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The Source with Kaitlan Collins
Trump Booked At Atlanta Jail On Election Charges; 45th President, Inmate No. P01135809, Becomes First With Mug Shot; Trump Returns To The Social Media Site Formerly Known As Twitter. Aired 9- 10p ET
Aired August 24, 2023 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: And is sort of getting into the jury, as a -- almost as a plant, out of the idea that maybe that they're a patriot, in some way. And so, that's the concern.
And you'd try to use the voir dire process, to weed people, like that, out. But you don't always do. And then, it just takes one. So, you could have 11 people, who reach a guilty verdict, and a guilty decision, in 20 minutes. And that one juror can say "I'm never going to do it, and certainly he's not guilty."
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CO-HOST, THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS: Yes. I mean, I would suspect, in this day of social media footprints, and intense jury selection --
TAPPER: -- organizations, that would be very difficult to do.
MOORE: It would.
TAPPER: Not impossible.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CO-HOST, THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS: Yes, Jake, it is 9 PM, here in Atlanta. We are sitting outside the Fulton County Jail, where Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States was booked, is inmate number P01135809, here, less than an hour ago. He has already departed.
It is also the place, where he became the first former or sitting President, ever to have his photo taken, for a mug shot, a mug shot that you can see here, created during the booking process, for his fourth felony booking, his fourth booking, I should note.
The vital statistics, on his booking record, read suspiciously Trumpian. He is listed as six foot three, 215 pounds, blue eyes. Hair given, as, and I'm quoting now, from the booking sheet, "Blonde or strawberry." I should note that what we were told before he arrived here, by our sources, is that was going to be paperwork, aides filled out, not actually here, at the jail.
Trump was in and out of the jail, in about 20 minutes, arrested, booked, photographed and fingerprinted. And then, he was released under a bond agreement, much like his co-defendants. He did not pay the full $200,000 (ph), one of the highest bonds that we have seen, in this entire case. Instead, he used a bail bonding company, called Foster Bail Bonds LLC. Another historic first.
A short time later, Trump was on his way, back to his Bedminster golf club, after about an hour and 40 minutes total, here, on the ground, in Atlanta.
So, you can see here, inmate P01135809, wheels up.
I'm here, outside the Fulton County Jail, I should note, with Sara Murray.
But now, also joining us is Anthony Kreis, an Assistant Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law.
And thank you for being here.
Of course, now that we have seen him go through this process, like the other defendants have, but with a few tweaks, what are you looking for next?
ANTHONY KREIS, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW: Well, I think, we have a lot of processes to go through, in order to figure out what courts these defendants are going to ultimately be tried in, and how severance might play in, so, what defendants will be tried together.
And of course, the timing, right? We've got a motion, to have an expedited trial, for Kenneth Chesebro, in October, November, that timeframe. And it's possible that other defendants will want that. And others will not. So, there's a lot of, you know, there's a lot of motions to go through.
COLLINS: And so, what they made clear today, is that timeline? That only applies to him. That's what the judge ruled today. It doesn't apply to all 19 co-defendants, in this case.
KREIS: That's correct. Yes.
COLLINS: And is that an aggressive timeline? I mean, is that doable? What is the -- what's your sense?
KREIS: Well, it's funny, because I think when Fani Willis initially said in her press conference that she wanted this done, in six months, most of us, who were familiar with the processes, here, in Fulton County, thought that that was probably aggressive, and just wishful thinking, on her part.
But it does seem to be the case that they anticipated that some of the defendants would in fact make this demand, and seem to be quite ready to go to trial, on that timeline.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: She also told me, at that time, she wanted to try all 19 of these defendants together. And I wonder, if you see someone like Ken Chesebro, pushing for a speedy trial, Trump's team saying "No, no, we don't want that." I mean, does that put in jeopardy, this plan, to actually be able to try all of these defendants, in one sweeping RICO case?
KREIS: Yes. Certainly, they have diverging interests, right? So Ken Chesebro is only charged with a bunch of conspiracy charges. He doesn't have his fingerprints on things, in the way that Donald Trump has his fingerprints on things, or some of the other defendants. Donald Trump also has an election to --
KREIS: -- to campaign for, so.
COLLINS: Well, and speaking of that election, I mean, what we are looking at now is a remarkable image that I think some people once never even thought we would see.
I mean, Sara, we covered Trump together, in the White House.
COLLINS: In his first few indictments. They made up a fake mug shot that they were selling on T-shirts. It was something they were -- there was this sense of -- they felt upset that there wasn't actually a mug shot before.
But now that there is a real one, I mean, how does it change the calculus for them, do you think?
MURRAY: I mean it's hard to imagine that they don't somehow use this, to their advantage, or attempt an advantage, for fundraising, for merchandise.
I mean, you get the emails, the same emails that I get, in the run-up to his appearance, here saying, "I'm going to be arrested, please donate. I'm going to be arrested. Please donate."
And frankly, we know that they need the money, because they've spent a lot of money, on legal fees, not just for the former President, but on a number of witnesses, and co-defendants, involved in other cases.
COLLINS: But it's just remarkable because every time if they do use this, I mean they're just reminding people that he has a mug shot, and has been indicted, on these charges here.
MURRAY: Right. But it's sort of the same way that he's gotten a full day of television coverage, today, for showing up to be arrested and processed. I mean, normally, you wouldn't love that kind of a news cycle.
But it's the day after a Republican debate. And Donald Trump got to take the wind out of his sails, of all these other Republicans, who are trying to nip at his heels, so far, pretty much unsuccessfully. And he just happened to do so, by being arrested.
COLLINS: Yes. And there's so few of them, seemed to be even really trying to do so --
COLLINS: -- when they had the microphone, last night.
When you were talking about the -- a central test that this is going to be? I mean, this is a massive test. It's not just all these different legal cases, put together.
It is a broad, sweeping set of charges, brought here, in addition to the other ones. I mean, what does that kind of look like, for the system, here in Atlanta, in and of itself? I mean, if they tried to try this jury now, or to set the story up, while they're also getting other juries, for other massive cases?
KREIS: Yes. I think people need to be aware that Fulton County's criminal justice system is pretty rough. It's slow-going.
We have a RICO charge, a RICO trial, right now, in the YSL case that has taken eight, nine months, just to get a jury impaneled, and they're not really quite ready to go to trial yet. And that gums up the entire system. That takes up a courtroom.
And so, especially, if there's going to be multiple trials, not just one trial, with 19 co-defendants? That's really viable to tax the D.A.'s office here, and the criminal justice system. And, I think, it's really going to test the system, and to see how efficient we can be, into bringing these cases to trial, and to an ultimate conclusion.
MURRAY: I'm also just curious whether we're actually going to see Donald Trump in a courtroom here. I mean, the judge has not yet set arraignments, for a number of these defendants, but for Ken Chesebro, who --
MURRAY: -- again, asked for a speedy trial. He said, an arraignment, on September 6th, unless Chesebro wants to waive it, which seems to me, like an indication that the judge, is going to be inclined, to waive arraignments, potentially, for other defendants, in this case. It does feel like sort of a question mark of when is Trump going to be in a courtroom?
KREIS: Yes, I think that's right, yes.
COLLINS: We will see Monday, something that it hasn't gotten a ton of attention, rightfully so, because there's things, like Donald Trump's mug shot that we're looking at, and watching this historic scene, that played out here, behind us, at the Fulton County Jail.
But Monday is going to be significant, because it's Mark Meadows, who also now similarly has a mug shot, trying to move this, to a state -- to a federal court, from a state court.
Fani Willis has subpoenaed the Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, to come and testify.
COLLINS: What does that tell you about what Monday is going to look like? And what it might mean, if Trump does follow through, on what we've heard, he's going to do, also try to move this case?
MURRAY: I think Monday is going to be interesting, for a couple of reasons. One, we've heard so little, from Mark Meadows, in any of these criminal cases, so, the fact that his legal team is first out of the gate, to make this challenge, and show up in court.
And there are going to be live witnesses, not just Brad Raffensperger, but a couple of other attorneys that were on this infamous call, between Donald Trump and Brad Raffensperger, where he's asking Raffensperger, to find the votes.
I mean, this is an opportunity, for Willis, to try to make the case that what was happening, on this call, was not a part of Mark Meadows' official duties, as the White House Chief of Staff, that this was political activity, that this was, in her view, illegal activity, and that this should be a case that's tried in state court.
But I'm also curious, I mean, are we going to hear from Mark Meadows, under oath?
KREIS: I mean, I think we're in store for a full-fledged evidentiary hearing. And so, it's really hard to tell.
COLLINS: Hey, can you just translate that --
COLLINS: -- for the people, who are watching at home why, that is going to be so important, here?
KREIS: So, it's really essential, to determine whether Mark Meadows was acting under the color of law. In other words, was he doing something that he was authorized to do, as Chief of Staff, to the President of the United States?
Fani Willis has said, "No, you've tried to do two things. One, you were engaging in partisan electioneering," which federal officials are not allowed to do, under the Hatch Act. And she also said, "You were trying to overthrow an election," which is also not permitted under federal law or is not part of a Federal officer's duties, right? They have the complete opposite duty, right, to protect the election -- electoral process. And so, the evidence that will be brought forth through witnesses, and arguments that will be shown in the court, will be asked -- will fundamentally be asking, what were people up to? And trying to measure that testimony up, against their official duties, to see, whether that really should be shielded, by the federal removal statute or whether it should be an issue, decided in state courts.
COLLINS: Yes. And Trump's team has been deeply suspicious of him.
Anthony Kreis, thank you, for joining us.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CO-HOST, THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS: Kaitlan, thanks so much.
We're also now joined, here in New York, with our panel.
And also Jen Jordan, a former State Senator, who testified before the Georgia grand jury, is also just joining us.
What are your thoughts, upon seeing the mug shot, and all that we've seen today?
JEN JORDAN, (D) FORMER GEORGIA STATE SENATOR, TESTIFIED BEFORE GEORGIA GRAND JURY IN TRUMP ELECTION PROBE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It's pretty incredible. I mean, we've had so much build-up, to this point.
And as someone, who has been a part of this game, as has the Lieutenant Governor, in the sense, of being a bit player, or a character, it seems, this feels very real and important and heavy.
And I hope that everyone, who's watching, who's listening understands that this isn't entertainment. This isn't just another day in politics. That this really is historic and in not in a good way.
COOPER: I mean, a lot of people's lives were at stake, and a lot of people's lives have been ruined, because of the actions of these defendants.
JORDAN: Absolutely. I mean?
COOPER: Election workers who've had their lives --
JORDAN: Look, election workers.
COOPER: -- threatened (ph).
JORDAN: I mean, it's really kind of the cavalier way that a lot of folks, in Trump World acted, especially when it came to just normal people doing their jobs, right? And the statements they made, in the way, they targeted election workers, which then resulted in folks really fearing for their lives.
COOPER: You said -- you called yourself a bit player, in this. Can you just explain what -- why you were testifying, what role you were?
JORDAN: Yes. So, a bit player, in the sense that I was in the Georgia State Senate, at the time, of the Giuliani hearings, served with former Lieutenant Governor, Geoff Duncan, was present, was there, witnessed, and really tried to push back, on everything they were doing.
And I'll tell you, at the time, I had no clue, just how expansive it was. It seemed to me like this doesn't even make sense, right? I don't even -- I don't even understand why they are trying to push some of these theories.
As a lawyer, for over 20 years, I know the Constitution, Georgia and Federal. And the things that John Eastman was saying did not comport with the Constitution. It certainly didn't comport with Georgia law.
But it was one of those things, where the folks that were in the room, that believed it, and wanted it to be real, and were pushing it? They wanted to make sure that that message got out, to the larger public. And, I think, that was the kernel, the beginning, of what we saw happen, on January 6th.
And when I was there, if I -- I had no clue, no clue that that kind of first step, those first overt acts, that happened in the Georgia State Capitol, on December 3rd, would lead to what we saw on January 6th.
COOPER: Geoff Duncan, you're Lieutenant Governor. I mean, were you of the same mind frame? Did it make sense to you, at the time, those early days?
GEOFF DUNCAN, (R) FORMER GEORGIA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, looking back now, it's easy to connect a lot of those dots.
But at the time, there was so much chaos, on the battlefield. Senator Jordan had a front-row seat, to one of these kind of mocked-up hearings that showed up, where it gave center stage, to Rudy Giuliani, to start the deluge of misinformation that then was accepted as a fact.
But reality now, looking back at things, like the State Farm film, that was presented as a group of film -- one solid piece of film that was really a 48-hour film that was spliced up into 12-minute cuts? When you talk about 12,000 dead people voting, in the election, and now it's less than 10, probably, which is kind of standard par? You didn't realize what was going on. But you could feel something was abnormal, of epic proportion.
There was this coordinated effort that was always one step ahead. And there was a very few of us, kind of trying to figure out, how to stop the trajectory, of this. And I didn't know January 6th was going to happen. But I certainly felt like there was just a bunch of zombies, following a cult leader, off the cliff.
And, unfortunately, I never would have guessed that two-and-a-half years later, we'd still be in the same situation. I'd be staring at polling numbers, putting this person here, with a mug shot, and multiple 91 indictments, would be in the lead of our nomination process.
COOPER: What do you think the chances are -- first of all, what do you think of the idea that Chesebro now is going to have a trial, October 23rd. And the chances that Mark Meadows' case, will be put into federal court, and even possibly the former President?
JORDAN: What's interesting to me is that what Chesebro's attorney did.
People have said, he was going to try to, you know, it was a gamble for him, or he thought that maybe the District Attorney wouldn't be ready. And then, of course, she called his bluff.
I'm not sure exactly what the strategy was there, because really, if he goes first, he kind of gets -- he gets hung out to dry.
But what folks don't realize is that he can always withdraw that, right? It's not something that is set in stone. So, if the attorneys now all get together? We now have Steve Sadow that's come onto the scene, who is representing Trump. If they say, "It's better for us to have a united front," then maybe he might withdraw that, and then they'll have a trial with all of them together.
But I will tell you it is a huge, huge gamble. And either, it's, we're going to say it's brilliant, after October, or it is going to be a colossal failure, if that ends up hurting his client.
COOPER: Do you think the former President will want to try to move his case, to federal court?
JORDAN: No, no. And in fact, they've already said -- well, not federal court. I don't think so.
And the reason I say that is because, so we know that Mark Meadows has already tried -- is trying to remove it. And he's in front of federal judge, Steve Jones. Steve Jones is an Obama appointee. He is an African American man, who's a great judge, and widely respected, throughout the state.
But if I know how Trump thinks? And he's pretty consistent, in terms of how he acts. The fact that this an Obama appointee, a fact that it is a judge, who is a person of color, is going to make him kind of pull back, especially if he thinks, in Fulton County, he's in front of a judge, that was appointed by Governor Kemp, by a Republican. So, he may think that he is going to have a friendlier audience, with respect to that Judge, than going up to federal court.
COOPER: How, in terms of the experience level, of the federal judge, compare to the experience level of the state judge?
JORDAN: There's no comparison. I mean, the state judge just got appointed, this January. Judge Jones, he served for years, as a Superior Court judge, in Athens, before he was -- before he went up to the federal bench, I mean. And Judge Jones is no stranger to controversial cases. He handled the abortion ban case. He's dealt with so many high-level cases that he gets it. And he understands. And he's not going to play around here.
So, if I'm Trump, and I'm wanting to get kind of more bang for the buck, in terms of entertainment value, and all of that, and also maybe think I'm going to have a friendlier judge, or maybe a judge, I can push around, or that my counsel can push around? I may go for the judge that has the less experience.
Not saying that, that Judge McAfee is not going to be able to handle it. But he's untested, right now. And really, he's kind of the unknown variable, with respect to this.
COOPER: And, I mean, Elie, every judge, I've talked to, retired judge, federal judges have all said, this would be a tough case, for even an incredibly experienced judge, to keep control of that courtroom.
ELIE HONIG, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NY, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. And this state judge has been on the bench, as Jen said, less than a year. Now, he's a former federal prosecutor, a former state prosecutor, under the D.A.
I think you make a good point about whether Trump, which trial judge he would prefer, as between state and federal.
But I would be stunned if Trump does not seek to remove it to federal court, because, the counterarguments to me, the tactical advantages, for Trump, of getting the federal court, to me, vastly outweigh that.
Start with the appeals court. Whatever happens, at the trial level, whatever decisions get made, whatever verdict, ultimately goes up to the appeals court.
Federally, you have the Eleventh Circuit, which is very conservative. They've ruled against Trump, for sure. But if you're Trump, you want that conservative court. You're going to have a better jury pool, if you're Donald Trump, in the federal court.
Fulton County, if it's state, 26 percent of Fulton County voted for Donald Trump. If you get into federal court, you're into the Northern District of Georgia. He got 68 percent in Cherokee County, one to the north, he got 65 percent, in Forsyth County, to the northeast. So, you'd much rather be there, for your jury pool.
Also, and most importantly, if you get into federal court, then you can ask for a dismissal. Now, there's a little bit of extra legwork that you have to do. But if you can get that, as Donald Trump, that is the golden ring. So, I think these are the conversations that they're having, inside Trump's counsel room, right now.
JORDAN: But let's remember this -- the lawyers are probably telling him this. And this may be why Drew Findling is not on the case, anymore.
HONIG: You bet.
JORDAN: At the end of the day, you don't have cameras, in the federal courthouse, right?
JORDAN: And what does the former President want more than anything? He wants this to be on TV. He wants to be able to perform. He wants his lawyers to be able to perform. And that is not going to happen in federal court. Even if that is the absolute legal, correct strategy, and what any good lawyer would be telling him? I don't think this is all about the law, when it comes to Trump, right now.
HONIG: Yes. What we know with the other two federal officials, here, Meadows and Clark have eagerly, made the motion --
HONIG: -- to jump over, to the other side.
COOPER: If they are ruled, again, if --
COOPER: If a judge determines, they don't get to go to federal court, does that automatically mean -- I mean, that doesn't automatically mean --
COOPER: -- the former President wouldn't able to?
HONIG: It doesn't preclude him. But if you had to rank the strength, of the arguments, to get into federal court, to me, Meadows has the best argument that he was acting, in his capacity, as Chief of Staff. I'm not saying it's a great argument.
But of the three I think Meadows has the best argument.
Clark, to me, saying, "I acted as a DOJ alum," when he drafted basically a letter, falsely claiming there was fraud? I don't know how he's going to get over that.
And Trump is going to have, I think, an uphill climb, arguing that this was in the scope of my duties, as president. But it's worth noting the federal courts do tend to construe these -- this removal provision, quite broadly.
So, I think, Meadows has a 50-50 shot. I think Trump has something less than that. But what happens with one isn't going to dictate what happens with the other.
Let's go back to Kaitlan, in Atlanta.
COLLINS: Yes. And joining me now is John Bolton. Someone, who worked with Trump, was his former White House National Security Adviser.
Ambassador, thank you, for being here, tonight.
I mean, I just wonder, as someone, who worked, inside the West Wing, when Donald Trump was President, what is it like, for you, to see his mug shot, tonight?
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well I thought it was as with most things, Trump does carefully stage, they must have thought about what look they wanted.
He could have smiled. He could have looked benign. Instead, he looks like a thug. And I think it's intended to be a sign of intimidation, against the prosecutors and judges. That's what they picked. And we'll see that picture everywhere.
COLLINS: So, you think they actually spent time, deciding should he smile in this? Should he have this scowl that he appears to have gone with?
BOLTON: Almost as much time, as they spent combing his hair.
COLLINS: What do you -- he posted the mug shot, shortly after, on his own social media account, along with the phrase, "Never surrender." I mean, a bit ironic, given he had actually just surrendered, at the Fulton County Jail behind me.
But how do you expect him, to try to use this, to his political advantage, as he's running for President?
BOLTON: Well, I think, in the same way, he's used the other three indictments.
And, I think, the evidence is that the indictments have proven the law of diminishing marginal utility. If anything, they're not undercutting his support. They're building it up.
And it just underlines to me that a lot of what's going to happen, before these trials began, is going to pass essentially unnoticed, in the political realm. The real issue here is that one or more of the trials go to -- occur before the election, and then whether he's convicted or acquitted.
And that's why I think this scheduling date, for Ken Chesebro's trial, in the Georgia court, in this case, is such a stunning development.
I don't know what strategy his lawyers were following. I've seen it reported. People have said, on your show that he was -- that his lawyers were taking a gamble, that it was a bluff. If that's the case, they ought to be convicted of malpractice. They must have a strategy. They must think they've got some idea, what to do, here. And I think the consequences are potentially enormous.
If Chesebro is acquitted, given his role, as the author, according to the indictment of the memos that laid out the alternate elector strategy, if he's acquitted, or gets a hung jury, which they will spin as an acquittal? I think that's going to have an unbelievable political effect.
I think I had been looking simply at the Trump trial. But if Chesebro goes ahead, and is acquitted? It vindicates Trump's narrative. Now, if he's convicted, I think it obviously cuts in the other direction. And it could happen in two months.
COLLINS: Yes. But you're saying it's essentially a risky move, because what they're arguing is that he wanted a speedy trial.
You saw Fani Willis respond, and saying, "OK, let's do it in October."
And then, the judge, signed off on that today, but saying that's only applying to Ken Chesebro, not to Donald Trump, and the other 17 co- defendants.
BOLTON: But that's the point. That's what -- if his attorneys had thought this through, carefully, they believe that separating Chesebro, from this massive complicated rest of the case, may be Chesebro's best chance to get an acquittal. And that's what they're counting on that they can simplify and expedite this particular case.
And my point is, the thing that I think, will impress voters, is not all these pretrial maneuverings, and extensive discussions, about the Removal Authority, which I'd also be happy to answer questions on.
But what is the consequence, politically, if Chesebro is acquitted, or if he's convicted? That's what voters will understand that this guy was convicted, by a jury, or acquitted by a jury, and it could have enormous political impact.
COLLINS: We've been talking, to our sources, in Trump's legal world. He just brought on a new attorney, today. And what they have not done yet, but we believe they plan to do, is to try to move this, from a state court, to a federal court, arguing that because of the office, he held at the time, that that is where this should happen.
What do you make of that argument if they do pursue it?
BOLTON: Well, remember Trump's ultimate strategy is always delay. And by moving to remove it, that throws another wrinkle into it.
And if the removal is accepted, and Fani Willis tries, to get it remanded, from the district court? My memory may be imperfect here, but I think that's an appealable order, for both sides, which means you're stretching the time-out going to the Eleventh Circuit, and then maybe the Supreme Court, just to decide the removal question. [21:25:00]
I think this is actually simpler, than a lot of the discussion, here. A President, who is running for reelection, is not just the president. He's also a political candidate. He has First Amendment rights, like any other political candidate. But he doesn't have a First Amendment right to commit a crime.
None of what Trump did here is part of his presidential duties. Just like when Al Gore contested George W. Bush, in Florida? That didn't have anything to do with his vice presidential duties. He was doing it as a candidate, and he was permitted to do it, because he followed the legal path that Florida permitted.
So, I think, actually, the case should not be removed, because what these defendants did? They did in a First Amendment capacity.
And the notion that the Hatch Act was amended, to cover officials, in the Executive Office of the President, which Fani Willis has cited, in her briefs, I think, is unconstitutional.
I think political appointees in the Executive branch, of the federal government, can engage in political activity. It's the career people, you want to protect from pressure, to engage in political activity. So, I think, the case should remain, in Georgia courts.
BOLTON: But I think it's highly likely, it will be removed.
COLLINS: Well, and Mark Meadows is making that same argument. We'll see if he's successful.
But you've toted the idea, of running for president, in this election, as a Republican. What went through your mind and what does it say about the Republican Party, last night, that when those candidates were on stage, and were asked, if they could support Trump, if he had been convicted on charges, many of them raise their hands?
BOLTON: Well, I think there were six wrong answers, and two right answers. You cannot believe in a law-and-order philosophy, and say it applies to everybody, except Donald Trump.
Obviously, if he is convicted, before the election, he'll appeal. He'll have that right. But in any sane society, somebody, who's a convicted felon, should step aside. I mean, the rules of the Republican Party should provide that if their presidential nominee is convicted, he'll be removed from that candidacy, and the party should pick somebody else.
That's the argument, I think, the current candidates are going to have to make, against Trump, when they get to Iowa, and New Hampshire, because of -- the documents case is the only case that's now even has a tentative trial date, in May of next year, after most of the Republican caucuses and primaries. They're going to have to tell voters, "Be very careful about voting for Donald Trump, because by the time we get to our convention, in August, he may be a convicted felon."
COLLINS: You once described Rudy Giuliani, as a hand grenade, who is going to blow everyone up. He turned himself in, also here in Georgia. We've also seen his mug shot. Does it make you feel like you were right?
BOLTON: Well, this is not a good place to be in. I mean, Donald Trump may be able to turn it to his political advantage. But everybody, around him, is going to be, I think, blown away, by the blast effect, of these various cases.
This is the end of the career, the legal career, for a lot of the lawyers, who are co-defendants, in the Georgia case. Trump has an amazing way of escaping the damage he causes, to everybody else. But I think the odds here are a lot of careers are ruined because of this.
COLLINS: Ambassador John Bolton, thank you, for joining us, tonight.
BOLTON: Thank you.
COLLINS: Jake, back to you.
TAPPER: Thanks, Kaitlan.
It has been quite a day, of Donald Trump's fourth arrest. He has not been arraigned, in this case. The three previous arrests had arraignments, on the same day. This one did not. In that way, it was different from the three previous ones.
Also, of course, the image, on the right side of your screen, the mug shot of the 45th President of the United States. It's not the only mug shot that we've seen, this week that might have caused us, a moment of pause.
Here is the man, who in 2001 was TIME's Person of the Year, former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani. That's his mug shot, for his 13 counts, in the indictment, in Fulton County, Georgia.
Here is former White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows. Not the first White House Chief of Staff, to ever pose for a mug shot. Nixon's Chief of Staff H.R. Bob Haldeman, also posed for one, and ended up doing 18 months in prison.
Here is political operative, from Wisconsin, Kenneth Chesebro, known or considered to be the architect, of the fake electors scheme, perhaps less well-known a face. But his request, for a speedy trial, is going to have an impact, on what happens, in this case.
Let's bring in, right now, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter, Maggie Haberman, to talk about this important day.
And Maggie, obviously, Mr. Trump? And that's to be frank, it would be political malpractice, for him not to do so. But he is using this mug shot, and trying to raise money off of it, posting it on Truth Social. We know that the former President is someone, who cares quite a bit, about his image and legacy. This pose that he considers to be menacing, we're told, is part of that. He does not like to be perceived as a loser, despite what he would call, perhaps braggadocios behavior, and statements, in light of this.
How do you think this latest arrest, and mug shot, in particular, and the fingerprinting, and all of what he went through today, how do you think that's actually sitting with him, tonight?
MAGGIE HABERMAN, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES, AUTHOR, "CONFIDENCE MAN," CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think especially well, Jake. From what I heard from people, who had spoken to him, he actually seemed less agitated, heading into today than he had the previous three indictments, which is still a remarkable sentence, to say.
But he doesn't want to be mug-shotted. He doesn't want to be arrested. He doesn't want to have to have what, in his mind, is the indignity, of going to this jail, and then submitting to a photo, and a mug shot, and fingerprinting.
And to your point, about the visuals of him? It isn't just that he wants to look menacing, which is certainly true. And he is -- he has made that kind of face, in photos, for years and years and years. He doesn't want to look weak. And that's what that's about.
And so, circulating the mug shot, fundraising off of it, owning it, using it for press? That's all part of a playbook that we have seen him use over and over again. But that does not mean he's enjoying any of this. This is a serious thing. He is facing serious jail time.
TAPPER: And explain to me, to the capacity that anyone, on this planet, can, how refusing to accept a clear, decisive electoral defeat in 2020, and desperately attempting, any way possible, to hold on to power, legally, and then extra legally, and then illegally, at least according to the Special Counsel and the Fulton County D.A., how is that not weak?
HABERMAN: Because, in his mind, he didn't concede. And that has been how he has operated, for decade after decade after decade, through business failures, through bankruptcies of his casinos, through losses, through products failing, through divorces.
It is all been if you pretend it is not happening? If you create your own reality? If you don't give in to what other people are acknowledging as objective reality? Then, maybe it really isn't there. And he is somebody, who does not think, in terms of long-term strategy. He thinks in very short increments of time. And it's all about just getting from one post to another. And so, that is how somebody thinks like that.
It's also how somebody thinks, who has lived, Jake -- and this doesn't really get said, I think, enough about him. He lived a fairly consequence-free life, before he was President. The bankruptcies cost the banks. Now, he did not like the press. He was very unhappy about it. But the bankruptcies were a loss to the banks.
Generally, he had his father, to help bail him out. He has moved from one thing to another, without having to really face the kind of consequences that other people might have in similar circumstances.
So, this is an unusual moment.
TAPPER: There was another shakeup of Mr. Trump's legal team, today. His new attorney, Steven Sadow, was with him, tonight, met him in- person, on the tarmac, at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, in Atlanta.
What can you tell us about the decision, to bring Sadow on? We should note that Sadow is a very well-respected defense attorney. But why switch now?
HABERMAN: It's obviously notable that he's switching several hours, or switched several hours, before he went to go be arrested, in Georgia.
My understanding, Jake, is this had been in the works, for several weeks. He was always planning on adding to the team. Sadow had been in discussions, with Trump's World, for some time, as I understand it.
Trump, I think, only recently was introduced to him. But there was a decision to let his other lawyer, Drew Findling, go. And that came in the wake of the indictment. It seems specific to it.
My understanding is that Trump wanted what he considered a stronger team. Sadow, as you know, has an incredibly good reputation, in the State and, I think, came very highly recommended to Trump. But it is a sign that Trump recognizes the significance and severity and seriousness of these charges too.
TAPPER: Yes. And, as you know, the former President is expected to make the move that we've already seen, Mark Meadows make, which is to try to get this case moved, from Georgia court, to a federal court. It's probably underrated, how likely that actually is to happen. Some of the experts we have been speaking with, on the panel, today, feel that it's more likely than not.
If that fails, though? The state trial would likely be televised. The Federal one would not. Would Donald Trump, do you think, in the event that this does actually get heard, in a Georgia court, where cameras are allowed? Would he, do you think, embrace that? Or would he try to get cameras barred from the courthouse?
HABERMAN: Actually, I think that he would embrace it, Jake. Although I don't think that there is unanimity of opinion, around him, about how to handle that.
I think your point that legal experts, and we've been hearing the same thing, think that there is a real chance. It's not definite, obviously. But there is a real chance that a removal motion, meaning asking for this trial, to be moved to federal court, because these were actions taken in the capacity, they'll argue of his office, that prosecutors, I think, would argue that it was outside of his capacity? But he was a federal officeholder?
There is a non-zero chance that that happens. And if that happens, this does change things significantly.
TAPPER: Yes. Doesn't have anything to do with whether or not somebody thinks Donald Trump is guilty or not guilty. This is just a question of law. And the law would seem to say there's a plausible case that a judge will rule that it does belong in federal court.
The jail, Fulton County Jail that Donald Trump was processed at, today, we've been noting that it's notorious for its harsh conditions. The Justice Department is investigating it. Prisoners, more regularly than they should, die while in custody.
We've saw images, earlier today, Drew Griffin, our reporter -- I'm sorry, Brian Todd, our reporter, showed us images of the inside of the jail. And it's shockingly awful.
What do you imagine that experience was like, for Donald Trump, who I think has probably never been inside a building, like that before?
HABERMAN: I don't think he has. No, Jake, I can't imagine any circumstance in his life that we're unaware of, where he would have been. I think it was jarring.
I think we should note that he was there, pretty briefly. His aides filled out the paperwork, about his vitals, his weight, his height, and so forth, his eye color, all the things that are there, ahead of time, and it expedited the process. But I think even briefly, it's a very jarring experience.
As we said before, this is not something that he's craving. I understand that he is using the mug shot, politically. It would be very surprising were he not. When there wasn't a mug shot in Manhattan, when he was indicted, and then arrested in April? They generated a fake one. So, it's not a surprise that he's using it.
But this is not an experience that he wants. This is an experience that I think brings home the stark reality of what this is, which is a criminal case.
And, to your point, about where he was headed, today, and how grim the circumstances are, and how grim the location was? They've done very little.
They've had sort of descending appearances, and public statements, from him, since the second indictment. Where the second indictment he had yet another, as he did with the first one, an event, at one of his clubs, and he gave a big speech, a very defiant speech? He hasn't done that the last few times. And I think that is partly a recognition of A, diminishing returns, possibly in fundraising, but also concern that his legal team has about some of what he is saying, both in terms of possibly violating the conditions, of his release, in these cases. And in terms of saying things that could be problematic in court.
And that just again, this is dealing with something real. This is not politics. This is not a game. We don't know what will happen, in these cases. And he has the presumption of innocence, just like any other defendant. But this is a serious thing.
TAPPER: Well, right. I mean, this is the first time that his lies -- and look, it's not illegal to lie to the press. It's not illegal to lie to the public.
You and I know this, having been journalists, for decades, with politicians, far beyond just Donald Trump, politicians tell lies all the time, perhaps not at the rapid clip of Mr. Trump, but politicians tell lies all the time. And there's not a crime about it.
Lying to officials, though, in an official capacity, not just FBI agents, but in proceedings, of course? At least that is the legal theory that Fani Willis, the District Attorney, in Fulton County, is trying, and testing. That can be construed as a crime. That is certainly what she is attempting to do.
And this might be the first time this -- and the Special Counsel, Jack Smith's indictment of him, for the similar attempted subversion of the election, in battleground states, this is first time that ever -- there's ever really been any accountability, as far as I can tell, for lies that he's told.
HABERMAN: And, I think, to your point, he wasn't indicted for lying, which is something that his supporters have insisted that is what happened.
He was indicted for what he lied about, and how he used those lies. And it was using those lies, according to prosecutors, in the service of trying to use the apparatus of government, to impact these official proceedings.
And these official proceedings were about the transfer of power, in this country, and about his efforts, to stay in office, despite the fact that he had lost the election, and been told over and over again, that he had lost the election, and that there was no chance.
We talk a lot, Jake, about how crucial -- and I was having this conversation with someone else, this week. We talk a lot about how crucial that Oval Office meeting, on December 18th, 2020 --
HABERMAN: -- that I wrote about, and my now-colleague, Jonathan Swan, wrote about, after it had had taken place. But -- and it was crucial. And that's where he was being urged, to consider, using the apparatus of government, to seize voting machines, and rerun the election.
But a really crucial moment came, in mid-November, when his then- lawyer, at the time, one of his top campaign aides, Justin Clark, was arguing with Rudy Giuliani. And Trump basically sided with Giuliani. And that was the moment that set everything that happened after that in motion.
TAPPER: Unlike Donald Trump's previous arrests, this one was in prime time. Do you think that was a deliberate choice? Because -- not because he wanted to avoid traffic, in Jersey, but because he wanted this prime time coverage, where more people are at home, and more televisions are on?
HABERMAN: I think he certainly prefers getting out his side, and what he wants to say, Jake. But I think this was probably an easier time, at the jail, where it was less busy.
I mean, we're talking about a wildly famous criminal defendant, and trying to figure out how to work around that, work around somebody, who has Secret Service protection. The size of that motorcade was massive.
It is not exactly like Donald Trump is someone who rolls light. It's not the same as Mark Meadows getting processed, as he was, hours earlier, or Rudy Giuliani, yesterday, despite all of the attention around Rudy Giuliani.
This has a lot of mechanics to it. Now, I'm sure that they would have accommodated him if it had been earlier. But I think it just would have been a different scenario for him going to that jail.
TAPPER: One thing I wanted to ask you, in the indictment, because you and I have talked about that December 18th meeting quite a bit.
December 18th, 2021, you just -- 2020 rather, you just reminded folks that he was sitting, and this is where people, on the White House Council staff, and White House staff, were arguing with this group that Vice President Mike Pence, later referred -- recently referred to as "A group of crackpot lawyers." And it wasn't just lawyers. Other people were there.
But Mark Meadows has been indicted. Rudy Giuliani has been indicted. Donald Trump has been indicted. There are two individuals, who were on their side, who were there. Sidney Powell, I should note, has been indicted. She was there also.
But there are two individuals, who were there, who have not been indicted. And that's interesting to me.
One of them is Mike Flynn, and one of them is -- the former National Security Adviser and General.
And the other one is Patrick Byrne from Overstock.com. I still don't understand what he was doing in the room. But in any case, he was there as well.
What do you know about why Byrne and Flynn are not indicted, and may possibly, we don't know, be unindicted co-conspirators?
HABERMAN: There's a lot of speculation around all of this, Jake. And I think it's hard for us to get ahead of known facts, in a criminal case.
In the case of Sidney Powell, what is clear is that she was involved, in a lot more than just that meeting. And we knew that in real-time. She was -- she held that press conference, at the RNC, which is the one, where Giuliani had the hair dye running down his face. She was talking to Trump, for a lot of days, prior to that meeting. So, I think that with her, it's a continuum.
We just don't know what else, if anything, exists related to Mike Flynn and Patrick Byrne.
TAPPER: Curiouser and curiouser, Pulitzer Prize-winning star reporter, and Author of "Confidence Man," Maggie Haberman, always good to see you. Thank you, for joining us.
HABERMAN: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Back now, with our panel.
And Dana Bash, Donald Trump has never wanted to go softly, into that good night. He is responding on Truth Social. Tell us what he's saying.
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR & CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's responding on Truth Social. He's also responding on Twitter.
BASH: What is formerly known as Twitter.
TAPPER: Has he tweeted in?
BASH: We -- he's saying something that is not accurate. But it is the first time he has been on Twitter. I think we're going to discuss how he put it up there. But the mug shot is on Twitter now. Donald J. Trump is back on Twitter. But again, we're going to be judicious, in how we show it, because of the expression --
TAPPER: But it's a first time --
BASH: -- expression that he has, on there, about the election.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN ANCHOR: And obviously --
BASH: At least that way.
PHILLIP: -- I mean, the significance, right, is he was banned from Twitter --
PHILLIP: -- and a bunch of other social media accounts, because of his actions, on January 6th. And now, I think, it's a clear choice, on the part of his campaign --
BASH: It's intentional.
PHILLIP: -- and part of his aides, to use this particular moment, to be back on there, tweeting out the mug shot, tweeting out, inflammatory comments.
I don't think anybody at home would be surprised by what he's saying. I mean, he says it all the time.
PHILLIP: But at the same time, we don't have to repeat it, or show it necessarily. But it's par for the course for Trump. But it's a choice that they're making, to try to link it to events, in the minds of folks. I mean, they've been holding off, on this, for quite some time.
BASH: Yes, right.
PHILLIP: They chose this moment.
TAPPER: Yes, this is -- basically, this is the same thing that he posted, on Truth Social, which is a --
TAPPER: -- a fundraising appeal. Defiance.
TAPPER: Election lies, et cetera.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Two notable things. The last tweet before this, or whatever we call them now, was January 8th, 2021. "To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th." And, I think, it's worth reading that because we would not be here today, and the 18 co-defendants would not be here today. All he had to do was concede.
TAPPER: Yes. It's interesting, though. I have to say, I wonder he has refused to post on Twitter, which is now known as X. He has refused to do that. Because he wants to bring attention, to his own social media platform, Truth Social, and also defiance, I guess, they kicked them off.
It's interesting that he is tweeting, or whatever it's called today, X-ing, because it makes me wonder A, is that kind of an acknowledgement that Truth Social is just doing -- isn't doing it? Or B, that they need the fundraising now?
PHILLIP: Yes, it's the money, right, I mean?
TAPPER: Yes, they need the fundraising.
GANGEL: So --
TAPPER: They need to go where the -- go where the people are.
PHILLIP: And this is the, I mean, probably the last indictment. So, this is their last best chance to really use this thing.
BASH: But I really think, Abby, for usual, you hit the nail on the head. It is a full-circle moment, in the mind of the President -- the former President, about January 6th, and leaving and now coming back.
TAPPER: Everyone, hang on. I want to bring in CNN's Alayna Treene, who traveled, with Donald Trump's motorcade, to the Fulton County Jail, and has some new reporting, on his mug shot.
Alayna, what can you tell us?
ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: Right, well, Jake, the former President's team had actually discussed, what they wanted that mug shot, to look like, prior to him going to the Fulton County Jail, and taking it.
And the former President himself ultimately decided that he wanted to look, quote, "Defiant." That is something that his advisers have told me. And he chose purposefully not to smile.
Now, of course, you can tell that the former President and his team are taking a lot of attention to this mug shot. They're sharing it. The former President just rejoined Twitter, also recently rebranded as X, to share that mug shot. And, I think, you can expect them, to fundraise off of it, as they have fundraised off of fake mug shot, in the past.
And so, from my conversations, with them, also on the ground, here, in Atlanta, they were happy with how that looked. Of course, that is what they are telling us. There's always a different picture, behind-the- scenes.
I also know that Donald Trump, despite wanting to appear defiant, today, has been frustrated, about this process, was frustrated that he had to come, to Georgia, and go through another process, like this, yet again.
Now, some other reporting I have, Jake, is that Donald Trump, on the plane ride, to Atlanta, was watching a lot of those news shows, a lot of news coverage --
TAPPER: Alayna, hold on one sec.
TREENE: -- of his surrender.
TAPPER: Alayna, hold on one -- hold on one second. Let's just wait for that airplane. I assume you're standing in --
TREENE: Oh, sorry.
TAPPER: Yes, you're sorry, because you are responsible for that airplane that went overhead?
TREENE: I'm still facing the airport, yes, I'm still here.
TAPPER: I do hold you responsible for that.
TAPPER: Please proceed. Now we can hear you better.
TREENE: No, what I was trying to say? Yes. So, I'm still by the airport, where Donald Trump had just recently taken off, and is heading back to Bedminster.
But on that plane, on the way here, his team, as well as Donald Trump, was watching cable news coverage, of his surrender, as well as the debates, dissecting it, as they often do, on these trips. And he's continuing to watch it on his way back.
I know we have another plane coming, so apologies for the audio.
But they are very tuned in, to what the media is saying, about his surrender, today.
And again, with that mug shot, his team seems happy with it. I'm still getting texts, from his aides, who are currently on the plane with him.
There's a reason that he is sharing this, repeatedly, on social media, and rejoined Twitter, in order to share that photo. And so, I think you're going to continue to see them try to monetize, off of this, and get as much media attention, as they can, from that mug shot, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Alayna Treene, who's about to return to her job, with those cones, where she is going to be bringing planes in and landing them.
Thank you so much, Alayna. Appreciate that great reporting.
Michael Moore, in addition to the big question, about whether or not a federal court, or a state court, is going to hear this case, which you've convinced me, is a serious --
TAPPER: -- is a serious question. There's also the question about when this trial will take place.
TAPPER: Kenneth Chesebro, who is one of the co-defendants, he wants a quick trial. District Attorney, Fani Willis says she wants to try all 19 of the defendants, together. And she has named October 23rd as a start date. I don't know anybody, who thinks that's actually going to be the start date. But Kenneth Chesebro is entitled to that, as a start date, if he wants it. That's what you say.
TAPPER: So, presumably, some of these cases will drop off, or be severed, et cetera.
He just got a new attorney, today. Donald Trump.
TAPPER: I would think that that would bolster the argument that he needs even more time, to collect himself and prepare.
MOORE: Yes, I think that's right. I mean, I don't think that's why he got the attorney.
I think Steve is a good lawyer. I know him. We've handled a matter together. He'll be great, in this case. I'm sure, he's certainly competent, and used to handling these larger cases, and high-profile cases, RICO-type cases, so that'll be fine.
But there's no way that a lawyer can be ready on this case, having just got in it, in that amount of time, especially for what I would call the lead defendant, in a case.
The Constitution guarantees a defendant the right to have an effective lawyer, not just a lawyer, but somebody that's effective. And to have that, you really have to have time to prepare. The lawyer has to have that time. And so, the judge is not going to hold him or anybody else to this October date.
Chesebro wants it. And I think it was a good strategic move, frankly, by his lawyers, because it sort of throws down the gauntlet, and it says, "Let's move forward. And if you've got a case on us, let's see what you've got." And I don't think it could have been a welcome thing, to the District Attorney's office. But that's the way the law is written. And there are certainly competent lawyers too, and know that.
So, I really think with the multitude of motions, you're going to see, the likelihood of some interlocutory appeals, that this case is way, way down the road. I mean, it would shock me, if we see it at all, before the election.
I just don't see how that's going to happen. I mean, again, think about just selecting a jury, we can go by what's happening in Atlanta, now, with a jury selection, in a RICO case, it's taken seven months, to pick a jury. And so, that's an issue.
Getting it into federal court is not a bad thing, for the lawyers. It's a more structured process. It's like -- it'd be like a boxing match that has rules versus maybe a backyard brawl that doesn't, in the state court.
MOORE: And so, there will be advantages and disadvantages, the main one being the jury selection.
But if they move it to federal court, if they move it to federal court, then the Georgia Speedy Trial Act would not apply to that. There's a constitutional speedy trial right --
MOORE: -- that they would have.
TAPPER: That's just at Georgia?
MOORE: Chesebro would keep his case, likely.
TAPPER: So, I mean, it's interesting, you talk about how you have a right, not just to an attorney, but to a competent attorney.
TAPPER: And that is a right that Donald Trump will fully avail himself of, which is his good -- good for him, he should.
Once again as we take these opportunities, to show people, the realities of the judicial system, in this country, Donald Trump complaining accurately about how disgusting and horrific the Fulton County Jail is? He's probably saying that like, "I don't belong here."
ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Sure.
TAPPER: "These people do, but I don't." But the truth of the matter is nobody, even if you are a heinous murderer, deserves to live in filth, in a prison, or a jail, where people are killed, on a regular basis.
Same thing with the competent attorney. You know this. I know this. You know this as well. There have been higher courts that have found in the United States that your attorney can fall asleep, during a trial, can be drunk, can be seriously mentally impaired, or emotionally impaired. And that counts as competent. And in fact, the U.S. Supreme Court is making it even tougher, to challenge one's conviction, based on representation.
MCCABE: And if that's the bottom, that's the threshold, of what qualifies? We contribute, again, to a -- to use the word again, but this two-tiered system of justice.
MCCABE: The fact is people with access to resources, financial resources that bring them to great lawyers, who can get in to court, and ask for the extra time, and prepare correctly? They have an enormously better chance, of a positive outcome, through the system.
If you are at the hands of a public defender, who has 150 other cases, that they're handling? It's very different process.
TAPPER: Public defenders are actually not so bad. It's the court- appointed attorneys that statistically are a much bigger problem. Public Defender's offices are usually much better. But yes, I take your point.
MCCABE: Tough job. Very tough job.
TAPPER: Tough job.
With the former President heading back to Bedminster, New Jersey, we're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back with more.
COOPER: Just before 10 PM, here on the East Coast, the homepage of a headline, on the New York Post website, reads "Bail to the Chief."
This is not a light moment, however, certainly not for the country. The former President's mug shot is no laughing matter. Certainly is a first for Donald John Trump, and not his only first, today.
Tonight's booking in the Fulton County Jail, in Atlanta, was also the first jail visit, by a former President, as a felony defendant. His release on $200,000 bond, the first time a former President has used a bail bondsman. One thing that is not a first was the booking itself. This was his fourth, and four State and Federal jurisdictions.
He's on his way, right now, back to Bedminster, as we speak.
Back now here with the panel. I mean, we now have seen the mug shot.