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Quest Means Business

Ex-Tabloid Publisher Being Cross-Examined In Trump Trial; US Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Trump Immunity Case; Microsoft, Alphabet Announce Earnings; Testimony Ends For The Day In Trump Hush Money Trial; U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Trump Immunity Case. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired April 25, 2024 - 16:00   ET



OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN HOST: Welcome everyone. We are following two legal battles with monumental consequences for Donald Trump and the United States

as a whole. Trump's criminal hush money trial is unfolding right now in a New York courthouse just behind me and the Supreme Court is considering

Trump's claims of presidential immunity, which he says shields him from prosecution.

I'm Omar Jimenez outside that Manhattan Courthouse with all the latest.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And I'm Julia Chatterley in New York. It is Thursday, April 25th. Welcome to our special coverage.

JIMENEZ: Now, as we speak, the defense is cross-examining David Pecker. He is former publisher of the "National Enquirer" tabloid on this third day of

his testimony and prosecutors got closer to the heart of their case, asking him about Stormy Daniels and her story of an alleged affair with Donald


What did we learn? Stormy Daniels was trying to sell the story for $120,000.00. Now Pecker said, he refused to buy it, testifying, "I am not a

bank." He also expressed his worry about how some readers might react.

He told Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, I am not purchasing this story. I am not going to be involved with a porn star. Pecker said Cohen

told him Trump would be furious about his refusal.

Jessica Schneider is in Washington for us and she has been following all of this.

Jessica, what are your impressions so far of what we've heard in court. We know obviously we are in cross-examination at this point. What has stuck

out to you in this testimony so far?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, it is really interesting just to see the lengths that defense attorneys are going to

attack the credibility as they are cross-examining David Pecker.

Right now, they are working to just systematically attack Pecker. In fact, just minutes ago, they were asking about his memory saying he didn't quite

remember the exact week of that Trump Tower meeting in 2015, in August 2015.

So in addition to attacking his credibility, they are also trying to establish that Pecker's protection of Trump and using the tabloid magazine,

the "National Enquirer" to promote Donald Trump, they are trying to establish that this was nothing out of the ordinary as Trump moved into the

2016 election campaign.

Trump's lawyers at this point have elicited testimony from Pecker, that Pecker had worked to put out positive pieces on Trump for about two

decades, they say dating back to the 1990s.

And now, defense attorneys are really trying to show the jury that even though you just heard five or six hours of testimony with prosecutors

trying to paint this picture, that all of this was to help the campaign, in actuality, the defense says this was standard operating procedure for David

Pecker. Nothing out of the ordinary.

In fact, they've pointed to other celebrities who they have also paid for their stories talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger, also Tiger Woods. So

they are really trying to say, hey, look, this arrangement with Donald Trump, nothing out of the ordinary, and certainly nothing that rises to the

level of these criminal charges.

So Omar, we do expect this cross-examination to continue probably for the next 30 minutes. Court is expected to conclude around 4:30 today. And then

when it concludes, were going to continue to wait for Judge Merchan to rule on prosecutors' request that Donald Trump be fined about 10,000-plus

dollars for what they say has been consistent violations of this gag order.

You know, prosecutors have pointed in particular to 10 violations that they say, and then they pointed to four more statements that they say he made as

recently as this week. So we will see if the judge decides to rule on that today. We have been waiting a few days for that or if maybe he will wait

until the final day of court tomorrow for the week or even pushing it into next week.

So a lot to happen in probably the next 30 minutes and maybe a bit beyond that as well, Omar.

JIMENEZ: Yes, and we are curious at the beginning of court on whether the judge would make that ruling before court got started. That didn't happen

and we launched right into Pecker's testimony.

Third day of testimony now going the entire day, Jessica Schneider, really appreciate it.

I want to bring in Michael Farkas. He is a criminal defense attorney and former trial prosecutor into the mix here.

Now, Michael, obviously we've been hearing Pecker testify throughout the course of the day. For the most part, under direct examination by

prosecutors here, but now of course, we are in cross-examination.

What is the biggest shift that you have seen in sort of the picture that is being painted for the jury in regards to this witness?

MICHAEL C. FARKAS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND FORMER TRIAL PROSECUTOR: First, thanks for having me. The cross-examination is really in its infancy

right now, so I wouldn't say that we've seen a shift or a dramatic shift. In fact, we got a little bit of everything, a little smorgasbord.

You know, you've got a little bit wanting to assert -- the defense wanted to insert itself, so it makes an impression on the jury and try to attack

the credibility of Mr. Pecker, while at the same time trying to establish that Mr. Pecker is being completely credible when he talks about all of the

salacious and tawdry catch and kill type deals that he has been making over the years.


So you really can't have it both ways. You can't say on the one hand that this guy shouldn't be believed and then rely on him to establish the


So the defense has to be really careful that they don't walk into a classic prosecution trap.

JIMENEZ: Yes, and I think one of the things that we have been seeing here and maybe why they are instantly coming out and trying to attack his

credibility is some of the things that he has been testifying is that -- he was directly involved in facilitating some of these payments and even at

one point, testifying that he would not have participated in it if he didn't think it would help Donald Trump.

And I wonder from a prosecutor's standpoint, there was a moment where during their direct examination, it seemed they wanted to get ahead of the

defense in saying that this witness had made a deal for immunity with the prosecution.

Why would the prosecution admit that in their portion of things and how devastating can something like that be if they don't do it on the front end

and you leave it for the defense to take advantage of.

FARKAS: Right, a good prosecutor will always elicit that on the direct examination because the last thing they want is to be portrayed as hiding a

deal for immunity or some kind of non-prosecution agreement, and then the defense brings it up and springs it on the jury as if, you know, hey, look,

look, jury, look with the prosecutor is trying to hide from you.

The only reason why this witness is testifying as he is, is because of this deal. The prosecution gets out ahead of that by bringing it up on direct.

But this is an age-old mechanism in nearly any trial of significance that are going to be witnesses, there are often cooperating witnesses, the

success rate in prosecutions does not turn on the fact that witnesses, they cooperate or not.

It turns on to what extent the prosecution is able to corroborate each corroborator's testimony so that they don't have to rely on the person's

credibility or motive. Instead, they can establish through building a web of corroboration, the credibility of these witnesses, notwithstanding any

motive they may have to testify due to "saving their own skin."

JIMENEZ: And let's frame Pecker for a bid and his role in this entire case because look, he is the first witness called where in the third day of his

testimony, he has been testifying the whole day at this point.

Why if you're the prosecution, why call someone like him first? What are you trying to establish by having him on the witness stand as you build

your case for this jury?

FARKAS: But I actually think that he was the perfect first witness to call because if you notice, he only started to touch upon the actual charges in

this case, the Stormy Daniels', right? That came at the very end and a lot of that meat is still not on the bone.

They called him because he provides context and background for a long history of Mr. Trump's abuses, so to speak, when it comes to covering up

and paying off and pushing under the rug salacious deals, and using whatever means necessary, certainly the tabloids to do it.

I mean, look at the importance with which then President-elect Trump held Mr. David Pecker. The publisher of the "National Enquirer" hanging out in

the same room in the same meeting with the FBI director, the future CIA director, and other high-level members of the Republican Party and the

soon-to-be administration.

I mean that's the regard and importance with which he regarded Mr. Pecker, and that is tremendously damaging testimony and just with regard to Mr.

Pecker in general, I don't think he came off or even really can be honest objectively, suggested that he came off as looking to save his own skin or

being someone who is anti-Trump, or he has some kind of axe to grind or deal to make.

I think that he wouldn't deny and won't deny in the coming cross that he has been making deals like this for years. The difference is, when you're

helping a campaign, it becomes illegal.

When you're helping Tiger Woods keep an illicit affair out of the press, okay, that may sound an unsavory, but it is not illegal. But he even

testified that when he was doing it for Arnold Schwarzenegger, he came to realize that this is a violation of campaign finance law. And here we are

years later, he knows it is wrong.


So it was very powerful testimony.

JIMENEZ: Well, and I think that is part of why the prosecution has tried to almost frame this as less of a hush money payment trial, more as of an

election interference trial, just based on the timing of when everything was happening here.

A lot to keep an eye on Michael Farkas, really appreciate your time and perspective. Thanks for being with us.

FARKAS: Pleasure. Thank you.

JIMENEZ: History was also unfolding at the US Supreme Court where justices have been asked to determine the extent of presidential immunity. They

heard arguments related to the election subversion case brought by the special counsel.

Trump's defense attorney said presidents need sweeping immunity to shield them from political retribution. Prosecutors say Trump is being charged for

actions he took as a private citizen.

Now, the court's decision could have a lasting impact on future presidents. Justice Samuel Alito asked an attorney for the special counsel's office

about one possible consequence.

Take a listen.


SAMUEL ALITO, US SUPREME COURT JUDGE: If an incumbent who loses a very close hotly contested election, knows that a real possibility after leaving

office is not that the president is going to be able to go off into a peaceful retirement, but that the president may be criminally prosecuted by

a bitter political opponent, will that not lead us into a cycle that destabilizes the functioning of our country as a democracy?

And we can look around the world and find countries where we have seen this process, where the loser gets thrown in jail.


JIMENEZ: We've got some protesters here outside the court, but CNN's Marshall Cohen has been following this blockbuster case and joins us from


Marshall, I am curious as you listened to the oral arguments that were being made today. What stuck out to you and can you just lay out the really

wide-ranging implications of any decision here from the Supreme Court?

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Yes, Omar, this is a big one. It is very important. You just were talking about the New York hush money trial. We

are pivoting here to the federal election subversion case.

That New York case is all about 2016, this is all about 2020. And the Supreme Court this morning seem like they are prepared to go down a middle

path. They are not -- it sounded like they were not ready to grant trump this sweeping immunity that he claimed he deserves. But they also were not

prepared to give a greenlight to Special Counsel Jack Smith to plow ahead with the trial in this case with the indictment as it is currently written.

What's the dispute? They are haggling over whether or not the actions in the indictment are official acts that would have some sort of protections

and immunity, or were they private acts that are fair game for a prosecution?

Jack Smith and the prosecutors say this was absolutely private. These were the actions of Candidate Trump trying to win an election, not a sitting

president trying to fulfill his duties.

Omar, I want to play for you a very notable clip from the oral arguments today. It is a little complicated, but it was very revelatory.

This is Justice Amy Coney Barrett talking with one of Trump's lead attorneys and questioning him on specific items in the indictment. Was this

private or was this an official action?

The conduct that she is asking about, you won't hear her use these terms, but she is talking about Trump's coordination with Rudy Giuliani. She is

talking about Trump's involvement in the fake electors plot, and she poses the question, was this official action or private?

And Trump's attorney conceded, he gave some ground here and said that these actions actually were private, that could open the door to prosecution.

Listen to how it all played out.


AMY CONEY BARRETT, US SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: So you concede that private acts don't get immunity.


BARRETT: And I want to know if you agree or disagree about the characterization of these acts is private?

Petitioner turned to a private attorney was willing to spread knowingly false claims of election fraud to spearhead his challenges to the election

results. Private?

SAUER: As alleged. I mean, we dispute the allegation, but --

BARRETT: Of course.

SAUER: But that sounds private to me.

BARRETT: Sounds private. Petitioner conspired with another private attorney who caused the filing in court of a verification signed by petitioner that

contained false allegations to support a challenge.

SAUER: Also sounds private.

BARRETT: Three private actors, two attorneys, including those mentioned above and a political consultant helped implement a plan to submit

fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding and petitioner and a coconspirator attorney directed that


SAUER: You read it quickly. I believe that's private.




COHEN: All right, so he gave some ground there and that could be important because if the justices do conclude that they need to sort of go back to

the books on this, Omar and do some more adjudication on what specifically was private, what specifically was official, that could stretch things out,

that could delay this even further, which of course would be very beneficial to Donald Trump, because that could kick this trial into a place

that goes after the election, or theoretically even after the next president is inaugurated in 2025

JIMENEZ: So many implications, and all of these cases work with one another. If something happens here, something over there is then disrupted

or moved and delayed. So interesting.

Marshall Cohen, really appreciate you breaking that down for us, coming up for us.

Coming up for us, shares fell today on disappointing tech earnings, Microsoft and Alphabet just reversed first that trend. You can see some of

the numbers there. We are going to have much more coming on after this break.


CHATTERLEY: Welcome back.

Wall Street closing low on fears of a slowing economic growth environment with stubborn inflation. It is the worst of both worlds. The Dow finishing

down as you can see there, some 375 points, though it did recover some of its losses from earlier in the session.

In fact, I think we can call that finishing on the session high, even though it is lower. US economic growth for the first quarter came in at 1.6

percent well below estimates. The GDP report also had prices rising 3.1 percent for the quarter significantly higher than the Feds' two percent

target, losses among the major tech giants.

Also, adding to some of the losses that we saw, earnings from Google owner Alphabet and Microsoft, however, may reverse that trend where markets open


Alphabet just issued its first ever dividend and Microsoft saw strong revenue from its cloud business shares and both companies, as you can see

there up after hours. In the meantime, Meta, however, plunging 10 percent - - just over 10 percent on the day.

Its bumper first-quarter earnings were overshadowed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg's warning, he sees the company will be investing aggressively in

artificial intelligence and that those investments will take time to pay off.

Matt Egan watching the markets for us, Anna Stewart is covering all things tech.

Matt, I will come to you first. I could be a drama queen about this again and call it the worst of all worlds. A whiff of stagflation, arguably in

these numbers, softer growth than expected.


Prices still stubbornly high.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: That's right, Julia.

This does kind of feel like the worst of both worlds. I think that investors could have lived with a GDP report that was slower if it also

meant inflation was cooler because that would have raised the prospects of those interest rate cuts from the Fed or even if growth was hot, but

inflation was hot, that also would have lived okay with investors because that means bigger corporate profits.

But that is not the way this report played out and it does raise some concerns about tomorrow's PCE inflation report, right? There are some

upside risks there that that report could show that inflation was hotter than expected.

Now, Julia, you mentioned the stagflation concern, and I think you're right to call it a whiff of stagflation because yes, that is sort of

directionally where things are going or feels like they are going, right? Because you do still have prices going up uncomfortably high, also have

growth slowing down. You can see it on that chart there, that GDP report. This is the slowest GDP growth in almost two years.

But at the same time, it feels like we are still pretty far away from anything close to actual stagflation, right? We still have unemployment

extremely low, GDP has been strong for a while, so we are not there, but Julia, we did here, Jamie Dimon earlier this week, raise this stagflation

concern, and so I think that is something going to be on the minds of investors for some time now.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, which is why I was a self-confessed drama queen there because I completely agree with you. A week ago, we were talking about the

resilience of the economy to hang on a second on the stagflation point.

Matt, greatly handled there.

Anna, one of the pillars of support to the market that we seem to have lost to be honest in the last couple of weeks is the tech sector.

What is interesting, I think in what we've seen over the last 24 hours, Meta being punished for saying, hey, were going to go big on AI. And

Microsoft saying, hey, were going big on AI and continuing to do so and being rewarded.

Walk us through these earnings. What do you make of them?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yes, perhaps a difference is actually in the numbers. If you compare Meta with Microsoft and Alphabet, so much action in

the after hours, we are seeing a huge bump in after-hours trading. You see Alphabet up 13 percent, Microsoft five percent and that is because we are

seeing some big beats there, and you're right, it really is all about AI.

Let us start with Microsoft. This is very much the barometer. I think you're looking at AI appetite particularly from investors because this is

the company that has the Cloud computing software that underpins so many AI applications around the world.

It has its own AI tool, Co-Pilot, which they introduced in November. And of course is a partner with OpenAI with Mistral and for many strategic


So diving into the numbers, total revenue up 17 percent year on year and so much of that growth is also coming from cloud service, Azure, up 31 percent

year-on-year and guess how much of that growth in cloud services is artificial intelligence? Around seven percent.

So you're actually seeing the increase in revenue from that AI demand in Microsoft, which perhaps not seen in Meta, and just to switch quickly to

Alphabet, big news here. We are seeing them announce their first ever dividend of $0.20 per share, also a massive share buyback.

Headline figures: Revenue up 15 percent, and again, this is another big player when it comes to the cloud. And in that sense a big player when it

comes to AI.

CHATTERLEY: Now, they are a grown-up because they are issuing a dividend.


CHATTERLEY: And very quickly to the point on Facebook, of course, not Facebook, on Meta, of course, too, they are announcing all of these

billions of dollars' worth of spending, but I think to your point, we can see how they are monetizing over it.

At Microsoft, you mentioned OpenAI, ChatGPT is a great example, but we are all still a little confused, I think about where Meta is going with this.

STEWART: Yes, and I think investor confidence has been knocked over the years by metaverse becoming a company called Meta, when its big focus is

social media, and the amount of money that has poured into mixed reality and virtual reality for a company that is not realizing those ambitions, it

has made many very expensive bets which haven't paid off.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, moonshot is the word. Swift response there.

Anna, Matt, great to have you both. Thank you.

Now, summer, one of my favorite subjects is right around the corner and some vacation hotspots are sweating over the expected number of tourists.

So in a bid to fight overcrowding, the Italian City of Venice is now charging day-trippers an entrance fee and as Barbie Latza Nadeau reports,

not everyone is happy about the new measures.


BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Around 300 people took part in protest against the city of Venice's new entrance fee, which kicked off on

Thursday, the day Italy celebrates its liberation from fascism.

All visitors to the city on 29 designated holidays and busy summer weekends until mid-July will have to reserve their entrance ticket online and show a

QR code to attendants that make your gates leading into the city.


Those who are staying in hotels or who live in Venice can get in free while day trippers cruise ship passengers will have to pay a five euro tourist


Around 20 million people visit the city of Venice each year. Two-thirds of them do not spend the night according to the Venice Tourism Board. There is

no cap on the number of reservations the city will take, but the plan is meant to dissuade people from visiting Venice on the busiest tourist days.

Those against its say it has turned Venice into an amusement park. Those who support it say it might make people think twice about visiting the city

on peak tourist days.

The mayor of Venice says the plan is an experiment and that other cities with high tourism are watching to see if it works.

Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN, Rome.


CHATTERLEY: Coming up, court has just adjourned for the Donald Trump trials today. There were hearings in New York courtroom and the US Supreme Court,

too. Donald Trump's cases are separate, but could have the same impact on American politics now and in the future.

Back with expert analysis after this.


JIMENEZ: We are going to update you now on Donald Trump's hush money trial. The defense just finished cross-examining David Pecker moments ago or at

least, the court adjourned for the day.

The former tabloid publisher says he suppressed stories for celebrities besides Donald Trump for instance, Pecker said he spent hundreds of

thousands of dollars buying stories from women about Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Now Pecker also said he gave Trump a heads-up on negative stories well before he ran for office. The defense is essentially trying to establish

that Pecker's work for the former president was nothing new by 2016.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court heard nearly three hours of oral arguments today about Trump's claims of presidential immunity. Justices did

express some skepticism about Trump's assertion of absolute immunity in the 2020 election subversion case. But they also signaled they could decide to

toss the case back to lower court. A move that could delay a trial until after the November election.

Now, Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked the special counsel's attorney whether the charges against Trump could have been applied to previous presidents.


MICHAEL DREEBEN, ATTORNEY FOR SPECIAL COUNSEL JACK SMITH: I don't think across the board that as serious constitutional question exists on applying

any criminal statute to the president.

JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH, U.S. SUPREME COURT: The problem is the vague stat, you know, obstruction and 371 conspiracy and fraud. The United States can

be used against a lot of presidential activities historically with a creative prosecutor who wants to go after a president.


JIMENEZ: Professor David Schultz is a constitutional law expert at the University of Minnesota and joins me now.

Perfect expertise for this topic here because the ruling here could have extremely wide-ranging implications here. I'm curious for you. What are you

looking for most in whatever the Supreme Court rules and whatever capacity they rule here?

DAVID SCHULTZ, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: What I'm looking for mostly is a couple of different things. One, it doesn't look like they're

going to accept the president or the ex-president's argument of absolute immunity. But the oral arguments suggested that what they're trying to do

is to point out --

JIMENEZ: Excuse me, Professor David Schultz, we're going to come back to you, but Donald Trump is walking out of the courtroom right now and he's

getting ready to speak to reporters here, as he did this morning. Let's take a listen in.

DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Breathtaking this room, you saw what went on. It was breathtaking and amazing testimony. This is a trial

that should have never happened. This is a case that should have never been filed and truly an incredible, an incredible day. Open your eyes. And we

can't let this continue to happen to our country.

But another matter, you know, the economy has just been reported to be doing very badly. The stock market is way down. And some horrible numbers

came out including very high numbers on inflation in particular gasoline at $7.5 in California. And that usually leads the way. It's going to happen

here, too. And very importantly, as you look at the various colleges all over the country and beyond colleges, because it's happening in other

areas, too.

You see what's happening on the front, having to do with Palestine and Israel and protests and hate, anger. Biden is sending an absolutely

horrible message. Horrible, horrible message. He has no idea how to message. He can't speak, he can't put two sentences together. He doesn't

know what to do. This is not president. This is somebody that shouldn't be doing what he's doing because he can't do it. He can't do it well.

We're having protests all over. He was talking about Charlottesville. Charlottesville was a little peanut and it was nothing compared and the

hate wasn't the kind of hate that you have here. This is tremendous hate and we have a man that can't talked about it because he doesn't understand

it. He doesn't understand what's going on with our country. He doesn't understand that all over the world we're being laughed at as a country

because of him and his administration.

And today we had a year because I was forced to be here. I'm glad I was because it was a very interesting day in a certain way. But the U.S.

Supreme Court had a monumental hearing on immunity and the immunity having to do with presidential immunity. And I think it was made clear. I hope it

was made clear that a president has to have immunity. You don't have a president or at most you can say it would be a ceremonial president.

That's not what the founders had in mind. They're not talking about ceremonial. We want presidents that can get things done and bring people

together. So I heard the meeting was quite amazing. Quite amazing. And the justices were on their game so let's see how that all turns out. But again,

I say presidential immunity, very powerful presidential immunity is imperative or you practically won't have a country anymore.

Thank you very much. Thank you.


JIMENEZ: All right, everybody, you're just listening to the former president as he exited court and after the jury and court was adjourned for

the day. We heard him talk a lot about what didn't happen in the courtroom here in New York today, in particular, he made mention of the presidential

immunity oral arguments that were happening down in Washington, D.C. in front of the Supreme Court today.

But of course he was compelled to be in front of this jury here in New York based on him being a criminal defendant and the judge's wishes here.

Jessica Schneider is in Washington for us. Professor David Schultz is still with me, too, as well.

Jessica, I just wanted to get your quick reaction to what we heard from Donald Trump there and how things went over the course of court today.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Donald Trump seemed a bit buoyed by the fact that it's finally his team's turn to try to attack

the credibility of David Pecker, who's been on the witness stand for three days now, amounting to about six hours of testimony, plus that additional

hour that we just had at cross-examination.

What's interesting here is that Donald Trump's defense team is really trying to maybe do two things. In particular at this point, attack the

credibility of David Pecker. They've already brought in some issues with his memory, very minor issues, but saying that he didn't remember the exact

week in August 2015 that he had that meeting in Trump Tower with Michael Cohen and Donald Trump.

So, again, just trying to chip away and giving jurors may be some doubt about the credibility of David Pecker. And then the other thing that

they've been trying to do so far over that hour of cross-examination that we've seen so far is to also say that, you know, the "National Enquirer"

regularly captured story about celebrities and offered money. And it wasn't abnormal for them to be doing this on Donald Trump's behalf because they

worked with other celebrities as well.

And they're also saying that, you know, trying to establish that this wasn't necessarily for the benefit of Donald Trump's campaign. They pointed

to the fact that "National Enquirer" had published positive stories about Donald Trump dating all the way back to the 1990s. So this is all part of

their strategy to really downplay the criminal charges against Trump and, you know, chip away at the prosecution's argument. What they've already

laid his groundwork during these initial three days of testimony.

Omar, it is interesting that, you know, we've been waiting to hear from the judge about this gag order and any possible violation from Donald Trump,

any possible fine. We haven't seen anything yet. What we did see, remember, prosecutors alleged 10 violations of the gag order earlier this week and

then it was just in the last day that they said, oh, wait, there's been four more violations.

We're not sure what the judge is going to do about the first 10 that have been alleged. But he said as to those additional four that prosecutors have

alleged he will be holding a hearing on Wednesday afternoon. Remember, Wednesday is typically a dark day for this hush money trial but Judge

Merchan does other administrative tasks during this Wednesday, and coming up, next week on Wednesday, he will hear hearing once again on this gag

order issue. But this time it will be about those four additional instances that prosecutors have pointed out.

So no ruling on the gag order so far. We're not sure if we'll see anything on those first 10 violations that were alleged, but we certainly won't see

anything about those initial four violations that were alleged until probably after that hearing Wednesday -- Omar.

JIMENEZ: Yes. A lot of stuff to keep an eye on. Jessica Schneider, really appreciate it.

I want to bring back Professor David Schultz, if we can. A constitutional law expert at the University of Minnesota.

Thanks for being patient as the former president came up there.

SCHULTZ: Of course.

JIMENEZ: But part of what he talked about despite him being here in Manhattan he mentioned the presidential immunity case that was being argued

before the Supreme Court today, and before we had to go, you were getting into just the wide-ranging impact of a ruling we could see in the Supreme

Court. What are you looking for, though?

SCHULTZ: What I'm looking for is at this point the court looks like it's not going to accept the argument of Trump that he has absolute immunity for

all acts. What they're going to probably do based upon the oral arguments is to say that he does not enjoy immunity for, let's say, private

unofficial acts. What I'm looking to see in the opinion that'll come out between now and the end of June, will the Supreme Court draw the line and

say, here's the areas where he has immunity versus the areas where he doesn't, or they're going to throw it back to the lower courts to figure

that out.

If they throw it back to the lower courts, that could very well delay the trial quite a long time here. That's the first issue. The second issue I

looked at here and saw is that I do not think this is going to be unanimous opinion. It is looking like it's going to be a fractured opinion. Could be

a 5-4, could be 6-3. And what I'm concerned about here is, will this follow along ideological grounds? And if so, how does an opinion like that play

across American politics?


So those are going to be the issues that I look at in terms of what's going to happen with this opinion and how it affects the 2024 presidential


JIMENEZ: And that last portion is I think something that a lot of people are interested in. Some protests of course here outside the Manhattan

courthouse. But in regards to whatever the Supreme Court rules, and again, in whatever capacity they rule if they don't rule on the entire portion of

absolute immunity here, what kind of impacts could that have on the cases that he is currently facing, not just the one that's being directly

appealed here?

SCHULTZ: Well, I would say the case in Florida, which is all about the documents at the Mar-a-Lago because those are actions that took place after

the presidency ended. It shouldn't -- well, we don't know at this point. It shouldn't affect the case in Fulton County, which is a state case, although

we don't know how broad the Supreme Court might rule. And it doesn't look like it's going to affect the cases that's currently going on in New York.

So right now, I think it only affects that one case, which is really the Washington, D.C. case, involving events growing out of January 6th. And

that's the sense that I have at this point in terms of where the court was going, and in terms of how it's being framed. Clearly Trump wants it

broader, but I don't think we're going to see that broad.

JIMENEZ: Yes. We will see, wait with bated breath as the Supreme Court, of course, has the discretion to rule whenever they get the chance.

Professor David Schultz, really appreciate the time.

For everyone else, we'll be right back after this.



There are seven different species of sea turtles living in our oceans and nearly all are endangered, with three of the seven now classified as

critically endangered according to the World Wildlife Fund. Today on "Call to Earth," we visit the idyllic and densely populated Caribbean Island of

Barbados, where a conservation project has spent the last 25 years working to restore local sea turtle populations.


ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The island of Barbados boasts more than 80 picture perfect white sand beaches making it a top Caribbean

vacation destination. But this stunning coastline is also home to some of the oldest animals on earth, sea turtles,


CARLA DANIEL, BARBADOS SEA TURTLE PROJECT: Barbados is unique in the Caribbean. Whereas many of the other islands have leatherback turtles

nesting primarily, we have hawksbill. We actually have the largest nesting population of hawksbill turtles in the insular Caribbean.

ASHER: Local biologists Carla Daniel is the field director for the Barbados Sea Turtle Project, which works tirelessly to save the critically

endangered hawksbill species.

DANIEL: If I could describe our hawksbill population, I would say precarious. While it is increasing, it is currently quite dependent on

human intervention. And if at any point that intervention is not possible, I think there will certainly be a sharp decline in the population quite


It's coming everywhere, but over here.

ASHER: Today, Carla is responding to a call about an unexpected overnight guest in someone's pool.

DANIEL: One turtle up. Let's go. Quick, quick, quick. Almost there. Just off this spot here. And gently down. Yes. All in all a good morning. Simple

rescue. She's safely back into the water and she will live to nest again.

ASHER: The Barbados Sea Turtle Project formed in 1987. Aa time when harvesting sea turtles and their eggs was legal on the island. It would

take more than a decade for that legislation to change.

DANIEL: Everybody sees the turtles as being kind of critical to our island. An important aspect of our biodiversity and they want to ensure they

survive as much as we do.

ASHER: While the turtle population has been recovering, these ancient sea creatures are facing a new series of threats. Habitat loss because of

climate change and coastal development is a major problem. But Carla said light pollution is the primary issue impacting hatchling survival.

DANIEL: When hatchlings emerge from the sand, they look around and they orient themselves in the direction that is brightest. On an undeveloped

island that has dark the water will always be greater than the land. And that instinct droves them straight to the sea. On a heavily developed

island like ours, with lots of lakes on the coastline, they put all of that same drape, but instead they're going inland.

ASHER: In Barbados, nesting season for hawksbills is generally from May to October, a busy time for Carla and her team.

DANIEL: So the first thing I did was to check to see what stage of nesting she was at to determine whether I could approach or not. And she's already

commenced laying, which is good.

ASHER: This time of year also attract a lot of tourists to the island.

PHIL MAHY, DIVE INSTRUCTOR: People ask to see turtles almost on a daily basis. It is that popular. We will not be able to represent our part or

niche in tourism if it wasn't for the turtles. That's how vital it has become.

ASHER: They also play a vital for role in the overall marine ecosystem. Hawksbills, in particular, are among a few animals that feed on sea

sponges, which in excess are detrimental to coral health.

DANIEL: Sea turtles are definitely our guardians when it comes to these vulnerable small islands. They are kind of a linchpin in the entire thing,

and they're helping to keep it together.


CHATTERLEY: And let us know what you're doing to answer the call with the hashtag "Call to Earth." Stay with us.



JIMENEZ: All right. Everyone, testimony has ended for the day in Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial. Former tabloid publisher David Pecker

took the stand for a third day testifying the entire day. He testified about the deal he helped broker with adult film star Stormy Daniels, who is

at the center or at least part -- one of the people at the center of this case.

Meanwhile, prosecutors say Trump violated a gag order four more times over the past three days. The former president is barred from speaking publicly

about witnesses and jury members and their families in some cases, though the judge did not say when he would rule on the alleged violation.

Amy Lee Copeland is a criminal defense attorney and she joins me now.

So, I'm curious just for your impressions listening or at least reading the testimony of David Pecker over the course of today, obviously, we got a

good portion of direct examination and the start of cross-examination. Do you think the prosecutor got what they wanted out of them? And do you think

the defense is off to a good start?

AMY LEE COPELAND, CRIMINAL DEFENSE AND APPELLATE ATTORNEY: To answer your question, I sure do think the prosecution got what they wanted from him.

Some of the most compelling testimony that I read about today was that Mr. Packer and the "National Enquirer" were never paid for the Karen McDougal

story, $150,000, which he believed sort of constituted a de facto and impermissible corporate campaign contribution to the Trump campaign.

The other one that was pretty interesting, the state's evidence that really stood out to me is the photograph of him and Mr. Trump that this day

apparently introduced, showing them on the White House lawn where he recalls that Mr. Trump was asking him at that moment what was going on with

McDougal and thanking him for his help.

From what I heard from the defense, they used the word standard operating procedure a number of times to try to stress to the jury that this wasn't

anything unusual, that this wasn't a criminal conspiracy, and that this was just how tabloid journalism work. So we only heard or only read a short bit

of the defense's case, but this seemed like they're off to a start that they should be on right now.

JIMENEZ: Yes. And that did seem to be a theme of the defense today was trying to paint these things as more of standard operating procedure as you

just laid out.

I also want to bring in Norm Eisen to the conversation, former White House ethics czar, who has been in the courthouse over the course of today

watching this testimony unfold firsthand here.

And Norm, for you, as I mentioned, we got a lot of direct examination from the prosecution. The defense had a chance to start their cross-examination.

What impressions did you leave with from the defense in what they were able to do in those initial few moments?

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The defense, Mr. Bove, Trump's lawyer.


EISEN: Really got off to a strong start with their cross-examination, Omar. But then they made a mistake. And what was going on was that Bove was

cross-examining Pecker about the critically important August 2015 meeting in Trump Tower. Prosecutors claimed that that is where the intent to

interfere with the election, to violate campaign finance laws was formed and its firsthand testimony about Pecker's conversation with Trump and

Michael Cohen.

And the defense lawyers seem to have caught Pecker in an omission, the first time he talked about this to federal prosecutors they said you left

out, you didn't mention Hope Hicks, the press aide, who today you say came in and out who was kind of, seemed to be an aha moment.


But Mr. Bove went wrong because he presented the witness with a document to refresh his recollection that the judge felt was unfair, dishonest, and

that it wasn't actually supported by the document. The judge reprimanded him and all that good is going to be undone tomorrow morning because the

judge is going to tell the jury that it was unfair.

JIMENEZ: And Amy, when something like that happens, where obviously this is all playing out in front a jury here, what sort of impact, if you're

sitting there as the attorney who that happens to, what are you thinking? How do you try and recover from a moment like that?

COPELAND: Well, Omar, to put it politely, that's a real "oh crap" moment for any attorney to have a judge correct and make you go back and clarify

it before the jury. You just really have to mind your P's and Q's. I mean, I think the thought is Mr. Pecker has certainly said that he is still

friends with Donald Trump. He considers him a friend. Mr. Bove would be wise to try to sweet talk him a little bit more rather than trying to get

them in an aha moment.

He's a witness that could possibly help the defense. And so I think that he will try to keep that in mind for the remainder of this cross-examination.

He'll also have the whole evening to prepare to continue that cross- examination. So he should be able to come out of the gate.

JIMENEZ: Yes. And of course this is the third day of testimony and Pecker testified throughout the entire day.

Before we go, Norm, obviously he is the first witness to be called by the prosecution. Smart call based on what you've heard from him so far?

EISEN: Yes. Because the critical missing element that the prosecution has to fill, the bridge they need to build, Omar, is into Trump's mind for the

jury. Trump's intent, that criminal intent that, yes, he wanted to violate campaign finance laws. He wanted to interfere with the election. Pecker is

a witness unlike the much-challenged Michael Cohen. Pecker is an independent third-party witness who can verify some of what Cohen will say.

JIMENEZ: That's right.

EISEN: They built a solid foundation. It looked like the defense was chipping away tomorrow morning. That's going to be rolled back.

JIMENEZ: They'll have that chance.

EISEN: And we'll see what happens.

JIMENEZ: We will see what happens.

Norm Eisen, really appreciate it. Amy Lee Copeland, really appreciate you taking the time with your perspective as well.

And for everyone else, that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Omar Jimenez, outside the Manhattan criminal court. Julia Chatterley has been with us

throughout the hour as well. Our thanks to her.

"THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right now.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back to "THE LEAD."

All in this hour in the "Law and Justice Lead," and this big day for Donald J. Trump. Two of his criminal cases were in courtrooms at the same time.

There is, of course, the Manhattan hush money cover-up trial up in Manhattan. Testimony just wrapped up for the day. Former tabloid publisher

David Pecker is expected to be back on the stand for a fourth day tomorrow. The defense is having their chance with him.

Then of course here in Washington, D.C., Trump's immunity battle was before the U.S. Supreme Court.