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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Trump Continues To Insist "We Have A Lot Of Cash" While Struggling To Put Up Money For $464 Million Bond; Trump's Potential $464 Million Saving Grace: His "Truth Social" Stake; Biden Impeachment Hearing High On Theatrics, Low On Evidence. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 20, 2024 - 21:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: So, the hospital is investigating, so is the information watchdog. And the government wants answers.

The Princess of Wales will simply want to know whether or not the reason she went into hospital, the underlying illness, will remain secret, as she wished.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Thanks very much.

Now, a quick update, on a story we brought you, last night. The Israeli Supreme Court has issued a temporary injunction that will let a group of about two dozen Palestinian hospital patients, being treated in Israel, including infants and their moms, as well as cancer patients, remain where they are in Israel.

Jeremy Diamond brought us the story, last night, and spoke to several of the moms, who were, at that point, days away, from being forced along with their newborns, to head back into war zone in Gaza.

Here's a clip from that report.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I might go back and they invade Rafah, her mother Nima says. I'll be the one responsible for anything that harms them.

NIMA ABU GARRARA, PALESTINIAN MOTHER (through translator): If I go back with the twins, where do I go with them? Where would I get diapers and milk? Gaza is not the same anymore.


COOPER: After that report, here, doctors with an Israeli non-profit group petitioned the country's Supreme Court. The government has now delayed their departure to Gaza, until at least Monday.

That's it for us. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS" starts now. KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: Straight from THE SOURCE, tonight.

Hurdling toward nearly a half a billion dollar deadline, the Attorney General, who sued Trump, is now warning an appeals court, not to let him off the hook.

And Hunter Biden didn't show up to today's impeachment hearing, on Capitol Hill. But a whole bunch of crazy did, including a Congressman disguised as Vladimir Putin, and a witness who testified from prison. Yes, really.

Also, the big dance is finally here. So is one of basketball's greatest players, Charles Barkley. We're about to go head-to-head about my bracket. We'll see what he thinks.

I'm Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE.

Everywhere Donald Trump looks, tonight, he is running short on cash, both personally and politically.

New numbers, just in tonight, from the Trump campaign, and his joint fundraising committees, show that together they brought in $20.3 million, last month, and entered this month with a combined $41.9 million cash on hand.

That puts them far behind the $53 million that President Biden and Democrats raised, in February, and the massive $155 million that he and his committees have in cash on hand.

There's a high-dollar fundraiser, I should note, for Trump, next month, with some of his party's wealthiest backers. But he doesn't have nearly that kind of time, when it comes to his personal financial problems.

There are just five days to go, before Trump could have his prized assets seized, his bank accounts frozen, or potentially both, if he can't put up his $464 million bond, in his civil fraud case.

Panic is not just setting in, privately, as I reported here last night. It's on full display today, on Trump's Truth Social account, where he has furiously been accusing the Attorney General, who sued him, of quote, stealing his money.

Right now, he is still counting on an appeals court to help save him here.

But Letitia James, that Attorney General, is pushing back, casting doubt, on his claims, this week, that he can't find anyone to underwrite that bond. She's suggesting that the court should disregard those claims, about insurance companies telling him no, and instead suggesting that he should try to get smaller bonds, a $100 million or $200 million apiece.

She's also questioning why Trump is unable to use his real estate assets as collateral. That has prompted a fiery response, from Trump's attorney, today, who claimed that James is quote, misrepresenting the facts, and accused her of a brazen abuse of power.

Though this judgment, I should note, was issued by a judge and a court, not by the Attorney General. Trump has lashed out at that judge as well.

What's clear tonight is that Trump is in a real bind, something that his own allies are acknowledging, tonight, privately, as they're wondering what exactly he's going to do.

We do know what James has said she'll do.


LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: We are prepared to make sure that the judgment is paid to New Yorkers. And yes, I look at 40 Wall Street each and every day.


COLLINS: Those are some of Trump's properties.

And despite what Trump has been saying privately, and on Truth Social, when he's in front of the cameras, he said that he has no concerns.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a lot of cash and we have a great company, but they want to take it away or at least take the cash element away. Billions of dollars in value, billions of dollars in properties. But they'd like to take the cash away, so I can't use it on the campaign. And this is just a corrupt group of people.

We'll see how the courts rule on it.

I'll be guided by the courts.


COLLINS: The question is whether that guidance leads to an appeals court, saving him before Monday, when James can start collecting.


Joining me, here tonight, is the former lead prosecutor, on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, Andrew Weissmann, who's also the Co- author of the new book, "The Trump Indictments," that has some great commentary, walking people through those.

We'll get to the book in a moment. It's great to have you here on THE SOURCE.


COLLINS: In this predicament that Trump is, finds himself in, I mean, it's an incredibly difficult one, with not much time left to figure it out.

WEISSMANN: Well, one thing that's worth noting is this is atypical of what happens in a civil case, when you have a judgment.

Two, the Attorney General has actually already extended some leeway, because the judgment is actually enforceable on the day that it was rendered. The 30-day period is because the Attorney General said, as a matter of grace, I am giving you 30 days.

Now, Donald Trump has his right, has asked the court, the appellate courts, to somehow give him relief. And we'll see what happens there. But I think that is sort of one of his only legal options, at this point, just to see whether the Court of Appeals is going to give him relief.

Other than that, it appears as you noted, that he may just be over- leveraged, that the reason he is not able to actually come up with the money is he doesn't have it.

COLLINS: What do you make of the fact that if he doesn't have it? He testified in that deposition that he had $400 million in cash on hand. But the fact that they came to the courts, this week, to say, we can't find anyone to do this, when they've had that 30-day grace period?

I mean, she seems to be thinking they're playing games here.

WEISSMANN: Unclear. I would think, first, with respect to the $400 million, some questions that I would have is first, he did have to put about $100 million of that, for the E. Jean Carroll judgment. So, that's now we're down to $300 million.

But a lot of times, when you get a loan, bank may say, in order for me to give you this loan, I need just -- not just collateral, but you have to keep a certain amount of cash on hand. So, that may be, in essence, pledged, like he may not be able to use that in some other way, without defaulting on another loan. And we know that there are many loans that appear to be outstanding, based on his own reports, of what he has.

COLLINS: Though what she is suggesting today is that if he can't do it that he should either hand his properties, over to the court, that he should kind of get smaller loans and piece them together.

I mean, is that something he could feasibly do, even in the next several days?

WEISSMANN: Well, yes, he could get smaller amounts. He could get what's called a letter of credit, and put the -- whatever equity he has, if there is equity. That's a big -- seems to be a big if. If he has equity, he could use that, to get a letter of credit.

It's the way to think of that is if you own a home, and you get a mortgage, that you -- that's a way essentially making your home liquid. It's an -- and he's saying that's the problem is that I have all this real estate, but it's not liquid.


WEISSMANN: That didn't fly with me, because I'm like, there's a way to make that liquid, which is you tell a bank fine, you give me a mortgage, and you will have a lien on the home.

The other way is he finds a third-party. That is the one that's raising for me, and I think a lot of people, national security concerns, because you really don't want somebody, who's running for president, and may be the president, to have hundreds of millions of reasons, to be beholden to somebody, who has put up the bond, essentially, for him.

COLLINS: And that seems to be a real likelihood. I mean, I heard, last night, from sources that his team was reaching out to wealthy supporters.


COLLINS: And obviously, that has been a prospect that's been raised as well is do they go to a foreign national, and ask them to back this up?

WEISSMANN: So, the way I look at it? You know, I was at the FBI, I was the General Counsel, that everybody who is in the Department of Justice, in the Intelligence Community, has to get an clearance, in order to see top secret, secret, classified information.

If I was beholden to someone, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, particularly if they were a foreign national, the chances of not getting clearance would be zero, just wouldn't happen, because there's too much of a risk. And particularly, there are obviously, many foreign adversaries of this country that might view this as an opportunity. And that would be antithetical to our national security interests.

COLLINS: Yes. It's pretty remarkable, to see a presumptive presidential nominee, in that situation, where that could happen. We're waiting to see.

And you've written this book. It's, you're a Co-author on the book. It's on the Trump indictments, kind of laying out--


COLLINS: --all of the cases, and with helpful commentary, because there is so much for people to sort through.

One thing that I was thinking about today is these are all the criminal cases against him.

This case that he's dealing with today is a civil one, which some people questioned, should it have been criminal instead of civil? But, right now, where it stands with the landscape, this may be the only punishment that's enacted against him, by a prosecutor, because the other trials may not even happen before the election. WEISSMANN: That's absolutely right. And that this is a form of accountability. It is not criminal accountability. It is civil accountability. But from Donald Trump's perspective, it still is -- it's not a punishment, but it still is inflicting some recompense for people, who are harmed.


Remember, this is a judge who found that this happened. It's -- and there was proof. And remember, Donald Trump was able to be there, and testify, and cross-examine. So, he had all of the due process that is given to somebody in the civil justice system.

Unsurprisingly though, he is attacking all of these cases, whether civil or criminal, because that's the one check against his power. So, he obviously wants to say it's all unfair.

COLLINS: Yes. And one of the people, who submitted to the courts, this week, about that was someone who actually appeared at that trial.


COLLINS: The other thing you write, though, in this book is you talk about Jack Smith, the Special Counsel now, who's on the classified documents case, in the election interference case, in Washington.


COLLINS: You say that he was tailor-made for this.


COLLINS: That both cases "were clearly going to be extremely strong, but only an experienced prosecutor like Smith could get them quickly to the finish line."

It's the word, "Quickly" and "The finish line" that caught my eye because obviously, that is the holdup now.


COLLINS: And the questions of whether or not it actually gets to the finish line.

WEISSMANN: Yes. But maybe one thing to note about Jack Smith, because I've known him for years, one thing that does separate him, from the other prosecutors, is not just that he has a lot of experience. Because so does Alvin Bragg, and so does Fani Willis. But he has international experience. He was at the International Criminal Court.

And one of the things that we do write about in this book is that we think of this as something that's so unique in America. And it is. We've never been in a situation, with a former President being charged, and being -- trying to be held to account.

But as we pointed out, this is not unique in the country, here. But it's in the world, it happens all the time. France, Argentina, Italy, have -- they have figured out how to hold corrupt leaders to account.

So, we are really, in many ways, a backwater, where we really have a lot to learn from how other countries do it. And I think that's where Jack Smith, I think, comes at it, with that global perspective, and thinking about that if we do not do this successfully, we actually turn ourselves into a banana republic.

COLLINS: Andrew Weissmann, great to have you here on THE SOURCE.

WEISSMANN: Nice to be here.

COLLINS: Thank you for joining us.

My next guest was one of the first, to warn about what we were just talking about there, this national security risk that we could see, with this kind of debt, for the former President.

Former U.N. Ambassador and Trump's former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, is here tonight, on THE SOURCE.

Ambassador Bolton, great to have you back here.

Do you agree with Andrew Weissmann that Trump's financial predicament that he's in makes him a security risk for the U.S.?

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, I think, all kinds of unscrupulous people are circling around this problem, some of them foreign, some of them domestic.

And I think that the State of New York, here, really has him in a unique position, for any former President. And it does raise questions. And whatever bond he eventually puts up, I think, ought to be very thoroughly scrutinized.

But I think it's also important, for the Attorney General in New York, to be very careful, about how she proceeds, unless she wants to risk making Trump capitalize, off his financial difficulty, the same way he's capitalized, politically, off his four indictments.

For example, you showed a clip of her, saying she's looking at 40 Wall Street, every day. Really, she should stop talking about this. She should say, I'll speak through my office's pleadings in court. Otherwise, she is creating the atmosphere that allows Trump to benefit, politically, and actually to raise money for his campaign off her actions.

COLLINS: Yes. He's certainly done that. And I've heard this argument from people in Trump's orbit.

The other question, though, is if, you know, and not withstanding her public comments, but if she were to wait to start to try to seize his assets. He already got this 30-day grace period.

I mean, couldn't be also seen as the reverse that he would be getting special treatment, because of his status as a presidential candidate and a former President? BOLTON: Well, I'm certainly no expert, on New York procedure, in a case like this. But I think it's a lot less -- she could protect New York's legitimate interest here, in ways, a lot less intrusive than going up and trying to seize the properties.

I would think, if she put a judgment lien, on any of the properties in New York certainly, she'd have to do something different for properties out of state.


BOLTON: But if she were to put liens on every piece of property, he's got, every bank account he's got, that would send an enormous signal. It would render those assets utterly illiquid to any potential buyer. And I think that's a lot less dramatic than having New York cops going up, trying to get into 40 Wall Street.

She just needs to act in a prudent fashion, and not act like she's trying to persecute Trump, because that will feed Trump's narrative that he's just the victim of the Deep State's persecution. New York has a legitimate interest, here. She should act prudently--


BOLTON: --to take care of that legitimate interest, and don't overstep.

COLLINS: Well, Ambassador Bolton, something you just said, you talked about unscrupulous figures, both foreign and domestic, circling around Trump, right now.


His attorney, who argued and lost this case, I should note, was asked earlier today, about whether or not he could be seeking out support, from a foreign country to help him. This is what she said.


MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS HOST: Is there any effort on the part of your team to secure this money through another country, Saudi Arabia or Russia?

ALINA HABBA, TRUMP ATTORNEY: Well, there's rules and regulations that are public. I can't speak about strategy. That requires certain things. And we have to follow those rules.


COLLINS: I mean, she didn't say no.

BOLTON: Well I don't -- I don't know what that answer means.

I mean, I think that I would certainly give a warning to any bank in, any country, friendly to the United States, or to the government of any country friendly to the United States, financing Donald Trump's bond problem here, is not in their interest. And he may be trying to pursue it. But I would just say to them, I would stay away from this one.

COLLINS: I think also the prospect of if a foreign national, or foreign government does come in, and step in, to help Trump here, I was thinking back to exactly what we've been hearing, from Republicans, on the Hill, about this exact scenario.

Listen to what they've warned about.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): We tried to warn the American public that this man and his family had received millions of dollars from countries that were adversaries of ours, that if he were elected, that he would be compromised and our national security would be compromised.

REP. VICTORIA SPARTZ (R-IN): Would just very pose serious national security risk. And now, we have a president, who could be compromised by foreign adversaries.

REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): He's compromised, because he's taken so much money.


COLLINS: Of course, they're all talking about Joe Biden and their investigation into him that hasn't proven anything concrete, or tied to him.

But are they going to say the same thing, if Donald Trump does ultimately seek out a foreign national or foreign government, to help pay and underwrite his bond, here?

BOLTON: Well, I think they should. I mean, one of the problems of the barren effects that Trump has had, the distorting effects on the political system, is that he essentially argues different rules should apply to him than to everybody else.

And the standard of integrity in politics is you apply the same rule, to people of your party, as you do to people of the other party, when they're in similar circumstances. And I think, to the extent Trump is looking overseas, he's asking for exactly those kinds of attacks from Democrats, he ought to get it from Republicans too.

COLLINS: Ambassador John Bolton, great to have you on the show. Thank you.

BOLTON: Thank you.

COLLINS: So, the question here is realistically, is there a way out for Donald Trump before Monday? We're going to explore the options that he has, for potentially digging himself out of this, including one you may not have thought of. Plus, a house with a white picket fence, long a symbol of the American Dream, the question of now is that dream slipping away? What the Fed's latest decision today could mean for home buyers and home sellers. Josh Flagg from "Million Dollar Listing" is here to join us.



COLLINS: Former President Trump has been using his own social media site, as you can see here, to blast that half a billion dollar judgment against him, as the bond is coming due.

But here's a question worth asking tonight. Could he actually use his stake, in that company, Truth Social, to help secure that bond, before Monday's deadline? His stake could be worth billions of dollars, as we know.

Remember, Trump could sell off properties that he holds dear, like 40 Wall Street, or Trump Tower, to get the cash. But the deadline is coming fast, and he needs options.

Here to break down what Trump can and maybe cannot do is former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and CNN's Senior Legal Analyst, Elie Honig.

Elie, I think, the context here is that Truth Social has a pretty critical merger that is being voted on, in 48 hours. But could this actually somehow be a realistic option for him, in all of this?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So, believe it or not, the very same vehicle that Trump is using to lash out here, could actually potentially bail him out.

Now, I spent a good chunk of today, talking to bonding experts. It's actually pretty interesting, I have to say.

And here's the deal. There is a vote of shareholders happening, on Friday. And this merger has already gotten approval, from the SEC, from the Securities and Exchange Commission. If it goes through on Friday? That will enable Truth Social to go public, meaning their stock will be available for sale, on the trading commodities markets.

Donald Trump is of course, the largest shareholder in Truth Social.


HONIG: And his holdings are valued at somewhere in the range of $2 billion to $4 billion.

Now, I asked these bonding experts, I said, do you normally accept stock in exchange for you posting a bond? And they both said, yes, we ordinarily would. But there's one big problem -- there's two big problems.

One is there's some skepticism, as to whether Truth Social is actually going to be worth that $4 billion valuation. They're not profitable. They don't show the signs that you would normally want, in a profitable stock.

The other problem is timing, because even if this goes through, even if Trump suddenly becomes $4 billion worth of shares, wealthier, he can't do anything with them. They're locked down for six months. His workaround though is he can ask for special permission to get rid of them earlier than six months. That'll be up to the board.

COLLINS: Well, I mean, what's the likelihood that he could get that? And even if he did, I mean, he wouldn't immediately have access to that, right?

HONIG: Right. So, that's the big problem. There's -- it's called a lockdown provision. So, meaning, because what they don't want at Truth Social is their biggest shareholder, on day one, to dump all his stocks. That would be disastrous.

COLLINS: Right. That's why these exist.

HONIG: Right, exactly.


So, what he would have to do is go back to the shareholders and say, I want special permission, to waive, to get rid of that holding requirement. And they could vote on it. And maybe not all of his stock. Maybe he could say, look, I just need to free up, let's say, $500 million worth.

So, there's an actual potential out there, for Donald Trump, somehow through Truth Social.

COLLINS: So, this deadline is Monday. This could potentially be one option. Maybe it's too close to that deadline to actually be worked out. But can you just walk us through? I mean, what does it look like starting on Monday? Obviously, Letitia James, the Attorney General's not going to show up with a sheriff, outside Trump Tower, I imagine. But--


COLLINS: But what does it actually look like, when we hit that deadline?

HONIG: So, it's not quite like on TV, right, where the sheriff just go in and say, we own this now.

But if Donald Trump fails to post the bond, or if the appeals court does not reduce the bond, then Letitia James gains the ability, on Monday, to start executing the judgment, meaning, to start collecting the money. She can tap into any of his cash accounts. She can start the process of seizing those buildings.

But it's complicated because Trump's not the sole owner, on a lot of those buildings. He's not even the majority owner, on some of those buildings. It takes time. It has to go through a process. There's other entities that have rights in those buildings. So, it would take time.

But she could start the process of seizing that judgment.

Now, it's important to note he still can appeal. Appeal has nothing to do with the bond. He still has his appeal right. It's just a question of will the judgment be executed while he's appealing?

COLLINS: Well, and his complaint, and what he has pushed back, and what his attorneys have been saying to us, is that, OK, well, he sells some of these properties to get the money, to make the bond. Well, then what if he wins the appeal--


COLLINS: --and then he's sold these properties for less than they're worth, or less what he could have gotten, because he was doing so, so quickly?

HONIG: Yes. And the A.G.'s answer, in the brief, filed today, was tough luck. I mean, that's how it goes. If you want to post a bond, if you want to hold us off, if you want to hold the A.G. back from starting to execute this, you got to do what you got to do.

And he might well take a loss in the process here.

COLLINS: Yes. And I think the other part of this that we were speaking of, is that he's got a lot of wealthy friends--


COLLINS: --that they've been reaching out to, kind of seeing what the supporters say.

But people, who are wealthy, are wealthy for a reason. They're not necessarily eager to put up this much money for a bond that they're not necessarily sure they'll get back.

HONIG: Yes, he's waiting on a cash infusion. Maybe it'll come through Truth Social. It could come from somebody else.

But it's important to know, we won't necessarily know this. Whatever transaction there is, between Donald Trump and the bonding companies, that's private. So, he may get this infusion of cash that we may not know where it comes from.

Now, you and other reporters will certainly be asking him, rightly--

COLLINS: But we won't necessarily find out.

HONIG: No, it's not.

COLLINS: It won't be public where he's getting from.

HONIG: Exactly. I mean, perhaps the court can inquire, say I have some questions about this. But it's really not the court's business. As long as the court has the bond, they're not going to dig into where did this money come from?

So, it's possible that he says, I came up with the money. And we in the public may not know exactly how. And as your prior guests were saying, there's a security risk in that.

COLLINS: The other thing that you just mentioned that piqued my interest is so she could just go into his bank accounts, starting on Monday?

HONIG: Yes. If there's no bond posted, then yes, she can go in and say this money is mine now.


HONIG: That's why this is so important for Donald Trump, because if he posts a bond, then she has to wait until the appeals are over, to start doing that. If he fails to post the bond, Monday, it is on.

COLLINS: Elie Honig, we are going to be counting down. We will keep you close by, and also your bond consultants.

HONIG: Developing story.

COLLINS: Coming up here, an empty witness chair, a Putin mask, and witness testimony from prison. Yes, I am describing a congressional impeachment hearing today. Welcome to Capitol Hill.

I'll be joined by someone who had a front-row seat to all of that craziness, right after a quick break.



COLLINS: A sitting congressman wore a Halloween mask, to work, and an empty chair was left for the President's adult son. That was today's Biden impeachment hearing that was filled with theatrics and shenanigans, from all sides of the political aisle.

And yet again, most Republicans failed to present any evidence that President Biden financially benefited from his son's businesses.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): And what crime do you--


OCASIO-CORTEZ: --have you witnessed?

BOBULINSKI: How much time do I have to go through it?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: It is simple. You name the crime. Did you watch him steal something? BOBULINSKI: Corruption statutes, RICO and conspiracy--

OCASIO-CORTEZ: What is it? What is--


OCASIO-CORTEZ: What is the crime, sir?

BOBULINSKI: You -- you--

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Specifically.

BOBULINSKI: You just -- you keep -- you asked me to answer the question. I answered the question.


BOBULINSKI: RICO, you're obviously not familiar with.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Excuse me, sir.

BOBULINSKI: Corruption statutes.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Excuse me, sir.


OCASIO-CORTEZ: Excuse me, sir. RICO is not a crime. It is a category.


COLLINS: That was Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Tony Bobulinski, who is the former Biden business associate -- family business associate, I should note.

Republicans also presented a witness, who testified from federal prison, where he is serving time for fraud.

Meanwhile, Democrats countered with their own witness. You might remember this guy, Lev Parnas. He's the former Rudy Giuliani associate, who was recently released from prison himself, after serving time for campaign finance and wire fraud.


LEV PARNAS, FORMER ASSOCIATE OF RUDY GIULIANI: The impeachment proceedings that bring us here now are predicated on false information spread by the Kremlin. Everyone involved knew they were sharing lies.


COLLINS: Now, it was notable that Democrats invited Parnas, today, to come and testify, at this hearing, given they have long questioned his credibility.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Lev Parnas, who was Rudy Giuliani's right- hand man.

A fairy tale so preposterous that one of its main authors, Lev Parnas, has now disowned and repudiated it.

The President's team, Rudy Giuliani and Parnas and Fruman engaged in a smear campaign.


COLLINS: And we are joined now by the Congressman that you see there, the Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee, Maryland Democrat, Jamie Raskin.

Congressman, welcome back.


I mean, given how you yourself have described his credibility or, I guess, I should say, lack thereof, why should Americans trust this guy?

RASKIN: Well, he's another refugee-in-exile from Trump-land, somebody like Cassidy Hutchinson, or Michael Cohen, or General Milley, or Mark Kelly, even Mike Pence, who said he couldn't bring himself to endorse Donald Trump after everything we'd seen.

And the Republicans were attacking him, for having lied. But as I said, today, they weren't attacking him, because he lied for Donald Trump. They were attacking him because he stopped lying for Donald Trump, and started telling America the truth.

And they didn't contradict a single assertion that Lev Parnas made today. What he told was the story of how he and Rudy Giuliani went globe-trotting, all over the world, looking for dirt on Joe Biden, in advance of the 2020 presidential campaign. And they couldn't find anything.

He said, they turned over every stone, they talked to every mobster and government official that they could, and they couldn't find anything. So then they ended up with completely fabricated confected evidence.

And he talked about how they knowingly spread lies. Giuliani knowingly spread lies, and he participated in it. And he said, he paid his price for it. He went to jail for campaign finance violations, for illegal donations to pro-Trump Super PACs.

But he said he's had enough of that world, and he wants to tell America the truth. And there are a lot of people in his situation, and they're going to help us get out of this culture of deceit and corruption that Donald Trump has sunk us into.

COLLINS: Yes, I mean, the difference between Lev Parnas, and Cassidy Hutchinson, General Milley, Mike Pence is that they didn't go to prison for campaign finance, and fraud, and all of that gallivanting around Eastern Europe with Rudy Giuliani.

But the other witness who was there today, Tony Bobulinski that we just heard from, in that exchange with AOC, he is the former Biden family business associate.

And, at one point, in his testimony, he specifically accused you, of lying. This is what he said.


BOBULINSKI: They continue to lie directly to the American people without hesitation and remorse.

Rep. Dan Goldman and Jamie Raskin, both lawyers, and Mr. Goldman, a former prosecutor with the SDNY from New York, will continue to lie today in this hearing and then go straight to the media to tell more lies.


COLLINS: Do you want to respond to that?

RASKIN: Well, it seems to be a matter of habit and second nature now, for people in MAGA-world, to call other people liars. There used to be something of a public convention or taboo about that.

But in any event, I don't mind if he would just specify what the lie is. But he never stated what he said I was lying about. He's accused, the Wall Street Journal of being liars. He's accused the FBI of being liars.

He accused Cassidy Hutchinson of being a liar, for saying that he had a secret meeting with Mark Meadows, where he was wearing a ski mask. And then, he called her a liar. And then, she produced the photograph. And that was displayed by Robert Garcia, at today's hearing.


RASKIN: So, I'm not in the business of calling people as liars.

That guy had, you know, he had very little credibility going in. But it doesn't make any difference, because he didn't say anything that remotely implicated President Biden, in a high crime or misdemeanor.

And this is an impeachment investigation. And he had no impeachable offenses, no evidence that he was talking about. And the guy's obviously just trying to get famous. And the Republicans are happy to advance him.


RASKIN: Donald Trump brought him as a personal guest, to the presidential debate--


RASKIN: --in 2020. And he denied remembering who brought him.

COLLINS: Yes. I was there. And I remember that.

And Chairman Comer said at the end of today's hearing that he is now going to invite President Biden, to come and testify. I mean, this investigation has been going on for months, now.

What does that say to you about how much longer it's going to be going on?

RASKIN: I mean, the impeachment bus is running completely on empty. By the end of it, there were maybe one or two members, on the Republican side of the aisle.

Their own members have completely defected. You've got Republican Congressmen, like Ken Buck, basically just saying, give up the ghost. He's resigning from Congress saying he won't participate in this unconstitutional exercise. So, there's nothing there.

There's no votes on the Republican side, to get it over the top. And there's no evidence upon which you could base an impeachment investigation. So, they don't have a legislative agenda. They're trying to distract people from the fact that they're blockading aid to Ukraine, which is really the main function of all of this.


Vladimir Putin doesn't want us getting $60 billion to the besieged democratic nation of Ukraine, which is trying to fend off Putin's filthy invasion, and his kidnapping, and his rape, and his destruction of civilian buildings and people.

And they don't want us dealing with the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Israeli security, they don't want us to deal with any of it.

And Donald Trump essentially blew up the foreign aid package, including the border and immigration provisions that were coming out of the Senate.

So, it's a chaos party, but luckily, it's shrinking. And as Mr. Parnas told us today, it operates like a cult, and it's a real act of will, encouraged to get out of the cult. And you should see the way that our colleagues treat people, who have defected from the cult. They treat them like apostates. But there are millions of them across the country now, who don't want anything to do with Donald Trump and his games anymore.

COLLINS: Yes. And you mentioned Putin. I should note it was one of your Democratic colleagues, wearing that mask, and walking into the room today.

Congressman Jamie Raskin, as always, thank you for your time.

RASKIN: You bet, Kaitlan. COLLINS: Ahead, between interest rates and a major realtor settlement that happened last week, can you finally buy that home you've been waiting to buy, in one of the toughest housing markets that we have witnessed in a generation.

We're going to get some million-dollar advice, hopefully, from a "Million Dollar Listing" real estate star, after a quick break.



COLLINS: Stocks on Wall Street surged at an all-time high today, connected to that news that we got from the Federal Reserve that it's expected to cut interest rate three times this year.

Of course, that comes after just a few days ago, there was a seismic legal settlement that eliminated that 6 percent standard commission fee that you see often with real estate agents, which critics have said will raise -- have said, argued that it raised housing prices through the roof, and now could help lower them. This move could potentially make buying and selling a home drastically cheaper.

Here to explain it all with his thoughts is real estate agent, and cast member of "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles," Josh Flagg.

And Josh, it's great to have you on.

Just, first on, as everybody's trying to make sense of this, from last week, they look at what they spend a year on commissions. I think the New York Times totaled it at about $100 billion. I mean, do you think this is ultimately going to make it easier and less expensive for Americans to buy a home?

JOSH FLAGG, REAL ESTATE AGENT: No, I don't think it's going to affect it one bit.

I mean, the conditions, first of all, have been negotiable at all times. And second of all, so I have to add, it's not a set 6 percent. Certain part of the country is at 6 percent. Certain parts, it's 5 percent.

The only difference is going to be who pays the commission? Is it going to be the buyer's agent? Is it going to be the buyer? Or is it going to be the seller that pays the commission?

But that we've heard in the news, oh, the buyer's agent is going to go out, no one's going to use them, they're going to go directly from now on because they don't need to pay a commission? That's not accurate. It's just going to be, is the seller of the property paying it? Or is the buyer paying it?

COLLINS: So, what does it change, as far as? Because the question of when you say that the buyer's agent will still be there was does it introduce more competition into the market? Is it easier for tech startups, to come into the market? I mean, what does the landscape look like now, though, in the aftermath of this?

FLAGG: I mean, it doesn't really change much. For instance, you could go on any of those websites and hire up, or get a broker for $500, to represent you. It's like, if I was, if I needed a really good attorney, I wouldn't hire somebody for $100 an hour. I'd go to Marty Singer or Allen Grubman. It's the same thing. You're getting what you pay for when you hire a real estate agent.

First of all, if you go directly, or -- yes, if you go directly, for instance, I mean, think about the legal ramifications. You don't really have proper resident -- representation. Also, you don't have all the facts about the property. You don't have the comps, you don't know.

There's a reason why brokers are hired. So you know where to place your money, what's a good property to buy, all those things. No one in their right mind would ever go and just like, well, I'm just going to look at Sunday open houses, and pick something, you know?

COLLINS: Yes. They obviously often turn to someone, who does it for a living.

But on the landscape itself, of what we heard from the Federal Reserve, today, about interest rates, I mean, mortgage rates, right now, still have been really high. Inventory, it seems, has been pretty low, just nationwide.

I mean, the American Dream has always been thought of as being able to own your own home. And some Americans say it's out of reach. Do you think that's going to change?

FLAGG: Well, as interest rates come down, it certainly will.

It's interesting, because I remember a point, 10 years ago, when interest rates were at 7 percent, or 8 percent, and the market was flourishing. People were used to that. What happened was, all of a sudden, it went down to 2 percent, and people got really spoiled. And then that was the new normal.

So, it's not like we're so out of whack right now at 6 percent. It's just what it is. But people are just spoiled from what we had for the last four or five years.

But it will come down. It's just a matter of when. And hopefully, there'll be three interest rate decreases this year. It would have been nice if it happened this month. But it's fine.


FLAGG: Once the interest rates come down a little bit, the market will go up.

COLLINS: Yes, a lot of people looking to that, and also looking to you for that.

Josh Flagg, great to have you on tonight. FLAGG: My pleasure. Good to see you.

COLLINS: Speaking of productivity, though, it is about to take a dive, for millions of Americans, at the office this week, because it is time for March Madness.

I just finished filling out my brackets. And Charles Barkley is going to join me here, hopefully not to judge it too harshly, right after a quick break.



COLLINS: March Madness is in full swing tonight. And I have got a very special guest, here, to share my predictions, for this year's NCAA tournament with, a 11-time NBA All-Star, and the Co-host of CNN's "KING CHARLES," Charles Barkley himself.

This is where I'm going to grill you on.


COLLINS: Auburn.

BARKLEY: Well, Auburn, we got jobbed.

COLLINS: OK. Well let's talk -- OK, so this is what you have in front of you is my bracket.



COLLINS: That I spent hours filling out and selecting these teams. And I feel like I did Auburn a solid.

BARKLEY: You did.

COLLINS: I brought them to the second round.

BARKLEY: Well we're going to get to the Sweet 16. We're going to play UConn. We're going to be Yale. We always going to beat the smart kids. And then, we're probably going to beat San Diego State, which--

COLLINS: You think so?

BARKLEY: I think we'll--

COLLINS: Because I have them losing to San Diego State.

BARKLEY: Oh well that just mean you're wrong.

I think our problem -- our problem's going to start at UConn, because UConn, they are the heavy, heavy favorite to win this thing.


BARKLEY: I think I saw a stat today. Out of like 10,000 brackets, they are favored in 96 percent of them.


BARKLEY: Well they are the best team. I'll admit that. They are the best team. Like every other team in this tournament is good, but flawed. UConn probably had -- they got a terrific coach, terrific coach. And they have an advantage over all these other teams, because they won a championship last year. So, their confidence is going to be sky-high.

COLLINS: Yes, they're coming into it with--


COLLINS: I mean, I've got -- they're coming into it with momentum. I have UConn winning it all.

BARKLEY: Well, everybody does. I -- and I--

COLLINS: That's not true. My dad doesn't.

BARKLEY: Well all right. Who then he has winning it?

COLLINS: He hadn't picked yet. But he told me UConn isn't winning (ph).

BARKLEY: Well tell him that I'm going with Arizona.

COLLINS: You think Arizona is the one?

BARKLEY: And it's not because I live there.

COLLINS: Because you live there?

BARKLEY: No. Not because I live there.

Arizona, they are really, really good. I think they're going to play UConn in the Final Four.

Actually, you did pretty good, actually, I don't think Creighton. I don't think Creighton.

COLLINS: That's where I feel like I might have messed up.


COLLINS: Yes. And--

BARKLEY: Because they're going to lose to Oregon.

COLLINS: OK. But -- OK. Can we talk about where -- how I did for Alabama? Because obviously, I have them going further than probably the average bear would. But that's because I'm completely biased in their favor.


COLLINS: So, I have them beating Saint Mary's.

BARKLEY: Well I don't think they're going to -- they -- in my bracket, I have them losing to Saint Mary's.

Saint Mary's has been one of the best-kept secrets in college basketball, for the last 10, 15 years. They just couldn't beat Gonzaga. And they finally beat them this year. And I was like, wow, that might be something to take their confidence to another level.

But also, Alabama's got a bunch of little dudes out there, running around shooting threes. And so--

COLLINS: But our defense is terrible.

BARKLEY: Yes. But also, they won't be intimidating.

Because a lot of difference, where people don't understand, the difference in a lot of these school is size. A lot of guys, some of these smaller schools don't have two or three guys at a 6-9, 6-10, somewhere in that range. So, they won't beat -- Saint Mary's will not be physically intimidated playing against Alabama. So, that's a huge advantage for Saint Mary's.

COLLINS: Yes. But they're going to be spiritually intimidated.

I mean, one reason we wanted to have you on obviously is you know what this is like. You've played in this tournament.


COLLINS: And, I mean, what is it like in these days, as you're leading up to--

BARKLEY: This is--

COLLINS: --to the biggest moment?

BARKLEY: I'll say I've been so lucky and blessed. The coolest thing I've ever done in my life is the Olympics. I was blessed to play in two Olympic, which is by far and away the greatest sporting event in the world. Television does not do the Olympic justice.


BARKLEY: This is a close second. It is so awesome. Because, this sounds stupid, everybody's got a college. And when your college starts doing well, it's just this thing that goes on.

And you got little schools, like Northwestern, they got a good team. Their coach is terrific. If they were to win a couple games, everybody at Northwestern that ever went to school there, are going to be great.


BARKLEY: Same thing at Auburn. Well, we won a SEC tournament, last week. It was just a great thing.

Same thing -- like Michigan State, everybody loves Michigan State.

But I'm going to tell you, don't sleep on Saint Mary's.

Alabama, if this was a football game--

COLLINS: I'll say don't sleep on Alabama.

BARKLEY: Well, listen, if this was football, Alabama would be heavily favored over Saint Mary's. But they're not.

But think about this, though. There's a lot of pressure on Purdue.


BARKLEY: They've been in number one seed like two years in a row, maybe three and--

COLLINS: Well that's what there could always be like a crazy moment. I mean, what do you think's going to -- what are you predicting could happen?

BARKLEY: Well, the whole thing is crazy, Kaitlan, because the thing is, the one -- one game, anything can happen. See, the beauty of this tournament is like in NBA, the best team's always going to win four out of seven. Like a team could get lucky one game.


BARKLEY: They could get lucky two games, and rarely three games. But they can get lucky for two games.

In a one-game scenario, like let's take one of your picks. If UConn and Northwestern played a seven-game series, UConn will win every time. But for one game, Northwestern can beat UConn. That's what makes this tournament so exciting every year.



COLLINS: I love the narrative looking at those--


COLLINS: --those stories, and also the players.

BARKLEY: Oh, it's unbelievable.


BARKLEY: I told you, this -- other than Olympics, it's the second best sporting event I've ever been involved, in my life.

COLLINS: That's amazing.


COLLINS: Well, that's because Auburn hasn't been to very many national championships on the football side, right?


BARKLEY: Well, you know, you all are not going anymore. Hey, thank you, Coach Saban. Thank you for retiring. You're the greatest coach ever. Thank you for retiring.


BARKLEY: You should have come to the party we had down at Auburn.

COLLINS: It's amazing how everyone loves it now that he's left us.


COLLINS: Charles Barkley, great to have you on. I know your show's coming up. You interviewed Oprah. And I cannot wait to watch that. So, it's going to exciting.

BARKLEY: Yes. It's a great -- it's going to be fun.

COLLINS: All right, good. Well good luck. I know you got a lot--


BARKLEY: Good luck to this thing, whatever it is.

COLLINS: Give me a good bracket.

Charles Barkley, thank you.

And we will be reaching out to Coach Saban, for comment, on that remark.

Thank you all so much, for joining us, tonight.

That full interview with Oprah, moments away. "KING CHARLES" starts now.