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Today, Deadline for Trump Aides to Cooperate with January 6 Probe; Bodycam Shows Officers Hunting Civilians in Floyd Protests; Cold Case Group Claims It's Identified Mysterious Zodiac Killer. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired October 07, 2021 - 07:00   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: All signs point to these Trump confidantes following Trump's orders in not cooperating. So, if they don't, what happens?

CNN's Whitney Wild joins us now with the very latest. Whitney, what are you hearing?

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, the committee has made it clear that they are willing to explore a list of options, civil, criminal, for example, to try to compel people that they have subpoenaed to actually give them relevant information.

Today's deadline, while important, is just a document deadline. So, for example, they also want to hear from the people in person. And that's not supposed to happen until October 14th or in some cases October 15th. So there is still a lot of time for these people to materialize and give information to the committee.

But the fact that they can't find Dan Scavino makes this timeline a little bit stickier. And, specifically, what they are looking for from Dan Scavino is information about the communications within the White House on the day January 6th as well as his sort of character information about the former president, because, as we know, he was a confidante for many, many, many years before he even assumed the presidency. So, there's a wealth of information they're hoping to learn from him.

These deadlines are by design. What they were hoping to do is get the papers first, review the relevant information, and then ask informed questions. But if they can't do that, it makes, once these people coming in for depositions, a lot more difficult because, in any investigation, you want to know as much information before the actual interview as possible so that you can try to nail down people on specifics. John, Brianna?

BERMAN: All right. Whitney Wild, keep us posted over the next several hours.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN NEW DAY: Donald Trump, per usual, saying down is up and up is down. He says the real insurrection took place on Election Day of 2020 with a colorful and fact-challenged statement. He says, quote, the unselect committee of partisan Democrats and two very weak and pathetic RINOs, means Republicans in name only there, I should point out that actually they are quite conservative if you look at the records, he says that that should come to the conclusion after spending many millions of dollars, that the real insurrection happened on November 3rd, the presidential election, not on January 6th, which was a day of protesting the fake election results.

Joining us now in this ultimate reality is CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash and CNN Political Analyst David Gregory.

Dana, a protest, okay.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're not in the alternate reality. We're in the real reality. I don't even have words any more to describe except to say I was physically sick reading that statement when the former president put it out last night, not because it was surprising, not because it was new, but because it was still happening.

And let's be clear why he did it then. He did it to give cover to his lieutenants and to encourage them to defy the January 6th committee. As Elie Honig was describing in the last hour, they really are limited in their power to actually get the Trump people, from Mark Meadows to Dan Scavino, to come and testify even with subpoenas.

And what the former president was doing was saying keep on keeping on, kind of atta boy, and also continuing to grow and to foment the support for that defiance among his supporters.

BERMAN: David?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I mean, I think the danger of it being a select committee, not an outside commission, which Republicans understood, was that it doesn't have the power to become a definitive moment of conclusion to say whatever you felt about Trump, you know, and wherever you went along with Trump, this so clearly crossed the line that it has to be -- if anything can be disqualifying, this is it, to another run.

And that's what I worry about, is that it is going to ultimately lose its power of conclusion to say -- and we're seeing it in some of the reporting that's coming about what the Justice Department was doing, how the president was trying to coordinate with them. So it's appalling.

BERMAN: I've got to say, I think this is bigger than the committee. It's the language that Donald Trump is using, and it's working. Donald Trump going out there and saying the real insurrection happened in November, you know, is still -- is doing more than just continuing to say the election was stolen. It is all these months later spreading a lie that is dangerous. And we saw what happened January 6th. And there's just no reason to believe it can't happen again, and you can see it in the numbers. It's working. BASH: You're absolutely right. I think the timing of it was about the committee. And he actually mentions the committee in this statement. But you're absolutely right. I have been working on a project about voting rights. And in state after state, I went to Texas, Arizona and Georgia. And the Republicans there are being forced, even those who don't want to change the laws, forced to change the laws by their GOP voters, by their constituents, who believe the things that the former president is saying like he did in this statement.


And that has a real, real -- poses a giant threat to democracy for the elections going forward.

GREGORY: And just the ability to somehow find a new context for January 6th. I mean, I think one of the problems with the drumbeat of opposition to the president over the years, whether it's in media or whether among his critics, some of which didn't lead anywhere, is that it has almost diluted what is important, which is this big lie. Because this -- it was such an attack on the country even before January 6th.

What he was trying to do was such an attack on the country. And you hope that voters pull back and say, look, I was down with Trump on a number of things, but this I can't handle. And instead, it's being normalized, contextualized in a certain way where it is kind of pushed aside, and that's what can't happen.

KEILAR: Which makes it worse. It makes it worse. It makes it -- as time passes, somehow it doesn't have the impact. People are actually able to -- not all people but some, and certainly supporters of Trump's and even maybe people who are sort of on the fringe of that are able to put aside the terrible things that happened that day.

BASH: Which is why what David said about the commission, not existing is so important, because Republicans play the long game, and this is a prime example of that. I mean, you talked about the abortion law, and that's another example, putting conservative judges for decades in these areas all the way up to the Supreme Court.

But sticking on this issue, what are they looking at when I say the long game. They said, we are not going to participate in this commission because that gives it legitimacy. And we're not even going to allow Republican members to be on the committee. There are only two who defied their leadership. And so they are trying to run out the clock. They are trying to run out the clock because they fundamentally, and I can prove this, that Republicans are going to take back control of the House in the 2022 elections and this investigation will be over and it will be forgotten about and it will be done. That's what Republicans believe. And so, they are not entirely wrong about how it's going.

BERMAN: They all might be right, but then they will have to deal with candidate Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 nomination and what that means for all of them and what that means for America. You talked about the abortion law in Texas right now. Well, a federal district judge has put that on hold for a few minutes at least. Honestly, it may just be a few minutes. It was harshly critical of the law, harshly critical of the enforcement of the law, which basically upends Roe v. Wade in Texas that makes abortion illegal in Texas after six weeks or so. A district judge stepped in and said, I'm staying in this, it can't go into effect. Two will hear from the appeals court. What is the significance of this, David?

GREGORY: Well, this continues to push this along to get Supreme Court review. I mean, there's the Mississippi case at 15 weeks, banning abortions after that. What is to appalling about what Texas did is they found a way to surgically skirt Supreme Court reviewing and create this vigilantism where neighbors are calling neighbors and reporting.

Look, this is all coming to a head in this country, and the Supreme Court is ultimately going to face the ultimately test in American political life, which is, are you going to take away a right that has already been given. And that is really -- we can have disputes about whether this was -- Roe v Wade was wrongly decided on the law but it comes down to that question, are you going to take away a right that's already been given and that has existed for decades. And I think all of this is pointing in that direction.

KEILAR: The attorney general is praising the ruling. Merrick Garland said, today's ruling enjoining the Texas law is a victory for women in Texas and for the rule of law. It is the foremost responsibility of the Department of Justice to defend the Constitution. We will continue to protect constitutional rights against all who would seek to undermine them. How significant is that statement?

BASH: It's significant. It is certainly the kind of thing that a lot of progressives have been pushing the now democratically appointed and confirmed attorney general. Although he, of course, wants to make clear every step that he is not anything like the A.G.s you saw under Donald Trump. But it is significant.

But the thing you said, John Berman, about this being potentially temporary, the district court and the district judge, in a very length ruling, said this is not going to stand. But then it goes to the fifth circuit, which one of the most -- if not, the most conservative appellate circuits in the entire country. So, the expectation is that that will be overturned again. And the fact that abortion is effectively legal again in Texas will be short-lived at least in the short-term.


BERMAN: So, before I sat at a table and listened to the conversation, people talking about how Brian Stelter and how wonderful he was. I spent 45 joyous minutes listening to the latest episode of Dana's podcast, Total Recall, which is about the California recall, which Governor Gray Davis (INAUDIBLE) Arnold Schwarzenegger in office, and you have such an interesting discussion with Arnold about it. And I just want to play a clip about the role that his then in-laws, the Kennedys, and specifically Teddy Kennedy, played in his election. So, let's listen.


FMR. GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R-CA): First of all, Teddy Kennedy, what a jewel. Eunice said to me, my mother-in-law, Eunice, she said, you should talk to Teddy. I know you just announced, but you should really include Teddy in this whole thing. You should talk to him. I said, okay, I totally agree with you. He's very experienced.

And I remember always what Teddy Kennedy said, don't get into details, Arnold. And I listened to him very carefully. And that's exactly what we did. And then later when I was in office, we broke down the details.


BERMAN: Honestly, and that's just part of it, right? I mean, it was so interesting to hear it all, Dana.

BASH: He went so much further than I even thought he would in terms of clearly talking about what was going on behind the scenes. That, as somebody who is openly obsessed with the Kennedy legacy, that fascinated me as a Massachusetts (INAUDIBLE), I'm sure you as well, because they couldn't have been more different when it comes to their politics. But he said, they knew my heart, they knew who I was. And so as family, because, of course, Maria Shriver is his former wife but is Ted Kennedy, JFK and (INAUDIBLE) niece, wanted to help him.

And also, by the way, anybody who covered Ted Kennedy for five minutes, the notion that he was advising somebody not to talk about details, to keep it on the surface levels, it played into Arnold Schwarzenegger's his strengths but also he said was because the more for the politician, he said my experience is the more details you give, the more the press and the public wants and you're never going to satisfy them. So, just stay up here.

GREGORY: I remember in 2004, he was at a Republican convention. And I remember over on NBC, Brokaw and Russert said, well, there is he is. He's a rock star, Tom. And Brokaw, no, he's actually he is a movie star. But he really was the rock star of that convention. He was such a rising political star, (INAUDIBLE) the details.

BASH: Yes, he did. But he also -- he knows he's a celebrity and he's not afraid to use it.

BERMAN: Well, that was one thing about the podcast, I mean, what a star he was. He is only too happy to tell you how big of a star he was again and again and again.

GREGORY: I didn't know you were from Massachusetts. Do you like some of those (INAUDIBLE)?

BERMAN: It is wicked true.

BSAH: Do you know who won the sudden death wild card?

GREGORY: Yes. But that was great

BERMAN: Who lost the wild card game?

BASH: The New York Yankees.

GREGORY: Were you for Tampa Bay the other night?

BERMAN: It is Tampa bay. That's what we call it in Massachusetts. I was for -- I wanted everyone to --

GREGORY: It was a little disappointing.

BASH: I know we probably have to go. So, you did Brokaw. Do you have a Schwarzenegger impersonation?

GREGORY: A little bit. I mean, when I interviewed him years ago on Meet the Press, he said, Maria said I have to talk to you. You're so funny. You're not as funny. He thought I was so boring. (INAUDIBLE). I thought you were funny.

KEILAR: That's pretty good, David.

GREGORY: That's right, off the cuff.

KEILAR: Look, I just think we have to be like full disclosure, a producer was nearly injured in the making of this podcast by a donkey.

BASH: Oh, yes, the donkey.

KEILAR: Poor Haley Thomas.

BASH: I know/

KEILAR: And Dana ate some questionable animal snacks, shall we say?

BASH: I did ate donkey food, which, to me, it makes it sound gross and have them listen to the podcast --

KEILAR: It's even better than what we're saying to you. Check out the podcast because it's really fun. He invites you inside of his home, and it's quite colorful. Dana, thank you so much. David, great to see you.

Police officers talking about hunting George Floyd protesters in newly released body cam video next.

BERMAN: Plus, the cold case group that claims to have solved the decades old mystery of the Zodiac killer.

And women's soccer team showing solidarity for two former players who fought for years to have their stories of abuse and harassment heard. Both of them will join us live.


[07:15:00] KEILAR: Newly released body camera video reveals Minneapolis police officers discuss hunting down protesters and shooting them with rubber bullets in the days after the murder of George Floyd. Some officers can be seen and heard celebrating and even bumping fists over their successful hits.

CNN's Omar Jimenez is joining us live with more on what is in this video. Omar?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, this takes us back to May 30th, 2020. This was five days after George Floyd was murdered and after multiple days of buildings burning, a curfew that just got into effect at 8:00 this particular day. And we saw maybe the most forceful response we had seen from police up to that point in the week.


JIMENEZ (voice over): This body camera footage shows Minneapolis police officers responding to protests just days after the murder of George Floyd. According to court documents, this unit was traveling down Lake Street, clearing out people staying out past curfew with 40 millimeter nonlethal rounds. Here is what a Minneapolis police commander said during debrief outdoor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, it was just nice to hear.


We're going to go find some more people. Instead of chasing people around, we're going to -- you guys are out hunting people now. And it's just a nice change of tempo.



JIMENEZ: This clip pulled from more than two hours of body camera videos connected to a case of Jaleel Stallings recently acquitted on all charges after firing a gun at officers who fired nonlethal weapons at him first. His attorney, Eric Rice, releasing the footage Tuesday telling CNN, the evidence contradicts reports made by law enforcement officers and as well as common assumptions of how law enforcement and the criminal justice system should operate.

In a different video, hear a group of Minneapolis police officers on Lake Street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first (BLEEP) we see we're just handling them with 40's.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that a good copy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are we doing with these people?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are we doing with people on Lake Street?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shooting them with 40's.

JIMENEZ: The officers apparently also referring to 40 millimeter nonlethal rounds used by some Minneapolis police to control crowds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right there. Get him, get him, get him. Hit him, hit him.

JIMENEZ: And at a separate location, listen to this discussion.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They think they can go anywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on a second. Let me check your credentials, make a few phone calls just to verify who the (BLEEP) you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They think they can do whatever they want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a (BLEEP) curfew.

JIMENEZ: Lieutenant Johnny Mercil later telling Officer Michael Osbeck how he would handle protesters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would scatter them but I thought it's time to (BLEEP) put people in jail. And just prove the mayor wrong about his white supremacists from out of state.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Although this group is predominantly white because there's no looting and fires.


JIMENEZ (on camera): Lieutenant Mercil oversees the Minneapolis Police Department's use of force training and testified as a prosecution witness during the trial of Derrick Chauvin. And for the record, just last week, someone from out of state, a self-described member of the anti-government group, the Boogaloo Boys, pleaded guilty to a federal riot charge, according to the Department of Justice.

And on the body camera video, I should also mention, we reached out to the Minneapolis Police Department and the police union for a response on any of this, and haven't gotten a response. Brianna?

KEILAR: We will be anxiously awaiting that. Omar, Jimenez, thank you so much.

Up next, a brand new theory on the identity of the notorious Zodiac killer.

BERMAN: And for decades and decades, people have been saying, now is the time for a third party in the United States. This time is when it will really happen. Well, why that time may never come.



BERMAN: Law enforcement agencies are denying an independent group's claim that they have identified the Zodiac killer who terrorized Northern California in the late '60s, killing at least five people. Much of the evidence presented by the independent group centers around the claim that Cheri Jo Bates murdered in Riverside, California in 1966 was also a victim of the Zodiac killer. But when contacted by CNN, the Riverside Police Department could not comment on the man identified but said the Zodiac killer is definitely not the person responsible for the death of Bates.

Joining us now is Forensic Document Examiner Mike Wakshull. He's also the author of The End of The Zodiac Mystery. Now, Mike we appreciate you being with us. I want to make clear, we're actually not going to name the person that was identified by this group, but by and large, what do you make of this new claim?

MIKE WAKSHULL, AUTHOR, THE END OF THE ZODIAC MYSTERY: From my perspective, there's not much to it. I've testified in court more than 50 times. And if I were to testify under cross-examination in a case like this, I would be destroyed. I want to read the press release that was sent out. It is all completely circumstantial. There is no hard evidence.

And one of the things I would really want to see, the Zodiac wrote many, many, many letters to the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, the police and the L.A. Times. And what I would want to see is samples of this person's handwriting. That would be a good clue to be able to compare that with the letters written by the Zodiac.

But what's given in the press release is nothing more than, to me, very low level circumstantial evidence.

BERMAN: How many theories like this have popped up over the years?

WAKSHULL: More than I know of. It's just something that keeps coming up. And I don't know where these people -- when these people apparently claim that they have worked on other high-profile cases, like D.B. Cooper and so on, but the high-profile cases I've seen listed for them, they are still unsolved. So, what is their success rate?

BERMAN: Why has the Zodiac case been so hard to crack over the years?

WAKSHULL: Nothing (INAUDIBLE) with the police and what the -- all the evidence is, I don't know the answer to that. I was retained back in 2012 to work on the book called The Most Dangerous Animal of All, which looked at another person, and that was a whole lot more interesting than this. There was a whole lot more evidence.

Now, is all the evidence that came out in that case correct? [07:30:02]

Well, I don't know the answer to that.