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CNN TONIGHT: Sources: Cassidy Hutchinson Was One Of The Witnesses Trump Allies Sought To Influence; Griner's Wife: I Don't Trust That The Maximum Effort Is Being Put Into Bringing WNBA Star Home From Russia; Emmett Till's Family Calls For Justice After Discovering An Unserved Warrant In His Case Nearly 70 Years Later. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 30, 2022 - 21:00   ET



RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's what's unclear. The Marshals couldn't say. They just said, she resembled that person.


KAYE: But it's unclear, how she got that passport, or if they knew.

COOPER: Right.

KAYE: And we know that she was picked up--


KAYE: --at that hostel. And she did change her appearance, as well, Anderson.


KAYE: Short hair, instead of the long blonde hair that she had.

COOPER: Randi Kaye, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

The news continues. Want to hand it over to Sara Sidner, and CNN TONIGHT.


SARA SIDNER, CNN HOST: Anderson, thank you.

I'm Sara Sidner. And this is CNN TONIGHT.

New information, is coming to light, pertaining to a star witness, for the January 6 committee. Did Donald Trump's inner circle, try to keep Cassidy Hutchinson, from speaking the truth, about what she knows? And is that a crime?

According to three CNN sources, the former aide, to then White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, told the panel, she was contacted by someone, in the Trump camp, attempting to influence her testimony. Remember those messages, Vice Chair Liz Cheney, read aloud, at Tuesday's hearing, alluding to possible witness intimidation?

The GOP Congresswoman didn't name names. But she relayed accounts, from two unidentified witnesses, who said they were pressured by people, close to the ex-President, to quote, "Do the right thing," be loyal to Donald Trump, reminding them Trump would be paying close attention, to their words.

The committee suggests it has many other examples, of witness tampering, which is, of course, a very serious crime. Is that what is happening here? And will the DOJ be looking into this?


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): They believe that they can affect the testimony of witnesses, before the committee.

It's a very serious issue. And I would imagine the Department of Justice would be very interested in, and would take that very seriously as well.


SIDNER: The two investigations going on, congressional and criminal, are showing signs of clashing, yet again. There's the friction over access to transcripts of interviews, the committee conducted that the Justice Department wants.

The New York Times reporting, federal prosecutors were just as surprised, by Hutchinson's testimony, this week, as anyone else watching, and left feeling blindsided.

But, at the same time, the Select Committee, is expressing frustration, with the pace of criminal indictments, and the DOJ, opting not to charge some, who failed to comply, with those House subpoenas.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I am frustrated that, for instance, Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino have refused to come in and talk to Congress.

We have the power of subpoena, similar to what a court has. And the Justice Department has failed to indict them for that. And so all it does is send a message, "You just have to resist the Select Committee, and you may be able to resist all penalties." That's been a frustration.


SIDNER: Federal agents, moved in, on some of Trump's allies, though in, recent days, searching the home of Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official, who almost became Acting Attorney General, and seizing the phone, of lawyer, John Eastman, two central figures, in the plot, to help keep Trump, in power. Both had a bright spotlight, shined on them, in the congressional hearings.

So, will the two investigations come together, in the days and weeks to come? And what will justice, for the attack, on the Capitol, on January 6th, look like, in the end?

Let's take it around the table, to CNN Political Commentator, and attorney, Bakari Sellers, New York Times Editorial Writer, Michelle Cottle, and former federal prosecutor, Shan Wu.

Thank you all for being here.

Shan, I'm going to start with you. Is it just me? Or is the DOJ seem bit behind the eight ball here, compared to what the committee has been pumping out, regularly?

SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: They're definitely behind the game, right now. And that's probably why they are feeling frustrated, at not getting these transcripts.

But there's good reasons, for the committee, not to want to hand over those transcripts. We don't know what kind of promises were made, the parameters, of those witness interviews.

And also, I think, from a perspective of, are they a congressional investigation? Or are they just an arm of the Justice Department? It's important for them, not to look like, they're just being weaponized, by the Justice Department.

SIDNER: The separation between the different agencies--

WU: Yes.

SIDNER: --is really important. You mentioned--

WU: Separation of powers.

SIDNER: --separation of powers.

All right, here's what Jamie Raskin said. I want to go to this, about why there isn't more cooperation, and sort of leading to what we were just talking about.


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): They're not just turning everything, they have, over to us, because they're governed by particular guidelines and strictures. And it's the exact same thing with us. It's a separation of powers. And they have all the same investigative authorities, and powers that we have, including the subpoena power.


SIDNER: Raskin talking to Laura Coates, there.

This is to everybody. I will start with you. Is that a good enough answer? I mean, does that really make sense to you? Because a lot of people, watching this, think like, how can these two things be so disparate?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, ATTORNEY: Well, I think the reason they say that, is because, for the last four years, you saw a President, and an Executive branch, weaponize the Department of Justice. And there is a effort, to make sure that they maintain some sort of independence, pseudo independence, or whatever you may want to call it.


But I have full faith. And a lot of my colleagues, don't. A lot of my friends, don't. I still have faith in Merrick Garland. I know that he's probably not the most popular person, in the Administration, right now, because of what people perceive to be, a lack of action.

But I do think that there is a reason that he did not press charges, against Mark Meadows, I think, and Dan Scavino. I think that there're things that they are working, cooking up, charges may be brought, in the future. It may just not be contempt of Congress.

And so, I have a lot of faith that the full power, of the federal government, is going to find out what happened, and prosecute those.

The question is, I mean, the big question, the million-dollar question, or the $45 question is, will they prosecute the 45th President of the United States?

SIDNER: Right, right. And that is a huge one. And it is very different, to have the committee, looking at this, than building a case that is prosecutable.

Michelle, I want to ask you about witness tampering. A lot of people talking about that. Because these are not crimes that are being looked at of what happened before. These are crimes that ostensibly are currently happening. Is this putting a fire, under the DOJ?

MICHELLE COTTLE, EDITORIAL WRITER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: You know, there's the political truism that it's never the crime, it's the cover-up.

SIDNER: Right.


COTTLE: And, in this case, witness tampering is a much more straightforward charge, to come with than say, seditious conspiracy, that sort of thing. It resonates.

And I do think that the argument that the Trumpworld people, are still trying to cover this up, and make sure that the American people don't find out, what happened, is a really big issue. And if that gets proved, then I think the pressure, to indict, becomes a lot higher.

SIDNER: OK. I want to go back to something that we heard, from Cassidy, and then compare that to something that Donald Trump said. Because, she's being attacked from all angles. And she knew that was going to happen, I think everyone did, which is why, there were certain measures, put in place, for her security.

When it comes to credibility, Donald Trump can't say he didn't want people, with guns, let into the rally.

But here's Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony, and what the former President said himself, on January 6, when he said this, to the crowd, that day.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO TRUMP WH CHIEF OF STAFF MARK MEADOWS: When we were in the offstage announce area tent, behind the stage, he was very concerned about the shot, meaning the photograph that we would get, because the rally space wasn't full.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Media will not show the magnitude of this crowd. Even I, when I turned on today, I looked, and I saw thousands of people here, but you don't see hundreds of thousands of people behind you, because they don't want to show that.

HUTCHINSON: I was in the vicinity of a conversation, where I overheard the President say something to the effect of, you know, I - "I don't effing care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Take that effing mags away."

TRUMP: And I'd love to have, if those tens of thousands of people would be allowed? The Military, the Secret Service, and we want to thank you, and the police law enforcement, great - you're doing a great job.


TRUMP: But I'd love it, if they could be allowed, to come up here, with us. Is that possible? Can you just let them come up, please?


SIDNER: So, there is all this talk, of magnetometers, and those, him saying he didn't want them to be used, according to this testimony, by Cassidy Hutchinson.

What do you make of that? Is that something that could be used, by the committee? They could look at what he said then, and then what she's saying, and try to match it up?

WU: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I think, the key point to that, from a prosecutor's viewpoint, is the idea that he knows there are people, so he can't deny that anymore. And yet, he is basically inviting them, to come in, and that he will lead them still.

So, for anybody else? That would be pretty damning.

SELLERS: Let me - can I - can I comment on that point?

SIDNER: Yes, yes, sure. SELLERS: Because, a lot of people, particularly, in the press, and in social media, made a lot of hay. I mean, ketchup was trending, about the toddler-like behavior.

They made a lot of hay, about her hearsay testimony, about him possibly choking, or assaulting, a Secret Service agent. That, to me, wasn't that big of a deal, because it was hearsay. You got to have somebody in the vehicle. You got to have somebody, who was there. She was testifying as to what somebody else told her.

But the testimony that she gave about him knowing what was going on, him having that knowledge? I mean, you can go to intent, you can go to all these other things.

But the committee did a great job, in building the case that the President was very aware that there was a propensity, to have violence occur, on that date. And because he knew it, it makes the charge, of what's the word that we're using? Conspiracy? Seditious?

COTTLE: Seditious.

SELLERS: That one.

SIDNER: Seditious conspiracy.

SELLERS: It makes that charge a little bit easier to prove, although it still is a big mountain to climb.

SIDNER: When you start looking at, how the DOJ is responding to this, does it surprise you that they were surprised that, they were taken aback by this testimony?

That did shock everybody. But, I think, people imagined that prosecutors, especially the DOJ, has some inside knowledge, of all of these things, and are sort of like just waiting to go.

Shan is laughing over here.

But just sort of waiting to catch the next?

COTTLE: They're omniscient.



COTTLE: Again, it speaks to the - that links that's in - that they all seem to be going to, to make sure that this doesn't look politicized.

You're talking about Trumpworld. And if there's one thing that the former President likes, to whine about, it's how the Deep State is out to get him, and it's all political, and he's never done anything wrong. This is all just a political witch-hunt.

So, I do think that there has been a logic, to having things, kind of follow the appropriate paths. And if they're not handing over the transcripts, and they did not get the same statements from her, then, you know, they're going to get blindsided, occasionally. I don't think the public sniping about it, though, is particularly useful from either side.

SIDNER: All right. Thank you, three. That is a discussion that we're going to continue.

But first, to the looming trial, for American basketball star, Brittney Griner, in Russia. She's been held, for months, on accusations, of drug smuggling. The U.S. calls it wrongful detainment.

CNN's Abby Phillip, just spoke with Griner's wife, on the fight to bring Brittney, home.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN ANCHOR, "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY": Do you trust that the maximum amount of effort is being put forward, to bring BG, home?


SIDNER: Her answer, in an exclusive, coming up next.



SIDNER: Just hours, from now, the trial, for Brittney Griner, the WNBA star, held in Russia, since her February arrest, is set to begin.

The 31-year-old Phoenix Mercury player, was arrested, at a Moscow airport, on allegations, of attempted drug smuggling, after Russian authorities claimed, she had cannabis oil, in her luggage. The U.S. State Department believes she is being wrongfully detained.

Griner, who played in Russia, during the WNBA's offseason, now faces up to 10 years, in prison.

In a CNN exclusive interview, her wife, Cherelle, spoke to our Abby Phillip. Cherelle Griner, says Brittney is struggling, and she's terrified.


CHERELLE GRINER, WIFE OF DETAINED WNBA STAR BRITTNEY GRINER: It's really difficult. It's really, really difficult.

This is not a situation, where the rhetoric is matching the action. And so, I can't just take the fact that this is somebody's job, to bring home, my wife, and go off grid, and focus, to that degree. I can't do that, you know?

I do have to, unfortunately, also push people, to make sure that things that they're telling me, is also matching their actions. And so, it has been the hardest thing to balance, because I can't let up because, it's 100 - it's over 130 days, and BG's still not back.

PHILLIP: Do you trust that the maximum amount of effort, is being put forward, to bring BG home?

GRINER: No, I don't. And I hate to say that, because I do trust that they're - the persons working on this are very genuine people. That, I do believe.

But I don't think the maximum amount of effort is being done. Because again, the rhetoric and the actions don't match. When you have a situation where BG can call our government, the Embassy, a 11 times, and that phone call don't get answered? You don't have my trust, at that point, until I see actions that are in BG's best interests.

It would have been in her best interest, for her phone calls, to have been answered. It would be in her best interest for her to be back on U.S. soil. So, until I see things like that, no.

PHILLIP: I know that you've had some conversations, with the Secretary of State, and with other officials. But you want to talk to President Biden, right?

GRINER: Absolutely. And the reason why is because, I'm new to this, you know? So, I don't. I'm no politician. I just graduated law school. So I can only, you know, I can only do those things that are being told, are beneficial for my wife.

And the most beneficial thing that I've been told is that, you meet with President Biden. He has that power. He is the person that ultimately will make that decision, for BG, to come home. And so, while everybody else wants to tell me they care, I would love for him to tell me, he cares.

PHILLIP: What do you want to tell him? If you were to sit in front of him, what would you say, speaking directly to him?

GRINER: Well, honestly, the first thing is I want to humanize my wife to him. BG, she's no politician. She honestly didn't really get into this type of stuff, when it comes to voting, and all of that, until, we got married.

And obviously, I'm very, very, very big on voting, and all of the legal processes, and stuff, in our system. And so, this is our first year voting, you know? So, his ballot was my wife's first time--

PHILLIP: She voted for President Biden?

GRINER: She did. She took - made that conscious decision, to trust in him, and his administration.

PHILLIP: There's talk of prisoner swaps, being the thing that needs to happen. Is that what you think should be done? Do you think that the Administration should say, "We will swap, who you want, for Brittney, to bring her home?"

GRINER: To be very honest with you, I don't really listen to much of the talk about the how, in measures of, what is necessary, to get her home. But if that's what's necessary? Then yes, do it.

PHILLIP: Have you seen any of the pictures that have been released, this week, of her?

GRINER: I have. I have.

PHILLIP: And what did you think?


GRINER: It was very disheartening, you know? And honestly, I told you, I like to be very frank, with my wife, and authentic, when I do write her, you know?

And I told her, I said, "I saw a picture. And honestly, for a second, I thought you was insane," I said, "And it kind of took me aback."

And so, I told her I was like, "I just want to tell you one thing." I said, "If you are losing your mind, just be gracious with yourself, because you're human, and that's OK. And that when you come back, we will love you back whole."

And I said, "If you aren't going insane, just do me a favor. And just try and keep whatever integrity, you can control, by not allowing them, to depict you, in ways that are not really, your current state," I said. "So, if you got to put a hoodie on, and cover your head, do it. Don't allow them to try and strip you completely to that degree."

Because, at the end of the day, they're controlling the media, over there. So, I don't really know, if it's photoshopped, or if that's really her state of being, and things of that nature. But it was very hard to see. And so, I understand propaganda, to a certain degree. So, I try not to take it as just truth. But it did make me worried.

PHILLIP: Has she had a chance to respond?

GRINER: She did.

PHILLIP: OK. What did she say?

GRINER: Well, she laughed. She did. She said, "Babe, I promise, I'm not a lunatic, yet." She said, "I haven't completely gone crazy," she said. "But I was very shocked, because when I turned that corner, it was over 100 news outlets, with cameras waiting, right there."


GRINER: And she told me that she was also very exhausted, because again, this is not a normal process.

So, BG has happened to travel over five hours' round trip, when she goes to court, in a very, very, very tiny cage, with her knees bent, feet up to the ground, because it's not big enough for her to fit in.

So, she is experiencing a lot, the days, before she walks into court. And so, she was just like, "It was just a lot. I was in a terrible mood. My body was hurting. And just, I was shocked, when I turned that corner." But she was like, "It's OK, I'm not crazy yet."

PHILLIP: Yes. Do you think she's being used as a political pawn, by Russia?

GRINER: Honestly, all of this stuff is so new to me. I didn't even understand what a political pawn was, for a minute.


GRINER: And somebody asked me still (ph)--

PHILLIP: But I mean, she's a--

GRINER: --that way.

PHILLIP: She's an American. She's a Black woman. She's a lesbian woman. All of those things, I mean, when you realize kind of the context around that, what did you - what did you think?

GRINER: It was a big pill to swallow. I just didn't understand it. Like, it felt like a movie for me.

I didn't understand these terms, and these words, and my mind. BG's just my best friend, you know? So like, I know, she's a big deal. But did I ever think that she could be big enough, to where somebody would want to use her, to get something else? No, you know? So, it was really hard for me, to grasp that, you know?

But then I realized, like, the answer to that question is yes, like, yes. Can they get something, in return for BG? Yes, they can. Are they willing to do that? Yes. And, at this point, I want them to. Whatever you want, please ask?


SIDNER: Abby Phillip joins me now. What an incredibly powerful interview!

I know, Cherelle also met with the family of Trevor Reed, the 30-year- old former U.S. Marine, imprisoned in Russia, for almost three years, who was released earlier this year. He has already called, for her to be released.

What did she tell you, about their meeting?

PHILLIP: Yes, Sara, she called it a club, a club that, I think, none of these families want to be in, the families of Americans, who are wrongfully detained abroad. And they comfort each other. They communicate with each other. And they give each other advice, lessons learned.

She talked about meeting families, whose loved ones had been detained, for years. And she thought to herself, just the thought of that, would break her that if she were in this position, for years, it would ultimately break her. Look, she said, there were a couple of main lessons that she took away, from some of these conversations, with the family, of Trevor Reed, with Trevor Reed himself. And she said, one of them was to not be quiet.

At the beginning of Brittney Griner's detention, they didn't say a whole lot. They were pretty quiet, waiting for there to be more attention - more back - behind-the-scenes actions being taken.

But she said that she has heard, almost unanimously, from these families that you have to keep the attention going, you have to keep the focus, on these families, in order to put the pressure on them.

And the other thing was that meeting with President Biden, a lot of these families said to her, that meeting is a prerequisite, for your loved one, coming home. So, you have got to push for that. And she did, multiple times, in this interview.

SIDNER: I thought it was really interesting, because when you were talking to Cherelle, she talked about, being - going to school, and being a future lawyer, and also being a wife.


And she expressed how Brittney, in this moment, wanted her to focus on herself, and passing the bar. I mean, how is she able to do all these things, while her wife is in this horrible position?

As she talks about, just even the difficulties, getting to and from the courthouse. And we know, from Trevor Reed, how bad things can be, in a Russian prison, for something, as small as having--


SIDNER: --some supposed contraband. What does she tell you about how she's handling this--


SIDNER: --while her wife is stuck there?

PHILLIP: Yes. I mean, she knows that her wife is facing prison time, in Russia, in a justice system that she simply does not think can be fair.

But you have to understand, she was in her final semester, of law school, when Brittney Griner was detained. She graduated, from law school, without her wife, there. She is now in the middle, 25 days or so, away from studying, for the bar. Her birthday, is tomorrow.

So, she is dealing with all these life events, while this global incident is occurring, around her.

But you saw a little bit of this, there. They were writing letters, to each other, constantly, back-and-forth. I asked her, "Are you able to be candid with Brittney in these letters?" And she said, "Yes, I am." But, in these letters, they are able to laugh, with each other. They are able to be real with each other. And she said, Brittney was very clear that she needed to continue onward, and not be deterred, by what was happening to her.

But Cherelle, who is training to be, who is a lawyer, and is trying to pass the bar? She wants to defend young juvenile defendants, in the criminal justice system. She says, this incident has totally changed, and really expanded, her perspective, about what she wants to do, in the legal field.

What that ultimately will mean for her? I think it's not - I'm not sure, she even knows. But I think that there's no question she feels like this is a life-changing moment, for her, as well.

SIDNER: Abby Phillip that, was such an incredible interview. Thank you so much, for bringing that, to us.

PHILLIP: Thank you, Sara.

SIDNER: Coming up, an astonishing development, in the murder that launched America's Civil Rights Movement. Nearly 70 years later, Emmett Till's family takes us through the moment, they made a remarkable discovery.

But is it enough, to reopen the investigation, into Till's kidnapping that led, to his gruesome murder? That's next.



SIDNER: Now, to a surprising new chapter, in the murder and kidnapping, of a teenage boy, who became a symbol, for the American rights civil - Civil Rights Movement, Emmett Till.

A warning, the infamous photo - photograph - I'm going to get this out, eventually. The infamous photograph, we're about to show you, is graphic. But his mother, Mamie, never wanted the world to forget it.

This is what happened, to Emmett Till, the 14-year-old, who was kidnapped, and gruesomely murdered.


SIDNER: But now, his family has unearthed an unserved warrant, for the people, accused of kidnapping Till. One of those people, named in that warrant, for kidnapping, is still alive. The White woman, who accused Till, of unwanted advances, in 1955.

Till's cousins told me, today, they want that warrant, to finally be served. They say, they do not want revenge. They just want justice. Justice, the family has been denied, for 67 years.

Here's their story.


DEBORAH WATTS, CO-FOUNDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EMMETT TILL LEGACY FOUNDATION: I believe we were led by our angels, led by the Spirit of Mamie Till-Mobley, and Emmett Till.

SIDNER (voice-over): For 67 years, the family of Emmett Till, say they have been seeking justice, not just for the 1955 murder, of the 14- year-old Black boy, whose tortured, and disfigured body, helped spark the Civil Rights Movement, but for what led up to that murder, his kidnapping.

The family believes, one suspect, is a woman, who is still alive.

D. WATTS: I mean, we thought of things like citizen's arrest, I'm just going to tell you. We thought of things like, well, can we find the warrant and present it to her? If the authorities aren't going to do this, what can we do?

SIDNER (voice-over): Till's cousins, Deborah and Teri Watts decided to go searching for the warrant, one, authorities, over the decades, never found in their investigations.

TERI WATTS, MN DIRECTOR, EMMETT TILL LEGACY FOUNDATION: There were cobwebs across all of the boxes, dead bugs, dust. We had to get chairs to even search on different levels of the - for the document.

D. WATTS: And gloves.

T. WATTS: We did have gloves and masks as well. But we were definitely determined to find it, no matter what. We pushed through.

SIDNER (voice-over): Two men, were acquitted, of Till's murder, by an all-White jury, though they later admitted to the killing, in an interview, with "Look" magazine.

The case against Miss Roy Bryant, who now goes by Carolyn Bryant Donham, was never tried. We reached out to Donham, and have not heard back.

D. WATTS: We think this is evidence, this is new evidence that which no one had ever searched for. And we were able to find it. It was unbelievable. It was overwhelming. We all cried. We were in also a state of shock.

T. WATTS: Yes.

D. WATTS: Speechless, in some instances.

T. WATTS: Wow! The moment was very, very, very overwhelming. I had to look at the warrant, several times, just to make sure that it was real that it actually read Mrs. Roy Bryant, on it.

SIDNER (voice-over): Though, she was never arrested, or tried, in 2007, after the Till case, was reopened, Bryant's case was brought, in front of a Mississippi grand jury. That grand jury did not indict her. SIDNER (on camera): A majority-Black grand jury, did convene, in Greenwood, Mississippi. And they declined, to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham. What do you make of that?

D. WATTS: We're not sure why they declined, to indict her, because there was enough evidence there to indict her. The investigation had been done.


SIDNER (voice-over): The Watts say, their whole lives, they have lived with Mamie Till-Mobley's haunting cries, for justice, and the images that horrified a nation, of their cousin, Emmett Till's body, lying disfigured, in an open casket. It was a scene, his mother insisted, showing the world, to expose what racist hate, truly looks like.

T. WATTS: We did take the torch, from Mamie. We ensured to her that we will continue the fight, before she passed away.

And so, for me, I definitely want to see it through. But it has been a tremendous amount of trauma. I still feel like the weight is on our shoulders. We found the new evidence. And so, we just want justice served.

D. WATTS: We are doing this without hate, malice, or vengeance, against Carolyn Bryant. We just want justice served. Justice has been denied, for 67 years, and it needs to be served.


SIDNER: We're going to look at what the next moves could be, in this historic crime that continues to go unpunished? And who exactly would take action, after other investigations, didn't go anywhere?

When CNN TONIGHT returns.



SIDNER: The pictures of Emmett Till's young, smiling face, are seared, into the soul, of Americans, who have fought, for civil rights. That's, in part, because his family made the choice, to show another face, to the world. That, of his open casket.


SIDNER: As hard as this is to see, even decades later, we still should not look away, because the tears, and cries, from his funeral, echo, even today, especially with the findings, of this unserved warrant, shedding new light, on a system that the family says, clearly didn't work, for them.

Here to help us make sense, of all of this, Bakari Sellers, and Shan Wu, back again.

Thank you, gentlemen, for staying here.

Bakari, historically, what is the significance, of this warrant? This is a warrant, specifically, to three different people, one of whom is still alive, two of whom, were acquitted, in the murder. But this is a kidnap - part of the kidnapping part of this case.

SELLERS: I mean, I think, the significance is the fact that Emmett Till's legacy still lives on.

I mean, people need to understand, first and foremost that this isn't some relic of ancient history. Emmett Till, today, would actually be younger than House Majority Whip, Jim Clyburn. He would only be a year older than the President of the United States, Joe Biden.

And his death, it spearheaded an entire movement. The entire Emmett Till generation, you don't have John Lewis, and Julian Bond--

SIDNER: Right.

SELLERS: --and Marion Barry, and these organizers, and SNCC, without Emmett Till.

Legally speaking, they should just lock their ass up. I mean, I don't know, if that's the legal term for it. But she should have been arrested, a long time ago. The callousness, the disregard, the willful disregard for life?

She was the first "Karen," as we talk about those things, all the time, where people just call police, for no good reason. And her behavior, led to the murder, of a young boy. Not just her behavior, but her lies. And it's - it was brutal.

And if you look at Emmett Till's picture? That picture that went viral, in Ebony magazine--


SELLERS: --before you could go viral, in Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, et cetera?

That picture means so much to so many of us. Because here, you have, a young boy, who was not able to get dignity, in life, or death. And he's still not able to rest in peace, or power, because she is still walking these streets. And so, lock her ass up, is all I can say.

SIDNER: So, there is obviously another side to this.

She has not returned our request for comment.

She did, at one point, her case went to a grand jury. That was 2007. The grand jury, who did have Black folks, on that jury, did not indict, said there was not enough evidence, to indict.

Now that they have found this warrant, which is considered an open warrant, according to officials, what do they do with it? Can it be served, as is? WU: It probably can't (ph) be served. That warrant, that document, may be old. Maybe it's stale. But the injustice, and the probable cause, hasn't gone stale.

And so, even if there's some limit, to how long a warrant can stay active for, in that state? Probable cause is still there. They should just reissue it. That's what should happen, right now.

SIDNER: I want to tell you something that the family said, and just have you react. When I talked to Deborah, and Teri, it's mother and daughter, they've been fighting this fight for a very, very, very long--

WU: Yes.

SIDNER: --basically their whole lives--


SIDNER: --they've wanted to. Because, they can remember their cousin. They can remember Mamie, Emmett Till's mom, telling them, even before she died, "I still want justice for my son." And it sits on these - this family.

In their estimation, what they want, is for the wheels of justice, to turn.


SIDNER: They have not said, they want her convicted, tried, any of those things. They have said, "Do the first thing. Do what's right. Serve her with the warrant, and then go from there, charge her."

SELLERS: I mean, you're looking at a dichotomy of two individuals. You have this woman, who needs to be charged. And then you have Mamie Till.

And when you think about Miss Mamie? You think about Fannie Lou Hamer. You think about Ella Baker. You think about the strength, of all of these women, who were in the Movement. And she epitomized that so much.

And for a lot of Black folks, in this country, a lot of poor folk, in this country, you believe that justice for you is fleeting. And Emmett Till is the perfect case to depict that.

And you talked about the - you talked about the fact that a grand jury did not return an indictment. I mean, that's a part of the justice system, in this case, being broken, and not working for everyone.

Because we know that prosecutors can go in there, and make whatever case they want to make. Either one, that can - they can indict someone, or one that can lead to a lack of indictment, as we saw in this case.

And so, there's so many people, who failed, this family. And you cannot rest, until justice, is had, for a 13-year-old young Black boy, from Chicago, who was brutally murdered, in Mississippi.

SIDNER: Both of you, thank you so much. These are very hard cases. We've heard, from two families, tonight, who were really struggling.

And thank you for watching.


A big night, in Wyoming, for January 6 committee Vice Chair, Liz Cheney. She may be fighting for democracy, after the Capitol insurrection. But now, she's fighting to keep her House seat, after breaking with many, in her party.

We'll look at her case, to voters, in a crucial debate, this evening. That's coming up, next.


SIDNER: This is happening, right now, in Wyoming. You're watching Congresswoman Liz Cheney, in the midst of a high-stakes debate, in her home state. She's facing four Republican primary challengers, including Harriet Hageman, who has the backing, of Donald Trump.

Here are the two, facing off, over their divergent views, on Donald Trump, and the direction, of the entire Republican Party.


HARRIET HAGEMAN, (R) U.S. HOUSE CANDIDATE - WYOMING: Our Republic is not in danger because of President Donald J. Trump. President Trump was an excellent president, for the United States of America, and especially for the State of Wyoming.


The threat to our Republic really comes from other sources, including the fact that, right now, we're seeing that we have two different systems of justice, in this country, where we have one system of justice, where you have people, like Hunter Biden, or Hillary Clinton, or even Joe Biden, who are not accountable - or held accountable, for the decisions, and the bad acts that they - that they undertake.

CHENEY: I'm frankly stunned that one of my opponents, on this stage, who is a member of the Wyoming bar, who has sworn an oath, as many of us, on this stage have, to the Constitution, would be in a position, where she is suggesting that somehow what happened on January 6th was justified, or that somehow what happened that day, that people have the right, to ignore the rulings of the courts.

We are, in fact, a nation of laws. And we are a nation of laws, only if we defend our Constitutional Republic. And, as I made clear, last night, we have to put our oath, to the Constitution, above party.

We are now embracing a cult of personality. And I won't - I won't be part of that. And I will always stand for my oath, and stand for the truth. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: She is one of the few Republicans in office that will say something like that, out loud.

Bakari Sellers, and Michelle Cottle, are back with me.

Thank you both for being here. All right, let's start with some of the things that we just heard, there. I heard some whataboutism that we hear often.

When you hear from Liz Cheney, who is a staunch conservative Republican, like, those credentials cannot be taken away from her, in the party. But are there any upsides, I'll start with you, Bakari, for her to come out, swinging against Donald Trump, and Trumpism?

SELLERS: I mean, she's putting the Constitution over her party. I mean, I'm not someone, who's going to say that I'm going to embrace Liz Cheney, and all of her policies, which are 180 degrees, probably different than myself.

But on this issue of how fragile our democracy is, or Donald Trump's threat to democracy, and wanting to get to the truth, about January 6? She's absolutely right. And I think that that is, I mean, that we have to give credit, where credit is due.

For far too long, we live in a country of siloes, where we retreat to our own siloes, and we seek out news and opinion that reinforces our own. And it's OK to say Liz Cheney is actually putting this country ahead of her own politics. And it looks like she may be putting this country ahead of her own political future, as well.

SIDNER: I didn't want to ask you about that. What is her political future, judging from the knocks that she has been taking?

COTTLE: So look, she is correct, that this Republican Party has turned into a cult of personality. And she is a prime target for the former President's revenge crusade. So, she was going to be targeted. And within this Republican Party, she was already going to be at a huge disadvantage. So, she might as well go all-in with this.


COTTLE: There needs to be someone, out there, reminding some of the traditional Republicans, the on-the-fence Republicans, the not-so- crazy-about-MAGA Republicans that there is another way, and that hopefully, at some point, the party can come out the other side, or move past this poison.

And she intends to be kind of waving that flag, and trying to get the people to, you know, in her party, to wake up, so.

SIDNER: Can I ask you? Because you talked about the sort of revenge, and coming at her. Is that why there aren't other Republicans that speak like her? Because many, who have, have decided to suddenly retire, not run again. I mean, we've seen this over and over and over again.

COTTLE: I mean, they've made it very hard. You've seen governors retire, congressmen retire, because they are getting primaried, by these Trump-backed candidates. And, for some of them, it is just too painful.

And there are people, who are afraid. I mean, you can talk to people, in Washington, who just - if you cross Trump, you take so much heat, from the kind of the fringy elements, of the party that it is a lot for these people to deal with.

Liz Cheney has proven herself tough. She comes from a staunch, conservative family, and she is just going to go all-in on this. But very few can afford to do that.

SIDNER: So, I want to talk about this. Last night, we spoke - she spoke at the Reagan Library. She had a message, to young girls, and women, about speaking out, to defend the Republic.

Listen to this.


CHENEY: I want to speak to every young girl, watching, tonight. The power is yours. And so is the responsibility.

There are no bystanders, in a constitutional republic.

These days, for the most part, men are running the world. And it is really not going that well.



SIDNER: That got a big reaction. But again, she's speaking to a certain group of people, right? Are other Republicans going to follow suit?

I'll start with you, Michelle.

COTTLE: I think that the fever has not broken yet. I mean, if Trump keeps losing altitude? If for instance, it starts looking like 2024, he would be a big liability? There are funders, who are starting to give a lot of money, to potential competitors, or opponents, for him.

He's going to have to lose a little bit more altitude, and prove that you can succeed, in the party, without his blessing, before they're going to line up.


SELLERS: I mean, he lived through Access Hollywood. I mean, he'll live through this as well. I mean, for some reason, he's Teflon. I ain't figured that part out yet. But you applaud Liz Cheney, because I think she even realizes that the writing's somewhat on the wall with her race, in Wyoming. I know she's running to the end. But it's a very uphill battle, for her.

And there are many people, who just aren't willing to pay that price. And that's unfortunate that they're putting their politics, over the future, and the stability, of this country.

SIDNER: Can I ask you about that? So, there is the base. There is a bigger party. Is the base, the whole party, now, at this point--

COTTLE: Well it's certainly who the--

SIDNER: --when it comes to Donald Trump?

COTTLE: --party is afraid of.

SELLERS: Correct.

COTTLE: I mean, because, what you're running for, in these races, is the primary vote, especially with congressional gerrymandering, and I think that there're very few competitive districts. So, the party has to turn out for you, and you have to survive that primary, before you can go forward. And that's what's terrifying people.

SIDNER: All right, thank you both so much. We appreciate you here, Bakari Sellers, and Michelle Cottle.

We will be right back.


SIDNER: Thank you so much, for hanging out, with me. I'll be back, tomorrow night.

"DON LEMON TONIGHT" starts right now.

Hey, Don.