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Ryan Goodman is Interviewed about the DOJ Probe; Lack of Demand for Monkeypox Testing; Texas Cattle Ranchers Devastated. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 28, 2022 - 06:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: CNN has confirmed that former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson is cooperating with the Justice Department's criminal investigation into efforts to subvert the 2020 election. This as investigators are reportedly looking more closely at conduct directly related to Donald Trump and his allies.


ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I am aware of other White House officials who have been reached out to by DOJ and are planning to cooperate.

I think DOJ is keeping an eye on who's coming before January 6th and who may have helpful information.


BERMAN: That was Alyssa Farah yesterday right here on this show foreshadowing that DOJ has been talking to other people about what happened inside the White House.

Joining me now is NYU law professor and former special counsel to the Department of Defense, Ryan Goodman.

Ryan, thanks so much for being with us.

DOJ is talking to Cassidy Hutchinson. Surprising?

RYAN GOODMAN, PROFESSOR, NYU SCHOOL OF LAW: Not surprising. Somewhat a natural outgrowth of the investigation as we now know it. But it definitely shows that they're ramping up. They're going straight into the White House and collecting as much information.

BERMAN: Surprising that it was after the House talked to her?

GOODMAN: Yes, I think that part is, in some ways, surprising. I even might say shocking that the Department of Justice is that far behind and is trailing the January 6th committee, that they only reach out to her after her testimony and that they haven't been -- she hasn't been on their radar beforehand.


BERMAN: Is that what it looks like to you, talking to Hutchinson now, issuing subpoenas for Marc Short and Greg Jacob, that was just last week, as compared to earlier on in the investigation?

GOODMAN: Yes, I think it's very concerning. It suggests that the Department of Justice has kid of slow rolled this, that we're 18 months out of January 6th and only now do they bring in these people and only now is "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times" reporting is the Justice Department asking questions about Trump's actions. Eighteen months out people can say, you know -- and genuinely that their memories need to be refreshed or they just don't remember certain things. That's really unusual. Even the idea that the Department of Justice collected call records in April of this year, that's 15 months since the incidents, that's really quite slow.

BERMAN: So, Short, Jacob, Cassidy Hutchinson, Alyssa Farah foreshadowed maybe other people that the January 6th committee has spoken to. What witness could DOJ call? Look, we may never know. We don't necessarily know who they issue a subpoena for and who testifies before the grand jury, but what witnesses would they call where you would say, wow, this is really getting serious now?

GOODMAN: I think the top of the list for me would probably be Mark Meadows. At this point I would think this is maybe game over time because he has a great deal of criminal exposure. If they called him in, and we knew about it, then it would probably mean that there might be a deal going on or that they've immunized him and he has, you know, the keys to answer the questions about Trump's knowledge and all sorts of things. He's running point on all of these seven-part schemes.

BERMAN: When you say game over, game over for?

GOODMAN: Game over for Donald Trump because that would really mean that they had like kind of a bigger witness than anybody we've otherwise seen.

BERMAN: All right, and we're not there yet. We were just talking about who you would look for to be called in.

Another major development over the last 24 hours, which is that we learned that John Eastman's phones, that a warrant has been approved to go through his call records. And this is something that was signed by U.S. Attorney Thomas Wyndham. Explain the significance of all of this.

GOODMAN: Yes, so, Thomas Wyndham is the U.S. attorney who has the portfolio of the alternative slate of electors, these fake electors that were set up in seven states. And the fact that he's going after Eastman is a big, big development because up until this point all we knew is that the inspector general had maybe been going after Eastman's phone and the inspector general has very limited jurisdiction over people inside the Justice Department. Eastman is outside the Justice Department and worked hand in glove with Trump. So, if they're going after Eastman and he's in their target sight, it's really hard to imagine how that doesn't directly implicate Trump himself.

BERMAN: What will they have access to now? What does this warrant give them access to?

GOODMAN: It gives them access to his phone records. It will take some weeks for them to be able to get inside his phone and be able to see his communications and the like. And we already have a federal district judge in California, Judge Carter, who said that Eastman and Trump, more likely than not, engaged in a criminal conspiracy to overturn the election, but that was a lower standard than the criminal standard for beyond a reasonable doubt. Now they might have the direct communications that indicate this.

BERMAN: And what's the standard for a judge to approve this warrant?

GOODMAN: So, the standard is just probable cause, but it does mean that they did think that there is evidence of a crime. So you already have the - you know, the third branch of government says, we - we agree with you. There's evidence of a crime having been committed.

BERMAN: And it's a technical thing, just so people understand. Before we saw this signed by Thomas Wyndham, we knew that all of this was being used as part of an inspector general report. Not to be glib here, but inspector general reports are basically a bad employee, an employee who does bad things, bad actions. That's one thing. They can be criminal. But this, when you have a U.S. attorney involved by definition is a criminal investigation.

GOODMAN: Absolutely. Absolutely. And it's part of a very big investigation that we know that they've sent subpoenas out across the country and here we have Eastman right in their crosshairs.

BERMAN: Ryan Goodman, great to have you on. Thanks, as always.

GOODMAN: Thank you.

BERMAN: So a, quote, shocking lack of demand for crucial monkeypox testing as the outbreak spreads across the United States. We have new CNN reporting ahead.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, the key report card on the U.S. economy to be release this morning. What the new GDP numbers will tell us about a potential recession.



KEILAR: New CNN reporting finds a shocking lack of demand for monkeypox testing in the U.S. as cases are climbing to more than 4,600 officially nationwide.

CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joining us now.

I say officially, Elizabeth, because the number could be so much higher.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, absolutely. As a matter of fact, it's pretty clear that the number is so much higher, Brianna.

So, Dr. Anthony Fauci, actually on your show a few days ago, called testing a pillar of getting monkeypox under control. And it really does need to get under control as we approach these very, very high numbers.

The issue is the CDC has set up five private labs to handle the testing, and it's got a high capacity. They can do 70,000 a week. But, unfortunately, doctors aren't really sending in specimens. They're just trickling in.

Let's take a look at a couple of examples. So, there are tier two labs, Mayo Clinic is one of them, they have the capacity to handle 1,000 specimens a week. In the past two weeks they've been sent 45 specimens. Not per week, but over the course of two weeks have received only 45 specimens.

Aegis is another lab in this five lab group and it has the capacity to do 5,000 a week and it's received zero, none. When I talked to them, they said zero, we haven't received any specimens over the past two weeks.

Now, this is a problem because monkeypox cases are climbing. When you take a look at this, you can see they have just gotten higher and higher. So, there were, about a month ago, about - four -- I'm sorry, about 250 cases, a month ago 250 cases, and now we're creeping up to 4,600, 4,700 cases. So that's a huge difference in just one month.

Now, it's not entirely clear why this is happening, why the labs are so incredibly underutilized. Part of it might be that doctors need more education. CDC is doing education, but they probably need more.


Also, the sexual health clinics, where a lot of monkeypox patients have been going, many of them don't bill private labs, like they don't send specimens to private labs because they say it's too much paperwork, they don't have the money to handle -- to have the staff to handle that paperwork. So, where many of these men are going with monkeypox, those clinics can't use the private labs. So, obviously, that's a problem as well.


KEILAR: Yes, certainly is.

Elizabeth, thank you for that report.

COHEN: Thanks.

KEILAR: Extreme heat and drought forcing thousands of cattle ranchers to make a devastating choice. CNN is on the ground in Texas. We spoke with several of them.

BERMAN: New U.S. intelligence that more than 75,000 Russians have been killed or wounded since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. What does this say about the state of the war?


BERMAN: This morning, relentless heat and very little rain triggering worsening drought conditions in Texas, pushing exhausted farmers into a corner.


CNN's Ed Lavandera live outside San Antonio.

And so many of these farmers and ranchers, Ed, left with no good choices.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a really difficult time. In fact, cattle ranchers tell us it's been decades since the economic and weather conditions have collided to create such a difficult time in cattle ranching. And many of these cattle ranchers are selling off parts of their herds for a fraction of what they'd usually be worth.


LAVANDERA (voice over): Summers are supposed to be quiet inside the Seguin Cattle Company auction barn in Texas, but manager Bryan Luensmann says the extreme heat and drought is forcing thousands of cattle ranchers to sell off their herds.

LAVANDERA (on camera): What's it been like being in the cattle business this summer?

BRYAN LUENSMANN, SEGUIN CATTLE COMPANY: Pretty much a roller coaster ride. I mean it's been chaotic. It quit raining in October of last year. So, I mean, it's just been desperate measures for people.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Cattle ranchers usually bring their herds to market in late fall, but the heat and lack of rain is making it financially impossible for many ranchers to keep sustaining the cows. That's why Luensmann says almost twice as many farmers as usual are lining up here to sell off portions of their cattle herds. Federal forecasters say this is the second driest year around the Seguin area in the past 128 years.

Priscilla McBee and her family have a small family operation of about 20 cattle.

LAVANDERA (on camera): You brought two cows and a calf.


LAVANDERA: Why did you have to get rid of them? MCBEE: We're just trying to reduce number, trying to reduce how many

we're feeding because there's no grass and the hay we have is not going to last us through the winter.

LAVANDERA (voice over): She says her farm is running out of grass to keep the herd properly fed.

MCBEE: It's hard. You know, our fields are barren.

LAVANDERA (on camera): So you're trying to save the rest of the herd?


LAVANDERA (voice over): Marty Schwarzkopf has a herd of 70 cattle. He brought one to sell today. He says he also usually sells 4,000 to 6,000 bales of hay every year to cattle ranchers, but this year the ground is so dry he's only done about 300.

MARTY SCHWARZKOPF, CATTLE RANCHER: And I feel for a lot of people. You know, people, they've been doing this for years and years and now they don't have anything to hold on to. You know, they're having to let go.

WADE MAIERHOFER, CATTLE RANCHER: We put these bales of hay out a couple of days ago and they're already gone. And they're $100 apiece.

LAVANDERA: Wade Maierhofer is a fourth generation cattle rancher on this land. He says this ranch field should be covered in lush green grass a foot high. Now it's a sea of hard scrabbled brown dust. The remaining burnt grass crunches under your feet.

We talked under the shade of an oak tree as he explained it might have to sell more of his cows.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Do you get emotional thinking about that possibility?

MAIERHOFER: Oh, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. You don't want to do it. You don't want to sell them. You - you know, most of these cattle -- well, all of these cattle we raised. We raised them from babies. If we - if we have to get rid of the - the -- all of them, it's - it's painful.

LAVANDERA: This part of Texas usually gets 24 to 48 inches of rain a year. It's received just four inches so far this year. The pond Maierhofer's cows usually drink from is supposed to be seven feet deep. There's not even a drop of water left in it now.

Wade Maierhofer will face tough decisions soon. He sold off 20 cows last week and if it doesn't rain and cool off soon, he'll be back in the auction barn selling off more of his herd.

MAIERHOFER: I will sell them before -- before they are skin and bones, I will sell them. I mean, if we can't maintain them, then we'll get rid of them.

(END VIDEOTAPE) LAVANDERA: And, John, there are so many cattle ranchers bringing cattle to the market that there's basically a surplus. And prices for them are dropping exponentially. And so that makes it even more difficult during all of this.

And what it means for regular consumers is that about a year from now there will probably be a lack of beef supply. So expect grocery prices to go up on beef next year.


BERMAN: You know, Ed, it's not just lives upended, this is a way of life being upended completely.

LAVANDERA: Well, absolutely.

BERMAN: That was a great story. Thank you so much for that.

KEILAR: So, this morning, mudslides, power outages and widespread damage in eastern Kentucky amid a flash flood emergency. Creeks and streams began overflowing as historic rainfall pounded an already saturated area there. Many people are now left cleaning water out of their homes. The National Weather Service warns this is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation. It's urging residents to move to higher ground now as more rain is in the forecast.

And the Biden administration offering to swap a convicted Russian arms dealer for two detained Americans. So far no response from Vladimir Putin.


BERMAN: A deal no one in Washington saw coming. Joe Manchin on board for the biggest investment to fight climate change in history, and a major effort to lower drug prices.



JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON": Here's some good news today. President Biden officially ended his quarantine after testing negative for Covid. Yes, that's right. Biden beat Covid and luckily Covid conceded gracefully.

TREVOR NOAH, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH": I don't know, guys. At this point, I feel like the Justice Department is just going to have to dedicate an entire division to Trump. You know, just give him his own one. You know, like they'll have national security division, a civil rights division and then the, what the hell did Donald Trump do now division. Because you know it's going to be a high stress environment. It's basically going to sound like a fast food joint during the dinner rush. You know, it's just like, we got two tax evasions. Ah, we got three witnesses tampering. We've got a serving of corruption and don't forget the porn star on the side. Come on. We've got crimes, people, keep it moving. [07:00:01]

Keep it moving.