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Erin Burnett Outfront

Trump Lashes Out As Deadline To Surrender In Georgia 10 Days Away; New Details In Special Counsel Warrant For Trump's Twitter; Eight Lawyers In Trump Georgia Case Accused Of Breaking The Law; Officials: Only 25 Percent Of Scorched Areas In Maui Searched; New Video Shows Ukraine Attacking Russians Near Bakhmut. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired August 15, 2023 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, checking Trump. Georgia's Republican governors shutting down Trump's latest tirade after the former president was indicted by a Georgia grand jury.

Trump's former White House lawyer Ty Cobb is my guest. Why he says these charges pack a real punch.

Plus, ten days to surrender. The clock ticking for Trump and his closest allies to turn themselves in. So, how did Trump allegedly get so many people to do his bidding? Someone who knows Trump better than many, better than most, one of his former Trump Org executives for many years is my guest.

And Russia ramping up its attacks, targeting apartment buildings and a kindergarten far from the front lines.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, ten days to turn himself in, as Trump slams the D.A., Fani Willis, as failed, and promises to flood the zone with false details about fraud in the Georgia election, forcing Georgia's conservative Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who by the way supported Trump and said he voted for him, prompting him to say, quote, the 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen. For nearly three years, now anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward, under oath, and provide anything in a court of law. Our elections in Georgia are secure, accessible and fair, and will continue to be as long as I'm governor.

Well, of course, the facts remain facts, but the fiction, the falsehood is still believed by tens of millions, many tens of millions of Americans.

And tonight, as Trump and 18 others have ten days to turn themselves in, facing serious criminal charges. And by the way, serious prison time, as in possibly more than 20 years if convicted. One of them is making a move for a get out of jail free card. Mark Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff, filing a court order to move his case to federal court, in effort to get it dismissed.

Now, we're going to have more on this breaking development in just a moment, because the reality here is that the clock is ticking. Fani Willis says she would like to try Trump in the next six months, which would be just one case against Trump, of many going to trial, in the winter and spring. And just think about it, in all, Trump, who is by far the front runner in the Republican presidential field, is facing an astounding 91 criminal total charges and four criminal cases.

Let's just say this again, can you imagine, the person who's right now sort of in line to get that Republican nomination, is facing 91 criminal charges? It is historical, it is incredible, and it's astounding.

Well, in a moment, I'm going to speak to Trump's former White House lawyer, Ty Cobb. But first, I want to go OUTFRONT live to Paula Reid, still at that Atlanta courthouse.

And, Paula, now, ten days to turn themselves in. But these breaking developments in the past few minutes here, what more can you tell us about this filing by Mark Meadows, who was so crucial, and so central in all of this. And, what's next in the case?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: So, Erin, we've learned that in this filing, Mark Meadows is attempting to move the state prosecution to the federal level. His attorneys believe that if they are successful getting this moved to the federal jurisdiction, that they will be able to get it dismissed.

Now, even if he is successful at getting this move to a federal, a federal court, it doesn't move the entire 19 defendant case. This is something that would have to happen defendant by defendant. And we were not reporting that multiple other defendants are also expected to attend this.

Rudy Giuliani said today, in an interview, but he is going to try to get his case moved through federal court. And we also know that former President Trump is expected to try as well.

Now, even if they are not successful in getting it dismissed, it's just impossible to know if that will prevail. If they can get this move to a federal court, the one big advantage for the former president and his allies would be the jury pool, because here in Fulton County, jury pool skews heavily Democratic. But the federal jury pool would draw from a more broad selection of people. So there would be at least a slight advantage there.

There is also the possibility that anyone who is convicted could be eligible for a pardon, from a future president.

Now right now, Erin, right in front of us, they have just ten days for their surrender. And then a judge will set dates, for these initial appearances.

BURNETT: All right, Paula, thank you very much, at the Atlanta courthouse. And OUTFRONT now, Ty Cobb, the former Trump White House lawyer.

So, Ty, I want to start with Paulo's reporting here. Mark Meadows wants to change the venue, to try and avoid the charges, opening himself up possibly to a pardon, right, all of those things.


He is charged here in the Georgia case, but not by Jack Smith in the federal DOJ case.

So, do these charges by Fani Willis change anything, for what's at stake for Mark Meadows? If he did cooperate with Jack Smith on the federal case, as I know you think he did.

TY COBB, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: Yes, I don't have any doubt that he cooperated in the federal case. And, the fact that he didn't have immunity, or whatever deal he got with the feds, with Fani Willis does not indicate that he did not cooperate with the feds. They are very active, on their behalf.

And with regard to his attempt to move the venue to -- and move the case to a federal court, of the 19 defendants, I think Meadows is the only person with an arguable chance of succeeding. He is charged in the RICO count, and then two counts related to the telephone call with Brad Raffensperger, where Trump asked for one more vote then they had.

As I believe his motion reflects, he is charged essentially with setting up and attending meetings, doing scheduling, and going to a federal building, which is actually not compelling, for keeping it in a state court. I think there is a chance, not necessarily a great chance, but there is a decent chance that Mark Meadows's case could be removed.

Trump can never be removed. None of the other defendants actually have the benefit of federal service during the time for their offenses, that would qualify them under this statute.

BURNETT: So, all right, an interesting view that you think that has a chance, a chance, I think are not overemphasize in this. You do think he has a chance. So what about how this moves? I mean, Fani Willis made it clearly she wants to move fast, wants to get going within six months.

Is there any chance, first of all, Ty, that Fani Willis goes before Jack Smith?

COBB: No. There is no chance, in my view, that Fani Willis goes within two years.

BURNETT: Two years?

COBB: And there will be -- yes, that would be my estimated time. There are 19 defendants, there are different charges. Everybody will have motions galore. I disagree with some of the reporting I heard today, where people were

saying not only do they have the motions, but then to be able to appeal the motions. The reality is, you don't get to appeal a lot of trial court motions, absent the permission of the judge, or a constitutional opportunity. So, I wouldn't worry so much about that.

But this case will take a long time to be prepared, there will be motions for severance, motions to dismiss. And, if it takes her two years -- I mean, heaven forbid that Trump wins the presidency, then there will be a fight to the Supreme Court, over whether she can proceed against a sitting president during his term.

That's an issue that's never been resolved. The federal prosecutors are not allowed to indict or prosecute a president during his term. But as to state court, prosecutors, that issue has never resolved, and it could delay things quite some time.

BURNETT: So what is your bottom line, in terms of the quality of the case? I mean, the timing here, obviously, you're saying would be quite protracted at best. But what's your bottom?


COBB: Yes, I think this is a very -- I think this is a very effective indictment, don't get me wrong. The 161 percent specific acts, she's got a lot of proof as to the bulk of those.

You know my only criticism -- I disagree with Chris Christie, but in a principled way. I think it was important to Georgia and certainly important to her to have Trump as the defendant. It will be a little hard to explain to the jury why you have all of these acolytes, but not the king pin in a RICO case.

So, I think she did the right thing, in indicting Trump. I think she did add some pretty fringe defendants. I'm not sure Jenna Ellis, who was never making policy decisions or independent decisions, or some of the local attorneys who were merely serving the wishes of Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani. And, I'm not sure she can prove that they believed that they were being lied to.

I think there are some fringe defendants that raise issues. But the core of this against Trump, and the significant defendants, is very, very strong case.


BURNETT: All right. So Trump says he's going to be given a, quote, major news conference, his words obviously. He says you he will present a large complex detail, but a reputable report on the presidential election which took place in Georgia.

Of course, Ty, there was no fraud in Georgia. Brian Kemp is as conservative as a Republican comes. And he has been very loud and clear, that there's no fraud in Georgia, on and on. It's ridiculous to even go through it. But yet, this is what the former president is going to do next week,

and is going to try to flooded the airwaves with. What is he doing, with that?

COBB: Yeah, this is all -- this is all Trump PR. This is generating chaos. I mean frankly, there's a good chance that whatever document he produces ends up as evidence against him, and could even end up, you know, as the basis for an obstruction count against the -- against the author because, it's likely to be fiction and solely for the purpose of contaminating the jury pool.

The reality is, you know, Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger each deserve a pat on the back, for the courage that they've shown, putting country before party. And I think, the absence of evidence of fraud is patently obvious to anybody who's followed the Georgia events, and certainly anybody who reads this indictment will be able to see how fraudulently those claims were made.

BURNETT: All right. Ty Cobb, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

COBB: My pleasure. Nice to be with you, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. You, too.

And next just in, we're getting new details about special counsel's search warrant to get access to Trump's Twitter account, development in the Jack Smith case, with a live report on what we know. Our Katelyn Polantz literally going through those pages as I speak.

Plus, an incredible story of survival. I'm going to talk to a family that was forced to jump into the ocean, even though they didn't know how to swim, in order to escape the fires that were just rushing upon them in Maui.

So, what happened? How did they survive?

And new developments tonight of another high profile case. Why Hunter Biden's lead attorney is now asking to be dismissed from that case.



BURNETT: Tonight, a massive warrant just unsealed in the special counsel's case against Donald Trump. It shows that special counsel Jack Smith was looking for direct messages from Trump's Twitter account.

And just to keep in mind here, this is a hugely significant development, because the battle for this war was originally so secretive, that the court did not notify Trump that it was obtained, out of fear that he would destroy evidence.

Katelyn Polantz is OUTFRONT.

And, Katelyn, you're first to report on this, you know, when you found out about this warrant. And now, you've gotten it, 500 pages, that is a lot. What are you -- what are you able to tell us is what's in it? And I know you've literally been going through it in just the past few moments.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Erin, so what we see is we see the warrant itself. It outlines just a really broad scope. We want all of these things. The special counsel was seeking this at the beginning of this year before they decided to bring charges against Donald Trump, related to January 6th.

But the meat of what we can see in these new filings, these filings are now unsealed by the federal court in Washington where that case now is public. And these filings captured the transcripts of hearings, where prosecutors and then the lawyers for Twitter, are talking to the judge about what the special counsel's office is seeking here from the account of Donald Trump.

And, Erin, the thing that jumps out the most is something we didn't even know existed related to Donald Trump's Twitter account @RealDonaldTrump, which was shut down after January 6th. It's that he had direct messages.

And at one point in one of the hearings, a lawyer for Twitter says they did a search to find how much direct messages may be part of this account. And he says that there was a volume for this account, that there are confidential communications. He confirmed that to the prosecutors.

Apparently, the prosecutors are able eventually to obtain this data. They, from the court record that we have already, has shown that they were able to get where they sought from Twitter.

And there are some other pieces in these transcripts where prosecutors let on to what they were looking for. They say they were looking for communications between Donald Trump's Twitter account, and government officials, maybe officials on his campaign. And also, they were looking for communications related to his account, when or around the time it was suspended, and terminated, after January 6th.

Now the thing is, we don't know what they found, when they got this bulk of data from Twitter, including what may have been in those direct messages, even deleted direct messages that Twitter was able to pull up. But what this shows is, just the depth of how far the special counsel's office was able to go in collecting evidence.

The indictment against Donald Trump doesn't have any direct messages from @RealDonaldTrump cited in it. It's just his public tweets. But, there may be information that the special counsel's office still has, that we could see at a trial, or that they may still be investigating around. We just don't know what they got, and what they will do with it -- Erin.

BURNETT: Right, it's such an important reminder, Katelyn, right, that the indictment is a CliffsNotes, right? You know, you may use one point, when you have 40 more, or one when you have four more to make it. We just -- you know, to your point, we just don't know. But fascinating that there was a lot of direct messages from an

account, of a former president who we know famously, right, did not email, did not text people. This is obviously really eye-opening.

All right. Katelyn Polantz, thank you very much.

As Katelyn is continuing to go through this, if she gets more, she's going to come back. But Ryan Goodman is with us now, co-editor of "Just Security", former special counsel at the Defense Department, along Karen Friedman with the former chief assistant d.a. of the Manhattan D.A.'s office.

Okay, so I remember when, you know, Katelyn and team broke this news, that there was this warrant. And now, she's got it, 500 pages of this back and forth.

Okay, you had mentioned DMs might be a part of it. Obviously, as I said, this is a former president who did not text and did not email. But apparently, there is a voluminous amount of direct messages, some of which were deleted.


Others have confidential information that were in this account.

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: Right. So, we already had some idea that this might be in there just from the court of appeals decision, referring to Twitter having said that they didn't want to give evidence because they, quote unquote, the cat was out of the bag. People knew already of the part one of justice was obtaining Trump's private electronic communications, which sounds like DMs, direct messages that are between him and another party that are not public on Twitter.

That said, the time scale for the search war means of this is not just around January 6th.


GOODMAN: It's much broader than that. So, it's soaking up a lot of information, it means that the government probably had, or must of had probable cause, to believe that there is evidence that they needed, their part (ph) of January 6, that's one part.

And then the second is of course, we don't yet know, are the DMs only incoming. So yes, he has famously known for not really emailing. It could be that he still receiving private dm's coming in, and maybe not sending them out. But, that could be part of what's still very valuable information.

BURNETT: Valuable, but we don't know exactly. Culpability of that, in terms of, he tweeted some. Dan Scavino, his aide, tweeted some from his account.

Karen, it is interesting though, as Katelyn noticed, we didn't see in the actual indictment from Jack Smith, use of this information. It doesn't mean that it isn't hugely consequential and valuable, and that it somehow going to come up at trial. But it doesn't actually was in there? What does that say to you?

KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It doesn't really say much. A lot of times prosecutors gather information for purposes of cross examinations. So, if Donald Trump were to take the stand --

BURNETT: Interesting, okay.

AGNIFILO: -- and say certain things, you have this information to be able to cross examine him.

So you might not use it in your case in chief, but you want to have it anyway, because it forecloses certain avenues that he might use as defenses, or reasons for doing certain things or not. And so, it just shows that the prosecutor has a lot in there, and Donald Trump, as he goes out makes these public statements and says things, he doesn't know what they have.

And so, if they have things that refute -- things that he says publicly, I think he could get himself into a little bit of trouble.

BURNETT: The key point being, deleted ones, as well.

GOODMAN: Yeah, deleted ones would be further evidence of incriminating.

BURNETT: Of incriminating, right, right.


BURNETT: Which is there.

All right, so with this development and the special counsel's case on Twitter, comes as he is now facing, I don't want to use the word dueling, but we do know they weren't talking. But we should say, dual or dueling, okay which one is, between Georgia and the DOJ.

The Venn diagram between the two is huge, we've got these two little sliver moons, and then this giant overlap, in terms of content and acts, and even people involved.

So, how is that a good thing?

GOODMAN: It's a good thing for the two prosecutors, in the sense that this now places a ton of pressure on some of these major coconspirators, to flip and cooperate. I could imagine that a number of the coconspirators in the federal case are holding out for the possibility that Trump or another public and gets elected, and there's a pardon, or the person who's in the Oval Office to squash is the Justice Department prosecution, altogether, so that they can hold out.

Now, they've got jeopardy in Georgia, and there is no federal pardon that can save them. It's a time that they must think, very carefully about cooperating. So it helps Jack Smith, and it helps Fani Willis. BURNETT: And so, you know, you heard Ty Cobb respectfully take issue

with Chris Christie, who sort of said, why did you bother with this? You've got it all with Jack Smith, why do this when you have a D.A. doing it, who is a Democrat. Like, why bother?

Ty thinks it is still important. Do you think it's still important?

AGNIFILO: Absolutely. I mean, the Georgia case, first of all, she has an interest in Georgia. Abby Philip was saying last night, how Fulton county has a large black population. And this was an attempt to disenfranchise black voters in that particular county. They targeted that county. And so, I think for that reason alone, Fani Willis really has a jurisdiction.

BURNETT: An obligation, yeah.

AGNIFILO: Yeah, exactly.

And also, it's been widely reported that it's -- you know, that you can't really do, there is no federal pardon that can be done in Georgia, right. And it's a committee, it's not just a Republican governor, to pardon anybody. So it makes it pardon proof.

I think there's lots of reasons why it's a really important indictment. She's also investigating this prior to the Department of Justice, even going close to any of the Trump's, and the heavy hitter players. So she had this case going, for two and a half years. Jack Smith only started doing it seven months ago.

So, she had her case, she developed her case, she built her case, and she brought her case. And I think it's hugely important.

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

And next, 18 of Trump's former aides and allies have now been charged, of course, with trying to overturn the election in Georgia. So, is the former president concerned they could flip? A former executive vice president for the Trump Organization who worked for Trump for about 20 years is next.

Plus, it was a life or death decision. A family of five, trapped by those deadly wildfires in Hawaii, where seconds left to live or die, forced to jump into the Pacific Ocean. None of them could swim.

They are live, tonight.



BURNETT: Tonight, Rudy Giuliani, speaking out after being charged by the Fulton County D.A. with 13 criminal counts. The former Trump lawyer defending his efforts after the 2020 election.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: I'm the same Rudy Giuliani that went after the mafia. I haven't changed one bit. The country has become fascist and communist, I haven't.

HOST: Yeah, no. I --

GIULIANI: I'm the same Rudy Giuliani, the same quest for justice. Gosh almighty, if Donald Trump committed a crime, love him though I do, I'd put him in jail.


BURENTT: Well, Giuliani joins now a long list of Trump attorneys who eventually find their work for the former president lands them in legal trouble. Michael Cohen, remember, went to prison.

Jessica Schneider is OUTFRONT.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, charging 19 people for crimes in the alleged criminal enterprise, to overturn the 2020 election, and eight of them are lawyers, professionally obligated to follow the law but now accused of breaking it.

Already, at least one is now claiming the D.A. is criminalizing the practice of law.

JENNA ELLIS, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: It is irredeemably compromise.

SCHNEIDER: Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis, who was front and center falsely claiming widespread election fraud, posted online defending her actions.

Rudy Giuliani also shot back on his radio show.

GIULIANI: This is all protected free speech. This is what you're allowed to do to contest an election. This is what a lawyer is allowed to do in representing a client.

SCHNEIDER: Giuliani is charged with 13 counts in the indictment, more than any other defendant except Trump.


In a statement, he calls the charges an affront to American democracy. The former federal prosecutor, Elliot Williams, points out someone's status as an attorney doesn't give them carte blanche to break the law.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: An attorney can provide legal representation to a client, as long as they are not urging that climate to commit a crime, or committing a crime themselves. And the mere fact that these individuals were attorneys, doesn't somehow absolve them. SCHNEIDER: Giuliani is charged as part of a broader racketeering

charge, encompassing all 19 defendants. But he's also facing several additional charges, including making false statements to the Georgia House and Senate, when he testified in 2020 about bogus voter fraud claims, and urged state lawmakers to overturn the results.

GIULIANI: There are ten ways to demonstrated this election was stolen, that the votes were phony, dead people, felons, phony ballots, phony mail-in ballots.

SCHNEIDER: Other pro Trump attorney is also charged include John Eastman, and Kenneth Chesebro, who outlined a plan to get Vice President Mike Pence to block the certification of the election on January 6th.

And, Jeffrey Clark, a top Justice Department official who drafted a letter that he hoped the DOJ would send to various state leaders, including in Georgia, falsely proclaiming fraud in their states.

ROBERT CHEELEY, TRUMP LAWYER: Regarding this voter fraud at State Farm Arena was deliberately planned, it had to be.

SCHNEIDER: Robert Cheeley was a lawyer who worked with Trump's team to promote voter fraud claims. He has also been charged, along with Trump campaign attorney Ray Smith.

RAY SMITH, TRUMP LAWYER: Two thousand five hundred and six felons voted illegally in Georgia.

SCHNEIDER: And Sidney Powell has been charged with seven crimes, including her alleged involvement in the scheme to break into voting machines in Coffee County, Georgia. She repeatedly and falsely declared Dominion voting systems as fraudulent, in the weeks and months after the election.

SIDNEY POWELL, TRUMP ATTORNEY: And that's when the Dominion operators went in and injected votes and changed the whole system.


SCHNEIDER: And Dominion is actually now suing Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani for defamation. So, their legal troubles, Erin, heavily compounded by this latest criminal case out of Georgia.

And tonight, John Eastman's attorney also responded. He said the activity in this latest indictment, in his words, is political, not criminal. A common refrain that we are here from all of these defendants -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jessica, thank you.

All right, so I want to go to Barbara Reis now, because she is the former executive vice president for the Trump Organization. She worked with Donald Trump for 18 years.

Barbara, you know him better than anyone. Also, you're the author of the book "Tower of Lies".

So, you know, I just -- we were -- Jessica was working on this piece today. Barbara, I really wanted to talk to you because, you've been there. In the sense of, you've been around him, you've worked for him. You've seen how loyal some people can be.

We look at this long list, as Jessica just went through, of Trump lawyers indicted. So, to you, what explains why so many people compromise themselves, compromise facts, compromise truth for him?

BARBARA REIS, FORMER EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Well, if you look at a group of people, there is a certain level of arrogance that Trump supporters (INAUDIBLE) same group, and, in line with the Trump opinion, that they can do nothing wrong, that they can't get caught, lawyers are allowed to lie.

I'm a lawyer. Lawyers are not allowed to lie. But, they are just making this up, and trying to find a way to get themselves off. Now, if they can't, then I think you will see them singing a different song. And I hope that they can't.

BURNETT: Yes, singing a different song. I mean, there are 18 other codefendants, just in the Georgia case alone, right.

Now, there are 18 potential people therefore who could flip on him. And, Barbara, a lot of these are people who we either barely knew, I might not have much to add in terms of value, but others who did know, and the new a lot. But certainly hadn't worked for him for a long time, and would have no reason to have depth of personal loyalty.

Do you think he is worried about that, about them flipping?

REIS: You know, the personal loyalty thing has always been a lot of B.S., obviously, and you know, loyalty is purchased. I mean, they're loyal to him, were loyal for a reason, they were getting paid, or their kids were in trouble, and Trump was threatening to get them in trouble. So, they're going to offer him a big job at the end of -- they've been through all this, you know, buying favors some people and buying loyalty.

Some people are loyal, Allen Weisselberg, but for the most part, they're in it for whatever he has to offer them, or they're protecting themselves from what he has to intimidate them, or against them, embarrass them.

BURNETT: All right, we certainly think Allen Weisselberg, right, who work for him for decades, he was paying for his grandchildren's education, all sorts of things.


And that was repaid in loyalty.

Barbara, you're a lawyer, as you said but now, you look at Trump's situation, facing a total of 91 criminal charges. I am truly astounded by that. There's something about the number that brings it home for me, four separate criminal cases.

Do you think that he understands the gravity of this?

REIS: Yeah.

BURNETT: You do?

REIS: Yeah. I'm not sure that he had, up until now, because don't forget, he surrounds himself with people that will tell him the lies he wants to hear. So it sort of reinforces it, even though he knows it's not true. When there is that amount of people telling the same lie, and that lie becomes believable.

And I've seen that, the big lie. And some of you, I mean, that's a -- that's a big deal. People lie, and if you lie enough.

So I think that he thought he had it under control, and believe that he should. But this time, I think now, it's a little bit overwhelming. I think there, is just too many people, too many risks out there, people like would turn on him (ph).

BURNETT: Well, if that's true, an unprecedented moment. And we'll see how it affects his behavior.

Thank you, Barbara, I'm glad to talk to you again.

REIS: Thank you. My pleasure.


And next, the horror in Hawaii. One mother was bracing for the worst, saying goodbye to her family, to her five-year-old, as flames raged around them. Now, they did survive, and she's going to tell us about it after this.

And, Russia firing into Ukraine, way far from the frontlines, striking homes and apartments in western Ukraine, even a kindergarten there.



BURNETT: Tonight, President Biden addressing the devastation in Hawaii, vowing to visit as soon as he can, and calling it the deadliest wildfire in more than 100 years. His comments, coming amid growing criticism directed at him, and the government for their response to the fires.

Our Gloria Pazmino begins our coverage tonight OUTFRONT.


GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The search continues. As the death toll mounts, there is desperation in this devastated Maui resort town. Cruise now combing through the ruins of Lahaina, using cadaver dogs

trained to find human remains. Only 25 percent of the fire zone had been fully searched, as of Monday. It's still unknown how many people remain unaccounted for here. Close to 100 people are confirmed dead, including a family of four. The death toll says Hawaii's governor, could double in the coming days.

Thousands have lost their homes. And many are not now scrambling to find shelter, food, and clean water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I still have loved ones that are trapped, for example, my dad. My dad's still there, but he refuses to come out. But there are certain things he still needs.

PAZMINO: Even the island's firefighters find themselves in need.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They watched their homes burn, as they fought for other homes in the neighborhood. And it was quick, like every thing was -- happened so fast.

PAZMINO: Frustration now mounting, as some Lahaina residents remained blocked from returning to what's left of their neighborhoods.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to go back to my home, but (INAUDIBLE). I don't understand, why they can't get (EXPLETIVE DELETED) together.

PAZMINO: Others just beginning to come to terms with so much loss.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm praying for them.

PAZMINO: Annie Shilling says her brother Joe died while helping his elderly neighbors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He helped one to escape. The last message from him was, I have these seniors in my apartment, and I'm trying to keep the smoke down.

PAZMINO: Those who were able to escape the flames, say they are now reeling from the scale of the destruction.

KANAMU BALINBIN, LAHAINA RESIDENT; It broke me. It still breaks me. This is what keeps me going, helping people. A lot of us are at that stage. And beyond the wreckage, the survivors say it's time to come together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ohana means family, and everyone's pitching in. It doesn't matter where your, from what color you are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From the ashes, we will survive.


PAZMINO (on camera): And, Erin, that spirit is alive and well here in Maui. We are in the Kula community.

And as you can see, homes here have been absolutely devastated as well, by the fire. We are standing in front of what's left of Russ Hartz's (ph) home. He is back there, still trying to clean up his property.

But over and over, for several hours today, Erin, we watched as volunteers turned up, they offered to help, they drove in their trucks, they said hey, what do you need, how can we help? And I've seen that just multiple times, neighbors trying to help other neighbors. They say that's the only way they're going to be able to move forward -- Erin.

BURNETT: Gloria, thank you very much, in Maui tonight.

And the horrific devastation, that has changed the lives of so many, so many even of the survivors tonight, including Tee Dang, who was on vacation with her family, she was with her three children and husband in a rental car, on Lahaina's front street when the vehicles around them began exploding, and catching fire. The flames so dangerously close that they were forced to jump into the ocean to save themselves.

Tee and her family were in the water for nearly four hours, before they were rescued.

Tee Dang joins me now.

Tee, I'm so glad to be talking to you. I can't imagine, you've got three children, you're on vacation. I mean truly, it's incomprehensible. This is the last thing could've ever even comprehend it in your worst nightmare.

How are you and your family even doing tonight?

TEE DANG, MAUI FIRE SURVIVOR: Well, you are getting through. It's just kind, of its processing everything, and just hearing the news just, it's heartbreaking. We are still shaken up by it.

BURNETT: I truly can't even imagine. And I know it's not just a thing where a few days, they're going to be okay. I mean, this will change you, I know forever.

And, you know, as a mother, I am so glad, I can't even imagine what you feared there.

I know the fire was upon you almost immediately, and you were there on vacation. Are you able to tell me how it happened?

DANG: Not really. We didn't know nothing. I don't think anyone knew anything. We just -- there was no alert, no siren, no nothing.


No phone service. We were just eating in our Airbnb, and just someone knocked on our door, and told us to evacuate. We didn't know what to do. It just happened so fast.

BURNETT: And I know, we have some videos that you shared, Tee. So you're there with your children, the fire, you can see from some of this is just incredibly close.

So then you end up in this situation, that I think it is just captured people's imagination, the sense of they can't imagine how you would feel, when you choose to dive into the ocean to avoid being burned, when you're not able to swim. But you did it to survive. I mean, this was life or death. So it's die and fire, or possibly die by drowning. And, you chose to go into the water.

What was that, what was that decision moment even like?

DANG: I don't even know. We -- my and I were I was just sitting there, and he was like, the decision-maker basically. He just told us, you know, our only way right now is, jump into the ocean.

And, into the ocean at least, we would get some wet, some cool air. And so, that was our only choice. There was nothing else.

BURNETT: So, you just ran in? And I know obviously where you could stand. And then you're in the water with your three children. There's, just a state the obvious, two adults and free children, right? So, you got an extra child.

DANG: Yes.

BURNETT: None of you swim. You're trying to hold on them, and you've got a five-year-old, a little girl. And she stopped moving?

DANG: Yes. Yes, we went down we jumped down. And then -- these rocks were huge. And we open the car, and just down it was just hot oven, fire flaming -- we couldn't even breathe. Then we open the car door, and we jumped down.

And my daughter didn't was going on, she just couldn't breathe. She could go like this, like this. And so, she was just saying she couldn't breathe, she couldn't breathe.

And then she was screaming, and I don't know, maybe the smoke got to her when she fainted. And then we kept shaking her. We kept telling her, calling her name, calling her name. And my son heard me call her name, and he opened up -- he was calling her name.

And I don't know for how long. And then she finally woke up. And she was just kind of out of it. She was like, huh? And then, we started just huddling in, and trying to keep our family tight, so he wouldn't get burned from the fire and get washed away from the water.

BURNETT: And, Tee, I know -- I know your children are safe, you are safe, you are alive, you're home thank God.

But in those moments, I'm sure there is a moment where you thought your daughter had died?

DANG: Oh, my gosh. Yes, right when she fainted, I -- my heart just dropped, like just dropped.

I thought I lost her at that point. I don't even know what to do. I just -- and I wouldn't know, instantly she does fainted, and I didn't know what to do. I just -- I couldn't imagine losing her at that point.

BURNETT: I'm so sorry, Tee. I -- like any mother or father watching, talking to you, I actually can't even imagine that moment. Thank God that you are okay.

I do want to give you a chance just to, is there anything that you would want to say to those, who I know saved you, and save your children and your husband?

DANG: Yes. I -- I would love to thank the Red Cross, especially Ted, Tyler, Chris, and this volunteer that took us out of nowhere, it took us to the airport, Jeff. I mean, the Hawaiian people, like they gave us hope, like they saved us. Like without them, we would not be alive.

And I just want people to help Maui, and donate, and help, and don't forget, just to support them, and they are truly the hero. And without them, my family would not be alive today.

BURNETT: Tee, thank you so much for talking. I know it's hard, but thank you so much for sharing this. Thank you so much.

DANG: Thank you.

BURNETT: And our thoughts to you, and that precious -- your precious children, and especially that precious little girl. Thank you.

DANG: Yes, thank you.

BURNETT: Tee Dang there, who just came back from Hawaii.

And next, Russia says Ukraine is running out of steam, in this counteroffensive. So, why are they targeting civilians far from the front lines, far from the frontlines?

Our Fred Pleitgen tonight, reporting on the barrage that hit more than 100 homes in Russia.

And, Hunter Biden's lead defense attorney asking to be removed from his case, and we'll tell you why.



BURNETT: Tonight, new video OUTFRONT showing the sheer intensity of Ukrainian rocket attacks on the front lines. You are looking at Russians targeting near Bakhmut, on the eastern front, but this came as a rare Russian attack on the west of Ukraine has rocked the city of Lviv, destroying apartment buildings, a supermarket, and a kindergarten.

Fred Pleitgen is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): A massive Russian missile strike in western Ukraine. Kyiv saying more than 100 apartments and houses were damaged.

While the Russians claimed to hit military industrial sites, (INAUDIBLE) says she was at home with her grandson, when a missile struck their barn.

I yelled at him, that the cow shed was on fire, and I saw flames on our barn, she says.

He told me, granny, the cow shed and the barn are gone. Everything has burned to the ground.

More than a dozen were injured by the attacks, the Ukrainians say, a kindergarten completely destroyed.

In northwestern Ukraine, rescuers managed to pull this man from the rubble of a building. The strikes come as Ukraine's army continues to pressure Russian forces in the east, and in the south, but with only modest gains.


Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visiting troops on the southern front, in an effort to boost morale.

But, Russia's defense minister claiming Kyiv's counteroffensive is running out of steam.

The preliminary results of combat operations show that Ukraine's military resources are almost exhausted, he says, and a swipe at the U.S. and its allies.

As for Western made weapons supplied to Ukraine, I like to stress that as of today, there is nothing unique and invulnerable compared to the Russian weaponry, in many cases even Soviet made equipment surpasses Western models.

But Russian forces themselves have failed to make any significant gains in more than a year. A new offensive in northeast Ukraine, barely yielding progress so far.

Moscow's overnight missile strikes hit only a few miles from NATO's eastern flank, where staunch U.S. ally Poland conducted its own show of force, marking armed forces day, which commemorates Poland's victory over the Soviet Union in 1920.

It is also a perfect day to show our strength, the defense minister says, to show that we have built powerful armed forces that will effectively defend our borders, without hesitation.

The parade also featured U.S.-made weapons, as Poland confronts threats from Putin and his main ally, Alexander Lukashenko, in Belarus.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, the latest twists and turns of development tonight in the Hunter Biden criminal case.


BURNETT: Tonight, the special counsel investigate Hunter Biden, saying his team is withdrawing the plea deal over a gun charge, calling it invalid. The Justice Department saying in court filings that the deal is not legally binding, which, of course, is contrary to what Biden's lawyers claim. So that is ongoing.

But it comes with this significant context, which that Hunter Biden's lead attorney is asking to withdraw from the case. Christopher Clark, who has overseen the case, says he has to leave the team, because he could be called as a witness in future proceedings.

Obviously, the legal storms running the president's son is not clearing up anytime soon, as the special counsel now, the special counsel is taking over, and is wide, wide purview for any sorts of messages that arise from the investigation into Hunter Biden.

Thanks so much for joining us.

Anderson starts now.