Return to Transcripts main page

Laura Coates Live

Russian-American Arrested In Russia For Allegedly Donating $51.80 To Ukraine Aid; House GOP Scrambles As Biden Inquiry Source Is Indicted For Lying; Biden Considers Executive Action At Border; University Of Alabama At Birmingham Pauses IVF Treatments After Embryo Ruling; Jury Seated In Trial Of "Rust" Armorer; New Docs Reveal At Least 12 Biting Incidents By Biden's Dog; AIDS Activist Hydeia Broadbent Dies At Age 39. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired February 21, 2024 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: All right, it sounds like a movie, I'll give you that, but it's actually real life and, sadly, death, tonight on "Laura Coates Live."

Now, if you saw it in a movie, you'd probably think it was over the top. A long-time enemy who survived being poisoned dies mysteriously in a Russian prison. A Russian pilot who defected to Ukraine shot dead in a parking garage in Spain, and that's just the most recent to run afoul of Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Now, a 33-year-old woman, Ksenia Karelina, a Russian-American dual citizen, is now under arrest in Russia on charges of treason. Here she is celebrating her U.S. citizenship in 2021. Here she is photographed as a ballerina in New York City.

Doesn't look much like someone who may have committed treason, does she? But the big question is, why was she arrested? Well, the number might surprise you. It's all over, apparently, $51.80.

Think about that for a second, $51.80. That's how much she's accused of donating to a Ukrainian charity right here in the United States, according to a statement from her employer, a spa at a hotel in Beverly Hills.

Now, Russia's Federal Security Service, the FSB, says that she was arrested for -- quote -- "providing financial assistance to a foreign state in activities directed against Russia's security." Her boyfriend saying this to CNN tonight.


CHRIS VAN HEERDEN, BOYFRIEND OF KSENIA KARELINA: She's so full of life. She needs to be out there. In a sense, she needs to be with her friends. She needs to live life because she loves -- she loves life. I do believe that America will bring her back to me. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COATES: Well, President Biden at a fundraiser in San Francisco tonight called Vladimir Putin, and I'm quoting him here, "a crazy SOB." State Department saying they're aware of Karelina's detention, but they have not yet been granted consular access to her.

Joining me now is Douglas London, a retired CIA officer and the author of "The Recruiter: Spying and the Lost Art of American Intelligence." You know, Douglas, this does read like a spy novel of sorts where one thinks it has gone every different direction. There's connective tissue. It's Vladimir Putin and beyond. How much danger could she be in right now?

DOUGLAS LONDON, RETIRED CIA OFFICER: I think it's unfortunate that President Putin feels fairly comfortable right now things are going his way, so there's not a lot of leverage to really be used against him.

His war efforts have had some success this year. He has had the achievements of his disinformation campaign working in further polarizing the American public. We have the recent story of the informant for the FBI who, apparently, was peddling more Russian disinformation. We have the recent Tucker Carlson interview.


LONDON: So, I think the timing is not inconsistent with him. In fact, it's quite consistent that when he feels more comfortable, he's going to take these kinds of actions, and he'll continue to do so as long as it pays benefits.

COATES: What would be the benefit? I mean, you've got Evan Gershkovich, right? You've got Paul Whelan. You've now got this person who's in custody. Following the protests and the vigils for Navalny, there are now hundreds, apparently, of people who are detained as well. What is the end game here?

LONDON: Well, Putin needs to continue to show strength at home. He needs to show that he's basically Teflon and that there is no hope for rescue to those who think there will be a change in Russian politics or that he will mellow to try to compromise with those who are in opposition.

So instead, he doubles down on being stronger. He's showing that he can basically put his thumb up at the United States and the rest of the Western world, whether it's Ukraine or whether it's the treatment of our citizens in his country.

COATES: You heard President Biden making the comment, calling him a crazy SOB. Is he crazy or is this strategic? I mean, I guess the two are not mutually exclusive, but when you look at this, it doesn't strike me as somebody who is having knee-jerk reactions.

LONDON: No, Putin's neither crazy nor actually reckless. He's very much the product of his own conditioning. He was a KGB Cold War era veteran who has grown to see the United States in a certain way as his threat, as his nemesis. And as he has achieved power as he has had with very few people who's going to tell him anything different than what he believes, he's very free to do what he wishes.


But it's still for him a plan, and the plan is primarily secure his place at home, making sure there's no threats to him, and deter any threats from abroad that might come from the United States or any of its allies.

COATES: The essential I can get to anyone at any time, philosophy to deter anyone from trying to speak out.

LONDON: It's a message. I mean, the Russians tend to get caught a lot, and is it because they're that hapless or is it because they don't really care? Because there's certainly a point to showing as a message to those who might speak against him, rise against him. Yevgeny Prigozhin recently, last year, right? That they won't live long to tell their tales.

COATES: There are those who have been arrested, as I mentioned, following the protests or vigils in reaction to the mysterious death of Alexei Navalny. We understand that some of those who have been arrested at the St. Petersburg vigils, they've actually been handed military draft summons. That's more than a psychological notion.

LONDON: No, it's very practical. I mean, he's got a country of 140 million people plus. He's not worried when hundreds of people protest. He's not worried when thousands of people protest. What he has to be concerned about is when people either have no more hope or no more fear that they're willing to come out in the hundreds of thousands. So, in the meantime, he could pretty much press the gas pedal down.

COATES: Well, we are looking as well in terms of a Russian connection to an FBI informant here at home who seemed to have been integral to the conversations around an impeachment inquiry for President Joe Biden. He is now claiming and telling investigators that Russian intelligence officers actually were the ones who gave him false info about Hunter Biden. You know, I wonder if you're skeptical about that connection.

LONDON: I think there's a tip of the iceberg issue here for what he's doing and if he is, in fact, directly providing information that he's being fed by Russian intelligence services.

But look, the FBI was in touch with him because of his contacts with Russian officials and Russian intelligence. He has had a relationship with the bureau since 2010.

And yet if you look at the court documents, every year since 2010 right through 2023, he was admonished for not telling the truth, for perhaps fabricating. So, he played a role for them as far as criminal activities but not so much for the counterintelligence aspect which only came later as we saw the election interference which -- post 2016. Now, it's very likely that he has been working on behalf of Russian intelligence and, certainly, he would be an element of their misinformation campaign, but how much of what he's saying is now truth or lies to sort of save himself.

The bureau probably, in just speculation, contacted him in the first place because he was involved with those who were breaking U.S. laws, probably sanctions issues and such like that.

COATES: So how do you discern the truth from the fiction?

LONDON: Usually, timelines and inconsistencies. That's clear in some of the court documents where it wears those very inconsistencies along a timeline that led the bureau to realize he was telling lies.

COATES: Hmm. I mean, it gets more and more complex thinking about it and, of course, the political angle of all this.

Thank you so much, Douglas London. I appreciate your time.

LONDON: Thanks, Laura.

COATES: Well, sticking on the Russia theme, we were just discussing that former FBI informant who was supposed to be, and I do mean supposed to be, the star witness in the GOP impeachment investigation into President Biden.

Republican after Republican was actually asked about that informant today, and many just dodged questions about his admission that he got dirt on Hunter Biden from Russia. And that dodging came as Republicans on the House Oversight Committee spent more than eight hours hearing testimony from President Biden's brother, James Biden.

Now, they say that Joe Biden never had any involvement in his business dealings. I'm talking about Congressman Jamie Raskin, who was the top Democrat on that committee. He joins me now. Congressman, thank you so much for being here. I mean, you were a part of this closed-door hearing today with the president's brother. What did you hear?

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, I heard the story of James Biden, who is the president's younger brother and a businessman, and also somebody who filled in with Joe Biden's family after he lost his wife and his infant. And so, he has been sort of an integral part of their family structure ever since tragedy struck.

And he was very emphatic and categorical about it. Joe Biden had no involvement in any of his business ventures. Joe Biden received no profits from any of his business ventures. Joe Biden was not his partner, and he never asked Joe Biden nor did he ever receive from Joe Biden any official favors to benefit any of his businesses. He was totally clear about that.

That, of course, basically reaffirmed everything that we'd heard for the last many months from all kinds of witnesses.

[23:10:02] COATES: It strikes me that that testimony likely was expected, that there wasn't really, you know, a bombshell that would come out nor was it actually expected, but there has been a bit of a bombshell recently, and that's about this former FBI informant who is being charged with lying about the Biden dealings in Ukraine, and that's the same person that the Republicans seem to have built a lot of this entire impeachment inquiry on.

The fact that he has been relied on, you say, is a reason to do away with the entire inquiry if there was ever reason to keep it. Do you -- do you think that his testimony or his statements that he has made in the past as an informant is reason enough to dispense with the inquiry?

RASKIN: Well, it was the foundation of the entire impeachment investigation. It all started with the false claim, now apparently concocted with Russian intelligence operatives, that Joe Biden had collected $5 million from Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company.

It was just a falsehood manufactured by Russian intelligence and, you know, by this phony confidential informant who was lying to the FBI and constructing a false record, according to David Weiss, who is the special counsel in the case, who had been appointed by none other than Donald Trump himself.

So, even Donald Trump's hand-picked U.S. attorney in Delaware, then special counsel in the case, strongly believes that this guy was up to no good, he was lying to the FBI, and is now a severe flight risk.

COATES: There are those, in spite of what you have said, are still doubling down, congressman. You had Comer just last week saying that the testimony or the statements could be corroborated by other sources, so it's not putting all eggs in one basket. You had -- also just today, you had Congressman Jim Jordan saying this about the ex- informant. Listen to this.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You said that 1023 is the most corroborating piece of information you have?

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): It corroborates, but it doesn't change those fundamental facts. So, now --

RAJU: But it's not true!

JORDAN: Well, so, okay, so the FBI told us that this source was so -- 14 years this source was a paid source by the FBI. When we -- when we were trying to get the 1023, they told us, oh, this could jeopardize national security, the safety of this source didn't want to release it, and now they're saying, oh, he gave false information.

The other thing, there's a story out today, Scott Brady, the U.S. attorney, did check the travel records of this confidential human source and found that he was at those places he said he was. So --

RAJU: But your promotion of a bribery scheme was false?

JORDAN: Not at all.


COATES: So, he doesn't see it the way you do. What's your reaction?

RASKIN: Well, I've often thought with my friend, Mr. Jordan, that speed and coherence are not the same thing. And he was talking real fast there, but I couldn't really understand what point he was making.

Look, Smirnov was at the heart of the entire theory of the case. Um, he was the confidential human informant who asserted that Burisma had passed $5 million to Joe Biden and millions more to Hunter Biden.

And that was the genesis of this whole wild goose chase, even though it was refuted and debunked by a dozen other witnesses, including, you know, the former president of Ukraine, Poroshenko, who said it was nonsense. The Republicans in the Senate couldn't find anything to substantiate these allegations.

Even Lev Parnas, who's Rudy Giuliani's right-hand man, wrote a letter to Chairman Comer and to me saying, please, call this off. There's nothing there. I was sent out with Rudy Giuliani to try to find some substantiation for this claim and there's simply nothing there. He offered and insisted that he come and testify before the committee, but, of course, Comer and the gang didn't want to hear from him.

So, now, we're getting a complete demolition of the theory going back to the original source of it. I'm not sure my friend, Jim Jordan, who's normally nimble on his feet, has been able to concoct any kind of excuse for where they are now.

I think this investigation is over in substance, if not in form, and really, Chairman Comer, Speaker Johnson, Chairman Jordan should do the responsible thing and fold up the circus tent.

COATES: Before I let you go, I can't help but get your take on what you have undoubtedly heard from the former president, referring to a series of legal cases and troubles against him -- quote -- "as a form of Navalny," even talking about how he says this country is becoming communist. What is your reaction?


RASKIN: Well, Donald Trump's hero, Vladimir Putin, is responsible for the death of Alexei Navalny, who is -- who was a champion of freedom and human rights. And he opposed the filthy, bloody, imperialist invasion of Ukraine, which Donald Trump is at best very soft on. In fact, he's Putin's biggest ally in the United States and is responsible for now the pro-Putin sentiment within the GOP.

So, to compare himself to Navalny is sickening, and I'm sure that -- I hope that nobody tells that to Yulia Navalny, who's his widow, but if she hears about it, I'm sure she will be able to correct our ex- president, who is a friend to every dictator and autocrat on Earth, from Vladimir Putin to Viktor Orban, to Marcos, to Bolsonaro, to -- you name it. You know, from Turkey to Egypt, all over the world, El- Sisi.

Donald Trump is their friend. He is a friend to right-wing autocrats, kleptocrats, theocrats all over the world, and to associate himself with Navalny is absolutely appalling. Donald Trump has had every benefit of the rule of law and the American legal system. He spent millions of dollars of other people's money on his lawyers.

He has had more due process in all of these cases, whether they're criminal or civil, like the case of the sexual assault against the E. Jean Carroll where a civil jury unanimously found him guilty of sexually assaulting and defaming E. Jean Carroll. He has been forced to pay tens of millions of dollars for that, just like he's being forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to the people of New York because of the various frauds that he has committed on banks and in his business conduct there.

COATES: Congressman Jamie Raskin, I would note, both the cases you just mentioned run antithetical to his claims that this is part of the Biden administration or the Department of Justice more broadly. These are state prosecutions, even speaking and buttressing your discussion about due process, even at the state level.

Congressman, also interestingly enough, of course, Donald Trump is not just a theoretical prospective presidential candidate. He has been the president of the United States and at one point was in a position to assist Navalny. What's your take on him comparing himself to him, knowing the action he did or did not take?

RASKIN: I mean, that's sickening. Donald Trump as president never did a thing to help Alexei Navalny or any human rights dissidents and protesters in Russia. All he did was curry favor with Vladimir Putin and call him a genius and brilliant, and hail his various attacks on human rights and other countries' sovereignty. And even out of office, he never said a word for Alexei Navalny or did anything to help him.

So, you know, where does he get off trying to compare himself to a real hero of freedom and human rights who stood up against Donald Trump's bosom buddy, Vladimir Putin? Donald Trump is not going to confuse anybody with that.

Look, in America, we've got an anti-Putin party, a pro-human rights and pro-freedom party, which is the Democratic Party, and then you've got a pro-Putin, anti-human rights, anti-freedom party, and that's the Republican Party.

They've taken Lincoln's party, which was a party of freedom and union and the rights of the people, and they've turned it into an authoritarian cult of personality aligned with Putin and dictators and autocrats all over the world.

COATES: Congressman Jamie Raskin, very powerful words indeed. Thank you so much for joining.

RASKIN: Thanks for having me, Laura. I really appreciate it. COATES: Next, President Joe Biden, his back against the wall, considering some executive action to deal with the border crisis which, by the way, (INAUDIBLE) progressives in his own party. Rock, meet hard place.



COATES: New tonight, sources telling CNN that President Biden is considering new executive action that would make it more difficult for migrants to seek asylum meds if they cross the border illegally. So, what's the plan of action? Well, I don't have the details. There aren't any details yet. But the question is, why now? Why now is this plan coming into fruition?

Here to discuss national political reporter for "The Washington Post," Isaac Arnsdorf. He is one of the reporters who broke this important story about Donald Trump's new proposal on how to deal with the migrant surge. It's called mass deportations, detentions, camps. Also, former ICE acting director under the Obama administration, John Sandweg, is here with us as well.

Look, there is a lot coming out right now, and we're learning. And every time I hear the words executive action, people tend to recoil. They think, I've been here before, it doesn't stick, the next president coming in could undo everything.

But John, let me start with you, because he is now considering action at the border to restrict migrants their ability to apply for asylum if they crossed illegally. Does he have the authority to do so, and will it work?

JOHN SANDWEG, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR, U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT: Well, that remains to be seen, Laura, right? This is something very similar to what Donald Trump tried in 2018.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

SANDWEG: That was enjoined ultimately by the Ninth Circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court chose not to overturn that injunction. But here's the issue. Look, the bottom line is the problem at the border is and always has been the bottleneck at the immigration courts.

So, what the Biden administration is now doing is looking at a way, how do we bypass those immigration courts and kind of reinforce the rule of law? The problem is in doing that, you strip migrants of due process and some people who legitimately are fleeing persecution are not going to have an opportunity to have their claim heard.


So, assuming it survives the legal challenges, which really is an open question, it would probably be effective in terms of mitigating the crisis at the border, probably in reducing the numbers, buy that, again, is a big if. Is it going to survive the legal challenges? COATES: Isaac, is this similar to what Trump has done in the past?

ISAAC ARNSDORF, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, what Trump is talking about doing goes way, way, way beyond that. So, Trump is talking about sending the military to the border to seal it off, and then also using military resources within the interior of the country to arrest, detain, and deport people without legal status who have been in the country for a long time and may not even have any criminal record while they've been here.

COATES: I mean, it sounds like it's -- by the way, a huge undertaking. And I think we've heard about there being some shortages and inability to really effectuate a lot of policies going forward. Is there the human resource power to even do this?

SANDWEG: Laura, I got to tell you, I think a lot of what Trump is doing is telling his base what he wants to hear. Look, he has been doing this since 2016. I'm going to deport a million people. Mexico is going to pay for a wall. None of these things ever really come to fruition.

I have no doubt, you know, he's got plans, and you can never underestimate Donald Trump's capacity for cruelness at the border. I mean, this is the guy who authored family separation. We still have children separated from their parents as a result of that policy.

But the reality is these promises, these mass deportations are not going to happen. We do not have the resources. The current legal framework does not allow it. Do I anticipate a lot of what Isaac reported on, mass detention camps, greater use of the military at the border? Absolutely. But listen, again, a lot of this is him just saying what his base wants to hear without the possibility of it becoming reality.

COATES: I mean, your article does lay out some pretty scary notions. It does anticipate a lot of the things that John has just talked about, including this very aggressive anti-immigration agenda. What does it entail?

ARNSDORF: Well, Trump and Stephen Miller have been through this before, and they've been frustrated in the first term by the legal challenges and by resistance from officials at the Department of Homeland Security and officials at the Pentagon who didn't want military resources used in that way, thought that was what military resources are for.

And they're going into the possibility of a second term much more with the lessons learned, that we need to move faster, we need to break things, we need to not worry about getting tied up in court or what's going to withstand litigation. We just need to go for it, get out there, and making sure to fill the administration this time with people who are going to be on board with carrying out these orders.

COATES: So, part of that order, if there is like a mass detention facility, where does that exist? Is there any insight as to what that would look like or are these just simply things being thrown against the wall, hoping they'll stick?

ARNSDORF: The idea is that these would be like camps or tents that would be somewhere where the Border Patrol would be bringing people who were detained and organizing them for process. Stephen Miller, Trump's top immigration advisor, described it as like having weekly flights to different destinations where they would be staging people in the camp until the day of the week for their flight.

COATES: I mean, John, the fact that they're even entertaining, if you're President Biden, the idea of executive action trying to grapple with the border crisis suggests that he is likely listening to the fact that there is a huge influx of Americans who want something to be done. What, perhaps anyone has guessed, but is this an indication this is what Americans really want to have happen?

SANDWEG: No. I don't know, Laura. It's difficult to say. I will tell you this, that this is becoming -- this really is an epic crisis. Is the political side of this crisis right? I don't think in any way, shape or form, or anyone would argue that politically, this is a winner for President Biden.

Now, mind you, he's going to upset progressive groups, immigration advocates with any sort of move if they adopt something like this. Of course, we haven't seen what it is yet, but assuming they do.

But I think that when they're presented with the alternative, like what Isaac was reporting, comparing these militarized camps and horrific imagery along the border of mass -- I'm not sure how to describe it, but camps literally of children locked up behind cages again. I think they're gambling that people are going to come back to the Democrats and come back to the President, even despite their frustration with this politically.

If I'll just say one other thing very quickly, though. Operationally, this is a disaster. As you might recall, just last week, it leaked out that ISIS is looking at massively reducing detention capacity, pulling money from other critical national security priorities. You're going to start pulling money from, you know, child exploitation investigation, counter-narcotics missions in the Caribbean to fund immigration because we're so overwhelmed with the numbers.

Something IS going to have to give, Laura. You know, I don't know if this is going to be it, but I think ultimately, something is going to have to give because the numbers are just too great at the border right now.

COATES: I mean, there's a finite set of resources. That's the big issue with anything that the government is doing. And as you report in your article, Isaac, thinking about all that's being laid out, there's the idea and there's the execution of the idea, and the devil being in those details.

Thank you both for being here so much. I appreciate it. Isaac and John, thank you so much.

[23:30:00] And now, an update on a story we were first to report to you last night, an immediate reaction in Alabama after a ruling by the state's top court equating frozen embryos to children. Today, the largest hospital in the state pausing all, all IVF treatments.

University of Alabama at Birmingham saying in a statement -- quote -- "We must evaluate the potential that our patients and our physicians could be prosecuted criminally or face punitive damages for following the standard of care for IVF treatments."

The ruling quickly sparking confusion and putting fertility treatments in jeopardy. And the story, by the way, is far from over. We'll continue to follow it.

Opening arguments to start in the trial for the armorer involved in the fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin on the "Rust" movie set. What we can expect, I'll tell you next.



COATES: All right, well, the jury has now been seated in the trial of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. Remember, she is the armorer from the set of that movie, "Rust." She was charged with involuntary manslaughter and also tampering with evidence relating to the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins, cinematographer on the Alec Baldwin film back in 2021, when a gun that was held by Baldwin fired a live round during a scene rehearsal. Gutierrez-Reed has pleaded not guilty.

And I want to bring us all up to speed as we know that there has been some forward motion now in this case. I've got Josh Campbell with us now. Josh, I'm so glad you're here.

You and I had been following this story from the very beginning, and so it's only right that you tell me about what has happened today, knowing that they are saying this, the prosecution, Josh, that her role as the armorer was to ensure gun safety, and I'm quoting here, "Her reckless failure resulted in the senseless death of another human being."

Bring us up to speed on where we are now with this trial.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: So, my friend, this comes down to negligence. Now, no one is disputing that this was an accident, but prosecutors have said time and again that someone died on the set of that movie and, you know, being a federal prosecutor as well, someone has to get justice for those victims, and that's what prosecutors are trying to do.

We know that Alec Baldwin has been recharged. But today, it's all about Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was the armorer on that set. Prosecutors say that she had a duty as the person who was responsible for ensuring firearm safety to make sure that what happened didn't actually occur. She, of course, faces an involuntary manslaughter charge. She has pleaded not guilty to that. But she faces a second charge of tampering with evidence. And what authorities allege is that on the day of the shooting, after she was interviewed by police, she allegedly handed off a bag of cocaine to someone. The reason why --


CAMPBELL: -- that plays in here is because prosecutors have really seized on her sobriety that day. Writing in court filings, they believe that she was hungover at one point, that witnesses had indicated she had been drinking and using marijuana.

The reason that's all important, of course, is because if there's anyone on a movie set who should be lucid at any given point, it's the person responsible for firearm safety. Now, of course, she's denied all of that, but that seems to be the crux of this. It all comes down to negligence.

COATES: I mean, this is one of the theories you're going to proceed with. And this jury, by the way, as much as everyone knows about this case, again, you're right to point out, this is not where Alec Baldwin is a criminal defendant in this action. This is focused on her as the armorer.

But even for a case that's not involving somebody as high profile as Alec Baldwin, this is a very high-profile case, and jury selection is already done. Josh, what do we know about who's on this jury?

CAMPBELL: Yeah, Laura, you know, the court moved at a very fast clip today, getting this all wrapped up in one day. I'm told from a court official that this jury of 12 people has been seated. We're talking seven men as well as five women. There were four alternates who were also selected.

Now, what they did is they brought in 70 residents of Santa Fe County today for questioning both individually as well as a group. Now, the content of those solo sessions, that's all private, of course.

But I'm told by a court official that at one point, the judge addressed the audience and asked for a show of hands, who in this room has heard about this case prior to today, either from the news media or from the internet or by word of mouth? I'm told that the majority of the people who were in that room raised their hand and said, yes.

But, of course, there's this misnomer, right, that if you've heard of a case, you can't serve in a jury. In reality, what the judge was looking for was a group of 12 people who could render an impartial verdict, regardless of what they knew ahead of in advance. I'm told that the judge, the court, believes they have that group of people. I'm told that opening arguments could begin as early as tomorrow morning.

COATES: Oh, to be a fly on the wall. But I want to go back as well, Alec Baldwin, because this has been a kind of a roller coaster. Josh, at first, he was charged and he was not charged, and has gone back and forth. He is not going to be expected to be a witness in this particular trial. He is not a co-defendant in this case, but he is a defendant in a criminal case nonetheless. What is the latest there?

CAMPBELL: Yeah, as you mentioned, on again, off again. Right? He was -- he was charged and the charges were dropped. Now, those charges have been re-brought. Now, he recently had a status hearing. It essentially turned into an argument between the defense and the prosecution about how quickly his case will move.

His defense attorney is saying, let's get this show on the road. We've been waiting, you know, for all this time now going through now two separate rounds of charges. But the prosecutor says they still have some more work to do as far as doing some witness pre-interviews. The prosecutor also says that she herself has a pretty heavy caseload.

And so, it's almost kind of like racking and stacking when his case will actually fall within that the schedule of the prosecutor. Nevertheless, his attorney is saying, let's go, we are ready, let's get this over with.


COATES: Well, we will see. For now, it is the trial of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. A jury is selected. We're going to follow this case, Josh. You and I, we got to make sure that we bring everyone the very latest. Thank you for being here tonight. I appreciate it.

CAMPBELL: As always.

COATES: Well, there's a serious workplace hazard at the White House, but it might not be what you expect. The new records showing President Biden's family dog, Commander, bit Secret Service agents in at least two dozen incidents, next.


COATES: New Secret Service documents obtained by CNN reveal the Biden family's German Shepherd bit Secret Service agents at least two dozen times.


This is Secret Service agent's shirt, by the way, after Commander bit him in the chest. In one email from October 2022, an unnamed Secret Service technician describes an incident, write in -- quote -- "worried about the family pet's behavior escalating and that something worse was going to happen to others."

In another incident from July, an agent working at the Biden's Delaware home was bitten in the backyard as he was walking to his post. The report describes a -- quote -- "severe, deep, open wound on his forearm, resulting in six stitches."

Let's bring in Matt Beisner, a certified professional dog trainer at the Zen Dog. Matt, thank you for being here. People have been wondering about this for quite some time now. I mean, a source close to the family says that they feel awful over these incidents, and the source says that Commander is overprotective. He's a German Shepherd. They typically do have a guarding sensibility. Is that how you see this as well? Overprotectiveness?

MATT BEISNER, CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL DOG TRAINER: Well, first of all, Laura, thanks for having me on. I would say that's an aspect of it. I think about the environment that Commander has been in, Commander's inability to get out of that environment and the escalation of the aggression. There's a lot to this.

It would be really, really difficult for most any dog to just maintain a resilient, calm state of being in an environment like that. I would say particularly for a German Shepherd because of their skill set. They are highly intelligent, they are emotionally deep, and they are acutely aware of changes in the environment.

And the White House itself is just going to be active. A lot of people coming and going. A lot of opportunities for that dog to escalate in its stress that lead to that behavior.

COATES: And by the way, even if he's not at the White House, he's going to be in an environment where you have people who are going to be coming and going, surrounding the people that you associate in your family and trying to delve into that.

But it still is something that is concerning. I mean, Dr. Jill Biden's office told CNN that Commander has been living with other family members since the fall. I wonder if the impact of placing him in that new home is the right answer or a temporary one.

BEISNER: It's a great point, and I think that's to be determined. It's -- I've been working in aggression cases for about 15 years. I have never worked with a dog that has 24 biting incidents. So, there is a level of behavior here that requires a certain kind of care that may not be easily available just in changing environments.

I think there's a lot of healing to be done, obviously, for the people who have experienced the bites. The chest bite, the arm bite, those are really serious bites. And moving the dog may, in fact, take pressure off, but I don't think his story is done, and I hope that he gets the help that he needs.

COATES: I mean, I wonder -- I think about -- I mean, the lawyer in me always thinks about that so-called one bite rule for most people, where if you're on notice that your dog is engaged in behavior that could harm another person, that there is a responsibility on the pet parent to then do something about that, whether it's more training or otherwise. You know, he's still a young dog. Can he be trained to stop biting after 20 plus incidents?

BEISNER: Well, I don't make guarantees, and I'd be wary of any trainer that would. I just know that in my experience, there's not such a thing as a bad dog. And there's probably a lot of unmet needs here for this dog. If that can get started, then maybe there's going to be a shift in the behavior for the long term.

I also want to point out, too, that I don't think this is on the Biden's per se or any one particular person. It's just an untenable experience for this dog. And he is young and there's still time to learn. But he's got to get help now. He's got to get the kind of help that takes the pressure off of him so he doesn't feel compelled to bite.

COATES: Well, I don't see you raising your hand, Matt, yet about that, giving that help. But maybe they'll look to you. Oh, there you go! There's the hand, everyone. Matt Beisner.


BEISNER: Put me in. Put me in.

COATES: Put me in, coach. He's ready to play. Well, I bet people might be knocking on your door. It's clear. My father always says with my own dog, he says there's never -- you know, whatever a dog does, you know, it's up to the pet family to try to help. The dog is only doing what the environment reflects. So, we'll see if that's true or not in this case. Matt Beisner, thank you so much.

BEISNER: Thank you, Laura. Appreciate you.

COATES: We'll be right back.



COATES: Before we leave you here tonight, there is sad news on an activist who lost her battle with HIV AIDS. Hydeia Broadbent, known for raising awareness for HIV AIDS since she was a young child, has died. She was 39 years old.

Her father posting on Facebook, "With great sadness, I must inform you that our beloved friend, mentor, and daughter, Hydeia, passed away today after living with AIDS since birth. Despite facing numerous challenges throughout her life, Hydeia remained determined to spread hope and positivity through education around HIV AIDS.

She was six weeks old when she was taken in by Lauren and Patricia Broadbent after being abandoned at a Las Vegas hospital by her biological mother. She became the face of children with AIDS in this country, appearing on T.V. and at the 1996 Republican Convention at the age of just 12 when she told the crowd, "I am the future, and I have AIDS."

We'll leave you with a clip of her with Magic Johnson on a 1992 Nickelodeon special.



HYDEIA BROADBENT, ACTIVIST WHO LOST BATTLE WITH AIDS: I want people to know that we're just normal people.


MAGIC JOHNSON, FORMER BASKETBALL PLAYER: Uh-hmm. Oh, you don't have to cry. You don't have to cry, because we are normal people.



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on "360," what House Republicans are saying now that they've learned their star witness in the Biden impeachment inquiry, who has already been charged with making (INAUDIBLE), says he got the dirt he was pedaling from Russian intelligence (INAUDIBLE).