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NY Grand Jury Considering Trump Indictment Reconvenes Tomorrow; Appeals Court: Trump Attorney Must Testify In Documents Probe; TikTok CEO To Face Skeptical Congress Considering App Ban. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 22, 2023 - 21:00   ET



HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: But I have a question, for the crew, here. Do you guys want to go to space, if you were offered the opportunity?



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: One loud response. But everybody else sort of lackluster here, really.

ENTEN: Lukewarm.

COOPER: Lukewarm at best.

ENTEN: Lukewarm.

COOPER: Harry Enten, thanks very much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

COOPER: The news continues. CNN PRIMETIME with the over here maybe, yes, Kaitlan Collins, starts now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, fever pitch, the legal peril, facing former President Trump, reaches a boiling point.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His own attorney is ordered to testify, in the classified documents probe.

And a Manhattan grand jury nears a final decision, in the Stormy Daniels case.

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This is completely uncharted territory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is an indictment imminent?

Plus, balancing act, the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. But can it fight inflation, without sparking another bank crisis?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): It's risking pushing our economy into a recession.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the stock market plunges, what does this all mean for your job and your savings?

And TikTok goes to Washington.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): It's a direct threat to our way of life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The controversial app's CEO preparing to testify, on Capitol Hill.

SHOU CHEW, CEO, TIKTOK: Some politicians have started talking about banning TikTok.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the number of Americans, using the platform swells, could the app actually get banned?

CNN PRIMETIME starts now.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST, CNN PRIMETIME: Good evening, I'm Kaitlan Collins, alongside an all-star team, of my fellow CNN anchors here, Sara Sidner, Michael Smerconish, and Laura Coates.

Tonight, we are going to be breaking down all the day's biggest stories, together.

And just in, we are going to start with this, because CNN has learned that the Manhattan grand jury that is considering a potential indictment, of former President Trump, will be reconvening, tomorrow. They did not meet, today, in that Stormy Daniels hush money case that we've been talking about, all week.

The District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, still has said very little, about the status of the probe, and whether or not Trump is even going to be charged. But this probe does appear to be nearing a conclusion.

And meanwhile, there has also been in another case, a big defeat, for Trump, in another investigation, this one, into his handling, of classified documents.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Trump's own attorney, Evan Corcoran, must testify, again, before a Washington grand jury, this time, without the protection of attorney-client privilege.

That means that the Justice Department has successfully convinced the court that the former President's interactions, with Evan Corcoran, his defense attorney, were potentially part of a possible crime, overriding that protected attorney-client privilege.

Let's start tonight with CNN's Paula Reid, who is here, joining us, on the set.

I want to not start with that investigation. There are two that we're tracking, right now. One is moving a little bit slower than the other one. And that is the case, here, in Manhattan, where we saw that the grand jury did not go, and have - meet today, reconvene. We are told they're going to do so, tomorrow.

What are you expecting?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, we know, right now, behind closed doors, prosecutors are weighing, whether they should bring Michael Cohen back.

Now, Cohen has already testified, before the grand jury, twice. He's met with investigators, 20 times.

The reason they would have to bring him back, though, is that on Monday, a witness, Robert Costello, an attorney, testified, before the grand jury, and his role was to attack Cohen's credibility. This was a witness that the defense, the, Trump team, requested, go before the grand jury.

So, whatever happened in that grand jury room, whatever Costello said, now we've learned that prosecutors are trying to figure out, if they need to bring Cohen back, to rebut that testimony, or if they could bring a different witness back, to rebut that testimony?

So, it's going to be really interesting to see, tomorrow, if Cohen shows up because beyond that, it's unclear what additional work, the grand jury has to do.

But, I mean, one of my big questions is, what on earth could Costello has said, in that grand jury room that would have been news, to the prosecutors, or the grand jury, about Michael Cohen's credibility.

COLLINS: And he argued, coming out of that, that he was pretty effective, he believed, in making the case, against Michael Cohen. My question was why didn't he go and do that sooner?

REID: It's a great question. And again, this is a prosecutor's show. It's a grand jury. So, this was a request that the defense made. And they are allowed to do that. This appears to have perhaps caught prosecutors a little off-guard.

Now, it doesn't mean that they're not going to proceed with an indictment. We don't know exactly what this means, for the rest of the investigation. But it's certainly, from our reporting, we've learned, forced them to stop, and recalculate about their next move.

COLLINS: Yes. Of course, the question is what is the next move? What do you - what do you think is coming?

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST, SIRIUSXM HOST: I mean, first of all, if I'm at the grand jury stage, and I'm the prosecutor? The whole adage of "I can indict a ham sandwich," the fact that I'm having trouble, at this moment in time, I have to maybe rehabilitate a witness, possibly, that there is some question that's been raised that I'm thinking to myself, "Gosh, this person may have undermined significantly my case?" This is not the beyond a reasonable doubt stage. This is not even post-indictment.


This is a probable cause that this person, I'm saying, probably committed a crime, and I'm going to ask you, to give me a little bit of runway, to prove it.

If they're thinking about these things now, you guys? There is some trouble afoot. I use that word, legally, "Afoot."


COATES: There's some trouble afoot.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST, SMERCONISH: It also, I think, it also brings home the importance of Michael Cohen's testimony, in this case. For all the conversation about how there might be some corroborating evidence, if he comes back yet again, it tells me that everything is riding on his testimony.

I also have to put this into the mix. I'm sitting here, tonight, wondering whether there was ever any significance, to Tuesday, or whether that was a smart bomb that Donald Trump threw into the mix, as you broke the story, on Saturday morning, by the way, when I was about to come on air! Thank you very much! It upended everything!

But maybe that was--

COLLINS: I've just never done that before.

SMERCONISH: Right, does it all the time!

But was it a power move, on his part, to put pressure, on Alvin Bragg, to try and call attention, to Tuesday, try and bring Costello's testimony, into the mix, on Monday, and just try and pressure, the whole situation, so that it forces a decision?

COLLINS: That's an interesting point, because the "Washington Post" is reporting that he's raised over a million and a half dollars.


COLLINS: Since that happened on Saturday. We haven't actually seen what those numbers say. That's what sources are telling them. But that could speak to the political aspect about this.

SIDNER: I don't even know why this is a question. It's happened time, and time and time again.

When something comes out about Donald Trump that is negative, and it's coming out, from a prosecutor, or somebody who's a Democrat? I can tell you - I know you get the emails, too.

I am on all the lists, for all the Republicans, many of those, who follow Donald Trump, and who support him, and Donald Trump himself, as well as the list for Democrats as well. And I am getting dozens of emails per day that are asking me, and whoever they are targeting, to give them money.

And they name, "Donald Trump is going to be arrested. Look at what these people are doing to your President." So, this has been used over and over and over again. This is not new. And I think he's going to get as much money as possible, because, right now, that's all he can do.

SMERCONISH: Which might be why he wants to wear handcuffs, right?

SIDNER: Absolutely.

COATES: Oh, yes.

SMERCONISH: Because that would be the ultimate fundraising appeal for him. And I'm sure he's already rehearsed that mug shot, too.

COATES: I mean, the Frank Sinatra mug shot appeal, right?

SMERCONISH: Absolutely.

COATES: People have it in moments (ph) across the country.

SMERCONISH: As long as it's not Nick Nolte.

REID: Yes.

COATES: Well the Nick Nolte one is a whole different vibe.

SIDNER: That's--

COATES: But maybe the hair might be a little bit similar!

But remember, it had so counterintuitive, normally, the power of persuasion, you want to use, to dissuade someone, from doing something, like "You know, don't do this." It sounds like he's saying "Put up or shut up. Either way, I'm going to put these fundraising emails out there."

But it's interesting, because over time, he consistently says it's essentially him between the rest of them. "They're going after me, because they really want you."

REID: Yes.

COATES: "They're trying to get to you."

But this is such a disconnect, right? What do they want from you? They want to know whether or not there were campaign donations that were made, in excess of the amount? They want to know if business records were falsified? SMERCONISH: Sex!

COATES: Oh, well, there's that too.

COLLINS: Well and that--

COATES: And that could be part of the issue, and the biggest part of it. And that's his game. And I wonder if it's actually impacting the D.A.'s office? I can't imagine they would say, "I wonder what he will say."

SMERCONISH: Laura, can I--

REID: Yes. And it also wasn't about--

COLLINS: Yes, and they--

REID: --just about money, either. He also called for protests. "Protest! Protest! Protest! Take our nation back!"


REID: A message that really echoed what he said, in the run up to January 6. So, here he is, speculating about an arrest, his own team came out, and said, "We have no indication that was actually going to happen," not only fundraising, but also arguably speculating, about an arrest, to incite political violence.

COLLINS: Well, and it's put Republicans now, kind of in a bind, where they are now having to push back on this. They're calling for Alvin Bragg's testimony, even though we haven't seen an actual indictment, of the charges yet.

But Paula, also, bring us up to speed on the Evan Corcoran stuff, because this is a separate investigation that we're talking about. This is when it comes to the classified documents. This is not moving slowly, like we're seeing happen here in Manhattan.

REID: Yes.

COLLINS: There were actually a lot of developments, overnight, in a really rare circumstance that we're about to see play out, as scheduled, right now, on Friday, with him testifying.

REID: Exactly. There are legal problems, like you have, in Manhattan. And then, there are problems! And this is a big problem, for the former President.

The fact that his attorney, Evan Corcoran, could potentially go before a grand jury, and testify, on Friday that now two federal judges - or one federal judge, and an appellate panel, have given the green light for that? That is incredibly significant.

And this is all happening, in the Special Counsel's investigation, into the possible mishandling of classified documents, a very serious investigation. And again, what does this mean for me, and the country? I mean, most people would agree, this is a serious matter. But he's also being investigated, for whether he tried to obstruct that investigation.

And now, the Special Counsel has successfully obtained potentially this testimony, and they're also getting documents. This is something they've been aggressively pursuing. And it appears, unless the Supreme Court intervenes, that they will be successful.

And it's never a good day, when your lawyer, is testifying, about potentially a crime that the two of you committed. How weird is this?

SMERCONISH: This is the much stronger case.


REID: Yes, yes.


SMERCONISH: This is the much stronger case. And if I'm Jack Smith, and if I'm Merrick Garland, I think I'm hoping Alvin Bragg doesn't land the first blow, because then these cases get characterized more as being trivial. It was a case about sex, with a porn star, seven years ago.

This is the real deal, a pretty straightforward set of facts, mitigated, though, in the court of public opinion, by the fact that Joe Biden and Mike Pence--

SIDNER: Right.

SMERCONISH: --both had classified documents themselves. Not an apples- to-apples, but enough to kind of cue it in the court of public opinion.

COATES: But you know, what they don't have, right now, Biden or Pence, frankly, is the district court judge, or an appellate panel saying, "You know what? Whatever the conduct that has been laid out by these prosecutors so far, is a prima facie case that there has been some criminal conduct that has taken place."

For somebody, like Pence, somebody like Biden, we've all been wondering, this whole time, whether they would cancel each other out. Was it going to be the sort of mea culpa moment? Was it going to be something much more nefarious? And there's always been this distinguishing between what they did, when they learned they had the documents versus Trump?

Now to have a court say this, and this is so significant, I can't even remember a time, when a judge has said "That sacrosanct attorney- client privilege? I'm going to pierce it."

COLLINS: Really?

SMERCONISH: Can I say, at the bar, it's, "They all do it. Pence did it. Biden. They're singling out our guy." It's the way it's going to get--

COATES: They did what?

SMERCONISH: They all had classified documents, at their home.

COATES: Well, right, yes.

REID: The volume, now, the volume of the materials--


SIDNER: Right, materials.

SMERCONISH: Now you're into the weeds.

SIDNER: Saying you knew--

COLLINS: And it's the obstruction.

SIDNER: You knew you had it, but saying you didn't have it?

SMERCONISH: Can I raise this issue?

SIDNER: That's the question.

SMERCONISH: What is Merrick Garland going to do when Jack Smith comes to him, and says, "OK, here it is. And it's pretty black and white," because now there's a prosecutorial discretion question that Smith doesn't have, but Garland does.

COLLINS: It's a big question. It's a big question of what that looks like. And, of course, Trump's team was basically cheerleading, when the Biden documents were found.


COLLINS: When Pence documents were found.


COLLINS: But this has significantly changed all of this. So, we will wait to see. Obviously, Evan Corcoran is scheduled to testify, on Friday, right now. We'll see if that changes.

Paula Reid, thank you for that reporting.

All right, when we come back, we're going to have Democratic congressman, Adam Schiff, weighing in, on the growing legal drama that is surrounding the ex-President. What he thinks could happen when Trump's own attorney goes before the grand jury?



COLLINS: Back now, to our top stories, tonight. CNN has learned that the Manhattan grand jury that is hearing testimony, about the hush money, paid to the adult film actress, Stormy Daniels, will be back in session, tomorrow. A final decision, on whether to indict former President Trump, in that case, could come at any moment, now.

And also, today, former President Trump's own defense attorney has now been ordered, to testify, before a different grand jury, this one, in that classified documents probe.

So many developments, tonight. So, I want to bring in Democratic congressman, Adam Schiff, who was on the House Judiciary Committee, joining us now. He was also the lead prosecutor, in Trump's first impeachment trial, and is now running for a Senate seat, in California.

Good evening, Congressman. Thank you so much for joining us.

I want to start though with this remarkable ruling, we have, when it comes to Trump's defense attorney. They are piercing this attorney- client privilege. How rare is that? How high is the bar for that? And what does it say to you, about where the documents investigation is headed?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): I think it's very rare. I was a prosecutor, in Los Angeles, for almost six years. I don't remember this happening.

Now, it did happen, actually, in the January 6 committee investigation, when Judge Carter, out in California, also found the crime-fraud exception to apply, and ordered the production of emails, from Mr. Eastman, you might recall. So, it's happened now, twice, with Donald Trump, and those, in his orbit.

But it is exceedingly rare. It's a very high burden, to be able to prove that because that attorney-client privilege is generally so worthy of protection.

But here, you're going to have the attorney now, go into the grand jury, and that, attorney is going to be faced with potentially, telling the grand jury, information that will incriminate his client. Or, if he doesn't, then there's a risk if he's not truthful, that is, there's a risk of incriminating himself.

So, I have to imagine that he's going to want to go in there, tell the truth, and let the chips fall where they may.

COATES: Congressman, this is Laura Coates.

You know the power of the microscope, and, of course, that your colleagues in the House, and of course, the Senate, not very silent, when it comes to the investigation of things, in the Trump orbit.

Given the pressure, to threaten to maybe have an investigation, or have Alvin Bragg testify, in the House and beyond, is that, you think, giving pause, to the prosecutors now, and why there might be a delay? Would that impact their decision? SCHIFF: No, it wouldn't impact their decision. And it would be a terrible thing, if it did.

We don't know what's going on in the grand jury at the moment. I'm sure there's an explanation for the delay. But I'm very confident it's not because Jim Jordan or Kevin McCarthy are threatening to bring the District Attorney, into Congress.

That is a really abusive act, by the Speaker - by Jordan. This is what we saw before, in the Russia and Ukraine investigations, where basically Republicans in Congress, view their role, as the criminal defense firm, for the former President. Now that they're in the majority, though, they have the subpoena power, and it at least holds the prospect of it being even more abusive.

And the thing of it is that if we're going to have a rule of law, if we're going to be a nation of laws, and not a nation of persons? It means that law has to apply equally, to everyone. And you can't have Congress weighing in, to try to stop prosecutors, from prosecuting their party's leader. That would be the end of the rule of law, and it would go a long way, to the end of our democracy.

SMERCONISH: Congressman, it's Michael Smerconish.

You served, on the January 6 committee, which of course made criminal referrals, to the Justice Department, regarding President Trump, including Insurrection.

My question is this. Does a case, based on sex, diminish the importance of any charge that might later flow, from your committee's work?

SCHIFF: It doesn't diminish it.


In an ideal world, the Justice Department, which has the greatest resources, but also has the most significant potential charges? That is, those involving the effort, by Donald Trump, to stop the peaceful transfer of power, that violent attack, on the Capitol, on January 6, the multiple lines of effort, in other States, to pressure legislatures, demanding 11,780 votes, from the Georgia Secretary of State that don't exist? Those are the far more serious charges.

If the Justice Department were handling all these cases, in Georgia, in New York, they would undoubtedly bring their strongest case, the most serious case first. But that's not how our system works.

And it doesn't mean that - and it shouldn't mean that the Manhattan D.A., if they have probable cause, to believe Donald Trump has committed a crime, it doesn't mean they shouldn't go forward. They should, and they must, if they're going to treat everyone the same way.

SIDNER: Congressman, Sara Sidner, here. Since the day that former President Trump went on social media, and said, "I'm going to be arrested on Tuesday," which obviously didn't happen, he has been the headline, across the country. Everybody's talking about him. Congress, members of Congress, are talking about him. We're talking about him.

Are we all just sort of playing in to the hands of Donald Trump, where he is using this? It's like, even if he loses, he wins. He's using it to fundraise. A million bucks already. And so are other Republicans. Are you concerned about that?

SCHIFF: Well, I mean, this is what Donald Trump does, and that is he merely doubles down and triples down on any problem he runs into.

It shouldn't be a source of strength, for anyone, running for office, to be under indictment, and I don't think it will be for Donald Trump either. I think the American people are growing fatigued, by all the drama, and all the trauma that surrounds the former President.

And one thing that we have seen in the past is that when there is not accountability? Then he goes on to commit worse and worse abuses. So, the prosecution is necessary. If they have found probable cause, and believe they can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecution is necessary.

Without it, I think it breeds a disrespect for the law. A system in which Michael Cohen is told, he needs to go to jail, because of his participation, in a scheme, in which he was directed, by Donald Trump, at least according to that earlier indictment? If he has to go to jail for that, then why does the guy that did the directing somehow get a pass?

And so, there's a lot at stake here beyond Donald Trump's future. I think the rule of law, and our respect for the law is also at stake.

COLLINS: Congressman, I understand your point there.

But the argument that's been made, even by legal experts, who would say that they fall on the liberal side, is that if this case goes first, if this is the first thing that he is indicted for, that it does hurt the other ones, that it does allow him, to kind of put the Georgia investigation, or the documents investigation, all into one thing to say that they are politically-fueled. It has worked for him, as a tactic, in the past.

So, do you not share those concerns that we've heard, from several people that this case, here in New York, does not have the same merits as the others?

SCHIFF: Well, I do share the concern that the Justice Department should have moved, on this case, if they're going to move on it, a long time ago.

The Justice Department has moved very slowly. They moved with alacrity, when it came to those that attacked the Capitol, that day, and beat Police officers. But it seemed to be, from our outside vantage point, at least a year before they, in an in-depth way, looked into the multiple lines of effort, by the former President, to overturn the election. And, for that reason, you have other prosecutions now that are going forward first.

But I certainly think that the Justice Department should have pursued this with far more urgency. It appears at least vis-a-vis, the Mar-a- Lago case? There is that urgency, now. I've never seen a briefing schedule, where you're asked to brief, up until midnight. So, there is an urgency now.

But, on the most serious charges, not, Mar-a-Lago, either, the most serious charges, around January 6? And there, the Justice Department should have moved, in my view, a long time before now.

COLLINS: All right, Congressman Adam Schiff. Thank you so much for joining all of us, on set, here, tonight. We really appreciate your time.

SCHIFF: Thank you.

COLLINS: All right. Also tonight, coming up, the Federal Reserve, raising interest rates, yet again, not as high as initially expected. But will the efforts, to fight inflation, actually throw millions of Americans out of work? The Central Bank's Chairman admits it is possible. We'll explain next.



COLLINS: One decision that was made today that is likely to impact everyone, in America, it's about inflation, of course.

Amid concerns about banks collapsing, and the prices of goods still remaining, as high as they are, the Federal Reserve just made a move that it even admits could put more than a million people out of work, by the end of 2023. But it says this move is necessary, to tame inflation.

Today's interest rate hike of a quarter point is the Federal Reserve's ninth consecutive increase. But the end may now be in sight.

CNN's Julia Chatterley joins us now.

Of course, this all is this fight of being able to fight inflation, but also with the banking issue that we've seen lately, play out, it did cause them, to do a little less than we had expected.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: Yes, it's a very delicate balance. They're trying to find in all solutions, and options hurt. We've got inflation, hurting. We've got interest rate hikes, hurting. Economic slowing, hurting too. And all of these things combined, and were discussed today. But what I wasn't expecting to sort of steal the oxygen from the moment was what became a sort of Janet versus Jay off, with regards, what's going on with these uninsured depositors.


CHATTERLEY: So, we're talking about amounts over $250,000, and the way that the two of them approached it. Context is required, but just listen to this first, on what each had to say.


JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIR: These actions demonstrate that all depositors' savings and the banking system are safe.

JANET YELLEN, TREASURY SECRETARY: I have not considered or discussed anything having to do with blanket insurance or guarantees of deposits.




CHATTERLEY: OK. So, the D.C. message seems to be "Don't be fearful. But don't expect any legal protections here."

And what we've got comfortable with over the last few days or so is this implicit assumption that if a bank gets into trouble, if you've got these big deposits, in a bank, they're going to be safe. That seem to fly in the face of that and give an explicit pushback, to say, "Look, I'm not going to give you a blanket guarantee."

I think the message to people watching here is "Don't panic." Nothing's changed in the last two days. They'll do this on a case-by- case basis. And what we've seen so far is they protect those big deposits.

But the banks are crucial. And I think that's what Jay Powell also said today, he didn't hike rates as much as expected. He also said, "Look, there is going to be an impact." From what we've seen, banks are probably going to lend less, that's going to slow the economy, and that might actually offset the need to do any further hikes.


CHATTERLEY: So much anxiety.

SMERCONISH: There's an expression, somehow you remind me of this, "Keep calm and carry on?"

CHATTERLEY: I do my best.

SMERCONISH: Perhaps you know the origin?

CHATTERLEY: Can I sip some tea, as you say it?

SMERCONISH: I'm a little - I'm a little out of my depth, on this subject. But what I know is that no bank can sustain a run.


SMERCONISH: And people need to remain cool.

I had a guest, on my program, on Saturday, fella, who's a President, of a Texas-based regional bank. He sent out his personal phone number, to all 70,000 of his clients. Only 50 called. But the message was, "We're OK. And I'm here, if you need me." Not everybody can do that, I'm sure. But somehow, you've got to maintain stability.


SMERCONISH: And hedge against inflation.

CHATTERLEY: And also, "Your money's here, if you need it, too." I think that's the point of a bank, when as long as you can provide that cash, things are OK.

And I think "Keep calm and carry on" is the message. And authorities have already said this. The deposit outflows have slowed, in certain cases, they've stopped. So, I would reiterate that message wholeheartedly.

But what happens when you have five or six banks that struggle, and we've seen that in the past couple of weeks is, and what we've heard from D.C. is, "You're probably going to have more regulation coming, you're probably going to have more questions being asked of who you're lending to, and why you're lending."

So, it may have just been about five or six banks. But all of these small- and medium-sized banks, now, are going to be looking at the lending that they're doing, and going, "Maybe we need to be a little bit more cautious." And that has an impact on all of us, on our credit--

COATES: Yes and--

SIDNER: You know when--

CHATTERLEY: --also our loans we take.


SIDNER: When people say like--

CHATTERLEY: On all those things.

SIDNER: --"Keep calm and carry on," right? OK, fine. But a lot of Americans, frankly, are pissed, because they see these banks doing these things that they could never, in their life, do. They're trying to pay a mortgage that's going on.


SIDNER: They're trying to pay for food that's expensive.

COATES: They're trying to get the mortgage, Sara.

SIDNER: They're trying to get a mortgage.

COATES: They have to get the loan, and look if the--


SIDNER: They can't afford it.

CHATTERLEY: That's the key now.

COATES: --qualify them.

SIDNER: So, this is why--

CHATTERLEY: That's the key now.

SIDNER: --people look at this, and they get so upset, because of what happened in 2008. You've got people, who have seen this happen time and time again. Yes, this is very different from 2008. I think everyone now realizes that.

But there is this feeling, for regular people, just trying to make a living that they always seem to get away with it if you have enough money, or if you're the head of a bank.

But when it comes to us, little guys, we lose our houses, we can't pay our food. And that's where people are getting pissed off.

CHATTERLEY: These are all great points. And I think there's going to be huge questions asked, and you heard that today, not only of the bank executives, but the investors, in these banks--


CHATTERLEY: --get wiped out. The debt holders in these banks get wiped out.

SIDNER: Right.

CHATTERLEY: So, there is some recompense, for reckless behavior. And I think we'll continue to see that.

But I think your point is so valid at this moment. And that is now how do the banks act in the face of this sort of shakedown? And that probably means they'll lend less, they'll ask more questions. They'll be way more cautious. And that is going to slow the economy down. It's going to bring inflation down, perhaps do some of the work for Jay Powell.


CHATTERLEY: But that also has costs too.



COLLINS: Yes. Powell saying, in and of itself, it's kind of effectively a rate hike on its own, about that.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. It's doing some of the work for him


CHATTERLEY: Remember, what we're talking about here is small businesses borrow money from small banks. Small businesses are now employing 80 percent of American workers. That's the connection between jobs and these businesses and banks.

COLLINS: Well, luckily, we have you to break it all down for us, Julia.


COLLINS: Thank you so much, Julia Chatterley.


COLLINS: All right, it is going to be a really significant day, on Capitol Hill, tomorrow. Congress is preparing to take on the CEO of TikTok, over the many national security concerns that we've heard, from the White House, to the halls of Congress.

We have new reporting on how the embattled social media CEO, is preparing, for the high-stakes hearing, his first, in front of Congress, ahead.



COLLINS: Will the U.S. move forward, with a ban on TikTok? We're just hours away, from a big hearing, on Capitol Hill that could signify that.

The TikTok CEO, Shou Zi Chew, is going to do all he can, to convince lawmakers not to impose a ban, on the popular app. We are told that he is expected to argue that his app does not pose a national security threat, to the United States.

And ahead of his testimony, Chew posted this video, on TikTok.


CHEW: Some politicians have started talking about banning TikTok.

Now, this could take TikTok away from all 150 million of you. I'll be testifying before Congress, later this week, to share all that we're doing, to protect Americans, using the app, and deliver on our mission, to inspire creativity, and to bring joy.


COLLINS: That message from him.

Joining our roundtable tonight is Oliver Darcy, our CNN Senior Media Reporter.

Oliver, you have been reporting, on how he's preparing for this, because he is about to go, in his first hearing, before a lot of skeptical lawmakers. He's got to essentially make his case.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: This is a really, really important time for TikTok, right? You are seeing calls, around the world, to ban the app. It's possible that it could happen, here, in the U.S.

And so, this is a pivotal moment. He's got to go in front of Congress, and he's got to do a really good job.

And so, what has happened, over the past week, is he's been participating, in these multi hour-long sessions, where TikTok personnel, play lawmakers, with different questioning styles, and really tried to polish his presentation, so, when he goes in front of Congress, tomorrow, he delivers a presentation that's articulate, gets the points across, and positions the company, to potentially get past this moment, where they're under so much scrutiny.

COATES: Interestingly, he's got some unexpected fans, I would say.

SIDNER: Yes, right.


COATES: You have some progressive Democrats, who are now saying, "Look, this is all about hysteria towards China. And then, give me the actual evidence. There are plenty of other apps out there that are owned or have a connection to China. So, why this one?"

You then could be (ph) able to be prepared to actually articulate why this one is, is in fact, just like the others, why it's not going to be a problem. I wonder if he can actually thread that really hard needle.

DARCY: I mean, they have done some things, to really try to allay some of the fears that lawmakers and the public has, right? So, they've contracted Oracle, a U.S.-based company, and they've basically said, "We're going to store all user data, on Oracle servers. It's going to be run by Americans."

That said there have been these instances, in the past year that have really raised concerns, among lawmakers, and the public. There was an instance, with the parent company, where people were improperly accessing U.S. user data, including that of journalists, which we now know, according to reports that the Department of Justice is probing.

And so, he's going to get these hard questions. It will be interesting to see how he answers them. He does have some good answers. But whether it's going to be enough for lawmakers? I'm not sure.

SMERCONISH: There's a - there's a national security concern. There's a privacy concern here. But, to me, the biggest concern is a mental health concern.

I was born and raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. You talk about Bucks County, every four years, because it's one of those--

COLLINS: We love Bucks County.

SMERCONISH: --those burbs that determines the outcome of the presidential race.

My county, my home county, is the first county, in the country, and there's a story, on, right now, about this, to participate, in litigation, against Big Tech.


SMERCONISH: Because, they say, "We're bearing the burden of kids, in terms of depression, suicidality, anxiety, et cetera, et cetera. We now have to spend our resources, and we think that Big Tech ought to pay for it." And TikTok's a part of that litigation.


DARCY: Yes--


DARCY: Sorry.

SIDNER: I just think what you say is probably for parents and for kids, the number one most important thing out there?

COLLINS: Bigger than spying, you're saying?

SIDNER: Bigger than spying. Look, we have seen - if you go on TikTok, like how many of us have TikTok here, like how many - which is incredible. Look at this. Look at this table.


COATES: Oh, no. I'm a TikTok voyeur though. I will do the dance the same.


SMERCONISH: I don't dance.

COATES: Say, have it on my phone? I don't.


SMERCONISH: I don't dance. But I get it.

SIDNER: You downloaded--


SMERCONISH: I'm on it. I'm on it. Yes.

SIDNER: OK. So, the first time I heard about it, like, everyone I knew under the age of 35 was already on it, and already playing. And so many people are on it, from very, very young, to sort of in the 35, although you're an outlier. I think you're an outlier.

SMERCONISH: Yes, 42, yes.

SIDNER: Yes. I thought you were 27. But cool!

But when you look at the numbers of people on it, I think the reason why TikTok is such - is people are going after it, is because it's so popular. Everyone's on it.

But it is unfair to say that TikTok is the only one, because Instagram and Facebook, I mean, they have had huge impact, and huge influence, on young people, and on mental health, as well.

COATES: You know who knows that? President Biden. Didn't he invite a ton of TikTokers?


COATES: Well not--

SMERCONISH: Yes, for mental health.

COATES: Well Ted Lasso too.


COATES: But TikTokeres, who have these huge, I mean, the combination of their following was like in the hundreds of millions of people.


COATES: He knew, as Democrats do, before the midterm elections, right, Kaitlan, the power of TikTok, in terms of what it can reach, and the expanse of it. And so now it's going to be a little bit interesting to think of how people who actually use TikTok to a political advantage are now going to say "We now don't want it."

COLLINS: Well the White House actually got asked about this today, because they do have national security concerns, about it. Biden himself has appeared in TikTok videos.


COLLINS: But when it comes to the case that he's making in front of Congress, I was looking at the numbers, of how much money TikTok has poured into lobbying, lawmakers?


COLLINS: It is enormous, compared to what it was even just five years ago, into what you look at it into it now, it's like $13.5 million that they've poured into, trying to make this case, not just, while they're on the stand, and before the actual hearing, but also behind- the-scenes.

DARCY: I mean, they are under pressure, like no other tech company. And I think they're also being sucked into this U.S.-China standstill, as there's more - I'm forgetting the word here.

But they've been become a political football, if you will, in this U.S.-China standstill. And I think that's also causing some significant problems, from some of the - some of the issues are real. But some of this is just to show that they are tough, on China, lawmakers, to show that they're tough on China. And I think that's become a big problem for TikTok.

COLLINS: Yes, which is obviously a popular stance.

Oliver Darcy, we'll wait to see what this hearing looks like. Thank you for that reporting though, tonight, and thanks for joining us here.

You can actually tune in to CNN, tomorrow night, to learn more about this, because at 9 Eastern, we're going to have a PRIMETIME special, a CNN Primetime Special. "IS TIME UP FOR TIKTOK?" It is going to be hosted by, my colleague Abby Phillip. As the company's CEO is going to go before Congress, she'll bring you the highlights.

Also tonight, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing all kinds of cases. Today was certainly a first though. A poop-themed dog toy is at the center of a dispute. Yes, that is before the Supreme Court. You're going to want to stay tuned for this.



COLLINS: All right, it's not every day or really any day that the U.S. Supreme Court is filled with laughter. But it was today, as the justices weighed a highly unusual case about yes, a poop-themed dog toy.

All of this centers around the "Bad Spaniels Silly Squeaker" toy, which as you can see here, not only spoofs Jack Daniel's famous bottle. It also turns the distiller's trademark label into a gag, about a dog dropping, quote, "The Old No. 2 On Your Tennessee Carpet." The whiskey-maker's now suing VIP Products, the nation's second largest maker, of dog toys, to take the Bad Spaniels toy off the market. They are arguing that VIP infringed on its trademark, and that the toy has harmed its reputation, by associating Jack Daniel's with dog waste.

The toy company, however, says its humorous use of the trademark is just a form of parody, thus protecting it under the First Amendment. It's an argument that the just - Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagan, was skeptical about.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The parody is of--

KAGAN: Because maybe I just have no sense of humor. But what's the parody?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That the parody is to make fun of marks that take themselves seriously.

KAGAN: Well, I mean, you say that, but, you know, you make fun of a lot of marks. Doggie Walker, Dos Perros, Smella Arpaw, Canine Cola, Mountain Drool. Are all of these companies taking themselves too seriously?



COLLINS: The attorney's like, "Yes that is what I'm saying here."

SIDNER: That's the point.

COLLINS: I mean, it does raise the question, are they taking themselves too seriously? Why is this before the Supreme Court?

SMERCONISH: This is a case that makes me choose between my children, because, I love Jack Daniel's, and I love dogs, OK?

I think you've got to pick and choose your battles. Like why did they choose to go after this? It gave it such heft. I think I had to believe a lot of people, right now, are Googling, and saying how do I get one of those?



SMERCONISH: Who otherwise wouldn't be aware of it!


COATES: Well, so I - first of all, I'm thinking that Supreme Court was probably thinking "For this, we went to law school, working for all these - there's all these things."



COATES: However, I actually started out in private practice, doing trademark litigation, and doing this sorts of work. And although I didn't have crappy cases, you know what I mean? I never did (ph) case there, but the same - I know it was there. But the same notion here, you do have a trademark issue, right?

The only value that I have in a trademark is that I get to police, and control who gets to use it. I do the - I have the energy. I associate the reputation. There's a reason you know, Apple, and you think of computers and technology, or you think about other products. They want it associated with them specifically. They aren't (ph) thinking about their whiskey being "The Old No. 2." It is half-funny to think about that notion.

But if they don't have control, to say, who gets to do what, in a product, that's a different Pandora's Box. I know that this is the case. But there have been others, like Nike, and I think others, who weighed in to say, "Hold on, we're behind you here," because what is to stop others from saying, "Well, looks just like you, but don't get the joke, if it's mine."

And, by the way, you lose your trademark rights, if you don't police it. Everyone goes around having the equivalent of Xerox being a synonym for--

COLLINS: Kleenex.

COATES: --or Kleenex. Anything else? You got a problem.

So, I see why they're going after it. But, I mean, the question of parody, and First Amendment? And mind you, this is a First Amendment issue, because although the company's not the government, the Lanham Act, which actually regulates trademark law, is why the Feds are involved.

SMERCONISH: It's hard to see how it's going to break.


SMERCONISH: Like, I can't tell, from reading the transcripts, and listening to some of the argument today. But it looks like it may be that rare case that defies the Liberals, on one side, and the Conservatives, on the other. SIDNER: Making it absolutely--

SMERCONISH: I don't know what the alliance is on them.

SIDNER: Yes, you can't see the alliance at all.

But one thing you could see and one thing that this dog company did for all of us? We got to hear the Supreme Court laugh!


SIDNER: They were humans.

SMERCONISH: Anyone remember laughter?

SIDNER: They joked. And it actually for me, that was the moment I took away. I'm like, "Well, I now want one of those just because, the Supreme Court - members of the Supreme Court, were cracking up over all of these things."

And I just, I looked at those two bottles. Do we have the picture?


SIDNER: I looked at those two things, next to each other, and I was like, "You kind of have to be drunk to get these completely mixed up." But like, you look at it?


SIDNER: And it does look a heck of a lot like the Jack Daniel's bottle, so, you know?

COLLINS: But that was the--

SIDNER: That was the point.

COLLINS: That was the--

SIDNER: It was a joke (ph).

COLLINS: And that's what Alito was asking.


COLLINS: He said, "Could any reasonable person think that Jack Daniel's approved the use of this mark?" I don't know. Could they?

SMERCONISH: I mean, the legal issue is--

COLLINS: I mean, maybe they've been drinking?


SMERCONISH: --is the public cannot be confused--


SIDNER: Right.

COATES: Are they confused?

SMERCONISH: --as to the source.

COATES: That's the key. I mean, this is not like no one confused "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Eat It" for Michael Jackson's "Beat It."

SIDNER: That is true.

COATES: I don't know who you are if you did.


COATES: And the Supreme Court, in modern times, has been a little bit warm, towards parody. Think about 2 Live Crew--


COATES: --and the Pretty Woman, et cetera. Different reasons for why they did so.

But this case, although it's laughable? And by the way, I'm going to have to go buy one for my dog now, because I now want to have it as a--

SMERCONISH: Of course.

COATES: --because I'm a scholar, I need to have that actual thing.

SIDNER: Right.

COATES: I want to have it.

But the court is going to have to grapple with the idea of is this going to open the floodgates? This case may be a little less serious. But what about the next one? That is a little bit of tension between, is it real parody, or you just knocking the label?


SIDNER: Jack Daniel's who just buy it, and then, boom, they've got a couple of products, it's now we all want one.


COATES: And now you're a businesswoman!


COLLINS: Well what we do know is it won't be a walk in the park! I'll leave it there.

COATES: Oh, man! COLLINS: All right, coming up, at 10 PM, for years, it has been a gold standard of college rankings, for countless families. But tonight, why more and more universities say it's not worth considering any more? That's coming up, on "CNN TONIGHT."

Stay with us though. We've got one more story, here that our team has its eyes on. It is not about Jack Daniel's. Don't worry. But we'll be right back after this.



COLLINS: All right, closing out tonight there is one more story that has captivated our own Michael Smerconish.

All right, what is it? What's caught your eye?

SMERCONISH: So, Wawa is the convenience store of choice, in Philly.


SMERCONISH: You can find me at the same Wawa most mornings at 6 AM.

I don't normally buy the "New York Post". But I did today, because I heard all the hype, about how Ron DeSantis had finally taken off the gloves, against Donald Trump. I wanted to read for myself.


SMERCONISH: The story was totally overhyped. There were reports that he had said that Donald Trump had done a lot of damage. No, he actually said that about Dr. Fauci.

And what I found in this was a very measured DeSantis, who was content, instead, to stay on the sidelines, and hope that the prosecutors will do all of his dirty work. So, the gloves, as far as I'm concerned, has still not come off from DeSantis.

COLLINS: But do you think they will a little bit more?

SMERCONISH: I'm not sure. I think he wants to wait and see, if Alvin Bragg, or Jack Smith are going to throw him a lifeline instead.

COLLINS: Yes, and they might!

It was notable to me also that he used it ever - to clarify his stance, on Ukraine--


COLLINS: --after he got so much criticism, from other Republicans, on that. He's now saying, when he called it a territorial dispute that that was mischaracterized, I saw he doing that (ph).

SMERCONISH: I thought it was interesting that the Murdochs gave him this spread. There's a sign in that, I think.

COLLINS: Yes. Well, clearly. And remember, when Trump ran for reelection, they just did one small line there?


COLLINS: Michael Smerconish, Laura, Sara, what a lovely evening together!

SIDNER: It's been fun.

COATES: It's been fun.

COLLINS: We enjoyed this.

And thank you, for joining us, here, tonight.

"CNN TONIGHT" with Alisyn Camerota starts right now.

Hi, Alisyn?