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Erin Burnett Outfront

At Least 1 Dead, 14 Injured In Mass Shooting At TN Grocery Store; Police: Gunman In Mass Shooting At TN Grocery Store Dead; Found In Rear Of Store With Self-Inflicted Gunshot; Arrest Warrant Issued For Brian Laundrie Related To Activities After Gabby Petito's Death; Jan. 6 Committee Issues Subpoenas To Top Trump Aides; GOP Called Out For Hypocrisy On Debt Limit. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired September 23, 2021 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, police at the scene of a deadly mass shooting at a supermarket in Tennessee. Some employees forced to seek cover in freezers. At least one is dead at this time, 14 others have been rushed to the hospital with what officials are calling very serious injuries.

Also breaking, the FBI announcing an arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie in connection to activities following the death of Gabby Petito.

And the Biden White House moving to release information on what Trump and his aides were doing on the day of the January 6th. That information going to Congress in setting up an epic battle with Trump. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, police now on the scene of a deadly mass shooting at a supermarket in Collierville, Tennessee, which is just outside Memphis. And we are awaiting a press conference any minute now.

Here's what I can tell you we do know right now, it started around 1:30 pm local time. A gunman walked into a Kroger and open fire. And this is how witnesses describe what they saw and heard next.


BRIGNETTA DICKERSON, KROGER AMPLOYEE: All I heard was gunshot and I saw a couple of customers like we heard - it was like balloons, like popping of balloons. Other thing I heard was a couple of more gunshots and I said to myself that's not a balloon. That's gunshot.

So we ran to the back of the store. I said, go, go, go, go. And he came in there where I was, where all the other people were. He shot one in the head. He shot one of my co-workers in the head and then he shot a customer in the stomach.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: According to officials, at least one person was killed and 14

injured. As you can hear from the witness, some of these injuries are dire. And police say they are very, very serious. The attacker according to police died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Now, today's shooting coming almost six months to the day 10 people were killed in the mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.

I want to go first to Brynn Gingras who's following this breaking story for us. And Brynn, I know we are standing by for a press conference momentarily, what else do you know now about this horrible shooting?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin. I mean, one of those big question is who was this shooter that police say they found in the back of the store as you mentioned with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. We know that the officers who were there on the scene, they were waiting for resources a few hours ago to get there on the scene because the suspects, the shooter's car was still in the parking lot. So that was going to be processed, hopefully, to get more information.

So like you said, we're looking to get more information from that news conference, which we're expecting momentarily. But I want you to hear more from that store employee. That is a woman who has worked at that grocery store, she said, for 32 years at the cash registers, 33 next week and she says maybe this is now the time to leave that position.

She's still shaken up and she goes into great detail of exactly where she saw this shooter or heard the gunshots and how she and she got customers to run away from him with her, listen.


DICKERSON: Building produce is right and when I saw, when I heard the gunshots, it was coming down and I was on register to 17, which is right in the middle of the store. And what I heard and I got off that register, I said, oh, no, these are gunshots. I get out of there, whoever was in front of me I grabbed them and just took off.


GINGRAS: I mean, you could just imagine the fear and the chaos that was inside that grocery store. We learned from officials that people, as you said, Erin, were hiding in freezers, behind locked doors in offices. That woman there said she actually saw the gunman shoot a co- worker, as you saw or heard in front of her.

Again, she also describes this gunman holding a military style rifle. These are questions that are again going to be posed to police when we get an update at that news conference, so we'll stand by for that and bring you the very latest, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Brynn Gingras, reporting with the latest that we know now as we await, of course, for that press conference. OUTFRONT now Jason Lusk. He was at a tool store about 40 yards away

from the supermarket as the shooting was taking place. So Jason, thank you for talking to me and to us. I'm so glad to know you're okay, you're safe. Obviously, this is horrific and traumatic. Can you tell me what you saw and heard?

JASON LUSK, SHOOTING WITNESS: Thank you for your (inaudible) concern. I appreciate that. Yes, from what I heard, what I saw, I was exiting the tool store right next to the Kroger and I saw three people running, three women running from the Kroger screaming there's a shooter on the roof. I was not sure if this is accurate or not.

A few other people in the Kroger parking lot were screaming and running as well exiting the store. I scanned the roofline to see if there was a shooter indeed up there and if I was in an imminent or any of the people around me were in any imminent danger.


I didn't see anybody at first, so I proceeded to walk to my vehicle. It's when I heard about 10 to 15 shots fired. It sounded like they're directly over my head, very close proximity. It sounded to me to be a high powered semi automatic rifle. I dove in front of my car, other people were panicking, screaming, getting in their cars trying to drive off, which just caused a traffic jam with everybody being a sitting duck in their car basically.


LUSK: My first instinct, oddly enough, was, I'm going to videotape this. I don't know why. Maybe it would have been some help to the police or something. I wasn't really sure what went through my head, but I crawled around the side of my vehicle, opposite to the direction where the fire the shots were being fired from and got into my car and they managed to catch some of it on video.

BURNETT: So I know you're in this town every single day for work and you own a courier service, so you're very familiar with the area.

LUSK: Yes, ma'am.

BURNETT: You drive by the store every single day as well.

LUSK: Yes, ma'am.

BURNETT: So you do know the area. Well, when you say you felt like it was on top of you, you're very used to these buildings and how it's all laid out. But when you hear those 10 to 15 rounds in rapid succession and you described it, it felt like it was on top of you, you must have been terrified.

LUSK: During the moment, I wouldn't say terrified, I just wanted to be in a safe place. I was really concerned with the people around me, because maybe they weren't taking the right precautions and trying to find cover. I was mostly focused on, honestly, locating the position of the shooter to either help the police get him or also to keep us safe, anybody near me safe. I really don't know. I'm still kind of lost for words what happened today. You see this stuff happen all over the country all the time.

BURNETT: I'm sure. I'm sure.

LUSK: You kind of use this, I'd say, apathy, oh, that's not my town, that's not my friends that it happened to. I mean here it was literally right on top of me as I was exiting a store. I've been in close proximity to the high powered rifle. I own a few and I recognized absolutely immediately what it was and how close it was to me.

BURNETT: And you knew. I just want everyone to know as we're talking, Jason, these are live pictures. It looks like some sort of a bomb squad around the car. They are looking at that right now as you're talking, Jason, I just want everyone to understand this is live, what we're looking at, again, bomb squad around the car of the, what we believe to be the shooter.

So from what you could tell from where you were and I know you're talking about people jumping in their cars and trying to get out. But were you able to see at all in the Kroger were there a lot of people, how busy it was, I mean, how many people were around?

LUSK: It was right after lunchtime, so it wasn't as busy as it could have been. I would have guessed 20 or 30 people randomly scattering is immediately what I saw. Some were fleeing towards the harbor freight store where I was located. I wasn't sure if one of the first victim or the first witnesses to cross the street had been shot. Two women looked like they were assisting one. I mean, it all happened so fast.

BURNETT: Yes. Well, Jason, I appreciate your talking. Look, I know it's hard to even imagine how it's sinking in for you, but thank you very much.

LUSK: Yes. It's a little shocking, it's kind of - yes.

BURNETT: For sure. Jason, thank you very much. Jason Lusk, as I said, owns a courier service who's around there all the time and was there today.

OUTFRONT now retired FBI Special Agent Tim Clemente and Terence Gaynor, former U.S. Capitol Police Chief. Thanks to both of you. So Tim, let me just ask you about what we're looking at now. The police department does say they believe one suspect is responsible for the shooting and that the gunman was found in the rear of the store with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot. Now, it looks like there a bomb squad type of thing, I don't know if you can see, but around this car. We believe to be the shooter's car, so what do you think is happening right now?

TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, the first thing they have to do, Erin, after protection of life and getting the victims away from there, those that are wounded, the next thing is look for other threats. And so right now they're probably evaluating that car from an EOD perspective to make sure that there's no devices, secondary devices that might be there to kill police and first responders, so it's a comment tactic that's used by bad guys in United States and around the world.


We haven't seen it in any of the recent shootings, but it's something that law enforcement has as a primary concern. Making sure first responders don't put themselves in unnecessary danger.

BURNETT: So that's what we're looking at now, just everyone knows. Those are live pictures. Chief Gainer, as is we try to understand exactly what happened here and as I say, this is almost six months to the day after the shooting in Boulder. I want to play more from what that witness who's working at a cash register, has worked there for 32 years, will be 33 next week, what she said about the gunman.


DICKERSON: All of a sudden, I went through the receiving department and there was another door that can take you outside the receiving department. And there's another opening where you can go in and hide through a like an incinerator. And here, he comes right behind us start shooting. And he kept on shooting, shooting and shooting.

But I did see a little glimpse of the guy and I saw he had like a little service gun, one of those service rifles that's in military and all I heard was just the gunshots.


BURNETT: Now obviously, Chief, it's hard to know when they're going to these places that only they knew about, an incinerator getting through it. The shooter then either knows about those places or is following. I mean, does this tell you anything about the gunman and whether this was random or targeted?

TERRANCE GAINER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it's hard to tell no, Erin. So there's a lot of information that still has to be gathered. But you've already talked to a couple of powerful witnesses, including her, and so I salute her in being calm and helping other people out of the store. But we have a lot more to learn about the shooter and as Tim just indicated, going through the car first and then simultaneously finding out where that shooter is ...

BURNETT: Chief, I'm sorry to interrupt you. The press conference has started with the Chief of Police there in Collierville. Let's listen.

CHIEF DALE LANE, COLLIERVILLE POLICE: (Inaudible) really believe prevented this tragedy from being much worse and I don't want to take away from what's occurred. My thoughts and prayers and I hope yours (inaudible) too are going to be with the victims, everybody that's impacted. A lot of people were impacted by this.

So I'm thankful as you can see, there's many partners that come to help us today and I'm so thankful for them. Pretty much every city in this county, we got the Memphis Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff's Office, the FBI, TBI, ATF, you name it, they came and I can't tell you on how much I appreciate that.

Something else, I was talking to our team, one of the things that I saw as I enter that building today, the training that's going on in this community and across this country, for years saved people's lives today. How many of you have heard of run, hide, fight? That's exactly what those people today did.

We had 44 employees that were inside at the time this started and we've accounted for everyone. Now, we still have the same number of victims as we did at the previous one with the addition of one. We had one walk in to one of our local hospitals and it wasn't a shooting victim, it was an anxiety attack.

So this situation is going to drop fear, but we are resilient community and we're going to do everything we can to make sure that we keep Collierville and this area as safe as we can. And right now, I'm going to ask Special Agent in charge in the local FBI, Doug Korneski. If he would come and just give some brief comments. We also have Theresa Dickerson from Kroger, the public information officer who's going to provide some information and then we'll open it up for some quick questions. So, Doug, if you will.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, could you say and spell your first and last name, before we get started.

KORNESKI: Sure. It's Douglas Korneski, K-O-R-N-E-S-K-I. So first, I just want to start by expressing our condolences and again, our prayers are with the community. Many of us live in this community, shop in this store, so we deeply feel the loss and then emotions here today.

I want to mention that the reason we're here, we're here supporting Collierville PD. I want to give kudos, absolute kudos to the response of the police department, Shelby County Sheriff's, the fire department, their rapid response here today was definitely commendable.

Under the authorities of the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012, the FBI is allowed to provide at the request of local law enforcement, investigative assistance. So what we're doing here today, we've deployed our evidence response team, which has a lot of experience in processing these scenes. They're here. They're inside the store. They're processing the evidence.

Additionally, we have our victim specialists who have come and will be providing and have been providing assistance to the victims of the crime and then we'll be assisting with other investigative interviews and things of that nature. So it's a great team effort as always in sight of tragedy.


It's good to see the Memphis and Collierville, West Tennessee law enforcement communities pull together as we always do when tragedy strikes.

BURNETT: The press conference there with Chief Lane and FBI, Mr. Korneski here from the FBI who's also involved. Tim or Chief Gainer, Let me just ask you, because one thing that they kept emphasizing was the response time. And we do know that the response time here is that the first police car arrived at the scene four minutes after the first call about the shooting, four minutes, that that is the time that it took and they're saying that this, of course, could have saved a lot of lives. Four minutes is an eternity in some senses, but it does sound that in this case, it may have made a huge difference.

GAINER: I think it does, it's a well-trained police department, they're nationally accredited. They have a good reputation. So again, I salute them too for getting there that quick in order to get in and engage with a gunman who they don't know what the status is when they get there. They get in there and they're doing two things, trying to neutralize any offender and also help the victim. So they had their hands full doing their job when they went into that building.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. We're obviously continuing to monitor that press conference and the questions and answers if there's more information, we'll share it with you. Of course, 14 others now in the hospital. It's incredibly serious injuries.

Next breaking news in the search for Brian Laundrie. The FBI announcing an arrest warrant for Gabby Petito's fiance.

Plus, the United States is facing a potential default on its debt for the first time as Republicans who helped run up the debt don't want to now pay for the bills.

And a showdown tonight between Trump and Biden. The White House now working to give the January 6th Select Committee information on what Trump and his aides were doing during the insurrection.



BURNETT: Breaking news, the FBI announcing a federal arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie saying it's related to his activities following the death of his fiance, Gabby Petito. Laundrie's family says they have not seen him for nine days and search teams have reported no signs of him in the Florida nature reserve that his parents pointed them to.

Amara Walker is OUTFRONT. Amara, what are you learning about what this arrest warrant says?

AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, according to this indictment from the U.S. District of Wyoming, Brian Laundrie is suspected of using a capital bank debit card and personal ID numbers, PIN numbers from two big accounts that did not belong to Him. So the indictment also says that he charged more than $1,000 to these accounts affecting interstate commerce and that this happened between August 30th and September 1st. It also goes on to say that he did this knowingly and with the intent to defraud.

Now, CNN tonight also hearing from the Laundrie family attorney, Steve Bertolino, who is saying and stressing that this arrest warrant is not related to the actual death of Gabby Petito, but it's related to the activities that happened after her death. So as you know here at the Carlton Reserve in Florida, the search for Brian Laundrie has been going on for five days now.

But now that authorities have an arrest warrant, they still don't have Laundrie.


WALKER(voice over): A smiling Gabby Petito at Arches National Park, the photo posted on our Instagram page on August 12th. The same day Petito appears distraught on body camera footage from police in Moab, Utah responding to a reported domestic dispute between 22-year-old and her 23-year-old fiance, Brian Laundrie.


GABBY PETITO: We've just been fighting this morning Some personal issues.

BRIAN LAUNDRIE: It's a long day, we were camping yesterday.


WALKER(voice over): Petito telling police she and Laundrie were just under a lot of stress.


PETITO: And I just quit my job to travel across the country and I'm trying to start a blog.


WALKER(voice over): The couple was living a self-described nomadic lifestyle out of this white Ford Transit van traveling across the country, documenting their journey along the way.


PETITO: It is really nice and sunny today.


WALKER(voice over): This YouTube video was posted one week after their run-in with Moab. On August 25th, this last post was based on Petito's Instagram account. It was the next day on, August 26th, that a woman tells the San Francisco Chronicle she saw Laundrie in his van in Spread Creek, a camping ground near where Petito's body was later discovered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a hundred percent certain that I did see him

parking his van. It was just him. There was no Gabby.


WALKER(voice over): A day later the Petito family received what they believe to be the last text message from her, "Can you help Stan? I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls." Petito's mother found the text odd telling police she never called her grandfather by that name. That same day, a Louisiana couple says they saw Petito in tears and Laundrie visibly upset during an incident at a Jackson Wyoming restaurant.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was standing on the sidewalk crying and he walked back in and was like screaming at the hostess.


WALKER(voice over): On August 29th, this woman says she and her boyfriend picked up Laundrie hitchhiking in an area near where Petito's remains were later discovered.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He then told us he's been camping for multiple days without his fiance.


WALKER(voice over): The next day, the Petito family received the last text message from Petito's phone, but they're skeptical it came from her, quote, "No service in Yosemite." According to police, Laundrie suddenly returned to the North Port, Florida home he shared with Petito and his parents but without Petito.

A neighbor says she last saw Brian Laundrie outside the family home the weekend of September 10th.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was just, again, a normal - they were going for a walk kind of thing, so I never thought anything about it.


WALKER(voice over): It's the same weekend potatoes family report her as missing on September 11th. The Laundries refused to cooperate with authorities.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you can do to make sure my daughter comes home, I'm asking for that help. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WALKER(voice over): Days later, Laundrie disappears. His parents tell authorities their son left for the Carlton Reserve on September 14th.

That evening, authorities execute a search warrant and the couple's van and recover an external hard drive. But it wasn't until four days later September 18th that authorities begin a massive search of the Carlton Reserve for Laundrie. The next day, human remains are found in a remote location near Grand Teton National Park. Autopsy results confirmed the remains found are those of Gabby Petito.


The cause of death ruled a homicide.


WALKER(on camera): And Erin, to be clear, Brian Laundrie has not been named a suspect. He has not been charged in the death of Gabby Petito. In fact, the FBI still asking the public for help. Any information on the whereabouts of Laundrie or perhaps any role he may have played in Gabby Petito's death.

In the meantime, back here at the Carlton Reserve, the search will resume for Laundrie tomorrow, Erin.

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

And I want to go now to retired FBI profiler, Jim Clemente, who has been talking about this with us all the way through. So, Jim, they've announced this arrest warrant that Amara was laying out for Brian Laundrie saying that he used the debit card and a PIN number to two accounts that belong to someone else, unclear who that is, whether it's Gabby Petito or someone else, charging more than a thousand dollars.

So what does it tell you that they're filing these charges, not related directly to Gabby's disappearance?

JIM CLEMENTE, RETIRED FBI PROFILER: Well, I think they want to lock into things. An indictment gives them the ability to get arrest warrant, which is something that they need to actually really kick in a number of resources to try to track him down. The grand jury that they convened, gives them grand jury subpoena power so they can get more records and so forth.

But it also locks down anybody from helping him now. Once charges are filed, you can file an obstruction of justice charge against those persons that help him continue to be on the lam. So I think that's the reason for doing it now. And they wanted to pick a charge that they are rock solid on and they are obviously still doing investigations on the homicide.

BURNETT: And so day five of the search for Brian Laundrie right now at the Florida nature reserve, they found nothing to suggest that he's there, although they had indications from his family that that was the last place that he was going to go, so they've been - they're still there. But it's just giving off the impression, Jim, that they don't have a plan B of where to look for the guy.

CLEMENTE: Well, I don't think they do unless this arrest warrant now gives them the grand jury subpoena power to actually get documents and phone records that they didn't have to date. And that might give us ideas where his phone had been pinging or where the family had traveled on that weekend vacation with the camper and things like that. So it may actually open up more doors in terms of leads.

BURNETT: So now we're learning more and more here about the final days of what happened here for Gabby Petito in terms of the charges. They began back on August 30th. We'll look there, that was three days after the last reported sighting of Gabby Petito, which was August 27. That was when the witnesses saw her leaving the restaurant with Laundrie after a commotion. We just heard the young woman talking about that.

Two days later, August 29th, Laundrie is hitchhiking alone in Wyoming. August 30th is when these charges on the PIN on the ATM card start. And on September 1st, then Laundrie is back home in Florida. The charges on the ATM card stop at that point.

So this is a lot of new information kind of filling in on this timeline. Does it tell you anything about Gabby Petito and when she may have been killed?

CLEMENTE: Well, I think it especially since the FBI made the statement that this arrest warrant is for charges after she passed away, after her death. And they put the date on 8/30 to 9/01. So I think they must have some solid evidence that puts the date of death as either on or before August 30th.

That's an important thing, because then obviously, any behavior that he did afterwards like telling people that he was camping in another location, obviously, looks like an alibi and that adds to consciousness of guilt.

BURNETT: Which obviously is extremely significant. Thank you so much, Jim.

CLEMENTE: Thank you.

BURNETT: Next, Republicans refusing to suspend the debt ceiling, even though they had no problem racking up the nation's debt during the Trump administration. They added 40 percent to the total. My next guest warns that if they don't act, millions of American jobs are at risk.

Plus, the stage is set for what could be an epic showdown between Trump and Biden. Because the White House is now working to give the January 6th Select Committee details about what Trump and his allies were doing on the day of the insurrection, stuff that team Trump won't give you.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Breaking news tonight, four close aides and loyalists to Donald Trump have been hit with the first subpoenas from the January 6th Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection.

And here they are -- former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino, former advisor Steve Bannon and Kash Patel, former chief of staff to the acting defense secretary. All four to provide documents within two weeks before private depositions that are scheduled soon after.

This is obviously extremely significant and it comes as we're learning the Biden White House is working to give the committee more information about what then President Trump and his aides were doing on the day of the insurrection, again information that the Trump and aides have refused to provide.

Biden White House might do it.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT.

And, Manu, you're breaking this news about the subpoenas. So, tell me what you know. Obviously, this is coming out in significant way, four subpoenas.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Four subpoenas, they are asking for both documents and closed door depositions with these four very close allies of the former president. You named them right there -- former chief of staff Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, the president's right hand man, Steve Bannon, long time political adviser Kash Patel, top national security official, someone who's been involved in various aspects through the Trump administration.

What this committee is asking for documents in that deposition, by early part of October and deposition by mid-October. They are commending these individuals have information that they believe is credible to their investigation about what happened, the events and run up to January 6th and response on January 6th.


The letter that was sent, it says the investigation revealed credible evidence of your involvement in events within the scope of select committee's inquiry. You were the president's chief of staff and have critical information regarding many elements of our inquiry. It appears you're with or in the vicinity of President Trump on January 6th, had communication with the president and others on January 6th regarding events at the Capitol and a witness regarding activities of that day.

That letter in particular goes on to cite other instances the committee is interested in. Mark Meadows having phone calls with state officials in an effort to potentially overturn the electoral results in those states and cites other accounts as well. Each of these letters also cites things the committee is interested in

learning about which is why they are saying they are targeting these specific individuals who have specific information. But, Erin, it still remains to be seen whether they will, in fact, cooperate. What we saw is these individuals, the White House at the time fighting subpoenas over and over from Democrats.

Will they fight these? It's different now. They are no longer in office. This current White House may not protect those former White House officials. So this still has to play out but no doubt about it, a big move by the committee which is investigating the events. We'll see how the Trump officials respond.

BURNETT: All right. So, Manu, I'm so glad you lay out so much of this in terms of whether they will cooperate and whether it's different now that they are not the actual team in White House. I want to follow up on that. First, I want to you one other thing as people try to understand the scope of this committee and what they are doing.

Is it a strategy that they're going to do some of the time? You know, you subpoena for, you try to get the documents, you try to schedule the depositions, you know, and then there's going to be more or is this all we're going to see in terms of subpoenas? What's your understanding?

RAJU: I think there's much more in terms of subpoenas. One of the things that committee has been doing is going after social media companies, asking them to turn over -- not just social media companies, telecom companies, asking for them to preserve records they may ultimately try to seek because they are looking for communication. People who organized the January 6th rally. Even some Republican members of Congress are targeted as part of people they may want to seek records from.

And ultimately, it remains to be seen if they go in that direction but this committee has major ambitious undertaking under way. Looking at a whole wide range of issues from communications that happen online, the organizers of the event and actions by Trump White House itself.

So, Erin, the question is can they get all this information? Can they do it before the mid term elections of next year? That's still an open question because there's so much they want to go through and they'll have to get cooperation. Will they end up in court and into these fights too? All remains to be seen as committee starts to mound this investigation in earnest.

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

So, Manu, breaking these headlines of these four subpoenas. I want to go now to Elie Honig, former federal prosecutor and a CNN legal analyst.

Now let me just get to the heart of this. Obviously, it's significant. They're coming out. You heard Manu making it clear, four, and you should expect a lot more where this came from. But these are significant, right? The former chief of staff, the former White House deputy chief of

staff, former adviser and former chief of staff, Kash Patel, who was very vocal during this time and a name many people became familiar with.

But, Elie, you heard what Manu said. What level of cooperation are you going to get? Are they going to completely defy it? And if the answer of that is probably, is there any way to get them to comply?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Erin. So, here is how this will play out legally. First of all, I would not expect any of these people to comply, to come in and testify because that's sort of the history and the pattern that we have seen from Trump White House when it was in power and now.

Here is what happens next. It's up to the committee to decide are we going to go to court and fight this. Are we going to go to court and say we need a specific order from you requiring Meadows and Patel and the rest to come in and testify and the key there is timing. Manu talked about this. Because in past, it's taken House Democrats way too long to get into courts and these disputes have dragged on for months and years to the point where nobody even cared.

So, the committee has to be ready to act quickly and demand expedited, sped up review from the courts here.

BURNETT: OK. So, that's how it starts and goes to the courts. That's part of the reason they didn't proceed with subpoenas during impeachment because they knew it would take too long. Obviously at the time, John Bolton was one of the people we're talk about.

So, what do these tell you about where this investigation is headed? There's a whole lot of reasons why you may have started here but nonetheless, these are four people that are starting with.


HONIG: This shows me they are looking at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. These are people who we know and letter confirms they were this direct communication with Donald Trump or having key conversations in days, hours leading up to January 6th and during January 6th. And I guarantee, Erin, the questions for Mark Meadows and the other folks is you walk me through January 6th, minute by minute, phone call by phone call. This is at heart of the investigation.

And this looks like they targeted these four individuals very carefully and specifically.

BURNETT: All right. I want to bring in Gloria Borger.

And, Gloria they are moving quickly on this, right? So, here you are. You got these subpoenas. They start with Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, Steve Bannon and Kash Patel. What's the reaction to this then in Trump world?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Outrage. We're claiming executive privilege. You can't talk about my conversations with these people. We were in the White House. That's what they will say. I think they will try to stone wall it obviously.

The key here, as Elie says, is that all of these people were in direct communication with the then president of the United States. I mean, when you look at the look at the letter to Mark Meadows, it says that the investigation has revealed credible evidence of your involvement in events with the scoop of the select committee's inquiry and it cites close proximity to Donald Trump.

So, what they are trying to do is draw a circle here, with Donald Trump in the middle. Who did he talk to? What were they talking about? Were they talking about what would happen on January 6th? Were they talking about the rigged election and et cetera, et cetera?

So I think they are kind of working their way in with Donald Trump in the center and I think they are going to be a lot of other circles but these four people are people who are known to have communicated directly with the former president and that's important to their inquiry.

BURNETT: I mean, very important.

Elie, you also have the White House, the Biden White House taking steps to give the committee a whole lot of documents, right, that is crucial to all of this, that team Trump refused to hand over. They claim executive privilege. Now Trump is not in office. Who wins on this argument, right? Can the Biden White House undo anything that had to do with Trump because they are the executive?

HONIG: So, the answer is probably yes, Erin. There's a question that's been long standing in the law about who gets to exercise executive privilege. Is it the current president or the past president whose communications are at issue. There's more precedent and the rules are regulations that it's the current people that get to decide. Even if Donald Trump goes into court, it may not be he and his people's decision to make to exercise executive privilege in the first place.

BURNETT: Gloria, final word to you, is there anyone you think could get a subpoena here? I know there's a whole lot of people on that list, right, including members of the Trump family. Is anyone that may see it in their interest to turn, to open up?

BORGER: Well, we heard from some of those people. General Milley, for example through Bob Woodward's book. So, we have heard from an awful lot of people.

There may be people that we have not yet heard from and I think that that's why this committee is so important because whether it's the family, whether it's people who were observers watching Donald Trump. We just don't know. That is why you're having this January 6th investigation because this may be some people who were flies on the wall that we don't know about yet.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much with that breaking news that Manu is able to get. And next, the U.S. facing a potential debt default as Republicans who

helped run the tab up big time, now don't want to pay for what they promised.



BURNETT: Tonight, the U.S. in danger of defaulting on its loans for the first time in history, Republicans refusing to suspend the debt ceiling and help Democrats pay for the country's bills that were wracked up by both parties. They are doing it despite headlines, no one would spared, it would devastate the U.S. economy.

Default could wipe out six million job and 15 trillion dollar in wealth. These are all things out there. The treasury secretary worrying it could produce widespread economic catastrophe.

But on Capitol Hill, it's all about politics. Today, Senate Minority Mitch McConnell again tying the debt ceiling to President Biden's $3.5 trillion spending plan, which is still making its way through Congress.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Republicans are shining a spotlight on the reckless taxing and spending spree that Washington Democrats are writing behind closed doors. That's why Republicans would not help this unified Democratic government with its basic duty to raise the debt ceiling.


BURNETT: OK, whatever you think about the Democrats multitrillion dollar spending plan, it actually has not doing to do with the current debt ceiling crisis, because the debt ceiling is not about future spending. It's about paying the bills for money borrowed in the past and promises made. Many of these bills were wracked up during the Trump administration. On Trump's watch, in just four years, the nation's debt rose by 40 percent. You have the entire 200 before that, up 40 percent, $7.8 trillion. That is stunning.

So, for McConnell to tie the debt ceiling to Biden's agenda is wrong and he knows it, but he's not the only one misleading the American public. Here's how minority leader Kevin McCarthy claiming that all the debt accrued under Trump has been paid for.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Every money spent many the Trump administration was accounted for and went into the seven months of the current Biden administration.


BURNETT: OK. This is highly misleading. Look, the bills that came due every time if you own a savings bond, it gets paid on time. The reason was back McCarthy and Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling. They did so repeatedly.

But the bills for that spending continue over years and years, right? You don't just make a promise in one year. You make a promise for a tax cut and it goes every year. So, a lot of these bills right now are for Trump's ongoing policies, right? You have to pay the interest on all that debt. It gets bigger every year.

You think of this way, Republicans and Democrats, they're both guilty of running of $28 trillion in government debt. Now it's both of their responsibilities to figure out a way to pay for it. When you make a promise, you have to honor it.

OUTFRONT now, Mark Zandi, he's the chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

And, you know, Mark, ay out for me what happens if they fail to get this done, if there is no action on the debt ceiling.

MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYST: Well, Erin, someone is not going to be paid the money that's owed them, you know? Either that Social Security recipient, that could be someone working for the military, that could be a bond holder, someone who took on the purchase of the debt of the U.S. Treasury.


It could be, you know, the electric bill. Someone is not going to get paid. That simple action is going to be devastating. We pay our bills. We have been doing it since the founding of the nation. It accrued enormous benefit to us.

If we don't do that, we will pay for it for generations to come. So, it's a big, big deal those guys don't make those payments.

BURNETT: I mean, you are saying a big deal. Millions of jobs lost, massive impact if this is the game they want to play.

ZANDI: It depends on the scenario. If they miss the payment or they miss paying Social Security recipients, at that moment, it's complete chaos, right? Investors well sell, stock prices will decline, interest rates will rise.

I would be shocked if lawmakers don't recognize what they have done and decide to come together and raise the debt ceiling so the treasury can pay their bills. By the way, even if they did that, it would be costly. If it dragged on -- through thanksgiving -- then yeah, it's recession like, financial crisis-like, millions of jobs.

BURNETT: It's incredible. Even if it doesn't go on that long because they learn their lesson, they sent a signal to the world that the United States can't necessarily be trusted to pay its debts. That means we pay a higher interest rate. I get that.

David Rubin, the billionaire investor, said we should get rid of the debt ceiling limit. It's not linked to spending, right? It goes up and up. This is just a political process. We should stop it.

Does he have a point?

ZANDI: Yeah, he does. If I were king for the day, that's what I would do. The intent -- there's some intuition behind it. Put on a debt limit. Lawmakers have to sit down and think about what they're doing.

Maybe that imposes fiscal discipline so we don't run big deficits and run up the debt. That was the idea. The result is, we're turning ourselves into pretzels trying to get around this thing and coming up with crazy ideas to try to get around it. It's really a very counterproductive piece of legislation. I would get rid of it.

The other thing you could do is, you could -- every spending bill or tax bill that you pass today, you have to increase the debt limit to be consistent with the deficit you are running in the piece of legislation. So, you do it when you sign on the dotted line. That might work, but, yeah, I think I could get rid of it.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Mark Zandi, for your perspective as always.

And next, we will introduce you to a woman who is taking on what is considered the most serious threat to our oceans.



BURNETT: Tonight, a dire warning. The seafood in the world's oceans could be depleted in decades because of human behavior. That is preventable. One woman is making it her mission to reverse the trend.

She's Kate Bolduan's champion for change.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Captain, how are you? May we board?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, permission to board.

BODLUAN: Thank you, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to try to catch.

BOLDUAN: I grew up fishing with my family and my dad and mom all through my childhood. I love seafood. I love fish. I did not understand how close to extinction some of my favorite fish were.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the target species.

BOLDUAN: How's the season been? Like has it been a good one?

GUY BUONO, FISHING GUIDE: Regulations has paid off. Now, if you catch a 40 pounder, it has to be released.

BOLDUAN: Stronger than I expected it to be. Holy smoke show. This is lunch.

How big is the problem of overfishing?

JENN DIANTO KEMMERLY, VP GLOBAL OCEAN INITIATIVES, MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM: It's big. There are 3 billion people on this planet who rely on fish as their main source of protein and for their livelihoods.

BOLDUAN: What is the main reason overfishing is a problem?

KEMMERLY: We are catching too many fish. It's not well regulated all over the world. We start looking at the impacts on things like sea grass beds, coastal mangroves, these are all ecosystems that fish, marine life and people need to survive.

BOLDUAN: Jenn Dianto Kemmerly has been fighting for fish for decades. Not just to save them but to conserve the oceans so there's enough for all of us to share.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: The real question here is, how do we save (INAUDIBLE)?

BOLDUAN: Seafood Watch in general has opened my eyes to better alternatives.

KEMMERLY: The idea for Seafood Watch actually came out of an exhibit. When we put this program together, we thought about what's our ultimate goal here. To make consumers aware there's a problem that individuals should change purchasing habits in support of more ocean friendly seafood.

We created a little pocket guide. We put it in our cafe. They started disappearing. We're on to something.

BOLDUAN: That's what I love about it. It's not a "you shouldn't". It's a let's empower you to make a great choice.

KEMMERLY: We really wanted to get businesses, retailers and food service companies, individual restaurants, to make a commitment that they would source only from responsible fisheries.

BOLDUAN: Wow. You can taste the sea. It's so yummy.

Big name chefs like Kerry Heffernan have joined this fight. From catch to table, he uses Seafood Watch every day.

KERRY HEFFERNAN, EXECUTIVE CHEF, GRAND BANKS AND PILOT: As chefs, we have an opportunity to spread that awareness. People have confidence in us. Once we can deliver them something like this in this format, there's a lot more buy in.

BOLDUAN: Why I care about this is, wasn't the seafood that I know, love and eat today to be around for my kids. Without Seafood Watch and without conservation efforts like this, that's not guaranteed anymore.

Seafood Watch is the most recognized seafood rating program. It's an innovative and extremely effective solution to a worldwide problem.

I not only love her passion for this, she grew up around the water. She's a diver. I'm a diver. When you are under the water and in this magical aquatic world, you realize how small we are in their enormous world. But also the outsized impact that human activity has had on really what are defenseless creatures.


BURNETT: All right. And we're going to continue to share more inspirational stories like the one you saw from Kate. And be sure to tune in Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern for champions for change, one hour special. Tomorrow, you will see Anderson's piece.

But right now, you get to see Anderson himself.

"AC360" starts right now.