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Russian Prison Service: Putin Critic Alexey Navalny Dead At 47; NY Judge Issues Ruling In Donald Trump's Civil Fraud Trial; Trump And Companies Ordered To pay Nearly $355M In New York; Russian Prison Service: Putin Critic Alexey Navalny Dead At 47. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired February 16, 2024 - 15:00:00   ET



ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Shares on Wall Street are in negative territory after stubborn inflation coming through from the US. As you can

see, Dow Jones is down three-tenths of a percent. We are under pressure today, over 100 points down.

Well, those are the markets and these are the main events: Russia announces the death of Alexey Navalny and the US president points the finger squarely

at Vladimir Putin.

In Georgia, prosecutors make their case to keep the district attorney in place and move forward with election interference charges against Donald


And OpenAI unveils a new AI model that lets users create videos from texts.

Live from Dubai. It is Friday, February 16th. I'm Eleni Giokos, I'm in for Richard Quest and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

All right, a very good evening to you.

We are of course waiting for the verdict coming through from the civil fraud trial for Donald Trump, we will be bringing you that update as it


In the meantime, outspoken Kremlin critic, Alexey Navalny has died in prison and that's according to Russian Prison Service. The 47-year-old

opposition figure was being held at a brutal Arctic Circle penal colony. Circumstances surrounding his death are unclear, but world leaders,

including US President Joe Biden are blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin.

And in Moscow, the prosecutor's office has warned that any demonstrations in the Russian capital over Navalny's death have not been authorized and

could result in arrest.

CNN's Clarissa Ward has covered Navalny extensively through the years from his anti-corruption efforts to his recovery from novichok poisoning. And

she joins us now, live from London for more on today's developments.

Clarissa, thank you so much for joining us.

We saw Alexey Navalny in court yesterday. He seemed in good spirits from what we could ascertain, so this news comes as a shock okay, but again, not

really a surprise given his decision to go back to Russia despite being poisoned, knowing very well the risks that he faced.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think you exactly put it right. It is a shock, but not necessarily a surprise. It is a shock

because as you say, he was seen over a video link in the court yesterday. He was joking with the judge and the prison guard was laughing along with


His mother, Lyudmila, told "Novaya Gazeta," the Russian publication that she wouldn't be accepting condolences because she couldn't quite believe

essentially that he could be dead because she had visited him on February 14th in prison, and she said that he had been in good health and that he

had seemed happy.

He had written a post on Telegram, the social media messaging app that his wife -- into his wife, Yulia, for Valentine's Day. And so there is this

kind of disbelief. How did this happen at the same time, he had been held for three years in various penal colonies. His lawyers had talked before

about the devastating impact that the brutal conditions he was being held in had had on his mentality, he was held in solitary confinement, but also

on his health. He had gone on hunger strike a number of times.

And so while the exact details of what happened today and how Navalny actually died are still in question, and a lot remains to be learned on

that front, the question of responsibility for his death in the eyes of his family, in the eyes of his followers, in the eyes of many western leaders,

is not an open question. It lies clearly as President Biden said, with President Vladimir Putin, with the Russian state. He was in the custody of

the Russian state when he died so suddenly, so young -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: Clarissa Ward, thank you so much for that update. Great to see you.

We also have some breaking news coming into CNN right now. A judge in New York state has just ruled on how much money Donald Trump and his co-

defendants owe for fraud. He has already ruled that Trump had fraudulently inflated his financial statements for a decade. That news just coming in.

CNN is now reviewing the judge's decision.


So right now, New York attorney general, Letitia James is speaking following the ruling in Donald Trump's civil fraud trial. Just finding out,

can we listen in to this? Team? There we go.

So this is one of many legal issues that Trump has been facing. We've got Marshall Cohen joining us now for analysis.

All right, we are waiting for Marshall Cohen to join us.

This civil trial ruling is, of course, important. We also heard the news yesterday on the hush money trial that the trial will be starting on March

the 25th, of course, other legal challenges playing out in Georgia as well. This has been an important week in terms of what Donald Trump has been

facing in terms of the legal issues he has been facing.

And we've got Marshall Cohen joining us now. Marshall, we are trying to figure out everything in terms of this ruling. Perhaps you can shed some

light. This news just coming in from New York.


Our team in New York is scrambling through this 92-page ruling and it looks like the top line figure is that the fine is going to be over $350 million.

That's a lot of money, especially when you consider that the attorney general in New York, Letitia James was asking for $370 million. So it looks

like she got a lot of what she wanted.

Remember, this is the decision after a trial was held 11 weeks long. Donald Trump took the stand. It was highly contentious. And that trial came after

the judge had already decided that Donald Trump, his company and his two sons had committed persistent and repeated fraud by inflating the value of

their properties and lying to banks to get better loans.

So the news right now, the top line figure out of this is more than $350 million fine for Trump and the Trump organization.

GIOKOS: In terms of the consequences for the former president, what does this mean overall for him and his family?

COHEN: Well, look, he has staked his reputation on being a very successful businessman, and that was a big part of his rise to power in the political

movement that he put together in 2016.

What you have now is after an exhaustive trial, it went for months up in New York, a lot of witnesses, a lot of fact-finding, a judge has determined

that he and his company committed massive fraud and now they are going to have to pay the price.

But look, Trump spins everything into his own defense and he has described this as a massive witch hunt. Election interference and all indications are

that his supporters are right there with him. They think that this is a sham. The real question is sort of how the middle of the country, the

independent minded voters, might look at news like this and see if they draw any conclusions, especially as they go to the polls later this year in


GIOKOS: In terms of appealing this case, in terms of timeline, what does that actually mean in reality for the former president?

COHEN: That's right. So look, there is the decision from whether or not he committed fraud, and then there is the punishment, two separate things.

He is appealing both and he is already appealing that decision that he and his company committed this persistent and repeated fraud. That appeal is

underway and he has promised to file an appeal of this decision no matter what the number was, I guess he probably wouldn't have appealed if it was

zero, but I would assume that if the number is indeed as large as it appears to be, he will absolutely be appealing that as well in the New York

state courts.

GIOKOS: In terms of the actual number, it's nearly $355 in profits from the Ford case. This is what Judge Arthur Engoron had ordered Trump and his

companies to pay. That's the number we have right now.

In terms of his ability to pay this, I mean, this is an enormous financial penalty.

COHEN: Yes. I don't know many people who have $355 million to spare, but obviously that's going to be a question for tomorrow. The question -- the

answer for today is the number and that's a pretty massive number.


GIOKOS: It absolutely is. Marshall Cohen, thank you so much. We are waiting for more details around this ruling, and of course, we also have Mary Kelly

joining us now as well to give us more insight into this ruling. What more can you tell us?

All right, Eric Talley -- Eric Talley is with us. Is he with us?


GIOKOS: Apologies. We are having technical difficulties this evening.

Eric, great to see you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Apologies. We have a few technical gremlins today.

Okay, this -- I mean, we've seen the top line number, $355 million. What do you make of this ruling?

TALLEY: Well, the number itself comes in about where Letitia James' people had been pushing. It is distributed, obviously, not only by across Donald

Trump and his family and some of the other officers, but the other thing that's kind of interesting about it is some of the other aspects of the


So I think the number itself is sort of where a lot of people thought it might come in, maybe a little higher than I thought might come in. The

other thing that is sort of significant is that the one issue that the judge went back and peeled back what he had done in September of 2023 was

the cancellation of the business certificates, that -- a lot of people have referred to that as sort of the corporate death penalty. That's been

removed. But in its place has been put what appears to be multi-year suspensions for Donald Trump and his adult children from serving as

officers and directors of New York companies.

GIOKOS: Look, we are talking about this really big number. We've got Joey Jackson with us as well to give us some insights into this ruling.

Joey, what are your initial thoughts of this ruling? I mean, I guess many thought it was inevitable. We know that Donald Trump wants to appeal this.

We are looking at timelines here. We are looking at the ability to pay this penalty.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, it is -- my assessment is, is that, it is certainly was not unanticipated. Remember, just resetting this is

that the attorney general investigated for a three-year period prior to even moving forward. That three-year investigation allowed the attorney

general to gather voluminous information with respect to the workings of the Trump organization with regard to who was doing what, the chain of

command, how things were proceeding. That is unique because the New York State law that they relied upon gives the New York State attorney general

that investigative ability.

The whole essence of the law is to determine whether or not there is fraud. The nature of the fraud, how the fraud is committed, et cetera and so

predicated upon that three-year investigation, the lawsuit went forward, and that's distinguishable from a general lawsuit where you sue and then

what is called discovery begins.

Why is that relevant to my analysis? It is relevant because it was a lot of information gathered even before initially bringing forward the suit.

The other thing that is important is that we should remember that prior to even having the trial, the judge made an initial determination that there

was persistent fraud.

There is this broad law in that New York State has, the executive law that permits the attorney general in instances of business violations to really

protect consumers and protect the business environment, protect the marketplace, and so it is not unanticipated that the ruling would be as

such, right?

And so as I look at this and as it comes in, as we continue need to review specifically what the judge said. The reality is, is that we know that the

persistent and ongoing fraud has been sustained. We know that the penalty is very significant. We know that is predicated upon gains that the Trump

organization and Mr. Trump got because of the false valuations and I would anticipate certainly there would be an appeal and we will see what the

appeals court does, if anything, relating to when the appeals is done.

GIOKOS: Eric, you had -- you know, you previously said that this is basically a death penalty for a business. Could you elaborate on what that

actually means in sort of the realities for Donald Trump.

TALLEY: Well, yes, I mean, I think the reality is kind of along a bunch of different lines. I think the first one is what was the nature of this

underlying fraud? The fact that matter is the lenders in this situation as far as we can tell, got fully paid back. So to the extent that there was a

danger, it was sort of up to the, I don't know the general public lending markets and to the extent that that is something that has precedential

value, I think it will carry over to how business practices occur, not only inside the Trump Organizations, but more generally about what types of

representations do you make to the other side?


It is not just their claims against you, but might it be the case that the attorney general of New York is going to cite as executive law in coming

after you as well.

Now, the other thing that is worth noting is that while the business certificates of the Trump organizations have not been pulled, they had

basically been -- that order has been stayed. The order released by the judge is ordering evidently, Donald Trump and his adult sons to pull away

from being fiduciary officers and directors, and at least New York corporations. That could have big ramifications for how and who runs these

companies, or whether they get reformulated outside of New York, even though they continue to own properties inside New York and that is kind of

an interesting question for transactional orders to deal with.

GIOKOS: We've also had -- this is a new line that we've just received that the order is barring Donald Trump from doing business in New York State for

three years.

We have to go to a short break. Eric Talley and Joey Jackson, stay with us to bring us more analysis as we get more information on this ruling.

Stay with CNN.


GIOKOS: All right, welcome back.

This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS and we are following breaking news this hour. A judge has ordered Donald Trump and his companies to pay nearly $355

million in penalties. The ruling is part of the civil fraud trial, that found that Trump and his companies inflated the valuation of his assets.

Kristen Holmes is in Washington, DC.

Kristen, we are trying to get through a plethora of pages and information from the statements basically laying out what this ruling actually entails.

Take us through the top lines here. We know it is $355 million. What else have we learned?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So there are a couple of things I want to point out. One, the $355 million, that's obviously the key

takeaway. A big part of this was just how much money would he owe.

Now we do know that Letitia James was asking for about $370 million. So she got very close to that number with $355 million.

The other key takeaways here were Eric and Don, Jr. Each of them expected to pay $4 million roughly. That's important because both of them are

currently running Trump Org.


We also know that Donald Trump and his lawyers did not think that Eric Trump and Don, Jr., they are his sons had had that much exposure to what

was on line here, which was Donald Trump, of course, inflating the value of several of his properties and assets.

The other part of this is that Donald Trump is banned from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation for three years. Now,

that's actually better than what had been anticipated. There were points in which they thought that the Trump Organization itself would not be able to

run in New York ever again.

And one of the things that we continue to point out here is that this is just as much political as it is financial as it is legal. It is not as

though this is a case where he is going to do any jail time. We know that he is going to appeal this and he is going to try to halt them from taking

any assets while the appeal is being processed.

But politically, in terms of who Donald Trump is, this is a huge deal. He sat it on court multiple times. He take this case very personally and I am

told by advisers around him that he wants to respond, that he is likely to give remarks later tonight to give a response to the verdict because it is

something that he cares deeply about because it goes into the core of who he is and his identity.

He has built an entire brand, an entire personal identity on being a successful New York businessman. This takes away part of that. One, it

takes away the successful part. It essentially says that he did inflate his assets and it did give him rise and help him make money. He did benefit

from that, meaning, the successful part of that business is a little bit in question.

The other part is that he can't do business really himself for the next three years. Again, better than what they thought it was going to be. They

thought it could be that he would never be able to do business in New York again, but this clearly goes to the heart of who Donald Trump is and what

he sold his brand as, which is a successful New York businessman.

GIOKOS: Kristen, what else are you looking out for as we go through the statement? What else will be pivotal in this ruling?

HOLMES: Well the other thing to watch for is what exactly it means when they say they are going to put somebody, an inspector inside of the

company. What does that look like? That's not going to likely be something that you can appeal to get rid of and it is likely even if you filed an

appeal, they would not halt that being put into your company. That's something that obviously Donald Trump isn't going to like having somebody

essentially supervising Trump Org and Trump Org entities. So that's important, too.

The other part of this is what exactly are the rules and this is something we are trying to figure out going through here for Don, Jr. and Eric Trump

in terms of doing business in New York, that will be very critical here.

There had been some talk about Trump Org moving all of its operations to Florida in some ways. That was not something that the Trump family wanted

to do. Obviously, they all live in Florida, but they wanted the business to remain where it is in New York.

So a lot of questions here as to how exactly this is going to play out.

GIOKOS: All right, Kristen Holmes. Thank you very much for that update. We've got Marshall Cohen standing by. We still have Eric Talley and Joey

Jackson with us as well.

But Marshall, I want to come to you because you have the Trump attorney statement as well.

COHEN: Yes. The first reaction coming in from the Trump side and it is no surprise, it is from Alina Habba, one of his attorneys, and I'll read for

you some of what she said.

She said that there is confidence that this decision will be overturned on appeal. She called it a manifest injustice, plain and simple: "It's the

culmination of a multi-year, politically-fueled witch hunt that was designed to take down Donald Trump before Letitia James ever stepped foot

into the Attorney General's Office."

Now, look, that is somewhat true in the sense that Letitia James, the attorney general, did campaign on a promise to the voters to investigate

Donald Trump.

But this was litigated during this case, whether or not it was a politically motivated prosecution, well not prosecution, but case because

it is not criminal to be clear, it is civil.

And look, the judge said this is legit. There is enough here to move forward, and ultimately, the judge has cited that there was enough there to

determine that the Trump Organization, Donald Trump and his sons had committed repeated and persistent fraud.

So in addition to everything that Kristen just laid out, I also do want to add, there are restrictions in here about the ability of Donald Trump and

his company to get loans for any institutions that are based in New York. It is obviously a tremendous number of banks and financial institution.

So the screws tightening on Donald Trump's ability to do business in his home city, it is getting tougher.

GIOKOS: Yes, all right. Thank you so much, Marshall.

I'd like to go to Joey. What did you think of the Trump attorney statement, clearly pushing back, clearly not content with what we've seen? This was

obviously anticipated.


JACKSON: Yes, so not a surprise. Obviously, you want to defend your client vigorously. The issue to me is notwithstanding whatever political

motivation there would have been, any case turns on its facts and so ultimately, any appellate court is going to look and render a factual

assessment as to whether the judge concluded that there was persistent fraud and what if any, penalty there should be.

And so even if someone did say as the attorney general of New York State did, that they would investigate the Trump Organization. They would make

determinations as to whether the marketplace really was a victim here. Whether or not that is true, the motivation aside, did this happen?

Were there false statements made? Were there evaluations made that were not in keeping with reality? Did those valuations lead to better interest

rates? Was this inflation of the values proper and appropriate? Were there financial misstatements? Were those misstatements really relevant and

material? All of those things are going to be important.

And so, there is a political environment here we have to make mention of. There is an election, of course. But the realities are, how did you run

your business?

I think the Trump Organization will come back to the notion that they had all these disclaimers and the disclaimers indicated essentially buyers

beware. We are not giving an indication of these values. We are simply saying that that's the best of our ability. You do your own due diligence.

They had an expert that is the Trump team testifying their case that these misstatements didn't mean a thing, right? And they certainly weren't

intentional at all and that there were no victims here.

Whether that carries the day of course, is another question because at the end of the day, the law itself, the executive law doesn't require that

people lose money, doesn't require you have to show a victim, does not require, in essence, right that ultimately, that would occur is that you

establish if you're the attorney general that massive amounts of money were lost.

So we will see where those appeals claims go, if anywhere.

GIOKOS: Yes, so true. Eric, Donald Trump barred from serving as officer or director at any New York corporation or any legal entity in New York for a

period of three years. So this is not being barred from doing business in New York for three years, but you know, serving as a director. What

implications does this then have for Donald Trump?

Of course, we know this is probably going to be appealed. We know what we are looking at going forward here, but again, this is just really showing

how serious this case actually is.

TALLEY: Yes, it is and I think this was probably in some ways the one thing that people weren't sure was going to come out of this and I think this is

sort of a middle ground where the judge ended up not pulling the business certificates, but essentially pulling Donald Trump's and his two adult

sons' ability to be made been fiduciaries of those businesses in New York.

Now, having said that, there are a lot of states out there, Delaware is one of them, Texas is another, Nevada is another. You can incorporate in those

states, you can be an officer and director and you can hold property of other -- that is located potentially in other states as well.

So there is, I think a lot to that remains to be seen about how large of an encumbrance this order will place on Donald Trump and his adult sons

actually being in some sort of a stewardship or management capacity, but not in a New York corporation. But the very least, this is probably going

to cause some disruption in exactly what those ownership space look like.

Now, remember when Donald Trump was entering his first term as president, there was a very, I guess, a paperwork heavy press conference in which he

purported to be basically signing off in a blind trust, that he was no longer going to be serving in a directorial are officer capacity for his


So he has done this as part of -- at least, ostensibly done this as part of becoming president the first time, but the people that he handed it off to

were his adult sons. And so that's going to be different even if he were to prevail in the fall election.

And so this is the type of sanction that you do see fairly frequently in big federal securities fraud cases. This is an odd case for this particular

executive statute because it usually has been directed at somewhat smaller bore types of frauds like Ponzi schemes and boiler room schemes and so

forth, but not multi -- you now, hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars' worth companies.

GIOKOS: All right, we've got Eric Talley with us, Joey Jackson. A big thank you to Marshall Cohen. We will be back right after this short break. And of

course, our team will be staying with us as well.

And coming up, we will also be exploring what this really means for the Trump business empire. Don't you go anywhere.



GIOKOS: All right. We got Eric Talley with us, Joey Jackson --

Big thank you to Marshall Cohen. We will be back right after this short break. And, of course, our team will be staying with us as well.

And coming up, we'll also be exploring what this really means for the Trump business empire. Don't you go anywhere.


GIOKOS: All right. We are following breaking news this hour. A judge has ordered Donald Trump and his company to pay nearly $355 million in

penalties. The ruling is as part of a civil fraud trial that found that Trump and his companies inflated the valuation of his assets.

Let's bring back to Marshall Cohen, standing by in Washington, D.C. Marshall, you have more for us.

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Yes, Eleni, our team continues to go through this massively consequential ruling. And so, I'm going to read a few quotes

for you from Judge Arthur Engoron, who spelled it all out why he is lobbying more than $355 million in fines.

He said, "This Court finds that defendants are likely to continue their fraudulent ways unless the court grants significant injunctive relief."

Essentially saying that the fraud is going to continue unless a really strong punishment is meted out.

Let me read another quote. He said that "The defendant's refusal to admit error, indeed to continue it, according to the independent monitor

constraints this court to conclude that they will engage in it going forward unless judicially restrained."


Basically, making the case here that this is the power -- the tools that he has at his disposal to try to rectify the wrongdoing the persistent and

repeated fraud as he put it, when he found them liable in this case.

And Eleni, let me show you another portion of this ruling about a key witness. Michael Cohen, the former Trump Organization, official, longtime

lawyer to Donald Trump turned enemy of Donald Trump. He had been cooperating with federal, state, any prosecutor in the country that wants

to open a case on Donald Trump.

He is been cooperating with them. And his cooperation and his testimony here was critical, which is very notable because Donald Trump and his team

have tried to attack him describe him as a liar. Of course, he did previously plead guilty to federal crimes, including lying.

This is what the judge had to say about Michael Cohen. "Michael Cohen was an important witness on behalf of the plaintiff, that's the state of New

York, "although hardly the linchpin that the defendants have attempted to portray him to be," dot, dot, dot, continuing, "Although the animosity

between the witness, Michael Cohen and the defendant Donald Trump is palpable, providing Cohen with an incentive to lie, the court finds his

testimony credible."

A serious conclusion there. And I will also point out a lady that Michael Cohen is set to be a star witness at the upcoming criminal trial in New

York, about a hush money scheme from the 2016 election. So, Michael Cohen's credibility getting a boost today, and it will be tested again, in a

criminal trial that Donald Trump will have to face next month.

GIOKOS: All right, Marshall, as you say, you have a lot to get through. A heavy statement with a lot of information. Thank you so much for that

update. Well, the ruling could have a severe impact on Trump's real estate empire. The judge did not order the Trump Organization to be dissolved. He

did rule the former president could not serve as an officer or director of a company in New York for three years. And he cannot apply for loans from

any organization registered in New York.

Russ Buettner is an investigative reporter for the New York Times, who has written extensively on Trump's finances. And he joins us now to take us

through some of what we have seen. And, you know, the top line, $355 million, we just heard, can't serve as director of a company in New York

for three years, his son's need to pay $4 million, and so forth.

But in terms of the overall Trump empire, what does this mean for him financially?

RUSS BUETTNER, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: It looks to me like it's a devastating blow. Trying to figure out the cash he has on hand

is always very challenging.



BUETTNER: We looked at 20 years of his tax returns that we obtained. And what we saw was in the money that he had received from entertainment was

really supporting a lot of his money losing businesses. And then, that went away. And his cash position really dwindled over the last 10 years.

By about 2018, what we found and what the attorney general found is he had about $44 million in personal and business, cash and marketable securities.

That gets nowhere near paying this, and also wouldn't allow him to pay obviously, the $83 million verdict in the E Jean Carroll defamation suit.

He had some recent influxes over the last couple of years that brought him perhaps $400 million before taxes. But again, his businesses burn through

cash. And no matter how you slice that, he does not have this kind of money on hand to pay these two judgments without having to either sell some of

his assets, or alternatively, to refinance some.

But that's a problem too, because this order bans him from seeking loans from any, any bank that's registered in New York State, that's almost every


And, he's also had a very difficult time getting loans in recent years. So, this is -- this is a real problem. And his empire, you know, if you pull

out some of the profitable elements out of it, the whole thing really is in jeopardy.

GIOKOS: Yes. I mean, devastating blow, as you say, could unravel his business dealings completely. Look, we anticipating an appeal here, which

is really important. And I guess it would be vital for Donald Trump to appeal this to get one last chance of shots at being able to reverse this


BUETTNER: It's obviously, I think it's an existential kind of need on his behalf. I think this will have from what we've been told, an immediate kind

of impact, and that I'll have to put up some sort of bond to show that he has the capability to pay these, this fine, and no matter what the appeal

turns out to be.

And that he'll have a monitor in place again, for three more years. A director of compliance, which he's never really had in place for three

years, people are going to be sort of hamstringing him from making any serious moves that would allow them to pour cash out of here.


So, there is an immediate impact while he's waiting for the appeal. And then, you are right. That appeal is of the utmost importance to his sort of

financial health.

GIOKOS: Absolutely. So, as I mean, what we've also been seeing from Donald Trump, is that why he's been on the campaign trail? This -- you know, his

legal woes have been, in a way, he's been able to capitalize on them in terms of getting more funding and getting more allies, and, frankly, been

using it part of his campaign trail, to what extent he will -- he be able to use the money that he raises, for his legal problems?

BUETTNER: We've heard mixed things on that. Clearly, it seems you can use it to pay some of his legal fees, pay his lawyers, but whether he can use

it to pay judgments remains unclear, he could certainly try to raise, I think funds, somehow. You could have some kind of like, you know, online

fundraising effort to try to pay some of this. And perhaps that would yield fruit, it's hard to say no one really knows at this point. But this with

absent that, he's got a real problem here.

And I think you raise a good point, Eleni, that this may be like really devastating for his future finances, but it maybe he'd used for his

political advantage, which is what he's done is to present himself as persecuted, and to try to convince people that this is a government's like,

big government deep state operation out to get him, and if they can do it to him, they might do it to you. That's been a sort of mobilizing theme of

his campaign.

GIOKOS: Yes. All right. Russ Buettner, great to have you on. Thank you for your expertise.

And still to come, a closer look at the life of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, his impact on Russia and beyond.


GIOKOS: Well, we continue our coverage of today's announcement from the Russian prison service. Outspoken Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has died in

prison at the age of 47. Details surrounding his death are unclear. People in Russia and beyond have taken to the streets to express their admiration

for Navalny.

And you can see Russians hear gathering around Moscow's wall of sorrow. A memorial dedicated to victims of political repression in the capital of


They laying flowers and lighting candles by his photo.


His death has also sparked demonstrations outside the Russian embassies in Germany as well as Georgia, as people outside Russia express the anger.

Some Russian citizens say they are losing hope.


VALERIA, 23-YEAR-OLD TOUR GUIDE (through translator): Of course, Navalny is a symbol, first of all, a symbol of opposition, a symbol of hope for some

brighter future for Russia. And there is a feeling that with his death, this hope dies. If there had still been any hope left, it is even less now

than it was before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I don't know. It's kind of a shock right now. It's even hard for me to speak now. We loved him.


GIOKOS: Well, Andrei Kozyrev was Russia's foreign minister under Boris Yeltsin, and he's the author of Firebird: The Elusive Fate of Russian

Democracy, and he joins us now live from Washington, D.C.

Foreign Minister, great to have you on thank you so much for joining us. You know, Alexey Navalny survived Novichok poisoning. He was seen an almost

invincible figure in many ways.

He then, decided to go back to Russia, despite knowing the risks and knowing that his fate would be sealed, and he would eventually end up

incarcerated. What we saw, his death, a shock, but unfortunately, not a surprise.

ANDREI KOZYREV, FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER OF RUSSIA: Yes, absolutely. It is not a surprise. But what is important to understand, I think, for every one

of us, that the blood of Alexey is on the hands of Putin and his attacks. But it's also in our hearts.

GIOKOS: In terms of what we've been seeing, we showing some of the outpouring of grief, frankly from various parts of the world, but also,

we're seeing some of that coming through in Russia.

Moscow's prosecutor's office once is warning protesters that -- saying they can't protest. That, that is has not been authorized, again, they could be


It -- I want to talk about the vulnerabilities here of Vladimir Putin that there is such fear around Alexey Navalny that even commemorating his life

is something that they do not want to see.

KOZYREV: Yes, it's a assassination. And it aimed at two major audiences. One is internal audience, is -- the sense of this message is intimidation.

I kill Navalny, I can kill any one of you. Because Navalny was not only a symbol, he will remain actually symbol.

But, even probably more -- even more after this assassination. But the other audience is also to be intimidated in Putin's mind and in his

calculus -- that's the West. To demonstrate that he is unstoppable, Putin, and that he fears nobody, and that everyone will fear him.

GIOKOS: But Foreign Minister, what does it say about Putin's confidence. We didn't let an anti-war candidate run in the elections. Alexey Navalny was

saying vote for anyone, but Putin. Elections are coming up next month. I mean, we're -- I want to talk about the vulnerabilities here, which are

really fascinating, because many are asking what is the future then? What is -- who is going to carry on Alexey Navalny's you know, fight for

freedom, I guess. And the way that he was -- he never stopped even while he was in jail.

KOZYREV: Exactly. And he won't be stuck in that sense that he -- if he was leader of the Russian opposition, not just critic of Putin, but the leader

of the opposition.


KOZYREV: And he will stay with us. As I said, his blood is in our hearts. And but what is important also to say -- to say --


GIOKOS: You know, we had heard -- yes.

KOZYREV: Yes, to say that, yes, he feels like impunity, especially, because of these complications in American countries and all that, and I want the

GOP to pay attention to that. That it's bloody dictator and he should be stopped and he understands nothing by force.


But there is still room despite the the appropriations for the military support our stock for a moment, I hope for a moment. There is still room

for action, not only for words, on the part of administration and on the part of the NATO allies and Western allies, that is economic sanctions.

I remember that President Biden correctly threatened the creeping -- crippling, I'm sorry, crippling sanctions against Putin if he attacks

Ukraine, or if he kills Navalny. And those are threats.

But it's time now to translate them into deeds. And they said could be steepened, could be much better enforced in America and elsewhere, than it

has been so far.

And that will be something in a language which Putin understands. And I'm sorry.


KOZYREV: But there is no current elections in Russia. Elections means that there is something to select between, especially after the assassination of

Navalny, there is nobody but Putin, so it's not election. It's just a voting procedure, like in the former Soviet Union, and that means nothing.


KOZYREV: So, I am strongly urging the media not to speak of elections. It is not election.

GIOKOS: Alexey Navalny shared that sentiment. I mean, he said the elections, he called them rigged. But of course, President Biden also says

they are looking at options in terms of consequences for Vladimir Putin as well, important time.

Andrei Kozyrev, thank you very much for your insights. Great to have you with us today.

All right. We're going to a very short break. And when we return, a judge has ordered Donald Trump and his companies to pay nearly $355 million in

penalties. We'll tell you how the former president is responding that is coming up next. Stay with CNN.



GIOKOS: All right. We're following breaking news this hour. A judge has ordered Donald Trump and his companies to pay nearly $355 million in

penalties. The ruling is as part of a civil fraud trial that found that Trump and his companies inflated the valuation of his assets.

Kara Scannell is with us right now to give us the latest. What have we -- what more have we learned? It's been an interesting hour with lots of news

headlines coming through from the statements.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, this is a significant ruling against the Trump Organization. It is a big number. 300 -- nearly $355

million that Donald Trump and his company will need to pay. That as the amount of money that the judge said they had gained in properly through

this alleged -- through the fraud that he found that they were liable for that's inflating the value of their properties, including his triplex

apartment in Mar-a-Lago in getting better rates on loans and insurance.

So, a real significant number. He's also finding Trump's two adult sons who run the business, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, $4 million each. And he

is imposing some other steps around the Trump Organization, including keeping a monitor in place for three years, asking them to appoint an

independent compliance officer that the company will have to pay for.

But the judge is walking back on what was a real significant ruling earlier several months ago in this case. At that point, the judge have canceled

their business certificates in New York, and no one really understood what that meant. But it was viewed as potentially, you know, a death knell for

the corporation.

It was unclear if they would be able to operate, if they would be able to own any properties. The judge is now taking that off the table, saying it's

not necessary because of the monitor and what will be this independence compliance officer.

And the judge is saying that he is also going to ban Trump from serving as an officer or director of a company in New York State for three years. He's

also imposing a ban for two years on Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, as well as also, saying that the company can apply for loans in New York from

any company -- from any bank or financial institution. That has New York state oversight, which is almost every financial institution that's global

in any way.

So, really putting in place a lot of these restrictions and oversight over the company. And one of the reasons, I just want to read a line from this

judge's ruling, he says is because of their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological. That is one of the reasons why the judge

says that it is important that he is putting all of these things in place in addition to this big fine just shy of what the New York Attorney

General's Office speak seeking.

We do expect to hear from the New York Attorney General in just about two hours.



All right. Significant penalty, and of course, significant impact on Trump and his business in New York.

Kara Scannell, great to have you with us. Thank you.

We're going to short break. Stay with CNN.


GIOKOS: A recap of our breaking news this hour. Donald Trump and his business associates have been ordered to pay $355 million in damages for

civil fraud.


It is the result of a civil trial in New York where he was accused of inflating the value of his properties. The judge said their complete lack

of contrition and remorse borders on pathological.