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Erin Burnett Outfront

Trump Guilty On All 34 Felony Counts, Sentencing On July 11. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 30, 2024 - 19:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, Donald Trump convicted. The former president, a felon, a jury tonight finding Trump guilty of 34 felony charges, the first American president to be found guilty of a crime.

And this is a moment in history. This -- this is the official signed verdict sheet, page after page, three of them, guilty as you can see on all 34 charges related to falsifying business records in order to conceal a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.

Now, just a short time ago, Trump left the courthouse back to Trump Tower, arriving there, that's what you're looking at on the screen.

Supporters greeted him there cheering, others were there chanting, quote, lock him up. Obviously, an echo of what he had said about Hillary Clinton.

Just moments ago, the New York district attorney speaking out for the first time celebrating his victory.


ALVIN BRAGG, MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY: But most importantly, today, we have the most important voice of all. And that's the voice of the jurors, they have spoken. Donald J. Trump has been convicted of 34 counts of falsifying business records. Thank you.


BURNETT: So, from now on, we're going to hear from them in court documents as a sentencing is coming next.

Meanwhile, an angry Trump rattled off the long list of complaints about this process.

Here he is.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt. There's a rigged trial, a disgrace. He wouldn't give us a venue change. We were at 5 percent or 6 percent in this district and this area. This was a rigged, disgraceful trial.

You have a Soros-backed D.A. and the whole thing -- we didn't do anything wrong. I'm a very innocent man.


BURNETT: The jury of seven men and five women, of course, did not find him an innocent man. They are convicting the former president. They say, after deliberating for 12 hours, that he is guilty and the verdict was read.

And as it was read in that courtroom, people say that Trump stared straight ahead, but his face was red. His arms were crossed. Occasionally, he even glanced at the jury, as they were pulled and their voice is every single one of them firm. Afterwards though, as he was walking out down that aisle, he grabbed his son, Eric's hand and sort of shook it.

I spoke to the prosecution's key witness, Stormy Daniels, on the phone right after the verdict and Stormy was emotional. She was in disbelief, but tonight, even convicted, Trump is a free man. Judge Merchan releasing him without bail. He can run for president as a felon, but he cannot own a gun. And in Florida where Trump, of course, is a resident of voter, the state law prevents felons convicted did in any state from serving on a jury.

Now, Trump, of course, is going to appeal, but his track record in the courts is one of a loser. He and his organization have lost just about every single case, right? All the election interference cases after the election, and then Trump found liable for sexually abusing writer E. Jean Carroll. Trump was fined $355 million for fraudulently inflating the values of his properties in New York. Trump Org found guilty on multiple charges of criminal tax fraud falsifying business records there as well.

And tonight, Trump still faces three more criminal cases. The classified documents case in Mar-a-Lago, the federal election interference case with Jack Smith, and the Georgia election interference case led by Fani Willis.

And it may be why Trump tonight is wasting no time. Immediately, a fundraising email went out that reads, quote, I am a political prisoner.

We have a lot to cover tonight.


I want to begin with Paula Reid OUTFRONT outside that courthouse. All of our reporters, of course, as you can see with us, for this special hour.

Paula, you have been speaking to Trump's lawyers just in these past few minutes. What are they telling you about the appeals plan?

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: What we've been hearing from them since really, even before this jury was seated, is that they expected that they would likely have to eventually appeal this. They never expected their client would be acquitted, expected there would be some sort of conviction eventually, so they've been planning for this. They've been raising every objection, trying to preserve every constitutional issue.

The strategy, Erin, has been described to me as, quote, death by 1,000 cuts. The idea is to rack up all of these objections and possible problems and then throw everything at the wall in the hopes that maybe something will stick and overturn this, but are in given this verdict, the way it was all 34 counts unanimous from this jury and the lack of success that they've had so far and litigating these issues. It is unlikely that they will be successful in this appeal.

BURNETT: All right. So we're going to talk much more about, of course, about the timing, which is so crucial for everyone watching American voters. But the sentencing, Paula, that is scheduled now for July 11th. Judge Merchan gave that specific date. That happens to be four days before the Republican National Convention starts in Milwaukee.

So, well, what happens on that day -- does Trump's punishment start immediately?

REID: Yeah. Well, it depends what the punishment is. We have to know more details about exactly what happens. It is not expected that you'll be sentenced to prison, but, Erin, that is an option on the table.

Now, I would also expect that his legal team might try to push this back. This was scheduled exactly six weeks out. That's pretty much the average sentencing date here in this jurisdiction. But given its proximity to the convention, I would expect that his legal team might follow up with the request to push that back.

I will also note that the gag order is still in effect a bit of a surprise that Todd Blanche didn't try to get that removed. They've been so aggressive in their litigation against that gag order, but I would expect they will also move to have that removed some sometime soon.

BURNETT: Right. I mean, it at some point, obviously it would have to go away. I understand that you've got sentencing and appeals, but so important that he kept it in place tonight.

All right, Paula, thank you so very much.

I want to go to Kristen Holmes also live outside the courthouse right now.

So, Kristen, obviously, we were talking about Trump's reaction. The red face, but you know how did he was leaving? He reached out. The way it's been described to me as sort of to grab his son's hand on the wrist and shake it, a bit -- in a bit of an emotional connection perhaps with his son, Eric.

How his -- Trump and his campaign reacting right now to the conviction?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Donald Trump is angry and his campaign is angry, and they are already lashing out politically online. And they are trying to fund raise off of this.

Now, they do believe leave. There is some silver lining and the fact that the WinRed fundraising site that they use for donations crashed after this verdict came out. They are believing that that is because there were so many people visiting, so they will try to get a financial boost out of this.

But, politically, this could be very harmful for him in November. When you talked to his senior advisers, they say they have been setting themselves up for a potential conviction since long before this trial ever started, saying that it was election interference, that it was rigged, that was political persecution. So they say because of that, they don't believe it's going to affect them in November.

But to be very clear, they do not know. This is different from every other legal issue that he has faced. This is an actual conviction and if you look at the most recent polling, even when you look just among people who say that they want to vote for Donald Trump, 7 percent of that group said they were less likely to vote for him if he was convicted. That is a very big deal for Donald Trump's campaign, who believes that Donald Trump's base will always show up to vote for him.

Its also a big deal because both Biden and Donald Trump believes if that in November, that election is going to be decided by such a small number of voters that 7 percent of a base could be very significant. Now, we are likely to hear Donald Trump's rants, his calls for election interference again tomorrow, he has called a press conference at Trump Tower at 11:00 a.m. and, of course, Erin, we will be there to ask him questions about what exactly he feels about this verdict.

BURNETT: Kristen, thank you very much.

And our experts are all with me standing by.

I want to go first though to Barrett Blade. He is Stormy Daniels husband. He joins me on the phone.

And, Barrett, I know she's with you. You're with her when -- so tell me what it was like in that moment, when Stormy finds out you're there?

BARRETT BLADE, STORMY DANIELS HUSBAND: We were in the middle of shooting our movie that we're producing called "Vehicle". And we decided -- we heard from -- we got to text so we put in front of the TV and recorded, though. It was pretty, pretty exciting.

BURNETT: Speaking to her when I did, she seemed emotional. I mean, has she -- has she been able to process this? There's been a long, long time waiting for this moment. BLADE: I think she's still processing, you know once again, I said

this before.


You know, I think both ways, it's going to be tough on her, you know? Now, all the -- all the MAGA idiots are going to be coming after her and create more hoopla than necessary because, you know, facts are facts and I don't think they see that.

So --

BURNETT: Barrett, you know, the truth is and I know she's there, this wouldn't have happened without her, right? It is her story. It is what happened to her. It is the payments to her, all of it is, is why we are all here right now.

Does she feel vindicated because of that? I mean, she's taken a lot of abuse and threats for coming forward.

BARRETT: This wouldn't have happened without her, but also this wasn't her case. She didn't ask for this, you know?


BARRETT: She was -- she was brought into this. This wasn't her seeking justice for herself. She was standing up for herself early on and saying what was right. But this whole hush money trial has really nothing -- it's not her story.

I mean, it's nice that the jury saw the facts and made the decision and, of course, we support that. Either way, if they saw it differently, we have supported either way.

But I think it does help with the fact that she feels a little vindicated that she was telling the truth. And to this day, I don't know if that matters. I think a lot of people still think she's lying.

So I mean -- I don't know that anybody will ever -- people that aren't going to believe are just not going to believe. They've made up their mind, and that's fine. They have a right to that decision.

BURNETT: So I know when you and Stormy found out, you were together, you were both you're both working. What -- what is next for her now?

BLADE: Well, I mean, I think -- first of all, not leaving the country.

BURNETT: Well, I thought you told me about that might be the outcome could have gone the other way. So I hear you, Barrett.

BLADE: You know, what -- it was never about. We are going to -- I mean, we had a way all options. It depends -- if there's so much abuse happening, does it make sense to stay somewhere. But ultimately, that was just like I said before, we're weighing all our options.

So, now, we continue with what we've always been doing, you know? We're going to continue making movies. We're going to continue doing what we do and I don't think anything changes except for what we have to do with on a day-to-day basis.

And hopefully, people will finally start seeing the truth. And if they do, they do. If they don't, I don't know if that ever changes, you know? Maybe we'll get creative, you know?

Maybe Donald Trump's fundraising off all this stuff, maybe we will see what, who out there wants to help go find us so we can pay our legal bills and handle that fairly.

It's about money for him, so maybe we should go and try to get our bills taken care, too.

BURNETT: So, Barrett, as you're sitting there and I know, you know, obviously, Stormy is absorbing all of this, but what's the look on her face as you're speaking out about this now?

BLADE: I mean, she's still pretty stoic. I think she really is a big weight off her shoulders at this point. But I, you know, like I said, I think it brings another weight upon her shoulders of what happens next now. What is the next wave of, lack of a better word, crap that's going to happen, you know?

So I guess we take it day by day. It's all we currently do.

BURNETT: Barrett, is there anything that she wants to say or a message that she has for anyone listening?

BLADE: I mean, I'm not going to speak on behalf for her. She'll say her message when the times right and at point, that's the message she'll give.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Barrett, I really appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

BLADE: Okay. Thank you.

BURNETT: All right.

And, Barrett there, of course, Stormy with him and all of us are here now.

You know, Terri, just listening to him. You realize the peoples lives who've been so incredibly disrupted. Stormy Daniels and here she is, right, trying to absorb it. And when I spoke to her briefly, she was very emotional, very emotional, just gotten the news.

I mean, to think all these years and now the big question is what's next?

TERRI AUSTIN, FORMER TRIAL ATTORNEY: Exactly. And, you know, she had to be cross-examined. She was on that stand for a while on direct. She was on that stand for cross, and it was very --

BURNETT: Right, and a day in between them. I mean, it was days of going through it.

AUSTIN: Absolutely. So it was really hard on her, especially this part I think .So I am certain its a big weight off of her shoulders now. And it wasn't easy testimony because it got into details and she was trying to state her case.

But she did help the prosecution make the case. That was the underlying fact there. And she was there to prove that.

BURNETT: And now, as Barrett says, the question for them is what's next, right? They'd said, well, if it was -- if it was acquittal, they were thinking about maybe leaving the country, but the big question is what's next and that is the question here, Ryan, because we know sentencing day is coming. We know an appeal is coming. We know they'll make a motion for a new trial. We know all of those things are still ahead.

RYAN GOODMAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Definitely. So I think, you know, what's ahead for everyone and for Stormy Daniels, her family. The next big step in the process is July 11th.


So it's the sentencing hearing. I do anticipate that the district attorney will ask for some sentence of incarceration and I do think that there's a good likelihood that the judge will impose some sentence of incarceration.

BURNETT: All right. Pause on that for one moment. Can I just ask you to the point that Paul, I just made do you think that that sentencing well get delayed until after the Republican National Convention?

GOODMAN: I think the sentencing will probably happen according to the speed that the trial process should happen.

BURNETT: So July 11?

GOODMAN: Yeah, many of these judges all of these cases against Trump have said, look, we're going to respect the criminal justice process. Were not going to go to according to the political calendar.

BURNETT: But then they would delay the sentence until after?

GOODMAN: Yes, I think he will not be going to be --

BURNETT: Remanded to prison.

GOODMAN: Hundred percent. He will not be remanded to prison until they exhaust his appeals.

BURNETT: Mark O'Mara, what do you think about that? Do you think that jail time prison is a real possibility here from Judge Merchan.

MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it's a possibility. I did not see this, judge, even with what he's gone through personally at Trump's sort of focus, I don't think he's going to put him in jail. I really don't. I think the convictions themselves will be enough punishment in this judge's eyes for this defendant. And I do think the defendant this is going to do everything they can to delay July 11 to July -- or to deny the imposition of sentence, which I do expect will not happen until all of the appeals are finalized.

So even if he was given a sentence on July 11, they will stay that until the appellate process is done. So he will not I think thank see a sentence until well into '25.

BURNETT: Right. So that would that would assume -- he loses the -- this continues, right?

That, Norm, to this point, do you agree with that timeline, right? That you're not going to get an ultimate appeals ending verdict until post the election.

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I strongly agree with that timeline. I strongly disagree as Ryan knows, we spent countless hours. He edited me, putting me to the task. Erin, he made me look at 10,000 New York falsifying business records cases. And here's what I discovered --

BURNETT: That is why he is who he is.

EISEN: We love him.

BURNETT: That's right.

EISEN: And here's what I discovered.


EISEN: That in the most serious FBR cases, a sentence of imprisonment is routinely imposed. This is the most serious falsifying business records case in the history of the state of New York. I think Alvin Bragg is going to ask for a sentence of incarceration and. I think Judge Merchan will very seriously weigh that.

BURNETT: So, the special treatment you're saying would be if you were not given a prison sentence.

EISEN: Right. And I think Judge Merchan will look at the case. We've debated this for years. Alvin Bragg put on an election interference case. I noted the words of Trump's team that this isn't election interference case exactly. That's what 12 Americans just found that Donald Trump engaged in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 election and covered it up. That's how you get a felony, the underlying blind conspiracy.

That is as serious a crime tampering with American democracy as you can have. And the judge knows that. So I think serious risk of jail sentence, not serving.

BURNETT: And we just talked about the fundraising email that went out, Alyssa. And, of course, that the fund -- the website went down. Now, the Trump team is saying that that's maybe because so many people were trying to donate. We don't know if that's why it went down or not at this point.

But is it possible that this is just actually ends up being an incredible bonanza for him.

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's possible. Listen, I'm going to wait to see FEC filings. Trump lies about crowd sizes, fundraising, all sorts of things. But I think there's a world in which this benefits him. So he's coming out, he's doing this press conference tomorrow. He's got right-wing media, echoing his talking points, he has every recombinant Republican echoing his talking points. So this is a witch hunt. It's rigged against him.

This is going to be largely from the political standpoint incumbent upon Joe Biden to be able to counter message and say, why this mattered, why a convicted felon is does not is not fit to be an office. And frankly, I do think more than a statement, I think Joe Biden should go out swinging and also do a campaign press conference, explaining why this persons unfit for office.

Just as a technical matter, somebody with a felony couldn't work in the West Wing, but you could be the president of the United States in the West Wing.

BURNETT: Yes. Yes, there is --

GRIFFIN: It's crazy.

BURNETT: Talk about a double standard. I mean, it is one of the oddest things.

All right. Can we just talk about that moment and I referenced it briefly, but you were there so Trump's red in the face and he walks out and you see his face when he walks out, is walking right past where you are, Terri. And he reaches out and grabs basically the risks of his son. Can you tell me about that moment?

AUSTIN: That's when you see the human part. And I did feel a little bit sorry, part of his face when he came out was I'm holding my head get up high. I know what I'm going to talk about this is a witch hunt, and this isn't fair.

But that little portion where he did stop and he reached out for his son's hand. You feel as a father and as a son and as a family, this is going to have an impact on the entire family.


And I have to say, if he ends up going to jail, I think that'll be an even bigger impact and I do think it's possible. I don't think hell go for four years times 34 counts. I do think it's possible and I look at what the judge said when he said, look, you violated these gag orders the tenth time. He said it doesn't escape me, the former president of the United States, you might be the next president and this happens again. I might have to incarcerate.

BURNETT: Yeah. AUSTIN: So he's thought about it.

BURNETT: All right. So now, Terri, to set you up there perfectly. So I guess the max here, four years for 34 counts, four times 34, maybe you have consecutive, you also can go a lot less than that.

I know -- I'm not asking you to put this in stone, but what do you think just -- if this weren't Trump, but this was a situation and prison was handed down from the judge, how long?

GOODMAN: I think based on the factors that are involved in the case, we're looking at something out -- I imagine some like six months to a year. The best thing that Trump has going for him is that he's a first-time felon, first-time offender on the class E felony. What he has going against him is, as Norm said, the gravity of the case, the seriousness of the case, and Justice Merchan has mentioned it multiple times, he said this is a very serious charge.

Norm's also right that the only way the jury could have possibly reached their verdict is by finding that he illegally engaged in trying to get into the presidency the first time around. That was a campaign fraud and election fraud.

The defendant is expressing no remorse. He's saying, I'm a very innocent man today.


GOODMAN: He's expressing no remorse. That's going to go into the sentencing.

So this is where its going to end up with something that I think like six months to a year, plus, plus, plus, plus. His criminal -- his past records, so the record, the history of the character of the individual, there are --

BURNETT: The other cases.

GOODMAN: The other cases --

BURNETT: E. Jean Carroll, $325 million, the Trump Org, all that plays in?

GOODMAN: Absolutely, because especially they were found that based on a preponderance of the evidence. So it comes into sentencing.

BURNETT: Mark, I mean, you know, you think about that just the possibility here.

I think there's just a gravity of the moment. It's all Americans to think about that six to 12 months.

O'MARA: And there is, and I feel like I need to solve is my position. I was not saying that it's convicted felon defendant doesn't deserve a jail sentence because if I committed that or anyway many on this panel, we would be going to jail. It was an attack on democracy. It was intentional. The lack of remorse

afterwards would play very hard to a normal sentencing judge. And Merchan may just say, I'm going to sentence you how I would sentence anybody, meaning you will get a jail sentence.

I just have a tough time taking that a judge is going to put the possible future president in jail or the former president in jail, rather than looking a little bit more towards the effect on the democracy, even though the defendant was the one who assailed it? I just don't know if the judge is going to put a man of his stature politically or within the institution of our country in a jail cell. That's my concern.

BURNETT: All right. All stay with me. They're going to be with us, of course, for a special coverage this hour.

The New York Governor Kathy Hochul has just spoken out, announcing that the state is closely coordinating with local and federal law enforcement in the wake of this historic guilty verdict for Trump, she says to protect the safety of residents, and, of course, those involved in the case.

I want to go to Shimon Prokupecz. He's been outside the courthouse since before the verdict was even announced.

So, you were there, Shimon. You saw people coming in. And what are you seeing and hearing there?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, so we're in that park, Erin. You've been here. You know this park.

This is where the anti-Trump folks gather, and this is where the Trump's supporters. This side where I'm at is usually the anti-Trump folks and then on that side, that is where we have always seen the Trump supporters and that's where most so that people had gathered when the verdict was announced, they started hearing it from reporters. Some of them following just on their news feeds.

And the instant reaction was as you can imagine, for the folks who were supporting Trump, they thought he was targeted. Some thought it was sad, but also some of the anti-Trump folks expressed their sadness, the fact that someone like this Donald Trump could have been elected and could be the future president.

Take a listen at both sides as we ask them some questions.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're targeting this man because he's about to be president again. There's no crime from what I can see.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I think it's going can make him more popular with the American people because they're seeing how he's been targeted. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm glad that the former president is being held

accountable because its important thing in a democracy is that no one is above the law, especially an ex president. The record is still important that he was convicted and I'm very proud of my fellow New Yorkers for being brave enough to do the right thing.


PROKUPECZ: And so, Erin, obviously a lot of the things that you would expect to hear.


I think there were some shocks, certainly, for both sides when this verdict finally came down. And a lot of it is because the people who are the anti-Trump folks sort of were surprised that someone finally would hold him accountable.

And then really I think for the Trump supporters, there was a lot of surprise that actually that this jury would reach this kind of conclusion despite the fact that they thought that this was such a tainted process and that he was targeted. There were still surprised in some shock on both sides what had happened at once the verdict was announced and Trump had left the building. They all actually left this area to try and saying goodbye to him to wave at him as his motorcade drove through the streets here in Lower Manhattan back to Trump Tower.

Some of the folks are still lingering here and they're all vowing to comeback for the sentencing in July, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Shimon, thank you, outside that courthouse in downtown Manhattan.

And lets go now to Ty Cobb, former Trump White House lawyer.

So, Ty, anyone who's been watching this with us over the past few days saw you earlier this week, two days ago, you said there could easily be a verdict by the weekend. You did say that verdict would be guilty. You're right in both counts to use the word counts, but what do you think about the jury? All 34s? Anything about this surprise you?

TY COBB, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: Not really, Erin. I think that given the indictment, as it was written, the proof has it came in establishing the facts necessary to support those charges as written and the jury instructions surrounding the statute in question, I think the juror really had no choice and I don't think they had much difficulty reaching these conclusions.

I think the issue with this case has always been more legal than factual. I think there is a more serious issue on appeal than others may think. I think the question of the constitutional nullity of the statute as applied and the sufficiency of the indictment in terms of notice, intent and due process will be significant issues on appeal. They may not prevail, but a better basis for appeal.

BURNETT: And, Ty, just -- COBB: Sure.

BURNETT: Just to ask on that one point, is it possible than that that appeal because of the way, you know, you're citing constitutionality due process would actually go to the Supreme Court.

COBB: It's certainly possible that it could after a long road in New York appellate world, you know, Trump can take multiple appeals to the New York, go to the first division and then take it up higher, and that will drag out for quite some time. I would suspect.

I think much of the hyper ventilating about, will Trump be sentenced to jail time and what does that mean? I think like Mark who you were speaking to moments ago, I know Mark and I have been in a courtroom for probably hundreds of sentencing. I don't -- I think we both share the view that a jail term is not likely, but it's certainly possible.

But what does that mean? I mean, if he is sentenced to jail, he wouldn't serve that sentence with in all likelihood until after the -- after the appeals have run, which would be a year to 18 months or maybe more, and maybe --

BURNETT: And would that mean, Ty --

COBB: If he's elected, it will be four years.

BURNETT: Right. Okay. I understand you on that point. On the other point, just -- just so I can understand, are you saying that he wouldn't serve that until after the appeals process because they would extend him some courtesy as a presidential candidate and that others normally would be said to serve it right away or not?

COBB: No, I think -- so the reason I say it is typically anybody in his circumstances would be granted bail pending appeal.

BURNETT: Okay. All right. So that explains, yeah.

COBB: Nothing unique about -- nothing unique about the defendant on that.

BURNETT: Okay. Thank you for that. Just to make sure that's very clear for all of us.

Ty, you know, though as you sit here and I know you expected this and I know that when it comes to sort of the gravity of these cases, you know, you think others are much more significant in terms of the broader, broader worldview. I understand that, but yet here you are talking to me and we've talked countless nights. Did you ever think you'd see this day, right, person you worked with, a former president of the United States, then you are representing the White House now going to be the presumptive nominee for the GOP would actually be a convicted felon?

COBB: Well, I certainly didn't see it in my in my younger days when I was more aspirational and optimistic about the course of the country. But, yeah, I'm certainly given the events of January 6 and the classified documents case, I did expect to see it and I do think if those cases ever get to trial, that Trump will do actual serious time somewhere in the sixth, nine-year range regardless of his age.


But in terms of seeing in this case, I didn't really think so. And -- but I think you're on a point where it's just -- it's just sad for the country. Its a tragedy that we now have a former president who is a convicted felon and the leading candidate to be the next president, who's a convicted felon.

I'm sure the founders, where they here today, would all be weeping and stunned and I'm frankly saddened by this because it means -- it means a lot to America and it tarnishes America.

BURNETT: Yeah. Well, it does. And it raises real questions and fears for all of us about stability and the country and where it's going. I think everybody watching, I know whether they feel elated or not elated has that sobering concern.

Ty, just to -- you know, as we have talked about this so many times, I just want to make it clear that nothing has changed, right? I mean, this will go where it goes. You'll have an appeal process. It won't be done before the election but nothing else happens on January 6 or Georgia or Mar-a-Lago before then, in your view, right?

COBB: Yes, I don't' think any of those -- any of those cases well get to court in advance of the election and the impact is, as you've discussed very ably tonight, the impact on the election of this conviction, we really can't predict it, but right now, there's no real indication that its going to have much of an impact which again raises issues about America.

BURNETT: Yeah, it does.

All right, Ty, thank you very much.

And as Ty was speaking --

COBB: Thank you, Erin. Nice to be with you.

BURNETT: You, too, Ty, and Ty was saying, look, I feel sad and I -- literally it didn't get picked up on the mics, but all of you are nodding and saying he feel the same way.

I mean, Alyssa, that's the reality. I don't care whether people feel happier, they're out there celebrating or they're sad and thinks it's rigged, whatever, I would hope we could all agree that this is a sad moment.

GRIFFIN: It's a sobering moment for the country. Listen, this man has a very real chance within five months being President-elect Donald Trump, despite being a convicted felon, despite these other cases since, we wont even get a conclusion and the fact that half the country is still nearly half, I don't want it being too broad of terms is still behind him despite this, despite January 6, despite trying to overturn the election, I think speaks to a moment, this country wasn't prepared for.

We live in a fractured media environment, a fractured information environment, and there's really no projecting how this is going to impact the race. There's a world in which this could have a real impact in some of these minor swing districts that could, you know -- call them the Nikki Haley voters, call them that anyone but Trump voters, but it's going to -- it's going to come rely on the campaign Biden campaign and building message why this matters to them, why they need to turn out.

There's also a world in which this hardens Trump's support and where he's able to message to this as a weaponized system that breaks through. Really uncharted territory.

EISEN: Sitting in court today as Terri and I have done every day, the awkwardness of Trump reaching for his son's hand and kind of misfiring -- of course, you feel some human sadness. But I have to say that I also felt a sense of pride in the rule of law, in the work that those jurors did.

We heard District Attorney Alvin Bragg, he and his team were so terrific in their work. The function of the judge, he was so fair. Its so wrong when Trump attacks him, I often disagreed, I felt he was too fair, so that the feelings are mixed ones.

At times when Trump would leave the court a couple of times, I think we talked about it. He would meet my eye, one time he'd point to me, he wasn't -- I was -- I was sitting right there in my usual place, trying to meet his eye. He wasn't meeting anybody's eye. He was looking down. He was dejected as he left the courtroom.

BURNETT: Real emotion.

EISEN: I looked at the polls of 2023 and the thing that you see that is surprising in the polls which were not good for Joe Biden, if Donald Trump is convicted and sentenced, you see a material swing. Now, it's early, we don't know if it'll hold up in that New York, for example, in the cross tabs of that big "New York Times" bold it created such Democratic hand-wringing, Trump went from five points up in the swing states, to nine down on conviction and sentencing. Will it have that effect?

This case has support of more than 50 percent of Americans. We don't know. But there's another political story that's possible here as well.

GRIFFIN: And I mentioned one thing, too, my first thought when this came down was I was fearful for the judge's safety and the jury's safety. And the fact that we live in an environment where that's what enters peoples minds because of the rhetoric of political violence and what we've seen in recent years is just striking and about what the Trump moment means for America. Mark, can I asked you when we talk about appeal? And, obviously, Trump's going to say it's rigged and already has, right?

[19:35:02] But then there's going to be more substantive arguments made by his lawyers and surrogates, I'm sure, what you're going to go back to, I still have them the 55 pages of instructions and that they didn't have to be unanimous on agreeing on underlying crime that they were 55 pages of instructions that they never actually got to see and tangibly hold themselves, all these reasons. You know, what are the odds of this on appeal for Trump.

O'MARA: I actually think they're pretty good because they were number of significant issues or the way this trial was handled, and it doesn't -- we don't talk about Donald Trump anymore. We talked about the defendant in that case and whether or not the judge did everything that judge was supposed to do to ensure a fair trial, uninfected by the outside world.

And I've complained, Erin, to you that the idea that this jury wasn't sequestered, not even during your deliberations, not to mention for that week before between trial and closings, I think that's a massive mistake that an appellate court may say, I'm just going to happen. The defense is going to follow the trail and every one of these jurors, when they find out who they are and how they are, where they drove, what they did.

Every billboard that they saw, all of that, and that's going to be two fodder for appeals that this jury was infected by negativity that this judge didn't protect their crying from, that's just one issue and there are 100 we can talk about.

BURNETT: Terri, what about that issue? Because there's a certain sense of this. Why not? Why not? Whether sequester them or not give them that week off because just to not open this door, because if you do track everyone of them down, the odds that something happened that shouldn't technically have happened are not zero. Let's just put it that way.

AUSTIN: I agree. And not only that we know that that will be investigated, this is a big area for appeal, whether or not the jury had misconduct, they had all of this time down.

Did someone go on social media? Did someone talk to another juror about what was going on before they started delivering grading, did they talk to their family all of these are reasons that could very well affect the appeal. And there are other reasons, too. The prior bad acts.

I mean, the fact that we did get information about the doorman, we did get information about Karen McDougal and the indictment didn't say anything about them. It just said about Stormy Daniels. So those are the types of visuals I think they will bring up.

I don't think there'll be successful, but they're going to bring them.

BURNETT: All right. We're talking about politics here as well. And which way this is going to go. I thought was interesting. You cited those polls. Ive always wondered if people say this matters then when it actually happens, you really see what they feel. But we've been awaiting what the White House is going to do.

Alyssa saying President Biden should come out energetically. Well, and respond and take this on. Well, Biden has now come out and said, quote, there's only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office at the ballot box. I know that is not what you're talking about, Alyssa, but nonetheless, it is opposed.

So I want to bring Kayla Tausche because she's at the White House.

And, Kayla, you do have some new reporting on what happened today. We're all waiting, 4:15, they say juries dismissed at 4:30. So, people think it's over and then boom, here it comes.

What was the scene like at the White House?

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, there are TVs mounted on the walls throughout the West Wing and there's set to four cable channels, including CNN. It's known internally as the quad.

And when the headline started showing that a verdict had been reached by the jury and it was going to be reading that momentarily, the mood by two White House officials was described to me as employees being transfixed. And then when the verdict was read being stunned, that former President Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts.

There was not an official statement from the White House at first. The campaign led the charge on responding. And then there was this very brief statement from Ian Sams, who is the spokesperson for the White House counsels office that has been handling all the communication since related to legal matters, and he said as a standalone statement, we respect the rule of law and we have no additional comment.

That is essentially all we are going to get from the White House officially on this. Now, the campaign has been leading the charge on the messaging shortly after the verdict was read out. We, of course, got a very sharply worded written statement.

Then, there were tweets, there were fundraising emails, authored by President Biden or with his signature on them that said, you know, I hate to ask, but there couldn't be a more important moment for you to make your first donation to keep this guy out of the White House once and for all -- making a grassroots push to have people donate $20, $25 or a little bit more, a text message followed later, asking people to continue donating and saying that he believed that there was a risk that Trump would set record fundraising -- fundraising records, essentially on the back of this conviction.

We should also note, Erin, President Biden's public schedule has just come out for tomorrow. Aides were non-committal throughout the week about whether he was going to address this. As of now, there's nothing in his schedule tomorrow. That can change on a dime. He's been out of the public eye today with his family as they are on this day every year, remembering the passing of his son, Beau, which happened nine years ago today. BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kayla.

And I want to go now to Barbara Res because she was an executive vice president with the Trump Organization familiar to so many watching. She worked with Trump for nearly two decades. She's also the author of Tower of Lies. What my 18 years of working with Trump reveals.

And also with me, Jack O'Donnell, the former president and chief operating officer of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, which was the focus of your book, Jack. Trump and you, of course, are also a very familiar to many.


Now, OK, as we've talked over the years, here, both of you tonight, it comes Donald Trump found guilty on 34 counts, a criminal -- criminal conviction, 34 felonies.

Eighteen years of working with him, Barbara, what's your reaction?

BARBARA RES, FORMER EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: You know, no, I wasn't sitting in the courtroom, but I always thought he was guilty. And the sense you got even outside of the courtroom was so obvious.

I was surprised though, to be honest with you, I thought it might be hung. I just thought that maybe they find a way to a juror, or something like that. I was glad to see -- I was watching on some of the number and counts that they came in, 1, 2, 3, and it went all the way up to 34.

So, I think it's a very good result for the country and none of it surprised me, none of it surprised me. I'm sure Jack is going to agree based on knowing him.

BURNETT: And, Jack, you did know him for so many years, you worked at the one financial issues you've dealt with them on checks and signing. So what do you think tonight?

JACK O'DONNELL, FORMER PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF TRUMP PLAZA HOTEL & CASINO: Well, Erin, I'll be honest. I was shocked because it is really having watched decades of an organization that was run corruptly and never being held accountable, it finally happened.

And so, it was shocking to see this man was not above the law for the first time in his life. And he's going to be held accountable. And, you know, I don't -- I don't say that in a joyous way, just like many of your other people that have spoken tonight, there's a happy feeling that the system works, finally, against Donald Trump.

But, you know, it also is the reality that this man is going to be nominated by the Republican Party as their presidential candidate, is just shocking as the verdict itself.

BURNETT: Barbara, we've been talking about Trump's behavior, his response in court today, right? That he had a red face at when he walked down. They'll usually walk out every time I've seen him in. Sometimes he'll have an interaction with one of us that he knows, but when he walks out of the room at the end of the day, it's always looking straight ahead. Today, it was looking down as Terri and Norm were describing it, that his face was red and that he sort of reached out to his son's wrist to shake it, and kind of almost missed and they're both describing as a sort of sad and emotional moment for anyone in the room.

What's your response when you hear about that? How he looked and that reach for Eric's hand?

RES: He did not expect this. I truly believe he did not expect this and I think he was shaken -- really shaken. I've seen him mad and I've seen his face get very red, but looking down like that, not glad- handing anyone -- I mean, even in the worst of times, he'll always say, you know, blah, blah, blah, he must have been very, very shaken at this.

And, of course, now he's figuring out who we can blame and how we can spin it. But this is the first time, Jack Smith says, it's the first time he was ever held accountable.

BURNETT: Jack, what's your -- what's your thought when you think about that moment that Norm and Terri witnessed?

O'DONNELL: Well, he's -- you know, he's human. So we got to see that.

But, you know, I believe very strongly that he switched from the disappointments, so to speak, in the shock of being convicted, you know, into his fighting mode. You know that Trump was going to go on a revenge tour once -- if he's reelected. That has been raised exponentially because trust me, he is thinking right now, how do I get even with the people that did this to me? That's been his M.O., that's kind of what got him into this trouble by going after people, but believe me, he's thinking in a revenge mode already.

BURNETT: Well, Barbara, he already raised a fast by the time he got from that moment with Eric Trump back to mid down to Trump Tower, where some are cheering for him and some are cheering, lock him up, whatever it was there he is. He raised fist and Eric Trump is still with him.

Then so immediately switching the face, Barbara.

RES: Yeah. I see that and I had not seen a footage and it does show that he's sort of switching all over. But he is angry he did not expect this. He is extremely mad. He is going to blame. He's going to -- I wouldn't want to be within ten feet of him, this guy. He has been very, very angry.

And, you know, I don't -- I'm not glad. I'm not going to say I'm happy.


Although I'm so worried about him becoming president again. I'm glad that this may impact that possible vote, but --

BURNETT: Yes, of course, we don't -- we don't -- we don't know.

I mean, Jack, when you worked with him and then you had some negative interactions, you saw him do things that he shouldn't do, what's the right word? I mean, angry, rage, revenge. What's going to dominate here for him?

O'DONNELL: Well, he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak. So he's not happy. But you're right. You know, you and I have been talking anecdotally about the way he's run his business since 2017. I mean, in so -- this shouldn't be a surprise, but I mean, this is how a man runs is business. And I don't think he's going to change who he is quite frankly. He's never going to show remorse over this conviction.

And, you know, he's going to continue to be Donald Trump and, oh, by the way, you know, to Barbara's point. And I think two other peoples point about the way he looked in court I mean, his health, you know, this is going to put a strain on his health and I hate to say that, but that will be not interesting to see, but, you know, he's not a very healthy man.

So this is going to be very stressful for them. Whether he puts on that face or not.

BURNETT: Right, whether he admits it or not. I mean, there's no question about it.

All right. Both of you, thank you so much, Barbara and Jack.

RES: A pleasure.

BURNETT: All right. Good to see you.

And I want to talk to John Miller now, joining our group here in New York, CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst, on this historic evening.

So, 34 felony charges, convicted good on all counts, John, and obviously, no one knows the system here as well as you in New York and how this is handled. So what's this -- what happens now?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: So we are in an otherworldly case and that this is all unprecedented involving a former president in the United States.

But what would normally happen and should happen here is that they will prepare a probation report that will come with sentencing, not recommendations, but findings of the probation report that the judge will take into account when deciding when and how to sentence Donald Trump, in things that they go into are interviewing the defendant, interviewing the members of the family, thinking of the impact of the crime.

But key to this would be, does the -- does the defendant express remorse? Is he likely to re-offend and that's where it's going to be tricky.

BURNETT: Right. Well, he's an innocent man as he says, there's not going to be remorse. So that's not -- that's not it's going to go. He says you didn't do it.

But what happens? We're going through some of the things, right? So, all of a sudden, you're, you know, he's convicted of felonies that sentencing his formerly a convicted felon. I know he's allowed to go now without bail, but are there restrictions on him now?

MILLER: I mean, being a convicted felon is a life changing thing in America. Now as of 2021, there's a change in New York state law. So he will be able to vote in New York --

BURNETT: By the way, a change that I am sure he would have excoriated and has excoriated.

MILLER: Oh, yes.

BURNETT: And now benefits him.

MILLER: And probably did.


MILLER: But he would be able to vote in New York, but he's a Florida resident, but in Florida, they say if you weren't sentenced to jail in New York, you can vote in Florida, even if you're a convicted felon somewhere else. So he can vote.

He cannot get a license to be a barber, a security guard, and private eye. But questions will be raised about his ability to have a real estate license or liquor license, which when you own hotels --


BURNETT: Oh, crucial in both case -- both of those are crucial so for him.

MILLER: Right.

BURNETT: Now, what about as this goes and I know there's this appeals process that may not happen for the election. There's real questions about the timing and how firm this is by election day.

But does a convicted felon get access to classified documents if one is president because a felon can be president?

MILLER: So with presidents and members of Congress, everything's different. I had to go through a background check, get a top-secret clearance. The president gets that clearance by virtue of the office.

Now, a former president doesn't get to take that with him. It's up to the sitting president.

So, for instance, if Donald Trump is reelected, he will be not only entitled to all classified material, he will be able to classify and declassify at will. However, if he doesn't get reelected, whoever does, let's say Joe Biden, would be able to say he can have classified material or he can't, and as of January 6, President Biden barred Trump from all classified briefings.

BURNETT: Okay. But just to be clear, if he wins and he is fully convicted felon, he still gets access.

MILLER: Because the president of the United States doesn't go through a background check. They get their access by virtue of the office.

BURNETT: Right. And a convicted felon can be president.

I mean, these are the moments you're in, right, Ryan, we just say wow, I mean, some of these are just things that clearly nobody foresaw back when these rules were made.

GOODMAN: Right, but it does put the United States in a category of other advanced democracies that have indeed prosecuted former heads of state and survived as democracy.

BURNETT: Okay, please this is a good, this is optimistic and bring everyone out.


GOODMAN: So, yeah, there's a part of me that as you express it said about the day, what it means that we have the travesty of a person being found convicted as a former president of a crime to get elected, so just to understand the gravity of that. But there are many for democracies around the world right now in Israel, the prime minister and the president -- and the president before have been prosecuted France elsewhere, South Africa.

MILLER: Pakistan.

GOODMAN: Just around the world, and they survive. Now, that doesn't mean that will survive in the same form that we're in today. I do think that were still in a very tense moment in terms of the level of political violence that's possible in the country, as well.

So this is still a very dangerous point for us because of where we now are in.

BURNETT: Sort of in a razor's edge. But the fact is that there is precedent for getting past it.

GOODMAN: Yeah. So the fact that our system works that way, I think is positive. And it also worked -- I just want to say some about the jurors because there's also the first thing that the D.A. Bragg said, the jurors or cross-section of Manhattanites, but they also come from other states, Ohio, Oregon, California, and statistically speaking, they were probably Trump supporters on that jury.

And people who saw the voir dire process of the selection of the jury, they have a cross-section of people and cross-section of new sources that they go to accept, that might still come out in the coming days. That will be an understanding that the jurors did include people from across the political spectrum. And when they had to face there duty as jurors to see whether or not the facts meant beyond a reasonable doubt, he committed the crimes. They unanimously felt equipment he committed the crime.

BURNETT: And, Terri, just at that moment, when this was read out today, I know that you've described it as every single voice was firm and strong and confident. But what did the jury look? Did any of them look at Trump? Did they respond?

AUSTIN: Well, let's go back for one second. When the judge came out and he said, first, it's 4:30, we're going to let them go. Then he came back out and he said, I have a note. We have a verdict and they need 30 more minutes to write the forms.


AUSTIN: When he said we have a verdict, of course, the jury wasn't there, but all of us did a collective ahh, and the judge actually had to say when the verdict is read, it has to be quiet in the room.

But that jury, when they came in and that verdict was read, that foreperson stood up, he was firm, he said guilty. When we heard that first count, say guilty, then he went through all 34, all guilty, they were strong and firm and the judge thanked them.

BURNETT: Mark, final word to you on your view of this jury.

O'MARA: Good jury. I told you, Erin, I was going to be difficult to get a conviction because I thought they might hung. I'm glad that they took the time they took, that they went through what they went through because like many verdicts, if you're going to have one, and you have to stand by it, you want them to have done the right job. You want them to take your time. You want to join any good way.

I think they protected themselves by taking the time they did, voting guilty on all 34 was important as well because they weren't compromising. My concern again, on the appeal, is this judge did not protect his jury enough to protect the conviction on appeal.

BURNETT: On the sequester issue. I know you've raised before.

All right. I want to bring and Danny Freeman now because he is in the key swing the state of Pennsylvania, and now voters are starting to learn, right? It's been a couple hours here, Danny, people are starting to hear it. Have a chance to have it sink in, that Trump has been convicted on all 34 counts.

So what are you hearing, Danny?

DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'll do you one better, Erin, we actually broke the news to at least one of the voters that we spoke without here, that former President Trump had been convicted of these charges. I'll tell you, not only obviously, it's Pennsylvania, one of the most important battleground states on the map. But were in Bucks County right now, one of the infamous or rather famous I should say, suburban areas outside of Philadelphia that is normally known to be a swing area, going to be crucial to certainly President Biden if he wants to win Pennsylvania. So that's why these voters are so important in this area.

I want you to take a listen. We spoke to three people on camera. It's interesting. Most of those people that we spoke to on camera, they were supportive of Trump getting convicted, but they process the news in different ways. Take a listen.


JEFF GREB, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: I feel like it's kind of like Teflon. There's been a lot of things attached to him that haven't really stuck, but this is one where they went through the process. You know, we have to trust the courts.

CHRISTINA JAROSZ, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: I think everybody needs to abide by the law and if they're not going to, then they should be -- pay the consequences.

CLAIRE GREEN, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: I really hope that people spend time not saying would-be or gotcha, or great or entertainment. But feeling deeply saddened that they knowingly participated in a process in which we elected somebody like this.


FREEMAN: So you can hear there, Erin, a number of different viewpoints. I should say though, that we also spoke with some folks, although off-camera, who were more sympathetic to the former president, saying, listen -- one woman I should say, said to me, listen, I'm not his biggest fan, but I thought that 34 counts, that seemed egregious, especially in this political environments.


So we'll keep out here speaking of voters, but that's somebody initial reaction to this enormous news today -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Danny, thank you very much and amazing as people are finding it out. Some voters finding it out from Danny and his team.

Let me bring in Scott Jennings, senior political commentator, former special assistant to President George W. Bush. And, of course, Alyssa is still here with me.

So, Scott, your reaction and what are you hearing now? You've had a chance to really talk to a lot of Republicans, get on the phone. What are you hearing from them?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, if my if my phone and the text messages I'm receiving are any indication, every Republican in the country is madder than a wet hen. I mean, people who are decidedly not MAGA, not Trump fans are blowing up tonight saying this case never should have been brought, this is ridiculous charges. It was egregious use of the criminal justice system.

And I mean, I'm hearing people say I had no intention of voting for Donald Trump and now I am. And then if you ask to Trump campaign, what's happening, they literally broke their online donation portal because people were rushing to the Internet to save their money in the minutes after the verdict. So I think there's a real chance here. Its going to massively backfire on the Democrats and helped Donald Trump.

BURNETT: All right. Let me -- I just want to hold this up on the screen. This is the website that you're referring to, the fundraising page that the Trump campaign uses for donations. It did go down soon after the verdict.

Now, we're not sure yet why formally, Scott, but you're right. People are -- people are speculating that it's because so many people but wanted to donate that it got overloaded. It's backup now.

So do you really think this is going to be a fundraising bonanza? I mean, we have seen this, Scott, obviously on the back of every single indictment, right, or conviction but obviously as the first criminal case. So do you think that's we're going to see?

JENNINGS: Absolutely. And I'm not speculating. I mean, a Trump campaign told me directly their portal was overloaded, but that's why they think it went down.

But, yeah, I think people are going to go because they're mad. They believed that after everything that's happened with Donald Trump over the last several years, that you're going to convict this guy on a bunch of felonies over sex paperwork. It sounds crazy easy to anyone who is not in the left wing, fever swamps.

And so, yeah, I think there's a danger here for Democrats, this blows up in their face. And now Trump's unleashed. He can campaign, he can have rallies, he can say whatever he wants. And I suspect he's going to go out and make a powerful argument.

BURNETT: All right. So, Alyssa, the point that Scott just made, he's saying people who said they weren't going to vote for Trump now feel like they might Republicans, right? I mean, not -- do you think it's possible that that happens, that this has a galvanizing effect that is much broader and more significant than anything else?

GRIFFIN: It's certainly possible. Scott is absolutely correct and how this is being received by Republicans writ large, but I'm not certain that I think there's a wide swath of Republicans are moderates who may vote for Republicans that are like, this is what's making me, the porn star hush money case, now, I've got to get out and vote for Donald Trump.

But I know I sound like a broken record. What will decide where those voters go is the Biden campaign's ability to message why this matters and why he's unfit because Donald Trump is remarkably good at having his surrogates out having everyone singing from the same sheet of music. They're all out talking about the fundraising as we speak. Biden's largely quiet. So there is a world in which it really helped.

BURNETT: Do you think Biden spending the day tomorrow -- I mean, we don't know what he's going to do, probably going to come and do something right now, he's not scheduled to, but I would imagine you would recommend come out -- come out fast and hot.

GRIFFIN: Absolutely. You should have all his surrogates. The vice president should be out there. They should be doing campaign events. Are we really going to elect our first convicted felon, by the way, when a lot of Republicans wanted to take away felons rights to vote, but we're going to put one in office?

Like there's a whole message there, but he's got to do it and I'm not sure he's going to.


JENNINGS: Yeah. I don't know if I agree with that because just remember, Trump just got convicted in the next trial that starts I think next week, Hunter Biden. And so we may have a Biden convicted this month as well. I think Joe Biden's got to be real careful here.

BURNETT: Well, that's right. That does start next week in Wilmington. So, Scott -- go ahead.

GRIFFIN: That speaks to the justice system being impartial. If they can communicate that, though.

BURNETT: Right, right. But that is --

GRIFFIN: A president's son is actually being investigated or indicted by his own Department of Justice.

BURNETT: I mean, Scott, does that -- I mean, not the Biden wants to embrace it from that angle, but there is something that surrogates can do from that point. I mean, it's -- Hunter Biden may well be convicted.

JENNINGS: I just think -- I think it's hard for the Biden people to argue about Donald Trump being convicted on this thing, which by the way, no one can explain what Donald Trump did. He wasn't convicted for having sex. He wasn't convicted for giving the payment. It was a paperwork thing that was contorted from a misdemeanor into a felony.

I mean, no one can explain what he did. I just think the Biden people need it to be real careful about playing into Trump's hand. Trump says this is all coordinated by Biden. If he goes out and campaign right now, he's going to play into his hands.

BURNETT: Scott, can I ask you a question. We've talked with the sentencing date is the 11th of July, quickly, do you think that Trump, it's in his interest to keep it that way four days before the Republican convention to have it coming in or to try to postpone it?

JENNINGS: I think it's probably, you know what? I don't know. I will say this. There's no chance the Republican Party is going to walk away from Donald Trump here. And I think all of this is going to get the crowd is whipped up as possible heading into the convention.

I guess I'll just call it on the air. I would keep it the way it is and roll into the convention and say, you got to save me and I think that's what Republicans will respond to.

BURNETT: I'll give you the final word, Alyssa, how do you think Trump will see it?

GRIFFIN: Oh, he's going to keep the convention and he's going to use it as rocket fueled to energize his base, but don't know how it plays with swing voters.

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

And thanks to all of you for being with us for this special coverage on this historic day here in New York.

Our breaking news coverage continues now with "AC360".