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Erin Burnett Outfront

D.A. In Trump Case Takes Stand Fired Up And Defiant: "I'm Ready"; Trump's Hush Money Criminal Trial Set For March 25; Bullets, Shell Casings A Focus In Chiefs' Rally Shooting Probe. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 15, 2024 - 19:00   ET




Breaking news, Fani Willis fighting back. The Fulton County D.A. taking the stand in her own defense, and ripping the Trump legal team apart. Will the judge let her stay on the case?

Plus, Trump's first criminal trial date is set, beginning just weeks from now with a verdict in a criminal case as early as May.

Michael Cohen, central player in the New York hush money case, will be OUTFRONT tonight.

And new details this hour emerging about what may have caused the deadly mass shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl celebration.

I'll speak to a man who was shot along with his wife and child. What he saw just before the gunman opened fire.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening and welcome to a special edition of OUTFRONT. I'm Erin Burnett.

And the breaking news tonight: I'm ready to go. Those are the exact words of a defiant Fani Willis. She is, of course, the Georgia D.A. overseeing Trump's election interference case as she took the stand for hours today in a high-stakes hearing, which just ended, a hearing that focused on her relationship with Nathan Wade, who is her top prosecutor in the Trump case.

And it was a show. Trump and his allies' lawyers pried into salacious, deeply personal details and Willis's private life. And Willis did not back down, turning the tables on them.



It's like a woman doesn't have the right to keep her private life private. And I'm speaking on this because there have been all these intimations. You've been intrusive into people's personal lives. You're confused. You think I'm on trial. These people are on trial for trying to steal an election in 2020. I'm

not on trial no matter how hard you try to put me on trial.


BURNETT: That is though exactly what Trump's legal team wanted, which was to put Willis on trial, hoping that if they can get her disqualified, that will sink her case, which is into election interference to try to overturn an election. Now, to be clear, the allegations against Willis are serious. If a person hire somebody they're dating to help them financially using taxpayer money, that is serious, extremely series. It would be disqualified.

The team Trump did not provide any evidence that Willis did any of that and, of course, we do know that Willis only hired Nathan Wade after several others refused the job. But that did not matter when it came to the humiliating questions posed to Willis today.


JUDGE: Yes, when the romantic relationship ended, that's the question.

WILLIS: It's sometime in I'd say late summer of 2023, but I don't believe in -- because with this, what you really asking about, this as the salaciousness of all of this, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I'm just asking about your romantic relationship, when you stop dating.



WILLIS: I think that me and Mr. Wade -- so he's a man, he probably would say June or July. I would say we had a tough conversation in August. So that men in relationships, that the end of physical intimacy. Women in relationships, when that tough conversation takes place.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And where when did he come to -- I guess the condo. I'm not sure what you call it, the condo apartment.

Would he come and stay at that condo or visit you there? I'm sorry. Visit you there.

WILLIS: What condo? What apartment? I want to be clear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So not your house. I know you classified one is house and one is condo. So, I'm trying to use those terms.

WILLIS: There has been more than -- see, what you don't understand is because of this case, I got to move. So --

JUDGE: Ms. Merchant, if you could ask him more precise questions?

WILLIS: Please give me the time period --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Wade visit you at the place you laid your head.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has he ever visited you at the place you laid your head?

WILLIS: So lets be clear because you've lied -- and let me tell you which one you lied in. Right here and I think I you lied right here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your Honor, I'm going to --

WILLIS: No, no, no. This is the truth.


WILLIS: It is a lie. It is a lie.

JUDGE: We're going to pause. Ms. Willis, Mr. Sadow, thank you. We're going to take five minutes.


BURNETT: Trump's team is obviously trying to make the argument that Willis financially benefited from the investigation into Trump and should be removed. But Willis, again, testifying under oath, said that she did not need Wade's money while discussing the relationship.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the forthcoming indictment have anything to do with that law? Was it just a coincidence?

WILLIS: Mister, let's go on and have a conversation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've just asked you whether or not it was a coincidence or --

WILLLIS: Had absolutely nothing to do with this. It's interesting that we're here about this money. Mr. Wade is used to women that, as he told me one time, only thing a woman can do for him is make him a sandwich.


We would have brutal arguments about the fact that I am your equal. I don't need anything from a man. A man is not a plan. A man is a companion.

And so there was tension always in our relationship, which is why I was give him his money back. I don't need anybody to foot my bills. The only man who's ever foot my bills completely is my daddy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there anything else you'd like to add to that? WILLIS: No.


WILLIS: I'm sure we'll talk about it further.


BURNETT: Well, see what I said. To be clear, what Trump's team wants to discuss has nothing to do with the actual facts of the case here, right? The facts of the actual case, the heart of all of this is whether Trump and his allies -- its about election interference, but they repeatedly tried to overturn turn this election in Georgia in 2020.

Nick Valencia is OUTFRONT. He is live in Atlanta to begin our coverage.

Nick, I think just from what we played there, anybody who didn't have a chance to watch throughout the day understands this was an incredible moment and it is not like something anybody in this country gets to see in a courtroom in a regular basis?

A stunning day. Fani Willis takes the stand and all of this happens. You've got some new reporting. What are you learning now?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, it was stunning to see the D.A. on the stand today and I just spoke to Bishop Reginald Jackson, who spent the morning with Fani Willis before the court. He prayed with her and he said he wanted to offer her words of encouragement and to him, he said Fani woke up ready this morning to testify, and eager to meet this head-on. But still, it was just so surreal to see the D.A. up there taking questions from defense attorneys.

Fani Willis went out of her way to say that she wasn't the one on trial, but there were certainly moments during today's hearing where it sure felt like it.


WILLIS: Nothing very anxious to have this conversation with them today. I ran to the courtroom.

VALENCIA (voice-over): A defiant Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis taking the stand today after weeks of fighting allegations that she personally benefited from a romantic relationships she had with Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor she hand-picked to spearhead the sprawling racketeering charges against Donald Trump and his allies.

WILLIS: I probably had some choice words about some of the things that you say that were dishonest within this motion? So I don't know that it was a conversation. As you know, Mr. Wade is a Southern gentleman. Me not so much.

VALENCIA: Willis, not hiding her anger over the allegations. At one point being called a hostile witness by the defense.

WILLIS: I very much want to be here, so I'm not a hostile witness.

VALENCIA: Well, both Wade and Willis have admitted to the relationship they had, they say it began and only after Wade took the job. That timeline also a major point of contention in the hearing today. Before Willis took the stand, the first witness of the day directly contradicted Wade and Willis's previous statements to the court.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have no doubt that their romantic relationship was in effect from 2019 until the last time you spoke with her?


VALENCIA: That's three years earlier than with Wade said in an affidavit, their relationship started. But Wade holding firm to that date when he took the stand.

NATHAN WADE, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: 2022 was the start of any intimate sexual relationship with the district attorney.

VALENCIA: As did Willis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When did you start dating?

WILLIS: When I started dating Mr. Wade, it was right around then.


WILLIS: '22, yes, it was around the -- I don't know. Like, you know, it's not like when you were in grade school, when you send a little letter and it says, will you be my girlfriend, and you check it.

VALENCIA: But then there's the money trail. Defense attorneys pressing on whether or not Wade for Willis when the two vacationed together, trying to suggest that he used money he made from his taxpayer funded contract at the D.A.'s office on Willis.

Both maintained that they split their vacation expenses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So all of the vacations that she took, she paid you cash for?

WADE: Yes, ma'am.

VALENCIA: Willis confirming the same in her testimony.

WILLIS: Because we went out multiple times that probably went to the level of more than $100 but if were doing tit-for-tat like that, I probably paid for as many meals as he paid for. And so, I did not receive any gifts from him.

VALENCIA: And at times forcefully pushing back with the defense attorney who first launched the allegations. WILLIS: These people are on trial for trying to steal an election in

2020. I'm not on trial no matter how hard you try to put me on trial.


VALENCIA (on camera): Today's hearing got deep into the personal lives of both Willis and Wade, with at one point, the district attorney throwing Nathan Wade under the bus for allegedly making sexist remarks. Willis' testimony is expected to continue tomorrow in the 9:00 a.m. hour. But Erin we are not expected to get a ruling anytime soon. It could be days.

Judge Scott McAfee, who's presiding over this case, is not expected to make a ruling from the bench -- Erin.

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

And on this incredible day here, Darryl Cohen is with me, a former Fulton County prosecutor. He knows both Fani Willis and Nathan Wade. Also with us, Karen Friedman, Agnifilo, Ryan Goodman and Laura Coates, who is outside the Fulton County courthouse.


So, Darryl, let me start with you because you know, both of them and, you know, Fani Willis well. Did you expect her to get on that witness stand? And do what she did to be so defiant to push back time and time again. She didn't let anything go.

DARRYL COHEN, FORMER ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, FULTON COUNTY: Erin, this case never ceases to amaze me. It's a case of first impression that us lawyers like to say. But the reality is it's never happened before.

And I watched Fani walk into that courtroom and he was walking in hot and she pushed back. I'm not at all surprised. I felt like we were watching a heavyweight fight where Ashleigh Merchant was swinging hard and Fani was swinging back just as hard, but the bottom line is, does it matter? Does this take anything away from the facts of the case?

My answer is, it does not. It's a sideshow that has legs for the moment.

BURNETT: Well, it's important I think, you know, you say that, aside so that his legs for the moment and Karen, from start to finish, Willis called out. She clashed with the defense attorneys.

Let me just play some more examples, including some of the ones that we just briefly saw there.


WILLIS: It's ridiculous to me that you lied on Monday. And yet here we still ought to lie. That's one of your lies.

You've been intrusive into people's personal lives. You're confused. I'm not on trial no matter how hard you try to put me on trial.

No, no, no, no. This is a truth, judge, and it is a lie, it is a lie.

We don't answer it since you said, don't be cute with me. And then think that you're not going to get an answer.


BURNETT: Is her anger justified?

KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think so. I think what was lost today was the legal standard that the defendants have to meet in order to get the case just get her disqualified from the case, which is, is there an actual or perceived conflict of interest, one that would have to do with money and a relationship? But we didn't hear any of that.

For example, we didn't hear anything about who approved of the vouchers that Wade submitted and his time sheets, and all of the things that you would ask if you're really trying to discuss the financial relationship. And this just devolved into a salacious, private, deeply personal attacks on Fani Willis, that just really seemed irrelevant to such an extent. It was -- I thought -- I thought that was a real sideshow and not a lot came out that would actually disqualify where they could have asked a lot of those questions --


AGNIFILO: -- to establish that relationship. But that -- none of that was established.

BURNETT: It didn't seem any attempt to do that.

AGNIFILO: Correct.

BURNETT: Seem to be any attempt.

And, Laura, Fani Willis also brought up race multiple times during her testimony today. Let me just play some of that.


WILLIS: When you meet my father, he is going to tell you, as a woman, you should always have, which I don't have. So let's don't tell him that, should have at least six months in cash at your house at all time. I don't know why these old Black man feels like that, but he does.

Wade had a form of cancer, it makes your allegations somewhat ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do appreciate the characterization --

WILLIS: I'm not going to emasculate a Black man, but I'm -- I'm just telling you --


WILLIS: I'm not going to emasculate a Black man. Did you understand that?


BURNETT: Laura, what did you make of that? And how do you think that played with Judge McAfee?

LAURA COATES, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, clearly, she was intimating something about their sexual interactions or lack thereof as a result of some physiological condition. But I think what was clear here is they were trying to establish how to define a relationship and sort of the Clinton-esque, what is is, right? What is relationship? Was hit romantic in nature? Was it personal in nature? Was it sexual in nature?

There are many times during the course of the conversation where they seem to be skirting around the issue of what it meant to stay the night, what it meant to be involved romantically, and she was quite direct at different times during her testimony.

But just think at the weight of this moment. Erin, can you imagine? Jack Smith testifying on the stand while he has an active trial, an indictment against a former president, let alone over a dozen other defendant for an election subversion case, having to testify on the stand about his sexual relationships, and then seek a jury who is going to be able to be empanelled in this matter. It's a really stunning development.

The fact she took the stand was a little bit shocking because it seemed as though the judge appeared to be leaning against even forcing her to do so because he was saying, given the testimony you've already had today, please tell me what Fani Willis to provide them distinct from the testimony, what were the conflicts at issue here?

At the end of the day, keep in mind Erin the standard by which you move to disqualify somebody on a conflict of interests is that their behavior, their conflict, their relationship is such an extensive thing that it would render it impossible to actually give a defendant a fair trial.


They didn't establish a through line today about where the money was coming from and then there's a singular source or that she financially benefited and that's standard.

BURNETT: Right. As I said, Laura, didn't even seem that they tried, but it sounds like from what you're saying when you bring up the -- can you imagine this happening to Jack Smith? I mean, just to be very blunt about this, do you think they were doing this because they felt that she was a target that they could hit in this way and disqualified because she's a Black woman?

COATES: I think it had its elements of misogynoir, as we say to think about that very intersection, I think they assumed that she is a target. They want her to be targeted in this way.

She spoke about her safety concerns.


COATES: Certainly, they're wanting to shame her as she has said, intimating hat she had sexual relations with the man that very the first time she met her, there was a very offensive statement to her, she says. They were trying to do -- I think that at the end of the day as you keep saying, the goal of this hearing does not appear to be simply to find that through line, but it's trying to discredit them.

And I think if you are a prosecutor in front of a jury eventually, do you want the jurors to looking for you, to your counsel, wondering about your sex life? No. You want the facts and the allegations and the evidence stand for themselves,

BURNETT: That's right. It would appear Ryan, that's what they're trying to accomplish. If not, to actually prove any kind of malfeasance or anything that would have her disqualified, but to humiliate and shame and impact the case.

I mean, they did, you know, you'd have to prove as Laura says is a through line, you'd have to prove that, she was dating in before she hired him just for this purpose so she could pay him off and they could get them all that. No attempt to prove that. The only time they this even happened was a former employee testified Willis and Wade were involved much farther back than they have both testified to being under oath or any evidence exists of them being involved.

And let me just replay play some of what she said.


ROBIN BRYANT YEARTIE, FRIEND OF FANI WILLIS: The situation happened, that wasn't my fault. And I either was going to resign or be let go. So --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You understood that that was the situation. You could resign or you could be let go?

YEARTIE: Correct, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were not welcome to stay?



BURNETT: So that's -- that she admitted to leaving the D.A.'s office on bad terms. She admitted to -- that and then she's the one making these allegations. This is the only witnesses as even offering to try to say that this started earlier. Is this legitimate?

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: It's not a very strong basis. And in fact, Fani Willis at one point even says one witness does not make for a disqualification and the witness is not that good. So she didn't have very many specifics. I wouldn't say many, she shouldn't have specifics.

BURNETT: Yes, she had none.

GOODMAN: Yeah. Like when did -- when did you hear about this? Don't remember. When did it start exactly? Don't remember. Where were you when you heard about it? Don't remember.

BURNETT: What exactly did you see?

GOODMAN: Yeah, even at that end point when they get to the idea that she was in fact told she would be fired if she didn't quit, she had to kind of be forced into that because first she was just like I don't want to explain it. I don't want to say that. I wasn't necessarily told him that did well at the end, I was told it.

Well that's the problem, and so you would have even thought that the other side would have introduced that evidence first because they know its there, but they didn't. So I think she's going to be discredited in all likelihood tomorrow. She's not already. It's not as strong case for them. It's all they've got.

BURNETT: Do you think it was smart that Fani Willis took the stand? Chose to do it?

GOODMAN: When she first got on the stand. I wasn't so sure it was smart, but I actually thought that she was so raw in a way that it came across as very truthful, very credible. And it was powerful.

And in some ways, I think what was happening is as you described it, the optics were she was on the stand and then she flipped that back and said, I am not write cases the case.

BURNETT: All right. All stay with me because our coverage continues here.

One person we are learning watching Fani Willis and her hearing very closely is the Manhattan district attorney. Our Paula Reid, working her sources and she has some new details coming into out front and the date is now set in Trump's hush money trial. That is now set to begin in just weeks. A verdict expected, possibly this spring.

And a crucial witness in the case, Michael Cohen, is gong to be here with me tonight.

Also, new details emerging about who police have in custody after the deadly mass shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl celebration, as there is a vigil this hour honoring the victims



BURNETT: Breaking news, the Fulton County district attorney is back on the stand in just hours. Fani Willis will be back in the morning in front of the judge who could make a ruling about whether Willis is disqualified from the case as early as next week?

Now, look, a ruling in that way would have massive implications. It would set Georgia's criminal trial for Trump back months or even longer. And one person who should be watching this hearing very closely is the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who right now has the first criminal trial for Trump on the calendar.

Our chief legal correspondent, Paula Reid, is outside the courthouse here in New York, where a judge just ruled that Bragg's case will move forward, obviously, Paula, on March 25th.

So what should brag be watching for

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, of course, were all watching today, what was going on in Georgia. But for Bragg, it could be especially significant because in just a few weeks in the courthouse right behind me, he and lawyers performance from President Trump will be selecting a jury for that first criminal case against the former president.

Today they were in court sparring with the judge about what they should be asking potential jurors, political affiliation, what news they watch, any far right groups they may be associated with. And Trump made it clear in court today that his defense is going to be that he has been targeted by politically motivated, corrupt prosecutors.

Now, one of the problems for Bragg is that the Georgia case is the most similar to his these are both state-level prosecutions brought by elected district attorneys and they focus on allegations of election interference.

So depending on what happens down in Georgia, even if Willis isn't disqualified.


I mean, it's a messy situation. It is a spectacle. This could be something that he has to ask potential jurors about. Have you seen this? What do you know about it? What do you think of it?

It doesn't mean that he can't win his case, but this could be a factor in that difficult task of jury selection. And, Erin, it's just a reminder that what happens down in Georgia has a ripple effect on these other cases. Not only actually in the courtroom, but also in the court of public opinion, which is, of course, where candidate Trump is most worried.

BURNETT: Absolutely. And the form that, that matters so much in all of these cases to for these juries.

Paula, thank you very much.

Paul, of course, in New York, where that hearing was today. And of course, everyone's back with me now. So, Darryl, as we've said, you know, the judge here. You know Scott

McAfee in the Georgia case and now you've see what we've seen today. Obviously, Fani Willis will be back on the stand tomorrow.

But do you think that that he's going to disqualify her from everything we heard today.

COHEN: If I were in Vegas, I would take odds of about 1,000 to one that he will not disqualify her. And unlike Vegas, what stays in Georgia, what happens in Georgia, doesn't stay in Georgia. I don't see her being disqualified.

What I do see is what happens to morrow, what happened today? It's going to be a microcosm of what's going to happen in the future.

Fani's office, Nathan Wade, if he stays is going to be under a microscope. And this is not going to be the first and the last. It's going to be the first of many things that are unforeseen. And it's going to take on a life of its own.

I don't know how were going to make his go away. It's disappointing. I don't like any part of this. Trials are trials, facts are facts and Fani didn't make some of the right decisions. But what she said and how she testified was terrific today regardless of what I may think, either way.

BUIRNETT: So, Karen, that the thing here though is that if she's disqualified, obviously that sets this back massively and that is that that is huge decision. But even if she isn't, this is now out there in the ether, in the ether of public opinion, in the ether of a potential jury.

How significant is that? Because maybe that was the very close second goal of the Trump team and pursuing this to begin with.

AGNIFILO: Right. I mean, what we had today was a televised hearing, right? So the whole world could see this and could watch it and watch all these details, which doesn't typically happen, right? You're not going to see the same thing in the Manhattan D.A. case or federal cases, but it's unique to Georgia where they televise everything. And so you're right, that potential jurors could have watched it and formed an opinion about the prosecution or about whether or not they believe Trump is being targeted, et cetera.

And so it's just another point that I think the prosecutors and the Manhattan D.A. case will keep in mind when they're doing there voir dire and asking questions to make sure that they are still fair and impartial to both sides.

BURNETT: So it's so hard as Paula is going through all the questions, Laura, that they're going to be asking such personal questions of potential jurors.

Now, I know that the judge in Georgia, Laura, does everyone rotation at times for ruling from the bench as and making a very quick decision that is not anticipated in this case, they say perhaps as early as next week to actually get a decision on Fani Willis.

But when you watch the judge today, he did not hold back at times for admonishing both sides. Here he is.


WILLIS: He never came there, okay? So if you don't come someplace, you can live there.

JUDGE MCAFEE: So that's what I have to caution. Going to be my first time out to caution. good to listen to the questions as and if this happens again and again, I'm going to have no choice but to strike your testimony.

Mr. MacDougald, you can sit down now.

HARRY MACDOUGALD, ATTORNEY: I don't believe she answered that question, Your Honor. She answered as to specific individual gifts.

JUDGE MCAFEE: And you're not listening to my answer either. So we're done.

MACDOUGALD: Very well.


BURNETT: Very calm in how he handles it, Laura, but what do you think when you hear those admonishments? Do you think Fani Willis will be disqualified or not?

COATES: I don't think they've met their burden of proof to disqualify her based on the conflict of interest that would go to whether the defendants could have a fair trial. But I do think what you saw was a judge who is increasingly impatient because you heard people being very redundant.

Remember, there wasn't just the one attorney bringing the case. He was different defendants who then wind to have their bite at the apple through their own defense counsel, trying to make sure that they had a chance to make their case, as well, as they had a lot of overlap that just tired of that. There's one moment in time when they were trying to establish prior inconsistent statements that Nathan wade had made.

And the judge essentially said, look I get it. This now goes to the weight of the evidence, the volume no longer about whether this in fact was inconsistent. So he seemed to have gotten it a great deal.


But in terms of the riskier and the weight of all this, Erin, it is not an easy decision if they disqualify her, if the whole team a difference, a different and subsequent prosecution team would have to be established. Who has no need or requirement to follow the indictment or anything else.

BURNETT: Right. And that at best would set it back dramatically. Ryan, you briefly mentioned, but I wanted to give you a chance to explain. I know at first, you weren't sure if Fani Willis going on the standard was the right thing and then you were saying noticed, of course, the incredible emotion that she showed, raw emotion and was sort of like, all right, if you're going to be talking about my sex life, I'm going to get really personal. I'm going to just open it all up and talk to you.

Do you think that that worked?

GOODMAN: I think it really did. I think she came across as totally human and the wrongness of it was genuine. So I just thought she seemed just credible. And when she was making statements about her life and explaining it, it came across very credible.

BURENTT: About her father -- I mean, everything.

GOODMAN: About her father, why she uses cash when she moved into a particular apartment and the fact that nobody visited her because it was a lonely year, which actually just takes out some of the allegations against her. I think it came across very strong at the end of the day because she came on there as herself.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much.

And I want everyone to know Laura will be back tonight with "LAURA COATES LIVE" at 11:00.

And OUTFRONT next, Trump's historic first criminal trial date is set. It is just weeks away. The hush money trial is set to begin. And next, key witness, Michael Cohen, will join me. Does he have any doubt that Trump will be convicted in this case?

Plus, police tonight revealing the deadly mass shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl celebration appears to have been a dispute between several people.



BURNETT: Tonight, Trumps first criminal trial is quickly approaching. Trump today, admitting the quiet part out loud about his strategy in the New York hush money case. And frankly, in all of his cases.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We want delays. Obviously, I'm running for election.


BURNETT: The New York case stems from Trump's payments to a porn star. And today, a judge refused Trump's effort to toss the case, setting a date for the trial to begin on March 25, which, of course, is right in the middle of the election calendar, just a few weeks after Super Tuesday.

According to the judge, the case could take about six weeks. So if Trump is convicted, that would happen possibly in May, right when Trumps classified documents trial as of now, is set to begin.

OUTFRONT, now, a key witness in the New York hush money case, the former Trump attorney, Michael Cohen. He is the author of "Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the U.S. Department of Justice Against His Critics". And he is now the host of two podcasts, "Mea Culpa" and "Political Beatdown".

All right, Michael, the trial, right now, no delays, no throwing it out. Judges said it's going ahead on March 25th. You're a key witness.

So are you ready to once again be in the same room with Trump and to testify?

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: Yeah. I had no problem the last time at the New York attorney generals case of being in the same room as Donald. I'm not the only one who has said this. I felt nothing. There's no intimidation by him. He's the one that's sitting at the defendant's desk, not me. I'm just merely a witness and a subpoenaed witness.

So I will be there because I'm under subpoena.

BURNETT: But not because you want to, or you're eager to just go in. You're going because you have to.

COHEN: Nobody wants to do this. This isn't fun. Look, well, for example, with Fani Willis today, they get personal, they get nasty. And I expect mine to be as nasty if not nastier than the questions that were thrown at Fani Willis today.

BURNETT: So when Trump walked into the hearing today, I just played them, but I'll quote him again: we want delays. Obviously, I'm running for election.

Okay. Everyone knows that's what they're trying to do.

COHEN: He's been running for three years now.

BURNETT: So do you have any doubt that he will be convicted in this case, the hush money case, and Stormy Daniels?

COHEN: So knowing the case as I do, this is a very simple case and I agree with Judge Marshawn. This is not even a six-week case. I would say at best it would be a four-week case. My understanding is that on the Trump side, they only have one witness and maybe there's ten on the prosecution side.

This case could and should be over in a month, with a decision.

BURNETT: And do you -- you know, have any question about whether he'll be convicted? COHEN: Oh, I believe based upon the information that I know and based

upon not just the documentary evidence, but the corroborating testimony from so many people, I believe that he will be found guilty on all charges.

BURNETT: All right. So the nuts and bolts here, this is obviously the first case to go as we know, first case to move forward. So if Trump is convicted, it could be hugely significant. The Monmouth Poll that came out today showed a Trump wins the Republican nomination, but is convicted of a crime before the party convention this summer, which would be the case in this case if he's convicted, right, because he'd already have enough delegates to be nominated. But the convention wouldn't happen.

Fifty-eight percent of registered voters say he should be removed from the ballot. Only 38 percent change should be on the ballot. But this case, Michael, is a challenging one less, many experts say -- look this, what could be the hardest one because in part of District Attorney Alvin Bragg himself and things he said when he was running for his job, he infamously said this:


ALVIN BRAGG, MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It'd be hard to argue, in fact, that's the most important, most high-profile case. And I've seen him up front and seeing the lawlessness that he could do.

HOST: And you believe it should happen?

BRAGG: I believe we have to hold them accountable


BURNETT: The he is Trump.


BURNETT: Okay. Does that have caused problems, make it possible at this case, backfires? Voters say, well, that guy was biased to begin with, and it taints the case.

COHEN: Why would that be a disqualifying factor? The jury of Donald's peers will make the determination, not Alvin Bragg. It's merely his office that brought the case. They brought the case based upon legitimate illegal actions, illegal behavior done by Donald.

So it's going to be a trial, no different than if it was you, me or anybody. And as a result, the decision will be in the hands of the jurors, not in the hands of Alvin Bragg. So, I don't think it makes a difference at all.

BURNETT: Do you -- do you do you think its possible though? I mean, 91 indictments every single time it appears Trumps poll numbers go up. That even though people say if he's convicted, that they wouldn't be okay with that, that that he may be able to sway the court of public opinion in this case, you now, claim bias. [19:40:07]

And lo and behold, they say they wouldn't vote for him, but they would.

COHEN: So you know, me, I don't believe in the polls. I've --

BURNETT: I know you've had healthy skepticism.

COHEN: Right, I have very healthy skepticism when it comes to these polls. And proof-positive is just look at all of the special elections, look at what we just went through and District Three, look at what took place in Pennsylvania.

These are Democrats that are winning. I do believe that at the end of the day, Americans, whether Republican, Democrat, or independent care more about democracy over autocracy. They want less chaos. And they want more from our politicians acting on behalf of all America, not on behalf of just one guy.

And I think that that's where the polls showed and why Democrats won yet again.

BURNETT: And it was obviously was a significant win.

Now, defense attorneys for Trump brought up your testimony today in the last civil fraud case, according to a court transcript, Trumps attorney said, how can we possibly go to trial when there's a witness, referring to you, who committed perjury two months ago across the street, this office should be investigating him?

Now we do understand that the district attorneys office is investigating Allen Weisselberg, former CFO of Trump Org. Obviously, you know him well, off of perjury in the same trial. Have you had any discussions with anyone in the D.A.'s office about perjury?

COHEN: No, no. And just because Donald says something doesn't mean that it's factual. There's no perjury. The statements that they made the second that they went running out in order to -- oh, we won our case, we won our case. No, you didn't.

And even the judge acknowledged that, what they were saying is inaccurate. They took one sentence out of like a 55-page document.


COHEN: And instead of -- instead of providing the additional information on that one sentence, they only wanted to use that one sentence to prove their case. A sand -- a piece of saying doesn't make a beach, and that's what Trump's attorneys are trying to do here.

BURNETT: All right. Michael Cohen, thank you very much. As always, good to see you.

And, of course, we know you'll be testifying again soon. And next, Kansas City police have two people in custody, but who

actually fired the shots during the mass shooting at the Chiefs Super Bowl celebration? I'm going to speak to a man who was shot along with him his wife and child, all shot. What he saw just before the gunman opened fire.

Plus, an update to CNN's investigation to a fertility doctor who allegedly duped multiple women by him impregnating them with his sperm, which led to one woman's daughter actually sleeping with her half-brother. Will lawmakers help?



BURNETT: Tonight, CNN learning investigators are looking closely at bullets and shell casings from the fatal shooting at the Kansas City chiefs Super Bowl celebration. Police recovering several firearms from the scene and they're trying to determine which guns were used in the shooting and who fired the shots. Two teenagers are currently in custody.

And in just a moment, I'm going to speak with a father who was shot. His wife also shot, his 13 year-old son also shot, all three are out of the hospital and recovering.

But first, Whitney Wild is OUTFRONT with the latest on this investigation


WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A day after a Kansas City Super Bowl rally erupted in gunfire, new details are emerging about the people being held by police and the terrifying moments that led to one person killed and more than 20 hurt, including half of them children.

DISPATCHER: All units take shelter on the west side. Shooter in place.

WILD: Kansas City police say Wednesday shooting was the result of a personal dispute in the area, not an attack of terror on the celebration

CHIEF STACEY GRAVES, KANSAS CITY, MO POLICE: Preliminary investigative findings have shown there was no nexus to terrorism or homegrown violent extremism.

WILD: KCPD detained three people, including two juveniles. The third person was let go after police determined there was no connection to the shooting. Law enforcement also recovered several firearms.

POLICE: We have nine gunshot wounds to the west.

GRAVES: The 22 victims age range between eight years old and 47 years old. At least half of our victims are under the age of 16. WILD: Lisa Lopez-Galvan, a local deejay and mother of two, was tragically shot and killed. She's remembered by the radio station she volunteered at as an amazing person who gave so much to KKFI, and the KC community.

MANNY ABARCA, FRIEND OF LISA LOPEZ-GALVAN: Lisa leaves behind an incredible legacy. She comes from a very large family of civic leaders actively and regularly engaged in both the Latino community at Kansas City.

GRAVES: To her friends and family, we are with you and we are working tirelessly to investigate her murder.

WILD: Witnesses were called the chaotic scene Wednesday where an estimated one million people gathered and celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs back-to-back Super Bowl wins.

DAVE ARMSTRONG, SUPERBOWL PARADE SHOOTING WITNESS: And all of a sudden and you're like holy cow, what was that? And then all the cops come running out of the building. There were running in the building at first, now running out of the building. And then they tell us to go, go, go.

L'JARIUS SNEED, CORNERBACK, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: So nothing, something you want to be in. Never --

WILD: There are several accounts of Chiefs players, and personnel comforting fans and the mayhem, including cornerback L'Jarius Sneed. He told ESPN he was surrounded by children while seeking shelter in a basement.

SNEED: I saw the (INAUDIBLE) in that situation. You just tell them everything is okay. No, just rubbing it back in and just everything is going to be fine. They're trying to celebrate, though something. Bigger calls to manage (ph) for us and we just charged to celebrated with them and for that to happen is very tragic.


WILD: Erin, were here at a vigil for Lisa Lopez-Galvan, as well as the other people who were injured in this tragic shooting up very close friend of hers just spoke and said that they are hoping for the public to give their prayers to this family that that would be so appreciated.

Justice, obviously, is so crucial in this moment. Law enforcement still working through the evidence, as you mentioned, the ballistics are very critical to this investigation as a law enforcement source tells CNN's Josh Campbell that they're continuing to walk through that, figure out which guns might've been used. And if there are any other guns that are still outstanding, meaning trying to figure out if there any other people involved who might be at large, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Whitney, thank you very much, at that vigil in Kansas City tonight.


And Jacob Gooch joins us now. Jacob was shot along with his wife and his 13 year-old son at the Super Bowl rally.

And, Jacob, look, I honestly its hard to have words you go to this to celebrate and this horrific thing and trauma happens to your family. I'm so glad that you're out of the hospital, your family's out of the hospital.

And I want people to know what you went through. Bones in your foot are broken because you were shot. Your son has a bullet still lodged in his foot. Your wife was shot in her calf. How are all of you even feeling right now?

JACOB GOOCH, SHOT AT SUPER BOWL PARADE ALONG WITH WIFE AND SON: (INAUDIBLE) it's just mind-blowing, discouraging (ph). I mean, it's -- expressing their feelings in words is just near impossible right now, but I mean -- its just -- it's scary. You can even fathom something like this happening to you. You know, it happens but you never expected to happen either, you know?


GOOCH: Currently.

BURNETT: There are no words.

So as you're trying to even process what happened and now you're recovering. And, of course, dealing with your young child and I can only imagine how that is for you and your wife. You were standing on the left side of the stage and you see a group of people dressed in black and the crowd. And I know then Jacob that you got a bad feeling.

So -- can you try to explain what you saw, what you heard before the shooting actually started

GOOCH: I mean -- I don't want to get to accidentally mentioned that in an interview earlier, and I don't want to get too involved with -- my suspicion is on the people dressed in black because I don't know who it was.


GOOCH: But, as it were walking out, what id seen was a lady -- or I didn't see, but I heard a lady saying to a man, not now and this isn't the place. And then the gunshots -- and the gunshots went off. And I didn't know that they were gunshots. I thought I was looking for fireworks.

I'm looking down I felt the debris flying up at me and then I'm hit and I look at it and smoke coming out of my ankle and I'm still thinking fireworks as people are rushing towards me.

BURNETT: Oh my gosh.

GOOCH: I turn to try to and I go straight down, trying to call out of there. (INAUDIBLE).

BURNETT: I can't even imagine you looked down and to see that, it's -- whether you even felt this embodied or what. And then your wife and your child your son, and your daughter actually saw a gunman firing. So when did you realize that the others in your family were hit?

GOOCH: Oh man, I mean, like okay. So as I was crawling up, realizing I've just been shot, a couple of people came out to me saying what's going on? I told him, I'm hit, get down, get away, and my girl came up to me at that point and I told her I was hit and she said, you know, I'm hit, where's our son? Where's our kids?

And I didn't find out my other son. Ive been hit to a we got to the hospital and got the x-ray because he just had a tiny cut on the bottom of his foot, but we assumed from losing his Crocs and running around the socks on, but it was a bullet.

BURNETT: Bullet that I understand is still lodged there.

Jacob, thank you so much for talking. I know words don't yet exist for you to even express or explain this. I hope that talking about it is helpful, but my thoughts are with you and your wife and your boy.

GOOCH: Yes, ma'am. I appreciate that. And my prayers are to everybody that was involved in this.

BURNETT: All right. Jacob, thank you.

And next --

GOOCH: You're welcome. Have a good night.

BURENTT: All right. You too.

And after this, an update to the woman who discovered she was actually dating her half-brother after fertility Dr. Allegedly impregnated women with this sperm and didn't tell them. Tonight, that woman went to Washington to share her story to advocate for others. How did lawmakers respond?



BURNETT: And now, an OUTFRONT update.

So we told you about a woman who discovered through a DNA tests that are high school boyfriend was actually are half-brother. He's just one of more than 20 known half-siblings now. Her family accusing a fertility doctor of inseminating her mother with his own sperm, instead of sperm from anonymous donor, not telling her.

And tonight, that woman is meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, urging them to pass a bill that would make fertility fraud illegal.

Kyung Lah is back with the story OUTFRONT. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: HR-451. So this is the federal fertility fraud bill that is victim-led.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For this group of advocates pushing for a federal law this day on Capitol Hill isn't just meetings. It's personal.

VICTORIA HILL, ALLEGED "FERTILITY FRAUD" VICTIM: I mean, ill just put it out there. I mean, I was intimate with my half-brother.

LAH: He didn't know.

HILL: I didn't know yeah.

LAH: Victoria Hill is talking about her high school boyfriend.

HILL: This I think was junior year.

LAH: Obviously, you're dating here.

HILL: Yeah.

LAH: Victoria didn't learn the truth until decades later when she took a commercially available DNA tests and discovered dozens of half- siblings Victoria never knew existed, including her high school boyfriend.

HILL: He texted me and it was a screenshot of the 23 and Me connection. And it said you are my sister. What? We're siblings?

LAH: All tracing to one biological father, Dr. Burton Caldwell, Victoria's mother's fertility doctor from the 1980s, who used his sperm instead of a donor's.

HILL: If my children have 41 first cousins that we know of, most which are local, so how many could there be?

LAH: All connected to Dr. Caldwell.

HILL: Yeah.

LAH: Her life the result of alleged fertility fraud.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People who perpetrated fertility fraud, they don't practice reproductive medicine. They're predators.

LAH: These three members of Congress are among four dozen who have signed onto the legislation, with plans to head to the Senate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm incredibly thankful for you on your stories because I think that lens what were trying to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And not for one second. Did I ever think when I went through my IVF journey? That something like that could have possibly happened. I thought that there was already legislation in place.

HILL: To have my story all over national while television is kind of terrible. However, knowing that its actually doing something, its actually making meaning and were actually using it push the legislation has been huge.


LAH: Even if this proposed legislation eventually becomes law, Victoria knows that this may not affect Dr. Caldwell because he is quite elderly and he is ill. She's doing this for other people, Erin.

And as far as Dr. Caldwell, while we did go visit him at this Connecticut home. He did not want to talk and his attorney had no comment -- Erin.

BURNETT: Kyung, thank you so much. It would be incredible though. Gosh, if you could prevent those things from happening again, that would be doing good in the world.

All right, Kyung, thank you so much and thanks so much to all of you as always for being with us.

"AC360" begins now.