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Isa Soares Tonight

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Trump Immunity For Official Acts; Far- Right Leads After First Round Of Voting In France; Powerful Category 4 Hurricane Beryl Slams Into Caribbean; Supreme Court Grants Trump Immunity For "Official" Acts; Biden Works To Save Campaign After Debate Debacle; Growing Calls For Accountability After Deadly Clashes Between Protesters And Police. 2-3p ET

Aired July 01, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, a major decision from the U.S. Supreme Court as

justices rule Donald Trump is entitled to some presidential immunity in his January the 6th case. We'll have all the reaction, of course, to that

landmark ruling.

Then opponents of France's far-right are in a race against time to keep the National Rally Party out of power. More on that dramatic first round of

voting. That is coming up. Plus, Hurricane Beryl makes landfall as a potentially deadly Category 4 storm. We'll have the very latest for you

from the Caribbean this hour.

We begin though with a historic decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that allies of Donald Trump are calling a massive win. Justices ruled Trump is

entitled to immunity from prosecution for official acts. It's an outcome that almost certainly means the case against the former president for his

efforts to overturn the 2020 election will not go to trial before this November's election if at all in fact.

The 6 to 3 vote was along ideological lines in a blistering dissent. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote that the ruling breaks new as well as

dangerous ground. The question of what constitutes an official act is now being kicked back to the lower courts to actually decide.

We are covering, of course, a number of angles on this. First, I want to go to a CNN senior crime and justice reporter Katelyn Polantz in Washington.

And Katelyn, I mean, this ruling clearly shows a dispute, a divisional -- a division, I should say, along ideological divide.

Just explain to our viewers what this decision actually means and what it means for the presidency here.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, the dispute along the ideological lines with the liberal wing of the court condemning

this as fearful for the democracy, for them, in their opinion, that is about the presidency, and what presidents may be able to do in the future

under the constitution and not face any issue, any fallout ever if one of those things in the world outside of the presidency would be a crime.

That's where the immunity is. It is around the official actions of the presidency in its core functions that a president could not be charged and

prosecuted for something that would result in a crime. Some of the dissenting justices saying it, that would include things like threatening

to kill the Attorney General instead of just asking the Attorney General to do some sort of bidding, that is where that split is.

But for Donald Trump, that is a different issue. He remains a criminal defendant in this case, and his side that is calling this a huge win today,

they are largely doing that because it is a win on timing. The ayes now go to the district court, the trial court in Washington, who over the next

couple of weeks, months is going to have to work out how in this case, this decision can be applied and what Donald Trump was doing after the 2020

election, what actions there, even potentially communications with his then Vice President Mike Pence, with other people about overturning the election

or the electoral vote in Congress.

Where is their immunity if any there? And the Supreme Court says that in some cases may be a difficult thing for the Justice Department to show that

there's immunity, but there are very many things that Donald Trump did after the election that the Supreme Court says it just wouldn't be immune.

SOARES: And so, Katelyn, just explain to us what happens then? What does this mean for Donald Trump's other cases here?

POLANTZ: Well, it is going to be something that the attorneys for Donald Trump will be able to take this opinion and go to other courts and say,

look at this, look what's happening here, there are ways that you can look at this? So, primarily, this will have an impact not just on this case in

Washington D.C., in federal court about the 2020 election is very likely to influence his case in Georgia that is still pending, though, it is on hold.

That is also about his actions after the 2020 election in alleged conspiracy there. But then, there's the separate case about classified

documents that he is charged with --

SOARES: Yes --

POLANTZ: In federal court in Florida, this is an opinion that is very likely to come into the discussion there, because his attorneys are trying

to say that there were certain things that happened at the end of the Trump presidency that should be protected, his lawyers are probably going to take

this opinion and argue that there and say, what?! We should have more tests and more hearings and more hand-wringing over that in that court.


There's a lot that is going to have implications from this opinion going forward.

SOARES: Yes --

POLANTZ: And the other thing to note very quickly, Justice Thomas writes, he doesn't believe the special counsel is legal as an office to bring

prosecution. That's something that the judge in the Florida documents case is looking at, at this very moment.

SOARES: So, potentially, further much more litigation ahead. Katelyn, appreciate it, thank you very much. Let's get more on all of these strands,

I'm joined by Jeffrey Rosen; he's President and CEO of the National Constitution Center and Professor at George Washington University Law


Jeffrey, welcome to the show. Let me get first of all, just your reaction to what the Supreme Court decided today. Did you expected it to go this


JEFFREY ROSEN, FORMER ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL: Something this historic can't be predicted, but it is striking and unfortunate that there was a

partisan division. It's a case that the Chief Justice would have wanted to be unanimous as the U.S. v. Nixon and Brown versus Board of Education were.

And what's so striking is that Justice Barrett identified a possible area of concurrence for the two sides, but the chief wasn't able to muster the

troops around that holding. What's so significant, maybe the most significant difference between the majority and the dissent is that, you

can no longer use evidence of the president's official wrongdoing to prosecute unofficial acts.

So, that example that Justice Sotomayor gave, even if the President stood up and said I want to stop my opponent from passing this bill and then

ordered him murdered, that you couldn't introduce evidence of the president standing up in order to prove the murder case.

And that's just unnecessarily broad. It could have been avoided, and it really is a striking example of the very different visions of executive

power by the majority and the dissent --

SOARES: Yes, that is for sure. And what struck me on this side of the pond, Jeffrey, was not just how split it was along ideological lines, but perhaps

not surprising. But the level of dissent, the tone of the dissent -- I want to just bring to our viewers something that we saw from Justice Sotomayor -

- and bring it up for viewers to see.

I mean, she really didn't hold back, really searing words from her. She writes, "the relationship between the President and the people he serves

has shifted irrevocably. In every use of official power, the president is now a king above the law." And then she went on to say, "orders the Navy's

SEAL team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune.

Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune". Just speak to this, Jeffrey, I

mean, how concerning is this that we could be looking at politics and loyalty here, undermining the rule of law.

ROSEN: Well, that's extraordinarily concerning. The one thing that holds America together in this polarized time is faith in the rule of law. And

we're seeing -- certainly President Trump at tracking -- attacking the jury system and the prosecution, and now, you know, on the other side lack of

faith in the legitimacy of the Supreme Court by Democrats.

And as we move ahead into unchartered territories, that faith in the rule of law is the one thing that will bring us together, and to the degree that

the Supreme Court itself has polarized on that question. And you have the dissent questioning the majority's commitment to keeping the president

above the law and transforming the relationship between the branches of government as Justice Jackson said in her dissent, that we're in for some

very troubled waters ahead.

SOARES: Yes, and as you're talking, we're looking at how the Supreme Court divided and the way the dissent was, 6 to 3. You touched there on

potentially how Americans maybe seeing then -- maybe seeing this moment, be framing this moment here, Jeffrey. What is -- how much faith, I should say,

how much faith is there in the U.S. Supreme Court would you say? Do we have a sense of this?

ROSEN: Well, we've certainly seen the polls suggesting that faith in the court is at its lowest levels ever. It's still higher than the president

and Congress, and it's important not to completely catastrophize here, because faith in the courts is still higher than the political branches.

The courts have behaved well in the last election dispute when all of the judges who considered the question rejected the false election claims. And

we've also seen examples in the Supreme Court, this term, where the majority and the dissent have converged, Justice Barrett joining the

liberals and Justice Jackson joining the conservatives.

So, it's not a -- by any means a case of the breakdown of the courts entirely. And we've also seen similarly vigorous sparring between the

justices in the section 3 case about whether or not to kick President Trump off the ballot, with Justice Jackson stressing the message to the country

is that we actually all agree on the bottom line here, let's not exaggerate our differences.


We're seeing a version of that in this case too, where Justice Barrett is noting there's areas of agreement between us, let's not ramp up the

rhetoric too much. So, the court is very concerned about its legitimacy, all of the justices are. There are some justices in the middle, especially

Justice Barrett, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh trying to emphasize the areas of agreement, which are going to be all the more


Still, there's no denying that in this, you know, hugely important case, the most important of the term, and one of the most important of the decade

the court has polarized along political lines.

SOARES: And as you're talking, Jeffrey, we're looking at a poll of where the approval ratings, how Americans see the U.S. Supreme Court. Just before

we go, I just want to get your reactants(ph) -- reactions to the news that we had in the last what? Thirty minutes or so, that Donald Trump's legal

team would likely use the SCOTUS opinion today to challenge the hush money case. What are the chances here do you think?

ROSEN: This case does not affect the hush money case, that does not have to do with the core of the president's official functions. There was no claim

that he was behaving officially, it's a state court prosecution, so I don't think that, that challenge is going to succeed.

SOARES: And how complicated, Jeffrey, as we -- of course, we prepare for more litigations that goes now to the lower courts. How complicated will

this be? I mean, just -- I wonder if there's any insights in the opinions that we had about whether some acts were official or not. I mean, how do

you make that distinction here?

ROSEN: That's the central question, and it's very complicated. In each area of the president's interactions, the lower courts are instructed to strike

a balance and reach their own judgment about whether it was official or non-official. So, the president's contacts with his attorney general, with

the Vice President, with state election officials, and with his tweets, all require the lower court to engage in a separate inquiry into whether it was

official or unofficial.

The answer is not intuitively obvious, and different judges might reach different conclusions. All of those can be appealed, and that's why this is

going to be so hard to apply and to state the obvious, the Jack Smith prosecution is not going anywhere fast before or after the election.

SOARES: Yes, it doesn't seem so -- like that's the case. Jeffrey, really appreciate your insight and analysis. Thank you so much.

ROSEN: Thank you.

SOARES: Well, let's get more reaction now to this landmark ruling. We're joined by Alayna Treene and MJ Lee in Washington. Alayna, first to you, it

seems that the Trump camp is seeing this -- framing this moment as a victory. Just give us the reaction.

ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: They are. I mean, look, this decision is not the full blanket immunity that Donald Trump had been claiming for months

that he thinks he had. But honestly, it's hard to see how his team could have gotten much more of a win than what they saw today from the Supreme


And I can tell you from my conversations with Donald Trump's legal advisors and his campaign team, initially, they had actually thought that this claim

of immunity was a hail Mary. They were very wary of whether it would work or not, of course, I will say in recent weeks, particularly after they had

seen the Supreme Court's oral arguments and some questioning from Justice Kavanaugh on this, they had been more cautiously optimistic that they would

get some version of limited immunity.

And of course, that is the decision that we saw today, and yes, you're right, Isa, they are celebrating. We even heard this from Donald Trump

himself, he posted on Truth Social shortly after this decision was brought down, he wrote, quote, "big win for our constitution and democracy, proud

to be an American."

Now, Isa, a lot of this is also political because at the heart of this, what they thought that -- is that this case in particular, the special

counsel's case regarding January 6th, they thought that this would be one of the trials, particularly the federal trials that could go to court

before the November election.

Judge Chutkan who is overseeing this, has been moving very quickly in this. She had been very eager to try to get this on the docket before the

November election. However, this decision and particularly the way that they're going to have to go through and decide what is official acts versus

unofficial acts, obviously, special counsel Jack Smith is going to have to go back through his indictment, figure that out, see what the district

court says.

But all to say, it's very likely that this trial gets delayed until after the election, and that has been the goal of Donald Trump's team for very

long now. Now, I'm often asked repeatedly whether people think, will he actually dismiss his legal cases outright if he were to win a second term.

And I believe there is a 100 percent certainty that he would do that, particularly from my conversations with them, they continuously say that

the reason they want to delay this is because once he is in office, they believe that he can move these aside.


Of course, that's speaking for his federal cases, there are questions of whether his district or his state cases such as in Georgia, and of course,

we've seen the New York one go to trial already. Questions about what would happen to those, but I'm often told from the campaign that once someone is

president, they believe that it's really hard to have them go through trial.

There's a lot of hoops they would have to jump through. And so, this really is how they are viewing it. And I think, to our great reporting from Paula

Reid on our legal team here at CNN, the fact that they are also thinking about how to apply these case -- this decision -- this immunity decision to

other cases that Donald Trump is facing.

It's just another sign that they believe they can use this to further delay other trials or even into appeal, like in the New York hush --

SOARES: Yes --

TREENE: Money case that already has delivered a guilty verdict to maybe appeal other cases. They feel very confident in what the Supreme Court did.

SOARES: That does indeed seem like the strategy, Alayna. Let me just go to MJ Lee. And MJ, I mean, this comes off the back of a pretty bruising debate

of course, for President Biden. How is the White House -- how is President Biden reacting to this decision from the Supreme Court?

MIN JUNG LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, for now, we are seeing the Biden team at least try to seize on this new cycle to home in on what

is supposed to be central to their political message heading into November. And that is that, the events of January 6 show the true Donald Trump, and

that it demonstrated just how reckless and dangerous he is and what a threat he is to democracy and democratic institutions.

To give you a sense of that, this was a part of the statement released by a senior Biden adviser. They said, quote, "today's ruling doesn't change the

fact, so, let's be very clear about what happened on January 6th." They said, "Donald Trump snapped after he lost the 2020 election and encouraged

a mob to overthrow the results of a free and fair election.

Trump is already running for president as a convicted felon for the very same reason he sat idly by while the mob violently attacked the capital. He

thinks he's above the law", they said, "and is willing to do anything to gain and hold onto power for himself."

This adviser goes on to say in the statement that Donald Trump now is actually worse, is more unhinged than the Donald Trump we saw during the

four years that he was president, even pointing out the comment that he recently made about how if he were to get a second term, he would be a

dictator on day one.

But I think it's important to note here as we're talking about the Biden world's reaction to all of this, that the Biden White House and the

campaign and advisors around him have been extraordinarily careful to not weigh in and give any sort of idea or impression that they are trying to

sort of politically influence what goes on in the legal process.

And so, we are not likely to see at all anybody in the Biden campaign, and Democrats really questioning sort of the judicial decision that has been

made. But I will say, you know, Democrats in general would have absolutely loved a scenario where President Trump, the former president would have

gotten himself mired in yet another trial.

This is something that obviously now seems even more remote of a possibility, but that is a political scenario that Democrats would have

been certainly happy with, particularly given what a political disaster the debate performance a couple of days ago was for President Biden.

Of course, the other thing that is going on right now is all of the president's advisors are really in survival and crisis mode right now,

fielding phone calls, panicked messages from everybody within the party that are asking, can he go on? Can he continue fighting? And for now, the

message has been a resounding yes.

SOARES: And that's a question that we will take on, we're analyzing in about 20 minutes right here on the show. MJ Lee, Alayna Treene, appreciate

it, thank you very much, ladies. And still to come tonight, why the results of the first round of the French parliamentary election could signal

trouble for President Emmanuel Macron.

We'll have a live report for you from Paris. Plus, parts of the Caribbean are being hit by history-making storm, you're seeing it there. Coming up,

we have the latest on Hurricane Beryl and the damage so far. Both of these stories after this very short break.



SOARES: Well, a hectic week ahead in France for campaigning as well as political deal-making as the far-right National Rally Party takes the lead

in parliamentary elections. The success of the far-right sparked protests, you could see there, overnight on the streets of Paris.

Elections in France go into a second round and that is happening this coming Sunday. The ones French National Rally movement led by Marine Le Pen

could now be poised to assume power after getting 33 percent of the vote. French President Emmanuel Macron, centrist alliance trailed in third place

and political turmoil could be ahead for his government.

Our Melissa Bell joins us from Paris now with the very latest. And Melissa, I heard some very strong words early this morning when I was having my cup

of coffee, from the prime minister, saying that the far-right are the gates of power. I mean, given these comments, given these numbers we've seen,

what is the strategy going forward for Macron and I'm sure, and others to stop the far-right from getting power here. Talk us -- talk to the horse-

trading going on.

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think one of the difficulties that any of the parties opposed to the far-right are going to

have are how to combine their forces effectively to keep them away from the absolute majority that they're seeking.

And you need only to look at, Isa, at the staggering figures from the first round of the seats that were won outright. The National Rally 139, the Left

Alliance -- what -- the Left-Wing Alliance, 132, Emmanuel Macron's party in the lines around it won just two seats outright. And that really speaks of

the collapse of the French President's political centrist movement.

Remember, his party created only eight years ago, considered sort of moderate-centrist multilateral vision for the world that would stand in

stark contrast to the populace winds blowing elsewhere in the United Kingdom or the United States at the time.

And in fact, what we've seen is that having pushed aside the traditional right and the traditional left, it is a movement that eight years after it

was created appears to be collapsing entirely to your question of how they will proceed. We've heard from the left, a clear commitment that where

there are seats, where there are three candidates, including one from the centrist and one from the far-right, they will stand down.

That's clear message from Emmanuel Macron's party about whether to do the same -- Gabriel Attal; the Prime Minister did call this morning for any

centrist candidates where there were -- they would come third to stand aside.

But the indications have been slightly less clear because for the moderate center front, there are also concerns about the Left-Wing Alliance because

you're talking about moderate, left-wing socialist party is more traditional, but also the unbound as they're known, which are considered by

many here in France, a fairly far left movement and extremely controversial. That alliance has many people concerned about whether or

not, they feel they can vote for it.


So, you have this in any case, by dint of France's electoral system, huge period of uncertainty over the next few days when these three-way racism,

there's an extraordinary historically high number of them this time, can lead to many different results. But also really a country that is reeling

at the redrawing of its political map entirely, Isa.

SOARES: Yes, and just explain, Melissa, for our viewers right around the world. I mean, Marine Le Pen is not a new figure, right? I mean, the party

has been under kind of fringes of French politics for some time. So why now, why has her party been able to break through right now? And I know

we've seen a sweep of far-right across Europe, right? But just explain this moment.

BELL: But I think it is really to her credit that the party has been detoxified in the way that it has. As you say, for such a long time, the

party was founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen himself, a holocaust denier, founded with former member -- French members of the SS was

considered so controversial, associated with racism, xenophobia, anti- Semitism as to be unelectable.

So that when the party did make it first under her father and then under Marine Le Pen herself to the second round of the election, there was a huge

outcry that they should have gotten so far. And yet, here we are, where they're thrust center stage of France's political landscape really down to


She has over the course of the last couple of decades, really sought to put aside -- expelling at one point, her father from the party, claiming that

it is a new party that is very different to what had preceded it, and playing extremely, effectively on the fears and angers of people who are

feeling --

SOARES: Yes --

BELL: Issues to do with inflation, cost of living, and a great deal of anger. What Emmanuel Macron has or has not been able to deliver for some of

the least well-off in French society, Isa.

SOARES: Melissa Bell for us in Paris this hour, appreciate it, thanks, Melissa. And right now, Hurricane Beryl is slamming into the Windward

Islands in the Caribbean. The powerful Category 4 storm made landfall Monday morning in the Grenadines, bringing really violent winds, intense

rainfall as well as a life-threatening storm surge.

Take a look at the satellite video of Beryl and its eyes you can see there. Now, maximum-sustained winds have been 150 miles per hour or more than 241

kilometers per hour. And this video is from Barbados and shows the damage as well as the flooding you can see there from the hurricane.

I want to bring in CNN correspondent Patrick Oppmann joins us from Cuba in Havana. So the winds, Patrick, still causing quite a problem, but it has

made landfall now in Grenada. Just talk us through the very latest.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CUBA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and we probably won't have a clear idea of the damage or any loss of life or injuries until later in the

day or until tomorrow, of course, communications have been impacted, and so much of the Windward Islands.

But for people there, you know, this is really something of a nightmare scenario. On Saturday, this is a tropical storm, that's something that

people in the Caribbean deal with all the time. They can be deadly, they can bring a lot of problems with them, but they're not catastrophic storms.

A hurricane like this one Category 4 storm now is an entirely different kind of storm, sort of haven't really explode in a space of 24 hours from a

tropical storm to a Category 4 storm, something that very few people in the Windward Islands have had to deal with in some time.

And so, early on in the season, only July 1st is the beginning of hurricane season, not -- this is kind of -- kind of a hurricane you would see in

August or September when the waters of the Caribbean are usually are as warm as they are now. And that's what's really changes the waters -- are so

much warmer, they are the fuel for hurricanes.

And so, you normally have a storm that has developed as quickly as this one, but it is just so powerful, and after it leaves Windward Islands, it

is expected to have impacts both in Haiti and Jamaica until it finally, according to forecasters' predictions right now, hits Yucatan Peninsula in


So, the storm has already caused a lot of damage and will cause even more damage, and of course, here, unfortunate reality is, it is still very early

in the season, a season that forecasters say will be one of the busiest on record.

SOARES: Yes, very worrying indeed, I see 95 percent of Grenada has lost power, of course, because of the hurricane, I know, you'll stay across it.

Thanks very much, Patrick. And still to come tonight, much more on the Supreme Court's ruling that could have huge implications for U.S.

presidential powers as well as the current race for the White House.

And a new debate is brewing over whether or not U.S. President Joe Biden should stay in the race. We'll hear what his family has to say about the

matter. That is next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. In every use of official power, the president is now a king above the law.

Those words from a dissenting U.S. Supreme Court justice who says she fears for democracy after a landmark ruling today. The court's majority decided

that Donald Trump can claim immunity from criminal prosecution for official acts during his tenure as president. It says that immunity must be quote

absolute when it comes to core constitutional powers.

The justices sent an election subversion case against Trump back to a lower court which could delay his trial until after the November elections. If he

wins, he could order the case dismissed. You see where that picture may be going here.

Let's get some historical context now on this ruling. Leah Wright Rigueur is a CNN contributor and associate professor of history at Johns Hopkins

University. Leah, welcome to the show.

So we have heard in the last, what, hour or so, probably longer, from the former President Trump who, as we heard from our correspondent at the top

of the hour, is claiming victory. We're also getting reaction now from key voices in Washington. And I just want to play out for our viewers what we

heard, just show viewers what we heard from Senator Schumer who said this today about the Supreme Court ruling.

"This is a sad day for America and a sad day for our democracy. The very basis of our judicial system is that no one is above the law. Treason or

incitement of insurrection should not be considered a core constitutional power afforded to a president."

Do you agree with that, Leah? I mean, how do you assess this moment?


LEAH WRIGHT RIGUEUR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: So, it's a historic moment. And what it essentially does is it solidifies the absolute -- essentially the

absolute power -- almost absolute power that the executive office has. It also dramatically expands the kind of power that presidents have or that

the executive office can have.

But I have to say that it is not an entire victory for Donald Trump and that we should actually be looking at this from a bipartisan perspective.

And we should all be concerned for democracy, irrespective of if we are Democrats or we are Republicans.

Why is that? Because there is so much power that is now concentrated at the top of the ticket in the executive office, in the White House. And so, I

think Justice Sotomayor's dissent is actually spot on, because what it does is that this decision says that as long as there is justification for this

to be considered -- for things to be considered presidential acts or under the purview of the president, then therefore the president is immune from

being prosecuted for those things. There is no kind of establishment of what might actually constitute a presidential act.

So, because it's vague, because of its ambiguity, it gives an enormous amount of power and expands the kind of power that we already see coming

from the office of the president.

SOARES: Yes. And I'm glad you mentioned Justice Sotomayor, because we shared with our viewers some of the comments, some of her dissent. She

really didn't hold back, did she?

But I want to bring up another part of what she wrote. She said, never in the history of our republic has a president had reason to believe that he

would be immune from criminal prosecution if he used the trappings of his office to violate the criminal law. Moving forward, however, all former

presidents will be cloaked in such immunity.

If the occupant of the office misuses official power for personal gain, the criminal law that the rest of us must abide will not provide a backstop.

With fear for our democracy, I dissent.

I mean, just talk to the precedent then, the precedent that this sets, not just importantly for potentially former President Trump, but for future

presidents here.

RIGUEUR: Exactly. And that's, I think, what we can't escape. Everybody is focusing on how does this apply to Donald Trump? And, of course, that does


And it will absolutely delay the trial that he is -- the federal trial that he is under investigation for, that he's been indicted for, because all of

these things have to go back to the lower courts, and the lower courts have to differentiate between what is official and what is unofficial behavior.

Yes, that is important.

However, what this means is that the actions that we saw -- we've seen in past presidents, to think Richard Nixon and Watergate, if Richard Nixon was

under indictment right now for doing something that he said absolutely was within his official capacity as president to do, for example, paying people

to break into the Democratic National Convention offices, what the Supreme Court is telling us is that that would no longer be subject to criminal


It opens an entire kind of bag of worms for how we think about the actions of presidents. Does this mean that presidents can assassinate their

political opponents? Does it mean that presidents can stage coups? Can they stage insurrections because they are doing it in the best interest as their

capacity as president to ensure or hold on to power? We don't know. It puts an enormous amount of pressure on the lower courts, on judges, on things

like that, people within the legal system, to decide whether or not something is in the official capacity of the executive office, the

executive branch, or the president.

It -- I can't stress enough what this means, not just for Trump, but for any other president down the line. It is almost absolute power. Not quite,

but it's very, very close.

SOARES: I remember the Nixon, when the president does it, that means it's not illegal. What you're saying that could officially would have changed

under this ruling. Leah, really appreciate your analysis. Thank you very much.

RIGUEUR: Thanks for having me.

SOARES: Now, all of this is unfolding, of course, as US President Joe Biden faces an uphill battle after his disastrous debate performance, you

remember, on Thursday.

A new poll from CBS News and YouGov shows that nearly three quarters, as you can see there, of registered U.S. voters believe he should not run for

re-election. The president's family disagrees. In an interview with Vogue, First Lady Jill Biden says they will, "Continue the fight and not lose

those 90 minutes -- don't let those 90 minutes, pardon me, define the four years he's been president."

Stephen Collinson's across all this from our Washington Bureau in DC. And Stephen, given this poll then, I mean, is the discussion then being had

behind, with President Biden's close circle, family and friends, about whether he continues in this race? I mean, is this seriously being


STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: I think what's happening in Biden's circle is more a discussion of how to stay in the race rather

than whether to stay in the race.


They have mounted a very aggressive operation over the weekend after the debate to try and shut down the torrent of criticism that has come the

president's way over his performance and a lot of behind-the-scenes concern among Democrats that he's not campaigning to win back the presidency, let

alone serving a second term.

But ultimately, this is going to be up to the president himself. And I think what we need to look for is more polls coming out, any that suggest

the bottom has fallen out of his already vulnerable support or any other incidents that show him perhaps not capable of serving. And that would

build a great deal of momentum against him, I think.

SOARES: So speak to the tone then within the Democratic Party. Perhaps it finds itself at this crossroads here. And I want to play for our viewers a

little clip of Representative Jamie Raskin, who had this to say. Have a listen.


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D), MARYLAND: Obviously, there was a big problem with Joe Biden's debate performance. And there's also just a tremendous

reservoir of affection and love for Joe Biden in our party. And so this makes it a difficult situation for everybody. But there are very honest and

serious and rigorous conversations taking place at every level of our party, because it is a political party and we have differences in point of



SOARES: So honest, serious and rigorous conversations being had right now. So I wonder then, I mean, is this a permanent state of being or temporary

mood as they await, like you were saying, this polling? And how do you think, Stephen, Biden then, if we're talking about how he does it, what

should he be doing right now to turn this around?

COLLINSON: A lot of Democrats are saying he needs to come out and have a far more rigorous campaign schedule, do more interviews, perhaps town hall

meetings to demonstrate that he is fit to run for office. The problem is it's going to be very difficult to erase that picture of a president who

looked bewildered, lost, incoherent in front of 50 million viewers during that debate.

I think Representative Raskin is talking about there are serious conversations going on among members of the House, because that's the part

of government that it appears that Democrats have the best chance at this point of hanging on to on November. Whether that ever crystallizes into a

critical mass, whether there's ever a spokesman that can direct that and make it a real serious threat to Biden, I think it's far too early to say

at this point.

SOARES: Yes, I'd be interested to see what also what donors are saying, what they've been thinking. But for an international audience here, I mean,

if President Biden, this is an "if", this is all hypothetical at this stage, if President Biden does decide then, Stephen, to step down, and

this, of course, will be monumental, who would step in so last minute? Who may have -- who could have the chance here of beating former President


COLLINSON: Well, every time I've spoken to a Democrat this weekend, everyone's got their favorite and throws out a different name. The first

one, of course, would be Vice President Kamala Harris. Her problem is that she's not been widely seen as a successful vice president. She had her own

campaign back before she was named as vice president.

That didn't work out very well. So, she's seen as vulnerable. There are a lot of other Democrats for the future, key swing state governors, Josh

Shapiro in Pennsylvania, Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan.

People talk about Gavin Newsom, the governor of California. But at this point, it's all speculation. The chances of there being an open convention

in which the party would choose a new nominee in August, at this point, seems a bit of a pipe dream. But a lot can change before then.

SOARES: Yes, look, I have to tell you that over the weekend, no one within my group was talking of friends, was talking about the U.K. elections.

Everyone was talking about that debate and what happened to the United States.

Appreciate, Stephen, as always. Thanks very much.

And still to come tonight, Kenya remains in crisis days after protests there turned deadly. Our team in Nairobi reports on security forces' brutal

use of force, analyzing video and interviewing eyewitnesses. We'll show you that next.



SOARES: Well, Kenyans are calling for police to be held accountable. At least 30 people were killed during Tuesday's protest in the country's

capital, according to Human Rights Watch.

A CNN crew witnessed at least three people shot dead in front of them. CNN's Larry Madowo has been on the ground interviewing eyewitness and

family members of those victims, and we must warn you, the images you're about to see are disturbing.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A prayer for the dead. The family of Ibrahim Kamau say their final goodbyes, his body being taken for

burial. He was only 19. His mother tells us Ibrahim had just graduated from high school and was hoping to go to college. Ibrahim was shot twice in the

neck at a protest in Nairobi.

EDITH WANJIKU KAMAUM MOTHER IBRAHIM, WHO WAS SHOT DEAD IN PROTESTS (through translator): I didn't go that day because I didn't have child care, but we

always went together and came back because the protests were peaceful. The first thing I want is justice for Ibrahim and all the kids who died because

they all had dreams.

MADOWO (voice-over): Protests broke out across Kenya last month against a proposed finance bill largely driven by young people organizing on social

media. But the deadliest day was June 25th, when protesters stormed parliament in Nairobi. Human rights groups accused police of shooting

dozens of unarmed protesters, including some who were fleeing.

No one has accepted or denied responsibility for the killings. Our crew filmed the shocking scenes. Like here, left of your screen, a man running

away is shot in the back with a tear gas canister at close range.

These protesters, standing over a man who's apparently dead, police fire a non-lethal round directly at them. Nairobi's police chief, seen here,

commanded the operation, his officers clearly contravening their own rules for the use of force. CNN analyzed the deadliest two hours when most of the

protesters are believed to have been killed.

Keep an eye on the man in white overalls waving his arms earlier in the day. 25-year-old Ericsson Kyalo Mutisya was supposed to be at the butcher's

shop where he worked, his mother said, but ended up here. CNN's camera captured him dancing until shots ring out.

Police advance towards the protesters. More shots and people run away. Amid the chaos, we spot Ericsson again. He is lifeless on the sidewalk. Around

him, other protesters are also on the ground. As the smoke lifts, one man has been shot in the head.

People rush to help, but police keep firing at them. A bag is thrown in the air as the smoke grenade goes off, but that protester escapes. We were on

the scene as this unfolded.


MADOWO: There are three bodies lying on the ground. After we heard live ammunition coming from parliament, a police truck is on fire, and the

protesters appear to be pushing the police, overwhelming them, getting closer to Parliament.

MADOWO (voice-over): Unknown to us at the time, Ericsson's body was being carried away behind me, his white overalls soaked in blood. We obtained his

autopsy report. Ericsson was shot in the back and bled to death. Moments later, another injured protester is carried away, but he is lucky he


That protester is 26-year-old Ian Kaya, who was also hit in the back.

IAN KEYA, PROTESTER: I'm in pain because of the government.

MADOWO (voice-over): He was demonstrating because he's been jobless since he graduated five years ago.

KEYA: Our main mission is to change Kenya, to be a better Kenya.

MADOWO: Do you regret going out to protest?

KEYA: I'm not regretting anything, because it's my right.

MADOWO (voice-over): Ian is a keen bodybuilder, but has lost the use of his legs.

CNN obtained three autopsy reports of protesters who were demonstrating around Parliament on the same day. Two died from gunshot wounds, one was

shot in the head, the other in the back. One opposition lawmaker concerned about police brutality in recent days says he will fight to hold those


YUSUF HASSAN ABDI, KENYAN OPPOSITION MEMBER OF THE PARLIAMENT: We cannot accept this colonial-minded, archaic, trigger-happy police. Something must

change, and we would make sure that the victims of this particular crisis get justice.

MADOWO (voice-over): Families buried their dead. Young men and women vocalizing their anger at a government they feel is not listening to them,

not helping them create a better future. An oversight body is investigating police conduct during the protests, but many here don't believe they'll

ever see justice.

Larry Madowo, CNN, Nairobi.


SOARES: Very important report there from our Larry Madowo and team. And CNN asked the Kenyan police and the Ministry of Interior about the conduct of

security forces during the protest, but has not received a response.

President William Ruto said in a TV interview on Sunday that the police tried their best and maintained that criminals infiltrated legitimate

protests. We will stay across this story for you.

We're going to take a short break. We'll see you on the other side.



SOARES: Well, the countdown to the Olympics is on and one crowd favorite has sealed her trip to France. No surprise here though. American Simone

Biles will compete for a third Olympics starting later this month in Paris.

The 27-year-old clenched her spot in Sunday. She plays first in all-round competition after dazzling with the crowd. The crowd, an amazing floor

routine. The four-time Olympic gold medalist returned to competitive gymnastics last year after taking a break from the sport for mental health

reasons. She is absolutely fantastic.

And another big event, a sporting event, I should say, kicking off right here in London. That's Wimbledon. Fans are hoping to see tennis star Andy

Murray play here one last time. He had a back procedure just days ago. It's also unclear if Novak Djokovic will recover in time from his knee surgery

to compete.

Earlier on Monday, though, British player Emma Raducanu won her first round match, advancing to the second round with a win in straight sets. And if

you're watching football, if you're interested in the EUROs, you've got Portugal versus Slovenia starting in about, well, five minutes or so.

That does it for me right here. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. "NEWSROOM" with Jim Sciutto is up next. I'll see you tomorrow.