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Erin Burnett Outfront

Tennessee Lawmaker Appointed To House By Nashville Council Just Days After He Was Expelled For Gun Reform Protest; Police: 4 Dead, 9 Injured In Louisville Bank Mass Shooting; DOJ, Pentagon Search For Source Of Leaked Classified Docs; U.S. Designates WSJ Reporter "Wrongfully Detained" By Russia; Appeals Court Sets Deadline In Fight Over Abortion Pill Approval; Inside U.S. Bust Of North Korean Effort To Fund Nuclear Program. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 10, 2023 - 19:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, a dramatic return. One of the Tennessee Democrats expelled for protesting gun violence has been reinstated. And right now, he's already back in that state house. We'll live for you in Memphis.

Plus, a major city left reeling tonight after another mass shooting this time, four killed, nine injured after a gunman walked into a bank and opened fire. A friend of one of the victims is my guest.

And an OUTFRONT exclusive, we take you inside the high stakes U.S mission to stop North Korea from stealing crypto in order to fund its dangerous nuclear program.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga, in for Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, reinstated. Tennessee Democrat Justin Jones, who in a dramatic act was expelled from the Tennessee house four days ago is back at work. These are new pictures of Jones returning to the statehouse floor. And just moments ago, he spoke from that floor.


JUSTIN JONES (D), REINSTATED TN STATE REP.: (INAUDIBLE) people back to people's houses. Our own local democracy back to the people's house.

So, I come here to stand for my constituent, the people of Tennessee, to say that no one does (ph) attack on democracy, what happened unchallenged. (INAUDIBLE) silence.


GOLODRYGA: This follows what have been striking developments. Just a short time ago, the Nashville Metropolitan Council met during a special session and voted to appoint Jones to fill his vacant house seat. Jones then surrounded by supporters walked to the state house where he had been serving up until last week when he was one of two Black lawmakers expelled by the Republican-led House for taking to the floor to rally for stricter gun control. Jones was sworn in on the steps of the state house and shortly before returning to work, he spoke to reporters and his supporters.


JONES: This is not about one person. It's not about one position, but it's about a movement of people power to restore the soul and heart of what this building should represent, and that is democracy.


GOLODRYGA: Isabel Rosales is OUTFRONT on the ground in Nashville.

Having just witnessed all of this, Isabel, what more can you tell us about what is yet another dramatic evening at the statehouse.

ISABEL ROSALES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bianna, good evening. This is Nashville speaking, metro council members and the building right behind me, handing Justin Jones his seat bag, at least as interim successor until a special election can be scheduled. Thirty- six council members voting yes, zero voting no.

And the council really here moving in an expedited manner. They sense the urgency here. This is what I heard from council members, an urgency to make sure that people were represented. That injustice is how many of them have called it could be corrected.

So they suspended a rule that would have slowed down this process and immediately nominated -- both nominated and appointed Justin Jones with in a manner of 20 minutes.

Now, 70,000 people within Jones district have a voice, have representation again in the statehouse.

And, Bianna, a truly a powerful moment of demonstrators, clergyman, Jones marching from metro council here to the state capital to cheers, to speeches, to even a moment where Jones is signing off paperwork seemingly being sworn on the steps of the capitol there.

I did catch up with Jones before that council vote asking him what was it that he was expecting? And he was adamant that he was expecting democracy to prevail and for council to empower him to give voice to the people here of Davidson County again.

He also delivered a fiery speech demanding the resignation of the Republican speaker of the House, the statehouse, Cameron Sexton, who led the effort to pass those resolutions and lead a vote to expel both Pearson and Justin.

Here's what he had to say after the council vote.


JONES: Today, we send a clear message to Speaker Cameron Sexton that the people will not allow his crimes against democracy that happened without challenge. The people of Nashville have spoken today through their council members, and democracy -- we stand for the vision of a multiracial democracy. Democracy is a vision we're offering to this body, this building that has forgotten it.


ROSALES: And we did hear from the office of Cameron Sexton, his communications director, saying that if local lawmakers go ahead and reappoint Justin Pearson and Justin Jones, then they will be sat, that there will not be interference with that aspect.


And the story really far from over because we still have one more lawmaker that has been ousted, whose political future has not yet been determined. And that is Justin Pearson.

We're looking ahead to Wednesday where Shelby County Commission will decide those next steps -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Quite a remarkable turn of events. Isabel Rosales in Nashville, thank you.

And OUTFRONT now, Democratic Congressman Maxwell Frost of Florida.

Congressman Frost, thank you so much for joining us.

So there you see, Representative Jones was just sent back to the statehouse. What message does that send to the lawmakers who voted to expel him?

REP. MAXWELL FROST (D-FL): I think the message it sends is that they are completely out of touch with what his constituents want. You know, at first, they were saying there are, you know, they have decorum and etcetera, really showing that they don't understand what those constituents want, which is they want a fighter who's going to fight to end gun violence every single day. They want someone who's unafraid to work in an untraditional way to uplift the issues that are impacting their people.

And that's why that county commission voted to reinstate Representative Joe Jones, and it's just an amazing thing to see. We'll see what happens with Representative Pearson.

But I'll say, when they're both put back in the state house, it's so interesting to see this failure of the GOP in Tennessee that thought they were on to something. (AUDIO GAP) capabilities and actually gifted them with the capability to more effectively fight to end gun violence.

GOLODRYGA: This has raised the issue of race and also the generational divide. You are of the same generation as these two expelled lawmakers, Representative Jones and Pearson, who are in their late twenties. Now they broke decorum rules by protesting against gun violence after using a bullhorn on the statehouse floor in an effort to get their message across.

Should this be seen in your view as a blueprint, perhaps for the younger generation of elected officials like yourself?

FROST: I think so, and here's the thing -- you know, the blueprint was set generations ago by our ancestors who fought for our rights from the civil rights era, unions who have been fighting. And so, to see people like Representative Jones and Pearson, take that mantle and take it into the halls of government is exciting, but also needed at this time.

We saw Representative, the late and great John Lewis, did the same thing, hosting a sit in after shooting in the halls of the United States Congress.

So I think it's important that we do what needs to be done to ensure that this issue is heard. We lose 100 people a day due to gun violence. This is not normal, which means that sometimes we're going to have to work outside of us -- outside of the normal process to ensure that our voices are being heard.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Another mass shooting at a major U.S. city just today that we'll get to in just a moment. We're just showing our viewers live images there from Nashville.

Just moments before going back into that state house that he was expelled from just four days ago, Representative Jones had this message for younger people.


JONES: I want to thank you all for being here today, particularly the young people who are the heartbeat of this movement. It was students taking walking out of classes and taking to this capital that led us into the well that day, calling for common sense gun laws. And the first thing I do when I walk into this building as a representative is to continue that call for common sense gun legislation.


GOLODRYGA: As you know, there was yet another mass shooting today in Louisville. So how do you keep that movement that we just heard of from Mr. Jones, forward, moving forward?

FROST: Well, you know, those walkouts that really prompted the two representatives to act on gun violence in the well there were actually March for Our Lives organizers, the group that came out of the shooting that happened in Parkland, Florida. And so, I think what we need to do is continue to number one. Invest our time. Invest our resources and organizations like March for our Lives, community, just action fund gun violence prevention organizations that are working year round to build power.

As an organizer myself, I'll tell you this -- what you do when the cameras are rolling and everyone cares isn't as important as to the organizing work you do when it's not in the news, when the whole world has moved beyond the shooting, but the families haven't and the communities haven't. That infrastructure work is so important because when we have these moments when the whole country is paying attention, when you turn on the news and you hear about gun violence, it gives you the ability and the infrastructure to give people a political home.

And that's why these organizations led by young people like March for our lives, and the dream defenders are so important to our day to day work. It's not just about the elected, it's about the organizers working day in and day out, and all of us coming together. So I'd encourage people to get involved with an organization that does year round organizing.

Do not let your advocacy end at the ballot box. It's not just vote. It's vote and -- vote and march, vote and protest, vote and be involved in educating your fellow citizens and the people in your community about what's going on in government.


And it's an honor to be a part of a movement. That is not just fine to end gun violence, but fighting for justice for everybody with young people at the forefront leading the charge.

That's how we're going to change this country, and that's why we see the far right wing doing everything they can to kick people out of office and passed this legislation they know that time is not on their side.

GOLODRYGA: All right, Congressman Frost, unfortunately, that is the end of the time that we have for this segment with you. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

FROST: Thank you for having me.

GOLODRYGA: And OUTFRONT next, a mass shooting at a bank in Kentucky leaves four killed and nine injured as we're learning what could be a possible motive. A friend of one of the victims is next.

Plus, highly classified Pentagon documents leaked online. Was this an inside job? And could there be more to come? Former CIA director and defense secretary, Leon Panetta, is my guest.

And the State Department making a major move tonight to try and free "The Wall Street Journal" reporter being held in Russia and accused of being a spy.


GOLODRYGA: Tonight, terror in Louisville. Four killed, nine injured in another mass shooting. This time, police say a gunman armed with an AR-15 style rifle opened fire inside a bank in Louisville, Kentucky. It took three minutes for police to respond.

The 23 year old gunman who had worked at the bank was killed by police. Already, there have been 146 mass shootings this year alone. According to the Gun Violence Archive, more than 200 people have been killed.

Adrianne Broaddus us is OUTFRONT in Louisville.


ADRIANNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At least four people are dead, nine others injured, including at least two police officers after a mass shooting at a bank in downtown Louisville.

JACQUELYN GWINN-VILLAROEL, INTERIM CHIEF, LOUISVILLE METRO POLICE: Three, which are in critical condition, including our officer. Three who are listening, non critical condition and three who have been treated and released.

BROADDUS: Police say one of the two injured officers is a rookie.

GWINN-VILLAROEL: The officer who was in critical condition today, Officer Nikolas Wilt, 26 years of age, just graduated from the police academy on March 31st. I just swore him in. He was struck in the head, engaged in this incident. Nick has come out of brain surgery and is in critical but stable condition.

BROADDUS: It started around 8 30 this morning when Louisville Metro Police say they received a report of shots fired and a possible active shooter at old national bank.

POLICE OFFICER: Within three minutes of being dispatched, officers arrived on scene and encountered the suspect almost immediately still firing gun gunshots.

BROADDUS: Officers exchanged gunfire with the 23-year-old shooter who died at the scene. Police say the shooter was shot and killed by officers. Police this afternoon identifying the victims.

GWINN-VILLAROEL: Tommy Elliott, 63 years of age, Jim Tutt, 64 years of age. Josh Barrett, 40 years of age, and Juliana Farmer, 57.

BROADDUS: A federal law enforcement source tells CNN, the gun used in the shooting was an AR-15 style rifle. Two law enforcement sources say the shooter started as an intern in 2018 and later became a full time employee. Police say he was still working there at the time of the shooting, but had been notified he was going to be terminated, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation.

One man says his wife works at the bank and called him as everything unfolded.

CALEB GOODLETT, WIFE WORKS AT BANK: I got a call from my wife, panicking that she was locked in the vault, that there was an active shooter in the building and call 911, just a very traumatic phone call to get right at 8:30.

BROADDUS: Police say the suspect livestream the shooting. A law enforcement source, telling CNN, the Instagram livestream was taken down, but not immediately after the shooting, and that police now have the video. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says this hits close to home as one of

the victims was a close friend.

GOV. ANDY BESHEAR (D), KENTUCKY: Tommy Elliott helped me build my law career. Help me become governor. It's one of the people I talked to most in the world and very rarely are we talking about my job. He was an incredible friend.


BROADDUS (on camera): And I spoke with the Louisville police officer here on scene who's taking this close to heart? He said. He knows this is a dangerous job. He comes from a family of law enforcement. But he called his dad today and he said it was his father, who reminded him of why he does what he does, is to help people.

And we learned members of law enforcement responded within three minutes. The interim chief of police thanked her officers for showing up. And when she addressed them, she also said, if we don't do it, who will? Bianna?

GOLODRYGA: Such acts of bravery and such a horrific day.

Adrianne Broaddus in Louisville, thank you.

Well, OUTFRONT now, Kentucky State Senator David Yates.

State Senator, our condolences go out to you, your friends, your constituents, your family.

I know that you were also friends with Tommy Elliott, who was killed in the shooting. We just heard there any emotional Governor Beshear speak about him as well as Mayor Greenberg earlier in the day.

What more can you tell us about your friend?

DAVID YATES (D), KENTUCKY STATE SENATOR: Tommy was -- he's a great man. He cared about finding good people and put them in positions to do great things. He embraced me when I was very young, interested in politics. We rode a bus to -- a glide trip to learn about policy, and he sat behind me and made me feel important. He was about lifting people up, build them up and putting -- believing in you so that you could be in a position to do some good.


He was a great friend of a lot of people. I know that we heard our governor and our mayor and myself, but that list goes on and on and on, in Louisville, in Kentucky, and even further out, Tommy touched a lot of lives.

GOLODRYGA: He sounds like such a thought --

YATES: My heart is breaking for his wife and his girls. That's all right. GOLODRYGA: I'm so sorry that you're having to experience that. And,

of course, we're thinking about his family as well. He sounds like such a wonderful and thoughtful man who's touched so many lives.

Are you learning anything else about the investigation thus far, the condition of any of the other survivors tonight?

YATES: You know, it's been slow. Right when the shooting happened, my law office is right down the street and that was over at the courthouse. I sent Tommy a text to make sure he was okay. I didn't get a response back.

And from there, I started texting other friends and people and trying to figure out what's going on. And, you know, up until just recently, it's been, you know, it was just -- it was a whole lot of mess, and they're trying to sort out.

Our prayers are with the officer who came through the brain surgery but is in really bad condition. I mean -- and so just God bless him and his family and for the other -- the other victims who are also suffering. But no, we don't know the particulars of those because of the HIPAA restrictions.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, that officer just been newly sworn in as well. We'd tragically seen so many -- too many mass shootings recently in this country, but were you surprised that it could happen so close to home? I mean, I know that you're very familiar with this bank.

YATES: Yeah and that's where I do -- my Senate campaign is to that bank. We're getting out there a lot.

You know, it's -- it's this has been an issue that is increasing that, unfortunately, people don't have the intestinal fortitude to even talk about it, but when it hits close to home, you know, it just -- it's different. A lot of people are doing work in the interim. You're doing work with no one else is looking.

But now, all eyes are on this terrible tragedy, and my worry is that everybody will raise their fists in anger and mourn and then six weeks, eight weeks, we go back to doing the same nothing. I hope -- I hope that they all don't have to die in vain. Unlike so many of the other victims and these mass shootings, maybe something positive can come from it.

GOLODRYGA: What are you going to be doing to make sure that these friends of yours and colleagues and citizens of your state didn't die in vain, that their stories, that the takeaway from this isn't that there's nothing more we can do?

YATES: The most honest answer I can give you is I don't know what the answer is. I don't know. I don't think there is any easy answer, but we have to do something. We have to be moving forward.

We have simple pieces of legislation like red flag laws and things that can at least bring attention. We have discussions that need to be had. Unfortunately, these types of discussions don't even get to our committee. So I'll continue to advocate for having an open, honest discussion to bring people to the table.

But I don't think there's any type of one answer. I know that mental illness has got to be addressed. We've got to be able to put more resources towards that. So there's not one thing in a vacuum.

But if it was a disease that was spreading this place across our country, you better believe we'd be trying to tackle it. Well, I believe this is a disease just like that has been plagued our society, that's troubled our communities. It is destroyed our families and we've got to do something.

GOLODRYGA: This disease as you call it is something that we will continue to be covering, and we just want to once again express our condolences to you, State Senator Yates, and to your community for your loss tonight. Thank you so much for joining us.

YATES: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: And OUTFRONT next, major concerns after classified documents were leaked online documents, containing top secret information about the war in Ukraine and America's allies.

Plus, a devastating assault. Putin dramatically ramps up his strikes on Ukraine. We'll take you to the front lines to see what Russia's scorched-earth campaign looks like.



GOLODRYGA: Tonight, U.S. officials scrambling to find who's responsible for leaking highly sensitive documents amid concerns they will damage U.S. relations around the world. The 53 pages reviewed by CNN all appear to have been produced as recently as mid-February and early March and include classifications, including top secret and no foreign nationals and includes intel about key weaknesses and Ukrainian weaponry and air defenses. Also, battlefield assessments as Ukraine prepares for an upcoming counter offensive in the war against Russia.

The document also reveals U.S. efforts to spy on allies, including President Zelensky.

OUTFRONT now, former CIA director and defense secretary, Leon Panetta.

Secretary, thank you so much for joining us.

So, based on what you know at the moment, what you've been hearing, how concerned are you that this could have actually been an inside job from someone at the Pentagon?

LEON PANETTA, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY & CIA DIRECTOR UNDER OBAMA: Well, it's a -- it's difficult to fully assess just exactly how much damage has been done because we need additional information as to why and the how, and the who, and that's still in the process of being investigated. But I think that what can be said is that any leak of highly

classified information is going to be damaging to our national security, because first and foremost, it's going to put our sources of information at risk. These are people who put their lives on the line in order to gather intelligence. They are now at risk as a result of this leak.

And secondly, this is timely information, as you've mentioned, it's within the last few months and the details, Russian strengths and weaknesses and Ukrainian strengths and weaknesses. And I think it could impact on some of the military decisions that need to be made within these next few weeks.

So, there's damage here but just exactly how bad the damage is, we still don't know.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and to second that, I mean, John Kirby today was asked about this and admitted that there's still a lot the administration doesn't know and is still investigating. Listen to what he said.


JOHN KIRBY, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: I'm not aware that they've come to any conclusions at this point about where they're coming from.

REPORTER: Do you believe the leak is contained? Are there more documents out there that have not been released publicly? Is this an ongoing threat?

KIRBY: We don't know. We truly don't.


GOLODRYGA: Now, you are CIA director when WikiLeaks emerged as a real threat to U.S. national security. How long before the administration needs to have the answers to those questions in your view?

PANETTA: Well, I think it's critical that they plug this leak as soon as possible. And I hope the Pentagon and the Justice Department is applying whatever resources they have in order to make sure that we find out who is involved in this leak, because the longer this goes on yeah, and we found that to be the case when Snowden continued to release critical intelligence, the longer this goes on, the greater the damage to our national security. So this has to be dealt with very quickly.

GOLODRYGA: And as we've been noting, this is contemporaneous intel that has been leaked here, and it's highlighting things like what's happening on Ukraine's battlefront, in this upcoming counteroffensive that is planned. And that is -- there's concern about whether or not there's enough air defenses and, of course, ammunition.

This has been an issue and an outstanding question. Now it looks like we have more confirmation that it is, in fact, a real issue. How concerned are you about what this could mean in terms of that


PANETTA: Well, It concerns me. Anytime this kind of information is leaked, it really creates a problem with regards to the information and how decisions are made.

The fact that there is tactical information here the fact that it goes into precise details about the weaknesses and strengths on both sides. That's going to impact on the conduct of this war, and for that reason, it's really important that the Ukrainians do everything they can to make the necessary adjustments in order to make sure that none of the information here is going to affect the kind of offensive they have to put into -- into effect within these next few weeks.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, can those adjustments be made in time? As you know, we're just a few weeks away from that plan counteroffensive as -- that's what's expected, at least.

Secretary Panetta, thank you so much for your time, as always.

PANETTA: Good to be with you, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Also new tonight, the State Department officially declaring that "The Wall Street Journal" reporter Evan Gershkovich is being wrongfully detained by Russia. The designation empowers the U.S. to do more to free him as he's held on espionage charges.

The State Department also reveals that the U.S. still has not received consular access to him despite his arrest more than a week ago.

OUTFRONT now, Max Seddon, Moscow bureau chief for "The Financial Times", and a friend of Evan Gershkovich.

Max, it's good to have you on set with us here in New York.

So officials have noted the speed at which this designation has been made official, saying that he is wrongfully detained by the U.S. State Department.

We know that there is going to be a hearing to appeal his case, and that's going to be next week on the 18th, I believe. What more can we expect from this?

MAX SEDDON, MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF, FINANCIAL TIMES: I wouldn't expect necessarily a lot out of the judicial track here. You know, in Russia, there is a conviction rate in criminal cases, you know, well, well over 99 percent, and this is something that's come from the very top of the security services, the FSB in Russia. It's being held in the utmost secrecy. Media weren't allowed into the courtroom during his initial hearing, and there is very little prospect that there is going -- that the judge is just going to throw out the case, like you might have in America.

The courts are all controlled from the top down in Russia, and there's not really going to be any -- any pretense that this is going to go any way other than the way that the Russian state wants it to, even though there have been no -- there's been no evidence produced in this case. We don't even really know what the charges are.

The FSB and the Kremlin said two weeks ago now that that Evan was caught red-handed, and we still have not seen a shred of evidence to support this ridiculous claim.

GOLODRYGA: You know, since he's been arrested. I've been texting with you and his other friends about this case. And while it's heartbreaking, it's sort of been surprising to me to see how quickly you all have mobilized Russian-based journalists that are familiar with this system, sadly, in the state of affairs in Russia when it comes to journalism and reporting. And when it comes to people being sentenced and held at this specific, notorious prison, Lefortovo prison, you have been sending him emails. You've been able to get letters to him and know what exactly can and cannot be sent to him.

Talk about how that works.

SEDDON: Well, so I should point out, I do have to keep some distance because we are also reporting on the case. But something that really has been remarkable that, you know, Evan is able to benefit from its something that says so much about the sad state of affairs in Russia, that this has happened so many times, not just to other Americans, such as Paul Whelan, who is currently being held in prison and a 16- year sentence on espionage charges in Russia as well, but also to two Russian journalists, many of whom were Evan's friends, you know, many of whose trials and crackdowns against them, he reported on over the years.


And the -- I don't know anything other than what "The Wall Street Journal" said publicly about what Evan has been able to do, but we do know that he has had access to a lawyer. We do know that he's reading "Life and Faith", the great Soviet war novel by the Ukrainian-born writer Vasily Grossman, and by all accounts, to the extent that we can tell, because the U.S. diplomats have been able to consular access to him yet either, he remains himself.

And this is something that really is indicative of just how far press freedoms have been declining in Russia, you know, initially and primarily for the Russian media, something that Evan, you know, chronicled and great detail over, over many years, and now it seems that the Russian government is not emanating (ph) those efforts with its own citizens and that, you know, with -- we've seen what happened to Evan, you know, really after that, anyone, anyone could be at the same risk.

GOLODRYGA: Really crossing the line, thereby arresting a Western journalist, an accredited Western journalists. And now you have the State Department and the administration, saying that all Americans should leave. It's not safe for anyone, including journalists to be there.

You're not in Moscow anymore. I know a lot of your colleagues have left as well. How important and difficult now is it to do some of the really significant reporting that you've been doing on the ground from a different country?

SEDDON: I'm not going to lie. It's not easy, you know, like Evan, I've been in and out of Russia a few times, and there are things most -- most of which, I can't talk about, because the other people that that we talked to are very, very paranoid. It's a very dark, dark and repressive moment for that country. You know, they won't, you know, even speak over the phone, and we'll look at the really (INAUDIBLE) sense.

But, you know, we had COVID. We learned how the report over the phone, and you don't get the same thorough reporting in your -- in your sweatpants, but that -- that is working the phones as what? We all know how to do as reporters, and that's what we're going to do, going forward.

You're still filing important pieces. Max Seddon, thank you so much, and, of course, we'll continue to cover Evan Gershkovich's case as well. Thank you for joining us.

SEDDON: Thank you so much.

GOLODRYGA: Well, OUTFRONT next new video tonight from the front lines in Ukraine, the once bustling city now reduced to a wasteland. It's heartbreaking to see and it's a story you'll see first on OUTFRONT.

Plus, the justice department with a new move to try and stop a Texas judge from effectively banning a popular abortion pill. So will it work?



GOLODRYGA: Tonight, scorched earth. That's how Ukraine describes new Russian attacks in the east, more than 20 repelled in just 24 hours. And as a battle for Bakhmut rages on, even leaving the city doesn't guarantee safety.

Ben Wedeman is OUTFRONT.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the safest way out of Bakhmut, but not really safe at all. Video obtained by CNN of the view from a Ukrainian armored vehicle shows the wasteland the city has become. And it was in a vehicle like this. Marina and Yevhenia escaped from Bakhmut. They're building was hitting him bombardment last Thursday, killing three. Among them, Yevhenia's 33-year-old grandson.

I had to help him, she recalls. But I couldn't do anything.

They waited in their ruined homes with the dead for three days before the army could rescue them. Marina's daughter was married to Yevhenia's grandson.

What will I tell my daughter, cries Marina. She and my grandchildren are in Poland.

This shelter in nearby Chasiv Yar provides them some comfort and warmth, but they're still not out of danger.

This town is well within range of Russian guns, and since the battle for Bakhmut began seven months ago, it has regularly come under shelling.

On this day, the Russians were firing incendiary munitions over the city designed to cause fires. One resident showed us has spent capsule from the rocket.

Officials say there are perhaps 1,000 civilians left in Chasiv Yar. Evacuations are possible, but they don't seem to be many takers.

Alexander drags firewood home. There's no electricity or running water here. He fled to Chasiv Yar from Siversk, an hour from here, where his home was destroyed.

Is he leaving? No, he replies. My wife died here. My parents are buried here.

Serhei Chaus heads the town's military administration.

Since last April, we've been trying to convince people to leave, talking with them, reasoning with them, he tells me, but we can't make them.

Yet again, the old and infirm refused to leave despite the danger.


WEDEMAN (on camera): And this is just one town among many perilously close to the front lines in eastern Ukraine that run for hundreds of miles. There are thousands of civilians like those we saw in Chasiv Yar that are living without the basics, things like electricity and running water and are under constant threat of shelling and missile attacks -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: The fight for Bakhmut continues, the devastation just endless.

Ben Wedeman, thank you.

Well, OUTFRONT next, an emergency move by the Justice Department tonight after a judge suspends the approval of a popular abortion pill. Is this case now heading to the Supreme Court?

Plus, an OUTFRONT exclusive. We take you inside what is now a top secret mission that's goal is to shut down how North Korea is funding its dangerous nuclear program.



GOLODRYGA: New, tonight, a new deadline after a judge ruled to suspend FDA approval of a widely used abortion pill. Plaintiffs have now until tomorrow night to respond to the Justice Department. This after the DOJ asked an appeals court to freeze the judge's order, which will make metaphor stone unavailable nationwide this Friday.

OUTFRONT now, Nancy Northup. She is the president, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which argued Dobbs versus Jackson women's health the case that ultimately led the Supreme Court to overturn Roe versus Wade.

Nancy, thank you so much for being here in studio with us.

So, is this a case that you see ultimately going up to the Supreme Court?

NANCY NORTHUP, PRESIDENT & CEO, CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: Well, we'll see what happens in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, where the Department of Justice filed today to have a stay and also to appeal the decision. The plaintiffs need to respond by tomorrow at midnight, and we'll see what happens there.

But absolutely, if they don't get relief, the Department of Justice from the Fifth Circuit, they're going to have to take it to the Supreme Court. It's an outrageous decision, and one of the things I'd love to talk to you about tonight is the fact that 400 executives of pharmaceutical companies came out today in a very strong letter, saying that they need the district court decision to be reversed.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. I saw that letter from those executives. I'm just curious, and I'm sure viewers at home are too.


If this goes up to the Supreme Court, for now, at least, these are the same judges who overturned Roe v. Wade, right?

So what difference do you think in a different lens, I guess, they could approach this case versus the one in which they overturned Roe?

NORTHUP: Well, you know, that was a constitutional decision. This case is about the regulatory authority of the FDA. So it's not about the Constitution at all. It's about whether the Administrative Procedure Act, and that's a federal statute that governs how agencies decide things, whether that was properly followed.

It absolutely was. And one of the things that's so important for your viewers to understand is that the district court's decision has no basis in law or fact. I mean, it is completely ungrounded from the decades of evidence supporting that mifepristone is safe and effective.

And in fact, in the pharmaceutical company's letter today, they talked about the fact that mifepristone from decades of data show that it's safer than Tylenol.

GOLODRYGA: Okay, so you're laying out all of the facts that would weigh in favor of keeping this drug legal. That having been said, it has been a world one of a shocking four days for Americans having to digest this ruling.

What are you hearing from women across the country, from families across the country?

NORTHUP: Well, it is very upsetting. I mean, first of all, we're still in the wake of the reversal of Roe versus Wade, the 13 states that have banned abortion, already upsetting abortion care across the country. And now, the notion that states that have strong protection for abortion rights, states like New York and California and Illinois and Michigan and more, that medication abortion could be banned in those states.

There is upset. There is worry about what happens if this were allowed to go into effect on Friday and really outraged the majority of people in the United States support access to abortion. We see that again and again.

We saw it in the midterms, and we saw it just last week in Wisconsin when a judge who was running for the Supreme Court, who is a strong support of abortion rights won overwhelmingly in Wisconsin.

GOLODRYGA: Lastly, I want to get your thoughts on what we're seeing some preemptive action from at least three states right now. That's California, Massachusetts and Washington, where abortion is legal and their governors saying that they will effectively secure enough emergency stockpiles that can last for years.

Do you think that is something that we can expect to see other governors do?

NORTHUP: Well, I think there are a lot of governors that are going to be very strongly wind to be sure that people in their states who support abortion rights can get access to medication abortion. Again, it's safe and effective. And so I think we are going to see more of that. And of course, there's also the case in Washington state.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. Nancy Northup, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate your time.

NORTHUP: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: And coming up on "AC360", ousted Tennessee Democrat Justin Pearson, speaking out just hours after his colleague was reinstated. That's tonight.

And up next for us, an OUTFRONT exclusive, we take you inside the risky operation to stop North Korea from stealing millions in crypto in order to fund its nuclear program.



GOLODRYGA: Tonight, CNN obtaining exclusive details of a major FBI bust disrupting North Korea's plot to use cryptocurrency to fund its nuclear program.

Alex Marquardt is OUTFRONT.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): As North Korea's nuclear and missile programs race ahead, there hackers have been busy on a newer front. CNN has exclusively learned about a counterpunch against North Korea's aggressive efforts to steal cryptocurrency by the hundreds of millions to fund Kim Jong Un's military programs.

JOHN PARK, DIRECTOR, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL KOREAN PROJECT: Right now, with North Korea, China figure out ways to open up border trade again. The only sustainable recurring source of revenue in any meaningful way is the crypto thief angle.

MARQUARDT: Last year, according to the crypto firm Chainalysis, North Korea stole an estimated $$1.7 billion, nearly half of the $3.8 billion in crypto stolen in '22 globally.

NICK CARLSEN, GLOBAL INVESTIGATIONS, TRMS LABS: It's the kind of return on investment that North Korea can only dream about other things they can do like mining, selling coal, iron ore involved tens of thousands of laborers, slave laborers. But this, they can do it with a handful of people and make enormous sums of money.

MARQUARDT: To cut off this revenue stream, the U.S. and South Korea are stepping up efforts, with increasingly sophisticated tactics.

Last June, the California-based crypto startup Harmony was hacked for $100 million, primarily in the cryptocurrency Ethereum. The FBI determined that North Korea was behind the hack. South Korean intelligence and American crypto investigators were quickly on their tail, able to track the stolen crypto through the system until the moment they tried to convert it to a dollar pegged account.

SEAN LYNGAAS, CNN CYBERSECURITY REPORTER: So there's a moment you know a matter of minutes where the North Koreans have to send the crypto money to other accounts that they're not controlling, and that's when these private investigators at South Korean spies the FBI, they try to pounce right then and there.

MARQUARDT: But the sting seized just 1 percent of the amount stolen or $1 million, showing just how big the challenge is to disrupt North Korea's crypto schemes.

CARLSEN: To act at that moment of opportunity when you when you can do something that's extremely time intensive and difficult. To be able to, you know, provide law enforcement with the tools they need to track those asset movements in real time, that's the real innovation here. MARQUARDT: The synergy between private crypto companies and

intelligence and law enforcement is growing. The Biden administration credited with taking the threat seriously.

LYNGAAS: In my conversations with senior administration officials, they're emphasizing that this is indeed a regular part of the president's intelligence briefing.


MARQUARDT (on camera): So this is North Korea and its criminal ways. Moving into the virtual ages, cryptocurrencies become more and more popular. It means the opportunities beyond a for North Korean hackers also continued to grow, and this is clearly an area that Kim Jong-un is prioritizing, and it is far less labor-intensive than other efforts.

Now in just the past few days, the State Department's envoy for North Korea met with Japanese and South Korean counterparts in Seoul. Together, they issued a statement calling out North Korea's crypto theft -- Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Really important and timely report.

Alex Marquardt, thank you.

And thank you all for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.