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Erin Burnett Outfront

DHS Warns of Potential Violence as Soon as Tomorrow Tied to Rally Backing Rioters; Talk of Kidnapping Member of Congress; Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) Discusses About His Concerns About the September 18th Rally in Support of the Insurrectionists; Del Rio, Texas Facing Crisis as 9,500+ Migrants Arrive. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired September 16, 2021 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the Department of Homeland Security warning that violence connected to Saturday's right-wing rally on Capitol Hill could begin as early as tomorrow as for President Trump adds more fuel to the fire by embracing the insurrectionists.

Plus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defends Gen. Mark Milley's actions in the final days of the Trump administration saying there weren't enough checks and balances on the finger on the nuclear button. Trump's former National Security Advisor John Bolton is OUTFRONT tonight.

And breaking news in Texas, 9,500 migrants and counting, many arriving in just the last 48 hours living in squalor along the border. We're on the ground with exclusive video of this growing emergency. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the Department of Homeland Security issuing an alarming warning tonight about Saturday's right-wing rally in support of the January 6th insurrectionists. According to a Department of Homeland Security bulletin, officials are warning that violence connected to the rally that will take place on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol could begin as early as tomorrow, so they're saying violence can begin as early as tomorrow and they have detected chatter about kidnapping a specific member of Congress. Now, officials say they are aware of online threats of violence.

Also tonight, the fencing around the Capitol is back up and security at airports ramped up in anticipation of the rally. Officials are clearly bracing for an event that they're worried could spiral out of control and the former president is adding fuel to the fire. Donald Trump today releasing a statement reading, "Our hearts and minds are with people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election. In addition to everything else, it has proven conclusively that we are two-tiered system of justice. In the end, however, JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL." All caps.

I'm not really sure where to start with their hearts and minds with people being treated unfairly for things like this?


CROWD: Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Pence is a fucking traitor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we came this far, what do you say?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a job to do. That's why we're going to kill these people, because we got a job to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're done with the police, you're going to have antifa, Black Lives Matter and the Republicans, all hating you guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're just on the wrong side of the history, gentlemen.


BURNETT: The former president calling for justice for the people you just saw and reiterating the lie about the election. And the thing is, of course, he's not alone. His most loyal followers in Congress have also been pushing this narrative that the rioters are 'political prisoners'.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): These January 6 defendants are being treated like political prisoners of war.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): They're being treated worse there than the blood-thirsty terrorists at Guantanamo.

REP. MADISON CAWTHORN (R-NC): The reason why they've taken these prisoners is because they're trying to make an example.

REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): These are not unruly or dangerous, violent criminals. These are political prisoners.

REP. MATT GAETZ (D-FL): People are going to rally in Washington regarding the conditions of the January 6th detainees.


BURNETT: Now, I want to be clear, no sitting member of Congress is expected to attend the rally, though some like Matt Gaetz were specifically invited.


GAETZ: I have plans with my wife on September 18th. I guess I can break that news here with my good friend Joe Pags that I won't be attending that particular function.


BURNETT: Okay. He has dinner plans. Look, that's a good thing. No elected official should be giving this rally any legitimacy. But I want to be clear that not attending does not give Gaetz or any of the others you just heard there any sort of a pass because the reality of it is, is they fanned the flames. Their words of defense for the rioters are at the heart of what this entire thing is about. Just listen to the Trump supporters. Listen to them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. They're political prisoners pretty much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you out here protesting today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The injustice of the political prisoners of Joe Biden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're treating all of the protesters that were there on January 6th as if they were domestic terrorists.


BURNETT: Political prisoners, domestic terrorists said by the Marjorie Taylor Greenes, the Gosars, the Gaetzes of the world and repeated by the voters.

Shimon Prokupecz is OUTFRONT live in Washington to begin our coverage. And Shimon, more ominous warnings from the DHS tonight, so what are they looking at specifically ahead of this right-wing rally?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, certainly I think you make a very good point there, Erin, when you talk about fanning the flames. They are very much concerned that that is still going on, that this is something that they need to worry about and there are individuals, groups, maybe some people who are coming here by themselves can drive here and then perhaps try to start some kind of trouble.

It doesn't necessarily mean that it can be a large group that's going to start trouble.


There's concern that some smaller type groups may want to start, incite some kind of violence and then it would just grow. The fact that they put up the fencing today, we now know why. They have this information, this chatter that folks want to storm the Capitol tomorrow, try and perhaps catch authorities off guard, so they put up the fencing today. There is concerned about violence just all around Washington, D.C.

Today, police from all areas around Washington, D.C. from Virginia and Baltimore all met with the Capitol Police. They kind of did a walkthrough just in case if they need to be called in to help out. So certainly everyone here on high alert. We saw that fence go up today. By tomorrow, we're going to see an increase in security.

Because nonetheless, the key thing is in these days leading up to this, the chatter has not decreased and they can't take anything for granted. And so this is why they're doing this because it's very similar chatter leading into January 6th, but they didn't really know how to deal with it.

So now no one is taking anything for granted and that's why we're seeing this kind of response, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Shimon, thank you very much.

And I want to go now to Democratic Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado. He is a member of the House Intelligence and Armed Services Committee. So Congressman Crow, I appreciate your time.

We've got these alarming warnings of violence coming out from the DHS tonight about the right wing rally and President Trump is now endorsing the message behind the rally, so he's coming out today. I'll just give this quote again.

"Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election."

Now, his words have great power to the people who support this rally, the people who would attend a rally like this. What are your biggest concerns about it?

REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): Well, Erin, it shows that Donald Trump remains not just a threat to our democracy, but an actual physical security threat, a public safety threat to the American people. He has made himself the head of a domestic violent extremist movement that tried to derail our democracy in January 6th in the deaths of police officers, over 140 others are brutally beaten. This is not over.

They continue to fanned the flames of it and incite violence of this nature. But what's more it also show is that inaction and silence has a cost to it. When you have Republican leadership and Republican members of Congress and others who remain silent in the face of this, that sends a very strong message that it's okay and that has a very substantial cost for not just public safety, but our democracy.

BURNETT: It does. And now I do understand this rally is expected to be smaller than the one on January 6th. But one officer was telling The Washington Post, "Am I scared? Absolutely.

So our Donie O'Sullivan spoke to a Trump supporter this week who threatened and said this is exactly how police should be feeling about this. Let me just play it for you, Congressman.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: In terms of this event on the 18th ... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh-huh.

O'SULLIVAN: ... people up on Capitol Hill ...


O'SULLIVAN: ... are scared.


O'SULLIVAN: Should they be scared?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They should be scared of our own people really.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, an election was stole ...


BURNETT: They should be. How concerned are you about police officers being targeted again?

CROW: Well, Erin, I mean, it just shows that these folks are to be taken seriously and the threat that they pose. They've done this before. They'll continue to do it. Let's not forget that there have been numerous attacks on the Capitol Complex on the Hill since January 6th. This continues. It's actually becoming more and more frequent as time goes on as some of these folks become emboldened and encouraged and incited by Donald Trump as enablers.

Listen, I was there on January 6th. As you know, I was trapped in the gallery for about a half an hour as that mob tried to break down the door. And it was the courage of those officers who held the line, who fought back as hard as they could until we were evacuated that saved so many lives. These officers deserve our support. They deserve our praise for doing that.

But what's more is they actually deserve us going forward and making sure this doesn't happen again. That's why we have a January 6 Commission. That's why we're pushing back on the big lie. That's why we're doing what's necessary to preserve public safety.

BURNETT: And you talk about some of these officers, several of them, the Capitol Police officers are suing Trump and some of his allies for inciting the January 6th riot and that includes Roger Stone. So he was actually just served with the lawsuit in the middle of a radio interview. I don't know if you've heard the exchange, Congressman Crow, but let me play it just in case.


ROGER STONE, FORMER ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Hold on a second. I have a process server at my front door about to serve me in the latest lawsuit.


STONE: I'm going to take this live on your radio.

Oh yes, a civil court in the District of Columbia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Federal court, not civil, federal.

STONE: Ah yes, it's still a fraud, doesn't matter. Thank you, sir. Appreciate it. All right. I've just been served in the January 6 lawsuit.


STONE: Live right here on your radio.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow. Tomorrow's news today. Tomorrow's news today.

STONE: This is a big, big stack of stack of papers which is good, because we're out of toilet paper today.



BURNETT: So he's just making a complete mockery and a joke out of it.

CROW: Yes. I think the - what people need to understand, Erin, these folks, they actually don't believe in American democracy. They don't believe in rule of law. They don't believe in our norms, in our customs, in our traditions that underpin our traditions and our Constitution. They don't believe in that. They just want power. They want to win elections. They're, in many cases, doing this to make money.

These are money making rackets in many cases. That's what these people are about. They don't care about public safety. They certainly don't care about governing this country and that's why they also pose a threat, because they're willing to do anything in furtherance of their ends.

The good thing is that we have law enforcement, we have folks in the FBI, we have folks in the Congress who take this seriously and who are going to do what's necessary to preserve public order and rule of law and make sure that we're doing what's necessary in the interest of the American people.

BURNETT: Congressman Crow, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

CROW: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi coming to the defense of Trump's former top general. John Bolton, Trump's former National Security Advisor is defending

Gen. Mark Milley's reported calls to China and he's next to tell you why.

Plus, a 12-year-old rushed to the hospital, but he wasn't seen for hours and hours and hours. His appendix eventually bursting, his father saying the ER was filled with unvaccinated COVID patients.

And breaking news, more than 9,500 migrants showing up at the U.S.- Mexico border in just the past 48 hours, many of them now living in squalor under a bridge. Thousands more are expected and we're going to take you there tonight.



BURNETT: Tonight, the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi weighing in on the extraordinary revelations in the new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. The reporters detailing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley's actions to limit former President Trump from ordering a dangerous military strike or from launching nuclear weapons.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): That is true that there was very grievous concern not just among House Democrats and with the Senate Democrats, but among those responsible for our national security.


BURNETT: The Woodward and Costa book also reveals that Milley called the Chinese twice in the final weeks of Trump's presidency and said that Trump would not launch a surprise attack against them and that was specifically on October 30th right before the election.

OUTFRONT now John Bolton, the former National Security Advisor to former President Trump. And Ambassador, I really appreciate your time and your perspective on this, because I know that you've come to Milley's defense amid accusations that he overstepped his authority at the very least. Tell me why, why do you support what Gen. Milley did?

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I know Gen. Milley. I have faith in him in his professionalism. And I think, of course, like 99.9 percent of the people commenting on this book, I haven't read it yet, were relying on press reports. So I take it at the outset with a certain amount of salt.

But let's look at what the book does say about what prompted Milley together with, it looks like, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper according to other press reports to approach the Chinese in the first instance. The book says that he had intelligence that the Chinese were concerned, that the situation in the United States might put them in danger, might lead to a kind of wag the dog attack.

Leaving Trump out, if senior decision makers see that kind of intelligence, they recognize that there's a possibility of Chinese miscalculation. So the notion of communicating to the Chinese in that circumstance or the Russians or other potential adversaries is just good common sense.

And that, I think, is what motivated Milley more than anything else. You're not going to allow the Chinese to possibly act preemptively because they're afraid of a strike or the other side of it, is if they see confusion and chaos in Washington, you don't want them to think that we're in such disarray that they can make a strike against Taiwan or somewhere else and get away with it.

So Milley had a very difficult task, but one that was dictated or would have been dictated by concerns raised by intelligence that he and presumably all the other national security team would have seen.

BURNETT: All right. So I think all of that adds a lot to it, because you really are explaining some of the rationale and why it would make sense from a defending American National Security perspective to say what Milley said. And obviously one of the things that he said on that October 30th call that's getting a lot of attention is this specific quote.

"Gen. Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay, you and I have known each other now for five years. If we're going to attack, I'm going to call you ahead of time. It's not going to be a surprise."

It's that line that is getting a lot of attention, of course, as you know, Ambassador, and calling some Republicans, including Trump himself to say Milley committed treason. Here is Trump and others.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's treason. And I would think - I've had so many calls today saying that's treason.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): It's a violation of his oath to the Constitution, but it also is treacherous because if this is true, he should be fired.

GAETZ: If true, Gen. Milley has broken some very good laws, and we ought to make sure that there is accountability for that.

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): He needs to resign. Now, if he won't resign, he needs to be fired.


BURNETT: Again, Ambassador, as you point out, Esper knew these calls happened. There were 15 people on these calls. It was not a secret call that happened. But if that quote happened as reported, if we're going to attack, I'm going to call you ahead of time, it's not going to be a surprise. Why are they all wrong in there calling it treason or saying he should be fired? BOLTON: Well, again, let's put it in the situation that Milley has

intelligence in front of him that says the Chinese are very worried that they may be subject to attack. He can't say to the Chinese, hey, we've been reading intelligence that you're concerned here. He can't start off by saying, we've been reading your mail and listening to your telephone calls and I just want to let you know it's not what you think.


He has to find a way to get into it, that doesn't reveal that. Now they may suspect it anyway, but he's got to approach it. It's a very difficult line to walk, whether he actually said those words or not, we don't know there's probably three or four degrees of hearsay involved here. I'm sure he's going to be questioned on it in Congress and he can defend the specific words.

But I think it's very dangerous to assume not only Milley's perspective, but others. For example, in situations where I've been involved where the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has called his counterpart in one of the capitals of our adversaries. We've all talked about it and agreed it was the right thing to do to make a communication to somebody who needed to hear it.

So it would be important to talk to Robert O'Brien, the National Security Advisor, Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, Gina Haspel, the Director of the CIA. Did they see the same intelligence? Did Milley talk to them? Did they concur he should call his Chinese counterpart? Was this all reported?

And just one last point very quickly on this.


BOLTON: As you say, a large number of people listened in on this call. I know how the Pentagon works. There could have been a couple of squads of people there, may be a platoon. None of them jumped up and said, my god, Mark Milley has just committed treason. And I think if they had heard treasonous words, you'd have read about it in The Washington Post fairly quickly.

BURNETT: I think that's a really important point as well. So the book details a blunt call that Milley had with Speaker Pelosi, who was worried about Trump's erratic behavior and his proximity to the nuclear codes. And Pelosi says in part and they quote her, "You know he's crazy. He's been crazy for a long time." Milley responds and the quote is, "Madam Speaker, I agree with you on everything."

And then the book goes on, Ambassador, to describe a call that Trump had with Leader McCarthy, the night before Biden's inauguration. And McCarthy reportedly tells Trump and again, they quote him, "I don't know what's happened to you in the last two months. You're not the same as you were for the last four years." That's from McCarthy to Trump.

So ambassador, you saw former President Trump up close, do you think he changed in the time you worked for him?

BOLTON: Well, I'm not a shrink. I thought he was not fit to be President. I wrote about it for 500 pages. Let's come back to Milley for a second. He is seeing Trump on a fairly regular basis here and as the book says, he's concerned about his behavior.

For example, in another anecdote in the book that's been released and reported before the book came out, a document purporting to withdraw all American forces from Afghanistan is written by the President's former body man who has somehow become the head of presidential personnel and an ex-military member who doesn't have an official position in the government.

And the document comes into Milley's possession, he goes to the Secretary, Acting Secretary of Defense, and says, "Do you know anything about that?" And he says, "No." So they go over to the White House to ask the National Security Advisor. He says he's never heard anything about it either and goes down to see the president and then comes back and says, well, it's void.

If you're the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and documents are coming up that purport to be orders to the military that nobody else has seen, but the President's body man and some person not even in the government, that says we've got a serious problem here of chain of command and regular order.

So I think there's a lot of evidence. I don't know exactly what Gen. Milley said to Nancy Pelosi. The quote I saw had a lot of stuff in it and I could easily imagine myself saying, yes, okay, I agree, can we move on to what the point of this call is.

BURNETT: Right. No, I understand. There's different ways to interpret that. All right. Ambassador, I appreciate your time and your perspective. Thank you so much.

BOLTON: Thank you for having me.

BURNETT: All right. And next, a father rushes his son to the hospital, a hospital that was filled with unvaccinated COVID patients. The family waits for hours to be seen and at some point his son's appendix bursts. I'm going to speak to the father next.

Plus, the South Carolina murder mystery deepens while the family's patriarch has now turned himself in after being accused of arranging his own death.



BURNETT: Tonight, a father takes his 12-year-old son who is in excruciating pain to an emergency room that he says was swamped with unvaccinated COVID patients. They waited more than six hours to be seen and at one point his son's appendix burst. A rupture that can ultimately be fatal. OUTFRONT now Nathaniel Osborn. And I'm happy to say that your son,

Seth, is fine now, back home, but your ordeal is one that no one should have to face, Nathaniel, and keeps a lot of parents up worried about what they would do in this kind of a situation. So tell me what happened. You go to the ER, your son is in terrible pain. Tell me what happened from there.

NATHANIEL OSBORN, FATHER OF 12-YEAR-OLD SETH OSBORN: Sure. Walking in it was pretty clear, it was awfully full. My wife and I had to stand while we were waiting, ended up being six, perhaps six and a half hours. It was difficult sitting there with him kind of watching your child kind of shiver in pain. I mean, it was really, really unpleasant.

At that time, it was something like seven at the evening. He was taken out of the emergency room or the waiting room with my wife and she asked one of the nurses, "So what what's going on? Why did we have to wait so long?" And the nurse rolled her eyes and said something to the effect of like what do you think, we're slammed with COVID. That was a disappointing thing to hear.


BURNETT: I mean, I'm sure it was. You're sitting there and in those hours you're watching your child with pain and fever, and in his actual appendix ruptures, right? This deteriorated in a way that obviously it would not have if he had been able to get the care right away.

OSBORN: It seems like a safe assumption. This is not my field of expertise, but that seems like a reasonable deduction.

BURNETT: So you're in that waiting room, and you're vaccinated, your wife is vaccinated, your family is vaccinated. Thank God your son is 12 and you had gotten the vaccines.

But the hospital where he was treated told "ProPublica" in a statement that 90 percent of the COVID patients that they have are unvaccinated.

How frustrating is it that unvaccinated patients were, you know, taking all those resources when they could have been vaccinated and your son's health is in serious jeopardy?

OSBORN: You know, I take perhaps a slightly more patient approach, but quite frankly, upon reflection of what we went through, I think what parent wouldn't get frustrated to some extent as it dawns upon you, maybe my kid didn't have to suffer as much as he suffered. Like, what parent wouldn't -- yeah, sure, reach a degree of frustration. I don't want other people to have to go through that.

So I don't want grandmas and grandpas to have to I do before their time. I see it here in Florida a lot. I feel like this is not a partisan thing to say. I've been accused of it, but I encourage people to get vaccinated, because I don't want your child to go through what my child went through. That's what I have to offer. That's all I got.

BURNETT: Well, it's also the truth. Can I just how is Seth doing now?

OSBORN: Yeah. Thank you. That's sweet of you.

He's not with me on camera, mostly because he's at baseball practice now. So pretty good, right? He's back.

BURNETT: Well, that's great. And I'm happy for you, because five days of your child in the hospital, I can only imagine sort of the fear and the concern you and your wife must have had. So I hope some people learn from this, and I'm glad that he's back and at them.

OSBORN: Well, thank you for the invitation.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks to much, Nathaniel.

And next, breaking news, an emergency at the southern border. More than 9,500 migrants showing up, most of them over the past two days, and thousands more expected. It's a complete onslaught and conditions are deteriorating quickly. We'll take you there next to show you what is happening.

Plus, a South Carolina attorney accused of arranging his own death appears in court. And investigators look at the death of his housekeeper. The attorney representing her estate is my guest.



BURNETT: Breaking news: a border emergency in Texas, as more than 9,500 migrants who have arrived are living under a bridge and thousands more expected in the coming days. The migrants, many Haitian, are camped out in Del Rio, Texas, fleeing a country that's been torn apart by a coup and a major earthquake, of course, in recent weeks.

Rosa Flores is OUTFRONT in Del Rio and she has just returned from an exclusive aerial tour of the area.

Rosa, you're talking about nearly 10,000 migrants, thousands more expected in 48 hours here. Border officials are calling this situation unprecedented. What did you see?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Erin, the visuals are shocking because what I was able to see were three different paths of migrants, and the free flow of migrants into the United States in a very small area, which is just behind me, actually. What you see are the migrants coming in. They take a dirt path by the hundreds is what we're seeing. Only to make their way to a bridge that already has more than 9,500 people already waiting.

And if you look closely at these images, you'll see that there are some resources there. You see port-a-potties for them. These are women, children, infant, men, and here's the other concern. So, according to officials, there's a camp that is being started that is being set up, a makeshift camp. And we were able to see that from the air. You can see that people are using blankets, plastic branches to try to create shelter for themselves.

It's very, very hot here. You see that they're sorting to live in this camp. You can see on the fence that people are starting to dry their clothes on the fence that's by this camp.

Now, according to the mayor, there's more than 9,500 people on the bridge right now. President Biden has not called the mayor, according to the mayor. He's not received a call from the Secretary Mayorkas. But they are calling out to the federal government to send more resources. Now, DHS says that they are sending more resources, that they're providing food and water for the people under the bridge. But Erin, this is what the waiting room at immigration is looking like right now in the gates of America, thousands of people waiting to be processed. This is not a processing facility. This is a waiting area.

And so that's exactly what we're seeing. And now we're going to be seeing in the next few days is this makeshift camp, and according to the mayor, processing these 9,500 people, Erin, could take up to two weeks. That's the backup that they're dealing with here. That's why they're asking for more resources.

BURNETT: Right, and tell me about the deteriorating conditions that you're seeing, and also as they process them, many of these people coming all the way from Haiti, what are they going to do, send most of them back?


FLORES: That's exactly what DHS says, that they will be sending most of them back under Title 42, or that they are going to be in deportation proceedings. But I was at an NGO today. Some of those individuals are being processed and they're able to take buses into the United States.

I saw -- I met pregnant women that were eight months pregnant, Erin, that had made the trip from Haiti, from Haiti to Chile, to Mexico, into the United States. This woman I talked to said she had been in this voyage for months. But, of course, back to the sanitary conditions, a lot of concerns because this is a pandemic. Some of them are vaccinated, because we saw the NGO ask them, and they had with them their vaccination cards. So, some of them are vaccinated, Erin.

BURNETT: Wow. All right. Thank you very much. Incredible and just to draw attention to this, everyone should know what is happening on the southern border.

Rosa, thank you so much for your reporting.

And next, the South Carolina attorney accused of arranging his own death, appearing in court, as investigators dig into the mysterious death of his housekeeper. He said she tripped and fell over a dog. But what does her family think now? The attorney representing her estate next.

And a Florida woman disappears during a trip with her fiance. Tonight, we have video of them just before she vanished. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BURNETT: Tonight, the man at the center of the South Carolina family murder mystery appearing in court after being placed under arrest. Prominent attorney Alex Murdaugh voluntarily turning himself into police after being charged with insurance fraud and with filing a false police report. Police say Murdaugh admitted for arranging a hitman to kill him so that his son could collect millions in life insurance.

And that's what just happened the other day, because this comes months after his wife and other son were mysteriously murdered in a still unsolved case.

Dianne Gallagher is OUTFRONT with the latest.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh in a tan jump suit, hands and ankle shackled appearing before a judge today.

DICK HARPOOTLIAN, ALEX MURDAUGH'S ATTORNEY: It has been a tremendous -- before any of that falling from grace happened, his wife and son were brutally murdered. And that has had an extraordinary effect on him.

GALLAGHER: Becoming emotional at times, as his lawyer argued he be released on bond.

HARPOOTLIAN: He cooperated, given his current mental and physical condition.

GALLAGHER: The 53-year-old is now charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a police report, posting bond and leaving jail to be confined to a drug rehab facility hours after turning himself in this afternoon, for his role in allegedly conspiring to have a client shoot and kill him. His attorney say that the shooting was a scheme to leave behind $10 million life insurance policy for his only surviving son.

But Murdaugh survived. Instead, attorneys say it left Murdaugh with a fractured skull and brain bleed. The man accused of shooting Murdaugh in the head, Curtis Edward Smith, also appeared in court today.

Smith posting his $55,000 bond for several charges, including assisted suicide and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, leaving jail hours later.

The alleged self-arranged attempt on Murdaugh's life seemingly a desperate move amidst personal turmoil, including financial troubles.

One day before the September 4 shooting, Murdaugh resigned from his law firm after being accused of misappropriating funds, which his lawyers say were used to fuel a drug addiction.

DISPATCHER: Are they breathing?


GALLAGHER: An addiction they claimed was worsened by the June 7 murders of Murdaugh's wife and son at the family's estate. Their murders are still unsolved.

HARPOOTLIAN: He has had a tremendous opioid addiction. The deaths of his wife and son have put him over the edge in terms of that addiction, and that is why one of the major reasons he's considering having himself killed.

GALLAGHER: State investigators are also opening two other investigations linked to information uncovered in the Murdaugh family murders. One, regarding the mysterious 2015 unsolved death of a teen whose body was found on a Hampton County Road, and a new criminal investigation into the 2018 death of the family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield. In part, it's due to, quote, information gathered during the course of our other ongoing investigations involving Alex Murdaugh. Satterfield died from injuries sustained in what was described as a trip and fall at the Murdaugh home. But an autopsy was never done.

Hampton County's coroner sent a letter requesting a state investigator re-examine the death, noting on the death certificate, the manner of death was ruled natural, which is inconsistent with injury sustained in a trip and fall accident.


GALLAGHER (on camera): Now, the attorneys have not commented to CNN on those two new death investigations. The Satterfield family filed a $500,000 lawsuit this week, alleging they never received payment from a wrongful death settlement with Murdaugh.

And, look, Erin, just to give you a preview of what is to come, his attorneys today in front of a judge noted that Murdaugh is no longer a man of any sort of significant means.

BURNETT: All right. Dianne, thank you very much. Of course, she's been covering this.

You know, you just heard Dianne mention Murdaugh's longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, whose death is under investigation.

So in light of what Dianne just shared, I want to bring in the attorney representing Gloria's estate, Eric Bland.

So, Eric, I appreciate your time.

Alex Murdaugh, you know, we saw him there in Dianne's piece appearing in court after turning himself into police earlier today.

[19:50:06] You know, we hear his lawyer talk about his opioid addiction and deterioration and desire to have himself killed.

How did the Satterfield family react when they saw this?


Lawyer spin, that's what that is. That is just nothing but lawyer spin, casting a defense that doesn't exist. The Murdaugh family has been throughout this whole process not transparent. They have -- with this family, the Satterfield family, they have lied to them, they have taken money from them, they have misled them.

Gloria Satterfield for 25 years was the fabric of this family, raised the children, was a housekeeper, and they have just disregarded what she did for this family. Today, we are announcing that it is not $500,000 that was taken from this family. It's $4 million that was misappropriated from this family in settlements.

And it's a disgrace. We're going to get to the bottom of it, and we have no sympathy or pity for Alex Murdaugh.

BURNETT: So, I want to ask you a couple of questions on that. You are saying $4 million. There's two questions I want to ask.

First, you say after Gloria's death, Alex introduced his sons to a lawyer. The basic concept was, look, we didn't do anything wrong, but a wrongful death lawsuit, that will get you money to the family. Don't worry, my friend has it under control, he is a lawyer.

So, I understand Gloria's son said okay, and that's what happened. Then there's a financial settlement and Gloria's family doesn't even know about it, they don't know about it until they read about it in the press.

So, tell me what happened here. You are now saying it was $4 million, and what do you think happened? Alex Murdaugh, it was basically insurance fraud and he took the money?

BLAND: Well, he used I think our clients as a pawn. Our clients had tremendous trust in Murdaugh. They viewed him as family.

He took them to a lawyer. It is unheard of in the legal business, Erin, for a lawyer to take clients to another lawyer and then ask that lawyer to sue me. That's exactly what Alex Murdaugh did. He took them to his best friend, his college roommate, and he told that lawyer, sue me, I will have all of my different insurance policies, home owners, excess, umbrella coverage, and I will admit liability, and in return I will give money to the estate.

It never happened. He used his friend and his friend went along with it, Corey Fleming (ph), and they selected a personal representative who wasn't even a family member, Erin. They selected a banker who had no relationship to the family. It is uncustomary to select somebody who is not a family member to be a PR. Our clients were never notified of any proceedings, of any claims

made, of any settlements made. They only found out after the boating accident when reporters like you and investigators like your -- like CNN went and started investigating the Murdaughs. They found out that this had happened, and the newspaper article was written, and then they realized $500,000 was settled and paid in 2018 and they didn't get their money in 2020. So then they decided they had to go to a lawyer, and that's how it got to us.

BURNETT: And now you realize $4 million. I mean it is incredible and it appears to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Eric, I really appreciate your time in explaining this. I look forward to speaking to you again because there is a lot here and there's a lot we don't yet know as you are finding out yourself.

BLAND: There's no bottom to this, Erin. Every single day there's something new.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much. I appreciate, Eric.

BLAND: Thank you.

BURNETT: Next, we have obtained new body cam video of a 22-year-old Florida woman taken before she vanished without a trace.



BURNETT: All right. Tonight we have obtained body cam footage of a 22- year-old woman before her disappearance during a cross country road trip. Police say they were called after an altercation between Gabby Petito and her fiance.

Athena Jones is OUTFRONT.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. What I need from everybody here is help.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A family begging for answers after a cross country road trip ends in a mystery. Newly released police body camera video now raising even more questions, 22-year-old Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito from Blue Point, New York, missing for weeks, after setting off earlier this summer with her fiance Brian Laundrie in a converted white 2012 Ford transit van with Florida plates.

The pair documenting their journey on social media including YouTube.

GABBY PETITO, REPORTED MISSING: Hello, hello, and good morning. It is really nice and sunny today.

JONES: But local police found Petito's van and her fiance Brian at the home they shared with his family in Florida. He returned without her September 1st.

POLICE OFFICER: I have a quick question for you, man.


JONES: On August 12, police in Moab City, consider called to a possible disorderly conduct situation captured in this body camera video. According to the police report, they encountered the couple engaged in some sort of altercation.

PETITO: We've been fighting all morning, and he wouldn't let me in the car before.

POLICE OFFICER: Why wouldn't he let you in the car? Because of your OCD?

PETITO: Told me I needed to calm down, yeah. But I'm perfectly calm.

JONES: Petito, who told police she suffers from OCD, described in the report as confused and emotional and manic.

POLICE OFFICER: Don't touch each other tonight.

JONES: At the officer's suggestion the two separated for the night. One of the officers concluding the situation was the result of a mental health crisis. No charges were filed.

CHIEF TODD GARRISON, NORTH PORT POLICE: Yes, they had a disturbance. Yes, it was captured on body camera, their interaction with law enforcement. Beyond that, you know, I don't know what it has to do with the disappearance.

JONES: North Port, Florida police say they've talked to the attorney for Petito's fiance, but Landrie is not talking and many questions remain.

GARRISON: Two people went on a trip, one returned. That person that returned isn't providing us any information.

JONES: In a statement Tuesday, a lawyer for the Laundrie family said they're remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment. A lawyer for Gabby's parents, Richard Stafford, saying --

RICHARD STAFFORD, PETITO AND SCHMIDT FAMILY ATTORNEY: Please, if you or your family have any decency left, please tell us where Gabby is located. Tell us if we're even looking in the right place. All we want is for Gabby to come home.

JONES: Petito's family last heard from her in late August.

NICOLE SCHMIDT, MOTHER OF MISSING WOMAN: I received a text on the 30th, that was the last communication I had.

JONES: Petito's parents believe she was last in the Grand Teton/Yellowstone area of Wyoming. They reported her missing to Suffolk County, New York, police on September 11th.

According to the National Park Service multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating Petito's disappearance. Meanwhile, the search continues for a vibrant young woman excited about living the van life.

PETITO: I love the van.

LANDRIE: We've been lucky so far at all of the places we've stayed but I would say this is one of the best so far.

JONES: Now, nowhere to be found.


JONES (on camera): Meanwhile, Gabby's stepfather traveled to Wyoming to help look for her. He asked anyone who may be visiting the Grand Teton/Yellowstone area and taking pictures or videos to go back through and see if they see Gabby -- Erin.

BURNETT: Wow. All right, Athena, thank you very much.

Anderson starts now.