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One World with Zain Asher

CNN Covers Trump Trial On Hush Money Case; Middle East On A Knife Edge As Israel Decides How It's Going To Respond To A Series Of Direct Iranian Attacks. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired April 15, 2024 - 12:00   ET



VOICE-OVER: This is CNN Breaking News.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello everyone, I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York. In this hour, we are closely following two big

stories for you. I'll be bringing you the latest on Israel's scramble to react to Iran's first ever direct attack on the nation.

ERICA HILL, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And live from downtown Manhattan, I'm Erica Hill Hill, just outside the courthouse where history is being made,

Donald Trump's first criminal trial is underway.

GOLODRYGA: Waiting and watching for what comes next. And the Middle East is on a knife edge at this hour as Israel decides how it's going to respond to

a series of direct Iranian attacks that threaten to tip the region into an all-out war. And that choice could ultimately come down to these three men.

The Israeli war cabinet met again earlier today, with sources telling CNN that members are determined to act, but the timing and scope of any

response remains unclear.

Over the weekend, in an unprecedented move, Iran launched some 300 drones and missiles at Israel in retaliation for the bombing of Tehran's consulate

in Syria two weeks ago. Israel is vowing to, quote, "exact a price from Iran when the timing is right." But governments and diplomats around the

world are urging restraint and de-escalation.


JOHN KIRBY, SPOKESMAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: What we want to see is de-escalation of the tensions. We don't want to see a wider war.

DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: We are urging them, as friends, to think with head as well as heart, to be smart as well as tough.

ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.S. SECRETARY GENERAL: The Middle East is on the brink. The people of the region are confronting a real danger of a devastating

full-scale conflict. Now, is the time to defuse and de-escalate. Now, is the time for maximum restraint.


GOLODRYGA: The U.S., France, Britain and Jordan all helped to intercept the onslaught of Iranian missiles and drones fired toward Israel. In a video

posted to social media, U.S. President Joe Biden thanked the American squadrons involved.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: You made an enormous difference, potentially saving a lot of lives. And thanks to extraordinary skill, the United States

helped Israel take down nearly all those incoming missiles. You're remarkable.


GOLODRYGA: And we can hear directly from the president at any moment when he welcomes the Iraqi Prime Minister to the White House. CNN's Kevin Liptak

joins me live from the White House. Clarissa Ward is in Tel Aviv. Clarissa, let's start with you.

So, as we've heard from the war cabinet, officials stating that Israel will respond, but they haven't determined what that response will look like.

Barak Ravid is reporting that Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told his counterpart, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, that Israel had,

quote, "no choice but to retaliate against Iran." I guess the question is what that retaliation will look like. You've been talking about this all

morning, that, quote, "Goldilocks response is what we are all waiting for."

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I think there's a lot of different competing influences here that Israel is taking

into account as it goes about making its decision of how to respond. You, of course, have talked about the urgings of those in the international

community, Israel's allies, the U.S., who are really pushing for a very kind of sober response, have actually really been pushing primarily for a

diplomatic response.

But then you also have those considerations of particularly hardliner elements within Israel who are saying this needs to be an effective

deterrent. It needs to be a robust response. We need to kind of deliver some kind of a bloody nose. And the war cabinet has been debating for hours

today, for hours yesterday.

So far, our understanding, as you said, is that they haven't yet reached a conclusion, although I would also say it's possible that when they do reach

a conclusion, they may not telegraph it to the world's media before they go about setting that in motion. But they have a, you know, a number of

different options that are open to them, Bianna.

They could go with a direct tit for tat kind of attack, hit an Iranian military facility. They could go with something more asymmetric, targeting

one of Iran's numerous proxies in the region. They could go for some kind of a cyberattack.

So, a lot of different options on the table and regionally a broader sense, I think, of tension and anxiety as everyone just waits to hear for what

course of action will be taken and what that will portend for the region, Bianna.


GOLODRYGA: Clarissa, thank you. Let's go to the White House. Kevin, we heard from Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, just a few moments ago where

he said we don't seek escalation, but we'll continue to support the defense of Israel and to protect our personnel in the region.

So, really, two takeaways from the weekend, ultimately a success in coordinating among allies there in the region and in Israel itself in its

missile defense programs there to defend against an onslaught, the unprecedented launching of some 300 drones and missiles from directly from

Iranian soil towards Israel.

But the other argument is that this is really at a crossroads in terms of things escalating in the region. We've been hoping the president and this

administration had been hoping to avoid just that over the course of these past six months. And yet here we are. What are the primary concerns that

you're hearing from sources of the White House right now?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Right. And I think they're feeling at the White House today is very much on a razor's edge as they

watch to see what Israel chooses to do next.

And you saw that play out in the President's very late night phone call with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Saturday, really trying to emphasize that

this operation by Israel to shoot down these Iranian drones and missiles was a success and really trying to underscore Israel's military superiority

against Iran, but also its diplomatic superiority, emphasizing that it did have friends in the region, the United States, but also some of the Arab

countries that it could rely on to help defend itself.

And I think the suggestion in that from President Biden was that Israel might not necessarily need to take any more retaliatory action going

forward. So, the President really trying to head off a wider Middle East crisis. Now, whether Netanyahu takes that advice is the question that

officials at the White House are watching very closely today.

There is ample precedent over the last several months of Netanyahu not taking President Biden's advice, particularly when it comes to the war in

Gaza. This is a moment of deep tension between those two men. And certainly there are some officials in the United States who really don't think that

Israel is thinking through very clearly its military strategy, both in Gaza and elsewhere. And the view among these officials is that Israel could be

trying to drag the U.S. closer into conflict with Iran.

Now, President Biden, right now, is meeting with the Prime Minister of Iraq. That is a country that is literally in between these two these

tensions in the region, but politically, as well. President Biden will want to discuss with him sort of the viability of the continued American troop

presence in that country, which the U.S. views as essential.

And we should note that a U.S. Patriot missile battery based near Erbil did help shoot down some of these Iranian drones over the weekend. So, this is

an important meeting. I just saw him drive into the White House and we will hear from President Biden. And I think it's almost certain that he will

address these events for the first time publicly when he's meeting with the Prime Minister right now.

GOLODRYGA: And, of course, we'll bring you those comments live from the President when they happen. Kevin Liptak, reporting from the White House

for us. Thank you. Now, I'm going to turn things over to my colleague and good friend Erica Hill now for something that we've never seen happen

before here in the U.S. Erica -- a former president standing trial on criminal charges.

HILL: Yeah, that's right, Bianna. And those criminal charges are 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Just one piece of an alleged scheme

to cover up an affair Trump had with a porn star to keep that information quiet ahead of the 2016 election. Hundreds of New Yorkers will be asked

dozens of questions to determine whether they can be fair and impartial in judging Donald Trump.

Before it began, though, Trump's lawyers tried one last time to get this trial delayed, asking the judge to recuse himself because his daughter has

been consulted to Democratic officials. The judge denied that request. As for Donald Trump, he walked into the courtroom just ahead of walking into

the courtroom, though, had some rather harsh words for the proceeding.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Again, it's a case that should have never been brought. It's an assault on America. And that's why

I'm very proud to be here. This is an assault on our country.


HILL: We, of course, will have extensive coverage of the trial as all is happening today. And to kick things off, senior crime and justice reporter

Katelyn Polantz joining us now. So, what we've been watching throughout the morning, yes, jury selection set to get underway. But in addition to

denying that motion, the judge has been going through a number of other points for this trial before things can get started.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yeah, Erica, two hours into proceedings today at the start of this criminal trial and jury

selection hasn't even begun yet.


But the judge here, Judge Juan Merchan, he is starting to talk to both the prosecutors and the defense right now about how jury selection is going to

work. They've had several conversations, court orders in the past about that, and now they're turning their focus there.

But what we saw over the past two hours is what happens in cases like this. A lot of arguments and discussion with the judge about exactly how things

should be playing out when the jury is in the room. Courts are very careful about that. And so, there are a lot of rules that have to be hashed out

before and after proceedings each day with the jury.

So, far this morning, the discussions have focused around what was happening in 2016 that could create prejudice about Donald Trump. Things

that were negative about him that were happening around this payment to Stormy Daniels. Things like an alleged affair he had with Karen McDougal,

another woman who was paid off during the 2016 election.

She is going to be able to testify, but certain details like the timing of when that alleged affair took place at the time Melania Trump, Donald

Trump's wife, was pregnant with their son. That's not going to be able to be spoken about. There were also issues regarding what could be said about

Michael Cohen when he testifies. What can he be asked about?

There is going to be testimony from him, the personal attorney who made the payment to Stormy Daniels, famously flipped on Donald Trump. But there is

going to be a lot of hashing out around exactly how far both the defense team and the prosecutor team can go into discussing his credibility.

They're able to attack his credibility, but the judge is still feeling out some of those issues around Michael Cohen.

Also, the "Access Hollywood" tape in which Trump made those comments about women that were so offensive in the 2016 campaign, that tape is not going

to be played for this jury. But there are going to be some other things, some discussions after that, his campaign's reactions to it, how he wanted

to position himself as still friendly to female voters.

That is going to be part of the case, very likely. So, still hashing out a lot. Jury selection will begin at some point. And, Erica, it's going to

take several days to get through the questioning of these jurors one by one to seat them on the jury.

HILL: Katelyn Polantz with the latest for us. Katelyn, appreciate it. Thank you. Well, as Katelyn mentioned, at some point today, that jury selection

process will get underway. That process of identifying those who can look at this evidence in the case, not show their bias. Joining us now is an

expert in jury selection, Alan Turkheimer. Alan, it's good to have you with us.

As we look at how this will play out, there are there potential jurors are going to be brought in in groups of 100. We know it's an extensive

questionnaire, some 42 questions initially. But they're also going to be asked initially if they feel if they have any conflicts and separately

whether they feel they can be impartial here. Separating out those two questions was agreed upon this morning. Why is it important to separate

those out in this instance?

ALAN TUERKHEIMER, JURY CONSULTANT: Well, as the jurors come in, some are just going to be completely candid and they just -- they know they can't be

fair. They've made up their mind one way or the other, probably against Trump, given the venue, given it's New York County.

And they're going to be able to indicate to the judge, look, I can't be on this case. I have strong feelings. You need somebody who's going to be fair

and impartial. And so, that's going to be the first step in the process. And then the next step, jurors are going to go around and they're going to

feel that they can actually get through the process and be fair and impartial.

But it's going to be up to the judge and the lawyers to decide after these jurors -- potential jurors answer the questions, whether or not they can

keep an open mind and be fair and impartial.

So, there's a lot of procedures built into the process. So, you end up with a jury that in the eyes of justice is an open minded jury that's going to

give Donald Trump the presumption of innocence and be open to the evidence and keep a fair mind throughout.

GOLODRYGA: Donald Trump has railed against the venue, saying he doesn't feel that he can get a fair trial, can't get a fair jury in Manhattan. Just

walk us through this process again. As I said, they'll be brought in in groups of 100, I believe about 500 people every day are called up or called

to come in for jury duty.

Is there any reason to believe that amongst the hundreds of people who will be coming in every day as potential jurors that you can't find 12 or

actually 18 with six alternates who can look at this and look at the information fairly?

TUERKHEIMER: I think they'll be able to do that because as you think about it, you don't -- you don't select the jury. It's not as if each side gets

to say, okay, I want these jurors and the other side says, I want these jurors. You get rid of jurors.


You strike jurors. So, if one side thinks that there's going to be a juror that is too biased, they'll exercise a strike. Now, they might even -- the

judge might even get involved and say, yes, I'm going to dismiss this jury because they're too impartial and they have bias one way or the other.

So, good news for Donald Trump is, yes, a good proportion of the venue does not like him. But these are New Yorkers and New Yorkers are known for

speaking their minds. So, as it goes through the process and it's a little counterintuitive, but every time a juror says something negative about

Donald Trump or they can't be fair and impartial or they've known him since the 80s living in New York.

And there are a lot of things that they find despicable, they're actually doing Trump a favor because that juror is not going to end up on the jury.

So, that's the goal and that's how the process is going to play out over the next few days.

GOLODRYGA: As we're watching this play out, the expectation is one to two weeks to get this jury seated. What do you think will be some of the most

important questions or lines of questioning?

TUERKHEIMER: Well, certainly the jurors are going to talk about the perceptions of Donald Trump and that's going to be an immediate window. But

I also think that how people view the criminal justice system, because there's a whole range of attitudes and some people, most people, I would

think, think that it's completely different than the political world or the media world.

But this this is a process. It's a sacred process where the truth matters. You go under oath. And as you were reporting earlier, there are all these

procedures that get argued ahead of time. And it's a process, whereas on the other hand, some people might just think that this is another

institution that is corrupt. It's loaded. It's inefficient. And these charges aren't fair.

So, I think the lawyers are going to spend a good deal of time trying to get at jurors' attitudes about the criminal justice system in general.

HILL: Alan Tuerkheimer, great to have your expertise. Thanks for joining us.


HILL: I'm going to hand it back now to my colleague, Bianna Golodryga in the studio. Bianna. All right, Erica, thank you. Coming up for us, more on

Iran's attack on Israel over the weekend. We'll have regional reaction. And also, how the strikes are affecting Israel's war on Hamas.


GOLODRYGA: More now on our top story and a crucial question -- how will Israel respond to an unprecedented attack by Iran? Israel's war cabinet met

for the second time today to weigh that response.


It is not clear if a decision has been made during today's three hour meeting. Israel says 99 percent of the ballistic missiles and drones

launched by Iran over the weekend were shot down. Iran maintains its bombardment was, quote, legitimate and self-defense. Tehran blames Israel

for a strike on its consulate in Syria that killed several Iranian commanders.

World leaders and the United Nations condemned Iran and called for maximum restraint now. The situation is also affecting Israel's war against Hamas.

Sources tell CNN that Israel will delay its ground operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

GOLODRYGA: CNN's Ben Wedeman is monitoring the situation and joins us now live from Beirut, Lebanon. And it's so crucial that that's actually where

you are, Ben, because obviously a lot of concern even predating this strike from Iran and obviously predating what is believed to be Israel's attack

against IRGC members on April 1st.

There have been tensions and things have been heating up between Israel and Hezbollah now for months since October 7th. For the first time, Israelis

have been relocated from the north. We did see Hezbollah launch some rockets over the weekend against Israel, but there is anticipation that

perhaps we could see more. Give us a sense of what you're hearing there.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Certainly, the situation on the border, Bianna, is very tense. We have been having daily

exchanges between Israel and Hezbollah going back to October 8th. The only exception was while there was that brief truce in Gaza in late November.

What we're seeing now is that there were, for instance, today there was an incident where apparently Israeli soldiers entered in Lebanese territory,

and some sort of explosive device, perhaps an IED, as was claimed by Hezbollah, went off injuring four Israeli soldiers, including one severely.

Now, we've seen the usual round of Israeli airstrikes on the south. Now, tensions are going a little bit higher because the Israeli military has

just announced it's going to be holding maneuvers in the upper Galilee, which basically means near the border with Lebanon, from the morning until

noon, and there will be aircraft, armored vehicles, and other military assets on the move in the area, which clearly is going to raise tensions


Now, we heard and we've reported before that prior to the Iranian strike over the weekend, Hezbollah made it clear that it would not be involved in

any Iranian response to the Israeli strike on the consulate in Damascus. However, if the situation escalated, we were told by sources close to

Hezbollah, Hezbollah would reconsider its role, and probably the other proxies and allied militias of Iran in the region would also reconsider,

perhaps escalating.

And so, we're basically waiting now to see what comes out of the Israeli war cabinet. They've met twice in the last 24 hours without, it appears,

making a decision as to what to do. But certainly, the hints, the suggestions are that they are going to respond in some way, and that could

certainly set things off even more than they are in terms of tensions and possible escalation. Bianna.

Sirens have been sounding in northern Israel just within the last hour there. Ben, if I could turn the conversation to the war in Gaza itself,

because as I noted in the introduction to you that there are Israeli officials that say this could put on hold.

Any incursion into Rafah, Prime Minister Netanyahu had declared that a date for that incursion had been set, but according to the IDF and a lot of

reports and sourcing suggests that there hadn't been a date given and that an incursion was not in fact imminent. Does that put this on hold then

indefinitely in your view?

WEDEMAN: Well, certainly we have heard Prime Minister Netanyahu speak time and time again that the Rafah operation is imminent, and he keeps on

putting it off. Now, is that as a result of American pressure? Not altogether clear.

Now, obviously the situation with Iran possibly is distracting the Israelis from their desire to go into Rafah, and they might reconsider if they're

going to be completely taken up with dealing with Iran, but it's hard to say. Prime Minister Netanyahu talks a lot, but we'll just have to see if he

actually gets around to acting, and I'm sure the 1.5 million people who are taking refuge in the Rafah area would be happy if he never makes good on

his threats. Bianna.


GOLODRYGA: Of course, those in the war cabinet also say that they need to remain focused on releasing and securing the release of those remaining

Israeli hostages too and continuing the pursuit for a temporary ceasefire at that as well. So, we're watching multiple angles of this story. Ben

Wedeman, thank you so much. And now, back to Erica Hill in Lower Manhattan for more on former U.S. President Donald Trump's trial on criminal charges.


HILL: Bianna, thank you. Just ahead here, Donald Trump's support hasn't shown much sign of slipping since the slew of allegations against him have

come to light. So, could any of that change now that he is in fact on trial? We're going to take a closer look.



TRUMP: I will be forced to sit. Fully-gagged. I'm not allowed to talk.


HILL: We are back here live in Lower Manhattan outside the courthouse. Now, court has just broken for lunch behind me.


Donald Trump, of course, making history on this Monday. He is now the first former President to face criminal trial. And we do have some brand new

sketches from inside those proceedings. Again, cameras not allowed in the courtroom, but of course the sketch artist is there. You see some of this


Prosecutors, of course, accused Trump of hiding hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels leading up to the 2016 election. Some legal experts

have said this may be the least consequential of the four criminal cases that Donald Trump is facing. However, it is the only one guaranteed to

begin before the November election.

Donald Trump maintains that that is the reason behind the entire case. He has pleaded not guilty to the 34 counts. Jury selection should take a week,

maybe two. And then the trial itself, including that, a total of six to eight weeks. For a closer look, we're joined now by former federal

prosecutor Gene Rossi. Gene, good to have you with us.

So, the judge gaveled in this morning just about 10 A.M. and just breaking for lunch. We haven't actually started jury selection yet. That's going to

happen, one would assume, after lunch, after they return from the lunch break. One of the first things that did happen this morning is the judge

dismissed a motion for him to recuse himself, one of several different motions that have been filed. How consequential was that?

GENE ROSSI, FORMER FEDERAL PRESECUTOR: Oh, that motion was a Hail Mary pass, Erica. They had to file it just to preserve the record on appeal. But

an ethics panel and ethics gurus have said there's no ethical conflict for the judge to stay on a case. And I totally agree with that. There's nothing


HILL: So, as they've been going throughout the morning, one of the other things that came up that really struck me was a little bit of back and

forth over Michael Cohen, who, of course, is a key witness in this trial and has been promoting his own testimony as a witness coming up. And there

are important questions about the credibility of Michael Cohen as a witness. How important are these decisions in determining what the jury can

and cannot hear about Michael Cohen?

These decisions by the judge are very important, because when Michael Cohen takes a stand, he will be examined by the prosecutors, and that will set

the tone of what will be expected on cross. So, this decision by the judge today basically said that on cross-examination, you're able to get into A,

B, C and D relating to the credibility of Michael Cohen, because attacking the credibility of Michael Cohen could decide the entire case.

HILL: And that's going to be key for the defense, obviously, to try to get at that, to try to get at his credibility. There's been a lot made about

the gag orders that were issued in terms of the defendant, former President Trump, and questions about whether or not there perhaps should be something

involving Michael Cohen, because he has been talking so much about the trial ahead of it. Do you believe that there should be any sort of gag

order there?

ROSSI: I think the judge should be fair and impartial. And if you impose a gag order on President Trump, I think a judge should be fair and apply it

equally to Michael Cohen. If you're going to be fair, because a judge has the power to tell witnesses, you cannot speak about this case. They can say

it about prosecutors, defense attorneys. I have no problem if the judge does decide that for witnesses, they have to keep their mouth shut.

HILL: As we watch this play out, what do you think are some of the most important questions that these potential jurors will be asked? What will

tell you the most?

ROSSI: I had an Oathkeeper trial, Erica, that was six weeks. This was back in D.C. last year. The key thing for jury selection in any case, even with

Donald Trump, is at the end of the day, can the juror be fair and impartial in applying the law to the facts of this case? Every juror has an opinion

on Donald Trump.

They have to live on Mars or Venus not to have heard Donald Trump. But can they put that aside and still look at the evidence with impartiality and be

fair in applying the law to the facts? That's the key for the defense and the prosecution in picking a juror.

HILL: Gene, really appreciate you being with us today. Thank you for your insight.

ROSSI: Thank you.

HILL: Just ahead here, how did we get to this point that a former president is now facing a criminal trial? We're going to retrace those steps next,




HILL: We've been, of course, following the activities today, the unprecedented activity happening here in New York at the courthouse behind

me, the first ever criminal trial of a former U.S. President getting underway.


CNN's Brian Todd has a look now at just how this historic case against Donald Trump came together.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It wasn't until almost 12 years after the affair allegedly occurred that the world first learned of the

allegations of hush money payments to Stormy Daniels. In January 2018, "The Wall Street Journal" reported that in the weeks before the 2016 election,

Donald Trump had arranged a $130,000 payment to the adult film star to keep her from publicly discussing their alleged 2006 encounter.

Later, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen testified that Trump directed him to make payments to Daniels, quote, "For the principal purpose of

influencing the election," and that Trump later reimbursed him. Cohen served jail time for campaign finance violations related to the hush money

payments and gave jarring testimony to Congress.

MICHAEL COHEN, DONALD TRUMP'S FORMER ATTORNEY: I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump's illicit acts rather than listening to

my own conscience.

TODD (voice-over): Donald Trump has always denied having an affair with Stormy Daniels. In April 2018, Trump was asked by reporters about hush


REPORTER: Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?


TODD (voice-over): But later in 2018, in an ethics filing, Trump acknowledged reimbursing Michael Cohen for more than $100,000, but didn't

say what it was for. Daniels spoke to Anderson Cooper in a CBS interview about the alleged payment.

UNKNOWN: Was it hush money to stay silent?

STORMY DANIELS, PORN STAR: Yes. I believe without a shadow of a doubt in my heart, and some people argue that I don't have one of those, but whatever,

that I was doing the right thing.


TODD (voice-over): That same year, "The New Yorker" magazine detailed reports that Trump had had an affair with former Playboy model Karen

McDougal. She spoke to Anderson Cooper about it.

KAREN MCDOUGAL, ALLEGES AFFAIR WITH DONALD TRUMP: The only regret I have about the relationship that I had with Donald was the fact that he was


TODD (voice-over): "The Wall Street Journal" reported four days before the 2016 election that the publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid had paid

McDougal $150,000 for the rights to her story shortly after Trump became the Republican nominee for President, but that the "Enquirer "never

published the story.

DAVID KAY JOHNSTON, AUTHOR, "THE MAKING OF DONALD TRUMP": Catch and kill. That is, pay someone and then kill a story that would be damaging to


MCDOUGAL: I knew the story wasn't going to be printed. They didn't want to hurt him.

TODD (voice-over): Trump has denied having an affair with McDougal. He was indicted a year ago on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records

related to the Daniels hush money payments. He's pleaded not guilty. Cohen, Daniels, and McDougal are among those expected to be on the witness list

for this trial. How credible a witness would Daniels be?

SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: She seems like she would make a very good witness. If I were trying the case, I'd be happy to put her on the

stand. What really helps the prosecution here is what she is talking about is all corroborated in the documents.

TODD: The trial is scheduled to begin Monday with jury selection. Potential jurors will be asked 42 questions, including their feelings about Donald

Trump, whether they ever participated in a rally for or against Trump, and whether they can be fair and impartial. But they won't be asked what party

they belong to or who they voted for. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

HILL: And thanks to Brian for that report. For a closer look at the potential political ramifications of a candidate being tried on criminal

charges, we're joined by Patrick Healy, who's deputy opinion editor at "The New York Times". Patrick, good to have you with us. It's fascinating. So

much of the polling shows that whether it's chargers or even a potential finding that he's guilty doesn't seem to move the needle all that much. Do

you think that will hold up moving forward?

PATRICK HEALY, DEPUTY OPINION EDITOR, "NEW YORK TIMES": I don't think it will. I think it will move the needle with some swing voters who just see

the possibility of a conviction. And that's not where we are yet. But if we got to a place where former President Trump was convicted on these charges,

the idea of voting for a convicted criminal for president just may be a bridge too far for some of these voters, even voters who are inclined

toward President Trump.

As we know, polling is just a snapshot of the moment right now. These are charges that have been brought against the former president. He is owed the

presumption of innocence. But if a jury of regular people find him guilty, there are going to be voters, especially swing voters who care a great deal

about what the President of the United States stands for, who I think are going to have some problem voting for him.

HILL: How are we seeing this play out in New York City? I always think it's interesting if we take more of a sort of 30,000-foot view. The majority of

folks are not following perhaps as closely as you or I may be on a daily basis all of the developments in the various trials and charges that Donald

Trump is facing. What is your sense of -- here in New York City -- this pool of potential jurors, of how closely people are following these


HEALY: I think people are following it very closely in New York City. I think a lot of people have pretty strong opinions for or against Donald

Trump in this city, so I think there is a lot of curiosity around it. What's really different in this case compared to a lot of other high-

profile legal trials that have unfolded, of course, is that this won't be televised, that there won't be moments in the courtroom, dramatic moments,

a kind of a narrative arc that people can watch and follow and get caught up in.

And in a lot of ways this plays to Trump's favor. Trump will be able to come out of the courthouse, go onto the sidewalk, hold impromptu news

conferences, try to sort of shape the conversation, so to speak, that's going on around the trial.

And it's going to be a little harder for others, including the Biden campaign, to kind of fact-check those moments because they won't have tape,

for instance, that's able to kind of rebut the former president what he's saying.

HILL: There's also the question of how effective or not it is for the campaign, for Democrats to lean into that moment to try to fact-check. As

you point out, a lot of the narrative will be controlled at this point by Donald Trump because of what he will say in and outside of court. And, of

course, at his rallies, potentially on Wednesdays, but also on the weekends, on days that court's not in session.


HEALY: I think that's right. And, look, Donald Trump is running kind of on a platform of victimization, that people are out to get him, that he and,

by extension, all of his supporters aren't able to get kind of a fair shake from the system. So, the degree to which he's able to sort of go out and

get people really focused on that is important.

I think a lot of people, no matter what party they're in, are going to be curious about whether Donald Trump can get a fair shake from a jury and a

judge in New York City. I think they're going to be looking at rulings that the judge makes along the way, at some of the testimony, and wonder, look,

are they able to give Donald Trump, no matter how I feel about him, kind of a fair shake?

I think that's very important for how this trial plays out. And to your earlier question, how voters ultimately sort of see Trump, whether he was,

if he is convicted, whether he was fairly convicted, or if he is acquitted, whether that process was fair, as well.

HILL: This is expected to be six to eight weeks, all in. Is there anything particular, or any testimony in particular, that you were watching for?

HEALY: I'm really curious about the Michael Cohen testimony and whether ultimately he proves to be a persuasive witness. I think, I'm very curious

about Stormy Daniels, if she ends up testifying. I think we did see in Manhattan recently the successful guilty judgment against Donald Trump in

the E. Jean Carroll case, the woman who said that she was sexually assaulted by Trump and brought a defamation case against Trump. I think

that the jury in that E. Jean Carroll case found Carroll to be a persuasive witness.

So, whether ultimately, the prosecution can draw testimony from both Cohen and if they decide to put Daniels on the stand, her as well, whether those

witnesses can be persuasive with this jury and get them to understand the seriousness of these allegations, that this isn't just some kind of hush

money case involving an erotic adult film star, but that this really goes toward criminality and cover-up, whether that will be persuasive, that's

probably what I'm watching for most.

HILL: Yeah, I think some others may be watching for that as well. Patrick, really good to have you with us today. Thank you. Bianna, my friend, I turn

it now back over to you in the studio.

GOLODRYGA: Needless to say, it's going to be quite a busy next few weeks in lower Manhattan. Meantime, coming up for us, as Israel weighs a response to

that attack by Iran, will it heed the world's call for restraint? A brand new reaction from the Pentagon when we return.



GOLODRYGA: The United States is working to try to de-escalate tensions after Iran's attack on Israel over the weekend. U.S. President Biden spoke

with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu over the weekend, and while the U.S. has stressed that it is committed to Israel's defense, officials say Biden

said the U.S. would not participate in any direct military action against Iran.

A U.S. official says Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has asked his Israeli counterpart to notify Washington ahead of any potential response. Deputy

Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh spoke to CNN just moments ago.


SABRINA SINGH, DEPUTY PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Well, thanks, Anderson, for having me today. Look, that is a decision that Israel is going to have to

make, and as you said, the war cabinet is meeting to decide if they are going to respond. And that's their decision. We are there in the region, in

the Middle East, because of our mission in Iraq and Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.

And as the President has said, we will always stand in ironclad support for Israel's defense. And that's exactly what you saw this weekend with our air

power and our destroyers in the eastern Med shooting down a range of ballistic missiles and drones shot from Iran in an unprecedented attack,

which was met with an unprecedented response. So, that's what we are focused on. We want to see a de-escalation of tensions in the region. And,

of course, we do not seek a wider war with Iran.


GOLODRYGA: Pentagon Correspondent Oren Lieberman joins us now. So, quite a situation Israel finds itself in. On the one hand, sees that many of its

allies have come to its side in its aid over the weekend in striking down an unprecedented number, over 300 missiles and drones sent from Iran and

Iranian soil. The first time that has happened between the two countries.

But Israel has made it clear, and as we heard now, we talked about Lloyd Austin. He's speaking with his counterpart. Gallant had made it clear to

Lloyd Austin that Israel had no choice but to respond. So, from what you're hearing in your sources, Oren, what could a calibrated response look like

in terms of a firm message Israel has sent without setting off a regional war?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are a lot of options here. And that's what the U.S. and the Biden administration are looking at to see how

Israel does decide to respond and how it calibrates that response.

It's also worth noting that over the weekend, Israel got a major diplomatic victory with many countries, including in the West and Europe and around

the world, essentially condemning Iran and standing by Israel. It's a major diplomatic victory for Israel, arguably when it needs it most because of

what had been the condemnation of Israel's operations in Gaza.

So, what now does Israel do? And there's a spectrum of options here. Of course, Israel has effectively promised to respond. But what exactly that

means, that's what the war cabinet needs to figure out. Could it be striking Iranian targets in Syria? We have seen Israel in the past do that

repeatedly. And even if it's on a much larger scale, it doesn't risk, arguably, the same sort of regional conflict and regional escalation that

striking Iran directly does.

In addition to that, if Israel were to try to strike Iran directly, it, of course, involves going through somebody else's airspace, be it Jordan,

Iraq, Saudi. And that, again, Israel has essentially a bit of a diplomatic victory here and many of these countries condemning Iran. So, it would risk

not only a military operation, but also effectively it could create problems diplomatically if Israel decides to go that direction.

So, there are a number of options here. We have, of course, seen Israel carry out covert operations in Iran, whether it's the assassination of

Iranian nuclear scientists or the stealing of the Iranian nuclear archives. Something like that could be an option, but operations like that obviously

take months to plan and it would be difficult to carry out, especially when Iran is looking for that response.

So, how Israel calibrates its response, that's something the U.S. very much wants to see. As you pointed out, Bianna, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin,

according to a U.S. official, asked his Israeli counterpart to be notified and updated if and when Israel chooses to carry out that response.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, I can't overstate the significance of a country like Jordan not only allowing its airspace to be used, but also itself striking

down some of these drones themselves and the cooperation, covert as it may be, with Saudi Arabia. This puts Israel in a position of perhaps

strengthening some of these regional ties, something that they had been hoping to do and perhaps --


LIEBERMANN: Absolutely.

GOLODRYGA: -- that's what led up to the October 7th attack. But at the same time, Israel says that they have to set off a strong response to Iran,

given the unprecedented nature of Iran's attack. This is still something that is unfolding. We continue to cover. Oren Liebermann, thank you so much

for your work.

And that does it for this hour of "One World." Thank you so much for watching. I'm Bianna Golodryga. Our thanks to Erica Hill. Amanpour is up