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New Day Saturday
House Passes Biden's $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Package; White House Fights to Salvage Neera Tanden's Nomination to Head OMB; Conservatives Rally Behind Trump, Election Lies at CPAC; Acting Capitol Police Chief Says Militia Groups Want to "Blow Up the Capitol" During Biden's address; U.S. Publicly Asserts Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Khashoggi Murder But Imposes No Penalties on Him; Grand Jury Fails to Indict Officers Involved in Daniel Prude's Death. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired February 27, 2021 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Lauren Fox on Capitol Hill and this is CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Democrats have finally passed that $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): You have a bill that is about as popular as it can be in a polarized, divided America and yet not a single House Republicans voted for this.
SAJU MATHEW, PUBLIC HEALTH SPECIALIST (voice-over): Everybody who got the J&J vaccine, no one was hospitalized, and no one died. It's a very good, safe and effective vaccine.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Everything you throw at us about a mutant is going to be countered by getting people vaccinated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): A new GOP show of support for Donald Trump at the CPAC conference under way in Florida.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Let me tell you this right now. Donald J. Trump ain't going anywhere.
JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I have spoken at CCAC, but that was a time when we talked about issues and what we intended to do. This looks like a whole different day.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul. VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: It's a busy night below that dome. You're looking live at Capitol Hill. New this morning, President Biden's $1.9 trillion rescue bill is moving to the Senate. The House passed it overnight.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. No Republicans voted for the plan. TWO Democrats broke ranks to oppose it. nOW, the package includes $1,400 direct checks to people making less than $75,000 annually. That's direct aid to small businesses as well and an increase in the child tax credit, direct funding to state and local governments, funding for schools and more money for vaccine distribution.
BLACKWELL: Now, there are several steps before the bill heads to the president. Unemployment benefits, help for small businesses, some of those programs will lapse soon. There's still significant disagreement between the parties on how much to spend and where that money should go.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
STACEY PLASKETT, (D) DELEGATE TO U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The time for bold and decisive action is now. This American Rescue Plan Act will crush the virus, return children safely to school, support vaccinations, put dollars in families' pockets and put people back to work.
REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): We are holding our kids back. This bill will actually delay re-opening of schools. Ninety-five percent of the school money in this bill can't even be spent till 2022.
REP. TERESA LEGER FERNANDEZ (D-NM): We need to this package to end the nation's suffering. Let's pass this bill, save lives, save livelihoods, save communities.
REP. JASON SMITH (R-MO): This is clearly a partition plan that clearly is the wrong plan at the wrong time for all the wrong reasons.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
PAUL: CNN's Daniella Diaz is with us now. Daniella, good to see you. We know the House has done its job. This is heading to the Senate now. What do we expect?
DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN REPORTER: Well, the House passed its massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package late last night. Honestly, guys, it just happened a couple hours ago. This is a major step for the Biden administration toward enacting its first legislative party of this new administration, but I want to note there were two Democrats that did not support this legislation last night.
This was Kurt Schrader and Jared Golden and there were absolutely no Republicans that supported this package last night. Now, as you guys talked about at the top of the show, there is -- this package includes $1,400 stimulus checks, it includes direct funding for state and local governments as well as more money for vaccine distribution. So now what happens? It goes to the Senate where Chuck Schumer needs every single Democratic senator to sign on to support this legislation because they're planning on passing this using budget reconciliation which means they only need 51 votes in the Senate to pass this and the expectation is that Vice President Kamala Harris will likely be the tie-breaking vote.
But the clock is ticking. The priority is to try to get this package on Biden's desk for him to sign before millions of Americans are set to lose their unemployment benefits in mid-March and that is the priority right now for the Biden administration. Guys?
BLACKWELL: Daniella Diaz on Capitol Hill. Thanks so much. Now let's go to the White House.
PAUL: Yes. We want to go to Jasmine Wright who's reporting there. What are we hearing from the White House in terms of reaction? We're expecting to hear from President Biden today, yes?
JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's exactly right and look, President Biden is one step closer to his first major legislative victory. As you said, Christi, we will hear from him later on this morning where he will talk about COVID relief, but the President has been clear that he views this $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill as a necessary tool and his number one priority in accomplishing his number one priority and that is ultimately defeating the coronavirus pandemic.
Yesterday, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, before that vote was cast along party lines, spoke about the prospect of getting this done.
[06:05:09] Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE BEDINGFIELD, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: We are extremely hopeful that it is going to pass the House tonight. We believe that it will. In this bill, you've got direct checks. You have $1,400 to finish the job on getting $2,000 checks directly to people who need them most. You have money to get vaccines and get our vaccination program up and running so that Americans can get shots in arms and we can get this virus under control. So, this is critically important aid that's going to crush the virus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WRIGHT: Now, the bill will now go to the Senate where it possibly has an easier chance of getting passed now that that controversial minimum wage increase will no longer be in it, but look, as my colleague Daniella said, the Democrats are on a tight line. They want to get this passed before those unemployment benefits run out next month and they want it on President Biden's desk, but this is a real victory for President Biden as he faced some setbacks this week from his cabinet nominees, including that of Neera Tanden. BLACKWELL: So, tell us about -- let's continue this line of Neera Tanden. She's expected to meet with Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski this week. Talk about that.
WRIGHT: That's right and look, her nomination is frankly on the rocks. As I said, she faced those setbacks. First, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said that he would not support her leading to a cascading of Republicans, saying that he will not support her. So, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is really looked at as the last possible line to get this nomination through with Vice President Harris then making that tie-breaking vote.
They're meeting Monday. We don't know how Makowski is going to vote. They're going to meet, and she says that she's undecided and that she will make her announcement after that meeting. So really, we have to just sit until Monday and wait and see how it plays out. Guys?
PAUL: Jasmine Wright, good to see you think morning. Thank you, ma'am. CNN political analyst Errol Louis with us now. He's also the host of the "You Decide" podcast. Happy Saturday, Errol. Good to see you.
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning, Christi.
PAUL: Before we get into what happened with the -- with the budget bill, with the relief bill, I want to ask you about Neera Tanden. How crucial is her nomination, her appointment then to the Biden administration? I mean, if there's this much discord about it, how long do you think he'll stand by her?
LOUIS: Well, it's an important marker politically for this administration. Neera Tanden was one of the warriors who went out there and sort of fought the good fight and helped bring this administration into power. You don't leave those kinds of folks on the battlefield. You have to go and fight for them even if, as has been suggested, it looks like the nomination may not go through.
It's going to be really important that those who went on Twitter, went on Facebook, went on television shows, helped organize, helped bring about a Democratic victory not just for the White House, but indeed for the Senate as well, that they be respected, that they be covered, that they be protected on some level. Again, even if it doesn't come through, it's going to be an important fight to have and that's probably the best way to see this.
There's no shortage of jobs that don't require Senate confirmation. It may be that Neera Tanden ends up in one of those instead.
PAUL: OK. Let's get to the relief bill here. Jared Golden of Maine was one of the Democrats who voted against it, voted this down in the House, and here's what he tweeted out at 3:02 this morning, is when we saw it.
It's since -- for some reason the statement has disappeared, but this is what he had initially put out there, "During challenging times, the country needs its elected leaders to work together to meet the most urgent needs in their communities. This bill addresses urgent needs and then buries them under a mountain of unnecessary or untimely spending."
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the bill wasn't bold, it was actually bloated. Do you identify anything in this bill, Errol, that really doesn't need to be there?
LOUIS: Well, look, if you go dollar by dollar, you can find things that you could argue maybe shouldn't be a priority this year, but maybe next year. I subscribe to the basic Keynesian economic reality of the situation which is that a major chunk of the economy has been shut down for nearly a year now and if you want to revive the economy, you've got to spend money. Period.
You know, it is not going to help the recovery of the United States if we have a string of local and county governments going bankrupt from coast to coast, which is exactly what will happen if you don't get them, in this case, $350 billion very quickly because so many localities have been deprived of their tax base, have seen a downturn in economic activity and are on the verge of bankruptcy.
[06:10:00] I mean, you know, there's no argument here. I think that the federal government is the one large deficit-spending entity that can bring this all about and the folks who are saying I disagree with this bridge or I disagree with that tunnel, I want to see America's infrastructure continue to rot and we shouldn't be fixing it right now, I'm not sure what their economic argument is.
But they should be -- they should be forced to explain exactly how do you come out of a deep recession, a deep deficit of the -- of the kind that we've seen in all of these local governments, without spending a lot of money?
PAUL: And Errol, part of that includes raising federal minimum wage and that is expected to be nixed in the Senate once this get into their hands, as we understand it. Speak Pelosi said last night, quote, "We will not rest until we pass $15 minimum wage." Senator Tim Kaine yesterday said Democrats are unified about raising the minimum wage, but they are divided, aren't they, Errol? In terms of how much they're willing to give.
If $15, if that number is just too much for some Democrats to jump on board to, what is the realistic expectation that we're going to see a federal increase in minimum wage?
LOUIS: Well, the depressing reality is that it looks as if they're going to bargain away what had been a fairly reasonable multi-year step up to $15 per hour as the federal minimum wage. That was supposed to take effect in 2025. Rather than phase it in, there are those who are now putting out alternate proposals. Instead of covering 21 percent of the work force, it would cover 3 percent of the work force or might be a raise to $10 an hour or $11 an hour.
And the frustrating thing here, Christi, is that we've seen this over and over and over again. The same people who are trying to block this from happening said that we should never move to $7.25 an hour and we should never move to, before that, $5.15 an hour and we should never move to $4.25 an hour. The sky was always going to fall in the minds of these people who don't want to see working folks ever get a raise and they say the same thing over and over again until it gets passed and then -- and then we all just move on.
Putting the minimum wage increase in must-pass defense spending has been a tactic in the past. They're trying a different route this time. They may try and concoct some sort of tax on those who don't do the minimum wage increase.
There are all of these sort of side channels and it's a shame that every few years, you have to go through the same fight just to try and re-establish the basic principle that you shouldn't work 40 hours a week and remain in dire poverty, but that is the political position of a number of people, including all of the Republicans in the House of Representatives.
PAUL: Before I let you go. I want to talk about CPAC. Senator Josh Hawley got a standing ovation when he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): I objected during the Electoral College certification. Maybe you heard about it. I did. I stood up -- I stood up and I said -- I said we ought to have a debate about election integrity. I said it is the right of the people to be heard and my constituents in Missouri want to be heard on this issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So, Errol, there are several discussions on the CPAC agenda that focus on the 2020 election. One panel is titled Other Culprits: How Judges and Media Refused to Look at the Evidence. What is the calculus of rehashing the election as opposed to, as we saw earlier John Kasich say, speaking about policy goals?
LOUIS: Look, these folks are in fantasy land. You know, in fact, just a quick fact check, Josh Hawley did not do what he purported to have done. What he did was vote with a number of other senators to have the duly cast votes of millions of voters in Arizona and Georgia and Pennsylvania thrown out. That's what he did. You know, he wasn't -- he wasn't talking about election integrity. He was doing just the opposite. He was trying to have duly cast votes thrown out.
Nevertheless, look, what's going on here is they are competing to see if they can inherit some slightly less crazy version of the mob that stormed the Capitol. That is a political base of the Republican Party that future contenders for president are trying to appeal to. the bad news for all of them, of course, is that of those people are beholden to one person only and that's Donald Trump.
He's going to speak at the conference later and everyone will forget about Josh Hawley and everything he said and they're not going to support him, they're not going to support Ted Cruz. They're going to support Donald Trump and whoever Donald Trump should bless. That's as far as that goes. The rest of this I think ultimately will be dismissed as an unfortunate super spreader event. [06:15:01] I don't know if you saw that they're not wearing masks. The organizers have been desperately pleading with them to wear masks. They're not doing that. This is sort of a -- it's a fantasy -- it's a fantasy world. They think they won the election. They think they don't have to obey COVID restrictions, they think somehow somebody other than Trump is going to inherit the Trump base. We'll see how all of that works out.
PAUL: Well, and you mentioned whether, you know, seeing if Trump will bless anybody. That's the big question. Would Trump ever do so or does he just need to have the title of president as they go forward? Errol Louis, always so good to have you with us. Thank you, sir.
LOUIS: Thank you, Christi.
BLACKWELL: Still ahead, a major development in the case surrounding officer Brian Sicknick's death. He's the Capitol police officer who died one day after the January 6th insurrection.
PAUL: Also, a third vaccine is one step away from being authorized to help end the coronavirus pandemic and you don't have to get pricked twice with this one. We're going to look at how soon the first Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be distributed in the U.S.
BLACKWELL: And an update in the shooting of Lady Gaga's dog walker that led to the kidnapping of her french bulldogs.
BLACKWELL: Today, the FDA could grant emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine. They say they're moving quickly after an advisory committee recommended the shot be authorized.
PAUL: Now, once that happens, nearly 4 million doses could be sent across the country as early as next week. Right now, nearly 7 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated. Johnson & Johnson's single dose shot, by the way, would likely bump that number up significantly. CNN's Polo Sandoval is following the latest on the pandemic. He's at a newly opened mass vaccination site in New York. Polo, good to see you this morning. The CDC, I know ...
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right.
PAUL: ... is having the final say here on the Johnson & Johnson shot, but they're scheduled to meet tomorrow.
PAUL: Talk to us about the timeline here.
SANDOVAL: So the hope right now is that those vaccinations or at least those doses that you mentioned, close to 4 million, could go out in the coming days after that authorization is issued out to those vaccination sites, including this one in Brooklyn. Already still a few hours away from this place opening again for business this morning. Already one person in line waiting for their 8:00 A.M. appointment.
There's certainly this expectation that this authorization will boost supplies. Heard from one member of that FDA advisory committee saying that the decision to recommend Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, it was an easy one.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to use every conceivable way to expand manufacturing of the vaccine, the third vaccine, to make even more rapid progress.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): With the nation one critical step closer to distributing Johnson & Johnson's newly authorized vaccine, a much needed decline in the nation's new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations appears to be stalling. On Friday, the head of the CDC warned the nation's seven-day average of cases is leveling out at about 66,000. That's a number that's still alarmingly high.
ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: We at CDC consider this a very concerning shift in the trajectory.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): Adding to scientists' fears that the downward slope is ending? A rise in new virus variants threatening to reverse the progress. One such variant was detected in California and another in the Northeast, likely having mutated in New York City, says the nation's top infectious disease expert.
FAUCI: It started off just a cluster in the Washington Heights section up by Columbia Medical Center and then it started to go through the other parts of the city, the other boroughs and it's something you really want to pay attention to because it has some worrisome mutations in it.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): The first shots of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine could be delivered and administered as early as next week. In California, state officials are expecting the delivery of just over 380,000 doses to begin arriving next week.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM, (D) CALIFORNIA: That single dose provides opportunities to bring those doses and vaccines to where people are because those doses don't require the storage that the Moderna and Pfizer doses require.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): Across the country, public health experts are urging the public, get this new version of the vaccine once and if they're given a chance. They point to FDA analysis of trial data showing about 66 percent efficacy globally against moderate to severe illness and as high as 86 protection in the U.S.
MATHEW: Everybody who got the J&J vaccine, no one was hospitalized, and no one died. I know we're so used to the 95 percent number with Moderna and Pfizer, but people should not think that this is a second- class vaccine. It's a very good, safe and effective vaccine.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): New research out of the U.K. about Pfizer's double-dose vaccine suggests that even a single shot of that vaccine could offer those who have had COVID strong protection, basically serving as a booster for those who have already been infected and developed some level of immunity. Though the U.S. National Institutes of Health is encouraged by these findings, the agency maintains a single-dose approach for all could lead to unforeseen consequences.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
SANDOVAL: Back to that FDA Advisory Committee that voted yesterday to recommend Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. One of the members really stressing the urgency of fighting the pandemic and extremely hopeful that the availability of a third and single-dose vaccine will certainly boost some of the allotments that some of those states are receiving.
In fact, Victor and Christi, one of the early numbers suggesting that some states could see those stockpiles increase by about 25 percent. It certainly would be good news for those states that are trying to keep up with demand.
BLACKWELL: Good news indeed. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much. Let's bring in now public health specialist Dr. Saju Mathew. You saw him there in Polo's story. Good morning to you.
MATHEW: Good morning, Victor.
BLACKWELL: So, let's start here. Since it is slightly, slightly less effective, the efficacy is a little lower, should that Johnson & Johnson shot be reserved for people who are younger who generally don't get as severely ill and then prioritize the Moderna and the Pfizer shots for older, more vulnerable people?
[06:25:10] MATHEW: Right. So Victor, that debate is actually going on as you and I speak currently among so many doctors and public health specialists, but, you know, I just also want to clarify what I'd said there in the sound. A lot of people think that this J&J vaccine is a second-class vaccine because the number, 66 percent, and a lot of my patients' minds think, my God, am I getting a less effective vaccine?
Let's remember that when the Moderna and Pfizer trials were going on, Victor, these strains were not really a threat. The U.K. strain and the Brazilian strain and the South African variants, they were not as much of a -- of a threat to what it is currently and if you will remember, the J&J vaccine was actually studied in South Africa and a lot of these countries where the strains are predominant.
And even with that, this is a very safe and effective vaccine, 85 percent effective in preventing severe disease, 100 percent effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths. So yes, to answer your question, this might be a good vaccine for somebody who is transient, somebody that travels a lot and might miss that second shot and also for young people who might be impatient in saying I don't want to go back and get a second shot. BLACKWELL: So, let's talk ...
MATHEW: So yes. I think that would be a yes.
BLACKWELL: All right. So, let's talk about the efficacy. The single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, overall efficacy in the U.S., 72 percent, Pfizer Moderna, 94, 95 percent efficacy, but those are double shots. They got the primer and the booster. Would it -- is it oversimplifying this to expect that if Johnson & Johnson were a double shot, that efficacy would increase?
MATHEW: No, that's exactly right. That's absolutely the way to think about these vaccines. More of the vaccines is going to be better, especially with these threats of the variants. In fact, when you ...
BLACKWELL: So then why isn't Johnson & Johnson two shots then if you can get 94, 95 percent? It still would be a benefit because it doesn't have to be refrigerated at those really, really low temperatures. Why is it just a single shot if efficacy is at 72 percent overall in the U.S.?
MATHEW: Well, that's just the way that the initial vaccine was studied, hoping that it would actually accelerate the vaccine distribution and we have seen how difficult it's been with Moderna and Pfizer and let's also remember we have to think about this pandemic globally, Victor. It's so much easier to give people in developing countries one shot than to have masses and millions of people come back for that second shot.
But just to clarify, Johnson & Johnson is doing -- they are doing studies right now on a two-shot vaccine and initially, you get protection after 14 days, 28 days it goes up and at two months, it sort of plateaus with a protection and that is where perhaps a second dose booster would even jump start the antibodies and make it more effective.
BLACKWELL: Yes. We know also Pfizer is looking at a third shot potentially. The CEO told "NBC News" that that could increase efficacy 10, 20-fold. So, research happening there. Let me ask you something. We talked back in the fall about the potential for a twin-demic. The coronavirus pandemic, the COVID pandemic, and also the influenza. That has not come to fruition. The flu rates across this country have been at a minimal number in almost every state. Do we know why that's happening? It's good news, but do we know why?
MATHEW: Right. So months ago on your show, Victor, we talked about how, in Australia, they pretty much didn't have a flu season this year and we were hoping that that same thing would happen and that's also why we were encouraging everybody to get the flu shot.
You know, I'm a busy primary care doctor. I have not seen -- touch wood -- I have not seen a single case of influenza yet. I mean, it's still -- we're still in the month of February which can hit us again when it comes to the resurgence of cases with the flu, but I think, to answer your question, it's really simple. All the mitigation efforts, washing your hands, double masking now with these variants. People are just so much more aware of what needs to happen to prevent coronavirus and that exact same measures, those mitigation methods, are actually helping with influenza which, by the way, kills tens and thousands of people a year. So, it goes to show you that we have the power in our hands to prevent a possible fourth surge with COVID-19 by following the mitigation methods.
BLACKWELL: Not a single, single case of influenza. That's good news. Dr. Saju Mathew, always good to have you, sir.
MATHEW: Thank you.
PAUL: So, after the break, new information in the death of Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick. Also more threats against members of Congress when militia groups involved in the Capitol riots were reportedly planning their next attack.
BLACKWELL: The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman will face no U.S. sanctions personally for his role in the brutal murder of "Washington Post" columnist and Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
PAUL: That's even after the release of a long-awaited U.S. intelligence report, saying he approved of the operation to capture or kill the journalist. And the Secretary of State Antony Blinken justifying the actions, the State and Treasury Department did take against other key Saudis argued, quote, "this is bigger than any one person", he was referring to MBS there.
CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson with us now for more. So, Nic, good to see you this morning, what is the reaction thus far to the measures that the U.S. did take, and is the president facing more pressure now to do even more?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, there are indications that there will be other measures taken on Monday. There's support from the British government, Foreign Secretary here, Dominic Raab had said that the British government continues to press Saudi officials on human rights, and on the case of Jamal Khashoggi. There is -- there has been support for the Saudi position that is rejected these allegations about the crown prince and pointed to what they say happened is that these lower-level operatives essentially went rogue, miscommunicated amongst themselves and disobeyed the limits of their orders.
And there's been support for that expressed in the gulf from Bahrain, from the United Arab Emirates and from the Kuwaitis. Certainly, we're in a bumpy phase of the relationship between the White House and the Saudis, I think this was expected on the Saudi side, not perhaps expected to get to this sort of level. But you know, where does it go from here? I think it depends to see the measures that the White House then takes from here because the sanctions that are in place at the moment are clearly not going to have a lasting and big impact on the Crown Prince. He'll be free to sit across the table from President Biden at the next global G20 Summit later this year.
BLACKWELL: Yes, the question though, is how long, Nic, is this relationship sustainable in this way, if you've got the Saudis continuing their efforts in Yemen? And now this release of the report as it relates to Khashoggi, that will certainly be something that the administration has to answer. Nic Robertson reporting for us, thanks so much.
PAUL: Thank you, Nic. There is new information in the death of Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick. Stunning testimony as well this week that militia groups involved in the Capitol riots were reportedly planning their next attack. We'll tell you what we know. Stay close.
BLACKWELL: The FBI has identified a suspect in the death of Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick. That's according to law enforcement officials. Now, as we've reported, the working theory is that rioters sprayed him with bear repellent, and he may have gotten sick from it. This is a tough case for investigators, and it's not clear which charge or charges they'll be able to bring. In a statement last night, the U.S. Capitol police noted that the medical examiner's report has not been completed. And they say that we are awaiting toxicology results and continue to work with other government agencies regarding the death investigation.
PAUL: So, acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman is now warning that the same militia groups involved in the January insurrection want to, quote, "blow up the Capitol" during President Biden's first address to Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOGANANDA PITTMAN, ACTING U.S. CAPITOL POLICE CHIEF: We know that the insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol weren't only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers. They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as who was in charge of that legislative process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: This is important to hear because it's one of the first times law enforcement had publicly cited specific threats against Congress related to an eventual Biden speech. Now, criminal defense attorney and CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson is with us. Joey, good morning to you, it's always so good to see you. We know that there were 260 people already who have been charged. This is across 40 states. Talk to us about the likelihood -- you know, what do they need to prosecute these people, and is there room here for potential civil lawsuits against former presidents -- President Trump and others who are seeing damages? JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, good morning to you,
Christi. You know, these are polarizing times, and as a result of that, it led to what we saw, and you do see to the credit of the Department of Justice the FBI investigating accountability coming to those who were responsible. And I think, certainly, if you look at the indictments of those who have been charged and those who have yet to be charged, right, because there's additional evidence coming out, you're seeing a variety of claims. Like what? Like the most common being you're obstructing an official proceeding of Congress. That's significant because it's 20 years.
But then when you look at the depictions of what they're doing, look at factually what occurred. Look at the disruption and the criminal mischief caused to the Capitol. Look at the assault that were based upon police officers and those who are protecting us. Look at the damage and destruction that was done to the property. Look at the inciting of different types of violence. So, you'll see a panoply of charges moving forward, and you'll see again, accountability on these to deter others moving forward in the future so that this doesn't happen again, it was obviously a disgrace and a real mock on our democracy.
And I do think, Christi, last point, with respect to the civil litigation, I think you will see that certainly. Civil, of course, not criminal. Civil relates to money. The former president understands money very well, and I think you'll see civil lawsuits stemming from people who were injured and hurt as a result of what you can argue was his inciting of this whole melee.
PAUL: OK, so, I want to move on to another big story this week, more protests in Rochester in fact. The New York grand jury's decision not to indict the officers involved with the death of 41-year-old Daniel Prude. We remember this, he's a black man, he was in the midst of a mental health free fall during his encounter with the police. I want to know what your reaction is to this decision. And what is the possibility of the Justice Department? We know that the DOJ is looking into the case. How might they be able to change what's happening here?
JACKSON: So, Christi, to the first point, with respect to non- accountability for the death, you're right, it's very troubling. We see this over and over. We've had occasions to speak about a lot of people who have died who happen to be African American at the hands of police. And you have a grand jury who presumably, right, it's been stated can indict and sandwich, well, what happened here? And so, it makes you wonder as it relates to holding police accountable for things that don't need to happen what that looks like, right? You have a grand jury, they're not -- let's remind people, establishing proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They're simply, that is the grand jury and not even unanimously deciding whether there's reasonable cause to believe a crime was committed.
So, to the extent that you can't get that standard and you can't get justice for this family, of course, is very troubling and problematic. I think from the civil context, that is money, you'll see it there, and I think moving forward certainly, more needs to be done in that regard so that we can prevent -- from the hands of police with respect to how it's happening, when it's happening and who it's happening to.
PAUL: All right, Joey Jackson, always appreciate your time, sir, thank you.
JACKSON: Thank you, Christi.
PAUL: Of course. You know, just days after being pulled from this car wreckage, take a look here, this was in California, Tiger Woods is thanking his fans for their support on Twitter. We have an update for you on his recovery, next. Original series, "STANLEY TUCCI SEARCHING FOR ITALY" tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
PAUL: So, Tiger Woods has undergone more surgeries following that devastating car crash earlier this week.
BLACKWELL: Carolyn Manno is here with the latest now. We understand he's now reaching out. Good morning, Carolyn.
CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning to you, Christi and Victor. Yes, the good news here is that Tiger Woods is said to be recovering and in good spirits after those follow-up procedures that happened on Friday. A statement that was published to his official Twitter account asked for continued privacy during this time but did confirm another round of successful surgeries. The statement says that Woods and his family are really thankful for all of the wonderful support and the messages that they've received over the past few days. The 15-time major winner suffering multiple leg fractures in the crash back on Tuesday.
Investigators still looking into the cause of the wreck, though drugs and alcohol has been ruled out. Switching gears now a little bit, two- time NBA Champion Pau Gasol is our difference maker this week. The six-time All-Star is back on the floor, he's in his native Spain with FC Barcelona, the team that he started out with, but he's keeping very busy off the court as well.
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PAU GASOL, BASKETBALL PLAYER, FC BARCELONA OF LIGA ACB: I think you have to embrace uncertainty, but you also have to be kind of preparing for this moment. I've enjoyed a fantastic basketball career as a player. I am working to see if I can enjoy it a little longer, prolong it for at least a few more months, but at the end of the day, everyone's life could be measured by the impact that you have on others. You know, once you look to your life -- or look into your life, you know, you look at the people that made the biggest impact. My parents, they both come from a medical field, and it's in our DNA, you know, to help others especially for the less privileged and people that are mostly in need. Me being a professional athlete, kind of really understanding early on
in my career that I could really channel the success and the attention that I was having because of basketball into a greater good, into helping others, into having a real impact on people's lives, but especially children. And that's kind of what we -- what we try to do. At the Gasol Foundation, we're expanding our programs and reach, and helping more families in need to really have the right habits in order to grow healthy and fulfill their potential in life. And there's a huge need because the obesity rate have gone up so much over the years, not just in the U.S., but across many countries in the world.
And it's all about the healthy habits. You know, having access to healthy foods, importance of exercises and then being active, the importance of emotional well-being. Being in a good place emotionally and being in tuned and in touch with yourself. So, all of those things, that's what we try to do. You know, spread that word, reach as many people as possible through our programs, through our social media, after campaigns, through our partners. And that's something that, you know, we take pride in, and that's what I try to do with my wife. Live a fulfilling, meaningful life for as long as I'm here.
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MANNO: And Christi and Victor, in addition to that important work that he does with children, Gasol is also interested in mentoring adults in this next chapter of his life. He signed on to be an adviser for Better-Up, which is a wellness and coaching company for employees.
PAUL: All right, good to know, Carolyn, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Thanks Carolyn. Still ahead, new details in the violent attack on Lady Gaga's dog walker. And an update on the search for those dogs.
PAUL: So, they are home at last. The Los Angeles Police Department says both of Lady Gaga's French bulldogs which were violently stolen from her dog walker have been returned safely.
BLACKWELL: Officials say a woman who found the dogs turned them over to police last night. They say her identity and where she found them will remain confidential. Police still don't know who attacked the singer's dog walker Wednesday. The LAPD says that the victim is in stable condition with injuries that are not life-threatening. Lady Gaga had offered a $500,000 reward for the safe return of her dogs. The next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats have finally passed that $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a bill that is about as popular as it can be in a polarized divided America, and yet, not a single house Republican voted for this.