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ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants For Hamas And Israeli Leaders; Iran: President And Foreign Minister Killed In Helicopter Crash; Defense Begins Calling Witnesses In Trump Hush Money Trial; Court Rules Assange Can Appeal Extradition To U.S.; Ex-South African President Barred From General Election; Cargo Ship Has Been Moved After Baltimore Bridge Crash. Aired 4- 5p ET

Aired May 20, 2024 - 16:00   ET



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: The International Criminal Court seeks arrest warrants for Hamas and Israeli leaders at the same time. President

Biden is describing the move as outrageous.

And after a fatal crash, Iran's vice president takes over as acting president of the country. New elections expected within 50 days.

And the defense begins its case in the hush money trial of Donald Trump.

Live from Washington, DC. It is Monday, May 20th. I'm Jim Sciutto, in for Richard Quest. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Good evening to you.

We are following two major stories this hour. Morning in Iran after the country's president and foreign minister were killed in a helicopter crash,

leaving hardliners in that country facing an uncertain future.

And in The Hague, the International Criminal Court is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders. The ICC's chief prosecutor tells

CNN the charges include those of war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to both the October 7th terror attacks on Israel and Israel's

ongoing war in Gaza.

On Hamas' side, warrants are being sought for Gaza's leader, Yahya Sinwar; Hamas political chief, Ismail Haniyeh, as well as Mohammad al-Masri, the

leader of Hamas' armed wing. If approved, warrants on the Israeli side would be issued for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Defense

Minister Yoav Gallant.

Both Israel and Hamas have condemned the decision, as is the US. President Biden calls the move outrageous, insists there is no equivalence between

Israel and Hamas.

Other international leaders are speaking out as well. The ICC's chief prosecutor sat down exclusively with CNN's Christiane Amanpour to explain

why the court is pushing forward with these applications together, and now.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: We are here at the ICC. You are today announcing that you are applying for arrest warrants for top

military and political leadership in the Israel-Gaza war since the October 7th events.

First and foremost, explain to me exactly what you're asking for and who you are charging.

KARIM KHAN, CHIEF PROSECUTOR, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: Today, Christiane, we've applied for warrants to the pretrial chamber of the

International Criminal Court in relation to three individuals that are Hamas members: Sinwar, who is in charge on the ground.

AMANPOUR: That's Yahya Sinwar.

KHAN: Absolutely. Deif, who is in charge of the al-Qassam Brigades and Haniyeh who is one of their political bureau based in Doha.

AMANPOUR: What are the charges?

KHAN: The charges are extermination, murder, taking of hostages, rape and sexual assault and detention. So these are the key crimes that are alleged

to have been committed by these three individuals.

The world was shocked on 7th October when people were ripped from their bedrooms, from their homes, from the different kibbutzim in Israel and

people have suffered enormously.

We have a variety of evidence to support the applications that we've submitted to the judges.

AMANPOUR: You have also issued warrants against the top political and military leadership of the government of the state of Israel.

KHAN: We've applied for warrants. Of course, the judges must determine whether or not to issue them, but we've applied today, will apply for

warrants for Prime Minister Netanyahu and also Minister of Defense Gallant for the crimes of causing extermination , causing starvation as a method of

war, including the denial of humanitarian relief supplies, deliberately targeting civilians in conflict.


SCIUTTO: And Christiane Amanpour joins us now from The Hague.


Christiane, great to have you. Quite a revelation here.

The criticism in this country and certainly from Israel has been that this is a false equivalency between Hamas and Israel. The ICC says they're not

attempting to equate the two, they're attempting to make a case here that no one is above the law, and they note that these charges are not for the

causes of the war, that is the October 7th attacks, but in effect as it relates to Israel for the conduct of the war.

And wonder how Khan explained that distinction to you.

AMANPOUR: Well, very, very succinctly. I specifically asked just in the last few minutes and I did broach this in the interview as well, and what

they say is the ICC and the Rome Statute that created the ICC does not make any equivalence or equals between Israel or Hamas or the perpetrators, so

to speak, the alleged perpetrators, but they do put the victims on an equal level.

They feel that there is absolutely equal right by the victims to get the justice that they deserve, which is the point of the whole ICC. So the

victims in Israel and those who are still being held hostage, the victims in the civilian sphere in Gaza as well, and that is the issue that they put

this search for arrest warrants out into.

SCIUTTO: Now some of the criticism, for instance, from the US Secretary of State Blinken issuing quite a blistering statement to this revelation has

been that Israel was attempting to cooperate to some degree with this investigation.

I mean, Blinken in a statement even said that they were ready to take off members of the team for Israel and then they didn't get on the plane. I

wonder, based on your own reporting, is there truth to that? That Israel was hoping or attempting or willing to cooperate and was not given the


AMANPOUR: Well, in the interview, I asked about that and he did in fact explain that he had tried over -- this is Karim Khan, the prosecutor --

tried over not just the last seven months of this war, but actually even before, during previous investigations into actions on the occupied West

Bank, and that he had not had the forthcoming cooperation from the Israeli law enforcement or judicial authorities.

And when I asked again after this backlash, I called back, I asked again. I got in touch with the spokesman over there and they reiterated as the

prosecutor said, in his interview, the prosecutor welcomes any future, current, past, if there was cooperation from Israel.

Israel as a democratic state, it should have the ability and it does have the ability to do and to take care of these matters if it has the

willingness to do so.

They said to me, as yet, they have not had that forthcoming cooperation from the Israeli system. So that is their answer to that.

SCIUTTO: It is quite a moment here. No question. We look forward to the next steps. Of course, there is a panel who then would have to approve

these, as I understand it.

Christiane Amanpour, fantastic reporting. Thanks so much.

And now, to Iran and the sudden death of its president at what is a pivotal time for the nation and the region, a dangerous time.

State media says an investigation is now underway into the cause of the helicopter crash that killed President Ebrahim Raisi and the country's

foreign minister. Officials say that seven other people were also on board the helicopter, also killed when it went down Sunday in a remote

mountainous area of Iran's northwest.

People have been gathering in Tehran, some to mourn Raisi whose funeral services are set to begin tomorrow and several days of mourning to follow


Fred Pleitgen has more on the crash and exactly how Iran is now responding.


(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Iran's presidential helicopter completely destroyed after crashing into a

mountain in the remote north of the country. Dense fog, frigid conditions, making the recovery efforts even harder.

President Ebrahim Raisi, along with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir- Abdollahian, and seven others were killed in the crash.

Rescuers having to carry the bodies away through the rugged terrain.

A CNN Turk journalist showing how challenging the conditions are.

(CNN TURK JOURNALIST speaking in foreign language.)

TRANSLATION: This place is a very difficult terrain with dense trees, deep valleys, and steep mountains.

We can say that this is the most challenging terrain of Iran.


PLEITGEN (voice over): Raisi inaugurated a dam with the president of Azerbaijan and was traveling to nearby Tabriz, the chopper, a decades' old

American-made Bell 212, a model developed for the Canadian military in the 1960s.

The chopper crashed in poor visibility, Iran, under heavy sanctions has been unable to acquire more modern helicopters.

(PEOPLE talking in foreign language.)

PLEITGEN (voice over): President Ebrahim Raisi was rumored to be a possible successor to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who is 84 years


As the chopper went missing, the supreme leader taking the reins, chairing a meeting of Iran's Security Council, and vowing the country's government

will continue to work.

(IRAN SUPREME LEADER AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI speaking in foreign language.)

TRANSLATION: Be assured that there will be no disruption in the country's affairs.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Black flags have been hoisted across Iran as the country's leadership has ordered five days of mourning, canceling most

public events.

Also deeply mourning, the country's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir- Abdollahian who was instrumental in the past months as Iran and Israel came to the brink of full-on war and traded missile strikes.

Abdollahian also challenging the US in a recent interview on CNN's "OutFront" with Erin Burnett.


TRANSLATION: I do think that America must pay closer attention and focus on the adventure-seeking regime in Israel so that such a crisis will not

happen in Gaza because Netanyahu showed he will not respect any of the red lines.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)

PLEITGEN (voice over): Tehran has launched an investigation into the crash that killed two key figures of the Islamic Republic's leadership while

vowing that the nation will carry on.


SCIUTTO: Fred Pleitgen reporting there.

Joining me now is Jasmine El-Gamal. She is political analyst, former Middle East adviser at the US Defense Department.

Jasmine, thanks so much for joining.


SCIUTTO: So certainly a shocking event for Iran to lose their president and foreign minister in a crash such as this and at a time where it was only

well, in recent weeks where they launched an unprecedented attack on Israel. Where does this leave Iran, right?

Raisi was the president. He was not the most powerful recent president or even most publicly visible one, but a significant event nonetheless.

EL-GAMAL: That's right. I think that there are kind of three main issues right now that people are asking about.

The first one obviously is the most immediate. What happens right now? Does anything massively change now in the immediate term? Then you have the more

sort of short to mid-term, which is who replaces Raisi and what might happen if someone more pragmatic is elected president; and then you have

the longer-term, of course, which is, who will replace Khamenei. Obviously, we know that Raisi was one of the contenders. Now that he is gone, who

might succeed him?

Those are the three issues that I see as being kind of the main ones, and when I look at two of those issues, in the immediate term, nothing much is

going to change. It is going to be business as usual. There is a new foreign minister already. He was the deputy and the National Security

Council is operating. And so there is nothing significant that is going to happen right away.

When it comes to the long term, who will succeed Khamenei, that's also something that I don't think people can have much visibility on right now.

There are so many things up in the air and it is really not the most transparent regime or decision making process. So I don't think we have

much other than speculation to go on there.

So the real meat is that short to mid-term, the presidential elections and what might happen during those elections?

SCIUTTO: Iran, the leadership has become progressively more hard line, if anything, and I just -- in recent years -- and I just wonder, is there any

potential candidate who could, a more pragmatic candidate who could rise to replace Raisi or is that a less likely outcome that someone more in line

with his views and by the way, we should remind folks, if they don't know this, the moniker, "The Butcher of Tehran" has been applied to him for

leading some of the most brutal, bloody crackdowns on dissidence in Iran -- is the person most likely to replace him to be as hard line as him? Perhaps

even more so?

EL-GAMAL: It is such a good question, Jim, and I think the way to look at it is that there are two options. There is one that basically could be the

status quo. So the elections could go with the same kinds of candidates that President Raisi was -- hard line, extremely loyal, more to be sort of

an implementer rather than someone who comes in with their own ideas or their own base are their own center of power, or this is less likely, but

it still could happen. This could be an opportunity now for the Iranian regime, which has been really suffering from a crisis of legitimacy for the

last few years.


Youve had the protests, the Women's Freedom Movement, the crackdowns, the low voter turnout, so this could be a real opportunity for the supreme

leader to allow a wider variety of candidates who will likely be just as conservative, but possibly more pragmatic, someone more akin to a Rouhani

than a Raisi.

And we saw what happened to US relations under Rouhani with Obama when the JCPOA was signed, so there could be a difference that could be made there.

Probably not likely, but still could happen.

SCIUTTO: So let me ask you this. I mean, difficult to judge in these times, but isn't Iran going through an internal leadership crisis such as this or

at least released uncertainty, is it more or less dangerous to its adversaries in the region?

EL-GAMAL: Well, I am sure different people would answer that question differently, Jim. I mean, my sense is that when things are so in flux and

you have such a huge event upcoming like a presidential election where you have to make some pretty big decisions about what happens domestically that

the last thing you want to do is start an issue overseas or let anything rock the boat more than it already is being rocked.

Now, that's not to say that Iran is not going to continue to put up the same "resistance front" that it has, especially when it comes to Israel.

These have been some really tough times in the region, these last seven months.

And so I think, they are going to want to just steady the waters as much as possible as long as until they get through this presidential election and

we see what kinds of president comes up. Is it going to be someone more pragmatic with little bit more leeway or is it going to be just business as


SCIUTTO: Jasmine El-Gamal, thanks so much for joining.

Back here in the US, the defense is calling its first witnesses in Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial. The prosecution has now rested. Defense

attorneys asking an attorney who advised Michael Cohen to present his version of events.



SCIUTTO: Well, some drama in the courtroom in Manhattan. The judge in the Trump hush money trial has just called the jury back after briefly clearing

the courtroom. The reason, a tense exchange between the judge and the attorney, Robert Costello, who is now a witness for the defense. He was the

second witness called by the defense team.

Costello, who was the subject of some of Michael Cohen's testimony remains on the stand now. Cohen's testimony wrapped up earlier in the day after 17

hours over several days, and the prosecution then rested its case.

Under cross-examination today, Michael Cohen admitted that at one point, several years ago, he stole from the Trump Organization. Prosecutors

redirected to focus on Cohen's loyalty to Trump and exactly how he was paid.

Jessica Schneider is in Washington, DC.

Jessica, tell us about this moment when the judge cleared the courtroom. In effect, the judge was saying that Costello was not respecting courtroom

decorum. How so?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was a very unusual situation, Jim, where basically the judge got fed up and he said to

everybody, just leave the courtroom. Security even got involved ushering out members of the press and the judge did this because he perceived what

were very questionable comments and actions by this defense witness, Robert Costello, in particular, when there were objections to questions that were

being asked by the defense.

Robert Costello, he sighed a few times. He said -- exclaimed, "Jesus," at one point, so the judge was taking great offense to, in a sense, Robert

Castello's outburst.

Now this came after the judge really wasn't even happy about the fact that the defense sort of called this witness, Robert Costello, at the last

minute. Costello is described as a legal adviser to Michael Cohen, not an attorney because Michael Cohen says he never actually signed off on a

representation agreement.

But apparently, Costello and Cohen had dozens of conversations after Cohen's hotel and office were raided by the FBI in April 2018. So Jim, the

key elements of Castello's testimony will be and he has testified a little bit about it, about their conversations, but Costello claims that Michael

Cohen repeatedly said that Donald Trump knew nothing about the payment to Stormy Daniels, that Cohen did this all on his own.

And also Costello will testify that when he told Cohen to work with federal investigators or consider cooperating, that Cohen supposedly said, you

know, I swear to God, I don't have anything on Donald Trump.

So those are the two main points the defense is trying to get out.


SCHNEIDER: But I will tell you, it has been very tense in the courtroom. The judge has repeatedly scolded Costello about his demeanor and his

responses and it does look like the direct exam was very short, not so sweet, but very short and the cross-examination is about to begin right


SCIUTTO: Jessica Schneider, thanks so much. Things certainly moving quickly in the courtroom.

Cheryl Bader, former federal prosecutor joins me now from New York.

Cheryl, I wonder in your view, does witness behavior like that help the defense? I mean, this is a defense witness here to be showing disrespect

for the judge. The judge having to clear the courtroom to say, hey, listen, I don't want any bad behavior, in effect. Does that help with that witness'

credibility in the eyes of the jury in your experience?

CHERYL BADER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I think jurors generally really have a lot of respect for the judge, and they look up to the judge

and one of the things is you don't want your witness going toe-to-toe with the judge because the judge will always win in the eyes of the jury, and so

we did see some sparks fly, but that's why also the judge will always clear the jury out. Like, the judge wants to protect the jury from seeing that

sort of extra drama.

SCIUTTO: Tell us where you think the case stands here, the prosecution's case, particularly as it relates to Cohen's testimony, because the

defense's strategy has been to call into question his credibility.

Last week, it was about previous instances of lying. Today, it was about an instance where he stole from the Trump Organization; and now, you have

Costello on the stand saying that, well, he told me he didn't have anything on Trump.

So to raise doubts in the jury's minds that Cohen is telling the truth when he says that Trump knew about these payments. Do you think the defense has

hit its mark with that strategy?

BADER: So Cohen has an awful lot of baggage, right? It is clear he is a liar. He has admitted he is a liar. He has admitted to stealing, right? He

is not a very likable character, but he doesn't need to be light likable. He doesn't even need to be telling the truth all the time, right?

What the jury has to believe is that he is telling the truth when he says that Trump knew and Trump approved of these payments in the way they were



And so there's lots of other corroborating evidence and scaffolding that helps the prosecution, but of course now, the defense is going to be

introducing what we call prior inconsistent statements, right, that he said before that Trump didn't know about this, right? And so they are bringing

this out.

But think about that alternative narrative, right? So if Trump didn't know that these payments were being made, then you have to believe that Cohen

was doing this out of the goodness of his heart, which also seems quite implausible and an opposite to what we are hearing about his character.

SCIUTTO: Well, we should note that leading up to this, there were other witnesses and that seemed to be the prosecution's strategy, was to lay a

lot of groundwork before Cohen so the case did not rest entirely on Cohen.

David Pecker saying, yes, there was a meeting and we agreed we were going to be killing stories like this and paying money to do so, and then you had

the whole -- all the testimony about the timing of this. This was after the Access Hollywood tape, so Trump himself was extremely worried that a story

like this regarding Stormy Daniels might kill his campaign.

I mean, it comes down to, does it not, for the jury who do you believe here, right? What do you find more plausible? That this was a freelance

operation for Michael Cohen or that Trump was directing this?

BADER: Absolutely, and it is very hard to know, right, what the jurors are thinking and also what the dynamic will be between the jurors once they go

into that room, and we are going to hear instructions from the judge after the defense rests and after those closing statements and the judge is going

to tell the jury that they are the ones that decide about credibility.

And you'll hear instructions around that they can choose and say, well, if someone lies about one thing, then they'd lied about everything. They are a

liar in my mind, but that they can also choose to say, well, maybe he lied in the past to protect Donald Trump, but I believe here that Donald Trump

approved this.

SCIUTTO: Cheryl Bader, thanks so much.

Jury is going to get this soon, so we will know how they decide.

Still ahead this hour, as the war in Gaza rages on, the International Criminal Court is pursuing arrest warrants now for leaders of both Hamas

and Israel. We're going to look at the full implications of the case, next.



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF U.S. SECURITY ANALYST: Hello. I'm Jim Sciutto. In just a moment, we will have more on the International Criminal Court

pursuing arrest warrants against Israeli and Hamas leaders as well as the fallout from Michael Cohen's testimony in Donald Trump's ongoing hush money

trial. Before that, the headlines this hour.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be allowed to appeal extradition to the United States the ruling from London's High Court was cheered by his

supporters who consider Assange a whistleblower. The U.S. wants to prosecute him as a spy over his publication of military secrets.

A South African Court has ruled that former President Jacob Zuma is ineligible to run for parliament in next year's election. Zuma was forced

to resign as president in 2018 after a series of corruption scandals. His party will still contest the election and Zuma's face will remain on the


Taiwan's new president gave Mainland China a blunt message as he was sworn in on Monday, leeching the code on Beijing to cease its intimidation of the

island and "face the reality of its sovereignty." China has consistently claimed Taiwan as part of its territory, and has vowed to take the island

by force if necessary.

The cargo ship that crashed into Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge has finally been removed from the site of the accident. The M.V. Dali returned

to the Port of Baltimore 55 days after it left. Freeing the ship from behind -- from beneath the collapsed bridge. It's a crucial step to fully

reopening the port.

And returning now to our top story. Leaders of Israel and Hamas are potentially facing charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the

International Criminal Court. Its prosecutor tells CNN he is now seeking arrest warrants against them. The U.S. and U.K. have criticized that

decision. U.S. president called it outrageous. A statement from President Biden says "there was no equivalence, none between Israel and Hamas."

Both Israeli and Hamas leaders have reacted with defiance. Prime Minister Netanyahu said the move "won't deter us." Jeremy Diamond has the latest

from Jerusalem.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the decision by the International Criminal Court's top prosecutor to seek arrest warrants

against Israeli leaders is certainly sparking a lot of controversy inside of Israel. Outrage and condemnation from across the political spectrum. The

Israeli prime minister himself of course, but also his political rivals, including the leader of the opposition, all of them condemning what they

view as the International Criminal Court applying some kind of moral equivalency here by carrying out this decision to seek arrest warrants

against both Israeli and Hamas leaders in the same breath.

That we've heard from the Israeli prime minister who said that this is not only an attack against him, but he views it as an attack against the State

of Israel.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translator): With one audacity do you dare compare the monster of Hamas to the soldiers of the

IDF? The most moral army in the world. With one audacity you compare between the Hamas that murdered, burns, butchered rate and kidnapped our

brothers and sisters and the IDF soldiers who are fighting a just war that is unparalleled in morality that is unmatched.

As the Prime Minister of Israel, I reject with disgust the hate prosecutors comparison between Democratic Israel and the mass murders of Hamas.


DIAMOND: And the Israeli prime minister also calling this a "disgrace and a distortion of reality" vowing that it will not deter Israel from continuing

to carry out its war in Gaza and it will not deter Israel from accomplishing its goal as he has laid it out of defeating Hamas.


But this notion of moral equivalency of or in Gaza and it will not deter Israel from accomplishing its goal as he has laid it out of defeating

Hamas. But this notion of moral equivalency of carrying out the -- this the search for arrest warrants on both Israel as well as Hamas is something

that Hamas actually picked up on themselves as well. In their statement reacting to these -- this request for warrants, Hamas says "it -- that it

strongly condemned the attempts of the ICC prosecutor to equate victims with aggressors by issuing arrest warrants against the number of

Palestinian resistance leaders without legal basis."

Now what is ultimately clear here is that the International Criminal Court is seeking arrest warrants for war crimes as well as crimes against

humanity on both sides. On the Hamas side, they focus in particular on the murder of civilians on October 7th, the taking of hostages, the sexual

violence that has been committed by Hamas against hostages as well as against women on October 7th.

As it relates to Israel, there's a focus on the targeting of civilians, as well as using starvation as a weapon of war. Jim?

SCIUTTO: Thanks, Jeremy Diamond. Let's get more on the legal significance of this -- the many legal questions. Lieutenant Colonel Michael Farkas, a

retired U.S. Army military judge. He joins us now from New York. Good to have you on. The ICC's answer to the criticism you're hearing now from for

instance, President Biden, and from the Israeli leader is that it is not equating Israel who with Hamas, it is in effect equating the victims here.

It's accusing them of crimes under the same umbrella but different crimes in effect, it speaks of the October 7th terror attacks by Hamas as

horrible. The raping, the murder, the killing, but accusing Israel of something different in effect targeting the Palestinian people, the

residents of Gaza for starvation. Do you -- do you agree with that distinction with the ICC saying that they -- they're not equating the two,

but they are holding both sides responsible for the effect on their victims?

LT. COL. MICHAEL FARKAS, U.S. ARMY MILITARY JUDGE (RET.): Right. Well, from a legal perspective, the law of war is a broad concept, you know, simply

because you are charged or alleged to have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity doesn't mean it all falls under the same definition. It is

a very broad umbrella. And it has as much to do with your conduct it -- as an intentional violation of the law, as it does about your response.

So theoretically, at least, you know, I'm not going to inject my personal opinions into the legal analysis. But as a legal matter, what you said is

(INAUDIBLE) the ICC or more specifically the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court who is requesting the warrant, judges still

have to approve it. That could take weeks or months. But assuming they do, what the allegation will be is that Hamas perpetrated war crimes in their

attacks -- intentional attacks on civilians on October 7th.

And in the response to those attacks in the prosecution of its war against Hamas, Israel has crossed the line into illegal activity, war crimes by --

as the prosecutor says, intentionally directing its attacks upon civilians or targeting civilians and using starvation as a way.

SCIUTTO: Now, to your point here and you're absolutely right on our mission in how the law relates to this. The prosecutors have said, this does not

relate to the causes of the war. In other words, saying they're not taking issue with Israel's right to defend itself or what sparked the war, the

attacks on October 7th but rather the conduct of the war since. And I wonder, in international law, is there precedent for holding a country such

as Israel responsible for military action and in this case, restrictions on movement in and out of Gaza that relate to humanitarian supplies for

holding a country responsible for the effects of that. How they carry out the war and how they restrict access to the war zone?

FARKAS: Well, there's certainly precedents over the course of hundreds of years and in the past century in the last 60 or 70 years of international

law jurisprudence. And let's just be a little more specific, the warrants that have been requested for two leaders of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and

the defense minister, you have the law. There isn't a -- they're not seeking an indictment on the country, right?

So, what the warrants and what the prosecutor claims is that the leadership. Netanyahu, in particular has directed attacks on civilians.


So, you know, to use a common phrase, the ends do not justify the means. That's the basic concept behind the law of war, right? Israel certainly has

a right to self-defense as Mr. Khan, the prosecutor, I believe stated in his statement. But all countries, whether they're party to the Geneva

Conventions or not, are required to follow the customary and in some -- in many cases, the written law of war in the prosecution of any armed military


And, you know, Western countries have west -- with the Western ideology, democratic nations follow the law of war, they prosecute their own when

violations occur and you've already heard a lot of that from Mr. Netanyahu even today.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this. And I don't mean to oversimplify here. But in legal terms under international law, does intent matter, right? For these

warrants to stand up, what Israel have to allegedly intend to inflict suffering on the Palestinian people, the residents of Gaza, rather than

it'd be a -- I hate to use the phrase collateral damage, but you understand what I'm saying here, rather than it be the result of military activity,

but not intentional?

FARKAS: Well, it seems that the warrants that have been requested do have an intentional element to them. I'll say that not every war, crime or crime

against humanity has intense as an element, you perhaps have heard the term proportionality. If, you know, the argument has been made, that you have

not just Israel, but throughout decades, if not hundreds of years of warfare, an enemy that locates itself among the civilian population, you

know, is going to bring civilian casualties or as you say, collateral damage.

So, what is the proportionality that's permitted under the law of war when prosecuting a conflict in such a civilian heavy area? You know, that's a

tough question. But without getting too far into it does seem that these particular warrants site intentional conduct.

SCIUTTO: Well, it's quite a moment. We'll see if the panel approves those warrants in the weeks and months that they have to decide now. Michael

Farkas, thanks so much for sharing your expertise.

FARKAS: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: And still to come this hour, the case back here in the U.S. against Donald Trump. It's nearly done. We're maybe going to the jury with

this case as soon as next week? What we've learned about the former president and the impact on the presidential race as well.



SCIUTTO: We're turning to Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial in New York. The jury has been dismissed for the day, that after some tense

exchanges with the defense's second witness Robert Costello lawyer who advised Michael Cohen. This comes after Cohen's fourth day of testimony

concluded earlier today. The defense got Trump's former lawyer to admit that he stole a number of years ago from the Trump Organization.

Joining me now, CNN's Political Analyst Julian Zelizer. He's a historian and professor at Princeton University. Julian, it's quite a moment. It's a

criminal trial ongoing of a former president and current candidate for President. It's not clear what effect this trial and whatever the outcome

is, whether its acquittal, or conviction has on this political race. Based on where you're sitting. has it impacted the race already? Does it depend

on what the outcome is?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. So, I mean, predictions are certainly hard to make when something is unprecedented because we haven't

seen this before. And we don't know how it could play out. Thus far, there isn't evidence that it has hurt him politically. All the polls we have are

pretty consistent that former President is doing well against President Biden. And in terms of kind of generating media interest and platforms for

him to speak, he has not lost that.

So, at least where we are now I think he has either survived the case or some would say thrive. The question is, if there is a conviction, do the

polls we've seen suggesting that could change voter opinion actually kick in? And that will be the big question if that happens.

SCIUTTO: No question. I mean, the -- I've heard this frequently that -- well, if there's a conviction, folks, voters might view this differently.

But I wonder if there's a distinction among the cases. And by the way, this might be the only case as you know, that it was tried before the election,

depending on how the Supreme Court rules on the ongoing January 6 case. But is there a weighted judgment effect of various potential convictions here?

I mean, based on what we know about voters view, views of this particular case, and the charges involved, is a conviction in this one likely to be


ZELIZER: I think it could be less influential than the others would have been had they taken place at this bill. For many people who are not

following or briefly following this will be about his relationship with, you know, a porn star and efforts to cover it up. And I'm not sure that's

going to kind of rise to the level of overthrowing or trying to overthrow an election. So, I do think once this all sinks in, every conviction might

not be equal.

Again, if that happens, there's also, you know, a very real possibility, there's no conviction in which the former President will certainly

capitalize on that to say, you see, he was right all along. And this was all false by the tax.

SCIUTTO: There's a lot of blame to go around as to why those other arguably more significant cases have not been tried yet, and might not be tried

before the election shared by perhaps the Attorney General waiting too long to appoint the special counsel and so on, but also a Supreme Court that

could have certainly moved more quickly to decide the outstanding issues in that case.

If, for instance, a case on whether a President tried to overturn an election cannot be tried in between the four years between elections, would

that be a failure of the U.S. justice system to not -- whether convict or acquit on that charge to decide that case, would that be a failure of the


ZELIZER: Yes, I mean, I understand that the law is slow. And there are virtues to that, that it's not a rushed process like our politics, but this

is not a usual question. Meaning you have someone who has been accused of trying to overthrow an election being the nominee for the next election.

And if the voters don't really know, kind of what the outcome is, they can't make that decision at the ballot box in addition to giving room for

President Trump, if he is reelected to, you know, pardon himself.

I said -- so there's all kinds of problems. I would add. Some would say there were problems to the Senate not taking action when impeachment was on

the table and they kind of kick this to the court. So, two institutions really are not going to give us an answer in many ways before 2024.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Remarkable. CNN Political Analyst Julian Zelizer. Thanks so much.


ZELIZER: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Microsoft's new devices will now feature an A.I. tool that can remember everything you've ever done on them. Wow, that sounds remarkable.

The feature is called Recall. We're going to tell you about exactly how it works when we come back.


SCIUTTO: All right. Well, welcome to the future. Microsoft says it's new devices will have built in A.I. that can remember everything you've ever

done on it. The company unveiled the so called Recall Feature Today. It was part of a bigger launch surrounding their A.I. assistant called copilot

plus. Microsoft says the technology will go into a new generation of laptops and tablets which can run some A.I. tasks without even an internet


Clare Duffy is in New York. So, listen, I mean, I can imagine the circumstances where this would be helpful, right? Oh, I forgot about this

appointment or that appointment or whatever. But there's also a kind of scary aspect to this. Is there not for your device to know absolutely

everything you did and kind of keep a record of that. I mean, tell us what the pluses and minuses are here.

CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: Yes, Jim. It is really interesting because, you know, what Microsoft teased here is that this tool is going to

be able to, for example, find you an old link to something that you were searching for online. Or if you're trying to recall a bit of info from

meeting notes, you can sort of ask it a question, a very natural language and the A.I. will go and find that information for you.

But it does sound kind of creepy, right? That your computer will have a log of every single thing you've ever done on it. But what Microsoft has said

is that none of this is going to leave your device. The company has, you know, sort of this conflict of important technological advancements where

they have this very powerful A.I. software, but also really powerful and efficient computer chips which is going to allow the computing for this to

happen to stay entirely on your device without connecting to the internet.

So, none of your usage activity will leave your device. And all of this will happen without any of that being used to train these A.I. models.

SCIUTTO: OK. That's the company's guarantee. I just wonder what are the protections, right? Because we have seen technology companies make claims

as to how data is protected and not live up to those standards?

DUFFY: Yes, it is a good question. I mean, I think it will be sort of for Microsoft to prove here. This really is what we're entering here is this

era of A.I.-powered personal computing.


And so, I do think it will be really interesting to see how people start to engage these tools, certainly, we have to imagine some things will go wrong

and they'll have to sort of readjust here. But again, this is just one part of this larger announcement of what this A.I. will allow people to do on

these new devices. Some of the other things include live translation of videos or Zoom calls, you'll have an A.I. tool that will allow you to

generate an A.I. image from just a written description or a sketch.

You'll also have a tool that will let you talk with A.I. about what's on your screen. So, Microsoft also showed a demonstration of a developer

talking with A.I. getting real time advice as he was playing the video game Minecraft about how to proceed. So, really powerful stuff. And I do think

Microsoft will face a lot of pressure to keep users safe as they're -- as they're exploring this new technology

SCIUTTO: Yes, that real time translation. That's pretty -- that's pretty remarkable as well. Clare Duffy, thanks so much.

Coming up. We will have the final numbers from Wall Street right after this break.


SCIUTTO: All right. Let's take a look at the U.S. markets. The Dow retreated below the 40,000-mark closing down just over 196 points. Oil

prices dipped slightly today but have remained fairly steady despite those tensions in the Middle East. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ both finished in the

green today. The S&P rallied as Deutsche Bank raised its year end forecast for the indexed. The NASDAQ reached a new record today with gains driven by


The chipmaker rallied nearly 2.5 percent ahead of its earnings report later this week. That is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Jim Sciutto. "THE LEAD" with

Jake Tapper starts now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- is correct that they have established, at least by the sufficiency of the evidence that a reasonable juror could find the

defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That's all they need. A reasonable juror with the evidence that has been elicited could find the

defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. There is overwhelming evidence in this case. And if you choose to credit Michael Cohen's account, they

have met their burden.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tim, what do you make of the arguments from Judge Merchan?