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Erin Burnett Outfront
Attorney General: "No Person," Not Even Trump, "Is Above The Law"; January 6 Panel Preps For Hearing Tomorrow On Trump's January 6 Inaction; DOJ Rests Case Against Steve Bannon On Day 3 Of Trial; Giuliani Ordered To Testify In Georgia's Trump Election Probe; CNN Gets Inside Look At Russia's Filtration Process; Federal Probe Into Hunter Biden Reaches Critical Juncture; Doc Who Treated 10-Year-Old Rape Victim Takes Extra Security Measures; Rare War Temperatures Trigger Troubling Ice Melt In Greenland. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 20, 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, the attorney general in his strongest comments yet about whether he'll charge Donald Trump, as we are getting new details about tomorrow's primetime January 6th committee hearing.
And a story you will see only OUTFRONT. Tonight, an exclusive look at Russia's filtration process. Ukrainians rounded up and filtered before being bused to camps. While those suspected of posing a threat don't make it through.
And 6 billion tons of water from melting ice. That's what Northern Greenland is facing every day during this unprecedented global heat wave. The images are incredible, and we'll take you there live.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
And we begin OUTFRONT tonight with Garland's clearest signal yet, the attorney general going further than he's ever gone when ask whether he will charge Donald Trump for trying to overturn the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: No person is above the law in this country. Nothing stops us --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even a former president?
GARLAND: No, I don't know how to -- let me say that again. No person is above the law in this country. I can't say it any more clearly than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: You can't say it any more clearly than that. He said it. No one is above the law. It is a crucial statement, because, of course, Garland is in charge of the big decision. It is his Justice Department that will ultimately decide whether to prosecute Trump.
And the case against the former president, so far laid out by the January 6th select committee, which is gearing up for tomorrow, highly anticipated primetime hearing, has focused. And now we're going to hear it's the crucial moments, the 187 minutes that it took Trump to act as a violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol.
The committee is expected to show what Trump was and was not doing, relying on testimony from those inside the White House with the president, along with evidence, which they say will show Trump was fully briefed, he was well aware of the violence erupting in real time.
Here is how committee member Jamie Raskin describes tomorrow night's hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Our hearing next week will be a profound moment of reckoning for America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: A profound moment of reckoning. The witnesses scheduled to appear at that final hearing for now are former Trump deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and former deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews. Now, both were in the White House during the insurrection. Both resigned shortly thereafter.
Matthews, so far we know, behind closed doors testified the White House knew the Capitol was under attack, and knew that Trump needed to say something.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH MATTHEWS, FORMER TRUP WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: You know, we had all talked about at that point about how it was bad and the, you know, the situation was getting out of hand. And I know Ben Williamson and I were conferring and we thought that the president needed to tweet something and tweet something immediately.
Then I remember getting a notification on my phone, and I was sitting in a room with Roma and Ben. We all got a notification, so we knew it was a tweet from the president. We looked down and it was a tweet about Mike Pence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So we're going to hear crucial details from Sarah Matthews tomorrow.
And as for Pottinger, Trump's former deputy national security adviser, well, ABC's Jonathan Karl reported that Pottinger raced to the Oval Office when he learned that the National Guard was not at the Capitol as it was under attack. Here's what Karl writes in his book, quote: He could see Trump wasn't
there. He was still in his private dining room watching television, while the Capitol was been ransacked by his supporters. As Pottinger stood there in disbelief, other senior officials came in and out, including White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy and senior adviser to Mike Pence. They all looked anguished. But nobody could tell him what was going on and why President Trump wasn't doing anything to stop the rioting.
The word "anguish", obviously, stands out so much now.
Manu Raju is OUTFRONT live on Capitol Hill tonight.
So, Manu, first, what more do you know about what the committee is going to put forth tomorrow?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it's going to be a minute by minute recount of what happened from that time on the afternoon of January 6th from 1:10 p.m. when Trump spoke at the ellipse from when he went back to the Capitol -- when the Capitol came under attack, until 4:17 p.m.
That's, of course, when Trump tweeted out a video, telling his supporters to leave the Capitol.
What happened in that time period? The amount of pressure that he was under to say something, including we'll see videotaped testimony undoubtedly from Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, Cassidy Hutchinson, that White House aide, recall testified that Cipollone wanted to confront the president and urged the president to say something directly to his supporters. What did Cipollone say to the committee? We will potentially learn that tomorrow.
And also, we'll also get a sense from the committee members themselves. The chairman of the committee, Bennie Thompson, will be chairing this committee remotely. He has COVID, and that's how he will attend tomorrow's hearing, doing it virtually.
But like every other hearing, Erin, they've been promising new details about these -- about some of the things they revealed so far, and suggesting here that they will tell us something we have not known about why Donald Trump did not act, the pressure he was under to say something, and ultimately how he got to the point of telling his supporters to leave 187 minutes later.
BURNETT: So, you know, this minute by minute, we're going to hear. The context, of course, Manu, is that threats to U.S. elections are very much in the present. And, today, a bipartisan group of senators I know reached a deal that would make it harder to overturn elections in the future.
Obviously, bipartisan, right? Something that's significant. And it is the most significant response by Congress so far to what Trump did. What do you know about it? RAJU: Yeah, it is a significant piece of legislation. It had a
serious chance of becoming law, and it is a clearer response to the efforts by Donald Trump to try to overturn the election. It would make it impossible for a vice president who is presiding over an election to simply overturn the election results, which Donald Trump pressured Mike Pence to disregard state certified electoral results and it would make it harder for members of Congress themselves to object to states and force votes on state certified election results that ultimately would force them to throw out those election results.
And, Erin, there is a response here to the fake electors issue that we have learned Trump allies tried to push, a number of states that are going to make it impossible to do just that.
RAJU: But it still has to go through the legislative process and get the votes to become law sometime this year -- Erin.
BURNETT: Manu, thank you very much.
And I want to go now to Elie Honig, our senior legal analyst and former assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, along with Olivia Troye, former homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to the vice president, Mike Pence.
Olivia, let me start with you because you know both Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Mathews personally and you're obviously very familiar with the roles they played in the Trump administration, access that they had directly to the president.
How important is their testimony tomorrow?
OLIVIA TROYE, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY & COUNTERTERRORISM ADVISER TO VP MIKE PENCE: It's critical. And I think that they are going to share some firsthand accounts of what they witnessed in the West Wing as this was going on, on January 6th.
Look, these are two very credible, firsthand witnesses. These are very loyal, I would say very loyal to the Trump administration, and also very loyal to public service.
You are talking about someone -- Sarah Matthews I know took great pride in her role. And Matt Pottinger I worked with closely, because we were working national security issues together. Matt Pottinger, a former marine, he served in a very long tenure in the National Security Council during the Trump administration on China issues.
And so, you know, I can only imagine the thoughts and the feelings that they probably must have been experiencing on that day, and witnessing and the conversations that they had. And I think, you know, one thing I'll be incredibly interested to see is, whether Matt Pottinger sheds any light on what was happening in terms of calls for the National Guard, the inaction that happened there for a long period of time. What was weighing on him as the deputy national security adviser in that role in the White House to Donald Trump? BURNETT: And, Elie, the committee has said the theme tomorrow is
going to be the dereliction of duty, right, that under all that pressure and that moment of anguish, as Jonathan Karl wrote, the president did nothing. Trump did nothing, right? That is the reality. He did nothing while the Capitol was being attacked.
I'm saying this separate of anything else they have shown about what he knew was going to happen. It's just a simple fact that while it was happening, he did nothing.
Is it a crime, Elie, to do nothing?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So, Erin, on its own, doing nothing, dereliction of duty is not a crime. It may well be unpatriotic, dangerous, traitorous, impeachable, but without more, it's not a crime.
But here's why it's important. It could provide crucial evidence of criminal intent. So here's what I mean. If the prosecution's theory is Donald Trump's ultimate goal here was to obstruct Congress, was to defraud the United States of a fair election, two of the federal crimes that could be at issue here, this could be the proof that that's exactly what he wanted.
If the proof is, he saw what was happening at the Capitol, everyone was telling you have to do something and he refused, then a prosecutor is going to argue that's the best possible evidence you could have of his intent to steal the election and to block Congress.
BURNETT: Right. So, it becomes a crucial linchpin in that whole argument.
Olivia, you know, these witnesses that you know well, their lives could change tomorrow. You have been concerned about the security of the witnesses that have appeared before the committee. You helped prepare Pottinger, Matthews and others for what comes next, for their lives, for their security.
Tell me about that.
TROYE: Look, I especially live this. It's something I'm very -- you know, I have experienced in my own life for myself and my family. Alyssa Farrah Griffin who came forward has also experienced this. And so has Cassidy Hutchinson and others who testified during these hearings.
And I think my intent is really to provide that support and safety net. It is, you know, all these people are doing is telling the truth. That is what they're doing. They are just stating facts, based on the evidence that they saw, and they're relaying them to the American people during these days.
And their lives will change. There will be threats to their lives. Their families will possibly be harassed. I mean, it's really just saying if you need the resources or you need allies, we are here and you have a support network and a system behind you.
BURNETT: Elie, as this hearing happens, the DOJ is watching. And you have been critical of the DOJ investigation, particularly the lack of speed with which it has proceeded, right, to summarize.
Today, Attorney General Merrick Garland, you know, warned a lot of the conversations about the Justice Department's actions is speculation, saying he's not going to talk about it, but said no one is above the law and he said it clearly, knowing the implications of that.
What's your response to what you heard today?
HONIG: Well, it's good to hear Merrick Garland say no one is above the law. That certainly does not mean he's going to do anything, but it means he doesn't regard anyone as out of bounds, which is correct and proper.
And is there an element of speculation? Sure. But given the fact that we have here on the ground -- the lack of any subpoena, the lack of search warrants, then I think it's reasonable to conclude, here we are 18 months out, they are in no position to indict Donald Trump anytime soon. If they do, it's not going to be into well next year, 2023.
If they are looking at a trial, that's going to be 2024. The political implications and danger of that I think are obvious. And if you want a contrast, look down to Georgia. Look at the Fulton County D.A.
We have been seeing news every day, things like subpoenas, witness interviews, target letters, those are things we generally tend to learn about. We have been learning about those day by day from Georgia. They are clearly moving at a fast pace.
DOJ, we're not seeing the same indicators.
BURNETT: No. And we're going to talk about Georgia in a moment.
But, Olivia, I wanted to ask you about something the former president just did. The Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Trump him called last week as part of a new effort to decertify that state's election results. Trump is not stopping.
Today on the day of his ex-wife's funeral, a "New York Post" columnist Cindy Adams printed a conversation with him in which he said, look, let's just get through this awful, painful experience and after this, just remember, just remember what I'm telling you, 78 is not old.
Olivia, that's the age he would be running for re-election. I mean, it's an extremely clear signal of where he's going.
TROYE: It absolutely is. He is doubling down and sending a signal that he plans to run. That phone call to that Wisconsin legislator, we're almost two years post the 2020 election. And he's still obsessively trying to overturn this election, that Republicans actually as a whole are really trying to move past from that moment because they know it's damaging to the party, it's damaging potentially for upcoming elections. But I think that's also him showing that he's worried, that these
hearings, they are eroding the confidence that people have in him, and I think he knows that they've been damaging. And so, this is his way of doubling down on this narrative that continues to embolden this dangerous movement of people across the country who continue to behave and engage in political violence, and local communities, as a result of the lies they've been told by the former president.
BURNETT: Olivia, Elie, thank you both.
And next, Steve Bannon's old social media posts are now coming back, as the prosecution in his criminal case rests.
And an OUTFRONT exclusive tonight. You are going to go and see inside Russia's filtration process that Ukrainians, forced from their homes, must go through. And saying the right thing could be a matter of life and death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're not angry at the Russians at all?
These are provocative questions. But now I'm here, so please don't press me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Please don't press me.
And the Indiana doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim, forced to take extra security measures tonight. Her attorney is OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Tonight, federal prosecutors in the Steve Bannon trial resting their case after just two days of witness testimony. Bannon is charged with two counts of contempt for refusing to comply with the subpoena from the January 6th committee. He is facing jail time if found guilty.
I want to go to Katelyn Polantz who's been inside the courtroom for this trial ever since it started.
So, Katelyn, prosecutors are showing that the reality Bannon was warned again, and again, and again about the deadlines to comply with the committee subpoena. So what is his defense?
KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're trying to grasp it anything they could with these witnesses today. There were times in court today where his defense team tried to ask about executive privilege, they didn't get that far on it, other excuses Bannon could've made.
[19:20:00] They even try to inject a little bit of politics into the proceedings today. They asked a House Select Committee attorney and staffer about her history working for Democrats in the House. They also even asked about her belonging to the same book club as one of the prosecutors on that case, on this particular case, both those women have not participated in this book club for a year but it was something that came up in testimony today.
But at the end of the day, as you say, prosecutors had an extensive paper trail of the house warning Bannon's team the deadline that he had missed, that they were not offering him extensions. He was not even asking for extensions for subpoenas themselves. And so, that is how that really played out today.
And at the end of the day, at the very end, we heard an FBI agent talk about some of Bannon's own social media posts saying he wasn't going to comply with the committee. So that is what we saw throughout the entirety of the government's case. And where we landed at the end of the day when they arrested.
BURNETT: So, you know, Katelyn, you've been there every minute, but it's been intense. But it hasn't been a lot of days, right? This trial has moved incredibly quickly, two days of witness testimony, federal prosecutors rest. How soon do you think this could wrap up?
POLANTZ: Well, I can't really predict that because court can be really unpredictable. But the prosecution did rests a day. There wasn't a lot of additional leeway that they gave. They kept their case very tight as they said they would.
But tomorrow at 10:30, we are going to be back again, and there are three questions right now. Does the defense put on the case? How many witnesses do they call? And then, finally, to Steve Bannon himself take the stand to testify his own defense?
He was asked this leaving court today, he wouldn't say whether or not he would. But if the defense case is short, which it could be, sometimes defense teams don't put on any case. It is possible that this case could go to a jury before the house committee meets tomorrow night in their public hearing at 8:00 p.m.
BURNETT: Wow, talk about speed. It's almost like set a record.
All right. Katelyn, thank you very much.
Of course, Katelyn is in that courtroom every day.
And I want to go to Ty Cobb, now former Trump White House lawyer.
So, Ty, I just want to start with Katelyn's reporting on Steve Bannon's criminal trial. The prosecution has rested its case. Obviously, you know Bannon from your time in the Trump White House. What do you make of the trial so far?
TY COBB, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: I think it's brilliantly done by the federal prosecutors involved. This is a very simple case, as they told the court, and the world in the pretrial pleadings. There really is only one issue -- or two issues. Did he get the subpoena? And did he show up? And he didn't.
I will say, the interesting thing to me for tomorrow, is does Bannon testify? In my experience, the only two people I know who would testify in this trial under the circumstances, if it was against them, are Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. And if Bannon testifies, I am assured that it will be a spectacle.
BURNETT: Well, right. And I guess --
COBB: But I don't believe he will -- I don't believe he will testify.
BURNETT: You don't believe -- I'm wondering, though, he said I will testify to the committee as long as it's public. Will he try to use this as sort of a grandstand to have that public platform?
COBB: I don't think he meant that. I think that was part of his gambit, of, you know, trying to associate himself with what was an executive privilege claim with the president.
COBB: But, it could happen. He would be -- he would be really stupid to take a nonexistent executive privilege claim with the president.
But with Steve Bannon, anything can happen. He would be -- he would be really stupid to take the stand.
BURNETT: So speaking of testifying, Rudy Giuliani has been ordered, Ty, to testify before that special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, that's investigating Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.
Now, you told me that, you know, Trump has got to be concerned about the evidence that the Fulton County D.A. has, including this line from the crucial call between Trump and Georgia's secretary of state.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: All I want to do is this, I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is --
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, Ty, where are you on this right now? (AUDIO GAP) in the Georgia criminal investigation?
COBB: I definitely do. I believe, you know, that remarkable statement, the then Secretary of State Raffensperger, now gubernatorial -- or excuse me, now running for his second term, I think that was -- that was a stunning comment for a president to make to somebody in the election process.
Do they have enough beyond that? They're going to show some association with the former president, and the efforts to get the phony electors involved. But that may well exist.
As I understand it, those electors who were all given target letters today, as I understand it, you know, some were cooperating with the -- with the investigation before they received the target letters, the target letters themselves may be an implicit threat to try to work out cooperation agreements. If so, I expect it's highly possible they want more will (ph) given the previous cooperation.
On the other hand, it could send that investigation down a rabbit hole, because just as in the United States Congress, in the Georgia legislature, there is a speech and debate protection clause.
BURNETT: And that just means it can go on and on.
COBB: Yeah. I think that they could -- if they stuck together, they could all litigate that up in through the Georgia Supreme Court and perhaps higher, as to whether or not it's permissible to prosecute him or for them to be targeted, given the protection that they have.
So I think -- and coupled with her indication that she may want to seek evidence from the former president, which also raises the specter of substantial delays, I think she may be imposing a couple of speed bumps on herself that she -- that she really doesn't need.
But, you know, heretofore, and given the number of witnesses they have spoken to, which is I understand it, is in excess of 50, it was full speed ahead. I don't think she has any problem shifting back into the fast plane if she chooses to do so.
BURNETT: That's pretty amazing. Fani Willis, you know, the D.A., though. So much -- so much honor. Thank you very much, Ty Cobb.
And next, we're going to take you to Russia --
COBB: My pleasure. Thank you.
BURNETT: You too -- where you'll see for the first time, Russia's filtration process for the Ukrainians, where the ones who are perceived as threats don't make it through. This is an incredible report.
Plus, we are live in Greenland tonight. We are in just three days, just three, days enough ice melted to fill 7.2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.
BURNETT: Tonight, a story you will see only OUTFRONT. We are getting a look inside Russia's filtration process, where Ukrainians are rounded up and filtered before being bused to camps and forced to say goodbye to the homes, the lives that they had in Ukraine.
Matthew Chance is OUTFRONT. I do want to warn you, that some of the images in this exclusive reporting may be disturbing. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was maimed, as Russian forces entered his Ukrainian home. His foot, shot to pieces, and his wife killed, he says, before his eyes.
But now across the border in Russia, Alexey insists Ukraine, not Moscow, is to blame for his suffering.
Was it the Russian army that did this?
The Russians were just entering the city. It was Ukrainian troops who shot at us as we collected drinking water, he says. No criticism of Russia's military here, not from Alexey, nor from the other Ukrainian refugees we were given exclusive access to on Russian soil.
There's a lot of people here from Mariupol. We're just across the border from that city here on Russian territory. We've been brought here to this big old gymnasium with the basketball courts, which is filled with a couple hundred beds to cater for the hundreds of refugees that are still months after this conflict began pouring across the border into Russian territory. They're given food. They're given medical attention, and despite the fact that it's very hot outside, you know, because it's the middle of the summer, they're getting some rest from the ordeal they have gone through.
It's also the first opportunity that we have to speak to these people about the sometimes horrific experiences that they have had back across the border in the war zone.
But don't expect them to describe that ordeal. Human rights groups say Ukrainians in Russian occupied areas are rounded up and filtered before being bused to camps like these. Although suspected of posing a threat, don't even make it through. Saying the right thing here is a matter of survival, especially for those who have already lost loved ones.
Like this refugee, who asked not to be named.
You're not angry at the Russians for that?
These are provocative questions. But now I'm here, so please don't press me. I didn't see who killed my relatives, he says. As far as I'm concerned, they're just another casualty of this conflict.
But in Russia, the freedom to speak out is a casualty, too. While we traveled away from Taganrog, outside of the country to neighboring Estonia, the Baltic port of Tallinn, boarding this giant passenger ferry turned shelter for refugees from Ukraine.
We're in these cramped cabins below decks, in these corridors in the bowels of the ship that now house more than 1,700 Ukrainian refugees, many of whom who have escaped directly from Russia and its the filtration camps. At least people can speak freely and without fear about their experience.
Better than Mariupol, exactly.
Daniil told me how he bluffed his way through Russia's filtration system by pretending he wanted to make Russia his permanent home.
They asked, for instance, if I knew Vladimir Putin's birthday, because they said he is your president now. I told them I didn't, but I promised to learn it, and they let me through, he says.
Others like Stanislav and Vitalina had a much tougher time. Transported from their homes like cattle, they said, in freezing trucks to filtration centers. She says she had to leave her elderly father behind, after he was shot and injured by a Russian soldier.
It filled her with hatred, she tells me, which she had to hide to pass through Russia. Now she's left with a desperate sadness.
We really want to go home, she sobs. I can't tell you how much. Even though through the tears, she admits that home may already be lost.
BURNETT: Matthew, it's hard to watch that and just to even try to imagine. We know what she went through, what some of those other people went through with the horrible suffering.
That Ukrainian man in the beginning of your report, you know, so desperately injured as Russian forces entered his home. He saw his own wife killed. And now insisting Ukraine is to blame and doesn't have a negative word to say about Russia.
Is this common among the Ukrainians? You know, we have tens of thousands of them who were sent to Russia. Is this common among them to have this sentiment?
CHANCE: Well, not among the ones who are outside of Russia. But as you saw, the ones that we spoke to on Russian soil were incredibly reluctant to say anything negative at all about what happened to their hometown. Remember, many came from Mariupol in which tens of thousands of people have been killed, reportedly, as a result of the fighting that's been taking place there.
But these are survivors. These are people who have gone through the filtration system and popped out in Russia, and so they know what to say to survive. As I said, saying the right thing is literally a matter of survival in circumstances like that because they know what the filtration camps of what the Russians can do. People are abused there. They're tortured, beaten. People are potentially going to human rights groups killed, as well, if they say the wrong thing. And these people are all very, very mindful of that threat that hangs over them, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Matthew Chance, thank you so much. Such a dark and terrifying word, filtration. And next, the federal investigation into Hunter Biden has reached a
crucial juncture. CNN learns investigators are now weighing possible criminal charges against the president of the United States' son.
Plus, the doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim laying the ground work to take legal action.
BURNETT: Tonight, CNN is first to report the federal investigation into Hunter Biden's business activities has reached a critical juncture. Sources say investigators are now weighing possible charges. No decision has been made, and no final decision, but possible charges.
Prosecutors are looking at Justice Department guidelines about the timing of politically sensitive cases close to an election.
CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.
So, Evan, let's start with how close you think we could be to a decision from the Department of Justice here, days, months, weeks away?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Justice Department guidelines, Erin, say that you have to generally stay out of -- away from being close to an election, to take any steps like major investigative steps like serving warrants and bringing charges obviously. So you talk to former prosecutors, current officials, they say generally it's about 60 days. That puts us within weeks of a crucial kind of decision making point.
Now, we don't know what they're going to do. We also don't know whether they might decide to wait until after the election.
But we know this is a discussion that's being had by prosecutors in Delaware. This is an investigation that's going back to 2018. It's run by David Weiss, who was a U.S. attorney appointed by former President Trump, and kept on to run this investigation specifically.
And so, those discussions are happening between those prosecutors and officials at Main Justice, the headquarters of the Justice Department in Washington. They're going to have to make a decision whether to go forward with this.
BURNETT: Right. Of course, obviously, lots of possible implications for other charges when you're looking at the other case with the former President Trump.
But when it comes to Hunter Biden, if he does, Evan, face any charges, what could they be?
PEREZ: We're looking -- we know that this was a pretty broad investigation. It looked at a lot of different things of Hunter Biden's business activities. In the end, it's largely looking at this point, Erin, like they're going to -- they're looking at bringing tax charges, as well as false statements related to a gun that Hunter Biden bought during a time that he has now said he was struggling with drug addiction, which would have made him essentially, you know, that he could not have been able to qualify to buy that firearm.
So those are what the charges that are possible at this point. Again, no decision has been made. And, you know, the -- I should note that he said he did nothing wrong. He's not been charged with anything. So that's where the investigation stands at this point.
BURNETT: Yeah, obviously, this is a very crucial moment, as you say, a critical juncture.
Evan Perez, thank you so much breaking that story first for us.
And next, Indiana's attorney general made this claim about the doctor who treated a 10-year-old rape victim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TODD ROKITA (R), INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL: We have this abortion activist, acting as a doctor, with a history of failing to report.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But there is no evidence of that claim. The doctor's attorney is my guest.
And we'll take you live to Greenland tonight where there is enough ice melting right now, as I'm speaking, to flood the entire state of West Virginia under a foot of water.
BURNETT: Tonight, the Indiana doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim taking extra security measures as she prepares to take legal action.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard treated the victim after the victim was forced to cross state lines due to an Ohio strict abortion law.
The doctor is now laying the groundwork for a defamation suit against the Indiana attorney general, who made this baseless claim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROKITA: We have this abortion activist acting as a doctor with a history of failing to report. We are getting the information. We're getting the evidence as we speak. We are going to fight this to the end, including looking at her licensure if she failed to report. In Indiana, it is a crime for -- to not report, intentionally not report.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: These accusations about not reporting appear to be completely fabricated. Documents obtained by CNN show Dr. Bernard did, in fact, report the procedure as required by law.
Stories have become a flash point in the abortion debate, with Republicans, initially, very loudly, clearly questioning whether that ten-year-old girl even existed. Congressman Jim Jordan tweeting about the report, quote: Another lie. Anyone surprised?
Another lie. Well, there is a suspect now in custody. Police say he has admitted to raping the ten year old.
OUTFRONT now, Kathleen Delaney, attorney for Dr. Bernard.
And I appreciate your time, again, Kathleen. So, when you're going to take the next legal step against the Attorney General Todd Rokita?
KATHLEEN DELANEY, ATTORNEY FOR DR. CAITLIN BERNARD, OBSTETRICIAN WHO TREATED 10-YEAR-OLD GIRL: Well, unlike Attorney General Rokita, we are not going to rush to judgment or act rationally. We are doing our homework, gathering are facts and doing the legal research necessary before we file a case in court.
Moreover, we have to wait 90 days from yesterday's toward filing before we are allowed to file the type of case that we are talking about. So, we are few months away, at least.
BURNETT: And you are putting the time to do it right.
But Attorney General Rokita said, right, he said he is pursuing an investigation into Dr. Bernard saying that she -- you know, didn't report. Obviously, that's not true in the case of the 10-year-old girl. He went on further, though, to claim that she has a history of failing to report. What is he talking about?
DELANEY: Well, that, again, is another unsubstantiated claim. Dr. Bernard has never been cited for late report. She's never been disciplined for that report and she has a completely clean license with the state of Indiana. And if he had done his homework, he would know that.
BURNETT: Well, his attorney general of the state. When we think before he made an allegation on national television, he would just check some basic facts. I find it -- it's pretty shocking. The facts are there.
There has been an incredible amount of support from around the country for Dr. Bernard, $350,000 raised through GoFundMe, Kathleen.
And here is one of her colleagues speaking out earlier this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. TRACEY WILKINSON, FRIEND OF DR. BERNARD: Dr. Bernard is amazingly strong. And I will tell you that she has been a fierce advocate in reproductive health for years. This is not new for her. This is not only space for her. Just as last week is the first time I personally, have been nervous for her safety.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: She is not alone, I know, Kathleen, Dr. Bernard has had to hire security in recent days. She has faced threats before, we just learned. Someone had threatened to kidnap her child. She had to temporarily stop providing services during that time.
I mean, this is terrifying to contemplate. How is she doing?
DELANEY: She is a very strong, caring and compassionate doctor. And she is doing the best she can in difficult circumstances. And she has been bolstered by the incredible support from people all across the country and even the world, including a group of OB/GYN doctors, including a group of lawyers and legal professionals.
The former dean of my law school wrote a disciplinary complaint and filed it against Mr. Rokita. There are so many lawyers who are outraged because he's not just a politician, he's also a lawyer and he's subject to a bar code of ethics. And his legal license depends on his compliance with ethics rules.
So, he's made this a bigger issue than it needed to be. We just want him to stop bad-mouthing Dr. Bernard and let her do the work that she has been trying to do and do it properly, like she has always done.
BURNETT: That's right.
Thank you very much, Kathleen. I appreciate your time tonight.
DELANEY: Thank you for having me, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, we are live in Greenland where unusually warm temperatures here causing six billion tons of water to melt every day.
BURNETT: Tonight. 7.2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools full of water. That is how much ice melted in color Greenland in just three days this week, during the unprecedented global heat wave. It's enough to cover the entire state of West Virginia with a foot of water.
Rene Marsh is OUTFRONT in Greenland.
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENTE (voice-over): Off the coast of northwest Greenland, the water is perfectly still, but paddling on icebergs indicate a transformation is underway.
That's the sound of rapid melting, triggered by a few days of unusually warm temperatures. During CNN's first three days in Northern Greenland, the temperature topped out nearly ten degrees higher than normal.
It's days like today, warm enough to wear short sleeves, near 60 degrees in Greenland. It is a high melt day when it is this unusually warm. It is also deeply concerning for scientists.
KUTALMIS SAYLAM, RESEARCH SCIENTIST, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN: It definitely worries me. We are 67 latitude here on top of the world, in North Pole. And just yesterday, not today, but yesterday, we could wander around in our T-shirts. That was not really expected.
ASLAK GRINSTED, CLIMATE SCIENTIST, NIELS BOHR INSTITUTE: It's basically at the melting point today. As you can see now to make snowballs.
MARSH: At a research site in northeast Greenland, near melt conditions of nearly 9,000 feet made what is usually a frozen landing strip inoperable.
GRINSTED: They have a problem when it is this soft as the surface is now.
MARSH: Climate scientists Aslak Grinsted tweeting: Mini heat wave, negative 1.6 degrees Celsius in the middle of the Greenland ice sheet. Our planned planes are postponed because our skiway is not that good when it is this warm.
Unable to fly out, the scientists past the time playing volleyball in shorts atop the ice sheet. Pre-global warming Grinsted says temperatures near 32 degrees Fahrenheit at this altitude were unheard of.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center tells CNN from July 15th to 17th alone, a melt surge in northern Greenland cost ice sheet run off of about six billion tons of water per day. That is about the volume of 2.4 million Olympic-sized pools.
Put another way? Enough water to flood the entire state of West Virginia with one foot of water in three days.
SAYLAM: The amount of melt from the ice flow was very surprising because it is very warm there. You could hear that the ice was melting in front of our eyes.
MARSH: Research scientists tell CNN that this extent of melt in north Greenland this past week is quite unusual and will contribute to global sea level rise, which impacts coastal communities half a world away.
BURNETT: So, Rene, the officials here are incredible. When you talk about six billion tons of water melted every day over those three days this week, it is really impossible to comprehend the staggering size of that. The question is, is there more to come? Is that the worst? MARSH: Well, you know, this is peak melting season. The answer is
yes. There's more to come.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center telling CNN that they're expecting another major melt event later on this week. And they actually expect that one to extend too much more of the ice sheet.
And, Erin, you know, we've seen it in Europe, at many parts of the U.S. there, and even here in Greenland, these heat waves. And we expect to see a lot more of those as the global climate continues to rise -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Rene, thank you very much. And, of course, you see a giant deluge and how does it feed to the world. Thank you so much.
And thanks to all of you for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.