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Erin Burnett Outfront

Key U.S. Inflation Measure Hits A Near 40-Year High; Gas, Used Cars, Steak Up Double Digits Year Over Year; CBO Estimates Build Back Better Would Increase Deficit By $3 Trillion Temporary Programs Were Permanent; Jan 6 Panel Subpoenas Trump-Backed Congressional Candidate, Max Miller, Says He Met Trump On Jan 4 To Discuss Jan 6 Rally; Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) Discusses About Former Trump Aides' Connection To Jan 6th Rally; Biden "Very Concerned" By SCOTUS Decision On Texas Abortion Law; CNN Analysis: 9 Major Cities Set All-Time Homicide Records. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired December 10, 2021 - 19:00   ET


SALIM ABDOOL KARIM, AFRICAN TASK FORCE FOR CORONAVIRUS: So it's interesting that it's emerging. It's confirming what we know and certainly no red flags at this stage.




WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: And to our viewers, thanks for watching.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, inflation at a level not seen in decades. Is President Biden right when he says it's at peak right now?

Plus, the January 6 Committee just issuing a new round of subpoenas, including a Trump aide running for Congress. His role in planning the rally before the insurrection.

And abortion rights tonight, the Supreme Court with the decision that has effectively banned abortions in the State of Texas. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, inflation surging to a near 40-year high. Consumer prices up 6.8 percent this year. That's to the end of November. And that is the fastest pace since 1982. That, of course, is back when Ronald Reagan was first coming into office.

Now, just to give you a look at what this means, okay, we got a lot of things on the screen. Let me just highlight a few, coffee up 7.5 percent, egg prices up 8 percent, steak 25 percent, used cars, if you can get one, 31 percent, gas just over 58 percent. And today President Biden acknowledging the problem, but saying that he thinks it's the 'peak of the crisis'.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a real bump in the road. It does affect families. When you walk in the grocery store and you're paying more for whatever you're purchasing, it matters. It matters to people when you're paying more for gas, although in some states, we've got the price down below three bucks a gallon. But the point is, it's not gone down quickly enough. But I think it will.


BURNETT: All right. Now, when it comes to gas, I mentioned up 58 percent so far this year, it has dropped though from its peak, down 2.4 percent from its November high, so there's a small bit of respite there. But the inflation crisis is way bigger than gas. And for months, the President and his administration have been minimizing the problem.


JANET YELLEN, TREASURY SECRETARY: My judgment right now is that the recent inflation that we've seen will be temporarily, it's not something that's endemic.


BIDEN: And, by the way - talking inflation - the overwhelming consensus is it's going to pop up a little bit and then go back down.

GINA RAIMONDO, COMMERCE SECRETARY: We do not have fears at this point related to persistent inflation.

YELLEN: Supply bottlenecks have developed that have caused inflation, I believe that they're transitory.


BURNETT: Okay. Now, it's a totally different tune, because that went on for months and months and months. And after a certain period of time, that starts to sound a little absurd and now they admit that it is a real and lasting problem.


YELLEN: I'm ready to retire the word transitory. I can agree that that hasn't been in that description of what we're dealing with.

REP. ANN WAGNER (R-MO): Is it your view, sir, that these price increases still aren't 'particularly large or persistent'?

JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: No, that is no longer my view.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Okay, look, they deserve credit for admitting that they made

a mistake, that they were wrong owning up to it, that is important. But the huge question now is what is Biden going to do about it. Inflation that doesn't go away is a big, big bad thing for an economy. And his idea right now is to spend money. He says the solution is to pass his Build Back Better spending bill and put $2 trillion more into the economy.


BIDEN: If and when, God willing, we get the Build Back Better proposal, economists think it's going to, in fact, diminish the impact on inflation is because it's reducing costs for ordinary people.


BURNETT: All right. I want to put the economic debate aside, because obviously there is a big one on that assertion. But the American people do seem to have an answer. Right now only 41 percent of Americans actually support the bill, that is according to a new poll from NPR. That is a problem for the President.

And so is this, two crucial members of the President's own party are still not on board with the Build Back Better, after months of constant debate, four months of it is going to be passing soon, passing soon, passing soon and here we are. The President must have those votes to make this bill law and there's a reason for the hesitancy now.

Today, the Congressional Budget Office delivered some news that may make it even less likely that Sen. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema will support the bill. Here's what the CBO came out with.

They estimated that if you extended a series of programs that are in the bill already, for the full 10-year life of the bill, the deficit would increase by $3 trillion over the next decade, $3 trillion. As the bill is currently written, the CBO estimates it would only add $367 billion to the budget deficit over a decade.


So $3 trillion versus $367 billion. That is night and day and it is dramatic. And the thing here is that is because as the bill was written, it was written over a 10-year time horizon. But to make the math work, they assumed that certain programs would only be around for a year ago, programs that we all know are intended to be permanent, like the extended child tax credit.

That key program lasts only one year, in the bill the way they wrote it. So they put it in there, it's there for one year and then it goes away completely. Universal pre-K, funding for childcare, that is set to expire in six years in the bill. I mean, come on, we all know those are intended to be permanent programs. And you don't have to like just ask me take my assumption for it. Just listen to progressives, elected progressives on Capitol Hill, they're honest about that.


SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): We've done this for a year, this expansion Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, we should do it permanently.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): This would be something that we can put into place, setting us on a permanent trajectory. It doesn't end there.

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO): We're going to fight like hell to make sure that we make it permanent.


BURNETT: Permanent, permanent, permanent they are saying. So that's why Republicans wanted this new CBO estimate of how much it would add to the deficit if these programs are, as Democrats make clear, become permanent. This should actually not be a partisan thing. Americans and elected representatives all should want to know how much money Congress actually plans and intends to spend.

So what does Joe Manchin think about this new multi-trillion dollar deficit analysis? Well, he wouldn't say, but Sen. Lindsey Graham did say he spoke to Manchin today.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I talked to him this morning, he was stunned. He was I think he felt vindicated and that his concerns were legitimate that he thought he knows everybody. I mean, it's the worst kept secret. Nobody believes these programs are going to end.


BURNETT: All right. Look, we call out Lindsey Graham all the time. In fact, we've dedicated a lot of time to doing that. He wanted this new CBO estimate. But right there, what he just said was the truth. After all, you just heard Democratic Progressive leaders say it themselves. They want this stuff to be permanent not to go away in a year, they are not trying to keep it a secret.

Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT at the White House. So Phil, they come out here and say, all right, let's assume this bill does what you guys admit you wanted to do, which is make this stuff become permanent. It's going to add $3 trillion to the deficit, not 300 billion. Does the President think, given this, that he's going to get Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema on board when they haven't been on board for the past four months?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the President was asked a version of that question earlier today and he was candid. He said, I don't have the answer to that and that's not a dodge, that is actually a really good window into a very tenuous moment for the cornerstone proposal of President Biden's domestic agenda. Look, the White House has counter arguments to all of these issues, on

the CBO report, making clear those programs if they're extended, the President wants to pay for them. So that would add some fiscal responsibility to things.

On inflation, they believe over the long term because the Build Back Better plan is paid for as currently written and it would expand productivity that over the long term, it would take inflationary pressures down to some degree as well. But the problem here that they've faced and I think you've seen them make these arguments over the course of the last couple of days repeatedly, getting out in front of the CPI report, knowing the numbers were going to be extraordinarily high, is that they've been making these arguments now for several months, both publicly but I think more importantly, Erin, privately to Sen. Manchin.

Sen. Manchin has met repeatedly, yes, with President Biden, but also with members of his economic team, where they've walked through various pieces of the proposal and walked through the broader macroeconomic issues at this moment. And yet, just this week, Sen. was still raising very clear concerns about inflation, still raising very clear concerns about the proposal itself.

Look, the wild card here as we enter this very critical moment, if Democrats want to meet the Christmas deadline, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has set is President Biden. And I think if you look over the course of the last 10 or 11 months, Erin, the President has spent so much time behind the scenes in private with Sen. Manchin.

And he has made clear to his top advisors, he believes if anybody is going to get mansion on board, it's going to be President Biden. Well, now that moment has come. He says he's going to speak to Sen. Manchin early next week. That call, that conversation, however it occurs, is going to go a very long way to determining whether or not that $1.75 trillion proposal has a future or whether it's more likely headed to a pause, Erin.

BURNETT: Yes. All right. Thank you very much, Phil.

I want to go now to Austan Goolsbee because he served as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama. And Tyler Goodspeed, he was the Acting Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Trump, so you guys have both been there dealing with this.

So Austan, let me start with you. The CBO estimates that if you would extend the programs in the Build Back Better bill over the life of the bill, so the child tax rate doesn't go away in one year.


It exists the next nine years that the deficit goes up by $3 trillion. That is eight times more, eight times more money that we currently don't have than is estimated under the Democrats' analysis of the bill. So Democrats are honest, Austan, that's the thing. They're on the

record, permanent, permanent, permanent. They're being honest about what they want. Do you understand why this seems so jarring to some that they want it to be there forever and they pretend it goes away in a year?

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FMR. CHAIRMAN, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISER UNDER PRES. OBAMA: No. You're saying they're pretending. The administration outlined that, if you're going to make that permanent, it should be paid for and they outlined, here's how we would want to pay for it.

So what Lindsey Graham asked for was a rigged calculation in which you extend spending, but you don't actually pay for it. But that's not what the administration proposed, so I don't think it's fair to take that number at face value.

BURNETT: Tyler, what do you think? Is it fair to do what they did?

TYLER GOODSPEED, FMR. ACTING CHAIR, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS UNDER PRES. TRUMP: I think more information is generally better than less information. And if indeed, the intention is to make a lot of these provisions permanent, that it's helpful to have a sense of how much that would cost. And if the administration and Democrats in Congress want to make sure it's fully funded, then some of these marginal senators should know by how much taxes would have to go up, which taxes would have to go up in order to fund those spending provisions.

BURNETT: Right. I mean, because Austan, here's the thing, they got a lot of moderate Republican - Democrats, I'm sorry, who don't want some of the tax increases that may be required to pay for it, so there is - and look, I'm not saying, I don't use the word dishonest, because I think both parties do this all the time with the 10-year gain.

GOOLSBEE: No, it's not. That's why you're topper was misleading and anybody who does not want to pay for extensions of those programs and pay for it with higher taxes that the administration outline, can vote against it when it's time to try to extend those programs.

The administration did not do what the Trump administration did with the tax cut and the Bush administration did with its tax cut, which was attempt to make permanent things that they declared to be temporary without paying for them. The administration said they want to pay for that if they're going to extend it, so that's the only fair way to think about it.

BURNETT: Right. What I will say, though, is that when you give things to people, whatever those things may be, I'm not casting any value on one versus another, but a tax cut or an earned income tax credit. It's really hard to take them away. That's the reality of it. We all know when these things - you remember the Bush tax cuts, they're supposed to be like phase out. These things don't happen that way. That's the reality of it that I think is frustrating.

Tyler, I mean, it seems that, we all know in one year this stuff isn't going to go to zero when it comes to the tax credit. GOODSPEED: Yes, it is difficult to repeal programs that have been

implemented and may have some constituency. And I would add that, okay, if they want to make this permanent, then why are they not voting on the permanency of both the spending and the revenue provisions now.

I think the reality is that they don't have the votes for it and if they don't have the votes for it today, then the question is, will they be able to extend it in the future, and that's why I think it is helpful for the likes of some of these marginal senators to have this information. And if they want to have more information about as, I said, by how much corporate tax will have to go up or by how much certain individual income tax rates will have to go up in order to finance this, then by all means, ask the CBO to run those numbers.

BURNETT: I mean, Austan, that does seem to be a big part of the problem here because the Democrats, they technically have the votes, if every Democrat is on board with this, it passes without a problem. But, obviously, I mean, Tyler is right about that on a very basic level. They don't think they have the votes if they extended it.

GOOLSBEE: They're at a very basic level that's not accurate, you're not - look, Erin, I'm a huge fan but on this you're not being fair, you're treating future extensions, which it's not clear they can pass for exactly the reasons you're describing. You're trying to treat those extensions ...

BURNETT: Right. But that's what I'm saying, I'm saying they don't have the votes ...

GOOLSBEE: ... as if they are in the bill. If they don't have the votes, that's why it's not in the bill and so when it comes up, that they're going to have to vote on those and to pass extensions of the child tax credit, that is paid for, they would not have the votes today so you can't count that as if it's the cost of the bill, because it's not at all clear that they would be able to pass that extension.

BURNETT: Tyler, do you think that's fair?

GOODSPEED: Well, as I said, if Sen. Manchin is uneasy about the prospect of some of these provisions becoming permanent, then I think it's helpful for him to have a sense of how much it would cost to make them permanent. And it is then going to be up to neither you nor me nor Austan to decide whether we're going to vote for it. It's going to be up to Sen. Manchin.

BURNETT: Well, it's Sen. Manchin and Sen. Sinema, that's who this comes down to.


And whether this is what matters more or, and I know we didn't even talk about that, but the whole inflation conversation in whether the bill would actually lower inflation, which, I know is something Sen. Manchin says he cares a lot about as well.

All right. Thanks both. I appreciate it.

GOOLSBEE: Great to see you again.

GOODSPEED: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, a Trump-backed Republican running for Congress among the latest round of people the January 6 Committee has subpoenaed, so why is he on the list?

Plus, the Supreme Court says the Texas abortion law can stay in place. What does it mean for Roe vs. Wade?

And why Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson as of tonight can call themselves astronauts?



BURNETT: New tonight, six more subpoenas issued by the House Select Committee investigating January 6th. The targets in this round individuals believed to be involved in the planning of rallies on January 5th and 6th leading up to the deadly insurrection, including Max Miller, a current GOP congressional candidate who the Committee says coordinated the rally planning directly with former President Trump.

That's a pretty stunning thing to say. Well, Paula Reid is OUTFRONT with all the reporting here. So, Paula, tell me who else the Committee has subpoenaed and how much the Committee thinks these individuals may now.

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, in this batch of subpoenas the Committee is focused on people involved in planning the rallies that led up to the violent attack on the Capitol. And what's so key about this group is that for the first time the Committee is drawing a direct connection between rally organizers and Trump.


The Committee says some of these witnesses appear to have had direct communication with Trump about the January 6th rally, something that would obviously be of enormous interest to the Committee.

Now, former Trump aide and current Ohio congressional candidate Max Miller allegedly met with the former president in his private dining room on January 4th to discuss the upcoming rally. Also in that meeting was Robert "Bobby" Peede Jr. was also subpoenaed today.

Now, the rest of the people on this list, look, Erin, they're not household names. Kimberly Fletcher, she helped organized the January 5th rally, Brian Jack, an ex-director of political affairs for Trump, Bryan Lewis obtained the permit for a January 6th rally and Ed Martin, who's involved in securing finances for January 6th. But they're all required to turn over documents to the Committee on

December 23rd with deposition scheduled throughout the beginning of next year.

Now, Miller has said he will accept the subpoena but he's also railed against the investigation itself. And for any witnesses who are thinking about not complying, a reminder that next week, the House will proceed with criminal contempt proceedings against former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who suddenly stopped cooperating with the Committee.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Paula.

And to get more on this, I want to go to Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff. He is a member of the January 6 Select Committee, the Chair of the House Intel Committee and the author of the new book, Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could.

All right. Well, Chairman, I really appreciate your time. So let me start with the reporting here Paula saying this is the first time that the Committee that we know of it has drawn a direct connection between rally organizers and the former President Trump himself. Is this a clean direct line? Ultimately, how important do you think this connection will be?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Well, that's one of the things that we really want to find out with these witnesses. They are reported to have some of them met with the president two days before that violence attack on the Capitol to discuss the rally, what was going to take place and who was going to speak. And one central issue for the Committee is what anticipation did they have that there would be a march on the Capitol in the White House, what role did they play in planning any of this, what understanding did they have about who was going to be participating and the presence of white nationalist groups and propensity for violence, was this the last ditch strategy now that their litigation had failed?

So these are the questions that we want to get answers to and these witnesses may very well help us along that path.

BURNETT: So I know your committee is planning to vote on Monday to hold the former chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt for refusing to cooperate after, of course, he initially indicated that he would cooperate and, in fact, did to some extent. He turned over, what is it, 6,000 pages of documents to your committee; notes, texts, emails, things like that. So here's what he said about the contempt vote today.


MARK MEADOWS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Nothing I've done would rise to criminal contempt. But I obviously are going to have to throw my - on the mercies and graces of the court to weigh in.



BURNETT: He says nothing rises to the level of criminal contempt, your response?

SCHIFF: Well, your failure to show up and honor your lawful duty rises to the level of criminal contempt. If he believe that he had a privilege to assert, he could have shown up, he could have said with respect to this question, here's why I believe it's privileged. Of course, he didn't do any of that and it would have been very difficult for him, given that he provided all these documents, which he acknowledges are not privileged, he wrote about these events in his book, which he will have to acknowledge is not privileged.

So it's very difficult for him to come in and make that argument with a straight face. So he just decided the rule of law didn't apply to him, but he's going to find out otherwise.

BURNETT: Well, I mean, it's important to emphasize, he handed over the documents, didn't claim privilege, now is claiming privilege on talking about the very documents he handed over. And to your point in the book, there's plenty of things that he said that, if you were trying to have a wide definition of privilege, you would say all the details he gave, for example, about the President and COVID.

But let me ask you about this, because this is the question I've had since the beginning, Chairman, which is the National Archives today says they're working with Meadows to go through all the records that he has, that he may or may not have turned over. So when you talk about, what is it, 6,000 pages of documents that you have, do you have any idea whether that shines a light on 1 percent of what's out there, 90 percent of what's out there, how much he cherry picked what he gave you, do you know any of that?

SCHIFF: I don't know, but I think it's very interesting that Meadows did this complete about face.


SCHIFF: Now, why did he do that? Well, what he says through his lawyer is that the reason he had an accent face was that the Committee wanted his phone records.


Now, why would that change his willingness to cooperate unless he felt perhaps that those phone records might contradict what he was preparing to say or show context that he wasn't disclosing to the Committee. And, so look, this is a surmise. It may have been nothing more than the former president being upset with him for cooperating or writing things he didn't like in the book, but regardless, he doesn't get to simply say, I'm not coming.

BURNETT: Yes. Well, I mean, and again it just flies in the face of, you can't provide the information and not claim privilege and then turn around and say you're claiming privilege over the information you already provided. There's one thing that we do know you got from Meadows, Chairman Schiff, and that is January 5th email from 2021, that was about a 38-page PowerPoint. And the PowerPoint was titled Election Fraud, Foreign Interference and Options for 6 of January. Do you have that full PowerPoint? Is there anything you could share about it?

SCHIFF: Unfortunately, I'm not authorized but the Committee yet to share information about that beyond what we did on the letter. The real purpose of including it in the letter is to show Mr. Meadows' counsel and Mr. Meadows that he has disclosed documents that are very obviously pertinent to January 6, indeed, they're in the title of the documents. So that's the purpose of making that disclosure. We may disclose more about that in the future. I'm certain ultimately that we will.

But one of the reasons we wanted Meadows to come in is to talk about that document, what do you do about it, what was its origin, what was the White House role in it, these are all very important questions for us and for the public.

BURNETT: And Chairman Schiff, one final quick question for you, I know Steve Bannon is not going to have his contempt hearing until July 18th and who knows how long this Meadows thing draws out? If you don't get to hear from them in full, do you have enough information from everybody you've already heard from to get to the bottom line?

SCHIFF: We still have a lot more to investigate, so I don't want to say that we know all that we need to know at this point. It's still I think fairly early in the investigation. But by the same token, we talked to over 300 people, we're trying to come at this from various different angles.

When we run into a roadblock with one witness, we try to find another witness who can testify as to the same subject matter if that's possible. Sometimes that won't be possible. We may not know what's going through Mark Meadows' head unless he comes in and tells us but we will do the very best we can and I am confident at the end of the day, we'll be able to tell a very full story to the American people about what happened and legislate in a way that protects the country going forward.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Chairman Schiff, I really appreciate your time and I do just want to pass along the Republican Secretary of State of Georgia was on the show last night and he commented on the professionalism of all members of the Committee, Democrat and Republican and he felt it was very much nonpartisan. Thanks so much. I appreciate your time.

SCHIFF: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, the Supreme Court says the controversial abortion law in Texas can stand. So what does it mean for the future of Roe v. Wade?

And a shocking moment in the trial of a police officer who says she confused her taser with a gun.


KIMBERLY POTTER: Oh, just let me kill myself, Mike.

MIKE: No, that's not happening.




ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Tonight, President Biden saying he's, quote, very concerned after the Supreme Court refused to block a Texas abortion law that bans the procedure after six weeks. Now, the justices also ruled that abortion providers can challenge the law by suing certain state officials in federal court.

But the overall impact is this. It's going to be harder for Texas abortion providers to re-open. All this litigation goes on and on.

And it comes in the context of the Supreme Court considering the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that could completely undo Roe versus Wade as we know it.

OUTFRONT now, Laurence Tribe, constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School.

And, Professor Tribe, I appreciate your time.

So, obviously, this is a -- this was a process ruling, right, as opposed to a ruling on the overall constitutionality of Roe versus Wade. But process matters and abortion rights advocates are very clear that this is going to make it, you know, they obviously can't re-open these clinics while this goes on and on and on in the courts.

How consequential of a ruling is this?

LAURENCE TRIBE, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Well, I think it's quite consequential in the sense that it's a disastrous loss for abortion rights and for the rule of law in America, and for honesty and candor. I mean, if you read the Supreme Court's opinion, it's carefully written by Justice Gorsuch to create a fig leaf of partial victory for abortion providers because he goes out of his way to say that after all, when the case goes back to the district court in Texas, that court will be free to rule in favor of the abortion providers, against those state officials who threatened to take their medical licenses away if they lose lawsuits to the bounty hunters.

But it doesn't do any good to have a licensed provider procedure if you have had to shut your doors because you are threatened with crushing liability. It's -- it's really a phony move on the part of the Supreme Court because it's not these licenses that matter. It's the ability to sustain liability that could run into the millions of dollars. And so, the Supreme Court is basically said abortions can be shut down in the state of Texas while the court is considering just how thoroughly to gut Roe versus Wade.

It -- it's quite a shell game and it's not one that puts the court in a very favorable light.

BURNETT: So, you have a new op-ed, Professor, in "The Washington Post." and you make the case for expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court.


And -- and it's important in light of what we saw today because you argue that the rulings from the conservative majority on the court are destroying American democracy.

So, I want to ask you something about what we've seen these more conservative justices do over the past year, right? Former President Trump appointed two of them, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. Over the past year, those two justices would not hear a challenge to Pennsylvania's 2020 presidential election. They shot down a Republican-led challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

They have not lived up to Democrats' pessimistic expectations. But in that same timeframe over the past year, dozens of cases decided. The Obama-appointed Justice Sonia Sotomayor rarely, rarely found a compromise with conservatives.

What do you say to that they come in and they have actually not just towed the party line on conservatism?

TRIBE: I'm not suggesting that they always toe the party line. When you have a completely frivolous attack on the Affordable Care Act, I wouldn't expect any justice of any party who doesn't want to look like a clown to uphold that attack. What they are doing, however, is systematically dismantling the safeguards of democracy. Decisions that undo critical parts of the Voting Rights Act. Decisions that refuse to get in the way of Republican gerrymandering. Decisions that refuse to deal with dark money in politics.

These are not just wrong decisions. They are decisions that put the court on a continuous path to undoing fundamental human rights and the fundamental presuppositions of a genuinely democratic society. And it's a one-way ratchet.

In the past, there have been pendulum swings, right and left, on the court. But these decisions taken together and now the impending decisions that will, for all practical purposes, take equal power away from women, power over their bodies. These decisions move in the direction of systematically dismantling the prerequisites of a free society. And we won't be able to turn back.

The court has already been packed by justices that are moving in that direction. I believe it needs to be unpacked by the addition of several justices. That's the only clear thing that can be done at this point to prevent what really looks like an irreversible disaster. It's not perfect. But I do not think that the majesty of the Supreme Court is a justification for letting things continue moving in this truly dangerous and anti-democratic direction.

BURNETT: Professor Tribe, thanks so much. I always appreciate your time.

TRIBE: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, new video played in court showing just how concerned other officers were after veteran Officer Kim Potter shot and killed a man.

And homicide records smashed in cities across the United States.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are setting this type of a record that we want to be in the news for.




BURNETT: Tonight, prosecutors introducing new body camera footage in the trial of former Police Officer Kim Potter who is charged with manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright. In that video, you hear an officer try to console Potter after the shooting, claiming that Wright was, quote, trying to take off with him in the car. A warning that some of the video you will see in this piece is disturbing.

Adrienne Broaddus is OUTFRONT.


ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's first time we are seeing a different view of Daunte Wright's deadly encounter with police.

KIM POTTER, POLICE OFFICER: I shot him. Oh, my god.

BROADDUS: New police body camera video shows Wright initially cooperating with officers.

SGT. MICHAEL JOHNSON, POLICE OFFICER: You are under arrest, Daunte.

BROADDUS: Sergeant Michael Johnson then enters Wright's car from the passenger side. Testifying he struggled with Wright for the gear shift.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he appears to have been trying to move the shift knob.


BROADDUS: After the shot was fired and the car crashed down the road, Johnson tried to reassure Officer Kim Potter who had pulled the trigger.

JOHNSON: Kim, that guy was trying to take off with me in the car.

POTTER: I know.

BROADDUS: Next, video shows Potter distraught.

POTTER: Just let me kill myself, Mike.

JOHNSON: No, that's not happening, Kim. I have given you my gun. Okay? I am just going to hold on to yours.

BROADDUS: The weapon swap Johnson says was to preserve evidence.

JOHNSON: Kim, can I see my gun real quick?

BROADDUS: He later removed the rounds from the gun. Fearing Potter may harm herself.

EARL GRAY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Did Daunte Wright, at any time, show any sign of stopping, giving up, saying okay I'm done?


BROADDUS: But it was the potential harm Wright could have done that the defense narrowed in on.

GRAY: If he had taken off with you in that car half way, what would have happened to you?

JOHNSON: Probably dragged.

BROADDUS: Arguing Potter was protecting Johnson.

GRAY: Dragged and what?

JOHNSON: Injured.

GRAY: Seriously injured? Maybe even dead, right?


BROADDUS: The state pushed back, trying to show Potter's actions were reckless, the lynchpin of a manslaughter conviction.

POTTER: I just shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could Officer Potter, in using a firearm, have shot you?

JOHNSON: Possible.

BROADDUS: The defense had to step in, again.

JUDGE: The objection is sustained.

MATTHEW FRANK, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MINNESOTA: When you use deadly force, you have to consider surroundings.


FRANK: And when you --

BROADDUS: And again.

JUDGE: No leading questions please.

FRANK: I'm sorry.


BROADDUS: And court was adjourned early here in Minneapolis due to the weather. Sergeant Johnson, who was Potter's supervisor at the time of the shooting, was one of three people who testified today.

And, Erin, he told members of the jury he believes Potter was justified in using deadly force, underscoring the law here in Minnesota -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Adrienne. And it was important testimony.

OUTFRONT now, Paul Martin, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor.


So, you hear Adrienne's report there and she is showing that former officer or that officer's testimony, saying that Potter was covered by state statute in what she chose to do to use her gun, which obviously she is saying she didn't intend to use her gun but that she would have been justified in doing so because he could have died if he was dragged by Mr. Wright's car. And body cam footage, you know, shows Daunte Wright's hand clearly on the -- the shift gear, right? He was intending to -- to drive.

So, how significant was this witness and this point?

PAUL MARTIN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, what Johnson thinks and his opinion is really not relevant to the case. What is really relevant to the case is the mindset of the defendant in this case, and what she believed was transpiring.

She never testified oh any of the reports indicate she was acting as far as justification. You got to remember, you can't take the defense attorney playbook. I am going to take a little bit of justification and I'm going to take a little bit of mistake.

BURNETT: Right, because she is not trying to say she was justified in shooting. Her whole point is I didn't intend to shoot.

MARTIN: Therefore, you can't use justification as a defense in this case. And so, it is a little bit just throwing it on the wall and see what sticks. BURNETT: It is a really significant thing to say, though, right?

Because it's not -- it's not technically at all what she has been saying.

So the same officer says he took potter's gun away because he was worried that she would -- would try to kill herself after this happened. On his body cam footage, you hear potter say quote let me kill myself. You actually hear that. Let me just play that, Paul.


POTTER: Oh my God.

JOHNSON: Kim, I'm going to take this but give you mine. Okay?

POTTER: Oh my god. No, just let me kill myself Mike.

JOHNSON: No, no. That's not happening, Kim.


BURNETT: So, what are they trying to show there? Because he takes the gun, but then gives her a different gun? I'm --

MARTIN: Well, I'm not sure what officer Johnson was trying to do, but I think the prosecution is trying to show what her mindset was. She understood that she made a very big error. She made a major mistake to the point of negligence and they are just trying to say that she even believed at the time how critical a decision she made and how wrong it was. And so, that's why they are bringing this testimony in.

BURNETT: All right. Fascinating case to watch this unfold. Thank you so much, Paul.

MARTIN: Thank you as always.

BURNETT: All right. And next, what explains homicide records not seen in 20 years in many places in America? A surge in violent crimes across the country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have seen really a spike in gun violence, just a proliferation of illegally owned weapons on the street.


BURNETT: And if you're an actor or a business tycoon and if paid to go to the edge of space, you are actually now something else. You're technically an astronaut.



BURNETT: And tonight's inside look, city smashing homicide records this year. Philadelphia reporting more than 500 murders with five weeks to go, obliterating a record set in the 1990s. The murder rate in Washington, D.C. rising to the highest level in nearly 20 years. Why?

Ryan Young is OUTFRONT.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Across the country, police departments, cities, towns, and communities are dealing with an alarming increase in the number of homicides.

From Portland --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody has their head on a swivel.

YOUNG: To Birmingham.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go right over the street.

YOUNG: Now, to Austin.

JOSEPH CHACON, AUSTIN INTERIM POLICE CHIEF: And this certainly is not the right reason, not something we're setting this type of a record that we want to be in the news for.

YOUNG: Where the fast-growing city has shattered its yearly record for homicides, making 2021 the city's deadliest year on record.

A CNN analysis of more than 40 of the most populous cities in the U.S. shows nine that have already set homicide records before year's end. Indianapolis has surpassed their 2020 total of 215. Philadelphia, with 524 homicides to date. And Albuquerque, New Mexico, with 103.

And Austin, Texas --

What it's like to see the numbers of homicides that you guys are experiencing right now?

CHACON: You know, it's just real --


YOUNG (on camera): Erin, this is the weekend. So basically, what happens is every weekend, police departments are scrambling to deal with all the issues they have to across this country. And what we know is they will have extra patrols out there. But what they are seeing is gun violence that is exploding to such a point they have to be extra vigilant, especially during these tough times -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right thank you very much.

And next, it's official. Actor William Shatner is going to get those astronaut wings.


BURNETT: All right. Well, you may have noticed we had a technical problem with Ryan Young's piece. It was amazing recovery by Ryan young but he was talking about the spiking homicide rate and it jut cut out right in the middle of it and it's important that you see the whole thing. So we fixed it and I am going to share it with you now in full.


YOUNG (voice-over): Across the country, police departments, cities, towns, and communities are dealing with an alarming increase in the number of homicides.

From Portland --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody has their head on a swivel.

YOUNG: To Birmingham.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go right over the street.

YOUNG: Now, to Austin.

CHACON: And this certainly is not the right reason, not something we're setting this type of a record that we want to be in the news for.

YOUNG: Where the fast-growing city has shattered its yearly record for homicides, making 2021 the city's deadliest year on record.

A CNN analysis of more than 40 of the most populous cities in the U.S. shows nine that have already set homicide records before year's end. Indianapolis has surpassed their 2020 total of 215. Philadelphia, with 524 homicides to date. And Albuquerque, New Mexico, with 103.

And Austin, Texas --

What it's like to see the numbers of homicides that you guys are experiencing right now?

CHACON: You know, it's just really disappointing quite honestly.

YOUNG: Austin police chief says there is no one reason for these record-high numbers but he has noticed a disturbing trend.

CHACON: We have seen really a spike in gun violence. So, just a proliferation of illegally owned weapons on the street.

YOUNG: Nationwide, more homicides are being committed using guns than ever. Shootings have increased nearly in all major U.S. cities that track that data. There have been 80 homicides in Austin so far this year according to the police department.

Double last year's total and the city's homicide rate has ticked up to 8.5 percent, putting it on par with numbers not seen consistently since the '80s.

But it's not guns alone. Police chiefs, activists, and experts say COVID-19 is still a contributing factor.

THOMAS ABT, SENIOR FELLOW, COUNCIL ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE: So you have something of a perfect storm where the people who are at the highest risk for violence are being pressed more than ever.

YOUNG: Experts recommend looking into community-based approaches to reducing violent crime.

ABT: Police need to be at the table, and police are part of the solution. But they are not the whole solution. You need community- based organizations and law enforcement agencies working together.

YOUNG: Activists agree.

CHRIS HARRIS, DIRECTOR OF POLICY, AUSTIN JUSTICE COALITION: Maybe, if we were sending other types of resources other than police into our communities, we would being having different outcomes.

YOUNG: Chris Harris says he's seeing more guns on the street, leading to not just violent but deadly consequences.

HARRIS: Guns are more accessible across our country, across our community, and across our state in particular.

YOUNG: Austin PD is working to turn the tide using its real-time crime center and new Office of Violence Prevention.

MAYOR BRANDON SCOTT (D), BALTIMORE: We can watch exactly what is going on.

YOUNG: Other cities are also looking into violence reduction strategies to combat violent crime.

SCOTT: We have a problem that is much deeper than Baltimore City.

YOUNG: In Baltimore, the mayor there says they have taken 2,000 guns off the streets this year. But the city's homicide rate has remained city in recent years. Mayor Scott says it's something many mayors around the country are dealing with.

SCOTT: We still have the historical things that are happening, the drugs, the gangs, the money. But so many more people are dying over small interpersonal days puts.

MICHAEL HARRISON, COMMISSIONER, BALTIMORE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: They are using gun violence to solve petty beefs. It is a culture. It's a way of thinking.

YOUNG: As the country grapples with the historic increase in the homicide rate and a re-imagining of police departments, back in Austin, they are looking for solutions as fast as they can.

CHACON: We need to get ahead of that problem and as a community, as a city, that is what he we're doing.


BURNETT: And that was Ryan young reporting.

Thanks for watching.

"AC360" starts now.