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Interview With Senior Presidential Adviser Cedric Richmond; President Biden Set To Address Joint Session Of Congress; Federal Authorities Raid Rudy Giuliani's Apartment; North Carolina Judge Denies Media Requests To Release Body Cam Video Of Andrew Brown Jr. Shooting; Biden To Call January 6 Capitol Siege "The Worst Attack On Our Democracy Since The Civil War." Aired 6-7p ET

Aired April 28, 2021 - 18:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Our special live coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

As for now, our coverage continues with Wolf Blitzer. He is right next door in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

We're following major developments in the criminal investigation into President Trump's former personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, Federal agents raiding his New York City home and office as part of the probe into Giuliani's dealings with Ukraine during the time he was working for Trump.

And there's breaking news coming in. We're also getting the first excerpts from President Biden's historic first address to a joint session of Congress tonight. We're learning that he will -- and I'm quoting now -- "America is on the move again" after the pandemic and the Capitol insurrection.

He will also unveil his $1.8 trillion plan for workers, students and families. And he will push lawmakers to act on his $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

We will go one-on-one this hour with the senior adviser to the president, Cedric Richmond. He will be standing by live.

First, let's get the very latest on the extraordinary raids of Rudy Giuliani's home and office.

Our senior legal affairs correspondent, Paula Reid, has been working the story for us.

Paula, Giuliani is now Trump's second attorney who was raided by the FBI. How much trouble potentially, potentially, could Giuliani be in here?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Potentially significant trouble, Wolf.

I actually spoke with Giuliani's attorney. And he described for me what exactly is in this search warrant. And, in fact, it confirms that this is related to an investigation into possible foreign lobbying violations.

If you're working on behalf of a foreign entity, you need to disclose that to the Justice Department.

Now, we have also learned that several Giuliani's electronic devices were seized. And in this warrant, investigators are also looking specifically for communications between Giuliani and several other individuals, including columnist John Solomon, who wrote a lot about Ukraine in the weeks and months leading up to the election.

This is a very significant turning point in this years-long investigation into Giuliani, looking at whether he was lobbying on behalf of officials in Ukraine while serving as the president's personal attorney and trying to get officials in Ukraine to announce investigations into the former president's political rival now President Biden.

But, Wolf, we have also learned that another one of former President Trump's attorneys also had another warrant executed on her this morning, Victoria Toensing. She also had investigators show up on her doorstep this morning serving a warrant related to this same investigation, and she reportedly handed over her cell phone.

But her home was not raided.

BLITZER: It is significant, indeed, Paula, that prosecutors -- we're talking about federal prosecutors -- obtained a warrant for a lawyer. What does this signal?

He's not just a lawyer. He's a former mayor of New York, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, a former federal prosecutor himself.

REID: Absolutely.

And both of these attorneys formerly represented a former president of the United States. This is incredibly unusual to serve a warrant like this on a lawyer, because there are always concerns about confidential and client communications.

Now, something like this would absolutely have to be approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department, likely by the deputy attorney general of the United States.

And, again, highly unusual to serve a warrant on any lawyer, particularly one who used to represent the president of the United States.

And at the core of this, Wolf, it's an investigation into foreign lobbying violations. Prior to the Trump administration, that was really a paperwork crime. You just didn't file the right notification. So, to show up on the doorsteps, these early morning warrants being executed, highly unusual.

BLITZER: Very, very unusual, indeed.

All right, Paula, thank you very much.

Let's get some more in all of this truly extraordinary development today.

The former FBI deputy director, CNN senior law enforcement analyst Andrew McCabe, is with us. He's the author of the book "The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump." Also joining us, the state attorney for Palm Beach County in Florida, Dave Aronberg, and CNN's chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto.

Andrew, you're the former deputy director of the FBI. What's your reaction to this news that federal authorities searched Rudy Giuliani's home and office in New York City?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It's an incredibly serious step, Wolf.

And I can guarantee you that it's one that was not taken without a significant amount of information and discussion conveyed to the highest levels of the Justice Department. And I'm sure it had to have the approval of either the current deputy attorney general or the acting.


You have the sensitivities of executing a search warrant at a lawyer's home and residence, which, by definition, by definition will sweep up some attorney-client privilege material. That lawyer happens to be the former or maybe current lawyer for the former president of the United States.

And I think it's important to also note that one of the sources of information that they're looking for in this warrant concerns communications with a member of the media, John Solomon. That also implicates the DOJ's media policies, which are very protective of media members' communications and things like that.

So there's a lot of mine fields for agents to work here. They must have some very good information that they're acting on to get them this far.

BLITZER: Because, Andrew, it's never easy to get a federal search warrant. But it's even harder to get a warrant for an attorney, much less the former lawyer for the president of the United States, right?

MCCABE: That's absolutely right.

So, everything that they sweep up in these warrants will have to first be reviewed by a team of agents and prosecutors who have nothing to do with this investigation, who will only be looking for attorney-client privilege communications. All that they find will be sorted out and kept away from the investigative agents and prosecutors to make sure that there's no taint to the prosecution going forward.

BLITZER: Dave Aronberg, give us a little of your perspective -- and you know a lot about all of this -- about just how big of a deal this is.

It would have required, as Andrew just pointed out, sign-off from the top levels of the U.S. Justice Department, with prosecutors and a judge seeing what's called probable cause for a federal crime, right?


This is a bad day for Rudy Giuliani. And it is a big deal, because, for prosecutors to get a search warrant, they can't just say they're on a fishing expedition. They can't go on a hunch. They have to have probable cause that a crime has occurred. And they have got to show that the items that they want are likely to contain evidence of a crime.

And Andrew is right. If it pertains to a lawyer, there's even a higher standard, because judges, by their nature, are less inclined to give out search warrants when it comes to a lawyer because there are issues of confidentiality with their clients.

And if you're a federal prosecutor, you need to get permission from the higher-ups. And there's that taint team afterwards to review the documents. And so what this shows you is that the reason why this search warrant took so long was that the higher-ups at the Department of Justice clearly did not want Rudy Giuliani, the president's lawyer, to be the subject of a search warrant.

The lower level, the career prosecutors, would have requested it, and it was the political appointees, people working under Bill Barr and Donald Trump, who said no.

But the problem for Rudy is that he doesn't have Bill Barr or Donald Trump around to protect him anymore.

BLITZER: That's a huge problem for him.

Jim, you have done a lot of reporting on this. It's essentially, as Dave just pointed out, a continuation of a federal probe that was launched and then not pursued under the Trump administration involving Giuliani's dealings with Ukraine, right?


I mean, there's the seedy business side to this, right, whether Rudy Giuliani was trying to profit off these contacts, and not reporting them, as required by law. But remember the bigger picture here. Why was Rudy Giuliani going to Ukraine? He was going there principally to gather dirt on President -- former President Trump's opponent, Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, dealings there. And in doing so, he was willing to deal with folks who got -- who had skin in the game, that is, Russian-tied Ukrainians, folks known to be working for Russian intelligence, who were part of a deliberate disinformation campaign targeting Joe Biden in the election, much as they targeted Hillary Clinton in 2016.

So, the bigger picture here is the president's personal attorneys role, willful role, it seemed, in a foreign disinformation campaign targeting the 2020 election. So, it's about more than seedy business dealings and coming afoul of foreign lobbying law.

It's bigger picture here and his role and, of course, the president's encouragement of his work, working with folks in Ukraine tied to Russian intelligence.

BLITZER: Andrew, what exactly do you think investigators are looking for in this raid of Giuliani's home and office? We know investigators seized electronic devices.

MCCABE: Well, first and foremost, Wolf, they're looking for communication.

So, those electronic devices will give them access to things like text messages or messages over encrypted communications platforms like WhatsApp and Signal and things like that. Those messages will be decrypted on those devices, obviously, so Mr. Giuliani can read them.

And so it'll give investigators a view into any materials that he might have like that. They're also going to be looking for other articles, things like contracts or items that Mr. Giuliani may have received from some of these Ukrainian characters, or business proposals, or evidence of payments, all sorts of things.


So you're going to see a very document-heavy collection out of these locations, and a very clear focus on electronic devices, tablets, phones, computers, and media storage.

BLITZER: Yes, this is a huge, huge development, very significant, indeed.

Guys, thank you very much for that analysis.

Just ahead, we're counting down to President Biden's first speech to a joint session of Congress.

We will talk about it with his senior adviser, Cedric Richmond. There you see him. He's standing by live. We have got lots to discuss about this historic night tonight.

Plus: A North Carolina judge denies requests by the news media to release body camera video of the deadly police shooting of Andrew Brown Jim.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: We're following breaking news, a first look at parts of President Biden's historic first address to a joint session of Congress just a few hours from now.

Our chief White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, is joining us. She's got details.


Kaitlan, the president, I understand, will talk about the crises, crises, plural, that have gripped this country.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf, because the pandemic and the economic disaster that followed it have really dominated the first 100 days of President Biden's time in office.

And, of course, they're going to be looming over his address to Congress tonight. And so he does plan to address it, according to some excerpts that we have seen from the White House.

But while doing so, he's trying to reassure the nation. And we're told that he plans to say -- quote -- "America is on the move again, turning peril into possibility, crisis into opportunity, and setback into strength."


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The president of the United States.

COLLINS (voice-over): After decades as a senator on Capitol Hill, tonight, Joe Biden will have a new introduction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States!

COLLINS: Tonight will also be the first time a president has addressed Congress amid a global pandemic.

BIDEN: I urge all Americans, don't let up now.

COLLINS: Unlike previous addresses, only 200 people were invited tonight, and no guests are allowed.

Chief Justice John Roberts will be the only member of the Supreme Court there. And because only two Cabinet members will be present. There's no designated survivor.

For the first time, two women will appear behind the president as he speaks. Vice President Harris and House Speaker Pelosi will create a historic visual, though it's unlikely Pelosi will rip up Biden's speech, like she did former President Trump's.

Officials say Biden has spent weeks preparing for this moment.

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is a really bold proposal, the American Families Plan.

COLLINS: The president will unveil his $1.8 trillion plan for workers, students and families, which, paired with his $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, amounts to around $4 trillion in spending.

KATE BEDINGFIELD, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: We really have a once-in-a-generation opportunity right now to seize the moment.

COLLINS: Biden says he wants to reshape the U.S. economy.

But Republicans and some moderate Democrats are balking at his plan to pay for it with tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The first 100 days have left much to be desired.

COLLINS: Biden also plans to address the January 6 insurrection as he stands in the same halls overtaken by rioters.

One D.C. police officer beaten with a flagpole that day told Don Lemon he thinks elected officials are -- quote -- "whitewashing" what happened.

MICHAEL FANONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: To have a group of individuals or someone who espoused to be a law and order official or a law and order president, and then experience what I experienced on the 6th, I mean, that was difficult to come to terms with.

COLLINS: Biden will speak to a Congress and a nation that is deeply divided. On the cusp of his 100th day in office, a CNN poll finds 53 percent of voters approve of the job he's done so far, and 51 percent approve of his handling of the economy.


COLLINS: Now, Wolf, of course, we noted that the president is going to talk about that January 6 riot tonight in his speech.

He is expected, according to an excerpt released by the White House, to say it was the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War. But it does appear that he wants to keep the focus tonight on his agenda and what's to come, instead of what's happened in the past.

And so he also does plan to say that -- quote -- "We have to prove democracy still works, that our government still works" and -- quote -- "can deliver for the people."

BLITZER: Kaitlan Collins over at the White House, thanks very, very much.

Let's get some more on tonight's historic speech.

Joining us now, Cedric Richmond, the senior adviser to President Biden, the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Cedric, thanks so much for joining us on this important night. The president, as you know, he will lay out what's being described as

the second part of his infrastructure plan tonight. But key Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia already says he's -- quote -- "very uncomfortable" with how much it costs.

How will the president convince not only Republicans, but some fellow Democrats who have major concerns, about this $1.8 trillion price tag?

CEDRIC RICHMOND, SENIOR PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: I think the president will do what he did with the American Rescue Plan, and that is to lay out all of the proposals, what he wants to do, but also lay out how it benefits American families, how it benefits the American economy, how it benefits the American country by making us more competitive, making sure that we take care of our families, and then look at and show the investment and return that it brings on the back end.

And so this is just the beginning. We're laying out the plan. And then we will go and make our pitch to both Republicans and Democrats about how important it is and why we critically need this American Families Plan for the country.

BLITZER: The president is also expected to lay out a sweeping agenda, including infrastructure, police reform, immigration, gun control, and more.


But, as you know, he has limited political capital, a 50/50 Senate, a tiny Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. So, can you tell us, Cedric, his main priority right now? What takes a backseat, at least for now?

RICHMOND: We don't think anything takes a backseat.

We do have a 50/50 Senate. We recognize that. But the one thing we have that's very important, Wolf, is that we have the American people on our side. All of the proposals that we're bringing forward are vastly popular with both Republicans, Democrats, and independents.

So, if we're talking about infrastructure, it's really bipartisan in terms of American voters that support it. The American Families Plan is supported by both Republicans, Democrats and independents.

And so, even when you start talking about things like police reform and immigration, pathway to citizenship, voting rights, gun safety, all of those things that we're advocating for and that are important to us, are also important to the American people.

So, we're going to try to do them all. And this president has been ambitious since the beginning. He was ambitious when he launched his campaign. And, so far, we have just kept our head down and doing the work. And we have gotten pretty good results. And we're going to keep doing that.

BLITZER: When it comes to police reform, Cedric, Republican Senator Tim Scott has been leading talks with Democrats. As you well know, he will actually be giving the GOP rebuttal, the response to President Biden's speech later tonight. The main sticking point is seems to be on those talks is whether to make it easier to sue police officers.

Will President Biden tonight offer any specifics on that issue?

RICHMOND: Well, I won't get ahead of President Biden on what he's going to talk about in terms of the need for police reform and what it should look like.

But he has expressed support for the George Floyd Act. And he wants the Senate to do their negotiations and get him something that he can sign, because what we can't do is continue to wait and leave these policies out there like they are today, because, every day, we see something new that's something the same of what we have been seeing over the past couple years, and we need to make a change.

BLITZER: Let me get your quick reaction, while I have you, Cedric.

Does the White House have any specific reaction to this truly extraordinary raid today on Rudy Giuliani's apartment and office in New York City?

RICHMOND: No, absolutely not.

This president has said that he wanted the Justice Department to be completely independent. They are. And so we don't interfere with them and we don't comment on what they do.

We are very mindful that the people in this country have to have full trust in the Department of Justice. And the president is not going to put his thumb on the scale or comment about any investigation. And the investigations should just take their course without political interference.

BLITZER: Cedric Richmond, very important night tonight for the president, indeed, for the country. Thank you so much for joining us.

RICHMOND: Thank you for having me again, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Cedric Richmond, the senior adviser to President Biden.

Coming up: A judge in North Carolina has just blocked the public release of body camera video showing the police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. I will speak with an attorney for the family.

And later: We're getting new video of rioters assaulting Capitol Police officers during the January 6 insurrection up on Capitol Hill.



BLITZER: We're following two major stories tonight, new signs that Rudy Giuliani is in serious legal jeopardy following a federal raid on his New York City apartment and office.

We're also awaiting a significant milestone for President Biden, his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Let's get analysis from CNN political director David Chalian, our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, and CNN senior political analyst Nia-Malika Henderson.

David, from your perspective, what's the single most important thing President Biden needs to accomplish tonight?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, I think the single most important thing, politically and for the success of his presidency, is to build on the success he's had in these first 100 days, Wolf.

I think he has to take the success he has had on combating coronavirus and getting these vaccinations into people's arms, as well as getting stimulus money into their bank accounts, and parlay that into the next 100 days and the 100 days after that, whether that's going to be this infrastructure package in two parts that he's going to sell.

But this notion of reminding America that government can work when governed properly in their priorities, that is going to be a huge moment for him to try and say, so join me on the next part of this journey.

That's the single biggest thing he can do tonight.

BLITZER: And, Gloria, for the first time, we're going to see two women behind the president when he addresses this joint session. We're talking about the vice president, Kamala Harris, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.


BLITZER: But that won't be the only historic aspect of tonight's speech, will it?

BORGER: No, but let's not downplay that.


BORGER: I think that's really extraordinary.

That you have the two people in line for the presidency right behind him who happen to be women, and one of them is a woman of color, is going to be remarkable for people in the country to watch.

I also think, obviously, as you watch this State of the Union, it's going to look really different. You know how, in the State of the Union, the president usually walks down the center aisle, and everybody rushes over to shake his hand, and it's crowded, and there are a couple thousand people?

Not happening.


There are going to be about 200 people there. There's not going to be backslapping and handshaking. This is still in the middle of COVID, although hopefully we're seeing that succeed to a degree because of vaccines so it's going to look different.

And as David was pointing out, it's going to sound different. I remember when Bill Clinton said the era of bill government was over. I even remember when Ronald Reagan was talking about government not being your friend. What Joe Biden is going to say is, look, we got you these vaccines. We got you money in your pockets. We are restoring jobs in this country and that is because government is on your side.

BLITZER: Yes, normally, there are about 1,600 people in the House of Representatives for a speech like this. Tonight, there will be 200 because of the COVID pandemic.

Nia, the president also plans to lay out what's being described as part two of his massive infrastructure plan, but already Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is signaling his discomfort with the price tag. So is tonight more about winning over Republicans or getting fellow Democrats onboard?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's about both and more broadly the American people. You look at some of the polling on this, something like 60 percent of Americans think that this infrastructure plan is a good idea, 80 percent of Democrats, something like 70 percent of independents. So if you're Joe Biden, you want to maintain that good feeling that most Americans have about this infrastructure plan and then explain it.

This administration has a very broad idea of what infrastructure actually includes. It's not just roads and bridges, it's also something called human infrastructure in the parlance of this administration, so that includes investments in community college, that includes investments in child care, so that's something he has to explain to Americans to get them onboard with his idea that government can play an active role and a positive role in people's lives. So we'll see him do that tonight.

Of course, talk to those individual Democrats and Republicans who have to vote on this eventually, but then the American people as well who do need to get behind this if it's to pass Congress and then be successful.

BLITZER: The other major news today, David, is the fact that federal authorities executed a search warrant on Rudy Giuliani's New York City apartment and his office. How serious is it when the former lawyer for the president of the United States comes under this type of scrutiny?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I don't think it gets more serious when you're concerned about a potential legal jeopardy. And, by the way, nobody understands how serious this is better than Rudy Giuliani, who used to serve as the U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York. He knows quite well how serious it is. And we all know that nothing of a search like this would have gotten approved without being approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department, which means investigators here had to make sure that a T's were crossed and I's were dotted completely before they can move forward with this, adding to the weight of how concerning this would be if you're Rudy Giuliani tonight.

BLITZER: A truly extraordinary moment that we'll watch very closely. Guys, thank you very, very much.

Just ahead, a judge in North Carolina now says the family of Andrew Brown Jr. will, repeat, will be allowed to view additional body camera footage of his shooting but won't release it to the public.

And later, new video shows rioters attacking Capitol Police officers during the January 6th insurrection. Will it lead to convictions? We'll be right back.



BLITZER: There's growing anger in North Carolina tonight after a judge denied a petition to release body camera video showing the police killing of Andrew Brown Jr. CNN's Brian Todd has more.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Tonight, frustrations building in Elizabeth City, after a judge rejected a formal request to publicly release body cam footage showing the deadly encounter between Andrew Brown Jr. and law enforcement one week ago. The judge saying public release could impact the criminal investigation and any trial and could endanger someone, and said he would revisit the issue in 30 to 45 days.

HARRY DANIELS, ATTORNEY FOR ANDREW BROWN'S FAMILY: Show us the video. Show us the video. Show us the tape.

TODD: The family's lawyers claiming a partial victory since brown's immediate family and one attorney can see all four body cams in full plus the dash cam once identifying information is blurred.

LILLIE BROWN CLARK, AUNT OF ANDREW BROWN: Andy Jr. has been silenced so his voice now are those cameras.

TODD: The sheriff saying more transparency would be good for the community.

SHERIFF TOMMY WOOTEN, PASQUOTANK COUNTRY: And so, it's not exactly what we wanted, but 30 days, so --

TODD: The governor weighing in as well.

GOV. ROY COOPER (D-NC): I believe that this video should be released as quickly as possible. TODD: Also in court today, a new account of the incident from the district attorney, who accused a family lawyer of intentionally misrepresenting the video. The D.A.'s version, deputies arrived, tried to get Brown out of the car and he put the car in reverse, making contact with deputies.

ANDREW WOMBLE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, PASQUOTANK COUNTY: As it backs up, it does make contact with law enforcement officers. The next movement of the car is forward. It is in the direction of law enforcement and makes contact with law enforcement.


It is then and only then that you hear shots.

TODD: The family lawyer, Chantel Cherry-Lassiter, gave a very different account Monday after being allowed to view 20 seconds of body camera footage behind closed doors.

CHANTEL CHERRY-LASSITER, ATTORNEY FOR ANDREW BROWN'S FAMILY: They run up to his vehicle shooting. He still stood there, sat in his vehicle with his hands on the steering wheel while being shot at. He finally decides to try to get away and he backs out, not going towards officers at all. There was at no time in the 20 seconds that we saw where he was threatening the officers any kind of way.

TODD: Today Lassiter told CNN she stands by her account.

LASSITER: They're not showing what he says he has so I saw what I saw.

TODD: The county last night pushing back, saying, quote, the entire encounter of engaging Mr. Brown and the use of deadly force lasted less than 20 seconds. The family viewed the entire encounter.

DANIELS: Let's not get distracted. An innocent man was gunned down, shot in the back of the head. The vehicle riddled with bullets from the rear.


TODD (on camera): And tonight, on the streets of Elizabeth City, the protesters here are very animated, still feeling like they're not getting the transparency that they need to get in this case, not getting the justice for Andrew Brown that they are calling for, marching through the streets blocking intersections, as they have been doing the past seven nights.

And the fallout from this, Wolf, continues despite the efforts of the judge and the prosecutors to control the release of this body cam video. Still, they have got national and statewide scrutiny.

You've got the governor of North Carolina and attorney general of the state, calling for a special prosecutor, you've got the FBI launching a civil rights investigation not only over the handling of the shooting of Andrew Brown but, of course, over the handling of the release of that body cam video. Wolf? BLITZER: All right. Brian Todd on the scene for us. Thank you very much. Let's discuss with the attorney for the family of Andrew Brown Jr., Harry Daniels, is joining us right now. Harry, thanks for joining us.

So what is the Brown family's reaction to the judge's decision today that Brown's son and only one attorney will be able to see the body camera video, the dash camera footage once identifying information is redacted?

DANIELS: Well, the redaction is still disappointment, lack of transparency. It's a step in the right direction as opposed to the 20 seconds that they were given earlier this week. But they are still disappointed because they are not having the ability to see everything that happened that particular day.

BLITZER: Does it make sense to you and to the family for that matter that the judge ruled the footage of the killing of Anthony Brown Jr. will not be made public at least for now?

DANIELS: Well, the family also wants to have and begin the healing process. In order for the healing process to begin, full disclosure needs to be made. And also the family has an interest as to show accountability of those officers in Pasquotank County, to so the public will know exactly what happened.

These are taxpayer dollars, these are public servants. The family as well as the citizens of Pasquotank County has an interest and let this video being released to the public.

BLITZER: They said the video that were shown to the family so far, is what the D.A. suggesting, alleging that the car was actually causing contact going in reverse and forward with police officers who were on the scene, potentially endangering them. What's your reaction to that allegation?

DANIELS: Wolf, you've got to listen very closely. He said that Mr. Brown was backing up. Well, he's backing up. He's not trying to hurt any officers. Based on the D.A.'s account, he's backing up, and said the vehicle made contact. He didn't say he used a vehicle as a weapon.

He only make contact when the officers was reaching it, trying to open the door. And Mr. Brown moved the vehicle, obviously, you're going to make some contact. He said the vehicle came forward and made contact with that officer. At that time the shooting start.

Regardless, Wolf, Mr. Brown was shot in the back of the head. His vehicle was riddled with bullets from the rear quarter panel and he was killed. And he maintains the presumption of innocence. The officers that they were judge, jury and executioner, so no matter how this D.A. is trying to spin it, they try to cherry pick different issues, he talked about that he want to taint the investigation or taint the jury.

Well, that's exactly what he did by not putting in context to make it appear that Mr. Brown was possibly doing something unlawful and these officers was justified that act. The facts, the autopsy report is clear for what it is. Mr. Brown was killed while driving away from these officers, pointblank by period, Wolf, no question about it. That is not in dispute.

BLITZER: All right, yes. Harry Daniels, we'll continue our coverage obviously, we'll stay in very close touch with you and the family. Thanks for joining us.

DANIELS: Thank you, Wolf. I appreciate it.

BLITZER: Thank you. Coming up, there's new evidence emerging right now that top Capitol security officials dismissed warnings that protesters could turn violent back on January 6th.


And as the number of new people getting vaccinated against COVID-19 declines, will new CDC guidelines about what vaccinated people can now do, will that encourage more Americans to get their shots?

We'll be right back.


BLITZER: Tonight, in his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Biden will address the January 6 insurrection head on, calling it and I'm quoting now, the worst attack on our democracy since the civil war.


CNN's Jessica Schneider has an update on the investigation.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Capitol is still fortified with fencing protecting entry points and tonight, President Biden will be there for his first address to Congress, the most high-profile event inside the Capitol since the January insurrection.

And it will happen as the court is releasing new videos of the assault on three Capitol police officers including Brian Sicknick who died a day later after several strokes which the medical examiner attributed to natural causes.

This new video shows one of the men accused in the assault, Julian Khater, with his arm stretch out seeming to spray officers with what prosecutors have simply described as a chemical spray. You can see at least one officer recoiling from the irritant.

OFC. MICHAEL FANONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: How we managed to make it out of that day without more significant loss of life is a miracle.

SCHNEIDER: D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone ran to the Capitol as soon as he heard radio calls and was almost immediately caught in the middle of a violent mob.

FANONE: I felt like they were trying to kill me. I thought that that was a distinct possibility.

SCHNEIDER: In this exclusive interview with CNN, Officer Fanone said months since January 6th have been an emotional rollercoaster especially in the efforts to downplay the violence coming from Republicans and a former president.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Some of them went in there and they were hugging and kiss the police and the guards. You know, they had great relationships.

FANONE: Some of the terminology that was used like hugs and kisses and, you know, very fine people, like very different from what I experienced. I experienced the most brutal savage hand-to-hand combat of my entire life, let alone my policing career.

SCHNEIDER: An experience that may not have been so traumatic if repeated warnings on the eve of January 6th had not been ignored by Capitol security officials. Internal e-mails obtained by CNN document show several troubling social media posts were flagged to officials. One said, we will storm government buildings, kill cops, kill security guards, kill federal employees and agents.

Despite the warnings, the email show the chief security officer for the architect of the Capitol seemed to dismiss the chatter and asked her security team to update her when there was evidence of credible threats to which an off-duty officer responded there weren't any. Officials at the Capitol have not responded to requests for comment.


BLITZER: CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider reporting.

Up next, questions right now about new CDC guidelines for vaccinated people and whether they'll help boost the declining U.S.-COVID vaccination rate.



BLITZER: We are just over two hours away from President Biden's historic first address to a joint session of Congress. And excerpts just released from the White House show that he'll say and I'm quoting now, we are vaccinating the nation against COVID-19.

But the daily number of shots in arms is now falling, that's worrisome.

Let's talk about that and more with our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, we're seeing the pace of vaccination slow down here in the United States. Was yesterday's announcement of new CDC guidelines are fully vaccinated Americans enough to change that?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I don't know, Wolf. I think it will help a little bit. But I think a lot of people who frankly, you know, pay close attention to the CDC guidelines and abide by them are people who may have already been vaccinated. So, I'm not sure how much of an impact it will have on the people who have been reluctant, or hesitant so far to get the vaccine.

I can tell you, Wolf, the math sort of adds up in the sense that we know about 60 percent of the country says they'd either received a shot or they're willing to get a shot. We know 55 percent the country now has basically received at least one shot. So, we are getting to this sort of ceiling now of where that vaccine confidence starts to fall off.

We'll see if you wait and see population, the movable middle population goes ahead and gets vaccinated. That's with the next few weeks will tell us.

BLITZER: Both vaccine trials, we're talking to both of the vaccines and real world studies continue to show just how incredibly effective these vaccines are against the virus. So, why I can fully vaccinate people, Sanjay, resume more of their normal activities?

GUPTA: You know, Wolf, I think there's really two reasons. First of, all I think I agree with you the science is becoming increasingly clear. Initially, the science told us the vaccines were really good at preventing you from getting sick, the real world data as you point out now shows it's also pretty good at keeping you from infecting other people, as -- being a silent carrier so to speak.

I think those two things, that is why the CDC has still been cautious. One is they don't want to backpedal. They want to backpedal in the sort of stuff. And two is that they want to make sure that the recommendations that they're giving are just being cautious. They want to make sure that they're just as cautious as possible.

BLITZER: Let me turn quickly to the coronavirus crisis in India, where the daily number of new cases continues to break all global records. This is a global problem that requires global cooperation, right?

GUPTA: Yeah, I mean, Wolf, that's the bottom line really, I think we've learned this about a pandemic, infection anywhere is potentially infection anywhere, an outbreak anywhere is a potentially an outbreak everywhere.

And also, Wolf, I think we've got to pay attention to India, they were declaring the endgame last month and we see what's happening there now.

BLITZER: It's now, a horrible, horrible it's a horrible, horrible situation. We will stay on top of it.

Sanjay, thank you very much. Sanjay Gupta, always helping us understand what's going on.

To our viewers, I'm Wolf Blitzer. Please be sure to join us at our new time, 6:00 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday.

I'll be back in one hour for a CNN special coverage of President Biden's address to a joint session of Congress. Thanks very much for watching.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.