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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Seizing Guns; Chris Christie Fires Back
Aired February 6, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.
And tonight on the program, the bunker busters, new details about what happened in that Alabama bunker in the split seconds when authorities went in, seconds that spelled life for a little boy who was able to turn 6 today and death for his captor.
And later in the program, take a look at this man who's 74 years old. He's on a pharmaceutical cocktail that makes it possible for him to look like that. The question tonight, has he found a healthy fountain of youth or a prescription for disaster? What you need to know before you do what he's doing.
We begin, though, tonight with a program that takes guns out of the hands of known criminals. Now, with all the arguments over expanding background checks and NRA fears about law-abiding gun owners being inconvenienced, this one seems to be a no-brainer. It's a program in California that does exactly what everyone agrees should be done, takes deadly weapons away from dangerous people.
We're talking about thousands of weapons each year. But what's surprising is that the number of weapons taken out of the hands of lawbreakers could be so much higher and more lives could probably be saved if only there was more money available for this program.
The other surprising thing before the program is that California is the only state right now that bothers to track down criminals in this way and their guns. Now, each year, the state of California manages to take some 2,000 guns out of the hands of convicted criminals and off the streets.
But, at the same time, 3,000 more names of lawbreakers are added to that list of illegal gun owners. The question is, why aren't more resources devoted to this program, a program that seems to work? In a moment, we will talk with California's attorney general.
But, first, Randi Kaye takes us inside the program and out on the front lines.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): You're watching a raid for illegal guns. This is Glendale, California. And these special agents from the Justice Department's Bureau of Firearms have one goal in mind. Seize these weapons before someone gets killed. The man who owns them isn't here. But among the weapons, agents find a .50- caliber handgun, the most powerful handgun in the world.
SGT. JOHN MARSH, CALIFORNIA JUSTICE DEPARTMENT BUREAU OF FIREARMS: We have seized guns from gang members, from drug dealers, from felons, from doctors, lawyers. So -- and everybody that fits in between.
KAYE: Special agent John Marsh says in this case, the gun's owner is just one of nearly 20,000 California residents who in all illegally owned about 40,000 firearms. The owners are prohibited by the state from having these weapons for various reasons, a violent criminal history, a commitment to a mental institution or a record of domestic violence.
(on camera): So all of these people were supposed to turn their weapons in on their own, and then you're coming to collect them because they haven't?
MARSH: Right. Whatever their commitment or conviction, they were notified that they need to relinquish their firearms. And for whatever reason, they have decided that they're not going to do that.
KAYE (voice-over): Here the owner had been convicted of battery. Yet he still had all this, five long guns, two handguns including this .50-caliber handgun, plus 3,500 rounds of ammunition.
(on camera): Somebody like him shouldn't have any of these?
MARSH: Shouldn't have even one. Shouldn't even Have one single bullet.
KAYE (voice-over): California's Justice Department uses a special database to cross-reference gun owners with those convicted of crimes. The names of those who can no longer legally own a weapon are then passed on to dozens of special agents statewide. It's not complicated. But California is the only state that has this type of program.
MARSH: Any time someone that shouldn't have a gun has a gun and knows that they should turn it in, you tend to question why they still have that gun.
KAYE: Like this guy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are they searching my car?
MARSH: Because there's evidence in your car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of what? Of a crime with the guns.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just -- it kind of bothers me that I'm so cooperative and they're just -- you know? Can you please get them to stop? I'm taking that very, very personally.
MARSH: They're not going to stop. KAYE: His name is Talini Satsud (ph). He has a restraining order against him and two misdemeanor battery convictions, yet was still in possession of this .45-caliber handgun and this .9- millimeter, which agents promptly seized.
MARSH: They're both semiautomatic handguns, both of them registered to him.
KAYE: After his arrest for illegal possession of a firearm, Satsud told me it was a misunderstanding in court. He wasn't clear when he had to turn his guns in.
(on camera): So, in the end,do you think it's a good idea, the program?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To criminals, yes, to people like me, no.
KAYE (voice-over): Since 2007, this program has seized more than 10,000 guns, last year alone, about 2,500, along with 120,000 rounds of ammunition, and 11,000 illegal high-capacity magazines.
(on camera): At this stop, agents searched the suspect's apartment. They didn't find any weapons there. But he directed them to his car. And inside the car, they found those right there, two AR- 15 assault-style weapons, a rifle and a handgun.
(voice-over): The owner of the guns had a warrant out for his arrest, plus a domestic battery restraining order. He was taken to jail, charged with illegal possession of a firearm.
(on camera): Do you think that this program is making California safer?
MARSH: I can unequivocally say that I know that my team has not only saved the people of California's lives, but they have also saved the lives of some of the people that we have taken guns from.
COOPER: Randi, just to be clear, so these are folks who -- that were law-abiding citizens when they got the guns legally for the most part, and then they broke the law, whether it's domestic battery or they committed a felony or whatever it is or they're mentally unstable. So, they're no longer allowed to have the guns.
But I'm amazed that California is the only state that has a program that tracks these people down.
KAYE: Yes, I'm amazed as well. And so are these agents if you speak with them. California is the only state that has this very special database that helps them get the owners of these guns and track them down.
But it's incredible too, because they need more resources. There's only 33 agents, Anderson, in this state that are able to do this. And I know the attorney general would like to double the resources, and so would the agents, because there are so many more names, as you mentioned at the top, 3,000 more names being added to this list on a regular basis. They cannot keep up at this rate.
COOPER: They're taking about 2,000 -- guns from about 2,000 people each year, but they're adding 3,000 new names to the list of people who have guns illegally. So it's not a winning battle.
KAYE: No. And that's why these guys go out there every single night. They work their day job during the day, and then they go out at night and they try and get these guns off the street. It is a very, very hard job. They never know who's behind the door. They never know what they're going to get. They get a lot of resistance from family members who don't always tell them where the owner is, or where the weapons are.
And communication really is key once they're out there. One of the agents out told me last night in his biggest seizure, they got 600 guns from one individual. So training and communication is really a big part of this, because that's what you need to get certainly a number of weapons like that away from someone.
COOPER: Right. Randi, appreciate that. Thanks very much.
Let's dig deeper now with California Attorney General Kamala Harris, also Aurora shooting victim Stephen Barton. He's currently a policy and outreach assistant for Mayors Against Illegal Guns. His organization and many others are in Washington today pushing for action against gun violence.
Attorney General Harris, I think most people seeing what you all are doing in California would say, that makes sense. Felons, people who have committed crimes, mentally ill should not have these weapons and should have them taken away. But even though your officers are able to seize about 2,000 guns each year, I read that each year some 3,000 new people who should have their guns taken away, their names are added to this list. Does the state just not have the resources to track all these people down who shouldn't have guns?
KAMALA HARRIS, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: This year, I'm pleased to say the legislature has taken this on, and they're helping us with our continuing advocacy for more resources.
And we have, because of that promise, made a pledge that we should be able to deal with our backlog, which is about 20,000 individuals, by the end of this calendar year, and going forward deal with the 3,000 that come on the books every year.
COOPER: Stephen, does it surprise you or concern you that California's really the only state so far doing this?
STEPHEN BARTON, MAYORS AGAINST ILLEGAL GUNS: Well, you know, I think there are a lot of sensitive feelings around the government coming in and seizing weapons.
But I couldn't agree more. It's certainly a very reasonable program. As long as there's a defined rigorous process of arbitration, where you have a judge maybe issuing a warrant -- I mean, we already prohibit these classes of people from purchasing these weapons through our federal background check system. It follows they shouldn't be allowed to possess them either.
COOPER: Attorney General, these are people who, they got the guns in many cases legally. It's just they have committed a crime after getting the guns legally, so they basically have lost their right to have the gun. Is that correct?
HARRIS: That's absolutely right.
And who can -- any of us who are a believer in the Second Amendment but also a believer in public safety and intelligence-based policing have to agree that when someone has been by a court prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm, and in particular, because they were convicted of a felony or they are mentally ill, we need to take the guns out of those hands, because they're going to pose a much greater risk to the safety of the family who is in that home, that neighborhood and the community at large.
COOPER: Have you gotten pushback from the NRA on this?
HARRIS: Initially, when this was first proposed, there was support for it when the legislation was first proposed years ago.
Since then, there has been a bit of ambiguous support. But I think the NRA and everyone has to agree that this is just about smart policing. This is about a smart and effective way of taking guns out of the hands of people who are dangerous to our community and have proven to be so.
COOPER: Stephen, the Newtown obviously shootings hit home for you in more ways than one. Not only are you a survivor of the Aurora shootings. You used to live near Newtown. Now that there's actually a bill in Congress, Stephen, how hopeful are you that something will change, that this time there will be some sort of movement?
BARTON: I was heartened this past Monday to see bipartisan legislation introduced in the House when it comes to cracking down on gun trafficking.
So, you know, I'm really hopeful that Congress is finally catching up to the American public at large. These are reforms that are agreed upon by large majorities of regular everyday citizens, including gun owners. And so, you know, it's about time that Congress is acting on something that has really been common sense for many years now.
COOPER: Attorney General Harris, I know you obviously have come out in support of Senator Feinstein's ban on assault weapons. But of the proposals on the table, whether it's universal background checks, the civil assault weapons ban, or limits on high-capacity magazines, is there one you think is most important?
I know gun control advocates will say, look, it's all important. But is there one -- if you have to choose one, as it may come down to, it may not be up -- is there one that you think would have the biggest impact?
HARRIS: Well, as your question proposes, this is not a monolith. Each issue is different in nature and character.
Assault weapons I absolutely believe should be taken off the streets. I have seen them kill babies and police officers, not I think intended use. But the reality of it is that the background checks, I think, as proved by our (INAUDIBLE) program in California, really does give law enforcement a great tool, because once someone has then been found to be prohibited from owning a gun, we know who has the guns and we can take the guns.
And so as a law enforcement tool throughout the country, I think if we nationalize background checks, if we made it a requirement in all states, we could do a lot in terms of public safety. The chief of police, for example, in Los Angeles has said to me many times, Charlie Beck, that he would like to see that it were happening in neighboring states because otherwise it's possible someone can go into a neighboring state that does not require a background check and buy a gun and then bring it into California.
I think that could be one of the most powerful tools is the background check piece of the national legislation. Pretty simple.
COOPER: Attorney General Harris, I appreciate you being with us.
Attorney General Harris, Stephen Barton, as well, thank you very much.
HARRIS: Thank you.
BARTON: Thank you.
COOPER: Let us know what you think. Should more states have programs that track down felons or criminals, take their guns away like California does? Let's talk about it on Twitter during the rest of the program tonight. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper right now.
A lot more ahead, though, in the hour. What happened when the go order came and FBI agents raided that bunker in Alabama, how they knew what they were facing, including a pair of bombs and what they did to take down the threat, saving a young boy's life, a boy who was able to celebrate his sixth birthday today.
And later, Chris Christie, the governor New Jersey takes a verbal scalpel to the doctor, the former White House doctor who weighed in on his waistline. Here's what he says about her long-distance diagnosis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: She should shut up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Strong words. She joins us tonight to respond. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: We have got late word tonight on the Alabama hostage rescue.
Local authorities are planning to destroy the bunker where Jimmy Lee Dykes held the little boy Ethan for nearly a week. Ethan could have died in that bunker, shot by his captor or blown up by the bombs that were found inside.
Instead today, Ethan was able to celebrate his sixth birthday with his family healthy, safe and sound.
And new details are emerging about the nightmarish week that led up to the rescue, starting on the school bus with the killing of the bus driver Charles Poland.
CBS News' John Miller talked to an official who viewed surveillance video from the bus as the killer came on board. He spoke tonight with Erin Burnett.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MILLER, CBS NEWS: Jimmy Lee Dykes walks on to the bus. And he hands a piece of paper. It's kind of got instructions on it. He hands it to Charlie, the bus driver.
And Charlie Poland stands up and puts himself between -- there's about 20 kids on the bus. This is an odd school bus because of the rural area. You have kids from kindergarten to high school there.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: All ages.
MILLER: The littlest kids sitting in the front, the older ones sitting in the back. And he says I'm going to need to take two kids. And Charles Albert Poland, the bus driver, who has been through hostage training two years before, in case a gunman ever came on his bus -- I'm sure he never imagined it would be somebody he knew -- says, I'm responsible for these children and you can't have them.
Over that four minutes, you hear Jimmy Lee Dykes saying, I'm going to kill you if you get in the way here. As he's trying to take the kids, he says, I'm going to shoot you, I'm going to shoot you.
And Poland, you can tell on the videotape, is frightened, but he stands his ground. And then Dykes shoots him, and it's Ethan, the 5- year-old, who's sitting right there in the front row. And at that point, he just takes Ethan, the one child, and heads to the bunker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: If you were watching the program last night, we talked to Mr. Poland's son, who talked about what a hero his father was, not just on that day, as you just heard from John Miller, but really every day of his life in his relationships with the community and his love for those children on his school bus. We have also learned more tonight. We have more tonight from our Martin Savidge.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We now have a clearer picture of how authorities ended the seven-day bunker standoff.
Once the order was given, members of an FBI hostage team used explosives, including flash bang stun grenades, to gain access to the bunker and disorient Jimmy Lee Dykes. Still, Dykes reportedly was able to get off at least one shot at the agents, who returned fire, killing him. Then the agents quickly rescued his young hostage, who amazingly, despite the blasts and gunfire, was physically unharmed.
Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson says, ultimately, the decision to go was his.
WALLY OLSON, DALE COUNTY SHERIFF: I will be real honest with you. It was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever made in my life.
SAVIDGE: After the raid, authorities discovered two explosive devices, including one in the bunker and another in a PVC pipe.
CNN has learned explosives weren't the only unstable variable law enforcement had to deal with. There was Dykes' state of mind.
Neighbors described the 65-year-old as a paranoid anti-government loner fixated on a conspiracy involving horse racing.
THOMAS FOLDS, KNEW GUNMAN: He used to keep notebooks of horse races and he always said that mafia run the horse races.
SAVIDGE: Sources close to the case say while talking to police from his bunker, a contentious Dykes would ramble on about his theory and wanted to get his message out.
OLSON: Mr. Dykes, he feels like he has a story that's important to him, although it's very complex.
SAVIDGE: In the early hours of the standoff, local authorities even contemplated sending in a local reporter to talk to Dykes.
RICKEY STOKES, BLOGGER: I knew the school bus driver had been shot.
SAVIDGE: Local blogger Rickey Stokes was the first reporter on the scene, capturing this video. He says authorities approached him with the idea.
(on camera): And you were willing to go along with that?
STOKES: Anything they needed me to do, if it meant me showing them how to use the equipment or me going into the bunker, I was willing to do, just like everybody involved in the operation over there would have done.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): In the end, the plan was nixed and the FBI took over negotiations. Federal hostage rescue teams began training up on a model of Dykes' bunker behind a closed restaurant screened off by a blue tarp.
(on camera): That markup was located right over there next to the building. It's all been taken down now, but look at this. That secretive training was all taking place right next door to here, the media compound.
(voice-over): And that training paid off with a daring split- second rescue that left authorities exhausted and overjoyed.
COOPER: Marty joins us now.
What are police going to do with that bunker and the evidence they collect or after they collect the evidence?
SAVIDGE: Yes, and that evidence-gathering is still going to take a number of days, according to authorities.
Anderson, the sheriff told me quite bluntly that, once that is done, nobody else is going to see the interior of that bunker. He will make sure it's destroyed.
COOPER: And it's Ethan's sixth birthday today. It's such a miracle that he was able to celebrate it with his family today, that he's OK. Do we know how he spent the day?
SAVIDGE: Well, in fact, the sheriff is one of the few who actually got and share the day, at least for a time, with Ethan.
And we know he's in the area. We also know he's also under careful guard and that he's still undergoing psychological evaluation. But at the same time, we're told he was playing with toys, he was smiling ear to ear, and best of all he was with the people who love him most -- Anderson.
COOPER: I'm so glad to hear that. And just obviously out of respect for his family and the child's age, we're not giving his last name, of course.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has a blunt message for the former White House doctor who said she's worried he could die in office because he's so overweight, two words, basically, the governor saying shut up. He says he scared his kids and was out of line, diagnosing someone she's never diagnosed.
Dr. Connie Mariano joins me next to respond.
And later, the 911 call that led police to the bodies of the legendary military sniper and best-selling author Chris Kyle and a fellow veteran. Tonight, you're going to hear the suspected killer's sister calling authorities herself and turning her brother in.
COOPER: Well, as you know, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had some choice words for former White House Dr. Connie Mariano after she shared her concerns about his weight in an interview on CNN.
Now, in case you missed it, here's what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. CONNIE MARIANO, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN: I'm worried that he may have a heart attack, he may have a stroke. It's almost like a time bomb waiting to happen unless he addresses those issues before he runs for office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, also in that interview, Mariano said that she never met Christie, much less examined him. Her comments got a lot of people, including the governor.
Here's how the governor responded today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: I find it fascinating that a doctor in Arizona who's never met me, never examined me, never reviewed my medical history or records, knows nothing about my family history, could make a diagnosis from 2,400 miles away.
She must be a genius. My children saw that last night.
And she sat there on TV and said, I'm afraid he's going to die in office. I have four children between 9 and 19. My children, my 12- year-old son comes to me last night and says, dad, are you going to die? Come on. This is irresponsible stuff.
This is just another hack who wants five minutes on TV.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: As we said, Dr. Mariano has never met or examined Governor Christie, she said that. It's also true that she's board certified in internal medicine, spent nine years as the White House physician to three sitting presidents. She describes what that was like in her memoir "The White House Doctor: My Patients Were Presidents."
Dr. Mariano joins me now.
Thanks very much for being with us. Pretty harsh words from the governor. I wondered how you respond.
MARIANO: Well, it was rather shocking to hear those things. I was in clinic, so I did not hear his broadcast. But he used some pretty strong words there.
COOPER: I understand he actually called you today. Can you say what you talked about or what he said?
MARIANO: Out of deference to him, I'm not going to comment on that.
But I only can share with you that that phone conversation, when I think of it, the words gracious and appreciative do not come to mind opinion.
COOPER: So, to be clear, is this about politics for you? I understand you're actually Republican and that you have said you would like Governor Christie to run for president in 2016.
MARIANO: Absolutely. I have always liked him. I have always liked his politics, the way he talked about it. He's very spunky, very feisty. It's not about politics.
I look at him as a physician. I'm in private practice. I see many patients every day. I was in clinic all day today. And I have patients who suffer with obesity, and, look, over 30 percent of Americans suffer with obesity. It's a huge problem. And it's not a laughing matter.
COOPER: The governor on David Letterman's show said he's basically -- and I'm quoting -- "the healthiest fat guy you have ever seen in your life."
He said his cholesterol levels and his blood sugar levels are normal. Is it possible for someone his size to be healthy? Can he be healthy, or is that automatically not possible?
MARIANO: You know, those may be his numbers. That's great. I congratulate him if those are his numbers.
But when you see somebody, you don't have to be a doctor to look at him and realize that he has a problem with weight.
COOPER: But a problem with weight, does that -- what does that correspond to in terms of his health?
MARIANO: You know, the heavier you are, the more you -- you know, you're in the overweight/obese category. The increased risk you have for obese -- with obese-related problems such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, sleep apnea. These are things that physicians like myself see in practice in our patients who are overweight.
COOPER: You characterized the phone conversation -- I'm trying to remember the exact words you said -- not -- not gracious, was it?
COOPER: Not gracious or appreciative. Was that on his part or on your part?
MARIANO: I think it was on his part.
COOPER: Can you describe any more about the phone conversation?
MARIANO: He asked that we don't discuss that.
COOPER: OK. Is -- I mean, do you regret making the comments that you made?
MARIANO: No, absolutely not.
MARIANO: Absolutely not. I'm sorry he took it that way. He -- it was almost killing the messenger, his reaction to it. I know he admits he's struggled with his weight for many years. I encourage him to get help for that.
But the question that was posed to me was, when I see somebody like him at his size, what things come to my mind. And you know, it's true, I haven't examined him. I don't have his records; I'm not his doctor. But when I see somebody like him, I worry about those risk factors.
COOPER: Dr. Connie Mariano, thanks very much.
Lance Armstrong is facing a new bombshell report that federal investigators are building an active criminal case against him. Betsy Andreu, who testified against Armstrong in the doping scandal, joins me ahead.
But later, a doctor who calls himself a poster boy for the same performance-enhancing drug that Armstrong admitted taking. This guy is 74 years old. He's got the body -- the biceps of a body builder. Before you start, though, wanting to take the drugs he's taking, you need to hear our report. Coming up.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone. I'm Deborah Feyerick. More from Anderson in a moment. First, a "360 News & Business Bulletin."
President Obama is directing the Justice Department to release classified documents to Congress justifying the targeted killing of Americans. It follows complaints about secrecy surrounding the nation's drone program. This comes on the eve of the confirmation hearing for John Brennan, President Obama's nominee for CIA director.
Police in Texas releasing a tape of the 911 call that led to an arrest in the murder of decorated Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. The chilling call coming from the sister of suspect Eddie Ray Routh after the shooting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA BLEVINS, SISTER OF EDDIE RAY ROUTH (via phone): Listen, my brother just came by here. I was at (ADDRESS REDACTED) Street. He's now left, but he told me that he's committed a murder.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Hold on.
BLEVINS: And I'm -- I'm terrified for my life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Hold on.
BLEVINS: Because I don't know if he's going to come back here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FEYERICK: The Boy Scouts of America, delaying today's vote on lifting its ban on gay members and leaders until May. Last month the Boy Scouts announced they're considering changing their rules. Today the executive board says it needs more time to deliberate the policy.
And after weeks of suspense, the makers of Monopoly revealing its newest game piece is the cat. The game's fans chose it over other options like a robot and a diamond ring. To make room, voters decided that that sweet little iron, well, it's got to go.
And it's the end of an era for the postal service. Come August, it will stop Saturday pickup and delivery. The move is expected to save about $2 billion a year.
Now "The Connection." Discarded Christmas trees are helping restore some beaches hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Along parts of New Jersey and Long Island, you'll find old trees lining various beaches. The trees help reconstruct or bolster the dune system. They're often placed at angles and catch blowing sand which can eventually cover the trees and form a much-needed new dune system.
Up next, more from Anderson, including a new deadline for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. Will he come clean and talk to anti-doping officials about what he did?
COOPER: Breaking news, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is giving Lance Armstrong more time to reach a deal to cooperate with them. Now, today, you may remember, was the deadline they originally gave the cyclist.
In a statement, USADA's CEO Travis Tygart said, "We've been in communication with Mr. Armstrong and his representatives, and we understand he does want to be part of the solution and assist in the effort to clean up the sport of cycling. We've agreed to his request for an additional two weeks to work on details to hopefully allow for this to happen."
This comes as another bombshell arrived in the drama known as Lance Armstrong. ABC News is reporting that the disgraced cyclist is under federal investigation for obstruction, witness tampering and intimidation. They call it an active criminal -- criminal investigation.
Now here's why it's so interesting. The U.S. Justice Department, you may remember, spent years investigating Armstrong for drug distribution, fraud and conspiracy. But then a year ago, it closed the case without much of an explanation. It surprised a lot of people at the time, even some of those involved in the investigation, because many were convinced that they had the goods on Armstrong.
A lot of people thought Armstrong's admission last month that he doped during his prime years of cycling might lead to new criminal charges. He's denied doping for years, even under oath. We now know from ABC News that the federal investigation either never ended or it's been restarted. And the big question tonight is, could Lance Armstrong actually go to jail?
Betsy Andreu is back with us tonight. Her husband, Frank, is a former teammate of Armstrong. The Andreus testified against Armstrong in the doping scandal. And senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin also joins me.
Betsy, you heard the news Lance Armstrong said he wants to cooperate with the USADA investigation, and they're giving him more time. What do you make of that?
BETSY ANDREU, WIFE OF ARMSTRONG'S FORMER TEAMMATE: I think it's -- I think it's a good thing. It's about time that Lance came forward. I think he has some good people telling him, "You have to tell the truth. This is not just about you, but it's about the sport of cycling. And it's about all of sports."
Look at -- we see what's going on with Alex Rodriguez. We see what's going on with baseball. Nobody's above the law, nor should they be.
COOPER: And Betsy, you and I watched this -- the interview he did with Oprah. You were on our program back then. I get tweets from people who say, "Well, look, Lance Armstrong's already come clean."
Your point is, though, and a lot of -- the point of a lot of people who know him and have been following him closely is he didn't really fully come clean. There's a lot of details he didn't get into. And there's a lot of things you say and others say he just wasn't telling the truth about.
ANDREU: Well, that's true. USADA did its job. Travis Tygart, Bill Bach, the great people at USADA did their job to bring this -- to hold Lance accountable.
Now it's the job of the United States government on the civil side and the criminal side to go forward. Because as I said before, there's no way that Lance got away with this. There's no way that he did it on his own. He was aided and abetted. And so Lance is going to have to come clean.
Oprah wasn't the forum to come -- where he should have come clean with every single detail, with everything. But if he's going to take that step, he can cooperate with authorities from the civil and criminal side of the government, as well as provide USADA with the details that they need to see why he was able to get away with this for so long.
COOPER: Jeff -- Jeff, you're a former prosecutor. What do you make of this federal investigation?
JEFF TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Certainly, it makes sense for them to reopen the case, because everything is different now, now that Armstrong has admitted all this.
But it's important to remember, this has basically been a failed criminal investigation. They have not had the success that they -- that they had hoped to have. Roger Clemens got acquitted. Barry Bonds was largely acquitted.
It's not -- it's far from clear that there is any criminal activity on the part of Armstrong here. And also, the statute of limitations comes into effect here. A lot of the stuff he's been talking about is five, ten years ago, that may simply be beyond the reach of federal law enforcement.
COOPER: And Betsy, even though this is not about doping, if charges are brought, would that -- how would you feel about that? I mean, would that satisfy you? Would it -- would it satisfy people, you know, who Armstrong lied to, lied about and treated incredibly poorly over the years and tried to really just kind of destroy?
ANDREU: Well, again, as -- Lance has taken the first step to make amends, but words mean things, and they have to be followed by action.
I think with Andre Borr-otte -- Andre, excuse me -- Andre Birotte, the precedent he was sending, that you could have a laundry list of witness intimidation and obstruction of justice, he did not even let this go before the grand jury.
Now -- but yet there's another government agency, that another U.S. attorney's office that sees the same crimes that Andre Birotte said we -- that he could ignore.
But these other -- this other U.S. attorney's office is saying, "No, we can't. We cannot set the precedent that this doesn't matter, because it does matter. People put their reputations and their livelihoods to tell the truth. So it does matter."
TOOBIN: Andre Birotte is the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, the U.S. attorney in -- who said that he's not pursuing this.
COOPER: That was about a year ago. TOOBIN: Right. And the U.S. attorney...
TOOBIN: ... in San Francisco is the one who may be looking at it now.
But again, remember, also, I mean, we're talking about criminal liability here. He has a world of civil problems. He's going to be sued for $12 million for the insurance company that paid him the bonus for winning the Tour de France. He's got that federal whistle blower suit that could be tens of millions in liability. So those civil cases are coming. There's no doubt about that.
COOPER: Do you think if there is this federal case, do you think -- I mean, could he go to jail?
TOOBIN: If he's convicted, absolutely. But he hasn't been charged...
TOOBIN: ... so he's a long way from being convicted. But if he is convicted, no question he could.
COOPER: Jeff Toobin, thank you.
Betsy Andreu, thank you so much. Good to have you on again.
Athletes like Lance Armstrong may make headlines for using performance-enhancing drugs. But now a growing number Baby Boomers and older people are turning to many of those exact same substances. The question is, at what cost to their health?
We're going to tell you what you need to know if you're thinking of doing what basically this guy's doing. He's 74 years old.
COOPER: Well, we just told you about the latest fallout for Lance Armstrong and his doping scandal. Now there are new questions about Major League Baseball's 2011 MVP.
Yahoo! Sports is reporting the league is investigating the link between Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun and a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs to other big-name players.
Braun responded in a statement saying he has nothing to hide. He's going to fully cooperate. He goes on to explain his name appears in the clinic's records because his lawyer hired its operator as a consultant in the a successful appeal of a positive drug test following his MPV season.
Clinics like this one make headlines when they end up the center of a sport scandal. But many are cashing in on a growing customer base outside of professional athletics.
More and more Baby Boomers and others are turning to performance- enhancing drugs to regain what age is taking away. Some doctors are now selling these same substances as something of a fountain of youth. Kyung Lah introduces us to one doctor who says he practices what he preaches and doesn't mind being the 74-year-old face of the anti-aging movement.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the body of a man who uses performance-enhancing drugs, virtually the same ones connected to Lance Armstrong, Olympian Marion Jones and baseball player Alex Rodriguez.
But this man is not a professional athlete. Jeffrey Life is 74, with a rock-hard body and, he claims, the mental sharpness of a man half his age.
DR. JEFFRY LIFE, USES PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS: Everyone's going to age. I'm not against aging, I'm against getting old.
LAH: And he claims no one has to, with daily rigorous workouts, a strict low-carb diet, and injections of testosterone and human growth hormone or HGH.
LIFE: What we use it for is to improve health, to slow disease and prevent disease. And to improve quality of life. I'd like to think I'm blazing kind of a trail for the Baby Boomer generation.
LAH: A journey that Dr. Life, a family physician, began years ago. This was him before exercise and supplements. This is him today on a new book releasing next month.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How does this 74-year-old doctor keep looking younger and younger as he ages? The answer is the Cenegenics elite health program.
LAH: Cenegenics is the company that runs a chain of clinics calling itself the nation's largest age management group. Part of the exploding anti-aging industry that relies in part on testosterone and HGH.
Last year, Cenegenics reports they made 100 million in revenue. The anti-aging industry targets America's about 80 million aging Baby Boomers, looking for any way to turn back the hands of time.
The Food and Drug Administration regulates the use of HGH, stressing the hormone is not an approved treatment for anti-aging.
So how does Cenegenics not break any laws? By focusing on a natural loophole of sorts, the natural depletion of hormones as we age.
LIFE: We are all about correcting deficiencies and getting levels up to a healthy level. LAH: Dr. Life says his patients who are given HGH suffer from growth hormone deficiency, one of the few FDA approved reasons for taking HGH. He says patients here go through a pituitary gland test to meet the FDA regulations.
Cenegenics told 62-year-old Gerald Schlesinger that was his problem. Like all patients who take the hormone, Schlesinger says he's monitored and tested four times a year at Cenegenics for his testosterone and HGH intake. He now feels like he's 40.
That comes with a hefty price tag. All this can cost up to $15,000 a year, cash only.
GERALD SHLESINGER, PATIENT: My health is first, and whatever it costs me is worth it.
LAH (on camera): If you think this is too good to be true, you're not alone. Many doctors agree, saying, sure, there may be short-term gain, but there will be long-term costs.
DR. TOM PEARLS (PH), PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: It's a fallacy to say that even in low doses that these drugs are not harmful.
LAH: Dr. Tom Pearls (ph), a professor of medicine at Boston University's School of Medicine, would not talk specifically about Cenegenics, but he is a vocal critic of the anti-aging movement.
PEARLS (ph): I do believe that giving growth hormone for anti- aging in particular for anti-aging is quackery.
LAH: He says there are no reputable studies that show the hormones stop aging and warns HGH in particular can enlarge organs, cause high blood pressure, and even trigger cancer.
(on camera): What do you say to the medical community who says this is voodoo. And this is potentially dangerous because it's so untested.
LIFE: We don't know what the long-term consequences are going to be of testosterone replacement therapy and growth hormone replacement therapy.
LAH: What's wrong with just getting old?
LIFE: It's an argument a lot of doctors use. But who wants to get old when you don't have to?
LAH: If next year for some reason you get cancer, will you blame these supplements?
LIFE: No, I will not.
LAH (voice-over): What he will do is continue to be the poster grandpa of a company and a movement that believes the riskier move is to turn away from this fountain of youth they've found in diet, dumbbells and drugs.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Las Vegas.
COOPER: We heard from him about the payoffs, what are the risks of taking performance-enhancing drugs like this. Earlier I spoke with Dr. Ian Smith, the author of "Shred: A Revolutionary Diet."
COOPER: I'm curious what you make of this, because everything I've heard about HGH, which is that I don't know if this is true, and it was alluded to in the piece, is that if you have a cancer, tumor in your body, it will make that grow faster, as well as other things?
DR. IAN SMITH, AUTHOR, "SHRED": Well, HGH has real clinical implications, I mean, particularly, for example, for children who have some kind of pituitary problem. We give them HGH if they're deficient. So there are deficiencies in HGH.
The problem is, where do you draw the line between it being therapeutic and it being something kind of adventurous? For example, athletes using HGH.
In the case of Dr. Life and his patients, the question remains whether or not they're doing it because they're really deficient or because they're trying to get some of the performance enhancements of HGH.
COOPER: It seems like in some of these clinics, especially in L.A. in Hollywood, where a lot of folks take this, especially in the entertainment industry, I mean, you can go for multiple blood tests and your testosterone levels vary. And so you just kind of take enough tests, and finally, you get a low testosterone level, and they're like, "Bingo, now you need testosterone."
SMITH: That is the key. Because people say why isn't the FDA going after them when they're using these things that are not approved -- in ways not approved by the FDA? It's because you could make the argument that there is a deficiency, and you're just replacing the deficiency.
But the real elegant question is whether or not that deficiency is enough to require some type of therapeutic intervention. And that's where the line gets very blurry.
COOPER: And it does seem like, long term, do doctors really know the consequences?
SMITH: Well, here's the problem. The problem is, they have not done long-term studies in people who are using it in this particular fashion. Yes, we've done it in children for many, many years, but athletes and people who are using it because they want the fountain of youth, per se, no, there are no long-term studies. And these things are dangerous. I mean, we're talking liver abnormalities, tumors, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, testicular shrinkage. I mean, all kinds of problems that happen using these drugs in a high quantity.
COOPER: I could see why somebody in their 70s who, you know, feels like, "You know what? Why not? Let's go for it, if I look good and feel better." But I think for young people, that seems to be where the biggest concern is.
SMITH: Well, the problem is that, you know, it's not just about aesthetics. So Dr. Life looks like a young person, but the question is, what is happening in this biological age? What's happening on the inside? The outside does not necessarily mirror the inside.
And someone like that who made -- I don't know how much he's using. But when you use these kind of anabolic steroids for a long period of time, you really are stressing out your organs and your chemical messenger system, and it could be a problem.
So who knows how young he is inside. He looks young outside. And that's a problem.
COOPER: Dr. Ian Smith, thanks so much.
SMITH: Thanks for having me.
COOPER: We'll be right back.
COOPER: That does it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.