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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Trump After Full Jury Seated: "Judge Wants This To Go As Fast As Possible"; Speaker Johnson Counters GOP Rep. Greene: Putin Would "March Through Europe If He Were Allowed"; NY Attorney General Asks Judge To Void Trump's $175 Million Bond. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 19, 2024 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Nick Paton Walsh, his full report, "Elephants Vs. Man" airs this Sunday night, on "THE WHOLE STORY" at 8 PM Eastern and Pacific, right here on CNN. Be sure to not to miss that.

On Monday, tune in to CNN, for opening statements, in the Trump hush money criminal trial. I'll be at the courthouse at 9 AM, with a team of my colleagues. Proceedings begin at 9:30.

The news continues. "THE SOURCE" starts now. Have a great weekend.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Straight from THE SOURCE tonight.

Full steam ahead, the stage now set for opening statements, in the historic first criminal trial of Donald Trump, with a full jury is seated in just four days, to the great dismay of the criminal defendant, who openly wants it all to just slow down.

Plus, even more angst for Trump. New York's Attorney General now asking a judge to throw out the $175 million bond Trump posted in his civil fraud case. Could the former President's assets now be at risk again? That court hearing, get this, set for Monday morning, while Trump is in criminal court, just down the street.

And the Republican House Speaker in even more jeopardy tonight, as a third member of Mike Johnson's conference signs on, to the effort to oust him, meaning he could need Democrats, to step in and save his job.

I'm John King, in for Kaitlan Collins. This is THE SOURCE.

Donald Trump's first criminal trial is about to get real, much more intense, with opening statements now set for Monday. At the heart of it, a hush money payment to a former porn star, just before the 2016 election that put Trump in the White House.

Phase one, now in the history books, 12 jurors, six alternates are in place. That full jury impaneled after a four-day process that yes, had a few bumps in the road. But overall, things did move quickly.

Something the former President does not sound very happy about.


DONALD TRUMP (R), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The trial starts on Monday, which is long before a lot of people thought.

The judge wants this to go as fast as possible. That's for his reasons, not for my reasons.

And this is really a concerted witch-hunt, very simple. Everything you heard in there, this is a witch-hunt by numerous judges, Democrat judges.


KING: Judge Juan Merchan does seem to want to move things along. But that's how it works. There is no proof, zero proof, of a witch-hunt.

Day four also included a heated debate, over what the former President could be asked about, if he chooses to testify. How much, for example, of his past legal issues can be brought up, during cross-examination, like the E. Jean Carroll case, his civil fraud verdict.

Trump's lawyers objecting to all of it. The judge said he'd rule on that by Monday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump, are you going to testify?



KING: That's a yes. But testifying would be extremely risky, for the former President. So, we'll see. We'll see, in the days ahead, if that actually happens.

The judge also gave the Trump defense team, a stern warning today. Stop filing motions, he said, to try to re-litigate decisions already made. The judge saying quote, "That has to end. Accept my rulings."

Let's get straight to my legal sources, tonight. With me to talk this over:

Criminal defense attorney, CNN Legal Analyst, Joey Jackson.

Former federal prosecutor, David Kelley, who served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

And two veteran New York attorneys, Renato Stabile, Arthur Aidala.

And let's get straight to the question. Joey, on Monday, it starts. This process was important. We'll talk a little bit more about the jury selection process and what we learned. But on Monday, it starts. So, what is happening right now? Each side spends the weekend

thinking, first impression matter. You want to win the jury on day one, right?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, without question, John. And it doesn't start this weekend. Certainly, it started months ago, right?

Because Monday is about your narrative. And so, I think we know what the narrative of the prosecution will be. We've heard it. It's been laid out in the statement of facts that the prosecutor has already indicated.

I expect Monday for them to go at it, and really lay out to the jury, what is their theory, to talk to them about what the scheme was all about, to talk to them about the players involved in this scheme, to talk to them about the evidence they have to substantiate it.

And I also, John, do believe that they're going to talk about the issue of corroboration. We know they'll go after, attack Michael Cohen. He's a liar. He's a perjurer. That won't happen, Monday.

But I think through their testimony, in jury selection, they've conditioned the jury to having unsavory witnesses. And I think they'll talk about don't only rely upon our witnesses. Rely upon the text messages, the emails.

The last point, and that as a defense, what would be curious to me is to know how much they're going to commit. Will we see a defense? Or will we say, it's not about Donald Trump. Keep an open mind. They have to establish it through reasonable doubt. This has nothing to do with politics. I want to know whether they lay out a defense, that is the defense team, or whether they keep it generic and general.

KING: Well, let's break it down more sharply. Let's start with the prosecution. You're a prosecutor. No prosecutor has done what's going to happen, Monday morning. Prosecutor's going to stand up, and ask a jury to convict a former President of the United States.

How important is to come out of the box and frame the case?


DAVID KELLEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NY: Very important. I mean there's the opportunity for the prosecutors, to kind of lay it out -- lay out a roadmap for the case.

And part of this case really is not so challenging, in the sense that you have to prove the falsified records and so forth, you have to prove the criminal intent of the -- of the defendant.

But I think most important, you have to prove the so what? That's not a legal requirement. It's really a factual requirement. Why should we care? Why is it such a big deal? So that's the one that -- I think that's one of the biggest hurdles here.

Second thing, as I go into the opening statement, what I'm going to do is, some of what you said, which is to, I want to bait the defendant a little bit, get him to say more than he needs to say, because defendants don't have to say much of anything. The burden is not on them. But you want them to try to commit to something that you are pretty sure you can prevent them from accomplishing at the end of the trial.

KING: And so, what about the defense perspective, you know?

ARTHUR AIDALA, VETERAN NEW YORK TRIAL ATTORNEY: Oh, I'm going to stand right up, I'm going to say, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you know what the evidence is going to show? The evidence is going to show that Stormy Daniels tried to shake down, blackmail Donald Trump. The evidence is going to show she's the criminal in the courtroom. She's the one, who shook him down.

Oh, and just in case you want to know who the other criminal's in the courtroom? Oh, the main witness is, he's the guy who did time in jail, really about Otisville, really about where he slept, and what the meals that he ate when he was jail -- was he was in jail. That's who they want you to rely upon, to put the President of the United States in jail. And they're going to fail miserably.

KING: How much does this matter, the tension we've seen between the judge and the defense team? It's in the pre-trial phase. It's in the jury selection phase. But if it carries over into the trial, it can get interesting.

This is Judge Merchan, today, talking about, you know, he keeps issuing rulings, and the Trump team essentially moves the semicolon around it, and appeals it again. And then they file it again. And they challenge it again.

The judge saying, "That has to end. There comes a point where you accept my rulings... I've entertained your motions, I've entertained your arguments in good faith. At some point, you need to accept my motions."

Trump was glaring at the judge as that went through.

Does that matter? Does it matter?

RENATO STABILE, ATTORNEY: I mean, it does matter. You don't want to be in the courtroom, and the jury getting the impression that the judge is against you. So, people have to be careful. You don't want to be angering the judge.

But on the other hand, you can't stop people from doing their job. You can't stop people from filing motions. They have to make a record. They may have to make an appeal here. So, they're just doing their job.

KING: Right. We heard his one word answer, yes, when the former President was asked if he would testify. We've had this conversation before.

But if he testifies? Now we still -- the judge still has to make his decision on the so-called Sandoval ruling, what can the prosecution bring into cross-examination? But among the potential things, the E. Jean Carroll case, a lawsuit that was ruled frivolous that Trump brought against Hillary Clinton, $450 million civil fraud judgment, October 23 gag order violation in that case.

So, you don't think he's ever going to get on the stand, right?

AIDALA: No. But let me just say, from a legal perspective, because it's very timely, and it is a little personal.

Any minute, we're expecting the New York State Court of Appeals, to hand out a ruling in the case of People of the State of New York versus Harvey Weinstein, which my firm tried and argued. And that, it's on Sandoval.

KING: Right.

AIDALA: It's on that exact issue. And that Court of Appeals ruling is going to tell everyone in the state, what you -- how much you can put in, and what you cannot put in.

So, Tuesday is actually a possibility, when that ruling could come down. And it could cause this trial judge, to adjust his ruling, depending on what the highest court in the state said.

JACKSON: But I think there's a distinction, Arthur, from the excellent representation that you provided for him.

AIDALA: Right.

JACKSON: And I think that there, without question -- known Arthur for a long time, exceptional lawyer. The reality though, is that in your case, there were just so much that was led in, with respect to prior bad acts of sexual conduct, when the case was about sexual conduct.

Here, they are going after Trump, yes, on fraud issues, as it relates to business records. But there's so much more. The violation of orders. Sir, you know what orders are, and you continue to violate them. Why isn't that fair game? Issues relating to defamation and issues relating to E. Jean Carroll.

So, I think there's a distinction between the numerous sexual allegations, led in, in your case, and what can be led in, in this case.

KING: And we have seen, including in the courtroom today, when E. Jean Carroll came up, Trump was shaking his head, and you saw the energy. But in the public sphere, we've seen even worse, and we've seen the language, we've seen just the caustic things, the hostile, the horrible things, he says about her.

Would that be a gift to prosecutors, if he actually took the stand?

KELLEY: Yes, look, I think we can all focus on the cross-examination--

KING: Right. KELLEY: --what they let in, what they don't let in.

But I think, from a prosecutor's standpoint, take that all away. I don't even really care what they let me cross-examine about, because it's -- given his history, and what he's done before, I don't know that he can stand up and even on direct, appear to be credible, in the face of all the other evidence.

KING: And yet, yet -- I've been saying this all week. I'm a contrarian on this issue to a degree. The guy got 77 million votes. He doesn't have to convince that many people in the jury box.

AIDALA: I go with three.


AIDALA: Because it's -- and legally, it's one, right?

KING: Yes.

AIDALA: It's a hung jury. But three, you could like you can't get bullied by the other ones, and you stay strong.


And we know we have that one juror on there, who she already says I don't like Trump. I don't like the way he treats people. I think he's selfish. So, I'm not even looking for an acquittal.

KING: Right.


AIDALA: I'm looking for a hung jury.

STABILE: And she has the most star power of anybody in that courtroom by far. And some of these jurors, if they have mixed feelings, or if they kind of like him, they might be totally star-struck by him.

KING: Right.

STABILE: And might be anticipating him to testify.

JACKSON: So, they'll disregard the evidence? I mean, the reality is star-struck or not, it comes down to the oath you take, as a juror.

KING: Right.

JACKSON: And that oath requires that you follow the law. And there are multiple counts here. So, are they going to say, with respect to every count, there's nothing to see here? That ledger is fine. That invoice is fine. I just don't know if they--


STABILE: There are 34 counts. But there's only one lie, right? It's just the same lie repeated over and over again.

But we know that jurors decide cases, based often on emotion, and then they back into the logic. So, he could do himself a favor by testing.

KING: So then, how does the defense team work this out, then? I assume, despite what their client says that they're -- they start this thinking, we'd like to keep him off the stand. How do you make that calculation as you go? If you think you're losing, you say, OK, let's roll the dice. Let's put the politician in there, to win a vote?

AIDALA: It's a--

KING: Is that how you do it?

KELLEY: Yes, well let's put it this way.


KING: Yes.

KELLEY: If it's going well for them?

KING: Yes.

KELLEY: If cross-examination, will these guys, the Smithereens, you're turning around and telling your client, no way do you get on that stand.

KING: Yes.

KELLEY: Now, obviously, this is a difficult trial -- client to control. And ultimately, whether or not to testify is a client's decision, not the lawyer's decision.

KING: Yes.

KELLEY: So, it's anybody's guess how this is going to go.

KING: Help me with the opening statements calculation.

It's been a long time. But I used to sit in courtrooms. And sometimes, the prosecution gives this long laundry list that it's all might -- it might all be great. It might all be substantiative. They might have a great case. But they lose the jury. They just put them out.

And some scenario, you see other cases, where they just come in and say, we have a lot to talk about over the next six weeks. Here are the five or six things you need to know today. Boom, boom, boom, boom, move on.

What do you do here?

KELLEY: I would do that.

JACKSON: You know?

KELLEY: Because what you really want to give them--


KELLEY: --is an overall a 10,000-foot view. And you want to give them -- you want to give them a roadmap, you want to give them kind of inflection points, just points of reference.

KING: Right.

KELLEY: So, they know what's going on as it happens. To go into the details and given the whole long-winded story, without any context? Not going to work. You're going to--

AIDALA: I go, My Cousin Vinny. I stand up there, and say what he just said is BS. I know. I think you got to go up there, forcefully, passionately.


AIDALA: And what Joey Jackson mentioned, last night, I think when we're on, is about jury nullification. Sometimes, you can, in a case like this--

KING: Right.

JACKSON: --with passion and reason, you can say, yes, they proved their case, walk him out of here, you determine what justice is.

KING: Right. And so, then help me with the second level.

He's out making the opening argument for the defense.

He did the prosecution.

You're the other lawyer at the table. What are you doing? You're watching him, or you're watching the jury, trying to figure out who's doing what?

STABILE: I'm watching both. But I'm not a big believer in watching body language, or facial expressions.

KING: Right.

STABILE: Because we've all had the experience. A juror nods at you, throughout the entire -- and then you lose. So, it's something that doesn't really work.


KELLEY: You know, it's funny, because you'll sometimes be watching the jury, the whole trial, could be months long.

KING: Yes.

KELLEY: And you think, I got this juror. At the end of the day, that's the one you didn't. AIDALA: This happens for me.

STABILE: Everybody here has had that at trials.

AIDALA: It happened to all of us.


JACKSON: It means nothing.

AIDALA: It's happened to all of us

JACKSON: I think they keep it thematic, right?


JACKSON: I think that's how you captivate your audience. You keep it really generic, just giving them a sense of what you'll do.

KING: Yes.

JACKSON: But I'm looking for what the defense will do.

And at the end of the day, quickly, you can talk about Michael Cohen being a perjurer. You can talk about Stormy Daniels being unsavory. Do you have corroborations?

KING: Right.

JACKSON: Was a shell company established or not? Are there text messages, indicating that this was a game plan or not? Are there emails? Is there -- are there other things that show that what you're saying is unsavory as you are? Listen, it's true, because there are other things to establish that.

KING: Right.

JACKSON: That's going to be a significant thing here.

KING: We throw around, historic and unprecedented. We use those words too often. This is truly historic and unprecedented.

We'll see on Monday, gentlemen. Appreciate all your time tonight. Thank you so much.

It was a dramatic and emotional day in court, for some of the prospective jurors too. Two broke down in tears, understandably feeling the weight of it all.

Up next, the pressures on the shoulders of the jurors, with the legendary White House Counsel, John Dean, who knows a bit about what it's like to feel the heat.

And later, did Trump post a bad bond for his $175 million fraud fine? Why New York's Attorney General is now asking a judge to void it.



KING: Donald Trump's first criminal trial is already a pressure cooker, including for the 18 New Yorkers, who had no idea they would be part of history, when they opened a seemingly routine summons to jury duty.

The 12 jurors or the six alternates, survivors now in an incredibly tense selection process that even in its final day pushed some finalists to their breaking point.

One potential juror, for example, was excused by Judge Merchan, today, after she burst into tears, telling the court quote, "I'm sorry, I thought I could do this... [I] don't want you to feel I've wasted anyone's time. This is so much more stressful than I thought." Shortly after, she was dismissed.

But the question now for the 18 chosen to remain, with the pressure this high, can they keep it together? Will they follow the rules?

Joining me tonight, someone who is no stranger to high-pressure moments, in American history. The former Richard Nixon White House Counsel, John Dean.

John, it's great to see you.

We spend a lot of time what's at stake for Donald Trump.


KING: The tension between the judge and the lawyers, the prosecutor who's going to stand up and try to put a former President of the United States in jail. It's never happened before.

But what about these 12 ordinary Americans, who have to sit there, who are now part of huge history? And they have enormous pressure, and also enormous stakes.


DEAN: Well, they must feel it especially by the fact they're anonymous. And then they know that. They know that their identity is being withheld. In fact, one of them resigned from the jury pool, when -- or the initial jury, when she found out she had been uncovered by media coverage in general, and others figured out it was her.

So yes, they're under a lot of pressure. They know what's ahead. It's a big decision they're going to have to make, at some point, when they deliberate, on whether this man is guilty or innocent. So yes, I'm sure there's a lot of pressure. And we'll see how they handle it.

KING: So, one of the potential jurors raised her hand, in the middle of the questioning, said she was feeling extremely anxious. She too was removed.

Emotional turmoil, you know, when Trump was President, we all lived it through his tweets.

Now, you have 12 people, 18 people, if you count the alternates, in a box there.

What do you -- what would you -- if you were in that courtroom, what would you be looking for every day? Or if you are a fellow juror, what would you be looking for in your peers, your colleagues every day?

DEAN: Well, juries are hard to observe, as your panel initially noted. Some jurors nod at lawyers. Some smile at defendants and what have you. That's not a very good read.

Because when they get into deliberations, other things seem to happen. As you read the history of jury service, and I've read a number of books that have addressed this. It varies from jury to jury. But they take on their own chemistry, and their own personality.

So, this jury is so young, we don't really have a read on it. But these are a bunch of strangers, who don't know each other, who are going to be very intimate, for probably at least six, if not more weeks.

KING: And you have personal experience at this, being involved in something high pressure that involves the words of the President of the United States. How does that make it different? How does it make it more intense?

DEAN: Well, I think the parallel you're referring to is I was the key witness for the government in U.S. versus Mitchell, Haldeman, Ehrlichman et al, which were the former Attorney General, Chief of Staff of Nixon, his top domestic advisers and others involved in the Watergate cover-up.

And the President was a co-conspirator in that. He did not get -- he had been pardoned, so that he could not be indicted. But he was a co- conspirator. There was a lot of pressure on that jury. In fact, the jury was sequestered by the judge.

I wouldn't be surprised if this jury gets sequestered also, given the pressure they're under. It's not from Donald Trump that the pressure is going to come. It's from his followers and his over-exuberant supporters at times. We know what they did in the Capitol. We know that they can be activated. We know that he called for them to come and demonstrate.

So, sequestering this jury would not be an out of order sort of arrangement. And then they will become even more animate.

KING: Right, and it also becomes more stressful though. You take people away from their family for matter of weeks, which I think the judge at the beginning--

DEAN: Yes, it does.

KING: Yes, at the beginning, the judge has tried to say let's see if we can do this the quote-unquote, normal way. But that means they're not supposed to talk about a case that involves

the former President of the United States. That means they're not supposed to post or look at social media, in a case that involves the former President of the United States. So, it's incredibly difficult.

And this has come up. Trump was listening intensely.

Another potential juror shared, she was worried she'd be disqualified, because of a prior criminal conviction.

And Judge Merchan said this. "[We] heard from a very brave woman who shared very personal things about her life. I know that wasn't easy to do in a room full of strangers... Please be kind to this person."

What's your perspective?

You know, kind, that's a message to Donald Trump, the defendant, who sometimes scowls at people, who sometimes also can be quite charming with people, if you had a room with him.

But it's also a message to people in our business, to be careful about what we do disclose, about these people, right?

DEAN: Exactly. And that's been one of the problems. There's often been an overreaction, or a reaction to Trump's baiting of the media. And we know that the right-wing media has been more than willing to be his defender, to go out and go after these people.

They've already -- Fox News has already targeted this jury, claiming that liberal activists are slipping onto it. So, that's just all baloney. There was no basis for it. And it's very early in the process.

And I think we have a good judge, John, who will be able to handle this with equanimity and justice.

KING: We start that second phase on Monday.

John Dean, grateful for your perspective, tonight. Thank you, sir.

And as John was noting, about the high pressure, here today, and all the focus here today, just as the jury was being sworn in today, a man lit himself on fire, outside the courthouse. A horrific disturbing incident that yes, now only heightening security concerns. That's next.



KING: Tonight, New York Police say they're reviewing security measures around Donald Trump's trial. That after a Florida man lit himself on fire right across the street from the courthouse. Police say that man now in critical condition. This was the scene after he was removed, smoke still billowing. The motive is unclear. But officials say the man did throw pamphlets, about conspiracy theories, into the air, before dousing himself with a liquid, and setting himself on fire.

As people screamed and ran from the area, remember, Donald Trump just yards away inside the courthouse, as lawyers vetted the final set of alternate jurors.

My legal sources are back with me.

Joey, let's start with that.

This is an extreme incident, we hope, an isolated incident. But it does remind you big events like this can become a magnet, for people, who are trying to make some kind of a statement, whether it has anything to do with Donald Trump or not.

Plus, there's the added factor of we have seen around events that involve Donald Trump before, protests, many of them peaceful.


KING: But it's going to be an episode.


JACKSON: Without question, John. And that brings to mind the issue of the gag order that will be addressed on Tuesday.

Why? Because the whole nature and purpose of the gag order is to protect people, to not have the president with the bully pulpit that he has, former President, and so many followers, who believe in him, who like him. Some hate him. Some love him. But people are moved to action.

And if you talk about certain people that you shouldn't talk about, like the judge's family and others? If you talk about witnesses? If you're talking about jurors? There could be consequences. We pray not.

But in response to your question, when you see issues like this, it brings to mind, the realities of what Tuesday's hearing about the gag order is all about. You incite people to action. And this could be the result.

KING: Let's go back to the conversation I was having with John Dean about the jurors. He says, maybe the judge should sequester them. The judge has decided not to do that.

I think for humanity reasons, you want these -- you're taking these people away from their families. Their lives, it's going to be stressful enough. They want them to go home, sleep in their own bed, see their own children, partners, friends, and things like that.

How does that balance out, though? What are the risks? Is that the right thing to do in a high-profile case? And what are the risks?

KELLEY: Well, look, I think a happy juror is thoughtful juror, number one.

Number two, if Judge Merchan wants this case to move along, and he decided to sequester a jury at the outset, this -- we wouldn't be talking about opening statements come Monday.

So, I think, look, they're anonymous, and they can take steps to protect them and protect their identity. So, they should take every effort they can, short of sequestering, to keep this trial moving.

John Dean is right. There may come a time, there may be events that unfold that may say, hey, look, I'm going to have to sequester you.

KING: Yes.

KELLEY: But for now, I think he's on the right course to try to keep things in place, and on pace.

KING: So, walk us through the rules, how anywhere in the world, but especially in Manhattan, do you essentially ask people, to go off the grid, go off the grid, you know.

STABILE: It's very difficult. But that's what the instruction will be. Do not look at any media about this case. Do not read about this case. Do not talk about this case.

The other thing is the jurors are not going to be able to discuss the case, until they enter their deliberations. And that's very difficult, because that's the main thing happening in your life.

So, when Michael Cohen takes the stand, of course, they're naturally going to want to talk about that. But they can't. They have to talk about other things, like sports or the weather. So, it's a very challenging situation.

KING: Can you expect these people? I mean, this is -- this is one of those things, online. You go online, let's say you think you're going to do sports. No matter where you go, this is going to be. How do you -- I guess, if you -- if you just see it?

AIDALA: Well--

KING: --what's your response? You go and say, Judge, I was doing something. I thought I was following the rules. It popped up. I didn't dwell on it. I probably took it off.

How do you work that out?

AIDALA: Yes, that has happened--

KING: Yes.

AIDALA: --where a juror comes in, and fesses up that they saw something. But it's really the method of technology. It's like there are these pop-ups.

KING: Right. AIDALA: So, they're not even trying to do it.

In terms of sequestration, John? When I was a kid, jurors during deliberations were sequestered, like, I think, in B and A felonies. So, once the judge charged the jury, the day before, he'd say bring your overnight bag. Once you start deliberating, I'm locking you in. I don't think that would be such a bad idea here, for either side to say, hey, once you -- once the case is in the jury's hands, let's really protect them, and put them in a hotel--

KING: Right.

AIDALA: --with the court officers.

KING: And until then, help me understand, if you may have different perspectives. So a juror violates the rules. Maybe it's some small violation. If it's a big violation, I assume everybody agrees that juror has to go. That's why you have alternates.

But if it is just something, something popped up, or, I told my husband not to talk to me about it. But he did. How do you -- how do you then make an assessment of you're going to ask the judge?

AIDALA: The judge usually calls them in, one-on-one.

KING: Yes.

AIDALA: You go in the back. You're in the judge's robing room. Everyone's there, all the active participants.

And you see, it's really about a matter of degree, and then both sides take a position. If it was a person in jury selection, you didn't like, this is your opportunity to say, judge, you got to throw them off. If it's someone you liked, ah judge, it wasn't such a big deal.

STABILE: But also the judge might want to err on the side of getting rid of the juror, because if you keep the jury, you're creating appellate issues. And the court wants to avoid that.

JACKSON: But it always depends upon the nature of the violation. And you always get called to the principal's office. That is the judge.

KING: Right.

JACKSON: And then you explain what goes on.

And I think we could expect and anticipate, that's why we have alternates, things are going to arise.

KING: Right.

JACKSON: A court officer is going to hear some discussion for the jurors, as you noted, Renato. They're not supposed to talk. I heard them speaking together. They were talking about Michael Cohen. They were talking about Stormy Daniels.

Issues will arise. It'll be up to the judge to determine--

KING: Right.

JACKSON: --whether it reaches a degree to get them off the jury.

KELLEY: I think the bottom line is a judge has to determine in the exchange, with the juror, notwithstanding everything, can you still be fair, and listen to just the facts--

KING: Right.

KELLEY: --and decide around the laws that I instruct you? And the judge is going to have to evaluate the credibility of the juror, whether or not they can in fact do that.

KING: I assume there's going to be a lot of wow, walking out of the courtroom. But that's not talking about it, right? If you just say wow, what a day, right, that's not -- that's fair enough. That juror can stay?

STABILE: It's probably OK.

AIDALA: They're allowed to say wow.

KING: They're allowed to say wow. They're allowed to say wow.

JACKSON: Not much more.

KING: These guys don't agree on much. We got a full unanimous agreement. You can say wow.

Joey Jackson, David Kelley, Renato Stabile, Arthur Aidala, thanks so much for your time, gentlemen.


KING: Thank you. Have a great weekend.

A revolt to oust the House Speaker, Mike Johnson, now picking up steam. He may soon need Democrats to throw him a lifeline.


And yes, drumroll please, speaking about bad blood, Taylor Swift is spilling it, in a big way, on her new double album that's already breaking records in just one day. She just dropped the first music video from it this evening. And she set off yes, a Swiftie frenzy.


KING: A big win for the House Speaker, Mike Johnson. Yet, it could cost him his job.

The House will convene, in a rare Saturday session, tomorrow, to pass a foreign aid package, backed by the Speaker. Today's win was a procedural vote, only made possible, after

Democrats, in an extraordinary move, sided with the Republican Speaker, Mr. Johnson, to offset Republican no-votes.


Among those noes was Republican congressman, Paul Gosar, of Arizona. He now is the third House Republican member, publicly on the record, supporting a motion to vacate the chair, meaning fire Johnson as Speaker.

Joining me now to discuss is New York Republican congressman, Mike Lawler, whose committee assignments include the Foreign Affairs committee.

And let's start there, Congressman. A lot of drama to discuss. A lot of theater. But the substance.

Are you convinced now, after this vote today, and you're coming in tomorrow, that the money for Ukraine, the money for Israel, the money for Taiwan, will finally, after months of debate and a lot of drama, clear the Congress?

REP. MIKE LAWLER (R-NY): John, before we start, I just want to say, I'm not wearing a tux because you're filling in tonight. I'm at the Moldovan-American Convention GALA. So, that's why I'm in a tux.

But let me just say, this is critically important. Today, I spoke before the Moldovan-American Convention. They're very concerned about what is happening in Ukraine.

We need to lead. The United States is the leader of the Free World. We cannot shirk and our responsibility.

And I think the Speaker deserves a lot of credit for putting this on the floor, knowing full-well it could cost him his job as Speaker. But it's the right thing to do.

Russia, China and Iran are engaged in an unholy alliance that seeks to undermine and destabilize the Free World. And ensuring that our allies, Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan get the aid that they need is critical, not just for the future of the world, but America's role in it.

And I think putting this bill on the floor, getting it passed, in a broad bipartisan vote, tomorrow, is essential.

I think the Speaker, in the end, will be fine, because he's doing what is right by the country, and by the institution. And I think all of us, Republicans and Democrats, need to take the opportunity, to also do what is right, and not throw this House into chaos, by joining in with a handful of malcontents and removing the Speaker.

KING: You say you think he'll be fine. It's -- you have three already. And you have a whole bunch of others, who are disgruntled. Who knows if they would vote for to vacate. But if he's going to be fine, is he going to need Democrats, to survive, at least for now, if they file that motion?

LAWLER: Absolutely. I mean, look, it's a reality of the math. In order to remove this Speaker, you need all the -- all of the Democrats to join in, as we saw with the removal of Kevin McCarthy.

KING: Yes.

LAWLER: And I think it's incumbent upon everybody, Republicans and Democrats, to uphold the institution and say, we're not going to partake in this, we're not going to join in on this chaos with the Matt Gaetzes of the world or the Marjorie Taylor Greenes or Paul Gosar. We are going to do what's right.

The Speaker is making a very courageous decision. Yes, it's his job. But as we've all seen, it's not always easy to do the right thing. And he's doing it. Political consequences be damned.

KING: Right.

LAWLER: And I think that's something that people should respect, within the institution, and recognize that look, removing the Speaker is not going to result in a Democratic speaker. We have a Republican majority. It will be another Republican.

KING: Yes.

LAWLER: But throwing the House into chaos for another three weeks or maybe even more, this time around, is not in the interest of the American people. And that's something that I think all of us have to recognize collectively.

KING: One of the reasons, the principal reason, Marjorie Taylor Greene says she wants to remove Speaker Johnson is because of the Ukraine issue. She says he's with the Democrats.

I came to Washington, when Ronald Reagan was president. It was a very different Republican Party, back in those days.

You're in the room. And we see what is said publicly. We see what is said on the floor. You're in the private rooms.

I just want you to listen here, to Marjorie Taylor Greene, who sounds like she's a Kremlin spokesman. And then Speaker Johnson. With very different perspectives on what's at stake here.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): Vladimir Putin has not said he wants to go march across Europe, and take Europe.

REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): I think that Vladimir Putin would continue to march through Europe if he were allowed. I think he might go to the Balkans next. I think he might have a showdown with Poland, or one of our NATO allies. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The Speaker's view is your view, which I think is still the majority view, among House Republicans. But not like it used to be. That minority is growing, and it is very vocal.

What goes on in the closed-door session when you stand up and say, what the hell are you saying?

LAWLER: You know, Anderson (ph), the reason I'm at the Moldovan- American Convention tonight is my wife is from Moldova. Her family lives on the Ukraine border.


I know full-well the consequence of failure in Ukraine. It means a country like Moldova, which doesn't have a military, will fall. Vladimir Putin has made it very clear that he would invade Moldova, and he is trying to rebuild the former Soviet Union.

I think the vast majority of Congress, and the Republican Conference, understands the threat we are facing. This is not in a silo. You have Iran, Russia and China that have been engaged in an unholy alliance that seeks to undermine and destabilize the United States, Israel, Europe and the Free World.

When you look at the situation in -- with Iran, for instance, you have a country that is the greatest state sponsor of terror. They fund Hamas, 93 percent of their budget. They fund Hezbollah, the Houthis and other terrorist organizations. You know where they get the money from? They get the money from China. China purchases Iranian petroleum. 80 percent of its revenue comes from China.

So, this is something where in this bill, tomorrow, my bill, the SHIP Act, the Iran-China Energy Sanctions Act will be part of the bill, to go after Iran and China.

Look, Ronald Reagan's philosophy was very clear. Peace through strength. America can keep peace in the world when it is strong, when our allies are strong, when we are supporting democracy. That is the objective. That is why I will proudly cast my vote, tomorrow, in favor of the bill that Speaker Johnson is putting on the floor.

America must lead. We have no alternative. And if we shirk in this responsibility, you will see a new World Order arise, with Russia, China and Iran leading the way. And that will be devastating for America, economically, and from a national security standpoint.

KING: I suspect your view will carry the day, tomorrow. But I also suspect you'll be back here, next week, talking about the fallout in the House of Representatives.

Congressman, grateful for your time tonight. Thank you, sir.

LAWLER: Thanks, John. KING: In a big pivot here, this just in, Taylor Swift dropped the first music video of her new album. It's called "Fortnight." And it features the tattooed rapper, Post Malone.




KING: Swift's double album, "The Tortured Poets Department" has been out for less than 24 hours. Already, it is breaking records. According to Billboard, it's Spotify's most-streamed album in a single day this year.



Oh my God.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm actually going to vomit right now. So here area just brief thought. What are the titles? What are the titles? What are the titles? Are there features?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is so good. This is so good.


KING: One song, one song, "ThanK you alMee," has listeners convinced Taylor's talking about Kim Kardashian. They've had bad blood since 2016. Yes, pun intended.

For starters, check this out. This is the title of the song with just K-I-M, KIM, capitalized. And the song is about a high school bully, thrown punches, and Swift is left to deal with the searing pain. Many think it's about Kim Kardashian's verbal attacks.

We'll keep you posted if there's any official response. And we'll bring you the Twitter videos about it too, promise, TikTok videos too, as well.

Ahead, not only is Donald Trump's trial about to really get going on Monday. He also faces a hearing on that $175 million bond he posted. Will it be voided? Why New York's Attorney General says it's simply not good.



KING: 9:30, Monday morning, we'll hear opening statements in Donald Trump's hush money criminal trial.

And just a half an hour later, two blocks away, also in New York City, a different judge will consider throwing out the former President's $175 million bond.

The New York Attorney General, Letitia James, filed paperwork, saying she doesn't believe a single word of that agreement that Trump has with a company called Knight Specialty Insurance. That's the company putting up the bond.

Now, before that hearing was even scheduled, Trump was already sounding off.


TRUMP: That case is a threat to democracy, frankly, what took place with the A.G.

A crooked A.G., Letitia James, who campaigned in the fact -- who campaigned in the fact that I'm going to get Trump, I'm going to get Trump. That's all she said for two years.


KING: Joining me now is a journalist with the years of reporting on Trump's finances, Senior Forbes Editor, Dan Alexander.

Dan, thank you for your time.

Letitia James says essentially, this is bogus. The deal doesn't meet the standards of how you have to put these things together.

Does she have a point?

DAN ALEXANDER, SENIOR EDITOR, FORBES: Well, there are some legitimate concerns here. The primary one is the nature of the collateral that's supporting this bond.

So, there's an $175 million bond. And on the night that it was posted, one of my colleagues at Forbes talked to Don Hankey, who's the billionaire behind the company that's helping Trump secure this bond. And he said that the collateral was a mixture of cash and investment grade bonds. But now in legal papers, his company is saying actually, it's purely cash.

And that's a big question. Whether these are bonds supporting this, or whether it's cash, because the value of bonds fluctuates, in a way that cash doesn't. And the state wants to know whether or not that $175 million is truly secure.

KING: And so, what happens, if the judge rules against Trump? Does he have to go out and find another bond company? Come up with the cash himself?

ALEXANDER: Yes, Trump's going to be fine here, in the end of this story. He has more than $175 million in cash. Other companies will issue him a bond, if this one doesn't. But it is a nuisance, and he might end up having to pay a higher fee.

Knight Specialty Insurance was a company that actually reached out to him proactively. We don't know the nature of that agreement, and exactly how much he's paying in fees.

KING: Right.


ALEXANDER: But it seems like a safe assumption that it was at the very least a fair market deal, if not bit of a bargain. He might end up having to pay a little bit more, if he has to go shop around and look at other firms.

KING: If nothing else, these two proceedings a few blocks apart, a half an hour apart, remind us that Trump has more than one, more than you can fit in a hand, maybe two hands of legal issues. So there's that. Just that how many he has.

But is there any connection between these two cases?

ALEXANDER: Yes, there certainly are. Some of the witnesses are the same between the civil fraud case, and the criminal one.

In fact, one of the key people, in the criminal case, is Allen Weisselberg, who was for a long time, the CFO, of Donald Trump's company. And you would expect him to be somebody, who would testify in a way that would be beneficial to Trump.

However, when he testified, in the civil fraud case, he perjured himself, and is now sitting on Rikers Island, in jail, for committing that perjury. So, he's going to come to this case, with all of that baggage that's going to undermine whatever testimony and credibility, Trump's team is going to try to build up behind him.

KING: And help me. You say Trump has maneuvered his portfolio a little bit. He seems to be anticipating the need for some money. How so?

ALEXANDER: Yes, if you look at their claim that this is $175 million in pure cash, and you compare that to what his portfolio was, a couple of years ago, he wasn't sitting on $175 million of pure cash at that point. So, he's clearly shifted things, where he is more liquid and where he can be ready to outlay significant sums of money.

He doesn't, however, have the amount of cash to pay the full judgment, which is north of $460 million--

KING: Right.

ALEXANDER: --at this point, although he can cover the bond, which is the lower, a $175 million figure.

KING: We'll see what happens in court, on Monday.

Dan Alexander, thanks very much.

ALEXANDER: Thank you.

KING: This weekend, a new CNN Film premiere. "Blue Carbon: Nature's Hidden Power." Here's a preview.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jayda Guy is not your average scientist. Though it started that way.

JAYDA GUY, MARINE TOXICOLOGIST (on camera): I got my undergrad in biology and ecology, and my masters in environmental toxicology.

WEIR (on camera): And what did you think you wanted to do with your life, and you know?

GUY (on camera): Oh, gosh, I wanted to be a professor, like I wanted to go the full academic route.

WEIR (on camera): And then the club's got you?

GUY (on camera): Yes.

WEIR (on camera): Or what happened with music?

GUY (on camera): I took a hard right turn and changed my life.

WEIR (voice-over): Music was the other love of her life. And when she began making it, as DJ Jayda G, a whole new career took off. She worked with megastars, and booked gigs and festivals, all while finishing her masters on the effects of toxins on killer whales.

The two loves merge in her film, "Blue Carbon," an immersive journey through the watery landscapes that serve as massive allies, in fighting the climate crisis.

GUY (on camera): So Blue Carbon is basically these ecosystems that are amazing at pulling carbon out of the atmosphere, and putting it deep into the ground.


GUY: You're saying this is Blue Carbon then?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Blue Carbon. So yes, it's not blue.

GUY: Yes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And remember now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it is Blue Carbon.


GUY (on camera): They're like 10 times better at it than the Amazon Rainforest, for example. Those ecosystems are mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and salt marshes.

We were taking field recordings throughout the whole film. And then, I took all those field recordings, and made a song out of it, essentially. And you get to hear that song, at the end of the film.

GUY (voice-over): I want to make a new anthem for nature by recording the sounds of coastal habitats that we don't value enough.

WEIR (on camera): You play these, in festivals?

GUY (on camera): Yes, yes.

WEIR (on camera): How do you connect your music audience with what you care about as a biologist, as an ecologist?

GUY (on camera): Incorporating those sounds automatically gives me something to talk about, because people really care, and they're interested.

WEIR (on camera): There's your Jayda G, the DJ persona. But then there's Jayda, the biologist. And that's a paradox at times.

GUY (on camera): Yes.

WEIR (on camera): Given the footprint, the energy use at festivals and all of that.

GUY (on camera): Well it definitely is a paradox. Like I'm a touring DJ, I have to fly to my gigs. And so, I have a big carbon footprint.

And then there's this other part of me, that's the environmentalist, and has studied in nature for so many years.

How I reconcile that is by using my platform, to talk about climate change and the environment. And also, I want to lead as an example, that we all have that paradox within ourselves.

We all live on this planet. We all have things that we do, whether we're conscious of it or not, that hurt the environment just by existing in this society. And we're always kind of at odds. And that's OK. We can still be at paradox and still want to help and save the environment.

WEIR (on camera): Right. And maybe instead of getting defensive, say maybe there's a better way to fill this want or need.

GUY (on camera): Exactly.

WEIR (on camera): In a way that's better for all life.

GUY (on camera): Exactly

WEIR (on camera): Yes.

GUY (on camera): When we bring down the defensiveness, it really opens everything up to have more discussions and solutions. (END VIDEOTAPE)


KING: It's pretty interesting. Be sure to tune in. CNN Film presents "Blue Carbon: Nature's Hidden Power." That premiere Sunday 9 PM Eastern and Pacific, right here only on CNN.

Thanks for your time tonight. Hope you have a great weekend.