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Laura Coates Live

Oxford High School Shooter Faces Life Without Parole; TX Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Woman's Emergency Abortion; Trump To Take The Stand In New York Civil Trial; CNN Presents "Late Night Laughs"; CNN Presents "Overtime With Bill Maher"; Hunter Biden Faces Nine Criminal Counts In Federal Tax Case. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired December 08, 2023 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: A day of emotion and a historic sentencing for families that were waiting for justice, tonight on LAURA COATES LIVE.

You know, it has been two years of grief for those who were impacted by the 2021 Oxford High School shooting in Michigan, and that pain will never go away. But today, they got the chance to at least be heard.

Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 years old when he killed four people and injured seven others, was sentenced to life in prison without parole. It doesn't have the death penalty. This is the harshest punishment possible.

And in the hours leading up to that very sentence, family member after family member, victim after victim, recounted to the court how their lives had been irreparably shattered by the events of that day.

And it was their words, directed right at Ethan Crumbley, that left the biggest mark, like those from the mother of Madisyn Baldwin, a 17- year-old senior who didn't live to graduate high school.


NICOLE BEAUSOLEIL, MOTHER OF MADISYN BALDWIN, KILLED IN OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING: I don't wish death upon you. That would be too easy. I hope the thoughts consume you and they replay over and over in your head. 'The thoughts won't stop.' I'm sure you heard that paraphrase before. I hope the screams keep you up at night.


COATES: And the words from Tate Myre's dad, who spoke of heartache after heartache since the loss of his just 16-year-old son.


BUCK MYRE, FATHER OF TATE MYRE, KILLED IN OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING: For the past two years, our family has been navigating our way through complete hell. What you stole from us is not replaceable. But what we won't let you steal from us is a life of normalcy, and we'll find a way to get there through forgiveness and through putting good into this world.


COATES: And those from the father of 17-year-old Justin Shilling, who says that he struggles most days to even get out of bed.


CRAIG SHILLING, FATHER OF JUSTIN SHILLING, KILLED IN OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING: His blatant lack of human decency and disturbing thoughts on life in general do not in any way warrant a second chance. My son doesn't get a second chance and neither should he.


COATES: And from the father of 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, who is mourning the memories that will never be.


STEVE ST. JULIANA, FATHER OF HANA ST. JULIANA, KILLED IN OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING: His age plays no part. His potential is irrelevant. There is clearly nothing that he could ever do to contribute to society that would make up for the lives that he has (INAUDIBLE) taken.


COATES: It's all those words that will be remembered, words that overshadowed those of Ethan Crumbley, who did address the court directly today and was minutes before finding out that he would spend the rest of his life behind bars.


ETHAN CRUMBLEY, SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING: I am a really bad person. I have done terrible things that no one should ever do. I have lied and not trustworthy. I've hurt many people. And that's what I've done. And I'm not denying it. But that's not who I plan on being. Whatever sentence it is, I do plan to be better than I am.


COATES: I want to bring in Meghan and Chad Gregory. They are the parents of Oxford High School shooting survivor Keegan Gregory, and also Attorney Ven Johnson, representing families in the civil suit against Oxford Community Schools. Thank you all for being here. What a very emotionally-charged day, I'm sure, for everyone in the community. It happens to be nationwide as well, as we all were tuning in to see this sentencing today. If I can begin with you, Megan. Ethan Crumbley now has become the first minor to receive an original sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Now, I know your child was a survivor, but you're among a community of people where everyone was not as fortunate. I am wondering, does this sentence bring you closure? Do you have a reaction to what this feels like tonight?

MEGHAN GREGORY, SON, KEEGAN GREGORY, SURVIVED OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING: I don't think closure would be the right word. I'm not sure closure will ever happen, especially for the four families. For us, I think it gives us a little bit of a sigh of relief, but I'm not sure that we could ever feel completely closure -- complete closure until our kids were safe. I don't know how to even explain it. If our kids were -- what's the right word?



M. GREGORY: Whole again.


M. GREGORY: I mean, it is the same. We're so changed. All of the kids in the community are forever changed. And I think that's a hard thing to swallow for most people. Most people probably can't understand it until you ever go through it. But it does give us a little bit of a sigh of relief to know that we won't have to ever face him anywhere ever again.

COATES: I'm so glad that you said that, both of you, because although your child is a survivor -- and I feel uncomfortable as a mother even describing your child in that way because it diminishes in some respect for people to understand the depth of the emotion of what has happened and the ongoing, ongoing journey that everyone in the community is feeling. And so, I'm so glad that you've pointed out the distinction and the idea of what comes next.

I will mention one thing that he said, and I was really, Chad, leaning in to see what Ethan Crumbley may have said, what could he possibly have said at this sentencing. I want to play for you his message to the parents of the victims. Listen to this.


CRUMBLEY: Any sentence that they ask for, I ask that you do impose it on me because I want them to be happy, and I want them to feel secure and safe. I do not want them to worry another day. So, I really am sorry for what I've done, for what I've taken of them. I cannot give it back, but I can try my best in the future to help other people, and that is what I will do.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COATES: Now, Chad, obviously, there are more than the four victims who lost their lives. The community forever touched. There are some feeling a deep loss of safety. There are those who cannot sleep. There are those who are still battling with what they saw and the trauma of all of it. In addition to these four shooting victims, what do you say in response to the message that he conveyed today?

C. GREGORY: I think the first thing is it's too soon for many of us to forgive, although some made the message of they'll seek forgiveness for themselves, but not for the shooter. I think the note is that trauma does not respect time.

And so, it doesn't matter that we were in this place two years later, and he decides now he's going to say, I'm sorry. The trauma is very real and it takes you back to that single day. And we don't get out of it just because he goes to life in prison without parole.

So, I feel for what he did say, but I think it falls on deaf ears at this point. And it's a means to an end to get him processed through the system. And now, it's under the parents and the school district. This isn't our end.

COATES: To that point, yeah. Absolutely. It's the beginning, in some respects, of the next process here. And then that does include, as Chad pointed out, it does include the criminal prosecution of this person's parents. There is an ongoing litigation and appeal process about the school district as well.

You're representing some of the families and survivors trying to hold the school district and some of the employees accountable for trying to act when the signs appeared to be clear that this student, then student was violent, was dangerous. Where does all of that stand right now in terms of litigation?

VEN JOHNSON, REPRESENTS FAMILIES OF VICTIMS IN OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING: Laura, as always, you're spot on, you know exactly. We have appeal in the state court action for the Michigan Court of Appeals. We have an appeal in the federal portion of our lawsuit -- our lawsuits, plural, many, in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on various rulings fighting governmental immunity, sovereign immunity. So, basically, government saying you can't sue me.

But what I thought was so incredible today is the overwhelming comments not just by the defense but the prosecutor. They all agree on one thing today and the judge, and that is we all know the school made multiple mistakes here, and then it was -- but for the purposes of today, for the purposes of the civil case, yes, let's do one thing at a time, the sentencing today in the criminal case of the shooter, next will be his parents, and then we'll become the civil two cases. We have a long road to go.

But everybody today, defense, prosecutor, and judge, all mentioned the school district admittedly, according to them, being responsible, just like their own internal investigations show that they're responsible. But yet, they're still going forward with their appeals, Laura, and they're not coming forward and say, we give up, we're sorry, our own investigation shows we screwed up, nothing.


COATES: What was your reaction that the parents were criminally- charged?

C. GREGORY: We believe that there needs to be accountability there. And what we're not trying to do is look inside the home and judge on what happened or didn't happen. The fact is they bought their child a weapon, did not put it in a secure safe storage environment. He had access. The fact is, parents need to be held accountable if they do not keep their firearms safe.

COATES: Meghan and Chad Gregory, Ven Johnson, thank you all for your words tonight. It was so telling. Thank you so much.

JOHNSON: Thank you, Laura.

M. GREGORY: Thank you.

COATES: Joining me now, senior crime and justice correspondent Shimon Prokupecz. I'm so glad that you are here. Shimon, you know what happens in these communities in the wake of mass shootings. Your coverage of so many, far too many, frankly, including, of course, Uvalde, makes me want to ask you in particular about this idea of closure. Even with a sentence like life without the possibility of parole, what is that like for a community to try to grapple with this?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: It's tough. It's certainly -- look, I was in that community in the days after the shooting, it's a small community, and everyone there, everyone there was so affected by what happened there.

The other thing, what made it so difficult to us was that there was warning signs. There were things that could have been done to prevent this. No one took an action. So that is what also frustrated so many there.

But I think for the community, in any community, when you're able to come into a courthouse and do those victim impact statements, it's very powerful. It's a very important part of our justice system for the victims to come in and tell a judge how they feel, how they were terrorized by what happened to them.

And so, in that sense, I think it does give them some closure, that they can come in there and speak about how they feel. But, you know, as you heard the family there say, they will never be whole again. And they still have a long road ahead because you have the parents, and then, obviously, you have the fight for justice and accountability on the part of the school.

COATES: It's so true, and thinking about the people we just spoke to, their child survived this attack, but for the parents whose children did not, people have to think about this being very expansive. Those who are speaking today were not just the victims of those who have passed, but those who have been impacted, victims impacted by the actions and conduct of this particular defendant, now convicted defendant. It's something that we need to focus more on.

And also, the judge. I mean, before the sentencing, Shimon, the judge was unforgiving at best when he recounted the horrific acts that took place, how he planned, how he prepared for this rampage. Listen to this.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): The court apologizes to the victim for the bluntness, but defendant shot and killed Justin Shilling at point blank range after having him get down on his knees in front of another student.


COATES: Hmm. I mean, when you hear this, ahh.

PROKUPECZ: You know, I was kind of surprised, you know, hearing a judge go into such graphic detail. But I think given the age of this defendant, 17, 15 at the time, and the fact that he was going to be sentencing him to life in prison, I think he needed to set the record and needed to explain why he was doing something that has never been done before.

Think about this. This was a 15-year-old kid at the time, 17 now, who will never see the light of day again, will spend the rest of his life behind bars. And so, I think that's probably why the judge did it with the understanding that it was potentially going to affect these victims.

This is something that they will live with forever. The sights, the smells, the noises, the sounds of gunfire, seeing their friends dying. This is something this community will live with forever. So, for the judge to do that, I mean, he was trying to be sensitive, but, you know, I was taken a little back by that. But it was necessary, perhaps, given what he was about to do.

COATES: Well, you know, there is the expectation when we're talking about a minor, that some level of leniency would always be afforded and extended.


COATES: I think he wanted to impress upon that courtroom, that defendant, that that leniency and that mercy had not been shown to the children who were killed that day.

Shimon, really, extraordinary to think about this happening yet again in this country, in this novelty for the first time of this sentence. Shimon, thank you so much.

PROKUPECZ: Yeah. Thanks for having me, Laura.


COATES: This is just in, the Supreme Court of the state of Texas temporarily blocking a woman's emergency abortion. Kate Cox is 20 weeks pregnant, and she says that her unborn baby has a genetic condition with very little chance of surviving, and carrying a child to term would actually threaten her life. Now, she sued to get a high- risk abortion, and a judge actually ruled in her favor. Remember, the medical information was provided by her own doctor.

Now, that is until the state's attorney general, Ken Paxton, threatened legal consequences and petitioned the Texas Supreme Court to intervene in this matter.

Now, her future and her ability to obtain her medically important -- as she says, an emergency abortion, is up in the air. We're going to stay on this story and bring you the very latest.

Up next, Trump is going to testify, expected to testify, I should say, in court on Monday. We never know what could happen or will he even go off the rails. A former Trump attorney joins me next to weigh in.




COATES: So, we're like two days away, right after the weekend, of the former president possibly taking the stand again in his New York civil fraud trial. He has turned his trips to the courthouse, as you know, into, well, campaign stops. He has been blasting the judge, the New York attorney general. So, will it be different on Monday? What can we expect?

We'll talk about it with the former Trump attorney, Tim Parlatore. You know, we've seen this movie before. He testified once before. The judge was telling him to control himself. Do you think it's a good idea for him to testify on Monday? It's in his defense, the defense case.

TIM PARLATORE, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: You know that case is devolved into such a circus, anyway. I don't know that makes any difference at this point. I mean, you know, he's going to go in and say his piece. Summary judgment has already been decided. This is a damages trial. And it's damages -- it's a bench damages trial, too. So, I mean, really at this point, I think the lawyers are more working on building points for an appeal than --


PARLATORE: -- expecting anything to actually happen.

COATES: Because, of course, if you don't raise it at the trial level, you cannot raise it on appeal. You don't get to have a first bite of the apple on appeal. But, you know, when you think about the significance of what you just said, the judge has already decided that fraud has occurred.

Now, it's about how expensive it's going to be, whether he'll lose parts of his businesses in the same way, havr maybe a custodian of the Trump empire in many respects in New York.

His attorneys have been saying, though, that he would do so against their advice. I was surprised by that statement, weren't you?

PARLATORE: I was. I mean, look, as lawyers, we sometimes disagree with our clients.


PARLATORE: But we don't go out and tell the whole world that I advised my client of something and he disagreed.

COATES: Why? And that's not about ego, though. That's about a strategic issue.

PARLATORE: No, that's about the ethical rules.

COATES: Right.

PARLATORE: That's about the ethical rules. You can't talk about privileged communications. And, you know, when you provide advice to a client, it's between you and the client, not between you and the cameras. It's insane.

COATES: And I would also argue, we're talking about a trial of showmanship that we've seen.


COATES: The notion that I'm telling you not to do this can ring very differently. If it were a jury, they might see this and go, hold on. This is a jury of a judge, though.


COATES: A bench trial who has already been pretty at odds with them. How is it going to impact, you think, the ultimate decision here?

PARLATORE: Not at all. It's not going to make any difference to the judge's decision in this trial. It could have some impact to the appeal, positive or negative, because, yes, he could build some more points for the appeal, but he could also end up hurting himself on the appeal.

COATES: And for the other cases around him, right? You can imagine all the prosecutors who are in other jurisdictions who might be salivating at any crack of a door opening to say, please, talk more about what I can now bring in, because it will come in possibly in their own trials, right?

PARLATORE: Sure, sure. I mean -- and think that this case, because it is so untethered from everything else and the other cases, it's not going to be as much for that there. But if there's any testimony that he's going to do in these other cases, it's going to have to look vastly different from this. COATES: Well, I wonder if we'll at least stay on track or be derailed. We'll have to wait and see. Tim Parlatore, as always, thank you so much for your insight.

You know, it has been -- frankly, it has been a wild week in politics. It's Friday yet again. It has been wild all across the country and with things only likely to get wilder in, oh, about 333 days. That's the election day. But who's counting? So, who stood out in this crazy week?

Joining me now is comedian Matt Friend to talk about who made the biggest impressions this week. Matt, Trump gave us a little bit of a preview of his --


COATES: Oh, no, he started already.

FRIEND: Yes, he did, Laura. Excuse me. Ask the question. Go ahead and do it, honey. Please do that. Ask the question.

COATES: Oh, my God. The question, I guess --

FRIEND: What is the question?

COATES: Former Mr. President, is that the whole dictator for a day plan --

FRIEND: That's true.

COATES: -- that you unveiled just for a day? How is that going to work with the law?

FRIEND: Well, I will tell you what. I would be a dictator for one day. I'll tell you, I knew Mussolini. He was a great guy. We had golf last week at the great Mar-a-Lago. And I will tell you, look at the great criminals. You see Al Capone. Al Capone, a great guy. The godfather was based off of me. We know the Brando people. He played him. I consulted him on the role. But a dictator is a good thing. America needs it. Thank you very much, China.

COATES: Oh, my God.


The fact that it comes on that quickly --

FRIEND: It does. I'm sorry.

COATES: You know, I close my eyes for a second and squinted like this.

FRIEND: It's hard. I know.

COATES: I know. But, you know, it wasn't just him this week who made an impression, Matt. FRIEND: Yeah.

COATES: Chris Christie had quite the bone to pick with Vivek Ramaswamy at this week's GOP debate in Tuscaloosa.


Who won that particular battle?

FRIEND: There was no winner, in my opinion. I just love the fact that Chris Christie used the same exact tactic he used with Marco Rubio in 2016, which is point out your enemy as a robot.

So, actor's strike has to come back because Ron DeSantis is a bigger threat than AI. The man has the most planned responses. America, can we just all take a shot every time Ron DeSantis says, let me tell you, buckle up, okay? Because there's going to be a new sheriff in town, and I think you all know that. I mean, what is happening?

Also, Laura, Ron DeSantis couldn't admit that Donald Trump is not fit for office. He won't even admit that his heels don't fit. So, I don't know what's happening with him right now.

Also, Laura, what is up with Republicans holding up signs in the middle of debates?

COATES: On a white legal pad? Yeah.

FRIEND: Yeah, like on the debate against Newsom, DeSantis holds up the poop map of San Francisco. And this time, it's Vivek holding up Nikki Haley -- it is bad sign (ph). I don't know what's happening right now.

COATES: Well, they say retro is in.

FRIEND: Yes, that's right.

COATES: This is called handwriting, young voters.


COATES: We use this instead of our thumbs to do this, but at least -- at least maybe a yellow legal pad.


COATES: I don't know, a little bit of color in the world. Who knows?

FRIEND: That's right.

COATES: Matt, I don't know why you do this to me every week. My cheeks hurt by the end of our conversation.

FRIEND: I do just have to say one word of advice. I know Kevin McCarthy is now out of the job. Kevin, if you're looking for any advice, just make sure you book a cameo from George Santos, okay? He's available.

COATES: Oh, man.

FRIEND: I'm sure he'll give you a lot of input.

COATES: Oh, my goodness. Matt Friend, whew, a man who doesn't -- is not afraid to make a couple of enemies and make us laugh in the process. I love it. Thank you so much.

FRIEND: And I love you. This is Barack Obama. Thank you so much, CNN. Good night, everybody. I appreciate that.


Thank you.

COATES: There's something wrong with you. But coming up, CNN's presentation of HBO's "Overtime with Bill Maher."





COATES: Well, now, let's turn it over to our friends at HBO because every Friday after "Real Time with Bill Maher," Bill and his guests answer viewer questions about topics in the national conversation. So, here is "Overtime with Bill Maher."



BILL MAHER, HBO POLITICAL TALK SHOW HOST: Okay, we are here on CNN with co-author of "The Canceling of the American Mind," Greg Lukianoff, CNN senior political analyst and anchor, John Avlon, and special correspondent for "PBS NewsHour," Jane Ferguson.

Okay, here are the questions that the people of America want to know of our CNN panel. You're often on a CNN panel, right?


MAHER: Okay. So, this is just new to you -- not new to you. What does the panel think of choosing Taylor Swift as "Time" magazine "Person of the Year?"

GREG LUKIANOFF, CO-AUTHOR, THE CANCELING OF THE AMERICAN MIND: One hundred percent for it. She totally deserves it. I'm not kidding.


(LAUGHTER) MAHER: No -- I mean, yeah, who can argue?

JANE FERGUSON, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, PBS NEWSHOUR: You can put her on the cat, though. The cat should get credit (ph).


MAHER: No, she's -- I mean, it's a phenomenal year. I mean, we have not seen a year like that in showbusiness, maybe ever. What are the panel's thoughts on Hunter Biden being indicted?

AVLON: Look --


It just shows that equal justice under law exists. The president's son is going to get busted for abating taxes. And, you know, he didn't get a lot moment of grief. And that doesn't really matter because he got to obey the law no matter whose son you are. No matter --


MAHER: It does really --


AVLON: The two-tier justice.


MAHER: It does really point out that one side does consider the law a little more seriously than the other. And the fact that they kind of compare it to Trump, like, Hunter Biden is not our hero.


Okay? I get it. Okay, what kind of interference can we expect from Russia as the 2024 election heats up?

FERGUSON: Not needed.

AVLON: Well --


AVLON: There's a story that just came out yesterday in the U.K., that U.S. was involved as well, that Russia is doing cyber hacking specifically with the goal of not only disrupting their election but eroding faith in democracy itself. And I think that's the larger stake. We've seen this on TikTok. A lot of things that go viral. You've discussed that, you know.

And now, you know, you see Xi -- you know, Trump losing no opportunity to praise Xi at every campaign speech. Now, the guy, Donald Trump loves dictators, but I think that dramatically increases the chance of interference only because people are going to want -- those autocratic alternatives are going to want to degrade democracy and put us on a path towards decline.

FERGUSON: But are we flattering ourselves in thinking that that's what they need to do as opposed to sit back and watch? I mean, like, people -- there was -- there was, of course, the misinformation campaign and bots on Twitter making us all get outraged and row and fight. But it feels like that has taken on an organic life of its own now. Perhaps we're flattering ourselves by saying it must be interference.

We've seen this in other parts of the world, you know, whenever people rise up against their leaders and everyone says it's a conspiracy. By all means, Russia will and would love to interfere.

AVLON: They are.

FERGUSON: But I kind of wonder if these days they really need to. I mean, this election is not looking too tight.

AVLON: Yeah.

LUKIANOFF: In "Canceling," we talk a lot about what experts have done to undermine their own credibility, unfortunately, in recent years, and that's also a big thing that Russia is trying to do as well. And unfortunately, they're -- well, it's like -- you know, they're complementing each other in the worst possible way.

MAHER: Okay. What did the panel think of Vivek Ramaswamy's performance at the debate this week?


AVLON: I mean, I had to watch that?


MAHER: Did you watch it?





It's not on the test, right?


If you didn't see it, it was --

AVLON: In one answer, he managed to connect every conspiracy theory from the 21st century.

LUKIANOFF: Well, that's cool. AVLON: From 9/11. Well, except it was clearly a dog whistle to folks on the far right to sort of connect 9/11, say January 6 was an inside job, to talk about the great replacement theory and saying it was a Democratic Party platform, and they say -- and to repeat 2020 lies, which now a litmus test in the party. That symbolize everything wrong in our politics. It's totally disgusting, it's disqualifying, it's pathetic, and it's pandering.


AVLON: This is me off.

MAHER: But also --

FERGUSON: I think it also, though, really speaks to a level of desperation. I mean, you have to -- you have to be pretty scared to start connecting more and more and more conspiracy theories together. I mean, there's got to be like a limit to where -- you know --


-- once you've had too many, then you really look like you're losing. So --

LUKIANOFF: Got to work in Pizzagate.



MAHER: Well, he did with the Chris Christie joke.

LUKIANOFF: Oh, did he really?

MAHER: Well, he worked in pizza.


Or something. Didn't he say something?


I mean, he made a fat joke at Chris Christie. I just want to -- I tried to like this guy. I mean, I had him on my podcast, he had him on the show, he's a personable guy.


MAHER: But I just got to say, youth shows itself. I mean, he kept saying, the debates I watched, he kept saying, it's time for a new generation, which they all say when the young guy comes along. And this just showed it's not. This generation --

AVLON: Not that guy.

MAHER: What? AVLON: Not that guy.

MAHER: Well, not that guy, because it just showed -- you know, come back -- my advice to him is stop. Just stop it.


Don't go away. Come back. He's 38 years old. Come back in 10 or 20 years and say, oh yeah, you know what, I can't believe I did what I did when I was 38, because we can all relate to that.


AVLON: Run for office, not just straight for president because you want to get famous. Because, you know, your idiocy is showing.

MAHER: I mean, it also just seems so performative, like, I get it. What he's thinking is the Republican Party likes dicks. It does.


But, you know, with Trump, it's authentic.


FERGUSON: Now, you are kind of complimenting him.

MAHER: No --

FERGUSON: He's not really a dick?

MAHER: He's not. I think he's playing one.

AVLON: That's almost worse.

MAHER: That's -- exactly. It is worse. It's almost worse. Trump can't help being a dick.



This guy is playing one. That's all I must say. A number of Indian Americans I know who are friends of mine have said, Bill, please tell America, he does not represent us. You know, that's like -- that's a bad guy to go out first. But there's Nikki Haley --

AVLON: We've got Nikki Haley.

MAHER: -- who, you know, like -- do I agree with everything? No. But could I easily live under Nikki Haley's America? Yes. I might even enjoy it. I don't know.


AVLON: I mean, look, this is all what's going to happen in the next two months between Iowa and New Hampshire. It is going to be enormously -- I mean, this is a time for choosing. Republicans have one last chance to not re-nominate someone who tried to overturn our democracy.


MAHER: Okay. Jane, Dublin is your hometown?

FERGUSON: Well, New York City.

MAHER: I know.

FERGUSON: I come from Northern Ireland, just north of the border.

MAHER: Oh, Northern Ireland.

FERGUSON: It's complex.



Oh, I know. Are the riots in Dublin a sign that extremist politics are gaining a foothold in Ireland? Okay, so explain what -- I read it, but you have to explain it better.

FERGUSON: It's pretty wild. So, Ireland -- I mean, I had to reread the story several times.

MAHER: It was about Musk, wasn't it?

FERGUSON: No. It was really kind of -- it's a fomenting of a sort of very, very tiny minority that's very loud and very violent. That it basically -- it's anti-immigration and it's all the usual populist kind of conversations. I think the fact --

MAHER: What stirred them up? Wasn't it something on Twitter? I refuse to call it X.



FERGUSON: A lot of it -- a lot of it -- a lot of it comes down to like rumors and misinformation. But it's grounded, so Twitter is a big, big part of that there in this case.

MAHER: Twitter is better, isn't it? I feel like it's so much easier to go -- Twitter, I refuse to call it X, than go X, formerly Twitter.

AVLON: Yeah.


FERGUSON: X used to be a drug, you know? That's what people used to -- you know. MAHER: And I'm also going to call Kanye, Kanye. I'm not going to go with that.


FERGUSON: The Irish (ph) thing, though -- I mean, honestly, the thing that concerns me is that whenever you start having a pretty sort of violent, extremely right-wing riot in Ireland, I mean this is just -- this is unprecedented.

MAHER: We've had them here.


FERGUSON: But -- yeah. But, I mean, never in Ireland.


Ireland is so antithetical to everything, you know. We know about -- Ireland was the first country to, by popular vote, legalize gay marriage, you know. I mean, Ireland is --

MAHER: Well, kind of late in the game, though.

FERGUSON: A lot has changed.

MAHER: When was -- what year was that?

FERGUSON: That was 15 years ago, 10 years ago.

MAHER: That's kind of late in the game.

AVLON: LAll right, raise a glass to Shane MacGowan, by the way, speaking of Ireland.

MAHER: Yeah.



MAHER: I'm Irish. I should know this.

LUKIANOFF: To ban hate speech in Ireland --


LUKIANOFF: -- that got passed recently. You see the same thing going on in France, and they can't seem to understand that they passed these antisemitism laws in the 90s, and somehow antisemitism got worse. And it's because you told all the anti-Semites that they could only talk to other anti-Semites.


LUKIANOFF: What did you expect to happen? FERGUSON: And this is actually the same thing on college campuses. When students are not talking to one another, they're not like having civil discourse, opinions don't go away because you banned someone saying them.


FERGUSON: We need to get like -- especially students on campus. Make them sit down and talk. Make them debate. Make them say this to each other.


AVLON: This is one of the most important things that your show is doing right now, which is defining liberal values and saying we need to stand up against liberalism on the left as well as the right. And there's a group of common-sense Democrats, liberal patriots --

MAHER: Right.

AVLON: -- radical centrists that need to start taking the conversation back.


MAHER: All right. Well said. Thank you, everybody. We'll see you next week for our season finale.



COATES: You can watch "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday nights on HBO at 10 p.m., and then watch "Overtime" right here on CNN, Friday nights at 11:30.

Up next, Anderson Cooper joins me to talk about his podcast, "All There Is," where he sat down with President Biden in an emotional conversation about grief and loss.




COATES: Hunter Biden is facing nine criminal charges in a new federal tax case against him. It's the second criminal case brought by Special Counsel David Weiss. A proposed plea deal, you remember, to resolve the case, well, it dramatically fell apart back in July. It's raising a lot of questions about what it could mean for his father's reelection campaign.

Anderson Cooper recently sat down with President Biden for his podcast, "All There Is," where the president talks about how the loss of his wife and daughter impacted his relationship with his sons. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (voice-over): I remember riding, we were in the car, Hunter was I guess five years old, six years old. And we were riding along and the top was down. Those days you could put a kid in your lap.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): I remember those days, it was crazy.

BIDEN (voice-over): And we stopped at a stop sign and we were in the country. And he looked up and looked out at all the cows around grazing. He looked, he said, daddy, I love you more than the whole sky, the whole sky. And, you know, I'd get home and they could tell too when I was down, and they'd just be there.

COOPER (voice-over): In your book, your last book on the back page was a beautiful photo of Beau when he was eight or nine --

BIDEN (voice-over): Yeah.

COOPER (voice-over): -- and he's turning and he's waving to the camera. And you said somewhere that that's the age you always see him in your mind's eye, and I'm wondering, is that still true?

BIDEN (voice-over): Yeah, it is. The smile on his face just waving, he's walking into the garden. And look, Beau and Hunt, they'd finish each other's sentences. They're as close as they can possibly be, and I think the loss of Beau was a profound, profound impact on Hunter.


COATES: CNN's Anderson Cooper joins me now. Anderson, I mean, just hearing it, you can't help but sort of clutch your heart when you hear this exchange and about, in the voice of President Biden, the love, the loss. When he talks about his son, Beau and, of course, talking about his love for Hunter as well, he shared so much with you in this podcast.

I just wonder, what did you take away from the story about his resilience, about his grief, and what he's going through?

COOPER: Yeah, I think, you know, what really comes across in this interview is the extent to which it is his son, his daughter, his grandchildren, which have gotten him through the grief that he has experienced. I mean, from when his wife and 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, were killed in a car crash, Hunter and Beau were very little as well, they were badly injured, but his concern for them and being there for them is what pulled him through those early months of grief.

And now, in the wake of the death of his son, Beau, it's his relationship with his family members, with Hunter, with his daughter, Ashley, and the grandchildren that has really become the bedrock of his life.

COATES: It's such an important point. I mean, just thinking about the ties that bind and this connective tissue that your podcast really explores is just so heartwarming in some respects. It makes people feel less alone in what they're going through to have the president speak about, to have you speak about, to have so many people talk about the process of all of this, and it's just so important.

And really, you know, I think I'm already on the verge of tears. I feel like on Sunday, I'm going to be co-hosting my first time "heroes" with you. I'm so excited. I feel like just the heartfelt emotion that goes behind the work that they're doing --


COATES: -- to just make the world better. I mean, I hope you bring some tissues for me. What am I going to expect?

COOPER: You know, I mean, I think the cool thing about "heroes," as you know, is that these are people who don't necessarily have, you know, money or resources or access to power, but they saw needs in their community. And like many of us think, oh, I wish I could do something about X, Y or Z, they actually did it.


They rolled up their sleeves and they sometimes open up their home or whatever it is. They just go in and they start doing stuff. And sometimes, they start off really small. And this is an opportunity to really give them global recognition and get them resources and for everybody to be inspired by their work.

COATES: Hey, thanks, Anderson. And be sure to tune in this Sunday at 8 p.m. for "CNN Heroes," an all-star tribute. Here's a sneak peek of what you can expect.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): Sunday on CNN.

ESTEFANIA REBELLON, CNN HERO, YES WE CAN WORLD FOUNDATION: We provide bilingual education for migrant and refugee children at the U.S.- Mexico border.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Support the extraordinary people making a difference in our world.


MIKE GOLDBERG, CNN HERO, I.CARE: We are rebuilding the colonies here in the Florida Keys.

OSEI BOATENG, CNN HERO, OKB HOPE FOUNDATION: I'm going to ensure that people in Ghana have access to health care.


DR. KWANE STEWART, CNN HERO, PROJECT STREET VET: If I see a pet need and a person who cares for them dearly. ADAM PEARCE, CNN HERO, LOVE YOUR BRAIN: Trauma can be a pathway for growth.

ALVIN IRBY, CNN HERO, BARBERSHOP BOOKS: We install child-friendly reading space in the barbershop.

YASMINE ARRINGTON, CNN HERO, SCHOLARCHIPS: We all are connected because of the shared experience of having an incarcerated parent.


STACEY BUCKNER, CNN HERO, OFF-ROAD OUTREACH: There should be no homeless vets, period, none.

TESCHA HAWLEY, CNN HERO, DAY EAGLE HOPE PROJECT: I don't want to be defined as a victim of my circumstances.

MAMA SHU, CNN HERO, AVALON VILLAGE: I do want to make sure that they get all the attention and love that they deserve.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern on CNN.




COATES: I want to talk to you about a different kind of superhero. His name is Peter Park. No, not Peter Parker, just Peter Park. Now, he's not even old enough to vote or to have a drink, but he can now officially hold up the law as a practicing deputy district attorney in California.

The 17-year-old, yes, 17, is now the youngest person to pass the state's bar in history. He started high school at just the age of 13, and completed college-level proficiency exams, and then he, of course, focused on law school, graduating this year. Park said -- quote -- "It was not easy, but it was worth it."

Well, that's one way to put it. Congratulations.

And thank you all for watching. Our coverage continues.