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Alito Becomes Provocative Justice; Missing Officer Had Special Relationship with Inmate; Baby Formula Shortage; State Department Says Griner is Wrongfully Detained; Psychologist testifies in Depp-Heard Lawsuit. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 04, 2022 - 06:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Emotions high outside of the Supreme Court and across major U.S. cities as protesters rallied against Justice Samuel Alito's first draft decision that would, if it becomes official, overturn abortion rights in the country, overturn Roe v. Wade. The draft was leaked to "Politico's" reporters and, obviously, caused a lot of concern among some people.

Joining me now, CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Samuel Alito, a George W. Bush appointee, this draft kind of in line with where he has been politically for some time, but who is he, where has he -- where has he been on positions?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: You know, let's go back to 2005. Sandra Day O'Connor resigns from the court. And what does George W. Bush do? He appoints Harriet Miers, his White House counsel, someone with no judicial experience, a great mystery. Who rebels? Conservatives rebel. Not Democrats. Conservatives rebel and say we don't want a mystery like Harriet Miers, we want a sure thing.

Samuel Alito, who had been the U.S. attorney in New Jersey, a Reagan administration Justice Department official, a judge on the Third Circuit, he was perceived as a sure thing, and he has been a sure thing.

He has been a conservative down the line. There is not one opinion you can point to in Justice Alito's 16 -- 17 years on the court that he surprised liberals by voting with them.

BERMAN: And you compare him to John Roberts, the chief justice of the United States, another George W. Bush appointee.

TOOBIN: Very different trajectory. Chief Justice Roberts is not a liberal, but there are a handful of issues, including abortion, where he has strayed towards the middle. He's tried to keep the court in -- he is an institutionalist. He is someone who wants to keep the court at the center of American life, a little like Justice O'Connor was. That's very different from Justice Alito, who has been a stalwart of the right, along with Clarence Thomas, during his entire tenure.

BERMAN: So, one of the discussions now, these are the 26 states that would institute some kind of abortion ban or restriction. Actually this map seems to show more than 26.

What are the decisions that states would have to make, or courts would have to make, once Roe, if Roe, is stricken?

TOOBIN: Penalties. What happens if you -- if you perform an abortion in Arkansas. They -- the law says ten years in prison for a doctor who performs abortion. What about penalties for the women who hold -- who have abortions? In Texas there has already been one prosecution, since withdrawn, of a woman who tried to get an abortion.

Another issue is, what happens if you help someone get an abortion? South Dakota has criminal penalties for people who help other people get abortions. What if those people are in states where abortion is legal? What if someone in New York funds an abortion in South Dakota? What if someone in New York, where abortion is legal, sends the pill for a medical abortion to someone in South Dakota? Does that person in New York get prosecuted in South Dakota? Those are the questions that are going to be very relevant if this decision becomes law.

BERMAN: And a bit unknown at this point.

TOOBIN: Many, many unknowns.

BERMAN: All right, Jeffrey Toobin, thank you very much for that.

TOOBIN: All right, man (ph).

BERMAN: New video shows the moments before an Alabama inmate and corrections officer disappeared together. What officials say was the nature of what they're now calling a special relationship.

Plus --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is my great honor to be speaking tonight at the nation's most distinguished super spreader event.


BERMAN: So, it started as a joke, but now Covid cases really are rising after the White House Correspondents Dinner. Details on the concerns.



BERMAN: A missing Alabama corrections officer, who was accused of helping a murder suspect escape from jail last week, had a special relationship with him, according to the sheriff. Those are his words. A warrant has been issued for Vicki White's arrest. The sheriff said he would be surprised if she and the suspect are still in the state.

Ryan Young is in Florence, Alabama, tracking the latest developments.

Special relationship, Ryan? What's that?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I know. Look, we're all parsing words at this point, right? You think of the word "special." And so at this point they're saying they don't believe it was a physical relationship, but at some point it looks like she was spending more hours with him than she should have and maybe giving him some extra sort of attention.

And so, at this point, everyone's trying to figure out exactly what this means. Like, when we were inside that jail a few days ago, we looked at all the video surveillance that was on the inside of that jail.


So, was she able to get away from those cameras somewhere inside?

What we do now have, though, is this video of the last moments before she took Casey White away from that jail. So we'll show you some of this video now. You can see the sally port. You can see them walking out. That's a very casual walk. Obviously, he's still a very tall guy and he gets in the back of the car. And then, if we come back out to where I am now, we're in this parking lot for one reason, John, this is the parking lot that police believe the car was stashed when they made their getaway.

We're about three and a half miles away from the jail. It took about eight minutes to get to this location. Vicki White apparently bought a car a few days beforehand. She parked it in this location. And this is where they made that exchange from the police car to the car they're now looking for.

So, that is something that they were trying to keep close to the vest. Someone released some of this pictures of that car. And then the sheriff had to talk about it.

If that's not enough twists and turns for you, John, take a listen to a woman who used to date the suspect.


WOMAN WHO CASEY WHITE TRIED TO KILL AND WHO TESTIFIED AGAINST CASEY WHITE: Casey White is very dangerous. He's dangerous to everybody that is around him. If she is still alive, get the hell out. Run. Run. Run as far as you can and turn yourself in and contact somebody. Like, do the right thing before you lose your life or before somebody else does.


YOUNG: Yes, John, when you listen to that, it's obviously clear that woman has no love for Casey White. But she used to be the ex- girlfriend that he actually tried to kill, and she testified in open court to that.

So, when you put all of this together, obviously this is a man who has several people out there who are not only afraid of him but believe that he should be behind bars.

Let's not forget, he was already serving a 75-year sentence in jail and was going forward with capital murder charges as well.

I can tell you, overnight, there have been some sightings apparently in different states, but still at this point no concrete evidence if they're still in the same car, if they're traveling west, east or south. A lot of people are asking questions about where they could have gone. But, obviously, they had a few day head start. So many questions not only about where they went to but about that special relationship.


BERMAN: Indeed. And two things can be true at the same time, Vicki White could have helped. It's possible she helped him escape. But it's also possible, even if she did, she's in extraordinary danger right now.

YOUNG: Absolutely.

BERMAN: Ryan Young, thank you so much for your reporting.

So, a shortage of infant formula in the United States has parents in a panic. What's behind it and what parents can do.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, after a rash of suicides on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, the parents of one sailor are speaking out. And they're going to join us ahead on NEW DAY.



KEILAR: After several recalls and a slew of supply chain issues, there's a national shortage of baby formula. It's left desperate parents scrambling to feed their little ones.

Let's bring in CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

Elizabeth, I remember not too long ago having a small baby and I had enough things to stress about. I can't imagine this being one of them. What can parents do here?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Brianna, these parents we've been talking to, they are so stressed out. I don't know if your little ones were like this, Brianna, but, you know, sometimes babies get really attached to a particular formula.


COHEN: And other formulas make their bellies hurt. And when your formula isn't available, that is really tough.

So, we spoke to Joy Greene. She lives in Springfield, Ohio. And her baby, Weston, he was one of those babies who liked a particular formula, and she can't find it.

So, let's take a listen to what she's going through.


JOY GREENE, MOM: It's been scary to like walk down the aisles and see empty shelves and, honestly, not be able to find the exact formula that we need. We have been trying different off brands, store brands, things like that, and some of them he's tolerating OK and some of them he's not. But, really, it's just been overwhelming and scary.


COHEN: So, this is because of a recall of Similac products. Similac is by far the biggest baby formula producer in the country, Brianna. And here's what they said they're doing to help alleviate the situation. They said that they are increasing production at other manufacturing sites, they are air shipping formulas from a manufacturing site in Ireland, and they're releasing some specialty formulas, these are formulas for babies with very specific metabolic disorders, on a case- by-case basis.

And, Brianna, what parents can do right now is Similac has on their website a zip code look up tool where you can put in the products you are looking for, your zip code and it will tell you where you can find those products.


KEILAR: Well, bless them. What a tricky situation to be dealing with.

COHEN: It is.

KEILAR: Elizabeth, thank you so much for that.

COHEN: Thanks.

KEILAR: A psychologist takes the stand in Johnny Depp's defamation case against his former wife Amber Heard. Why he claims Heard -- why she claims Heard has PTSD.

BERMAN: And new this morning, comedian Dave Chappelle attacked on stage during a set. We have new details coming in ahead.



BERMAN: The State Department says WNBA star Brittney Griner is being wrongfully detained in Russia.

Carolyn Manno is here with this morning's "Bleacher Report." Good morning.


This is the first real sign for optimism. Her friends and family had been keeping a low profile but that's likely to change now. Seventy- six days, that is how long Brittney Griner's been detained. The State Department's reclassification to wrongful detention is viewed as a really significant shift in the negotiation for her release.

Griner being accused by Russian authorities of smuggling cannabis oil into the country, a narcotic. She is scheduled for a court hearing on May 19th. But the wrongful detention designation means the government will no longer have to wait for her case to move through Russia's legal system in order to negotiate that release. The recent release of Trevor Reed, an American prisoner, successfully returned home from Russian dentition last week marks a successful negotiation between Moscow and Washington despite the invasion in Ukraine. The WNBA will honor Griner with her initials, BG, and her number, 42, along the sidelines of all 12 courts when the season opens on Friday. The league says it continues to do everything it can to help bring the Phoenix Mercury star back home.

Meantime, in the NBA playoffs, a physical start to game two between the Warriors and Grizzlies. Memphis forward Dillon Brooks ejected less than three minutes in for hitting Gary Payton II in the head.


Payton was on a fast break, went down hard after contact, came away with a fractured left elbow. So, with one of the Warriors best defenders sidelined, John Morant went off. He had 47 points, including the final 15 of the game for the Grizzlies. Memphis wins by five to even the series at one game apiece. Game three is Saturday in San Francisco. Morant, the only -- third player in history to have multiple 45-point games in the post season before the age of 23. The other two, just LeBron, just Kobe.

BERMAN: That is some company there.

MANNO: Yes, absolutely.

BERMAN: All right, Carolyn, thank you very much.

KEILAR: Amber Heard could take the stand as soon as today in Johnny Depp's $50 million defamation trial against her. Heard's legal team began its defense with testimony from clinical and forensic psychologist Dawn Hughes, who stated that Heard had posttraumatic stress disorder after her marriage to Depp.


DAWN HUGHES, PSYCHOLOGIST: We still saw the obsessive jealousy and the coercive control and the possessiveness. That still persisted. But when the alcohol and the drugs came together is when Amber Heard was more in danger of being hurt by him. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Joining us now to discuss is criminal defense attorney Sara Azari.

Sara, this was a pretty interesting day. I mean every day has been interesting in this trial, but we heard from this psychologist who was appearing for the defense, right? This is the first defense witness for Amber Heard's side. It's so different from what we heard from the psychologist who appeared for Johnny Depp's side.

How does a jury square that?

SARA AZARI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right, Brianna. So, we have a battle of experts, right, which is typical in a domestic violence case. You've got Dr. Curry who said there was no PTSD and there was a personality disorder. And then now we have Dr. Hughes who says there was absolutely PTSD related to abuse and there is no personality disorder.

But this ultimately turns on credibility. The jury has to look at these two experts and decide who has the better science, who makes more sense, who is, you know, credible in the totality of the evidence that they've heard? And, you know, I have to say that Dr. Hughes was effective in two ways, but she also lost credibility. She was effective in that she defined domestic violence as far broader than just physical violence, that it could be sexual, that it could be psychological, emotional or even include surveillance. She was also effective in that she described why a victim of domestic violence doesn't leave the relationship because we've heard illusions in Depp's case to the fact that she was motivated -- that Heard was motivated by money and fame and that's why she stayed. So, she was effective in those ways.

But, Brianna, she also lost credibility when she started to say -- and she testified that Amber Heard's acts of violence were mild. I mean she defecated in the bed, she spit on the guy, she struck him, she threw objects at him and she potentially severed his finger. How is that mild, right?


AZARI: She lost credibility. She also lost credibility, Brianna, when she said that she was acting in self-defense because we heard from percipient eyewitnesses who said she was always the aggressor and that it was not triggered. So --

KEILAR: Yes, no, that's a really good point. And she's going to take -- Amber Heard is going to take the stand today. What are you expecting?

AZARI: Well, I expect -- well, it's going to take several days for her to testify and then, of course, there's the cross-examination. Her testimony is key. I mean the team has been strategic in putting up this doctor first based on the theory of primacy and recency, putting your strongest witness up first and laying the foundation for Heard. But her testimony is key. She has a lot of explaining to do. She has to explain why she stayed in the relationship, why she was dating, you know, rich and famous men, was that really her motive, why she wrote this op-ed two years after she initially came out with these allegations and then the divorce.

And, of course, you know, the actual malice part which Depp hasn't really proven. Is it something that's going to come out in her cross- examination or is that going to be a failing piece of this -- of this case?

KEILAR: Yes, two trials going on here, one legal and one very much in the court of public opinion.

Sara, thanks, as always, for being with us.

AZARI: Of course.

KEILAR: NEW DAY continues right now.

BERMAN: All right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. It is Wednesday, May 4th, may the 4th be with you.

Overnight, a major test of Donald Trump's political power, and this time it was a test that he passed. A big victory for Trump-backed candidate JD Vance in Ohio. CNN is projecting that Vance will win the hotly contested Republican Senate primary, that's in the race to replace retiring Ohio Senator Rob Portman. It's very possible that J.D. Vance does not win this primary without the Trump endorsement. Abd the former president was one of the very first people he thanked.



J.D. VANCE (R), OHIO SENATE CANDIDATE: I have absolutely got to thank the 45th, the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, ladies and gentlemen.