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Trump Asks Court To Delay Docs Trial Date; What Is The Best Way For Biden To Handle His Age?; Former Manson Family Member Leslie Van Houten Released; House GOP Gearing Up To Grill FBI Director Wray; Winning The Lottery: What Could Go Wrong? Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired July 11, 2023 - 23:00   ET



LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You do hate to have a family dealing, grappling with the grief on top of the monetary legacy having to be figured out. A really important point you raise even if you're not with, you know, multi-million dollar estate of a Queen of Soul, the impact is important, nonetheless.


COATES: -- the impact is important, nonetheless.

BOLDEN: Absolutely.

COATES: Great to have your expertise. Thank you so much.

BOLDEN: Thank you for having me.

COATES: He's Scott Bolden, everyone. Well, "CNN Tonight" starts right now with John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you so much. Tonight, Joe Biden is going to bed without supper. The Trump team asked the judge to pencil in a trial they for some time around never. And white nationalists are racists. See, Senator Tuberville, really not that hard to say.

I'm John Berman, and this is "CNN Tonight" or very nearly tomorrow, which is when we could learn what these two top prosecutors were doing at a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. It is the courthouse where the grand jury has been hearing testimony in the special counsel's investigation into Donald Trump's actions surrounding January 6th. It has been a busy courthouse, which has heard from a long list of witnesses that you can see right there on the screen, including Mike Pence and Rudy Giuliani.

Now, seeing activity at the courthouse is not unusual. Seeing these two top lawyers from the Special Counsel Jack Smith's team there is. And it is a lot of speculation that maybe they are inching closer to a charging decision.

Tonight, we are going to get the insider's guide of what to look for how to figure out if new indictments are coming. Of course, there already have been indictments in the other half of the special counsel's world, the Mar-a-Lago documents case.

And now, Trump's team has told a federal judge when they think the trial should happen. Later, they say. Much later. And if they get their way, maybe never.

Quote -- "There is simply no question that any trial of this action during the pendency of a presidential election will impact both the outcome of the election and importantly, the ability of the defendants to get a fair trial." Pendency, by the way, for folks like me who have never seen the word, means it is coming. The election is coming.

News you can use. Trump is asking to wait until after the election so too is his aide or body man as he is called sometimes, Walt Nauta. They write Mr. Nauta's job requires him to accompany President Trump during most campaign trips around the country. Requires? He needs to be there? As we sometimes ask our kids when they say they need ice cream, is that a need or a want? The judge will decide.

Now, finally, the lawyers argue that there is no ongoing threat to national security nor any concern regarding continued criminal activity. A federal judge will have to decide if that is true about a guy who, after all, is being charged for the way he handled secrets.

Now, whether you agree with the filing or not, all of this is likely good lawyering. A trial delayed is a trial that could die, as in never happen if Trump wins.

First, though, to the action that we saw today and what it might mean for tomorrow, joining us with his legal decoder ring, CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig.


BERMAN: All right, these two top lawyers from Special Counsel Jack Smith's team were spotted at the courthouse where the grand jury has been working. Our eagle-eye journalists who are there, they say these two lawyers are not usually there. Why might the top people be there now?

HONIG: So, it's a good catch by our reporters and this all requires, by the way, a sort of blanket disclaimer. We're talking about grand jury. We don't know what is happening behind closed doors.

But let me give you a couple reasons in my experience why we could be seeing these two senior lawyers. One, it could be that they've divided up the labor, that certain lawyers are handling certain witnesses. Typically, you are more sensitive when more difficult witnesses would be handled by your more senior attorneys.

The other possibility is that when you get to the end of a presentation as a prosecutor and you are ready to ask the grand jury for an indictment, you have to present to them the draft indictment. You read them the charges and then you have to instruct them on the law. It is really important that get that just right because if you messed up, if you skipped an element, that charge is going to get thrown out way down the line. So, bosses may get involved at that point as well.

BERMAN: It is normally the top people who are there to present the indictment.

HONIG: Right. You would be, especially in a high stakes case.

BERMAN: And not Jack Smith. By the way, the special counsel is not the person who would be there. It would be the top lawyers in his office.

HONIG: And that's normal, too. You would never see, for example, the U.S. attorney, the boss of each office. They wouldn't go in on a big case. But you would have a unit supervisor-type person.

BERMAN: Elie, we saw indictments obviously in the Mar-a-Lago and there were some signals before it came that it might happen. What are those signals? What should we look for that might point to a charging decision?

HONIG: So, the first thing you want to ask is, does it look like they have talked to everyone relevant? And I think in this case, we saw that --


I mean, it's hard to think of someone they haven't spoken to, from Mike Pence to Brad Raffensperger to Rudy Giuliani, on down the line. But that's sort of necessary but not necessarily sufficient.


One indicator is, remember before the Mar-a-Lago indictment, I think it was three days before, we saw that there was this meeting where prosecutors will say to defense lawyers, last chance, you can come in and try to convince us. Trump lawyers went in, I think, on a Monday and the indictment happened on Thursday.

Now, we have not heard reporting that that has happened yet as to this January 6th case with respect to Donald Trump or anybody. You don't have to give that meeting as a prosecutor but typically, you would in a case like this and we know that they did the first time.

BERMAN: You don't have to give the meeting. Typically, would, but you don't always have to tell people about the meeting. We don't know where that information came from. But last time, we learned it happened. Sometimes, it's a secret.

HONIG: Last time, we saw them walking -- Trump's lawyers walking into the building. But yeah, it could be they said, let's keep this under wraps, let's do it on the phone, let's do it by zoom, let's do it some third person's office where Katelyn Polantz is not going to be camped out and see us walking in.

BERMAN: And to just be clear, there are more people potentially who could be charged here than were charged in the documents case where it is just Trump and Nauta. There are other people. Maybe there is more to tie. Maybe there are more meetings to take place.

HONIG: And potentially, dozens of people here could be in jeopardy legally, both in DOJ and in Fulton County. So, we tend to focus very heavily on Donald Trump. Let us remember, there is a lot of other people who did, essentially, the same thing or some subset of what Donald Trump did. So, yes, it could be anyone.

BERMAN: If they charge, there could be more than one person charged. I want to ask you about another legal development that happened today that has a lot of importance about what happens going forward. This has to do with the second E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit, which has not gone to trial just yet.

The U.S. Justice Department, the current justice department, has decided it is no longer going to assert that Donald Trump had immunity, a type of immunity, for his actions in this case. I hope I described that the right way. Explain to me exactly what that means.

HONIG: You've got. There are two E. Jean Carroll lawsuits. The one that already has been tried, which resulted in the verdict mostly for E. Jean Carroll $5 million, that related to statements Donald Trump made after he left the presidency because we do not have the sort of complicated immunity issues.

The one that is still pending and the one that you're talking about now relates to statements he made while he was president. The question is, if DOJ determines that those statements were made in the course of the official duties of being president, then DOJ will represent you, and they will get the case thrown out on basis of immunity.

Donald Trump's DOJ under Bill Barr initially made the controversial decision, yes, Donald Trump's comments about E. Jean Carroll were a part of his job as president. And then the more surprising part is when Merrick Garland took in for the Biden administration. He agreed. He said, yes, that was part of his official job.

But now, DOJ has reversed that and said, given some of the evidence that came out in the first trial and given some of Trump's subsequent statements, they actually have now reversed themselves and said not in the course of his duties, we won't represent him, and he is not going to be able to get rid of the case on --

BERMAN: The Justice Department would, in theory, say that about a past president, say it is protected because of the office of the presidency, not necessarily the specifics of what happened.

HONIG: Yeah, Merrick Garland wasn't -- I don't -- there is no reason. I think he is trying to do Donald Trump a favor there. DOJ was being, I think, protective. Maybe they've now admitted overprotective of the institution itself.

BERMAN: Elie Honig, great to see you. Keep that decoder ring safe.

HONIG: Always calling on it.

BERMAN: All right. I want to now move to this filing from the Trump legal team to delay the trial in the Mar-a-Lago case. I want to bring former Trump White House lawyer Jim Schultz in to the discussion. Jim, great to see you.

I said this is likely good lawyering to ask for a delay in this trial until after the election. Kind of like a slam dunk for any lawyer. Why is this something that any lawyer would push for?

JAMES SCHULTZ, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: Look, they are going to ask for a delay, particularly in this case because of all of the things that are coming up. Right?

There is an opportunity -- you know, if this thing gets delayed, there is an opportunity for -- let's say Donald Trump becomes president, right, there is an opportunity there for Donald Trump. Let's say he is then a candidate for office, gets through the primary, becomes a candidate for office, another opportunity for delay there. If he becomes president, there is this whole issue of pardon. He has talked about self-pardons in the past.

So, of course, they are going to try to delay, delay, delay here. Not only for that but also, you know, just to continue this down the line because remember, a trial may just, throughout this timeframe, you know, may just tie him up for his campaign, so there is a political reason there as well.

BERMAN: I mean, if you have a 50% chance of winning the presidency, even if it's a 40% chance of winning the presidency, if you win, you can pardon yourself. It seems like a good thing to go for it to delay the case until you might win the presidency even if you only have that chance.

To that end, Judge Eileen Cannon, the federal judge here, a Trump appointee, this is a big decision for her. If she decides to delay the trial until after the election, there is a significant chance that the trial never happens. How do you think she will approach this?


SCHULTZ: So, look, I think, to a certain extent, she has got a ton of criticism on one of her rulings in the documents case earlier. And we all know about that, we all heard about that. You know, that is going to definitely be in the back of her mind as she is considering this piece of it.

Now, there is this issue of the campaign and the fact that Walt Nauta needs to be with him on the campaign, the fact that there is an upcoming election, but there are also issues relating to the lawyers being involved in her own cases.

I think those are ones that she is likely to grab, I don't think the long-term extension that they are asking for, but I think she is going to be very careful and very hard pressed, given the criticism that she had the last time, to extend this thing out beyond the election. I just don't see it happening.

BERMAN: If you're one of the other candidates running against Donald Trump in the republican primary, which outcome would you want? Would you want this delayed until after the election or would you want the trial to happen?

SCHULTZ: Look, the bottom line, this is out of their control. This lies right at the feet of the judge in this case. Now, how it impacts them politically depends. Right? If he comes out of this and, you know, he doesn't get convicted and he comes out much stronger, then they will say, well, we might want it that way.

If he loses the case, well, then, you know, of course they are going to have -- if he loses the case, then, you know, perhaps he is out of the race. Who knows? But, you know, I think it is a crapshoot one way or the other. I think that largely, a lot of them, except for Governor Christie, are going to remain silent on the issue.

BERMAN: And Walt Nauta, by the way, does he really need to be on the campaign trail? I mean, is Walt Nauta the type of guy that you could replace if you had to?

SCHULTZ: Look, I think that's -- look, they are going to make arguments that that is his way of making a living and he needs to be on the campaign trail for his own benefit.

But we will see how the judge handles that as well. I think that will all shake out, you know, as part of -- do they really want to extend this thing out beyond the election? Does the judge really want to extend this thing out beyond the election or not?

And I think, you're going to -- like I said, I think you are going to see, you know, the lawyers tied up on other cases or some of the little -- you might see. That is a huge win for the former president if they extended out that far.

BERMAN: All right, Jim Schultz, now we know what to look for. Thank you so much.

SCHULTZ: Thank you.

BERMAN: President Biden did not attend the NATO head of state dinner, saying it was to prepare for a big speech tomorrow. Some people say that this points to the limitations of his age. So, what is the best way politically for President Biden to handle this, the age question? A, deny it, B, ignore it, C, joke about it, D, feats of strength like going to the beach shirtless.




BERMAN: Tonight, new data that shows your next president could be chosen by Oscar the Grouch.


UNKNOWN: Who is kicking my can?


BERMAN: Not literally Oscar the Grouch because puppets don't have the franchise, but people like Oscar, haters of a sort, political haters, at least.




BERMAN: According to the latest CNN poll, more Americans view neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump favorably. More people view them unfavorably than those who held favorable views of either man. In other words, I don't like them is beating I like either of them. I don't like them has a plurality. Political misanthropes are your power block. How comfortable are you with Ebenezer Scrooge being a plurality?


UNKNOWN: Ah, humbug!


BERMAN: No, not literally scrooge because he is British and dead, but people like Scrooge. Analysts call this group double haters. They matter a lot not just because there are more of them, but they can be decisive. In 2016, double haters, people who didn't like either Trump or Hillary Clinton, that was a favor to Donald Trump and that was a big part of his win, double haters.

The French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre famously said, hell is other people. It's like Sartre is now the swing vote. Now, not Sartre literally because he is French and dead, but voters who hate what they see.

For the record, according to the average of the last Quinnipiac polls, Biden is currently winning the Sartre double hater vote. So, what does that mean?

Joining us now in the spirit of hatred is CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten and Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain and the executive producer of "The Circus." Gentlemen, thank you. And just to make you hate me, I want to put these questions in the form of multiple choice.

Harry Enten, what do these double haters, people who say they hate Biden and hate Trump, actually want? A, more options in the two major parties, B, third party option, C, just to get something off their chest. In other words, they're just complainers, or D, don't know or can't say.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: You know, I played this game last night, and I find this "multiple choice" thing to somewhat be difficult. I prefer essays, long essays, and like to filibuster a little bit. Look, I think a lot of them like to complain. I do think that's part of it.

But I do know there's nobody else, right? If you look at all the other candidates that have any sort of name recognition who have any real shot of winning either of the two major party nominations, they, too, are underwater.

So, they may want more choices, but who are those choices may be? Right? Is it some special person up in the clouds, someone who could come down like in a hologram and be fantastic?


That person does not exist. But I will say, if you look back through history and you look at elections in the early going, both candidates were underwater. There is a higher probability of let's say a third- party candidate perhaps catching fire. And, of course, by catching fire, I mean maybe getting 5% of the vote.

BERMAN: What do they want, Mark McKinnon?

MARK MCKINNON, FORMER ADVISER TO GEORGE W. BUSH AND JOHN MCCAIN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF "THE CIRCUS": I'd say D, all the above, John. All the things you listed. But the biggest problem for both these candidates is that more than 75%, I think the number is actually 86% of American voters, think that both of these candidates are too old to be president. That's a big problem for both of them.

And the irony is that in 2020, Joe Biden may have been the only Democrat that could beat Biden. But because of his age, just four years later, he may be the only Democrat that could lose to Trump. So, it's a real quandary for both candidates because voters don't like the dogs -- neither one of them like the options, and they're looking for a different choice.

BERMAN: You know, we will get to the age thing in a second. But Mark, how do -- if haters are your target audience, voters who hate everybody, you've done campaigns before, how do you try to appeal to them or do you try to make them hate the other guy more?

MCKINNON: Well, generally, it's a matter of, you know, trying to demonize the other guy because the fact is -- the problem for Biden is that age is not something he can really do anything about. A huge percentage of Americans have concerns about his mental or physical capabilities.

And how do you improve that when you're 80? You're only getting older. There is nothing you can do about that to fix it. And you sure as hell can't be skipping out on dinners and taking the Luanne (ph) platter at 5:00 early dinner and skipping out. That just reinforces what people's perceptions are of your problem. You've got to reinforce that you've got some vigor. If you're going to run at 80, then you sure as hell got to go to dinner, at least.

BERMAN: All right, let me -- if we can do this in the control room, let me skip ahead because I actually -- I have something I want to bring up about Joe Biden and this dinner. This NATO meeting, he skipped a head of state dinner. Now, to be fair, the White House says he's got a very big day tomorrow, and he wants to deal with the speech and get ready for that.

So, my multiple-choice question to you, obviously, given that skipping the dinner brings up a question about his age, you know, what is the best way for Joe Biden to deal with questions about his age? Is it A, deny it, B, ignore it, C, joke about it, or D, what I like to call, you know, feats of strength like he mysteriously ended up on the beach in Rehoboth shirtless? He looked pretty good for an 80-year-old guy. So, what's the best way for him to deal with it, Mark?

MCKINNON: So, I think it's got to be D. You just have to show people that despite the fact that you're old, that you are mentally equipped, physically capable, that you can stay up late. I mean, listen, you're running the free world. It's the most important job in the universe. And in order to do that, you've got to show that you're at least able to stay up late, for God sake.

BERMAN: Just to be clear --

MCKINNON: Listen, you've got to be Harrison Ford, right? You've got to show that you can still do it and that 80 is the new 60 or 80 is the new 50.

BERMAN: He's not watching "Matlock" tonight. We are told he's getting ready --


BERMAN: -- for the speech tomorrow in NATO. And finally, Harry, I just want to end with this --

ENTEN: Yeah.

BERMAN: -- which is, you know, obviously, Senator Tommy Tuberville has gone on this bizarre twisting odyssey since Kaitlan Collins talked with him last night. He now does say that white nationalists are racists. But it took him a long time to get there. Just listen to this.

ENTEN: Yeah.


SEN. THOMAS HAWLEY TUBERVILLE (R-AL): If people think that a white nationalist is racist, I agree with that. I agree they --

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A white nationalist is someone who believes that the white race is superior to other races.

TUBERVILLE: Well, that's some people's opinion. And I don't think --

COLLINS: It's not an opinion.


COLLINS: What's your opinion?

TUBERVILLE: My opinion of a white nationalist -- I don't call them white nationalist. To me, it's an American. It's an American. Now, if that white nationalist is a racist, I am totally against anything that they want to do.


BERMAN: All right, Harry Enten, to that end, multiple choice here, white nationalism is A, racist, B, racist, C, racist, D, all of the above?

ENTEN: D, all of the above. I can only help that the senior senator from Alabama is stupid because the fact is the other alternative is very, very bad.

BERMAN: Harry Enten, Mark McKinnon, great to see both of you. Thank you so much for being with us tonight.

So, an ex-Manson family member was released from prison today despite being part of a grizzly stabbing murder. You will hear her describe the stabbing and hear from her attorney, next.




BERMAN: It was one of the most notorious and gruesome crime waves in American history and many looks at it as the unofficial end of the peace and love 1960s. The Manson family's killing spree in August of 1969 at the direction of Charles Manson himself, a murderous rampage borne of twisted inspiration, they claim, by the Beatles song "Helter Skelter," which Manson claimed predicted a race war.

Five people, including pregnant actress Sharon Tate, murdered at the home of her husband, movie director Roman Polanski. The next night, supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, were murdered in their Los Angeles home.

Nineteen-year-old Leslie Van Houten was convicted for her role in the killings of the LaBiancas. She has been behind bars for 53 years, denied release over and over again until now.


Van Houten was released on parole from a California prison today, and her lawyer, Nancy Tetreault, joins me now. Counselor, very nice to see you. This has been five decades in the making for your client. How, what, is she doing tonight?

NANCY TETREAULT, ATTORNEY FOR LESLIE VAN HOUTEN: Well, she is in -- she was released to parole this morning, as everyone knows, and she's in a transitional living facility. She'll be there for a year. She will be on parole for three years. Right now, I think she's just relaxing.

The location of the transitional living facility is confidential, but she said that she's just trying to get used to the idea that she is no longer in prison after all these decades and just acclimate to her new life outside of prison.

BERMAN: You know, what do you say to those people who look at the headlines from this that read something along the lines of, you know, Manson family killer, member of the Manson family, part of murder spree is released, and some of those people are outraged? What do you say to them?

TETREAULT: Well, she was initially tried and convicted along with Charles Manson and the others. Both nights of the murders were tried together. She was convicted. She was sentenced to the death penalty. However, her conviction was reversed. The California Court of Appeal found ineffective assistance of counsel. So, that judgment of conviction was reversed.

She was tried a second time, and it was a hung jury. She was tried a third time. The subsequent trials were without Manson and the others, just her alone. And she received an indeterminate life sentence. So, what that means is that she, according to due process, has -- she has a reasonable chance at achieving parole. And it's not easy to get parole grants in California. It has taken her five decades.

But I understand why people, certainly the victims and family members of the victims, feel emotional about this and want retribution. But that's not the law. The law says she has the right to achieve parole if she meets the standard. And the standard is that she no longer poses a danger to society, to the public.

She met that standard by working -- for five decades. She was in therapy for 40 years. She took what's called rehabilitative programming courses in prison, which focus on insight, they focus on responsibility, they focus on remorse. And she has -- she has achieved that to the satisfaction of the parole board. So, therefore, because she meets the standard approval, she's no longer dangerous. Due process requires that she be released on parole.

BERMAN: You mentioned her role in those two nights and what she was convicted of. It is something she has spoken about, frankly, including on CNN some years ago. Let me play a little bit of that.



LESLIE VAN HOUTEN, EX-MANSON FAMILY MEMBER: I went in and I called Tex. And I said that we were not able to kill her. And then Tex went in the bedroom and Pat went into the living room. I went and I stood in the hallway. And then Tex turned me around, he handed me a knife, and he said, do something. And so, I went in, this is while Bianca was laying on the floor, and I stabbed her.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Where?

VAN HOUTEN: In the lower back, around 16 times.


BERMAN: So, how do you prove that you've changed from that person?

TETREAULT: That is a good question. We are not proving that she was innocent. She has to and has accepted full responsibility for the crime. And since then, she has, as I said, she has gone through courses to confront what she did, to take responsibility for what she did.

She's had -- in order to gain parole in California, not only do you have to go through this rehabilitating programming, you also have to go through psych evaluations, which are very rigorous. She has had 40 years of psych evaluation saying that she's not a danger to society.

Also, what has to be factored into it, is she was 19 years old when she fell under the influence of Charles Manson. And law has subsequently -- social sciences has subsequently learned that your brain does not mature until you're 26.

So, because of that, the immature brain operates under what we call the hallmark features of youth such as impulsivity, inability to appreciate consequences, falling under the influence of dominant peers, those sorts of things. So, that has to be factored into it, too.


It also assumes that someone as young as her has a greater chance of rehabilitation. And she, through this course work, through her many, many therapy sessions, through her five -- no, actually, she appeared before the board 21 times before the board finally granted her parole in 2016. And she's had five subsequent rounds of parole since then.

So, there is, as the California Court of Appeals found, when it reversed or vacated the governor's fourth reversal, there is not a modicum of evidence in her record that shows that she today is a current risk of danger to society. There just isn't.

BERMAN: Well, it is a true moment in history. We appreciate you being with us tonight, counselor. Thank you very much.

TETREAULT: Thank you very much.

BERMAN: FBI Director Christopher Wray probably has a case of the Sunday scaries tonight, even though it's only Tuesday, because in just a few hours, he testifies in front of a lot of Republicans who don't want him to have a job at all. Pre-action to tomorrow's hearing that hasn't happened yet, that's next.




BERMAN: Welcome back to "CNN Tonight" or CNN very nearly tomorrow, as I like to call it. FBI Director Christopher Wray might be wishing tomorrow never comes, or at a minimum, if it does come, that he can get a sick note from his doctor.

In a few hours, Wray has been invited to appear at an opening hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, which might feel like being invited to crawl through broken glass. The committee, of course, is led by elected Republicans, many of whom don't seem to like Wray very much.


UNKNOWN: Would you fire Christopher Wray?


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): No, I would not keep Chris Wray as director of the FBI. There would be a new one on day one. I think that's very important.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): How dare Christopher Wray have the audacity to hide this information for his boss, Joe Biden? This is -- this is purely protecting crimes. He's hiding crimes the president of the United States committed when he was vice president.

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): We all know the FBI is plagued by political bias. You see it almost daily. Every one of us ought to have confidence in the FBI solving crimes, not interfering in elections and interfering in investigations.



BERMAN: So, who wouldn't want to spend some quality time with people who feel that way about you? It is worth noting that Wray was actually nominated by a Republican president, one who many Republicans do seem to like, namely Donald J. Trump.

More broadly, the FBI and Justice Department have become targets because Republicans say they have been politicized and among other things did not take the Hunter Biden investigation seriously enough.

It is worth noting that the Republican-appointed U.S. attorney overseeing that case is refuting a couple claims that Republicans have been pushing. He says he did not ask to be named as a special counsel and was never refused authority to bring charges anywhere in the country.

Those revelations unlikely to change the tenor of the hearing in a few hours, which is likely to include a fair amount of loud sounds. So, there is a lot of noise. But what is the reality? What's behind all of the shouting? That question to my friend, CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the Republicans believe that the FBI has been politicized. They believe that the FBI is against conservatives. Of course, you know, for you and me who have been dealing with the FBI over the years, you know, certainly, knowing a lot of people who work at the FBI, this is far from a left-wing communist organization that, you know, is being portrayed by Republicans on Capitol Hill.

But that's the reality of where we are right now, is that Republicans believe that, certainly in the last couple of years, the FBI has been helping or prodding social media companies to censor the views of conservatives, for instance. They've spent a lot of time investigating that. They believe that the FBI has been certainly biased against Donald Trump and against Republicans in general.

That is far from the reality that, of course, the FBI response to. They say that, you know, obviously, these investigations that they have been doing, especially of Donald Trump and certainly of January 6th, are not about conservatives. They're about people who break the law, right? That's what they have been going after.

And as far as the criticism of, you know, their work with social media companies to try to get down some of the disinformation, they say it has nothing to do with conservative views. They say they are just simply telling these social media companies here some violations, potential violations, of your own terms of services. So, that's what they are going to go after at the FBI director during this testimony.

BERMAN: So, Evan, what can we expect, based on your reporting, qhat can we expect from FBI Director Wray tomorrow?

PEREZ: Well, he's going to try to focus on the work that the FBI is doing, beyond the big headline investigations, of course, Donald Trump and the things related to January 6th.


You know, the FBI does hundreds and thousands of investigations, a lot of it having to do with things like trying to get fentanyl off the streets of America, trying to investigate the efforts of the Chinese to try to steal American technology, things that matter to, they believe, the FBI believes, to everybody around the country, not having to do with the political side of things.

So, you're going to hear a lot from Chris Wray trying to focus the attention on all of the other work that the FBI does that has nothing to do with politics.

BERMAN: They're going to come at him swinging fists, and he's going to focus on the other stuff?

PEREZ: That's exactly what he's trying to do.

BERMAN: So, Evan, I also want to ask you about David Weiss, who is the U.S. attorney who is in charge of the Hunter Biden investigation. As we said and you reported on, he came out and said that certain things that were being said about him were simply not true. He is now the focus of a new attack from former President Donald Trump. What is being said here?

PEREZ: Well, you know, David Weiss, of course, is now in the next couple of weeks, is going to sign officially this deal with the Hunter Biden. And Republicans believe that it is a sweetheart deal, because he's going to plead guilty to misdemeanors.

Donald Trump, on Truth Social, his social media platform, said this. He said, Weiss is a coward, a smaller version of Bill Barr, who never had the courage to do what everyone knows should have been done. He gave out a traffic ticket instead of a death sentence. He goes on, again, on his platform, saying, the collusion and corruption is beyond description. Two tiers of justice."

Of course, referring to the fact that, you know, obviously, the Justice Department has been a lot more harsh in its investigations of Donald Trump than on Hunter Biden, at least according to Donald Trump.

Here's the thing, you know, the Republicans are, I think, going to spend a lot more time focusing on this investigation. What they have so far come up with has been a lot less than they were expecting or what they were promising. David Weiss says that this has not been politicized, and he is a Trump appointee after all.

So, we'll see, John, where this goes in the coming weeks, but you can expect that Republicans are going to bring David Weiss to testify on Capitol Hill to answer some more of these questions.

BERMAN: Evan Perez, thank you for that, and thank you for the pre- action to the events that we will see on Capitol Hill in just a few hours. Great to see you.

PEREZ: You, too. Thanks.

BERMAN: The mega millions drawing just happened, a multi-zillion dollar jackpot up for grabs. Now, there are serious reasons why you don't want to win. We have a lawyer to explain why.




BERMAN: I have always wanted to say this: Tonight's mega million numbers are 10, 17, 33, 51, 64, and the Mega Ball number is five, $500 million jackpot tonight. Now, we don't know if there is a winner yet, but I hope for your sake, none of you won. I'm being mostly sincere because did you know there's an entire legal (INAUDIBLE) in dealing with the mess from winning the lottery?

One website from a lottery dispute lawyer reads -- quote -- "Winning the jackpot is a dream come true for the lucky ones. However, what should be a positive experience is often turned into a negative one when spouses or coworkers are involved. Serious disputes arise and threaten the winners' future. Who wants their future threatened?

Joining me now is Kurt Panouses. He is a lottery attorney and CPA counselor. Great to see you. What's the biggest mistake people make when it comes to the lottery?

KURT PANOUSES, LOTTERY ATTORNEY AND CPA: Well, good evening, and thank you for having me. I would say the biggest mistake is really going forward with claiming the ticket without putting a plan in place. I think by that type of planning, we're talking about anonymity.

All of these issues where you hear about people going through money or claims against them is all based on whether or not they claimed it anonymously.

And so, I go out of my way for the clients to make sure that we take the precautions to keep that circle as small as possible and to allow for anonymity because I think that's really the key.

BERMAN: Congratulations on winning the jackpot. Now you get to be no one. That's a problem for people who win and what happens after. There are some problems that take place prior to the actual drawing. I get most my legal information from the hit show "Friends," now streaming on Max. Here's a clip from that.


UNKNOWN: You know what, that's it. I want my share of the tickets.

UNKNOWN: Yeah, I want my tickets, too. And I'm buying the Knicks and Steffi Graf.


UNKNOWN: I want mine, too. And if I win, I'm going to put it all into a very low yield bond.


UNKNOWN: You guys, we've got to keep all the tickets together.

UNKNOWN: No, we should divide them up, and I should get extra because we used my card to buy them.


BERMAN: So, what problems come from these lottery pools or joining with your friends or even, you know, God forbid, your wife?

PANOUSES: Well, there is always issues whenever you have lottery pools. I always tell people, with pools, there is always a deep end, and with deep ends, there's danger.

So, you have to make sure that you make sure that you get all of your documentation in place if you're going to have a pool. Again, I'm not a fan of pools. I think that there's always someone left out. That person will always be the person that says, hey, I should have been included. I played seven times in a row, got left out one time, someone should've put the money in for me.


So, it ruins a lot of friendships. I don't like all these pools, people still do them. But even when groups, small groups, you have to be careful. Again, have a plan in place, have something (INAUDIBLE). But basically, even with a spouse, that's the only person someone should tell if they have a winning ticket, is just that spouse. And make a copy of the ticket and put it in a safe place. Do not sign the back of the ticket because it makes my job easier as an attorney. Keep the anonymous relationship there.

BERMAN: A public service announcement. Kurt Panouses, great to see you. Thank you so much for helping us understand this phenomenon.

PANOUSES: You are welcome.

BERMAN: So, I promised I would read threads live on tv. So, here we go. Chris W122, after making fun of me, writes -- quote -- "What is your least favorite thing about working at CNN? Least favorite? Having to say goodbye. But alas, I must, at least for tonight. But I will be back tomorrow. And all week, what could possibly go wrong?

Thanks for watching. Our coverage continues.