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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

How Trump Feels About Seven Jurors Seated: "I'll Let You Know In About Two Months"; Trump Promises To Continue Fight Against The Judge; Biden Mocks Trump Over "Truth Social" Stock Collapse. Aired 9- 10p ET

Aired April 16, 2024 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The reason he says is because she, quote, "Withheld information from Senator Menendez or otherwise led him to believe that nothing unlawful was taking place," end quote.

He also says that if there is a joint trial, and he chooses not to testify against his wife, that would force him to hold back testimony that would exonerate him.

Now, the Senator has denied wrongdoing, pled not guilty to all charges. The trial is scheduled to begin next month.

The news continues. "THE SOURCE" starts now. I'll see you tomorrow.

SARA SIDNER, CNN HOST: Straight from THE SOURCE tonight.

That was fast. Seven jurors have been chosen in Donald Trump's first criminal trial.

On day two, a sharp warning to the former President, from the judge, don't even think about intimidating potential jurors, after the judge saw Trump muttering and gesturing, in close proximity, to a potential juror.

And what is it like to be in that jury pool, with the former President turned defendant, watching your every move, as you are being considered to decide his fate. My source, tonight, will tell us all about it.

I'm Sara Sidner, in for Kaitlan Collins tonight. And this is THE SOURCE.

An immigrant from Ireland; an oncology nurse; a corporate lawyer; a grandfather from Puerto Rico; a young English teacher; a recent college grad; and a civil litigator. Seven strangers, who have at least two things now in common. They all live in the New York City borough of Manhattan, and they're all seated on the jury that will decide if Donald Trump should be a convicted felon.

That's more than half of the jurors they need for a jury of 12, plus about six alternates. They are yet to be chosen.

And make no mistake. This judge is wasting no time moving things along. Yet another thing that has Donald Trump really unhappy.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to continue our fight against this judge. We think he's totally conflicted.

We're having a hard time with the New York State system. It's under watch by the whole world. And it's not looking very good. So, we think we have a very conflicted, highly conflicted judge. He shouldn't be on the case. And he's rushing this trial.


SIDNER: Different day, same false accusations about the judge, outside of court, from Donald Trump.

Now, inside the court, there were clashes over the social media posts of potential jurors, the Trump team alleging bias against the defendant, some New Yorkers were immediately dismissed over their past posts.

Another questioned intensely, about a video she posted, after the 2020 election was called for Joe Biden. That elicited a response from Trump, who apparently muttered something about it, and visibly reacted gesturing. That earned him an admonishment from the judge, who told Trump's lawyer that he won't have any jurors intimidated in the courtroom.

Now, inside court, the former President was said to be watching the potential jurors very intently, sizing up the jury pool.

And after court today, this is what he said.


REPORTER: How do you feel about the seven jurors that were selected today?

TRUMP: I'll let you know in about two months.


SIDNER: Our next source, tonight, was inside that courtroom. Kara McGee spent two days as a potential juror, just a few feet from Donald Trump, until she was dismissed.

Kara, thank you so much for being here.

First of all, how did they identify you in the court? What did they give you, when you first walked in?

KARA MCGEE, DISMISSED JUROR IN DONALD TRUMP TRIAL: So, this was part of the initial jury summons that I got in the mail. They tore off the rest of it, the, like form that we filled out, and they left us these, to identify ourselves with, when we got into court. So, they -- they blacked out our names to be anonymous, and then they identified us by these letters.

SIDNER: OK. So, you've got -- they're calling you by B, whatever it is.

MCGEE: B-377.

SIDNER: OK. So, you are B-377 instead of your full name.


SIDNER: Because you're supposed to be anonymous.

MCGEE: Correct.

SIDNER: So that you don't face threats from the public or otherwise.


SIDNER: At what point did you realize that you were walking into what is a historic case, against a former President, the very first criminal trial, of a former U.S. President?

MCGEE: So, I had known that this was around the time that they were selecting the Trump jurors. Because when I got the jury summons, I texted my mom, I have jury duty on Tax Day. That's funny. And she said, oh, I think that's when they're picking the Trump jurors. So, I knew that it was a possibility.

There was a line around the block of jurors, when I got there. But of course, it's Manhattan. There's always a million things going on. So, I was like, I might be in a trial down the hall.

We were put into a jury holding room that was full of people. There were, I want to say, 200 of us in there. And just from that number of people, I was like, this might be Trump. There are so many.

But it wasn't until the first group of us were actually brought into the courtroom, and I saw him that I was sure.


SIDNER: Can you give me a sense of what it was like? What did it feel like, being in that sort of room, before you went into court, and then walking into court?

MCGEE: Sure. So, in the room, before we were brought into court, and this was kind of the sense, the whole day, people were really not talking to each other, as much as I expected.

There seemed to be a sense of none of us really knew what the protocols were, in the situation, whether we were allowed to say, hey, do you think we're on the Trump trial? There was, it seemed like there was maybe a worry that if we spoke to anyone, we would be dismissed, for knowing too much about it or something.

SIDNER: Were there nerves? And was it uneasy, sort of a quiet uneasiness, like not knowing exactly how to handle?

MCGEE: Definitely. I think we were also not really sure when any of the action would start, I think. Because there were so many of us, we were expecting to maybe just sit in the holding room for a week, and then be told that the jury was picked, and we would go home, so.

SIDNER: Wow. OK. So, what did you observe? You're in there. You're a few feet away from former President Donald Trump. What did you observe about his demeanor?

MCGEE: Sure. So walking in is, there's this -- you walk in, and you see him and you realize you're on the Trump trial. And at the same time, these two kind of very contrasting feelings hit you.

One, where you get the sense of how historic this is, as you were saying, and how you are now a piece of history. Even if you're dismissed, you are here, you experience this moment that is unlike anything else that has happened before. So, it's this huge gravitas.

And at the same time, you see him in-person, which I had never seen him in-person, of course, and you realize he's just a dude. And then, you go and sit in the jury box, and you're 30 feet away from him. And he's just looking at everyone, as they answer questions about him.

SIDNER: What does it feel like? You're sitting there, and the former President is looking at you. You know some of the rhetoric that has been used by him, or he's gone after the judge, and the attorneys. Did you sort of know about him, and some of his personality and antics, before you walked into court?

MCGEE: So, his personality on this specific case? No.

But about him and his public persona? Yes. And I think that's one really unique thing about this case is that as an American, as you know, most people in the world, who have seen any form of news, you can't really go into it without prior opinions.

Even if you're not invested, it's just, we have heard so much about him, and seen so much of him in the media that we all have an impression of him already walking in.

SIDNER: Right.

MCGEE: So, being across from someone, who has been just so present, in everyone's atmosphere, for so long, and then having that person watch you answer questions about them, is surreal.

SIDNER: Surreal nerve-wracking, or did you just sort of feel like this is really odd, but it wasn't scary?

MCGEE: It -- so, kind of both.

SIDNER: Right.

MCGEE: When we -- when we first were brought into the courtroom, they -- the judge went through kind of his description, of what it means to be a good juror, and what it means to be fair and impartial, and stick to this case and the evidence regarding this case, and not allow your prior impressions of this person, to influence your decision.

And then, he asked for people to raise their hands, if they thought that they for any reason would not be able to be impartial. And a good number of people raised their hands, and were dismissed at that point, so.

SIDNER: Why were you dismissed?

MCGEE: Sorry?

SIDNER: Why were you dismissed?

MCGEE: So, I got up to the jury box. And it did seem, to go back to your earlier question, it seemed like once you were in the jury box, you had made an agreement with the judge, and I guess with the legal system overall, that if they thought you were the best person, to be sitting in this seat, on the jury, that you were going to do the best you could, to uphold what the legal process is supposed to be, and give whoever might be sitting in the defendant's chair, the right to a fair trial.

So, while on the one hand, it was a little nerve-wracking, to sit right across from someone, whose fate you would have a hand in deciding.


On the other hand, it was a sense of through living in this country, and having the right to a fair trial, myself, if I ever needed it, or if someone I know and care about ever needed it, it is, I have accepted my duty to uphold that.

SIDNER: So, you felt like you could be a fair and impartial juror, but ultimately, were dismissed. Why do you think you were dismissed?

MCGEE: Correct.

So, I thought about it a lot overnight, because I didn't -- I wasn't -- I didn't answer the questionnaire yesterday. They didn't get to me yet. I slept on it. And I was thinking, given my prior exposure to media on Trump, would I be able to be fair and impartial?

And I, because the right to a fair trial is so important to me, I decided that yes, I could consider simply the evidence presented, in this case, as the judge told us to, and simply decide whether I thought that given the evidence, was this person, who happens to be Donald Trump, guilty of this particular crime that he was accused of.

SIDNER: You sound like you would be the perfect juror.


SIDNER: So, what happened? MCGEE: Well, I -- I was really hoping to get on the case. And then, yesterday, at some point, when we, the jurors, were beginning to be interviewed, the judge mentioned that the case would go at least six weeks, and now people are saying probably a good deal longer. It's 9 in the morning to about 5 in the evening, every day.

And I went through, answered all of the jury questions out loud. And the final question on the jury questionnaire was something along the lines of, and I don't remember the exact wording, but it was, is there anything that this questionnaire has not asked, that you think might impact your ability to be a good juror? If so, please share it with us, or something.

And I said, due to the nature of my job, it's difficult for me to do my job fully, only in the 5 PM to whatever PM hours that I would have, for this long. And I was excused after that. That was the last question. So, I don't know if prior questions also had been asked (ph).

SIDNER: So, you think that that was probably it, because it would affect your -- you financially, and make this really almost impossible for your life?

MCGEE: I would assume that that was why, yes.

SIDNER: Well, it's really fascinating that you got to sit there. And it was historic, whether you're on the jury or not, as you said it.


SIDNER: So, Kara McGee, thank you so much.

MCGEE: Of course.

SIDNER: Appreciate it.


SIDNER: All right. I want to bring in a pair of our best legal sources.

Temidayo Aganga-Williams is a former Senior Investigative Counsel for the January 6 committee.

And Jennifer Rodgers is a former federal prosecutor, and CNN Legal Analyst.

Thank you both for being here.

I just have to thank Kara McGee again, for coming in, and sort of explaining what that was like, because she said it was scary, it was nerve-wracking. But she wanted to be on the jury. It just didn't work out for her life.

Temidayo, I want to start with you. There are seven people that are on this jury. Many legal analysts said

this is going to take weeks, to get this jury. The judge is now saying he believes that potentially Monday, they'll have the entire jury seated.

What does this pace tell you?

TEMIDAYO AGANGA-WILLIAMS, FORMER SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE COUNSEL, JAN. 6 COMMITTEE: I think it tells you that Judge Merchan is fully in control of his courtroom. And that's what we've seen. He has moved this process along efficiently. And I think it bodes well that this entire trial is going to be run quite well by the judge.

We saw today that the time when the former President, at one point, started speaking and gesturing. And, the judge did what any judge does, which is to reprimand a defendant, saying you cannot do that.

So, I think if he continues with what he's -- we've seen thus far, this is going to be a quick case. And he's not going to allow either the government or the defense or the former President to really run this off the train tracks. So, I think it's a good sign.

SIDNER: OK. I want to talk about these jurors. They are supposed to be anonymous. And that is because of the huge pretrial publicity, and because of potential threats that we've seen in other cases.

So, let's talk about what we do know about them, now that they have gone through this process. There are of course, seven jurors. And here are some of the details that we heard out of court.

Juror one will be the foreperson. He's a man from Ireland, who works in sales. He gets his news from The New York Times, Daily Mail, Fox and MSNBC.

Juror number two is a native New Yorker, who works as an oncology nurse, and is a New York Times reader, and CNN watcher.

Juror three is a corporate lawyer from Oregon.

Juror four is an older Puerto Rican man, who owns an IT business, who says Trump makes things interesting.

And juror five is a young Black woman, who's a charter school English teacher, unmarried with no children.

Juror six, a young software engineer, who lives with three roommates, in Lower Manhattan.

And juror seven, a civil litigator, who says he has political views of the Trump presidency.


These jurors are supposed to be of course, anonymous. And you hear all of these details. And I'm wondering, to you, Jennifer, if it reveals who they are. Because if you happen to be this IT businessman, or the African

American teacher, at a charter school, the people that work around you, could probably figure this out pretty quickly, if you're going to be out for six weeks.

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. And it started kind of bubbling up on formerly Twitter, X, earlier about all these details that were coming out, and also, the social media posts that the defense were bringing in, and reading out loud.

These people might be able to be identified, which, of course, goes against the whole purpose of the anonymous jury. So, I really do hope that Judge Merchan does whatever he needs to do, to try to make sure that these people stay anonymous.

But it's an interesting jury. It's a heavily professional jury. So that so far is very interesting. Usually, you see a lot more kind of lower-level government employees. So, I'm interested in that aspect of it. So, I'm looking forward to seeing who the other five are, for sure.

SIDNER: So, as they go through this, each, the prosecutor, and the Trump's legal team, the defense team, has 10 strikes. 10 people, they can say, for no reason at all, or for whatever reason, we don't want this person on the jury. They've each already used six.

Temidayo, what do you think? Is there a clearer picture of who is getting the better jury? Or does this seem like this could go either way, so far?

AGANGA-WILLIAMS: I think it's never clear. This is always picking an art. And everyone who has ever picked a jury, if you get the result, the verdict you want, then all of a sudden, you look back and say, I really know how to pick a jury. And if it goes the other way, then it's a jury's fault. So, I think it's really hard to tell at this point.

But I do think it's interesting with the professional jury here, because it's a somewhat of a technical case, right? This is not a case, where we simply say, did they commit a murder? Did they rob the bank? Yes or no? It's a case where you're talking about documents, where you're talking about, you prove a business fraud, and then you reference a separate crime.

So, I think it's possible that a professional background jury here could be a positive for the prosecution, because you're going to have lawyers, on the jury--


AGANGA-WILLIAMS: --you could perhaps self-explain the statutes.


AGANGA-WILLIAMS: So, I do think that if there was some reading the tea leaves, I might point to that. But otherwise, it's really, really hard to tell, because another dynamic is, how do they interact with each other? Because it's a group dynamic situation, they're going to go back there, and they're going to be talking and deliberating. They're going to be setting up alliances. They're going to be supporting each other, undercutting each other. So, a lot of it is not just who's on the jury, but how they interact with each other.

SIDNER: I do want to ask you about -- you mentioned the social media posts. And in every case that I've seen, including the January 6 cases, in federal court, they went through the social media of each and every person thoroughly, to see if there was any bias there.

Can you just sort of describe how this works? And is this sort of the new way to suss out, whether someone can't actually be fair, and partial?

RODGERS: Well, certainly, when you have someone like Donald Trump, who everyone will have posted about on social media, right?

So yes, I was not at all surprised to hear that when it was time for the for cause challenges, they came in with reams of paper saying, we've gone through all the social media feeds that are public, of all of these people, and we want to complain about this guy, and that woman and so on, because we think they're biased, even though they didn't admit to be biased. So, I do think that's a new way they're doing these things.

Some of the times, Judge Merchan said, OK, yes, that post I think does evidence enough of a bias for me, to dismiss the prospective juror. Other times he said, no, that's not enough. So, I think he actually did a really good job of kind of towing the right line there--


RODGERS: --and being fair to both sides.

But yes, that is absolutely the new normal, everyone. Do you want to be a juror? Be careful what you post on social media.

SIDNER: Yes, it is really interesting. People forget they can look back years. And they did.

I want to talk about one of the things that we heard in court, about social media, to you, Temidayo.

Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche, grilled some of the potential jurors, pressing them on their old social media posts.

And Blanche pressed one juror on a post, calling Trump's travel ban, unlawful, which prompted this reaction from Judge Merchan. He said, "If it ended there, I wouldn't really have a problem with it... then [the post] continues" saying, "'get him out' and 'lock him up.'"

And Merchan struck the juror for cause, but not before saying that everyone knows Trump could potentially be locked up, if he's convicted in this case. This is his first criminal trial.

What do you make of how the judge sort of dealt with that particular case? And is it a signal to everybody else about what could happen to them?

AGANGA-WILLIAMS: Well, I think, one, I think he was fair. I mean, I think what we saw in both with what Jen mentioned is that he's not looking to strike jurors, just for having opinions. He's looking to strike them if they can't be fair. And I think that's a good sign going forward.

SIDNER: Yes. Even if they say they can be fair, if they look back on their social media, and they see some of these things, there's going to be a problem.


SIDNER: Temidayo Aganga-Williams, thank you so much, as well, as you Jennifer Rodgers. Appreciate you guys being here this evening.


All right. Trump's promising to continue fighting the judge, on this case, not a surprise, who is already not having it, when it comes to potential intimidation of jurors and witnesses, scolding Trump on day two of the trial. We'll dig into that dynamic, with a former judge ahead.

Plus, is the Supreme Court getting ready to toss out a key charge, used to prosecute hundreds of rioters on January 6? And what that might mean in one of Trump's criminal cases.


SIDNER: Two days into Donald Trump's first criminal trial, and he's already facing the threat of punishment, if the judge determines he already violated the gag order, put in place, to stop him from attacking trial participants, including witnesses.


He's also been warned about his behavior, inside the courtroom, where as we've reported, the judge was not happy with him muttering near a juror.

Outside the courtroom, over the last days and weeks, muttering hasn't been the issue at all. The message has been clear.


TRUMP: We are going to continue our fight against this judge.


TRUMP: We have a judge who is absolutely out of place. He should not be allowed to do it. (AUDIENCE CHEERS)

TRUMP: I have a Trump-hating judge, with a Trump-hating wife and family.

He's totally conflicted. There's never been a judge more conflicted than this one.


SIDNER: All right. That is how Donald Trump has been describing the judge, over and over and over again.

I am joined now by Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell, a retired judge, who spent 19 years on the bench, in the State of California.

Thank you so much for joining us.


SIDNER: Given that you can see Donald Trump's clear and present animosity, towards the judge in this case.

If you were on the bench, in this case, with the world looking at every detail, how would you make it clear that you can be fair, but also that the former President, known for improper court behavior, has to follow the same rules as every other criminal defendant?

HAZZARD CORDELL: Well, I give Judge Merchan, on a scale of one to 10, he's a 10.

He's doing a terrific job of doing just what you described, maintaining control, but also saying you're not going to act out in my courtroom. So, when Donald Trump acted out, and actually said something, muttered something that was negative, toward a prospective juror, the judge jumped right on it.

But imagine, imagine if Donald Trump couldn't control himself, in that respect? When people he despises, Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels, take the witness stand? He has to sit there, quietly, not say anything, show no emotion. And I can tell you now, he is going to act out.

So, it'll be up to the judge. And I'm sure Judge Merchan has thought about this, to do something to say, you're not going to act this way, in this courtroom.

And I will tell you. If I were the trial judge, I know what I'd do. If he started to act out, I would stop, have the jurors taken out, and I would have Mr. Trump escorted into a nearby room, where there would be a monitor, where he could watch and listen to the cross-examination and direct examination of the witness.

And then, when that witness was done, I'd bring him back out. Sort of like a timeout room. And then, I'd bring him back in. And if he started to act out with the next witness, I'd take him back for another timeout.

SIDNER: So, you're saying that basically, it's legally appropriate, or OK, because he has to be in court, he has to be able to face the charges against him, and the witnesses who are up against him. But he could be in a different room. In other words, they could show him the trial, and then bring him back in?

HAZZARD CORDELL: Oh, absolutely. And again, if he is disruptive in the courtroom, what you cannot do? And this was done back in the day in this trial of the Chicago 7, where Bobby Seale was gagged in front of the jury. And you can't do that.

So, if you want to maintain control, then, put him in a place, where he can hear everything, can communicate with the lawyers. But give him a timeout. I guarantee you, he'll learn. And if not, he'll spend that time sitting in a timeout room.

SIDNER: Yes, this is really fascinating. Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell, really appreciate you sort of explaining that, as someone who's been on the bench, for such a long time.

And we're just reminding people, look, this is the former President, yes. But he's also the person, who is going to be the Republican nominee for president for 2024, and during that campaign season. And so, this is just a fascinating moment in our history, to see him going to a criminal trial, every day, to watch this all happen, is unprecedented.

Judge, thank you so much for being here.


SIDNER: Now, this is going to be a long few weeks, potentially months, and some of it won't be G-rated. We're going to break down what this case is all about. And it's much more than an alleged affair and payment to a porn star.



SIDNER: This, picture here, how Donald Trump will spend his days, for at least the next few weeks. He will be required to sit behind a criminal defense table, the first former President to do so because, of course, he's the first to ever be charged criminally.

The truth is there are a heck of a lot of elements to this case.

You'll hear about affairs, tabloids, a porn star, a Playmate and secret schemes. There are payoffs, cover-ups, turncoats, and lies, according to the prosecution.

You'll see the underbelly of campaigns, elections, and yes, the media.

But in the end, this case really does come down to just a couple of things. Bookkeeping, and you, the voter. Let me explain. First up, the bookkeeping. Here's how one of Donald

Trump's current attorneys described it.


WILL SCHARF, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: This case is about business records charges. The question is whether business records, relating to payments made to Michael Cohen, were misrecorded.


SIDNER: Those payments, we know, came directly from Donald Trump. He signed the checks. We've seen them.

And while he was President, Trump signed a financial disclosure form that he quote, "Fully reimbursed... Cohen in 2017."

As for how the money got from Trump to Cohen, here's how the D.A. describes a scheme, to pay hush money, to Stormy Daniels. Quote, "Each check was disguised as a payment for legal services."

Former President Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, described it this way.



RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: They funneled it through the law firm.

Funneled it through the law firm, and the President repaid it.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Oh, I didn't know that he did.


SIDNER: About those legal services, Cohen was apparently performing, Rudy Giuliani went on to say this.


GIULIANI: When I heard Cohen's retainer of $35,000, when he was doing no work for the President. I said, well that's how he's repaying -- that's how he's repaying it, with a little profit, and a little margin, for paying taxes. For Michael.


SIDNER: It's not like this was going on behind Donald Trump's back. He knew about the arrangement, with David Pecker and the National Enquirer, to bury negative stories about him ahead of the election.

Trump is on tape, discussing how they killed the story of his alleged affair with Karen McDougal, and with his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen. That conversation now a key witness in the case against him. Listen.


MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend, David, you know, so that -- I'm going to do that right away. I've actually come up and I've spoken--

TRUMP: Give it to me and (inaudible).

COHEN: And I've spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with

TRUMP: So, what do we got to pay for this? One-fifty?

COHEN: funding. Yes. Um, and it's all the stuff.


SIDNER: All right. So now this is where you, the voter, come in, because without you, this would be a misdemeanor case.

The reason this is a felony, with potential jail time, is because of what prosecutors describe as a scheme to keep voters, from ever knowing that a porn star, and a Playboy Playmate, claimed Trump cheated on his wife with them.

And despite Trump's claims to the contrary, bringing this charge as a felony, actually happens a lot in New York. Records show felony charges of falsifying business records were brought more than 9,000 times, in New York, between 2015 and when Donald Trump was indicted.

As for the paper trail, on that scheme, there's a treasure trove of texts and phone records, showing Cohen working directly with the campaign, to keep an eye out for the stories, including text to Hope Hicks, where they discussed how the McDougal story was, quote, "Getting little" traction, and that quote, "It's working." We even know that Trump was on those phone calls.

Now, Donald Trump denies all of this. But in the end, all that effort, eight years ago, to keep those stories from coming out, just before an election, all but ensures you, the voter, will be seeing wall-to-wall coverage of every salacious detail, just as Donald Trump asks you to send him back to the White House.

Here with me now. Ashley Allison, CNN Political Commentator, and former White House Senior Policy Adviser, under President Obama; as well as CNN's Senior Political Commentator, Ana Navarro.

Thank you, ladies, for being here.

Allison, I want to start first, talking about the voters.

The latest New York Times poll looked at where women are in this. And women were twice as likely as men to see the charges in this case as very serious, which mirrors what we saw, in 2018, when all this start to come out, when these stories were all over the place. His approval rating with women, if you take a look at this, were 20 points lower than with men.

So, as we're getting this sort of daily input and deluge of the salacious details, of alleged sexual encounters, and cheating, and cover-up, do you think women are going to respond to this, at the polls, this time? Or is this something that like we've already heard, we already have made up our minds, this is old hat?

ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, we know, right now, women are an animated portion of the electorate, because of the policy issues, case in point, Roe v. Wade being overturned. So, it's already an engaged electorate, figuring out how they're going to engage in this election cycle.

You said they already heard. But they actually didn't hear everything, in 2016, when they went to the polls. And so now, what is happening to Donald Trump is exactly what this case is alleging he tried to prevent, women being fully informed about his behavior, where he had an affair with his wife, and another woman.

And women are thinking, what type of man is this? Is this the type of person with the character I want to be in the White House? And I think some women particularly, hopefully, the 53 percent of White women, who supported Donald Trump in 2016, will allow abortion as well as this issue should be a determining factor to say he is not fit for this job.

SIDNER: And this case really is about falsifying records, like none of that other stuff has anything to do with it, except for the fact that this is how we got to this point, and that it speaks to intent.

Ana Navarro, I'm curious about a couple things.



NAVARRO: And it's about campaign contribution, right?

SIDNER: Right.

NAVARRO: In kind, campaign contribution.

SIDNER: Right, right.

NAVARRO: Unreported.

SIDNER: Correct.

So, I have a question for you. His wife, Melania Trump, not with him. We've not seen her yet near the -- near the court, in this criminal case, first ever of a former President. What does that tell you?

[21:40:00] NAVARRO: Well, it's not just about this case, right? He's now been charged in four different cases. And she has been nowhere to be seen. Frankly, his daughter, who used to be by his side constantly, is nowhere to be seen either, trying to reinvent herself in Miami Beach.

Melania, we all remember, when this story first broke, how mad she was, how she took off to Mar-a-Lago, was in a spa for days, and only came back for the State of the Union, where she rode in a different car. And she was clearly angry.

Look, there's going to be, I think, a, yes, this is rehash. Yes, we know this happened. But Donald Trump is still denying it.

SIDNER: Right.

NAVARRO: And I think in part, he denies it to save face with voters, and to save face with his wife.

So now, for the first time that we're going to hear Stormy Daniels testify about this in a court of law. And I think the level of public embarrassment, for a wife, who was newly married? They'd only been married for about a year--

SIDNER: Right.

NAVARRO: --when he met Stormy Daniels, who had just given birth. I mean, his son was something like 4-months-old, when he started this affair, when this was happening.

I think that's going to be incredibly hurtful, embarrassing, humiliating. And I don't think you're going to see Melania anywhere around.

SIDNER: Yes. And--

NAVARRO: We haven't seen her in the campaign trail already.


SIDNER: Right. And it's -- it would be -- it's hard for women to listen to this, and imagine themselves in the position, if all of this was going on, which of course, Donald Trump denies.

I just want to ask the both of you. And in this case, and I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I'm doing it, if he is actually convicted? I mean, the judge has been very clear. This could be jail time, right? How do you see this playing out?

I mean, this, you know, there are people out there talking about civil war over him, and what is happening with him. And he is egging people on, saying he's the victim here and then the system is going after him.

What are your thoughts?

ALLISON: Well, whether or not he'll have jail time will be a serious, I think, a deciding factor of how people respond.

He's already been found liable and guilty of other things. And we haven't had a civil war yet. So hopefully, he's responsible with his language. He hasn't been proven to do so, to date.

But I think that if he actually goes to jail, tensions in our country could get really high.

NAVARRO: I would be shocked if he actually goes to jail. I would find it shocking, given that he's, you know, this is a first offense, and all of these other things.

I have kind of lost hope that it's going to make any difference with Republican voters. I've even lost hope that it makes any difference with evangelical voters. If you heard this man boast about grabbing women by the privates, and it didn't matter on how you voted? I'm not sure this is going to make that much of a change.

I do think it may affect independent voters, and folks that are not yet decided.

SIDNER: If it is as tight as the polls say it is? That could be a difference. But we will have to wait and see.

Thank you ladies, both Ashley Allison, and Ana Navarro. I appreciate you coming in, this evening.


NAVARRO: Thank you.

SIDNER: All right, next, some of the convicted January 6 rioters are reportedly being led out of jail early, because of a challenge that has made its way all the way the Supreme Court. We'll explain how that case could also have an impact on the federal case against Donald Trump.



SIDNER: While Donald Trump sat in the New York courtroom, watching the jury in his first criminal case be selected.

In Washington, D.C., the Supreme Court's conservative majority seems skeptical of how a federal law was used to prosecute January 6 rioters. It could have major implications, for about 350 people charged with obstructing official proceedings in the Capitol attack.

The law was enacted in the wake of the Enron scandal, decades ago. The defendant, a former Pennsylvania police officer, and Capitol rioter, who brought today's case, argues it was intended to stop evidence tampering, not about rioting.

Joining me now is Andrew McCabe, former FBI Director -- Deputy Director, and CNN's Senior Law Enforcement Analyst. I almost gave you a new title there, Andy.

But I want to talk to you about this, because it is quite fascinating what's happening. There are about 350 Capitol rioters charged under this law. There are people, who have already been convicted under this law, about 100 or so whoever received prison sentences.

I mean, if the court decides that this charge does not stand, how much of a blow is that to the DOJ?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Sara, it's a huge blow either way, right? As you've just detailed, there's a lot of work that's been put into charging and prosecuting many, many, you know, several hundred defendants in the January's -- involved in January 6.

And so, if the court rules that you can't use the statute, in this way, on these facts, then that's going to force the Department to go back and reevaluate a lot of those convictions -- excuse me.

Many of those people were also convicted for other crimes as well. So, it won't simply result in the vacating their convictions entirely. Some folks, that you mentioned, have already been sentenced on convictions, for these counts.

So, it's very complicated. It's hard to say from this perspective, exactly how that will play out. But the entirety of it will depend on how broadly or narrowly the court renders their decision.

SIDNER: Yes, it is a fascinating charge. I know that that charge was involved in the cases, I watched, which was the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, those charges were in there as well. But there were many other charges that they face like, like this police officer, for example, whose case has gone to the Supreme Court.

The justices seem to be really focused just on the legal and tactical debate before them, not what happened that day. And the conservatives on the court seem to be leaning towards saying the obstruction charges don't apply.


How do you see this, playing out politically? And for those, who this is the only charge, does it mean that people will get out of jail?

MCCABE: It is entirely possible. But again, it comes down to what the opinion actually says.

So on one extreme, they can say that the statute is overly broad, declare it unconstitutional, and then anyone convicted under the statute would have an opportunity to challenge their conviction.

I think the far more likely decision is that they will say that the statute, as applied on these facts, the facts presented from Mr. Fischer and therefore, similar to facts that many other January 6 defendants would be able to present, it's overly broad in those circumstances.

So would effect -- it wouldn't throw the statute out entirely. But it would prohibit its use for people, who simply entered the Capitol, on January 6th, and didn't engage in other criminal activity.

And yes, if you were convicted only on this statute, and it's ruled that it can't apply in these circumstances? Those convictions would be vacated, and they'd be led out of prison.

SIDNER: OK. Can you give us a sense of how this particular case, on this particular obstruction charge, will affect Trump's January 6 case, the federal case?

MCCABE: My guess here is it won't affect Trump's case very much, because if they let the statute stand, and it's intended for him, that is in the white-collar context, it's a statute that targets people who essentially use documents to obstruct an official proceeding.

In Trump's indictment, if you take the indictment on its face, they've alleged that he actually used documents to obstruct the official proceeding. Those would be, of course, the false elector certificates and things like that.

So, I think there's likely enough facts in Trump's indictment, that whatever happens here, he's probably still looking at these charges.

SIDNER: It's fascinating to watch all of this happening, the Supreme Court very busy, with very many cases, involving Donald Trump.

Andrew McCabe, I really appreciate you coming on tonight. Thank you.

MCCABE: Thanks, Sara.

SIDNER: Ahead, why Donald Trump's Truth Social stock is plummeting again? Will it hurt Trump's bottom line along with investors?



SIDNER: After a brutal couple of weeks, for the former President's media company, on the stock market, Trump Media announced today they're jumping into streaming. That didn't help at all.

Shares of Truth Social's embattled parent company dropped more than 14 percent, today, its second consecutive day of double-digit losses. It's now plummeted more than 70 percent from its all-time high, just last month.

A plunge President Biden noted on the campaign trail, earlier today.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: You know, I have to say, if Trump's stock in the Truth Social, his company, drops any lower, he might do better under my tax plan than his. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER & APPLAUSE)


SIDNER: Boy, did that get a laugh.

Joining me now, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, David Cay Johnston. He's covered Donald Trump for more than 30 years.

All right. So, why is the stock dropping so quickly?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Because this company only had $4 million of revenue, and it lost $58 million. And Donald has announced he plans to sell millions of additional shares to raise capital. It's called watering the stock. It's like when a bar puts water in the gin bottle.

SIDNER: So, who benefits? I mean, can Donald Trump come out of this with a heck of a lot more money and investors get--


SIDNER: --axed (ph) over?

CAY JOHNSTON: So, can he come out? Well, he can't sell his shares. What he can do is pledge them for a loan.

So, let's say he gets 50 percent of their value, and the stock eventually plummets to zero, which it will, in all likelihood, his bank shorts the shares that they can cover from him.

When the stock falls, they will get all the money back. And if they loaned him 50 percent of their value, they'd double their money minus their costs. And Donald, the loan that he got, it's paid off, when the deal is closed.

So, the only people who are going to lose here are people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who to show their support for Donald, bought the stock and are holding on.

SIDNER: All right. So, there was this gentleman, who has written about, in The Washington Post, who put I think something like $25,000 into the stock, and is watching it plummet, but he's sticking with it.

I mean, what is it about Donald Trump, the person who has always touted himself as this big businessman, but who has also been bankrupt several times, what is it about him that?

CAY JOHNSTON: Donald is the greatest con artist in the history of the world. He persuades people to things that aren't true, and they shouldn't believe are true.

And just a little point. Donald personally, he's never filed bankruptcy.

SIDNER: Right. CAY JOHNSTON: Four times his casino company filed. They pushed him out the door. They filed bankruptcy twice more and closed down.

But everything that Donald Trump touches as a business eventually fails. He is not a businessman. He is a cash extractor.

SIDNER: And his name has been used. I know people buy the name, and put it onto -- on the buildings.


SIDNER: So, running for president, of course, is not cheap. Trump is facing all of these civil penalties, in two separate civil trials, if the appeals don't go his way. I mean, this is a huge amount of money that he will have to pay.

And now, he's got all these other trials, criminal trials that are coming up, one, which has already started with jury selection.

You know Trump so well, because you've covered him for 30 years. Is this the hardest time this man has ever gone through?

CAY JOHNSTON: Up to this point. But it's going to get much worse.


Donald is not a strong internal person. If he sees he's going to go to jail, even if it's for a couple of days, because he can't conduct himself in court, he will have a tough time, a very tough time.

SIDNER: Well, David Cay Johnston, I know you're a great author. You're a Pulitzer Prize Winner. And thank you. It's just nice just to sit next to you.

CAY JOHNSTON: Thank you.

SIDNER: It's great. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

CAY JOHNSTON: Thank you.

SIDNER: All right.

And thank you for joining us.