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Trump Leaving Florida Bound For NY; NYC Mayor, NYPD Police Commissioner To Address Security Concerns Ahead Of Trump Arraignment; NYC Officials Discuss Security Ahead Of Trump Arraignment, Tuesday. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired April 03, 2023 - 12:00   ET




MANU RAJU, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to Inside politics. I'm Manu Raju in Washington in for John King. Any moment, Donald Trump leaves for New York and starts a chain of events that could very well alter American history. Now he goes before New York City judge as a criminal defendant and earns the infamy as a first ever former president to hold that title.

But any moment now, Mr. Trump flies from Florida to New York on his own jet. He lands there this afternoon then heads to Trump Tower, where he will spend the night. In just minutes we expect to see New York's Mayor Eric Adams. The NYPD Commissioner addressed security concerns ahead of tomorrow's arraignment.

Now CNN is covering this from New York and from Mar-a-Lago but we'll start in Florida with CNN's Kristen Holmes. So Kristen, tell us more about the former President's travel plans.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes Manu, we are waiting for him any moment now. I am told by a source who is familiar with his plans that he is running on time, he is expected to pull out of the gates at Mar-a-Lago in a small motorcade at 12pm. So we will be watching that closely.

He's traveling with a small group of aides and advisors, including his two heads of campaign Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita. They're going to head over to the airport, which is just about a 10 minute drive and as you said, take his private plane to LaGuardia in New York where he will land this afternoon.

Now over the weekend, I am told that Trump met with his advisers, they talked about how to really capitalize on this politically speaking. He essentially spent the weekend calling allies, calling Republicans, calling lawmakers, texting, talking about how he believes this is a political positive, touting recent poll numbers.

And of course, touting those fundraising figures. His campaign says in the 48 hours after the indictment was announced, they raised $5 million. And Manu, just to put that into perspective for you. In the 45 days after he announced he was running a third presidential bid, he raised $9.5 million. So you're talking about half of that, more than half of that in just 48 hours.

Now after his arraignment, he is expected to come back here immediately. And he's going to do deliver remarks at 8:15 from his Mar-a-Lago resort and I am told that he is expected to take control of the narrative. That is the words that a source told me.

This is the first time we're going to hear him speak after he has actually been charged. And after we know what those charges are. Keep in mind all that we have heard from him. This defense, it's political hoax, it's political witch hunt. That has all been before we actually know what he's being charged with. So that's when he's expected to address at 8:15pm from Mar-a-Lago, the day after, or the day of the arraignment.

RAJU: Using this as a rallying cry. Well, we'll discuss later in the show. Kristen Holmes, thank you for that. And now to New York. CNNs Brynn Gingras was standing by. Bryn what do we anticipate to hear from the new - the mayor and the police commissioner at this security briefing that we expect to start any moment?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Manu. So we're expected to hear from Mayor Eric Adams and the police commissioner Keechant Sewell, and basically underscoring all the security measures that the NYPD has been taking since this indictment came down last week, a lot of these things that we've already been talking about, but it continues.

It's fluid as the officials basically keep telling us. We're told though, from people here on the scene that those dry runs, those run throughs of what's going to happen at the courthouse, those are pretty much all set in stone, that was all done last week. I'm also told those 35,000 police officers who were asked to come into the office wearing full uniform that still continues and likely will continue into tomorrow in the following days.

And that is really just again, a presence, but also a posturing because if anything should happen that needs to be addressed, that they can move and mobilize very quickly. What won't be discussed - what won't be discussed. That is the DCPI Commissioner speaking right now ahead of the mayor just to give you that information, but what won't be discussed -


PHILIP BANKS, DEPUTY MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY FOR PUBLIC SAFETY: His presence is expected to draw a lot of attention for media, spectators and protesters alike. New York City as always will be prepared. The NYPD and our entire public safety apparatus are always prepared. We are working closely with all of our partners to ensure everyone's safety tomorrow. And we are asking for the public's help as well in maintaining a safe, orderly environment that allows New Yorkers to continue their day to day lives with minimal interruption.

And as always, neither dangerous, nor criminal behavior will be tolerated. With that, I'd like to introduce the Mayor of the City of New York, Mayor Adams. ERIC ADAMS, MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Thank you. Thanks. Thanks so much, Phil. This morning when the police commissioner and I spoke on our morning briefing with the other chain, we were clear that tomorrow is a day that's going to draw a great deal of attention to our city.


And we know there are many questions around the movement of the city and we want to make sure that we send a very clear loud message. As the Deputy Mayor stated, New York City is always - always ready. We know that this is the city where our NYPD and other law enforcement entities must be prepared at any given moment for anything that happened in the city.

To start, I want to make it clear, the commissioner has stated over and over again, there has been no specific - specific credible threats to our city at this time, and all New Yorkers should go on with their regular activities, that means going to work going to school, we're going to do our job as we always do. If you use the drive, we state to take public transportation, it is easy to get around on public transportation, because we expect some disruptions and additional traffic.

There's a great deal of additional traffic that may come in the city, and there will be street closures near the courts and throughout the city. While there may be some rabble rousers, thinking about coming to our city tomorrow, our message is clear and simple. Control yourselves. New York city is our home, not a playground for your misplaced anger.

We are the safest large city in America because we respect the rule of law in New York City. And although we have no specific threats, people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is known to spread misinformation and hate speech, she stated she's coming to town. While you're in town be on your best behavior.

As always, we will not allow violence or vandalism of any kind. And if one is caught participating in any act of violence, they will be arrested and held accountable, no matter who you are. And I want to again, thank the police department, the Commissioner for their response and for the necessary preparation as we deal with this major historical potential event that will take place in the city.

This time, I'd like to introduce the police commissioner of the city of New York.

KEECHANT SEWELL, POLICE COMMISSIONER OF NEW YORK CITY: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for being here. As always, the NYPD is prepared to ensure that everyone is able to have their voices heard peacefully while exercising their First Amendment rights. We do this work in close collaboration with our federal, state and local partners. Because keeping our city safe is absolutely a collective effort.

As the mayor stated, there are no credible or specific threats to New York City at this time. New Yorkers may see an increased police presence in parts of the city and should anticipate intermittent road closures over the next two days, particularly in Manhattan.

To avoid delays, I too urge everyone to use mass transit when possible. As I said, our job is to facilitate and safeguard the rights of people to express themselves and those going about their daily activities. But I will remind everyone, that violence and destruction are not part of legitimate lawful expression.

And it will never be tolerated in our city. But people we serve know this, just as they know that the NYPD will be out there today, tomorrow and every day to make sure that they are safe. Thank you. Mr. Mayor. Sure. Sure. Well, we'll take some questions.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

SEWELL: So the permitting is happening. It's actually done through city hall. But I will say that anyone who protests is expected to express themselves peacefully and orderly.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

SEWELL: That is in its own investigation at this time.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

SEWELL: We value our relationship with our partners and we're in constant communication with them. So if they do see an influx of people or something out of the ordinary, they will contact us. At this time, we don't see that happening but we will have real time information if that does occur.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

SEWELL: So we're going to be rolling road closures, I'm sure you can understand based on the sensitivity of it, it's going to be moving but we will be make sure we have enough offices to facilitate transport throughout the city.


There is one area close to Trump Tower that will have a road that is closed just to facilitate his transport but beyond that there'll be rolling road closures intermittently through the city, we're trying to have minimal amount of intrusion into city life.

REPORTER: I wanted to ask what additional measures is the NYPD taking not only to protect the crowd also other members of (inaudible)

SEWELL: We take any threats or concerns of our elected officials and anyone in the city very seriously. So we have provided some assistance in that regard. And we are investigating any threats that may be made to the DA or any of his - his staff.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

SEWELL: As you know, a number of laws were passed, when we went into having sensitive zones and restricted zones. It's actually an E-felony to carry in some of those zones even if you have a license. Some of those zones include courthouses of federal buildings and First Amendment activity. So we're not going to move those. I think responsible gun ownership requires that you know what the laws are, where you are protesting and we expect everyone to adhere to ours.

REPORTER: Well, going back to police presence, how many officers do you expect to be honest, and also, the Secret Service. I mean, how have they come in and basically told you what to do or I mean, how much control they have in the security.

SEWELL: We work with the Secret Service all the time. These are our partners. I won't go into how many numbers of police officers will be on the street, but we will have enough to facilitate mobile units if we need to respond to anything. But this is a collaborative effort with our partners and Secret Service.

REPORTER: (inaudible)


RAJU: You're listening there to Keechant Sewell, the New York City Police Department commissioners along with the New York Mayor Eric Adams, giving a security briefing about the arrangements ahead of tomorrow's historic day here in the United States and in New York, where Donald Trump will be arraigned and after his indictment on criminal charges.

We heard some headlines of this, they say they're sending out a clear and loud message that they're not going to tolerate any sort of violence or and there's no specific or credible threat that there will be any sort of violence tomorrow. And they also is a warning of sorts to Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is the conservative Congresswoman who may - urging her to be on her best behavior while running - leading a protest tomorrow on in New York City.

Let's go right to CNN Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst, John Miller as well as the CNN's Senior Law Enforcement Analyst Chief Ramsey. So John, the headline, no specific credible threat to the city, what's your reaction?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: That's what we were expecting to hear in that, they've been looking at everything from social media posts to bomb threats that have been called in, the week before last and, and the entire threat picture and none of it rises to anything where they can say this is something where we think there's something behind it where it's actually going to occur.

That's the good news. The important part from an intelligence standpoint is you have to understand that you're not going to know of every credible threat, or what lurks in the shadows. So the bifurcated posture there is they're watching the threat traffic, but they're also prepared for the unknown.

And I think that's what the police commissioner was talking about, which is they're not only following the threats, but they're investigating even threats that are posted in social media to say, who's on the other end of that threat. Do they need to be interviewed? Were they serious about the threat? Do they have the capability to carry it out. And so far, they haven't seen anything that crosses the line. But again, they're prepared.

RAJU: And they are prepared and Chief, to you, the mayor mentioned, Marjorie Taylor Greene called on her and others to, quote be on your best behavior. What do you take away from that stark warning?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, what I take away is, it doesn't matter who you are, if you break the law, if you engage in any act of violence, you will suffer the consequences, period. And we learned from January 6, obviously, that these things can turn bad. But having said that, it sounds like the NYPD is prepared. I have no doubt that they are in a position to be able to deal with whatever may come up, both in terms of just the regular control of what takes place on the various sites, but also having mobile units that can move from point A to point B very rapidly.

You know, the Mayor and Commissioner both mentioned something that I think people lose sight of, often times because we get so focused on the security itself. But for the average New Yorker, they're not interested in what's going on. They just want to get from point A to point B. They want to get to the bank, they want to get to the grocery store. So you have to balance things and keep people informed when you have street closures and things of that nature.


So They can move freely or as freely as they can around the city and that's a balancing act in and of itself. You try to get people to take public transport but that's not always you know, what people choose to do. So it's a balancing act. So they've got a lot of moving parts. They're dealing with what's going on in terms of the ex-president, him surrendering to various sites that need to be dealt with.

But there's also day to day business that goes on in the city, all your resources cannot be in one place. They're going to be handling everything that takes place in New York on that day.

RAJU: And John, you have had a long career, of course, in law enforcement and with the NY police, New York Police Department as well. They did not detail the number of police officers that would be used in this situation, tomorrow rather unprecedented event. What do you expect in terms of the number of people who are involved here, and just the level of preparations that are now underway ahead of tomorrow?

MILLER: So what you're going to see is three essential things. One, you'll see a number of police officers around Trump Tower because that is a potential lightning rod location. It's where former President Trump will be staying overnight. It is a place where protesters, you know, know how to get to and have protested before. You'll see a number of police officers strategically along the route that they take to the courthouse. And then that third thing is the large number of police officers you'll see at the courthouse, at the DA's office where he arrives and where he's going to face that arraignment.

RAJU: And Donald Trump in the motorcade leaving Mar-a-Lago. We expect that to happen any moment now. Trump leaving Mar-a-Lago. We have pictures there, we'll bring that to life as he heads to the airport, goes to New York for this historic event. And thank you to John Miller and Charles Ramsey for joining us.

Now, next, the indictment against Donald Trump gets unsealed and we'll dig into those possible charges and the former president's legal strategy next.



RAJU: There's Donald Trump. We're expecting any moment Donald Trump to leave Mar-a-Lago. That - we are I'm being told right now that is Donald Trump leaving Mar-a-Lago, on his way to catch his plane that will leave to New York where he'll arrive later this afternoon.

We will bring that to you live as it happens, and we're still discussing what's happening tomorrow. Donald Trump becomes the first former president to see the inside of a courtroom as a criminal defendant. And CNN's Kara Scannell is live for us in New York, where she will walk us through what we expect to see tomorrow as this arraignment and this indictment is unsealed. Karen, what are we expecting tomorrow?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Mani once former President Trump arrives in New York, he'll spend the night at Trump Tower and then he will come to the courthouse behind me tomorrow afternoon. That's where he will be processed. That means he'll be fingerprinted. There's some uncertainty about whether his mug shot will be taken. But he will be treated otherwise like another defendant.

He'll walk down the hallway, walks into the courtroom go before the judge the judge will ask him if he wants a reading of the indictment, that's usually waived and then he'll ask for his plea and Trump's attorney says that he is expected to plead not guilty to the charges. From there, Trump is expected to get back on the - head straight to the airport and fly back to Mar-a-Lago.

You know, we're also waiting for some potential developments today. The judge has set a 1pm deadline for Donald Trump and the district attorney's office to weigh in on some media requests. CNN and other media organizations have asked for the unsealing of the indictment before the hearing tomorrow. It's unclear what position those sides will take because - but as of now, we don't know what the specific charges that Trump is facing, only that they relate to the investigation into the hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels just weeks before the 2016 presidential election.

Also, many organizations are asking for the judge to allow a live broadcast of this proceeding, saying both for its historic and monumental moment in American history that the public has a right to know, the public has a right to watch this. That it's something that's also before the judge. And we're expecting a decision on both of those issues at some point later today. Manu.

RAJU: Yes Kara Scannell, thank you for that in New York. And we're just watch - watching really history right now unfold on your screen. Donald Trump en route to the airport and a court date in New York, becoming the first ever former president to face a criminal indictment and will learn so much more tomorrow as Donald Trump now heads to get on his plane, come to New York and meet his fate.

And joining us now to discuss all of this scene in CNN's Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Perez, and Former Federal Prosecutor Elliot Williams. First of all, take - you've been a federal prosecutor in the past. This is a rather historic moment, we're seeing a former president get on the plane, he's going to be inside the courtroom tomorrow.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: He really is. And it's important to almost separate out the fact that it's Donald Trump from the realities of what it means to be a defendant in a criminal case. In order to even get to this point, a grand jury needs to have found, you know, unelected citizens of New York City needs to have found that there was probable cause to believe that a crime was committed.

No matter where it goes from here, that hurdle has already been - been hit. And that is an important step and a profound step. And then and then when you add in the fact that it is a former president of the United States, this is exactly your point, Manu. This is a truly historic moment.

RAJU: Yes. And look, we're seeing on our screen there, Donald Trump in his motorcade, on his way to catch his plane in Palm Beach, Florida. Evan, when this indictment is unsealed tomorrow, what are you going to be looking at to see what the prosecutors are trying to build here in this case?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, I think for all of us who have been following all the developments of this case, and who certainly we've known about these allegations involving Stormy Daniels, and the effort to pay her to, to make sure that those allegations did not come out before the 2016 election.

You know, we're now going to see for the first time what evidence these prosecutors have, and then we're going to try to see what they develop that perhaps federal prosecutors didn't have when they decided not to pursue this case. And why it is that they believe they can bring this case seven years later, right.

So those are the things we're looking for. We're looking to see what other possible evidence they have, perhaps of other hush money payments, those are things that obviously have been - have been discussed, and then we'll see what Trump and his legal team have to work with.


Because one of the first things they're going to do is they're - they're going to try to get this tossed out. Right? And they believe they say that the statute of limitations have run out, they - they - they see a number of ways that they believe they can try to get this delayed and certainly, to try to get this tossed out. It's a strategy he's used for many years Manu and you guys know this. Let's see now the fact that he's not President, whether that's a strategy that can work.

RAJU: And look, we'll see also what actually they have uncovered. We've heard so much about those criticizing this case, they say there's no case. We'll see what the actual, the evidence here. Well, CNN's Kristen Holmes is back with us. She's live in West Palm Beach. Kristen, what are you seeing now on the ground?

HOLMES: Yes, just moments ago, the entire motorcade passed right by us. They came out of the gates of Mar-a-Lago. There were supporters there cheering for the former president, and they headed down to the airport. And as we reported, this is about a 10 minute drive to the private area of the airport where Trump's plane is.

He is traveling with a smaller group than normal. Usually there is a larger group of advisers. He's has a small group of his core senior advisors, including his 2024 campaign had Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita. They will board that plane, take off and head to LaGuardia Airport in New York. Now I am told that when they get to Trump Tower, it is likely that Trump will be meeting with his lawyers in New York.

Of course, that is not surprising. But again, we just saw a huge security effort here, everything closed down, the streets closed down, we've seen a car going back and forth, honking its horn with a big Trump flag. Everybody was pushed to the side as they came barreling through it. And look, this is a historic moment.

We just watched the former president of the United States or a former president of United States leave his home, headed to New York to be arraigned in court. And this is - it felt historic here. You know, I know you're watching it there. And it probably felt the same way. But watching this motorcade go by, knowing what was on the other end of this, you're taking a step back, it feels like that's what's happening. It feels the gravity of the situation here.

RAJU: Yes. You can him in motorcade now, they're stuck in traffic in this pretty remarkable moment here. And the former president meeting his fate. But Elliott, this may not be the only thing that Donald Trump could be kept to contend with. He is facing other potential serious charge charges. Of course, we have not seen any of the evidence. We don't know if he will face other charges. But how do you stack this up, as he faces a litany of legal problems?

WILLIAMS: It's quite significant Manu, and it's important to consider that each of the places in which the former president is being investigated is what's called a different sovereign. They are different governments with different sets of law and are going to be held to different deadlines and different - different procedures and so on.

So you know, you have federal cases and a federal case involving classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, election interference cases in Georgia. And of course, this matter in New York in New York City. I think it's important to regard each one in isolation when you actually see the facts in the law.

And here, what - you have what looks like a relatively straightforward misdemeanor case of falsifying business records. A more complicated felony case of possibly falsifying business records with an intent to defraud. But you'd have to see the evidence when it comes out. But all of them are different. None of them are sort of working in concert as one big massive conspiracy to prosecute the former president.

But that can happen to a defendant when you have multiple states and multiple cities, and a federal, federal and state governments conducting their own investigation.

RAJU: We'll see how much - this is the only time that we'll see Donald Trump have to appearing in a courthouse. Evan, you've been covering those other investigations very intensely. How much how much of the former president be worried about other charges he could face?

PEREZ: Look, I think everyone around him is very concerned about the Georgia case as well. But there are signs now certainly in the last couple of days, in the last certainly a couple of weeks, that the document investigation, the Mar-a-Lago investigation is reaching a critical point for prosecutors. You are seeing a lot of activity, a lot of witnesses being called in. The Special Counsel is certainly acting with - with a bit of alacrity, almost as if they are trying to get to a place where they need to make a decision, a final decision on whether they make to make to bring some charges.

We see people around the former president in court today who are being asked to provide his lawyers, for instance, Evan Corcoran, is in court today. It's not clear what exactly he was there for. But we know that one of the things he's been called to do is to provide testimony against his client, the former president, for what he was involved in around the production of those documents, that the classified documents that were seized by the FBI, in that extraordinary search back in August.

Again, the word extraordinary, we keep using right because these things have never happened before with a former president, a search of his home. So I think if you're the former president and the fact that you know, he's got all of these legal issues, all coming to a boil And he doesn't have the protection of the office anymore so it's - he has no control over what happens next.