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Erin Burnett Outfront

Trump Team, Prosecutors Clash Over Key Instructions To Jury; One Dead, 71 Injured After Severe Turbulence Hits Flight; CNN Projects Georgia D.A. And Judge Trump Case Will Win Elections. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 21, 2024 - 19:00   ET




What to tell the jury. The prosecution butting heads with the defense in the Trump trial over what it all comes down to, how the jury will determine guilty or innocent. Those details just breaking as I speak.

Plus, one dead and seven critically injured after a Boeing 777 hits massive turbulence. Was it just the edges of a thunderstorm that causes deadly drop in altitude? We will take you inside a Boeing simulator.

And we are live in Tehran. Just arriving on the ground, thousand spilling into the streets ostensibly to mourn the death of their president, as conspiracy theories grow louder tonight.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

And OUTFRONT tonight, the battle behind closed doors. For more than two hours, the Trump legal team debated with prosecutors over instructions to the jury and these instructions are obviously the key to the verdict. They are going to explain to the jury what those individuals have to do specifically to find Trump guilty or innocent, or to convict him on 34 criminal charges.

Trump's team pressing the judge to instruct the jury that hush money is not illegal. Well, that's true, but prosecutors firing back saying, well, that's your job, accusing the defense of wanting the judge to make their closing arguments for them.

And outside of court, as all of this was going on for hours and hours today, Trump made it personal.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The judge hates Donald Trump, just take a look. Take a look at him. Take a look at where he comes from. He can't stand Donald Trump.


BURNETT: Again, he's allowed to do that. That is consistent with the gag order. He's allowed to say things about the judge.

Closing arguments now are scheduled for a week from today, next Tuesday, and in the interim time, the jury will be at home with friends and family during the holiday weekend. We know at least one of them going to an airport and, you know, all sorts of television screens like CNN on in that airport, talking about the trial, what the judge is asking of the 12 jurors and six alternates is virtually impossible, because the judge said, today, and I quote from the transcript because we did get it just a bit ago.

Please do not talk either among yourselves or anyone else about anything related to the case. Do not visit or view any of the locations discussed in the testimony. Do not review or listen to any accounts or discussions of the case. Please do not communicate with anyone about the case by any means, and he lists whether that's text or anything else, and do not Google or otherwise search for any information about the case.

I mean, that is incredibly tall order, just to live in the modern world, you are assaulted with information about the case. And when the jury does finally get this case, they are behind closed doors to deliberate likely not until next Wednesday after those closing arguments conclude, what will happen then? How quickly will they render a verdict after such a long break?

Now, this is interesting. So when you try to look at this, you look back at number of other high-profile cases, this one obviously historically precedent breaking case, but other high-profile cases, deliberation is often very swift, often just hours.

In the O.J. Simpson case, he was acquitted by jurors who deliberated less than four hours after months and months and months of a trial. Samuel Bankman-Fried found guilty on all counts and his cryptocurrency fraud trial, it only took them three hours. Casey Anthony, that was a murder trial, not guilty in less than 11 hours.

George Zimmerman, remember that, not guilty and 16 hours. So that was, of course, that would be two days.

As for Trump himself, two of his companies were found guilty on multiple charges of criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records by a Manhattan jury in the same courtroom as this one, Judge Merchan also presiding. And that verdict took less than ten hours.

So could we see a verdict in these sorts of timeframes that would be next week?

Brynn Gingras is OUTFRONT live outside the New York courthouse.

And, Brynn, you know, the other thing is court was originally scheduled for this Thursday, you know, if they were going to be working Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, maybe you'd have a verdict this week, but now, everything's pushed off until next this week. Why did the judge decide to do that?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Erin, the judge really choosing to push it off so that there is a clear runway for these deliberations to happen for the jurors, although he did hint in court that this break in time, of course, not ideal.


GINGRAS (voice-over): The hush money trial of Donald Trump will soon be in the hands of a jury.


TRUMP: We're very good. I think we have great expectations put on (ph).

GINGRAS: Without hearing from the defendant, at least in the courtroom.

TRUMP: The good news is they've not proven a case. There is no prime.

GINGRAS: Instead, jurors will be left with a key moments from the prosecutions three star witnesses, Michael Cohen, the former Trump fixer and prosecution's star witness, spending 17 hours on the stand testifying he paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels, quote, at the direction of Donald J. Trump and for the benefit of Donald J. Trump to cover up their alleged affair which Trump denies.

Cohen said he paid the money to ensure that the story would not come out, would not affect Mr. Trump's chances of becoming president of the United States.

In fierce cross-examination, the Trump defense got Cohen to admit he has at times been a liar and a thief, also bringing up text messages and phone calls questioning Cohen's motives, including a tense confrontation between Cohen and defense attorney Todd Blanche over text messages Cohen's sent to Trump's bodyguard, Keith Schiller on October 24, 2016.

Cohen had told prosecutors that he had reached out to Schiller to speak with Trump about the Daniels payment, but under cross- examination, Blanche read Cohen a text sent minutes before the call.

Cohen texted Schiller, who can I speak to regarding harassing calls to my cell and office, the dope forgot to block his number. Schiller texted back soon after: call me.

The exchange key as prosecutors need to prove Trump knew about the payments and violated campaign finance laws by authorizing them. Prosecutors highlighting a different call Cohen made to Stormy Daniels, attorney Keith Davidson when Cohen expressed referring to Trump, I cant even tell you how many times he said to me, you know, I hate the fact that we did it.

Earlier in the prosecution's case, David Pecker, the former chief of the "National Enquirer", who called Trump a mentor. Pecker explaining how he worked with Cohen to catch and kill salacious stories about Trump, which defense attorneys is painted as just usual business. Stormy Daniels may have been the testimony that angered Trump the most as she walked jurors through her alleged affair in vivid detail. Daniels explained how Cohen's interest in her story skyrocketed.

TRUMP: You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful, I just start kissing them.

GINGRAS: After the infamous Access Hollywood tape and discussions about payments began days before the election. They were interested in paying for the story, Daniels said of Cohen and Trump. Defense attorneys painted Daniels as money hungry and driven by a hatred of the former president.

Am I correct that you hate President Trump? Trump's attorney asked, yes. Daniels replied, you want him to go to jail if he is found guilty? Absolutely, Daniels responded.


GINGRAS (on camera): At the end of the day today, the judge telling both the prosecution and the defense that he will be giving his final draft of these jury instructions to the lawyers at the end of a Thursday.

That's going to give both sides the long weekend to write those closing arguments, how they're going to summarize there are entire cases to this jury -- Erin.

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

And our experts with us tonight.

Mark O'Mara, let me just start with you, you served as defense attorney on obviously extremely high-profile criminal cases, George Zimmerman is among them. So now were looking at Tuesday, the jury is going to be off for a week, won't be in deliberations for more than a week, long holiday weekend, impossible to not hear about this case and some way shape and form as they go about their lives.

What's your reaction?

MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it's very problematic. I think the idea of not -- these jurors not having some type of infection, which is what it would be, into their deliberations by what they're going to hear for the next week, that in and of itself is very problematic.

I assume a thought when I first heard it, its going to be a week that maybe they would be sequestered and they're not. They're going home. So that's one problem.

The other problem is, it's supposed to go trial, here are the instructions, decide the case and just having a week in between, you lose stuff, you forget stuff, you rearrange stuff in your brain, I think it's very problematic every way a week before this jury does what they've been waiting to do since the beginning of the trial, which is their job to decide the fate.

BURNETT: I mean, and, Arlo, just to I want to put aside for a second what they are going to hear and see over the next. There's also the reality that after week goes by, you do forget a lot. Yet closing arguments, but we just spent weeks listening to testimony that every day, what about this high on transcripts. So if they actually are going to print through and read it, you're looking at, I'm just making the point that's unreasonable to expect that they're going to do that.

But this is -- this is what's going to happen. You're away for week, you're going to forget all of this.

ARLO DEVLIN-BROWN, WORKED WITH TRUMP ATTY. BLANCHE: Yeah. Well, I guess first of all, I'd say that I think the prosecution got the better of today because the defense's last witness, Costello, really imploded and became a prosecution witness. So that was a great note, I think to go out with for them for them.


I do think that the jury will be okay on that respect, notwithstanding a week, I mean, I think job anyway of the sides in summation is going to be to take all of that complicated stuff that even if you had summations tomorrow --

BURNETT: Basically, forget what you heard, we're going to give you the cliffs notes, go with that?

DEVLIN-BROWN: It's not just the cliff notes. For the prosecution is even harder to marrying the story that they told the jury and the openings but, what was the crime? Now they're going to have to marry up all that evidence into the framework where when judge instructs the jury on what the legal charges are, the prosecution can get that in.

BURNETT: All right. So, Terri, you have been in that courtroom every single day. So you've been watching the jury and you've been watching how closely and attentive they've been.

But you have concern as you as you take a step back now, but there could end up at mistrial here.

TERRI AUSTIN, FORMER TRIAL ATTORNEY: Absolutely. I mean, they are listening to all of the evidence, the testimony, they're looking at the document. And I think they will remember at the end of the day what went on. And I know that the prosecutors will sum up and tie the dots together as the defense.

But the jury themselves, they're going to all have to come together and I think -- I think we cant predict what they're going to do. But if I had to guess right now, getting 12 people to agree that Donald Trump intentionally falsified these records to influence the election, we have records, but do we have all of that intent? Yes, we have Cohen and yes, we have him saying that he said, do this, but we don't have anything from Trump himself and that I think is missing and it could very well be that one person holds out and that means it's a mistrial.

BURNETT: And that's all you need because they went to this to a criminal trial, you just need one.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You just need one. But --

BURNETT: That's to acquit. I mean, never mind the hung -- this trial, hung jury. There's -- these or even other issues

JACKSON: Without question. So, obviously, the way it works is that you have to have 12. They need to be unanimous with respect to their finding. If you have one, then it's a mistrial. I think prosecutors will try their level best not to make it.

And this will be a battle of the narratives to be clear, you mentioned, Erin. Yes, there's -- they'd lay over, to Mark O'Mara's point, that's very problematic, but it's the job of the lawyers to remind you what you saw, what you heard, and what is your duty to do. That's what closing arguments about.

And I believe that they're going to come out both sides swinging with back to the narrative. And here's what I think briefly you'll hear -- from the prosecution's perspective, they'll try to minimize the significance of Cohen and remind the jury that everything else tells you that Trump was involved. Everything else tells you he would have the motivation to be involved with respect to Access Hollywood and on the heels of that, what allowing Stormy Daniels to come out.

And, by the way, Karen McDougal, the Playboy model he knew about that. He wouldn't know about this, and also the sharpie and the pens and the check. They're going to make it very clear and they're going to say prosecution wants to make this about a phone call and whether or not as bodyguard, what -- let's not just talk about the phone call. Let's talk about all the other opportunities the president had to know.

On the alternative side, I think that the defense is going to make it all about Cohen. If you don't believe Cohen, you can't convict. He's a liar, he's a cheat, he's a thief, he steals money, he has hatred for the president.

And so those are the narratives, and if the prosecution can craft it around the issue all of your common sense and good judgment. They'll have done their job.

BURNETT: And yet, Mark, you have a midst all of this, what you're asking a jury to do, which is to convict a former president of a crime which has never before been done. I mean, this is -- this is a whole different level of burden in that jury room, isn't it?

O'MARA: It's going to be very, very difficult to get any type of anonymity in a case like this. We know that on average, half of the people and they are Trump's supporters, that's not an insult or degrading them, half of them are Democrat supporters.

But when you're going to tell six of those people, let's say, well just a couple convict the former president, who you are in favor of being the next president, convicted of a felony making him ineligible to do exactly what you want. Unfortunately, it's going to be almost impossible for that to happen with this unanimity that's required, properly so for criminal conviction, I think is very, very difficult. This case has a greater chance that mistrial in any of the ones we had seen it and have covered with past couple of years among already, I thought its going to be difficult, even the Trump's civil trial I thought was going to be difficult. They composite there.

This is going to be tough for getting a unanimous verdict.

BURNETT: Right. And I mean, even if you look at just the voter registration, Manhattan, that jury would have a Trump supporter on it. I know Trump likes to say that it's an anti-Trump story, but the reality of it is statistically, there would be Trump's scores on that jury.

Arlo, okay. So the closing statements themselves could take more than a day, according to the judge. That is a long time to sit and really absorb information for anyone.

DEVLIN-BROWN: Yeah, absolutely. And I think there might be a temptation for both sides to make them longer than they need to be because that doesn't help jurors either.


The longer they're up, there, the more the jurors are going to expect every moment of it to be something think that really influences them and impacts their view with the case.

So it's about I think having your most effective points getting out the key facts, getting out the theories.

And just one thing in response to what Joey said, the defense is absolutely going to focus on how Cohen is a devious, dishonest terrible person, a terrible lawyer. And the process and rebuttal is going to look at Trump and say, you know what? This is, the man that hired him. And why do you think that is yeah. And so that's sort of the back-and-forth.

BURNETT: And, Terri, what I know sitting in that room, you watched jurors and sometimes I would -- I would play the game for lack of a better phrase of watching one and sort of watching them in various moments and watch just to get a better feel.

Now you've had so many hours and days in that courtroom what's your read on how long it takes them to return a verdict? Or if it ends up in a mistrial, just as you see their sort of -- because over time there were some interactions between them, not at first, but then there were. You know, there'll be -- you know, they sort of got to know each other for lack of a better word.

AUSTIN: I think they're going to come back relatively fast. I think two to five hours maybe, I think they already know.

BURNETT: With either verdict or mistrial? AUSTIN: With either a verdict or mistrial. That's right. I think they're going to go around and take a straw poll and they're going to say, where are you and they'll see how many are already in agreement and then they'll talk about the evidence and really they've only got 34 four counts to look at and they're all the same.

And the question is, was this intentional? I think they're going to go back to the testimony, and as Joey was mentioning, tying those dots together as to whether or not he uses a sharpie, or whether or not he's a micromanager, didn't know what he was doing and I don't think its going to take them that long.

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

And next, we're going to hear from a passenger who was on board that Boeing 777 that suddenly plunged a hundreds of feet in just seconds. A drop so terrifying, and deadly, that left one man dead, seven critically injured, as we know tonight. So what went on inside that cabin? We're going to talk to the passenger next.

Plus, breaking news out of Georgia. Polls just closing where two major players in Trump's election case are on the ballot, Fani Willis. The results could have major implications for the Georgia criminal trial against Trump.

Plus, actress Scarlett Johansson taking on OpenAI's Sam Altman, accusing him of stealing her voice. So can you tell who's Johansen and who is not.


SCARLETT JOHANSSON, ACTRESS: You have a meeting in five minutes. You want to try getting out of bed.

CHATGPT AI VOICE: I see you're rocking an OpenAI hoodie, nice choice.




BURNETT: Tonight, thunderstorms, that is what could have caused this Boeing 777 operated by Singapore Airlines to drop hundreds of feet in about a minute and a half, 90 seconds. Turbulence so violent and horrifying one man is dead and seven others are still in critical condition tonight. More than 70 are injured. They're broken bones, head injuries, people were bleeding from their ears and noses.

And in a moment, I'm going to speak to a passenger who was on that flight. You see him here on your screen live, Andrew Davies. He's going to be with me.

This as we understand, it's still unclear what caused the plane to experience such severe turbulence. The satellite images that I have on the screen right now show thunderstorms forming in the area near the plane. Not exactly where it was and not actually active yet, but forming.

I want to show you then those abrupt movements that I referenced. Here's an animation showing exactly what happened.

The plane makes them extremely violent maneuvers up and down, and then suddenly dropping dramatically. It climbs again. It drops and then drops again. Hundreds of feet causing passengers some of them we understand to do somersaults in the air. All of this happening in just seconds.

Ivan Watson is in Bangkok tonight. That is where the Singapore Airlines plane made its emergency landing, and he is OUTFRONT.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Injuries and death after several minutes of terror, more than then 30,000 feet in the sky, a Singapore Airlines flight hit with severe turbulence, throwing passengers and crew throughout the cabin ten hours into the flight.

The incident was so rough, lighting in the air ventilation tubing fill out of the ceiling, food trays from breakfast littered across the floor.

Emergency workers raced to Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Tuesday afternoon after the flight turned deadly, traffic control on the tarmac, quick to redirect ambulances and set up a makeshift medical for injured passengers.

Flight SQ321 departed from London and was on route to Singapore, but severe turbulence forced pilots to make an emergency landing in Thailand, a 73-year-old British man, Geoff Kitchen, died on board the flight, at least seven others were in critical condition, with dozens more injured.

KITTIPONG KTTKACHORN, GENERAL MANAGER OF SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT: And the plane landed at the airport and the medical team were sent to the scene, many injuries occurred. So the airport had to issue an emergency plan. All our teams went to help.

WATSON: The airline has launched an investigation into the incident with the British embassy also deploying officials to support those in hospital. The passengers left with the question of how this all went so wrong.


WATSON (on camera): Now, Erin, a special relief flight has landed safely in Singapore. It was carrying out 131 of the original 211 passengers from this stricken Singapore Airlines Flight SQ321. We know that more than 70 of the passengers and crew I have been hospitalized here in Bangkok after the plane had to make this emergency landing here.

That's nearly a third of all the passengers and crew that were originally on board the plane, just giving you a sense of how many people were hurt it during this period of violent turbulence.


The investigation is underway. The damaged aircraft is here. We've learned that there is a team from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board on the way to come and investigate this to try to figure out what could have caused this with, especially with Singapore Airlines, a regional airline that has an enviable safety record.


WATSON: Back to you, Erin.

BURNETT: Yes, certainly, one of the best, if not the best in every record and safety survey around the world.

Thank you so much, Ivan.

And I want to go now to Andrew Davies. He was on that plane.

And, Andrew, look, a horrific ordeal. I'm so glad you're okay. I spoke to you briefly before you and I were here on air together. But can you just tell all of us what happened? I mean, you're ten hours in, I would imagine people are relaxing your mid-flight. I mean, no one expecting anything -- what happened?

ANDREW DAVIES, SINGAPORE AIRLINES PASSENGER: Well, I mean, you're quite right. I mean, I travel a lot. I travel of the business so I do a lot of transatlantic flights. I was working in Austin, Texas, just a few weeks ago. In fact, it was heading from London to Wellington on business.

The fight was perfectly normal. I mean, just nothing unusual at all. It is -- we had some foods is quite smooth, in fact, I don't remember any turbulence at all. And then as you say, about 9 to 10 hours into the flight, I was watching a movie and I had my headphones on, so I didn't hear any announcements, but I saw the seatbelt sign come on. So I diligently put my seatbelt on. Thank goodness I did because within moments of doing that, all hell broke loose.

The plane just felt like it dropped. It probably only lasted a few seconds, but I remember vividly seeing shoes and iPad and iPhones and cushions and blankets and cook clean plates and cups flying through the air and crashed into the ceiling.

The gentleman next to me had a cup of coffee which went straight all over me in an up to the ceiling.

BURNETT: Gosh, it just it -- just even imagine that. When you mentioned the seat belt that you put it on and thank goodness you had the, you know, the second or so to do that, we know more than 70 people are injured. There's broken bones, there's serious injury, seven in critical condition. What did you see? I mean, were people literally flying around at some point or these somersaults in the air that have been described? DAVIES: I didn't see that personally. I was (INAUDIBLE) facing the bulkheads, so I didn't see that personally. As soon as the plane settled off, I kind of made, you know, try to make a joke and bit light conversation with the gentleman next to me who was also shaken, but there's some screaming and it was -- when it was actually realize the gravity of it when I looked over my shoulder and soul, the people sitting behind me with a lady who had a big gash in her ahead and blood pouring down her face.

Then as we know, gentlemen passed away and that gentleman was sitting right behind me. The plane had settled off. It leveled off. So I got up and obviously lots of people needed some help, but wed be tended to this gentleman and I helped carry him, get him out the seat and we lay him on the floor, so that some medical professionals could administer CPR. Whilst they were doing that, which they gave him CPR for at least 20 minutes, I ran around just got people blankets and cushions and did what I could really helped with.

But I guess one thing for me was I was sitting in premium economy is in one small part of the cabin and I only saw what's happening in that small section. I've heard since that some awful things happened in business class and economy class. I heard just as it got to the hotel just now that the economy class, two seats coming loose and panels coming off the ceiling, the oxygen masks came down.

The -- as I left the airplane, I looked around and it was quite a scene, quite as scene, you know, coupling, smashed glass on the floor. It was quite horrendous.

BURNETT: Andrew, the man behind you, who died and it's just a horrible thing. I know you talk about you all laid them down and you were trying to give CPR for more than 20 minutes. At what point did you realize that he was dead and what goes through your mind at that point, you realize that this is an incident that has killed a person?

DAVIES: It's so difficult to say. I mean, it was fairly obvious that he passed, I'm afraid, from the moment we put him onto the floor.


They say they gave good 20 minutes of CPR and then they pronounced him dead. You know, they covered him with a blanket and the poor gentleman was on the aisle on the floor.

So from that point on, was to try and preserve as much decency as possible in those circumstances. When we landed the plane, as your news reporter said, lots of Thai medics came on board, I'm guessing about 20 or so, can swarmed on board and tended to people with lacerations and cuts, but unfortunately, the poor gentleman, you know, had at that stage gone. It was obvious for all to see.

BURNETT: Oh, I'm so sorry. I -- as you say, to try to preserve the decency, but to imagine after that, someone is there and there -- someone is dead and people are in such pain.

You're saying -- DAVIES: His wife was sitting next to me.

BURNETT: His wife was sitting next to you. Was she the one with the gash that you referenced?

DAVIES: She was -- another one with a gash. She did have a nasty gash, very, very nasty gash on her head, and she was -- she's an elderly lady and she was in severe shock as you'd expect.

There's an Australian lady who was sitting next to her as well, and she comforted the widow, the wife of the gentleman and was a wonderful human being and showed extraordinary kindness. In fact, a lot of people showed extraordinary kindness, filled the whole deal. Everybody kind of -- and at the end of it, in the holding area, a lot of people exchange numbers, and I think new friendships, maybe new relationships have been developed from that. Numbers were being swapped and people with vowing to keep in touch and visit each other.

So in some kind of way, there was a nice coming together, but yes, altogether, rather horrendous experience.

BURENTT: Andrew, did the -- did the pilots obviously, they were experiencing this as well, to state the obvious, but they were also flying the plane. Did they afterwards try to explain what happened or give you any sense of what caused this or -- or did they not?

DAVIES: I don't really recall. I don't remember them doing so. I assume that the only time I remember them speaking to us was to say there's obviously been some severe turbulence and then when they announced we're going to Bangkok.

The cabin crew themselves were extraordinary. I didn't see any member of cutting through that wasn't injured. They all every single cabin crew person I saw had had an injury of some sort. As I was leaving, there was a cabin crew lady who's sitting down with a very nasty gash to her head and a leg in a bandage.

Those another gentleman member of the cabin crew who was in awful pain with a bad back. Yet he was being extremely stoic and continuing on and passing water out to people and helping the medics wherever he could. I was very impressed with them.

And harkers (ph) that actually, because they were doing their job and they're quite vulnerable as well because they're on the airplane, they weren't seated, obviously didn't have the seat belts on because they were doing going about their duties. So, they were extremely vulnerable and as I say, not one of them was uninjured that I could see.

BURNETT: Andrew, thank you very much for taking the time to talk all of that -- to talk through all of this and a chance to understand both the horror and the incredible human kindness that you are talking about. Thank you.

DAVIES: Yes, nice human kindness, you're very welcome. Nice to talk to you. BURNETT: All right. You, too, Andrew. I'm glad you're well and safe.

And now, Mark Weiss is an aviation analyst. He was a former 777 pilot for American Airlines and he's joining me now from inside a simulator, a 737 simulator.

But, Mark, I know you've explained that what you're going to show us and what were seeing in here is extremely similar, almost identical to the Boeing cockpit, where all this took place.

So, Mark, you know, when trying to understand its interesting what Andrew was saying, that he doesn't remember, doesn't think the pilots came on, but its sort of saying, well, in the sense of the trauma that everyone was going through, perhaps they did. But to try to explain what happened, we don't know.

But we do know that as the turbulence took place, there were thunderstorms developing nearby, nearby. From what you see on the satellite images and what you just heard Andrew describe does that fit for you?

MARK WEISS, FORMER BOEING 777 CAPTAIN: Well, you have to understand that thunderstorms are a natural event pilot school through them or not through them. But we go around whether all the time. So seeing thunderstorm activity is not uncommon. You don't want to go through a thunderstorm and you really want to try and stay at least 20 miles away from them.

You know what happened today was obviously a tragedy but, you know, it obviously occurred in an instant.


You know, when you have to think that we really are guests of mother nature, we do our best in a cockpit to make sure that we stay away from severe weather. I have here is a display in the cockpit, this is a 737-800 simulated here, Dream Arrow. It's very similar to what you have in the Boeing 777. What I've put on here are airports that we can go to in case of an emergency.

And so when passengers sitting in the back and eating were watching a movie, what have you, the pilots upfront are always thinking about what happens if that a particular scenario. But what happens if we have to divert somewhere? Where are we going to go?

Whether the pilots had time to get on the P.A. to make further announcements to the passengers or just to be able to get in touch with the crew to let them know what they were going to be doing, to alter the destination of the aircraft, I'm not sure.

But may have to understand that the first part --

BURNETT: Yeah. I'm just trying to understand, I guess from your perspective as a pilot though, what Andrew described, you know, how suddenly it happened, right? He does -- and I thought one thing was interesting and he was saying

is a lot more people would have been injured or dead if they hadn't put that seat belt sign on at the very instant, it did come on. He put his on. Others did as well, right?

But obviously many people were not able to, just shows the swiftness with which this all happened. With the pilots in the cockpit what would their reaction have been when something like this came out of nowhere?

WEISS: Immediately to put a seat belt sign on, but it's not uncommon to for the pilots to say whenever you seated, please keep your seat belts fastened for any unexpected turbulence because that can't always be predicted.

But truthfully, I mean, even the gentleman before had been talking about, he strapped in the very last minute, even though he was seated. It says the power of the seat belt and why you should always be strapped in when you have that seat belt sign-on.

Now, we recognize that people have to go to the lavatory or get up and stretch their legs. That's understandable, but obviously something like this can happen in a flash. You as a pilot, you want to stay away from thunderstorm activity, convective activity because you know, it can be disastrous. And you know it can strike at any minute.

So, normally, keep your seatbelt fastened all the time.

BURNETT: Right, if there's one thing to take away from this and I hope -- I know I do and I'm sure everyone watching does as well. Mark, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

And next, we have some breaking news from Georgia. Polls are just closing there and you say polls for what? Well, it's a crucial election. It is one that could sink or save Georgia's case against Trump, Fani Willis. We're live in Atlanta.

Plus, actress Scarlett Johansson going after tech giant OpenAI, saying this voice is actually hers.


CHATGPT AI VOICE: What's up with that ceiling though? Are you in a cool industry style office or something?




BURNETT: Breaking news, we're getting election results from Georgia, and here's what we can tell you. The two key players in Trump's election subversion case are on the ballot and we are now projecting, CNN projects that embattled Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis, who is leading the case against the former president, will win the Democratic primary.

Nick Valencia is OUTFRONT in Atlanta at Fani Willis's campaign headquarters.

And, Nick, this was a crucial race. Obviously, if she had lost a totally different path and history here, tell us what you know now. Obviously a lot is on the line.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Erin, in this primary win for Fani Willis comes as zero surprise to anyone that knows what's going on here in Fulton County.

It is just a primary but well over a million votes are expected to be cast when its all said and done according to Georgia secretary of state's office and there's a lot of attention on it. Principally because it involved Fani Willis, but also what was at stake here if she lost, the case that she's handling over the former president and 14 remaining co-defendants. She could not worry about that for a few more months now that she's won her primaries, she's going to face off in November against GOP challenger Courtney Kramer, who is a Trump ally and an election denier.

You know, talking to her allies here in the leading up to this primary day, you know, they joke that Fani Willis could be de here until she's 100 years old if she wanted to, and her competitor, Christian Wise Smith was polling in the single digits, but even still, it was clear to us that she was taking no chances. We caught up with her earlier today at a polling site, where she was encouraging people to come out and vote, and she got people to turn out for her.

As it stands right now, this is an election year oddity. Not only was she on the ballot, but so was the presiding judge, Scott McAfee, over this case. He's expected to win, not a primary, but in election for him. He's expected to win that. Hell go on to likely continue to preside over this Trump case.

And any minute now, were expecting Fani Willis to come out and address her supporters here at her campaign headquarters. We're hearing some audible high fives and some cheers to those results here that we just projected -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Nick, thank you very much, in Atlanta tonight.

And as the Atlanta case with Fani Willis is a victory, obviously continues on the path that its on. There is also news in Arizona and the courts. Rudy Giuliani is pleading not guilty in the state of Arizona, the former New York mayor and ten other Trump allies were arraigned today for allegedly conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results in that state, which had a narrower margin of victory for Biden than Georgia did.

Giuliani angrily pushing back in court after prosecutors detailed how he evaded his court summons for weeks, but for they'd finally tracked him down at his 80th birthday party in Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday.




RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER TRUMP LAWYER: I'm sorry I'm late. I got the time wrong.

MURRAY: -- making a chaotic first appearance before an Arizona judge today.

GIULIANI: I do consider this indictment a complete embarrassment to the American legal system, but I've shown no tendency not to comply.

SHELLIE SMITH, COURT COMMISSIONER: Mr. Giuliani, I don't want to mute you, but I need to move on.

MURRAY: Trump's former attorney pleading not guilty to allegations he took part in a conspiracy to try to overturn the 2020 election results in a state Joe Biden won by more than 10,000 votes.

GIULIANI: Arizona is a state that we're looking at very, very carefully.

MURRAY: According to the indictment, Giuliani spread false claims of election fraud, pressured local officials to change the election outcome and was responsible for encouraging Republican electors in Arizona and six other contested states.

Now he faces charges in two states, Arizona and Georgia.

Giuliani denouncing the Arizona indictment, calling it part of the --

GIULIANI: Let's see what we can do to destroy Donald Trump movement.

MURRAY: -- and only appearing in court after a wild goose chase to deliver his summons

KRIS MAYES (D), ARIZONA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Our agents had traveled to New York City to try to serve him. We were not allowed in his building there where he lives. We stay there for two days. We mailed him a letter. We made phone calls.

MURRAY: In the courtroom, a prosecutor highlighted Giuliani's taunts on social media as officials tried to serve him.

NICHOLAS KLINGERMAN, PROSECUTOR, ARIZONA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE: He had posted the Twitter on Friday night. As you can see, it's a picture from his 80th birthday party in Palm Beach, Florida. If Arizona authorities can't find me by tomorrow morning, one, they must dismiss the indictment. Two, they must concede they can't count votes.

MURRAY: Right after his 80th birthday party -- Giuliani was served.

GIULIANI: I haven't been hiding from anyone.

MURRAY: His antics prompting a judge to order him to post a $10,000 bond.

KLINGERMAN: Given in his latest Twitter posts and then his lie about communicating with our office, we decided to be appropriate to ask for some release conditions to ensure his appearance in Arizona.

MURRAY: Also pleading not guilty --


MURRAY: -- Bobb, who is accused of lobbying Arizona's GOP legislators to disregard the popular vote in Arizona now serves as senior counsel for election integrity for the Republican National Committee.

BOBB: The arraignment went as planned and we'll deal with the case.

MURRAY: Nine others who served as pro-Donald Trump fake electors in Arizona also entered not guilty pleas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pled not guilty on all counts.


MURRAY: It was just such an unusual day in court for what is normally a quick and uneventful proceeding. Giuliani didn't have a lawyer. He said he was fine to represent himself, although we pointed out yet and actually seeing the indictment against him, and we did not as you saw, there, have a mug shot yet of Rudy Giuliani, the judge says he has 30 days to show up in Arizona for processing, so we would expect that we will get the mug shot from him whenever he does -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sara, thank you.

And I want to go now to the former Republican Congressman Ken Buck, who is also a former federal prosecutor.

So what's with both of those perspectives, Congressman, Rudy Giuliani tonight pleading not guilty to helping Trump overturn the 2020 election results in Arizona, appearing in court today, along with nine of the 11 fake electors who put out the video in 2020 that I'm showing of them actually signing the document with it but the with the false slate of electors are saying that Trump won the state.

How strong do you think this case is?

KEN BUCK, FORMER REPUBLICAN U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Well, a great question. I haven't seen the evidence. I haven't heard of witnesses, but I do think that Rudy Giuliani and others knew what they did was wrong.

Rudy Giuliani was a prosecutor. He was a U.S. attorney in the sort of highest U.S. attorney's office, most respected U.S. attorney's office in the country, the Southern District of New York. And as such, he knew exactly what he was doing.

He was submitting a false document to the government. He knows that's a federal crime. It's a state crime. It's a forgery.

He knew that was wrong. The defense seems to be this idea that under the First Amendment, they were allowed to challenge the election. The First Amendment doesn't allow you to commit a forgery and that's in fact what was happening here.

And I also think what the reporter was mentioning about Christina Bobb was fascinating. A senior counsel at the RNC resigns because there's this litmus test now that you have to agree that the election was stolen in 2020, and he's replaced with a criminal defendant from Arizona, Christina Bobb. I would think that the RNC could find someone who isn't a criminal defendant who could make sure that there is election integrity in the next election. Very odd choice in my mind.

BURNETT: I can also the whole issue of Giuliani being there to begin with, right. He had evaded his court summons and he had taught him prosecutors publicly about it. But then when it came up in court today, he tried to defendant and say that he -- you know, wasn't evading anything.


Here's how he put it.


GIULIANI: I have a fair number of threats, including death threats, and I don't have security any longer since I've been a bankruptcy. So I have -- I have very, very strict rules about who gets up and who doesn't.


BURNETT: You know, obviously, the context here is they eventually found him at his 80th birthday party and we were playing a little bit of that right, surrounded by a gaggle of people.

What do you think happened here? I mean, is he lucky he wasn't arrested?

BUCK: I think he's lucky he wasn't arrested. I think he was lucky he wasn't held without bond because someone who does acts in that way is often considered a flight risk. And given -- given who Rudy Giuliani is, I think the judge took that into account. But what a sad decline of a great reputation, a mayor who was did significant good in New York City, a prosecutor to see him acting in this way is just sad.

BURNETT: All right. Congressman Buck, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

BUCK: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next actress, Scarlett Johansson, accusing tech giant OpenAI of using her voice. So can you tell the difference between these two voices?


JOHANSSON: I want to learn everything about everything.

CHATGPT AI VOICE: Are you about to reveal something about AI?


BURNETT: Fred Pleitgen just touching down in Iran as it mourns its president and foreign minister. He's live next.


BURNETT: Breaking news, CNN just touching down on the ground in Iran tonight. Our reporter, Fred Pleitgen, landing inside the country moments ago following the helicopter crash that took the life of Iran's president and foreign minister. Massive crowds turning out in cities across the country to mourn the fallen Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Fred Pleitgen is live from Tehran.

And, Fred, you obviously have just gotten back in. You've been in and out of the country extensively, including very recently. So how are things on the ground tonight following the shocking death of two of the top leaders there?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you can -- first upon landing, you can see that a lot of things have changed here in this country. A lot of things are different.

And one of the main differences that you see is that the entire city here of Tehran, from the airport all the way to the city is absolutely plastered with billboards commemorating those who were killed in that helicopter crash. Of course, not just the President Ebrahim Raisi, but also the foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who, of course, you interviewed very recently and was a fascinating interview.

He's also on that billboard as well. So you can see here that those who were in power really want to make the mourning process very public and want as many people as possible to take part in that. And so, you have these gigantic take morning processions that we've seen in a couple of cities already and that we are going to see in a couple of hours here in Tehran as well.

But for many of the folks that you speak to hear, Erin, of course, they are in that mourning process, but they also, of course, want to know what comes next.


And what the leadership here of this country has been trying to project is stability. They say that there's no -- not going to be a break in the government. They said everything is going to function as normal and they've already called for those elections.

And with that, a lot of people are asking are things going to remain the same as Iran going to continue job that hard-line, conservative line of the Raisi government? Or could there be a more moderate government coming up -- Erin.

BURNETT: And so, Fred, I mean, its fascinating because originally in social media, you know, there were reports that some people were celebrating the death and now, you're seeing this mass outpouring of government or in power sanctioned morning, a few details have been given for the crash beyond foggy weather, right? It was an old Bell helicopter, 40 years old.

Are people in Iran believing that?

PLEITGEN: I think most of them are. I think most of them understanding that the helicopter fleet said that the government here flies that many airlines also here fly as well as far as aircraft are concerned, are indeed very old. Of course, you did have adverse weather.

But, of course, there are a lot of rumors flying around there as well, whether or not there could have been some foreign influence on the machine, whether or not there was some sort of technical fault.

I think two things are quite interesting in that actually on the one hand, the Iranians have launched an investigation to see whether there was a technical of faults with that aircraft. Of course, the weather definitely they believe played a role, but investigation is still coming up.

And then you also in this case, have Vladimir Putin in the mix now as well, who has offered a Russian expert to come here on the ground. And as he put it, find out what was really, as he said, behind the crash.

So some ominous words there coming from the Russian leader as well, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Fred Pleitgen.

And also tonight, she said/she said. Actress Scarlett Johansson, lawyering up against ChatGPT and CEO Sam Altman, accusing him of copying her voice without her permission.

Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.


JOHANSSON: Good morning, Theodore.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You never saw her face in the sci-fi romance titled "Her", but audiences knew it was Scarlett Johansson's distinctive voice for trained Samantha, the synthetic Siri like character in the 2013 film.

JOHANSSON: You have a meeting in five minutes. You want to try getting out of bed?


CARROLL: The actor is now speaking out against OpenAI and its CEO Sam Altman, saying her real voice sounds too close to the one OpenAI created for ChatGPT's updated model, the artificial voice goes by the name Sky.

Here's a sample but what Sky sounds like.

SKY: Hey there. It's going great. How about you?

CARROLL: Too similar for Johansson, she released a statement saying, my friends, family, and the general public, all noted how much the newest system named Sky sounded like me. I was shocked, angered, and in disbelief.

Altman fired back saying the voice of Sky is not Scarlett Johansson, and it was never intended to resemble hers. We cast the voice actor behind Sky's voice before any outreach to Ms. Johansson.

On OpenAI's blog, it said the company wanted a voice that was timeless, approachable, and it narrows the field of more for than 400 voice submissions and settled on a different actress saying, we believe that A.I. voices should not deliberately mimic a celebrity's distinctive voice.

Altman would not reveal who they hired to voice Sky, he says, to protect their privacy.

Johansson isn't buying that, saying not only did Altman reach out last September with an offer to have her voice ChatGPT 4.0, which she says she declined. She also says two days before it was released. Altman asked her agent if she would reconsider, then he tweeted this on May 13th, the day of its release, just one word: her.

SINEAD BOVELL, FOUNDER OF TECH EDUCATION COMPANY WAVE: There's a lot of ethically questionable decision-making here and I think it is concerning that despite Scarlett saying no, they felt confident enough to push the envelope anyway, and get as close to an imitation of her voice as possible.

SKY: Are you in a cool industry, style office or something?

CARROLL: People we spoke to were split on whether ChatGPT Sky sounds similar to Johansson?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I accept Lucy, how it sounds like her.

CARROLL: Do you think the voices sound similar yes or no?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think it sounds similar. I think it's distinct enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can definitely see where its coming, but where she's coming from, but I think it sounds very robotic. SKY: I see you're rocking an OpenAI hoodie.

CARROLL: People can debate all they want. Johansson has hired legal counsel saying this is about protecting her person's likeness and identity. As for OpenAI, it paused the use of Sky voice and its products, its CEO apologizing saying, we are sorry to Ms. Johansson, that we didn't communicate better.


CARROLL (on camera): And Johansson is calling for more transparency, more oversight when it comes to how A.I. is used, there are many in the creative community who feel like their only course of action, their only protection when it comes to A.I. is to basically to lawyer up.

BURNETT: But it's amazing. She's going through this, and spending the money to do it.

CARROLL: And spending the money. Yeah.

BURNETT: All right. Jason Carroll, thank you very much. That's an incredible story.

And thanks so much to all of you for joining us as always.

"AC360" with Anderson Cooper starts right now.