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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Meadows, Giuliani, Other Trump Allies Charged In AZ Election Case; Hutchinson: Trump "Stealing Money" From American People; Supreme Court Weighs Future Of Emergency Abortion Care. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 24, 2024 - 21:00   ET



CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Quite a few people that are non-students that are there.

So, once they give the order to clear the campus, then the police will begin to move in. I see they have less lethal munitions and so forth available.


RAMSEY: Hopefully, they do not have to use them. Again, that's as a last resort. They'll begin by trying to just physically move people, physically remove them.


RAMSEY: And take them to the transport vehicles.

COOPER: Chief -- Chief Ramsey, appreciate your time.

Nick Watt as well.

We'll continue following the story throughout the night.

The news continues. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS" starts now.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: Breaking news from THE SOURCE tonight.

Brand-new indictments, against Donald Trump's closest allies, including Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani, now charged with conspiracy, fraud and forgery in Arizona, part of that fake electors plot to overturn the election. Trump himself though an unindicted co- conspirator.

My source tonight is Mark Meadows' one-time top aide and confidante turned witness against her former boss, and Donald Trump. Cassidy Hutchinson is here, hours before the Supreme Court takes on the enormous question, tomorrow, are presidents above the law.

Also, a major decision is still looming tonight for Trump, in that hush money case. Will the former President be punished for his repeated apparent violations of that gag order? And really, the bigger question, how? I'm Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE.

And we're going to get right to that breaking news, tonight, as former top aides, attorneys and allies, all close to Donald Trump, with that in common, have now just been charged in the State of Arizona, over their efforts, in the fake electors scheme to help Trump desperately try to overturn the election that he lost, and to keep himself in power.

A 11 people in all have been charged. Among them. Rudy Giuliani; former White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows.

Boris Epshteyn, a name you may not be familiar with. This is the first time he's been indicted, but also a former Trump aide who I should note remains to this day, one of his closest top advisers.

Also, pro-Trump attorney, John Eastman; former Trump campaign lawyer, Jenna Ellis, along with 2020 campaign official, Mike Roman.

Donald Trump himself, you don't see his picture there, he's an unindicted co-conspirator, we are told.

This indictment includes charges ranging from conspiracy and forgery to engaging in fraudulent schemes.

This is Arizona's Attorney General, Kris Mayes, announcing these indictments, tonight.


KRIS MAYES, ARIZONA ATTORNEY GENERAL: The people of Arizona elected President Biden. Unwilling to accept this fact, the defendants charged by the state grand jury, allegedly schemed to prevent the lawful transfer of the presidency. Whatever their reasoning was, the plot to violate the law must be answered for. And I was elected to uphold the law of this state.


COLLINS: And let's get straight to THE SOURCE, tonight, with Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Mark Meadows, and now a frequent target of Donald Trump's, after her explosive testimony before the January 6 committee.

And Cassidy, it's great to have you here tonight.

I should note. We had already scheduled an interview with you, before this news broke, this indictment that was just handed up in Arizona, that it doesn't name your former boss, because his name is redacted. But CNN has confirmed that Mark Meadows is one of the people, who has been indicted here.

I mean, this is now the second time he's been indicted. What do you make of this?

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE AIDE: Kaitlan, it's, I mean, the indictment did just drop. So, I haven't had a lot of time to process it.

I've said for a long time, since the day that I decided to come forward and comply fully with the January 6 committee that I hoped Mark already had been doing the right thing with the Justice Department. And I've said every times, I've been asked since, and I believe this way that I wish that he would.

So, I think it's unfortunate that it at least appears that there are still people, not complying fully with their civic duty that they owe the American people. But I can't really say I'm overly surprised at this point, either.

COLLINS: Why? Why do you think you're not surprised?

HUTCHINSON: I think when looking back at the last few years, there have been a lot of people, not just Mark, people in the former President's orbit, some who have also been indicted, but people who are also just complicit in their silence around things.

And I think whether you are close to Donald Trump, or you worked for Donald Trump, we all owe the American people the truth about Donald Trump. We owe them the opportunity to know who he actually is. And it's not easy.

I was very loyal to Donald Trump, when I worked for him, and it took me a long time to make that break.


HUTCHINSON: There are a lot of consequences you have to weigh when you make the break with Trump-world.


But what I fear more is the deceit that Donald Trump will continue to perpetuate, if more people don't stick up for the truth.

COLLINS: It must feel really surreal just -- I mean, you worked with Mark Meadows, on the Hill. I remember when I was covering the White House, and you worked there. And you were kind of everywhere that he went. You were on Air Force One. You were in his office. You worked right outside of it. It must feel really surreal to see him get indicted a second time.

HUTCHINSON: It's really sad. I was really close with Mark. I really believed in Mark, as a principal. That's why I chose to take the job with the Chief of Staff. So, it's difficult to see him in this position.

But I think on the greater scale, too, if we look at how Mr. Trump has conducted himself, through his business career, and also his political career, I almost relate it to just bodies around him, that he takes out everybody who is loyal to him, because it's all about his personal gain, and what he can gain from those people.

Donald Trump is inherently about himself. That's why America is in the position that it is today, because he did not want to give up the presidency. And he's now running again. He's been indicted in multiple jurisdictions.

COLLINS: That reminds me of what Bill Barr told me. I mean, he was sitting in that same seat that you are now. And he said, that Trump kind of like leaves this path of carnage, in his wake, of people who sign up to go work for him and then end up with their names in an indictment.

HUTCHINSON: Yes. And it's people go, I would hope, for the most part, you go into public service to serve the American people. And it's incumbent upon all of us, whether you're public servants, or a citizen of this country, to make sure that we're maintaining our democratic institutions.

Donald Trump does not show respect for our democratic institutions. In fact, I would argue he shows the exact opposite. He shows contempt for our institutions.

But when you sign up to go into public service, that that's not what you sign up, to go into. And I think there are a lot of people who, like myself, who believe they're going there to do the right thing, and to serve the American people, and they get caught up in something that's so much more dangerous than they actually anticipated.

But I think there are some people that went in with their eyes wide open, and unfortunately, they knew, and they feel that their loyalty is owed to Donald Trump.

In this next election cycle, especially as we look ahead, towards the Supreme Court arguments, starting tomorrow, it's really important to stress that the American people were not given the truth about Donald Trump in 2016, and he won. He almost won in 2020. And he very well could win again, if the American people do not, are not made aware of who he actually is.

COLLINS: Do you think Mark Meadows is one of those people, who went into it with his eyes wide open that he knew what he was getting into?

HUTCHINSON: I can't -- I can't comment on that, specifically. I can't crawl into the psyche of Mark Meadows.

At the time that I worked for him, I believe that he wanted to serve the American people. But I can't comment especially now on how he sees his role participating in some investigations or not at all.

COLLINS: And you haven't spoken to him in a long time?

HUTCHINSON: No. Not since January 20th, 2021.


I mean, he has kind of downplayed his role, in the fake electors scheme, which is what they -- these former Trump aides, and those close to him, Rudy Giuliani, Boris Epshteyn are getting indicted for here. What do you remember about what he was doing between when Trump had clearly lost the election and up to January 6th?

HUTCHINSON: Mark was involved in almost everything. He was feeding a lot of information to a lot of different people.

So some days, I felt that Mark would acknowledge that Mr. Trump had lost the 2020 election. Mark had believed that himself.

But then there would be other days, while I was working for Mark, where I would sort of question my own belief in that, because it seemed like he was also feeling the conspiracy theories and the lies surrounding the 2020 election.

Now, we have the power of hindsight, and thanks to a lot of the work done by the January 6 committee, and also what we have known from limited public releases, from Jack Smith and his team. It's a lot more intricate than even what I knew. I was privy to a lot with Mark. I was not privy to everything.

So, when I look at his role in the post-2020 election, he was involved in a lot, but he also knows a lot. He's a person that has critical information, I believe, in every single investigation. He owes it to himself. He owes it to the American people, and he owes it to the duty that he swore to defend and protect the Constitution, to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to every investigator.

COLLINS: Did you talk to investigators for this?


HUTCHINSON: I'm not going to comment on investigators I may or may not have spoken with in the past. But what I will say is moving forward, I will comply fully with any cooperation they ask of me.

COLLINS: Do you remember Mark Meadows ever saying that Trump did lose the election in that time period, like acknowledging that he -- that he had lost?

HUTCHINSON: Yes. I mean, Mark and I had conversations as early -- I can't remember the exact date off the top of my head, but about potentially moving to Florida with the former President. Mark was having meetings with people about a Biden transition. So there were times that Mark would seem to acknowledge these things.

And it's consistent with the testimony that I've given to every investigative body that I've spoken with, in the last couple of years, which was--

COLLINS: Which is a few.

HUTCHINSON: I can say, it's many at this point.

But then there'll be other days too, though, that, and some of it has been released, but he was texting back and forth with more of the Team Crazies about promoting these conspiracy theories. And he was putting this information in front of the President, too.

So, again, it's difficult to hypothesize or speculate about what Mark truly believed. Yes, I'll leave it at that.

COLLINS: You read through this. And there's all these names of Arizona state officials, people who worked in the White House and the Trump campaign that are indicted here in this fake electors scheme.

The one person who's not he's -- this is how we figured out that it was Mark Meadows is because it said he was Unindicted Co-conspirator 1's Chief of Staff. Unindicted co-conspirator 1 is Donald Trump.

I mean, what do you make of the fact that Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Boris Epshteyn, Christina Bobb, they're all indicted here. But Donald Trump is not.

HUTCHINSON: Yes, I have not had time to read through it. It's a bit curious, because I -- this is the first indictment that has been brought, where Trump is not.

COLLINS: I guess, Michigan. But yes.


COLLINS: He was indicted in Georgia--

HUTCHINSON: That's true.

COLLINS: --obviously.

HUTCHINSON: Correct, along with everybody else.

I don't -- I don't know I -- I don't -- I'm not sure on that one.

COLLINS: You mentioned the Supreme Court case, the hearing tomorrow, on immunity. It's really remarkable, because what Trump is basically arguing is that he's covered, because what he was doing to try to overturn the election, they argue, were official acts.

I mean, and when you look at that, his lawyers would say, he's just doing his job. But is that how you saw it when you were inside the White House that Trump was just fulfilling the duties of the President at that time?

HUTCHINSON: No. From the moment that Mr. Biden, now President Biden was declared the winner, I felt strongly that he did win the election, he won it fairly. I mean, a lot of my former colleagues, I believe, also felt the same way.

I don't believe under any circumstances, a president have the authority to thwart the results of a legitimate election, go through multiple processes to try to skew the election in his favor, and as a last resort, order a mob to attack the foundation of our government, because their ego is so wounded that they lost an election and they will not just admit defeat. Well, Kaitlan, and we talk about leadership in the next election and the Supreme Court. And we tie all of this together, in communicating this, with the American people. Policy is important for who we elect to the Oval Office. But what I argue, especially in this next election cycle, is the character of the individual matters far more than any policy that they may or may not implement.

Donald Trump's character has been evident for a very long time. But he's had a team of people around him, who have really isolated him, in this false identity of a strongman, and somebody that truly believes that they want the best for the American people.

That's what his actions show, though, is he's not for the American people. He's for himself. He's willing to go to whatever ends necessary to make sure that he is not put in prison, like he is currently facing, and that the American people don't know the truth about him.

It's important that the Supreme Court acknowledges that he does not get to evade consequence and accountability for this. But it's also really important that we hold him accountable in the public -- court of public opinion as well.

COLLINS: It's safe to say you're not going to be voting for Donald Trump.

HUTCHINSON: My door is and has been completely shut to voting for Donald Trump in 2024.

COLLINS: Does that mean you'll consider voting for President Biden?

HUTCHINSON: I would absolutely consider voting for President Biden.

I would encourage -- I would never tell Americans how to vote. But I do know there are a lot of Americans, who currently are on the fence, about who to vote for. And these are active conversations that we need to engage in over the next six, seven months.

But I would encourage people on that fence, to really do a deep dive, and look at the damage that Donald Trump has done to our democracy, and what he would continue to do, in a potential second Trump term, and to really weigh that when they're considering who to vote for.


COLLINS: And to tie all this together, the fake electors scheme, Trump running for office again. The people that he's been considering for vice president, we've interviewed some of them, and asked would you do what Mike Pence did on January 6th. Several of them have said no.

HUTCHINSON: I mean, the soul of the Republican Party has been completely usurped and taken advantage of by Donald Trump. And that's something that he has done somewhat successfully. I will give him credit where it's due.

He is a very good liar and manipulator. And he has manipulated the entire -- almost the entire Republican Party, especially in Congress, right now, to be the party of his image. And it's really unfortunate that we see a lot of individuals, who I once regarded as noble statesmen, or the future of the Republican Party, to disregard the rule of law and the Constitution, in the way that they are now.

COLLINS: Cassidy Hutchinson, I want you to stick around now. We just have a few more questions for you, on some really important issues, including what Trump has been saying about you personally, in recent weeks and months.

We'll be back in just a moment, with much more of our one-on-one interview with Cassidy Hutchinson.


COLLINS: And we're back now with our top source tonight, former Trump White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson.


And Cassidy, you were just talking about the immunity case and what that means.

Trump is also going to be in court tomorrow, back in New York, in the criminal hush money case. He's been facing accusations from the prosecutors that he violated the gag order. It seems pretty black and white that he did violate the gag order. But we're waiting on the judge to decide. And the emphasis has been he's just been attacking witnesses, non-stop.

And as someone who has been personally attacked by Donald Trump, what's the impact that that has on your life?

HUTCHINSON: I mean, in short, it's tremendous. And it's something that I think we have to take really seriously, and other witnesses coming forward have to take really seriously.

I was really fortunate that when I made the decision to come forward, and comply fully with the January 6 committee, that I was surrounded by a team of lawyers and advisers that really insulated and protected me.

I knew what I was getting myself into, when I left the Trump-world. And regrettably, I knew that, because I had once been part of that playbook. I know how they attack the people, who they feel most threatened by, and they will do whatever means necessary to take them down and ruin their reputation and their image in the name of promoting Donald Trump.

It's been difficult for me at points, and I would be -- I would -- I wouldn't be honest with your viewers, if I said otherwise there. I have hard days still.

But I think about other witnesses, like Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, whose lives were upended during the 2020 election. I think about Rusty Bowers. I think about Brian Butler, who courageously came forward with you a

couple of weeks ago, and he was interviewed, in the Mar-a-Lago case, works for Trump at Mar-a-Lago. But he came forward now, because he believes that the information that he has is really important for the American people to know and understand.

That takes courage because you do know that there are going to be negative impacts, on your security situation, your potential future job prospects, people coming after you publicly, but also for your family. And that's, I think about people like that, who don't have the resources or they don't have the ability to protect themselves.

When we talk about Donald Trump's, how he's completely devoid of any leadership quality. That right there tells you who Donald Trump is. He wages his attacks on the American people.

COLLINS: I'm so glad you brought up Brian Butler, because he's the former Mar-a-Lago employee, who's now a witness in the classified documents investigation, kind of similar to a lot of people, who work for Trump and then wind up in these investigations.

And we asked about the impact that coming forward has. And this is what he told us about his concerns.


COLLINS: Why are you speaking out publicly, with your story now?

BRIAN BUTLER, FORMER MAR-A-LAGO EMPLOYEE: Instead of just waiting for it to just come out, I think it's better that I get to, at least say what happened, than it coming out in the news, people calling me like crazy. I'd rather just get it out there. And the hope is, at least I can move on with my life, and get over this.


COLLINS: I mean, he kind of felt similar to how you do.

HUTCHINSON: I have goose bumps, sitting here.

I remember watching the interview the night that it aired. And it takes, at this point, it takes a lot to get me very emotional, about some of the shortcomings of Trump-world even just -- because I, at this point, I expect a lot of it.

But seeing him speak with you so candidly and openly about what he's gone through, how his decision process played out. But also how it was a difficult one, you know? He did turn away from his friends, in order to do the right thing. I hold him in really high regard. And I think that he's extremely courageous, for doing what he did. And I think the American people owe him a thank you for that.

COLLINS: Yes. He's lost friends over this. Someone, a co-conspirator of Trump's -- codefendant is -- was one of his best friends.

When you look at all of this, and as the judge in New York is deciding how to respond to Trump's alleged violations of the gag order. Is there anything that would hold him accountable for his attacks on these witnesses and even commenting on the jury?

HUTCHINSON: I would like to say yes. But Donald Trump is going to leverage whatever the judge decides, and use it as an opportunity, to make himself a martyr, in this situation.

He's going to try to continue, in my view, stealing money from hardworking American people, by fundraising off of this, by lying to them and by spreading conspiracy theories, by playing on their greatest anxieties and fears. So, he can win again. And so he can stay in power and potentially not have to go to prison for the rest of his life, because that's the reality of what he's facing.

But when we talk about how to adequately handle this, it's really difficult. I think, sometimes sending him to prison is the right thing. Can you really limit his speech? I can't comment on the nuances of all of that.


I think the greatest stride that we can take towards holding him accountable, though, is in this next election cycle, making sure that he never gets near the Oval Office again. But in the process, of leading up to that, really talking to the American people about who he actually is.

COLLINS: He said that -- he questioned, I should say, whether you should be prosecuted because of a Secret Service agent, who could not corroborate your testimony of something that you said you were told by the White House Deputy Chief of Operations, at the time, Tony Ornato. And he's gone after you publicly as you've spoken out bravely.

I wonder if seeing him attack these other witnesses, right now, as this case is going on, how does that make you feel about potentially having to be a witness in a Trump trial one day?

HUTCHINSON: It depends on the day. Some days, I feel like I've gone through the worst. And I kind of know what to expect at this point. But then a day will happen where you realize it probably can get worse. I try not to lament too much on hypotheticals of what could or could not happen.

I would expect, I can't say it definitively, but I would expect at some point, if these investigations continue, to be called as a witness. And again, I would comply fully, willingly and faithfully, because I believe that's my duty as an American citizen.

But in saying that too, what I fear more than his attacks on me is what would happen if I didn't continue to speak the truth. I don't love being a public figure all of the time. It is difficult, and not only because of Trump, but just managing what is coming from him and his allies and supporters, and his enablers.

COLLINS: And you're 27-years-old, I should note. HUTCHINSON: Correct. But I also think, when we look at America, we rely on public servants, and the American people, to uphold our institutions and our Constitution. And what scares me more is the fact that this could potentially be the final election of our American democracy, as we know it, if he's reelected.

COLLINS: Cassidy Hutchinson, thank you for joining me tonight.

HUTCHINSON: Thank you for having me back, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Thank you.

And much more on our breaking news ahead, as Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows and other former Trump aides and attorneys, all just indicted, in Arizona, for their roles, in the fake electors plot, to overturn the 2020 election.

Three of our best legal minds will join us to break it down.

Also this hour, we are watching a tense situation on the campus of the University of Southern California, as you could see here, a standoff between the police and protesters. We have the latest on the ground, live, next.



COLLINS: Back with more breaking news tonight.

As you can see, tense protests are happening, at the University of Southern California, right now, one of several universities that we have seen in recent days, across the country, flaring with anger over the Israel-Hamas war and Gaza.

CNN's Nick Watt is live on the ground covering it all.

Nick, what is the latest that you're seeing live on the ground?

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kaitlan, what you're seeing from the camera that I'm standing right next to are the first arrests.

These protesters have been here since 4:30, this morning. They set up tents. Those tents were taken down earlier. They have been chanting. They have been talking. They have been protesting all day.

The police about an hour ago gave them a warning that if they stayed on Alumni Park, which is this area of grass that I'm standing on right now, where commencement will be happening in a couple of weeks. The protesters were told if they stayed, they would be arrested and liable for criminal trespass.

The police then found out they were found along three sides of this park, allowing people, who wanted to leave the chance to leave. A lot of people did leave.

But Dave (ph), if you pan around -- oh, you see that's one more person being arrested.

Dave (ph), if you pan around, we can actually show the kind of knot of protesters right in the middle, who stayed. Those people stayed. They linked arms. Some of them put helmets and safety goggles on. Many of them put on masks, to disguise their identity. They were determined to stay and be arrested for this cause.

Does he have anything to say? No, he doesn't.

Now, earlier today, there was a bit of a scuffle, when the tents were taken down by campus police. The campus then asked the LAPD to come in and assist them. The campus, the college officials also closed the gates. Only people with USC ID were allowed onto the campus, because a lot of outside agitators have come on to join this protest.

The college was trying to keep it small, trying to keep it contained. They failed. It got big, bigger as the day went on. And now, you're seeing the results.

Young people, and others, from the City of Los Angeles being arrested. They say their demands have not been met. Their demands are similar to those on college campuses, around the country, at Columbia and elsewhere. They are doing this in solidarity. They are being arrested.


COLLINS: Do we know if they're all students? Or is it -- is it clear from what you've seen on the ground?

VOICE OF WATT: It's pretty clear that some are students, others definitely are not.

And I noticed on social media, this morning, other sort of anarchists and other groups in Los Angeles, appealing for people to come to this protest today.


The other kind of underlying issue here is there was -- the valedictorian at USC, a young Muslim woman of Indian origin, was supposed to be giving a speech, at that commencement on this very ground. She was then disinvited because of some links from her social media, to sites about Palestine that were very critical, very offensive to Jews. So, that's another layer that is added on here at USC.

As you see there, another arrest, many people with their faces covered. One more arrest.


COLLINS: Yes. We've seen three arrests happening just while you were speaking there. There's a fourth right there.

Nick Watt, we'll continue to check in with you as you're monitoring this active situation, at USC. We're also breaking down our other big news tonight, as Arizona just became the second state, where we are learning Donald Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator in a fake electors scheme. We learned that he's in the exact same situation, as he was in a case in Michigan, during a pre-trial hearing today.

We have our legal sources tonight, each former federal prosecutors.

Elie Honig, CNN's Senior Legal Analyst, and also Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Elliot Williams, a CNN Legal Analyst and once Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Leg. Affairs.

And Shan Wu, now a defense attorney, was once counsel to the Attorney General.

Elie, as we're looking through this, Donald Trump's name isn't in here, or it's redacted. But he's the unindicted co-conspirator number one. Why is everyone else indicted, not Donald Trump?


The reason why prosecutors typically list someone as an unindicted co- conspirator rather than a defendant is either you don't have enough evidence to actually indict that person. Or for other reasons, for other sort of discretionary reasons, you don't think it's worth bringing an indictment.

And I think that's a fair question to ask.

I'm going to maintain a degree of healthy skepticism, as to these fake elector indictments that we've seen, because if you look across the country, there's not much rhyme or reason. I mean, they're literally all over the map.

We have seven states, where there were fake electors. We've now seen indictments in four. But nobody charged in the other three. Some of the states have indicted all the fake electors. Others have picked and choose. Georgia indicted some, but not other fake electors.

Donald Trump is indicted in Georgia, for his involvement, in the fake elector scheme, but he's not mentioned at all in the other states. But then he's mentioned as an unindicted co-conspirator in this one.

And there has not been a substantial conviction, in any of these cases. There's not been a trial conviction. There's not been a felony guilty plea. So, I'm going to maintain a healthy degree of skepticism until I see some actual results on these cases.

COLLINS: But couldn't that just be because each state is doing their own investigation, their own thing. It's different attorneys general that are looking into this?

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. And, I mean, Elie, to your point, I mean, I'd have a lot more skepticism with all of that cookie-cutter indictments, that all done exactly the same thing.

I do think it has a lot to do with how the offices are proceeding, what kind of degrees of cooperation, they got. Someone like Chesebro, for example, might have started out not too helpful, and then began to move down the spectrum for--

COLLINS: Kenneth Chesebro--

WU: Kenneth Chesebro.

COLLINS: --who was also not named in this indictment.

WU: Right.

COLLINS: But was described as one of the chief architects of the January 6 plot.

WU: Right, who has some credibility problems, because he's basically perjured himself on a couple of times, telling one grand jury that this was a contingent plan, then admitting in an email, it was not contingent.

So, there are all sorts of factors that could go into the way that they're coming out time-wise on it.

COLLINS: There are some new names that have not been indicted before.

One, Boris Epshteyn. That's notable. He's a top aide to Donald Trump, right now. You'll often see him accompanying Donald Trump, when he goes to court, and when he's out on the campaign trail.


COLLINS: Also, Christina Bobb, maybe not a household name, but she was the attorney, who was down at Mar-a-Lago, signing a document saying yes to our knowledge, all the documents have been turned over to the federal government, which obviously they had not. That -- she's not charged with that here. But she is charged in the fake electors plot.

WILLIAMS: Yes. And I think picking up on Elie's point, from a little bit earlier, what's notable is that even though state laws are going to vary from state to state, state election laws, and how different attorneys general were going to proceed, the evidence is largely going to be the same, in most of these states.

The same people played the same roles across whether it was Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and elsewhere. And so, it is a little bit curious as to why Christina Bobb is charged here, but not elsewhere.

Now, obviously, to Shan's point, there may be different levels of cooperation among other witnesses and so on. But it is interesting, because it's the same conduct nationwide. Why charge in some places, but not others?

COLLINS: Yes. And there are so much legal news happening.


COLLINS: I mean, we're waiting on the Supreme Court hearing, tomorrow, on whether Donald Trump has immunity. We're also waiting for court to resume at around the same time, tomorrow, in New York.

HONIG: Right.

COLLINS: The judge there has not yet ruled on whether Donald Trump violated his gag order. Why not?

HONIG: I don't know what he's waiting for. And he might rule before tomorrow.


HONIG: I mean, this is an issue where time matters. Donald Trump is violating this gag order, almost on a rolling real-time basis. And the longer the judge takes, the more time he allows for these ongoing violations. So, I do think we're guessing here.

But I do think we're going to get a ruling right at the open of the trial day, tomorrow. I think it's going to be a stern reprimand of Donald Trump.

WILLIAMS: And it's not even--


WILLIAMS: Well it's not even just about the gag order.

COLLINS: Michael Cohen says he's not talking anymore even.

WILLIAMS: Of course.

COLLINS: He's gag-ordered himself.

HONIG: Voluntarily gagged, yes.

WILLIAMS: But I just, I mean, it's not even just about the gag order. It's about maintaining order and discipline in the court.


WILLIAMS: The judge is in control of his domain there, and ought to issue something, just to remind all of the parties, who's in charge there. And I think he's let it twist out there in the wind a bit.


WU: Yes. Well, I think he's a pretty stern in-control judge. And I think if I were his law clerk, I'd be saying what you have to think about here is what kind of a warning shot can you shoot? And I think there's going to be a lecture that all these violations or violations is adding up. Money doesn't matter here. But making the foundation for a future greater consequence.

COLLINS: Yes, we just heard Cassidy Hutchinson.

WU: Right.

COLLINS: Someone who could be a witness in a trial for Trump one day, talking about the impacts of that on these witnesses.

Great to have all of you here, Elliot Williams, Shan Wu, Elie Honig. Thank you for that.

Ahead, another major story that happened today, whether or not women can be denied emergency care in America? Yes, it's a question that is actively before the Supreme Court. It's the heart of the latest battle that they took on today. And the outcome remains very uncertain.

We're going to hear from a governor, who's very passionate about this, right after a quick break.



COLLINS: Tonight, the abortion battle, back on, at the Supreme Court here in Washington. And what happens next will once again have a huge impact around the country.

This time, the justices are wrestling with Idaho's abortion ban, in a case that could determine whether emergency rooms, in over a dozen states can provide abortions to pregnant women, who are facing medical emergencies. Right now, see, Idaho's near-total ban only has exceptions for reported cases of rape or incest, or if the mother is on the brink of death.

The Biden administration is arguing today that it's a standard of care that has devastating consequences.


ELIZABETH PRELOGAR, SOLICITOR GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, doctors in Idaho and the women in Idaho are in an impossible position. If a woman comes to an emergency room facing a grave threat to her health, but she isn't yet facing death, doctors either have to delay treatment and allow her condition to material --to materially deteriorate, or they're airlifting her out of the state so she can get the emergency care that she needs.


COLLINS: Based on what we heard today, the court appears divided on that argument that you heard just there.

But Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Amy Coney Barrett also had some tough questions, for Idaho's attorney, who was making their case, Josh Turner. Those two conservative justices, of course, will be key in how this is decided.

At one point, Justice Barrett seemed pretty frustrated that Idaho's attorney hedged, as she said, on whether or not his state's law allowed doctors to exercise their own judgment.


AMY CONEY BARRETT, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm kind of shocked actually, because I thought your own expert had said below that these kinds of cases were covered.


CONEY BARRETT: And you're now saying they're not?

TURNER: No, I'm not saying that. That's just my point, Your Honor is that--

CONEY BARRETT: Well, you're hedging. I mean, Justice Sotomayor is asking you, would this be covered or not? And it was my understanding that the legislature's witnesses said that these would be covered.

TURNER: Yes. And those doctors said if they were exercising their medical judgment, they could in good faith, determine that life-saving care was necessary.

CONEY BARRETT: What if the prosecutor thought differently? What if the prosecutor thought well, I don't think any good faith doctor could draw that conclusion, I'm going to put on my expert.

TURNER: And that, Your Honor, is the nature of prosecutorial discretion.


COLLINS: Our source tonight, Democratic governor of Massachusetts, Maura Healey. Governor Healey, who has been at the forefront of a fight for abortion access in her state, and also an official surrogate for President Biden's 2024 campaign.

Governor, how do you think that the Biden administration made its case in court today?

GOV. MAURA HEALEY (D-MA): Well, I think the Biden administration did a terrific job of just laying bare what's really going on here.

And what's really going on here, Kaitlan, is that one in three women in America today, live with an abortion ban. Why did this happen? Why do 20 states and counting ban abortion or nearly ban abortion? It's because of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump created that court. He brags about overturning Roe. And since that Dobbs decision, we've seen state after state legislature, enact draconian extremist bans. Donald Trump created this. He did this. He owns this.

And what we know from today is that Donald Trump is also responsible for women having to be airlifted, out of the State of Idaho, because they have been forced to the brink of death and life-altering medical conditions, because of a draconian ban. This is Donald Trump. And as we face November, the stakes could not be more clear. Anyone who cares about that? Anyone whose heart goes out to women, who by the way, some of them are even forced to endure conditions that are going to put them at risk, of ever being able to have a baby in the future? Anyone who cares about this, needs to go out, and work hard, and vote, and work to elect Joe Biden.

COLLINS: Well and as one of the liberal justices noted, it's not a hypothetical. I think it was six women in Idaho, who recently had to be airlifted out, to get that care.

And the lawyer, who's representing Idaho, Josh Turner, he claimed that this federal law would allow emergency rooms, to provide abortions, for women who are depressed, experiencing depression, or other mental health issues.

I wonder what you made of that argument from Idaho's attorney.

HEALEY: I mean, look, I also speak as a former Attorney General, two- time Attorney General. Eight years, I served as Attorney General in Massachusetts.

And I can talk to you about judges. I can talk to you about courts. I can tell you that the real judges are going to be the people, who care about this issue, women and men, who care about ensuring that women have access to needed health care, including abortion.

And that's why people need to understand that it's Donald Trump, who wants to punish women. Joe Biden wants to protect them and ensure access to abortion. Donald Trump wants to jail doctors. Joe Biden wants to protect them. And that's what's at stake.


It's also worth noting, because I've talked to my colleagues, in other states, and you look, Kaitlan at what's happening, in Arizona, in Idaho, in Donald Trump's home state of Florida which is going to have a ban in place that will ban abortion before a woman even know she's pregnant, OK?

It's having a chilling effect, on doctors and providers, right now, who don't want to be jailed, who don't want to be prosecuted, who want to provide care and fulfill their Hippocratic Oath, but are understandably concerned about consequences.

COLLINS: Given that and what you said, is at stake on the ballot, what do you -- is there anything you want to see President Biden do, unilaterally, through executive power from the Oval Office?

HEALEY: I want him to continue to do exactly what he has been doing, which is to talk about the importance of ensuring access to abortion, ensuring that women have access to needed health care, being clear as he was in court today that this is serious.

What's happened to women around this country, what's happening to providers because of Donald Trump is just wrong. It's wrong under the law, and it's also wrong in terms of what is happening out there.

And I for one, I'll tell you, I will make sure, here in Massachusetts, and I know I will be joined by colleagues, in making sure that we will always protect patients and providers in accessing needed abortion.

COLLINS: Governor Maura Healey, a powerful voice on this issue. Thank you for your time.

HEALEY: Thank you. Good to be with you, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: A key part of Trump's defense, in his New York criminal case, in the words of his own attorney, is that President Trump fought back against allegations of affairs to quote, "Protect his family, his reputation and his brand."

If this was about protecting his family, it only makes their absence from the courtroom, especially that of his wife, Melania, the former first lady, all the more noticeable.

Very few reporters are as well-sourced on all of this, as our next guest. She is the Author of "Free, Melania: The Unauthorized Biography," and also former CNN White House Correspondent, Kate Bennett.

We are so glad to have you back.


COLLINS: I mean, are you surprised that the Trump family is not rallying around him and showing up for his court appearances?

BENNETT: So, I'm not surprised about Melania Trump not showing up because she typically never does, right? We don't see her in his public times of woe, standing by his side, like most political spouses do, that sort of iconic image of the wife holding hands, after some humiliating experience.

But I am a little surprised that we don't see Donald Trump Jr., or Eric Trump, or Ivanka Trump, who was so prominent in the former President's life before. You're not seeing him flanked by his children as he walks into court. They're not sitting there every day. They're really not even sort of actively social media championing their father.

So, that is a little unusual, especially considering, as you just said, this is a case that they, the defense is, is pinning on protecting family.

COLLINS: Yes, Ivanka Trump the other day was posting about Earth Day, I noticed, while he was in court.


COLLINS: But on what we're about to hear on the witness stand, we're hearing from David Pecker, right now. But we know that we expect Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, to get up there potentially. I just want to remind everyone what Karen McDougal has said about her

alleged affair with Donald Trump.


KAREN MCDOUGAL, AMERICAN MODEL AND ACTRESS: When I got with him, actually, you know, there was a -- there was a real relationship there. There was a real -- there were real feelings between the two of us, not just myself, not just him. There was a real relationship there.

COOPER: Were you in love with him?

MCDOUGAL: I was. Yes.

COOPER: And do you think he was in love with you?

MCDOUGAL: He was. Yes.

COOPER: Did Donald Trump ever say to you that he loved you?

MCDOUGAL: All the time. He always told me he loved me. Yes.


COLLINS: I don't -- maybe this is not a question. But is Melania Trump angrier about Stormy Daniels or Karen McDougal?

BENNETT: Well, this was something I reported on, back in the day for CNN. And she's far more concerned and emotional about Karen McDougal, because mostly of the thing that she just said there, to Anderson Cooper.

She was in her home, right? She -- Donald Trump took her to their private personal home. And he also, according to Karen McDougal, said the L-word, said that he loved her, and that they loved each other.

I think, for Melania Trump, that's far more not only emotionally painful, but sort of humiliating right, to -- you know, it's one thing to have a one-night stand and, you know, that's also humiliating. I'm not going to go there. But it is far more challenging, emotionally, for her, to have someone who is saying that they were in an emotional relationship, with her husband.

COLLINS: You said it's not unusual to not see Melania a ton. She never had this traditional first lady role. But what do you make of her absence from the campaign trail, and kind of how she's looking at this run for the White House again?

BENNETT: Well, I mean, I loved how everyone said last week, when she appeared at the one fundraiser, for the Log Cabin Republicans, at Mar- a-Lago, this is her re-entry. She walked downstairs, right? She lives--

COLLINS: She was in the tea room at Mar-a-Lago.


BENNETT: Was at Mar-a-Lago. So, it's not like she's making a big return.

It's much like her 2020 appearances, which were basically nothing. I think she did one solo campaign appearance, right before the election, and 2016, where she kind of dipped her toe in, and it didn't really -- wasn't really her jam, and she kind of felt uncomfortable.

So, I don't think we're going to see her again, this time around, although she's needed. I would say she would help humanize and get those undecideds maybe on her husband's side. But I think it's, again, The Case of the Missing Melania.

COLLINS: Fascinating.

Kate Bennett, great to have you back.

BENNETT: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

COLLINS: Love seeing you in studio again.

BENNETT: Thanks.

COLLINS: And thank you all so much, for joining us tonight.

"CNN NEWSNIGHT WITH ABBY PHILLIP" starts right after a quick break.



ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: Donald Trump earns another title for the second time in one day. Unindicted co-conspirator number one. That's tonight on NEWSNIGHT.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN Breaking News.


PHILLIP: Good evening. I'm Abby Phillip in Washington.

Breaking news tonight, Arizona adds itself to the list of states alleging that Donald Trump and his allies broke the law.