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Attorneys Argue Greene Can't Run Again After Aiding Insurrection; Russian Strikes Five Railways Station In Central And Western Ukraine; U.S. Say It Wants Russia "Weekend" By War In Ukraine; TV Analyst, Former U.S. Naval Intel Officer Joins Fight In Ukraine. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 25, 2022 - 08:30:00   ET




REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): I'm not answering that question, speculations, I'm not--

ANDREW CELLI JR., PROSECUTOR, PARTNER AT EMERY CELLI BRINCKERHOFF ABADY WARD & COMMERCIAL LITIGATION: You've said that, have you Ms. Greene that she's a traitor to the country?

GREENE: No, I haven't said that.

CELLI: Okay. Put up plaintiffs exhibit five, please.

GREENE: Oh, no, wait. Hold on now, I believe by not upholding the-- securing the border, that that violates her oath of office.

Celli: Fair enough. I'm not interested in her oath of office. I'm interested in that you said that she's a traitor to our country.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Joining us now is Andrew Celli, the attorney who questioned Congresswoman Greene on the stand. Counselor, thank you so much for being with us. Do you believe the congresswoman committed perjury while you were questioning her, and do you intend to make a referral?

CELLI: Well, the question of perjury is really for other people to decide and most importantly for Judge Charles Beaudrot down in Atlanta to decide. He has to find the facts here. But I will say it stretches credulity that this woman can make these kinds of statements, make them publicly on her Facebook page in front of her hundreds of thousands of Facebook followers, and the millions of people who view her comments of all the time, and then claim she doesn't remember. It's shocking to me.

BERMAN: Well, let me play that because you're referring to something more than what I just played there. She used the "I don't recall, I don't remember", several times. Let's listen.


CELLI: You didn't talk to anybody in government about the fact that there were going to be large protests in Washington on January 6th?

GREENE: I don't remember.

CELLI: You spoke to Representative Biggs or his staff about that fact that you--

GREENE: I do not remember.

CELLI: How about Representative Gosar?

GREENE: Sorry, I don't remember.

CELLI: Did anyone ever mentioned to you the possibility that there might be violence in Washington?

GREENE: I don't remember.


BERMAN: You know, I do hear you when you say it'll be up for the judge to decide. But what do you think? What's your take on how much he remembers?

CELLI: Well, look, this is a developing situation. And our work in Georgia was really just part of trying to enforce the Constitution. The 14th Amendment of the Constitution forbids someone who engaged in insurrection from standing for election to federal office. That's essentially what we're trying to do.

There are other investigations. There's a federal investigation, there's a congressional investigation. And this story has not played out yet. In fact, what we saw Friday is that after the close of our hearing, there were more filings in federal court that would have been enormously helpful to us had we known about them on Thursday. But that's the way history develops. And I think we have to wait and see.

BERMAN: The keyword you use there on the 14th Amendment is engaged in insurrection, or aids in insurrection. It's different, as you know, and I'm sure you would argue before the court. Then speech, using speech, even inflammatory speech engaging in insurrection can be different from that.

So I guess I want to know from you, what do you think the one action if there was one or more than one action that was specific action she committed that constitutes engaging in insurrection?

CELLI: On January 5th, the day before the insurrection, Congresswoman Greene told her followers on her Facebook page on a national broadcast that tomorrow is 1776. Now, that's the kind of rhetoric that, you know, we all can talk about historical references and so on.

But in the context that she was dealing with it, where people understood that 1776 was code for breaking into the Capitol, do violence, and most importantly, blocked the certification of Joe Biden. That is an act of insurrection. And we've demonstrated and proved.

BERMAN: The 1776 is?


BERMAN: Even if the judge makes a recommendation, which look, the judge didn't seem to be inclined to, but who knows, it makes a recommendation for this case to proceed. Brad Raffensperger, the Secretary of State in Georgia will be the one to decide the next step.

Now, yes, you know, he would not engage in the shenanigans that Donald Trump was asking him to. But do you think he'll take your side?

CELLI: I believe in the processes of government. I mean, Secretary of State Raffensperger is going to have to decide this issue. And then there will be court appeals. This will go to the Georgia Supreme Court ultimately.

And there's partisanship in our country that's very clear, but I have committed my life as a lawyer to the belief that the rule of law will prevail in the end, and I think we have the rule of law on our side.

BERMAN: Andrew Celli, counselor, thank you for being with us this morning. I appreciate it.

CELLI: Thank you, John.

BERMAN: All right. The breaking news this morning. Air strikes at five railway stations in Central and Western Ukraine. We're getting video in just now.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin says the goal of the U.S. is to weaken the Russian-- weaken Russia. We're joined next by Television Analyst, Malcolm Nance, who has gone to Ukraine to join the fight.



KEILAR: Fighting side by side with Ukrainian forces is the International Legion of Defense of Ukraine that was created by President Zelenskyy to protect the people of Ukraine from the Russian invasion and to fight for global security.

Among this multinational group of about 20,000 fighters is former U.S. Naval Intel Officer and former National Security Analyst, Malcolm Nance, who is joining us now from Western Ukraine.

Thank you so much, sir, for being with us. And I know that you've answered this question many times, but I think it's the most important question to be asked here, which is why did you decide I need to go in I need to fight? MALCOLM NANCE, FORMER NAVAL INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: Well, I was here about a month before the invasion. I was doing analysis of the Russian Order of Battle. I was actually driving the routes that we suspected that they would have to use in the invasion.

I spent a lot of time in the city of Kyiv, and I even went with the commanders of the Russian-- of the Ukrainian Armed Forces down to their forward Battlefront in Donetsk.


NANCE: And I met people that I knew here, people who are graduates of Defense Language Institute, a school which I'm a multi-time graduate from. And, you know, I couldn't believe that Russia was going to commit this multi-trillion dollar mistake of savaging a very modern Western country.

And, you know, it's really not a question of NATO that they attacked for, it's a question of democracy. And this was a relatively well off, you know, you know, East-- Western European country. And so when the invasion happened, and my friends were calling me and saying they were going to die, because of the intensity of the attacks.

You know, I wasn't just going to sit on television anymore, give my opinion points, dots on the map. They made a call for people with skill, with combat experience. And I answered that call, because I believe what they're fighting for. This is a good fight.

KEILAR: You come from a tradition, your family has served for so long, all the way back to 1864, you noted continuously. And right now you're part of what's called the International Legion. Can you tell us a little bit about that group and what you are doing?

NANCE: Sure. The International Legion for the Defense of Ukraine is a multinational force, which is made up of people from all over the world. It's incredible. It's almost like one of those Frank Capra movies where, you know, one guy's French, one-- you know, named Frenchie (ph). One guy's a Brit, you know, and two guys or one guy from Texas, and the other guy is from Brooklyn. It really is like that.

And people from all over the world decided they would come to defend this country against Russian aggression. And they've decided to become members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which is what the Legion is. It is not just people running around grabbing rifles and going on the battlefield. It is a unified force that is a component of the Ukrainian army that is deployed on the battle front.

And again, it's made up of people from all over the world, men and women. We have a lot of women who have combat experience from the United States, from France, from Italy, and other places around the world. And so this force, again, is committed to defend the innocent people of Ukraine against, you know, the war crimes and atrocities that war they call a Russian army, it's not army at all. It's just men who are out raping, murdering, pillaging, and trying to stay alive. KEILAR: This is-- as you just mentioned is about combating democracy to you. Or it's about fighting for democracy, and saving it, not just about fighting Russia. Can you talk a little bit more about how you see this struggle?

NANCE: Well, it's rather easy, you know, there's an old saying, I don't know who the person who is it came with it. Who said that, you know, fighting your enemy is not about fighting the person that you hate. It's about protecting those who are behind you that you love.

And this country was completely innocent of all the insane charges that the Russians have been bringing, about Nazis being everywhere. I've spent two months here, okay? There are no Nazis in this country. The Jewish community here is old and deep, including the president who was Jewish.

But you can just see from what the Russians were doing, they were here to slaughter, and eliminate Ukraine as a culture, as a language, as a people, which is the definition of genocide. And I've been around. You know, I spoke twice at the Auschwitz Memorial Foundation at the Auschwitz Museum. And I know when I can see someone who is trying to commit genocide.

So, by defending the people themselves, defending their wish to join the European Union, their wish to become part of the global democratic order and to stand up to Putin's kleptocracy, oligarchy, and, you know, fascist autocracy, which is what he's running, you know, and trying to bring Ukraine back into what he thinks is the version of the old Soviet Union.

The-- I've said this in my analysis before the war, the Ukrainians are going to fight, and these people fight to win. They are a modern army, they are like being near the U.S. Armed Forces, and the way that they maneuver on the battlefield, they needed help with manpower and people with combat experience and skill. And I came to give them what assistance I could.

KEILAR: Well, Malcolm, I think it's so important to hear your voice on this. And I'll tell you, I am in awe of your commitment. And I thank you for your service. This is really extraordinary what you're doing, and we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us about it.

NANCE: Well, I'm glad that I can help spread the message. You know, I'm going to go back to the front and, you know, the people of Ukraine need our assistance. So, if you can lend a hand, lend a hand. So with that," Slava Ukraini."

KEILAR: All right, sir. Thank you so much. Emmanuel Macron, winning a second term as the President of France. Why his far Right opponent is also celebrating this morning.


BERMAN: Plus just in. New report suggests Twitter is getting ready to sell itself to billionaire, Elon Musk. What this means for the platform? What it means for you and your account? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: From Ukraine to France and beyond, CNN reporters covering the world.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Clare Sebastian in London. Ukraine's Military Intelligence Service says a strike on a Russian command post in the southern Kherson region killed two Russian generals. The incident happened on Friday. According to the statement, a third general was seriously wounded.

CNN cannot independently verify these casualties and the Russian defense ministry has not commented. Several Russian generals had previously been killed in Ukraine, analysts suggesting that communication issues and a lack of junior (ph) leadership is forcing them to move closer to the frontline.

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Hadas Gold in Jerusalem. Israel has closed its main border crossing with Gaza for the second day in a row in response to a series of rockets that had been fired by militants from Gaza toward Israel over the past few days. It's the first time the crossing has been closed in such a manner since before last year's 11-day war between Hamas militants in Gaza and the Israeli army.


GOLD: The closure means more than 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza with permits to work in Israel will not be able to enter. It's been denounced by the Gaza Workers Union as collective punishment.

The rockets were fired as tensions have flared here in Jerusalem with days of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound which is also known as the Temple Mount. It's the most significant unrest the holy site has seen since before last May's war.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jim Bittermann in Paris where President Macron is basking in his election victory, and his opponents are sharpening their knives to go after him in the legislative elections in June.

Throughout European countries and institutions, however, there was a collective sigh of relief that Macron emerge victorious over his opponent, the far right leader, Marine Le Pen, who has repeatedly railed against the European Union, NATO, and the euro. And has close relations with Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

KEILAR: And joining us now is CNN Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour. Christiane, tell us what this election result means?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, Brianna to be honestly, Brianna, you know, the U.S. President Biden has really laid it out. He has said, "Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron, France is our ally and one of the oldest, most revered democracies in the world. And we really look forward to keep working with Emmanuel Macron on resolving the war in Ukraine", and on keeping up this Democracy Project, which Biden has identified as one of the keystones of his administration, democracy versus autocracy.

So if Macron had not won last night, with such a hefty margin, it would have drawn into question the idea of liberal democracy here in one of the oldest places, then, of course, it's so important because of how he believes NATO should be the posture towards Ukraine and against Putin's war.

His idea of the Transatlantic Alliance is European leadership, all the things that his challenger the far right, Marine Le Pen was questioning and was skeptical about. Brianna.

BERMAN: Yes. And Christiane, had to direct link to the crisis, the invasion of Ukraine as well, because the Marine Le Pen's ties with Putin, but now that Macron has been reelected. What do you think his position or role will be going forward? Because he has been in a little bit of a peculiar position, frankly, where he maintained a dialogue with Vladimir Putin for longer than most, what role does he want to play?

AMANPOUR: Well, look, I think, to continue the role that the allies have right now, and I think it's coming to even sharper focus, given the very specific promises that both Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State, Antony Blinken made to the Ukrainians and then told the press about today when they had left, when they were in Poland.

Basically, and Macron, I believe, and the French and the rest of the Europeans, I think are coming around to this consensus that A, Ukraine can win in the words of Lloyd Austin, if they get what they need. B, as Austin said, we are in this to help them win this fight. So that we can, you know, build on tomorrow, and that they sort of grouped around as well.

And macro will always say that despite the criticism, he felt he did the right thing that somebody had to talk to Putin. He did have a bit of a relationship with him. Putin had come here, Putin had got a pretty good relationship with Macron.

And just before the war, and just after the invasion, Macron felt that it was his job to get Putin to stop. And when, of course, Bucha was revealed and all the horrors of what actually this war is, he stopped talking to him.


AMANPOUR: But clearly the West wants to jack up the pain in terms of providing Ukraine with enough weapons to make Putin understand that the only way out is to negotiate, and not just on his terms. This is really important.

BERMAN: Christiane Amanpour in Paris. Thank you so much, and historic day there. So, new video of a daring rescue.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My baby. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hand me your baby, hand me your baby. We're coming.

Hand me your baby.




KEILAR: Time now for five things to know for your New Day. The Supreme Court today tackles the case of a high school football coach in Washington State who says he was fired for praying on the field after each game.

BERMAN: Officials in Shanghai are installing steel fences and blockades on public roads to block people from traveling to other districts as part of China's zero-COVID policy.

KEILAR: New reports say Twitter is nearing a deal to sell itself to Tesla Chief Executive, Elon Musk. This comes 11 days after Musk shocked the industry by offering to buy the company for more than $41 billion. Reports say a deal could be finalized as soon as today.

BERMAN: The Japanese woman certified as the oldest person in the world has died at 119 years. Kane Tanaka was born in January 2nd, 1903. She survived cancer twice, lived through two global pandemics, and loves fizzy drinks.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please get me out of here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Got it, got it, got it, got it. I got it.


KEILAR: That is a dramatic rescue there in Florida. A sheriff's deputy climbing up the outside of a three-story apartment building in Orlando to save that 1-year-old girl from a fire.

KEILAR: That is a dramatic rescue there in Florida. A sheriff's deputy climbing up the outside of a three-story apartment building in Orlando to save that 1-year-old girl from a fire.