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The Situation Room
Now, Queen Elizabeth's Coffin Inside Buckingham Palace; DOW Plunges 1,200-Plus Points After Higher-Than-Expected Inflation Report; CNN Goes Inside Liberated Ukrainian City After Russians Retreat; Looming Freight Rail Strike Could Cripple Parts Of Economy. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired September 13, 2022 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the TikTok @jaketapper. You can tweet the show @theleadcnn. If you ever miss an episode of "THE LEAD", you can listen to "THE LEAD" from whence you get your podcasts.
Our coverage now continues now with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer right next door in a place I like to call THE SITUATION ROOM. I will see you tomorrow.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, the grand farewell to Queen Elizabeth moves to London. Her coffin is now inside Buckingham Palace. Thousands of people lining the streets of the British capital to pay their respects.
Also tonight, a CNN exclusive, the first look inside a city that was just retaken by Ukraine, including the destruction left behind by Russian troops in retreat. I'll ask the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States about this stunning turn in the war.
Also tonight, a disastrous day on Wall Street after a higher than expected inflation report. The Dow closing down more than 1,200 points as rising consumer prices drive up fears of new interest rate hikes and recession.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Tonight, as Queen Elizabeth's funeral gets closer, her coffin is now inside an iconic symbol of her 70-year reign, Buckingham Palace.
CNN's Bianca Nobilo reports on the arrival ceremony in London and all the new moves by the royal family on another day of mourning.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The final journey back home, the queen's hearse taken to Buckingham Palace, to the embrace of her children and grandchildren, a night for the family to grieve in private. Mourners bid her farewell in Edinburgh, streaming past her casket, adorned with the Scottish crown, and have been queuing up in London ahead of Wednesday for one last chance to say goodbye to the late queen at Westminster Hall.
Cheering her motorcade like they cheered the new king, received by an upbeat crowd in Belfast earlier on Tuesday. Expected to build upon the foundations of his late mother, King Charles needs to be a source of healing.
KING CHARLES III: My mother felt deeply I know the significance of the role she herself played in bringing together those whom history had separated and in extending a hand to make possible the healing of long-held hurts.
NOBILO: In a sign of unity amid a fractured past, the king met with the Irish president and northern Irish leaders and lawmakers at the Hillsborough Castle royal residence, where Queen Elizabeth II played a part in cementing the peace following decades of deadly violence.
ALEX MASKEY, SPEAKER, NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY: Queen Elizabeth showed that a small but significant gesture, a visit, a handshake, crossing the street or speaking a few words of Irish can make a huge difference in changing attitudes and building relationships.
NOBILO: Chants of God Save the King greeted the king and queen consort at St. Anne's Cathedral in a service of reflection --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the blessing of God all mighty, the father, the son and the holy spirit be with you and remain with you always, amen.
NOBILO: -- before the king flew to receive his mother's hearse back in London.
NOBILO (on camera): Wolf, at 2:22 P.M. tomorrow afternoon, the hearse -- the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II will depart Buckingham Palace for the last time. She will be carried on top of a gun carriage and a procession will begin from here, which will trail through the most iconic landmarks of London, horse guards to Westminster, then to Westminster Hall, where the queen will lie in state, which is an honor reserved only for monarchs and the greats of British political history, just one step further in this week transferring her life to the history books. Wolf?
BLITZER: Yes, history unfolding. Bianca Nobilo, thank you very, very much.
Let's discuss what's going on. Joining us now from Buckingham Palace, CNN Royal Correspondent Max Foster, CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward and CNN Royal Historian Kate Williams.
Max, all of these plans, the movement of the coffin, the various vigils and ceremonies, they've been in works, I understand, for years.
These truly were the queen's final wishes, right? MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a very detailed plan, and it's really playing out to the minute, really. If you look at what was originally planned and what we're seeing play out now, there has been some movement because of the way the days have fallen. But broadly speaking, it's exactly to the plan, which I know was signed off by the queen. So, therefore, yes, this is what she wanted.
And particularly poignant today, we were informed that the state hearse that you see in these images was actually designed by the palace, and she was part of that design process. She decided what it should look like. The primary thing that she wanted was the opportunity for people to see as much of the coffin as possible. So, you see all the glass on the hearse there and even a light on the roof to allow people to see the coffin, and this was all her idea, everything playing out exactly how she wanted it.
BLITZER: Very interesting. Clarissa, I understand you spent at least part of the day among the thousands of people who have descended upon London right now. What did mourners tell you about why they gathered to say farewell to the queen?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, I have to say it was a pretty extraordinary scene to see all of these people waiting. The rain was constant. It was getting chilly. But you didn't see a single person raise their voice or push each other to get a better position. They were calm. They were dignified. They were somber.
But it wasn't so much about grief, I think, from the conversations I had as it was about marking a moment and paying a tribute. I spoke to one woman who said there is nowhere else I would be. She was here my entire lifetime and for the vast majority of well-wishers who pass through this area today, the queen had been the queen for their entire lifetime. And another woman said, you know, this is Great Britain and this is what makes Britain great, the ability of people to come together to meet the moment, and also to mark the moment.
And as the hearse pulled into Buckingham Palace, you heard this ripple of excitement go through the crowd. People started spontaneously cheering. It was the first time you'd really heard them make any loud sound at all. And you saw cell phones coming up. There was a sense I think that people really just wanted to capture this moment, that they understood they were witnessing history in the making, and that they wanted to pay their respects, and ultimately thank this towering woman for 70 years of exemplary service, Wolf.
BLITZER: You're absolutely right.
Kate Williams, Queen Elizabeth will begin lying in state tomorrow. When the queen mother died, roughly, what, 200,000 people went to pay their respects as she lay in state. Do you expect crowds this time will be even larger?
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, Wolf. Well, the queen mother was lying in state, that was 300,000 people. We saw a similar amount for George VI, the queen's father when he died in 1992. But certainly for the queen, for Elizabeth II, I do think that the estimates of a million people is really conservative. I think there have been so many people down here in the park, just as Clarissa was saying, this fabulous atmosphere, everyone is here.
And London really has a population of about 11 million on a working day, and there are people coming in from all over the country, all over the world, all over the commonwealth. And I do think there are going to be giant queues. I think we're looking at queues going really back six or seven miles. And there has already been talk that if they go back too far, simply, it's not going to be possible for everyone to see her.
There's 22.5 hours a day of being able to pass the coffin, but it may be the case that simply even if you queue up, you may not be able to see her because there are so many people who wish to both pay their respects and, as we've been saying, be a part of history.
BLITZER: It's interesting, Max, that the queen's children and grandchildren for that matter decided to stay out of sight today -- tonight, at least. They shared a lot of their grief publicly. What does it tell you that they stayed behind closed doors tonight?
FOSTER: I think it's just that they -- this is all about the queen, and they don't want the take any attention whatsoever from the plan that she laid out for herself. So, they will come out when the queen had in the plan that they come out. So, we're going to see that tomorrow. We've learned that all the children and the grandchildren of the monarch will be walking behind the coffin tomorrow in the procession, which will be quite profound. And the spouses will be traveling behind them in cars. I think that's going to be a big poignant moment.
It will look like a full procession with all the ceremony you're used to, Wolf, with the cavalry, but it's going to be silent. And that's going to be really powerful and a very long, slow walk for the family in front of huge crowds as the queen goes to lie in state.
I think it's going to be a really defining moment, along with the huge queues that Kate was describing we're expecting outside Westminster.
Max foster, Clarissa Ward, Kate Williams, guys, thank you very, very much.
Stay with CNN tomorrow for our special live coverage as the public pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth, including an extraordinary royal procession behind her coffin as it moved to Westminster. It all begins tomorrow morning 8:00 A.M. Eastern right here on CNN.
And just ahead, stock markets tumbling after an ugly inflation report stuns investors. We're going get reaction from Wall Street and from the White House.
Plus, an exclusive CNN report inside a major city just recaptured by Ukrainian military forces. I'll discuss this and more with the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States.
BLITZER: An ugly new inflation report is reverberating from the White House to Wall Street where stock markets just suffered their worst day in more than two years.
Our Senior White House Correspondent Phil Mattingly is standing by with a reaction from President Biden.
But, first, let's take a closer look at the disappointing data. Our Business Correspondent Rahel Solomon is joining us.
Rahel, this report was a surprising setback. What does it tell us about the U.S. economy?
RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It was a surprising setback and it certainly surprised investors. Wolf, take a look at how the Dow closed today, almost lower by 4 percent, or practically 1,300 points.
Wolf, to put this in perspective, this was the worst day for the Dow since June of 2020. But it wasn't just the Dow. It was the Nasdaq. It was the S&P, all lower. The S&P closed lower by 4.3. The Nasdaq, the worst among them, 5.1 percent.
And this comes after we got an inflation report today that U.S. consumer price index, CPI, which shows some slight easing in inflation but largely because of energy. 8.3 percent annualized over the last year. You can see historically still high but better. It's a little hitting here but better than that 9.1 annualized figure we had seen earlier in the summer, but, again, largely because of energy. Because what we also saw, Wolf, is that food prices continue to rise at a historic rate. I mean, all across grocery store, you are seeing it is inescapable, eggs, meat, milk, fruits and vegetables, all increasing, meat, 6.7 percent, fruits and vegetables, about 9.5 percent.
And overall, Wolf, food prices are higher, 11.4 percent, compared to a year ago, that is the highest annual increase since 1979. But it's not just food. Because when you look at core CPI, which strips away food, it strips away energy, which can be a bit more volatile, you can see core inflation actually appears to be on an upswing, and that's problematic. And the reason why is because we're still seeing increases in key categories, like shelter, which if you're looking for an apartment right now, you know rent prices are through the roof, medical care, new vehicles, furnishings, all up quite significantly.
So, you're seeing this reaction in the markets, Wolf, because what all of this means for the Fed as it tries to fight inflation is that the Fed will likely have to do more in terms of aggressive rate hikes. And the more the Fed has to do, Wolf, the more -- it increases the likelihood of a policy misstep. It increases the likelihood that they overshoot it and cause a recession, and that's what the markets were reacting to today, a lot of anxiety and fear in the markets. BLITZER: Yes. The Federal Reserve, Jay Powell, they're supposed to meet next week. What will it mean, Rahel, for consumer here is in the United States if the Fed hikes interest rates again?
SOLOMON: Right, and it's a great point, Wolf, because we expect them to raise rates another three-quarters of a percent. That would be the third consecutive increase of that magnitude. Before recent history, the last time we saw a rate hike of that magnitude was 1994. But to drive this home for consumers and Americans at home, well, it means borrowing costs continue to go up. If you have a credit card balance, you're likely going to see that rate go up. If you are in the market for a home right now, you're likely going to see that go up. If you have, however, a savings account, your interest will go up there. But, by and large, what this means is that borrowing costs continue to go up.
And, Wolf, that is the point. That is exactly what the Fed is trying to do. It's trying to cool spending, it's trying to cool demand but it doesn't feel good in this process if you're the one that is looking for a home or if you're the one that has a credit card balance right now. It's a painful process.
BLITZER: It certainly is. Rahel Solomon, thank you very, very much. We want you to stand by.
I want to also go to CNN's Phil Mattingly. He is over at the White House for us. Phil, how is President Biden playing off this news today?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, for a day that has been planned for weeks to be a celebration of a cornerstone legislative achievement named the Inflation Reduction Act, the split screen of that CPI report and the market reaction to it was certainly not ideal for President Biden.
Now, the White House pointing out, as Rahel noted, that there is some deceleration. However, there is no question about it, it is not the report the president or his economic team wanted to see. The president in a statement after the report did point to the continuous drop in gas prices, more than $1.30 over the course of the last several months, as a positive but acknowledged there is more work to do.
Critical on that side of things, according to White House officials and the president later in day was that Inflation Reduction Act, $740 billion piece of legislation that would reform prescription drug prices, send a significant sum of money to climate change, also add health care subsidies and change tax proposals in a way that Democrats have long pursued and just now accomplished and is highlighting those accomplishments, a series of legislative wins over the course of the last several weeks, that the president really wants to focus on just two months before those midterm elections. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: We're going to lower prescription drug costs, lower health insurance costs, lower energy costs for millions of families. I want to take the most aggressive action ever, ever, ever to confront the climate crisis and increase our energy security, ever in the whole world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: Wolf, there is no question that particularly after the last several weeks, the White House has more to point to in terms of demonstrable legislative achievements than most White Houses would heading into a first midterm election.
But Rahel detailed so eloquently, the kind of unsettled nature of the current economy, one where even as prices start to decelerate, they are still at a sky-high level than seen in nearly four decades, there are still a lot of headwinds heading into that election, Wolf.
BLITZER: Phil Mattingly at the White House, thank you very, very much.
Coming up, we'll go live to Ukraine where Russian forces are now in retreat. And CNN just got an exclusive look inside a key city reclaimed by the Ukrainians.
BLITZER: In Ukraine tonight, Russian invaders are being driven away by intense Ukrainian counteroffensive, which has now taken back more than 2,300 square miles. CNN's Sam Kiley was the first international journalist to go inside a key strategic city just recaptured by Ukrainian forces. He has our exclusive report.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's been a stunning advance, Ukraine's route of Russian invaders has recaptured 6,000 square kilometers, Ukraine's president says. This land was held by Russia just a few days ago. Now, it's providing a rich harvest to Ukraine's army of abandoned Russian equipment. The Russian Z symbol painted over, the guns ready to kill Russians.
The recapture of Izium, a strategic prize, accelerated by precision strikes from new artillery donated by western allies.
This was clearly hit with a very large piece of artillery or an airstrike. You can see how important it was strategically, clearly, a former school. There's a kind of children's painting on the wall. But it's also got these large holes which have been dug to store tanks or armored personnel carriers, even artillery pieces. There's one, two, three, four, five.
We were shown into a command center in the bunkers of an old factory.
So, down here, we've seen a medical facility, call it something like that, inside this bunker. There's the barracks.
The top brass here slept in beds made of old doors.
And then, of course, the command center here.
As I walk along here, it's absolutely extraordinary. There are the different labels for the different roles of the senior Russian officers on these school desks that have been arranged in this bunker in this old what looks like a brick factory.
Now, they were safe down here underground but they didn't feel safe enough to stay in Izium. And what's critical ultimately for the Ukrainian Armed Forces is making sure that the senior officers of the Russian army stay on the run. If they do that, the Russian Armed Forces will collapse completely in Ukraine and potentially threaten the longevity of one Vladimir Putin.
This couple celebrated liberation. They told me that some of their neighbors were less delighted and had blamed Ukrainian forces for shelling their homes. But he insisted the incoming shells never hit the checkpoints or Russian artillery base right outside his house and so blamed the Russian for false flag attacks on civilians.
He said the Russians behaved like pigs. They stole everything from all the empty houses before they ran away. The Russian guns were busy here, their wooden ammunition boxes now stockpiled for winter fuel. And to the Ukrainian victors here, the spoils have been rich. The capture of Izium and the route of Russia here has broken a key link in Putin's logistics chain in the battle for the east.
You have the remarkable scene of a tank coming to collect an abandoned Russian howitzer.
I asked him if it had been a hard fight. Not really, he said. The latest Ukrainian successes may not be the beginning of the end of this war but not even the Kremlin can deny that this chapter has been a very sorry tale for Russia.
KILEY (on camera): Now, Wolf, the Russian forces can now retreat if they choose to enter those much more better prepared positions that they've got in the semi-independent self-declared areas of the Donbas that they captured back in 2014, as a result of that. President Zelenskyy has already been hinting that they will have to fight by other means, more maneuver, more special forces, I expect. Wolf?
BLITZER: Sam Kiley on the scene for us in Ukraine, stay safe over there, Sam. Thank you very, very much.
And let's discuss with the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova. Ambassador, thank you so much for joining us.
Does Ukraine see these major military advances by Ukraine as a major turning point in this war? OKSANA MARKAROVA, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: Absolutely. It's 202nd day of the war, and this counteroffensive, which already allowed us to free more than 2,500 square miles of Ukrainian territory, and more importantly, almost 300 villages and different settlements and our people there, is one of the major turning points, I think the most one after we have freed the Kyiv Oblast.
So, it's very difficult still.
The fight that Russians are putting up, of course, when they're not running is pretty big, and especially they're doing very cowardly attacks on our infrastructure, and just still shooting at the civilian buildings, places, everywhere. But it's a big momentum when we are showing that we can win.
BLITZER: Very impressive military advances, indeed. Ambassador, Ukrainians in one liberated village told CNN's Sam Kiley that the Russian, and I'm quoting now, locked people in basements and beat them. Prosecutors, as you know, they're investigating reports of Ukrainian civilians being tortured and killed by the Russians. What do you fear Russia has left in its wake?
MARKAROVA: Yes, Wolf. Unfortunately, we see here and we only start uncovering these tragic accounts. We see exactly what we saw in Bucha, Irpin and other places after we liberated those areas from the occupation. Here, people were under occupation for more than six months, and we already see accounts of tortures and deaths and attacks on the kidnappings. So, unfortunately, we see the same war crimes and atrocities. That's why we need to increase our effort. That's why we need to free and liberate our territories as soon as possible. Because, again, the war council and war crimes and more calls for justice for everything the Russians are doing on this territory which are illegally and temporarily occupied.
BLITZER: Now, as you know, Ambassador, Ukraine is now asking the United States for more weapons to sustain this military momentum that's going on. You want more drones, tanks and longer range missile systems. How critical is it for the United States to tailor its weapons packages for Ukraine to this new stage of the war?
MARKAROVA: It's very important for us to sustain the effort, as military people say. I mean, we're very grateful to the United States. And I think these successes in the south and east are result of, of course, bravery and mastery of our military forces but also unbelievable and timeless support we're getting from the United States. And we're very grateful to the president, to Congress, to all American people for this.
But in order to sustain the effort, in order to continue freeing our territories, in order to defend the country from all the ruthless attacks that Russians -- terrorist attacks actually that Russians are putting on a daily basis, we just need more weapons. And we know it's a lot to ask but we can win. And it's not only Ukraine can win, all of us together can win and bring Russia to justice.
So, yes, it's critical especially as the winter approaching to have the packages of the support, which were already appropriated By congress, and we're looking forward to Congress and asking the Congress to review the additional proposal that Biden administration has already submitted to Congress for additional support to Ukraine.
BLITZER: Ukraine's ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova, thank you, Ambassador, for joining us.
MARKAROVA: Thank you.
BLITZER: Coming up, a federal judge unseals new information in the Mar-a-Lago investigation. We're getting fresh insight right now into the affidavit behind the search of Donald Trump's Florida home.
BLITZER: We're following important new developments in the Mar-a-Lago investigation. A federal judge has just unsealed more information from the affidavit behind the search of Donald Trump's Florida home. This as prosecutors push forward on multiple fronts right now of the January 6th investigation.
CNN's Sara Murray has more.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Justice Department now digging in to nearly every aspect of former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
DAVID LAUFMAN, FORMER DOJ COUNTERINTELLIGENCE SECTION CHIEF: The Justice Department and the FBI are all-in in pursuing what prosecutors and agents refer to as logical investigative steps.
MURRAY: DOJ issuing dozens of subpoenas to current and former aides to Donald Trump involved in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, as prosecutors seek more information about how different aspects of Trump's election reversal gambits fit together. Sources also telling CNN investigators seized a phone from Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn --
BORIS EPSHTEYN, TRUMP ADVISER: This has been a country-wide steal, a country-wide operation by the left to defraud the American public and to steal this election from President Trump.
MURRAY: -- who allegedly helped coordinate Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Also hit with new subpoenas, Dan Scavino, Trump's former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Stepien, 2020 campaign manager to the former president.
BILL STEPIEN, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: There were two groups of them. We call them kind of my team and Rudy's team. I didn't mind being characterized as being part of team normal. MURRAY: What began as a probe into the U.S. Capitol attack expanding with subpoenas seeking information on fraudulent electors, funding vehicles supporting Trump's attempt to try to overturn his defeat and Trump lawyers pushing election fraud claims in court.
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: There're investigations into the crimes of violence and rioting that happened on the grounds of the Capitol. There is obstructing the Capitol, which is obstructing the work of Congress. There is potential campaign finance violations being investigated on account of former President Trump's political action committee.
MURRAY: DOJ also demanding subpoena targets hand over any information requested by the House committee investigating January 6th, whether those documents were produced or not, as the select committee returns to Washington and weighs formal invites for former Trump and former Vice President Pence to appear and whether to begin handing more information to DOJ.
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): Now that the Department of Justice is being proactive in issuing subpoenas and other things, I think it's time for the committee to determine whether or not the information we gathered can be beneficial to their investigation.
MURRAY (on camera): Now, when it comes to that separate Justice Department investigation, the investigation into the former president's handling, Wolf, of potentially classified documents, we're learning from this new court filing more details about a slightly less redacted affidavit. They tells us a little bit more about the kinds of classified markings that were on documents previously handed over by the former president's team. And they shed a little bit more light on that subpoena for the surveillance footage at Mar-a-Lago at how they got six months of it for this basement room in Mar-a-Lago, Wolf.
BLITZER: Very interesting. Sara Murray reporting for us, thank you very, very much.
Let's discuss all of this with our Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig. Elie, thanks for joining us. What do you make of these new details from this new, less redacted FBI affidavit?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Wolf, I think the most important takeaway is this confirms that the documents that were turned over to the Justice Department were not just important, were not just sensitive, but they were quite literally life or death. If you look at the new markings that we now know about, this shows us that these documents were related to our human intelligence, meaning in a word, our spies, and to our electronic and signals intelligence, meaning essentially wiretaps. We're talking about core issues of domestic and foreign intelligence.
And one of the big questions that I think it raises is, why did Donald Trump's team turn over these documents when they were subpoenaed in June but not all the other documents that were seized under the search warrant in August? I would want to know if I was prosecuting this case who was making the decision on Trump's team, let's give them these documents, but not those documents and why, because that's going to go right to the issue of intent.
BLITZER: Yes, good question indeed. Turning to a flurry of new subpoenas in the January 6th investigation, Elie, does it indicate they're homing in on former President Trump himself?
HONIG: Well, Wolf, it tells us for sure that DOJ's investigation is expanding and intensifying. And, yes, there is a notable change in the focus here. For about a year-and-a-half, let's remember after January 6th, the focus was on the 800-plus people who have now been charged with storming the Capitol. That was important work.
But there was no indication until really three or four months ago that DOJ was meaningfully focusing on Donald Trump, his campaign and the White House. And now, boy, do we have such an indicator, I mean, dozens of subpoenas. They're looking at all aspects, the P.R. aspect, the financial aspect, the campaign, the administration. So, there has been a notable shift.
The big question really, Wolf, they'll have the information now, what will they do with it? Because, big picture, we're 20 months out from January 6th, not a single person in or near a position of official power has been charged criminally. That may be coming. That will be the big question.
BLITZER: Because all of this clearly is an escalation, this escalation to subpoena so many people that's going on right now. What does that say to you, Elie, about the status, the status right now of this criminal investigation?
HONIGH: So, Wolf, it tells me that the investigation is building. It's also important to note, we just hit the 60-day period before midterm elections a couple of days ago. DOJ has a longstanding policy that they won't announce new politically sensitive indictments or take over investigative steps, like a search warrant or arguably a subpoena within that 60-day window. So, it makes sense to me that they would have served dozens of subpoenas the last couple of days because it doesn't mean their investigation has to stop.
So, I think what DOJ is going to do is gather, assemble all this information and spend the next eight weeks or so going through it and seeing where they come out on the other end.
BLITZER: Elie Honig, thank you very, very much, important analysis indeed.
HONIG: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: Coming up, the legacy of Ken Starr, the independent counsel who investigated then-President Bill Clinton has died. We have details. That's next.
BLITZER: Tonight, a polarizing figure during the impeachment of then President Bill Clinton has died. Ken Starr gained national attention as the independent counsel whose investigation of Clinton exposed his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Starr was 76 years old.
CNN's senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns is joining us right now with more on Starr's life and his death.
So how will he be remembered, Joe? You and I covered all of that years ago.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, very clearly he will be remembered first and foremost for the Whitewater investigation. That was the independent counsel investigation that started out with a land deal involving Bill and Hillary Clinton, and turned into a much larger investigation into allegations that the president in fact perjured himself or lied under oath.
Now interestingly enough, Ken Starr in fact said he didn't think impeachment was such a good idea in hindsight, at least. Listen to what he said to you, wolf, in 2018.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Do you believe there are lessons learned during your seven or eight years investigating Bill Clinton that are applicable today?
KEN STARR, FORMER INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: Not that many, but yes, many lessons are echoes of the past. And one is impeachment is a non- starter.
Don't go there because it's going to take a 2/3 majority. That was very wisely done on this Constitution Day. This is the day that the delegates emerged in Philadelphia.
Don't go there. It's a disaster for the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Now, Monica Lewinsky, the woman with whom Bill Clinton had an affair that led to the impeachment did tweet just a little while ago, responding to the news that Ken Starr had died. She said: As I'm sure many can understand, my thoughts about Ken Starr bring about complicated feelings but of more importance, I imagine it is a painful loss for those who love him.
Ken Starr dead at 76. It is not clear what happened, Wolf. But what we do know is that he died from complications following surgery at a hospital in Texas.
BLITZER: Joe Johns reporting for us, Joe, thank you very, very much.
Now, to another story we're following, a potentially crippling strike by freight railroad workers in the United States that could happen this coming Friday. CNN is learning new details on what is going on.
Tonight, Amtrak is canceling additional routes in hopes of avoiding disruptions to its passenger trains.
CNN's Pete Muntean is outside Penn Station in New York City with the latest -- Pete.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the deadline for a deal to avoid a rail worker strike is midnight on Friday. We are already seeing the impact as Amtrak says, fearing this rail worker strike, it is suspending some of its routes between Chicago and L.A., Chicago and San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle also, between San Antonio and L.A. Amtrak says the impact so far is not on the northeast corridor, here like at Penn Station in New York.
The rub here is that Amtrak only owns and operates about 3 percent of its own rails, 97 percent of Amtrak rails are operated by freight companies, these are freight rail workers that could go on strike even though a presidential review board recommended big concessions included immediate pay raises, bonus pay, back pay from 2020. The issue is two rail worker unions that are holdouts and if they go on strike, about a dozen rail worker unions in all would strike in solidarity. This would have a huge impact on the economy. We are talking about $2 billion a day.
Freight rail is responsible for about 30 percent of all the freight in the U.S. We're talking auto parts, retail, grain, and impact on farming.
The Biden administration right now is burning up the phones trying to avoid this strike. If not, we could see more impact as the impact on Amtrak just the tip of the iceberg -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Yeah, very worrisome indeed. Pete Muntean, reporting for us, thank you, Pete.
More news just ahead. We will take a look at the role Princess Anne's role in Queen Elizabeth's final journey and her place within the royal family.
BLITZER: Tonight, Princess Anne says it has been an honor and privilege to accompany her mother's coffin in the journey through Scotland and onto London.
CNN's Isa Soares takes a closer look at Queen Elizabeth's only daughter.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the Queen's coffin continued to this route from St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, with cameras focused on King Charles, onlookers may have missed the Queen's second child, Princess Anne, stood dutiful along the side.
Elizabeth's only daughter, and was by her mother's bedside on Thursday, fitting then, that she should accompany the procession, when the coffin entered the palace of Holyroodhouse, after an arduous six- hour journey, and for foreign of, poignant courtesy.
Of the Queen's four children, it was Princess Anne who was by her side along side the full route from Balmoral Castle to here in Edinburgh on the Royal Mile. She will now escort her mother's coffin as it makes its final journey to London.
Her efforts often go unnoticed. In 2021, she carried out 387 engagements, two more than her elder brother, and she maintains involvement with hundreds of charities.
During the pandemic, the Queen turned to Anne for help with their first zoom call.
PRINCESS ANNE, UNITED KINGDOM: You should have six people on your screen.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II, UNITED KINGDOM: I can see four anyway.
PRINCESS ANNE: Actually you don't need me. You know what I look like.
SOARES: Speaking on British television over the weekend, she said there was no manual on how to be a royal and that she learned by following her mother's example.
PRINCESS ANNE: To know what the true values are and to stick with those, not worry too much about the fashions, things that come and go, but to understand what's the bedrock of society.
SOARES: Sixteenth in line to the throne, and has been princess royal since 1987.
Her importance in the court of King Charles is assured. Just 21 months apart in age, the two are set to be very close.
KATE WILLIAMS, ROYAL HISTORIAN: Charles would be very wise to use Ann in the monarchy going forward. She is popular. She's well-loved. Her work ethic really commands respect. People really find her a very engaging character.
And Charles, while he's in a honeymoon period, he really does need all hands on deck. And someone who can really help him is Anne.
SOARES: The princess royal will continue to be an integral part of her majesty's last journey, a testament to her belief, like her mother's, in duty and service.
Isa Soares, Edinburgh, Scotland.
BLITZER: And once again, stay with CNN tomorrow for live coverage as Queen Elizabeth's coffin is moved to the Palace of Westminster. It all begins at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.