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Erin Burnett Outfront

Fox Will Pay $787.5 Million To Dominion To Settle Defamation Case; Russia Arrests Activist Who Had Met With Now-Jailed U.S. Reporter; White Homeowner Charged In Shooting Of Black Teen Released On Bail; Attorney For Man Charged With Killing Woman In Driveway: He Felt "Menaced"; Dem Effort To Replace Feinstein On Key Committee Fails; Trump Calls DeSantis' Clash With Disney A "Political Stunt". Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 18, 2023 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Fox settles $787.5 million, the largest known defamation settlement involving a U.S. media company. And Fox now facing an even bigger lawsuit from another voting company.

Plus, Putin's crackdown -- he's just been sentenced to 25 years in a Russian prison for speaking out against the war in Ukraine. Vladimir Kara-Murza's wife is OUTFRONT tonight.

And a 20-year-old woman shot and killed for pulling into the wrong driveway. Police chief says the gunman showing zero remorse that chief is my guest tonight. Let's go, OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, $787.5 million. It is a stunning number, and that is the settlement between Fox News and Dominion.

In fact, it is the largest publicly known defamation settlement involving a media company in the United States. And by the way when you look at the value of it for Dominion, it is 10 times the value of Dominion Voting Systems. It's massive anyway you look at it.

Now, in a statement, along with the settlement, Fox writes, in part, quote: We acknowledge the court's rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. That's it. That's the only admission if you can even call it that of any wrongdoing.

And then the next part -- well, you got to hear this one to believe it. Fox continues, quote: The settlement reflects Fox's continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.

Well, I mean, if you are committed to that $787.5 million, right? I mean, it's all pretty odd.

Take a listen to yourself to just some examples of these so called highest journalistic standards.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Electronic voting machines didn't allow people to vote apparently and that whatever you think of it, the cause of it, it shakes people's faith in the system. That is an actual threat to democracy.

MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS HOST: Sidney, we talked about the Dominion software, I know that there were voting irregularities. Tell me about that.

JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: The president's lawyers alleging a company called Dominion, which they say started in Venezuela with Cuban money and with the assistance of Smartmatic software, a backdoor is capable of flipping votes.


BURNETT: Well, according to the settlement, Fox hosts, including those you saw there, Tucker Carlson, Jeanine Pirro and others will not have to acknowledge the lies they told about Dominion. So that's where this case ends. This is the settlement.

But you just heard Jeanine Pirro mentioned Smartmatic. Well, Fox is now bracing for another potentially damaging and massive lawsuit. This one possibly bigger and it is from the voting machine company Smartmatic, which is demanding even more than Dominion, $2.7 billion in its defamation suit.

In a statement, that company's attorney writing: Dominion's litigation exposed some of the misconduct and damage caused by Fox's disinformation campaign. Smartmatic will expose the rest.

All right. Danny Freeman is OUTFRONT live in Wilmington, Delaware, where he has been following the Dominion case.

And, Danny, just starting there, right, where we are tonight, this is making history in terms of the size. It is a massive settlement.

DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, it is making history. It is a massive settlement, but I got to be honest, I spoke with one of the lead attorneys for Dominion just in the past hour, and he said that the reality of the settlement is that it is pretty straightforward. Yes, that's $787 million. Yes, they found a victory that the court end Fox did, at least for the specific lies told in the 2020 election. They have acknowledged that they were in fact lies.

But again, like you said, no Fox talent has to go on the air and necessarily take an apology for it or correct the record if you will to its viewers. But I will say, I am learning a little bit more about just how that settlement came together today, really at the 11th hour. Today, those papers were signed and told just minutes before the judge came out and announced that the parties had resolved this issue.

And, Erin, I just want to paint a picture for you, you know, think about it. We had a jury in this case. At 1:30, we were waiting for opening statements to come out. BURNETT: Yeah.

FREEMAN: We were waiting for this trial to kick off. The attorneys were ready as well. But then there was that 2-1/2-hour mysterious delay, where no one was sure what was going. We were seeing attorneys go back and forth, trade notes and then ultimately, the judge at four o'clock today announced that settlement Dominion came out and they immediately were heaping praise, taking a victory lap.

Take a listen to what one of their attorneys had to say.


JUSTIN NELSON, CO-LEADE COUNSEL FOR DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS: The truth does not know red or blue for our democracy to endure, for another 250 years and hopefully much longer, we must share a commitment to facts.



FREEMAN: But, Erin, in contrast, while the Dominion's attorneys came out and they took that victory lap, the Fox attorneys they did not take any questions from the press. They snuck out the back one right through up the street to their hotel, and the only statement they're pointing to at this point is that statement that you read earlier tonight, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Danny, thank you very much reporting live from that -- outside the courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware.

And I'm joined now by Stephen Shackelford. He is a lawyer for Dominion who is actually set and ready -- and I know you were ready. And I know you wanted to give those opening statements today. Obviously, didn't get a chance to do so. The settlement ended up being reached.

So, Stephen, thanks very much for being with me.

So let's just start there. I know you had a statement ready and you were eager to give it. Why did Dominion settle?

STEPHEN SHACKELFORD, ATTORNEY FOR DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS: Ultimately, it's about our client. It was about Dominion. Dominion has been through a tremendous amount of trauma starting with the 2020 election, largely at the hands of Fox, at least initially.

And Dominion needed justice. We got into this case with two goals, accountability and justice, and we achieved accountability when we exposed everything that had been going on at Fox News through the discovery process and the motion papers we had the last couple of months, and we got justice for our client for Dominion today.

BURNETT: And what determined the settlement amount? I mean, obviously, I know we're talking 10 times the size of the company. It's massive. It sets a record. It is, though, right at the mid point, $787.5 million, about half of what you were seeking in the lawsuit.

So how did you get to the number?

SHACKELFORD: Well, I have one correction, the company's worth far more than $79 million. They were invested in $79 million valuation in 2018, but their profits went through the roof. They were worth far more which I was prepared to talk about in my opening today, honestly, Erin.

I wasn't involved in the settlement discussions. I can't say anything about it because I was getting ready to open.

BURNETT: Right, okay, I understand. So you're not able to speak to that specific point, but let me ask you about something else then in the settlement, which again I know you're going to -- you weren't involved in negotiating it.

But the Fox News reference to what they said on air which were lies, right? In the statement, they say, quote: We acknowledge the court's rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false.

That is like a really poorly written sentence for a regular person to understand. It's not a "we told lies, and we know it," right? It isn't direct. Does that -- is that frustrating? Are you okay with that?

SHACKELFORD: Well, you know, they're -- Fox had already admitted that they had told lies in the earlier parts of the case, in various requests for admission and the summary judgment process. They didn't contest any of it. So they've legally admitted it a long time ago.

How it came into the wording they chose in this particular statement, I'm not sure how we got that, but we got the accountability from them. Back when they admitted to it as part of the legal process earlier this year.

BURNETT: So if you're okay with the wording, I do have to ask you about the on air talent. We understand that they will not have to acknowledge anything on air and it would appear to be business as usual for all the individuals, well known names involved.

Why did you agree to that?

SHACKELFORD: Well, look through the course of the case. We depose a lot of Fox News hosts and executives and we heard over and over again from them that that while they admitted that they knew that all of this was a lie, they said that the time had passed them to do anything about it.

The time hasn't passed. They absolutely should go on there and tell the truth to their viewers. That's what this case was about. So it's up to them to do it.

BURNETT: So I guess what you're saying is just that wasn't possible, because they're not going to do it. They're certainly not required to in this settlement, right? It's very clear that they're not.

SHACKELFORD: Well, look, I think we proved it. We proved it through the -- through the earlier parts of the case. We proved what they had done. We did our best to make sure that what we proved was publicized so people can see it.

But you're right. We can't control what they do on their shows.

BURNETT: So, you said after the settlement announced that Dominion was not done holding people accountable. Obviously, you're not talking about anchors at Fox News because they're involved with the settlement, right?

So who are you talking about specifically? Are you able to talk about those names or who those individuals are?

SHACKELFORD: Well, we do have lawsuits pending against other -- other networks that defamed Dominion and against a lot of the individuals who are spreading the lies back after the election in 2020, people like Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Lindell, Patrick Byrne, others like those. Those suits are pending, and we intend to pursue them all the way to the end.

BURNETT: So there was many -- obviously, you're well aware of this, but one of them, Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox host, who had urged you against settling. And Gretchen went on Twitter. She was very open about it.

She said: Please Dominion. Do not settle with Fox. You're about to prove something very big.

You know, Stephen, again, I know you weren't involved in all the details of the settlement discussion itself because you were about to give the opening statements. But what do you say to many who say, all right, well, you said you proved these things, but the statement doesn't come out and say they lied.


They're not going to have to say it on TV. And if you've taken this to trial, you might have achieved that.

What do you say to people who share that frustration?

SHACKELFORD: Well, first, I understand the frustration. We wanted to try the case, too. The lawyers were excited about the chance to go through this trial.

But what I think people are missing is the trauma that the people of Dominion have gone through for the last 2-1/2 years. As we prepared for trial, we spend a lot more time with these people, with employees of Dominion.

In my opening statement, I was going to talk about one employee who has had to deal with changing gyms because of harassment by people who believe the lies. Who went to a doctor's appointment, with a new doctor, was sitting in a hospital galley and the doctor saw that you worked for Dominion, and said, oh, you work for Dominion, the company that stole the election?

This is still going on today. These people are traumatized. We didn't -- you know, they were going to have to come into court and relive all this again.

So, today was a very good day for Dominion and for their employees.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Stephen, I appreciate your taking the time and answering our questions. Thank you.

SHACKELFORD: My pleasure.

BURNETT: All right. And now, Margaret Hoover is with me, former Fox News contributor, and Ben Ginsberg, longtime Republican elections lawyer.

So, Ben, just a legal response. Obviously, he's saying I wanted to give the opening statement we wanted to do it. Dominion is the one who chose to settle. When you look through this, you see the massive amount, Ben, you see the history making amount. You see the lack of a clear admission of lying and guilt.

What do you take away from the settlement itself?

BEN GINSBERG, REPUBLICAN ELECTION LAWYER: I think all settlements end up with a little bit of good and a little bit of disappointment, and I think this is in line with this. I mean, in the context of things, it's really damaging to those who say the election was stolen. And so, in a broader picture beyond Dominion, this is an important day, potentially for restoring faith in American elections.

BURNETT: And that's a optimistic way of looking at it.

So, Margaret, in the statement, of course, it's clear. According to the settlement, Fox, the individuals involved, the people who did this do not have to have any sort of admission of guilt. There's nothing public.

So if you're a Fox News viewer, nothing changes.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, for -- if you're a Fox News -- guess what? If you're a Fox News viewer, you won't even know this happened because they're not covering this. They didn't cover the cases that happened, none of the anchors were talking about this, and they're not going to cover that they're going to write a $787 million check tonight.


HOOVER: You were focusing with the lawyer on the statement from Fox News about how Dominion had falsehoods. Okay that is just a classic Fox News deflection. There is no apology that is going to be demanded of Fox. And so the narrative will continue to be written by Fox about Fox and, well, for their viewers. Okay? BURNETT: So you're covering it. Other news organizations are covering us. But for the Fox News viewership, they're not going to hear about it. They're going to continue to have -- to the extent that it's discussed, Fox talk about it in their terms and Fox is going to talk about how Dominion lied, too.

BURNETT: And so that's -- right. And really the only thing you had today was Howie Kurtz, of course, used with "The Washington Post" and at -- who now works for Fox News, came on and said this on air, I'll play what people saw today.


HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS HOST: I do have a statement from Fox, Neil. We're pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems. We acknowledge the court's rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. The settlement reflects Fox's continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.


BURNETT: So, there's the line, which I was talking about with the lawyer, right, but that's -- that's the spin on it. And that's actually in the settlement.

HOOVER: You know, it's outrageous here. Here's the thing that I think it's important to keep in mind. And, by the way, Howie Kurtz used to work for CNN, before he went to --

BURNETT: Yes, yes.

HOOVER: He was a media reporter. He was a much more honest figure. I think when he was at CNN, before he went to Fox News. They put him up there to read the statement. He didn't even opine about it.

But I think it's important to keep in mind. And at the time that I worked in Fox News was when Roger Ailes ran the ship, and Roger Ailes ran the ship for a good 20 years, he created an enormously marketable, profitable media entity through positive polarization. You put Americans against each other, and then you profit off of it.

The reason that he sold the Fox News was needed in the beginning was because the mainstream media and cable news networks like CNN were full of people with unconscious bias. And so they were lying to their viewers. Maybe they weren't meaning to, but they just had --

BURNETT: That's their premise.

HOOVER: -- tendencies towards thinking a certain way and then shaping and editorializing news. And that's why Fox News was necessary. I mean, how far one has fallen? $787 million is an admission, a legal admission of lying.


HOOVER: This is a cable news organization that became an organization that lied and lied and lied. So, that it's a dramatic irony.


BURNETT: Yes, it is.

And, Ben, I guess the question here to Margaret's point and again, you know, to me, what is in the statements matters because people want things in English and words do matter. But numbers also really matter and even paying $1 in a case where accused of lying, Ben, I mean, is Margaret right? As she frames it, this is an admission of guilt, the amount of money here.

GINSBERG: Yeah, absolutely. It's a gobsmacking amount of money. What it says, it's what Fox did was really, really bad and unconscionable. This settlement will also set a real precedent for those other cases that Mr. Shackelford said that they had.

And Fox, you know -- you can't -- can't underestimate the effect that this is going to have on Fox, internally, whether they say it externally or not. They probably won't. But for a matter of their professional pride and ego, Donald Trump put him in this impossible position for which they have now paid a greater price --

BURNETT: And, Ben, I just want to ask one other really quick question on this. Smartmatic, which I said, is asking for even more money, just from a legal perspective, does their settlement for $787.5 million, said any kind of a precedent for Smartmatic, which is asking for what $2.7 billion?

GINSBERG: I'm not sure that it sets a precedent in a legal sense, but holy cow, if you're Smartmatic, your thinking, you're going to get a settlement and Fox is thinking, well, we paid $787 million, and now we're going to have the same bad stuff come out in a Smartmatic trial? So it's not a legal precedent, but it sure is a policy precedent.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much.

And next, new video of the arrest of a Russian activist with ties to the jailed "Wall Street Journal" reporter as the wife of the top Putin critic who was sentenced to 25 years for criticizing Putin's war yesterday speaks out right here next.

Plus, the man charged with shooting a black teen who showed up mistakenly at the wrong house surrenders to police. Could he use stand your ground as a defense?

And incredible pictures out of New York City tonight, where there has been a deadly parking garage collapse. We're going to bring you the very latest.



BURNETT: Tonight, Putin at war with his own people, arresting another popular Russian activist who says he met with the "Wall Street Journal" reporter Evan Gershkovich, right before Gershkovich was arrested.

This is video of Yaroslav Shirshikov being detained at his home. That's a video of him. They've taken him into custody. He is officially accused of justifying terrorism, those are the words, after he wrote that he didn't, quote, feel a shadow of sadness about the death of a pro-war blogger, the one who was killed in that bombing at a St. Petersburg cafe earlier this month.

Shirshikov was also one of the first people to sound the alarm on Gershkovich's arrest. So now this latest arrest comes almost three weeks to the day that Gershkovich himself was arrested. And today, for the first time since then, we saw him in public. He appeared in the Russian courtroom, which meant that he was inside a cage.

This was a glass cage. There he is, dressed in a shirt and jeans. That's all we saw of him. At today's hearing, a judge rejected the Americans request to be placed under house arrest, which means that he is going to continue being locked up inside of one of Russia's most notorious jails, the Lefortovo prison.

Now, earlier, we spoke to the fiancee of another journalist who was held there at Lefortovo, Evan Safronov. He was arrested in July 2020, accused of disclosing state secrets. So, for months he was held at Lefortovo, then he was sentenced to 22 years. His fiancee tells us that the conditions there in that prison where Evan Gershkovich is tonight are brutal.


KSENIA MIRONOVA, FIANCEE OF JAILED RUSSIAN JOURNALIST IVAN SAFRONOV: It's a terrible place, actually. The light is on the whole time. They have a shower once a week. Rooms there are it's like maybe three or four meters. They have no opportunity to walk normally, they cannot see sun or to feel winds. In Lefortovo, nobody usually has some dates with their families or some phone calls with their partners or families.


BURNETT: Just to think about that. And keep in mind that many at that prison, you know, like Gershkovich haven't even been convicted yet, right? This is how they're treated for the months and years prior to any sort of a trial, and you can only imagine the conditions that they then face afterwards.

Something that one top Putin critic is experiencing horribly tonight, Vladimir Kara-Murza. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in Russia yesterday. His crime was speaking out against Putin's war in Ukraine.

And joining me OUTFRONT now, Evgenia Kara-Murza, Vladimir Kara-Murza's wife.

And, Evgenia, I'm glad to see you again. I'm so sorry about the horrible circumstances that we have to talk in now. Have you even been able to process what has happened here? What this means for your family. EVGENIA KARA-MURZA, WIFE OF JAILED PUTIN CRITIC VLADIMIR KARA-MURZA:

Hello, Erin. It's good to see you again. Well, you know, I think I haven't been able to process what's happening for a while. I don't -- I don't think I can afford processing all of it right now, because if I do, I am afraid that I will collapse. I will fall into a million pieces and I understand that I cannot afford this. I have to fight on.

So I leave by the quote of Winston Churchill, who said if you go through hell, keep going.

BURNETT: Evgenia, you know, you last time we spoke, you talked about what your husband has suffered, the health issues that he has gone through since he was twice poisoned. And yesterday when I spoke to his attorney, Vadim, he told me that the sentence amounts to a death penalty to Vladimir because he's so worried about the health challenges that he faces.

Do you share this fear?

KARA-MURZA: Unfortunately, I do. Vladimir's health has deteriorated drastically in detention.


For years he'd been able to keep those polyneuropathy symptoms, that loss of feeling in his extremities through physical exercise about a year in pretrial detention, and then sometimes that he spent in solitary confinement were enough to bring -- not only bring back those symptoms for them to spread to his right side, so he is now losing feeling both his feet and his left hand. This diagnosis, polyneuropathy can lead to paralysis.

And I understand that in a Russian prison, he will obviously not have access to any problem medical care. So I am afraid that the Russian authorities are trying to kill him yet again for the third time in eight years.

BURNETT: Evgenia, what else do you think could be done? I mean, I know that he is a dual citizen, Russian and British. Do you -- is there more the UK can do? I mean, what more could be done at this point?

KARA-MURZA: He's also a green card holder in the United States and I have been trying to get him determined as unlawfully detained. Because onto the Levingston Act, he -- well, he meets all the criteria. I believe that it is very important for the free world to stand with freedom fighters alike, all those people who are standing out against the regime and risking not only the freedom but very often their lives, and I believe that if that advocacy it could be conducted in the Soviet times when a relationship when the relationship with the Soviet Union was obviously far from being a very good it can definitely be done now because when it becomes a question of life and death, everything should be done to save a person's life.

BURNETT: Yes, indeed. Evgenia, I'm grateful to be able to speak to you. My thoughts -- I know everyone's watching also with you and your children, thank you.

KARA-MURZA: Thank you very much.

BURNETT: And next, a young woman is dead after accidentally pulling into the wrong driveway. The lawyer for the suspect now trying to change the narrative. So what happened? The New York sheriff who was investigating that case is next.

Plus, I'm going to talk to the first Democrat in Congress to call for Senator Dianne Feinstein to step down. This is Republicans shut down Feinstein's request to be temporarily replaced.



BURNETT: Tonight, the Missouri man charged with shooting a Black teenager is now out on bail. The teen Ralph Yarl was going to pick up his siblings when he mistakenly went to the wrong address.

Now, the 84-year-old man telling police that he fired at the teen through a locked glass door without exchanging any words with him. It comes as an attorney representing Yarl's family says a bullet penetrated the teen's skull and it's a miracle they say that he survived.

Josh Campbell is OUTFRONT.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defendant is charged with armed criminal action.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eighty-four- year-old Andrew Lester surrendering to authorities after allegedly shooting 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, a Black teen shot by a white homeowner in Missouri, reviving the fierce debate over stand your ground laws.

LEE MERRITT, ATTORNEY FOR RALPH YARL FAMILY: He looked out of the door. He saw a black boy I need clear for its life. And that's something that we've heard a lot in American jurisprudence.

CAMPBELL: Yarl accidentally went to the wrong address to pick up his siblings. A probable cause document says Lester believed it was a break in, that he shot twice within a few seconds.

In Missouri, a person may use physical force if he or she, quote, reasonably believes such force to be necessary in self defense.

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think the problem for this defendant is the lack of any actions on the part of the victim who got shot. It would appear to be threatening.

CAMPBELL: At least 28 states have some kind of stand your ground law on the books, providing legal protections for those in danger.

Prosecutors across the nation have aggressively pursued charges against those they believe have used weapons without facing an immediate threat.

Saturday in New York, 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis was fatally shot by a homeowner after she and friends accidentally turned into the wrong driveway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's clearly no threat from anyone in the vehicles.

CAMPBELL: Kevin Monahan was taken into custody and is now charged with second degree murder. But his attorney told CNN he was in fear after seeing multiple vehicles speeding up his driveway.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey drew national attention in June 2020, claiming they were defending their Missouri mansion, brandishing guns and pointing them at protesters demanding police reform. They pled guilty to misdemeanor charges.

For Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old who fatally shot two protesters in 2020, a fear for his own life was key to his defense.

KYLE RITTENHOUSE, DEFENDANT: If I would have let Mr. Rosenbaum take my firearm for me, he would have used and killed me with it and probably killed more people.

CAMPBELL: Rittenhouse was ultimately acquitted, but perhaps most famously tested, Florida's stand your ground law, which like Missouri, permits the use of deadly force to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.

MARK O'MARA, DEFENSE LAWYER FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: That's unique law because it says to a potential shooter, don't worry about, you know, running or turning away or backing up. You can shoot.

CAMPBELL: In 2012, neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who had just left a local convenience store. Zimmerman called 911 to report a, quote, suspicious person and ignored the dispatchers warning not to approach the individual, ultimately getting into a confrontation and shooting Martin in what Zimmerman described as self defense.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT IN TRAYVON MARTIN SHOOTING: I said, help me, help me. I felt his arm going down to my side and grabbed -- and I just grabbed my firearm and shot him.

CAMPBELL: He was tried and acquitted by a Florida jury.


CAMPBELL (on camera): Now, Erin, the man accused of shooting 16-year- old Ralph Yarl is now out on bond. CNN is attempting to locate his attorney for comment. We will have to wait and see how he pleads and whether he claims self defense, of course, in claiming self defense. The next logical question is, defense from what?

As his attorney told CNN, the attorney for the Yarl family, it's not illegal to wring someone's doorbell -- Erin.

BURNETT: Josh, thank you very much.

And turning to that tragedy in Upstate New York, a significant change in tone tonight from the lawyer of the man accused of killing the 20- year-old woman who mistakenly drove onto his property, Kevin Monahan, you see him there. He's accused.

The lawyers saying the woman and her friends created an atmosphere of, quote, menace on the man's property, with multiple vehicles, revving their engines and going up the driveway, they say at a high rate of speed. This is quite different from what the lawyer had previously told a news outlet, which is, quote, my preliminary view of this case is that it was a series of errors, which resulted in a tragedy.

OUTFRONT now, Jeffrey Murphy, the sheriff in Washington County, New York, where Kaylin Gillis was killed.

And, obviously, you know more about this than anyone, Sheriff, and everyone wants to hear whatever you're able to share with us. I know that Kevin Monahan, right, who was accused his lawyer says. Multiple vehicles were on the property, and they're now saying that this was menacing, that Monahan felt this was menacing.

What can you tell us at this point about the circumstances surrounding this terrible shooting?

SHERIFF JEFFREY MURPHY, WASHINGTON COUNTY, NY: Well, I think it obviously was a mistake for the kids to go into the driveway. That's about where that ends. I think if anyone who knows the area, it's a rural area. It's a dirt road, dirt driveway.

But, you know, going up the wrong driveway by mistake is certainly not grounds in New York anyways, to be shot at. These were two vehicles and a motorcycle, with young adults that we're looking for a house, which actually was very close to the one that they drove up to, Mr. Monahan's, and by all accounts, including, you know, witness statements from people in the vehicle and neighbors.

They weren't in the driveway, for a very long time at all before they realized it was the wrong house, and they were in the process of leaving, which makes this case obviously a little different. And I don't know how you could menace someone if you're leaving the property. So one vehicle left, the motorcycle left and then the vehicle that our victim, young Kaylin Gillis was in, was turning around to leave when the shots were fired.

So, you know, there was clearly no threat from anyone in the vehicles, especially when you take into the fact that the vehicle was on its way out, and that's supported by, you know, both witness statements and forensic evidence that we have.

BURNETT: Well, that's very significant, what you're saying. I mean, that that not that not only that they did drive up that there were two vehicles and a motorcycle but that you're saying two of them had left and that the car Kaylin Gillis was in was turning around and leave, right?

So this is at the end of it. They were they were leaving, certainly not driving up or threatening when this happened, just to be very clear about what you're saying on the timing here.

MURPHY: That's right. There was from all indication from witness things, there was no interaction between Mr. Monahan and any of the vehicle occupants at all. There was no doorbell rung. There was no pounding on any doors.

It was simply pulling into the driveway, realizing they were in the drive -- wrong driveway.


MURPHY: Trying to negotiate these dark roads, you know, at night with limited cellphone service and GPS. So, by the time, you know, they found out where they were, and they were in the wrong place. They try to leave. And that I think is the key point.

BURNETT: So, you say that Monahan has not shown any remorse about this. What more can you tell me about how he's exhibiting no remorse or how he's behaving now.

MURPHY: Well, I think that started at the scene. You know, when patrols first arrived at the scene, they tried to make contact with Mr. Monahan in the house. He didn't -- he didn't really want to talk to anybody. He did talk to the 911 center here on the phone.

But when patrols asked him to come out of the house with his hands up, you know, clearly, this was a tactically. This was a bad situation for our officers that were on the scene. It was a house that was high up on a hill. There was a long driveway up to the house. Mr. Monahan had several floodlights that shined out into the yard and down the driveway, so in approach to the house I thought would have been very dangerous by any law enforcement members.

So we tried to get Mr. Monahan to come out of the house and raise his hands. He refused to do that. At one point, he didn't come out on the porch where we could yell back and forth, our officers did.


MURPHY: But he made a decision to stay in the house. He wouldn't come out. Finally, he called his attorney from inside the house and then through the attorney we're able to talk him into coming out and surrendered to them.

BURNETT: Well, Sheriff Murphy, I appreciate your telling me and sharing all this with us. Thank you.

MURPHY: You're welcome. Thank you. BURNETT: And next on Capitol Hill, Democrats plan to get Senator

Dianne Feinstein replaced because she's out indefinitely and currently holding up a dozen Biden judicial nominees.


That just failed.

The Democrat who was the first to call for Feinstein to step down is next.

Plus, Ron DeSantis racking up even more presidential endorsements, even though he has not announced he's running.


BURNETT: New tonight, Senate Republicans blocking Democrats from temporarily replacing California Senator Dianne Feinstein on the Judiciary Committee. This as the 89-year-old Feinstein remains absent from the Senate nearly two months after getting shingles, missing nearly 60 votes and leaving 12 judicial nominees of President Biden waiting to be confirmed. That's the real world implications of this.

And the majority leader, Chuck Schumer, even with that, is refusing to get behind calls for Feinstein to step down from her seat.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MAJORITY LEADER: Look I spoke to Senator Feinstein just a few days ago, and she and I are both very hopeful that she will return very soon.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, the first Democrat in Congress to call for Senator Feinstein to step down, Congressman Ro Khanna. He is supporting Congresswoman Barbara Lee in the 2024 Senate race for Feinstein's seat, as she has already said she will not run again.

So, Congressman, do you think Senate Democrats were in denial, frankly, to ever think that Republicans would help them temporarily replaced Senator Feinstein on the Judiciary Committee when that means that, all of a sudden, you get, you know, these dozen Biden judicial nominees immediately passed?


REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): You know, I was hopeful when Senator Feinstein suggested that, but I was very skeptical that Senate Republicans would go along. Let's understand the stakes here. You've got a Texas judge who's taking the abortion pill away from millions of women and relying on junk science. You have Donald Trump, who has stacked the judiciary with people who don't have a regard for the rule of law.

And President Biden has done an extraordinary job nominating judges, getting more judges confirmed than many of his predecessors and it's being slowed down on the Judiciary Committee. It's honestly nothing personal. We just need someone there who can break the votes.

BURNETT: Right. And I, as you pointed out, you've got at least a dozen, 12 judicial nominees and 60 votes have been missed, right? I mean, that these are the real world implications of what's happening here.

Now here's the thing, Congressman, you've come out and you've said what you think needs to be done. You haven't minced words.

Many of your colleagues have not done that. They have gotten behind Senator Feinstein. They said that she does not need to step aside and she shouldn't face calls to resign. Here are a few of them.


REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): In America, we don't tell people to resign because they got shingles.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): She was elected. She served admirably. Other members been gone for a year or more times and no one called for the resignation.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): The senator should be able to make their own judgments about when the retiring and when they're not. Dianne will get better. She will come back to work.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): The decision about whether somebody should resign rest on that individual themselves. I don't think she should be forced out.


BURNETT: What do you say to them?

KHANNA: I have a lot of respect for Senator Manchin, but his saying that they've been senators have been out for a year and they aren't being called upon to resign shows exactly what's wrong in the institution.

I don't know any other job where you can not show up for a year and expect to hold your job. And the reality here is this is something people have known about Senator Feinstein for about over a year. It's not just the shingles. The situation is not a great one, and I hope she'll do the dignified thing and step aside and have someone else -- the governor can appoint a caretaker so we can get our judges confirmed.

BURNETT: And when you say that it's not just singles, are you referring to anything specifically?

KHANNA: Well, I don't want to be speculating. People can read the public reporting. But what I do know is that she hasn't been able to fulfill her duty. A lot of people are speaking privately about why that's not the case, and it's time that we have deference to the American people, more than deference to a senator. I mean, I get how Washington works. You're not supposed to speak up on

these things. You just keep your head down. You keep rising. You eventually become a committee chair in the cabinet.

No one wants to make enemies of powerful people. Senator Feinstein is powerful. She has a lot of allies.

But at some point we have to ask. What does the urgent moment call for? You can't go around giving speeches, saying abortion, it needs to be legal, that they're taking away all women's rights and be passionate about that, and then not speak out on something we actually can do, which is confirmed judges.

BURNETT: Right, and those judges says as you mentioned, right, 12 of them not moving ahead because of this.

Congressman, thanks very much. I really appreciate your time.

KHANNA: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. And next, Trump on the attack tonight, tearing into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, accusing him of getting, quote, absolutely destroyed by Disney, and update tonight from officials who were scrambling to try and find people alive after a deadly garage collapsed in New York.



BURNETT: Tonight, political stunt. Former President Trump slamming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over his ongoing clash with Disney. The former president saying on social media that the governor is being, quote, absolutely destroyed by the company. It comes as DeSantis threatened to build a competing theme park or even a state prison next to Disney after the company thwarted his plans of a state takeover.

So, Harry Enten is OUTFRONT.

So, Harry, Trump never shies away from an opportunity to hit DeSantis, right? I mean, that's his favorite target right now, and it looks like Republican voters like the fighting spirit.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: I think they really do like the fighting spirit? You know, I've been on the program with you over the last month showing, you know, Trump's primary polling, his lead over DeSantis has been growing.

But there has been the argument right that. Okay, maybe with all the indictment news and all that type of stuff, that maybe his general election outlook as Republicans would see it would worsen, right? They see him as less electable.

But in fact, this fighting spirit has actually made Republicans seem to think he's more electable in the general election. We have this great trend line that essentially shows that, you know, back in November, only about 35 percent of Republicans believe that Trump gave the GOP the best chance to win the general election. (AUDIO GAP) February, and now, it's 49 percent.

So this isn't just about agreeing with Trump on the issues. It's also that they do see him as the best chance to actually beat Joe Biden in November of 2024.

BURNETT: Which is interesting that's how they see it.

And look as the polls come, you know, the news on DeSantis and Disney is fast and furious, right? So, polls don't necessarily keep up with where people are at this moment. Nonetheless, when you look at a general election situation, is the GOP base right about their bet on Trump?

ENTEN: They are not correct. So if you look at the general election polling, you look nationally, what do you see? You see a close race between Biden and Trump, and a close race between Biden and DeSantis. But DeSantis actually leads by a point, while Trump is actually trailing Biden by two points.

So this is a relatively small difference, but it is a large difference given how close elections are in this country. The fact is at this point, and we've seen it over and over again, Ron DeSantis, simply put, runs better in the general election.

BURNETT: Yes. Although as you pointed, one point is a big difference in American politics. But, right, and they now self-identified, that's the biggest chunk.

ENTEN: Correct.

BURNETT: So, where they see -- where they lean?

ENTEN: This is where we see the largest difference, right? If Republican voters love Donald Trump, independents on the other hand, far more lukewarm. So look at the general election matchup between Biden and DeSantis and Biden and Trump among independents. We see DeSantis with this large nine point advantage. But look, Biden and Trump are tied at this particular point.

And the fact is, there are more Democrats self-identifying the country than Republicans. So Republicans need to win among independents. DeSantis is doing it at this point, but Trump simply isn't.


That's why he's trailing in the general election polls, while DeSantis is slightly ahead.

BURNETT: Wow, really interested to see as this Disney stuff progresses, what changes if anything, it's all fascinating.

Okay, Harry, thank you.

ENTEN: Thank you. BURNETT: And so, coming up on "AC360", "The Wall Street Journal's"

Moscow bureau chief joins Anderson to talk about Evan Gershkovich's appearance in a Russian court today and that is coming up at eight.

In the meantime, next officials with new information tonight on a deadly garage collapsed in New York that is already taken the life we know of one person.


BURNETT: Tonight, one person dead and several others injured after parking garage in lower Manhattan collapsed. New York City officials saying the four story building, quote, pancaked. So this video was taken by freshman in his dorm and nearby Pace University. It just shows the ground crumbled dozens of cars there.

At least one worker in the building was trapped in one of the upper floors before firefighters were thankfully able to rescue him. They then started searching the building on foot. But then they had to stop because the building continued to collapse, and it's terrifying.

They then deployed drones, even a robot dog. FDNY officials believe they've accounted for everyone in the building, but searches continue. And we'll continue to update you on that moving story tonight -- through the night.

Thanks so much for joining us. Of course, you can watch OUTFRONT anytime on CNN Go.

But it is time now for "AC360".