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Boston Bombing Suspect Charged; Widow's Lawyer Speaks To CNN; Boston Pauses To Remember

Aired April 22, 2013 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Want to welcome our viewers here in the U.S. and all around the world. I'm Brooke Baldwin alongside my colleague Jake Tapper. We are live on this Monday, from Boston.

The 19-year-old bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is currently sitting in a hospital bed, handcuffed, and moments ago, we learned of the charges now filed against him, using, including the biggest charge of all, using a weapon of mass destruction, resulting in the destruction of property.

And, of course, the deaths of three people, these three young lives, in addition to injuries, including more than 200 others who are standing around the finish line one week ago today. We are standing around that finish line one week ago today.

Boston is a city still reeling after the deadly bombings. A terrorist manhunt, car chases, shootouts, and a city wide lockdown. Now we are minutes away from that moment of silence. We now know the White House, the president, will be pausing to remember the four innocent people who were killed in a week of violence.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: We're also following a group of runners who are determined to finish the race. They started last Monday. But now let's go to Chris Lawrence who has got more information on one of the suspects, the eldest brother, Tamerlan, had a child and a wife, Katherine Russell, you've spoken to her.

Chris, you've spoken to her lawyer. What did they tell you and what are you learning from the folks there about her religious beliefs?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good question, Jake. Basically she is the woman that everyone has been wanting to know about. That's a federal agent passing by behind me right there, federal agents have been posted outside Katherine Russell's parents home, which is right here.

This is where she's been staying for the past several days. Federal agents have been trying to speak with her, trying to determine what, if anything, she knew about what her husband was doing and who else he may have been affiliated with besides his younger brother.

The attorney says basically that she understands their interest. She understands that it is a national security issue, and she feels very, very strongly about what happened to the victims of Boston. He also says quite bluntly, the family is a complete mess.

He said Katherine Russell is distraught over what happened. He said she did not know anything about what her husband was doing, and says basically that right now her concern is with their 3-year-old daughter, who she now is trying to raise as a widow -- Jake.

TAPPER: Chris, National Public Radio last week found three roommates of Kate Russell, of Katherine Russell, who lived with her in college, and said that they never liked Tamerlan, that once he came into their lives around 2008 or 2009, he started becoming belligerent, violent.

BALDWIN: Brainwashing words.

TAPPER: Brainwashing, said that when she married him, she basically cut off all contact with all of her friends. This, first of all, would undermine the argument that he wasn't really radicalized until 2011, if he's violent and doing that brainwashing in 2008, 2009, but more to the point, what does the family say about her state of mind even before these attacks?

LAWRENCE: Basically, Jake, she's known to her close friends as Katie, Katie Russell. She's young. She just graduated high school in, like, 2007. They were married in 2010 and basically she was raised as a Christian. She converted to Islam after becoming involved with Tamerlan, and we're told she is an observant Muslim, wears a head scarf and was wearing a head scarf when she was here earlier this morning.

TAPPER: All right, Chris Lawrence in Rhode Island, following the developments with the wife of Tamerlan, who is holed up with her family in Rhode Island, I imagine it must be --

BALDWIN: Tough for the parents, I'm sure and just getting their little girl back. We're following that story. We're also getting as we have been reading this criminal complaint, new nuggets because we now know the charges have been read to the younger suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

We are going to Don Lemon who is standing outside of Beth Israel Hospital not too far from us here in Boston. We'll get an update on his condition. And as we're learning more, we will share some of these new details about the moments just about one week ago today.

Again, we're waiting for also a moment of silence less than 20 minutes away now. You're watching special coverage here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN. You're watching some pictures of the memorial for the victims of the terrorist attack one week ago today, almost to the minute. We'll be looking at -- we'll be watching the moment of silence. BALDWIN: Firefighters, first responders, paying their respects here as we're coming upon that moment, 2:50 p.m. Eastern Time, when those blasts went off. And this was the location for explosion number two, just a block from us, on Boylston Street.

TAPPER: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in a hospital right now here in Boston at this hour. He is under sedation. He is unable to speak, we're told, although he has been nodding and writing. But as we have been reporting, he is alert enough now, he's been deemed alert enough, to be charged.

Let's get the latest from CNN's Don Lemon. He is outside the hospital. Don, first of all, any changes in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's condition?

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it seems that he is well enough and alert enough to have a first appearance with a magistrate, presumably from his hospital room, his condition still serious. That's the last report that we got from the hospital.

And that he had been intubated, obviously we have been reporting that, but his condition was still serious, but they also had him restrained because they didn't want him to pull the breathing device from his mouth.

Again, as you have been saying, he has been alert enough that he's been not talking, but communicating with investigators, communicating either by writing things down on a pad or on a white board. And presumably they have been doing that.

One way they can do that is called a holiday from the drug. And what that presumably does is they ease up on the drugs, enough for him to regain consciousness so that when they ask him questions, he's conscious enough that he can answer them, either nod his head or write them down on the board.

BALDWIN: Don, what do we know about those questions and this process of asking these questions every couple of hours when they do ease off the drugs? You've talked to a former FBI agent who is familiar with this group, who has been doing some of the interrogating. What would it be like inside that room?

LEMON: It is called a sedation holiday. That's when they ease up off the drugs either for a few minutes or for a few hours. I've been learning a lot about it. It is called and this is according to an FBI source, a high value detention interrogation group.

And that's part of the national security branch of the FBI. And it is made up of three different groups in the FBI and the CIA, the counterterrorism division, the counterintelligence division and also members from the weapons of mass destruction division.

And after Saddam Hussein's capture back in 2005, he was captured in 2003, but after that capture around 2005, they established this group because the Office of Homeland Security deemed that they needed a more -- a group that was more specific, and knew more about global terrorism, international terrorism, rather than just local agencies.

So this one group comes in first, for a high value target like this, and that's who interrogates him. Now, what this FBI agent who worked with this group says, at this point he is, Dzhokhar is under the custody of U.S. Marshals now, no longer the FBI because of this hearing, because he's met with magistrate.

And what it says now is he cannot speak any more unless his attorney is present. They cannot talk to him anymore unless his attorney is present. Then they have this probable cause hearing, which is scheduled for May 30th. And so the defense will present their case, their evidence against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

And there the FBI agent says that's when the formal negotiating will begin. And the first thing he would do and his attorney will probably do is try to get the death penalty off the table by saying, after he sees the evidence, my client will cooperate if you take the death penalty off the table.

So that's what you're going to see in the next -- in the coming days and especially when we have this preliminary hearing that is coming up on May 30th -- Brooke.

TAPPER: Don, we know that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has a bullet wound in his neck. We don't know if -- we haven't learned yet from the shootout with police Thursday night, Friday morning, or from the shootout with police in Watertown on Friday evening. There is even speculation that it was from law enforcement officials that it may have been from a failed suicide attempt. Have we learned anything new specifically on that?

LEMON: We have spoken to the hospital about that, they will not give us any information. I spoke with a Boston police chief -- commissioner yesterday, Ed Davis, and asked him specifically about that. He said he couldn't comment on it.

But again it is in his neck. It is keeping him from speaking. We know that there was gunfire exchange. There are also some flash grenades that went off, which probably will cause or has caused Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to not be able to hear. He's lost part of his hearing.

But again, he fell, you know, six to seven feet from the boat and there was lots of blood. You know, Jake, I want to say with all of the questioning and everything you're talking about going on in the hospital and that he's -- he has this wound, and he is under medication, I asked a former FBI agent who worked with group, I said, what kinds of questions are they asking him right now?

He says, I would imagine they're asking him about his brother's trips, about the rhetoric, about the associates, about plans, other devices, ultimate plan, others involved, about his dad, was his dad involved, and also who told him where to put what devices, did his brother tell him what to do?

And if there were other people involved in this. I said, would they be doing this so soon because he is medicated again and he does have a wound? He said, this may be their only opportunity. They would take it slow as, you know, as would -- as you said, build rapport, get him to trust them, treat him with dignity and respect, and give him some hope.

The members of the team that are doing this, they say, they used rapport-based interrogation techniques, not enhanced interrogation techniques. So they're going to go slow, Jake, and try to build some trust with him, but also give him some hope in hopes that he will cooperate.

TAPPER: All right, Don Lemon, thanks. I want just to take a moment and point to behind where Brooke and I are standing. You can see the police line is there, this is the crime scene. We're just about 6 minutes away from the moment of silence that was one week ago, plus 6 minutes, when the first bombing in the terrorist attack went off.

BALDWIN: Look at these people. They're coming in now from both directions.

TAPPER: I'll get out of the way of the shot, where you can see people are coming from work, coming from home, coming to gather for Boston to be as one and commemorate and remember those who were lost, those who were wounded, and also, of course, to honor the first responders who saved so many lives that day.

BALDWIN: Some people bringing flowers, you can hear, Jake, the buzzing of helicopters overhead. This is the only vantage point people in this moment at 2:50 p.m. Eastern Time can see the sites of the explosion as it is still surrounded by crime scene tape and no one has access inside.

But, again, we are awaiting and we will, of course, pause to remember and to reflect as well. We'll hear bells chiming throughout the city of Boston and we will have live pictures from the cathedral of the holy cross, which is where president Obama and the first lady, we saw the governor, the mayor, huge venue for that interfaith service last Thursday.

We'll play that for you and we will stop talking and pause to reflect. We promise to do that. I want to take you now live though when we have the time to Deb Feyerick, who has been going over some of the details in these charges, reading through the criminal complaint.

And, Deb, talking about this earlier, the charges don't include that MIT police officer shot and killed.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Correct. That's exactly right. You know, this criminal complaint really -- this is -- I've seen this happen before, this criminal complaint is roughly, let's see, this is ten pages long. When the final -- when the actual indictment comes out, chances are it will be many times larger than this.

Usually, you know, the indictments we get are anywhere between 40, 50, 60 pages, it all depends, but this is what they have got so far. This is enough for them to hold this man in the hospital, as they continue to investigate.

There is a lot of evidence that's out there, and you know, it's very interesting, earlier you showed a picture of a group of people that are around what looks like a tree stump, that picture you had, I think a live picture. What is interesting is that's where they believe Tsarnaev, the one with the white hat, was standing and that's what his position was, well, guess what, that was a tree.

And investigators believe he may have touched that tree and so they removed that as evidence. So they're looking at a lot of things. Also, there will be potential DNA, blast, shrapnel, things like that that they'll be looking at in that particular tree.

So it is just to say that they are so far at the beginning of preparing an indictment and listing all the various charges, but, yes, look, you'll have the deaths of the three people who were at the races, you'll have the -- you'll have the injuries of the 170 people, just as you had in the U.S. embassy bombings, which I covered.

There you had the deaths and injuries of some 238 people. So this is going to get a lot larger. It is going to get a lot longer and they're going to be listing everyone who was injured will likely be listed either by name or some sort of alias.

The names of the dead, those will be included, the police officer, that will be included. They will add everything to this. So what I'm holding right now, this is just a place holder, really just a place holder -- Brooke, Jake.

BALDWIN: You know, Deb, you were talking about the tree stump and we were showing the live pictures, I don't know if we still have them, but the tree stump was apparently the site of the second explosion and you see the semicircle of men, the firefighters, the first responders.

As we await and as we continue to see more people lining up, Boylston Street, as close as they can get before the moment of silence, a couple of days ago, I talked to someone I'll never forget this 41 veteran of Boston Fire Department, his name was Charlie Buchanan, Engine 24, you know, had never done an interview in 41 years.

And he was one of the heroes to rush toward -- he told me, Brooke, we attacked, we never retreat and ran toward the smoke and just to hear his story to hear his story of how he thought of his 7- year-old grandson Malachi as he saw the daughter of Martin -- the younger sister of Martin Richard.

And saw her eyes and he's having a tough time sleeping because he closes his eyes and he sees her little eyes, but just, you know, to think of what the heroes in the city have been able to do and finding these people in a matter of five days, and sweeping in, that there aren't more injuries and more deaths, my hat is off to them. TAPPER: We're just 30 seconds away from the moment of silence. It will be commemorated not just here in Boston, but also at the White House and one thinks probably around the world. We will pause.

We will remember Martin Richard. We'll remember Krystle Campbell and Lingzi Lu. We'll remember Officer Collier and all the others who have been wounded and who have had their hearts shaken by this horrible incident. I'm just going to be quiet right now and we're going to enjoy this moment of silence.

(MOMENT OF SILENCE)

TAPPER: At our location here, the crowds are beginning to dissipate. It was very moving for hundreds of Bostonians to come to this crime scene, to take a moment of silence to commemorate the victims, to honor the victims.

And, Brooke, you and I have talked about this. I wish that every time we mentioned the suspect's name, we could mention the victims, including those who are wounded a thousand times.

Let's take a moment to honor the victims who were killed, 8-year- old Martin Richard, MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell and graduate student Lingzi Lu, so much promise, young.

BALDWIN: All very young, very young, very sad, very tragic, and as everyone leaves this crowd here and goes back to their lives and goes back to work and their children, no one will forget what happened here in Boston one week ago today, and no one will also forget the resilience and the strength and the ability to heal as this city begins to move forward.

Kevin Cullen is a "Boston Globe" columnist. He's been penning some incredibly poignant pieces in the "Globe" over the course of the last week or two. And, Kevin, let me begin with -- tell me where you are to mark this moment, and what does this moment mean for you as a Bostonian?

KEVIN CULLEN, COLUMNIST, "BOSTON GLOBE" (via telephone): Well, ironically, I'm standing in New York, and I'm down at Columbia University at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. Down here for two reasons, to talk about what happened in the past week and also to see kind of resources for some of my colleagues because we had people who were traumatized.

Obviously not as seriously as first responders, but we had a couple of photographers in the middle of it, and we had some young reporters who were never in it ever, anything like this, so, you know, there is a lot of healing that needs to take place, Brooke.

So I'm down in New York of all places. The other thing, my whole world view has changed. I mean, I can never make fun of the Yankees again after what everybody in the Bronx did at the stadium last week.

BALDWIN: That was a special moment, wasn't it, a little "Sweet Caroline."

CULLEN: A beautiful moment. I'll make an exception for A-Rod, but it really -- in terms of -- I don't know if it is hard to explain what it has been like while these events were unfolding, and we were getting, you know, a lot of my colleagues getting messages from people in Australia and the U.K. and Ireland, in South Africa, and all over the state, and particularly from New York.

I can't tell you how many New Yorkers I heard from. And when you hear from people like that, I mean, you hear from Londoners, I'm hearing sympathy, you're hearing empathy, and we knew -- I've said -- I was up in Harlem and people heard my accent and said, are you from Boston?

And that matters. And it matters as we go forward now because I got to be honest with you, I have so little interest in the knuckle head who is, you know, just charged with the crimes. We have so many more important things to focus on in Boston. We have to bury our dead first. We have to heal our wounded, and we got to take care of our first-responders because they saw things no one should see, and that's a long, long process.

TAPPER: That's right. They saw things that day that usually you would only see in a war zone. Kevin, I just want to say, you must -- you must be very proud of your city.

CULLEN: I am. I never have been prouder.

I was proud of Tom Menino when he got out of that wheelchair last week. I was proud when I was in the district (INAUDIBLE) station and talked to firefighters from Engine 7 and Tower Ladder 17 knowing that they ran headlong toward the bombs and that they worked on members of the Richard family, who they knew.

Guys on Engine 7, the chauffeur, they call the driver in the truck, his daughter baby-sat Martin. The lieutenant, his -- it is just incredible when you think about we are a small big city and every day people around here, we find that we know more victims. Every day, I have learned somebody I know who has been hurt. So it's...

BALDWIN: Yes. It seems like around here in Boston, you know, if you live in this town, there is no degree of separation from the marathon, from what happened, and you.

Kevin Cullen, thank you so much. Good luck there. Good luck there in New York. We appreciate it.