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Donald Trump Speaks to Media about His Criminal Trial; He's Accused of Falsifying Documents to Hide Damaging into ahead of 2016 Election; Court Underway in Historic Trump Hush Money Trial, Opening Statements Set to Begin Soon; Court Underway in Historic Trump Hush Money Trial. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired April 22, 2024 - 09:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well it's 5 pm here in Abu Dhabi, I'm Becky Anderson. You're watching a special edition of "Connect

the World".

ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: And it is 9 am here in New York. I'm Erica Hill. Two major stories we're following for you on this Monday from here in New York

opening statements is set to begin in Donald Trump's hush money trial. It is of course the first criminal trial of a former American president.

ANDERSON: And the IDF Intelligence Chief resigns over intelligence failures on October the 7th, the first senior Israeli military official to do so.

HILL: Well, the jury is now in place. Donald Trump's historic criminal trial really begins in earnest today. Opening statements set to begin

within the hour, the former president is arriving just a short time ago at the courthouse. Just a reminder for you of this case and what's at stake


Donald Trump is accused of falsifying New York business records in an effort to conceal hush money payments to an adult film star ahead of the

2016 election. These are felony charges carrying the potential of prison time, for more on the case joining me now outside the courthouse Senior

Crime and Justice Reporter, Katelyn Polantz.

So Katelyn, as we really last week was jury selection, but a little bit quicker than many people anticipated. Here we are in terms of opening

statements. This is it. We are now in at these delay tactics that have been tried for some time have all failed. What can we expect this morning?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, we're in it and things are going to be starting pretty quickly this morning. So the

jury is going to get in right about 9:30. That's when the judge said they all have to be there all 18, the 12 plus the alternates, and then we're off

opening statements begin.

So the prosecutors, they will lay out the contours of their case, there'll be saying things to the jury, like we are going to be showing you evidence

of, you will hear from this witness this, they will be talking about the people they're planning on calling Michael Cohen, David Pecker, the first

witness expected to be testifying today after the opening statements conclude.

And then after the prosecutors lay out their case to the jury, that's when Trump's team will have their own bite at the apple, they'll get to give

deliver their own opening, we expect it to be from Todd Blanche, Donald Trump's primary defense attorney, we expect it to be a lot about witness


And we also expect him to go pretty short, not a lengthy opening statement. They don't have any time constraints on what they deliver today. But this

is just setting up the case, as it's going to be put on over the next couple of weeks with the prosecutors calling witness after witness.

HILL: In terms of setting up that case, the prosecution is like this is really about election interference. This is not really a hush money case,

but it's related. How much of that case will they need to lay out in the opening statement for the jury?

POLANTZ: Well, we're going to have to see exactly how they structure this opening statement once it's delivered. But we do expect that to be a

primary thing that we're starting to see today with this first witness David Pecker. So this tie of these business records were falsified because

Trump was making payments to Michael Cohen, his attorney, but those were to aid his campaign and not for legal work.

That's something that you're going to be hearing quite a lot from David Pecker because of what he said previously, in his non-prosecution

agreement, what he's admitted to, at AMI, American Media Incorporated publishing the National Enquirer, he was the person sitting down with

Michael Cohen, well in advance of the presidential campaign.

And making those essentially like a negotiation saying, we will keep an eye on things if there are negative stories about Donald Trump and women will

let you know. And we're going to go out there pay money to these women to keep them quiet. And that's exactly what they did.

HILL: And so we'll be watching for all of that, and perhaps even an opening statement, some details about what more could be coming. You mentioned the

witnesses real quickly, Michael Cohen his tweet. Oh, hey, there's a whole lot more here that you don't know, in terms of evidence. Could we get a

sense of what that additional evidence is today?

POLANTZ: Yes, definitely. Opening statements is a time whenever the prosecutors, they might not be showing the evidence yet, because that's

things they have shown in the course of putting on the trial. But initially today, they'll start pointing to things that they've learned that we might

not have heard before, things that they learned from Michael Cohen, from David Pecker, things that they've gathered in business records. We've been

hearing about this case now for how many years seven or eight years.

HILL: A long time.

POLANTZ: But we're going to hear them go over all of those main ideas and also dig into that campaign finance issue that you were talking about and

the motivations of Donald Trump in 2016 that the prosecutors say led him to commit these alleged crimes.

HILL: And I will be watching for all of it. Katelyn, appreciate it. Thank you.


Also with us Larry Sabato who is of course, the Director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. Larry, good to see you this morning,

when we look at this, Donald Trump the last we heard from him leaving Court essentially on Friday night, he was not happy. In his words, he said that

the judge I'm paraphrasing here, but the judge wanted this to move quickly.

He didn't. But now here we are. He has been perhaps not surprisingly, using this over the weekend, although one rally was canceled because of some

weather concerns. How do you see this playing out over the next couple of days as we start to see more of the details that the prosecution will be

laying out here?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR OF CENTER FOR POLITICS AT UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Well, I think Donald Trump personally has learned that this is not a

pleasant experience. He's going to be sitting in that courtroom for three, four or five, six weeks, or maybe longer. You know, every day he can't do

the other things that he wants to do. And the information coming out is almost totally negative.

Now, it may not be the most devastating things to come out about Donald Trump. Remember, there are three more trials to come about other subjects,

though they may not be tried before Election Day. But this is not good for Donald Trump. Meantime, Joe Biden is out campaigning wherever he wants to

go, whenever he wants to go.

And sure enough with the polls, though, I'm not thrilled with early polls, because they're like frost, they melt quickly in the heat of a campaign.

But the early polls do show this race as tightened and that Biden is doing better.

HILL: Yeah, we're certainly seeing that in the CNN poll of polls to really a dead heat at this point. It's interesting the messaging that we're

seeing, the messaging from Donald Trump on his way into and out of a courthouse each day, pretty standard fare that we've heard for years on it.

What I thought was interesting was over the weekend, Governor Christie, you know, for example, speaking to my colleague, Danna Bash, saying that she

every single day of the week, all support Donald Trump was what she had to say. And she was also, interestingly enough, I think we're seeing from

supporters and even surrogate defenders, trying to shift the conversation a little bit saying, hey, you know, when I'm out there talking to people in

South Dakota.

They can't keep track of which trial this is, there's too much going on what they care about, are those kitchen table issues? Is that a more

effective use of those defenders and those surrogates out there for Donald Trump?

SABATO: Well, Trump certainly doesn't want them defending what he did. This particular case, it's a CME case. So of course, they're going to talk about

other things. But it's really hard to change the subject, when a former president for the first time in American history is facing trial, criminal


That's kind of big news. And the other things they're talking about may be of interest. Maybe there'll be a more interest in the fall, but that really

doesn't change the subject. So yes, Donald Trump right now and his supporters are speaking to the hardcore base. The last thing Trump needs is

for that base to start melting away, because then he's really in trouble. So he wants to keep his base together, keep them fired up, keep them angry.

HILL: You mentioned the early polls being like frost, I like the analogy, especially a little frosty out here this morning at the courthouse. What

will you are watching for? So from a political perspective, as we see this play out over the next few weeks, what will some indicators be for you as

to how this trial is resonating with voters?

Well, so less said about Stormy Daniels herself, the better for those who oppose Trump. Because people think they already know the story. Actually,

they really don't know a big piece of the story. They don't know the legal criminal side of the story. So if there's too much about Stormy Daniels,

that it may not be having much effect.

But if it's really on the central points of this trial, then people will learn things that they had never known before. Not many people, I think

outside the media, never heard of catch and kill. Where news organizations if you can call the National Enquirer, a news organization can take a story

by it and then kill it.

Make sure it never reaches print by paying off the central figure providing the information. This is new to people and they'll learn some things that

they pay attention.

HILL: Larry, always appreciate your insight. Thanks for joining us.

SABATO: Thanks --

HILL: Just ahead here, Becky, you have with more news in the Middle East, the first senior Israeli military official now resigning over the Hamas

terror attacks and specifically, that attacks have killed a number of aid workers that in the very latest from the ground in Gaza. Stay with us.

We'll be back after this short break.



ANDERSON: Israel's intelligence chief has resigned over the October the seventh terror attacks. A statement from the military says Aharon Haliva

will retire once his successor is appointed. He is the first senior military official to resign over the Hamas attacks. Meantime, in Gaza,

Civil Defense workers have uncovered a mass grave containing more than 280 bodies at the NASA hospital complex in Khan Yunis.

Matthew Chance, connecting us this hour from Jerusalem and I want to start with this senior intelligence official who has resigned? Is it clear or any

clearer at this point? Why now?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I mean that's a good question. And I don't know whether it is but I mean we do know that

it's the first senior, he is the first senior figure to step down following the October the seventh attacks. And of course, it's been, you know, some

time since Israeli military intelligence.

They're publicly admitted. And he was one of the senior officials who admitted it that the worst significant failures of intelligence, which led

to those breaches of Israeli security, with fighters from Hamas and other groups as well, breaching Israeli defenses and rampaging through Israeli


Remember killing around 1200 people, Israelis and foreigners, and taking more than 250 of them, abducting them to Gaza are still more than 130, of

course, who are still there. General Aharon Haliva, the Major General in charge of Israeli military intelligence, basically, in his resignation,

said that, you know, he had not lived up, the organization had not lived up to the task with which we were entrusted.

And so, you know, he again, you know, set out his responsibility and the responsibility for those deaths lying at the feet of Israeli military

intelligence. What we don't know, of course, Becky is whether there will be more resignation, certainly, amongst many Israeli officials and amongst

many in the Israeli public.

There's a great deal of anger, not just directed towards Israeli military intelligence, but also towards the Israeli government about why they didn't

sort of emphasize enough the security threat that was emanating out of the Gaza strip in the months and the weeks before October the seventh.

ANDERSON: Meantime, reports about the U.S. potentially sanctioning an IDF unit. What more do we know at this point?

CHANCE: Yes, I mean, this is potentially pretty significant as well, because the United States has never sanctioned an Israeli military unit



And so if it goes ahead and does this as the reports are that it might, then that would be you know a very stern message from Washington about the

military tactics that Israel has used against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and of course, in the West Bank. Specifically, the unit that's being

talked about is one called the Netzah Yehuda battalion.

Now, this is an all-male military unit. It's made up of ultra-orthodox Jews. And they've been very active over the past several years in the West

Bank, not so much in Gaza but in the West Bank. Specifically, they were implicated in 2022 in the killing of an elderly Palestinian American man

called Omar Assad had spent much of his life in the United States.

He come back to retire in his sort of home village in the West Bank, and he was detained during a raid on a Palestinian West Bank village. He was

gagged and he was handcuffed and he died in custody now, and Israeli military investigation found that he had a preexisting medical condition

and they reprimanded the soldiers and the commanders of the battalion involved.

But they weren't prosecuted and that's something that really angered the American base, particularly the American base family members of Mr. Assad

and so it may well be a Washington, a U.S. response to that. But it certainly comes, Becky, as you well know, amid growing U.S. vocal criticism

of the tactics that Israel is using against Palestinians in the West Bank.

But also of course in the Gaza Strip, where more than 34,000 people have now been killed, according to Gaza health ministry statistics in the

ongoing Israeli military operations there in their battles against Hamas.

ANDERSON: Matthew Chance in Jerusalem on what is the Jewish holiday of Passover, which starts of course, sundown. Thank you. Meantime, Turkey is

stepping up calls for a ceasefire. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with the Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh over the weekend for the first time since

the war began.

Now according to Mr. Erdogan's office, he said there is and I quote an urgent need to pause the fighting and he urged Palestinians to act in

unity. Turkey could be positioning itself to play a higher profile part in the talks as Qatar reevaluate its role as mediator. When New York Security

has been increased that Columbia University in classes there, are being held virtually today is pro-Palestinian demonstrations rock the campus.

The move comes ahead of Passover, of course that major Jewish holiday that begins today at sundown. Colombia's President says the decision to hold

classes virtually was made to quote de-escalate the rancor. Will the White House condemning any calls for violence or physical intimidation.

Pro-Palestinian groups at the Ivy League schools say quote, we have been peaceful. We follow in the footsteps of the civil rights and anti-war

movements in our quest for liberation. Well CNN's Polo Sandoval is near the university campus. And I've just read out what the pro-Palestinian groups

have said. Does what they say tally with what we are seeing on the ground?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So Becky, I think the main takeaway before we get to the many developments related to Columbia University is

that what's happening here is basically reflection, a portrait, if you will, of what's happening at many other university campuses in the U.S. as

we continue to see many of these protests and eventual counter protests play out to a point where some students feel intimidated or afraid for

their lives.

What's happening at the gates of Columbia University? We've seen the NYPD presents once again escalated again or increased ahead of what will likely

be another busy day of demonstrations. What we have seen, Becky, are demonstrations both on and off campus.

There is the encampment that continues to persist just beyond the fence that you'll see over my shoulder, tents are being set up. There's a

question as to how long Columbia University will allow that given the events of last week when the NYPD was called upon to remove some of these

demonstrators that resulted in arrests and the suspensions of many students.

That was also happened over the weekend, Becky, is we've seen these fears sort of intensified. Among some Jewish students on campus this morning, I

had an opportunity to speak to a couple of them who say they simply do not feel safe walking on campus anymore because of that protester presence.

They are calling on Columbia University to do more to guarantee their safety. Now Columbia for their part saying that they are acting on those

concerns and these students should not feel afraid to come back to campus when and if that resumes, because that step of going virtual is certainly

something extraordinary here.


The University President, Minouche Shafik saying that she is deeply saddened by what's happening and taking this rare step as he tried to sort

of recollect and try to see what comes next. The President writing, these tensions have been exploited and amplified by individuals not affiliated

with Columbia who have come to campus to pursue their own agendas.

The President writes we need a reset. So that's going to be something to certainly look out for in the coming hour's potentially coming days, Becky.

What does that reset look like not only to try to regain the confidence of some of the Jewish student population here at Columbia, but also what will

happen to that encampment that's placed on the South Lawn here at the University at Columbia University, I should say.

And something that's playing out very similarly at Yale University, Harvard as well making announcements that they are trying to prevent this kind of

crisis that's playing out on this particular campus, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Thank you. Well urgently needed USAID could soon be on its way to Ukraine a build send billions of dollars to Kyiv heads to the

U.S. Senate on Tuesday where it is expected to be approved. Now, it has already passed in the House of Representatives the lower house that was on

Saturday after months of delay.

For Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the aid cannot come soon enough. The Ukrainian President saying his troops need weapons now. Well, the Head the U.S.

Senate Intelligence Committee says he hopes long range missiles will be sent to Ukraine by the end of next week. CNN'S Fred Pleitgen is in Kyiv.

And he joins us now live. And it was interesting to see the speed at which Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked, acknowledged what had happened in the U.S.

House on Saturday and thanked the people of America absolutely insisting that he needs to get these weapons now.

What do we understand to be the current status on the ground? What do they need? And just how quickly do you expect? And does Ukraine expect to see

those weapons provided?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, well, first of all, Becky, I think you're absolutely right. That was probably the

fastest thank you tweets, and maybe in history, it literally was a couple of seconds after the House vote went down. That of course was the biggest

hurdle to Ukraine, getting that additional aid as far as the situation on the battlefield right now is concerned.

I would say that things are still in a stalemate, but with certainly the momentum very much on the side of the Russians. In fact, in the past couple

of weeks, they have made some pretty significant gains, even though those are not strategic gains. Yet, you don't see the Ukrainian frontlines

collapsing you see the Russians taking some villages. But what is key here for the Ukraine --

ANDERSON: Our technology is letting us down, apologies for that. Let's take a very short break. We are awaiting the arrival of for at least the

appearance of Donald Trump in court opening statements in the Donald Trump hush money trial, coming up. Let's get you over to Erica Hill.

HILL: Becky thanks. That's right. We are waiting. Maybe we did arrive at the courthouse a short time ago. We can tell you prosecutors are in the

courtroom, including the District Attorney Alvin Bragg who's there seated behind those attorneys as we wait for these opening statements should begin

this, of course expected to happen just a short time from now.

And this is where we will hear the prosecution, lay out a little bit more of its case give you more of an indication of how they intend to prove what

they say was election interference with these hush money payments. We can see Donald Trump here walking up he just generally as we know tend to stop

at the microphone. Let's listen in.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is done as election interference. Everybody knows it. I'm here instead

of being able to be in Pennsylvania and Georgia and lots of other places campaigning, and it's very unfair. Fortunately, the poll numbers are very

good. They've been going up because people understand what's going on.

This is a witch hunt, and it's a shame, and it comes out of Washington. It's in coordination with Washington, everything, including the DA's

office. It's in coordination with Washington. I just want people to understand that this is done for purposes of hurting the opponent of the

worst president in the history of our country.

Second of all, we have another trial going on right now. That's Letitia James, she campaigned on the fact that I will get Trump, I'm going to get

Trump and it has to do with a bond of $175 million. First of all, she doesn't want me to participate with financial companies in New York. So we

have a company I guess based in California, it's a bonding company.


And I put up 175 billion cash, but she says the bonding company is not good. She doesn't like the bonding company because she doesn't know if the

collateral is good. And I put up 175 billion in cash, and she's questioning the bonding company. Well, when you put up cash, and the number is 175,

which is what we're supposed to be putting up, but I give cash, she shouldn't be complaining about the bonding company.

The bonding company would be good for it, because I put up the money. And I have plenty of money to put up but nobody is going to be putting up with

this. Nobody is going to be listening or coming to New York anymore. Businesses are going to be fleeing, because people are treated so badly.

It's got to be the most unfriendly place to do business. And that's why businesses are leaving, and people are leaving, as migrants come in and

take over our parks and our schools and everything else. So on the Letitia James case is the worst Attorney General, in the country, by the way.

On Leticia and she keeps a lot of business out of New York, and businesses that are here are leaving, and that means jobs and a lot of revenue.

Somebody's going to step in to Governor, somebody has to step in and do something because your business is a fling, but on Leticia James, the money

was put up, it's 175 million.

And I don't think she's complaining about me for the first time ever. She's complaining about the company. But why would she be doing that when I put

up the money. So I just want you to know that that's taking place in front of an extremely crazed judge is the most overturned judge in New York


He was overturned four or five times on that case alone. That's, you know who it is not to mention names, I want to be nice. I want to be very nice.

But I think like that, and I think like what's going on right here should never be happening. It's a very, very sad day in America. I can tell you

that. Thank you very much.


HILL: So Donald Trump speaking there, going on for some time, as you heard. Important to correct a couple of things there, he has, once again, brought

out perhaps -- some of his greatest hits, calling this a witch hunt, also alleging that this trial that is taking place now in the courthouse behind

me is somehow tied to President Biden, tied to the White House that it was somehow instructed.

It's important to point out there's no evidence of that here. This is a case that was brought by the district attorney here in Manhattan, Alvin

Bragg. So as we continue to watch what's happening in the courtroom behind me? You also heard Donald Trump talking about that civil judgment and about

a bond that was put up, that is a separate matter, but also one that is being discussed at this hour.

There are some developments there. I do want to stick with what we're seeing, though, in this criminal trial today. Joining me to discuss,

Criminal Defense Attorney, Amy Lee Copeland, who's also a Former Federal Prosecutor in the State of Georgia. Emily, as we saw Donald Trump speaking

to the cameras there, he'll be making his way into court.

We know prosecutors are in court, this is really a big moment for the prosecution here, because what they'll be laying out in their opening

statements is essentially a roadmap of where they intend to go over what is expected to be several weeks of this trial, what will you be watching and

listening for?

AMY LEE COPELAND, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good morning, Erica, what I'll be watching and listening for is, first of all, the theme of the case or

the theory of the case, after they introduced themselves, they're just going to tell the jury what this case is all about in a few short


And then they're going to tell the jury what they have what evidence they have to support that theory of the case. If you look at a jigsaw puzzle,

and you see the outside of the box, that's the theory. And the pieces are what the evidence is going to show. So we will hear that we'll hear likely

the types of evidence.

You know, we'll hear about corporate documents, we're probably going to hear who's going to testify, we're going to hear a timeline of what the

prosecutors think occurred. In addition to seeing corporate documents, we may hear about other documents. I know that Michael Cohen's attorneys have

come out and said, listen there are text messages that show these things.

So it'll be interesting to see what they say they have the evidence to show and what that evidence is going to be.

HILL: Of the defense, really, the onus is on the prosecution, as we know, the defense what some of my CNN colleagues are hearing expected to be

fairly short will likely go after the credibility of the witnesses and one would imagine specifically Michael Cohen.

COPELAND: Absolutely, Erica, there was a motion before trial called a motion and eliminate or a motion to limit where the defense sought to

strike Michael Cohen's testimony in whole to say the state couldn't bring him up as a witness because they thought he would just perjure himself

based on some past court cases.

The judge said, you know, absolutely not Mr. Cohen gets to testify. So I think we're just going to hear the Trump team again and again and again,

stressing to the jury that Cohen is an unbelievable witness. And they're almost certainly going to bring up the fact that he wrote a book a few

years ago, simply called Revenge.


Why do you think the prosecution is putting him up first? What does it mean to put him in that position as the first witness? And what will that set up

do you think?

COPELAND: Sure, that's going to set up I think the prosecution's theory of catch and kill. In other words, there was a concerted effort by Trump. The

allegation is to find damaging stories that might lend some credibility to that Access Hollywood Interview, and to pay people off so that these

stories would be killed.

Again, that's the state's theory of the case. I think he can kind of give the view from 10,000 feet 20,000 feet of what that look like and how that

practically occurred. It's an interesting choice. A lot of times in prosecutions, the state calls an agent first to kind of do a summary of

what's going to happen. So pecker is going to give a real world perspective of what this look like and what is participation, alleged participation

with Mr. Trump was.

HILL: I was also interesting, Emily, we heard when Donald Trump was leaving after what's known as the Sandoval hearing on Friday afternoon clearly not

very happy. But he said in his comments that this is and I'm paraphrasing here that the trial was moving very quickly. And this is something that the

judge wanted, not something that he wanted, intimating that maybe jury selection have gone a little too quickly.

Is there anything that you saw in that selection process last week, as we learned more of the details in terms of the questioning and those who've

been seated? That says to you, it was a rushed process?

COPELAND: Erica, I was as amazed as any attorney by how quickly this went. I thought it would take several months, but I paid close attention. You

know, the judge asked the jurors a 42 question jury questionnaire. He seemed to take very seriously people's complaints that they could not be

fair and impartial jurors.

And he let the defense you know back up their concerns on the prosecution to with social media posts. There was even a prosecutor that came forward

and said you know one of our seated jurors seems to have a criminal history that may not have been disclosed. I can't see anything from reading the

press coverage that suggests that this was rushed or unfair.

Again, you're not after a jury that knows nothing about the case or about the defendant. You're just after a fair and impartial jury. And I'll remind

your viewers too. The Boston Marathon bomber was tried in Boston, which undoubtedly carried off a lot of significance for the city. So the fact

that somebody is known in a city and is perhaps not the city's favorite person, does not suggest that jury selection is unfair, or that prosecution

in that particular city is wrong.

HILL: That such a great point. Emily stay with us I also to bring in my colleague, Kaitlin Polantz, who's here next to me today, which is nice to

have you by my side, because I can ask you any question because you know, all things Trump.

I do want to decide for just a moment, as I mentioned, and if the folks were with us, they may have heard Donald Trump railing against this bond

hearing that is happening. This is related to a separate case, but interesting that he spent so much time on it, just to remind us what that

hearing is today and why the Attorney General is concerned.

POLANTZ: Yeah, it's a pretty consequential hearing for Donald Trump in the civil fraud bond situation. So there are two proceedings happening

basically, simultaneously. They just called the case, according to our reporters in the courtroom on the criminal side, but then at 10 o'clock,

there is going to be a hearing before the judge between the New York Attorney General's office that won that massive judgment against Donald

Trump for civil fraud in his business practices.

And what is happening there is Trump wants to appeal that judgment and to be able to do that with why holding off the attorney general's office from

collecting his assets, seizing his properties like Trump power penthouses. Other things he might have bank accounts, he needs to be able to tell the

court he has the money.

The way to do that is to get a bond underwriter. And so after quite a bit of difficulty, Trump's team was able to come through with an underwriter

that is not allowed to do business in New York, rather, they're not authorized to do business in New York, but they've said that they'll secure

this bond of $175 million, which is the amount that the Court said that they should secure.

So Trump's team now is arguing that should be enough. The DA's office or I'm sorry, the Attorney General's office in New York, they're saying that

this money isn't actually under the control of this bond underwriter and this the way this is set up by this insurance company. It's not enough and

it's not correct. And whatever Trump's trying to do to continue appeal that should be denied and he should have seven days more to try and figure this

out. Or we should be able to go after his assets.

HILL: So that's weighing on him as well. Clearly right, which is a lot in one day?


HILL: Is there a chance that this doesn't work out? I mean, so if he is then told he needs to find somebody else essentially to underwrite it.


HILL: -- seven more days --


HILL: -- is there a sense that there's anybody else out there?


POLANTZ: Well, the judge is probably going to have a lot of questions not just for Trump and his team but also for the company -- specialty insurance

company that's the underwriter. What the Attorney General's Office is saying, they say a bunch of things?

You're not authorized to do this business in New York. They're not regulated by the state regulators that regulate insurance. There's never

been before a bond that this company secured for anyone in New York. And crucially, they don't have enough cash that If Trump were to somehow

default or not be able to pay if he lost, they couldn't put up the money themselves and then collect from Trump, which is how it would work.

And so we'll see what the judge does there. It's, it is really crucial. And clearly, he's unhappy about it, because he says two things. I put up the


HILL: Right.

POLANTZ: He's saying that he does have the money. There aren't as many protections though, as other more traditional bond underwriters would have

required in this circumstance. And the other thing is, he makes the political point that Letitia James, the Attorney General, she's making this

state a bad place for people like me and you to do business.

HILL: Yeah. So thank you for that. So for folks who are listening, always good to have you to, to put a pin in that of course, we are watching

waiting for opening statements to begin everyone is now in the courtroom stay with us, we're going to take a quick -- break rather, we're back after



HILL: Welcome back. I'm Erica Hill in New York outside the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan where of course history is now unfolding

inside for the first time ever a jury is tasked now with deciding a criminal case against a Former U.S. President.

Opening statements about to get any underway and Donald Trump's hush money trial, I also just want to bring you up to speed on what you're seeing on

your screen here. You see that graphic on the side of your screen. We recognize how high the interest is when it comes to this particular case.

Of course the former president accused of falsifying business records to hide a potentially damaging story about an alleged affair with an adult

film star just ahead of the 2016 election. He of course has pleaded not guilty to those 34 counts. You'll see on the side of your screen there that

graphic that's going to continue to update you on what is happening throughout the course of this to trial so that you are up to speed at all

times. So be sure to watch for that as well.


In terms of where we are right now, as you can see on your screen we do know the former president, of course, is in the courtroom along with

everyone else. What we are waiting here is for opening statements to begin. There's one juror who had some concerns and so that is being dealt with


I want to bring in Misty Maris, who is with us now to help talk through as a defense attorney here in the State of New York. Misty as we wait for

opening statements to get underway. There we heard from Donald Trump going into the courtroom once again, calling this a witch hunt trying to make a

connection with President Biden and the DA here in Manhattan, which of course, there has not been any to be shown. As you wait for this to get

underway here with opening statements. What are you watching for?

MISTY MARIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I'm absolutely watching for the way the prosecution lays out this case. Here's something that we can expect to see

from the prosecutors opening, not only are they going to talk about the falsification of the business records, the second central piece to this

case is that those records were falsified for the purpose of an attempt at another crime.

That other crime his failure to do the proper protocols with respect to campaign finance law so it's attempted campaign finance violations by

calling these payments to Stormy Daniels legal fees, where the prosecution says it was to stifle the stories because it was going to be harmful to him

in the election.

Now, why does that matter? Well, the whole context of the affair? What's going on at the time? Donald Trump as someone who is running for president,

all of that is going to come out? So in these opening statements, we could hear some pretty salacious details about those underlying stories.

And the reason that it matters, it all speaks to that intent factor. Why were these business records falsified? And that's a critical part of the

prosecution's case. So it's going to be a very broad look at that time, that's a snapshot in time, all for the purposes of proving intent. So

that's going to be a really important piece.

HILL: And they're expected to be fairly short. Prosecutors opening statements expected to be about 40 minutes after the defense, we're told

about 25 minutes. I also just want to bring, as I've mentioned, very briefly, there was a juror this morning, who had some concerns about

specifically the media attention had some concerns about staying on the jury, there was a sidebar, we're now told that that juror is going to stay

going to remain with us.

So that's not going to be an issue, according to the judge after that sidebar. Does that surprise you at all day one, that there's somebody who

went home over the weekend thought about it and said this is a lot?

MISTY: I really think that this is something we might see throughout the course of the trial. And that's why we always have juror alternates,

because you never know what's going to happen to that 12 -- those 12 individuals that are in that jury box, whether or not there will be an

issue that comes up during the course of the trial and in this particular case, Erica.

Oh my gosh, the media attention, the fact that there was some identifying information that was out there -- out there in the world, we know that that

impacted one of the jurors who was selected and ultimately left to the jury during jury selection. But this is the process.

So if a juror raises a concern of that nature, the media attention, their ability to serve, they have a one on one conversation with the judge, but

the judge probes and they ask questions to make a determination about whether or not that juror can continue to serve.

Here it sounds like everything is OK. And that jury is going to move forward. But I wouldn't be surprised if we see these types of things

throughout the course of the trial, because there is so much attention on the trial. It is a historic trial.

And look, the pressure is high on everyone involved in jurors may not have expected it to be what it is. So we're probably going to see this but the

judge is handling it in the way that would be in accordance with New York protocol.

HILL: It is interesting. And Misty, stay with me. I'm also going to bring in Amy Lee Copeland, who's still with us, also former federal prosecutor

and criminal defense attorney. Amy, when you look at this and you know as Misty was pointing out, this may not be the last time that we see this

happen in terms of concerns from a juror.

I'm looking at the makeup of the panel, too. It's really fascinating. You and I were talking just before the break about how quickly the jury was

seated. There's also been a lot made about how it's a fairly diverse group of folks on this panel, there been some thinking that in Manhattan, it's

sort of -- you know one flavor, if you will. And that's certainly not the case anybody who lives and works in New York City knows that it is a

diverse city, and the panel seems to show that.

COPELAND: It sure does Erica. You know, you have a couple of lawyers, which is an interesting combination. One I understand does some litigation, the

other one does some business work. That might be kind of a double edged sword for both sides. They could be sort of on jury experts and sometimes

you want to avoid that. But it's an interesting pick.


There are people in different fields that have different beliefs. Some people follow Michael Cohen on Twitter. Some people have read the art of

the deal. So it is a wildly diverse group. I thought Misty said something that was really fantastic and kind of wanted to jump in on that, where she

talked about how the whole thing gets down to intent.

One of the things I think we all need to watch for is what that intent was, and who can talk about it. I've read some press coverage, and maybe some

statements by the people affiliated with the Trump team, that -- you know Trump may very well have wanted to suppress these stories, because Melania

was pregnant at the time with their son and that there was perhaps a desire to save the family from embarrassment.

When you hear stories like that, though, I think all the viewers should think about who can testify about that? Who can testify about that intent?

And the only person who could really testify to something like that would be the former president himself.

So in the opening statements today, I don't expect the defense to take any position on whether Mr. Trump will testify, that would not be a great idea

but as we watch this, if there are competing stories, again, think who can testify about that, because that's important.

HILL: In terms of whether he'll testify? We will be learning in short order from the judge. He is now reading his ruling on that Sandoval hearing. So

we'll bring you that as we get it. While we're waiting for that definitive answer looking at what else we know, the judge has said he's not going to

change his act his decision rather, when it comes to the Access Hollywood tape.

That was one of the first orders of business of course, when Court began last week that the tape would not be showed as evidence but the prosecutors

could show emails describing what was on the tape essentially, you could almost have the transcript of it, but not the tape itself. Does that

surprise you at all, that the judge said I'm sticking with the plan?

COPELAND: Not at all. The tape, but you have a -- you have a balancing test. Is the tape relevant? And the answer is yes. Is it unduly

prejudicial, and the judge here thought it was unduly prejudicial for the jurors to see these words come out of Mr. Trump's mouth.

The way that he cut down on this prejudice, however, was to allow evidence of this conversation to come in through the prosecutors. So the jurors

aren't going to see Mr. Trump himself uttering these words, although there's certainly no about what those words were. And you know apparently

what happened in response to that particular interview.

HILL: All right, Amy Lee, stay with us, Misty, stay with us. We're going to take a short break as we wait for the judge to in fact deliver that ruling

on the set from the Sandoval hearing from Friday afternoon, which will determine Of course what could happen if Donald Trump decided to take the

stand. Stay with us. Our continuing coverage of the first ever criminal trial of a Former U.S. President continues on the other side of this break.


HILL: Welcome back. I'm Erica Hill in New York outside the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan where right now of course, history is

unfolding in side that is where Donald Trump the defendant is along with his legal team and prosecutors, as we're waiting for opening statements to

begin in this criminal case the first ever against a Former U.S. President.

We're actually waiting on a couple of really important developments at this hour as well. And I want to bring in my colleague Kaitlin Polantz who's

with me. What we're waiting on at this hour is the Judge is about to read his decision from what was -- what's known as a Sandoval hearing which

happened on Friday afternoon, at which will essentially determine if Donald Trump were to take the stand, how much could be brought up during that

questioning and what could be brought up during that questioning.


And what could be brought up. He did not seem very happy after leaving that hearing on Friday afternoon with the judge. Walk us through again, what

this could mean in terms of that decision, as we wait for the judge to give it to us.

POLANTZ: Yeah, what the judge decides in this is very likely to factor in what the defense team decides. Whether they call Donald Trump to testify in

his own defense or not in this criminal case? The way that this is working is they're setting parameters for what can be asked of Donald Trump, if

prosecutors get him in the witness box as a witness.

And what his team wants to avoid is all of the things that they perceive could make Trump look bad before the jury in his civil cases. So not this

case, this is a criminal case. But they don't want him to be asked about the Eugene Carol defamation cases which he lost.

They don't want him to be asked about violating a gag order in a civil case where he was fined $10,000, because he was commenting about court staff.

They don't want him to be asked about that other hearing today or that other proceeding in the civil fraud case from New York state and the

judgment where he has lost there because of the lawsuit that the state brought saying he did commit civil fraud.

So this is going to be one of those things that we're going to wait and see exactly what the judge does here. He's reading his decision, according to

our reporters in the courtroom. And once we see that the defense is going to very likely watch how every single day goes factor into what the judge

says here, and then make a decision once the prosecution is done presenting their case, if Trump takes the stand? And we'll be interesting too, because

Donald Trump has said, look, I want to testify, I plan to testify. We've heard this from him a number of times before.

HILL: We heard it so many times before. We've heard in every single context where he's been subpoenaed, or there's been an inquiry, and he very rarely

has had. Most attorneys would not put him on the stand. Pretty much everyone I've spoken to has said he's not a great witness. He would not

help their case.

So you wouldn't want him on the stand. This could also potentially though this ruling could actually be helpful for him. If he says, look my attorney

said to me, there's too much here that they can ask me about that we don't feel as relevant to this case. So it doesn't make sense to me, but I would

have done it. But they won't let me.

POLANTZ: Yeah, there's a long history here of Michael Cohen. And what has happened previously with him. He was the personal attorney for Trump. And a

lot of this case turns on whether Trump was paying him as an attorney or paying him for campaign health.

There's a large amount of records out there showing that Michael Cohen wasn't working as an attorney at this time and did very little legal work

for Trump in 2016. But the defense team is going to want to continue to make that case.

And so if Trump wants to take the stand and testify like that, there's going to be discussions like this every day in court of exactly what can be

said in front of the jury. Can you say this? Can you indicate that Michael Cohen is an attorney? Can you mention these other things that were coming

up at the time? We're going to be hearing that every day, not just today.

HILL: I also want to bring in Misty Maris is still with us. So we're learning that from the ruling here, the judge reading this, that

prosecutors will be allowed to ask about as Kaitlin just brought up two violations of a different gag order. And then also about some of this other

separate proceedings. Are you surprised by any of that? Or is this what you would have anticipated Misty?

MISTY: What I would have anticipated is the gag orders that's going to come into the courtroom. I would have anticipated the AG civil fraud case, which

related to fraudulent business practices, that that would be fair game. Remember, that's directly related to the type of case that we're talking

about now falsifying business documents.

So those two I would say that's relevant. So it's going to be fair game for prosecutors also, Judge Braun and his decision had called Trump an

incredible. He talked about how he gave an air of non-credible testimony credibility is going to be a factor in any cross examination.

However, I caught the line would be drawn at Eugene Carroll. I did not believe that the judge would let the facts and circumstances and findings

of the Eugene Carroll case into the courtroom. I'm not sure what the decision came down on that front.

I thought that would be off limits because it doesn't have that intrinsic tie of relevance in the same way that the AG civil fraud case does. I

thought it would be really, really unrealistic to keep some of that out of the courtroom because of the relevance to the tight up claims that are

being raised by the prosecutors in this particular case.


HILL: Based on all of these things that can now be brought up, as you're pointing out some even surprising you, is there a world at all in which you

envision Donald Trump taking the standard knowing all of this?

MISTY: As a defense lawyer, I would say, no, no, because there's just too much out there that could potentially prejudice the jury, the prosecutors

have the burden of proof. They're the ones who have to prove their case. Let them do that. And we'll with you using other types of evidence, and

that's out there short of your testimony.

And look, that's going to be a general rule. It's a rare day that we see a defendant testify. And the reason is that it opens up the floodgates to a

whole slew of other information the jury would not usually hear. And so I'm sure the attorneys' advice is going to be --.

That being said, there was always an analysis. A defense attorney is going to listen to the case they're not going to commit him to testify. And your

balance test isn't worth it for him to testify with all of the other risks. And so it's usually a game time decision, but just based on what can come

into the courtroom. I would say there's so much that's at risk, it's likely going to be unknown.

HILL: All right, Misty appreciate it. Stay with us. We're going to take a quick break as the jury is being summoned. We're going to continue our

breaking news coverage just on the other side of this break. Stay with us.