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Isa Soares Tonight
Author Salman Rushdie Stabbed In New York; Trump's Legal Team Left With An Hour To Argue Against Unsealing Search Warrant; Parts Of England Officially Fall Into Drought; Salman Rushdie Stabbed On Stage Before Lecture; FBI Office Attacked; Deadline Nears As Justice Dept. Moves To Unseal Search Warrant. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired August 12, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Christina Macfarlane in for Isa Soares. Tonight, author
Salman Rushdie is rushed to the hospital after being stabbed at an event in New York. What we know about his condition. The clock is ticking for Donald
Trump's legal team.
They have one more hour left to argue against making the Mar-a-Lago search warrant public. And later, I'll be speaking to the chief at the Royal
Meteorological Society as the U.K. officially declares a drought. Now, famed author, Salman Rushdie has been taken to a New York hospital after
apparently being stabbed on stage as he prepared to give a lecture.
Officials say his suspected attacker is in custody. A witness described seeing him stabbed 7 to 10 times before she fled. Rushdie is one of the
world's most recognized authors, the winner of countless awards including the 1981 Booker Prize for "Midnight's Children".
He's faced threats to his life in the past. In 1989, Iran spiritual leader issued a fatwa against Rushdie over his novel, "The Satanic Verses", which
was considered blasphemous by some Muslims. Well, let's go now to Erica Hill who's live for us in New York. Erica, bring us up-to-date here on what
we know, and of course, on what his condition might be.
ERICA HILL, CNN REPORTER: So, in terms of the condition, the most recent update we have actually came from New York Governor, Kathy Hochul, who said
just a short time ago at a separate event that he was alive and hospitalized. She credited the New York State police who were on scene for
acting quickly, to stand up to rush to the scene, to help save his life.
As you mentioned, Christina, he was air-lifted, and you can see the video here to an area hospital. This is in a western part of New York, at the
Chautauqua Institution, he was there, being introduced -- about to be introduced on stage, we're told, when this attack happened. Another witness
describing the real shock that was felt when it was apparent that he was being attacked.
So again, an apparent stab-wound, as we know, one witness, as you mentioned, counted roughly 7 to 10 stabbing motions before she herself fled
out of fear for her own safety, saying, she was, quote, "shaking like a leaf." In terms of a suspect, we do know that there is a suspect in
custody. We don't know many more details about that person.
We are working to get more of that information. This happened at an outdoor amphitheater, which can hold some 4,000 people according to the website.
It's not clear how many people were actually at that event or ticketed. We have requested that information.
What we can tell you, though, Christina, is another witness said they had noticed sort of an increase in private security around the grounds there in
the last 24 hours, before the event itself, mentioned there were no security checks going in. There was no metal detector. The only sort of
control, if you will, was checking to make sure that people did in fact have passes for the event.
And again, we're hearing from a number of people, you're seeing some of this video from an eyewitness. You can see as people rushed to the stage
there to help. Really, some quick thinking, which again, Governor Hochul is crediting. And she also -- you mentioned, of course, the history which we
know for Salman Rushdie.
Governor Hochul also in her remarks cited his decades spent speaking truth to power, and noted how important that was. We'll continue to update you on
his condition and developments of course, with the suspect as we do learn more information, Christina.
MACFARLANE: Yes, Erica, there was 7 to 10 stabbings. This is a deeply concerning picture. Thank you very much there for giving us the latest from
New York. Now, what they were looking -- what were they looking for and what did they find? We may soon get some answers about the extraordinary
FBI search that could have grave national security implications.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump has just one hour left to respond to a Justice Department move to unseal the warrant and inventory list related to
the search of Mar-a-Lago. A judge will then decide whether to make the documents public. Trump is calling for their immediate release, something
he himself can do right now, but has chosen not to.
"The Washington Post" reports the FBI was searching Trump's home for highly classified documents on nuclear weapons among other papers that belong in
government custody. Let's get more now from CNN's senior justice correspondent Evan Perez. And Evan, we haven't obviously confirmed "The
Washington Post" reporting.
But if this is true, some basic questions here. Why would Donald Trump have had these documents? And what classified material did he routinely have
access to as president?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, as former president, when he was president, he would have had access to everything.
To anything he wanted to, and you know, he had the right to classify and declassify any kind of material, any kind of documents that he wanted,
And of course, if -- according to the "Post", according to "The Washington Post", these -- the documents that were in dispute or in question included
documents related to the U.S. nuclear weapons program. We previously at CNN reported that at least some of the documents in question related to special
This would include things like nuclear weapons documents. And so, these are the most closely-guarded secrets in the U.S. government. Even if you have
top secret clearance, you don't necessarily have access to this. You would need a special clearance to be able to get access to this.
There's -- just this hour, however, the "Wall Street Journal" has published a report that appears to indicate they have seen the documents that we're
all waiting for. As you pointed out, Christina, the president -- the former president had the power and the right as a private citizen to release this
document any time since Monday when he received it from the FBI.
I'll read you just a part of what the "Wall Street Journal" says are in these documents that we may see soon from the federal court. It says that
they are about 20 boxes, and that there are some documents labeled TSSCI. This is a special designation of top secret documents among, again, the
most sensitive documents that have no business being at a basement in a beach house in Palm Beach.
These are documents that normally are housed in special rooms in federal buildings. U.S. government buildings, military buildings, often. And
apparently, these were the types of documents that were retrieved, according to the release that was provided to the former president. And one
last thing I'll point out, you know, there is a number of other documents, according to the "Wall Street Journal", that are included here.
And there is a reference to some pages that had information about the president of France. Again, we don't know very much about what the
specifics are, but it gives you a sense of how lax Donald Trump seemed to be about managing what are sensitive documents, and were in his
possession in Palm Beach there at his private club.
MACFARLANE: Yes, and Evan, we know that President Trump routinely hosted top global figures, you know, at Mar-a-Lago --
PEREZ: Yes --
MACFARLANE: What do we know about the security at Mar-a-Lago? How vulnerable it is? I mean, It is, as you say, after all, a beach house.
PEREZ: Exactly. And it's a private club with a lot of public people coming in and out. That's a great question, and it really does crystallized why
there's been so much concern by the -- by the -- by the prosecutors and the FBI. The -- we know of multiple instances where foreign nationals have been
prosecuted for trying to get access to various parts of Mar-a-Lago.
We know that he has a history of waving around documents that are classified in social settings. So, let's just say that the protocols, the
security protocols are not what you would want when you have things like, for example, perhaps things related to some of the closest -- closely-
guarded secrets of the U.S. government.
MACFARLANE: All right, Evan Perez, the minutes are ticking down here, we will wait to see --
PEREZ: Yes --
MACFARLANE: What happens at the top of the hour. Thank you.
MACFARLANE: Well, the warnings are growing more dire by the day about the perilous predicament at the Ukrainian nuclear plant. Ukraine's nuclear
power operator says Russian shelling and fighting near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the largest in Europe, is a serious risk to the plant's
safety. It says 10 shells just Thursday, close to one and -- close to one of the power units, activated emergency protections.
But another unit has failed and three radiation monitoring sensors were damaged. Well, this comes as the head of the U.N.'s Nuclear Watchdog warned
the Security Council, the situation has reached a grave hour. He says there is no immediate threat to nuclear safety, but, quote, "that could change at
Well, CNN's David McKenzie is in Kyiv for us. And David, we know the IAEA say that some of the parts of this plant now are inoperable, following that
shelling. What more do we know about the situation inside the plant? Especially related to those Ukrainian technicians, who we know are
operating under duress?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I've spoken, Christina, to people who have been touched with those workers, those
technicians, those engineers who have been there working tirelessly since March, when the Russian forces occupied Zaporizhzhia.
And they have been in part working under hostage-like situations. Now, there are far fewer people than there should be working at that site, and
while they normally would be, of course, focused on all the multiple stages of safety that are required at a civilian nuclear facility like this, they
are still trying to do that.
But amongst the context of a war zone, where there are Russian troops firing on Ukrainian positions, if not directly inside that facility,
according to our sources, but very close to the borders of that facility. And either Russian or Ukrainian, depending which side you speak to,
shelling some of that key infrastructure.
The reactors are still running, though, there was a statement earlier today from a Ukrainian leadership that has been put in place by the Russians, so
a Russian place to leadership, saying they may mothball that site. But in fact, it's not that simple, just to switch off the lights and walk away
from a nuclear facility like this. Christina?
MACFARLANE: Yes, and we've been saying it's the largest nuclear facility in Europe, has six reactors. What is the specific danger at this point,
David? We could go wrong?
MCKENZIE: I've spoken to a number of experts today who've outlined where the specific danger is, Christina. It's a great question. Now, in general,
these experts are less worried, and of course it's not ideal. But less worried about any kind of direct hit by ammunition, by a Grad rocket, by a
rocket of some kind, on the reactors itself because they're very heavily protected under very thick concrete.
So that's less likely in the scenario. What is more likely, they say, is because only one power source of the reactor is attached for incoming power
from Ukrainian side, according to Ukrainian officials. There is a chance that, that could be damaged. And then you have a total lack of electricity
coming in. Then you go to the backup systems.
I spoke to a Ukrainian expert, he said that there are 18 diesel generators that help power in the backup situation, those six nuclear generators. They
don't know how much diesel fuel is there, and these very nuts and bolts specifics are very important. Because if the power fails, then the clock
And if all power fails, it's say, station blackout they call it. And then you could have those nuclear rods, the fuel, I should say, overheating and
some kind of accident happened. There's multiple stages from now until you get to that point, it's worth stressing. But the ultimate issue here is
that this is an active war zone, occupied by invading forces, and there needs to be some kind of solution, says the international community, even
as this war drags on. Christina?
MACFARLANE: Yes, David, these are important details, as you say. This is how we could see this play out if, God forbid, it came to it. David
McKenzie live for us there in Kyiv. Thank you. Well, for thousands of Ukrainians living in the east, it is a wrenching decision they face since
the war began. Do we stay at the homes and villages in which we've lived in for many generations, or flee to safety? But a ruthless one with an
For each family, it is an individual decision. And as Nic Robertson shows us, each family is making a very personal choice.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Inside a sweltering train station, families wait for a journey to the unknown. A
government offer to escape the war in eastern Ukraine. Artem(ph) is saying goodbye to his wife, Sophia(ph) and son, Philip(ph). "The situation is
getting worse", he says. "Our son is scared", Sophia(ph) adds. "Yesterday, the shelling was so bad, we decided we just had to go."
On the platform, the old and confused helped and heaved aboard. The free train ride westwards ramping up efforts to relocate civilians before
Winter. Lud Miller(ph) leaving with her family. "We don't want to go", she says. "But the missiles are flying. I've had no salary for five months. I
don't even know where we're going."
(on camera): Officials here are telling us there are far fewer people on the trains right now. Just a few months ago, they say there were hundreds
of people crammed into these carriages. It's much emptier now.
(voice-over): Hampering evacuation efforts, some who left months ago are coming back. "I spent all my money on rent", Valentina(ph) says. "I'm
broke. I have to come back, even though we've been told there will be no heating and no water here this Winter."
MAYOR OLEKSANDR HONCHARENKO, KRAMATORSK, UKRAINE: Now, we're asking people to leave the remaining people to leave, as much as possible the city --
ROBERTSON: The mayor of the region's biggest city, Kramatorsk, is struggling. "Sixty five thousand civilians here", he says. Even as soldiers
dig new trenches and rockets regularly impact.
HONCHARENKO: It's difficult to protect the cities by our army, if we have a lot of citizens.
ROBERTSON: Even closer to the creeping Russian advance in Bakhmut, where officials say seven civilians died in shelling, Wednesday. There is
resistance to leaving.
(on camera): The Russians are already on the edge of the city. If there was ever a moment for these people to leave, it will be now.
(voice-over): "I know the government wants us to leave", Sergei says. "But I can't. I've got three houses. Who will look after them?" He's rigged his
basement to be a shelter.
(on camera): This is where they're living in here. I mean, it's just dust, dirt, corridors.
(voice-over): He isn't sure if the walls will hold a heavy blast. But says he's got a whistle if the worst happens. In Ukraine's east, it's clear, it
will take more than an offer of a free train ride to get citizens to safety. Nic Robertson, CNN, eastern Ukraine.
MACFARLANE: Now, we want to show you more now in the growing fears around the safety of the Russian-occupied facility in Zaporizhzhia. Ukraine and
Russia are blaming each other for attacks nearby. Now, we want to give you more context on where this facility actually is.
It sits on the Dnipro River here, you can see it marked just here on the map, in an area that's currently controlled by Russian forces. This, of
course, is the red area just here. It's -- now, if we look more closely, you can see Nikopol just to the right up here. It's right across the river
from the plant, and two different towns around that city were hit by 80 rockets on Tuesday and 13 people were killed.
Now, the head of the region says that thousands are currently without electricity or gas. We've also heard reports of strikes on Marhanets and
Vasylivka with shelling directly around the plant and in areas close by, you can see why of course it's in an area of intense activity.
Right now, for the scale, Zaporizhzhia is Europe's largest nuclear facility. It has six reactors, just to the right over here, one, two,
three, four, five, six, creating enough energy to power around 4 million homes. Now, putting that into context, Chernobyl only has four reactors.
Ukraine has also targeted Russian forces at the plant.
Now, if we zoom into the spot, just right here, you can see up on the right-hand side here, a few 100 meters from one of the reactors. The image
from the plant lab shows what appears to be a burn remains here of a Russian military tent targeted by Ukrainian military strike.
Now, the mayor of the nearby town says that strike occurred only on July 19th. It gives you an idea, I think, of just how close those strikes are to
those six nuclear reactors. OK, still to come tonight, warnings that London is tinderbox dry as the U.K. and Europe experience their fourth heat wave
We'll bring you the latest on the impacts of these soaring temperatures. And after an attempted attack on U.S. law enforcement officers in Ohio,
authorities are starting to piece together the puzzle.
MACFARLANE: Europe is yet again facing scorching temperatures as it battles its fourth heat wave this Summer. Parts of England are now
officially under drought conditions. And in Germany, authorities say critically low water levels on the Rhine River could impact shipping. Our
Salma Abdelaziz has the latest.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Five thousand hectares, more than 12,000 football fields burnt in a single night. Temperatures inside
fire zone in this community in rural France reached a 1,000 degrees Celsius according to the local fire department, enough to bend steel.
MATTIEU JOMAIN, SPOKESPERSON, GIRONDE FIREFIGHTERS (through translator): We are still in the phase of trying to contain the fire. Our mission is to
direct it where we want, whether it's fewer vegetation where allows our vehicles to position themselves best in the most efficient manner.
ABDELAZIZ: Scorching temperatures and months of dry weather are causing dangerous conditions across Europe. The continent is in the midst of its
fourth heat wave this Summer.
EU Chief, Ursula von der Leyen tweeted Friday that help was incoming for Portugal, Slovenia, Albania and France as part of the block's civil
protection mechanism, following an emergency plea from Paris on Thursday, the EU sent four firefighting planes to France's southwest, where emergency
services have battled wildfires for six consecutive nights. Reinforcements from Romania started to arrive Friday morning.
CRISTIAN BUHAIANU, FIRE CHIEF, ROMANIA: It doesn't matter the country, we are firefighters and we have to help all people in the world.
ABDELAZIZ: In the U.K., the London Fire Brigade remains on high alert and describes the city as tinderbox dry. Water companies have introduced bans
given the drought conditions, stopping people from watering their gardens, washing cars or cleaning windows. Even the River Thames has dried up
further downstream than ever before.
ALISDAIR NAULLS, ENGAGEMENT OFFICER, THE RIVERS TRUST: This is the climate crisis inaction, that I understood in about that deep of the terms 15
kilometers into it, I should be a lot wetter than I am right now.
ABDELAZIZ: Germany's River Rhine was also exceptionally low, threatening further disruption on Germany's most important inland waterway used for
transporting chemicals and grain. The Rhine is particularly crucial for the movement of coal, which is in higher demand as Germany races to fill
storage facilities ahead of next Winter.
Meteorologists say the current wave of extreme temperatures sweeping Europe is associated with a robust dome of high atmospheric pressure. Not only
does that dome bring hot air into the region, it also suppresses storms and clouds, trapping the heat and preventing it from rising.
Scientists say that every heat wave the world experiences today, has been made hotter because of human-induced climate change. Salma Abdelaziz, CNN,
MACFARLANE: Well, let's get more on the drought warnings in place here in the U.K. as well as across the European Union. Joining me now is Liz
Bentley, the chief executive professor at the Royal Meteorological Society. Liz, thank you so much for your time.
LIZ BENTLEY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE PROFESSOR, ROYAL METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY: Hi.
MACFARLANE: So, just to begin, Liz, I know you have been studying weather patterns your entire career, possibly beyond. Are these the worst drought
conditions you've ever seen?
BENTLEY: Yes, so, I mean, across Europe, this is probably going to end up being the worst droughts in over 500 years. So severe conditions earlier
this week, a European body announced that 63 percent of Europe and the U.K. included was under a drought warning or drought alert. And just to put that
into context, that's like California, Texas and Alaska combined.
That's the size of the area that's currently under a drought. Extreme heat, we've been seeing heat records being broken, pretty much through June, July
and August. So, we're in an extreme heat event as well. And then wildfires as you expect with that drought, that extreme heat, we've seen significant
wildfires across western parts of Europe in particular, and even here in the U.K.
MACFARLANE: And we are being told constantly now, Liz, this is the new normal.
So, if that is the case, what projections are your society, the Royal Meteorological Society, what projections do you have as to how our Summers
are going to look, you know, 10, 20 years from now?
BENTLEY: Yes, so, the projections show that the Summers are going to become hotter and drier here across Europe, and our Winters are going to
become a warmer and wetter. So, we're likely to see more extreme heat events. They will happen more frequently, when they happen, they'll be more
prolonged, and when they happen again, they'll be more intense.
So, we'll see these record-breaking temperatures. So we still think that 40 degrees here in the U.K. is extreme, but probably by the middle of the
century, that's going to be more of a normal temperature here in the U.K. And that's really the kind of progression, the projections that we're
seeing over the coming decades.
MACFARLANE: You know, I was interested to read some of your recent research, Liz, from your society. It was saying that actually, Britain is
getting wetter. There was actually more rainfall last year, I think 15 percent than we've had here, you know, maybe 30 years ago. So, if that is
the case, why are we having or seeing such drought issues here in the U.K.?
BENTLEY: Yes, that's right. I think over the course of an annual -- over the whole year, we getting of rainfall in the U.K., and we need to be much
better at taking and storing rainfall when we get those surplus of rainfall, typically, during our Winter months, and storing it, so that we
can use it when there's a deficit of rainfall such as we've got at the moment.
And also, we're called a small island nation, but there are certain parts of the U.K., particularly further to the north and west, that tend to be
wetter than the southeast of the U.K. And so, we need to think about where there's a surplus of water in the northwest, how do we transport that to
other parts of the country when they have a deficit?
So, we should have enough rainfall in the U.K. to manage. And it's just really how we use that water management system, you know, much better, much
more effectively in future.
MACFARLANE: I think one of the big issues right now is around, you know, the possible knock-on effects here on food supplies. And we're hearing
that, you know, these drought conditions could continue into the Winter across the continent. So what impact is that going to have on our food?
BENTLEY: Yes, agriculture is struggling both from the heat, but particularly from the lack of rainfall. So we anticipate that crop yields
will be down this year. And that will have a knock-on effect on food prices as we go into the end of the Summer and into the autumn, and even over
So, for example, here in the U.K., livestock are already -- we're using hay and food that we would store for the Winter time. We're feeding that to
livestock now because there's no grass on the ground, it's all died away because of the drought. There's no grass for them to feed on.
So, again, that's going to have a knock-on effect as we go into the Winter months, purchasing -- farmers having to purchase more food to feed
livestock. So, the consequences now are certainly going to be felt as we go into Autumn and Winter, even if the drought disappears.
MACFARLANE: And we just saw, Liz, from Salma's report just now that major waterways are now being affected by this, as we mentioned the Rhine, even
the Thames here in London is being affected. Are we powerless to stop this? Are there any preventative measures we can take in the Summers to come?
BENTLEY: Yes, I think we do need to be much more resilient to water use, particularly here in the U.K. You know, as I said, over the course of a
typical year, we have enough rainfall, it's just about how we manage it. We also find that we use a lot of water because we don't tend to get severe
droughts like the one we've got at the moment.
And so, I guess it needs a bit of education to the general public and businesses on how better to kind of manage the consumption of water that we
have. So, at the moment, we are restricted because of the drought conditions. There are hose pipe bans in place for some parts of the U.K.,
that limits restrictions on the water that we can use. But we need to properly be doing that on a much more kind of regular basis throughout the
MACFARLANE: Yes, hose pipe bans deeply unpopular, but just the tip of the iceberg, really, in terms of what we need to do. Liz, thank you so much for
joining us and talking us through this epic drought we're currently experiencing. All right, still to come tonight, we'll bring you the latest
on Salman Rushdie who was attacked before giving a lecture. We'll look into why he's been a target before.
MACFARLANE: We're taking you back now to one of our top stories, the celebrated novelist, Salman Rushdie, was attacked and apparently stabbed in
the neck before lecture at an Education Center in New York State. Rushdie was airlifted to a local hospital and his condition is unknown. Police say
they've taken the suspect into custody. This attack is shocking, but Salman Rushdie is no stranger to death threats. The multi-award winning author was
once targeted by an Iranian fatwah calling for his death.
Martin Bright to joins me now. He's the Editor-at-Large for the Index on Censorship, an organization that advocates for free expression. Thank you
for joining me. Martin, we --
MARTIN BRIGHT, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, INDEX ON CENSORSHIP: Pleasure.
MACFARLANE: -- don't know really anything at this stage as to the motive behind this attack. But if you could give us some context of the
controversies that have surrounded Salman Rushdie's career, and embroiled his work, especially and specifically, of course, The Satanic Verses, in
BRIGHT: Yes, my organization and magazine has been involved with Salman Rushdie in the campaign to fight for his free speech since he was attacked
by the Iranian state in 1989 after his publication of the novel, The Satanic Verses, where he did receive an appalling death threat. And this
incident today, though, of course, we don't know what the motivation was behind this attack, just reminds us of the appalling situation that some
writers find themselves in where they can stand on a stage and someone can physically attack them while they're simply presenting and reading their
book. I mean, he's not alone in this, but unfortunately, Salman Rushdie has had to face this kind of thing for decades.
MACFARLANE: And, you know, when The Satanic Verses controversy erupted in 1980s, as you were saying, you strongly argued for Rushdie's right to
publish. Why was it so important to do that at that time? Why was this particular novel so controversial?
BRIGHT: It seemed the obvious thing to do at the time. We were a magazine that fought for the freedoms of writers behind the Iron Curtain. And, of
course, that year 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, was an extremely important moment for the freedom of those writers.
No one, I think at the time, imagined that further attacks on the liberties of writers would come from the Iranian state. It was an extraordinary
moment. But at the time, some people did attack Salman Rushdie's right to say what he did. Even though what he was doing is writing a novel, it was a
very sophisticated novel, an extremely learned piece of writing, suffused with a great understanding of the Muslim religion and a celebration, in a
way, of Islam. So, the whole terrible incident and what followed was based on an appalling misunderstanding, and the abuse of literature by a state,
which is anything other than pluralistic and liberal.
MACFARLANE: And at that time, when the book was released, anyone, you know, associated with the book, promoting it, or being part of it, was targeted,
and that included, you know, publishers, translators. What sort of violence did you see erupt at that time?
BRIGHT: Well, around that time, anyone who was associated with The Satanic Verses was potentially under threat. And people did die. And so anyone who
published or translated The Satanic Verses was a potential target. And it was a real test, in fact, for liberal values. Some people suggested that
perhaps the way that Salman Rushdie had approached Islam was disrespectful. But those of us who were working within journalism at the time, those of us
working for free speech always felt that it was important to defend the right of novelists writing fiction, to be able to use their imagination
without fear of attack from religious zealots.
MACFARLANE: Well, Martin, as we say, we don't yet know what the motive is for this attack. And we very much hope, of course, that Salman Rushdie
survives this. But for now, thank you very much for bringing us that context and reminding us of what the situation was back in the 1980s. Thank
MACFARLANE: All right. Still to come tonight, a key deadline is fast approaching involving the FBI's extraordinary search of Donald Trump's
home. What we could learn if the search warrant is released just ahead. And authorities search for possible motives after an attempted attack on an FBI
office. The latest on the investigation when we come back.
MACFARLANE: Back to our top story now where we're waiting to hear if a judge will approve the release of some documents related to the
extraordinary search of Donald Trump's home. A deadline for Trump's attorney to object, if they so choose, is less than 30 minutes away. The
Washington Post reports the FBI was searching Mar-a-Lago for highly classified documents on nuclear weapons among other papers. And we just
learned from The Wall Street Journal that 11 sets of classified documents were taken away.
Let's talk more about this with former U.S. Federal Prosecutor Michael Zeldin. He was Robert Mueller's Special Assistant at the Department of
Justice. Welcome to you. First of all, as we wait for the next half an hour if Donald Trump's lawyers decide to oppose the bid to unseal the documents,
could this actually be overridden by the judge? And how would that happen?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, FORMER U.S. FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Right, the judge has the authority to release or not release. In the ordinary courts, the
prosecutors just say to the judge, please unseal and the judge unseals. It's unusual that they're giving defense counsel, Trump's counsel, the
opportunity to weigh in on this because in the ordinary courts, you just release. So I don't expect there'll be any grounds for the President to
object to this. And I think that (INAUDIBLE) unless they were very compelling, the magistrate judge would just release it in any event,
because there's a public interest that overrides most of what Trump could object to.
MACFARLANE: Michael, we've just heard from President Trump in the last few minutes claiming moments ago, denying that any of these documents were in
fact classified, I suppose insinuating that he had himself declassified them. I mean, even if that were the case, given the severity, and the, you
know, the seriousness of which the Justice Department moved to, you know, to issue that warrant, would that make a difference?
ZELDIN: In terms of the Presidential Records Act, the act that governs what documents are private versus public, the fact that they are classified or
not classified is really not relevant. The -- if the documents belong to the public, the National Archives, regardless of their classification, then
they needed to be returned. If the president is saying, I may not have violated some more serious law, because somehow secretly while I was
president, I declassified these documents, which is sort of his power, but it depends on the documents, that's sort of, like, almost a defense to a
prospective charge of further wrongdoing against him. So I think the bottom line is, he - if he has official documents, they have to go back to the
National Archives, classified or not.
MACFARLANE: Interesting. And just to pick up on what you were saying a moment ago about, you know, the judge probably overriding this and moving
to unseal the warrant regardless, I mean, how quickly would the judge move to do that, do you think?
ZELDIN: In the ordinary course, it's done in the same day, if the prosecutor says the judge, Judge, it's time to unseal, the judge says fine,
issues an order and unsealed. So, I mean, it's 3:00 in the East here in the United States, and judges work, you know, until the end of the day, and so
he has plenty of time to release it today. But I wouldn't expect that we would hear from him any later than this weekend or Monday.
ZELDIN: If there's no --
MACFARLANE: And so -- I see. So if these documents are released, just walk us through here what we are likely to see, what we are likely not to see
ZELDIN: Right. So the way it works is, when you have a search warrant, you go to a judge, when you want a search warrant, you go to a judge and you
say Judge, there's probable cause or reason to believe that there is evidence of a crime that we are entitled to. The crime here is a violation
of the Presidential Records Act, which means that those official documents belong to the government and not to the former president. The judge issues
that warrant, they go in, and they search, and they take. The warrant itself, and the -- what they call the return, the sort of inventory of what
was taken, remains with Donald Trump.
And it is that which the judge will thou -- now decide whether to release. And so what that will be is what was searched, where it was searched, and
perhaps even what law it was that the judge determined was violated that gave rise to the search and then essentially a receipt, an inventory of
what was taken.
And generally speaking, those inventories are pretty broad, meaning it might just say 11 boxes of materials, one cell phone, one computer, they
don't necessarily tell you in a very granular way what's in each of those boxes or what's on that cell phone. So, we'll have to see how particular
the receipt is that the agents left with Trump. And that's what we'll know, the warrant and the receipt. We won't know the affidavit that they
submitted to the judge in order for the warrant to have been issued in the first place.
MACFARLANE: But we could potentially have an idea of what laws Donald Trump might have broken, if I understand correctly.
ZELDIN: Correct. Right.
MACFARLANE: Michael, I'm afraid we'll have to leave it there. But thank you so much for your input. And, of course, we will wait to see over the next
15 minutes whether there is any movement on this. Thank you.
ZELDIN: Thank you.
MACFARLANE: Now anger over the FBI raid on Donald Trump may have been the motive behind an attempted attack on an FBI office in Ohio. Ricky Schiffer
was killed in a standoff with police after attempting to break into the FBI office on Thursday. Law enforcement sources tell CNN that Schiffer was
believed to be at the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 attack. Let's bring in CNN's Brynn Gingras for more on the investigation. And where are we at
right now with knowing with whether -- what the motive is here?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, investigators are really trying to figure that out, Christina. They are searching through
social media. They are talking to associates. And like you said, they just have, you know, we've learned from sources that he was on their radar. He
was previously known to the FBI prior to what happened yesterday. And that's because they believe he was at the Capitol on January 6, and they
also believe that they -- he -- or he -- they have told us that he has known associates within that right-wing extremist group, Proud Boys.
We also know about Schiffer that he was in the Navy, he has weapons training, that his job in the Navy was basically to handle weapons aboard
some submarine. So this is a sort of a picture of this person that we are learning who you know, went into that FBI office, hopefully hoping to
breach it. Now, as I said, they are looking through social media. We have found a social media account on Truth Social, which is the platform started
by former President Donald Trump, and it bears the same name as Schiffer. It also has his picture of those sources not confirming it's his account.
However, there's a lot of graphic detail, not only about what happened yesterday, but also just the ideology of this person, with this user,
essentially talking about how the 2020 election was a lie how there needs to be retaliation against the FBI. And the violent rhetoric really boosted
up within this past week after that search of Mar-a-Lago where this user, again, with the name Ricky Schiffer, basically told people to go to their
pawnshops, get firearms, go to Florida, if they encounter the FBI agents, kill them. I mean, that's the kind of rhetoric that we were seeing on this
social media page.
And, of course, this is something that law enforcement here in the U.S. has said is dangerous, they are watching out for it. And also, of course, that
they're fully against it and it should not be happening, but this is the kind of person that now federal agents themselves are having to investigate
and look further into.
MACFARLANE: Yes, a lot of disturbing rhetoric in those social media posts, as you say. Brynn, thank you for bringing us up-to-date. OK. Still to come
tonight. A stark new warning from scientists in California that the most costly natural disaster in history could hit the state this century. We'll
bring you all the details.
MACFARLANE: Welcome back. While the U.K. and Europe suffer through drought and dangerously low water levels, in California, scientists are warning
that the state is at risk of the exact opposite, a mega flood. Take a look at these images from a new study showing how extreme rainfall could hit
California. If it were to happen, experts say this mega flood would be unlike anything anyone alive has ever experienced. Well, for more on this,
let's bring in CNN's Chief Climate Correspondent, Bill Weir. And Bill not to make too much light of this, but in my head, I'm imagining this like
some horror scene from a Hollywood movie. So just explain to me how this would happen.
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you kind of have to think of those terms to match this new study coming out of UCLA, Daniel Swain,
very respected climate scientists. And what that animation showed you was what it would look like if one atmospheric river storm after another just
hammered the central coast of California, right there. And because of the lack of vegetation due to wildfires, because of lack of snowfall due to
global warming, there wouldn't be a lot of natural, you know, absorption of all that water, it would cause runoffs, and then possibly a vast inland sea
in what is now the Central Valley around Bakersfield. Super inconvenient. Considering that a quarter of the nation's produce is produced in that part
of California right there.
But you talk about the big one in California in terms of seismic earthquake activities. This is sort of like the kind of flood we saw in Eastern
Kentucky last week. But as big as California, is what this paper is saying, could -- that the indications are -- the conditions are leading us towards
that if things stay as they are.
MACFARLANE: Do they have any projections as to how soon this could happen?
WEIR: It could happen within the century, by the end of this century, maybe sooner or so. And, again, it's just the sort of thing that might happen
once every thousand years in the land before the Industrial Revolution. Now, it could happen every 30 years or so.
MACFARLANE: I mean, that is, like, super scary, you know, the fact that it could happen this century. I mean, how does California go about prepping
for this? Is that even possible?
WEIR: Well, all of the, you know, sort of recovery efforts that conservationists have been talking about in terms of working with fires to
let grasslands come back. But, again, it's the drought that's a driving force in this as well. There's only so much, sort of, infrastructure
preparedness or natural resilience you can build back into the system by letting nature take its own course. We're expecting early next week new
cutbacks in the Colorado River Basin due to the mega drought out west there so it doesn't -- it seems in incongruous, right, to think about massive
flooding in a place with so much drought right now. But such the reality science predicts of this new world.
MACFARLANE: All right. Bill, thank you for, well, bringing us that, breaking it. Down super scary as I say, but thank you very much all the
WEIR: Yes. Sorry.
MACFARLANE: And we're going to end on -- that's all right, something a bit more uplifting hopefully, as some of the most captivating and revealing
nature photographs of the year have been unveiled. Nature TTL got more than 8,000 entries in its annual Best Of contest. The overall winner was this
photo of an African caracal in the Serengeti moments after it had caught a flamingo. But nature doesn't only apply to animals, this stunning
photograph of a sunflower that has managed to survive amid a garbage dump in South Africa won Best Landscapes prize. And this image of a ray cutting
its way through a school of bannerfish won Best Underwater Photo. It was taken in the Maldives.
Now we are approaching 3:00 p.m. on the U.S. East Coast. That's the deadline a judge has set for Donald Trump's legal team to voice any
argument against unsealing the search warrant on Mar-a-Lago. The former president says he has no objection and wants the documents to see the light
of day, but it's lawyers may not feel the same, and it's worth noting Trump could reveal them himself. CNN will be across this story all afternoon and
let you know what the judge decides. But for now, that is it for us. Thank you for watching. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next.