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Erin Burnett Outfront
Jury Finds Trump Sexually Abused E. Jean Carroll; CNN Exclusive: Justice Department Charges Rep. George Santos, Expected To Appear in Court As Soon As Wednesday; Russia Only Shows Off One Tank in Military "Victory Day" Parade; Biden: Border Is "Going To Be Chaotic" After End of Title 42. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 09, 2023 - 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, a jury finds former President Donald J. Trump sexually abused and defamed E. Jean Carroll. The writer awarded $5 million. It's a historic decision with major implications. The witness who testified in the case is OUTFRONT tonight.
Plus, breaking news: embattled Congressman George Santos who lied about his resume is now facing criminal charges from the DOJ and we're learning he could be arrested in just hours. We have new details ahead tonight.
And Putin mocked after one single tank was on display for Russia's big victory day parade. What happened? A Russia insider who predicted this is my guest.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, sexual abuse. A New York jury today finding former president Donald Trump sexually abused writer E. Jean Carroll inside a department store dressing room in the 1990s. Jurors needed to believe that Trump subjected Carroll to sexual contact by physical force without her consent. The jury did that and they also found Trump liable of defaming Carroll. It awarded her a massive sum of $5 million in damages.
And in a statement Carroll writes: I filed this lawsuit against Donald Trump to clear my name and to get my life back. Today, the world finally knows the truth. And just to be clear, tonight is an important night. This verdict is from a jury of Americans, of Trump's peers, six men, and three women doing their civic duty.
And it is a historic moment. It's the first time in American history that a jury has come to the conclusion that a president or a former president sexually abused someone. It is a moment worth pausing to think about. It is significant this has happened in a court of law, and it is also the first time Trump has been held accountable in any way in court for sexual abuse, even though more than a dozen women have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct. Now, Trump never took the stand in this case. He was, though, deposed
under oath and his deposition was played back to the jury, and honestly, it was stunning if you listen to it. I mean, he said this, for example, when he was under oath, talking about his infamous comments about grabbing women on the "Access Hollywood" tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Well, historically, that's true with stars.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's true with stars, that they can grab women by the pussy?
TRUMP: Well, that's what -- if you look over the last million years, I guess that's been largely true, not always, but largely true, unfortunately, or fortunately.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you consider yourself to be a star?
TRUMP: I think you can say that, yeah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Okay. So that's what he said under oath, knowing that could be played back. Now, shortly after the verdict today, Trump posted a statement online, which, unsurprisingly reads: I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. This verdict is a disgrace, a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time.
And, of course, Trump knew exactly who Jean Carroll was. In fact, in the deposition he simply kept repeating that the issue with her was that she was not his type.
Now, let me play this for you because it is incredible. First, Trump's reason that he did not assault E. Jean Carroll.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'll say it with as much respect as I can, but she is not my type. Wouldn't be my type in any way, shape, or form.
While it's politically incorrect, she's not my type, and that's 100 percent true. She's not my type.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Okay. So then as the deposition continued, right after that was the argument "not my type". Trump was then presented with a photograph of himself with E. Jean Carroll. Not his type? Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don't even know who the woman -- let's see, I don't know who -- it's Marla. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You say Marla's in this photo?
TRUMP: That's Marla, yeah. That's my wife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which woman are you pointing to?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The person you just pointed to was E. Jean Carroll. And the woman on the right is your then wife Ivana?
TRUMP: I don't know. This was the picture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Not his type, and then he confuses her with his wife?
All of this added up to a very quick verdict from a jury, again, six men and three women doing their jobs, as all American citizens call for jury duty do.
Paula Reid is OUTFRONT live outside the court house in New York to begin our coverage on this historic night.
And, Paula, I know you have been covering this trial for weeks. You've been in the courtroom for much of it. Were you surprised at all by how fast the jury reached this verdict?
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I was, Erin. I was in court this morning when the judge was giving the jury instructions. That took about 90 minutes, and it took just a little bit longer than that for them to actually decide this case. And that speed suggests that there was little, if any, dissent or deliberation going on in that jury room.
But it isn't surprising in that I know these jurors were very attentive. I watched them in court. They were very attentive as E. Jean Carroll testified. And it's clear that they believed the witnesses they heard on the stand, not only E. Jean, but also witnesses like her friends who she told about this incident shortly after it occurred, and also women who alleged others, similar behavior by the president.
And, of course, they heard the former president in his own words on the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape, discussing grabbing women and doubling down on that in his deposition. The former president's lawyers have avowed to appeal. And, Erin, they are really trying to focus on the fact that here the jury did not find that he raped E. Jean.
But they did find that he sexually abused her, that is a form of sexual assault and battery, the former president has been found liable for battery, defamation, potentially on the hook for $5 million. This is unequivocally a victory for E. Jean Carroll. This jury has handed her. But, Erin, we may never know exactly how the jury viewed the evidence in this case because they've been anonymous. And today, the judge encouraged them to stay anonymous.
BURNETT: All right, and we'll see if that indeed pans out.
Okay. Thank you very much, Paula.
So, I want to go now to Ashlee Humphreys because she testified at the trial on behalf of E. Jean Carroll.
And I really appreciate you taking the time, Ashlee.
So, let me start, if I may, just with how you thought. Paula's describing these jurors as all the time -- she was in the courtroom -- as very attentive. Were you surprised by this verdict at all?
ASHLEE HUMPHREYS, WITNESS IN E. JEAN CARROLL TRIAL: No, I wasn't surprised. The jury seemed very sympathetic to Carroll, very kind of emotionally in tune with what was going on. So I was not surprised.
BURNETT: So, when you testified and you were there, you saw the jury, you saw the courtroom. What impression did you get from the jury in terms of how they were paying attention, how they were focused?
HUMPHREYS: Yeah. They were very attentive. Some were taking notes. I saw some nods. They seemed to really be listening and really taking it all in.
BURNETT: So, you're a professor, you're a social media expert. You know, one of the things I -- we're hearing quotes from E. Jean Carroll. You know, she talked about how -- she said that after this incident, she had never been intimate with another man again. There were certain, you know, powerful moments here in the testimony.
And you testified about the damage the Trump statements did to Carroll and to her reputation. And during Trump's videotaped deposition, Carroll's attorney asked Trump about his social media post, the one in which he called Carroll's entire suit, her entire reason for being there, a hoax.
I just want to play a little part of that exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sitting here today, can you recall what else you have referred to as a hoax?
TRUMP: Sure. The Russia, Russia, Russia hoax. It's been proven to be a hoax.
Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine hoax. The Mueller situation for two and a half years hoax, ended in no collusion, it was a whole big hoax. And this is a hoax, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This -- when you say this and that -- TRUMP: This ridiculous situation that we're doing right now. It's a
big fat hoax. She's a liar and she's a sick person, in my opinion. Really sick. Something wrong with her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, he went on and on. Didn't take issue when the lawyer quoted CNN and counting maybe 250 things that he had called a hoax in a year.
You testified that the cost of repairing Carroll's reputation due to the remarks Trump made about her would be up to $2.76 million, and the jury did give her that amount for defamation, obviously $5 million in total.
Do you think these numbers are right?
HUMPHREYS: Yeah. I feel very confident about the numbers. You know, we did a very systematic analysis to see exactly how many people had seen Mr. Trump's statement, exactly what percentage of those might've believed the statement, and then we calculated the cost for a campaign, what would it take to persuade those people that his claims (ph) were false.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Ashlee, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
As I said, Ashlee testified in the trial on behalf of E. Jean Carroll.
Ryan Goodman is here with me.
Ryan, we were talking about this last night, and I know you had been very focused on sort of what the jury would do, how long it might take them, obviously as you heard Paula talking about it, it didn't take them long at all, six men, three women.
Were you at all surprised by the verdict or the time frame in which it was reached?
RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: I wasn't surprised by the verdict or the time frame. It seemed as though this was a pretty simple case, and it was drawn out over several days. So they had to -- the ability to take any information over the course of days, and so then they had it.
So it wasn't going to take much time. They all agreed to the straw poll and they said we're all on the same page. So that didn't surprise me.
It did -- one thing that did surprise me is they did not find unanimously in favor of rape, but they did find in favor of sexual abuse, which amounts to the same thing in terms of a sexual assault. But that makes me think that they maybe based that on her testimony, plus the testimony of the other witnesses who said they also suffered sexual abuse, so it was corroborated in that way, which is another strong lesson from the trial that it sounds like the jury firmly believed not just E. Jean Carroll but also the other two witnesses also said they suffered sexual assault.
BURNETT: Right, because those other witnesses were specifically talking, in their cases, they were corroborating in the sense that they were giving specific examples of sexual assault, that they said they had received at the hands of Trump.
GOODMAN: That's right.
BURNETT: So that added up to three people with that specific claim.
BURNETT: And you're saying that would be -- the jury then -- sort of seems like saw it as an open and shut case.
GOODMAN: Yeah, I think that's right.
BURNETT: So, as I mentioned, Trump obviously didn't testify. But he did sit for that, as I call it, a stunning deposition because, I mean, honestly, it's unbelievable. It's almost as if he hadn't slept before or something. He didn't look like he was taking it seriously.
I want to play a little bit more of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said that Ms. Carroll was trying to sell a new book, and that you said, shame on those who make up false stories of assault to try to get publicity for themselves or sell a book.
TRUMP: Yeah. That's right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before you made that statement, did you have any knowledge, one way or the other, of the financial arrangements between Ms. Carroll and the publisher of her book?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you even know who her publisher was?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another thing that you say in your June 21 statement is that ms. Carroll was trying to carry out a political agenda.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before issuing your statement on June 21, did you have -- did you learn what political party Ms. Carroll belonged to?
TRUMP: No, I didn't know that. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before you issued your June 21 statement, did
you have any documents indicating that she was pursuing a political agenda?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. Now, playing those examples back here, you think this is important. How come?
GOODMAN: It goes to the very question of defamation in whether or not he's lying. So, defamation would be that the statement he releases against E. Jean Carroll, did he have a reckless disregard for the truth? And it's just -- the lawyer's just walking him through his statement, all the things that he says about E. Jean Carroll immediately upon the release of her book excerpt, he has no evidence of.
Like he says she's in line with the Democrats, that she has a political agenda, that she's after this for financial reasons. He's actually saying, I didn't know any of that.
BURNETT: Right, I didn't know the financial terms. I knew her political party. I knew nothing.
GOODMAN: That's right.
GOODMAN: And yet I was willing to just go out there and say she's all of this and I've never met her, and the rest of it.
So when they looked through that statement, it's just destroys his credibility, and it actually goes to the heart of what defamation is about.
BURNETT: And one final point I want to make with you here because there's been sort of some saying, oh, well, this is civil and not criminal. Well, there's a reason for that. There's a reason for that in New York state, right, which is that you're in this very brief window of time where victims of alleged sexual assault are able to file only civil charges, right, in this window.
BURNETT: So, that's sort of why we are, why this is framed the way it's framed.
GOODMAN: That's right. So it's a unique opportunity for victims in New York, and this took place in New York, and there's six months left on that law. So I actually think there's another important public lesson with the trial, especially with the success that E. Jean Carroll had, that others can come forward regardless of when it happened to them. And that's why we're in this civil setting.
BURNETT: That's why we're in a civil setting.
I just think it's important for people to understand because when he says it was a long time ago, this context is very crucial for everyone to understand, it is a specific situation in New York state right now.
Ryan Goodman, thank you.
And Trump's former White House communications director telling CNN that when it comes to -- I mentioned sort of the emphasis of 12 public accusations that Trump also acted inappropriately towards women while president. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I have countless cases of what I considered impropriety in the White House that I brought to the chief of staff because I thought the way he engaged with women was dangerous.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Wait, you brought to Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, or other chiefs of staff incidents that you witnessed of Donald Trump behaving inappropriately with women?
GRIFFIN: I did, as well as former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. We heard Alyssa say it, and I want now to bring in, Stephanie Grisham, the former Trump White House press secretary.
And, Stephanie, I know Alyssa reached out to you. I know that you knew she said that. But, obviously, this is very important in the context of now you've had a -- you've had the American court system, the American jury system has reached a conclusion, right, of what the president, former president, his behavior and what he did.
Can you tell us more about what Alyssa Farah Griffin is talking about, about what happened in the White House?
STEPHANIE GRISHAM, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Yeah. I just -- I do want to say, first, quickly that, you know, when this was all happening, I thought to myself today, if the jury comes back and they find him not guilty --
BURNETT: Yeah. I just -- I do want to say, first, quickly that, you know, when this was all happening, I thought to myself today, if the jury comes back and they find him not guilty, that is our justice system, and I think we need to live with it. So I think that the opposite should apply to those who, you know, are saying it's just a civil trial or E. Jean Carroll is lying, et cetera.
Back to what Alyssa said. Yes, I wrote about it in my book. In fact, there was one specific staffer that he worked for me and he would request for her to be on constant trips when it wasn't her turn, I would rotate the staffers to go on foreign trips, especially. He one time had one of my other deputies bring her back so that they could look at her ass is what he said to him.
And I wrote about this in my book. So this is -- this is nothing new for me to be saying publicly. I sat down and talked to her at one point, asked her if she was uncomfortable. I tried everything I could to ensure she was never alone with him.
I did take it to a couple of different chiefs of staff, including Mark Meadows. And, you know, I don't like Mark Meadows. Everybody knows that. And I think, at the end of the day, what could they do other than go in there and say this isn't good, sir, and Donald Trump will do what Donald Trump wants to do.
So I don't know that I even blame them. When you're dealing with the president of the United States, again, there's no HR group or HR representative to go to, to talk to about these kinds of things.
BURNETT: It's sort of odd, you know, when you say it, though. I'm having sort of a flashback to that tape from "Access Hollywood" that for him, what he did -- it just continued, right? I mean, it just was sort of they let you do it. I'm not saying it went that far in the cases that you're saying, but I am hearing an eerie echo for what you're describing, what else could they do but say, this isn't a good look, sir.
BURNETT: But, you know, look, I knew him many years -- for many years before he was in the White House. This is consistent. How often did this happen, that you saw?
GRISHAM: Well, I mean, it happened in terms of -- you know, he would always comment on women's looks or -- you know, he would even talk to me sometimes about various plastic surgeries, et cetera. But with this one staffer, it was really bad, to the point that I was extremely uncomfortable.
And, you know, the sad thing is every senior staff member knew it, everybody talked about it in our White House. And, you know, I challenge anybody to say what I am saying right now is not true.
So, it happened with her a lot. And, again, I did everything I could to keep her off of trips actually and to stay with her if she was with him alone because I was really nervous about what could happen. And this was before I knew kind of any of the E. Jean Carroll allegations. I stupidly did know about the "Access Hollywood" video, but, maybe, that was what made me, you know, keep with her all the time.
BURNETT: And, obviously, I know you're protecting her identity, as you should. But, just to be clear, did anybody -- I know you're talking about what you did about it. Did Meadows or anybody do thing about it? Other than you trying to protect her, it was just -- it was what it was?
GRISHAM: Yeah, not that I'm aware of. I took it to the highest absolute level that I could. And from there, I don't know where it went. BURNETT: All right. Well, Stephanie, I appreciate it. I always
appreciate talking to you. Thank you.
GRISHAM: Thank you very much.
BURNETT: And, next, I'm going to talk to Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson. He says today's verdict is, quote, another example of indefensible behavior of Donald Trump.
Plus, breaking news. Federal prosecutors now filing criminal charges against George Santos, the Republican congressman who repeatedly lied about his resume. His Republican colleagues now responding.
And it's normally a day, May 9th, for Russia to flex its military muscle. Major parades, flyovers. But take a look at Putin's military parade. There was today just one tank. And we'll tell you what else.
BURNETT: Tonight, he's not suited to be president of the United States. Those are strong words, and they are quotes. They come from the Republican Senator Mitt Romney.
Other Republicans also weighing in quickly. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I hope the jury of the American people reached the same conclusion about Donald Trump. He just is not suited to be president of the United States.
SEN. BILL HAGERTY (R-TN): We've been watching this legal circus in Manhattan unfold. This is just the latest act in it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That and several other things caused me to question whether he'd be the best nominee for the party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Republican presidential candidate and former governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson.
And, Governor, I very much appreciate your time.
So we're sitting here today. You know, we knew we were going to be talking earlier, and then history was made in the middle of today. Never before has a former president of the United States been found liable for sexual abuse, right? This has never happened before. And here we are tonight, it has happened.
What's your reaction to it?
ASA HUTCHINSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That it's a significant event. I practiced law for many years. I've been in the courtroom. And I give respect to what juries find. And, by and large, they get it right.
And here, you have a unanimous verdict that found credibility in the witness, in the story that was given, and they gave a very strong verdict in a quick amount of time that is significant.
And I don't think it should be dismissed. People will try to dismiss it because maybe it happened a long time ago, or because, you know, they just believe it was an attack on him, that he is a victim of this somehow.
But, by and large, I think this is going to have credibility and it should have credibility. This is not something you defend. This is significant in our justice system.
And that's why I made the statement today that Republicans should not be dismissing this and saying this is not of any significance. It is, and the jury system worked in this case.
BURNETT: And I think what you're saying here is very significant. You're saying, the jury system counts, the jury system matters, the jury system comes out with truth, that this is real and that this matters.
And that, in and of itself, in this country right now with the former president saying, oh, this is just another witch hunt.
HUTCHINSON: Well, that is probably the most important point. What's remarkable about the United States of America is our rule of law and our justice system. It's the envy of the world.
HUTCHINSON: And we can't have leaders that undermine it and disrespect it.
And here, it worked. The system presented its facts in this case, and this is what the finding is, and we should not lightly dismiss it. This is how our system works. And let's not undermine it. And I think it has credibility and it should be given credence and an issue as we look forward to who's going to be our nominee in 2024.
BURNETT: Right, and obviously you're running to be that nominee. But your -- is there any world in which somebody who has been found, as he has, liable for sexual abuse, the whole underpinning of this is that this jury was saying this was sexual abuse. That in a court of law has found that, that a person in that position should be president of the United States?
HUTCHINSON: And I don't believe he should be president of the United States.
HUTCHINSON: That's why I'm a candidate. First of all, it's a distraction.
HUTCHINSON: Anybody who wants to be president and lead the free world, to have these kind of serious issues around is a significant factor.
And then, secondly, the dismissive attitude of Donald Trump toward our justice system is a factor in and of itself.
And so, I don't know that this is going to change things. I don't know. But I believe it is an important issue for the public to weigh as to what this says about a person and what this says about who will be our next leader.
BURNETT: And when you look at the country, right, and you're asking them to choose you but -- and the GOP specifically in the primary process in the first step here. But I'm curious whether you think it will -- whether something like this will matter in the way that you should.
It was interesting I saw conservative commentator and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy today. He wrote a column. I thought it was interesting.
He said: If Trump is found liable for committing a sexual assault and assessed heavy damages -- by the way, $5 million, it's a lot. It will be a political earthquake. Nothing like that has ever happened to a significant candidate for the presidency, let alone to a former president.
No, Trump wouldn't face imprisonment or even prosecution because the criminal statute of limitations long ago lapsed. But the damage a jury finding of liability could do to Trump's candidacy could be devastating.
HUTCHINSON: And I agree.
HUTCHINSON: And I think it should be that serious of an evaluation by the public and is -- this is a huge distraction as well. The office of presidency is incredibly important. And this is a distraction. The criminal investigations are a distraction.
And we've got to be talking about the economy. We've got to be talking about border security. We need to be talking about our role in supporting freedom across the globe, including Ukraine. This is what myself as a candidate wants to talk about.
Everything's a distraction to it, but it is a relevant factor, and I think it will have repercussions as people evaluate the candidates for 2024. And just as importantly, you know that the Democrats and President Biden is going to use this.
BURNETT: Yes. HUTCHINSON: And so, it's going to make it much more difficult for Republicans to win if Donald Trump leads the ticket.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Governor. I always appreciate talking to you.
HUTCHINSON: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. And CNN's Harry Enten joins me now.
So, you know, obviously, the governor's saying that this should have repercussions, that this should matter.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes.
BURNETT: So, when I mentioned at least a dozen women had made public sexual assaults and harassment allegations against Trump back in 2016. We'll see how many more may choose to finally speak out now. But, that was the number then. And of course Trump still won.
ENTEN: Trump still won, and the fact is if you looked at the polling, what did you see in terms of the percentage of Americans who believe that Trump had made unwanted sexual advances? Look at that, 54 percent. The majority believe that those allegations were mostly true at the time. Just 41 percent said mostly false.
So the fact is back in 2016, there was the majority of the electorate who thought that this -- that there were these allegations, that there was a lot of truth to them and a lot of voters, or a good portion of the voters just dismissed them. And so, I think it's going through a lot of our heads right now when Trump is found liable, will this actually make any difference this time around, will it be any different than 2016?
BURNETT: Now, it's not a public accusation. Now it's a court of law, right?
Okay. But if you look closely at who believed, you're talking about 54 percent, who believe or, you know, mostly true, found the allegation to be mostly true, and you cross-referenced that with who voted for him, what do you actually see?
ENTEN: Right. So, you know, If they drill down amongst Republicans, right, you know, I think that first slide might give you the idea, oh, you know, the allegations didn't matter back in 2016. I would actually argue that they did because if you look among the Republicans who believe those allegations, believe they were mostly true, yes, Trump won them, but won them by a significantly smaller margin than the ones who believed they're mostly false. In fact, there was a 72-point gap difference between them.
ENTEN: So, yeah, there were Republicans who were willing to basically dismiss the allegations. But a lot of who believed them actually decided to vote for Hillary Clinton. BURNETT: Well, and if you look at that, right, all of a sudden, if
you were to see now, that number goes from 20 to 20, that's an election.
ENTEN: That's -- that's --
BURNETT: So I just emphasized why these numbers can be so important, right? You don't have to change it 100 percent. You narrow the margin.
ENTEN: Exactly. Elections are all about margins.
BURNETT: All right. Now, today, though, E. Jean Carroll, people have called it the sleeper case. Ryan Goodman has used that word many times. People weren't paying attention, and then, all of a sudden, it exploded into the public consciousness -- literally exploded into public consciousness.
Put it in perspective.
ENTEN: Yeah. I mean, look, compare it to -- look at Google searches, right? Compare the number of Google searches for E. Jean Carroll today, than for Alvin Bragg when Trump was arraigned back in early April.
What did you see? You see that in fact there were, get this, twice as many, about twice as many Google searches for E. Jean Carroll than for Alvin Bragg back on April 4th.
So, the fact that a lot of voters are paying attention to this. Maybe it will move the polls. Let's wait and see, Erin.
BURNETT: Right. And Alvin -- that case had a lot of coverage coming in as well.
BURNETT: And this is still two times more.
All right. Thank you very much, Harry.
ENTEN: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, federal prosecutors filing criminal charges against George Santos, the New York Republican congressman who lied about his background and has been facing growing and crucial questions about his campaign finances. He could be in court as early as tomorrow.
Plus, Putin's major victory day parade meant to be a major show of strength. But there was only one tank. So what's going on? A former Russian lawmaker is OUTFRONT, next.
BURNETT: So, new tonight, Republican Congressman George Santos has been charged by federal prosecutors. Sources telling CNN exclusively that Santos is expected to appear in court in New York's Eastern District as soon as tomorrow.
Santos, of course, as you may be aware, is facing a litany of investigations into campaign finances. He has a long track record of lying about everything from where he went to school, where he worked and even his religion.
Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.
And, Evan, obviously this is a significant moment here that you've got charges. I do understand that they're still under seal. What more do you know about what Santos might be facing?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin. Look, it's very rare, still, these days for the Justice Department to bring charges against a sitting member of Congress. But that's exactly what has happened. These charges are still under seal. We're expected to see them tomorrow when Santos is expected to present himself before a judge in Islip, in the Eastern District of New York.
We know that the public integrity prosecutors at the Justice Department here at Justice Department headquarters, as well as those in the Eastern District of New York have been looking at a number of things including possible false statements that were filed as part of his campaign finance reports, things that detailed his expenditures during the campaign, as well as fundraising. Those are things that obviously would be major crimes that the Justice Department has a track record of going after.
But, of course, as you pointed out, there's a number -- there's a litany of things that have come out against the former -- I'm sorry, the congressman, just in the few months that he's been in office. He took office in January representing that district in Long Island and Queens.
But let me just recite a couple of them, right? The fact that he claimed he worked for Goldman Sachs and Citibank. He said he was a star volleyball player at Baruch College, that he graduated from. He said he was Jewish ancestry.
Again, none of those things are true. And so, that's obviously -- those things are not necessarily problematic. It's not illegal to lie to voters. It is a problem, though, if you lie in these campaign finance forums.
BURNETT: Absolutely, and getting to the point where the DOJ is -- you know, when you've got charges, that's obviously extremely significant. That isn't done lightly. They took their time.
All right. Evan, thank you very much.
BURNETT: And I want to go now to Nassau County executive Bruce Blakeman. He's a Republican and has called on Santos to resign. Regular viewers, of course, have seen you and I talk about this,
Bruce, as this has happened.
First, what's your reaction to this news that Santos is actually now going to be criminally charged?
BRUCE BLAKEMAN, NASSAU COUNTY, NY EXECUTIVE: Well, I'm not surprised because George Santos built his whole persona on a pack of lies, so why wouldn't he lie on an application? Why wouldn't he lie on a form? Why wouldn't he lie on a federal election document?
I don't know what the charges are, and we can only just speculate at this point. But his whole life has been built on lies. He's pathological. He's contemptible. And he has no shame.
BURNETT: Now, you have called for his resignation, right? You weren't shy, you did it early. You said, you know, politics be damned. I'm a Republican, but this is wrong.
Do you think that the fact that he is now going to be charged by federal prosecutors will force his hand, right? He's, obviously, already said he's running for re-election -- and forced him to step down?
BLAKEMAN: Well, I think he's a very troubled human being, and I think that basically he needs help. So I'm not confident that he will come to the conclusion that everybody else seems to have come to that he should leave the House of Representatives. Right now, he's a stain on the House of Representatives.
So maybe this reality of being brought to justice might get him to do the right thing --
BLAKEMAN: -- because his campaign was built on lies.
BURNETT: And, you know, and to your point, maybe he wouldn't get to that place. But one person who could get him there, who could force him there would be the House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was asked about whether he should resign from Congress again today in light of this news. And here's how he responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I'll look at the charges, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: A non-answer, but I'll look at the charges.
He has so far largely distanced himself from the Santos situation, right? He has tried to stay away from it.
What do you say to him now? He's got a lot of power. BLAKEMAN: Well, I think that, basically, Kevin McCarthy is the
speaker of the House, and he's responsible for the integrity of the House.
So, I'm hoping that Kevin Carthy will -- McCarthy will come to the same conclusion that we all have, and that is that basically George Santos should leave the House of Representatives, he should do so quickly, because every day he's there, it is a blight on the House of Representatives, and it's an injustice to the people who voted for him in Nassau County and Queens County.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
BLAKEMAN: Thank you.
BURNETT: All right. And next, Putin's victory day parade majorly scaled down. The war in Ukraine taking a toll on his military. There was one tank there today. But that is not stopping Putin from ramping up attacks on the West and we'll explain.
Plus, President Biden tonight warning that things are going to be, quote, chaotic. Understatement, as migrants head to the United States.
We're going to take you to the Mexican side of the border to show you the surge there.
BURNETT: Tonight, Putin's poor showing of the military parade, because it's normally a massive show of Russian military might. And today was the day, the parade day, and it was anything but.
At one point, you could count it just one tank rolled across Red Square, a sign that Putin's war in Ukraine may be taking a serious toll on the military. In past years, this parade was a very different scene, scores of tanks on display, all kinds of flyovers. I mean, hypersonic missiles going by. That's what it was.
And, yet, despite the muted event today, Putin verbally was as defiant as ever, insisting that Russia is the one under attack, after he, of course, invaded Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): A real war is being waged against our country again. But we have countered international terrorism and will defend the people of Donbas and safeguard our security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Ilya Ponomarev. He's a former Russian lawmaker who was forced into exile after he was the only Russian lawmaker to vote against Putin's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
And, Ilya, I so much appreciate your time tonight.
So, when you saw the images today of that -- the victory parade, right, and just, you know, a bunch of military vehicles and that one tank, what did you think?
ILYA PONOMAREV, FORMER RUSSIAN LAWMAKER: Yeah, and moreover, this tank was T-34, the main Soviet tank during World War II. So it's a little bit outdated. They were removed from production in 1945 immediately after the war.
So, yeah, basically chose that Putin was really scared of the drone attack that happened from May 3rd. He was afraid that it would be repeated on the main line. And that's why first he took some hostages. He invited several leaders of the central states to be next to him so that nobody would dare to launch a drone.
And, secondly, they significantly downsized the parade so it would be shortened time.
BURNETT: So, you know, you mentioned the drone attack. And I know that the last time you were on the show, you talked about it. You said that it was the work of Russian partisans. And, of course, you know many in the Russian opposition and Russian partisans.
Do you believe that their attack on the Kremlin was -- you really believe that was the main reason that Putin scaled back the parade?
PONOMAREV: I think so, at least all these discussions started immediately after that attack. After that attack, first, they canceled the evening reception in the Kremlin. Secondly, two days after that attack, they decided to invite those leaders of Central Asia because Putin was afraid to show up by himself.
So, briefly, it was told by Dmytro Peskov, his spokesperson, that Putin would appear by video conference on the -- on the parade. And then he said that he will be coming in person, but accompanied with others.
BURNETT: So, another thing at the parade, the notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout had been the most serving time in prison and was released in a swap alongside Brittney Griner, the U.S. basketball star. He appeared at the parade today, and we're just looking at video of him there today.
What did you think about that, Ilya? What does that mean to you?
PONOMAREV: I think that they are showcasing old failed spies, different notorious people from across the world that Putin is diligently collecting in Moscow. And that's just a gesture towards the United States, you know, we don't care. But, based on the length of the parade, they do care.
BURNETT: All right. Ilya, I appreciate it. Thank you so much. Good to have you back. PONOMAREV: Thanks for having me.
BURNETT: All right. And, next, we're going to show you some live pictures here, this is live traffic jam in Juarez, Mexico. Countless migrants are there. They're lined up. They're in tents. They're waiting hour by hour for that Trump-era policy to end and hoping they can enter the United States right away. Our David Culver is there.
Plus, new details about Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein who has been holding up Biden's judicial nominees because of her months long absence.
BURNETT: Tonight, it's going to be chaotic. Those are the exact words of President Biden. He said this just moments ago.
He was talking about whether the United States is ready for the end of Title 42, which, of course, has allowed the United States to turn away migrants nearly 3 million times at the southern border. The rule is set to expire in about 48 hours.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I got close an hour with the Mexican president today. We're doing all we can. The answer is, it remains to be seen. It is going to be chaotic for awhile.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: David Culver is OUTFRONT with this report from the border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Echoing across the landscape on the U.S. southern border -- young voices shouting for water. Already on Texas soil, technically, having already illegally crossed the Rio Grande, hundreds of migrants camp out between the barbed wire and the border wall waiting to be processed for asylum.
Title 42 still in effect. For this group, that means they could be immediately expelled by U.S. border officials. The pandemic era policy offering no guarantees for their asylum claims to be heard. If it expires Thursday, Title 8 takes over, requiring asylum officers to process each claim, potentially overwhelming border officials already strained.
Worsening this humanitarian crisis, the heat, some 90 degrees at midday. You see people bundled up in winter coats and blankets useful for the night chill and to shield themselves from the scorching sun.
We watched some Mexican locals arrive to help the group of migrant, mostly from other parts of Latin America. They carried boxes of pizza, bags of snacks, water and soda.
But it's not a handout. They sell them to desperate customers who then crawl back under the barbed wire with their purchase as others wait for their fill.
But this only a small portion of the tens of thousands in Ciudad Juarez determined to cross.
Near to the city center, scenes similar to what's already happening and perhaps more of what's to come in U.S. border towns.
So for those migrants in Ciudad Juarez who aren't in a shelter and aren't camping out along the border, some of them are just trying to find places to call home for a few days, a few weeks, one young woman told me she's been here six months.
We're essentially in a construction zone that's been an abandoned building turned into a makeshift shelter of sorts. A lot of tents around me, some have used blankets to cordon off certain areas and then put a mattress if they're lucky or just some bedding on the floor and look around on the outside, and you can see clothes hanging up. This is where they've set themselves up ahead of any potential crossing.
This as more migrants by the hundreds if not thousands arrived hourly into this Mexican border city, long dangerous journeys behind them and by no means is this their last stop. They crowd around a hose of running water to wash up and drink.
This man skipping the line going to the source bathing under the leak.
Back at the wall rumblings of hope. A truck from the U.S. side approaches, water shooting from the sides helping to cool the hot sand but also sparking false hope. Some in the crowd rushed to fill their empty bottles as others warn it's not for drinking. That doesn't quench desperation.
BURNETT: And, David, you're there talking to so many of these people, right, who are just waiting, waiting and ready to come over the border. How closely did they say to you that they're following Title 42, right, because it's almost went away before, right? At the last minute, it didn't so there's got to be some uncertainty.
CULVER: Oh, you're so right about that, it's gone back and forth so many times. We were in here in November, we were here in December, and it was that same situation where people thought it was going to be expiring, it would be lifted, and then suddenly it's extended. So they've been through that.
And I'm walking past one of the many encampments here. You've got hundreds of people. In this one alone, you can see all these tents set up. They are following it closely to your question. The one thing I will say is they're not basing their decisions as to
when to cross around the date of when it will be lifted. Instead, they're focused on individual situations when they could potentially make their claim for asylum and then they'll make their efforts to go across.
BURNETT: David, thank you very much there on the ground on the Mexican side -- the U.S./Mexico border.
And coming up on "AC360", Jessica Leeds who testified during E. Jean Carroll's trial that a young Donald Trump groped her on a flight, joins Anderson tonight with her reaction to today's verdict.
And next here, new details about Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein who is faced growing calls to resign because of her health related long absence.
BURNETT: Democrats cheering Senator Dianne Feinstein's return to Washington. The 89-year-old, of course, has been away from Washington for nearly three months, recovering from shingles. During that time, calls from within her own party have been growing for her to resign which is because Feinstein has missed nearly 60 votes and left 12 of Biden's judicial nominees hanging in the balance, waiting to be confirmed for her vote.
Thanks so much for joining us.
"AC360" begins now.