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Police Suspect "Seriously Contemplated" Another Shooting In Madison; Prosecutor: Shooting Suspect Confessed To Firing On Paradegoers; Toddler's Parents Killed In Parade Mass Shooting; Fmr. Trump WH Counsel Pat Cipollone To Testify Before 1/6 Cmte Friday; New Subpoenas In GA Election Probe Target Trump Allies. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired July 06, 2022 - 12:00   ET



DEPUTY CHIEF CHRISTOPHER COVELLI, LAKE COUNTY MAJOR CRIME TASK FORCE: That was recovered yesterday by the FBI and its being processed right now.


COVELLI: So, what happens now that the bond hearing occurred, the judge held him without bail. He will go through an intake process at the Lake County jail. They will go through a number of criteria, questions, and he'll be classified on where he should be placed within the jail. Depending on how those questions turn up, he might be placed in an individual cell. That's something that the jail will work on and they go through their internal processes.


COVELLI: I don't want to get into his demeanor during the interview. We'll take two more guys, two more.


COVELLI: He was in Madison and Middleton, Wisconsin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which (inaudible) Madison of all places?



COVELLI: There was some event celebration occurring in the Madison area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris, how long did he plan for the Highland Park shooting?

COVELLI: He planned this for several weeks for the Highland Park shooting. Any last questions for the state's attorney? All right, folks, this is probably going to conclude our formal press briefings on this matter. If there is breaking news or anything major that does develop, we will call a press conference. Otherwise, I would not anticipate major press briefings like this.

Investigators have months to go, continuing their investigation into this. We'll be collaborating very closely with the state's attorney's office. They'll be collaborating with their federal partners. We'll be collaborating with our federal partners. Any specific questions, please reach out directly. Thank you all.


COVELLI: He's been classified now. I don't know yet.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Hello everybody. Welcome to Inside Politics. I'm John King in Washington. You're watching the prosecutor and the deputy police chief in Lake County, Illinois, walking away after speaking to reporters, delivering some very important news, some breaking developments on that fourth of July parade massacre in Highland Park.

Just moments ago, the 21-year-old suspect was in courtroom. He now faces seven first degree murder charges and will be held without bond. The prosecutor saying many, more charges are coming. And quite significantly, new details from the courtroom proceedings and prosecutors. Prosecutors say, this is critical that the suspect voluntarily confessed to the attack, "he admitted what he did" including, disguising himself in women's clothing and firing from a rooftop on the parade.

Prosecutors also identified the weapon as the Smith & Wesson M&P15. Prosecutors say the suspect reloaded three times during the parade massacre, still prosecutors hesitant to detail emotive. And officials, they're offering another shocking revelation. Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom that the shooter after he fled drove into Wisconsin and considered carrying out another attack.

Let's get straight to Illinois. CNN law enforcement correspondent Josh Campbell. Josh, stunning in details. Important to note, I want to say, after talk to our viewers, prosecutors say the suspect admitted doing what he did, admitted firing on the parade crowd but no plea was entered. That's a very important legal distinction.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, John. And just before that press conference, we saw, I was inside the courtroom where this hearing was being conducted. The suspect in this case was brought in via zoom. He was dressed in all black. He's being held at a detention center, far from the courthouse here. But this was the bail hearing, where the judge got to hear the evidence in the case to try to determine whether the suspect would be released on bond or held without bond.

The judge ultimately deciding that this person remains in his view, a continuing threat to the public. He will be held on no bond. There will be an additional hearing coming up later this month. But I have to tell you, John, it was so chilling hearing, the state prosecutor inside that courtroom, recount what actually happened, and as I'm watching that I'm watching the shooter and his responses.

And you know, there is no other way to describe it, but just completely unfazed. Just he's standing there, staring down at times, looking off to the right, looking off to the left. The only time we heard his voice was when he told the judge, no, I do not have a lawyer. He was then assigned to a public defender.

But again, hearing that state prosecutor describe how this attack unfolded. As the suspect himself is standing there listening to that, simply chilling. Now the state prosecutor, said that what the suspect did was go to this area. He was as we now know, based on our reporting, dressed in female attire, trying to blend in with the crowd, went up on to the sniper's nests.

And as the state prosecutor said, he looked out, he panned the weapon around the crowd and decided to open fire. And in chilling detail, going through saying, you know, we've had this discussion about these high-capacity magazines and so many of our stories covering mass shootings.


The state prosecutor said, he fully expended 30 rounds inside one of the magazines, reloaded the magazines, loaded another magazine, continuing to fire on that crowd. 30 more rounds, reloaded a third time, continued to fire almost the entire, expending almost every round inside that magazine before then fleeing.

There was that key detail as he was fleeing, he dropped a bag. This was based on both witness testimony as well as from what authorities were able to grab from some of the CCTV camera footage. He dropped a bag, inside that bag authorities later found this rifle and they ran a quick trace. The ATF on that serial number, they were able to quickly make that identification to this suspect, who of course, at that point was already on the run.

One of the most chilling things we also heard just now from state prosecutors and as well as local law enforcement here. And I mean, this this really struck me. I've covered a lot of these but saying that the suspect while he was on the run, actually contemplated conducting another mass shooting.

The suspect had driven from Illinois, up to the state of Wisconsin, in the Madison area, officials say and saw some type of gathering, some type of crowd, a celebration, and actually contemplated whether he would use the final 60 rounds that he had with him along with another high-powered rifle to conduct yet another attack.

Of course, only the shooter knows, why he decided not to do that. He then fled back here into the state of Illinois, where he was ultimately taken into custody. Last thing, John, you know, I've covered law enforcement. I worked in law enforcement, you know, sometimes suspects go different ways. Sometimes they clam up, sometimes they lawyer up, sometimes, you know, they're proud of what they did.

Here we're told that the suspect confessed, they read him his Miranda rights, saying, you know, you have the right to remain silent. He proceeded to tell the story and said yes, I did indeed conduct this attack, walking officials through every step of the way.

As far as the motivation, this is still somewhat murky, but we just heard from a law enforcement official second ago, that one thing he was motivated by were the numbers four and seven. The numbers four and seven, which is the police chief said - deputy chief said had to do with music that he was interested in.

He said, when you transverse those - reverse those numbers that comes to seven-four, of course, the fourth of July, which was the day where we saw seven people killed here, dozens and dozens more injured, simply out for a holiday parade, a celebration that struck by gunfire. This mass shooting striking this community and the suspect now obviously in custody, his prosecution is just now in its initial stages. John?

KING: Josh Campbell, stay with us. I want to bring into the conversation to help us with his expertise and insights, the former deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe. Andy, as you listen to this play out. Number one, they say the shooter was read his Miranda rights had confessed to the shooting in Highland Park. And then the chilling details as Josh went through and as the state's attorney went through, getting in the car, driving about 140 miles toward Madison, Wisconsin and contemplating doing it again.

As you're building a profile, you have to continue to build that profile and build that case, even though you have a confession, the prosecutor says but still no plea. So, there are still legal proceedings to go. We may get a guilty plea down the road, but we don't know that. And investigators can't count on that, right?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN ANALYST: That's absolutely right, John. You have to keep putting your case together with as much airtight forensic evidence as you can find, because you never know what this defendant is going to do. Later, he might recant his confession. He might say, he was coerced into confessing. I mean, it's pretty amazing to me that they got him to waive his right to an attorney, and they continued to talk to him for, you know, almost two days now.

Pretty amazing that he engaged with him on that level. He may claim - he may claim some sort of diminished capacity or an insanity defense later. So, in order to bolster your case against any of those potential attacks, you have to rely on forensic evidence.

KING: And back to Josh Campbell first, and then to you, Andy. A lot of questions there. Because we do know that back in April of 2019, authorities were called to his house after an alleged suicide attempt. We know that in September of the same year, police came and confiscated knives from the home.

So, Josh, one of the questions is how in the world was he able to purchase firearms when you had these disturbing events on the record? The prosecutor was trying to make a distinction between getting a firearms permit, if you will, in the state of Illinois, and a family member going to court and triggering what's called a red flag law. What learn if - what new if anything, did we learn there? CAMPBELL: Well, that was so chilling. Yesterday, we learned about those previous police encounters. And if you think about the timeline, September 2019, was that incident where the suspect had the police called to his home. One of the relatives said that he was threatening to kill members of the family. Saying, I want to kill everyone in the family. The police as you mentioned, they confiscated these knives.

Now what they say, the Highland Park police is that they notified the state police. They wanted to make sure that this person, who was obviously in some kind of distress that he did not have access to a firearm. We don't know what happened after that.


We do know in December, so just a few months after that the suspect went and applied for a firearms license, were told by state police that because he was under the age of 21, his father sponsored him for that firearm's permit, which of course, raises serious questions father.

Why after having, you know, the police called to the suspects home twice because of potential dangerous issues. Why would a parent then sponsor this person to be able to obtain a firearms license? We know that the license did go through, that the suspect obtained these firearms, including one that was used in this attack.

But I just asked the state prosecutor and the police deputy chief a moment ago, whether or not there are potential charges for the father. Interestingly, they say, we're not going to talk about that. Not yet. There is still a lot of investigation to be done. I asked the deputy chief, if the father is cooperating, same answer. We're not going to talk about that. To me, former investigator that says, this is very much ongoing. They're still trying to gather those facts.

KING: Very much ongoing. So, Andy McCabe, back to you again. In 2019, they come to the house. Police called after a suicide attempt, threatening to kill his family. September, police confiscate knives from the home. Then in 2020, Mr. Crimo buys four weapons and in 2022 buys a Glock after his 21st birthday.

Obviously, you have to study the Illinois law. You have to read the language of it. But from what you see here is, this a failure in policing or failure in writing the law with enough specificity, a failure in parenting, all the above?

MCCABE: Well, there, my considered judgment would be potentially all of the above. So, under the Illinois law, after that engagement at the house in September, where they seized all of his knives, it from my reading of the law, it seems that the police could have gone to a judge and pursued a firearm's restraining order.

That's what Illinois calls it for the purpose of not seizing weapons, because according to them, and everyone else, he didn't have any guns at that time. But the restraining order would have prevented him from purchasing any guns for whatever period the judge decided to put on that. So, there's maybe a drop ball there. Now think about the father. The father first went to the police and recovered the knives, had the knives returned to him on the same day that they were seized. So, for the father now to say that he wasn't aware of the details of that incident in September 2019. That doesn't really ring true to me. And then the father turns around and signs the affidavit necessary for Crimo to get the firearms identification card. That is inexplicable to me.

But it is a good example of how red flag laws like this are, it's a great opportunity for those people who know about them and who are inclined to do the right thing and call out a family member or friend as being in trouble. But they cannot be relied on to stop every single instance, right? This is basically shifting responsibility to the public to decide who should or shouldn't be in possession of firearms.

And so, having done that, we have to understand that the decisions around that are going to be applied pretty inconsistently. Here we have a father who for whatever reason decided his son who had had every knife seized from him a few months earlier, was perfectly fine to go ahead and purchase weapons. A questionable decision at best.

KING: Questionable decision at best and understatement there. Andrew McCabe, Josh Campbell, appreciate the reporting. There is just a button up the conversation from prosecutors. The prosecutor also said, a seven first-degree murder charges filed today, but the prosecutor said multiple more charges will be coming, attempted murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm as well.

As police put together the story, how many people were on the streets, how many were running away. Every shot fired could be an assault charge. So, we will get more charges the prosecutor promised at the next court hearing in late July. A lot of those charges will stem from the stories of course, we are hearing of the unrelenting heartbreak in Highland Park.

Kevin McCarthy, 37 years old, died protecting his two-year-old son. Good Samaritans then had to scoop the child out from underneath his father, who had thrown himself on top of his son, literally a human shield. His mother also killed in that attack. The child now again, two years old that child now in orphan.

CNN's Adrienne Broaddus, live in Highland Park for us. Now with new detail on more of the victims. Adrienne?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, that two-year-old you were talking about is Aiden McCarthy. He is now in the care of his grandparents, including his grandfather, Michael Levberg who has to put his grief aside to care and comfort his two-year-old grandson. Levberg told the local paper here the Chicago Tribune that Irina McCarthy was his only child, "the love of his life."

He says she was everything. She was at the parade that Monday with her husband Kevin, who as you mentioned, use his body to shield his son. And soon after Levberg said, his grandson was walking around alone, and good Samaritans did step in. Listen in?



GREG RING, BROUGHT YOUNG BOY WHO LOST PARENTS TO POLICE: When we pulled in the cops look like they were getting ready for war. I'll never forget it. I pulled up and I said this is not our OK. It's not as black. He's OK what should we do when a cop said, we can't be babysitters now. Can you take care of him, and he said, of course.

ADRIENNE ROSENBLATT, NEIGHBOR OF SHOOTING VICTIMS IRINA AND KEVIN MCCARTHY: He didn't know. I don't know how they're going to tell him. How do you tell an 18-month-old boy that mommy and daddy are in heaven now?


BROADDUS: A conversation, nobody wants to plan. And when the grandfather was reunited with his grandson Aiden, he says the two- year-old said mommy and daddy are coming soon. But we know his parents will never return, John?

KING: Heartbreak, simply beyond heartbreaking. Adrienne Broaddus, live on the scene for us doing critical reporting. Thank you, Adrian (Ph). Next for us, big news in two big investigations. Trump insider agrees to talk to the January 6 committee. And a Georgia grand jury

subpoenas several of Trump's closest allies, including a sitting United States senator.




KING: A very big get today for the January 6 committee. CNN has confirmed the former Trump White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone will give a transcribed and videotaped interview to the committee this coming Friday. The next public hearing for the committee is Tuesday. And we now know from prior witnesses that Cipollone was involved in key episodes, from election day to insurrection day and beyond.

Our CNN senior legal analyst, former federal prosecutor, Elie Honig, here now to share his insights and expertise. Elie let's start with this. We've heard just about every recent hearing how important Pat Cipollone is. How big of a deal with this, they get him to come in and do this interview

ELIE HONIG, FORMER ASST. U.S. ATTORNEY. SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NY: Well John, Pat Cipollone could be, an absolutely pivotal witness. If we were to make a very, very short list of people who had insider access at crucial junctures. Cipollone would absolutely be on that list. We know already that he was present for and at least witnessed the effort to weaponize the justice department.

He was present for these wild conversations about potentially seizing voting machines. We know he was present for and at least witnessed some of the outreach to state officials and state legislatures and most importantly, John, he was physically present in the White House, in the West Wing during key moments of January 6. And if he can lay those out for the committee, that can be crucial evidence.

KING: He does. Elie, he has some legitimate privilege claims, correct?

HONIG: Yes, he does. And he doesn't. What he does not really have here is an attorney client privilege because as White House counsel, you do not have an attorney client relationship with the president, with Donald J. Trump. You represent the presidency, the building, the institution, so to speak. He might have legitimate executive privilege concerns, however, which would relate to his one-on-one conversations with Donald Trump, where they're discussing sort of official matters of state.

Now that said, it appears the committee if we go by last time, may carve that out, may allow him not to testify about that. If that's the deal, they strike, they will be giving up certain important information. But I think they've calculated that something is better than nothing. And here, there is still an awful lot of something left to get from him.

KING: An important point. I want to ask you about another big development and a different investigation. This is the special grand jury meeting in Fulton County, Georgia. Looking at potential criminal activity in Trump's effort to reverse the election results in 2020 in Georgia. Sitting United States Senator Lindsey Graham has a subpoena. The president's top lawyer Rudy Giuliani has a subpoena from this grand jury.

So do a host, a half dozen, there are five other Trump lawyers who we know were involved in varying efforts, either in Georgia testifying to the legislature saying, hey, we see fraud, it was bogus. They had no evidence. But what is the significance of a sitting United States Senator, and essentially, all of Trump's post-election legal team being subpoenaed by this grand jury?

HONIG: Well, John, they're going right at the inner circle here. And important thing to know, when a prosecutor subpoenas a person, that generally means the prosecutor does not see that person as a target, as someone who's likely to get charged.

So, if you take these seven people off the radar of likely charges that really only leaves one possible person, Donald Trump. Does not mean they will indict Donald Trump, but it certainly tells me that this is where they're looking that they're trying to get to his inner circle, hope that somebody flips, cooperates, testifies truthfully. And that that gives them useful information about Donald Trump.

The subpoena to Lindsey Graham is really interesting, because as you know, he's a sitting U.S. senator. It's hard to think of any precedent. He's already challenging that subpoena. He'll try to hide behind what we call the speech and debate clause, this obscure provision in the constitution that may protect him from testifying, but we're going to have litigation here over that. KING: We will have litigation ahead. And I'm sure, we'll have you here to help us. We're in our way through it. Elie Honig, appreciate the important insights. Let's continue the conversation. With me in studio to share their reporting and their insights, CNN's Melanie Zanona, Seung Min Kim of the Associated Press, and Tia Mitchell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

So, we get Pat Cipollone. We won't see it on Friday, but he will testify on Friday, and I suspect we will see it on Tuesday, when the committee holds its next public hearing. People at home say, who is Pat Cipollone? Why is he so important? Well, let's let people close to Donald Trump tell us why.


JASON MILLER, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: Pat Cipollone thought the idea was nutty and had one-point, confronted Eastman, basically with the same sentiment.

MARC SHORT, FORMER PENCE CHIEF OF STAFF (voiceover): Pat expressed the admiration through the vice president's actions on the day of the sixth.

BILL BARR, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: Obviously, he had lost the election and I hadn't said anything to him. And so, Cipollone said, you know, I think it's time, you come over here. And so, I came over to meet with the president in the Oval Office.

JARED KUSHNER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: Him in the team, we're always saying, oh, we're going to resign. We're not going to be here, if this happens if that happens. So, I kind of took it up to just be whining, to be honest with you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear the White House counsel's office say that this plan to have alternate electors meet and cast votes for Donald Trump in states that he had lost was not legally sound?



KING: They get a giant get for the committee.


MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: A huge breakthrough for the committee. Pat Cipollone initially didn't want to testify. They had been increasing public pressure on him to do so. The committee issued a subpoena and now he's agreed to release a closed-door interview and he is such a key witness for a couple of reasons.

Number one, he can corroborate much of what Cassidy Hutchinson testified about, which is really important for the committee right now because she has been under attack from Trump and his allies. And as we saw, he is such a key witness to so many pivotal episodes, both leading up to January 6, and on January 6. He can speak to the legal concerns and what legal exposure he thought Trump had. He was apparently a part of a conversation where Mark Meadows and him, were talking about how Trump said, Mike Pence deserves it in reference to the rioters chanting, hey, Mike Pence.

KING: You mentioned Cassidy Hutchinson. She obviously is the top aide to the White House chief of staff at the time Mark Meadows. Her testimony was quite compelling and dramatic and quite damning of Donald Trump in his conduct. She says, on January 6, everyone knew Donald Trump was going to go speak to the big rally. She says everyone in the White House knew that Trump then wanted to go to the United States Capitol, and she says Pat Cipollone said, no way.


HUTCHINSON: Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, please make sure we don't go up to the Capitol. Cassidy, keep in touch with me. We're going to get charged every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.


KING: Critical Seung Min, in the sense that you have the White House counsel, saying crime, this is potentially criminal behavior, and also critical because Trump World has attacked Cassidy Hutchinson and her credibility, if Trump's own White House counsel backs her up.

SEUNG MIN KIM, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: I mean, that's a really striking statement. We're going to get charged with every crime in the book if we go to the Capitol like Donald Trump wanted on January 6. But he right, this is a very critical witness for so many different reasons. But again, another reason is bolstering the credibility of Cassidy Hutchinson.

And I think, obviously, Pat Cipollone coming in and talking to the committee. I'm sure we will see clips from the interview at future hearings of what he tells the committee. But at the same time, there are other ways that the January's committee is, you know, bolstering Cassidy Hutchinson's credibility as well.

They are bringing in a former Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews, who was actually one of the first public defenders of Cassidy Hutchinson after that hearing last week, when Trump rolled had started to attack her credibility.

So, I think you're going to see make big efforts like this to reveal more about not only what, what Donald Trump was doing. And more of these details that they, but very concerted effort to corroborate these details as well.

KING: And the committee in Washington has done bold and amazing work, remarkable work. And now we have this grand jury in Georgia, where your newspaper is based Tia, making a bold strike here. Look even split the graphic backup. This is sitting United States Senator Lindsey Graham subpoenaed by this special grand jury. We know he called Brad Raffensperger, at least twice after the election. Raffensperger, of course, the Secretary of State in Georgia say, hey, can you take another look at absentee ballots. They were upset. The absentee ballots are being counted, and they were predominantly democratic. And it was helping Joe Biden in the count. And then you have all these lawyers there.

Again, Rudy Giuliani and some of the other lawyers testified to the legislature with bogus fraud claims. John Eastman was part of this. Let's create fake electors, send them up to Washington, throw January 6 into chaos where they try to certify the election. What does it tell you that the grand jury and the prosecutors are moving so quickly and going so high in the Trump inner circle?

TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL- CONSTITUTION: To me, it tells us that the prosecutors, the special grand jury feels like they're getting somewhere. And that, as was mentioned earlier, they are going to the very top. The fact that they subpoenaed, you know, Donald Trump's right-hand man and John Eastman being one of the most prominent stop the deal, advocates mean, they think it goes all the way to the top.

And that's the thing we're seeing, not just with the special grand jury, but also with the January 6 investigation. The question is, will it end in charges? We don't know that, but they're definitely trying to get information from that inner circle.

KING: Right. And obviously, Lindsey Graham already says, he will fight. We expect the other lawyers. We'll fight as well. This grand jury just imports from the process, the fact-finding grand jury. Then it can make a recommendation to the prosecutor who then would have to seek charges. So, it's a multi-step process. But that is big and bold going there. Up next for us. Vice President Harris visits Highland Park and calls for a ban on assault weapons.