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The Situation Room
Pelosi Family To Hear 911 Call, See Body Cam Footage; Biden, Obama Barnstorm U.S. In Push To Hold Congress For Democrats; 1/6 Committee In Discussion With Trump Lawyers For Him To Testify; CNN: Iran Preparing To Ship 1,000 Additional Weapons For Russia To Use Against Ukraine; Victims' Families Face Parkland Gunman Ahead Of Sentencing. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired November 01, 2022 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: The alleged attacker of Nancy Pelosi's husband pleads not guilty to all the state charges against him, including attempted murder. Tonight, we're learning members of the Pelosi family are expected to hear and see critical evidence in the case, the 911 call and the police body camera video.
Also this hour, with only one week to go before Election Day, Democrats are again turning to President Biden and former President Obama to turn out the vote in key battleground states.
And former President Trump's lawyers are now in discussions with the January 6th select committee about testifying under oath, this as the U.S. Supreme Court rejects Senator Lindsey Graham's bid to avoid testifying in the investigation of the 2020 election interference that they claim this Georgia.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer and you're in The Situation Room.
We begin this hour with the first court appearance by the man charged in the brutal attack on Paul Pelosi. He entered not guilty pleas in a San Francisco courtroom just a little while ago.
CNN's Whitney Wild is following this story for us.
WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice over): 42- year-old David DePape accused of bludgeoning Paul Pelosi with a hammer making his first appearance Tuesday in a San Francisco courtroom for his arraignment. DePape pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.
ADAM LIPSON, DAVID DEPAPE'S ATTORNEY: There's also been a lot of speculation regarding Mr. DePape's vulnerability to misinformation, and that's certainly something that we're going to look into. He's currently being held without bail.
WILD: DePape has been moved from the hospital to jail. Prosecutors are asking him to be held without bail, arguing he's too dangerous to be back on the street.
The San Francisco district attorney filed six charges against DePape, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary. DePape could face up to life in prison.
BROOKE JENKINS, SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It appears as though this was, based on his statements and comments that were made in that house during his encounter with Mr. Pelosi, that this was politically motivated.
WILD: DePape is also facing federal charges, that include attempting to kidnap House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and assault on an immediate family member of a federal official.
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Anyone who assaults, threatens, threatens to assault, kidnaps, hold hostage a federal official to intimidate them from doing their job or a family member, he pretty much ticks every part of the statute.
WILD: Authorities laid out the chilling minute-by-minute account of the attack, detailing how DePape broke through a glass door in the back of the house then walked into the upstairs bedroom where Paul Pelosi was sleeping early Friday morning. They say DePape woke up Pelosi and told him that he was looking for Nancy, and that Pelosi was able to slip away at some point and call 911.
Police found rope, duct tape, zip ties and a second hammer at the scene. The FBI says DePape confessed his plan was to hold Nancy hostage and talk to her, adding that if she lied, he was going to break her kneecaps, calling her the leader of the pack of lies told by the Democratic Party.
JENKINS: As leaders and as citizens, it is incumbent upon us all to watch the words that we say and to turn down the volume of our political rhetoric.
WILD: As Pelosi remains in the intensive care unit, Speaker Pelosi issued a statement. We have been deluged with thousands of messages conveying concern, prayers and warm wishes. We are most grateful. Paul is making steady progress on what will be a long recovery process.
Capitol police now saying today's contentious political climate demands more physical security for members of Congress and hoping prosecutors bring more cases against those who threaten lawmakers.
WILD (on camera): Capitol police added to that statement saying that these suggestions from Capitol polic will result in a formal request. We'll learn a lot more about that in the days to come, Wolf.
BLITZER: We certainly will. Whitney Wild, thank you very much for that report.
Let's bring in our experts on law enforcement and politics right now. Jamie Gangel, I understand you have exclusive new reporting regarding the Pelosi family. What are your sources telling you?
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, according to a source familiar, we have been told that, as soon as tomorrow, members of the Pelosi family are going to be able to hear the audio of that 911 call as well as see the body cam footage. This is the video from the police officers, the San Francisco police officers, as they arrived on the scene. As we know, Pelosi placed that 911 call Friday.
Wolf, this could be critical because if that phone line was left open for most of the time, we may hear in effect a narration of exactly what went on during the time, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes, very interesting, indeed. Andrew McCabe, you're the former deputy director of the FBI.
DePape was just arraigned on state charges, as you know, including attempted murder and is being held without bail. What stands out to you from this initial court appearance?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Wolf, the initial court appearances show you the seriousness with which the state is going to prosecute Mr. DePape. And this is, of course, in addition to the federal charges that were brought yesterday, federal charges based on DePape's assault of Paul Pelosi in an effort to retaliate against Nancy Pelosi and his attempted kidnapping of Nancy Pelosi.
So, if convicted on all of these stated and federal charges, it is likely Mr. DePape will spend the rest of his life or some significant portion of it in jail. And based on the evidence that we know the state and the federal government have so far, which we know from the affidavit that the federal government released yesterday, it looks like a pretty strong case.
BLITZER: Jonathan Wackrow, you're a former U.S. Secret Service agent. As we learn more and more about this targeted attack, the Capitol police chief here in Washington is calling for more resources to protect lawmakers. Do you take that as a sign of just how seriously he's taking these threats against U.S. lawmakers right now?
JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, absolutely, Wolf. And I appreciate the fact that the chief is calling this out directly. But, you know, the reality is we've been calling this out directly since January 6th, right? We had an attack on the Capitol. We had a riot. We know that since that day, we've had members of Congress, their families and political leaders across this country at the state, federal and local level targeted directly.
And what's happening is they're being fueled by these conspiracy beliefs that are spreading faster than ever before. I mean, to me, the spread of this through social media only fueled further by influential individuals is really the challenge to law enforcement, right? How do they keep up with this when individuals are sort of radicalized online using conspiracy theories to justify a personal grievance or, in some instances, this pathological fix fixation towards individuals? And I think you can apply that right now to this attack where somebody was fixated on attacking Nancy Pelosi, that's a challenge for law enforcement.
So, I appreciate the call to action in protection, but, you know, we need to do better. We need to go beyond just calling for it. We need to start putting in the appropriate control measures today to protect our lawmakers. At the end of the day, it's protecting our democratic process.
BLITZER: I think they need to protect the family members, too, of the lawmakers.
Gloria, the former homeland security secretary, Jeh Johnson, he joined me last hour and he described this political environment here in the United States right now as combustible. What do you think it's going to take for elected leaders to come together and agree it's time to lower the temperature?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Wolf, I wish I knew the answer to that question. I don't know the answer to that question. I remember after September 11th, Democrats and Republicans standing on the steps of the Capitol singing the national anthem together to protect America, to try and protect America.
At this point, the only way I know how to answer that question, Wolf, and we're all thinking about it, is leadership. It takes leadership at the very top. You have the former president indulging by insinuation and conspiracy theories. You have some Republicans doing the same thing.
But I want to point out that after Steve Scalise was shot in June of 2017, Nancy Pelosi said on days like today, there are no Democrats and Republicans, only Americans united in our hopes and prayers for the wounded. And after Paul Pelosi, after that incident, Steve Scalise tweeted -- was one of those leaders in the Republican Party who tweeted that he was disgusted to hear about the horrific assault and further said, let's be clear, violence has no place in this country and that he was praying for Paul Pelosi's full recovery.
That kind of conversation has to happen at every level and at every -- among Republicans and Democrats and you don't see that happening right now because the leadership is not there.
BLITZER: Yes, we should all be praying for Paul Pelosi's full and speedy recovery.
Andrew McCabe, how does the FBI break through the type of misinformation, the wild conspiracy theories out there that leads to an attack like this?
MCCABE: You know, it's really tough spot that the FBI and the rest of law enforcement is having to work in because of that misinformation. But let's be clear, that's not really the FBI's job. Their job is to collect the evidence about what happened in this situation, help the prosecutors build towards a successful prosecution and stay in front of the next attack, so to be out there, understanding what the intelligence is telling you about the threat picture, looking at these open source kind of markets for conspiracy theories and that sort of thing.
So, they've got to be wading through it to understand how it reflects our current threat picture, but the bureau is not really in a position to be preventing people from engaging in that kind of hateful or destructive speech. That's protected activity and not really what they focus on.
BLITZER: Jamie Gangel, some prominent Republicans, including former President Trump are continuing, believe it or not, to make light of this brutal attack against Paul Pelosi. What impact does that have?
GANGEL: Look, just on a personal level, they should be ashamed of themselves. I mean, civility, how would they feel if a member of their family had been attacked? I mean, Nancy Pelosi, let us be clear, she was the target. But a member of her family was horrifically injured and has a long recovery.
On a political note, we are a week before the election. And, look, I'm not going to say that the Republican base is going to lead the party at this point, but in some of these close elections, saying these kinds of things a week before the election date may not be the wisest move.
BLITZER: No, it's a terrible situation, indeed. All right, guys, thank you very much.
Just ahead, a key member of the House Intelligence Committee joins us. We'll discuss the Capitol police chief's new call for greater resources to protect lawmakers here in Washington. Congressman Jason Crow is standing by.
BLITZER: We're following all the new developments on the totally brutal attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 82-year-old husband, Paul Pelosi, the suspect making his first appearance in a San Francisco courtroom just a little while ago. And here in Washington, the U.S. Capitol police chief is now warning that more security is absolutely needed to protect members of Congress.
We're joined now by Democratic Congressman Jason Crow, he's a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, thank you so much for joining us.
First of all, what do you make of this new call from the Capitol police chief? Do you fear this request for funding will be politicized just as the attack has been?
REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): Well, hi, Wolf. First of all, my condolences go to Paul Pelosi. I've known Paul Pelosi for a very long time. He is a kind, gentle, incredibly caring man and I wish him a full and speedy recovery, and to Speaker Pelosi and the entire Pelosi family as well, horrified by this attack. But, yes, we need more security because we are in an era of increasing political violence that has been happening for a long time now.
And I lived through the January 6th insurrection. I barricaded the doors. I helped my fellow members escape from a violent mob that was trying to capture us and trying kill us. That was a horrifying day. And I'd like to say that it has been improved since then and people learned our lesson, but, unfortunately, that extremism is deepening, it's broadening in America because we have a mainstream political party that is refusing to push back on it.
BLITZER: And you speak as a former Army ranger who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California told me last night here in The Situation Room that this attack on Paul Pelosi, and I'm quoting her now, makes us all feel vulnerable. Is the feeling among lawmakers right now that any one of you could be next?
CROW: Well, death threats against members of Congress have quadrupled since the time I've actually been in office. Again, I was the victim of an attempted coup, an insurrection at the Capitol, so, certainly, it's happened to me at least once. I was an impeachment manager in my first term in Congress where I received regular death threats and had to have a security detail. And it's actually not all that uncommon these days for people these days to show up the guns on the Capitol, for people to try to ram through barricades on the Capitol grounds. It seems to happen every couple of months.
So, we have to be very vigilant and I think we have to take measures now, frankly, that we didn't have to before. But that's the safety and security element of this, Wolf. The broader issue is this is happening because you have people in legitimate elected positions, people that hold positions of authority that are allowing it to happen or even in many cases, encouraging it to happen. That is the deeper and bigger problem.
BLITZER: The San Francisco district attorney just gave remarks after this arraignment of this suspect and was asked about all the misinformation spreading about the attack. I want you to listen to what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENKINS: I think I made it clear over the last couple of days that one thing that we wanted to emphasize is that this was a targeted attack. This was not a random, residential burglary. He specifically sought out their home. He sought out the speaker. And in turn, when he could not locate her at her home, turned his violence towards her husband.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: When you hear that, Congressman, what's your reaction?
CROW: Well, we are in an era where disinformation and misinformation and people just rejecting outright verifiable facts is actually becoming common in our political discourse right now. And here's why it's happening. It's happening because, in this case, you have the Republican Party that's allowing it to happen.
Now, I say this as somebody that has a lot of Republican friends, that does a lot of bipartisan work in Congress that grew up in a Republican family and community and household and worked very hard to bridge divisions. But here's the problem. When you have people in a mainstream party that refuse to push back or are afraid to push back for fear of the extreme wings of their party and what might happen to them, it allows it to happen, it allows it to grow.
We need more Republicans of conscience, Republicans of integrity, folks like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, to stand up and say, enough is enough.
Because I have a lot of good friends, I have known Liz Cheney for a long time, and I've done good work with her. I don't agree with her on many things but she agrees the sky is blue and the Earth is round and Joe Biden is the president of the United States, so we can work together and get things done.
It's not until Republicans like her stand up and say, we're taking our party back, this extremism is unacceptable, we're not going to put up with it and we're going to try to move forward as a country. It's not until that happens that we're going to handle this and address it.
BLITZER: Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado, I'll say to you what I said to Congressman Jackie Speier last night, stay safe out there. Thanks very much for joining us.
CROW: Thank you.
BLITZER: Coming up, seven days to go and two big name Democrats are back on the campaign trail, Biden in Florida and Obama in Nevada. We're following all the heavy hitters and their appeals to voters in this, the final run up to the midterm elections.
BLITZER: Tonight, both political parties are mobilizing some of their heaviest hitters knowing they have only one week left to sway voters who will decide control of Congress and high-stakes races all across the nation.
CNN's diane gallagher shows us who is on the trail and where they're going and why.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): With just seven days to go, top surrogates swarming the midterm campaign trail. In Georgia, former Vice President Mike Pence hitting the road with Republican Governor Kemp this afternoon.
MIKE PENCE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I think there's no better governor in America than Brian Kemp. It's true. Under Brian's leadership over the -- and I can honestly say I was for Brian Kemp before it was cool.
GALLAGHER: Both GOP figures are frequent targets of Donald Trump with Pence breaking from Trump and endorsing Kemp earlier this year. But today, Kemp steering clear of criticizing the former president when asked about Trump's lack of Georgia appearances since the May primary.
GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): I don't know. You'd have to ask him that question. Look, I'm focusing on, you know, getting our vote out.
GALLAGHER: Pence's visit coming just days after former President Barack Obama rallied voters for Kemp's opponent in the race for governor, Democratic Nominee Stacey Abrams.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I need you to get off your coach and vote.
GALLAGHER: And Obama will do it again tonight in Nevada in an attempt to boost Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, who's locked in a tight race with Republican Adam Laxalt.
The current president, Joe Biden, hitting the trail today in Florida, where he's sought to draw contrast with the state's GOP leaders.
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: You've been paying social security your whole life. You earned it. Now, these guys want to take it away. Who in the hell do they think they are?
GALLAGHER: Biden's appearance aimed at bolstering a pair of Florida Democrats, Charlie Crist and Val Demings, who are challenging incumbents Ron DeSantis and Marco Rubio in the state's races for governor and U.S. Senate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are there other Democrats you might endorse between now and next Tuesday?
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Possibly, Judy.
GALLAGHER: The slate of surrogates even crossing party lines today as Wyoming GOP Congresswoman Liz Cheney campaigns for Michigan Democrat Elissa Slotkin, who's facing a tough fight for re-election. And candidates themselves making closing arguments in new T.V. ads today in Pennsylvania's tight Senate race, Democratic Lieutenant Governor JOHN fetterman, contrasting himself with Republican Mehmet Oz.
LT. GOV. JOHN FETTERMAN (D-PA): Pennsylvania, the choice is yours. I only got into politics to make my town a safer place. Oz only moved here to run for office, to use us. GALLAGHER: While Oz is making an appeal for the political middle.
SENATE CANDIDATE MEHMET OZ (R-PA): Politicians point fingers. Doctors solve problems. Together, we'll stand up to extreme extremism on both sides and bring balance to Washington.
GALLAGHER: With one week until the votes are counted, nearly 25 million ballots have already been cast ahead of the 2018 turnout.
GALLAGHER (on camera): Not joining, the former vice president and the governor here today in Cumming, Georgia, was Republican Senate Nominee Herschel Walker. The Trump-endorsed candidate has not appeared with Kemp. And even though Pence did not mention Walker by name, he did say today, Wolf, for the first time that he supports the entire slate of candidates on the Republican ticket here in Georgia.
BLITZER: Dianne Gallagher reporting from Georgia, thank you very much.
Let's bring in our Senior Political Analyst Nia-Malika Henderson, our Chief National Affairs Analyst Kasie Hunt and CNN Contributor Evan Osnos.
Kasie, the heavy hitters are clearly out in full force across the country right now, Biden, Obama, Pence, Cheney. How much of an impact can they actually have on voters in this final stretch?
KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Wolf, I think these events, they always have relatively limited impact, but the reality is so many of these races are so close that you never know what small thing may move the needle one way or the other.
I think the overcharging driver is obviously going to be the national environment, which all my sources on both sides of the aisle currently feel is trending in Republicans' directions. But when it comes to these Senate races, the candidates do actually really matter and I do think that Republicans would feel like they were in a stronger position right now in terms of taking the Senate if some of their candidates had fewer problems.
Now, that doesn't mean that the environment won't, you know, overtake that. You know, we'll have to see kind of how this continues through the weekend. We know that polling is basically a lagging indicator and we're not going to really find out until voters are voting. But I think if you're in the final stages of a race, of a tough race, any little bit helps.
BLITZER: It certainly does.
Evan Osnos, President Biden, and you've written a biography on President Biden, he's in Florida today.
But what does it say to you that he won't be showing up in some key battleground states, like Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, for example?
EVAN OSNOS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the truth is that in very closely fought races like that, putting the head, the person whose face is most responsible for the Democratic Party today in the center of that is -- it's a risky move. Instead, what they did is they said, let's send him to Florida, let's send him to the geographical heart of the Trump movement, metaphorically and in other ways. And it allowed him to go and talk about this is a choice beyond just the candidates on the ballot.
As he put it, this is really a choice about two different approaches to governing the country. I mean, the one they want to draw attention to, the one obviously Democrats are excited about is the Inflation Reduction Act, which allowed them to negotiate lower drug prices, a very popular issue in Florida. And they want to contrast that with Republicans, like Rick Scott, the senator there who's running the Republican Senate campaign arm, who says, actually, that social security and Medicare should be up every five years. That's the contrast they're trying to draw, not have it be a referendum on the incumbent.
BLITZER: Yes, good point.
Nia-Malika Henderson, the former vice president, Mike Pence, he's in Georgia with Governor Kemp, and he's saying he supports the entire Republican ticket, including the Senate candidate, Herschel Walker. Will the Republicans' decision to support more controversial candidates come at a cost?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Listen, not if they win the Senate, right? Herschel walker has obviously had a tough time at times out on the campaign trail, but by all accounts at his point, this is a deadlocked race tied in the polls. We may not know if he's able to pull it out until December. This could likely go to a runoff, but if you're Mike Pence, you want to support the Republican cause, you want to support the Republican Party and their efforts to take over the Senate and the House and essentially stop Joe Biden's administration and his policy desires in their tracks, right?
If they take over the Senate, then lots of his agenda will get stalled, right? The judiciary, a lot of the appointments there just probably won't happen. And if you're Mike Pence, you want to make sure you're on the right side of Republicans, should they pull that out.
We also know that Mike Pence likely would at some point run for president. So, he wants to make sure that he's out there supporting not only Brian Kemp, who is somebody who Donald Trump didn't support, but also Herschel Walker, who was a big candidate out there who Donald Trump did support. So, he wants to cover all his bases.
BLITZER: Kasie Hunt, I know you've been covering the Pennsylvania Senate race very closely. What stands out to you from those closing arguments from Democrat John Fetterman, and Republican Dr. Oz?
HUNT: Yes. Wolf, it's very interesting to see these final ads. It's clear to me from the conversations that I have ongoing with strategists both based in the state but also here in Washington that there are real questions about how the Fetterman debate performance ultimately is going to affect how this race turns out because it is much tighter now than it was over the summer in Pennsylvania.
But I think the Oz ad tells you a lot about what you need to know because his closing message is very far away from what we heard from him in the primary. Remember, Donald Trump endorsed Mehmet Oz. And this is a swing state. This is a place that Joe Biden won where the voters that are really making the make-or-break decisions are, by and large, suburban voters outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
There are some exceptions. It doesn't all boil down to exactly that. But there are a lot of people in those areas that might, for example, vote for the Democrat for governor and vote for the Republican for Senate. We just don't know how many of them may do that and is that enough for Oz to bring it across the finish line. So, it's telling that they know that they have a little bit work to do to try to pull him into the middle as they try to close this race.
BLITZER: Yes. We'll find out in about a week.
Kasie Hunt, Evan Osnos, Nia-Malika Henderson, guys, thank you very, very much.
Just ahead, why Republican Senator Lindsey Graham will have to testify in Georgia's 2020 election probe.
And new details tonight over the January 6th select committee's efforts to secure former President Trump's sworn testimony.
BLITZER: We're learning new details tonight out of the January 6th select committee's insurrection investigation. Congresswoman Liz Cheney says the committee is in discussions with former President Trump's attorneys about having Trump testify under oath.
CNN's Sara Murray is following all of this for us. So, what are you learning about these talks that are underway soon?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Wolf, there are two big deadlines coming up for the former president. One of them is this Friday, that's the deadline to hand over a wide array of documents and the other the November 14th, that's when they want Donald Trump to testify. So, today in an event, Liz Cheney said they are in discussions with Trump's legal. Here's what else she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: It will be done potentially over multiple days. We have significant questions based on the evidence that we've developed and, as I said, what we know already about the extent to which he was personally and directly involved in every aspect of this effort. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: Now, it's very clear they want Trump to testify. They don't want this to turn into a show. But just because they're engaging behind the scenes, it doesn't mean we will actually ever see a Trump testimony. I think what we need is that we need to see the committee make an actual effort to engage with the Trump team and to try to accommodate him depending on how they want to move forward.
And for the Trump team, if they don't want to end up in a similar situation with Steve Bannon, who was found in contempt, they also need to at least make some attempt and engagement behind the scene.
So, we will see in the next couple of weeks where this leads.
BLITZER: We're also learning today, Sara, that Republican Senator and Trump ally Lindsey Graham will indeed have to testify in Georgia about efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in that state. What's the latest there?
MURRAY: That's right. Today, the Supreme Court said they were not going to quash the subpoena for Senator Lindsey Graham's testimony. He's supposed appear before the grand jury on November 17th. So, it's obviously a win for the district attorney in Georgia who wanted Graham before that grand jury to ask him questions about calls he made to Georgia officials around the 2020 election.
There's still wiggle room though for the senator. The Supreme Court still made clear that Graham can be questioned about his legislative activities. So, if there are certain questions that come up when he's in front of that grand jury, which a secret proceeding, Graham could decide to go back to court and litigate those questions, saying, look, I shouldn't have to answer these, these have to do with my work as a senator.
BLITZER: Interesting, very interesting, indeed. Sara Murray, thank you very much.
Let's discuss all of this right now with CNN Legal Analyst Norm Eisen. Norm, let's begin with these revelations from Congresswoman Cheney, vice chair of the select committee, that the committee is in serious discussions right now with Trump's lawyers about having the former president of the United States actually testify under oath. What's your analysis?
NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Wolf, I've had the experience in the first impeachment of negotiating, attempting to negotiate presidential testimony from then-President Donald Trump with his lawyers. I don't believe that the January 6th committee is going to succeed in ever getting the testimony of Donald Trump.
But both sides, as Sara said, have a legal obligation now because they are likely headed for court. That's my assessment. Trump is going to run the clock out and then go to court. Both sides have a legal obligation to say, hey, we tried.
BLITZER: What about this decision now that will force Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, to go ahead and force his testimony before the separate Georgia investigation right now that's underway? You predicted this on this show a few weeks ago. You thought that he would be forced to testify.
EISEN: Indeed. We were here as the news was breaking of his Supreme Court effort. Look, the speech and debate clause does give some protection to members of Congress in testifying, but it's not blanket immunity and the Supreme Court got it exactly right. They held, he's got to show up for his deposition. That's the American idea, Wolf. No person is above the law. It's the same thing that's at stake in Trump's negotiations with the January 6th committee. Lindsey Graham has to show up. The questions will be posed. If he objects, he'll go back to court and litigate it again.
BLITZER: Is there a timeline when he will have to show up based on the decision today?
EISEN: He'll have to show up on the scheduled date for his deposition later in November. And then I expect things will move pretty quickly from that point forward if he wants to litigate any questions because this prosecutor in Georgia, Fani Willis, the D.A. has said, she's hoping to wrap up that special grand jury before the end of the year.
BLITZER: All right, very good. Thank you very much, Norm Eisen, Sara Murray, thanks to both of you very, very much.
Coming up, more deadly weapons from Iran could soon be in the hands of Russia's military, prompting major concern right now from both the U.S. and Ukraine. We'll talk about that and more with the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States. She's standing by live. We'll discuss right after this.
BLITZER: Tonight, sources are telling CNN that Iran is preparing to send about 1,000 additional weapons to Russia, as Russia struggles in its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, including Iranian short-range ballistic missiles and more Iranian attack drones.
Let's get some reaction from Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova.
Ambassador, thank you so much for joining us.
As you know, the Pentagon says that Iran could give more weapons to Russia. How concerned are you that these Iranian missiles and drones could potentially turn the tide of the war for Vladimir Putin?
OKSANA MARKAROVA, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: Hello, Wolf. We are worried, but not because we think it will turn the tide. Rush is losing ground everywhere, and one defeat after another. As their first blitzkriegs did not happen, as they lost all of their battles with our armed forces, they simply resorted to terror -- the terror to attack our civilians, but in addition to all of the crime that they have done before, in addition to other atrocities. They are specifically targeting critical infrastructure.
So, right before the winter, they are destroying the heat, water supply, and electricity supply. Unfortunately, they are doing it not only with their weapons. It must be very embarrassing to them to turn to Iran for weapons, but again, at the Iranian regime like Belarus decided to be an accomplice with Russia in this war of aggression. We have already seen reports -- yes?
BLITZER: I was going to say that these Iranian missiles and drones, they're not only destroying a lot of Ukrainian infrastructure, energy and water, things like that. They are also killing a lot of people. They are attacking residential apartment buildings, for example.
What is the latest, ambassador, if you could tell us about your efforts to get Ukraine more air defense systems, which you discern especially need. You know whether the U.S. systems will be delivered?
MARKAROVA: Absolutely. We need all the air defense in order to defend our children and people. It's on them that these bobs are falling, and rockets. Hopefully, the first systems ill arrive soon. We are working to get additional ones, but we also need long range fire power so that we can destroy some of these weapons before they reach the residential areas.
BLITZER: Ukraine's foreign minister says that he is concerned by recent comments from Republicans here in Washington questioning U.S. support for Ukraine. Is Ukraine embracing, ambassador, for the U.S. potentially cutting back on military or humanitarian aid if Republicans win control of the U.S. Congress?
MARKAROVA: We know have a very strong bipartisan support from American people. I'm positive that we will continue to have it. We are fighting for the same values, we are fighting for democracy, and I do not see any sign of decreasing that support in either party.
So I am positive that after the elections, we will continue, and the U.S. will stand on our side. Not only on our side, but on the side of civilization, against this barbaric genocidal war that Putin is waging against us. We all have to listen to Mr. Putin. He is being very clear with his speech. It's not only about Ukraine for him, and that if he is successful in Ukraine, that he will go further.
But he didn't learn anything about Ukraine, and didn't learned anything about the collective west. We will not surrender, we will not give up, and I am positive that our friends and allies will stand with us.
BLITZER: Good luck to you, ambassador, good luck to all of the people in Ukraine. Thanks very much for joining us.
MARKAROVA: Thank you.
BLITZER: Up next, the victims families face the Parkland school shooting gunman, just ahead of his sentencing, voicing their grief, their sorrow, and their anger.
BLITZER: Emotions boiling over in a Florida courtroom just ahead of the sentencing of the gunman who killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
CNN's Carlos Suarez has been covering this trial since the very beginning.
Carlos, today was not about changing the gunman's sentence, it was about the victims families getting a chance to address them. Tell us about what they said in court.
CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. Wolf, there was a great deal of anger out here to understand, and much of that anger was directed at Nikolas Cruz. Some of it was set aside for the jury, as well as Nikolas Cruz's defense attorneys.
SUAREZ (voice-over): The Parkland school gunman will be sentenced tomorrow to life in prison, but he must first hear from survivors and the families of those he killed in 2018.
ANNE MARIE RAMSAY, MOTHER OF VICTIM HELENA RAMSEY: You took away an angel that day, that could've made a difference in society.
DEBBI HIXON, WIDOW OF VICTIM CHRISTOPHER HIXON: You stole him from us, and you did not receive the justice that you deserved.
MEGHAN PETTY, SISTER OF VICTIM ALAINA PETTY: He gets daily meals, a roof over his head, and a bed to sleep in now. My sisters roof is six feet of dirt, and her bed is a coffin.
SUAREZ: Many of them families were outraged by a Florida jury's decision last month not to recommend echoes crews be sentenced to death for killing 17 people, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Three jurors voted against a death sentence, which in Florida, much be anonymous.
The defense had argued Cruz was mentally ill and should be spared death.
PETTY: I feel betrayed by our justice system.
ANTHONY MONTALTO III, BROTHER OF VICTIM GINA ROSE MONTALTO: The murder is not a victim of drinking during pregnancy. He is not a victim of mental health issues. He is a murdering bastard that should be made an example by the sentencing of death. PATRICIA OLIVER, MOTHER OF VICTIM JOAQUIN OLIVER: If this the worst
mass shooting to go into trial does not deserve the death penalty, what does?
SUAREZ: In deploring his sentence, many spoke directly to Cruz.
STACEY LIPPEL, PARKLAND TEACHER AND SURVIVOR: You don't know me, but you tried to kill me.
DAVID ROBINOVITZ, GRANDFATHER OF VICTIM ALYSSA ALHADEFF: Parkland murderer, I hope your maker send you directly to hell to burn for the rest of your eternity.
SUAREZ: Things got tense when Cruz's lead attorney asked the judge to stop victims families from attacking the defense team, their families and jurors.
MELISSA MCNEIL, LEAD PUBLIC DEFENDER FOR NIKOLAS CRUZ: I did my job in every member of this team did their job, and we should not persecute, nor should our children be.
SUAREZ: But the state argued the defense cannot limit what the families and survivors say.
CAROLYN MCCANN, STATE ATTORNEY: These victims have every right to express themselves!
SUAREZ: After a brief recess, the defense team again brought up the verbal attacks, even making a reference to the judge's children.
DAVID WHEELER, CHIEF ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER: Judge, I can assure you that it if they were talking about your children, you would definitely know --
JUDGE ELIZABETH SCHERER, 17TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF FLORIDA: You would need to sit down right now. You know you are out of line. In fact, you are excused.
SUAREZ (on camera): Nikolas Cruz showed no emotion in court. He stared it every single speaker today, and showed again no emotion in all of this. His attorneys, they do not expect him to say anything. Tomorrow when we hear from more of the victims, and then the judge will sentence him to life in prison without parole -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Carlos, did the judge address families?
SUAREZ: No, the judge did not take any actions against the family. The defense attorneys again tried to raise their objections to some of the comments that were made by some of the family members. The judge however was not having it. She said they had every right to be there and say whatever they wanted. At one point, she asked one of Nikolas Cruz's attorneys to go ahead and leave the courtroom.
BLITZER: So heartbreaking to hear those families, Carlos Suarez in Fort Lauderdale, thank you so much for that report.
And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.