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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

"I Will Remove You From The Stand": Judge Threatens Trump Witness; AZ Attorney General: Giuliani "Might Have Been A Little Bit Surprised" When He Was Served At Birthday Party; Biden Slams International Criminal Court's Push For Netanyahu Arrest Warrant. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 20, 2024 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: In her poem, "Summer Day," Mary Oliver asks, "What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Well Joey Pintauro did a lot with his. And he touched a lot of people along the way. He loved his family, his partner Eddie (ph). He loved his friends. And we loved him in return.

We will miss you, Joey. We will not forget you.


COOPER: And that's it for us.

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


You almost need a four-letter word, to describe what happened inside Trump's trial, this afternoon. I was there, when the entire press corps was cleared from the courtroom, after the defense's witness made Judge Merchan furious.

Plus, all the President's friends, who were also inside that courtroom today. The Trump entourage included a former biker gang leader, who spent years in prison, and a string of others, who are also facing charges of their own.

And talk about a birthday surprise. Rudy Giuliani served a birthday cake, for his 80th, then was served himself with an indictment, after evading Arizona's Attorney General, for weeks. We'll go straight to THE SOURCE with her, in moments.

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

The wheels came off the bus. That is really the only way, to sum up what happened, when six weeks into Donald Trump's hush money trial, the prosecution rested its case today.

Because moments after Michael Cohen stepped off the stand, following 17 hours of testimony, including testimony where the defense got him to concede that he stole tens of thousands of dollars from Donald Trump, it was after that that the craziest moment happened, inside that courtroom today.

It was the witness, who came after Michael Cohen that triggered an eruption, inside the courtroom, not Michael Cohen himself.

I was in the room, about five rows back, watching it all unfold. And let me tell you, it was the kind of moment that made you wish there were cameras in court.

You see, Trump's team had been torn, on whether to call Robert Costello, to the stand. We reported that here, this morning. They still had not made a final decision, when court started. But in the end, they did end up calling him this afternoon.

Robert Costello, of course, is the one, who advised Michael Cohen, but never formally represented him.

Not long after Costello took that stand, however, Judge Juan Merchan had to scold him. He sent the jury out of the room, to address how Costello was answering questions, even after the judge had sustained rulings, meaning he wasn't supposed to answer.

Costello was muttering audibly about those rulings from the judge, and at points, even rolling his eyes. Not once in this entire trial, have I seen Judge Merchan, this furious.

The judge pointedly telling Costello, and I'm quoting from the transcript now, after the jury left the room, "I want to discuss proper decorum in the courtroom... if you don't like my ruling, you don't say "Jeeze," OK. And then don't say "strike it," because I'm the only one that can strike testimony in" this "courtroom." And then if you don't like my ruling, "you don't give me side eye and you don't roll your eyes. Do you understand that?"

Then, Judge Merchan raised his voice, and asked the witness, "Are you staring me down right now?"

Seconds after that, Merchan cleared the courtroom. The Press in that room pushed back, on having to leave. They wanted to be able to witness that moment, as it was happening. But court officials were yelling to leave the room. It was chaotic in every sense of the word, with everyone really just looking around at each other, not fully knowing what to do.

Remember, of course, the jury saw none of this, having already been sent out of the room themselves. And the press too followed, and was sent out. Though I saw that Trump's entourage, at least most of them, did stay behind in the room.

Moments later, we were back and testimony resumed, with the jury having no idea what just went down.

Donald Trump, however, was there, the whole time, and had this to say afterward. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You saw what we saw. And that was an incredible display. I've never seen anything like it in my life. A tyrant. And everyone's talking about it.

You saw what happened to a highly-respected lawyer today, Bob Costello. Wow. I've never seen anything like that.


COLLINS: Not only did Trump there, just call the judge, a tyrant, which is some of his strongest language that we have seen about Merchan, to date. He's also talking about a witness.

Under the terms of Trump's gag order as we have gone over many times, during these six weeks, trump is not supposed to talk about any of the witnesses, even the ones he likes, even the ones that he pushed his defense team, to call to the witness stand today.


It's a remarkable day. And my legal sources tonight here are:

CNN's Senior Legal Analyst, and a former Assistant U.S. attorney, Elie Honig.

Also jury consultant, Renato Stabile.

Retired New York State Supreme Court Justice, Judge Jill Konviser.

And CNN Legal Analyst, Norm Eisen, who was also cleared out of that courtroom with me today.

And Norm, I mean, I looked over. I saw you on the other side of the room. We were sitting there. No one knew what to do.

The court officials were just following the judge's orders, telling people to get out of the room. An attorney for the media was saying, we want to stay, was addressing the judge directly. I mean, it was pure chaos.

And you know what I was thinking? Will we know what was said, when we were not in there.

And we just got the transcript. And the judge here, and I'm quoting from his transcript, was talking about how the difficulty, the court officers had, in getting everyone to leave the room, because it's mostly media, in the back of that room, and it was just chaotic.

And the judge said, this will be in the transcript, I'm not going to seal it. And he said, the fact that I had to clear the courtroom, and that the court officers, including the captain had great difficulty clearing the courtroom, and that there was argument back-and-forth between the press, and including the Counsel for that press, goes to why I had to clear the courtroom in the first place.

And he's speaking to Robert Costello now, and he says, Sir, your conduct is contemptuous right now. I'm putting you on notice that your conduct is contemptuous. And if you try to stare me down one more time, I will remove you from the stand.

And he addressed Trump's attorney, and said, I'm going to strike his entire testimony if that happens. Do you understand me?

Emil Bove said, "Yes, Judge. I understand."

And then Costello asked the judge, "Can I say something, please?"

And the judge goes, "No. No. This is not a conversation."

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It was an extraordinary moment.

There have been a couple times, in my close to 40 years of going to court, when courts have been cleared like that. Never with that chaos. Never in such a high-profile case.

And I've seldom seen a witness act out as visibly as Robert Costello. He set this off by audibly saying, in response to one of the judge's rulings, because he was rambling all over the place. Objection, sustained. And then, he said, Jeeze, and the jury could hear that.

COLLINS: They're sitting right there. I was five row back--

EISEN: The jury--

COLLINS: --five rows back. And I could hear it.

EISEN: The jury was -- Kaitlan and I were looking at each other, across the aisle. The jurors were looking at each other, which they seldom do. They were rolling their eyes. They were pursing their lips. They were shaking their heads.

Whatever value Costello had to the defense, and as you reported, there was a hot debate about it, within the defense, whatever value he had was eliminated.

And the irony? Elie and I have often talked about this. Will Michael Cohen keep his cool? He's such a passionate person. He's such a hot reactor.

Michael Cohen kept his cool, for an entire week.

Bob Costello, a long time, respect that attorney, blew up the entire courtroom.

COLLINS: Yes. Bob Costello's on the -- Michael Cohen was on the stand, for 17 hours. And maybe you find his testimony damaging. But he was pretty calm, cool and collected.

Bob Costello is on there, for 30 minutes. And the judge has to clear the courtroom. I mean, judge, have you ever -- have you ever had to clear a courtroom? I mean, how remarkable is it that that happened?


I have cleared a courtroom, but under very different circumstances. Gang members in the audience throwing gang signs and threatening signs at a witness, I cleared the courtroom. And there was some arrests, as a result. But it is very rare.

And this was the situation, where he needed to do it. He had a witness who was acting contemptuously. He had a witness, who was clearly not following the rules. Decorum was the word that he used, when that was completely being obliterated. I think he did the right thing. I liked the way he didn't let -- he didn't give him an inch.

And he's on notice. That's the rule in New York. The law in New York is you need to give a witness, notice--


KONVISER: --a person, a defendant, a witness, anyone, a lawyer, notice before being able to be -- to actually hold them in contempt. He's warned. It's out there. He does it again? This judge strikes the testimony, and holds this guy in contempt.

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: This was an eminently predictable debacle. I mean, every time, we've raised the possibility, over the last week or so, we started getting reporting from Kaitlan and others, they are torn about whether to call Costello.

I mean, my reaction, I think, most of our reaction is why? Why would you do that? Why would you take this risk? Now, I didn't know he was going to implode this way. I don't know the guy personally. But what an embarrassment?

I will say two things, having read the transcript.

One, the judge did the defense a bit of a favor because, as you noted, Kaitlan, he got the jury out of there real quick, and the bigger drama happened after the jury was gone. And then, the jury was not there, as you said, when the courtroom was cleared, when it reached this sort of crescendo.

The other thing is I went back and read through this. What did the defense even get from that guy? It was all stuff that was already there. He basically said, well, Cohen told me that he didn't really have anything to use against Trump. And that's about it. I mean, it was a big nothing that they already had anyway.

And there's not really much happening on the cross of this guy, either. They're just letting him act like a maniac, and it's hurting the defense.

[21:10:00] COLLINS: I mean, it was -- it was crazy because he was -- he was there, to undermine Michael Cohen's credibility. And Trump wanted him to come, after seeing him testify on the Hill.

But that is the most remarkable part, is the jury missed all of this. That's what I was thinking, when we got back in the room, and they started questioning him again, I was like, these 12 people have no clue what just happened.

RENATO STABILE, ATTORNEY & JURY CONSULTANT: I wouldn't say that they have no--


STABILE: --I wouldn't say that they have no clue.

KONVISER: They have a clue.

STABILE: I mean, they know that he was acting up.

COLLINS: How did they -- how did they know in the moment?

STABILE: They know he was acting up.

COLLINS: I mean, they know they're getting sent out of the room for a reason.

STABILE: They know they were asked to leave. And they know they were brought back. And presumably, his attitude changed. So, the jury knows that something bad happened, in their absence. And you know, they're not--


KONVISER: I'm willing to bet the jury knows exactly what happened. And I say that because you heard these murmurings, the Jeeze, or whatever he was saying, objection, sustained, under his breath. So, if you heard it, they heard it.

And I am telling you, this jury, like most juries, is probably in love with the judge. And you take on the judge. They are not going to like it. This witness did not do a service to the defendant in this case.

COLLINS: Well there was one moment. And Norm, I don't know if you saw this. But I kind of had a direct view of the jury today.

And the prosecutor, Susan Hoffinger was crossing him. And she asked him a question. And Robert Costello asked her to speak into the microphone, with this kind of condescending tone. And she just went on.

But I saw two jurors, who normally have no reaction, exchange kind of this knowing look, as this was going on.

EISEN: Yes, it was a moment of mounting obnoxiousness. And it just got worse and worse. And the Jeeze, I agree, the jury could see, even though the judge was controlling himself, the jury could see that the rudeness was getting stronger and stronger. So, they are fond of the judge. And the judge signaled his anger at the steadily-increasing -- you can't -- it just was a loss of control by Costello. It was not a strategy. They were not trying to have that chaos, in the courtroom that the two of us experienced.

And our lawyer, who's there, who arranges the access, he stood up in the middle of the room, objection, Your Honor, objection. He was carrying on. The reporters were arguing with the court officers. They were shouting at us, get out, clear the room. It really was a moment of pandemonium.

I think that the judge should not have cleared the room. He should have left the reporters, and warned Costello. He actually, I think, he did get heated. He was a little emotional. His judgment was not the sharpest. He was doing it as a favor to Costello, because he didn't want the story to be Costello threatened with contempt. But it comes out in the transcript in a couple hours, anyhow. He should have left the press in the room. Certainly, the jury had to be out.

COLLINS: But how does the jury see, when Costello is up there? And he's contradicting himself.

Because, you know, I was listening for him. And it was, you know, he had this chance to maybe represent Michael Cohen. They talked about it. But he seemed to be contradicting himself.

Because at one minute, they would show an email that he sent his son, bragging that he was going to be representing Michael Cohen, that he was going to be the personal attorney to the former President he was representing, but don't tell anyone yet, it's not out.

And his son was responding, congrats, dad, I hope this leads to big things.

And two seconds, two questions later, he was saying, I never sought to be Michael Cohen's attorney.

STABILE: Right. It was very confused testimony.

Look, I guess the goal from the defense was that Michael Cohen told a different story. But there's a difference between perception and reality. The perception that the defense wants is that Michael Cohen can't be believed.

But the reality is, when a criminal defendant, or a potential criminal defendant, first meets with the criminal defense attorney, they're not always completely candid. That's a relationship of trust. That has to be built up.

So, it's not really any great surprise that Michael Cohen might not have told Bob Costello, the full truth, in their first few meetings. That's actually quite common.

HONIG: But Bob Costello's a horrific witness. It was a big mistake to call him.

If you're the defense, you have two choices.

Option A is let the last taste in the jury's mouth be Michael Cohen, who was horrible, also, as we'll talk about, I think, in the next segment.

Option B, let them go out, thinking about Bob Costello, between now and next Tuesday, when they come back. I think it's a huge mistake.

On the substance, again, there's not much here or there to what Costello said. He's a lousy witnesses. He's contradicting himself. It's kind of awash.

But Judge Konviser makes a great point, which is juries bond with judges, especially good ones, Judge Merchan is a good judge, in a way, like the judge becomes their mother and their father and their caretaker and their legal instructor. And if you're going to tick off the judge, it's obvious to the jury, as well. It's going to backfire.

COLLINS: We're going to bring you back in the next segment.


COLLINS: But did Trump violate the gag order, by name-dropping Robert Costello, outside the courtroom?

KONVISER: He may have, the spirit of the gag order, he may have done that.

Of course, the judge is going to wait until the People take action, if they do, which at this point, they may not want to, if he's not going to do it sua sponte, after what happened today.


COLLINS: OK. Somehow, we haven't even gotten to Michael Cohen's testimony today, which was also really notable. So, we'll do all of that after a quick break, here, because Michael Cohen's admission, on the stand today that he did steal from Trump, is a big question. How did the jury see that?

Also tonight, it is game over for Rudy Giuliani, who has been playing Catch Me If You Can, with Arizona's top law enforcement official. He was finally served at his own 80th birthday party. More with her, in a moment.


COLLINS: And on the 19th day, the prosecution rested. Its star witness, Michael Cohen, spent 17 hours, on the witness stand, over the course of four days in court.

And under cross-examination today, there was this moment, where Cohen was being asked, about paying a company tens of thousands of dollars less than what he had been reimbursed for. Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche, asked quote, "So you stole from The Trump Organization; right?"

And Cohen responded, "Yes, sir."

My legal sources are back here with me.


And Elie, I know that this moment, it was something that had already come up. That basically this group that he paid, to do this -- rig this online poll, Trump didn't get as high as he wanted. He already had noted that he didn't pay the company fully when he got paid back.

But it was the framing of how Todd Blanche questioned him today.


COLLINS: That made the difference.

HONIG: When it first came up, the way that Michael Cohen explained it was so wishy-washy and mealy-mouthed that it was almost imperceptible. He said something like, well, I didn't pay the full amount back because I didn't think Trump deserved it.


Today, Todd Blanche made clear, you stole.

And here's why this matters an enormous amount. This isn't just Michael Cohen stealing from the Trump Org. This is Michael Cohen stealing in the course of the $420,000 payment that is the heart of the crime.

And the prosecution's case is and they've said variations of this over and over, Donald Trump knew exactly what that $420,000 was for. He knew that it was for Stormy Daniels. He knew every penny. He knew every paperclip.

No, he didn't, because he was getting robbed, on that $420,000.

Here's the other thing that is indefensible, for the prosecution. Their theory now is Donald Trump committed either a misdemeanor or a Class E felony, the lowest felony, goes from A to E. And while he was committing either that misdemeanor or Class E felony, he was the victim of a Class C felony, larceny, committed by our star witness, the prosecution's star witness, who we gave a free pass to.

Whatever the outcome of this case is? It still may well result in conviction. That's an outrage. That is not just.

COLLINS: Norm, you were there. How did you see that moment?

EISEN: I thought Michael Cohen did the one thing that he had to do. He was honest with the jury, about what happened. He was not defensive. Susan Hoffinger had planted the seed. She was careful to bring it out again, as we have discussed when you previously testified.

I have a different view, sitting in the courtroom, that Michael Cohen, of course, has a checkered past.

But we see convictions, all the time, with cooperators, who have far worse histories, contract killers, mobsters, those who've peddled drugs to our kids. And yet, you get convictions.

The one thing that a witness has to do is tell the truth. Michael Cohen did his best, including today. I thought it was good enough.

HONIG: Norm, did Donald Trump know what that $420,000 payment was for?

EISEN: The essence of that $420,000 payment is the doubling--

HONIG: The essence?

EISEN: That is the doubling of the Stormy Daniels money.


EISEN: And Donald Trump, it's been shown over and over and over again, and corroborated, Trump knew exactly what it was.

HONIG: He knew exactly what it was.

COLLINS: But can we talk about--

HONIG: He's getting robbed.

COLLINS: --Michael Cohen's credibility?

Because the other moment was about that phone call that happened, where last week, the defense pulled out that also there was a prank- caller, who was 14-years-old that was harassing Michael Cohen.

And there was the moment today, where the defense -- or the prosecution pulled up this picture, because he said that, that night of that call that they are disputing, that he spoke to Keith Schiller, who put him on the phone with Trump.


COLLINS: And the prosecution pulled up an image, today, of Trump at a rally, four minutes before that phone call. You can see it here. There is Keith Schiller, in the red tie and the white shirt--


COLLINS: --with Trump, as he walks off stage, four minutes before that call happens.

STABILE: So, you really have to wonder, if they had ended with Cohen, last Thursday, would the prosecutors have had that at their fingertip?

COLLINS: No, because they found it this weekend, they said. STABILE: Right, exactly right. So now, you gave them that three-day weekend, which I was saying I wouldn't have done that. I mean, I don't think it's fatal either way.


STABILE: But it was obviously an opportunity, for the prosecution, to come back with this evidence that they wouldn't have had otherwise.


KONVISER: I think that's right. I also think -- I didn't think the 14- year-old conversation was quite as bad as some of -- as some of the rest of the pundits did. I knew that it hurt the People's case. But it didn't mean that he didn't also speak to Trump at that time.

So, when the People come back, and on redirect, decide, hey, here's a picture to show how plausible Michael Cohen's conversation and argument is? I think that was pretty devastating to the defendant.

HONIG: I think it's sleight of hand. The counter-narrative is never he didn't speak to Trump. He only spoke to Schiller. He could have spoken to both of them. He could have had them both.


HONIG: I think it's a fake Perry Mason moment with this photo. I don't think it proves or disproves much of anything.

Does it concern you Judge, that Michael Cohen made no mention, whatsoever, of October 24th call, during his grand jury testimony? That's a big problem, isn't it?

KONVISER: No, not at all.

HONIG: Really?

KONVISER: People versus Bornholdt. If he wasn't asked about it, he doesn't have to say it. That it's omitted.

HONIG: Why would you omit it? It's crucial.


EISEN: He had 20 calls with Donald Trump. We heard that Donald Trump cashed a check for $0.50. He monitored everything that went on in that company.

I -- whether we have a sleeper juror? Usually it takes two, to hang a jury. It's very lonely--


EISEN: --for one juror to hang a jury. We may. But I don't think there is a single person, on that jury, or in that courtroom, who doesn't believe that Donald Trump authorized it all. [21:25:00]

COLLINS: We're out of time. But one thing that did stand out today is this jury typically gives away nothing. You saw a lot of expressions, reactions, moments, from the jury today.

We'll be watching it all closely, when Robert Costello is back on the stand, tomorrow. Hopefully, we'll have this group, back here with us, to talk about that.

Meanwhile, speaking of another former Trump attorney, apparently a Happy Birthday to Rudy Giuliani, because not only did he get a cake, he also got indictment papers, an unwelcome gift as he celebrated turning 80.

The Arizona Attorney General's team finally caught up with him. And she is here to tell us how it happened, next.


COLLINS: Rudy Giuliani due in court, tomorrow, after evading Arizona officials, for weeks. He was finally served, over the weekend, at his 80th birthday bash, in Palm Beach, Florida. It happened, we are told, as the party was winding down. You could see here, a livestream, as they were singing Happy Birthday to Mr. Giuliani.


A partygoer claimed to CNN that two agents, from the Arizona Attorney General's Office, quote, "Stormed" Giuliani, as he was on his way out of that party, adding to CNN, quote, "Many of the guests were visibly upset."

I should note, at least for their part, Giuliani's spokesman confirmed that he was served, but maintained that he was unfazed by the ordeal, and it happened as he was leaving that party.

Giuliani is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, in Phoenix, on charges related to alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, in that state.

And given that, I'd like to get straight to THE SOURCE, tonight, with my next guest, the Arizona Attorney General, Kris Mayes.

And Attorney General, it's great to have you here.

Because Giuliani obviously was one of the last of the 18 defendants to be served here, the last one, I should note. Can you just walk us through exactly how it happened on Friday night?


Yes, he actually was absolutely the last of the 18 defendants, here in Arizona, to be served. All 17 others had, accepted service, quietly, professionally, the way this usually happens. We had attempted, on multiple occasions, in multiple ways, to serve

Mr. Giuliani. Our agents had travelled to New York City to try to serve him. We were not allowed in his building there, where he lives. We stayed there for two days. We mailed him a letter. We made phone calls.

And then, ultimately, we had to send agents, down to Florida, where he went, most recently, to serve him. It just happened to be Friday night. And it just happened to be apparently on his 80th birthday, or 80th birthday party.

COLLINS: How many times exactly had you tried to serve Giuliani before this? I mean, it's been three weeks since he was indicted.

MAYES: Yes, it's been over, like I said, over a series of weeks.

I think Rudy Giuliani knows how this works. And obviously, as you know, he does a lot of podcasting. It's pretty easy to locate, and to find. But he was not accepting service.

COLLINS: Is that--

MAYES: And he was really dodging our agents.

COLLINS: Is that how you had to find him? Basically, you were -- you had to look into his livestreams, and his podcasts, to figure out where he was?

MAYES: That's correct.


MAYES: I mean, we found him, essentially through his -- through his livestreams. He's not -- not that hard to find. And so, we did that.

And our agents professionally served him, after his birthday party, as the party was winding down. And as he himself was leaving the house that he was in, we gave him a copy of the papers, and that he went along his way.

COLLINS: Did he -- did the agents say anything about how he responded, in the moment, as he was being served?

MAYES: You know, he -- not really except, he took the papers, and proceeded to his car. I think he might have been a little bit surprised.

But look, this is a serious case. We expect him to take it seriously. We expect him to be in court, tomorrow. I mean, we are doing the initial appearances, for 11 other defendants, here in Phoenix, tomorrow.

We expect him to be the 12th. He can ask to appear virtually. We have not -- we don't know whether he's going to do that or not. But we expect him to be the 12th defendant, to appear in court, in Phoenix, and to take this case seriously and professionally, and be in court when he's been asked--


MAYES: --by the justice system.

COLLINS: So, you expect him to show up tomorrow. We'll see what happens if he doesn't.

But can I just -- because the way he's portraying this, on social media, he claimed that he had just found out that your office was looking for him 24 hours, before that party on Friday night, even though he was indicted three weeks ago. And he said, "I told them where I would be and I accepted service like a gentleman."

Is it true? Did he tell agents, where he would be? Or was that, you just knew because it was widely publicized that he was having a birthday party in Palm Beach?

MAYES: Yes, I can tell you he did not tell us where he was going to be, except that he told the world, where he was, through his livecast. So no, he did not tell us where he was going to be.

And it's really hard to believe that he didn't know that he -- that we were looking for him, given the number of times and the different ways that we had tried, so.

COLLINS: Remarkable. And we will see what happens, in court, tomorrow.

Arizona Attorney General, Kris Mayes, thank you for your time tonight.

MAYES: You bet. Thanks, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Our other source on this literally wrote the book on Rudy Giuliani.

Andrew Kirtzman has been covering the former Mayor, for three decades now, and is the Author of "Giuliani: The Rise and Tragic Fall of America's Mayor," and that was before he was served at his 80th birthday party.


I mean, when you wrote that book, did you ever think that it would come to this?


I was reading about an event I covered, in late, I think, 1997 -- 1998, where I attended a birthday party for Giuliani. It was his 54th birthday. There were a 1,000 people there, in the Sheraton, a ballroom. There were two dozen cameras there. He was the toast of the town. He raised a million dollars.

Decades later, he's celebrating his 80th birthday, in someone's house, kind of with a bunch of dead-enders. And it all ends with the Feds coming in and serving him an indictment. It's quite a -- it's quite a fall.

But Giuliani is effectively or objectively a ruined-man, right? He's bankrupt. He's facing potential jail. He's effectively disbarred. All he has left is his fame. And having covered him for this long, I can tell you that that is the most important thing to Giuliani.

So, I think just like every other kind of stunt that he's been involved with, he does it for the attention. He does it for the relevance. The most important thing to him has always been his fame that people care about what he's doing.

COLLINS: I mean, he was basically taunting the A.G.'s office.


COLLINS: I mean, he posted a picture that was, since deleted, and said, if the Arizona authorities can't find me by tomorrow morning, they must dismiss the indictment. Which is not true. And they must concede that they can't count votes.


COLLINS: I mean, he's making -- he's indicted for trying to overturn the election in Arizona.

KIRTZMAN: Yes. Well, again, it's the attention that he craves. And if he can make a show out of it, by taunting these people, why not? I mean, he's used to such a larger stages, right?

Now what he's reduced to basically is a streaming channel, on YouTube. His only hope is to do more outlandish things, say more outlandish things, in hope of people listening to him. And the problem is that the media venues he has keeps shrinking.

COLLINS: I mean, except for when he's served here. We'll see if he shows up in court tomorrow.


COLLINS: Andrew Kirtzman, great to have you on, on this remarkable moment.


COLLINS: Up next, the International Criminal Court is now seeking arrest warrants, for not just Israel's Prime Minister, but also the leaders of Hamas, on charges of war crimes, drawing an equivalence that President Biden, today, called, outrageous.

The former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, is here to weigh in.


[21:41:51] COLLINS: Tonight, President Biden is openly rebuking the International Criminal Court prosecutor, for seeking an arrest warrant, against both Hamas' and the -- leader -- and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for what they say are war crimes.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Let me be clear. We reject the ICC's application for arrest warrants against the Israeli leader.


BIDEN: Whatever these warrants may imply, there's no equivalence between Israel and Hamas.

Contrary to allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what's happening is not genocide. We reject that.



COLLINS: That is a notable comment, from President Biden there, flatly rejecting accusations that there's a genocide underway in Gaza.

I should note, those accusations, which have been made in the International Court of Justice, were separate from today's actions in the International Criminal Court, which seeks to hold individual Hamas and Israeli leaders both accountable.

The ICC Chief Prosecutor, Karim Khan, convened a group of legal experts, that also included the human rights attorney, Amal Clooney, to advise on these warrants.

He defended this in an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.


KARIM KHAN, CHIEF PROSECUTOR, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: Nobody is above the law. No people by dint of birth or passport, religion, nationality or the color of their skin, have a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card, have a free pass, to say well the law doesn't apply to us.

Every human life, every baby that is killed, whether it's a baby that's cruelly abducted by Hamas, and killed, or a baby that's been bombed or killed or has died in incubators, because of no electricity or water or food in Gaza, for them, for their families, and for humanity, it's a tragedy. And this is why we have a court. It's about the equal application of the law.


COLLINS: Here tonight, to discuss, John Bolton, the former National Security Adviser under former President Donald Trump, also the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

And Ambassador Bolton, first, let me get your reaction to what we heard, from President Biden. He had a pretty blunt rebuke of what we just heard there, from the Chief Prosecutor at the ICC, and this idea that they are going to seek these warrants, for both the leaders of Hamas, but also the Israeli Prime Minister and the Defense Minister.


What's really illegitimate here is the International Criminal Court itself. It's a fantasy. It's a piece of government, not a whole government, a piece of government, floating around in the international ether, unchecked by executive or legislative power, utterly unable to enforce its judgments, and acting in a way that's predictably irresponsible.

For many years, people have referred to Israel as the canary in the coal mine on behalf of the United States. This is another example, because what this rogue prosecutor, this utterly unaccountable court, is doing here, against Israel, they're going to do against us soon enough.

COLLINS: Well, so what do you mean that President Biden is half-right?


He was -- he's basically agreeing with you. That both of you agree this is, it's wrong to say that you're going to go after the leaders of Hamas, and also the Israeli leaders, and kind of create this equivalence between the two of them.

BOLTON: No, I'm saying it's wrong to go after any -- this court is not the body, to prosecute anybody.

The court has also indicted Vladimir Putin, in connection with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. That's the wrong way to do it, too. You can't -- the charge of moral equivalence gives legitimacy to the court. And in fact, if they indict really bad guys, they're in favor of it.

And the fact is, it's the court itself, that's fundamentally flawed. The example is right here, in this case. This unaccountable prosecutor is interfering, right in the middle of active conflict. Now, in a real government, with real power, in our case, the President has both the war power, and the prosecution power, and sometimes has to make a trade-off. This utterly unaccountable prosecutor didn't make any trade-off at all.

And I think people should ask, does this now make settling the conflict in the Middle East easier, or harder? It won't matter to the prosecutor, because he'll never be held responsible for it.

COLLINS: Yes. And obviously, you mentioned Putin there. And he's not really traveling a lot, maybe to China or something. But what does this move mean, if they do get the judges, to sign off

on these warrants? And we don't know that they will. But if they do, and they're executed, what does that mean for Israel's allies, who are parties to this court? And they're technically supposed to arrest them, if they travel and they have an ICC warrant.

BOLTON: Well, it should be a wake-up call to them that they've stepped into a very dangerous territory here. And I think this is the sort of thing that the -- that U.S. officials need to worry about, in particular.

The one silver lining in this cloud, when you look at the self- righteous grandstanding publicity-seeking prosecutor there, I think this is the ICC digging its grave in this country.

I think I would be happy to predict, right here, I don't think the U.S. is going to join the ICC, within the lifespan of anybody watching this program, because the targets of this prosecutor are fundamentally irrational. To proceed against a free, law-abiding democratic society, in the way that it did, shows it's not tethered to a rule of law itself.

COLLINS: But Ambassador, when you look at this, there is growing criticism, of how Israel has conducted this war. I mean, do you believe that Israel has upheld international law since October 7th?

BOLTON: I haven't heard legitimate charges that it hasn't. And I think there's been a lot of hype, propaganda. One very important point just to prove that--

COLLINS: Well there's a lot of dead civilians.

BOLTON: --the United Nations -- the United Nations--

COLLINS: A lot of dead Palestinians.

BOLTON: Well, the -- OK. Let's talk -- let's talk about that.

The United Nations just cut in half the number of women and children it reports killed in the Gaza conflict. Now, this is the United Nations accepting now, the figures of the Hamas Ministry of Health, as opposed to the Hamas Information Office.

But the fact is, the total number of casualties and the number of particularly of women and children killed, has been out of whack. The U.N. by its shift concedes, that numbers that have been used on women and children have been double what -- what even another part of Hamas says.

And I think this is a media problem, too, if I may say so. These numbers have come from Hamas entities, right from the start of this. And normally, what media outlets do, when they're given a fact like that, they think it's important enough to report. That's fine. They then go on to say, we have not been able to verify this independently.

COLLINS: Well, Ambassador, we-- BOLTON: Is there any media outlet in the country--

COLLINS: Let me push back on that. Because we have been -- we have been--

BOLTON: --that has verified those numbers?

COLLINS: We have been deeply skeptical of the numbers, because we -- they don't let free and independent journalists go in. CNN has tried on multiple occasions.

But while the -- even if you are skeptical of that figure, as we've seen, even President Biden express skepticism, we do know that a lot of women and children and Palestinian civilians have been killed.

BOLTON: Have they been colluding with Hamas? Do you have any information on that?

COLLINS: Palestinian babies?

BOLTON: Can women collude with Hamas?

COLLINS: 4-year-olds--

BOLTON: Can women collude with Hamas?

COLLINS: --little children that we're seeing, Ambassador, who were in hospital? I mean, we talked to the doctors--

BOLTON: 16 -- 16--

COLLINS: --inside this -- on this program who have been in Gaza.

BOLTON: 16-year-olds, 17-year-olds?

COLLINS: But what--


COLLINS: I'm talking about 4-years-olds.

BOLTON: All right. Let's -- let's take that.

COLLINS: 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds.

BOLTON: Fine. Let's take that.


The question in conflict, in urban conflict, which the United States itself has faced, as recently as Iraq, with Fallujah and Mosul is, is Israel targeting legitimate military targets, A? And B, has it taken into account the proportional collateral effects, if it goes after those targets?

There's no prohibition about civilian casualties. Otherwise, you wouldn't have urban conflict. And the studies that were done of American action, in Fallujah and Mosul, and places, in Iraq and Afghanistan, have shown ratios of civilian to military casualties, in the range of five-to-one. In Gaza, by Hamas' own statistics, the range is two-to-one.

So, I just think it's important to understand that when Hamas, cynically, barbarically, uses its own population, as human shields, the morally culpable party here is Hamas.

COLLINS: And no one is defending Hamas.

It's a good conversation to have. Ambassador John Bolton, thank you, for your time, tonight.

BOLTON: Glad to do it.

COLLINS: Up next, there was a question of who was in court, with Donald Trump, today. You may have noticed one of them was the Hells Angels founder, who served time in prison. You can see him there, entering the courtroom. Also Bernie Kerik, who was convicted, and then later pardoned by Trump.

Also, there's more. More in a moment.



COLLINS: Today, the already surreal reality of Donald Trump on trial hit a new level. The man running to be the next President of the United States, welcomed into court, alongside him today, the former head of the New York Hells Angels chapter, a man named Chuck Zito.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are, according to authorities, the higher echelon of the Hells Angels, and well-known to police. This man, for example, Chuck Zito, is a New York Hells Angel.


COLLINS: Looks a bit different, 30 years later. But you saw him there. He was a founding member of the gang's New York chapter, in the 1980s.

And the video of Zito and the members of the notorious motorcycle gang were arrested in Chicago, in 1994, as you can see here. The Justice Department actually linked that branch to the Gambino crime family, and he spent years in prison on drug charges.

But he was one of more than a dozen, who were in Trump's entourage in court today. Though, he's far from the only one in that group, who is facing charges or has faced charges.

Bernie Kerik was also inside the courtroom today. And when he was in office, of course, we all remember how Trump pardoned the former New York City Police Commissioner, after he served three years in federal prison, for tax fraud.

Also, Trump's legal adviser, Boris Epshteyn, has been in those two rows, behind the defense table, nearly every single day, since Trump has been in court, and also since Boris Epshteyn himself was indicted in Arizona, for the fake electors scheme.

With friends like these, we are bringing in someone, who has not faced charges. My friend, Alyssa Farah Griffin, former Trump White House Communications Director, and CNN Political Commentator.

I mean, we've seen a lot inside that courtroom, Jeff Clark, others. But to see the Hells Angel former founding member was--


COLLINS: --it really took the cake.

FARAH GRIFFIN: --it was really the icing on the cake. I'm not sure that there's any particular strategy here. I mean, we know Trump likes to look tough, and I think he wants an entourage.

But let's be clear with a jury, especially of a trial of this nature, having his wife there, or his daughter, I think, would be far more beneficial and endearing than the characters he's surrounded himself with.

But what it just kept making me think of is, this trial is happening, hush money, campaign finance violations, for an alleged affair with a porn star. All the while, so many associates of Donald Trump's, from his time in the White House, and after, have been indicted.

His former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, now twice-indicted. Allen Weisselberg is in Rikers right now. John Eastman. Peter Navarro is in jail right now. Steve Bannon is likely to be.

Like we've never quite had something like this in American history, where so many close associates of the Leader of the Free World now have criminal records or soon will themselves, like it's remarkable.

COLLINS: So, what's it like to think of it from that perspective, of those around him, who are now in legal trouble? While we're also watching people who are vying to be around him, going to court? I mean, everyone who wants to be vice president, or in the cabinet, or some kind of plum position, I mean, it's pretty clear what's happening here.

FARAH GRIFFIN: Well, and yes, and people know that Trump's going to remember if they showed up. Like Mike Johnson, kind of this prim, proper guy who leads with his Christian faith, showing up to support him, was just such a bizarre juxtaposition.

And I imagine a lot of staffers of some of the potentials are saying, yes, you have to go, because he will remember if you don't show up at some point. But it's also you may be sitting next to a former Hells Angels gang member, like you just don't know what you're going to get in this trial. And the grand scheme of things, I think it has virtually no impact on the public's perception of him. But it gives this perception of the company you keep.

And from a jury perspective too, where he's -- Donald Trump's trying to look like he was the person, who did things by the book, and it was Michael Cohen, freelancing, and doing things he shouldn't have. I just can't imagine these are the people I would want to surround myself with.

COLLINS: And you make a good point. It's very few family members. Eric Trump's really the only one. We saw Lara Trump as well. But that's pretty much it.

FARAH GRIFFIN: Yes. And there's been a lot of questions from the press about that. And even so, it still hasn't created the emphasis, for other children to show up, or certainly for his wife, the former first lady to. And I don't anticipate we'll see that in the final days.

COLLINS: Yes, though we apparently may see Donald Trump Jr., tomorrow. We'll see if he shows up.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, thank you, for coming in tonight.

And one more note, of what you should expect here, on THE SOURCE, this week. We have a big interview coming up, as Republican senator, Ted Cruz, is going to join me, on Wednesday. A lot to discuss with him. You will not want to miss that, here, Wednesday night.

But tonight, before we go, I do want to take a moment, to remember Alice Stewart. She is our colleague, who was taken from us far too soon, this weekend.

Alice, as we all know, and many of you at home spent a lot of time watching her, here on CNN, she was a veteran political strategist, who could disagree, agreeably, with just about anybody. No matter who she was sitting across from, she always had a way to find something in common with them, even if they had nothing in common at all.


As we have been remembering her, and hearing so much, from so many people that she meant a lot to, Alice is going to be remembered for her kindness, and for her empathy.

And we're thinking of all of her friends and family, as they deal with her loss, and as we here at CNN also process it. May her memory be a blessing.

Thank you so much, for joining us.

"CNN NEWSNIGHT" starts now.