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Isa Soares Tonight

Trump Expected to Surrender Tuesday and Face Arraignment; Volunteers Deliver Water To Frontline Ukrainian Town; Trump Expected To Surrender Tuesday And Face Arraignment; Israeli Cabinet To Consider National Guard Headed By Ben-Gvir. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired March 31, 2023 - 14:00   ET



PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: Hello, and a warm welcome to everyone, I'm Paula Newton in tonight for Isa Soares. Now, we've been watching history unfold

in the United States today as the first former president ever to be criminally indicted prepares to surrender, give his fingerprints and even

pose for a police mug shot.

Now, New York is bracing for Donald Trump's expected arraignment Tuesday, we still don't know what specific charges he's facing, but they involve

hush money payments to a porn star. We'll have a live report in just a moment from outside the Manhattan courthouse, where Trump will appear

Tuesday, but first Paula Reid reminds us what this case is all about and what's expected next.


PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A Manhattan grand jury voting to indict former President Donald Trump

Thursday, while the case is still under seal. Sources tell CNN, he faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud. The former president,

responding to the indictment, calling the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a disgrace, and claiming the entire investigation is a witch-hunt.

JOE TACOPINA, DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: He's ready to fight. You know, he's the toughest guy I know.



TACOPINA: And he's -- he was shocked, you know, because we really were -- I was shocked. Today, the rule of law in the United States of America died.

REID: The indictment concludes a years' long probe investigating a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels to remain silent about an

alleged affair with Trump, an affair Trump denies. The case relies in part on the testimony of Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who

has in the past pleaded guilty to nine federal crimes, including lying.

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: I am a convicted felon. I am a disbarred lawyer, but I also brought the documents, there's plenty of

testimony, corroborating testimony to go around.

REID: Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 just weeks before the 2016 presidential election. According to court filings, the Trump Organization reimbursed

Cohen $420,000.

CLARK BREWSTER, STORMY DANIELS' ATTORNEY: It's a fight against his rejection of truth, and his manufacturing of stories that really motivated

her. The Manhattan District Attorney's Office was also asking questions during the grand jury proceedings about Karen McDougal, she was

paid$150,000 by the company that publishes the "National Enquirer" to stay silent about another alleged affair with Trump.

Trump has denied any affair with McDougal. Trump's long-time friend and then chairman of the "National Enquirer's" parent company, David Pecker, is

believed to have orchestrated the payment, and was one of the last witnesses to testify before the grand jury, Monday. But even Trump's

potential Republican presidential rivals criticizing the indictment.

Governor Ron DeSantis tweeting, "it's un-American", and Trump's former Vice President, Mike Pence, telling CNN --

MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the unprecedented indictment of a former president of the United States on a

campaign finance issue is an outrage.


NEWTON: That was Paula Reid reporting, and she did sketch it out for us, though, we want to get the latest from New York. We're joined by CNN's

Brynn Gingras who is outside the courtroom there. I mean, Brynn, Trump is expected to turn himself in, as we said on Tuesday. Walk us through exactly

what we can expect from here on in.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so the planning of all of it, Paula, is still sort of in discussions right now, but we know that arraignment is

set for 2:15 on Tuesday. Of course, he's going to have to appear here to the Manhattan courtroom where he's going to be flanked by Secret Service,

and there's other security measures that are also in place. We're actually hearing that it's very possible an option on the table is to stop all of

the court proceedings happening in the building at the time of his arraignment, just to limit the foot-traffic that goes into the building,

that's part of a security measure.


And that's a pretty incredible undertaking. Something that's never really happened before. So, just really unprecedented steps that we're hearing

about, certainly, it's going to be just like any other arraignment. We're told that he is going to have to get fingerprinted. He's going to have to

have a booking photo, and then, of course, appear before a judge on the charges that he's facing.

NEWTON: Yes, we've just put it out there right now, in terms of what the release will involve. It's interesting. It's fairly quiet behind you now

Brynn. The president himself had expected protesters. Have you seen anyone there and do we expect that next week?

GINGRAS: I mean, anything could happen, right, Paula? No, we don't see it just yet. But let me give you a look what's happening here behind me at 100

Center, which is the courthouse where this arraignment will take place. You can see all the barricades that are around this courthouse that has been

the case for almost nearly two weeks now leading up to this, and this will continue, of course, and then the security presence.

We actually just saw if we go over to the right here, we just saw a mobile camera being installed as well. These are the security measures that we're

going to continue to see as the days go on. All of NYPD were told, they got a bulletin yesterday, saying everyone today and going forward, they're

going to have to all be in uniform, 35,000 members of the NYPD from any rank, any position in uniform.

Just to be able to mobilize to work extra shifts if need be, and that is a precaution in case things do happen, if there is any unrest that comes out

over the weekend. I can tell you that Intelligence officials, they're continuing to just monitor social media, continuing to look at chat rooms,

seeing if any sort of chatter turns into a mobilization, and hopefully it doesn't.

If you remember, Paula, we were sort of talking about all these preparations more than a week ago, I talked to one source, who said, you

know, there was some ideas of some protest groups coming into town, but then decided not to. There was a little thought about what could happen to

them, getting arrested like they saw after January 6th.

So we'll see if that happens in this case, but certainly, as the days get - - go towards Tuesday, that chatter will build, and precautions may need to be taken, and the NYPD says no credible threats right now, but they, of

course, they are on guard for anything that should happen.

NEWTON: Right, no credible threats at the moment. That's important Brynn, thanks so much for walking us through that, especially as we see the

extraordinary --


NEWTON: Measures for what, as you say it's a historic moment. Brynn Gingras for us outside the courtroom. Appreciate it. Now, Trump's lawyer has spoken

to CNN today, reiterating the crux of his client's written statement. "This is all political".


JIM TRUSTY, DONALD TRUMP'S LAWYER: You've got people that announced politically they're going to target an individual. That is not the rule of

law. That is not what this country was built upon. And so, when you talk about Donald Trump being angry, he should be. I'm amazed he's not, you know

more apoplectic, but he is right to be angry at political persecution, and which is what this case is.


NEWTON: And this is notable. We're also hearing from the former president's daughter, Ivanka Trump posted on Instagram. "I love my father and I love my

country. Today, I am pained for both. I appreciate the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern."

OK, we want to take a closer look at this unprecedented case. We want to turn to CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig and Republican strategist Doug

Heye. Thank you to you both. So, it happened. We've been waiting weeks, days, if not weeks, and it happened. Elie, first to you. This indictment is

still secret under seal. It also has to be noted, and it has been noted many times that the crime he's accused of is actually a misdemeanor.

It has been elevated to this kind of criminal indictment. What kind of evidence could be under seal at this -- under seal at this moment?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So, Paula, we've not seen the indictment because it is under seal. That's standard practice. It will be

unsealed, meaning revealed to the public on Tuesday. The reporting is that these charges are based on the Stormy Daniels' hush money payments. Now,

it's important to understand, there's a potential misdemeanor here, but there's also a potential felony.

The misdemeanor applies simply to falsifying business records if they logged or booked those hush money payments as legal fees falsely. That's

the misdemeanor. That means it's a one year maximum. Nobody is going to go to prison for a misdemeanor. However, if prosecutors can prove to a

unanimous jury beyond a reasonable doubt, that the reason for falsifying those business records was to assist in some other crimes, some second

crime, then it becomes a felony, a low level felony, but still a felony.

And the theory here -- and again, we have to wait and see, but it could be that they're charging that the underlying violation is a campaign finance

crime. There's a little bit of a legal question about whether a state crime state prosecutor can charge a violation of a federal campaign finance law

because this is a race for president. But that seems to be where the DA is heading.

NEWTON: And we shall see perhaps when it's unsealed, if it is on Tuesday or before. Doug, this indictment seems to have united the Republican Party

again around Trump. I want you to listen now to more from former Vice President Pence and what his reaction was to CNN. Listen.



PENCE: Well, I think the unprecedented indictment of a former president of the United States on a campaign finance issue is an outrage. And it appears

for millions of Americans to be nothing more than a political prosecution that's driven by a prosecutor who literally ran for office on a pledge to

indict the former president.


NEWTON: Doug, this is Mike Pence, who certainly has gone out of his way to try and stay loyal, even though at certain times, the former president

turned his back on the vice president. What do you make of that fairly strong defense of his former boss?

DOUG HEYE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, it's a process argument openly that he's making. He's not saying Donald Trump didn't do anything wrong, he's

talking about the case very specifically itself. And we've seen criticism of this case from not traditionally Trump corners. "The Washington Post"

editorial today said, this is not the case to go after Donald Trump on.

So, we're seeing questions about this more broadly, but also politically, you can criticize this process, but also, as we go through this process,

suggests that maybe Donald Trump has too many distractions, too much drama, and these Republicans who have been supportive of Trump on this process on

day one, come month three, month six, could be critical and say Donald Trump needs to either step aside or vote for me because I won't have this

baggage or distraction.

NEWTON: So do you think I'm wrong at the moment, though, that this hasn't united the Republican Party, that they're talking about the process here


HEYE: Well, certainly, Republicans are very critical of this by and large. Now, you haven't seen Mitch McConnell put out a statement, John Thune, the

number two Senate Republican hasn't put out a statement on this either. But anybody who has, with the exception of Asa Hutchinson has been very

critical of the process, regardless of what they think about Trump.

NEWTON: Elie, look, we're a long way from a trial here. Already, Trump's lawyers saying that look, maybe they will just move to have this case

dismissed. I think many people, including yourself, have discussed that perhaps, this case was not the case to come out first or to come out at

all. I mean, what are you thinking now? And I know that you know, sprung on all of this, you've known him personally for years. What do you think he's

thinking? Because he knows all the criticism as well.

HONIG: Yes, so, I do know Alvin Bragg, I used to work with him at the United States Department of Justice. He was a strong prosecutor, and in my

experience, an ethical prosecutor. Now, my view of this case is first of all, the alleged conduct as we understand it -- again, keeping in mind, we

have not seen the indictment, is by far the least serious of the various acts that Donald Trump has engaged in, and I think there's a fair argument.

That it's not even serious enough to measure the first -- to merit the first-ever criminal charge against a former president. We're talking not

even about payment of hush money. We're talking about the way that hush money payments were booked within the Trump Organization. I also think the

evidence in this case, it's not a slam dunk. You should never listen to anyone who says any case is a slam dunk, but it's also not a ridiculous


I think this is what we call a triable case, meaning I think there are reasonable arguments both ways. Take Michael Cohen, for example, he's

likely to be the star witness for the prosecution. There appear to be some documents that support him to some extent. He seems to have been more or

less truthful with the world, the media, since he broke from Trump a few years ago.

But boy, does he have baggage. He's been convicted of perjury, of financial fraud, of tax fraud. He openly despises Donald Trump. He is far from an

impartial witness, so I think, there's going to be a really tough battle happening here if and when it gets to trial.

NEWTON: So, Doug, everything that Elie just told us sets this up for the president, the former president to really make a strong defense here and

mount a strong defense, not just legally, but politically. And I will be clear, he can still run for president, right? And he could still become

president again. I just want you to listen now to Senator Graham and his defense of the president.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): This is legal voodoo. You got a misdemeanor that's been made of felony. Nobody in the history of New York City has ever

been prosecuted under this theory, except for Donald J. Trump. This case will follow like a cheap suit under legal scrutiny. Give the president some

money to fight this bull -- this is going to destroy America. We're going to fight back at the ballot box. We're not going to give in.

How does this end, Sean? Trump wins in court, and he wins the election. That's how this wins.


NEWTON: Doug, you heard him. Give the president some money. I mean, what do you think? Do you think this could in fact boost his campaign for


HEYE: Well, certainly in the short term. As we're seeing Republicans defend him, even those who are running against him potentially. We're seeing a

galvanizing. Donald Trump is helped in the very short term on this, and he's being portrayed as a martyr within his own base, and he's certainly

raising money from it, not just with the help of Lindsey Graham.


But it gets more complicated politically as we move through this process. Again, in several months, we could say Republican -- we could see

Republicans like Ron DeSantis or a Nikki Haley say I support Donald Trump, but he's got too much baggage, too much drama, and that's what we don't

need right now. If we move into the -- to the really long term, which is the general election, it's very hard to see how this will convince

independent voters that Donald Trump should get their vote.

If you're a voter who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, but then voted for Joe Biden in 2020, this doesn't help Donald Trump with those voters.

NEWTON: Yes, and Doug, as you've reminded us many times, it is those in the independent voters that are key here. Elie Honig who's been doing so much

overtime for us here at CNN, appreciate your time. And Doug, we will lean on you as this continues to be not just a legal story, but a political one.

Thanks to you both.

HEYE: Thank you.

NEWTON: Now still to come for us tonight, let him go. U.S. President Joe Biden calls on Russia to release American journalist Evan Gershkovich.

Meantime, U.S. Marine veteran Paul Whelan, he remains in prison in Russia. His brother tells CNN how he's coping. That's next.


NEWTON: U.S. President Joe Biden has called on Russia to release detained American journalist Evan Gershkovich. Now, the "Wall Street Journal"

reporter is accused of espionage by Russian authorities. The paper vehemently denies the allegations against their correspondent. Here's what

President Biden had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your message to Russia right now as they're detaining --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To Russia, as they're detaining this "Wall Street Journal" reporter?

BIDEN: Let him go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to expel Russian diplomats or journalists?

BIDEN: That's not the plan right now.


NEWTON: Now, the problem is getting U.S. consular access to Gershkovich, is in fact, proving difficult to the National Security Council's John Kirby

spoke to Bianna Golodryga a short time ago. Listen.



him. We are continuing to work on that, of course, and will, until we can get that consular access to ascertain for ourselves how he's doing, and

make sure that we have that connection, but no, we haven't.

We haven't been able to gain access to him at this time.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: So there's no engagement with Evan. No update or status as to where he is and how he is doing.


KIRBY: I'm afraid not. And I mean, we're doing the best we can to get information from the Russian government, obviously, as much as we can. And

we have been in touch with the family through the State Department, and we'll continue those lines of communication. But right now, I just don't

have much to update you on.

GOLODRYGA: Of course, we are thinking about his family and his colleagues - -

KIRBY: Absolutely --

GOLODRYGA: Right now. The FSB in their statement said that Mr. Gershkovich is, quote, "suspected of spying in the interests of the American

government." And this is what really struck me, John, Kremlin's spokesperson and Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that he was quote,

"caught red-handed." These are very provocative, and I would say deliberate words.

I can't imagine that this would not have happened without the sign off of Vladimir Putin. Do you agree with that assessment?

KIRBY: We can't delink -- we can't specifically link Mr. Putin to this arrest. That said, he, as you well know, has really clamped down on

independent media reporting in Russia. I mean, just shutting down outlets, kicking some out. I mean, it's a very tough environment for any kind of

independent journalism to occur.

So he has certainly set the conditions where it's very difficult for free and independent reporters to actually do their job, and just to put a fine

point on it. You didn't ask, but the claims, this espionage claims against Mr. Gershkovich are absolutely ludicrous. He was a working journalist for

the --


KIRBY: "Wall Street Journal", and we want to see him released.


NEWTON: Now, reminder that Evan Gershkovich isn't the only American detained in Russia at this hour. U.S. Marine veteran Paul Whelan was

detained by Russian authorities in 2018. He too, was accused of being a spy and sentenced to 16 years in a Russian prison in 2020. Paul Whelan's

brother, David Whelan joins me now to talk about this.

And this must, unfortunately sound eerily familiar to you. I want to thank you for joining us, and I want to ask you. How is your brother doing, and

we know he's had some health challenges in the last few months. And do you know if he's heard about Evans arrest.

DAVID WHELAN, PAULA WHELAN'S BROTHER: We don't know. Normally, our parents are able to speak to him on an almost daily basis. He is allowed a 15-

minute phone call once a day. And so, he speaks to our parents just to stay up-to-date on what's going on at home and to share what's going on with him

and if he has any problems.

He was unable to call yesterday, that's unexpected. He was supposed to be able to speak to the U.S. Embassy consular staff yesterday, and that didn't

happen either. So we're a little bit concerned that there may be something else going on. I think he's doing the best you can in a labor colony in the

middle of Russia.

The war has meant that with sanctions, there is less food for the prisoners, are eating less food, being given less food. And the sewing that

they are forced to do, there are fewer textiles for them to work on, so they are idle more than they have been, and that's caused some problems

with prison fights and things.

NEWTON: Yes, quite insight there into your brother and what he's enduring daily. And I will note that you are concerned that he wasn't able to speak

to your family. These cases right now at the onset seemed quite similar, especially because they involve espionage allegations. I mean, what can Mr.

Gershkovich and his family expect, given your experience?

WHELAN: Well, as you say, it was very eerie yesterday to get up and hear the case unfold, really the same way that Paul's case unfolded all the way

back in 2018, 2019. The FSB report on their website, the FSB appointing a lawyer and not allowing outside counsel or outside contact days if not

weeks of inability to have consular access.

Yes, I think it's very unfortunate to see this happening to another American, and for his family to have to go through this process. I think it

will be worse, really, almost than it was with Paul. The pre-trial detention facilities in Moscow are being reported by Russian media as being

something like 20 percent to 25 percent overpopulated.

And I think Lefortovo is never a nice place to be even in the best conditions.

NEWTON: Yes, and as we just heard from Mr. Kirby, there have still been no consular access to him. I have to ask you if there are lessons learned

here. Do you think that what -- do you have any opinion about what the Biden administration should be doing, if they should be doing anything

differently than they did with your brother's case? I know some people have said that there should be retaliation.

WHELAN: Well, I think retaliation is wrong, and I was very disappointed to see the "Wall Street Journal's" editorial board suggest that we should

expel the Russian ambassador. The one thing you shouldn't do is do anything that would cause the Russians to reduce the consular support, advocacy that

the embassy can do in Moscow.

But I do worry about the U.S.' inability to deter these sorts of detentions. Mr. Gershkovich's detention is very similar to Paul's, very

similar to Edmond Pope's, very similar to Nicholas Daniloff's. It is a playbook that the Russians have used in the past.


And I'm not sure that retaliation is the right way to do it. But the U.S. government does need to get ahead of the game, rather than being caught in

a position where the Russians can act because they don't care about the dignity of a particular human or human rights. And the U.S., if it's going

to continue to be true to its sort of foundations, needs to still respect the rule of law, it makes it very difficult.

NEWTON: Yes, and I have to ask you, and I know it's a difficult question. But do you believe it makes Paul's situation even more precarious here?

WHELAN: You know, I'm not really sure. In a sense, having two cases that are identical espionage charges, that are obviously bogus to American

citizens, it might make it easier, because now, the Russian government is dealing with just one thing, and to the extent that they're using this for

extortion to get a concession from the U.S. government, that may make it simpler.

But I do think that when you have two people involved, that does complicate the ability for governments to come to a decision and work out what the

value is for those -- for those people.

NEWTON: You know, I will note, just the gracious way that you and your family responded when Brittney Griner was released and your brother was

not. I wonder what advice you have from the family just from speaking out, because I know you go back and forth every time about the debate. Should

the family speak out about this or leave it to U.S. authorities and diplomats to try and handle it.

WHELAN: Yes, in general, I think with the wrongful detentions by nation states, arbitrary detentions like what's happened here with Russia or what

we see with China and Iran, I tend to think that it's better for the family to speak out, unless there's a feeling that the State Department can

communicate that, not doing so is a better way to do it.

Otherwise, you don't really have any sense that the U.S. government is going to engage on your behalf. So staying silent may not actually be very

useful, obviously, that's different if you're dealing with a terrorist organization. But the mere fact that the Russian government acts like a

terrorist organization doesn't mean that you should necessarily treat it as one.

NEWTON: OK, we will leave it there for now. But again, I appreciate your time on again, it must be an incredibly disquieting time for you and your

family. Appreciate your time.

WHELAN: Thank you, appreciate it.

NEWTON: Now Ukraine's president is marking the anniversary of the liberation of Bucha, the town, which became a world famous symbol

unfortunately of Russia's wartime atrocities. Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the Kyiv suburb just hours ago and spoke to residents who survived the

month-long Russian occupation.

CNN was one of the first news organizations to enter Bucha after Ukraine freed the town. And what CNN saw there was absolutely shocking. Bodies of

civilians left in the street, mass graves and devastation beyond anyone could imagine. Mr. Zelenskyy says Ukraine will never stop fighting for



VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): Russian evil will collapse right here in Ukraine, and will never be able to rise again.

Humanity will prevail.


NEWTON: And we want to take you know to a Russian that is still at this hour seeing heavy Russian bombardment, and because of that, drinking water

has become hard to get. As our Ben Wedeman reports, residents still carry on, though, with some help from the outside.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Without water, there is no life. And the clean water pouring into these plastic

jugs is a vital lifeline for people in the battered eastern Ukrainian town of Siversk, just 6 miles from Russian lines. Retired building contractor

Andre Anderson from Oregon is an unlikely carrier of water.

ANDRE ANDERSON, VOLUNTEER, AQUEDUCKS: It was just a calling that I couldn't refuse to do. I can't sit at home and allow this to happen without helping

the people who need help.

WEDEMAN: He's part of a volunteer group called Aqueducks. Their routine, simple, but essential.

ANDERSON: We turn up, they turn up with their little jugs, and we just fill up their jugs or their buckets or their cow pails, and they go away happy

and we empty our tank, we drive home. And then we come back in the afternoon, we do the same thing, and we repeat on every day.

WEDEMAN: The few remaining in Siversk tell the usual story, dogged attachment to their land and no other options. "How can I leave?" Ask

Tanya(ph). "My son is buried here. And where would I go with my small pension?" Andre's colleague Silvia Pavesi from Austria was a tour guide.

(on camera): Why are you doing this?

SILVIA PAVESI, VOLUNTEER, AQUEDUCKS: To help, it's just the right thing to do.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Seventy three-year-old Mikola(ph) appreciates the water, but thirsts for quiet. "I'm fed up with this shelling. Nobody needs

it", he says. What passes for daily life ended long ago. The center of Siversk is a wasteland. The early Spring snow softens, but can't hide the

jagged edges.


WEDEMAN: Andre shouts out water, "Voda" in Ukrainian. Soon, residents emerge from their basements, their bomb shelters.



WEDEMAN: Basic humanitarian services like this are critical. There hasn't been any running water or electricity since the beginning of the war.


WEDEMAN: With no end to this war in sight, they're resigned to a fate, bleak. "It's fine," says Valentina. "We put up with everything. What can we


Yet 70-year-old Nina despairs of what has become of her town. "What do we feel," she asks? "Pain. Pain. When you see something destroyed, you tear

up. We cry. We cry." Bottles now full, they return through streets, cold, muddy and ravaged to their shelters. Ben Wedeman CNN, Siversk, Eastern



NEWTON: Still to come for us tonight, Donald Trump is the first American president to ever be indicted. We'll discuss the historic nature of this

and the political consequences unfolding.


NEWTON: We want to return to our top story. More than 30-count indictment against former President of the United States, Donald Trump. Prosecutors

wanted Trump to surrender today, but his attorney says he will show up next week and that he won't be put in handcuffs. The arraignment and charges are

expected on Tuesday. Trump is, in fact, expected to plead not guilty.

We want to take a look at the unprecedented moment in U.S. history with the Director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, Larry Sabato,

and Presidential Historian, Douglas Brinkley, and thank you to you both.

David, I want to start with you just to try and mark this moment in history.


We've been talking about it many times, that this is precedent-setting. And yet how do you think Americans are interpreting this moment? Because in

history, isn't it true that Trump, he broke the mold of the presidency, didn't he? Didn't he shatter it?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes. There -- we -- in U.S. history, I mean, we have all the other presidents, and then we have Donald

Trump. The fact of the matter is we've had big political scandals in America before. I was talking to a reporter earlier today about Warren

Harding and the Teapot Dome scandal, or Richard Nixon and Watergate. This is something different. It's an ex-President being indicted, which means

that we're going to have this visual on Tuesday of a president getting photographed with a mug shot, getting his, you know, thumb imprints on and

he's suddenly becoming our first outlaw president. But whether he can parlay this in to fundraising for his reelection in 2024, whether he can

grow in public stature is yet to be seen.

But at the moment, this is a very weird aberration, and it's falling into this red-blue divide we have in their country, some people think Trump is

being unfairly charged, and other people think that this is justice running its proper course. So, it just depends really, in many ways on what side of

the political process you're on at this moment in time.

NEWTON: Yes. You know, Larry, it's been eight years, eight years, and Donald Trump still seems to have a stranglehold on Republican politics, at

least. Will his indictment change that, even if not today, then in the months to come as he continues to try and pursue another run here?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA'S CENTER FOR POLITICS: Well, it's possible, but this is not really the investigation that most people in

politics are paying attention to. We're looking to the Special Counsel looking into Trump's activities around January 6th, and his encouragement

of the cancellation of a peaceful transfer of power, and maybe overturning the election, the Electoral College results in Georgia, and there are other

things bubbling up throughout the country. So, this is not the most serious charge.

Nonetheless, as Doug correctly notes, it's the first. It's the first time it's ever happened. This is fascinating to me. Donald Trump has been

investigated for 50 years. Starting in the early 1970's, he and his father were investigated for housing discrimination, racial housing

discrimination, in New York, and he has dodged all the investigations until now, at least in terms of indictments, and much less convictions.

So even for Trump, this is remarkable. And I think it's the beginning of a new phase, it isn't just this particular charge in New York, it's going to

be other things that will play out and will have an effect, if not on the Republicans, because this is all party ID. It will have an effect on the

general election. If Trump ends up as the nominee, Joe Biden, or whoever ends up being the Democratic nominee, should be quite pleased.

NEWTON: And I'll get to a point about that in a second. But, David, just to kind of play off what Larry just said, I want to remind everyone about the

investigations going on at this hour, nothing to do with five decades of investigation. But still, as he points out, we are waiting for more to

unfold, whether it's about January 6th, or about the rules and the votes in the state of Georgia. Does this in and of itself tarnish the office of the

presidency in a way that Watergate never did?

BRINKLEY: I'm not sure about that. I think Larry was on to the real narrative here that this is going to be seen as the spring of indictments.

There are more to come. The question is whether Donald Trump will be able to survive them or not. I don't fear that American democracies -- we're

going to survive. I mean, our country was built to last. We've gone through a civil war. The Vietnam war tore us apart. We've had many political

scandals. Bill Clinton was impeached, Trump twice, we had the January insurrection, but it is a signal that there's something decaying and

corrosive about our national dialogue or politics. And unfortunately, it's a lot deeper than Donald Trump.

The root cause may be we haven't been teaching history properly in high school, or civics, or government classes, and so many people are just

creatures of Donald Trump, and reality TV, and The Apprentice, and John Wayne and Rambo movies, and we may have done a disservice to a generation

by not teaching correctly about what government means and how precious democracy is. So, lots coming to a head here.

But the good news is, I think our, you know, Donald Trump has said that the FBI and the Justice Department, he calls them vicious monsters.


By saying such a thing, it tells you that he's not fit to be president. But he was one and he is fit to run for president. And he could get reelected,

but his behavior is not a tradition in American political history of the A list of the Presidents, is indicative to a lot of nativist, xenophobic, you

know, kind of sensationalism, tabloid culture, social media mayhem, you know, he does embody a lot of that. And unfortunately, he's sort of, you

know, he's -- the question is, will he meet his comeuppance this spring or does he go on to fight and be the nominee in 2024, and potentially win it?

Once you're a Republican nominee, you've got a shot at being president.

NEWTON: A shot at being president. Again, and I'll say it again, despite any kind of investigations that are underway, or even convictions and,

Douglas, my apologies, I called you David, feel free to call me Paul. But I want to get in one more question to both of you quickly. Douglas, to you.

First, the Biden candidacy here. What do you do? It is easy when you are president to say "have no comment." But why does that happen? If you become

the candidate for the Democratic Party, Douglas to you first, and then Larry, I want you to pick it up, please.

BRINKLEY: Well, Biden definitely has to say no comment. He does not want to interfere with very serious charges being brought against Donald Trump, or

should Biden talk about any citizen that's been indicted. Let the courts run their course. We have to presume innocence until found guilty, let the

New York District Attorney do his job. And -- but I'm sure this will come up, if Trump survives this and is the Republican nominee and there's such a

thing as Biden-Trump debate, I'm sure the fact that he's been indicted will be part of the rap against Trump.

NEWTON: Larry, how to handle it?

SABATO: Well, certainly I agree with what Doug said, if it is Trump versus Biden, you can be sure that this will be a major topic in the fall campaign

and certainly in the debates, if there are any. I suspect there won't be any, because Trump probably won't do it. But it's a serious matter. And by

then, we'll have a lot more information about a lot of other topics, and I hope in particular, the insurrection on January 6th, and the plot. It's now

clearly a plot by Donald Trump, mainly, but also some of his minions to overturn the election and to spike the peaceful transfer of power.

I agree fully with what Doug said that this started a long time ago. And the deterioration in our system has been going on for a long time and civic

education is my passion. However, Donald Trump, personally and historically, generated a lot of this and accelerated the trends that were

already there and it's a lesson for all people in all democracies. When you make a big mistake at the polls, you're going to pay and pay and pay.

NEWTON: Still such drama unfolding as we just enter the era of 2024 politics. I thank you both of you for your perspectives, Douglas Brinkley

for us and Larry Sabato. Appreciate it.

SABATO :Thank you.

NEWTON: And we will be right back with more news in a moment.



NEWTON: Clothes manufacturing now makes up more than 30 percent of Bangladesh's exports and is, in fact, a multibillion dollar industry. CNN

meets one young entrepreneur who is hoping to not just make but actually design the clothing of the country's future. Kristie Lu Stout has our



KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chances are you're wearing something made in Bangladesh right now. Second only to China, Bangladesh's readymade

garment industry is one of the largest in the world. Most clothes and accessories manufactured in Bangladesh were designed elsewhere.

Not this sneaker, though. The vegan leather shoe is designed by Rokaiya Ahmed Purna. The 28-year-old collaborated with German footwear brand Ekn to

create them, using recycled materials, including neoprene, artificial leather, and rubber.


PURNA: Our shoe is designing Bangladesh made in Europe.


STOUT: Purna wants to reflect the culture and heritage of Bangladesh in her design.


PURNA: I took the expression of jackfruit. Jackfruit is the national food of my country. And in front of my hometown, we have a very big jackfruit

tree. There, I used to do paintings, used to make my own stories. This design is mostly based on the picture of, like, inside of jackfruit and the

seeds of the shoe, you can see that it says seeds take childhood into the outside here.


STOUT: The sneakers retail for $216 a pair, and both Ekn and Purna are putting 100 percent of the profits toward her next big venture, the launch

of the platform designed in Bangladesh.


PURNA: We need to create a platform for the designers as well so that they can give their solution.


STOUT: Purna hopes to support young, aspiring designers in Bangladesh and help them get opportunities to showcase that international Fashion Week's

like she did when she started out.

As a young expert for the United Nations' Fair Culture Program, Pune wants to promote Bangladesh's cultural heritage on the digital platform, too.

Jamdani is a traditional textile of Bangladesh, woven by hands in workshops like this one. Her own designs explore culture and folklore.


PURNA: Here, we have used Jamdani motifs and these motifs are fully recycled that we have used with Saree.


STOUT: Purna hopes her work and her platform will make people think twice about who creates their clothes.


PURNA: When we are talking about economical evolution, we need to think about how we can emphasize our creative economic development. We have much

more to offer. (END VIDEO CLIP)



NEWTON: The Israeli Prime Minister's judicial overhaul plans may be on hold in the face of massive protests, but a controversial concession he made to

win that delay could now be moving ahead. Israeli media report that Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet on Sunday will in fact consider his decision

to create a National Guard headed by far right minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir. Now Ben-Gvir has been convicted of supporting terrorism and anti-

Palestinian hate. Critics are blasting the move, including the opposition's Yair Lapid. He warns the force would bring "terror and violence everywhere"

in the country.

Now supporters of Israel's government have been rallying in the streets this week. In addition to anti-government demonstrators on Monday, mob

violence broke out after a right-wing -- a white -- right-wing rally and it was ended in what police call a serious assault. Our Nic Robertson met a

Palestinian taxi driver who says he feels lucky to be alive.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Right-wing extremists on the rampage, following a pro-government rally in Jerusalem. What you

can't see is the taxi driver they're chasing.


HAMZA DWEIK, SURVIVED ATTACK: I'm not thinking about the driving, I'm thinking just about to run.

ROBERTSON: Just to escape?

HAMZA DWEIK, SURVIVED ATTACK: The first thing that I think about when I'm running when I was running, it's that our prison or to death. Our prison or


ROBERTSON: This is where they're the car?


ROBERTSON: And three days later, 30-year-old taxi driver Hamza Dweik relives the moment right-wing thugs realized he was Palestinians.


DWEIK: This is the stone.

ROBERTSON: This one here is the stone?



ROBERTSON: They trashed his taxi, a $20,000 write-off.


ROBERTSON: Oh, yes, you can really see it's broken.


ROBERTSON: Only his quick wits reaching the cops saving his life.


DWEIK: When I arrived at the policemen, I feel I have a new life.


ROBERTSON: At the same time, one of the main pro-government right-wing rallies was happening just over there, the chase coming up into here and

the police very quick to begin making arrests.

The police announcing a 17-year-old picked up that night, two more suspects a day later for "An act allegedly carried out with a racial motive." Inside

parliament, Palestinian Israeli opposition lawmaker, Ahmad Tibi, accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing ministers of allowing the

supporters to search out and attack Arabs that night.


AHMAD TIBI, PALESTINIAN MEMBER OF ISRAEL PARLIAMENT: There is an increase in the performance of these radicals in the events and obvious increase in

the head average, in the Israeli society.

ROBERTSON: As result of the government that's in position now?

TIBI: As a direct result of the composition of this government.

DROR SADOT, B'TSELEM SPOKESPERSON: In 2022, we had 146 Palestinians killed by Israeli army.


ROBERTSON: Israeli NGO, B'Tselem, tracks attacks by right-wing Israelis in the nearby West Bank, sees a similar increasing trend.



SADOT: So we've seen an increase on attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank from settlers in the past few months and pogrom in Hawara and

other incidents is a very much, I guess, consequence of the back -- the backing that the settlers are getting from the government.


ROBERTSON: So far, this year, already the deadliest for both Palestinian and Israeli civilians in more than a decade.

Hamza, lucky to be alive, now facing the daunting reality, earning a living driving a taxi.


ROBERTSON: Do you have more fear now on the streets of Jerusalem than you did before?

DWEIK: Of course. Of course, yes. But really, when you think about there is nothing to do, I will not close my door in the end. We have to live.


ROBERTSON: To live, not hide. Nic Robertson, CNN, Jerusalem.


NEWTON: So major improvement for Pope Francis today, right in time for the beginning of Holy Week. The Vatican announcing that not only is Pope

Francis expected to be released from hospital tomorrow, that he will indeed take part in the Palm Sunday Mass. Now he's already been busy on Friday.

The pope visited the children's oncology unit of the hospital where he has been receiving care. He delivered rosaries and chocolate eggs and even

baptized a baby. I'm sure it gave much comfort to the patients there.

And I want to thank you for watching. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.