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Erin Burnett Outfront
One Officer Killed, One Wounded, Attacker Dead at U.S. Capitol; Suspect in Capitol Attack Posted He Had Lost His Job, Believed Govt was Targeting Him with "Mind Control"; Police Lt.: Derek Chauvin's Use of Force Was "Totally Unnecessary"; NYT: Receipts Show Rep. Matt Gaetz Sent Money to Women Using Cash Apps, Gaetz Denies Allegations. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired April 02, 2021 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Good advice from Dr. Wen, as usual. Thanks so much as usual, Dr. Wen, for joining us. And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Capitol attack, one officer killed, one injured as CNN learns about the 25-year-old suspect, social media posts that refer to the government as the number one enemy.
Plus, powerful testimony in the trial of the ex-officer charged with killing George Floyd. A top officer testified the Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd was 'totally unnecessary'.
And a new voicemail obtained by OUTFRONT from Congressman Matt Gaetz to a Florida state lawmaker that she said was 'so weird'. You'll hear it. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight breaking news, attacked again. Flags at the White House and the United States Capitol at half-staff after a second deadly attack on the Capitol grounds in less than three months. And again, a police officer was murdered. Capitol Police Officer William 'Billy' Evans was a member of the Capitol Police Force for 18 years and he died in the line of duty today, killed by the attacker. Another officer remains hospitalized at this moment.
And we are at this hour learning new details about the 25-year-old suspect to allegedly rammed his car into a barrier outside the Capitol building hitting two officers. He recently posted a video to social media with the caption 'the U.S. government is the number one enemy of black people'. He also said he believed the federal government was targeting him with what he called mind control.
Well, today's attack comes just 86 days after the deadly insurrection on January 6th. And in a horrible reality, it comes less than two weeks after all of that fencing that surrounded the Capitol after the insurrection was finally removed. That fencing, of course, might have prevented the suspect from getting as close as he did.
Now, to see the images on your screen, to hear the news of yet another officer killed protecting the United States Capitol just three months after January 6th is devastating, particularly and incredibly so for the family of the slain officer for the Capitol Police Force. Tonight, of course, one of the holiest days of the year on the Christian calendar.
Shimon Prokupecz is OUTFRONT live in Washington. And Shimon, on such a horrible Good Friday, what more are you learning about the suspect in this attack?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, a lot of what law enforcement also is learning is coming from his social media postings: Instagram, Facebook and just two hours before this incident, before he was shot and killed here, there were postings on Instagram, some of that you mentioned. Specifically, also they're looking at this idea that somehow, he believed that he was suffering because of the FBI and the CIA. They're also looking at some of these postings just a short time before this incident and also links to the Nation of Islam. The minister there, Louis Farrakhan, they're looking at those links. There are postings on his Instagram where he's linking to stories from that group.
So that is something investigators are looking at as well. And I just want to show you behind me here, Erin, much of the scene now is clear. You can see the car that was used is not here. A lot of the investigators are still here. They're taking photos. But much of what we saw here earlier has been cleared out.
This is now going to be a big puzzle that the FBI needs to put together and also law enforcement here on the ground from the MPD and the Capitol Police to try and figure out what set this individual off today. That is going to be a key for investigators, but certainly they know a lot. They know that he recently lost his job and they also are going through all of these social media postings now, which are giving them some idea into this individual and some of the trouble that he was having in his life, a lot of it recently, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Shimon, thank you very much.
I want to go right to Jessica Dean. And Jessica, this horrifying attack on the U.S. Capitol does come less than three months after the deadly insurrection. The memories of which are still so raw and now, yet another Capitol Police Officer has lost his life.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. They're so raw, Erin. And just under the surface here on Capitol Hill and now today just a moment ago we saw that flag that is over the United States Capitol be lowered to half-staff the second time this year in memory of a Capitol Police Officer who has died in the line of duty protecting this place and the people who work in it.
It is truly devastating both for the Capitol Police who've already suffered so much loss this year and also the community of people who work here. I mean, when you get up to the Hill, you see the same faces day in and day out. And some of the congressional members I was talking with today, some of the staff they are all just simply heartbroken, really stunned that we're at this place again where we are mourning the death of a Capitol Police Officer who has been killed, defending and protecting the U.S. Capitol and the people inside of it.
And so, let me take you back to earlier today when this all started unraveling here. I was actually up in my office on the Senate side and the announcement blared out that we were to stay away from windows and doors, that there was a lockdown in place. Obviously, everybody very, very nervous at that point, but we didn't know exactly how serious it was.
I made my way down to the first floor where I can get a view of a little bit of what you were seeing on your screen there and that's when it became apparent this was very, very serious. And we have since learned, of course, Officer Billy Evans dying as a result of what took place here today, dying in the line of duty.
And I can't underscore enough, Erin, just the heaviness, the cloud that still kind of hangs over the Capitol and certainly the Capitol Police who have done a lot to try to streamline information to make sure they're on top of threats. Of course, the National Guard has been here and you mentioned that fencing just coming down not two weeks ago. And where this all happened is a place where a lot of us sometimes all walk in that way and there's typically a couple of Capitol Police officers right there that area. There used to be National Guard there as well.
DEAN: So this is a familiar route for a lot of people and I have to underscore to you just how heavy hearts here are on Capitol Hill tonight. A lot of just devastated people.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jessica. And, of course, just a devastation Officer Evans losing his life, the suspect after ramming in to the barrier, getting out with a knife and stabbing him.
I want to go now to Juliette Kayyem who was the Assistant Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama. Juliette, let me start with Shimon's reporting about the attacker, OK, what we know about him. In the days and weeks before today's attack, he posted on social media he lost his job, suffered from various medical ailments.
In a caption from one video, he posted it says, "The U.S. government is the number one enemy of black people." He is African American, the attacker. How much closer do you think or how much does any of this help with a motive or a state of mind?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Right. So, it all helps. Certainly, his own words are going to be relevant and his perception of both his situation and what he thought the government was doing to him might explain why he picked a particular target. So, all of that is going to be relevant.
And there will be a question about whether he was politically motivated. And I noticed it's going to be very sort of - it seems like it's going to be threading needles. But let me just be clear here, because you hate the government does not necessarily mean that an action is terrorism, at least not a legal definition.
You have to you have to promote violence or execute violence in pursuit of a political goal. And it may be that he has a combination of mental issues, criticisms of the government that are unrelated to a specific ideology and that's why we wait. I mean, in other words that's why no one should use this for political purposes. This we simply do not know at this stage, but his words are relevant.
BURNETT: Also, joining me now is the Washington, D.C. Police Chief, the former Chief, Charles Ramsey. So Chief Ramsey, look, this is a tragedy for your city and, of course, for the Capitol Police force. But it comes, as I said, just two weeks after those barriers come down. Those barriers so many people said on both sides of the aisle, they want it down because of freedom to access the Capitol and then this horrible thing happened, which probably wouldn't have happened if he weren't able to get through the barrier.
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it's easy to kind of look at things after the fact and say something like that, but those barriers would not have stayed up forever.
RAMSEY: So, we just don't know. Eventually they would have come down. But that doesn't minimize the fact that there needs to be changes in terms of the security in and around the Capitol. General Honore wrote a report with a lot of recommendations, I hope Congress takes it serious and looks at those recommendations, provides funding because there has to be a change in the physical security, but also technology that can be leveraged to help with the security of the Capitol. Nothing is going to be foolproof 100 percent, but they can do better than they're doing now and that's the bottom line. Status quo is not acceptable.
So, when we look at the fencing that you got now, obviously, it means an eyesore. You don't want to see that. But it doesn't mean there should be no fencing around the Capitol.
RAMSEY: The question is how should it be when something that comes up out of the ground, does it look more like the wrought iron type of fencing around the White House, I don't know the answer to that. But something has to be done.
BURNETT: Juliette, the other things we're learning Shimon was reporting that the attacker believed the federal government targeted him with 'mind control'.
[19:10:03] He believed that Louis Farrakhan had saved him 'after the terrible
afflictions I've suffered presumably by the CIA and FBI'. That's also a quote. These are his posts on social media.
BURNETT: I bring them up. Obviously, he's got serious mental issues. OK. It would seem to me to be impossible from what we know now and we're going to learn more, but to ever identify this as somebody who could actually be a threat to the life of a Capitol Police Officer.
KAYYEM: Oh, absolutely. I mean, the individual threat is almost impossible, not always impossible. It is very difficult to (inaudible) the number of people who would view Congress as a threat or the government per se as a threat.
So as Chief Ramsey said, you have to do a combination of things. It's called layer defenses. One is, get really good at intelligence, get local and state authorities because I am curious if they knew anything to share information, be able to share information with the Feds. You get defensive posturing on the physical site that's layered so that you can't get a car coming that close.
And then you also have - I mean, you basically as the case may be is, you're not messing around. I mean, the Capitol Police are not messing around now and you can't blame them. I mean, in other words, if they're going to be under consistent threat, no one with any motivation who would want to approach Congress at this stage is under warning as they are for the White House as they are for the Supreme Court.
BURNETT: So former FBI Senior Intelligence Advisor and CIA Counter Terror Officials, Phil Mudd, joins the conversation as well. So, Phil, you know what he said, obviously, about the FBI and the CIA sort of being out to get him, the attacker. He also in another online post that we found said, "To be honest, these past few years have been tough and these past few months tougher. I have been tried with some of the biggest unimaginable tests in my life."
Again, as I have said it is clear this person was mentally ill, but it seems that his struggles were building sort of to this unfortunate and horrible crescendo.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Yes. I think there's a couple of questions you have to ask yourself, Erin. The first and this is a question that we cannot answer in this case, is there an indication of violence. Based on what you were just talking about, without an indication of violence, have you asked a state local or federal law officers to intervene. The individual didn't say anything. It was an actual threat.
The second question, which is tougher, but I think more intriguing and more important for America is when the FBI or the state local police officials do interviews tonight or look at his social media, do they see indications that there were triggers, that there were what we would call the past red flags where a friend or family member would have called law enforcement and said, I've seen something that (inaudible) individual needs treatment. (Inaudible) 303 million Americans sometimes (inaudible) not sure there's much we could do and I'm not hearing anything that would have been a trigger in this case.
BURNETT: Chief Ramsey, let me ask you about what this means for the U.S. Capitol Police force, though. I mean, they've had multiple officers now killed in the past three months because of attacks on the Capitol. And this officer today, Officer Evans, goes to work on Good Friday and he's stabbed to death. It is horrific and I can't imagine what it is like for all of these officers right now and how they must feel. What are you hearing?
RAMSEY: Well, I mean, it's very traumatic. I was the chief in D.C. back in 1998 when two officers were shot and killed inside of the U.S. Capitol. This is the first time, Sicknick was the first officer killed in the line of duty since then. So it's not the kind of agency where you would expect to have occasional line of duty deaths. Philadelphia is a great example.
I mean, I spent eight years as Police Commissioner here in Philadelphia. I lost eight officers in the line of duty. And so it's just a different environment. This Officer Evans was an 18-year veteran. I'll bet he's one of those guys that just about everybody on the job knew because he had been there for so long. So it's going to have a serious impact on them.
And if I can just, one last thing, I spoke with a very senior official of the Metropolitan Police Department, no one was stabbed at that location. Those officers were struck by the vehicle. He saw the video. The car came in at a high rate of speed, struck them both, sent him both airborne. When he got out of the car, other officers actually shot him when he went out him with a knife. But early reports had them being stabbed.
The second officer is stable. He's over at MedStar with multiple injuries, fractures and the like, but he should survive.
BURNETT: Well, I'm really glad you can add all of that, those facts. And Chief, thank god about the officer who's in the hospital because all we knew that he was there and as you say, obviously, with a lot of injuries but going to live and going to be OK.
Juliette, let's talk a little bit about this. So you heard what the chief is saying that Officer Evans was likely killed by the car itself. Then Green gets out of the car and he goes after officers with a knife. Now, we know he was shot when he did that, but what do you make of a knife being his weapon of choice?
KAYYEM: It was unique, but actually, as the Chief was saying, his weapon of choice was an automobile and we've seen that before. And so likely him coming out with a knife, we've heard people talk about death by a police officer or suicide by police officer, we don't know what his intentions were if he just wanted to get shot. What we do know and I just want to remind people is that the Acting
Police Chief did say that they did tell him to stand down. In other words, they didn't just start shooting. He kept running and their use of force was completely appropriate at that stage. But the knife may have been just a way to sort of continue the terror tactic and the response was appropriate.
BURNETT: Phil, their restraint, though, given what Juliette saying it is incredible when you think about that, that after two officers are hit and flown in the air, one of whom we know has died, the other in the hospital. That he gets out of the car with a knife and runs, and that they tell him to stand down before they shoot, that they still waited.
MUDD: That is remarkable. There's a couple issues here, one is a training issue. If you're in that situation, you need somebody who's gone through hours of training to understand what the protocols are. The second issue is remembering what the mentality of people in this business are and that is public safety. The responsibility is both to ensure public safety of the officers, but - I mean, I realized this person is approaching with a knife, but you don't want to kill them (inaudible) the last resort.
If I could add one more point on the knife, as a former counterterrorism professional, this is really significant. When the police are talking about the motivations of the individual on terrorism, the knife told me instantly, instantly a lot, Erin. Number one, not a lot of preplanning. If you're doing a terrorism event, you want to maximize casualties. You want a weapon like a gun. You don't want a knife.
Number two, conspiracy. If there are a number of people involved in the attack, a number of people is sitting around saying how do we maximize the public impact, that's typically not a knife. I understand quickly why police are saying that this is unlikely to be a terrorist incident. The knife tells me that nobody sat back and said I want to maximize the impact of my event, Erin.
BURNETT: Really important. All right. I appreciate all three of you. Thank you.
RAMSEY: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next our breaking news continues. We're live outside the hospital where one of those Capitol Police officers was taken where Chief Ramsey was just telling you his condition. We're going to hear exactly what they're telling us from the hospital.
And today, yet another tragedy that the Capitol Police Department has endured in just a few short months.
Plus, the trial of the ex-officer accused of killing George Floyd, a top lieutenant delivers a devastating blow to Derek Chauvin's defense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW FRANK, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: What is your view of that use of force during that time period?
LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, HOMICIDE OFFICER, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE: Totally unnecessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And a bombshell report involving Congressman Matt Gaetz and allegations of drugs, money, sex and receipts as one of his top staffers quits tonight.
BURNETT: Tonight, one officer with the Capitol Police is still in the hospital at this hour after the deadly attack this afternoon. This as the department mourns the loss of one of its own for the third time in less than three months. Officer William Evans was killed after a suspect rammed a vehicle into a police barricade outside the Capitol. He was an 18-year veteran of the Capitol Police force.
Officers from the Police - at Metropolitan Police paid their respects with a procession passing in front of the George Washington University Hospital where another of the officers was taken after the attack. In a press conference today, Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman discussed the tragedies her officers have had to deal with.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOGANANDA PITTMAN, ACTING CHIEF, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: This has been an extremely difficult time for U.S. Capitol Police after the events of January 6th and now the events that have occurred here today. So I ask that you keep our U.S. Capitol Police family in your thoughts and prayers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Pete Muntean is at George Washington University Hospital. And Pete, what more can you tell us?
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: A powerful and sad moment here, Erin, as that procession for Officer Billy Evans left here in front of George Washington University Hospital and went down 23rd Street. Really police officers as far as the eye could see. Not only Capitol Police, but also the Metropolitan Washington Police Department was here, also the United States Secret Service.
As the procession left and went down 23rd Street here, hospital staff came out on the street to pay their respects. Also, I saw a female police officer standing at the top of 23rd Street here standing in solemn salute as that procession went down the street. I also saw the Head of the Metropolitan Washington Police Department Chief Robert Contee also here hugging other officers, clearly an act of hospital behind us.
And what was so interesting is as that procession left here, it revealed that this was also maybe part crime scene. There was crime scene tape in front of the ambulance bay here, in front of the emergency department. Beyond that you could see a U.S. Capitol Police cruiser and homicide detectives from the Metropolitan Washington Police Department going through it with latex gloves, taking photographs of that car.
Unclear its connection to all of this, although it was actually relatively far drive from the Capitol in the scene of these two miles. It would have been a bit of a harrowing drive too, because things are pretty busy in Washington because it is the Cherry Blossom Festival, and the cherry blossoms are at peak bloom. So we will see if that becomes connected to this investigation as it unfolds.
BURNETT: So the other officer is injured, what are you able to tell us about his condition right now?
MUNTEAN: We initially heard that the officers were in critical condition and we've also now just heard that that officer is in stable condition, so some good news here.
We've also just heard from one of your previous guests at that that officer is not actually at GW hospital here but also at MedStar Washington Hospital which is across town. So two different officers going to two different locations after this incident.
BURNETT: Wow. OK. So two officers hospitalized. All right. So tell me, Pete, this comes after Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick obviously died after being attacked in the January 6th insurrection, Capitol Officer Howard Liebengood who responded to the riot died by suicide.
It is horrific what that force has had to deal with and now what just happened today. What do you know about morale of the department?
MUNTEAN: It's rough, Erin. I mean, morale is not very good, especially considering that the outcome here today is something that Capitol Police officers were worried about after January 6th. There were reports that some resigned, turning in their badges, concerned that this could potentially happen again. And now we have seen the outcome that they fear. This is just their worst nightmare come to life once again.
BURNETT: All right. Pete, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT next, a top Lieutenant testifies that what Officer Chauvin did to George Floyd was against policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIMMERMAN: The fact that if your knee is on a person's neck, that can kill him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Plus, surveillance cameras, body cameras, cell phone cameras, so many captured George Floyd's arrest and they are now all playing a crucial role in court.
BURNETT: Tonight, totally unnecessary. That's how the most senior officer in the Minneapolis Police Department described Derek Chauvin's use of force against George Floyd, as prosecutors wrapped up their first week of testimony.
Omar Jimenez is OUTFRONT.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The theme of a shorten day 5 of testimony was training.
MATTHEW FRANK, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Have you ever in all the years you've been working for the Minneapolis Police Department been trained to kneel on the neck of someone who has handcuffed behind their back in the prone position?
LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT HOMICIDE OFFICER: No, I haven't. That would be the top tier, the deadly force.
ZIMMERMAN: Because the fact that if your knee is on a person's neck, that can kill him.
JIMENEZ: Thirty-five-year veteran, Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman, who said his serve longer than any other officer in the Minneapolis Police Department, testified of the risks of restraining a suspect way George Floyd was held.
FRANK: What was your view of that use of force during that time period?
ZIMMERMAN: Totally unnecessary. Once the person is cuffed, you need to turn them on their side or have been set up. You need to get them off their chest. Your muscles are pulling back when you're handcuffed and if you're laying on your chest, that's constricting your breathing even more.
JIMENEZ: It was even something former Officer Derek Chauvin was asked about in the moment by former Officer Thomas Lane.
THOMAS LANE, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: Should we roll on his side?
DEREK CHAUVIN, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: Nope. He's staying where we've got him. JIMENEZ: During cross-examination, the defense pointing out the
differences between a patrol officer and Zimmerman's role as a homicide detective, largely investigative in nature, despite the annual defense training.
ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR DEREK CHAUVIN: The frequency with which you have to use higher levels of force as an investigator doesn't happen all that often, right?
NELSON: It would not be within your normal role or job duties to do such a use of force analysis, right?
ZIMMERMAN: That's correct.
JIMENEZ: Zimmerman's testimony comes on a tail-end of a week filling in gaps of what happened on May 25th, 2020, including what happened when medical personnel arrived.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In layman's terms, I thought he was dead.
JIMENEZ: Painful testimony about what it was like in the moment that day just steps away from Floyd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel helpless.
JIMENEZ: An insight to how Derek Chauvin interpreted to what's adjust to happen.
CHAUVIN: We got to control this guy because he's a sizeable guy. It looks like he's probably on something.
JIMENEZ: All of it stemming from an excruciating 9 minutes and 29 seconds of a knee to the neck that according to Friday testimony should have ended much earlier.
ZIMMERMAN: The ambulance will get there in whatever amount of time, and in that time period, you need to provide medical assistance before they arrive.
JIMENEZ (on camera): And Lieutenant Zimmerman was among 14 Minneapolis police officers that signed on to an open letter last June condemning Chauvin. At one point, the letter wrote that Chauvin failed as a human and stripped George Floyd of his dignity and life. He was the last witness to testify this week.
Two of the testimony is going to begin Monday morning, and while we don't know the exact lineup for security reasons, we do know that at some point, it's expected current Minneapolis Police chief, Medaria Arradondo, will testify, along with an emergency medicine physician and on top of that, the Hennepin County medical examiner -- Erin.
BURNETT: Omar, thank you very much. And I want to go now to Elie Honig, member of our OUTFRONT legal team
throughout this trial.
So, Elie, how powerful was this testimony from the most senior police officer of the Minneapolis police department?
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Erin, I thought his testimony was very powerful for the prosecution. I thought this was devastating for the defense.
Now, this witness was soft-spoken. He was understated.
HONIG: And it carried a lot of credibility for the prosecution. That type of testimony can make a lot of impact on a jury.
And the things he said were so important to this trial, but also, so obvious. He said things like, when the handcuffs go on, the risk level goes way down. When you have someone on their front, it's already hard for them to breathe, and then when he put a knee and their neck, you risk killing them.
As he said, this was totally unnecessary. I work with police officers every day of my career as a prosecutor. I'm friends with dozens of them. I've spoken with a lot of them since this happened. Not a single one has said to me publicly or privately that they believe that what Derek Chauvin did was appropriate.
BURNETT: So, you know, you could see Derek Chauvin today in court today on the right, taking a lot of notes, during the testimony about the used of force. And he appears to be very hand on with his legal team. This -- we saw things like this, a huddle with he and they before each cross-examination.
What do you read into this? Is that way you expect? Is that something that you would consider normal?
HONIG: So, any defendant has a constitutional right to assist in his own events. But actual defendants do vary. I've seen some very hands on like this. I've seen other defendants who are sort of more in the background.
But if I was advising or representing Derek Chauvin, I would probably tell him let's tone it down a notch. In that courtroom, the jury is just feeds away from the lawyers and the parties. They are watching every single thing you are doing.
I was taught, play it cool no matter what. Don't start jotting notes, don't show any sign of concern or panic. So, it's an interesting courtroom dynamic there.
BURNETT: Wow, yeah. I think it's important what you point out. We don't see them, but they are just steps away from what we are all watching in that video. So you also just heard in Omar's reporting the police lieutenant testifying that officers should provide medical care even if ambulance is on the way, that they would do so that in that period.
So, that's what they said and here's how Chauvin's defense countered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NELSON: There are circumstances where after a person is rendered unconscious and then you perform, you revive that person, that they are more combative than they were initially.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So obviously trying to make the argument that the theory they're making that Floyd could've somehow bounced up, and bounced back and he was still a threat. Now, he was, of course, handcuffed.
Do you think the jury would buy that argument at this point?
HONIG: I certainly don't. I find it totally unconvincing.
I mean, let's think about that. It's a concern is he may be overdosing, and sometimes when people come out of an overdose, they're aggressive. Why not just stand back 10 feet? He's rear cuffed face down on the ground. I mean, very few people could even get to their feet from that position, and even those who could it would take several seconds to do that. You could easily just come in in the meantime unsettle the person down.
Also, I know that's not policy for police officers. I work on use of force policies. I mean, imagine if police officers, they respond to overdoses unfortunately all too often.
Just imagine, forget about this scenario. Responding to an overdose and saying, everybody stand back because when this person comes out of it, he may be aggressive song to put my knee and his neck now. That would be outrageous. That is not how police operate.
BURNETT: Elie, thank you very much for your perspective as always. We'll see you Monday.
HONIG: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: And during the trial today, we also saw new body cam images of two of the officers who now also face charges in George Floyd's death. These are just moments before they were escorted from the crime scene for questioning.
Now, what's been interesting through this entire trial, thus far, is that prosecutors have been relying heavily on overwhelmingly amount of video evidence in the trial, giving a minute by minute account of Floyd's last moments. You know, we've all seen the painful video of George Floyd's death, but we've seen so much that we have never seen before.
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
LANE: Put your hand up there.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was the beginning of the end of George Floyd's life. The police body cam camera capturing the moment when they confront them and remove him from his vehicle.
GEORGE FLOYD: Please don't shoot me, Mr. Officer, please. Please don't shoot me, man.
FOREMAN: But is it is the compendium of so many cameras in so many different angles emerging in court that is filling in the complex picture of his death.
POLICE OFFICER: You get out of this car? We can talk.
FLOYD: I'm claustrophobic. I'm claustrophobic, man.
POLICE OFFICER: You're arguing with me.
FOREMAN: Just minutes before his encounter with police turned violent, a security camera inside and nearby food store had caught Floyd in a very different light.
CHRISTOPHER MARTIN, CASHIER: He seemed very friendly, approachable. He was talkative.
FOREMAN: He also seemed high to clerk Christopher Martin, who says Floyd bought cigarettes with a possible counterfeit bill, went inside, would not come back to settle up, and police were called.
FOREMAN: Sixty-one-year-old Charles McMillian was passing by, and the cameras caught him yelling at Floyd, you can't win.
CHARLES MCMILLIAN, 61-YEAR-OLD: You can't win. You can't win, man!
FOREMAN: Floyd was put on the ground, pinned down.
FLOYD: Momma! Momma! Momma!
FOREMAN: That store clerk came out, joining about a dozen people watching, calling for people to ease up. He put his hands on his head.
MARTIN: I saw people yelling and screaming.
I saw Derek with his knee on George's neck. FOREMAN: McMillian saw it too.
MCMILLIAN: Oh my god.
FOREMAN: For more than 9 minutes, as Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck, cameras rolled from numerous angles, all showing the same thing. Chauvin not letting up, Floyd saying again and again
FLOYD: I can't breathe I can't breathe,.
FOREMAN: A 17-year-old who did not want to be on camera recorded the scene on her phone too.
EYEWITNESS: He was terrified. He was suffering, this was a cry for help.
FOREMAN: Amid those cries, another cop asked Chauvin.
LANE: Should we roll him on his side?
CHAUVIN: No, he's staying put where we got him.
LANE: I just worry about the excited delirium or whatever.
CHAUVIN: That is why we have the ambulance coming.
FOREMAN: But the time that help arrived, all those cameras showed George Floyd was not moving any more, and one caught Chauvin's comments right afterwards.
CHAUVIN: We got to control this guy because he's a sizeable guy. It looks like -- looks like he's probably on something.
FOREMAN (on camera): The defense is arguing, no matter how hard any one video is to look at, all it shows is a police officer doing his job. Full stop. But the prosecution is showing, look at all these videos together. Look at them all together. Convinced that when a jury does, they will see the death of George Floyd was inexcusable, criminal, and there's no other way to look at it -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Tom. Thank you.
FOREMAN: You're welcome.
BURNETT: And next, the investigation into Congressman Matt Gaetz reportedly includes receipts for money paid to women. So, what do those receipts show? Reporter breaking news is next.
And more on our top breaking news stories, disturbing details about the Capitol suspect who police said drove his car into a barricade at the Capitol, coming up next.
BURNETT: Tonight, there are receipts of Matt Gaetz's payments to women. "The New York Times" reviewed payment receipts in the federal investigation into whether the Republican congressman and close Trump ally paid cash to women for sex, and whether he had a relationship with a 17-year-old.
I'm going to speak with the reporter who saw those receipts in just a moment.
First, though, Paula Reid is OUTFRONT with all the late developments in this case.
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, the federal investigation into Florida congressman, Matt Gaetz, for possible prostitution and sex trafficking crimes, including an alleged relationship with a minor, now centering around his friendship with this man, Joel Greenberg.
JOEL GREENBERG, FORMER SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA TAX COLLECTOR: It really is an honor to be here today.
REID: In addition, investigators believe Greenberg, a former Seminole County, Florida, tax collector, recruited multiple women online for sex, and then introduced the women who received cash payments, to Gaetz, who had sex with them, too, according to "The New York Times". "The Times" said it reviewed Apple Pay, and Cash App receipts that showed Gaetz and Greenberg made payments to one of the women, and one payment from Greenberg, to a different woman.
In a statement, Gaetz office said, Matt Gaetz has never paid for sex. Matt Gaetz refutes all the disgusting allegations completely.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Providing for flights, and hotel rooms, for people you are dating who are of legal age is not a crime.
REID: But a source telling CNN, investigators are examining whether any federal campaign money was involved in paying for travel, and expenses, for the women. Gates, and Greenberg, have been friends for years, posting photos together, and Gaetz even telling a local radio station that Greenberg would make a good member of Congress in 2017.
GAETZ: If Joel were to run from Seminole County, I think he becomes the next congressman from the seventh district.
REID: The duo, according to a Florida lawmaker, leading an unsolicited voicemail on her cell phone. She gave a recording of the message to CNN.
GREENBERG: This is your favorite tax collector. I'm up in panhandle with your favorite U.S. congressman, Mr. Gaetz.
GAETZ: Hi, Anna!
GREENBERG: And we were just chatting about you and talking about your lovely qualities and your --
GAETZ: We think you're the future of the Democratic Party in Florida.
REID: Additionally, information that may connect Gaetz to a fake ID scheme, at the center of Greenberg's case, was presented to federal investigators at a meeting last year, sources familiar tells CNN.
Greenberg entered a plea of not guilty.
Attorneys for Greenberg, and Gaetz, had no comment.
In addition to the federal investigation, multiple sources told CNN Gaetz showed lawmakers photos, and videos, of nude women he claimed to have slept with.
One source, saying the Gaetz shared the images on his phone, while on the floor of the House.
REID (on camera): Tonight, Gaetz finds himself with a few public allies. His publications director, resigned earlier today, and even though Gaetz was one of the most vocal Trump supporters, so far, the former president has remained silent amid this escalating set of scandals that could end Gaetz's political career -- Erin.
BURNETT: At the least if it's all -- if it's true. Thank you very much, Paula.
So, let's go to Katie Benner, Justice Department reporter for "The New York Times", who broke the story about the payment. And Dave Aronberg, state attorney for Palm Beach County, Florida, who knows Gaetz from his time serving as a state senator in Florida, while Gaetz was a state representative.
So, I'm really glad that both of you back with me.
Katie, let me start with you, because we've been breaking so much of this, and you actually review text messages, and payment receipts in this case. The woman told their friends, these payments were, indeed, for sex. It was a very clear transaction.
What more did you learn about these encounters?
KATIE BENNER, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, one of the interesting things about the messages we reviewed is that the messages are very clear and they say to meet me here at this time, I can give you $1,000.
Now, the men might argue that the money in those messages would be for something else, but keep in mind, it's a women who are saying that they were paid for sex. So, the messages could not be clearer, at least that people were meeting. They were meeting at a hotel, and that money was going to change hands.
We also heard a lot about the drug use that happened in these encounters, with both Congressman Gaetz, and with Joel Greenberg.
Now, keep in mind, of course, we will reiterate the Congressman Gaetz says these things did not happen, he vociferously denies any of the unsavory characterizations of any of these meetings, but what the women are saying is that there was a lot of drugs used. These are the sorts of elements that, I think, prosecutors will look at to decide on where the line is drawn between Gaetz, and what bends (ph) in payment for sex.
BURNETT: So, Dave, you hear Katie's reporting, right? I'll pay you 1,000 bucks, meet me here, to multiple women at different times, different hotels, and locations. And then she just mentioned the drugs. And in Katie's reporting, is that Gaetz and others would take ecstasy, as an example, before having sex.
How important could this be to the case, this drug use?
DAVE ARONBERG, STATE ATTORNEY, PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA: Good evening Erin. I think what is important is that it's something in value that is provided in exchange for the sex. So, that gets you to sex trafficking.
You have to show whether it is cash, or drugs, or hotel rooms, or flights, or expenses. I don't think it goes any further than that. I know some people say, it shows a level of coercion, but when it comes to child sex trafficking, you don't need force, fraud, or coercion, like you do for adults extracting. When it comes to minors, they have much more protection, and the laws a lot broader.
Now, I think also, where it also matters is to prove that Matt Gaetz had sex with the underage girl. That is a key to this case. You either need the girl to testify, you need to have documents, like the one Katie was referencing, that show pattern of payments around the same time that hotel rooms were booked, or you need Joel Greenberg to turn to state evidence.
And now that he sitting in a jail cell, waiting for his own sex trafficking trial, involving the same 17-year-old girl, he may want to play, let's make a deal, with federal prosecutors.
BURNETT: Well, it's hard to imagine why, at this point, you would cover him. As you pointed out this point, Dave, I mean, the prison sentence for these things, if convicted, is many years, right? Many years.
So, there would be an incredible incentive to turn in your body, if that would produce that, right?
ARONBERG: Absolutely. For Joel Greenberg is facing decades in prison. Matt Gaetz, if charged with sex trafficking, he will be facing up to life in prison. There's an element here, there's a conspiracy that could be charged, depending on the facts, because Greenberg will start with more than just sex trafficking. He was charged with identity theft, wire fraud, and all these other things. Matt Gaetz could be charged with a lot of those same things if it is shown that they engaged in a conspiracy. Then Gaetz would be just as guilty as Joel Greenberg for the crimes that Joel Greenberg has allegedly committed.
So, for Gaetz, there's no good outcome here. And even if he survives it in a criminal justice system, it is still terrible for his political career. I don't see how he survives, politically. He would be lucky just to avoid a lengthy prison sentence.
BURNETT: Pretty incredible to think about this. So, Katie, I want to a play again some of the audio message that Gaetz and Greenberg, together, because I think it just makes point A, that they're together doing these all things, whether together, they leave this voice well together, for a Florida state representative, Anna Eskamani.
Let me play it again.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GREENBERG: My dear Anna, this is your favorite tax collector. I'm up in the panhandle with your favor U.S. congressman, Mr. Gaetz.
GAETZ: Hi, Anna.
GREENBERG: And we were just chatting about you and talking about your lovely qualities and your --
GAETZ: We think you're the future of the Democratic Party in Florida.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, Katie, look, obviously, you know, you hear them together, you know? Sort of on that call. Tell me what that kind of point that makes here, they do sound like buddies.
BENNER: Sure. We know they were close friends, we know that they were tight, and part of the circle of Florida Republicans in the group in which Matt Gaetz was pretty high, up at the top, in the upper echelons. His friend, the Seminole County tax collector, probably not as powerful, not as influential, and not as well-known.
So, it's kind of relationship where Matt Gaetz feels like the ringleader, and where Greenberg kind of feels like a member of his entourage. They're very, very tight. And as prosecutor examining, it looks like they were close enough friends that they were sharing women together as well.
One of the other interesting things that prosecutors were looking at is whether or not other members of this circle were also involved. One of the allegations is, not only did Gaetz, not only did Greenberg, have sex with these women, but other people have to. In fact, in our reporting, there was a woman who claims her friends who have had sex with Greenberg, with Gaetz, and with somebody who she was asked to have sex with and she agreed to. And so, that also sort of starts to widen the circle, who else was
friends with these gentlemen, who would want to have this kind of friendship with them.
BURNETT: Well, exactly. It also points out, right, you pay -- you pay someone, and if that's what happened, she has sex with you, and your friend, and your friend, it makes the whole thing more damning. I know, legally, and also, more sorted, of course.
Dave, Eskamani, who was the person for whom they left that message, she said the call was, quote, so we are. She said she did not return the phone call from Gaetz, and Greenberg.
You sort of know the players here. What do you think was going on with this call?
ARONBERG: I think they were trolling her, and Eskamani is a very young, I think, she's 30 years old right now, state representative, the first ever Iranian-American state representative in Florida's history. She's quite progressive, coming from the Bernie Sanders ring of the Democratic Party.
And so, you have two Republicans in a reddest state trolling her, by calling her to tell her, she is the future of the Democratic Party in our state. Well, you don't want to underestimate Anna Eskamani because she got elected in a district that used to be held by Republican. And she wins by significant margins. She is a large, grassroots operation already in our state, and I think she will run for statewide office.
So, you underestimate her at your own peril.
BURNETT: Yeah, but certainly, trolling, and obviously doing so in a gender-charged way. There's no question about that.
Katie, Dave, thank you so much.
ARONBERG: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, we're back on the breaking news of the deadly day on Capitol Hill as the Capitol Police Department grieves one of its own for the second time in less than three months.