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Erin Burnett Outfront
Protests Underway Across U.S. After Supreme Court Overturns Roe; At Least 70 Protests Planned Tonight After Roe Is Overturned; Probes Into Trump Team's Efforts To Overturn Election Intensifying; Biden Set to Sign First Major Gun Legislation in Decades. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 24, 2022 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, protests growing across America at this hour, at least 70 protests planned tonight from coast to coast after Supreme Court formally overturned Roe v. Wade. And tonight, the fallout already felt in states.
Plus, criminal investigations into team Trump's efforts to overturn the election ramping up tonight. There are new subpoenas, along with key testimonies before a federal grand jury to tell you tonight.
And another major story we're following tonight. It took nearly three decades but most significant gun legislation in that time is now a step closer to being law as it awaits President Biden's signature.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, protests nationwide tonight after the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. You're looking at like pictures from Chicago, Boston, Atlanta and the steps of the Supreme Court.
At least 70 protests in the United States are planned tonight as crowds have been growing through the day. Some are celebrating, but the vast majority that we see tonight are protesting the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We refuse to go back!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This decision is an outrage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This decision is absolutely terrifying. But more than anything, it just makes me angry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the people who it is going to affect needs to come to the streets. (INAUDIBLE) that six people do not dictate our lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Well, the impact of this decision for millions of women in America is actually already being felt. There are 13 states, I'm going to show them to you on screen, that already have what is called a trigger law. Now, trigger laws, the law that was in place that would ban abortion in the event that the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. So, the minute the overturn happened, the law triggered abortion ban.
So, you see that in 13 states. One of them is Arkansas, where already as many as 100 procedures or appointments have already been canceled. And it's not just those 13. I want to tell you about West Virginia, because it's not one of those trigger states. It is a state where it is already hard -- difficult to get an abortion.
There's only one health center in a state that actually provides that service and they have stopped the procedure after the ruling today. Why, you may ask? Well, I will tell you. The women's health center of West Virginia posted the reason on Facebook and they say, due to a law in West Virginia's criminal code from 1882, that criminalizes abortion for both the provider and the patient with a felony prison sentence up to ten years, WWHCWV has been forced to stop providing abortion care immediately until further notice. So, we are back to 1882 in the state of West Virginia.
Several other states where antiabortion legislation was recently blocked, such as South Carolina, are expected to act next.
Well, today's decision was literally almost word for word what we saw in the explosive draft opinion that was leaked last month. There were people who had hoped that there would be changes, perhaps that leak would spark a change. No, it was basically word for word the same, bucking the view of a vast majority of Americans who oppose reversing the 1973 ruling on Roe v. Wade.
But Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the court's majority opinion, quote, Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences.
The rebuttal from the three liberal justices on the court was, I quote, with sorrow for this court but more for the many millions of American women who have lost today, a fundamental constitutional protection, we dissent.
That sentiment was echoed today by the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PREIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, the Supreme Court of the United States expressly took away a constitutional right for the American people that already recognized. It did not limit it, it simply took it away. It's a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court, in my view.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, the decision, according to one of the nation's leading voices on reproductive -- women's reproductive health, will put the lives of more women at risk. And we spoke to him, I quote, although most women are healthy, they can get cancer or heart disease. And abortion may be the only way to get the treatment that they need. The option to end a pregnancy when there are complications is crucial to preserve the health of women, and wherever this is restricted or banned, women will die.
That's Dr. Stephen Chasen from Weill Cornell, one of the preeminent experts on the subject.
I want to begin tonight with Donie O'Sullivan, who is OUTFRONT in Washington, D.C. amid the protesters who are matching to the Supreme Court.
So, Donie, where are you seeing there? I know you are right in the middle of it right now.
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Erin, yeah, we have been here all day with demonstrators in the morning. There were the anti- abortion rights demonstrators who are here celebrating. That's pretty much given way now all to demonstrators who are in favor of access to abortion rights. There have been hundreds of people outside the Supreme Court all day and just last few minutes, hundreds more have marched from Union Station, which is nearby here in Washington, D.C. So it should be a very long wait here outside the Supreme Court.
What we heard from people is there is a mixture of activist whose have worked on this issue, but we've also spoken to many tourists. People who are visiting Washington D.C. at the moment, some of whom are from states like Missouri where there are trigger laws and they are coming here just in shock, really, expressing not just concern about the issue of abortion but what it means for what might come next, whether it is on the abortion of same sex marriage or other issues like that. So, a lot of fear here, a lot of worry, and a lot of concern.
BURNETT: All right, Donie, we're going to keep checking in with you as this develops. Those concerns coming as the predicate for the decision was recognizing the right to privacy upon which those other cases were also decided and that's the right Roe is based upon.
I want to go to Whitney Wild at another area outside the Supreme Court.
And, Whitney, what is happening where you are right now?
WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, it continues to be a stream of people, this crowd growing and growing and growing. It is now hundreds of people on the steps of the Supreme Court. There have been a long list of speakers, spoken about their anger, their frustration, their real fear for the future.
However, one of the things they have said over and over and over is that this is not a conclusion, but instead, it's a beginning of a new chapter. So let me give you a live look at the crowd here so you can see just how big it is. Erin, earlier today, there were both sides of this issue represented. There was a couple dozen protesters from the pro-life side, that grew significantly, but then that group left earlier this afternoon and so, for the last several hours, this has been entirely people who are out here protesting the Supreme Court opinion that came down today.
What's important to note is the fact that this is basically one group of the same intention here is that this really minimizes the risk that comes when you have opposing groups who might clash. So that's a little bit of a relief for law enforcement out here today. We had not seen any arrests, not seen any reason for Capitol police or other agencies out here helping out to intervene in the crowd.
This has been extremely peaceful. It's been noisy, but again, extremely peaceful. We've seen no real confrontations. We've seen a couple people having a little back and forth, but that's it.
The other thing, Erin, is there have been no arrests. However, as night falls, law enforcement is still going to be on edge and here's why. They're very concerned domestic violent extremists will see this as an opportunity to carry out acts of violence when you have a crowd like this, they're very concerned someone is going to carry out a mass casualty event so that's what they're bracing for. So, all calm now, but law enforcement on edge. Back to you.
BURNETT: Whitney, thank you very much. And we're going to be checking back in with Whitney, with Donie, with others who are at this protest around the country, as the numbers build here on this summer, hot Friday night.
I want to go to Phil Mattingly at the White House.
And, Phil, I know you have been learning about discussions within the White House about what to do if there is violence at any of these protests.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Erin, there's a very clear recognition inside the White House just how polarizing this issue is, just how potentially out of control something could get in the wake of a decision like this.
In the extensive planning, the White House and Biden administration have been doing over the course of the last several weeks for just this moment, contingency plans about the possibility for violence, discussions gauging where different groups were, where different advocacy organizations were, trying to ensure there would be peaceful protest in the wake of this decision was a key component of what the Biden administration was doing.
And all you have to do was look at what the president said today, Erin, he made a very clear point, delineating as clearly as he possibly could, calling for peaceful protests. Making sure there were peaceful protests, saying there was no reason for violence in this moment that underscored the concern administration officials have had behind the scenes very clearly watching what's happening right now to try to ensure nothing moves to that direction. [19:10:05]
BURNETT: So, tell me what else you're learning about the debates within the White House and Biden's own role in those debates on the abortion ruling and what's next, right? I mean it's what's next that's the huge question.
Obviously, there's a legal part of that but there's also the executive branch question there.
MATTINGLY: Yeah, there really is. When you talk to White House officials, they made clear there is no executive order that can reestablish a constitutional right. There are significant limitations here for the president.
But when the president learned of this decision this morning, briefed on it by his chief of staff in the Oval Office, he immediately met with his senior team, revised remarks already had been prepared and his team launched into a process they've really been engaged in the last several weeks since that leaked draft, connecting phone calls with advocacy groups. There have been intensive debates inside the administration on legal authorities, on what the president can do on the executive action and the president set some into action today, making clear the Justice Department is prepared to defend anybody who is potentially criminalized for traveling to a state where abortion is legal, talking to Health and Human Services Department and FDA about the legality or ensuring the legality of abortion medication.
Those efforts are going to continue. One thing officials made clear in some of the private phone calls with groups over the course of this day is this is going to be an on going discussion. But when it comes down to it, the only way this can be changed or dramatically reversed is through Congress where they very clearly do not have the votes, Erin.
BURNETT: Very clearly. All right. Thank you very much, Phil Mattingly.
And I want to go now to the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Alexis McGill Johnson.
And I appreciate your time, Alexis.
So, look, I know you've been out with protesters and you knew this ruling was likely to come in because of that leaked opinion, but when it came today, you heard the official word, it's essentially word for word the same as the leak, no change, no backing down, Roe v. Wade overturned, what was your reaction?
ALEXIS MCGILL JOHNSON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA: Well, look, I mean, we were devastated, you know? I think that even with the draft opinion, we all hold out one bit of hope, right, that the court would not be so cruel. That it would not take away 49 years of precedent and strip away a right that so many millions of people depend on. That was -- that was absolutely just atrocious. BURNETT: So we heard about Planned Parenthood clinics in Arkansas
today turning away people seeking abortions. Can you tell us what you're seeing at Planned Parenthood clinics in those states? I mean, there's 13 of them with trigger laws, right? Others who are waiting at the gates to move forward to ban the procedure fully. What are you seeing at clinics tonight?
JOHNSON: You know, I'm hearing about a lot of tears. I'm hearing about a lot of worries, the chaos and concern for patients who are confused about what this, what overturning Roe v. Wade means for the procedure and care they intended to get this week or next week. And, you know, the reality is we have known this is coming, we have been preparing, we have been working in states -- excuse me -- where we know abortion will remain legal, to increase operations.
And yes, we still are in a place where we're asking 24 states to absorb the patients of 50 states. And that is very challenging. It is very difficult.
BURNETT: Incredible, no, and I'm sorry you've been out, you know, with protesting throughout the day so can hear that in your voice.
But look, there are so many reasons people seek an abortion, you know, you can't even list them, right? It is such a deeply personal health decision. But a group of economists found that the expansion of abortion access that happened because of Roe, right, after Roe was passed, it did, two specific things. One, reduced teen motherhood by 34 percent,. and teen marriage by 20 percent.
There's been further studies showing clearly that people at those young ages who end up having that abortion are able to have children later and have the families they want and be financially secure in a way they would not have been. So what happens now?
JOHNSON: I mean, what happens now is this, this overturning of a constitutional right is going to impact generations, right? It is going to impact millions of people who would otherwise be able to make a decision to get the care they need, continue to kind of imagine their future and think about kind of how the world they want to create when they want to become a parent.
And so, we're talking about are people, many people who are well off and will be able to continue to get access to care and a lot of people forced into pregnancy and will impact the families they're currently caring for. It will impact their ability to go on to finish college or to seek another degree.
It will impact, you know, people who are rising the corporate ladder, into C-suites and it's going to impact the frontline worker who doesn't have the ability to take off from work for a few days to go travel to another state and spend the resources to get that care. That's what's going to happen right now.
BURNETT: So what do you say to people, Republicans like Congresswoman Liz Cheney? She tweeted today, today's ruling by the Supreme Court returns power to the state and the people of the states to address the issue of abortion under state law.
She's making the point that this overturning Roe does not ban abortion. It simply gives the states the right to make the decision and if you don't like your state banning it, go and vote for other people to go into state legislature. What do you say to her?
JOHNSON: I say we should not live in a country where some states we are free and equal, and other states we are not. That is why we need the federal protection. That is why we need to have a guarantee that regardless of what state you live in, we are not living in a place that is going to tell us what to do with our own bodies and our lives.
No state in the union is this popular, right, is it popular for politicians and lawmakers to be making personal decisions about ourselves. This is not about states rights. This is about power and control, right? This is about lawmakers telling us that they believe they can make a better decision about our bodies than we can. This is about justices who lied about their respect for precedent to get on the Supreme Court.
That's what we should be concerned about and I agree with her, we do need to have people voting and engaged and enraged, voting, everyone, no one can be neutral on this issue, that is what we should be doing now. But I don't want to live in a country where, you know, in one state I'm free, in another state, I am being held hostage by my state, that is unacceptable and every American should believe that.
BURNETT: Alexis, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.
And I want to talk about the law here and what happens with Laurence Tribe, constitutional professor at Harvard Law School. The White House has consulted with him on what they can do next.
So, Professor, let's start with the pure legal standpoint here. Obviously, this opinion had leaked and basically, it's exactly the same as what we saw a few weeks ago, a couple words changed. What do you make of the ruling?
LAURENCE TRIBE, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: I think it's devastating. I agree with Alexis, that doesn't make any sense in a country to have women in control of their lives in some states and not others. Abraham Lincoln once said that we cannot survive as a nation half free and half slave. And this ruling turns women into a kind of slave to their circumstances and to the men who might insist that they have the abortion even if it's, you know, a pregnancy resulting from rape.
When Liz Cheney, who I admire in other contexts, says states rights, let's return to states -- where were states rights yesterday when the Supreme Court told the states that they have to toe the line in terms of the kind of regulations of firearms that were acceptable in the 1790s? The ruling doesn't make any sense.
BURNETT: Right. And New York, you can't have the state make the decision on concealed carry but obviously it would appear very inconsistent here in terms of the state rights point.
Obviously, at the core of this, Professor, is the question of privacy, right, which is the shadow of the Constitution, the right that Roe was based upon. The majority opinion says that other rulings based upon the concept of privacy are not at risk. They say, we have stated unequivocally nothing should be misunderstood to cast doubt on precedent that does not concern abortion, OK? That's the majority.
However, Justice Thomas released an opinion and he argued, quote, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this court substantive due process precedence including Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell. Now, those specific cases including privacy in contraception, same sex marriage and same sex relationships.
Do you believe -- again, majority opinion said, explicitly, tried to say, don't worry about those things. He explicitly said, oh, yeah, you should worry. So, are those freedoms in danger now?
TRIBE: They're all in danger, and Justice Thomas is much more candid than Justice Alito. Alito must have his fingers crossed. He can't prevent this decision which approaches the law in a very new way, a way that we haven't really seen for 50 years.
He can't pretend it has no implications for other rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution and some would say don't have deep historical roots. The right to same sex marriage, the right to sexual intimacy between consenting adults. The right, Justice Thomas, for racial intermarriage, not part of our ancient history.
The fact is that this country is based on a whole sea of rights that are not listed in the constitution. The court is now saying we're going to rip the underpinning out from under those rights by eliminating the method that allowed this court, over time, to recognize them, but don't worry. It's not going to affect you. That is nonsense.
BURNETT: And, of course, it's important to note in that sentence I read, he didn't include interracial marriage, he of course is in an interracial marriage, listed the other ones, not the one that pertains to him personally.
CNN learned today, Professor, that there are on going legal debates in the White House on what the executive branch can do now. Phil Mattingly was reporting on some of those.
Could they, for example, use federal resources to fund women's travel across state lines to state that will maintain the right to abortion like California or New York? Can they allow abortion provider to use federal property to perform abortions in a state where it's fully illegal?
I know the White House consulted with you, do you think any of these options are legally doable? TRIBE: I can't give the White House advice on national television.
It's not the way it works. There are things that the federal government can do but they're quite limited.
The main lesson is that the executive branch has very limited authority. It's the legislative branch. It's Congress that now needs to enact a national law, making Roe versus Wade the law of the land. Then, federal resources can be unleashed.
Even without that, there's something the people can do. They can make Roe a voting issue. Roe is on the ballot this November, and with a Congress that believes in making women masters of their own destiny, we can make again, Roe, the law of the land.
BURNETT: Right. Of course, as you point out, this is going to become a huge political issue which we're going to tackle next because now, of course, they do not have those votes in Congress.
Thank you so much, Professor. I always appreciate your time. Thank you for your context and nuance tonight.
And next, as these protests grow across the country tonight, let's show you Chicago, as you can see, crowds gathering thus far, calm and peaceful. But it is with outrage that so many are there tonight. Will Democrats actually get an advantage from this at the voting booth?
Plus, criminal investigations into efforts to overturn the election expanding across the United States. In Washington, D.C., a federal grand jury hearing from the leader of the "Stop the Steal" group. What did he say?
And the first major gun safety bill from Congress in nearly 30 years in now on its way to the White House for President Biden's signature.
BURNETT: And the court's decision to overturn a 50-year-old ruling producing a range of emotions. Among Democrats, there's outrage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): You ain't seen nothing yet. Women are going to control their bodies, no matter how they try to stop us. To hell with the Supreme Court. We will defy them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: On the other side, Republicans celebrated the ruling, including the attorney general of Arkansas who got emotional while certifying the law banning abortions in the state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LESLIE RUTLEDGE (R), ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL: I can't wait for other women across Arkansas to have that same joy of seeing their child's face that maybe they would not have seen had it not been for today's decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And that's the emotion out there as now we see live protests from coast to coast in this country, following the Supreme Court's decision. More than 70 protests happening at this hour, some of them as crowds are gathering as the evening moves on here.
Nick Valencia is in Atlanta. Protesters are now marching through that city.
Nick, what's happening where you are?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, this is an exceptional turnout here in Atlanta for the demonstrations against today's ruling for the Supreme Court. Several hundred people out here.
The organizers for one of the groups that were part of this demonstration estimate nearly 700 people out here, we don't know the exact figure but know these crowds take up several city blocks here in downtown Atlanta. We're just in the last several minutes, they began to march across this downtown area from the steps of the Capitol and what they're upset about not only the ruling but also the implications that it could here on the state.
I'm going to step out of the way here just to give you a sense of just how big this crowd is. They've stopped now but continuing to march, Erin, and as I mentioned, they're set about the potential implications here for the state.
While Georgia is not one of those trigger states or trigger laws as we've seen in some parts of the country, in 2019, the Republican governor here, Brian Kemp passed a bill called the so-called heart beat bill, which would ban abortion around 6 weeks or when heartbeat can be noticed in the fetus. Now, that bill blocked in the lower courts from taking affect, but today's ruling, the fear among the crowd is the legal implications on what could have from so far blocked going into action.
As I mentioned here, there are two demonstrations merged into one, so far very organic and very fluid. They decided to march within the last 20 minutes and they're continuing that march heading back to the state capitol -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Nick, thank you very much.
As you continue to see that crowd grow, you heard Nick saying the estimates there about, 700 people, certainly very many there, obviously, a lot of crowd and see you're seeing that in Washington. You're seeing that in Chicago. You're seeing that in New York.
I want to go to Dana Bash now, co-anchor of "THE STATE OF THE UNION" and our chief political correspondent, along with Bakari Sellers, former Democratic member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, and Alice Stewart, a Republican strategist.
Thanks very much to all.
Dana, some Democrats wanted to pass a law protecting right to abortion. Others are calling for the court to be expanded. None of that's going to happen with the way Congress is right now. Other Republicans wanted to enact law to ban abortions across the whole country after 15 weeks.
So, does any of this have a chance of happening?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT & CO-ANCHOR, "STATE OF THE UNION": Likely not. That's the short answer. But it doesn't mean that the Democrats who are in charge of the House are not going to try, I mean, Nancy Pelosi, house speaker said so specifically when she spoke to reporters today.
What they're going to do is legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade. That is expected to pass the House of Representatives, but like so many pieces of legislation, does not have the votes, the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster in the Senate.
Again, it doesn't mean that they're not going to discuss it. It doesn't mean that there won't be an attempt to bring it on the floor. The Democrats do have control over the schedule in the Senate. So if nothing else, there will be a vote to show where people stand. A lot of talk, probably, about this, but it's very hard to see in talking to my sources any legislative you can get through, anything at this point.
BURNETT: Alice, you have lauded the courts decision as an astounding victory. Those are your words. Tell me why you see that way.
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: For many reasons. I'm glad you showed my friend, Leslie Rutledge, the attorney general of Arkansas. She and others in the pro-life community and social conservatives have been working in fighting for this day for years. And the pro-life community has been facing the battle to overturn Roe v. Wade since it began 50 years ago.
And look, this is an important decision because what this does, it takes the important policy and decision of abortion out of the hands of nine unelected justices, and puts it in the hands of elected representatives in the state.
This is not a ban on abortions across the country. This puts us back in the hands of the people. And we are democracy. We are better served when the policies that impact us are made closer to the people.
And this is an important step for the pro-life community. And they have been out there at the Supreme Court. They've been out there across the country, marching, praying, holding rallies to make sure this decision has been impacted. And this is critically important because no one is speaking up for the
life of the unborn. No one's out there to make sure that their lives are being protected. And one thing that is important to note is the pro-life community is there not to protect the sanctity of life, but also the mothers.
They have programs in place across the country to help them with the important decision of either choosing to keep that child or putting it up for adoption. And there are many programs that already an in place to help the mothers just as much as the unborn children.
BURNETT: All right. So, Bakari, obviously, Alice is making a pro-life argument there, but she's also making an argument that this is more democratic. That is taking away from undemocratically elected justices and putting it to democratic legislators. What's your response to that?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I would have to say that Alice is pretty correct in the transparency of Republican last five decades. I mean, they have not hid the ball and they have not hid their hand about the fact they want to overturn Roe v. Wade. I would push back on the language that they use because many Republicans, particularly in southern legislatures, are not pro-life. I mean, they are pro fetus.
What happens when the child gets here, early childhood education, expanding Medicaid, universal health care, et cetera? I mean, so you just can't adorn yourself which language does not fit the policies you make.
But this is -- this is not about states rights. In fact, that's a slippery slope. It's extremely dangerous. We fought an entire war over that.
We understand what that means for many people. Your last segment actually discussed that. But this is a very slippery slope because we know what is next.
This is about the right to privacy. This is about the right to contraception. This is about the right to have consensual sex with whom you choose. This is about the right for gay marriage.
This is about Loving. This is about Brown versus Board of Education. This is about all of those things.
And so people who want to say that maybe I am losing my mind. We thought that we didn't believe they would overturn Roe v. Wade. And so, yes, I'm not going to call out -- and her colleagues of pro-life, but the pro-fetus movement won today and the Democrats have to get organized.
BURNETT: Alice, can I give you a chance to respond to that? Because Clarence Thomas did say that all of those right around the table. He specifically said the rights of contraceptive, the right to gay marriage, that that specifically should all be on the table today. STEWART: He did say that. But we have to look at with justice -- who
wrote the opinion today -- he said specifically Roe v. Wade was egregiously wrong from the start, and specifically addressing roe v. Wade and the issue of abortion not being in the Constitution.
He said this does not apply to other privacy rights that are guaranteed from the constitution. He specifically stated this only deals with abortion because that has the impact of an unborn human life. He specifically stated that.
So I know that Democrats are going to use this as a rallying cry to threaten Democratic voters, that this Roe v. Wade thing overturned is going to impact other issues. That's not the case. And Alito made that very clear in the ruling that he issue today.
SELLERS: That's not true.
I mean, the fact the gay marriage is not enumerated in the Constitution. Brown v. Board is not enumerated in the Constitution. There are so many things that are not enumerated in the Constitution.
But, Erin, let's just take this one step further. When you think about states rights, and leaving it up to the states, there are certain states now, that if you are raped -- and this is something, respectfully, this is something that I don't really have to go out and be in fear of. But women around the country are.
And if you carry that baby full term, you are at risk in certain state of having a harsher sentence and penalty for aborting your rapist's baby than the rapist.
So, this is what we are talking about we talk about the inequity, when we talk about states rights. When we talk about the absurdity and the lack of autonomy that women are going to have with their body. I just -- I don't understand it.
BURNETT: So, Dana, how we got here though, is really crucial. I understand is a real focus on where we go. But how we got here is really important. Because it is sort of like, do you listen to what people say, right?
So, Clarence Thomas saying those other right there on the table. Alito who wrote the majority opinion isn't. But yet we are here because people believe that those justices said with they're going to do. And then they did do something different.
Senator Susan Collins said today that Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, both of whom she voted to confirm, misled her by this vote to overturn Roe. She said that that vote is inconsistent with what they said in their meetings with her.
You spoke with her in 2018, just after Kavanaugh was confirmed to the court. I want to play for everyone that exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BASH: Are you 100 percent certain, without a doubt, that Brett Kavanaugh will not overturn Roe v. Wade?
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (D-ME): I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh will overturn Roe v. Wade.
BASH: Precedents are overturned all the time.
COLLINS: They aren't overturned all the time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And she was wrong there, Dana.
BASH: She was wrong. And she said, as you mentioned in her statement, that she felt misled by not just Justice Kavanaugh, but also Justice Gorsuch. Joe Manchin, the Democrat from West Virginia, said the same thing. He too voted, yes for Kavanaugh.
You know, it was 6-3. And Bakari is an attorney here, he can tell you more about the sort of inner workings of how the deliberations went. But for 6-3, it wasn't just Kavanaugh. And Amy Coney Barrett is another very important player here. And Susan Collins voted no on her, and yet she was confirmed.
And the reality is, that elections have consequences. And Donald Trump got two bites of the apple, full stop. One bite of the apple with Gorsuch, Democrats will until the end of time, will say was completely stolen for them because Mitch McConnell refused to fill the vacancy left when there was a vacancy months and months and months before the end of Barack Obama's term. But elections have consequences.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. In the elections, of course coming up now we'll have a very powerful consequence for what comes next. And we are continuing to monitor the growing protest across the country this evening.
I will show you live pictures right now. As you see me speaking, that is St. Louis.
Plus, the leader of the "Stop the Steal" group testifying for four hours, four hours! How damaging, how significant can this the former President Trump?
Plus, Congress passes the most significant gun reform in nearly 30 years. Tonight, it's headed to the White House.
BURNETT: Protests across the nation mounting tonight after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. These are large gatherings and right now we're showing you Chicago and St. Louis. It is also, of course, in many cities across the country, Washington, D.C. among them.
I want to show you the scene outside the Supreme Court right now. The crowd there has been growing throughout the day. The impact of today's 5-4 ruling already being felt across the nation. As abortion providers in a number of states literally just immediately stop providing the service.
So, we're going to continue to walk through the process here as the minutes click by on this Friday evening.
In other news tonight, as we watch those criminal investigations into team Trump's effort to overturn the election are intensifying tonight.
So, we can tell you about Georgia on news today. CNN learning that Fulton County district attorney is scrutinizing Rudy Giuliani's meeting with state lawmakers there where he pushed the baseless claims of fraud.
In Arizona, Republican Party chair Kelly Ward and her husband both subpoenaed as part of the DOJ's probe into fake slates of electors in seven swing states the Trump lost.
And in Washington, D.C., Ali Alexander, a leader of the "Stop the Steal" group testified before a federal grand jury.
Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.
And, Evan, I want to start there with Ali Alexander.
Obviously, he'd been a prominent, invisible figure leave digging into January 6. How important is he in the DOJ case? And what do you know about his testimony today?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, he is the highest profile person who -- in this circle associated with the Trump rallies, who has appeared before this grand journey, Erin. And so, the fact that he came in today, our families caught him going into the courthouse today. And he spent about four hours testifying to the grand jury that is investigating the Capitol riot.
It tells us that they are moving ahead trying to get to the bottom of whether there was any crime committed in the financing of these rallies. And whether there's any connection with what happened on January 6th.
As you pointed out, Alexander is a big deal for the Trump -- in the effort to bring attention to what Trump said was fraud after the elections. And so, he has already turned over thousands of documents to the House Select Committee that is doing it separate investigation. And he has ties to all kinds of people, including people inside the campaign, people who are inside the White House, the presidents entire family.
So, he is a very important witness for this investigation.
[19:45:01] BURNETT: Well, it's important as you say. You got four hours of testimony and thousands of documents handed over to the committee on pretty much all avenues here. He is now playing a crucial role.
All right. Thanks very much to Evan Perez providing other details.
And I want to go now to Elliot Williams, former deputy assistant attorney general.
Elliot, to put Evan's reporting in context, Ali Alexander, the first -- the first known high-profile witness to testify as part of the DOJ criminal probe, okay? And Evan's reporting, he spent four hours behind closed doors testifying. That's not a -- that's not a quick in and out, okay?
So what does that say to you about, you know, what they got, how much was shared, how significant this could be for Trump?
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, it's significant, Erin, in that if there's anything we learned over the last several weeks of watching hearings about January 6, it didn't start that morning and there was a sustained effort, starting months before to plan those events. Ali Alexander can help fill in the gaps in coordination between different groups planning these rallies and perhaps, maybe, coordination with people in the former president's orbit.
If you look at the kinds of charges that are coming out of this hearing, it's not just breaking the walls of the Capitol building it's, you know, seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct congressional proceedings. And so, these are long-running crimes that he can help fill in.
BURNETT: So, you know, look, there's a lot of subpoenas dropping. There was the monumental, you know, wave of the Department of Justice employee Jeffrey Clark that Trump wanted to take over as acting attorney general, who was doing his bidding. And I just mentioned a moment ago, Kelly Ward, the Arizona Republican chair and her husband. They both were issued subpoenas we now know, as part of the DOJ probe into the fake elector push that was coming out of Trump's inner circle.
So when you see this, more subpoenas coming out about that, how do you think the fake elector scheme is to the criminal investigation at the DOJ right now?
WILLIAMS: And tying to the point I made a little bit earlier, Erin, about the advance planning that went into January 6, the fake elector scheme is at the center of that, because you don't have the violence on January 6th without those fake electors and without the -- without that scheme to send fake electors to Washington. So, yeah, that is very significant.
And also, as evidence, this fake elector thing is valuable because it involves peoples' signatures and names on them, so there's plenty more to come on the fake elector scheme.
BURNETT: Elliot, thank you very much for your context.
And next, Congress passing the first bipartisan gun safety legislation in decades. What the bill actually does.
Plus, if you want to live, leave. That is the dire warning tonight from the mayor of a city in southern Ukraine.
BURNETT: President Biden expected to sign a historic gun bill into law as soon as it reaches his desk. After nearly 30 years of inaction, Congress is doing something about gun violence. Fourteen Republicans joining Democrats to pass the legislation. In the House, 15 Republicans joined Democrats in the Senate to pass it.
Jeremy Diamond is OUTFRONT.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: On this vote, the yeas are 234. The nays are 193. The motion is adopted.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After decades of inaction, it was the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that finally broke the congressional log jam.
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): If your answer is as the slaughter increases, as our kids run for their lives, we do nothing. What are we doing? Why are you here?
DIAMOND: Exactly one month after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb elementary school, tonight Congress sending the first gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years to the president's desk. Fifteen Republicans in the Senate and 14 in the House voting yes, alongside all Democrats.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): No parent should ever fear for the safety of their child at school. And no child should be afraid to go to school in fear of their safety. And this legislation responds to that.
MURPHY: This bill is a compromise. It doesn't do everything I want. But what we are doing will save thousands of lives without violating anyone's Second Amendment rights.
DIAMOND: The bill expands background checks for 18 to 21-year-olds, closes the boyfriend loophole by barring those convicted of domestic violence against a non-spouse from owning a gun, and authorizes $750 million to incentivize state red flag laws, which allow police to temporarily confiscate guns from those found to be at risk to themselves or others.
The bill also includes billions in funding for school safety and mental health programs, and cracks down on unregistered firearms dealers and so-called straw purchasers who buy guns for others. President Biden praised lawmakers for addressing the scourge of gun
violence and said kids in schools and communities will be safer because of it.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We need to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
DIAMOND: But the bill falls well short of Biden's call to action early this month.
BIDEN: If we can't ban assault weapons, then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21.
DIAMOND: That proposal and others including background checks and liability protections for gun manufacturers, a bridge too far for Republicans. With six of the nine deadliest mass shootings since 2019 of those 21 and younger, including those in Buffalo and Uvalde, lawmakers agreed to expand background checks for that age group, giving authorities up to ten days to review juvenile and mental health records.
BURNETT: So, Jeremy, the bill passed despite President Biden having, well, he appeared to say on the sidelines there was that a lot of reporting about it. It certainly wasn't public.
How involved was he in getting this passed?
DIAMOND: Yeah, and that was largely by design, Erin. Listen, President Biden, we saw him give that primetime address, using his bully pulpit to stress the urgency of action. But largely, he did indeed stay on the sidelines.
Senator Chris Murphy, one of the lead Democratic negotiators, he said that he did regularly stay in touch with the president.
He used him as a sounding board and the president gave him advice with how to proceed with this congressional negotiations. But, ultimately, like Senator Murphy said, the Senate needed to do this on its own and he and other lawmakers were grateful that they were able to get space from President Biden to do this themselves -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Jeremy, thank you very much.
And next, Ukrainians pulling back from a key city in what was one of the last holdout in a critical region.
BURNETT: Tonight dire warning. The mayor of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine urging residents to leave in order to stay alive. This is more than 120,000 people remain trapped without water in the utterly destroyed city of Mariupol, according to its now exiled mayor. This all happens as Ukrainian forces are starting to pull back from
the key city of Severodonetsk, which is one of the last major holdouts for Ukraine in the Luhansk region of Donbas.
But even amidst what frankly has been a lot of setbacks and loss, Ukrainian soldiers fight on.
You've seen Volodymyr Demchenko on this show fighting on the front lines. And this week, he's managed to find some joy amidst the losses. He posted a picture of what he called puppy therapy. Those desperately needed moments for the soldiers in Ukraine who are fighting for their country and its liberty tonight.
Thanks so much for joining us. Don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT any time on CNN Go.
"AC360" begins right now.