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Inside Politics

Shooting At July 4th Parade In Highland Park, Illinois; Newsom Takes On DeSantis & GOP In New Ad. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired July 04, 2022 - 12:30   ET



ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: For example, when she told the story about walking into the room, there's ketchup on the wall. That part's fine. But then when she testified that the staffer said, well, Donald Trump threw his dish against the wall when he heard the news about Bill Barr, that part hearsay, she could not testify to that, the staffer could however. And remember, if there's ever a day where Cassidy Hutchinson testifies in a trial, she will be subjected to cross examination. And so our attorneys for Donald Trump or whoever the defendant is, will have a chance to challenge her credibility. I think she'll hold up, but it never comes out as cleanly after cross examination.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it's a higher bar. And also Elie, we are on a collision course here with the politics of it all, you know, CNN is reporting that Trump is weighing an early launch to his 2024 campaign, and it could come as soon as the summer, the hearings are going on. If he is a candidate, how does that change things? Is there a kind of deadline for DOJ to either file charges or not at the end of the day with someone who's running for office?

HONIG: So legally, Abby, there's no difference here, prosecutors have what we call the statute of limitations, which typically is five years from the time a crime is committed, until they have to bring a charge. So they have plenty of time. But you have to think practically here. If you're a prosecutor, you're already talking about bringing a criminal charge potentially against the former president of the United States for the first time in our history. And you're going to have to ultimately get a jury of 12 civilians to find him guilty unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt.

Now, that's complicated enough, imagine if that becomes a criminal trial against not only the former president, but one of the announced candidates for the upcoming election, in fact, likely the front runner for one of the two major parties, in my view that further complicates the task enormously for DOJ. And that's why DOJ slow pace here is really going to be working to their detriment.

PHILLIP: And look at this is a movie that DOJ has seen before. So you can imagine the amount of consternation that there is about that. Elie Honig, thank you so much for that.

HONIG: Thanks Abby. PHILLIP: And we are also following breaking news of a shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. We will bring you the very latest coming up next.



PHILLIP: It's the fourth of July here in the United States and it is already shaken by gun violence. The breaking news this hour, a holiday parade in a Chicago suburb has been interrupted by a shooting. One witness telling CNN that he heard 20 to 25 gunshots and saw at least one person on the ground bloodied. We also have some new information from eyewitness who was at the scene, a congressman who is tweeting that he was at the shooting. Today's shooter struck in the Highland Park during the Independence Day Parade. My campaign team and I were gathered at the start of the parade when the shooting started. My team and I are safe and secure. We are monitoring the situation closely and in touch with the mayor. He also writes, hearing a loss of life and others injured. My condolences to the family and loved ones.

So this is a breaking news situation. But we have CNN's Brynn Gingras who has been getting new details for us and CNN law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey is also still with us. Brynn, we now have some pictures from the scene there. Moments ago, you can see ambulances, what looks like police vehicles with their lights still on. What more do we know now about what's happening there in Highland Park?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Abby, right. This is a suburb just north of Chicago. And you're seeing this response, a huge response at this parade which we're hearing these shots that were fired happen very soon after this parade got started at 10 o'clock central time. We're learning that a lot of members are working together law enforcement wise to respond to this not only the Highland Park Police Department, but also the Lake County Sheriff.

We're hearing the state police are responding. And the state police actually tweeted that this is an active shooting situation that they're responding to which of course could imply that this person responsible, possibly multiple people responsible are not in custody. As you mentioned, we have some eyewitnesses that we're sort of getting information from whether it be from tweets or we've actually talked to someone that was there on the ground. They heard 20 to 25 gunshots that one person said that they actually saw someone leave to be bloodied and on the ground, and as you saw just those two congressmen that are there locally, as this is a local parade happening for the Fourth of July, you get many lawmakers out there during up for reelection campaigns, saying that they believe multiple injuries.

So again, we're still working together information about exactly how many people were injured, if there's any fatalities. But of course, we'll stay on this and keep you updated, Abby.

PHILLIP: Thanks so much, Brynn. We'll be back with you shortly and we're getting just trickles of information here about this incident. We have a congressman who was at the parade. Brad Schneider saying that he is hearing that -- about a loss of life, another Congressman Bob Morgan was also there at the parade. It sounds like this incident began around the start of the parade. Chief Ramsey as you're hearing this, and you're hearing Brynn saying that it seems that this could still be an active situation. If you are in a surrounding area, what do you do now? How much should the surrounding areas be taking precautions at this moment?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it probably explains why Deerfield canceled their parade. Deerfield is literally next door to Highland Park on the north side of Chicago. So that's probably why they canceled theirs. As far as any injuries or fatalities, I would wait until we hear from Highland Park or the state police because right now the scene is chaotic. You've got a lot of information floating around. Some of it is accurate. Some of it is not accurate. That happens anytime you have something like this take place. But hopefully, hopefully, there were no deaths. But obviously there were some people that were injured as a result of the shooting.


PHILLIP: And it sounds like this incident began around 10:00 a.m. central time 11:00 a.m. Eastern, it's been about an hour and 40 minutes since then. Does it surprise you that there is so -- still at this moment, so little information about the scope of this incident? And what might have occurred there and what is going on right now in terms of victims and how many people might have been casualties of this shooting?

RAMSEY: Well, it's been less than two hours. So they're still gathering evidence. They're still gathering information. You know, people go to parades, and they're filming the parade, videotaping a parade or taking still photos. Anyone who might have been at the parade, by the way, who's watching CNN now, if they did video or take photographs, they should contact either the Highland Park Police or the state police and turn that over. You never know what evidence could be on that tape.

And right now, they're just trying to sort everything out. So when they do have a press conference, they've got accurate information in terms of what took place, how many people were injured. You've got to notify families of people who were injured or unfortunately perhaps killed. So there's a lot going on right now but it's really not unusual within two hours. We're not to have any kind of official presser yet.

PHILLIP: But we will continue to monitor this breaking news situation. Again, reports of a shooting in Highland Park during the Fourth of July parade. Multiple members of Congress in attendance but both saying that they are fine at this moment. We will monitor the situation and bring you the latest when we come back.



PHILLIP: A different kind of Independence Day message is coming from California's Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. Starting today, he's running an ad on "Fox News" in Florida, telling Floridians that Republicans are taking away their freedom.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): It's Independence Day so let's talk about what's going on in America. Freedom, it's under attack in your state. Your Republican leaders, they're banning books, making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, even criminalizing women and doctors. I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight or join us in California. But we still believe in freedom.


PHILLIP: Our panel is back with us. So CNN's reporting over the weekend. Gavin Newsom goes on the air against Ron DeSantis as political rivalry grows. What is Gavin Newsom up to? I should say this is a rivalry partly because Gavin Newsom is making it a rivalry, taking the fight to Florida.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Rivalry takes kind of two sides. And as of now, the rival really consists of Gavin Newsom. So I'm not totally sure it's technically a reverie at this point in time, but like this is exactly the intent, right? It's a maybe six figure by. I think it's like 105, $110,000. It's not to drive Floridians to California. It's not to, it's purely to get people talking about Gavin Newsom and try and reset or reframe kind of the way that conversation about these issues has gone.

This is not millions of dollars. This is not trying to fully lay the groundwork for '24, 2024. This is purely getting his name out there trying to establish that rivalry, trying to bait Ron DeSantis, who by far has been the biggest star in the Republican Party. And essentially creates something that gets Gavin Newsom's name and his issues in front center in the media.

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, WASHINGTON, D.C. CORRESPONDENT: It's an obvious attempt to get some national attention. And I would argue he's getting a little bit of national attention right now. But it's also I think, an opportunity that he sees to step up when you look at what's happening in the Democratic Party right now with the frustrations and just the apoplectic state of a lot of Democrats that they need someone who's going to be more of a fighter.

Gavin Newsom has been someone who's been since before the Roe ruling, a little bit critical of his own party, that they weren't a more aggressive on these issues, like abortion. So this is an opportunity for him to very sharply contrast the policies that are going to be coming out of blue states like California, and those of red states in this post Roe world, not just on Roe but also on guns and many other policies where you're going to see really sharp digression now between the states that are run by Republicans and run by Democrats.

PHILLIP: There's no question, I mean, Democrats want somebody to fight for them. I mean, Gavin Newsom told our Isaac Dovere and Steve Contorno, that the success of the right to define the terms of the debate, the success of the right to dominate the narrative, they are winning in ways that are alarming to me. Things have changed, rules of engagement have to change. You've got to take the fight to them. And so he's taking the fight to Ron DeSantis, who's really the guy who is kind of personified a sort of Trump without the Trumpism in some ways, and really galvanized a lot of the right. Gavin Newsom wants to take that on.

MARIANNE LEVINE, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, POLITICO: Yes, and it's interesting move. It's interesting timing. I mean, he is headed for a pretty easy reelection in November. So the question of what the national ambitions are --


PHILLIP: He's a lot of time and a lot of money.

LEVINE: Exactly. Yes, so it seems not coincidental that -- and it seems with an eye towards a more national stage. And even though he's not explicitly saying that, that he's pursuing this ad against someone who would very likely be a front runner in 2024, in the presidential race.

MATTINGLY: May I just say though that the sentiment that he expressed to Steve and Isaac is very much a sentiment that we hear from Democrats on Capitol Hill in the White House in terms of the way the debate has been framed, the way kind of the offensive nature. I mean, this in a sports terminology, not like offending human beings, the ability for Republicans to go on offense and frame the debate, Ron DeSantis, has been somebody who's put clinics on related to this over the course of several issues that Democrats just assumed that they would always win the debate on, found themselves on defense. That is very much a pervasive sense on Capitol Hill and some of the White House certainly the administration that we've gotten behind here in terms of how to talk about these issues in terms of how to fight. We found ourselves on the back foot, Newsom is hitting it that here and trying to reframe things. It'd be interesting to see how Democrats respond to it.

PHILLIP: Here's a response from Ron DeSantis's camp, Dave Abrams, a campaign spokesperson says, Gavin Newsom might as well light a pile of cash on fire. Pass the popcorn for his desperate attempt to win back the California refugees who have fled the hellhole he created in his states look to come to Florida.

PRZYBYLA: Gavin Newsom was a very popular foil during the Trump era. He's just flipping the equation.

PHILLIP: Yes. And we'll see if that isn't a successful, successful endeavor, but we will be right back with more.



PHILLIP: More now on a July 4th nightmare, a shooting scrambling a holiday parade. The incident happening in Highland Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, and a witness is telling CNN that he heard as many as 25 shots ring out and saw at least one person wounded lying on the ground. Right now, the Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker just saying that he is closely monitoring the situation and that he's made all of the state's resources available to first responders on the scene.

Juliette Kayyem is joining me now by phone. She is the former Department of Homeland Security Official, also with us, senior Law Enforcement Analyst Charles Ramsey. We have both of them here to kind of analyze this breaking news situation. Not a whole lot of information, Juliette. But a July 4th parade, this is exactly the type of target that is of concern to law enforcement, both for random acts of violence also for terrorism. What are you thinking at this moment, given the target here is a parade?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, so and we'll be careful again, we don't know if this ratchets up, or we don't have the details. So as always, we will learn more about. What's undeniable is that there was a mass shooting, whether target -- whether people were hit, we don't know how many people were hit, we don't know yet. So just quickly, I mean, how do you spell soft targets.

July 4th parade in a town in which people are just converging, I mean, this is the kind of events that exists to be open, families are coming, kids are coming, people are celebrating. And so the idea once again, that you can fortify a nation to protect itself against weaponry that is already out there, simply by being defensive is just belied by reality at this stage. And so, you know, we will wait to hear whether there are any deaths and what it looks like.

But right now, this is just another piece of evidence that Chief Ramsey and I are on every couple of days now, which is there are soft targets, you're not going to make them harder. It's July 4th. And families wanted to be together and that it's as simple as that.

PHILLIP: And Chief Ramsey as we are waiting for more information to unfold. How, as law enforcement, do you go about determining whether this is something that is isolated in nature or something that is more significant? What are they trying to determine based on what they're seeing on the scene to determine what to do next?

RAMSEY: Well, they're trying to find out who's responsible for this. Was this an argument that escalated into a gunfight in the middle of a crowded area? Was this something that was pre planned? It doesn't appear that they really know a whole lot right now, or at least they're not releasing a lot of information. It's very early in the investigation, but they're trying to make a determination as to what happened and why it happened the way it did. So there's a lot of work that has to be done yet before you can really make any kind of real assessment of that nature in terms of knowing exactly why.

PHILLIP: Exactly. And as you know, I mean, a lot of these scenes are so incredibly chaotic, but I can imagine a parade is perhaps even more so with people just everywhere.

RAMSEY: It is. I mean, it's very chaotic, but people are there to enjoy themselves. And again, you got small children, you have families. I mean, this is just a -- it is a soft target. I mean, and Juliette is absolutely right. There's only so much you can do to provide a level of protection.


PHILLIP: Well, Chief Ramsey, Juliette Kayyem thank you both of you for being here we will have much more on this story and on that breaking news. Thanks for joining Inside Politics. CNN's coverage continues with Kaitlan Collins right now.