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Trump Booked At Fulton Co. Jail: Inmate No. P01135809; Trump Co-Defendant Spending The Night In Jail; Trump Arrested And Booked In Georgia, Mug Shot Released. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired August 25, 2023 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: Former President Trump arrested and also booked in Fulton County accused of being the head of a criminal enterprise that was part of a broad conspiracy to overturn Joe Biden's electoral victory in Georgia.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Former President booked now considered inmate number P01135809. And he is of course already fundraising off that mug shot. Sources telling CNN, Mr. Trump wanted to appear defiant in that shot. That as the Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is asking for the trial of the former president and all 18 of his co- defendants to begin on October 23rd. That's an extremely ambitious schedule. Trump opposes that trial date.
Let's get straight to our CNN justice -- senior justice correspondent Evan Perez. Evan, what is the latest on this case? An argument about the dates, what else now that Trump has surrendered?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, John, we expect that now that the foreign president has brought on a new attorney, Steve Sadow, that we're going to start seeing a lot of legal activity pick up from the former president. For instance, one of the things we expect that he's going to do is try to remove this case from the state court, bring it to federal court.
There's a couple of advantages there, obviously, a bigger, wider jury pool. But also, eventually, he's going to argue that this case should be dismissed, that he should be immune to all of this. And so all of those, of course, are going to be arguments that are going to be heard in the coming months.
You also saw already some activity from his legal team. They are trying to sever at least part of the case because at least one of the former president's co-defendants asked for a speedy trial. And so that trial date has now been set for October of this year. And of course, that's not what the former president wants. He wants a trial date much, much further into the future.
So again, you're going to see a lot of legal activity, especially Monday when Mark Meadows has been arguing to move the case. And we're going to get a little preview of coming attractions, so to speak, of that legal argument of how to move this case or whether to move this case from state court to federal court, John.
KING: And Evan, what is the former president saying about this case tonight and help our audience if they're just tuning in a little bit more of understanding of the scope of this what Fani Willis is charging?
PEREZ: Well, Fani Willis is charging the president with -- the former president with being the leader of this of a RICO, of racketeering conspiracy to steal the election in Georgia. And so this is very serious charge. And then the former president today, spoke to reporters didn't take any questions. He called it a sad day for the country, which I think all of us can agree on that.
We already saw him post on Twitter and on his own social media platform later today, after he returned to New Jersey. You can see there he's fundraising off of it, which is something that we anticipated his campaign to start doing immediately after the mug shot. John, you remember, even after his first arrest in New York, he -- some members of his campaign had put out a fake version of this, now he has a real thing. And we expect that he's going to be raising a lot of money off of this appearance in Fulton County today, John?
KING: Remarkable is not the right word, but a remarkable collision of legal and politics there. Evan Perez, thank you for all the reporting today including tonight.
With me to discuss this now, Temidayo Aganga-Williams, who was the lawyer for the January 6th Committee, also our CNN legal analyst, Karen Friedman Agnifilo, and our senior political commentators, David Axelrod and Scott Jennings. Let's start with the law. This is the beginning of a process today. The President was processed. It's a historic day to see a former president in a mug shot, a former president have to walk into a county jail to get that done. What is your biggest question about what comes next?
KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Really, what comes next that I'm wanting to know is where will this case be tried because several of the defendants are looking to remove it from state court into federal court, citing federal officer removal laws that allow that in certain circumstances. So will some or all of them be tried in federal court? Or will the entire case remain in state court?
The other question I have is when will the case go? And will it go with all 19 defendants the way Fani Willis has said she would like to try the case? Or will the case be broken up for various reasons whether it's because like Ken Chesebro has requested a speedy trial that is scheduled to start October 23rd of this year 2023.
KING: It's two months.
AGNIFILO: Two months. Or whether it's because a judge says, hey, we can't possibly have 19 defendants and their lawyers and staff et cetera in our courtroom. So we just don't know when it's going and what court it's going and whether it will be broken up or not. So that will be interesting to see how that plays out. If it stays in state court it will be televised, unlike federal court where there's cameras not allowed. In the state of Georgia they do have cameras in the courtroom. So I think for that reason it would be, I think it would be beneficial for people to see actually what the evidence is.
KING: It is one of the defendants who asked for this date just two months from now, not the prosecutor. Do you see any possibility that these 19 defendants, even some of them would be on trial two months from now on what is quite a complicated case?
TEMIDAYO AGANGA-WILLIAMS, FORMER JAN 6. COMMITTEE LAWYER: When you say any possibility, yes. I mean, I think if I think the Willis has had two and a half years to get ready for this moment. And I guarantee you that she's thought about all the different ways this could proceed. She's thought about her opening statements. She's thought about her closing statements. All that I think is going to be at least structured generally and ready to go.
And I think the question is going to be is Ken Chesebro, for example, is he really going to want to go in two months. If you're going to two months, that means less time to review discovery. That means less time to make motions. And what our judge is not going to allow is saying, hey, I want to go quickly. And when the judge says, let's go, you say hold on, let's slow down. I need time for this event. The judge is not going to allow that.
And frankly, I think it's to his own detriment sometimes moving that quickly in a complicated case. Your lawyers need time to get know the evidence to get to know the case more generally, to talk to the prosecutor to really craft a strategy that's going to hopefully, if you're the defendant, keep you out of prison. And rushing is pure strategy could end up being a double edged sword.
KING: Well, as we watch that play, let's get to some of the politics here. Now we showed the mug shot, again, it's history, no president or former president of the United States has had a mug shot, has had to be processed in a criminal court. He's trying to raise money off it immediately, including deciding to reappear on the old Twitter now called X, which he has a lot more followers there than he does on Truth Social. So correct me if you think I'm wrong, I view that as clearly if I'm trying to raise money, let's go to where there are more eyeballs to do it.
His former national security adviser, John Bolton, who has become a very harsh Trump critic, let's be honest about that, was on CNN earlier tonight. He talked about the mug shot and being asked in the context as our Kaitlin Collins and our other reporters say that they knew this was coming. So the former president decided that was the post he would strike to look defiant. Listen to John Bolton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I thought it was, as with most things Trump does carefully staged, they must have thought about what look they wanted. He could have smiled. He could have looked benign. Instead, he looks like a thug. And I think it's intended to be a sign of intimidation against the prosecutors and judges. That's what they picked. And we'll see that picture everywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We will see that picture everywhere. We keep asking this question and maybe I'm the moron for asking it. But, you know, to a Republican, Trump has a 57 percent of the national polls when you average them out, a 40-point lead over his nearest rival in the next election, even though he is charged here with trying to steal the last election? Is that photo going to serve his purpose, which is I'm a martyr, I'm a victim, not a defendant who tried to steal the country?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he's signaling to his people that that's his attitude about this election. You ought to be angry about what they're doing to me. Look how angry I am about what they're doing to me. But this is the face you ought to wake up with every morning. This is our eye of the tiger, whatever you want to call it. And this is how he's going to pitch it. It's not, well, it'd be better if Republicans were in charge. No, no.
This is apocalyptic. This is, you know, the country is literally lost. These institutions have literally turned on you if we don't win, and they're doing it to you through me. So, no, I think I agree with Ambassador Bolton. That's -- that was carefully staged. But I think that is exactly the look on his face. It's exactly the message they want to portray to the people in the Republican Party that are most committed to him. And as you just pointed out, it's a fair number of folks.
KING: Trump often takes us to places we've never been. We're in the early stages of the next presidential election where because you have a Democratic incumbent, normally, the issue would be, do you want to keep this? Do you want four more years? Does this change that? And he's a former incumbent as well. But Joe Biden normally would be the issue in his reelection campaign, at least the primary issue. Does -- is America watches a former President take a mug shot for the fourth time he's been processed in a criminal case? Does it flip the traditional dynamics of what the election is?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, how much have you heard about Joe Biden the last few days? I mean, even in the debate, you didn't hear that much about Joe Biden. You know, I was listening to these guys talk about these trials and the possibility that or the probability that when the Georgia trial comes, that it will be televised, even if they start with some and not all, those trials will be televised.
But imagine if Trump was on trial, and it was televised, how much can campaign coverage do you think there'd be that day? How much campaign coverage you think there'd be about the President? This is going to be the story that dominates. So it changes the equation that you normally see in a presidential campaign. It shifts the focus away from the incumbent to the other candidate.
I just want to make one point. You mentioned the irony before that he posted his mug shot with his slogan, never surrender, on a day that he was surrendering. But the true slogan for Donald Trump should be, admit nothing. That has been his since Roy Cohn tutored him in the 1970s. That has been his modus operandi, admit nothing. Everything's perfect. I never did anything wrong. That's gotten him through a whole lot of trouble in his life. And he's going to play that hand until he's done.
JENNINGS: This idea of a referendum by the way, every Republican strategist I know wants there to be a referendum on Biden, but they also wanted there to be a referendum on Biden in the 22 midterm. And everybody thought under normal circumstances independents would break against the incumbent president who was not popular. And it just didn't happen that way.
Now, that's magnified in this next election if he winds up being the party's nominee. There will not be a referendum on Biden, I'm afraid. And that spells trouble for the Republicans.
KING: Quickly before we go. Have you seen anything thrown out with sever the trial, moved to federal court? The President told me to do this. I was acting in his direction. Is any of these defendants presented at least a glimmer of a legal argument where you think maybe he's got a case?
AGNIFILO: I thought Ken Chesebro might have had a case until we saw his December 6th memo that came out where it showed that he actually was this mastermind architect of the entire criminal enterprise. That was the one that I was thinking potentially because he's a lawyer, he was a lawyer acting as a lawyer giving legal advice but that -- so I no longer think that, so no.
I think it's a very strong case for -- against at least the top people. I think some of the lower level people could say, look, I was just, you know, he's Donald Trump. He's -- he was our president. I thought I was doing what he told me to do. I didn't mean to break the law. I mean, I think that potentially has some legs, you know, potentially for a jury pool. But for the top masterminds, the Trumps, the Giulianis, the Meadows, Chesebro, those individuals, I think that there's a very strong case against them.
KING: I'll be striking to your point about televise if we see them all together, essentially Trump and his inner circle sitting in a courtroom altogether that would be another remarkable historic day. Thanks, everybody for coming in.
The 45th President of the United States now accused of being the head of a criminal enterprise that was part of a broad conspiracy to overturn his electoral defeat. But if he were to be convicted, what would happen?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [00:16:39]
COATES: Our special breaking news coverage continues on the Georgia arrest of Donald Trump. Former president was booked today at the Fulton County Jail. But that's just the beginning of a long legal battle. It's all made more complex, of course, by the large number of co-defendants. I mean, look at your screen, the Fulton County 19.
Joining us now to discuss the next steps, trial lawyer, Joshua Schiffer, thanks for being here today, Joshua. Good to see you. Look, DA Fani Willis, she's laid out a pretty sweeping indictment. She says she intended to move quickly. She is moving quickly so far. Remember that first day, when she announced that she talked about, look, I intend to try them all together within six months. People clutch their pearls then. Now they're talking about at least for one October 23rd. You know, based on what you know about this case, tell me how difficult is it going to be to secure a conviction on these 19 defendants?
JOSHUA SCHIFFER, TRIAL LAWYER, JD LAW GROUP: Oh, thank you for having me on. We're on such a historic day. This has truly been amazing. And if anybody's prepared for this, it's DA Fani Willis. This has been pending in her office for a couple of years with the best lawyers she could gather from around the prosecutorial agencies of the state. Everybody's watched her assemble a team of some really strong litigators. They've spent enormous time. And in fact, that may be a criticism, Madame DA, faces as we watch this trial move forward, the use of her assets.
But she's prepared. I'd be very concerned to find the top people in this indictment because she's not playing around. She wants to put these people into jail. Rice Street is just the first stop. She really wants them to end up in the Georgia Department of Corrections.
COATES: I mean, one of the attorneys that's now representing Donald Trump has been critical of RICO as part of that, you know, sort of arsenal of tools you've been talking about just now. We'll see how that all plays out. But as you know, the false claims by Trump and his allies that are alleged here, I mean, they have had a real life impact. I want to remind our viewers of the impact on former poll worker, Ruby Freeman. And remember, this is her testimony before the January 6th Committee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBY FREEMAN, FORMER FULTON COUNTY ELECTION WORKER: I've lost my name and I've lost my reputation. I've lost my sense of security. All because of a group of people starting with number 45. And his ally, Rudy Giuliani, decided to scapegoat me and my daughter, Shaye, to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: I mean, as you know, one of the co-defendants here, Rudy Giuliani, has already had to contend with what she has had to say. And of course, she and her daughter, as our other election workers in this country, what 439 days away, 438 days away from the election, it doesn't bode well about how they feel about their safety. But one of the attorneys I want you to comment on it is new attorney, Steven Sadow.
SCHIFFER: Oh, yes.
COATES: You know him. And in fact, I think you've said and I'm going to read this, that he speaks gangster as much as he speaks highfalutin. What do you mean, and has worked in the courtroom?
SCHIFFER: Steve Sadow has been one of those lawyers that everyone in the criminal defense community in Georgia and as his career has progressed nationally, has taken note of a -- note of because of the string of high profile individuals Steve has represented. Not just, you know, entertainers, rappers, but also political individuals. Steve has been very public with his advocacy, combining crime and policy as part of his arguments. He is a dedicated litigator and a big foe for DA Willis.
COATES: So when you look at this, and he -- this is one attorney, obviously now Trump's attorney, but not all 19 defendants, one, maybe all have attorneys or have turned themselves in yet. Tomorrow, and in fact, 12 hours from now is the deadline that Fani Willis said that she was not going to be moving. She's given them time to actually turn themselves in. If anyone does not actually meet that deadline, what do you think is going to happen next? Will it really be the warrant? Are they now fugitives? Will there be more negotiation? What will happen next?
SCHIFFER: The warrant automatically issues. She's been very public about that. And the sheriff's office will probably treat these individuals just like they would anybody have scanned in when there is a warrant. The difference being that most of these individuals are pretty easy to put hands on, they're going to be findable. And that means it'll be easy for Sheriff Pat Labat and the other law enforcement agencies that work with him under the full and faith Credit Clause. They're going to go pick up these individuals, process them and bring them to Fulton County in handcuffs.
COATES: Joshua Schiffer, thank you so much. Nice to see you.
Let's talk more with my panel, Tia Mitchell from the Atlanta Journal- Constitution. CNN legal analyst, Norm Eisen joins us as well, senior Political commentator and former Congressman Adam Kinzinger and political commentator, Bakari Sellers is here. Let me just turned for a second. And I hate to be a little bit like, down in the weeds, but it's important to do so because if you look at the charging document, not the document, but the actual booking document today, Norm Eisen, they actually list on the offense.
I have -- we'll pull out here on one of the violations for Trump. This is the RICO, right, the criminal enterprise. They list on here the day after the presidential election in 2020. Unpack that, why is this listed as that date? NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: When you list the offenses in the booking document, you go to the first date of that particular offense. This one is the RICO offense. And in the indictment of Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants, act number one, Laura, the precipitating event that set off this entire alleged RICO conspiracy, and the other offense is in here.
November 4th, Donald Trump makes a speech to the nation. He proclaims victory, when in fact, he hadn't won. And that's the gravamen of what Willis is saying here. Laws were broken. Why? To give Donald Trump the power. First time in American history, no peaceful transition, hang on to power even though he lost.
COATES: And we actually have -- we have that clip, I think as well. And, you know, this might be what she's referencing, because I'm going to read for a second, act one, as you're talking about page 20. Follow along out there everyone. That act one was honored about that date that he made a nationally televised speech falsely declaring victory in the 2020 presidential election. This might be the moment she's talking about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So I don't like playing Devil's Advocate because I don't think the devil needs an advocate. However, I will simply state that many times when we look at criminal acts, you look at the words of individuals like Donald Trump said on this date. I don't think that is enough to get anyone a guilty verdict in anything.
COATES: Of course.
SELLERS: Because there are a lot of individuals who come out and say I should have won this race. I lost this race. You know, I thought I won this race. But this happened, it rained, it storm. Polls closed when they shouldn't have closed. They opened when they shouldn't have opened. People should vote when they shouldn't have been voting, blase, blase.
The difference is and why I don't, this predicate act, and one of the reasons that this RICO is so robust and just such an amazing illegal tool that Fani Willis is using is because it's not just this predicate act. But there are a number of predicate acts and all she has to do is prove too.
But you have real life humans that were affected by the actions of Donald Trump. You have Ruby Freeman, for example. You have other poll workers who were just persecuted, who were oppressed, who were targeted, who were just, you know, put upon all of these things. You have voting machines that individuals went inside of.
And so I don't want viewers or individuals to get caught up in the words and the grandiose and the lexicon that Donald Trump used by saying that, oh my God, this election was stolen. And people are on the right, many people on Twitter, the trolls on the right are saying, you can say those things. And you know what, you actually can say those things.
COATES: Well, what do you -- has it go beyond that, though?
EISEN: Well, that's act one, she's got 161 acts.
SELLERS: That's -- and that's -- exactly.
EISEN: And what she's doing here. And I think it's very important. It's very different from what Jack Smith did. He did the narrow laser focus. He was Hemingway. She's Dickens. She's telling the full story. But you owe that to the American people. You can't tell the story of the crimes that happened. The counterfeit electoral certificates, the pressure on officials for the vice president to Brad Raffensperger, just find 11,780 votes.
The hacking of the voting machines in Coffee County. The obstruction of justice in here. All of that, the whole 161X stems from that. It's the fruit of the poisonous tree.
SELLERS: And that is the point of this indictment. You cannot look at this indictment at one in a vacuum. You got it -- you have to read this like Dickens or whomever else you were, I don't -- I mean, I'm not going to go down to all the authors and poets you were named. But you have to look at this indictment in totality. You can't look at it in a vacuum. And I think that's where people get lost.
COATES: How do you see it?
ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, what I see that's interesting about outside of the law stuff.
SELLERS: This is an indictment. You have to look at the law stuff.
KINZINGER: Yes. I guess so. But the bigger thing for me that I think is important in this is democracy is actually the hardest form of government, right? And I never would have said that until about two years ago, when I started investigating the January 6th attack, which actually, January 6th, the day of January 6th was a symptom, like all this stuff, leading up to it as the real rot. And that still exists.
But it's the hardest form of government because we all have to work. We have to have a basic level of trust between us. That basic level of trust is if you go to the polls, you can vote, your vote counts, person with the most vote wins. That's all you need to agree on. The rest, you can just debate and hate each other.
Donald Trump in that speech that night, tried to convince and did half of the country that that compact we have between us doesn't exist anymore, and it's failed. And that's the real danger, even outside of the, what I call the law stuff here.
TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: And I keep coming back to as a Georgia reporter, there has been a lot on the right comparing Donald Trump to Stacey Abrams, because Stacey Abrams also for a while contested the outcome of her election. But there are such differences. And I keep coming back to it now that we're talking about Donald Trump. Stacey Abrams went through the courts.
Yes, she did talk to witnesses, she did build testimony. But she was never accused of lying to the court of encouraging or trying to manipulate people to adhere to a certain narrative. And once she exhausted the courts, it took about two weeks. I was there. But once the court said there's nothing else you can do, you lost. She made a speech and said, I'm throwing in the towel.
Now you can talk about whether she used -- she didn't use the word concede. But she met the definition of conceding the race and she has not continued to try to overturn the outcome of the race.
KINZINGER: I agree with you. And that's where I think her behavior was not honorable. But --
COATES: Well, why?
KINZINGER: -- it is not in comparison.
COATES: Why --
KINZINGER: I think there is some politeness in, I mean, it's the whole thing, Al Gore, George Bush is probably the best example. What Al Gore could have said I won this election, I was screwed by the Supreme Court, and he didn't. So I think there's honor in that. But it is not in an ounce of comparison to what Donald Trump did. If somehow she could have used the instrument of the state government to overthrow the results. That's different. That didn't happen.
SELLER: But I don't really want to go down that path. Like that for me, and I agree with you wholeheartedly, in many times, you have to debunk what individuals say about and when they go down this path and whataboutism. I want to talk about the gravity of Donald Trump's decision making here.
And one of the things, and when I go to act one, what I don't want people to look at is just Donald Trump's words. And when people try to look at the words of Donald Trump, they use that as an escape hatch and say, he is just saying this, he doesn't mean. It's like the Tucker Carlson thing.
You know, he doesn't really mean what he says. It is what it is. That's not what we're talking about. I want you to couple that with the overt acts that were taking by these co-conspirators. And I want you to look at that in totality. EISEN: What I admire Fani Willis for taking the risk. Jack Smith was very careful. He avoided these first amendment arguments. She's taking Adams fundamental question about American democracy at its core. I also admire Stacey Abrams because she fought in court which is what your support -- supposed to do. That's a different debate.
COATES: Welcome to 12:29. That's your Espresso Martini. On this panel everyone, thank you, so standby.
Look all of the co-defendants who have surrendered so far, they have been released on bond. Well, all except for one, Harrison Floyd, who's spending the night inside the Fulton County Jail.
Up next, we'll hear from former commander of the County Sheriff's Office.
KING: Another mug shot in the news tonight. Right there, you're looking at Harrison Floyd. He's the leader of the organization Black Voices for Trump. And he is one of the former president's 18 co- defendants in Georgia. Floyd was indicted on three counts including violation of the Georgia racketeering law, conspiracy to commit solicitation of false statements and writings and influencing witnesses.
Tonight, he is spending the night in jail as he surrendered before negotiating a bond agreement. CNN's Ryan Young is standing by outside the Fulton County Jail for us. Ryan, what are you learning tonight about Floyd's current status?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, what a different situation for Harrison Floyd. You got to think about everyone else who was able to turn themselves in, have a lawyer sort of set up their bond with the DA's office and pretty much walk out within about an hour or so. At this point we know that is not the case for Harrison Floyd. He's spending the night here at jail.
And to give more detail about this story, what we found out is back in May, he was going to be served a warrant, steady goes peak before a grand jury. And two FBI agents showed up. And he didn't believe they were FBI agents. There was some sort of tussle and he bumped into the agents. So because of that, he was charged with simple assault on a federal agent, because of that outstanding warrant and that not being cleared up just yet. That meant that they couldn't set up that bond beforehand.
And he didn't have a lawyer to go in and talk to DA's office. So all this talk about how notorious is jail is. Now he's stuck on the inside. What a different story from everybody else who's been able to come in and get fingerprints, take a picture and leave. The difference here is he had to go through more of that extensive search, where obviously he was going to have to have a strip search and be taken in and then sit in the cell for who knows how long until this process worked itself out.
But now you have Harrison Floyd, someone who was basically Black Voices for Trump sitting in the Fulton County Jail for who knows how long at this point. John?
KING: Who knows how long? Ryan, we know you'll get back to us when we know more about this case. Ryan Young, thank you.
Let's discuss further. Now with me is Charles Rambo. He's the retired Lieutenant Commander for the Fulton County Sheriff's Office. Rambo five for the top spot in 2004 and again in 2008. He also ran against the incumbent Ted Jackson in the 2016 race. Mr. Rambo, grateful for your time today. We'll get to Donald Trump in a minute. The former president was in and out of the facility in about 20 minutes earlier today. But what about Mr. Floyd? He's having a very different experience. What is it like in that jail? And what is his experience right now?
CHARLES RAMBO, RETIRED LT. COMMANDER, FULTON CO. SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Well, currently, as you have been hearing inside of the news, these are not made up stories, some of the conditions that are going on there, unsanitary, manpower shortages, rapid violence. Again, these are things that have been reported, so I'm not being salacious.
The difference for his case is that he's on what's called a halt for another agency. I'm not sure that warrant is foreign, that someone would have to come get him from out of state. But nonetheless, anytime that you have a warrant for any other jurisdiction, that person will be detained until that wanting agency comes and picks them up. There usually is no bond for any person that is one in another jurisdiction.
KING: And so he is going to spend, Mr. Floyd is apparently going to spend the night there and then we'll see how long that takes whether he can work out these jurisdictional issues you're talking about. History was made today. We saw the mug shot of the former president of the United States taken inside that jail in Fulton County. That hasn't happened before. No president or former president of the United States. Mr. Trump gave an interview tonight where he described his experience. Let's listen to a little bit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Terrible experience. I came in. I was treated very nicely. But it is what it is. I took a mug shot, which I never heard the words mug shot that wasn't -- didn't teach me that at the Wharton School of Finance. And I have to go through a process. It's election interference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Mr. Rambo, you talked about what Mr. Floyd was going through tonight and what he saw and what you say the unsanitary and often unsafe conditions inside that jail. Do you believe the former president would have seen any of that or what special steps have been taken?
RAMBO: I'm going to imagine again, because we're dealing with a person who was a former president, regardless of who that person is that you want to give them here expeditiously. He is still a part of the national machinery. So you don't need him to be in any type of parallel harm's way of putting him with other inmates.
I'm going to imagine and I don't speak for the sheriff or the agency. But I'm going to imagine that they probably did clear out the area. And I looked at historic, unprecedented timeframe that it took him to get booked in and was right back out. So I can't see what he actually may have seen. But what troubles me is, is that this is a president that whenever happen in that booking office, I hope that it will go forward in correcting conditions away from what you've been hearing in the news for all of the people who come to that jurisdiction.
KING: If you've been following the news, Mr. Trump trying to present himself as a victim as a martyr, putting on social media pictures of that mug shot trying to raise money off it. He says he was treated well at the jail but he says overall, this is mystery and my dad was a corrections officer. I grew up with stories about what it's like to be processed at a jail visited the jail several times when I was a kid, Mr. Trump is defiant here but let's be honest, if it was John King or Charles Rambo or Donald J. Trump, it has to be somewhat humiliating and embarrassing to go through that process even if you believe you're 100 percent innocent.
RAMBO: Well, that is absolutely true. And we will go with the presumption of innocence regardless of whether it's Donald J. Trump, Charles Rambo or John King. But at the same time to come to any booking office is a shock of the conscience to someone who was going through a criminal justice system.
We just hope that when they do go to that particular system, that they're not exposed to unsanitary conditions, Eighth Amendment violations that otherwise in a jail setting would be cruel and unusual. So I hate that process for anybody. But that's a part of the criminal justice process.
KING: Charles Rambo, grateful for your time today, sir. Thank you.
RAMBO: Thank you.
KING: And this Georgia case, as you now are learning is sprawling and involves 19 co-defendants, including, of course, the former president of the United States. But there's still a lot we don't know about where all this goes. And up next, the layout, just what could be, ahead.
COATES: Former president is now back in New Jersey tonight after his surrender, of course, in Fulton County. But as his now historic mug shot is going viral, a host of questions actually remain about where the case goes next. I'm back with my panel. What are the unknowns right now? We don't yet know about the removal issue, right?
EISEN: Yes. The removal issue at the moment, we'll get an important clue on Monday, when Mark Meadows goes before Judge Steve Jones to actually argue the merits of removal. The judge rejected Meadows efforts not to turn himself in the same with Jeff Clark. But I sort of see the removal argument that's coming as dumb, dumber, dumbest.
Meadows was not acting in his official capacity. It was a political errand. Like when he told Raffensperger, he was on the call fined 11,780 votes. Clark was even more remote. He was told by his superiors, you can't do this. It's not official. It might even be criminal. And then you have to fake collectors who are saying we're federal officials, because we're fake collectors, Steele and Schafer. They're doubling down on what got them prosecuted in the first place?
COATES: Well, you know, we don't know also about the idea of the political. Will this be a springboard again, for him? He's, you know, he's done pretty well, after an indictment. He said, I just need one more indictment. And I've sealed the deal. By the way, there was a debate last night, FYI, on these issues. What do you think?
KINZINGER: Well, I mean, I think everybody that's going to be with Donald Trump is with Donald Trump. This may harden them a little bit. But I -- what I'm interested in knowing, this is the unknown, I still have a little bit of hope that if one of these cases goes to court, all the evidence is presented, and he's actually convicted, that will start to change some of the way people see it.
It's one thing to say in theory, he's been indicted. By the way, every Republican leader telling the base that this is a witch hunt, the base is going to believe it's a witch hunt, because the people they trust her telling them that, almost everybody on that stage last night told him that.
COATES: I was going to say that six of eight raised their hand to say, I think the question was, even if convicted, would they still, not if his charge, convicted.
SELLERS: I think this is good political theater at best. I think democracy is fragile. I think the most cancerous individual we've seen to democracy, his name is Donald J. Trump. But I think that social media, 24 hour news cycles, I think all of these things have contributed to the erosion of what we know to be democracy. And I don't think any of this really matters.
I think the only way you rid yourself of this cancer is to beat him at the ballot box. And so I think you're going to have Joe Biden versus Donald Trump. And regardless of a guilty conviction that may or may not occur, a trial that may or may not occur, any more indictments or superseding indictments that may or may not occur, the ultimate test of how far our democracy will go, or how much we can stand will be in November of 2024.
And it's not, I mean, look, there are a lot of people who aren't excited about Joe Biden, there are a lot of people who aren't excited about Donald Trump is going to -- it ain't going to be about them. It's going to be about whether or not you believe in this democracy or whether or not you don't.
KINZINGER: True. That is true. It's going to be an -- it's a day where, frankly, if you believe in democracy, you cannot vote for Donald Trump. That has got to be what's on the agenda.
COATES: Is that was on the ballot?
MITCHELL: I think that there are people who are going to express these high minded ideals. But unfortunately, there are going to be people who framed the race much differently than that. So there will be people on the right, who framed this as a referendum on Joe Biden. There will be people who frame it as a referendum on some of the issues, immigration, abortion, the economy.
And so yes, the democracy I don't disagree with you guys at all, that our democracy is fragile. And we've seen it being chipped away, particularly when it comes to the overturning of an election and the -- what happened on January 6th, which I was in the capitol as well that day. But unfortunately, or fortunately, presidential elections are about more than that. And so I think it'll be up to the voters at home to make judgment calls on a lot of issues. But hopefully, this is one of them.
SELLERS: Can I also piggyback on your statement, because I think you're so right. And I think that what you're saying kind of hits the nail on the head. And, you know, we can frame it however, we want to frame it up here. But Democrats in particular, I think that this is a warning sign for them because Donald Trump's only getting stronger, which is a weird phenomenon.
And so what I would like to tell people is that there is Donald Trump, Joe Biden in the couch, on the ballot box. And there are going to be a lot of people who choose the couch. There aren't -- they won't choose either one of those candidates, but they will choose to simply sit out because they feel depressed, demoralized, because democracy is not working for him. Those issues aren't working for him. They voted, they participated. And I'm not someone who is advocating for that. But I just want to be sober and real about it.
COATES: I mean, the idea of the couch being the no label ticket is really interesting. And that might just be what happened, but you don't think so.
SELLERS: I think that's different.
KINZINGER: Yes. I mean, I think it's just a -- it's a great idea and it feels like this is the right time for that idea. This is actually the not right time for that idea because the guy that is not going to be affected by no labels ticket is Donald Trump because his support is extremely hardened. And so I think whatever puts at risk a reelection of Donald Trump, which could be closer than we think, that's dangerous.
EISEN: One bit of good news, Yahoo, YouGov today released a poll. And if Donald Trump is convicted, the margin between Trump and Biden gross to 9 point lead for Biden in this poll.
KINZINGER: And that's what I think though.
EISEN: So that is what Adam is talking about, the magic of our trial courts when our merit --
SELLER: We're going to --
MITCHELL: I don't know if that's sustaining though.
SELLER: I know with 16 seconds left in this segment, we're going to bet on an American jury. I don't want to leave my future and my kids future up to 12 people in a box.
KINZINGER: May not have a choice.
COATES: Well, well said. Good luck to you. Everyone, thank you so much for this and this conversation really historic day, a former president of the United States booked in Fulton County. It's the fourth time this year that he has faced criminal charges. John King and I have some final thoughts in just a moment.
KING: Laura, remarkable, incredible and, yes, historic day for Donald Trump his fourth criminal indictment. I've been doing this for 38 years. It's my 10th presidential campaign, war, disasters, some big trials. And yet, here we are yet again, Donald Trump has taken me to a place I've never been.
COATES: I mean, for so many people taking a step back and looking at all this, who had on their bingo card, right, that not only you would have somebody, a president of the United States with one indictment, John, let alone for four, four separate states. And political opponents who are vying for the RNC nomination, who can't capitalize on it politically, that's the uncharted territory as well.
KING: Right. And if you think about it at this point in 2016, he was essentially tied with Jeb Bush. That was the beginning of his hostile takeover of the Republican Party, right before the first debate that we had our first Republican debate last night without Trump. But it was at 18. And Jeb Bush was at 50. He's at 57 right now. And Ron DeSantis is at 17, a 40 point gap. So even as we have quote unquote, bad news for Donald Trump, somehow for him, it's good.
COATES: Unbelievable. And yet, here we are. And thank you all everyone for watching. As we've been here with you, our coverage continues.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: -- his legal maneuvering and why it has such a big impact on the case?
ELLIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So this is a very big deal. There are 19 defendants charged in this case. Kenneth Chesebro, one of the defendants has demanded his speedy trial rights. And Georgia has a very strict speedy trial law that essentially says if a defendant wants to be tried quickly, he has a right to be tried with what amounts in this case to by November of this year 2023 not 2024. The trial has to start by then.
And the DA has agreed to this. And the judge has agreed to this. Now the question is will any of the other defendants be pulled forward to have a trial there quickly. The DA Fani Willis has said, I'm ready to try all 19 of them in late October 2023. The problem though is she cannot force people.