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Laura Coates Live

House Republicans Move To Impeach Alejandro Mayorkas Over Border; Trump Tries To Torpedo Bipartisan Border Deal; Will Conflict In The Middle East Hurt Biden With Young Voters?; E. Jean Carroll: Trump Is Using Me To Win Voters; Laura Coates Interviews Joey Jackson; Conservatives Float Conspiracies Over Swift And Super Bowl. Aired 11p- 12a ET

Aired January 29, 2024 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: All right, remember that phrase, high crime and misdemeanors? Well, it's back, but it might not mean the same thing. Tonight on "Laura Coates Live."

All right, you've heard this before. Members of the House are set to mark up two new articles of impeachment tomorrow. But this time, it's not for Donald Trump. It's also not for Joe Biden. Instead, they are targeting President Biden's Homeland Security secretary, the man you see right there, Alejandro Mayorkas.

And the House Republicans that are accusing him, it's because he's not enforcing, they say, the border laws and he's losing the trust of the American people.

You're probably wondering which is the high crime or misdemeanor in like a law and order episode. You probably won't find it tonight. The misdemeanor, the high crime, and you're not odd for asking the question because, of course, those are the actual constitutional standards for impeachment, frankly, it has been more nebulous over the years.

But I wonder if you feel that would meet the criteria. Well, the top Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee says the articles don't include a shred of evidence. The DHS says it's a farce, and legal experts say that this really just boils down to not a legal dispute but a policy dispute.

So, now, what is really going on? Look, no one is arguing that what's happening at the border is somehow all roses. It is, in fact, a problem. Crisis comes to mind, and that's why Democrats and Republicans, as you know, have been working together on a bipartisan border deal, though that right now does not at all seem very likely to happen.

Why? Not because of an incumbent, not because of the actual president or even a sitting senator or member of Congress. It's because a candidate, a presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has said, don't do it, has told Republicans to torpedo it, making senators happy in his party while they're not too pleased about it all.


SEN. TODD YOUNG (R-IN): This would be a very significant achievement of this republican minority in the U.S. Senate of forcing the issue. So, I hope no one is trying to take this away for campaign purposes.

SEN. KEVIN CRAMER (R-ND): I don't see how we have a better story to tell when we miss the one opportunity. We have to fix it and we go and say, you know, I would love to have fixed it, but it was election season, so I thought I'd wait.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): The question is, do you want to get something that will help us stem the tide of humanity coming across the border and drugs, or do you want to get nothing?


COATES: It's a heck of a choice. Once again, it seems politics is trumping some of the solutions. The pun is, of course, intended. Let's talk about it now with the surrogate for the New York GOP and Republican strategist Joe Pinion. Also, CNN political commentator Jamal Simmons, a former deputy assistant to President Biden, and Tara Palmeri, who is a senior political correspondent for "Puck News." I'm so glad you're all here with me tonight.

First of all, begin with the substance here. Like what are you hearing about what it actually would mean for this deal? What's in it? What's the deal? We're hearing a lot about the, in principle, I hate that phrase, but not actually the text of things. Where are we?

TARA PALMERI, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, PUCK NEWS: Well, they haven't actually revealed the text because they don't want it to be torpedoed as they always do. They're holding it back.

But what we've learned so far is that when there are surges, when there are more than 5,000 migrants crossing the border in a day, the president can unilaterally stop asylum processing. He can stop these people from effectively coming into the country.

And that would happen day one because we're getting way more than 5,000 migrants coming into this country a day. So essentially, as soon as this legislation is signed, Joe Biden said it will take effect, and he will take it into effect.

The problem is that, of course, the Republicans are going to say that 5,000 is too many, we can't allow anyone to apply for asylum because these people are allowed to still apply for asylum, and in some cases, some people would be allowed to get work permits right away. They would be able to integrate into our society, which is what you would think they would want.

But there is no pathway in this for DREAMers. There's no pathway for the 11 million people or so that are living in this country illegally. But It's just -- it's a step. It's a step in the direction for both parties that have been saying, well, mainly the Republicans, that they wanted this, like they wanted this part of the Israel-Ukraine deal. They said, we will not give aid to Ukraine or Israel without border.


Now, you've got it, but it's not good enough and it's like they're killing it because of Trump, essentially.

COATES: Well, I mean -- I mean, shock of the century, Congress not taking yes for an answer on something. But it is shocking in some respect to me. First of all, the idea for Democrats, there's no pathway to citizenship. I mean, yes, Republicans and Democrats have talked about immigration and reform over the decades, and I do mean decades --


COATES: -- but Democrats have hung their hats a lot on the idea of that pathway. It's not here. Isn't that an issue?

SIMMONS: So, a lot of people on the left are concerned about this, right? So, there's no pathway for DREAMers --

COATES: Right.

SIMMONS: -- to be protected. Business interests aren't going to have an expanded guest worker program. That's not going to exist. So, people are asking rightfully like, okay, well, we're arguing, the Democrats are arguing with Republicans to do what Republicans have already said they want to do. Right?


So, where does it make sense? One, standing up against Russia and standing up against Putin in Ukraine, two, helping to fund Israel, and then, three, securing the border, including putting more border personnel, more judges, more electronic equipment down the border.

All these things, I think a lot of people may argue are good things to do, but Republicans want to do them, but they won't actually take the vote to get it done.


JOE PINION, FORMER SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, look, I think we have to take a step back here. I think that it is a lot more complicated than simply saying President Trump or any presidential candidates trying to take the issue off the table. I think --

COATES: But Joe, he wants you to blame him. He said that. Blame it on me. Right?

PINION: Look, I'll just say this. I think just looking at it from a substantive standpoint, one of the things that most Republicans and I would say all Americans want, what we have on the crisis -- on the border is a crisis. It is a humanitarian crisis, it is a national security crisis, it is something that is affecting people all across this country. So, people want to have that flow of illegal immigration staunch, and I think on some basic level, the issue is, if you're going to have this average of 5,000 number in there, we don't know that, but I mean that's what has been suggested, then you're talking about the equivalent of another Syracuse, New York crossing the border on a recurring basis, you're talking about another Rochester, New York crossing the border on a recurring basis.

Places where people are already struggling with poverty. Places where we've seen people across the political spectrum saying we cannot have our needs neglected to make sure that the needs of people who've only been here for 24 hours at SIC end up being first in line.

So, ultimately, it comes down to what is the objective. Is this going to be the broader immigration reform that people have been seeking for decades, comprehensive immigration reform, or is this a stopgap that is supposed to deal with the actual acute crisis that we have on the southern border, and Republicans will say you cannot actually have a solution to the problem that codifies the very thing that we're trying to end?

SIMMONS: Let me say this. Let me say this --

COATES: Let me say this one thing.

SIMMONS: This is your show. You can --



SIMMONS: I will wait.

COATES: No, you can talk, too. I just want to -- the number zero keeps coming to mind.


COATES: Zero because -- I don't know why I'm pointing to my forehead but that's the number that's kind of on. Zero because that's what Speaker Mike Johnson has been talking about in terms of that's the only way. The number has to be zero. That's completely unrealistic to think about. There's got to be a middle ground for what Joe is talking about, what Congress is talking about, and the idea of zero. Go ahead, Jamal.

SIMMONS: No, absolutely. What I was going to say is, listen. George W. Bush tried to do this in the 2000s. John McCain tried to do this when Barack Obama was president. And both of them were scuttled by the same right-wing forces that didn't want to do a deal that was going to actually have any kind of compassion to it.

So, the problem -- the problem that I have here is that they just don't want to deal because they'd rather have the politics than have the solution. PINION: I'll just say this. I think that we have to be honest about the fact that it's an election year, that both sides like to play politics with issues that obviously no one should play politics with.

PALMERI: Right. I mean, Democrats do see that this is a popular issue for them now.

PINION: Right.

PALMERI: It wasn't before.

PINION: It wasn't before.

PALMERI: Even Joe Biden is taking a risk.

COATES: You mean, meaning that they want to now obviously try to solve the problem and the Republicans, a la Trump, is saying, I don't want this done during election year because it might benefit the Bidens?

PALMERI: No. I mean, because Democrats have figured out that, at least at the White House, that this is actually an issue that bothers Democrats and Republican voters, so they know that this is going to be an issue in 2024 for Biden. So, it would be a win for Biden to fix this issue.

That's a big -- you know, for a while, the Democrats didn't want to go anywhere near this because they didn't want to alienate the progressive base. Now, they're willing to do it because they want to win over those swing voters in the seven battleground states that matter in this election.

SIMMONS: So, everybody is a yes except Donald Trump. Therefore, we're not going to do it.

PINION: I don't think everyone is yes. I mean --

PALMERI: They're both playing election. They're both playing electoral politics is what I'm saying.

COATES: Well, let me ask you about this. I want you to get in to this, Joe, as well. The politics of impeachment.

PALMERI: Uh-hmm.

COATES: Mayorkas -- we're talking about a border crisis. We all seem to be on the same page in terms of acknowledging that there, in fact, is this issue that needs to be addressed. How you do it, very different mechanisms for doing so, and the when and how.

But Mayorkas is being served up as a kind of a scapegoat, some would say, as a reason for why they want to solve the problem by saying it's you. Others say he's not a scapegoat at all.


He is the problem, which I'm unsure how, whether it's out of high crime or misdemeanor articulated. Breach of trust, is that enough to satisfy a way to get at this very problem?

PINION: Look, I think that it's going to be very difficult to satisfy the high crimes and misdemeanor portion of this impeachment, which means --


PINION: -- the impeachment in its entirety becomes very difficult. I do not think that the conversation in and of itself is inconsequential.

And so, when you're looking at people on the south side of Chicago talking about how the migrant crisis is impacting them, when you're looking at people here in New York, Brooklyn, New York talking about how it's affecting them, when you actually hear the pain and suffering of everyday people here in New York, $80 billion behind in repairs for public housing, and meanwhile, we're spending again into a deficit at the state level and at the city level trying to deal with the migrant crisis that many of our leaders, from Chuck Schumer to our governor, told us was Republican talking point, I think it comes down to, to your point, Democrats finally realizing, oh, my goodness, we can't actually afford to ignore this issue anymore.

So, I think that's how you end up with an impeachment, that's how you end up with Mayorkas being caught in the crosshairs, but to your original point, I do not believe that ultimately, the actual pillars of what are actually detailed as high crimes and misdemeanors are actually able to be met.

PALMERI: He's right. You have -- you know, Hakeem Jeffries, Eric Adams, Kathy Hochul, these leaders in the Democratic Party, every single day going out there saying, President Biden, you need to do something about migration, we are being flooded in our cities. You have J.B. Pritzker, you have -- you know, all over democratic cities. You don't want to alienate Democratic voters in this election year.

I think both sides are playing politics. But at the end of the day, it's also a test of the grip that Trump has on the party because this would be a pretty consequential piece of election -- legislation for both sides.

COATES: I mean, we've seen -- go ahead, Jamal.

SIMMONS: I was going to say, politics is politics. But remember, this is the president who put in place what he called a Muslim ban, who wanted to stop people coming from S-hole countries to the United States and who has said during the course of his campaign, he wants to reinstate his immigration policies.

There are some people who are acting in good faith here. A lot of the mayors, some of the governors, Senator Lankford who are trying to actually solve the problem. Then you've got Donald Trump and Stephen Miller and the right-wing gang over there in the MAGA land who actually really don't even want more legal immigration to this country. COATES: Something tells me that between this -- behind the scenes, when the camera cuts to commercial, it's going to be heated on this panel.


If only there was a camera still on us. Joe, Jamal, Tara, thank you so much.

Look, President Biden is under pressure for a lot of reasons tonight, some of which we talked about for immigration. Others because of his need to respond, they believed, to the drone attack in Jordan that killed three U.S. service members. But how will it all play back home and especially with younger voters who are already very much fed up with a lot of the foreign policy efforts? We'll talk about their perspective, next.



Tonight, top White House officials say they do not want to go to war with Iran, but they are promising a very serious response after a weekend drone attack at a U.S. military outpost in Jordan killed three U.S. Army soldiers and wounded more than 40 others. This comes at a precarious time for President Biden with two international conflicts and potentially a third one looming.

Young voters are especially concerned about what's happening overseas and, frankly, about U.S. foreign policy decisions. I mean, check out this Quinnipiac University poll. Seventy percent, look at this number, 70% of 18 to 34-year-old disapprove of the way that Biden is handling foreign policy. I won't make you do math right now, but 16% approve. Hmm, not quite 100% yet, right? But still, 16% versus 70.

Let's talk about it now with "Time" magazine senior correspondent, Charlotte Alter, who's author of "The Ones We've Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America."

Charlotte, thank you so much for being here. I mean, I have been seeing every time Biden is speaking, even Vice President Harris as well, there are protesters that are present. They are talking about a number of issues, including, of course, Gaza, Ukraine, and beyond. I wonder, when you look at this, what are you hearing from young voters about how they're feeling about our foreign policy involvement in these wars in general?

CHARLOTTE ALTER, AUTHOR: So, one of the things that I'm hearing from young voters and activists and organizers that I'm talking to is that the situation in Gaza was, in many ways, the straw that broke the camel's back for Biden's standing with young people.

I think young people have been getting increasingly disappointed and increasingly disillusioned about the Biden administration, particularly around something called the Willow Project, which not that many people necessarily know about, but it's a drilling project on federal land in Alaska that the Biden administration approved after promising to young voters in the 2020 election that he would ban all drilling on federal land.

So, there was already a lot of disillusionment, already a lot of disappointment, and then I think what's been happening in Gaza has really been kind of the tipping point for that disillusion to turn into outrage.

COATES: And what is it specifically about the outrage? Is it steeped in an issue around peace more broadly? Is it about the prioritization of certain areas over others? Is it about the alliances? Is it pinpointed to a particular aspect of why the protest?

ALTER: You know, that's a great question. I think that for a lot of younger voters and a lot of younger Americans, they see this as a systemic injustice issue. They see it as connected to many of the other issues of systemic injustice that we've seen the younger generations protest over in the United States like racial injustice.


So, they see -- they see these injustices as connected to each other. And so, I also think, you know, the older cohort of this generation, so millennials, have a deep skepticism about American interference abroad. I mean, this is the generation that grew up in the shadows of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


ALTER: And so, they're deeply skeptical about sort of what happens when America becomes too entangled in overseas conflicts.

COATES: You know, you wonder, especially with that, whether it means that there is a solution, there's an endpoint or there's some kind of protracted involvement that does not result in a tangible, you know, result in the end. I wonder about it all the time.

Also, Vice President Kamala Harris, she's actually in California today to talk about reproductive rights, part of what their new campaign has been about. Listen to this one, when she was interrupted by pro- Palestinian protester. Listen to this.



UNKNOWN (voice-over): We demand a ceasefire in Gaza.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): MVP! MVP! MVP!

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Ceasefire now! We demand a ceasefire now!

(END VIDEO CLIP) COATES: Now, of course, as you can imagine, they have been paying a lot of their hopes on trying to galvanize voters to the reproductive rights in the post-Dobbs world. But nearly every event focused on this has incorporated these protesters on this issue.

Is this a signal to the Biden campaign or the administration more broadly that they have to divide their attention among the two areas because this latter one is what is really at stake?

ALTER: I think it's a signal to the Biden campaign that they have to really start taking young voters, voters under 30 in particular more seriously, particularly because with these cohorts of voters, the people -- the voters under 30 who voted for Biden in 2020, who really put him over the top in these key states in Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia -- I mean, young voters really helped along with many other parts of Biden's base, really powered his victory.

But as the years go by, those voters who were, you know, 28 in 2020 are 32 in 2024. So, it's not the same people who voted for him in 2020 who he now needs to win over in 2024. That means that he needs a new playbook. He needs to have -- he needs to give these voters something to vote for, not something to vote against.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

ALTER: And, you know, the more I talk to these younger voters and younger organizers the threat of a Trump presidency, you know, they're deeply concerned about it, but it doesn't seem to be enough to motivate them. They are so upset about what's happening in Gaza that they almost don't want to hear about Trump.

So, I think this playbook of making the election all about Trump again, I think it's going to work with some parts of Biden's base, but I'm not sure it's going to be enough to win over this cohort.

COATES: So, what's the or else? Or else vote for Trump or else stay home?

ALTER: I think it's or else stay home. I mean, there are some recent polls at the end of last year that showed Trump leading with some young people. I would like to see more data on that before I believe that this cohort that has really been leaning left for the last 10 years is suddenly going to switch to MAGA. I think it's more likely that they stay home.

COATES: Wow. Well, that would be something to think about if that's the case. That would have to rewrite the entire playbook, though, as you speak about this issue. Charlotte Alter, thank you so much for being here tonight.

E. Jean Carroll speaking to CNN after winning her defamation case against Trump. She says that Trump is using her to win votes.


[23:28:10] COATES: Well, E. Jean Carroll is speaking out on the heels of that massive, and I do mean massive, $83 million in damages awarded to her in defamation cases against Donald Trump, telling CNN that she believes the former president is trying to now use her and her victory in court. Why? To drum up votes for him.


E. JEAN CARROLL, JOURNALIST, WON SEXUAL ABUSE, DEFAMATION CASES AGAINT TRUMP: The courtroom was not a courtroom to him. It was a campaign stop. That was clear. So, we had two different objectives. Ours was to win a case. His was to win voters. A man found liable for sexual assault is using the woman he sexually assaulted to get votes.


COATES: Joining me now, CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Jennifer Rodgers. Also here is CNN contributor Leah Wright Rigueur. I'm so glad that you guys are both here with me today.

First of all, Leah, let me begin with you, because she says that Trump is using her to win votes. And I'm often wondering, will her speaking out, if that is his plan, does that help or hurt his campaign more broadly?

LEAH WRIGHT RIGUEUR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: So, right now, E. Jean Carroll and the entire case surrounding E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump, including the payout, this massive historic payout in this defamation and libel suit, is absolutely helping Donald Trump.

But I want to offer a caveat with that. It's helping because it's part of this larger victim narrative. He says, the courts are corrupt, look at this massive payout. Of course, he's calling into question, as is very much Donald Trump, calling into question E. Jean Carroll as a person, right?

So, all of these, he says, this is an attack on us, this is reflection of a system that is rigged. So, certainly, that is helping generate kind of, I think, a kind of energy amongst his core base.


At the same time, though, and this is the caveat, at the same time, it is also deeply hurting his campaign in the larger institution of the Republican Party. Let me tell you why. Because it's not just this case, it's not just this defamation case. It's also these other cases where Trump has going to have to pay out millions in damages. E. Jean Carroll has also said that she is willing to sue him again if necessary.

And so, ultimately, it's about a financial cost to Donald Trump and the Republican Party. So, it's kind of a trade-off. It's good for his campaign as an individual. It's terrible for the party and it's certainly terrible for the country.

COATES: You know, she makes a good point, especially on what is to come, because this is just one of the cases. Eighty-three million is one of them. You know, there's also the New York civil fraud trial where he stands to possibly have his business, his political currency, as being this real estate mogul and how he has used that in his campaigns to be reduced. They're seeking over $370 million.

I mean, I'm not a mathematician, but that's a whole lot of dollars. And if that's part of what's ahead of them, I mean, that could be truly unprecedented.

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah. And, you know, listen, then there are the criminal trials too, right?

COATES: Right.

RODGERS: And part of me thinks, you know, I'm not a political analyst, but part of me thinks this is all his desperate bid to stay out of prison, right? He has to be re-elected to the White House in order to stay out of prison. There are four criminal cases coming. He's going to be convicted in at least one of them. If they go forward because he's not elected, he's going to face a jury in all of those cases and I think be convicted in multiple of them.

So, this to me is kind of all eggs in the basket of do whatever I can to get myself re-elected because if I don't, jail is coming.

COATES: You know, interesting enough, you know, after last May when he had the first verdict, I want to remind you of this, he spoke pretty quickly about E. Jean Carroll. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have no idea who this woman is. This is a fake story, made-up story. And I swear -- and I've never done that. And I swear to you, I have no idea who the hell -- she's a whack job.



COATES: That was, of course, a day after the verdict at our CNN town hall moderated by Kaitlan Collins. Now, we haven't heard anything. I mean, it's like crickets with him. Message received?

WRIGHT RIGUEUR: Message not received --


WRIGHT RIGUEUR: -- because one of the things that we know about Donald Trump is that he hates to be silenced, but he also has a relatively good team of lawyers surrounding him this time around. And I'm not just talking about the lawyers in the E. Jean Carroll case. I'm talking about some of these lawyers in the criminal cases and the other charges that he's facing. Somebody is undoubtedly telling him to be quiet. That is the smartest strategy that he could have right now. Not just because, you know, he just faces this million-dollar lawsuit that he's going to have to, you know, ultimately pay out, but also because E. Jean Carroll has said, I will sue you again, your words can be used against you. He can be caught in a lie. There are innumerable things that could happen.

But what we also have seen is that at the same time, either Donald Trump or whoever is monitoring who is working his social media channels, Truth Social, Twitter, that kind of X, that kind of thing, has also been, I think, tweeting out and sending out lots of disinformation around E. Jean Carroll. We've also seen some of these, I think, harder right-wing media sources do the dirty work of Donald Trump.

So, while Trump is not out there kind of speaking from his platform, we see that there are various media vehicles that are asking these questions about who is E. Jean Carroll. Does he really know her? Is this part of a larger rig system in order, I think, to push back on this larger narrative and really undermine E. Jean Carroll's entire approach?

I will say this, though. It's not working in the broader public. And E. Jean Carroll has been very clear about this, particularly in going on this campaign and saying, what is this about? This is about accountability and is about controlling a narrative. So, even as Trump is silent at the hands and the advice of his lawyers, E. Jean Carroll is not and she is using this as an opportunity, I think, to fight back.

COATES: You know, it's fascinating to think about, Jennifer, the idea of automating one's message, like having to keep your hands clean from here on out, because you've done the foundation, you laid the groundwork. Now, your sort of minions can do everything else for you.

I'm really curious, though, as to why we have not heard from the courts on the other cases, the circuit court on the immunity issue in particular. The Supreme Court is going have oral arguments coming up. In fact, Justice Sotomayor was speaking today about her frustrations on the court more broadly. Listen to this.


JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: Change happens because people care about moving the arc of the universe towards justice. And it can take time. And it can take frustration. I live in frustration.


And as you heard, every loss truly traumatizes me in my stomach and in my heart.


But I have to get up the next morning and keep on fighting. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COATES: I don't know if she's foreshadowing something deeper about what's happening in deliberations behind closed doors, but it does speak to -- I think impatience and frustration is how people feel about the courts on issues like this, that we don't yet have in the broader judiciary, answers to questions like, does the president have absolute immunity? Can he be on a ballot? What's the deal?

RODGERS: Yeah, that doesn't make me very -- doesn't make you very confident for --


RODGERS: -- what's going to happen the rest of this term. Those are big questions. I mean, those things are coming, right? We have -- I'm surprised the D.C. Circuit has taken as long as it has.

COATES: Me, too.

RODGERS: They're obviously writing a comprehensive opinion about this. Maybe there's a dissent. You know, I don't know. We have the February 8th argument coming up on the ballot question. I think the Supreme Court will decide that quickly because primaries are going on. You know, people need to know whether he's going to be on the ballot.

But court cases do take time, and that's why when it finally does happen, like when the E. Jean Carroll verdict finally comes in and they say, listen, there was a really interesting point that both E. Jean Carroll and her lawyers made, which is that, you know, he's this fearsome figure, Trump, right? He's a bully. He says anything he wants. He has this power, these followers. They'll do anything he says.

When you get within the four walls of the courtroom where rules govern, where he can be controlled, where you can't just lie, where the truth governs, it's different. You know, he's just a man. He's just a man. I mean, his lawyer -- E. Jean Carroll's lawyer, Shawn Crowley, he's just a guy. You know? He's not this all-powerful figure.

And so, it does take time. It takes time to get him into the courtroom. And that's what we're seeing. It's taking time to get these cases well underway. It will be more time before we're at trial.

But when we are and when the truth is paramount and the rules of evidence govern and you have a judge who can control the proceedings, he's just a man facing the law and it'll be different.

COATES: Well, to quote "Notting Hill," one day he'll be a boy in front of a court asking them not to throw the book at him. Jennifer Rodgers, Leah Wright Rigueur, thank you so much. Hashtag Julia Roberts.

Next, never before seen video made public in the trial of Ethan Crumbley's mom. It shows that Crumbley's parents were seeing their son hours after he carried out that horrific school shooting. We'll walk through exactly what happened in court. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


COATES: All right, there's a flood of legal news today, starting with the judge denying Alex Murdaugh's request for a brand-new trial. That denial came after a juror says that they were swayed by comments from a courtroom clerk. Murdaugh was convicted last year of killing his wife and his son.

And then there's a trial for Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of Ethan Crumbley. Now, he is serving now life in prison without parole, excuse me, for killing four students in a Michigan school shooting back in 2021.

And now, his parents are the first in the nation to go on trial for what could be charges against them to hold him responsible for their son's school shooting.

So, who is the best to talk about all this with? Joey Jackson, of course, is here, CNN legal analyst and defense attorney extraordinaire. Joey, first of all, this Murdaugh trial, because you and I talked a lot about that trial in South Carolina. The fact that a juror says that they were swayed by a court clerk who was influencing that person in a way that was not expected, let's say, that was not enough to get a new trial. Did that surprise you?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, it didn't and here's why. Great to see you in person. So, listen, Laura, the reality is, is that you are entitled to a fair trial, not a perfect trial. That's one distinction to make. The second thing is, is that remember, there was an evidentiary hearing in which the judge evaluated the testimony of all 12 jurors.

Now, I know it takes all 12 beyond a reasonable doubt. Eleven said, absolutely not. Had no influence, right? This clerk had no influence. The other said the clerk did have an influence. However, that the other jurors had more of an influence with respect to why she voted to guilt, right?

So, at the end of the day, you have a six-week trial, three-hour jury deliberation. and overwhelming evidence, which suggests, as you and I both know, harmless error. At the end of the day, yes, there was a miscue by this clerk, but it did not and it was not outcome determinative to the issue of guilt.

The judge saying it was so overwhelming, it would not have mattered. This is not the last of it. It'll be appealed to the Court of Appeals, then to the Supreme Court, and then maybe federal court. But I think this was the right call.

COATES: Interesting thinking about that because it's the cost benefit analysis, right? One was more influential than the other. Let's talk about the Ethan Crumbley's mother trial, Jennifer Crumbley. This is again the first time this country has grappled with a parent being charged for the actions of their child, a minor at the time who committed this horrific act.

We've got some new footage and it was never before seen footage, Joey, of Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, seeing their son at the police station right after the shooting. Look at this.




E. CRUMBLEY: I did it.


JAMES CRUMBLEY, FATHER OF ETHAN CRUMBLEY: I love you, I love you, I love you.



J. CRUMBLEY: Then you can, like, care.


COATES: Now you look at this and they are certain that she is crying. Someone is saying, I love you, and she's asking the question, why? How does this play into her defense?

JACKSON: So, one piece of evidence, which would suggest that she's -- what do you mean? Why, why, why? Very surprised. Remember, three things are really important here, Laura. Okay? Number one, foreseeability. Is it foreseeable that your son would behave in this way under circumstances where he has mental health maladies? You're not paying attention. Perhaps you should. So, the foreseeability question is big.

The second question is the notice question. Were the parents on notice as to the ailments and maladies of the child? And number three, did they act reasonably? Well, if they didn't really know, when they were really surprised at this, then how could you suggest?

If they would have went in and said, okay, yeah, probably something you would have done, it would have certainly had a different effect. But their goal was to show they didn't know the extent and severity of the child's really mental health condition, and that (INAUDIBLE) to their benefit.

COATES: The most important thing when she hits this testimony in the stand, that's going to be with all the marbles.

JACKSON: Riveting without question. Her testimony, as to what she knew and when she knew it, if anything, overwhelmingly significant. Can't wait for that to happen.

COATES: Again, I'm looking at the fact that they're tried separately. The one who's being tried first, will she point the finger at her husband and who knew what? Joey Jackson --

JACKSON: You know that's happening.

COATES: Well, you know that's happening, but we'll see it happen. I'm sure it will be. We'll cover it here. Joey Jackson, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

JACKSON: Thanks, Laura.

COATES: Up next, Super Bowl is now set and there are new conspiracy theories that are already flowing around. But it may not be about what you'd expect. How Taylor Swift got dragged into all of it, next.



COATES: The Kansas City Chiefs heading to their fourth Super Bowl now in just five years. They'll take on the 49ers in a Las Vegas 2020 Super Bowl rematch this time around.

Of course, Taylor Swift, she, of course, has to be mentioned here. She was in the bleachers last night. Well, not really the bleachers. She was really in -- wasn't she like in a box of some kind? And on the field for the post-game celebrations. And some say they have some bad blood, had to do it with the NFL over the attention that she is getting.

And there are a lot of conspiracy theories now, including one from Vivek Ramaswamy, who is trying to bring the election into all this. Get this. He claims that the entire thing is now rigged to give her more air time ahead of an eventual Joe Biden endorsement in the fall.

Joining me now, people who are laughing already in the background, contributor Cari Champion and also comedian Pete Dominick. Okay, first of all, I could just say Taylor Swift go, but let's talk about for a moment --


-- the fact that there is a conspiracy theory. The entire thing is rigged --


COATES: -- to try to get an endorsement.

DOMINICK: We shouldn't talk about it. It's so ridiculous that anybody believes any of this nonsense. And where was the rigging when they were losing games on the way to the Super Bowl? The idea that an NFL game, I'll leave it up to Cari, but could be rigged, how? How would you do that? Who is in on it? And the fact that it would be somehow tied to a political campaign, it's very hard to believe that people come up with these ideas and think that people will believe them. But there you go. But it's Vivek. But he's --

CARI CHAMPION, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Vivek is trying -- Yeah, he is trying to get some sort of headline. He's grabbing something from this. The conversation to be had, even if you want to talk about a script or a conspiracy theory, and people forgive me, but it's time to say that Patrick Mahomes is the equivalent of a goat as is Tom Brady.

DOMINICK: How dare you!

CHAMPION: I am sorry.

DOMINICK: We're on TV.

CHAMPION: We're on the TV.

DOMINICK: This is America.

CHAMPION: We're on the T and the V, and I'm ready to say it. Here he is in his late 20s. He is going to his fifth, count them, fifth Super Bowl. Tom Brady has seven rings. Now, I'm not going to -- I don't know how many rings, in fact, Patrick will have. But that's the conversation I have. Hard earned. And nobody would have probably said a couple of weeks ago, as you pointed out, when they were losing, that there was a script to be written here.

Now, to the Taylor point of it all or the policy of it all --

COATES: That's the point of it all for so many people.

DOMINICK: That's why they're winning.

COATES: It's all about Taylor.

CHAMPION: I have to be honest, and I want the Swifties to give me some grace here.


CHAMPION: I honestly, truly don't understand why the NFL is acting as if it has never happened in the history of sport. Oh, guess what? An actress, a singer, dates a quarterback or a famous athlete. Has that ever --

COATES: Hmm, Ciara.

CHAMPION: Ciara and Russell Wilson, namely married. Oh, wait, let me talk. Victoria Beckham and David. Oh, okay. Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson.

DOMINICK: Gisele Bundchen.

CHAMPION: Gisele -- DOMINICK: Tom Brady, what do you mean?

COATES: Well, Gisele can't sing.

CHAMPION: Yeah. So, there you go.

DOMINICK: Oh, okay. Well, I don't know --

CHAMPION: But she's just as famous.


CHAMPION: My point is, it happens. And I understand that she registers 8 to 80. She hits. But I got to tell you, the true fans, we've had enough. And let her enjoy the game.

DOMINICK: I think, partially, it's different because it's Taylor Swift. And she's --

COATES: Your daughter loves her.

DOMINICK: My daughters have never watched football. But they started coming in the room.


DOMINICK: They're watching.


DOMINICK: She's bringing us together.


DOMINICK: She's bringing America together. People are watching football that didn't watch football before.

CHAMPION: I agree with you. I love the idea that we have another group of younger women watching football. But to say that, and I'm hearing all these theories that women weren't watching football, I was in Philadelphia just last week. Tell that to the ladies sitting at the bar next to me who were so upset about the fact that Taylor is the only person they show. Also upset that the Eagles are naked.


CHAMPION: That's neither here nor there.


But women have been watching sports --


CHAMPION: -- before Taylor Swift came on.

DOMINICK: For sure. But two things can be true. Women have been watching sports and especially football.


DOMINICK: Who do you like? But --


-- you have a team?

COATES: Usher.

DOMINICK: Oh. But --

CHAMPION: That's it.


DOMINICK: I was talking about football.

CHAMPION: Laura -- Laura is here as many people are for that concert in between this little football game.


CHAMPION: So, you're ready for Usher.

COATES: Oh, let me just tell you, I swear, if during Usher's performance right in the halftime --


CHAMPION: I'm going to lose it.

COATES: -- it cuts repeatedly to anyone but Usher.

CHAMPION: I'm going to lose it.

COATES: I'm going to call you, Pete Dominick, and we're going to have a fit.

DOMINICK: Well, that's not going to happen. They're not going to do that.

CHAMPION: How do you know that? Who have you talked to there?

DOMINICK: I have talked to all the higher-ups.


And I said, please don't cut away from Usher to Taylor Swift because that's not going to be good for anybody. The bottom line is it's mostly unifying. It's a wonderful thing, this whole season. This whole Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce thing has been fun. And the fact that it's irking a lot of football fans or Trump fans or men is beautiful. Deal with it.

It's just fun and funny and great, and it's love and love should win, and I think it's authentic and I --

CHAMPION: Do you think love should win?

DOMINICK: Is that a controversial thing?

CHAMPION: That is so controversial.

DOMINICK: I think this -- I think this Travis Kelce --

CHAMPION: I'm at 49ers or are you asking for the Chiefs to win? Not about love. Who wins?

DOMINICK: The Lions.


COATES: On that note, he now is the anti-hero. There we go. For all of you, expecting you to know what I'm talking about. Cari Champion, Pete Dominick, thank you both so much. And thank you all for watching. I'll be live on Instagram at "The Laura Coates" in a few minutes. Be sure to tune in. Our coverage continues.