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Quest Means Business

Trump Calls New York Hush Money Trial Very Unfair; Biden: Israel Has Made Comprehensive Ceasefire Offer; Trump Slams Guilty Verdict, Says He Is Obeying Gag Order; Donald Trump Vows To Appeal Conviction In Hush Money Case; President Joe Biden Hosts Super Bowl Champions At The White House; Antony Blinken: Kyiv Can Strike Inside Russia With U.S. Weapons; The Historical Significance Of Donald Trump's Conviction; Hamas Welcomes President Joe Biden's Proposal For Ceasefire In Gaza. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 31, 2024 - 16:00   ET



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Donald Trump is now vowing to appeal his historic conviction as his campaign reports a fundraising windfall in

the hours after a Manhattan jury found the former for US president guilty on all counts.

Hello, I'm Jim Sciutto.


President Joe Biden says Trump's conviction shows no one is above the law in his first comment since the verdict.

We are expecting, in fact to see the president again later this hour, and of course, we will bring that to you.

SCIUTTO: We do begin though with former President Trump railing against his guilty verdict in the hush money trial strongly criticizing Judge Juan

Merchan and the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

He spoke at Trump Tower in New York, Friday morning at the bottom of those famous escalators hours after being convicted on all 34 felony counts of

falsifying business records.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee insisting he did nothing wrong and that the trial, the whole system in fact, was unfair. Kristen

Holmes has more.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they can do this to me, they can do this to anyone.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A defiant Donald Trump lashing out Friday, a day after a New York jury found him guilty on

all 34 counts in his criminal hush money trial.

We are going to fight. I'm wired in such a way that a lot of people would have gone away a long time ago.

HOLMES (voice over): Trump aired grievances with the trial and leveled attacks at the prosecutor and the presiding judge, Juan Merchan.

TRUMP: It was a rigged trial. We wanted a venue change where we can have a fair trial, we didn't get it.

We wanted a judge change. We wanted a judge that wasn't conflicted and obviously he didn't do that.

Nobody has ever seen anything like it.

HOLMES (voice over): Even as the former president remains under a gag order that blocks him from speaking out about witnesses, jurors, and others

closely tied to the case, Trump singled out ex-attorney, Michael Cohen, a key witness in the case without using his name.

TRUMP: I am not allowed to use his name because of the gag order. But you know, he is a sleazebag. Everybody knows that.

It took me a while to find out, but he was effective. He did work, but he wasn't a fixture. He was a lawyer.

HOLMES: In a statement to CNN Cohen called Trump's remarks a "crazy avalanche of broken brain word manure."

TRUMP: No presidential candidate has ever been under a gag order before. I am under a gag order. Nasty gag order.

Think of it, I am the leading candidate.

HOLMES (voice over): Trump also claimed Friday he wanted to testify in the trial, but suggested one of his lawyers encouraged him not to do so.

TRUMP: Now, I would have testified. I wanted to testify.

The theory is you never testify because as soon as you testify for anybody, if it were George Washington, don't testify because they will get you on

something that you said slightly wrong and then they sue you for perjury.

HOLMES (voice over): Trump's allies and supporters swiftly rallied behind the presumptive GOP nominee with the campaign announcing it had raised more

than $34 million in the hours after the verdict. At one point, even crashing the fundraising platform used by Trump's campaign.

While top Republicans, including several vice presidential hopefuls joined Trump in criticizing the conviction.

REP. BYRON DONALDS (R-FL): What happened in New York was a travesty of the justice system.

SEN. JD VANCE (R-OH): You cannot say that this trial was anything more than politics masquerading as justice.


SCIUTTO: Trump's sentencing is scheduled now for July 11th, that's just four days before the start of the Republican National Convention, where he

is set to become the party's official presidential nominee.

The judge could sentence him to anything ranging from probation up to four years in prison on each count with a maximum of 20 years, though, most

lawyers believe that is an outlier, that possibility of so many years. Many legal experts say it is highly unlikely in fact that he will face any jail

time, we will see.

President Biden says Trump's conviction reaffirms the American principle that no one is above the law.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They found Donald Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts. Now, he will be given the opportunity, as he

should, to appeal that decision just like everyone else has that opportunity.

That's how the American system of justice works, and it is reckless, it is dangerous, it is irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just

because they don't like the verdict.


SCIUTTO: For more now on next legal steps, Kara Scannell joins us.

July 11th, the judge is going to set the sentence.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jim. That's right, and between now and then, at least legally speaking, because Donald Trump will be out

campaigning and he will even be at that CNN debate just a few weeks before sentencing, there is some work that they will do.

He is now a convicted felon in New York. That means that he will be treated like any other convicted felon. He will be interviewed by the Probation



They will collect some information on him so that Probation Department can come up with a recommendation for Judge Juan Merchan and what they think

his sentence should be.

Trump's lawyers have an opportunity to also put together some legal papers about their recommendation, as do prosecutors.

Now, District Attorney Alvin Bragg was asked whether Donald Trump should go to prison yesterday. He said they will to answer that in their paper. So

punting that down the road a little bit, not willing to say yesterday if he thinks that they will recommend that Donald Trump serve any prison time.

And as you say, this is a low -- the lowest felony in New York. There is no requirement that Donald Trump face prison and some legal analysts say that

he probably won't because he has no criminal record. This is a non-violent offense and he is almost 80 years old.

But this decision really lies with Judge Juan Merchan and what Trump is convicted of doing is subverting democracy. You never know how a judge is

going to view that and what his view will be on whether Trump should serve anytime at all in jail or prison -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Like many things, we don't know.

A lot of folks surprised by the conviction yesterday, so we will see where the judge goes on July 11th. Kara Scannell, thanks so much.

Joining me now, Thomas Moukawsher. He is a former Connecticut Superior Court Judge.

Thanks so much, Judge, for joining us.


SCIUTTO: I want to start with a very basic question because it has become the standard position of the Republican Party. Many sitting Republican

lawmakers that this was a politically motivated prosecution and that the conviction was essentially false, or at least exaggerated.

I wonder having been a judge yourself, whether you agree with that assessment or what your response is to it?

MOUKAWSHER: Well, I don't agree. I think you can attack the judge, you can attack the witnesses, you can attack the prosecutors, you can attack the

president of the United States, but you can't attack a jury.

How anyone could suggest that the jurors were all in on some massive conspiracy just eludes me. I think that we have to have respect for our

jury system. Forty years of watching juries, I struggle to try and remember a time when I think a jury didn't act reasonably.

Now, sometimes jurors can go out one way and come out another way, but usually they act reasonably. It is a very rare thing when you get an upper

court attacking the jury itself.

Now, I think you can find that Donald Trump may actually try to attack the jury in some way. They may be out trying to dig up dirt right now on the

subject, that happens after a trial.

But all of those other things about conspiracy simply can't apply to these 12 men and women.

SCIUTTO: Yes, and there is already reports of folks, Trump supporters attempting to dox those jurors, out them in effect to criticize them.

Okay, let's talk about next steps. The judge is going to sentence Trump to some degree, and that could be a suspended sentence, it could be a fine, it

could be probation, it could be home confinement, it could be jail.

What do you think based on the law and precedent is the most likely outcome? The most likely sentence?

MOUKAWSHER: Well, you have to consider it. If this were somebody other than Donald Trump, former president of the United States who had done all the

same things he has done and has had all of the background that he has had.

If he weren't Donald Trump, I think actually this would be a good case for prison, but I think the judge is going to be very cautious about doing it

because it is Donald Trump, so far from being prejudiced against him, there may be some weight in his direction.

But if you look at the kinds of things that a judge has to look at in sentencing, they're going to look at his conduct throughout his career and

life. They're going to look for mitigating factors such as the fact that he is older, the fact that he was president of the United States, and they're

going to look at aggravating factors and one aggregating factor maybe, the mitigating factor of being president.

Because one argument they are going to make here is that maybe he wouldn't have been president if he didn't commit these underlying crimes. I am not

sure how much of that mitigates it.

Plus, you have he has been found by courts to have committed fraud. He had committed rape, has been found by the IRS now to have inappropriately taken

deductions that might amount to $100 million in back taxes. You have him showing absolutely no remorse.

You have him attacking false allegations of prosecutors, witnesses, the judge repeatedly. All of these things get taken into account in the

sentencing process because he is supposed to show remorse and to suggest to the judge that he is not likely to do this sort of things that he had.

SCIUTTO: I was going to ask you about that remorse. He is certainly not showing remorse in his public comments so far.


Does that factor into the judge's decision?

MOUKAWSHER: It does. Judges consider that, and it is part of a bigger picture in a way because what you want to do is to decide, well, what is

the impact on the people that this affect maybe even considering here the American people, but also is he likely to offend again? Is it going to

deter him and others from committing the same kind of conduct.

When you have someone who never has admitted he has done a single thing wrong in any of the cases against him, a judge has to worry as to whether a

simple probation or something like that is enough.

On the other hand, being the former president and with all the attention on this, maybe hard to give him a prison sentence. If he weren't Donald Trump,

I think with Donald Trump's facts, he would be going to jail.

SCIUTTO: Final question. His team is going to appeal. How long is that appeal? How long is it likely to take in the state of New York?

MOUKAWSHER: Well, that is important because one of the things that Trump has proved a master over the years is delay. So he is going to try to delay

filing the appeal as long as it can. I think we are going to see him attempting again to try to set aside the verdict.

Maybe he is going to be out trying to dig up some juror misconduct allegations. Any motions he can make that might delay things or even delay

the sentencing, he gets all that sort of stuff done and then he tries to delay the appeal. It is a standard tactic that you keep trying to push back

appellate deadlines and push them back.

And if that fails and the appellate court, the New York Appellate Division upholds his conviction, he will certainly ask the New York Court of

Appeals, the High Court of New York to consider that, and then if that fails, he will ask the United States Supreme Court to do it.

So this could go on unless the Appeals Courts expedite it, it could easily go on for a couple of years more.

SCIUTTO: And just very quickly on the Supreme Court piece, I thought that state court cases were immune as it were from Supreme Court's involvement.

MOUKAWSHER: Well, that would attempt -- that wouldn't prevent him from attempting to ask the Supreme Court to grant certiorari on a federal

constitutional question.

I can imagine that they would come up with something and then even if it was almost certain to be rejected, he could buy a few months doing it,

especially if the Supreme Court moves this slowly on this as it did on it is moving on immunity.

SCIUTTO: Yes, still waiting for that answer on immunity.

Judge, thanks so much for joining us.

MOUKAWSHER: Thanks for having me.

SCIUTTO: Coming up, US President Joe Biden outlines a new three-phase ceasefire plan to end the war in Gaza. Some new details, we will bring you

them, next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

US President Joe Biden says Israel has offered what he calls a comprehensive ceasefire plan to Hamas, which could lead to an end of the

war in Gaza.

Biden says the three-stage plan would begin with a full ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops. It would be followed by the release of

hostages and an end with the new construction there -- reconstruction plan for the enclave.

He says this marks a decisive moment in the war. Have a listen to this.


BIDEN: For months, people all over the world have called for a ceasefire. Now, it is time to raise your voices and demand that Hamas come to the

table, agrees to this deal, and end this war that they began.


SOARES: Well, hours after those comments, Israel's prime minister seemed to contradict the president saying the war in Gaza will not end until Hamas is


Let's get more on this. Jeremy Diamond is in Jerusalem for us. So, Jeremy, just help us make sense of this because this according to President Biden

that we heard about an hour or so ago, is an Israeli proposal. Is Prime Minister Netanyahu basically saying he doesn't agree with aspects of this

proposal or always this simply rhetoric for domestic consumption here?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I definitely think that there is a part of this that is rhetoric for domestic consumption and listen, the

Israeli prime minister has a very delicate political line that he has to play.

His coalition is being stood up, his position as prime minister is being maintained by far-right members of this governing coalition who do not want

to see the war end, who do not want to see the war end before Hamas is defeated.

And this proposal, if indeed Israel in the first phase of this agreement can negotiate a second phase of the agreement, once they get to that second

phase, that is a permanent ceasefire according to the terms of this proposal as laid out by President Biden.

And so the question poses itself, is this an Israeli proposal that has the full backing of the Israeli government, that is something that the Israeli

prime minister can actually get through his government and sign and deliver on in the future or is this something that is still not a hundred percent

solid as far as the Israeli perspective?

And I think for an answer on that, you have to look at what we heard from President Biden himself. A key part of his speech was about, as you just

played, was about putting pressure or public pressure on Hamas saying this deal is on the table. It is a good deal.

The people who have been protesting around the world for a ceasefire should turn their attention to Hamas and pressure them to agree to this.

But there was also a part of his speech that was about the Israeli domestic politics, about the fact that there are people in the Israeli government

who don't want the hostages to be freed, or who don't see that as a priority.

And it was also an effort to perhaps give Prime Minister Netanyahu some ammunition and also to pressure the prime minister himself to agree to this

deal, if indeed Hamas can get there.

Now, that is where the rub is, is that while this latest Israeli proposal, as described by the president, comes much closer to Hamas' position, there

are still some key differences and one of the key differences is that Hamas, in its latest proposal, they said that they wanted an agreement

upfront from the Israeli government to end the war if indeed -- once they get to that second phase agreement.

But in Hamas' version of this proposal, phase one rolls right into phase two. There is no negotiating period to get to phase two, and what the

Israeli government is proposing here is negotiations during the course of a phase one that could even be extended beyond the six weeks of a ceasefire

in order to trigger that second phase, which results in an end to the war.

So there is still clearly a lot to be done here, a lot to work out between these two parties, and then of course there is the question of is President

Biden portraying this exactly as the Israeli government sees it themselves?

SOARES: Yes, I suppose what we heard from President Biden earlier, Jeremy was there was an aspect of this, correct me, if I am wrong, or frustration

and of impatience.

In the last few hours, we are starting to see, the EU foreign chief, Josep Borrell commenting on this proposal. We've also had David Cameron as well

commenting on this proposal, calling for both sides to agree to this.

David Cameron saying on X: "Let's seize this moment and bring this conflict to an end." So speak to that, the politics of course, between the US and

Israel and the relationship there.

DIAMOND: Well, listen, let's look at what has been happening over the course of the last month in particular.


I mean, you've had President Biden lay layout this red line as it relates to Rafah. You've seen despite that, Israeli forces actually beginning to

move into Central Rafah now.

We actually have satellite imagery showing Israeli tanks and armored vehicles in key areas of Central Rafah. President Biden in his red line

remarks talked about not agreeing -- he talked about cutting off certain weapons from Israel if they moved into the population centers of Rafah and

that is indeed what appears to be happening at the moment.

And so beyond the fact that the president doesn't seem to see Israeli actions so far as cross in his red line, there is no question that Israel

is facing more pressure than ever before on the international stage, more pressure than ever before from the United States.

And so, that is leading Israel to make concessions it seems in this latest proposal, but that being said, it is also leading Hamas to further entrench

itself in these negotiations.

Yesterday, they said that they would not agree to even return to the negotiating table until Israel stops its military operations.

SOARES: Jeremy Diamond, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

And coming up, a record fundraising day. How former US President Trump's conviction is bringing tens of millions of dollars to his campaign. That is




SOARES: Hello, I'm Isa Soares. We will have much more, of course, special coverage or former President Donald Trump's guilty verdict in a moment, but

first, the headlines for you this hour.

South Africa'safrican National Congress, the ANC looks set to lose its majority after 30 years of power in the country. Final election results

will be out on Sunday. The late Nelson Mandela's party will still be the biggest party in government, but will likely have to build a coalition.

Voters in Mexico head to the polls on Sunday or what is set to be a historic election. The two top presidential candidates are both women,

which would make the winner Mexico's first female president.

Safety remains a top concern with several attacks reported. All local candidates across the country, nearly a hundred million people are expected

to vote.

US Senator Joe Manchin is switching parties. The longtime moderate Democrat says he is now registering as an Independent.

Last year, Manchin announced that he would not run for re-election in West Virginia, but the new announcement raises fresh questions over political

future as well as aspirations.

SCIUTTO: Donald Trump railed this morning against his felony conviction in New York. The jury, in his hush money trial found him guilty on all 34

counts of falsifying business records.

At a news conference at Trump Tower, the former president aired his grievances about the case, insisting he did nothing wrong, and that the

trial, the whole system was unfair.


TRUMP: I paid a lawyer a legal expense, and a bookkeeper without any knowledge from me, correctly marked it down in the books.

A very professional woman, highly respected. She testified, marked it down in the books as a legal expense. So a legal expense -- paid a lawyer is a

legal expense in the books.

It is not sheet rock construction or any other thing. It is a legal expense. Think of that. This is what the falsifications of business records

were. And i said, what else are you going to call it?


SCIUTTO: Well, of course, the prosecution argued it was hush money payment intended to impact the 2016 election.

The Trump campaign says in the wake of the verdict, it raised some $35 million, many of which came in small donations. That nearly doubled the

campaign's single day fundraising record.

The campaign also says around 30 percent of the donors were new to its fundraising platform.

CNN's senior political commentator, Adam Kinzinger joins us. He is also of course a former US Republican congressman.

Good to have you on, sir. Thanks for joining.


SCIUTTO: So first, just because we haven't spoken since the conviction. What's your reaction to it?

KINZINGER: Well, look, it is right. I mean, this is just basic law. Now, I think there can be a legitimate argument made to say the case shouldn't

have been brought or you know -- that's fine. I think that is a legitimate argument.

The reality is though the case was brought and it proved that there was an attempt to cover up this payment to affect an election, which is illegal.

It is a felony as we've seen.

And a jury of Donald Trump's peers, by the way, I can guarantee you there were Trump supporters on that jury, after hearing the evidence determined

that he is guilty of every felony count, so that's a reality.

And it used to be you know, you and I are old enough, Jim, that we remember when the Republican Party used to say things like, I will respect the

decision of a court and they would leave it at that. Now, they've gotten their marching orders to go out and attack the entire system, to attack

their fellow Americans in this self-governing country and this self- judiciary country, attack their fellow Americans because they got marching orders from now, a convicted felon.

And let me really quickly remind people that in the United States of America, if you have a felony, you cannot own a firearm, you cannot vote,

you more than likely if you were in the military would be kicked out of the military and you're now ineligible for a security clearance and that's just

something to keep in mind as November approaches.

SCIUTTO: No question at all. I mean, the issue with the argument that you're hearing from Trump now is that the whole system is rigged, right, or

at least this particular prosecution was rigged, is that he and his supporters, they celebrate when the courts find his enemies guilty.

I mean, they love the indictment of Hunter Biden, by the way brought by the same Justice Department that has brought -- well, under the special

counsel, these two indictments of Trump for January 6 and for the classified documents. So it is quite targeted fire when it comes to the

justice system, as you know. I wonder, you've run and won a lot of campaigns as a Republican.


SCIUTTO: We know Trump's base buys that argument. Do you think voters in general buy that argument? Do they look and say, oh, this must be rigged,

or they look at this and say, he's a felon?

KINZINGER: Yes, I think that's the million dollar question. My gut feeling on this. So, first off, that, you know, you're seeing some spin by the GOP

right now that says, you know, oh, I talked to every Twitter person's like, I talked to somebody who said they would never vote for Trump and now they


Well, I'm going to call, I'm going to raise the flag of lies on that one. I don't think there is anybody that was with Joe Biden that is now with

Donald Trump because he was convicted of felonies.

I don't think it's going to make a massive change in the polls, which is unfortunate, but I don't think it will.

But in an election, that's basically 50-50. And it's going to be decided in a few states by a few thousand votes, it may be enough to make a


And now, of course, this didn't happen because of an election outcome. But I think this will affect Donald Trump no matter how much money he raises.

Money plays a much less important role in campaigns nowadays, because people are just paying attention a lot more and a lot earlier.

I think this can make -- you think of the 20 percent of Republican voters that are still voting for Nikki Haley, even though she's dropped out,

right? Those are the kinds of folks that could say I am uncomfortable voting for a convicted felon for the first time in American history to be

president of the United States. I think it can make an impact.

SCIUTTO: You know, I'm sure you watched with some trepidation, perhaps disappointment, as virtually every elected Republican lawmaker lined up

behind Trump on this and call the whole outcome and the whole prosecution unfair.

You know, as well as anyone right there when you stand up and are counted with criticism of Trump like Liz Cheney, for instance, you know, the most

likely outcome is you're expelled from the party.

What does that mean for the Republican Party? That you have to, regardless, right, even with January 6th, you have to stand behind him and not utter a

critical word. What does it mean for the party?

KINZINGER: Well, it means the party is no longer an independent thinking party. What does that mean? It means, you know, this conservative viewpoint

of we're -- you know, I'm proud of conservative ideals, right? I think this country needs a solid, conservative movement, that has stifle. People can

no longer come up with good conservative policy for this country, because they can't go out of the mainstream of whatever Donald Trump says at that


Conservatism somehow has become pro-Russia. So, that means that the ability to speak out against the Russians and defend the United States and our

allies and national defense is at stake.

And ultimately, I think it means that whether that's going to be in November, or whether it's you know, God forbid, Donald Trump wins, and it's

four years from now, the Republican Party will have to come to a reckoning because a party centered around a personality, look at any failing

democracy or struggling democracy around the world. Any party that surrounds a personality struggles and self-governance struggles.

So, this is bad. And that's what happens when Donald Trump pardon the phrase here, but he executes hostages that leave. And so that everybody

else is held hostage in the GOP and doesn't dare leave and doesn't dare cross.

SCIUTTO: Yes, they see what price disloyalty -- what the price of disloyalty is.

Adam Kinzinger, thanks so much.

Well, the presumptive Republican nominee has got a busy summer ahead. The first presidential debate here on CNN is less than four weeks away. July,

of course, brings the sentencing hearing in the hush money case, the Republican Convention just a few days later, and then a hearing in his

classified documents case.

For now, Trump's legal team is focusing on appealing the Thursday conviction. Lead attorney Todd Blanche told Kaitlan Collins exactly how

they're going to approach that.


TODD BLANCHE, ATTORNEY OF DONALD TRUMP: The law says that a person is entitled to a fair trial in front of a jury of their peers. And we just

think that because of everything around the lead of this trial, it made it very difficult for the jury to evaluate the evidence kind of independent of

what they knew coming in. And we knew that and that's not something that we -- I haven't -- we've been screaming from the rooftops (INAUDIBLE).

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Let's talk about -- you said a few of your arguments on the appeal. When do you plan to file

your appeal?

BLANCHE: Well, there's a lot of that -- look, this is one step in the process, right? So, we have motions due, in a couple weeks, in front of

Judge Merchan, which we're going to vigorously fight, and restate a lot of what I'm saying to you, tonight, and other things that happened on the

trial that we think just made the trial unfair, including the testimony of Miss Daniels.

If that is not successful, then as soon as we can appeal, we will. And the process in New York is there's a sentencing, and then -- and then we appeal

from there.


SCIUTTO: Anna Cominsky is a professor at New York Law School. She joins me now from New York. Good to have you on, Anna.


Let's begin on the appeal process if we can, clearly there's an appeal. This can go as high as the Supreme Court, even though it's a state case,

which I think will surprise a number of folks viewing here. But what is the most likely outcome and timeline of an appeal because there are lots of

steps along the way?

ANNA COMINSKY, DIRECTOR, NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL'S CRIMINAL DEFENSE CLINIC: Sure. So with respect to the appeal, we were just listening to what Todd

Blanche was saying. And he's right, they can't start the appeal until judgment is entered and judgment is entered when the court has sentenced


So, once that happens, whether it's July 11th, or another date, they have 30 days to file what's called a Notice of Appeal. Once they do that, that

starts the appeal process, and that's at the very first appellate court level.

And that to the time to take for that appeal to be decided, is months, sometimes over a year. And that's just the first step, right? Because then

it can be appealed to the next appellate court in New York. It's called the Court of Appeals.

So, we're talking about something that if he doesn't get a positive -- you know, if he doesn't get a positive outcome at that first appellate level,

and he needs to appeal again, we're talking about several years worth of appeals, depending upon what the decisions are.

SCIUTTO: So, that appeal process and timeline does not interrupt the sentencing timeline. It's on -- July 11th he'll be sentenced. Does that --

and let's say he's -- well, possibly a jail term, or even probation. Does this sentence get imposed even as the appeal is underway?

COMINSKY: So, what happens is the judge imposes sentence, meaning the judge says here is what the sentence is. However, the judge can do what we call

suspend the sentence while the appeal is pending. Meaning, even though he's entered the judgment, even though he said this is what my sentence is, he

delays the sentence itself until the appellate process is completed.

SCIUTTO: He can do that. But is that standard procedure? Or is it more likely he lets the sentence carry out in the meantime?

COMINSKY: It really depends upon the case, I think it's likely in this case that he would suspend the sentence given, you know, who the defendant is,

the type of charges and the fact that even though he's facing a sentence of imprisonment, it's highly unlikely that the judge will sentence him to a

term of imprisonment.

All those factors bold that he would most likely suspend the sentence while the appeal is pending.

SCIUTTO: OK. The other big case -- well, case is, right. We're waiting for the Supreme Court to decide on an immunity question, which affects both

January 6th and declassified documents case.

What is the most likely timeline for let's just say the January 6th case, right? The one most likely to be adjudicated prior to the election. What's

the most likely timeline? I mean, it really depends on what Supreme Court says, doesn't it?

COMINSKY: Yes, I mean, we're waiting for decisions from the court. So, that, you know, the issue here is just when these decisions come out. And

then when the courts start to do other things with respect to the case, right?

And so, I think it's pretty likely that these cases will not get going before the elections.

SCIUTTO: Anna Cominsky, thanks so much.

Zzz Thank you.

SCIUTTO: When we do return, President Joe Biden is hosting the Super Bowl winning Kansas City Chiefs football team, we're going to take a look at the

White House next.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Welcome back. Welcome back to the White House. Super Bowl LVIII champions in Kansas City Chiefs. The

first team in 20 years to win back to back, winning back to back. I kind of like that.




SOARES: I want to take you live to the White House. I've got this moment here. Let's just watch this, listen.

You can hear the live celebratory. It suits him, I have to say. And Joe Biden there -- President Joe Biden welcoming the Kansas City Chiefs. Of

course the visit by this year's -- let's listen to him actually.

I'm not sure if anyone captured that, it's somewhat muted. But the visit of course by this year's Super Bowl champs comes hours after Biden's first

comments about Donald Trump's commission, very celebratory mood you can see there. We've heard already from the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. We've

seen the coach as well. And behind them there the players.

Kevin Liptak has been listening in in Washington D.C. And Kevin, look, it's been a pretty busy day. I think it's fair to say for President Biden. Talk

us through what have you been hearing just in the last few minutes?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Biden breaking all the rules of politics there. Never eat in public and never wear a hat.

President Biden clearly feeling like he's in a good mood. And you see him there shaking the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, including Travis Kelce,

who is the tight end, of course. He invited him up to speak at the microphone saying he might regret it. But he said that he would be tased if

he said much more and went back to his position. And you see there, the quarterback Patrick Mahomes and that's Travis Kelce to his right.

And President Biden, you know, a clearly a light hearted event. There is one player on this team that I don't think President Biden is all that

eager to meet. His name is Harrison Butker. And you can see him sort of in the very back, he has a beard, sort of a red beard. He's a very

conservative Christian. He delivered a commencement address a few weeks ago at a Catholic College, and really went after President Biden for some of

his stances on abortion, on COVID, on LGBTQ rights. The White House said that he would, of course, be invited with the rest of the team for this

event, and he's there in the back.

So, you know, not putting a damper on President Biden, certainly, and you heard him make a few sort of light hearted jokes during his speech, he made

a joke about the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl back to back, President Biden said, that sounds pretty good. He wants to, of course, have

a back to back victory in November.

He also said that there had been some questions about whether they'd been able to pull it off again, he says he knows how that feels. And certainly,

there are plenty of Democrats who are worried about President Biden being able to pull off another election victory, so he is commiserating with them

in some way about this attempt for a repeat.

SOARES: And we are seeing just looking at those live images, President Biden now shaking hands with various players. Of course, we know that the

coach I understand is there, and the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs and it has been I think it's fair to say a pretty busy day for President Biden. I

believe he met the Belgian Prime Minister, we also heard from him just a few hours ago talking about a Gaza proposed plan.

Talk us for a minute, I mean, a moment like this, it sees the president a very different light, right?

LIPTAK: Yes, I think so. And it's sort of, you know, the NFL is America's Sports. But it puts him in a context that I think a lot of people can

relate to.

This is a team that has generated a lot of popularity, not just because of their dominance on the football field, but also because of Travis Kelce's

relationship with Taylor Swift, there has been an enormous amount of tension on him and on this team, even before they win the Super Bowl, it

was, you know, quite a buildup back in the fall and in the early months of this year.


And so, I think President Biden certainly wants to harness that and speak to a group of people who aren't necessarily paying attention to politics

every single day, not to say that they're going to, you suddenly tune in to watch them at the White House. But it does put him in a context and in

front of people who ordinary Americans relate to in an entirely different way.

And I think even though this event itself is not political in any way, this is sort of something that every president does. They welcome the

championship teams to the White House. It does show President Biden willing, you know, to have a good time, put on the helmet, stand in front

of the Lombardi trophy and really demonstrate his every madness.

SOARES: And the team -- and the team look very pretty, pretty chuffed, I have to say. And for many people, and I have to say one of my colleagues

here was asking, is Taylor Swift going to be there? That's the question that I got asked. No, Taylor Swift for more (ph) in the stand is not there.

I think she's in Madrid in European tour.

LIPTAK: She is in Madrid. She is on her Eras tour and the Eras tour does not play this offline (ph). I don't think.

SOARES: Thanks very much, Kevin. Great to see you, appreciate it.

Now, let's stay in the United States. The Kremlin claims Ukraine has already tried to strike targets inside Russia, with U.S. made weapons and a

top Russian official warns that those strikes could put the West in danger.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has now confirmed that Washington has eased restrictions on military aid. He said Ukraine wants to fend off

cross border attacks, have a listen to this.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Over the past few weeks, Ukraine came to us and asked for the authorization to use weapons that we're

providing to defend against this aggression including against Russian forces that are massing on the Russian side of the border.


SOARES: Alex Marquardt joins me now for more on this. And Alex, I mean, this is pretty marked shift. I think it's fair to say in terms of policy

from President Biden, who as we know for several years now has steadfastly refused to allow Ukraine to use American weaponry to strike inside Russia.

I mean, how soon critically does this go into effect and how far or how deep let's just say inside Russia will the U.S. allow these weapons --

their weapons to be used here?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it goes into effect immediately as of yesterday. And this is a shift on a limited

scale in that it is only really for the area in Russia that is just across the border from Kharkiv.

But he says certainly is a significant shift, as you say, because this is the first time that the U.S. has allowed Ukraine to use these U.S. weapons

inside of Russia. There have been significant fears of escalation of provoking Vladimir Putin into escalating the conflict.

But as you heard Secretary Blinken alluding to there several weeks ago, in fact, on May 13th we're told, the Ukrainians made a formal request to the

Biden administration to be able to use these American weapons inside of Russia. This was put to Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser as

well as the Secretary of Defense, they immediately agreed with it, we're told they took the recommendation to the president who also agree that in

this limited scope, that they be allowed to target these staging areas, if you will, for Russian troops on the other side of the border.

But he said it did take quite some time from that may 13th video call all the way to May 30th until this went into effect.

So, this is certainly welcome news for the -- for the Ukrainians. But for now, the Biden administration is saying that it is just with regards to

this fight in Kharkiv. And trying to keep the Russians at bay in the northeastern part of Ukraine.

SOARES: Yes, an important point, not all allies, at least European allies are on board here. You're starting to hear a core growing chorus but not

all on board.

Alex, great to see you, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Coming up after this, Donald Trump's conviction is broken 235 years of precedent. We'll talk about the historic nature of his run for the U.S.

president, that's next.



SCIUTTO: Three U.S. presidents have been impeached. One president resigned but no former or current president has ever been convicted of a crime until

now. It's hard to downplay the significance of Thursday's guilty verdict on all counts, which has taken over the front page newspapers around the


Donald Trump is now the first felon to run for office as the likely nominee for a major party up ending some 230 years of precedent.

CNN Political Analyst Julian Zelizer is a historian and professor at Princeton University. He joins me now from New York. Good to have you here.

Help place this in some historical context for us. It's the first, that's history right there. Does it open up a new chapter of this, I wonder?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's -- it is a first in the long run of history. And we haven't had a former president convicted of

being been -- becoming a felon as he's running again. So, that's history.

It's also important small history, meaning we have this question floating around about presidential immunity and presidents and former presidents be

held accountable. And I think this is significant, and that a court decided, yes, and went through the legal process with a resolution. And I

think that's notable given where we are in this debate right now on this bigger issue.

SCIUTTO: So, bringing up the impeachment as well, because we say three, but let's be frank, that most of those have come in the last 20 years, of

course, Clinton in the late '90s, twice for Trump, there was an attempt to impeach Biden which failed in the Republican House, but they are certainly

becoming more common.

And of course, the concern is, and this is a Republican and a Democratic concern, frankly, is that, and that's a different kind of prosecution, of

course, it's in the political sphere, but it's a prosecution, nonetheless, that they're becoming more common.

And the fear is that they become politically motivated, whether you believe that one individually is but that it becomes more of a political norm. And

I wonder if you share that fear?

ZELIZER: Sure, I think that's a rational fear to have. We see with every process, every procedure, how it becomes politicized. And if you set a

precedent that you can do this, there will be a temptation. Where already, I'm sure, hearing words of retribution, coming from Republicans that this

will be returned. But that doesn't mean you don't do it. It was like the impeachments with President Trump, that argument was, well, if there's a

legitimate case, you can't have those fears.

Because the other argument is if you don't do this, you open the door to unbound power and no guardrails. And so, that is equally if not more

dangerous than this precedent.

SCIUTTO: Tell us in a matter of historical precedent. Trump's -- I'm not going to convict him, I'm not a jury, he was convicted by a jury in New

York and you have three other indictment least again, you know, a legal process was followed. And there were indictments issued, classified case --

classified documents case January 6th, and, of course, the Fulton County case in Georgia.

When you look at the sweep of that, does it at least show that no one is above the law?

ZELIZER: Well, we will see. I mean, if those cases, especially the bigger ones, such as the ones involved with overturning an election or attempting

to, and nothing happens, that delay allows perhaps a reelected Trump to sweep them aside, no.


Then, there is a case to be made that we have a situation where the president is above the law. And that's why those cases are so urgent. And

that's why the legal process is being called on to answer questions that the Senate wouldn't answer with the impeachment process.

SCIUTTO: Is there a way out of the loss of confidence, right, and these institutions, because you have from both sides, right, you have a loss of

confidence that the institutions aren't prosecuting these cases quickly enough, right, or doing so or are failing to do so in a biased way.

And then you have, on the other side, a sense that they're prosecuting because of political bias here. What's the path to repair that loss -- that

loss of confidence in those institutions?

ZELIZER: It's going to be a leadership issue. I mean, I do think it's important that leaders of the parties act with guardrails, and they show

they can be partisan, they can fight tooth and nail, but there are limitations to what they will do.

Similarly, with presidents, we can't have a situation where presidents believe anything is permissible.

And the frustrating thing is that it's about the individual leaders taking action. Coupled with that are reforms, we can reform our political system.

We tried to do it after Watergate, some reforms were successful. And maybe we're at a moment where we need more institutional reforms coupled with

leadership to restore trust in American government.

SCIUTTO: For sure, although such reforms typically involve compromise and the prospect for compromise today, perhaps less so. We'll see though.

Julian Zelizer, thanks so much.

And coming up, Isa Soares will be back with a look at the final numbers from Wall Street right after this.


SOARES: Some breaking news to bring you in the last 10 minutes or so, Hamas has welcomed the U.S. President Biden's proposal for a permanent ceasefire

in Gaza.

If you remember, in the last one, two hours or so, we had U.S. President Joe Biden said that Israel had offered what he called a comprehensive

ceasefire plan. Now we're hearing from Hamas. I'm going to read part of that statement, saying they view positively what was included in U.S.

President Joe Biden's speech in his call for permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of occupation forces from Gaza and the reconstruction.


And it says the movement of firm disposition of readiness to deal positively and constructively with any proposal based on a permanent


So, of course, we've got this from Hamas. Of course, we'll stay on top of it where this leaves the next stage of the negotiations.

That's it for us. Do stay right here. THE SITUATION ROOM is next.