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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Judge Rejects Trump's Bid To Dismiss Classified Docs Case; Trump Calls Nixon's Watergate Firings A "Mistake"; Israel Says It Will Reopen Crucial Border Crossing To Allow Aid Into Northern Gaza. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 04, 2024 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And Gary joins us now.

I hope the weather is going to be good for Cairo. Do we know?


It's supposed to be mostly sunny here, on Monday afternoon, great visibility, warm temperatures in the upper 70s, perfect for sitting outside. And as you heard that woman, who works with the restaurant say, they have great barbecue here.

There are lots of reasons to come to Cairo, Illinois, to see the solar eclipse.


TUCHMAN: Anderson.

COOPER: I hope a lot of people come.

Gary Tuchman, thanks so much.

That's it for us. The news continues. I'll see you, tomorrow.

THE SOURCE starts now.


Donald Trump rejected. The judge, at the center of so much controversy, shuts down his attempt, to get rid of the Mar-a-Lago case, while blasting Special Counsel, Jack Smith, after he told her essentially, she doesn't know what she's doing.

And President Biden's ultimatum, to Benjamin Netanyahu. Do more immediately to protect civilians in Gaza, or the U.S. could reconsider its support for Israel. The warning coming after the Israeli strike that killed seven aid workers. Is this a tipping point in the war?

And a brazen break-in, right out of a scene from "Ocean's Eleven." Thieves stealing $30 million, in one of the largest cash heists in L.A. history. So, whodunit? A former bank robber joins us, to help crack the case.

I'm Brianna Keilar, in for Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE.

Just hours after former President Trump sang her praises, on social media, calling her a highly respected judge, Judge Aileen Cannon denied him something that he really wanted, getting that Mar-a-Lago classified documents case dismissed.

The former President wanted the whole thing thrown out, based on his repeated argument that the Presidential Records Act allowed him to take what he wanted from the White House, as personal records.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I had every right to under the Presidential Records Act. You have the Presidential Records Act. I was there and I took what I took and it gets declassified.

The law that applies to this case is not the Espionage Act, but, very simply, the Presidential Records Act.

Everything I did was under the Presidential Records Act.


KEILAR: Now, while those claims are, according to many legal analysts, dubious, Judge Cannon didn't actually rule today, on whether they're true. But she did say the Act doesn't provide a pre-trial basis to dismiss the case.

Bottom line here, the former President cannot escape prosecution with that excuse. But the judge did leave the door open to the possibility that Trump could still use the argument, to defend himself at trial, whenever that may be. Cannon still has yet to set a date.

And that wasn't the only blow. The judge also delivered one, to Special Counsel, Jack Smith, whose office told Judge Cannon, this week, that Trump's central defense here, the Presidential Records Act, that it permitted him to take personal records from his time in the White House, should have no bearing here, because the papers Trump took were clearly official and classified government documents, not personal ones.

The Special Counsel wanted Judge Cannon, to decide whether she'll allow Trump to make this argument, so that if she did, Smith could appeal her ruling. But the judge rejected Smith's request to rule promptly on the matter, calling his quote, demand, "Unprecedented and unjust."

Now, whether or not the jury will hear this argument, from Trump, it could make or break the case.

And we're joined now by an attorney, who used to represent former President Trump, in the classified documents case, Jim Trusty.

And Jim, thank you so much, for taking time, to be with us, tonight.


KEILAR: So, you pointed, to the Presidential Records Act, repeatedly, as to why this case should never have been brought, with arguments like this one. Let's listen.


TRUSTY: The President, under the Presidential Records Act, has unfettered authority to do what he wants with documents that he's taken from the White House, while President.

You look at the Presidential Records Act, there is absolutely no basis, for saying that bureaucracy rules, and that a President doesn't have the authority, entrusted in him by the voters, to possess, and to declassify, and to hold on to documents.

Read the Personal Records Act -- the Presidential Records Act. There is the ability of any president, to deem things as personal, to say, I'm going to keep these as personal.


KEILAR: So, I wonder, what is your reaction to Judge Cannon saying, quote, "The Presidential Records Act does not provide a pre-trial basis to dismiss."

TRUSTY: Well, I agree with that guy we just heard from.

KEILAR: That's good news for him.

TRUSTY: Yes. But look, what she talked about is at this early juncture of saying, I'm not going to granted it as a -- it's not going to serve as a basis for pre-trial dismissal.


She is clearly, no matter which side you're on in this litigation, she's clearly struggling with how the interaction goes, between the Presidential Record Act, which is a form of immunity, for presidents and former Presidents, frankly, and how that factors into a trial. How much of it's a legal determination, how much -- how much of it is a factual one?

So, she handed both sides some concern today. The President didn't get the huge win of being off the hook entirely, and having to deal with the appeal. But Jack Smith is apoplectic, at this point, about the notion that the Presidential Records Act has some play, in a case, involving a former President.

I think, I stand by my analysis, it clearly does. And that's why they're having all of these shenanigans, about jury instructions that have Jack Smith, and his underlings, very worried about how this trial plays out. KEILAR: That's your analysis. If that were her firm analysis, she could have stood by it. But she didn't. So, what do you attribute that to? Is that her, in your opinion, not wanting to ruffle feathers?

TRUSTY: I don't know about ruffling feathers. But it is kind of a standard conservative approach, from a judge, to say, look, right now I'm just dealing with the four corners of the indictment. And that's what she specifically said, in her order. And that means you assume everything is as the state or the prosecution has to say.

So, if the United States has a very lengthy, as it did, in this case, indictment that lays out their theory, it's very hard pre-trial, for her to say, I'm going to find factually this is wrong. It's more ripe after she's heard evidence in the case, at the conclusion of the government's case, or even later than that.

And she, again, she's struggling with a complex issue, I think. But she is, I don't think, doing anything that's kind of crazy, from either perspective. She's saying, I want to hear from you guys about the Presidential Records Act. And that is absolutely forbidden territory for Jack Smith. They can't stand the notion that it plays in at all.

KEILAR: Yes. Because we very clearly are going to, or very likely going to hear about this again. However, she does note that the counts Trump is charged with "make no reference to the Presidential Records Act nor do they rely on that statute for purposes of stating an offense."

Does that matter?

TRUSTY: No. I mean, and of course not, because it's a problem. Even the search warrant, way back when, when they raided Mar-a-Lago, didn't have a word to say about the Presidential Record Act. And I think it's because this is a complete about-face, by DOJ.

If you look back at how they've treated every other president, every modern-day President, including Bill Clinton and the litigation, they had with Judicial Watch, back in the mid-90s, about his sock drawer full of tapes, they've always said, hey, the President, or former President, has the authority to essentially possess these items, and call them personal, either by act or by deed. So, this is a real about-face.

And I think she's struggling with that on the motion, for differential treatment, dismissal for differential treatment, where during her argument, she had some pretty pointed questions about that.

KEILAR: And you bring it up here. Jack Smith, says this theory, came out not from a lawyer, but from the head of Judicial Watch, which is a right-wing activist group.

And he traces how it was introduced, not as Trump was in discussions with the government, ahead of a surprise search. This isn't something Trump said, oh, yes, I have these documents, and here's why I think that I can keep them. He didn't mention, right, that he had them. This came out after the search, many months later, not from his

lawyers, but after he had gotten this information, from a right-wing activist.

If it was something that Trump really believed, or that his legal team really believed, because one of his employees said, to Judicial Watch, they did not believe that this was correct analysis. Why wouldn't Trump put it out there?

TRUSTY: See, I don't accept the paradigm, I guess is the problem.

What Jack Smith wants this court to believe is that if you're a former President, you have to announce for all time, to everyone, on the day you leave office, these are the documents that I possess. I'm deeming these ones, personal, and these other ones, I'll talk to Archives, about turning over, as presidential.

That's just a false narrative, a false model.

KEILAR: Well but classified documents, you do actually have to do that, though.

TRUSTY: Well, not under the Presidential Records Act. It's a non--

KEILAR: Well it's an executive order that's accepted.


KEILAR: And it's, I mean, it's very clear, it's just legalistic, and kind of a to-do list of what you do, to declassify it. Trump did not pursue that.

TRUSTY: Well--

KEILAR: As you are well aware.

TRUSTY: Well, declassification is different than the PRA.

But let me just say this. I think, and what we've said, from the beginning, the people that were representing him, couple years ago--

KEILAR: But classified documents wouldn't be personal records, unless they had been declassified.

TRUSTY: No, it's not -- it's actually not connected to classification or declassification. It's a totally different paradigm.

But let me just finish the thought I was saying, which is, we've said from the beginning, that the real problem here is document management. We entrust our presidents, and former Presidents, with secrets. We don't like wipe their brain clean, and say you can't remember all the things you learned in your four or eight years in office.

So, the idea that they'd have access or knowledge of these things is something we live with, as a society.

KEILAR: I think it's more on the issue of sending classified documents, someplace, where they're not secure--

TRUSTY: Oh you mean like--

KEILAR: --that are not declassified.

TRUSTY: You mean like the garage in Delaware, right?

KEILAR: Well, obviously, that's not OK, right?

TRUSTY: OK, well.

KEILAR: I mean, this is?

TRUSTY: Maybe it is, and maybe it isn't. I don't see a prosecution coming out of it.

KEILAR: A bathroom in Mar-a-Lago? A garage in Delaware? Not OK.


KEILAR: Those were turned back in, as you are aware.

TRUSTY: Yes, but--

KEILAR: And Trump didn't.


TRUSTY: President Trump turned in 15 boxes, to Archives, who then went out, for the first time in history, and said, my God, we have to make a criminal referral.

KEILAR: But he didn't--

TRUSTY: We find -- we're finding certain documents.

KEILAR: Jim, he didn't cooperate. I mean--

TRUSTY: Well turning over--

KEILAR: --you're aware of this.

TRUSTY: No, the Presidential Records Act absolutely anticipates years of give and take, between former Presidents and the Archivist. The Archivist, in this case, was politicized, decided to make a criminal referral.

Even if there's thousands of classified documents in a warehouse in Illinois, under the Obama administration? Even though Bill Clinton had really interesting probably tapes of recordings from the White House? They don't pick that fight.

They pick the fight here because they wanted to have criminalization of something that's not criminal, under the PRA. And DOJ was more than happy to jump all over that. So again, today's ruling leaves open the issue of exactly how PRA is going to play out. But it won't be something -- I'd be shocked, if there's a mandamus, which is the big threat coming from Jack Smith, that some higher court is going to say, how dare you even contemplate different jury instructions than Jack wants.

So, we got to watch to see if there's a stay, if there's an appeal, if there's a mandamus. But the idea that the PRA is dead is really, I think, premature.

KEILAR: Many of these things unsettled. And so, we will see where they go.

TRUSTY: For sure.

KEILAR: Jim Trusty, really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

TRUSTY: All right. Thank you.

KEILAR: And I want to turn now to our CNN's Senior Legal Analyst, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Elie Honig.

Elie, you just heard what Jim Trusty said. What is your take on this?


I disagree on the Presidential Records Act itself, as a defense, in this case, for two main reasons.

The first reason is the facts. There is zero evidence, from Donald Trump, from anyone around him, that he ever actually designated these records, as personal.

And I think, notably, none of his lawyers have ever represented to a court that he actually designated these documents as personal. And I heard Jim say, well, there's not a procedure for that. But you have to do something. There would be some evidence of that.

And then separately, I think there's a legal problem with it, which is, first of all, a president cannot designate any records, he wants, as personal. He cannot designate highly sensitive military documents, national security documents, as personal and take them.

And finally, even if he could, it doesn't trump, no pun intended, it doesn't overcome the criminal law against retaining sensitive national security information.

So, even if this gets to be a defense at trial, I think there's no real merit to it.

KEILAR: So, you hear him draw the parallel with the Clinton case, which is something that Trump's defenders have done. And I wonder how you think that holds up?

HONIG: Very different case. I think it's a poor precedent, in this case.

First of all, Bill Clinton's case involved notes of his, and audio tapes, relating to interviews that he gave, with an autobiographer, completely different than, for example, the documents here, which had to do with war plans in Iran, in some instance.

Second of all, there was an important procedural difference, in the Clinton, what they call the, socks case, because reportedly, he stored the tapes in his socks drawer, which is a private outside party was trying to force the Archives, to seize those tapes. And essentially, the federal court said, we don't order the Archives, outside parties don't order the Archives, what to do. So, to me, it's really an inapplicable example.

KEILAR: Where does this leave the timeline of this case, Elie?

HONIG: Well, a mess, in short. It was already, I think, no way that this would -- this case was going to get tried before the election. And now, I think we have other pending issues.

There is the question that Jim just alluded to, about whether Jack Smith might try to go to an appeals court, and force the judge's hand. I actually think what the judge did today forecloses that, makes it impossible to do that, because the judge said, well, we're going to decide when the trial happens, and maybe it's something that will go to the jury. You really can't appeal that if you're Jack Smith.

And by the way, Bri, this is why I think Jack Smith is concerned, with today's ruling. Although he won, in the sense that the court did not dismiss the charges, if I'm Jack Smith? And I think Smith feels the same way. I'm very worried about this defense going to a jury, because it's confusing, because it's complicated, because it's technical.

And prosecutors always want to tell a simple, straightforward story. And frankly, defendants want to muck things up. And as much as I think this defense lacks merit, I do think it could confuse a jury in a way that would worry me, as a prosecutor.

KEILAR: Yes, that may be the case. We may have heard the last of mandamus at least for the time being, however. And for that we may be thankful.


KEILAR: Elie Honig, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

HONIG: Thanks, Bri.

KEILAR: So, what's going on, inside of Trump's mind, after a judge that he likes ruled against him? Couple that with all his other legal and financial blows, this week. Someone who knows him well will join us to talk about it.

Plus, a $30 million mystery. Who was behind this, one of the biggest heists in L.A. history? How did they do this? We have insight, from an ex-bank robber, that's right, ahead. [21:15:00]


KEILAR: For anyone else, it would be dizzying. For Donald Trump, it is just Thursday.

His attempt to get the classified documents case thrown out, failed. His attempt to get the Georgia election interference case tossed, on free speech grounds, failed. And just yesterday, his motion to dismiss the New York hush money case against him, failed.

Now, he's got a new hearing set in his business fraud case. And he's trying to push back on that barrage of bad news, about Truth Social going public.

I'm joined now by CNN Political Analyst, and New York Times Senior Political Correspondent, Maggie Haberman.

And Maggie, I know you have some new reporting, tonight, on the very issue that we were just discussing, with Trump's former attorney, Jim Trusty.


How do those, who remain, on his legal team, view this issue, of using the PRA, the Presidential Records Act, to claim the documents are personal?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, so Brianna, look, they were not surprised by the fact that this is the way that the judge ruled.

They'll remember, she has taken a very long time on ruling, on a number of motions, in this case. There's a huge backlog. It has sort of gummed up the works. And their strategy has been this blitz of filings, to delay all of these trials. It's actually been pretty effective. And they're pretty open about the fact that they think it's been effective.

She didn't totally close the door, on the notion of the Presidential Records Act coming up at trial. And so, because of that, you will continue to hear about this, from Donald Trump, who has been saying this, since it was put in his head, in February of 2022. And I expect, again, this is going to continue publicly.

Listen, they believe this was a long shot. They didn't think this was likely. But it was one of the many things they were going to try. And again, Judge Cannon has shown, over and over again, a willingness to be extremely open to the defense team's arguments.

KEILAR: With, I mean, what's really, as I said, a dizzying reality, of trying to keep up with all of this.


KEILAR: I mean, if you do, it's pretty difficult. You see, you know that. Donald Trump's--

HABERMAN: It's hard.

KEILAR: It's hard, his legal cases, everything that's going on. What are you hearing about which one he's particularly focused on?

HABERMAN: Well, at the moment, he's really focused on the Manhattan trial.

I asked him about this, at his press conference, at 40 Wall Street, after the March 25th hearing, if he thought he could get an acquittal in this case. And he said, well, there shouldn't even be a trial. And I said, well, there is going to be a trial. And he was trying to suggest that he's still relying on some kind of an appeal effort.

I see no evidence that there is going to be a further delay. But they did get a delay of a couple of additional weeks, which they were very happy about.

But that trial is where his focus is, and where it is going to stay, because at the moment, it is on track to be the only trial that takes place before the election. And as you know, Brianna, their goal has been to push all of these cases past Election Day.

KEILAR: Yes. His response, to days of bad headlines, about his social media company was to post, quote, "My TV ratings are by far the highest, and my Rallies are not equaled, even close, anywhere or by anyone."

How hard is this for him to accept that Truth Social isn't the Twitter-killer, or just a success of a sort, in its own right, that he'd hoped it would be?

HABERMAN: I think we have seen him over and over again, refuse to accept external reality, and to continue to try to paint things, as he wants them to be seen. And this is one of those times.

However, the objective reality is the fact that the stock tumbled, earlier this week, what was initially adding to his net worth, at least on paper, by several billions, is no longer that. He is getting a lot of headlines around this. And he is just trying to will it into some kind of a different reality.

I think, for most of his supporters, I don't think the fact that Truth Social is not doing well, this week, or as well, as it had been said to, and then there's lawsuits and so forth, and a lot of bad press around it, is going to bother them.

But, as you know, he watches very closely anything related to his net worth. And he is keenly aware of what is being written about it and said about it. I still think that this is going to be where you see him focus his energy is Truth Social. I think he is not likely to return to Twitter any time before the election.

But this is not -- this is not the week they were hoping to have, certainly, with Truth Social. KEILAR: Trump was on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, today. He offered this take on Richard Nixon's infamous Saturday Night Massacre, which was of course the firing of prosecutors during Watergate. Let's listen.


TRUMP: They went after him like they've never gone after anybody. He made some mistakes, to put it mildly. The firings were a mistake. You notice the way I kept people that I couldn't stand?


TRUMP: I learned that from Nixon. I said, let me just live with these people for a little while before I get rid of them.


KEILAR: So, he learned to stagger his firings. But given that's already talking about prosecuting his political opponents, is there any reason to think that those lessons will hold for a second term?

HABERMAN: Well, first of all, I don't know what administration he was present for.

But the one that I covered? He fired Sally Yates, the Deputy Attorney General, almost immediately. He asked for the resignation of Mike Flynn, according to lots of people who were around him at the time. He fired James Comey. He -- on and on and on and on, this was not exactly a fire-free administration.

And so, sure, I guess you could say some of those were staggered. Other people would say that firing James Comey is what led to the appointment of Robert Mueller. And so, it was something of a hot stove that he touched.

Do I think that anything has changed, in terms of what he said, at the beginning of 2023, about, I am your retribution, to his crowd, that in 2016, I was your voice, and today I'm your retribution? No. I think that is still very much his focus.


I do think that he would be less-inclined to hire people, who he thought were going to go against him. And to be clear, Brianna, that's true for any president. Most presidents want to have people who they think are going to enact their agenda. The question is what agenda is Donald Trump going to be trying to enact?

And since he has already talked openly about appointing a special prosecutor, to quote-unquote, go after the Bidens, and eroding the post-Watergate norm of Justice Department independence, I think that people will have clear questions about what exactly this is supposed to mean.

KEILAR: Yes. One way to look at it is they were staggered firings, and other is that they were kind of perpetual, as you experienced.

HABERMAN: I think they were -- I think they--

KEILAR: Maggie Haberman.

HABERMAN: Staggered maybe sure, right. Yes. OK.

KEILAR: Yes. But they were just -- they kept coming and coming.

Maggie Haberman, always great--

HABERMAN: They -- and coming and coming.

KEILAR: That's right. Always great to get your perspective. Thank you so much.

So next, a frosty phone call, between friends, as President Biden warns the Israeli Prime Minister that there are conditions for U.S. support. Do more right now to protect civilians in Gaza or there will be consequences.



KEILAR: Tonight, Israel says it is making changes, to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza, hours after President Biden issued an ultimatum, to Prime Minister Netanyahu, protect civilians in Gaza, or else.

The Israeli security cabinet approved the reopening of the Erez crossing. And this is a critical route that will allow more aid, into decimated northern Gaza. It's the first time that the crossing would be open, since the October 7th Hamas attacks. It is unclear when exactly aid will begin reaching Palestinians.

The White House says it welcomes the news. But it reiterated that U.S. policy would be determined based on Israel's actions. The administration's call for change is following the IDF killing of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers.

But there are still more questions than answers. What will change look like, beyond the opening of a single crossing? How will the U.S. measure if Israel is hitting the mark? And what will the U.S. do, if Israel is not? The White House remains vague and finds itself in a confusing position.

Let's bring in David Axelrod, CNN's Senior Political Commentator, and former Senior Adviser to President Obama, to talk more about this.

David, it appears this was what John Kirby may have been alluding to, at the White House today, this opening of the crossing, when he said that they were expecting Israel to make changes in the coming hours and days.


KEILAR: How much more do you think we should expect?

AXELROD: I really don't know the answer to that Brianna. And it's a really difficult situation.

First of all, as you point out, when these port, these entryways for humanitarian aid are going to open, is one question.

The security of, obviously, the security of these workers, who are delivering this humanitarian aid is another issue that has now become an urgent issue after this tragic killing of the World Central Kitchen workers, over the weekend.

But then there's this big looming issue of Rafah, and the looming plans of the Israelis, to assault Rafah, where over a million Palestinians are now aggregated.

What are the plans for that to minimize the loss of innocent lives? That has been an ongoing discussion, between the administration, and the Israeli leadership, and President Netanyahu, and so -- Prime Minister Netanyahu. And so, these are lingering questions.

And look, the politics of it are so tough because Israel's an ally. They were brutally attacked. Hamas has sworn to their destruction. They do need to defend themselves.

But anyone with a beating heart also looks at those scenes from Gaza, and the things that happened over the weekend, which not only killed seven aid workers, but cut off aid, that because World Central Kitchen withdrew for the time being, and so did other aid groups.

I mean, this is an untenable situation. And the President is caught in the middle of it. And it has created problems for him, within the Democratic coalition, increasingly. But it also has the effect of making him look like he is being --- by Netanyahu, who was using it for his own political purposes. And that is not helpful to the President, in the midst of a reelection campaign, either.

KEILAR: Do you think that Biden was clear with Netanyahu, about the specifics of what has to happen, significantly more so than what we have heard publicly?

AXELROD: I would hope so. I would hope so, because threats, without actionable steps don't really mean very much.

And I presume that not only the opening of these corridors for aid was discussed, but Rafah and other issues, including what happens after the military action is complete. Those are things that have been on the table for a long time.

I hope that they have been much more specific, in their expectations with Netanyahu, than they're sharing with us, because there need to be red lines that he feels he cannot cross. And those haven't been evident so far. KEILAR: We heard sources telling CNN, the U.S. recently authorized the transfer of thousands of weapons to Israel here, in recent days. And that includes these incredibly destructive 2,000-pound bombs, these Mark 84s, as they're known, which CNN had previously linked, to mass casualty airstrikes in Gaza.


Kirby was very quick to highlight that this was a weapons deal, years in the making, just coming to fruition.

But, I mean, you know voters. And I wonder if you think that is enough, for voters, who are not going to make that distinction, if they are opposed to how the U.S. is supporting Israel, at this time.

AXELROD: I think it's hard for people to understand the free-flowing transfer of bombs. F-15 bombers are on the way, if the President has his way.

And here, the objections of the administration to what the Israelis are doing, as they continue to supply the Israelis with what they need. That's why it's such a sticky situation. Because, yes, I think the President wants to ensure that Israel can secure itself, but not at the cost of -- unnecessary costs of thousands and thousands, and thousands of innocent lives. So, it's a problem.

And Congress has a voice in this as well. And they are now raising their voice, including some of his closest allies.

So, there's a lot of pressure on the President here, and he needs to put a lot of pressure on the Prime Minister.

KEILAR: Certainly is, it sounds like.

David Axelrod, thank you so much.

AXELROD: Great to see you, Brianna.

KEILAR: So, for more analysis, on the reality on the ground, and what we are learning, about the tragic Israeli attack that killed the seven aid workers, let's bring in CNN Military Analyst, and retired Air Force Colonel, Cedric Leighton.

This was really quick that the IDF is out, with their preliminary investigation. They're expected to actually publish details of it, into this strike that killed these seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, by tomorrow morning.

I wonder what you think, having seen how quickly this has gone, what you realistically expect to learn.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST, U.S. AIR FORCE (RET.): Yes, not much, actually, Brianna, because it's way too small a timeframe, for there to be an effective investigation, in a situation like this. When an incident of this type occurs, in the U.S. military, and in many other militaries, there's a very thorough investigation that's convened. And that has a lot of different branches and sequels.

And in this particular case, it's fine to issue some preliminary statements. But the way the Israelis are doing this, right now is, I think, more of a PR effort really, to get this out of the way.

I don't think it will be successful, because there're going to be so many more questions, about how this happened, how this could have happened, and what went wrong. And there are going to be a lot of things that they're going to have to answer here.

KEILAR: Do you think we could get some contours, some idea, of how this happened, at the very least? Or do you think that it being rolled out so quickly, could actually endanger that whatever their preliminary findings are, are actually correct, and then the cat is out of the bag?

LEIGHTON: Yes, it could -- I think it's more the latter. I think there could be a real problem with, in essence, prejudicing any type of investigation, any type of through investigation that might come afterwards. So, this is going to be a very difficult thing.

It's important for the Israelis to say something to the public, about what happened, but also to be very accurate, about what they're doing. And in this particular case, we have to be very careful that people don't let the bureaucratic imperative, of covering themselves, in this kind of a situation. We don't let that take over. So, this is going to be, I think, a pretty tough thing for them to do.

KEILAR: A really interesting and quite disturbing new investigation, by +972 Magazine and local call reports that the IDF has been using an AI tool, to help pick bombing targets in Gaza.

It's not -- I mean, listen, this happens. I think that AI is being used by militaries. But this is one that has a 10 percent error rate, and also that it appears military officers were largely rubber- stamping, maybe not sorting out that 10 percent that they needed to.

The journalist behind the report told CNN, describing those officers as trigger happy would be an understatement.

I wonder what your reaction is to this, and what it says about how Israel's prosecuting the war.

LEIGHTON: Yes, I think this is, when you look at this report, from +972, I think there's a real problem here. If it's all accurate, and we have every reason to believe that they certainly did a lot of thorough work in this investigation.

If you use AI tools, you have an obligation, then, to put a human in the loop. And that's really one of the problems with using artificial intelligence in a targeting scenario. The U.S. military is trying to figure out how to do that. And we really haven't come up with a solution, exactly, where to put a human, and how to make things work. Right now, the human is still the one that decides whether or not to hit a certain target. And there's this difference between targets that are strikable that you can hit, and no-strike targets, ones that you're not supposed to hit.

The World Central Kitchen vehicles should have absolutely been something that is off the target list. And they were not, apparently.


KEILAR: Sort of a moving no-strike convoy, if you will.

LEIGHTON: Exactly.

KEILAR: Colonel, thank you so much.

LEIGHTON: You bet, Brianna.

KEILAR: We appreciate it.

LEIGHTON: Absolutely.

KEILAR: To the heist that is really just boggling minds. Burglars break into a money storage facility. There it is. They stole $30 million in cash. They set off no alarms. The crime wasn't even discovered until the next day. And the perps are still at large.

How did they pull it off? Someone with unique first-hand experience, robbing banks, joins us, with his take, next.


KEILAR: Have you seen $30 million? Because that much cash has gone missing, in California. The money was last seen tucked safely away, in an unmarked Los Angeles storage facility, and was taken in an Easter Sunday heist for the ages.


I promise you, this is not some kind of movie promo. Wasn't the Joker. This wasn't Danny Ocean and the gang.

Authorities haven't identified the burglars yet, who somehow came down onto the facility's roof, gained access to the vault, without tripping a single alarm.

Here with us now is someone who knows what it's like, to pull off a robbery, former bank robber and, now, crime analyst, Cain Vincent Dyer.

Such a pleasure to get your insights on this, Cain.

I mean, first off, you've seen the footage. It shows a boarded-up hole that was cracked through on a side wall, of the facility here. How do you think these robbers got inside?

CAIN VINCENT DYER, FORMER BANK ROBBER: Of course, thank you for having me, Brianna.

This is going to be one of those cases, where it will be an absolute surprise, if there is not insider knowledge here. Just the complexity of it, the way they breached this facility, there has to be, the way they surpassed the alarms.

And this is a system that's going to be pretty high tech, you know? That you're securing $30 million-plus is what is believed to have been taken. And so, these guys definitely had a window to the working -- the inner workings here.

We know it's not a bank, or an actual regular depot, like we would think of. This is a building, a facility, where cash from other merchants, from around the community, are brought there, to be divvied out, and sent to other places. So, this is someone, who either has inside information, of those routes, a former employee, or someone actually probably still within the setting there.

KEILAR: So, if it's an inside job, then authorities now have a maybe somewhat limited pool of people to consider. If they narrow it down to that, how do you think the perpetrators here end up getting caught then?

VINCENT DYER: Well, it seems, going off the assumption that this is an inside job, you think it would be a lot easier.

But the 1997 Dunbar armored car heist, where they hit the depot proves to us that just because it's an inside job, that the authorities won't always have the exact knowledge.

And the other case, we have witnesses and employees that knew pretty much that it was a former employee that had been fired. They heard his voice. Yet the authorities, because they didn't have the proper evidence? And this crew was so smart, kind of like this crew here, but they -- these guys had employees that were actually there. They never slipped up for over a year.

So, even though the authorities knew that it was more than likely this suspect, who was a former employee, they couldn't do anything for a year. They were almost left to shut the case, until one of those crew members made a mistake.

So, I really believe, because of the escape here, them getting clean away, that's what we're going to end up probably finding is going to happen. One of these guys are going to have to mess up, down the line.

KEILAR: OK. Well, let's say that they don't. Let's say this is your job, Cain, and you are in charge of trying to figure out who did it, and you don't want to wait for someone to mess up or to slip up. I mean, where would you start?

VINCENT DYER: Well, I would absolutely start with everyone that had some type of access not just to the facility, because that could be a bigger pool, but especially had access and knowledge of the protocols, of where that vault was held. That's a very specific. It's going to be someone that had absolute knowledge of the vault system, the make, the model, the timing, the best time to hit it.

And these guys really did their homework. They left no witnesses. They did it in the middle of the night. And we can't even figure out which way they breached, whether it was the ceiling or the wall. So these guys knew what they were doing.

So, it had to be someone that has full knowledge of the protocols, not just a delivery person, or someone who worked in an office, who knew the money was being held there. This has to be someone with absolute specific information.

KEILAR: As you say, you are America's Most Wanted bank robber, giving us your insights here, as we try to figure out just really an unbelievable situation.

Cain Vincent Dyer, thank you so much.

VINCENT DYER: Thank you for having me, Brianna.


KEILAR: So, to a different kind of disappearing act. The sun's about to go missing, across North America, turning day into night briefly, during Monday's total solar eclipse. And that could set off another phenomenon, which is how animals could react, during the cosmic event.

But first, two decades ago, the Columbia space shuttle launched a team of seven astronauts into space, for 16 days in orbit, with their families and loved ones, eagerly waiting for their return to Earth, which would sadly never come.

The new CNN Original Series "SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA: THE FINAL FLIGHT," looks at footage, shot by the astronauts, while in orbit, testimony from the crew's family members, and key players at NASA, and also journalists, who were on the ground covering the story as it happened.

Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seven astronauts setting off on a scientific mission.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, everybody. High-five.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were doing great.

SANDRA HAWKINS ANDERSON, WIFE OF STS-107 MISSION SPECIALIST MICHAEL ANDERSON: I didn't know at the time that anything concerning had happened. There were people that did though.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They started quickly playing the launch play, and that was when we saw it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One can't help but ask, is that part of the wing coming apart?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did not know what the problem was. You don't want to alarm the crew, until we get a handle on this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Columbia, Houston, comm check.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But we hear nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you work in human spaceflight, this is the worst possible thing that can ever happen.

SEN. MARK KELLY (D-AZ): The space shuttle accident is usually not one thing. It's a series of events.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You follow the debris. What's it telling you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should have had that test on day one.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being an astronaut was something that we always called a calculated risk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Humans are explorers.

KAYCEE ANDERSON, MICHAEL PHILLIP ANDERSON'S DAUGHTER: My dad chose a profession that is dangerous, and he was like "But we don't want to be fearful about it." He died doing what he loved.






KEILAR: Next week's solar eclipse is already driving people crazy. But it's about to get really wild for animals, across the U.S. Seriously. Wildlife, zoo animals, household pets, they're known to do some pretty weird stuff, when the moon totally blocks out the sun.

During the last American eclipse, in 2017, you see them there, flamingos at Nashville Zoo, huddling together super-close, and then the typically lazy lemurs actually paced around their enclosure.

Here to get wild tonight, we have veterinary behaviorist at Ohio State's College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. M. Leanne Lilly.

All right, Dr. Lilly, what other weird wild animal behaviors happen, when the moon blocks out the sun?

DR. M. LEANNE LILLY, BEHAVIORIST, OHIO STATE COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE: Yes, so it depends a lot on the species and certainly on the individuals themselves.

There are reports of Galapagos tortoises suddenly mating spontaneously, during eclipses, which is not their normal forte.

Giraffes, at least at one zoo, were reported to all become suddenly very much animated, and running around. And giraffes are generally slower-paced animals unless they perceive a threat.

The drop in temperature, and possibly the darkness, may trigger some animals, particularly invertebrates, to start nighttime behaviors. So, decreases in bee activity, butterflies decreasing their activity. Conversely, crickets have been recorded, to spike in their vocalizations and sound-making, at this time. So, it's going to be a potentially widespread.

Very commonly, birds are reported to roost.

And we don't have as much data on dogs and cats. And that may happen to be partially because they're mostly tuned into our schedules, rather than a strict daylight schedule. But that doesn't mean that things might not be different.

Also, we know that when we humans act differently, sometimes, our companion animals find that pretty anxiety-producing. So, in those situations, we need to be aware of how we're impacting our pets.

KEILAR: Yes, that's a good point.

OK, so there's a bunch of zoos in the path of this eclipse. Sometimes, you see animals, showing signs, when an earthquake or a tsunami is coming. So, I wonder, can these lions, tigers and bears sense that this is approaching? Or is there something that they might feel that we don't? Because maybe we're a little more tuned out to some of nature's cues?

LILLY: Sure, that's a great question. And it can be pretty hard to answer that, because we're very much often limited to what we can measure. And often what we think to measure is what we can sense.

Certainly, there are actually groups who do things like study the geomagnetic fields, during eclipses, and it would be fascinating to get those and us in the same room, and see what we can find out.

But two, we have to remember that many of these animals, especially prey animals, are very finely-tuned into smells, and sounds, and things like wind patterns that we ignore all the time. And so, what to us might seem like a spooky Sixth Sense might be a phenomenally better sense of hearing, or a better sense of smell.

And so, when you get multiple signals that all say something is different, something that's happening, or maybe it's nighttime, crickets, birds, drop in temperature, suddenly dark, or starting to get dark? All of those may make a very different picture, to an animal that has a different sensory set than it does to us.

They also haven't spent the last couple of weeks, hyping this up for themselves. So, they don't know that it's coming the same way we are all getting really excited about it. So, I think, any of those range of responses--


LILLY: --could potentially be at play.


KEILAR: Yes. Very good point. But maybe they know that we are hyped up. As you said, these domesticated animals do sort of play off of our behaviors. So, we'll have to see.

Dr. Lilly, so great to talk to you. I know a lot of people are curious about this.

LILLY: Thank you.

KEILAR: All right. Get your viewing glasses ready. You will join me, hopefully, and Boris Sanchez, for CNN's live coverage, of the "ECLIPSE ACROSS AMERICA." That's going to start, Monday, at 1 Eastern. Or you can stream on it on Max as well.

And thank you for joining us.