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Erin Burnett Outfront

Indictment: Trump Faces 37 Criminal Charges; CNN on the Ground in Perilous Frontline Town Where Russians Say Ukraine is Trying to Defeat Its Defenses. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 09, 2023 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett, along with Wolf Blitzer. And this is a special edition of OUTFRONT, the federal indictment of Donald Trump.

Tonight, the former president facing this 37-count indictment. He could face a significant amount of time in prison.

And as Wolf and I have read through this today, here are the counts: one through 31, willful retention of national defense information, maximum sentence, ten years in prison.

Count 32, conspiracy to obstruct justice, maximum sentence, 20 years.

Count 33, withholding a document or a record, maximum sentence, 20 years.

Count 34, corruptly concealing a document or record, maximum sentence, 20 years.

Count 35, concealing a document in a federal investigation, maximum sentence, 20 years.

Count 36, scheme to conceal, maximum sentence, five years.

Count 37, false statements and representations, maximum sentence, five years.

Wolf, it underscores how incredibly serious this is.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: He's potentially facing a lot of time in prison. There's a lot of damning evidence in this indictment, as you well know, Erin.

According to the Department of Justice, Trump retained documents related to national defense that were classified at the very highest levels, some so sensitive that they required special handling and Trump tried to hide these documents from his attorneys as well as from the department of justice.

And according to the indictment, Trump attempted to persuade Trump attorney number one, as he's called in the indictment, to hide and conceal documents from a federal grand jury, and Trump and his so- called body man and co-conspirator, according to this indictment, Walt Nauta, misled Trump attorney number one by moving boxes that contained documents with classification markings so that Trump attorney number one would not be able to find the documents and produce them to a federal grand jury.

BURNETT: It's incredible. It almost reads like some sort of novel. It has every single timestamp and text message.

The indictment also detailing the various locations where Trump allegedly stored classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. The indictment says Trump was personally involved in packing the boxes when he left the White House, so he was involved directly. Then they sit for three months in a ballroom. Events and gatherings are taking place. There are tens of thousands of people coming through over the months.

Then they get moved to a business center, then a bathroom, then a storage room. Finally December 7, 2021, some of them were found on the floor even with their contents spilled out.

These specific documents were marked secret and releasable to only Five Eyes intelligence, the U.S.'s closest allies, just found, spilled out in the floor. These were not secured areas, just to be very clear. In fact, a member of Trump's Mar-a-Lago club is telling CNN today, quote, once you're on property, you can go anywhere, I do, I walk through the ballroom area all the time, I can access it at any time.

All right. Wolf and I have our team of reporters covering all the angles tonight. We want to begin with Evan Perez in Washington.

So, Evan, how damning is this evidence in the indictment?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: I think David Markus called it a show-and-tell indictment, Erin, and that is exactly what the Justice Department has done, what Jack Smith's investigators have shown us pictures, trying to show us the carelessness with which they say the former president was treating some of these top secrets of the U.S. government.

I'll read you some parts of what they described, the interactions between the former president and his attorney, Evan Corcoran, who, as you remember, was forced by a judge to come in and have to testify. They pierced the attorney/client privilege, something that judges almost never do. But because they said that the Justice Department was able to prove that Evan Corcoran was part of essentially what was a crime fraud exception to that shield for attorney/client privilege.

This is after the May 11, 2022 subpoena where the former president is being told he has to turn over these documents. I'll read you a part of what the Justice Department says. It's an interaction between the former president and Evan Corcoran. Evan Corcoran records all of this himself in notes contemporaneously.

[19:05:05] He says to Evan Corcoran, wouldn't it be better if you just told them we don't have anything here? Well, look, isn't it better if there are no documents? He's telling, according to the Justice Department, he's telling Evan Corcoran to lie to the FBI. This is part of the reason why the former president is being charged with obstruction. Evan Corcoran went in and talked to the grand jury.

There's also another interaction in which the former president tells a funny story, he says, about Hillary Clinton and tells how Hillary Clinton's own lawyers protected her. He's trying to suggest, according to prosecutors, for Evan Corcoran to lie and take a bullet, essentially, for the former president to try to conceal these documents -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Evan, thank you very much.

I want to go right now to Katelyn Polantz. She's joining us from Miami.

Katelyn, as we've been reporting, the judge assigned to this case, at least right now, is a rather controversial judge.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, she has become somewhat controversial, because she has seen a part of this case before. This is Judge Aileen Cannon. She is a Trump appointee, has only been on the bench a few years sitting in this district, the southern district of Florida. Where she came into play in this case previously was because Donald Trump's team, after that search at Mar- a-Lago in August of 2022, they went to court and they tried to slow things down. They wanted to see all of the things that were removed from Mar-a-Lago.

And so she had appointed what's called a special master at that time, a third party brought in and was ready to give Trump's team some access to some material there. And, so, what happened at that moment in time was that the Justice Department investigation was placed on hold. And that was because of her orders. An appeals court later came in and said she had gotten the law wrong, that essentially that they believed she had given something to a former president of the United States that no other criminal defendant would get to do, overturned what she did there, and then let that investigation pick up, continue to the point that it is today.

And now this case is assigned to Judge Cannon. She will be the federal district judge who will oversee it as it heads toward trial. And, crucially, Wolf, she will be the person who decides the timing of this, when the trial is, what happens in that trial, what's allowed to come into that trial as evidence, what law should be interpreted there, and exactly when it will take place before the election, but how far before the election, that is really a significant thing that she will get to be able to do.

Back to you -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Katelyn, thank you very much, and everyone who's back with me. So, you know, this came out today, and you read it and it was -- I

mean, it's well-written, it tells a stories, didn't need, to I know, but it tells a story. Is this the kind of open and shut he's dead, as Ty Cobb, the former White House lawyer described Trump in this case, is that what this is?

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: Yeah, I thought actually about Ty Cobb when I was reading the indictment, because reading and you'd asked Ty, what would he would have said if he was your client at this time? He's dead.

This is so strong. There are different ways I think about it. One, the DOJ had no choice but to indict it. People have said it before and different things leaked out. They said, oh, this is going to force the DOJ's hand. This hand was forced.

They had all this evidence, they had no choice but to indict a case like this. It's also a case in which if this were anybody else, they would plead. They would plead. It's just overwhelming. Their lawyer would tell them you've got to plead, it's the best thing for you personally.

And just in terms of the evidence, they have contemporaneous notes from his own lawyer. One piece that hasn't gotten as much attention, there's this one episode where Evan Corcoran says to him, okay, sir, I've got the 38 documents that we're going to turn over for the subpoena. Trump makes a, quote/unquote, plucking motion, according to his --

BURNETT: Yes, like just go --

GOODMAN: He says he memorialized he made a funny motion as though if there's anything really bad in there like, you know, pluck it out. That's not just about obstruction, but it's about retaining the documents deliberately that is the Espionage Act.

BURNETT: All right. And, Elliot, there's another thing, page 22 and 23, this is where I was just reading. OK. So, Trump directs Walt Nauta, his body man to move boxes, a total of 64 boxes, right? They removed them all. Some of them go back and those are the ones when they certify they're all returned. But they kept so many back.

So, now, he removes three boxes from the storage room, okay? At 9:08 a.m., Trump and Nauta speak by phone for approximately 30 seconds, so they got the date. Thirty seconds they speak by the phone, 10:02, at 11:51 a.m., Nauta removes a total of approximately 50 boxes from the storage room.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Welcome to the first year of law school, everyone. We're going to have a quick lesson on how conspiracies are formed. It's an agreement between two parties to engage in a criminal act. What you have to have is a meeting of the minds and a step taken in furtherance of the conspiracy.

[19:10:04] Trump and Nauta spoke and Nauta moved boxes. That is as simple and as -- and when we think and we hear the word conspiracy, you think of mafiosos and 20 people in a room. No, it's just two guys moving boxes.

BURNETT: And then, and then, okay, it goes from there, Mondaire, and the follow-up then is after these boxes are moved, a Trump family member texts Walt Nauta, the body man.

Good afternoon, happy Memorial Day, I saw you put boxes in POTUS' room. I'll tell him as well, not sure how many he wants to take Friday on the plane. We won't have room for them. Plane will be full of luggage.

MONDAIRE JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I mean, this is as open and shut as I think anyone who wanted to see some sort of accountability could've hoped for. Everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence prior to being proven guy beyond a reasonable doubt. I think he's going to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Just taking a step back here, as someone who was in Congress and had to go into a SCIF to receive classified information, we did that right before I joined a Senate delegation trip to go around the world, to raise support among our allies for the work that we are doing in Ukraine as the United States. I mean, even accessing the SCIF, you got to put your cell phone out. I remember being annoyed by all the protocols required.

But, like, here's a guy who had information about our nuclear capabilities who was just sort of waving it around to his biographer? Who was writing a book on him?

BURNETT: It wasn't just -- he was sitting in a shower, he had actually -- he would take pieces out and use it. They did show, Scott, of course, the dissemination. They gave specific examples.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That was one of the things we talk about last night. Did he show it to anybody? And the fact that he was waving it around to people was stunning.

The other thing Republicans were waiting to see was, were these documents really that important were, they overclassified, was this much ado about nothing? But then you read through the list and the headlines of the documents are, like, nuclear weaponry capabilities of the United States, what we're doing in other countries, what other countries are doing. I mean, this is serious you know what. These are not trivial items.

And, so, that's what makes -- when they're out in the open, I mean, it appears these things would've been highly valuable to any random foreign national from an adversarial country who could have passed by.

BURNETT: They made a point, there's just one sort of passing reference I thought interesting at the very beginning when they say the Mar-a- Lago club was an active social club, which hosted events for tens of thousands of members and guests. So right there they're making the point.

JENNINGS: Didn't a Chinese spy go through there in 2019?

BURNETT: Well, that was the allegations of Chinese spy.

JONES: This indictment talks about various external -- and multiple and external entrances to the same locations where the document is being held. If you are a country that is hostile to American interest, like, shame on you, I guess, for not being able to figure this out and send somebody there to get some of this information.

JENNINGS: But the practical thing is, if you had a son or a daughter who was serving in a floor area, in a hostile place and you thought maybe their information was in a document that could have been picked up off the friggin floor, do you know how this could impact a military family? The thing is when you're commander in chief, you have this responsibility to the military and the people who serve.

They don't get paid a ton. They're in harm's way. Their families are wondering where they are on a daily basis.

It's sort of offensive to me actually that we would be so cavalier with the information that could possibly put our people in jeopardy.

WILLIAMS: To that point, Scott, I think there are a number of questions, like, what's going to happen in 2024 and where will venue be. And there are a number of difficult questions to answer about the indictment.

What's on the 40-some pages in here are quite straightforward legally and quite simple legally when you just lay out the simplicity of the conspiracies that are formed and the amount of evidence they have to establish the possession and retention of documents. As a legal document, this is very straightforward and very simple compared to other indictments that you see in the world, it's just very simple.

Now, there's all that other stuff we can spend hours talking about how thorny and complicated these issues are, but as a straight legal matter, I don't want to say slam dunk.

BURNETT: And they were able -- by the way, Ryan, you know, I know -- we -- David Markus referred to this as a show-and-tell. There's a lot of pictures that they were able to get of people taking pictures of just boxes lying around everywhere. Three, four, five, at least six.

GOODMAN: And the pictures are, in part, part of the criminal conduct. One of the amazing pictures is the one of the spillage where one of the boxes has fallen over and then a secret document that is labeled for the Five Eyes, which means only the U.S. and its four closest allies can ever see that document. It's laying there, and then what happens?

A photograph is taken and it is sent by text to another employee at Mar-a-Lago. It's documentary evidence of the actual criminal conduct in his state of knowledge of the contents of these boxes, which he then tells the FBI that he didn't even know there were boxes there. [19:15:10]

JONES: And do we know how those documents came to be spilled? Did someone access those documents?

BURNETT: They don't discuss that. It's a fair point.

JONES: I mean, that's incredible. I mea, that's what jumped out of me.

BURNETT: I heard the passion in your voice when you said that this is a commander in chief that that these things matter because American lives and military is on the line. How come we're not hearing that from -- well, there are some, I understand there are some, Asa Hutchinson, Mitt Romney, I get it.

But it's not what we're hearing from Tim Scott. It's not what we're hearing from Ron DeSantis. They're all in on witch hunt, two-tiered justice system.

JENNINGS: Well, I think you're going to continue to hear Republicans complain that he's being treated differently. But that's different, I guess, than trying to look at the documents here that we have on our table tonight and defend the contents of the documents. I seriously doubt you're going to hear a serious person say, oh, well, this is fine and that's fine and this is actually why this is okay.

If you hear somebody doing that, that's crazy talk. I think it's perfectly reasonable to say, well, what did happen to Hillary and what's going on with the Biden investigation, perfectly reasonable questions for a Republican.

But in the content of this, will you ever hear anyone die on this hill that could be entrusted with the title of commander in chief? That's what I'd be asking.

BURNETT: Well, I think we're going to get some answers to that. And I wonder if you'll be right or not. Thank you all very much.

Next, new details on Trump's surrender on authorities on Tuesday. We're live in Miami.

And two of Trump's lawyers resigned just hours after the indictment. So, what does this tell us about what's happening behind the scenes? Trump's former White House lawyer will join us.



BURNETT: Welcome back to a special edition of OUTFRONT.

Donald Trump could face decades behind bars over his handling of classified documents if convicted. The Justice Department unsealing its historic 37-count federal indictment against him. It's a heavily detailed indictment. It reveals that Trump kept classified documents in rooms all over his Mar-a-Lago estate. It alleges he asked his lawyers to lie and deny that he still had the documents when he had them, and also alleges that Trump urged the need to move the documents to actually prevent his own attorney from knowing they were there, from finding them.

One of his former lawyers in the probe admitting Trump could be in trouble.


TIMOTHY PARLATORE, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: The indictment has a lot in it, a lot of stuff that, you know, that I wasn't aware of.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: What were you not aware of?

PARLATORE: A lot of the specifics -- a lot of the specific allegations about moving boxes before the search that Evan did. You know, there are things in here that I think, if they had backup for, are certainly problematic.


BURNETT: Well, that's Timothy Parlatore saying it how it is, problematic. And Trump is now expected to face a judge in Florida on Tuesday. Shimon Prokupecz is OUTFRONT.

And so, Shimon, what exactly can we expect to happen then?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly this should be like any other normal court proceeding, but obviously this is not so there are a lot of security measures that are going to be put in place because of the former president. What we believe right now is that he's going to be brought to this area here.

This is the old courthouse in Miami. There's actually an entrance back here where there's a driveway. He's going to be driven in.

And then actually, Erin, we believe right now from what we understand and of course this can change is that he's going to be taken underground here and brought to the courthouse here. This is the new federal courthouse. And that is actually where he's going to be arraigned, where he's going to see the judge and sort of hear the charges against him and where he's going to enter that plea of not guilty that he has said he plans to do.

But he's going to be processed like any other defendant would. He's going to be fingerprinted. We believe there's going to be a mugshot taken. And he will be in custody. He will be arrested.

What's different here is that because of the circumstances here, he's actually being served a summons. It's rare that the federal government does this in these kinds of cases, but they served him with a summons requiring him to appear. And so then he's going to be taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals.

Now, normally, people are taken into custodies by FBI agents when they surrender. That's not happening here. So, a little different. The U.S. Marshals will take him into custody, and then they're going to bring him across the street to the courthouse.

But I want to give you just a quick view of the area, Erin. This is sort of the area in which obviously security officials here from the U.S. Marshals and the federal protective services that are going to be providing security for the entire area here along with the Miami-Dade police and the sheriff's office. The concern is that gathers, supporters of the former president will be coming here. And so, obviously, out here is where we're going to see a lot of extra security.

We should start to see some more officers and law enforcement officials start to gather in preparation over the weekend. We've been seeing some police officers here, but the presence here has not been heavy. But certainly, Erin, that's set to change over the weekend, and obviously into Tuesday. So, we'll see -- Wolf.

BURNETT: All right, Shimon, thanks.


BLITZER: All right, guys, I want to bring back our experts to discuss what's going on.

Beth Sanner is joining us, former deputy director of national intelligence.

Beth, you used to give Trump his presidential daily brief. So what went through your mind seeing the types of highly classified documents he's charged with keeping there?

BETH SANNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: You know, my first reaction was, before I read the indictment, it was I'm shocked, shocked that there's gambling going on in this establishment. But then when you read the indictment, you know, the blood just drains from your face, the seriousness of this just becomes absolutely clear.

And I'll just add that what I like about this indictment is it's not about this canard of whether he has declassification capabilities. It focuses in on the national security implications. And I think that there's really a clear and present danger presented in these documents of the national security risk.

BLITZER: How sensitive are these documents, Beth? Marked not only top secret SCI, sensitive compartmented information, but also markings including special handling, et cetera.


SANNER: Yes, exactly. Well, I mean, I -- what I would say, boiling this all down, is if you take these documents which are only a handful, you add in, you know, 300 more. I would describe it as providing a blueprint to our adversaries on how to defeat the U.S. military or mitigate U.S. military and U.S. intelligence capabilities.

And I pointed to documents or the kinds of documents that I'm seeing there. One is the one that CNN discovered last week with the revelation in that phone call and that recording. And that was about how we would attack Iran with multiple options.

The second is about comparing U.S. and foreign adversaries' capabilities. For example, in nuclear. That would tell an adversary everything they needed to know about what our capabilities are versus theirs and how to deal with that.

BLITZER: Yeah, really scary stuff.

Carrie Cordero, let's talk about this threat, the potential threat out there if these documents got into the wrong hands. We don't know if they did, but if they did, what kind of threat they would pose to the lives of American men and women in the military, the lives of U.S. assets, intelligence agents, for example, overseas in sensitive countries.

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there's a lot of information in terms of the security level of in the classification levels of these particular documents. A number of them look to me just based on the very sparse description that was provided in the document that a lot of them pertained to technical intelligence or what we will call signals intelligence, surveillance type capabilities, capabilities of military.

So, some of it looked like technical information or the reports that would be based on technical information. Others look to be information that perhaps was provided by foreign governments. So, if it's information or information obtained from U.S. intelligence services about foreign government capabilities.

So what that calls into question is it calls into question how this would damage U.S. partnerships. We share a lot of intelligence information with our allies and partners. And so, if this type of information is revealed, outside channels than it's supposed to, then our friends and allies start to worry can we share information with the United States government safely without worrying that that information's going to be revealed.

BLITZER: Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI is with us. What are your thoughts?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Yeah, I agree with everything Carrie's saying. You think about spills of classified material, leaks of classified material in terms of compromising sources and methods. There's no question that from the descriptions we've read in the indictment, there is the possibility of the compromised sources and methods. That could be the exposure or the identification to a foreign adversary of a U.S. collection capability if they know what we know about them, they can figure out very quickly how we learned that information through technical means.

It can also mean the exposure and risk to a human source. And, you know, more broadly, Wolf, I have to say that the irresponsible handling of this material is just an absolute insult to the men and women of the intelligence community who spend their lives often at great risk to collect this information and provide it to U.S. decision-makers. And to treat it in the way that we've seen in these photographs spilling out of boxes on the floor of the bathroom, it's an incredible act of disrespect to the community that spent so much time and effort trying to keep us safe.

BLITZER: Do these damning details make it harder to navigate this truly unprecedented moment now? We're talking politically.

AUDIE CORNISH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's interesting, because one of the things that you've heard Republicans especially in the House talk about is, like, woke ideology in the military. You hear this on the campaign trail as well that these are some of the most important issues facing our defense and security apparatus.

But these stories are linked, right? Like, we care about these documents being available because of our national security and defense. It'll be interesting to see over the next couple of months how they walk that line between saying this is nothing while having to acknowledge in the documents that it's something.

BLITZER: It's something, indeed, and, Beth, let me ask you, if you had done anything like this while working in the U.S. intelligence community, deputy director of national intelligence, would you face prison time?

SANNER: Absolutely. This isn't just I accidently put a piece of paper in my purse. This is hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pages of willfully obtained documents passed around, shared with people, put in boxes that I could buy from staples.

This is not normal behavior in terms of protecting our most sensitive secrets.


So, yeah, I would be in jail and so should anybody else.

BLITZER: All right. Beth, thank you very much. Thanks to the entire panel.

Up next, the FBI on alert right now, watching for any possible threats just ahead of Trump's Tuesday court appearance in Miami.

And Trump's longtime body man is also charged with conspiring together with Trump. Just who is Walt Nauta? And could he flip?

Trump's former White House lawyer Ty Cobb knows him, and he'll join us. That's coming up, next.


BLITZER: Welcome back to a special edition of OUTFRONT.

Growing questions tonight about the Trump aide now criminally charged alongside Donald Trump in today's unsealed indictment. Prosecutors say Walt Nauta lied to investigators when asked where Trump's boxes were stored before they were found in his residence over at Mar-a-Lago. The indictment says he told them, and I'm quoting now, I wish I could tell you, I honestly just don't know. But prosecutors say just months earlier, Nauta himself actually helped move about 64 boxes from a storage room at Mar-a-Lago at Trump's direction.

I want to go back to Evan Perez, our senior justice correspondent.

Evan, what more can you tell us about the charges that Walt Nauta is about to face?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Walt Nauta is facing six counts for obstruction and concealment of some of these documents. This is obviously something that he has loomed very large in this investigation certainly because, as you pointed out in what you just read from the indictment, prosecutors believe he lied to the FBI.


And when he was confronted with those lies, he has refused to essentially flip, which is what I think a lot of Trump lawyers, a lot of the people around the former president were concerned about. They wondered whether Walt Nauta would stay by the president's side. We got the answer to that certainly in the last few days. We saw him show up at Bedminster to be with the former president as they were waiting to see whether Jack Smith was going to bring this indictment.

So that's one of the, I guess, answers to that question. But he's facing some real time. This is -- you know, certainly, obstruction brings about five years in prison if he is convicted. He's somebody who was very, very close to the president when he was at the White House, was his body man, moved to Mar-a-Lago. And, as you pointed out, was seen in some of these surveillance videos moving boxes from one part of the property from the storage room to the residence.

This is one reason why the FBI when they conducted that search in August, this is one reason why they did that search, because they saw the movement of those boxes and saw fewer boxes being moved back -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Evan, thank you very much.

And I want to go now to Ty Cobb, the former Trump White House who of course has been following this case with us from the start.

Now, Ty, I know you know Walt Nauta, and I want to ask you about him in just a moment because you do actually know him, you spent time with him. But, first, just here we are.

For months you said this was an open and shut obstruction case. You said in terms of heading to prison time and being convicted, he's a, quote, dead man. Now you've read it, every page of the indictment, all these details. Just how much trouble do you think Trump is in?

TY COBB, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: I think he is in an enormous amount of trouble. I think that this indictment is about as carefully structured and evidentiarily supported as any indictment in history. There isn't a single word or phrase or allegation for which they don't have a document or a witness or, in some cases, even the president's own lawyers as a witness.

In fact, Tim Parlatore just moments ago indicated that, notwithstanding discussions that he was having with the government on behalf of the president, he was oblivious to the fact that some of these boxes were being moved. That alone is problematic and likely earns him some witness status. So, you know, this is a very, very serious case. I think the evidence particularly on the documents.

I think Jack Smith needed to come out with a document that not only charged the various offenses effectively, but also that reassured independents in particular in America, generally, that this case was worthy of bringing because of the seriousness and dangerousness of the documents involved. And he certainly did that.

In fact, it's interesting, some of the documents that are identified, the president does have the ability to declassify documents while president, and there's a process to do that, and some of them can be done by executive order. But some of the documents described in this indictment require going through an entire process with the atomic energy commission because of their nuclear implications. So, that's not something that he could have ever declassified on his own.

BURNETT: It's pretty stunning when you do go through that. They list where they came from, the CIA, the DOD, the NSA, the Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the reconnaissance office, the Department of Energy, the Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence -- I mean, it's incredible.

COBB: Yeah, I'd be offended if I ran an agency that he didn't take documents from.

BURNETT: Yeah, the list -- the list seems all-inclusive.

Please let me ask you about Walt Nauta because, obviously, he is at the center of this, right? So we see this man's name, we see the interactions, we see him move boxes, we see him have a 30-second conversation with Trump. They time-stamp it, and then he moves it. And they have him in his interview not telling the truth.

You know Walt Nauta. Were you shocked by what you saw here?

COBB: I'm shocked that he wasn't adequately represented enough to be persuaded to abandon what is, I think, his perception that he is still serving his country because of his devotion to a man he looked up to and a job he was proudest to have as an aide to the president of the United States.


This is not somebody who's -- this is not somebody who's management material, this is not somebody who's making policy. This is somebody who brought Trump his diet Cokes 20 times a day. He made meals for people who were working around the White House. Many of those of us -- many of those of us who worked late at night, he would check in on us, see if we wanted anything.

He couldn't be a kinder, more thoughtful guy. He would do anything for Trump.

BURNETT: And he did.

COBB: And it's clear it's gotten him in trouble. But it is a tragedy of the highest proportion in my view that he did not either work out an arrangement or accept an immunity deal. And now he ends up on the Trump body pile, which is climbing.

BURNETT: So, could he turn on Trump and cooperate at this point? Would that -- and would that give him anything?

COBB: Sure.

BURNETT: I mean, they have -- they just have it all here in black and white. But what would that do?

COBB: I think that would further strengthen the case, but only marginally because, as you point out, much of what he did is on tape. There are pictures. He took the picture of the five eyes documents that were spread out on the floor and sent it to a colleague.

So, most of the evidence that he would provide is already accessible to the government. The government eases its own burden in terms of proof by using -- by having a co-conspirator because then that evidence just sort of walks in under the co-conspirator exception to the hearsay rule.

Plus, keep in mind that when Nauta was moving boxes, he wasn't working alone most of the time. He was working with a sidekick who definitely will be a witness.

BURNETT: All right, Ty. Thank you very much.

COBB: Always a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

BURNETT: And next, before Trump was indicted by the DOJ, he said that someone who mishandled classified documents should be disqualified from the presidency. That is exactly what he said. But it is not all that he said about this issue. Our KFILE found a lot more words that are now coming back to haunt Trump.

And Putin now looking to move nuclear weapons to another country in just weeks as the fighting is intensifying this hour in Ukraine.



BLITZER: Welcome back to a special edition of OUTFRONT.

CNN is now learning FBI special agents across the country are actively looking for possible domestic terror threats related to Trump's upcoming court appearance in Florida. Sources say some pro-Trump groups are already making plans to travel to Miami and support the former president as he faces these federal charges in the classified documents case.

CNN's Josh Campbell is joining us right now.

Josh, I know you've been talking to your sources in the FBI and elsewhere. What more are you hearing?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this is so important because we know that Donald Trump's election lies inspired that deadly January 6th insurrection at the Capitol. And U.S. federal law enforcement is working to make sure that that doesn't happen again. I spoke to five law enforcement sources across the country today who said that FBI domestic terrorism agents and analysts are actively working to identify any potential threat surrounding that upcoming court appearance. They are looking at online platforms that are popular with extremist groups.

This is important. They are also querying and tasking confidential human informants who report on these domestic terrorism groups. Now, as secretive and closed off as these groups think they are, they are infiltrated by informants of the FBI. That has often led to consternation among these extremist groups as well as in fighting and paranoia. By the way, I'm told the FBI doesn't mind that one bit.

At this point, there's no indication of any credible and specific threat, but FBI agents and intelligence analysts are certainly looking for those potential threats. One source told me that they don't want to see the same violence on January 6th happen this coming Tuesday, Wolf.

BLITZER: Yeah, no one does.

And, Josh, I understand we are learning new details about the U.S. Secret Service and their planned posture next week.

CAMPBELL: That's right, Wolf. The U.S. secret service issued a statement a short time ago saying that they won't be asking for any special precautions to be taken surrounded by Trump's visit to that courthouse on Tuesday. But, you know, this is so important, their mission is to protect Donald Trump. And we know that these extremist groups, they're not going to target the former president. Their adherence of his message, but the question comes down to what about everyone else, what about the people who work in that courthouse, what about members of the prosecutorial team who we know have faced threats.

And, so, that's why this work by federal law enforcement is so important across the country trying to determine are there potential threats looking online, looking, you know, talking to sources, anyone who might have information.

Federal law enforcement will certainly respect First Amendment- protected activity at the courthouse if people want to come and protest and support President Trump. But they won't allow any violence. We're told they're working to try to disrupt, dismantle any type of groups that might be planning that, Wolf.

BLITZER: Yeah, the last thing we need right now is another January 6th-type insurrection over in Miami.


BLITZER: All right, Erin, over to you.

BURNETT: Absolutely.

All right. Well, the federal indictment of Donald Trump quotes several instances where he spoke in the past about severe punishments for anyone who mishandled classified documents. They literally go through and they show them.

Here are some.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: One of the first things we must do is to enforce all classification rules and to enforce all laws relating to the handling of classified information.

We also need the best protection of classified information.

We can't have someone in the oval office who doesn't understand the meaning of the word confidential or classified.

I'm going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information.

No one will be above the law.


BURNETT: I mean, it's actually incredible, right? I mean, it's actually incredible.

Andrew Kaczynski joins me, senior editor of CNN's KFILE.

Andrew, you have gone through these. You have found all of these instances. And this is something where Trump has a very long history of saying that somebody should be punished if they mishandle classified documents, a long history and a consistent history.


ANDREW KACZYNSKI, SENIOR EDITOR, CNN'S KFILE: Yeah, it seems almost inconvenient for him now to have run an entire campaign in 2016 saying that he was going to lock up Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information. In that debate, he said that she would be in jail under his administration. And his campaign even sold that was Hillary Clinton in prison themed in 2016.

Now, this is a remark, lock her up, that he hammered home time and time and time again, saying that mishandling of classified information, she should be in jail. Take a listen to just a few of these instances that we found.


TRUMP: Hillary's private email scandal, which put our classified information in the reach of our enemies, disqualifies her from the presidency.

She did so knowing full well it would put American lives at risk by making classified information highly vulnerable to foreign hacking.

I mean, she should be going to jail. I don't know what the hell is going on. I don't know what's going on.


BURNETT: I mean, it's amazing, right? Her classified information within the reach of our enemy disqualifies her from the presidency. There it is. And your investigation found it wasn't just Hillary Clinton. There were others that Trump suggested should be prosecuted for mishandling classified information.

KACZYNSKI: Right, it's not just Clinton. Everyone obviously remembers Clinton because that was such a big theme of that campaign. But in 2017, when he fires James Comey, he says that Comey was leaking classified information to the press. He did an interview with "Time" magazine around that time where he said, classified information, you go to jail when you release stuff like that.

And take a look at this tweet where he talks about Comey. He says, he leaked classified information, for which he should be prosecuted. Now, let's fast forward a few years to 2020.

During that election, John Bolton was his national security director. He leaves the administration under bad terms. He writes sort of a tell-all book. And Trump is very angry about this. He says in interviews that he releases classified information, again, says he should go to jail for many years.

And then in this tweet, he says, he must pay a very, very high price for this, talking about Bolton, his book, saying that he released classified information.

BURNETT: I mean, it is incredible, right? A thing he went to again and again.

All right. Andrew, thank you very much for all that digging and sharing it with us.

And next, Russia claiming Ukraine's massive counteroffensive is underway, and CNN is on the ground in a frontline town. We're going to take you there next.


[19:56:40] BURNETT: Tonight, Vladimir Putin's plans to move tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus my next month are, quote, going according to plan. This is according to a Kremlin transcript from Putin's meeting today with the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. It comes as Putin is claiming the Ukrainian counteroffensive is underway but has, quote, so far failed.

Well, the true success of Ukraine's stepped up activities along the front line near Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk are not yet known, but the evidence of destruction is clear. We have new images into CNN showing what remains of a hospital in the southern front in the Zaporizhzhia region, which was hit by a guided aerial bomb.

Now look at it. Complete rubble.

CNN is OUTFRONT first on the frontlines since the uptick in fighting began, and that is our Fred Pleitgen with the latest.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Aid deliveries in one of the most dangerous places in Ukraine.

We're with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation in Arifiv (ph), the frontline town where the Russians say Ukraine's military is trying to punch through their defenses. Constant artillery and mortar barrages driving residents underground.

So, we have to go downstairs in the basement because there's been a distinct increase in shelling. While you can't really see the counteroffensive of the Ukrainians here, you can hear it and feel it as well.

In the basement shelter, the leader hands out aid boxes to the mostly elderly residents, many traumatized but resilient.

It's very dangerous here, but I got used to it, 72-year-old Olga tells me. I can already distinguish rockets by their sound and calm myself down.

I asked 71-year-old Nina if she thinks the counteroffensive can succeed. Yes, I know about the counteroffensive, she said. We will be closer to victory. Hours will push them back step by step until they drive them out, until there is a complete victory for Ukraine.

But for now, the going appears to be tough for the Ukrainians. While Kyiv hasn't acknowledged major offensive operations here, U.S. officials tell CNN the Ukrainian military is facing stiff Russian resistance.

This Russian video purporting to show a column of western donated armor struck by Moscow's forces. And the uptick in fighting has made it nearly impossible to get aid in Orikhiv. Valery (ph) tells me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Orikhiv is one of the most dangerous areas in Zaporizhzhia region. Orikhiv, Borodianka, it's 24 hours bombed, 24 hours.

PLEITGEN: But they have to get aid even to those too frail to make it to the distribution point. Grandma Paulia (ph), as she's known here, can barely walk and refuses to be evacuated from her tiny home, even as shells keep raining down. Her fate, she says, is now in god's hands.

Will we survive or not, she asks. You're still young. May God give you help and help you survive this war. It's very difficult for old people.


PLEITGEN (on camera): So, as you can see, Erin, a very difficult situation for the residents there in Orikhiv. They told us they have seen a distinct uptick in shelling in that area. A lot of buildings that were hit just in the past couple of days.

Now, as far as the Ukrainian military is concerned, they're still remaining coy about their possible counteroffensive, but they're indicating they have the initiative at this point in time. In fact, a Ukrainian official came out today and said that right now the Russians are conducting defensive operations in that area. Ukrainians also saying that positional battles are ongoing -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Fred, thank you very much, live in Ukraine.

And thanks so much to all of you for joining us. Our special coverage continues now with Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper.