Return to Transcripts main page

Isa Soares Tonight

Trump Returns To Court For Hush Money Trial; Israel Weighs Response On Iran Attack; U.S. House To Send Mayorkas Impeachment Articles To Senate; Trump Criticizes Hush Money Case Judge; 2nd Day Of Historic Hush Money Case Selection Of Jurors; Mayorkas' Impeachment Articles Sent To Senate By U.S. House; Schumer Anticipated Acting Swiftly To Drop Mayorkas Impeachment; Russia's War On Ukraine; Johnson Anticipates A Vote On Relief Packages On Friday; Israel-Hamas War; "Limited", How Israel Will Respond To Iran; Since The Start Of Conflict, About 10,000 Women Died In Gaza, According To Gaza; Gazans Who Are Displaced Yearn To Go Home. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired April 16, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, and a very warm welcome everyone, I'm Isa Soares, and I'm coming to you from London.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And I'm Jim Sciutto in New York where we are covering day two of Donald Trump's historic hush money criminal

trial. Today, it is once again about jury selection, which is proving to be something of a challenge. We're going to have much more on the

questions, the numbers ahead this hour.

SOARES: But first, we begin in the Middle East where Israel is weighing how it will respond to Iran's unprecedented missile attack this weekend. A very

dangerous phase. That's how an expert on Iran describes tensions right now between Israel and Tehran.

Israel's war cabinet met again today as it considers a response to Iran's attack, and their dilemma, how to decide between retribution as well as

restrain. U.S. officials tell CNN, Israel's response will be limited in scope. Meantime, Iran's president is warning of a severe as well as painful

response if there's action against Iran's interests.

Our Jeremy Diamond is with us this hour from Tel Aviv. And Jeremy, I know I asked you this yesterday, but I think the question still stands really. I

mean, do we have any indication of how Israel may respond? Would we even find out, Jeremy, if they go ahead before they go ahead with any sort of

retaliatory action?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's hard to say, Isa, and certainly, we have no official word that a decision has been made nor a

sense of exactly what kind of response Israel is planning to carry out.

One thing that we do know and what we've known over the course of the last couple of days is that Israel, the Israeli government is determined to

respond regardless because they believed that this attack by Iran, even though the majority or the overwhelming majority of those missiles and

drones were intercepted, they still believed that this attack cannot go unanswered, that a new status quo in which Iran feels comfortable to attack

Israeli soil simply cannot stand.

But the best indication we're getting of what this response will look like is coming from U.S. officials who say that they believed that Israel will

carry out a measured response. That is the question, of course, whether or not they can actually thread the needle on this.

Today though, Isa, I was able to go to a military base in Israel where I got to look at one part of one of those missiles, one of those ballistic

missiles that was fired towards Israel. I want to show you what we saw.


DIAMOND (on camera): This is just one piece of an Iranian ballistic missile that the Israeli military says Iran fired towards Israel over the weekend

at 36 feet long. This is just the fuel tank for that missile. The Israeli military says more than 120 ballistic missiles were fired at Israel in this

attack, only a handful of them actually making it through Israel's air defense systems.

And the Israeli military believes this missile was likely intercepted. That you can see the holes in the sides of this fuel tank. This missile was

actually found in the dead sea. It was recovered and it was taken to this base in southern Israel. But now, Israel says it must respond.

It must re-establish deterrence. They say this attack cannot go unanswered. The only question now is how the Israeli military will respond and when.


DIAMOND: And Isa, when you see that video, hopefully, you can get a sense of just kind of the size and the scale and the power that these kinds of

ballistic missiles can deliver. I was told today that this missile typically has a warhead that weighs about a half a ton, a half a ton of

explosives that could be landing on Israeli soil, if not for the aerial defense systems in Israel, as well as the cooperation with the United

States and other allies in the region.

And so, because of that destructive power that was target-fired at Israel, Israel feels compelled to respond. The top Israeli military spokesman

Daniel Hagari, he was at this event today where they were showing us this missile. And he told us that again, the timing and the mode, modality of

this Israeli responses yet to be determined. But he once again emphasized that it will come, Isa.

SOARES: Clearly is -- yes, clearly, it's not a question of if. Jeremy Diamond there for us in Tel Aviv. Thank you very much, Jeremy.


Well, the IDF says it has killed a top Hezbollah commander in southern Lebanon. And I want to get more from our Ben Wedeman, who is in Beirut. So,

Ben, what more do we know at this -- at this hour about the killing of this Hezbollah commander?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is a senior field commander of Hezbollah, according to the Israelis, we haven't heard

from Hezbollah who acknowledged that three of their fighters were killed today.

But the Hezbollah -- while announcing the deaths of its people does not describe where, how or when they were killed. But what we've seen is that

there were two drone strikes on two separate cars, about 30 minutes apart. And this was part of really what was a fairly intense day along the border

between Israel and Lebanon.

We're counting at least ten Israeli strikes on targets in Lebanon, and at least, nine Hezbollah strikes on targets in Israel. Hezbollah claimed to

have fired several drones inside Israel aimed at military facilities beyond to the border. But it's hard to say if this is -- what's typical is you'll

have sort of fluctuations in the amount of action on the border.

Sometimes you'll have days where very little happens. Today was probably higher, well-over the average I'd say, of strikes and counter strikes

between the two sides, Isa.

SOARES: Ben Wedeman for us in Beirut this evening, thanks very much, Ben. Let's dig more into the instability in the region right now, I'm joined by

Fawaz Gerges; he's a Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and the author of the upcoming book, "What Really Went

Wrong: The West and the Failure of Democracy in the Middle East".

Fawaz, great to have you back on the show. It's clearly -- we've heard it from Jeremy, we've heard it from Ben Wedeman, we've also been hearing from

our correspondents across the region. Clearly, a tense moment right now, a waiting game across the region, as you heard from Jeremy there, it's not a

question of if, it's a question of when and how Israel will respond. How do you think Israel will respond? Would it be a like for like, you think?

FAWAZ GERGES, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: Well, I think the big picture is that the question of war and peace hangs in the balance now.

That's really the Middle East, the great Middle East is steadily descending into all-out war. The war has escalated beyond Gaza into Lebanon, into

Yemen, into Iran.

And I think if all eyes on Israel now, because despite all the pleas by the United States and the United Kingdom, by France, Israel has said that it

will basically attack Iran. And if you ask me --

SOARES: Yes --

GERGES: There's a real danger, a grave danger that if Israel attacks Iran as Israeli leaders seem to have decided, that there's really a risk of a

cycle of escalation that could easily spiral out of control. This is really where we are. That is the ball now is in Israel's court, and Israeli

leaders seem to be intent on attacking Iran in the next few days --

SOARES: And we've heard from the Biden administration basically saying that they expect any sort of Israeli military response to be limited in scope.

That's what we're hearing. We have also heard from the right flank, the right-wing flank of Netanyahu's Party, wanting a firm and a more robust


One actually saying that "Israel must not be weak if our response resonates throughout the Middle East for generations to come, we will win." Talk to

those internal and domestic pressures because Israel clearly feels that it needs to retaliate to the retaliation. Is there a way to retaliate without

widening this conflict?

GERGES: I doubt it very much. The reason why I doubt any Israeli action against Iran will precipitate a greater Iranian response. Iranian leaders

have made it very clear, the shadow war, what we used to call the shadow war --

SOARES: No longer --

GERGES: Is an open war now. And I think if you asked me about the Biden administration, I mean I think President Biden strategy has failed and

failed miserably.

SOARES: Explain why?

GERGES: His overarching aim since, you know, Hamas' brutal attacks on Israel was what? To prevent the expansion of war from Gaza into neighboring

countries. The war has expanded into Lebanon, into the Red Sea, and now it's an open war between -- almost an open war between Iran and Israel.

President Biden has failed to influence Netanyahu's war decisions either in Gaza or towards Iran. In fact, my fear is that Joe Biden is sleepwalking

the United States into another catastrophic war. And then it leads -- and I'm not exaggerating --

SOARES: And in that vein, do you think that's Netanyahu's intention all along?

GERGES: Absolutely, it's not you and I, there's relative consensus in Israel, that is Netanyahu's political future lies in the continuation and

the escalation of the war.


The reason why the Iranians really took a great deal of time to retaliate, because they fear and rightly so, that Netanyahu is trying to drag Iran

into all-out war with the United States. I'm not defending Iran, please --

SOARES: No, I know --

GERGES: But rather, Iran know that United States wants a direct war --

SOARES: Also -- we've also heard from the U.S. that they will not participate in any sort of offensive moves if Israel retaliates. I mean, do

you believe that? Do you think that will change the nature and the scale of that attack, Fawaz?

GERGES: Isa, I mean, Israel is dependent on American's military, political and diplomatic support. Look at us now, we are trying to clean the mess

that has been created by Netanyahu, who basically shot down most of the drones and ballistic missiles.

But the fact is, at the end of the day, if all-out war breaks out between Iran and Israel, the United States, as President Biden keeps saying we have

an ironclad commitment to the security of Israel. My question is the following, Isa. What are the costs? What are the limits? Is American

committed to Israel's security?

And conditional even when Israel -- even when Israel carries out a provocation against a diplomatic consulate of Iran, and the reality is, did

President Biden --

SOARES: Which they say -- which they say is not a consulate.

GERGES: Diplomatic compound.


GERGES: President Biden did not utter a single word of criticism, even though -- think of the catastrophe in Gaza --

SOARES: Let me get some of the thoughts from the region, because the Jordanian Foreign Minister told CNN that Netanyahu is using confrontation

of Iran to try and take attention away from Gaza. I want to play what the prime minister of Iraq said to our Christiane Amanpour, have a listen to



MOHAMMED SHIA' AL SUDANI, PRIME MINISTER, IRAQ (through translator): This is what is affecting stability in the region and the whole world. And

ignoring such a problem will mean additional escalation in the region in such a sensitive area that can stand such escalation.


SOARES: I mean, is that the prevailing view from the Middle East that it comes down to the -- to the war in Gaza and trying to take away the

attention from it

GERGES: Isa, I'm not patronizing. You know the Middle East more than any one of us. The entire world, it's all Gaza. You have immediate ceasefire in

Gaza, you have a ceasefire in Lebanon, a ceasefire in Yemen. A ceasefire between Israel and Iran. Gaza is alignment.

I mean, really a landmine that is almost destroying stability in the region.

SOARES: Very quickly, yes or no. If Iran -- when Israel retaliates, will it -- Iran retaliate back, you think?

GERGES: Greater retaliation than its attack over the weekend.

SOARES: Tit-for-tat, this is -- this is the fear, isn't it? Fawaz, always great to have you on the show. Thank you very much. And still to come

tonight, Donald Trump is back in court, but says he wishes he was back on the campaign trail. Details ahead on the second day of this historic

criminal trial.

Plus, the first U.S. cabinet secretary to be impeached by the House in almost 150 years, Alejandro Mayorkas now expected to face a trial in the

Senate. Both those stories after this short break with our Jim Sciutto.



SCIUTTO: We are on the second day of the hush money trial of former President Donald Trump, historic. He's the first former U.S. President to

be tried, and the first, of course, who is running for president again. Today, jury selection back underway. Trump is said to be more engaged in

the proceedings today at one point and nodding along when he heard potential jurors say that they had read his books.

The contrast -- this morning, we saw a fired-up Trump outside the courtroom.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Nobody's ever seen -- nobody has ever seen anything like it. So, thank you very much for coming. I am

now going to sit down --


TRUMP: I am now going to sit down -- the voters understand it, all you have to do is look at the polls. This is a sham trial and the judge should

recuse himself. This trial --


TRUMP: Thank you very much.


SCIUTTO: A familiar message outside the courtroom from the former president, often does require a fact-checking, bringing in the conversation

now, CNN's Zachary Cohen, he joins us live from Washington. As we watch the trial today, we're moving through -- well, the wheels of justice, they can

be slow.

This is a normal process for jury selection during criminal trials, it's moving slowly, but they're moving into a new phase today, are they not,

Zach? Because we're moving into that phase where they pass the initial juror questionnaire, and now, judges or rather lawyers on each side have a

chance to raise objections.

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, Jim, that's right. When the attorneys for both sides and Donald Trump returned from lunch here

about few minutes and the court resumes, we are going to get to see for the first time who these defense attorneys and these prosecutors may want to

strike from that initial pool of 18 potential jurors who have been in the box and have spent the morning facing questions from lawyers on both sides.

And look, defense attorneys have focused for Trump, have focused their questions on these potential jurors' opinion of Donald Trump. They've asked

him about their political views while prosecutors in this case have been asking potential jurors about their ability to be fair.

So, a little bit of a difference. And we've had a lot of jurors who have been dismissed already, who have said they couldn't be impartial and fair

in this case. And the -- but the ones who stayed, you know, acknowledged that they may have biases or feelings one way or the other about Donald

Trump, but they felt they could put their political views to the side and still render a fair verdict in this case.

So, you know, prosecutors and defense attorneys, both each get ten political strikes. Ten opportunities to eliminate jurors from the jury

pool, so, ultimately, they want to get to the goal of having 12 jurors with six alternates. The first step of that is going to happen here momentarily.

SCIUTTO: No question. We should note that bias questions are standard in jury selection. This one, of course, taking special seriousness because you

have a former president here for whom a lot of people have very strong opinions about are very much in the public eye. Zach Cohen, thanks so much.

Joining now -- us now is Keith Pounds; he's a jury consulting adviser, he's joining us from Chicago. Thanks so much for joining us. I want to talk

about the lawyers objections in effect. Each has ten total for the whole jury selection process. So, I imagine prosecutors and defense attorneys are

going to want to use those objections carefully.

KEITH POUNDS, JURY CONSULTING ADVISOR: Hi, Jim, thanks for having me. And you're absolutely right with just ten strikes per se. You know, one of the

thought-processes have to be, you know, when are we going to use them? Who -- which juror really rises to the level of, you know, using one of those

peremptory challenges so that, you know, you really kind of had to think not just about the jurors that are right there immediately in front of you,

but also thinking about what's coming next.

SCIUTTO: Yes, let me ask you this because we've talked about how many hundreds of potential jurors have been called in. Yesterday, they began

with a first batch in effect of just below 100. If you only have ten, it strikes me.


And if you're not going to use all of them, is it correct to assume that we're going to begin to see some of those initial jurors selected perhaps

as soon as today if they get past those -- if those objections are not used by the defense of the prosecution?

POUNDS: Yes, that's a really interesting question. You know, and it's very possible, you know, as I said, you know, when the attorneys were sitting

there looking at the jurors that are there in front of them, they're thinking about, you know, we have to really kind of martial these ten

parameters that we have in a strategic sort of way.

So, maybe the case that they're looking at -- somebody will think, well, you know what? This isn't necessarily the best juror. But on the other

hand, this isn't somebody that rises to the level of really being worried about and using --

SCIUTTO: Right --

POUNDS: That peremptory. So, it is very possible they may end up with a juror or so today.

SCIUTTO: That's notable. For folks watching this, who have or have not been involved in the process before very recently was called for jury duty. Just

explain the next steps then, because then they begin to kind of build up -- build out 1,2,3,4,5 until you get up to 18, the 12 jurors plus the six


Having been involved in jury selection many times before, certainly not for a case like this. This is highly unusual. Can you give a sense based on the

number of strikes and where we are in the process so far as to how long you expect it to take before you get to that magic number of 18?

POUNDS: Yes, I still think it's going to take several days. You know, so, after they get through this panel of 18 people, and they weed out, you

know, whoever they're going to, you know, who isn't necessarily going to make it on the panel, then they're going to have to bring -- the judge is

going to bring in a whole new batch of up to 100 people and they had to go through that entire process of questioning all over again.

So, the judge will be asking his questions and then the jurors will go through that, that 42-question questionnaire. Just as we saw on day one --


POUNDS: To really, you know, again, whittle it down to a group of jurors that the jurors -- you know, the attorneys then do their void(ph) year


SCIUTTO: And to be clear, lawyers can strike for some reasons, but not for others. They can strike because they perceive some sort of bias based on

work, political views, et cetera. They cannot strike just because they don't like the look of a person, right? I mean, there are explicit rules

about what you cannot strike for. Are there not?

POUNDS: There are some rules in what you're referring to, is you know, something known as the Batson challenge. And the Batson really is law about

not striking people based on things like their ethnicity, their race or their gender, and they can't strike jurors for that reason.

But really, when they give their peremptory challenges, they don't have to explain exactly why it is that they're striking that juror. Now, you can

make some inference, perhaps, from the waves those jurors are answering questions that maybe something about what they said or -- and maybe their

attitudes might not be something that they would want on the jury panel where there are some concerns about, but you're -- you know, absolutely

right. There is a protected reason why you cannot strike again.

SCIUTTO: Well, you heard it here first. You -- we could be at a point today where one or two perhaps of the first jurors is selected. We'll continue to

monitor the process closely. Keith Pounds, juror consultant, thanks so much for joining us.

POUNDS: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Up on Capitol Hill, the House is now expected to send articles of impeachment against the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas

to the Senate any minute now. Mayorkas became the first cabinet Secretary to be impeached in this country in almost 150 years. Annie Grayer is

following the developments for us on Capitol Hill.

Of course, in the House, Republicans have a majority, they were able to pass those articles of impeachment. Now it goes on to the Senate. Do we

know for certain what happens in the Senate now? Will there be a trial for instance?

ANNIE GRAYER, CNN REPORTER: Well, Jim, we don't know for certain if there will be a trial or not, but one thing is clear, is we are expecting the

Senate, which is controlled by Democrats to dismiss or end this trial into Mayorkas very quickly. This is going to be a showdown between Republicans

and Democrats in the Senate.

Republicans want there to be a full trial, but senator -- Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer is adamant that, that is not going to happen. So, the

actual maneuvering and procedure here is still being worked out, but we are expecting this to be wrapped up quickly. Senators are really going to get

into action tomorrow when they are sworn in as jurors, and then we're going to be watching very closely how Schumer and Senate Democrats vote to either

table, which is kind of side-step this issue or open a trial and dismiss it quickly.

Those seem to be the options on the table right now. But Senate Democrats for the most part are calling this impeachment of Mayorkas a complete sham

and waste of time.


Republicans meanwhile have made Mayorkas a top target of theirs when Republicans took over the House, they immediately went after Mayorkas for

his handling of the border, and have blamed him for the uptick in border crossings as happened under President Biden. But legal experts have said

that those policy disagreements over how Mayorkas says his job does not amount to an impeachable offense.

So, those are kind of the arguments laid out from both sides, but we're really going to be -- all eyes on the Senate as soon as those articles get

marched over, which should be happening at any minute.

SCIUTTO: I'm sorry, the standard for impeachment is high crimes and misdemeanors. Just very quickly, if those articles are not dismissed

immediately and there is a trial, if only a brief trial, would there be witnesses called before, then the Senate would vote, and again, as you

know, with the Democratic majority, they would not vote to convict. But would there be witnesses or could there be something even shorter than that

without witnesses?

GRAYER: I think it could be something even shorter than that, but these are all details that are still being worked out behind the scenes. And it

really remains to be seen what option Schumer goes with, starting tomorrow.

SCIUTTO: Annie Grayer on the Hill, thanks so much. And still to come tonight, the U.S. House could vote soon on something else and something

crucial, additional aid to Ukraine and Israel and to Taiwan, it's been delayed for months despite broad bipartisan support, we're going to have

the latest.

And just nowhere left to go. Thousands of Gaza residents seek refuge ahead of a planned Israeli military offensive in Rafah.



SCIUTTO: Outside criminal court here in Manhattan, jury selection underway for the second day in Donald Trump's hush money criminal trial. Here you

can see new courtroom images from today. So far, 18 potential jurors have made it through the questionnaire phase. On day one, nearly 100 perspective

jurors were sworn in, 50 immediately excused after saying they did not feel they could be impartial and fair.

Amy Lee Copeland is an attorney specializing in criminal defense. Thanks so much for joining us.


SCIUTTO: So, the latest update we're getting from the courtroom is that Trump's attorneys have raised their first objection to one of the jurors

based on Facebook posts which they say -- show hostility, potential hostility to trust -- to Trump in this case.

You have, and I think for folks at home, you have strikes. Each side has strikes, a defense and prosecution that they don't have to explain. Then

you have strikes, potential jurors for cause. Can you explain what a judge would see? What's the standard of a judge seeing a strike of a juror for

cause? Would a Facebook post, for instance, critical of Donald Trump qualify?

COPELAND: Jim, it sure could. What the judge's ultimate goal is to ensure a fair and impartial jury. It doesn't have to be a jury that doesn't know

anything about the case, but the issue is can they be fair and impartial. If the Facebook post indicates that this potential juror has prejudged the

case, then sure, this could lead to a for cause strike.

SCIUTTO: What if that -- and we don't know the content yet of that Facebook post, but it just raises a broader question here. If you have, at some

point in your life, posted something political, right, that's either critical of Trump or critical of his party, does that rise to the level or

would it have to be relevant to the case itself?

COPELAND: It would have to be relevant to the case itself. I just don't think that if you don't like, say, for instance, President Trump's policy

about something, or if you don't like how he conducted himself on an unrelated matter, that doesn't seem like it would rise to a for cause

strike. But if you, you know, post something along the lines of, I hate the guy, I can't stand him, that would be something that I think the judge

would take seriously and kick a potential juror off for.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you, given your involvement in previous criminal trials, there is the effort here to get to a jury that is as free and fair

as possible, right? But there is also a broader effort by defense attorneys here to create cause for appeal, is there not? In other words, to say, OK.

We got this jury, but, you know, look at how unfair this process was. I mean, is that part of the game here being played in that courtroom behind


COPELAND: It likely is, Jim. Most of the time, though, that part of it comes in with what are called the peremptory strikes, where you can strike

jurors for any reason as long as it's not based on race, religion, sex, that sort of thing.

And so, that's when you're really going to see records being made. That's when you're going to be able to see records made for appeal. Of course, the

Trump team may also try to establish a venue challenge that this jury is just so prejudiced against them that they can't receive a fair trial where

they are. So, that might factor into some of the discussions today too.

SCIUTTO: Listen, you know, given the former president's comments going into the courtroom and out of the courtroom, he's going to be claiming that

regardless. But it was notable to me that his attorneys are not going to make that argument in the courtroom, correct?

That they're not going to argue that this was a partially derived case, et cetera, that it was unfair from the beginning. He could say what he wants

to outside the courtroom, but in the courtroom his lawyers are not going to make that argument. Why?

COPELAND: Well, he wants to use this both as a chance to prove his innocence and really a national referendum on him as a victim of political

persecution. I have read reports that he wants as much publicity and as much time in front of the microphones as possible. So, even if his

attorneys don't say anything like that, and they may not, and it's not being recorded, and it's not being broadcast, you can hear things along

those lines, I'm sure, from the former president. Where he is going to claim that he is, once again, the victim of a political witch hunt.

SCIUTTO: But the thing is, there are statements and accusations that stand up in court and those that do not, if you look back to his attempts to

overturn the 2020 election, he said a lot of things in public, still does, but they did not stand up in court for different standard, is it not?


COPELAND: It is a far different standard. The problem is, not only do you have defendant Trump though, you have candidate Trump. And whatever happens

with defendant Trump seems to be on a totally different course than what happens with candidate Trump. And candidate Trump is thinking that this

juice is sure worth the squeeze and he's going to make every effort to his base that he can.

SCIUTTO: Amy Lee Copeland, apologize for breaking in. What we're seeing here now on Capitol Hill are the articles of impeachment for the Homeland

Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. These are being brought from the House side of the Capitol building to the Senate side. He was impeached in

the Republican controlled House.

Now, as per the constitution, those articles walked over to the Senate side where a trial will take place. Of course, the Senate side, unlike the House

side, is controlled by Democrats. Democrats have not said explicitly how they will handle these articles. There's the possibility, as we were

discussing earlier that they might be quickly dismissed. There's also the possibility that a trial begins, but it's a short trial, and Mayorkas is

acquitted quite quickly. But again, what you're seeing here playing out on the Capitol is a step in the impeachment process.

Our Melanie Zanona covers Capitol Hill for us. Do we know, Melanie Zanona, what happens next? What is Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader,

Democrat, how is he going to respond to these articles from the House side?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes, Jim, that is the big question right now. As these articles officially go over from the House to

the Senate. This was a long-awaited moment. Speaker Johnson had been sitting on these articles ever since the House passed them. Although we

should note that it was a difficult route to get here because they initially tried and failed to pass these impeachment articles on the House

floor. They eventually were able to do so, but only on a narrow majority.

Now, this heads to the Senate where we are expecting Democrats to quickly dismiss this trial. But there is some question about whether there will be

an agreement for Republicans to offer some motions and be able to make some speeches of their own.

Now, as far as the timeline, the jurors are expected to be sworn in tomorrow. At that point, we could see this process start to unfold. But the

bottom line here is that Democrats and even some Republicans have said they do not have the appetite to actually convict Mayorkas. So, no one is

expecting this to actually result in him being removed from his position. But Republicans want to make an issue out of it.

The border, of course, has become a big issue out of the 2024 campaign. They are eager to put some Democrats on the spot over this issue. And that

is why you see this big push right now to at least have some votes, have some amendments. Republicans want to make a point here. But again, the

expectation is this is not going to result in a conviction. And in fact, we are expecting this trial to move on rather quickly, Jim.

SCIUTTO: The constitution requires impeachment on the basis of high crimes and misdemeanors. Democrats say that this is a disagreement over policy.

That the evidence presented does not back up high crimes and misdemeanors, that standard here.

And by the way, this is the first time in 150 years in this country that a cabinet member has been impeached. Can you briefly, Melanie, outline the

evidence as presented by Republican House members justifying, in their view, this impeachment?

ZANONA: Yes, well, Republicans are saying that Mayorkas mishandled the situation at the southern border earlier this year. There was a spike in

migrant crossings. And they also believe that Mayorkas has not been truthful to Congress when he said he has operational control over the


But again, that term is very much up for interpretation. It does not amount to a high crime and misdemeanor, according not only to Democrats, but also

to constitutional experts who we spoke with. Again, Republicans here just really trying to use Mayorkas as a punching bag for all of the issues that

they have with the Biden administration. But there are some Republicans who say Mayorkas isn't the right target. That if you want to go after someone

that it's Biden who's the boss in charge.

And so, there is sort of this belief inside the GOP that Mayorkas was the easier target politically to impeach other than President Joe Biden.

Republicans have been trying to impeach the president. Have not come anywhere close to having the votes to do that. So that is why you saw them

sort of channel the basis, frustration and rage towards the Biden administration into Mayorkas, which they thought was perhaps an easier

lift. And even though it did succeed in the House, it was narrow. And again, we are not expecting this to result in a conviction. Jim.

SCIUTTO: We should note, this is now the floor of the Senate and those house members including Mike McCaul, Marjorie Taylor Greene, have brought

the article's impeachment over to the Senate side.


We should note, as it relates to the border, that a bipartisan piece of legislation to address security at the border did actually pass the Senate

with bipartisan support. It was not taken up on the House side. The House, controlled by Republicans, in part under pressure from Former President

Donald Trump not to address that issue until after the campaign.

Again, these pictures from the floor of the U.S. Senate, articles of impeachment passed narrowly by the Republic-controlled House have now been

delivered to the Senate side, where the Senate, by the constitution, must now address those articles. The possibility they will be quickly dismissed

by the Democratic-controlled Senate or proceed to a trial which our reporters say they expect to be a short trial if it reaches that stage.

Our thanks to Melanie Zanona on the Hill. Of course, the other story we're following closely, the United Nations is releasing a startling statistic on

the toll the war in Gaza is taking, particularly on women and children.

According to a statement by U.N. Women, nearly 10,000 women have been killed since October 7th. We'll have a further update on that. We'll be

back right after a short break.


SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is weighing in on the tensions in the Middle East, hitting at a double standard by NATO and U.S. over support

for Israel. Have a listen to this.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): After yesterday's attack, I want to ask you a question. Is Israel part of NATO or

not? Here's the answer. Israel is not a NATO country. The NATO allies, including NATO countries have been defending Israel. They showed the

Iranian forces that Israel was not alone. And this is a lesson.


SOARES: Well, in an interview with PBS NewsHour, President Zelenskyy questioned whether NATO members and U.S. lawmakers are fully committed to

Ukraine. You'll remember a huge portion of U.S. funding to Ukraine, some $60 billion dollars, has been held up in Congress for months, blocked by

House Republicans.

But a vote for aid packages to Ukraine and Israel could happen. In fact, this week. That is, according to House Speaker Mike Johnson. He says the

House will take up separate bills and he predicts a vote by Friday. President Biden wants a joint aid package, but some Republicans are pushing

to separate them.


Joining us now from Washington once again is Melanie Zanona. Melanie, it's been a busy hour for you. I just want to show our viewers, read this aid

package and how that's been broken up in terms of aid, not only for Ukraine, which President Zelenskyy has been calling for repeatedly, but

also for Israel.

We have seen in the last hour or last few hours, I should say, or so, this becoming a critical moment also for the speaker. Talk to this moment.

ZANONA: Right, right. Speaker Mike Johnson is really attempting a high wire act here. He had been wrestling with this question of how to address

foreign aid for Israel and Ukraine for weeks now, but that question took on a new sense of urgency and significance following Iran's attack on Israel

over the weekend.

So, Johnson finally outlined his plans to address foreign aid. And he announced yesterday to his conference and then publicly that he plans to

hold four separate votes on bills for aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and other national security priorities, and some of the way that they're going

to address aid to Ukraine are going to be structuring that aid as a loan, that is something that Donald Trump has floated in the past.

So, clearly Johnson trying to get buy in from these skeptical wings of these parties who have not wanted to support Ukraine aid. But the issue

here is that Johnson is interested in sending all of those bills together, merging them together into one package before they send it to the Senate.

That would make it easier and quicker for the Senate to just take that up quickly and pass that.

But Johnson has already started to get some conservative backlash for the idea. He's obviously trying to appease the hard wing, the hard right of the

party who wanted to see separate votes on all of his issues, but they don't like this sort of procedural gimmicks in their mind. Of ultimately merging

them together to send them over to the Senate.

So, the question now is whether Democrats will step in and help Johnson here because he's going to need Democratic support to help get a procedural

vote over the finish line in order to be able to advance these priorities.

And meanwhile, hanging over it all is this threat to Mike Johnson's speakership. Marjorie Taylor Greene, as well as another Republican, Thomas

Massie, have both come out and said they would support a motion to vacate the speakership. That means removing him from his job.

Now, they have not forced a vote on that resolution yet. But they have warned that if Speaker Mike Johnson moves ahead with Ukraine funding that

they might be willing to trigger a vote. So, Johnson again might need to rely on Democratic support to bail him out, including from the speakership.

So, it's a very tricky balancing act for the speaker. He's trying to find a way to get foreign aid to our allies abroad while also keeping his gavel.

SOARES: Yes, Speaker Johnson finding himself free in the same position as Speaker McCarthy, trying to do exactly the same thing. Melanie Zanona,

appreciate it. Thank you very much.

We are going to take a short break. We'll be back after this.



SOARES: And as we told you at the top of the hour, Israel's war cabinet wrapped up another round of talks as it wrestles with how and when to

respond to last weekend's attack by Iran. A Biden administration official tells CNN there's intelligence to suggest Israel is considering a narrow

and limited strike inside Iran. Iran's president, meanwhile, is warning of a painful response if Iran's interests are targeted, as fears grow, of

course, of a wider war breaking out in the region.

Meanwhile, the United Nations is releasing a startling statistic on the toll the war in Gaza is taking, particularly on women and children.

According to a statement by U.N. Women, nearly 10,000 women have been killed since October the 7th, and 60 percent of them were mothers, leaving

nearly 20,000 children orphaned and alone.

The statement also says, one child is injured or dies every 10 minutes, and those numbers are sure to rise. The U.N. says more than 1 million

Palestinian women and girls are currently facing catastrophic hunger and with almost no access to food or safe drinking water.

While displaced and desperate, thousands of Gazans are yearning to return to their homes. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh tells us even a tiny glimmer of hope

was enough for them to set out a new and very dangerous journey. And a warning to you, some of the images you're about to see are graphic and may

be disturbing.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Their day started with rare excitement and joy after months of hell. They thought

they were returning to the homes. They were forced out of months ago on foot and carts. Thousands of displaced Palestinians on the move again. Some

with their most valuable possessions.

They said we can go back home to Gaza City today, Iman says. With her son and cats, she took to the road.

No one knows where the news came from. There was no official announcement from the Israeli military that civilians would be allowed back into

Northern Gaza. But a rumor, enough for those left homeless, shattered by war, now facing a looming Israeli offensive on Rafah, where the majority of

Gazans have been pushed into.

People here say they don't even know if they have homes to go back to.

Little Omar holds his tiny brother's hand and carries a bag of flour.

Our house is gone. I'll live in a tent, Omar says. I just want to go home. If I die, so be it.

Death has become a reality the youngest here have been forced to accept.

And on this day, they have had to accept that there will be no going home. The crowds were turned away. Fear and panic as people run back. They say

Israeli soldiers opened fire as young men tried crossing the checkpoint with women and children. Several were injured, among them five-year-old

Sali (ph). She was in her mother's arms when she was shot in the head.

Two young men tried to cross with us, her mother Sabreen (ph) says. Soldiers started shooting and firing everywhere. My daughter was so scared.

I was holding her. Then I put her on the ground to walk. She wasn't responding. Then I saw all the blood on my hands.

The Israeli military has not commented on Sali's (ph) injury. They said the north remains a war zone and return is not permitted. Sali (ph) clings on

to life, unconscious on the hospital floor, with the muffled cries of another injured child next to her.

And at a hospital nearby, another young boy back from a different nightmare, one no child should ever endure. 11-year-old Nimer (ph) was out

getting aid for his family when he says he was shot and detained for two weeks, taken to Israel, where he underwent surgery. Still in pain and

shock, he shows the camera his horrific scars.


The day they took me, the soldier kicked me with his boot, he tells his mother over the phone. My head still hurts. He kicked me with the metal tip

of his boot. I was shot in the stomach, lying on the floor. He hit me with no mercy. I'm waiting for the day to grow up to be a resistance fighter and

hit him like he hit me.

The Israeli military has not responded to CNN's specific questions on Nimer's (ph) account. This is the first time in 15 days he's hearing his

mother's voice.

I've missed you so much, he cries. They didn't let me see you. I wish I hadn't come back, Nimer (ph) says. I wish I had died.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.


SOARES: Our thanks to Jomana Karadsheh and team for that report.

And that does it for us for tonight. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. "Newsroom with Jim Sciutto" is up next. I shall see you