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Laura Coates Live

New York A.G. Takes Initial Step To Prepare To Seize Trump Assets; Biden's Cast Edge Widens, Trump's Lawyer Fees Pile Up; Fani Willis Pushes To Revive Trump Case With Summer Trial Request; Police Capture Escaped Inmate And Suspected Accomplice; McConnell's Sister- In-Law Was Intoxicated During Fatal Car Accident; NBA Coach Says He Has Received Threats From Gamblers. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 21, 2024 - 23:00   ET



DAN SENOR, PODCAST HOST: And actually, more can get done when allies disagree and they keep those conversations behind closed doors. Unfortunately, because of the domestic political pressure over the last couple of weeks, you've seen the Biden administration speaking out more publicly and you've Schumer as well play this out a little publicly.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, they're definitely feeling the pressure and feeling the need to at least show responsiveness to an important part of their case.

SENOR: Signaling, exactly. It's a signaling effect.


SENOR: Exactly.

PHILLIP: Dan Senor, thank you very much for bringing all of that to us.

Thank you for watching "NEWSNIGHT." LAURA COATES LIVE starts right now.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: All right, this time, it's personal. What Letitia James is going to do if Donald Trump does not come up with half a billion bucks by Monday, and why all of this could be a huge national security risk, tonight on LAURA COATES LIVE.

All right, so here she comes, Letitia James is leaving a trail of breadcrumbs signaling that she is preparing to try to seize Donald Trump's Westchester golf course and private Seven Springs estate about an hour north of Manhattan. I mean, first of all, look at this property. It's like a part of the dynasty from the 80s.

But this time, it, in fact, is personal. This is the estate where Eric Trump told Forbes the Trumps would spend their summers, and an unwelcome guest, i.e., the New York attorney general, may be knocking on the door if Donald Trump cannot come up with $464 million plus interest, by the way, by Monday. I mean, this message, can it get any clearer?


UNKNOWN: Show me the money! Show me the money!


COATES: I do a lot of Jerry Maguire references, and I'm not going to apologize for it. But if he doesn't show her the money in four days, his properties could start falling like dominoes. But big as this trouble is for one Donald Trump, more than $464 million worth of big, you know what, it could even be bigger trouble for the country.

I mean, ask yourselves, could his debt be a national security risk if he turns to America's enemies and rivals for assistance? I mean, listen to what one of his attorneys has to say about that.


MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Is there any effort on the part of your team to secure this money through another country, Saudi Arabia or Russia, as Joy Behar seems to think?

ALINA HABBA, TRUMP ATTORNEY: Well, there are rules and regulations that are public. I can't speak about strategy.


COATES: Wouldn't that have been like a yes or no answer? I didn't actually hear her say no as opposed to strategy. Of course, the former president of the United States would never try to get the money for his New York fraud from countries like Russia or Saudi Arabia, right? Those would be the kinds of phrases you would expect to hear. And yet I didn't hear that denial. Did you?

Hmm. Well, now, I want to bring in Chase Peterson-Withorn, a senior editor at Forbes. Chase, thank you for joining. So good to see you.

I mean, every time I say this number, $464 million as a bond, you look at that he has until Monday to come up with that. It appears that Attorney General James may be preparing to seize some properties, one in particular, Seven Springs Estate in Westchester.

I wonder, is that a good property for her to target given that she's trying to come up with a total number in that $464 million range?

CHASE PETERSON-WITHORN, SENIOR EDITOR, FORBES: Yeah, it's a great question. Obviously, $464 million is a lot of money. And Seven Springs is, you know, a large estate with some historic homes on it. It's a beautiful property. We think it's worth about $30 million. So --


PETERSON-WITHORN: -- obviously, nowhere near $464 million. So, it seems like if Letitia James is going to go after assets, she's probably going to go after more than just Seven Springs. And so, Trump has another course in Westchester County that also might be seized. And, of course, he has a tremendous amount of, you know, commercial and retail real estate in New York City that you would have to think she has her eye on if she's trying to get to $464 million.

COATES: Well, Chase, this particular property, the Seven Springs estate, what can you tell us about what this property, this estate, and by the way, looking at images of it, I mean, it's unbelievable looking at this, what does this estate mean to Trump?

PETERSON-WITHORN: Yeah, you know, it's -- it's a beautiful property and there is a personal Trump family connection. Donald Trump bought the property, wanted to turn it into a golf course, and wasn't able to get approval to do that. And the Trump family spent summers and weekends there.


And it's actually the place where Eric Trump supposedly proposed to Lara Trump. So, there's definitely some sentimental attachment there. And Trump is also pretty attached to all of his properties.


PETERSON-WITHORN: He definitely sees them as trophy properties. And he's not somebody who's very interested in sort of partying with his trophies.

COATES: I was going to say -- I mean, this is somebody known for his real estate ventures. And to have any part of it taken away, you combine that with ego, and then, of course, a campaign, it's not what you want to happen.

But if that property -- you mentioned the price. I mean, if I were to guess at this, and I'm no good real estate tycoon at all to guess at what the property looks like, but this is far short, far shy of that $464 million. So, if that is so much lower, why go through the trouble of making this filing in Westchester County? Is it because Letitia James is going to be putting a kind of a portfolio of other properties together to seize?

PETERSON-WITHORN: Yeah, it's a great question. My understanding is she wouldn't have to file this type of filing in New York County where Manhattan is because that's where the judgment comes from.

COATES: Right.

PETERSON-WITHORN: And so, my understanding is basically she's going to this other county, Westchester, to put a notice that this judgment happened, and she might be seizing properties. This was several weeks ago that she did this. So, it seems like she sorts of was laying the groundwork for the chance that Trump can't or doesn't post bond, and she has to seize properties.

So, this was weeks ago that I think this has been in motion where she seemed like giving herself, you know, the potential to go out to properties if she deems it necessary.

COATES: Chase Peterson-Withorn, thank you so much for joining us.

I want to bring in trial and compliance attorney, Seth Berenzweig, and former federal prosecutor and contributing editor for New York Magazine, Ankush Khardori. Thank you both for being here.

First of all, I mean, this number, again, keeps going around in my head. This is an astronomical figure. Now, he takes issue with the amount, calling it possibly excessive fine. That's a discussion for an appellate court to grapple with. I don't know how he'll fare.

But when it comes to seizing these assets, just walk us through, if you can, for a second, Seth. James, so she would not necessarily be able to seize properties that he is not the sole owner of, right? She'd be in line as a creditor.

SETH BERENZWEIG, TRIAL AND COMPLIANCE ATTORNEY: She would be in line as a creditor. But keep in mind that all of the defendants in the case, the organization and the entire family, are jointly and severally liable for the debts in the case. So, it's his company, it's his kids, it's him.

And this filing is basically a warning siren to the Trump family that this is a red alert. This means that when you docket a judgment in the county courthouse, in the records of that county within New York, that means that his assets are in peril and there's no way out.

By the way, that is a filing not only with respect to real estate, but it creates a judgment lien against all realty and personality (ph). What does that include? Operating accounts, bank accounts --


BERENZWEIG: -- everything. And she can execute on that next week. And if she chokes that money dry, that means that it will probably violate a whole bunch of loan covenants. It's going to be a hot mess, and it is just days away.

COATES: I mean, you could garnish wages ultimately, right? At one point, I'm thinking about, if he were to secure the White House again, the idea you could possibly garnish one's presidential salary, obviously, far short of this notion here, but there is that process.

Let me ask you, Ankush, because, you know, bankruptcy might be in people's minds. They might think, okay, well, hold on, if you can't pay the judgment by Monday, there's a process for her to begin seizing assets. It's not going to be like you've got to put it on the market right now, and I've got to get money next week. Could bankruptcy help him avoid any of this? It's not able to be so, right?

ANKUSH KHARDORI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR FOR NEW YORK MAGAZINE: No. So, he will not be able to discharge, is the word, the legal term of art, this debt in a bankruptcy proceeding. It's a court judgment and also happens to concern intentional misconduct on the part of Mr. Trump. So --

COATES: Neither of those are the categories you can actually have a bankruptcy apply

KHARDORI: Right. And so, the best that he could accomplish is to sort of drag the process out by filing for bankruptcy, but it would not prevent the state from getting their money. The other problem is I'm not sure he's insolvent. That's sort of unclear to me, too.

So, I don't think he can just, you know, pop on over and file for bankruptcy. He claims to have all this money, all these assets. He can sell some of them, he can mortgage them, he can try to do something with the shares that he's got -- that are going to come to him through the Truth Social-SPAC merger. He has options here.

I think there was a little bit of posturing going on this week with his claim that it's a practical impossibility to get the bond. He has options. He just doesn't want to pursue them.

COATES: And by the way, she would know at this point, the attorney general in New York, what properties he owns, right? The judgment comes down from this judge. But there is a kind of forensic accounting that has already taken place, right?

BERENZWEIG: That's right. It's all a matter of public record.


And one of the other things that's unique about this case as far as the operating company goes is that judge -- that the judge in the New York case has applied a special receiver that has control over all of the operations and the assets of the corporation.

In fact, that was an order that was brought in within the last 24 hours where the judge told the corporate receiver that she has all the power she needs to monitor the cash, monitor the accounts.

And he invited her to reapply back if she feels that she needs more powers. What that means is that when there is a garnishment of a bank account, for example, what typically happens in a situation like this is that the CEO says, that's fine, we'll just sweep the account, and then we'll send it over to Bank of America. He can't do that.


BERENZWEIG: He can't move the money. He's stuck. He can't file for bankruptcy. He's really in a tight place right now.

COATES: Well, I mean, you just look at this and the response that he has had consistently, Ankush, has been this is all political, right? This is somebody who campaigned on trying to bring me down. I was her target in the campaign.

Politically, obviously, she would not dispute that she has campaigned on prosecuting Donald Trump. In an appellate process, though, as he starts to work on this appeal about this judgment, is that ever going to factor in?

KHARDORI: You know, I don't -- look, the argument that it's like political, I don't expect to have much traction within the courts in New York. I do think that there is a -- that argument underlies a problem with the judgment. I think it is going to potentially be vulnerable on appeal, which is that the numbers are very large.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

KHARDORI: It is very large, particularly for a fact pattern like this one in New York courts under this type of law. So, I don't expect the courts to say, oh, this was political, we're going to throw it out. I do expect them to be a little careful with these facts and looking closely at the judgment and an underlying law.

COATES: Well, they'll have to look at the proportionality of this, right, and who is before this actual court. Seth, Ankush, please stick around in just a moment.

Now, with all the questions surrounding Donald Trump's $464 million- dollar bond, the former president is still facing 88 criminal charges across four separate indictments. And defending against those charges, well, it costs big bucks. To pay those legal bills, Trump has been tapping into money from his Save America PAC.

CNN's Tom Foreman has a closer look. Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Laura, his fans may not mind that he's spending this money that way, but it does add up. Look at the amount spent on Trump's legal bills of February filing from that Save America PAC, $5.6 million. They've only got $4 million on hand here.

And importantly, the money that's coming in is not going as well as they would like. Take a look at the February fundraising totals from the Federal Election Commission. Here's Biden over here, $21 million. Trump, $10.9 million. Advantage to Biden right there.

National Party raised by the DNC versus the RNC. DNC, $16.6 million. RNC, $10.7 million. Advantage to the DNC. Now, compare that to cash on hand, the money they already have to work with. Again, February cash on hand for the campaign, Biden, $71 million. Advantage over Trump was just $33.5 million. The National Party, $26.5 million versus $11.3 million. More than twice as much advantage to the Democrats again.

So, in the money race, Biden and the Democrats right now are hammering Trump just when he's hemorrhaging money into his legal defense, Laura.

COATES: So how does that compare to the past?

FOREMAN: Well, back in 2020, it was a real money run back then. But look at the last time you had an incumbent Democrat running back in 2012. Barack Obama was running at that point. The DNC had t$21.2 million. The RNC, $26.7. They were doing much, much better back then. And then look at this, where we are now. DNC, $26.5 million. They are trending up and the RNC trending way down with less than half as much cash. This does not mean that this will decide the race, Laura. Many things can change between now and then. But we've made a lot about the polls. We've made a lot about all sorts of metrics. This is the money metric and it matters. And right now, it is squarely wind behind Joe Biden's sails, not Donald Trump's.

COATES: So interesting. Tom Foreman, thank you so much.

I want to bring in Congressman Sean Casten. He's a Democrat representing Illinois, he sits on the House Financial Services Committee, and he says Trump's mounting legal judgments are a serious national security threat.

Congressman Casten, thank you so much for joining me this evening. You know, these numbers that we're hearing about and, of course, this deadline to pay by Monday, and we are 200 and what, 29 days away from a presidential election, he is the presumptive Republican nominee and a former president, here -- I want you to listen for a second to what Trump's lawyer has had to say when asked about whether they were looking for foreign money to help with this judgment.




MACCALLUM: Is there any effort on the part of your team to secure this money through another country, Saudi Arabia or Russia, as Joy Behar seems to think?

HABBA: Well, there are rules and regulations that are public. I can't speak about strategy, that requires certain things, and we have to follow those rules. Like I said, this is manifest injustice. It is impossible. It's an impossibility. I believe they knew that.


COATES: Even she cocked her head for a second because she probably didn't hear a yes or no. When you hear that, there is not an outright denial. That concerns you.

REP. SEAN CASTEN (D-IL): I mean, I wish I could say I was surprised. I mean, when the first time we impeached Trump, the only president you can say that from, we were having a debate about what would be the charges of the impeachment.

And there were a lot of members saying, look, these are emoluments violations. The fact that he is still getting money from foreigners is a problem. It's a constitutional violation. That was an impeachable offense. We decided to not put that in the articles. That was about $8 million.


CASTEN: This is about $464 million. And like to put that in context, if I walked out of the studio tonight as a member of Congress, and a stranger walked up to me and said, I'd like to buy you a $26 dinner, I would have to report that to ethics, $26, because we rightly say that, you know, there's too many modes of influence and we need to report this. Trump, as a candidate, is not bound by those rules.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

CASTEN: So, when he's now going out and saying, I don't have $464 million, I need $464 million, we know that he just posted a bond for $91 million, and we don't know what the security was on that bond.

COATES: The E. Jean Carroll case is what you're talking about.

CASTEN: Exactly. So, wherever your politics are, if you just want to know that the person you are going to vote for has not been purchased by a foreign adversary, you want to know what those liabilities are.

I'm not saying I have any evidence that there has been foreign interference, but this is a massive liability that the American people have a right to know about.

COATES: Would he have to disclose this as a candidate or it would be up to him as if he were to reclaim the White House? At that point, he would need to do so.

CASTEN: So, the rules, as I understand them, are frankly far too weak. As candidates, you make disclosures on periodic basis and you notify what those are. As an elected official, you have more frequent disclosure requirements. But now -- and quite frankly, if the House Judiciary was staffed by people who cared about our democracy, they would be filing subpoenas right now, but that's not the moment we're in.

COATES: Were not -- I don't want to miss the forest for the trees because your larger point, I think, is extremely important, in that the American people want to know who do you owe, right? Who do you owe?

And this is somebody who in the past has not been forthcoming, to say the least, about, say, his tax records and beyond, and has fought this tooth and nail. And I remember when I was a federal prosecutor, I mean, you could lose your security clearance if you had debt --


COATES: -- if you had credit card, if you had shoe shopping habits. There were questions raised. This would be an enormous amount, and he could still have the highest level of security.

CASTEN: Yeah, as it should. I mean, if you were applying for a junior job at the FBI, take a bunch of zeros off this and you could never get that job.

COATES: Right.

CASTEN: Right? And the American people should know. But now, put yourself in the shoes of a Vladimir Putin. Put yourself in the shoes of, you know, any foreign leader who we know is an adversary of the United States and say, I would like to buy a United States president. What is the price?


CASTEN: You know the answer to that, right? It's $464 million plus interest. Maybe you're a tech billionaire who would like to get a defense contract to launch satellites into space. Four hundred and sixty-four million dollars. How do we make sure that that doesn't happen?

COATES: Is there an answer? I mean, how do you make sure?

CASTEN: I think a lot of this is going to depend on civil society. I would wish that Donald Trump would come out and say, look, transparency, the sunlight is the best disinfectant. I don't think that's going to happen. But I think we have to rely on civil society.

I'm grateful that you're raising this issue. We need to have journalists raising this question. We need to have voters raising this question. We need to have the Congress raising these questions and simply say, look, if it's smoke and no fire, then let's get to the bottom of that.

But somebody who owes $554 million and counting to somebody, and we don't know who that is, is a real problem for the United States of America.

COATES: Even -- when you look even beyond what he may owe, ultimately, there is talk of him bringing back Paul Manafort into the fold. You, of course, remember that this is somebody who was pardoned by Trump after being found guilty of financial crimes, illegal foreign lobbying.


You think that poses an additional eyebrow-raising moment about security?

CASTEN: I mean, I wish I could say that Paul Manafort is the only problematic person in Trump's orbit who's coming back. I mean -- I mean, look at all of the -- most of his defense in most of these crimes is, well, you can't trust that person because they were convicted. You can't trust Lev Parnas because he was convicted. You can't -- you know, Paul Manafort, he was convicted and then he was pardoned, right?

COATES: Right.

CASTEN: These are, unfortunately, the people in Trump's orbit which is part of why this issue is so heightened, because the American people don't really have a reason to believe that this is a person who, prior to this point, led a squeaky-clean ethical life.

COATES: You know, you're right to ask these questions and to raise them, and to wonder, you know, if there are no concrete and firm disclosure rules now, what would protect the disclosure or transparency down the line?

And I think people have a right to know, you know, if it's not from insurance companies, where are you getting the money from? And let the voters judge that for themselves. But the disclosure, at the very least, ought to be mandated, don't you think?

CASTEN: Yes, and with enough enforcement teeth to back it up. I mean, we don't -- you know, tragically, we don't -- we don't fund white- collar police in this country very well. So, the FEC should be going after this. They should have the jurisdiction. They should have the authority to go after this.

But we also just have gaps in the rules. Trump is such an unusual creature. We haven't had issues like this in America before where we've had to worry about these sorts of questions.


CASTEN: But now, we do.

COATES: Well, I would venture to say one of the reasons we don't have the white-collar police force is because the white-collars don't want there to be. So maybe we equalize. I see you have a blue collar on. I see it's literally a blue collar I'm looking at.

Congressman Sean Kasten, thank you so much. And, of course, mine's a swirl.

CASTEN: Thank you.

COATES: Listen, I don't know what you are planning to do this summer, but Fani Willis wants to put Donald Trump on trial in Georgia, even after that trial, about all the details about her personal life were put on full display in that Georgia courtroom. The question is, is a summer trial in that case realistic or a prosecutor's wishful thinking?




COATES: All right, tonight, we've got exclusive CNN reporting that gives a little bit of a glimpse inside the Fulton County D.A.'s office. Now that D.A. Fani Willis, of course, can remain on the Trump criminal case, we are learning that she plans to ask the judge to schedule a trial date for the former president and, of course, the co- defendants in this Georgia election subversion and interference case as soon as this summer.

Now, this comes as the embattled Willis spent the last two months defending her credibility against an attack to disqualify her. Last week, the judge overseeing the trial issued a blistering rebuke of Willis, and you remember, and her lead prosecutor Nathan Wade's personal relationship, forcing one of them to resign from the case, which resulted then in Nathan Wade's resignation just last week.

Back with me now, Seth Berenzweig and Ankush Khardori. I'm so glad you guys are back because this idea of a summer trial date, now, when she first came on the scene to announce this indictment, she first said, I want to have this trial in six months. Now, many people began to snicker and laugh, thinking there's no way that a co-defendant case of this magnitude would go that quickly, let alone one that involves the former president of the United States.

Ankush, is it realistic to think that this could happen this summer? By the way, it'll be April like in two weeks.

KHARDORI: Yeah, I don't think it's realistic. I don't think that there was a very good chance this case was even going to go to trial this year, even after it was filed. This is a 19-defendant case, complex issues, novel issues in some respects, involving a former president. It was always going to be a very ambitious notion to have this case try this year.

Now, the other problem she now has is this disqualification issue, which was just resolved against her, is up on appeal.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

KHARDORI: Right? It's going to be appealed. And I do not see why the judge would want to schedule a trial that may be invalidated if he's overruled on the disqualification issue. Right? So, I don't see why a judge would even contemplate having a trial, a lesson until that appeal is resolved. So, he knows that the prosecutor on the case is actually the prosecutor on the case.

COATES: But, you know, there is a world where you could say, I'm going to keep planning and I've made my finding, I believe that she should not be disqualified, so I'm going to proceed as appropriate. She does have a history of having these large co-defendant cases, whether it's a teacher cheating scandal or the YSL case down in Georgia which, by the way, I think is still ongoing when you think about these cases.

But these last two months, you have to wonder what impact that's had on preparation, Seth, because, of course, her lead prosecutor is now not there. That means somebody else has to step into that role and get up to speed.

BERENZWEIG: Well, I agree it will have an impact, and certainly, they've had a little bit of disruption in the office lately. However, I'm a little bit more optimistic from a speed point of view.

Under the local rules, now that Judge McAfee has given sort of this permission slip for Mr. Trump and the defendants to apply for permission to ask the Court of Appeals to accept the case, under those rules, that documentation is due within 10 days of when he entered that order, which is basically in about a week or so, then the Court of Appeals has up to 45 days to make its decision. [23:29:58]

Now, of course, if they go in and they end up being a traffic cop and say, stop the presses, we need to take a look at this, then I completely agree, there's no question at all that this case is getting tried this year.

If they reject the appeal, although it's tough, I still think that there's a slim chance that it could get tried in the early fall. That is something that might be a tough squeeze.

But everything is going to move pretty quickly within the next few weeks, and we'll know for sure whether or not the Court of Appeals accepts this and whether they're going to put a stay on the case.

COATES: You know what's looming pretty largely over this entire thing? I mean, she is an elected official, right? She's got a primary in May. She has a challenger. There's obviously the general election in November.

And so, in a very weird way, Ankush, the two of them talking about Trump at the very least and Fani Willis, they've got something in common. Not just this indictment, but the fact that they are hoping to be and remain in office again.

Does that influence, do you think, the way and the timing of how this case is pursued? Because if she doesn't win reelection for whatever reason, then that could be a new team that comes in.

KHARDORI: No, from her perspective, that could be something she's concerned about. Again, I just remain a bit skeptical that that would be the sort of paramount interest on her mind. I mean, I think that she is clearly very attentive to, you know, the coverage around her and the perspectives of the media, people in her community. That has been very important to her over the last couple of months, understandably.

And I imagine part of her decision today or the reporting that CNN has today is about her trying to turn the page on all of this, right? Try to move forward, even if she doesn't get her trial date, just to say, look, that happened, now let's move into a new phase of this case where we can get back to the facts and the law and the evidence.

COATES: Interestingly enough, the judge in his ruling keeping her on the case talked about how he did not believe that they were involved in this relationship or using this indictment as a pretextual reason to continue it because he said because she has proceeded with all due speed in this case, not wanting to sever, wanting to have a quick trial date. And so, it's a bit of a catch 22 if she now were to slow this all down.

Seth, Ankush, thank you both so much. Up next, an end to a dramatic manhunt in Idaho after the escape of an inmate with ties to white supremacists. You've got a report from the ground. And an NBA head coach calls out angry gamblers for sending him crazy messages about his family. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)



COATES: A nearly 36-hour manhunt ended today with police in Idaho capturing an escaped inmate and his alleged accomplice. It all started Wednesday at about 2:00 in the morning when inmate Skylar Meade was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for self-inflicted injuries. The three officers escorting Meade were then ambushed by gunfire.

Now, Meade was serving a lengthy sentence for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and was due to be released in 2036. Now police say both Meade and his accomplice also have ties to a white supremacist prison gang.

Joining us now from Boise, Idaho, CNN's Camila Bernal. Thank you so much for being here. I mean, how did police finally track them down?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Laura. Look, they quickly put out the photos of these two suspects. And you mentioned Meade's tattoos. You know, they were very easily identifiable. It was a 1 on one side of his face and 11 on the other. That stood for AK, which is Aryan Knights, which is that white supremacist prison gang.

And authorities also putting out the photos of their escape vehicle very quickly after this incident happened. They say this was a joint law enforcement effort. Many agencies coming together in the state to eventually make this arrest.

Authorities believe that these two first went north. And when they were up north in just a rural part of Idaho, they believe that two people were killed. They believe that they are possibly connected to these two suspects.

And what authorities say is that they then possibly went southeast. They were spotted in Twin Falls, Idaho. That's about 130 miles south of where I am right now. And they say they were spotted. There was a quick chase.

But here's the thing. Authorities saying not a single shot was fired when they were arrested. No one was injured. They were taken into custody. Authorities, you know, at an hour or so after they arrested them, just letting us know about this operation. So, of course, they were just grateful to have this finished and in a very good way. Laura?

COATES: I mean, how did the police link the suspects to those homicides?

BERNAL: Yeah, so I specifically asked the state police how these two were linked, and they said that as they were investigating and looking into the scenes of the murders, they found the shackles at one of the scenes. And so, what they're also saying is that they're looking into the links between not just the homicides and these two suspects, but also specifically the links between the two suspects.

Here is what the director of the Department of Correction here in Idaho had to say.


JOSH TEWALT, DIRECTOR, IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: In addition to having both having membership with the Aryan Knights, they also shared some acquaintances, some common acquaintances, both in custody as well as in the community.


BERNAL: Now, he also added that these two were housed together when they were in prison at the same time.


And the director, you know, saying make no mistake, this was not an accident, this was planned. And now, they're just trying to figure out exactly how they planned all of this. Laura?

COATES: My goodness. Camila Bernal, thank you so much. Tonight, we're getting new details about the tragic death of Senator Mitch McConnell's sister-in-law, shipping tycoon Angela Chao.

A police report showing Chao's blood alcohol was about three times the legal limit when she mistakenly drove her Tesla into a lake at a Texas ranch, and describes how she desperately called her friends for help as water was pouring into the car. Mitch McConnell cited her death last month when he announced his plan to step down as GOP leader.

CNN's Gabe Cohen joins me now. Gabe, this is so unbelievable, so tragic to think about. I mean, this report goes into frightening details about this accident and also about how she was trying to escape. She was conscious. She knew it was happening. What happened?

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, so this report really lays out a really frantic and a really tragic situation. I mean, Angela Chao had brought together a group of old friends for this weekend. They went to a Pitbull concert the night before. They were just eating and drinking, having a good time at her family's Texas ranch that night.

And as they were heading to bed, that's when she got into her Tesla SUV and accidentally backed over a wall and down into a pond on the property. She very quickly, according to this report, got out her phone. She called a friend who was nearby, asking for help, saying that water was starting to come into the car.

And the report lays out what happens next. It says, during the call, her friend told Chao to exit the vehicle, and Chao told her she couldn't. She described the water coming into the vehicle. Chao then said her goodbyes to her friend.

Laura, she told her she loved her. They were on the phone for eight minutes as her friends were desperately trying to save her. One of them took a kayak and paddled out to the car. Another swam out, got on top of it. They just couldn't break the glass. They couldn't reach her.

And eventually, it was first responders who got to her. But at that point, it had been more than 20 minutes, and Angela Chao was unresponsive.

COATES: This is heartbreaking. It is so tragic. I mean, a lot of people, this is their worst fear, going over, being submerged in water, wondering how they're going to get out of the vehicle. What do you do in these scenarios? And it's just the fact that she was eight minutes able to know what's happening and thinking about that she was going to die.

And her friends hearing about this, I mean, she comes from a very powerful family. We mentioned Senator Mitch McConnell even referenced her just last month in his speech about leaving. How has this impacted the broader family?

COHEN: Well, as you can imagine, they're heartbroken. A spokesperson for the Chao family actually sent me a statement from her father that I can read. It says, "Angela's passing was a terrible tragedy, and words cannot describe the family's profound grief. The family is grateful for the first responders and for the friends who tried so hard to save her."

And clearly, it has also impacted Mitch McConnell, who, as you mentioned, noted Angela's passing when he made that announcement that he was stepping down from his leadership role just last month. I don't know if we have that clip of what he said.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): When you lose a loved one, particularly at a young age, there's a certain introspection that accompanies the grieving process. Perhaps it is God's way of reminding you of your own life's journey to reprioritize the impact on the world that we will all inevitably leave behind.


COHEN: So, you can hear the emotion there, Laura. It's hard to say how it factored into his decision, but clearly, he has been impacted.

COATES: I mean, it's so heartbreaking to think about that. I keep going back to that eight minutes and the phone calls being made and what it's like for the friends she has left behind and her loved ones, obviously. I mean, it's unbelievable. Gabe Cohen, thank you so much.

Up next, the very real and very dark side of sports betting. One NBA coach says it has gotten so out of control that he is getting threats.




COATES: If you watch a lot of sports or, well, if you watch us about anything at this point, you may have noticed just a bit of an explosion of ads for betting companies. And it's true, betting on games has blown up ever since a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that struck down a federal ban on commercial sports betting in most states.

Now, some high-profile people are saying things have gotten out of hand, people like Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff.


J.B. BICKERSTAFF, HEAD COACH, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: I personally have had my own instances with, you know, some of the sports gamblers where they got my telephone number and were sending me, you know, crazy messages about, you know, where I live and my kids and all that stuff.

There's no doubt about it, that it has crossed the line. You know, the amount of times where, you know, I'm standing up there and we may have a 10-point lead and the spread is 11, and people are yelling at me to leave the guys in so that we can cover the spread, like, it's ridiculous.


COATES: Wow. I mean, just to show you some numbers, betting on America's biggest game, the Super Bowl, it has exploded over the years. You know, in 2021, 23 million adults wagered about $4 billion.


This year, that figure, it ballooned to 68 million adults, wagering $23 billion. These are unbelievable figures to me.

Joining me now, Dave Zirin, sports editor at "The Nation" and author of the book, "The Kaepernick Effect." Dave, I'm so glad that you are here. First of all, I mean, I feel old when I'm like, this is legal, you can kind of do this.

I remember a time not so long ago when it was sort of the taboo. You may have gone to a horse racing place, there's a smoke-filled room, there are people gambling in a corner, and that was taboo. Now, it's every play, every quarter, everything that's happening. Do you think it has gotten out of hand?

DAVE ZIRIN, SPORTS EDITOR AT THE NATION, AUTHOR: Oh, yes, gambling has swallowed the sports world whole, and somewhere, Pete Rose is saying, hey, I'm banned from Major League Baseball. Why?


Because it is infected. And I use that word very deliberately. It has infected every part of the sports world. It's not just fans at home betting. I mean, it's also media members, people we trust in the sports media who are now talking about parlays in between quarters of NBA games. They're now part of selling gambling to a population that I think is utterly unprepared for being subsumed in this kind of culture.

We're talking about addiction. We're talking about issues in terms of tearing apart families. We're talking about bankruptcy. These are all things that happen because of gambling. People think it's all fun and games, but there are these negative effects.

And, yes, there is that disclaimer at the end of all the gambling ads, dial 1-800-GAMBLER, but that's not good enough because they're making so much money right now that it's -- we're in a whole new world.

COATES: But it's not just, you know, commentators. It's not just people who are on your Twitter or X feed and beyond. You used to have bragging rights. I admit that. Now, it's much more intense. And you've got a whole lot of celebrities from different walks of life who are also a part of the ads. And look at this.


UNKNOWN: Defy the odds. And strike. Because every bet, we BetMGM, has a potential for greatness.



UNKNOWN: I got to do the kick of destiny again.


UNKNOWN: But this time, fans can pick if I'll make or miss for $10 million.

UNKNOWN: Interesting.

UNKNOWN: And right now, new customers bet $5 and get $1.50 in bonus bets.

UNKNOWN: DraftKings. Now, I know this is bold and all, but everyone gets a free bet? Man, that's big.


COATES: I mean, you've got Wayne Gretzky, Gronkowski, Gronk, you know, Kevin Hart. You've seen Jamie Foxx do different ads, I think, as well in different areas. I mean, there are so many different people. That's the point of advertising, though, right? To say to you -- it's not just to drink this soda. It's to do this very thing. It's hard to resist for the average fan who says, oh, it's okay now, and look, everyone is doing it.

ZIRIN: Well, especially when it's right in your pocket.


ZIRIN: I mean, we all have phones, and gambling is just a thumbprint away. I can tell you, having a son in high school, it's in the high schools, too. It's underage people. It's the one kid who gets the account, and then all the other kids are betting through them. We're creating a generation of amateur bookies through all of this.

And if no one is going to stand up and say this has to stop, then there's going to be a reckoning, and that reckoning is going to take place when -- you heard J.B. Bickerstaff, the coach of the Cavs, you know, when somebody gets hurt because people are betting so much money and are in such desperate straits, or they're so angry at a player or a coach because they're not getting that seventh rebound instead of an eighth rebound.

COATES: A lot of the responsibility, somebody might hear this and go, okay, no, I understand that, but there are people who are responsibly betting who are not doing this, who are not engaging in the way you're talking about, who aren't going to go to the games and start screaming to meet the stats. They just have some friendly wagers. Now they're waging pool and their group of friends is just bigger because it's online.

ZIRIN: Uh-hmm.

COATES: Do you -- what do you say to the response that says, okay, the responsibility is not with the leagues, it's with the individual people who are participating and who can regulate them?

ZIRIN: Yeah, I mean, look, when gambling was just at the casino, you could say to yourself, I'm not going to go to the casino. You could have that personal responsibility.

But if it's right in your pocket and if you have big name celebrities telling you, yes, this is the thing to do, this is the thing to do, I mean, you said the statistics about how many people are betting on the Super Bowl now compared to just a few years ago, this audience has been created.

This profit center has been created for gambling in the last several years since that Supreme Court ruling that we have to realize it's a bold new world. You mentioned that 2018 ruling. The NBA submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court saying that they supported it. In theory, it was very sort of simple and antiseptic.

Now, just a few years later, you go to the NBA League Pass app. This was announced this week. Now, you can bet while you're watching the games on the app in real time. I mean, yes, it's someone's individual responsibility, but we're not making it easy for folks. Like, it's easy for me not to go to the corner store to get ice cream sandwiches, but if my wife is stocking the freezer, we have a problem.

COATES: What's your address? Because I like ice cream sandwiches.


What are you talking about? There's no problem here. What do you mean? What are you talking about? What would you do for a Klondike bar? I mean, oh, God, I just dated myself at my age with a Klondike bar reference. [23:55:01]

Okay, whatever the new thing people eat, fine.


COATES: Dave Zirin, thank you so much. Really fascinating and really telling about what could be. Thank you so much. We'll be right back.


COATES: The city of Las Vegas has been a powerful force recently. I mean, hosting Super Bowl 58 and wowing audiences with its futuristic new venue, The Sphere. Now, the new CNN original series, "Vegas: The Story of Sin City," take us all on an incredible journey from the city's origins as a dusty desert town to the entertainment mecca that it is today.


Here's a preview.


UNKNOWN: It's the first time I've ever been in Vegas.

UNKNOWN: I know.

UNKNOWN: So, I'm curious to see if I'm going to really enjoy.

RICH LITTLE, COMEDIAN: The salaries were actually ridiculous. I remember Dolly Parton was playing. They paid her over 300,000 a week. Everybody was astounded. Sometimes, the salaries were so huge, you wonder how they were going to make their money. And they just couldn't continue to do it.


COATES: Be sure to check out the final episode of the CNN original series, "Vegas: The Story of Sin City.: It's airing Sunday night at 10:00 Eastern on CNN.

Hey, thank you all for watching. Our coverage continues.