking about just the everyday issues, people have lost trust in the government, at the federal level and at the state level to solve these problems.
MOSHEH OINOUNOU, HOST, MO NEWS PODCAST: There is the larger issue that Joe is talking about, which is this is not just Wisconsin, right? In Arkansas, they just limited the work permits so that kids under 16 work. In Iowa, there is a bill to let 14-year-olds work night shifts, 15-year-olds on assembly lines. And there's bills on Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Georgia as we are looking into this.
Ultimately, we have a worker shortage. By the way, we began this broadcast with an immigration issue that leads to this worker shortage. Then you have the post-COVID thing. So, this is a -- there's a larger issue happening in this country right now in regards to the labor shortage, which is why we keep looking younger, it appears.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. That's what you're saying (inaudible). You think that there might be other solutions before we put minors to work on assembly line?
HUGHES: Right. We have a labor market shortage; shouldn't maybe we go through plan A and plan B before we start pressing our children into jobs. I mean, you know, I think, you know, labor economy should be consulted about like what policies can we implement so that the states don't feel such a pressure to, you know, hire minors.
CAMEROTA: What about just the benefit that comes, the value, the life experience, the teachable moment that comes from having a job at 14? I mean, obviously, I'm sure all of us were babysitters at some point at 14, but when you get into a real job it's different.
WASHINGTON: Yeah. I think there's a lot of benefits to, you know, working, you know, when it's appropriate. I think particularly this assembly line issue, having kids in factories, that definitely concerns me as young as 15. They just -- we already know it's not safe for adults. In many cases, we've heard about these horror stories at Amazon warehouse. The idea of putting children in those situations is definitely concerning. Having children who should be in school learning on night shifts is also a major concern. I understand kind of wanting them to have this really good moments. I think there are some great moments you can have from working a job as a child, but you know, 15-year-olds on assembly lines in factories is just not it.
PINION: I think even to that point, right, "The Wall Street Journal" came out with that report today saying that, again, the greatest deed those overnight shifts, right, those highly skilled mechanical jobs, is again, to your point, we're drifting towards having children do those jobs. And if we go back to the original intent of the law, the law was to make sure that children got out of the factory and into the school, into an environment where they are going to acquire the skills, they needed to beat gainfully employed adults.
And so, the other issue is that the school has failed to deliver on that charter. That many times, case-by-case, city by city, state by state, kids don't know how to read at grade level. They don't know how to do math at grade level. And increasingly, these young people are deciding, well, I better start working sooner because obviously this time I'm spending in the classroom is not actually preparing me for the life I plan on living or the money and the wages I need in order to support my family and my loved ones.
CAMEROTA: Okay, friends, thank you very much for all of that. Next, what the writers' strike means for all of us. What shows you can still watch and what shows you cannot.
CAMEROTA: Thousands of film and television writers walking off the job and on to the picket line today as the Writers Guild of America officially called a strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The strike will have an immediate impact on the late night T.V. shows, which are now forced to ran repeats for the duration of this walkout. But the writers are getting support from hosts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SETH MEYERS, HOST, LATE NIGHT: Is something that is not done lightly and that I will be heartbroken to miss you as well.
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT: Without these people, the show would be called the "Late Show with a guy rambling about the Lord of the Rings and boats for an hour."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: "Saturday Night Live" will also air repeat episodes until further notice. Striking writers are demanding better compensation. They say that streaming has changed the industry so much that they're making less than they were a decade ago.
The alliance says they did provide a comprehensive package proposal to begin the guild with increases in compensation and improvements for residuals.
Okay, coming up, some of our favorite reporters are here to talk about the stories that they are working on for tomorrow. They are going to share their scoops with us, next.
CAMEROTA: Welcome back everybody. We have two big stories for you tonight.