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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Investigators Find Fingerprint In Bomb Debris; New Tape Of Dead Suspect's Voice; Suspect's Former Boxing Coach Speaks; Suspect's Uncle Contacts Mosque For Funeral Plans
Aired April 30, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, we have new developments in the investigation of the Boston bombings. OUTFRONT tonight, authorities have found a new and very important clue, one very specific clue on the bombs.
Plus, tonight, you'll hear the voice of Tamerlan Tsarnaev for the first time, what one of his boxing coaches told us today.
And Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow, Katherine Russell, spent three hours at her lawyer's office today. We are learning right now about that meeting. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett in New York. OUTFRONT tonight, significant new evidence in the Boston bombing investigation. We have a new clue that could help solve this crime and tell us if anyone else is involved. Plus, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the dead suspect in his own words.
Tonight, all angles of the investigation OUTFRONT, in Boston, Susan Candiotti and Brian Todd on the investigation. In Rhode Island, Erin McPike with the newest information today on Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow. And in Washington, Tom Foreman investigating the effectiveness of our terror watch system.
All right, first, to Susan Candiotti in Boston. Susan, another potential break for investigators, you know, last night, it was female DNA on the bomb. Tonight, you have information about some very new and specific evidence in the case.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. We're learning about a new lead that at least one fingerprint has been found on one of those bombs that was used during the Boston marathon. Now, at last word, there is no information about to whom that belongs, but of course, this could be a very key piece of evidence for investigators as they put together their case.
Also at last check, we don't have any word as to whether there's been a match about that female DNA that was also found on a part of one of the pressure cooker bombs. Still looking into that as well, but that of course is another important piece of evidence -- Erin.
BURNETT: Right, and obviously going to be crucial as we're waiting for that DNA evidence to come back. Now, Susan, I also know that there has been talk about whether there are any potential conversations, discussions going on between prosecutors and the defense at this point about the punishment that will be out to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. What are you learning about that?
CANDIOTTI: Well, here's what we're hearing from a few sources. That there are very, very preliminary talks going on right now that could potentially lead to the suspect in this case who's been charged, that's Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, to allow him to continue discussions with investigators.
You remember he hasn't really said anything substantive since he's been Mirandized, but this could potentially lead to them talking again in exchange for possibly taking the death penalty off the table.
Now, we are told this is a very common and standard practice. That these are not to be considered to be negotiations and that no deal has been offered, but that in fact is very preliminary talks have been going on for the past few days.
BURNETT: Susan Candiotti, thank you very much. And for the first time tonight, we are now hearing the voice of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the brother who died after a shootout with police three days after the bombings. "Entertainment Tonight" has uncovered exclusive previously unseen video of Tamerlan from a boxing documentary. I want to play it for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: State your name.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tamerlan. Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you excited?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Why not? You know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Brian Todd is in Boston tonight. Brian, Tamerlan, you know, he sounds hopeful. He sounds cocky. He sounds aggressive. You know, you spoke today with one of his former boxing coaches. What did they say?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, they're just kind of contributing to some new questions tonight as to whether, you know, the fizzling out of his boxing career may have contributed to him going down some kind of a dark path that may have led toward these bombings.
I spoke to a guy named Bob Russo who coached Tamerlan Tsarnaev on the Golden Gloves team in 2009, the team that went to the national championships in Salt Lake City. Tamerlan Tsarnaev lost in those championships. He didn't make it to the top there.
That could have led potentially to a shot at Olympic team, but the next year, they changed the rules on him because he was not a U.S. citizen, they didn't let him on. Here's my conversation with Bob Russo about the change in the rules and what happened to Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB RUSSO, TAMERLAN TSARNAEV'S BOXING COACH, 2009 (via telephone): A citizen, a legal citizen of the United States to box in the national, in the Golden Gloves and in the international. So they, the National Golden Gloves decided that they would not allow --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: And that killed Tamerlan Tsarnaev's dreams of becoming an Olympic boxer. Now the question is, did that setback sent him along the darker path toward these bombings. There's at least one former boxing coach named John Allen who believes that it did. He told "Entertainment Tonight" that he believes that setback did send him along that path, but other coaches that we talked to are not making that link. They don't believe that that really was the case.
We know of other problems that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had. We knew that the family had financial problems. He was arrested in 2009 for domestic assault, for slapping his girlfriend. The family, we learned more details today about this. They received welfare payments on and off pretty consistently for about ten years.
His wife, Katherine Russell, was receiving welfare payments, both federal and state welfare payments for her and her child throughout most of last year including that six months that he was in Russia, Erin, so a lot of setbacks in his left toward the end there in the years leading up to the bombings.
BURNETT: Ten years of welfare payments, but then making a lot of people frustrated in this country. You know, also, you have new information tonight on possible funeral plans for Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the big question, of course, is who is going to claim his body? What have you learned?
TODD: Well, we have learned tonight, Erin, from the Islamic Society of Boston, and this is the mosque where both brothers attended for a period of time, that they have been contacted by the family, by an uncle, about making funeral arrangements for Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Now, what this mosque says is that they have taken that request and passed it along to a service, an Islamic service that does funeral arrangements and that will be processed by that service. It is not clear if the actual funeral will be presided over by the mosque where those two brothers attended.
If it is, mosque officials there tell us that it will be presided over by a lay person because the top imams are not comfortable presiding over his funeral. It may appear that they are condoning bombings, which they say they do not want to do.
So, if it turns out the Islamic Society of Boston where the two brothers attended is going to preside over that funeral, it's going to be a layperson who does it. That's not clear at the moment and it's not clear if the funeral will be held in Boston.
BURNETT: A big question. All right, well, thank you very much, Brian Todd. Now, as you all know, there have been so many questions about whether the intelligence community in the United States could have prevented the Boston bombings. Today, the president weighed in and he defended the agencies involved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Based on what I've seen so far, the FBI performed its duties. Department of Homeland Security did what it was supposed to be doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Joe Johns is in Washington tonight and Joe, the president said they did what they could and what they were supposed to be doing, but still, there is real concern.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's true. First talking to some people in the intelligence community, there are those who say given the circumstances, Erin, the administration had to do a review. The president, of course, is being very complimentary toward the federal agencies, but some inside the U.S. intelligence community that we've spoken with on background or questioning, whether somebody missed something and it's important to say even though the FBI has taken some criticism, the director of national intelligence said he believes all the agencies involved took the appropriate steps.
So the question, whether there was a breakdown either in the gathering of the information or analysis of the information, so how is it that the U.S. got tipped off by Russia to check out one of the suspects in the Boston bombing? FBI finds no derogatory information, then later the same guy goes on to allegedly blow up the marathon.
One intelligence expert we spoke was asks whether a signal to noise problem, that simply there's so much information about so many different potential terrorists coming in, it's hard for the intelligence community and FBI to figure out what's important and what's not.
BURNETT: All right, Joe, thank you. Of course, as thousands of people, in fact, everybody, hundreds of thousands, maybe more than a million people that they're watching.
Still to come, authorities say Tsarnaev was on at least two government watch lists before the Boston attack. Did you know that there are at least six terror watch lists in America? Is this smart of a sign of failure?
Plus, as American authorities hunt down the publisher of al Qaeda's "Inspire" magazine, new evidence indicates Tamerlan Tsarnaev used the magazine to build the bombs in Boston.
And Amanda Knox speaks out for the first time. What she says happened that night in Italy. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BURNETT: We have breaking news right now. We are just hearing from the widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Katherine Russell, through her attorney and in a statement, something very significant. Her attorney says Katherine Russell wants her husband's remains. She wants the remains to be released to the Tsarnaev family.
The statement goes on to say and I'll quote it, "In the coming days, Katherine will continue to meet with law enforcement as she has done for many hours over the past week." As you just heard, of course, our Brian Todd, report the imams in Boston are at least at this point appearing to refuse to hold some sort of a service for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a funeral service. We're going to have much more in just a moment from Erin McPike who is in Rhode Island with Katherine Russell today.
Well, as we try to find out whether there were any mistakes here, whether everything was done perfectly or not, did you know there are at least six terror watch lists in America? It's a statistic that deserves scrutiny after revelations that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was on two of them before his alleged attack on the Boston marathon.
And guess what? There's actually a whole lot more than the six major watch lists we've counted. Other government agencies have their own, more quietly maintained ones, but why are there so many? Is this smart or is it big government gone bad? Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A curious trip to Russia, loud confrontations at a mosque, visits to radical websites and behavior that made even relatives disapprove.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I think was behind it, being losers.
FOREMAN: Just some of that was enough to have Tamerlan Tsarnaev on at least one government watch list well before the Boston bombings. Rick Nelson is an expert on these government databases.
(on camera): So why didn't the watch list prevent this?
RICK "OZZIE" NELSON, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: It would be difficult for the watch list in and of itself to stop an attack. The watch lists are just data. It's information.
FOREMAN (voice-over): There are many watch lists in government agencies from the border patrol to the FBI to the CIA, and the names of both the older Tsarnaev brother and his mother were on one called the Terrorists Identities Datamar Environment or TIED, a low level list of about 700,000 names.
Something it can do a first line of defense. There is no active surveillance of people on TIDE. Their names are kept in case they show up in connection with a more serious threat, then they may be bumped up to the no-fly or selectees list, where their movements would be scrutinized much more closely just in case an attack is in the works, but --
YUSUFI VALI, ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF BOSTON: With these particular suspects, there's nothing they did that you know, suggested that they were going to do something like this.
FOREMAN: That is the problem. Lone wolves like Eric Rudolph and the Unabomber evaded capture for years because they did not interact enough with others to reveal their plans.
RICK "OZZIE" NELSON, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: At the end of the day, it's very difficult because with many of these individuals, we don't know when they are going to cross the line from rhetoric to violent action.
FOREMAN: Security experts argue watch lists can still be valuable to investigators, tracking terror networks after an attack. But the fact the Boston bombings were the work of someone already on a list is now in itself being looked at very hard.
For "OUTFRONT," Tom Foreman, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: "OUTFRONT" tonight, Nada Bakos, a former CIA analyst who spearheaded the CIA (INAUDIBLE) operations team. She and the other agents were also the basis for the main character in "Zero Dark Thirty." Seth Jones is the associate director of the international security and defense policy center at the RAND Corporation.
Great to have both of you with us.
Nada, you've been out there looking for people, looking for people. I just wanted to throw up a graphic. I mean, as we said, there are six major lists. There is a lot of other list that we were not even to amount how many there were. You have tide list with more than 700,000 names.
Everybody, I'm going to hold this up for few minutes so everybody can read it.
You have another terrorist screening database with 423,000 names. Tsarnaev was said to be on that list. Then there's a select d list with 14,000 names. A no fly list with 10,000 names and the kill list, we don't know exactly how many names are on that. And that's just a few of the names that there are. Does it make sense to have all of these lists? Does it help someone like you.
NADA BAKOS, FORMER CIA ANALYST: So, look, I think most of these lists are to be used as references. They're not generating leads, they are not generating open investigations. So, it depends on how they are used. I mean, they can be useful just as a resource for some organizations, but again, I'm not exactly sure how all of those databases interact at this point.
BURNETT: Right. Right. And I guess that's a big point. I mean, let's talk, Seth, about the tide list in particular. The big one. 700,000 names. Helpful?
SETH JONES, RAND CORPORATION: Look, I think it's helpful to have a list of people who come under suspicion, whether they're by U.S. agencies or foreign agencies overseas in the Tamerlan case with the Russians, but that really doesn't mean anything in the case of opening cases. So, I think the question is what do you do with those names? How often are you revisiting them. And that may be an issue with this case.
BURNETT: Right. I mean, obviously, they are going to have reasons for all of these lists, right? I would bet there's a reason to have more than one list. There may not be a reason to have however many lists that they have. But, how do we draw the line between something that's necessary and something that becomes clerical busy work, where you have people on these lists and theoretically should have been, in some ways, under surveillance or people were aware of them, who end up committing terrorist acts.
JONES: I think at least my, based on my own experience in U.S. special operations, I think at some point, if there is very little corroborating evidence then over time, there should be relatively straightforward ways to get people's names off the list. That does become a problem and once somebody's name gets on several of these lists, it becomes very difficult to get off regardless of whether there's information or not.
BURNETT: Right and that raises another problem which is that you have a list of 700,000 people on it. Not every one of them is going to go commit a terrorist act. But the problem is, is you have a Tamerlan Tsarnaev name on there and he is, because there's 700,000 people, you are not actually looking at him.
BAKOS: Right. And you know, whether or not there's an expiration date for how long the names should be on there, that's a good conversation to have, but at this point, having the database for FBI agency, even CBP, it's incredibly useful. And so, this is actually a great example because if you look at the fact that what we now know, you know, according to reporting, that the FBI closed their case, but yet he was flagged by the CIA later on.
So, having, having this in there, it could generate some trigger or lead if we had the infrastructure to do something like that, it would be useful.
BURNETT: Now, Seth, does it prevent though, on the same level you have someone on the list who did something that maybe we could have caught, but we didn't. Who know, right? It's unclear at this point whether there were any mistakes made, but it also opens the door too well if you've got so many lists coming out of the U.S. government that you become a slave to the list.
So, I'm only going to look at people who are on the list, and then, I'm going to miss somebody that's not on the list who is actually doing something bad. I mean, the list can be bad both ways.
BURNETT: Well, Erin, that's a very good point. I think part of the issue that we have with this case is especially if there were some family members that were aware of radicalization, what is our community engagement strategy like, especially with law enforcement and Muslim communities, for example, I mean, we have seen in several cases where with a Alexandria five in Virginia, there were concerned individuals that went to the FBI through nongovernmental organizations and said we've got a jihadist problem here. We have got kids that are going to Pakistan radicalized. That did not happen here. That's more than just a list. That's also our ability to have some systematic engagement with our communities.
BURNETT: That was just a good point especially since the potential bombing on a train in Canada was caught because some people in Muslim came forward to our understanding, at least, to this point, there was important on those guys having on anyway.
Thanks very much to both of you and please let us know what you think about this. I know a lot of you on twitter are pretty engaged with it. Please, go ahead and tell me.
And still to come, officials say the suspected Boston bombers may have learned how to carry out the attacks by a magazine published by al-Qaeda.
And CIA tonight, hunting for the editors. So, it is almost eight months after a terrorist attack in the U.S. consul in Libya, in which the American ambassador was killed. The GOP says people with new information about what happened that night are being blocked by the administration. The president has responded to the accusations add up.
BURNETT: U.S. officials are searching for the people behind al- Qaeda's the propaganda magazine. It is called "Inspire" and it is available online. Authorities believe the suspected Boston marathon bombers may have used the online publications which includes sections like a hit list of people to kill and a how to, including how to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom to build the explosives used in the attack.
CNN's Nick Robertson is in Dagestan with more on how this magazine may be fuelling deadly plots against the United States of America.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As al-Qaeda terror trading in U.S. drone strikes, so the radicals hone their online training. In 2010, publishing the "Inspire" magazine, propelling them to leaders in cooking up jihad at home.
Issue one devoted ten of its pages to bomb making. Glossy propaganda written in English to inspire a generation of English speaking radical wannabes. Instructions showing step by step details on making a pressure cooker bomb, on timing and detonate circuitry available to anyone through radical Islamists to right wing extremists, who themselves have had a (INAUDIBLE) for cooker bombs.
More issues followed. Issue nine early 2012, suggests targeting sporting events. Issue seven in autumn 2011, suggest using a car to mow down pedestrians. The ideas of often sounded outlandish. But, their intends has never been less than terror. Faisal Shahzad convicted for an attempted bombing in New York's Times Square in 2010 rigged a car using a cocktail of explosives similar to "Inspire" magazine instructions. And another apparently lone wolf attacker Jose Pimentel followed yet another inspire recipe before he was arrested in 2011.
It's modern magazine style came courtesy of its creator and editor in chief, an American living Yemen, Samir Khan, a member of al- Qaeda's Yemen franchise, Al-Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula. He once boasted I am proud to be a traitor to America. Less than two years after issue one hit the streets, he was dead. Killed in Yemen September 30th, 2011 in a U.S. drone strike. Issue 12 was published last year. There has been nothing since.
Nick Robertson, CNN. Makhachkala, Dagestan.
BURNETT: Still to come, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow, Katherine Russell, spent three hours at her lawyer's today. What we know about that meeting and what she's saying tonight about her husband's remains.
Plus, Amanda Knox, the American college student convicted of murdering her roommate, speaks out for the first time. Her version of what happened that gruesome night.
BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about where we focus on reporting from the front lines.
And we start today with the president who said he's going to continue to push on his promise to close Guantanamo Bay today. The president also stopped at the notion of continuing to keep inmates at Gitmo in, quote-unquote, "perpetuity."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The idea that we would still maintain forever a group of individuals who have not been tried, that is contrary to who we are. It is contrary to our interests and it needs to stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, the president's talked before of lifting restrictions to other places, but that depends on Congress and a former JAG attorney Greg Rinckey tells OUTFRONT the president will have to, quote, "quell the concerns of lawmakers that the detainees won't be transferred to federal prisons in their district." In the meantime, though, the president has depended on drones to take out militants instead of jailing them.
And now, something utterly foul and (INAUDIBLE). According to a new report, hurricane Sandy caused 11 billion -- gallons, I'm sorry, of sewage to overflow. Glad you don't live in New York.
The non-profit behind the study Climate Central puts it this way, this is pleasant: 11 billion gallons would be like filling Central Park with sewage 41 feet high. That's a lot of -- a third of that overflow is untreated raw sewage. The rest was partially treated, if that makes you feel any better.
Waste water consultant John Shaw tells us time will likely kill the pathogens in the sewage, but some could be viable to pose a risk now. OK. I'm not going to swim this summer.
Two months after Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer banned employees from working from home, Mayer is now doubling maternity leave. Now, new mothers at Yahoo can take 16 weeks of pay leave and fathers eight. Mayer herself went back to work just two weeks after giving birth.
Now, we looked at the way things are for most Americans and even among working mothers, 100 best companies, only 16 percent of mothers on that list get anywhere near what Yahoo is offering. That's a pretty generous benefit.
It has been 635 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?
Well, some good news today. This week, we found out the U.S. Treasury is going to pay down debt for the first time in six years. All right. It's only one quarter of people and it's thanks to tax receipts because they come in in April. That's this quarter.
You know what? It's still the first time this has happened in a really long time. So, we celebrate it.
Just in: one man being hailed a hero in the aftermath of the Boston bombings is speaking out now for the first time on television, the man the Tsarnaev's allegedly carjacked. The Chinese immigrant known as Danny helped lead the police to brothers when he sprinted from the car, you remember he story, right? He went to the gas station and he made that call.
With his identity concealed and his voice altered, he told CBS News correspondent John Miller how he escaped from the brothers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANNY, CARJACKED BY TSARNAEVS: I was counting, "One, two, three, four". And I just do it. And I did it. And I can feel Tamerlan trying to grab me.
JOHN MILLER, CBS NEWS: So, you're going -- he's reaching out.
MILLER: And now, you're running.
DANNY: I was running. I was just running as fast as I can and never, never look back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Danny insisted despite doing that, and running and trying to get help, when Tamerlan Tsarnaev had a gun and said he was going to kill him, he insisted he wasn't a hero.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANNY: I don't think I'm a hero, you know, because what I was trying to do was just trying to save myself. I did something, probably did something good and I think the police, they are the hero. They exchange the gunfire with those bad guys. I think they are the heroes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And now back to our developing story tonight. Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow has just released a statement through her lawyer, which I have here, which says she wants her husband's remains to be released to the Tsarnaev family.
Now, for the second day in a row, Russell spent time at her lawyer's office. Today, she was there for more than three hours and Erin McPike continues to cover this angle on the story outside the Russell family home in Rhode Island.
And, Erin, what more did Katherine Russell's attorney say about her husband?
ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, as we know, earlier today, she was at her attorney's office and she was meeting with federal investigators. She was there for about three hours.
Now, in this statement that her attorneys have just released within the past hour, they say and I'll read this to you, "In the coming days, Katherine will continue to meet with law enforcement, as she has done for many hours over the past week and provide as much assistance to the investigation as she can."
Now, Erin, here's another thing I want to tell you about this statement. The attorneys also have said that the Massachusetts medical examiner's office is prepared to release the remains of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Katie Russell says she wishes those remains were released to the Tsarnaev family.
Now, to that end, just about two hours ago, I was again outside her attorney's office in downtown Providence and I ran into Uncle Ruslan Tsarni. He's the uncle of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. You may remember him from the past couple of weeks. He lives in Maryland. He said he called his nephews, quote, "losers". When I tried to speak to him in Providence, he said he was not really in the mood to speak. He wished that we would respect his feelings, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Erin, thank you very much. Reporting from Rhode Island.
And interesting there, Erin, you know, having a sense of exactly what Katherine Russell was doing today.
But there are so many questions. Now, it's been well, it's been weeks. Another meeting with her attorneys, Russell has remained mostly out of sight, but she said to be cooperating with the FBI. Will Russell, though, ever face charges herself?
I want to bring in Mark Geragos OUTFRONT, a criminal defense attorney and the author of a new book, "Mistrial".
And, Mark, we just ask you, you know, the question. You know, originally, law enforcement officials have said they had several major questions about this case and one of them was, how is it possible for the wife, which lived in this very small apartment, to not have any idea that her husband was experimenting with bombs and that there were pipe bombs and explosives lying around the apartment. That was a big question that they had.
They've done nothing in charging her, arresting her. So, does that essentially exonerate her?
MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I wouldn't say it exonerates here by any means. In fact, one of the things, techniques you run into with the feds is -- we often joke that even the mafia spares the women and children. The feds, a lot of times, will bring the wives or the spouses in.
And in this case, I can see where if she's cooperating, why in the world would you arrest first and ask questions later? They may want to get as much information as they can. They may have assured the lawyers that she's not a target, but she's under the federal parlance, a subject or just a witness.
And they're going to try and get as much information as they want because as you said or you had indicated, I mean, there are a lot of questions and obviously, they want to answers and they want to run to ground any kind of leads and having to do with anybody who may have also been involved. Not just what she saw or whether she saw something and didn't do anything, but whether somebody else was involved.
BURNETT: So, let me ask you this question, let's just say, I mean, who knows whether involved or not. But they think they can get information out of her that's useful in this. Would they make a deal with her unbeknownst to anyone at this time and say, you know, look, we think you were involved, but we're not going to because you can give us other valuable information. Even in a case like this, a terrorist act, would they do that? GERAGOS: Absolutely. It happens all the time in the criminal justice system. Somebody's either given immunity. Somebody's given -- you could be coming in under what's called a queen for a day, where you're told anything you say won't be used against you, at least if there's a case in chief.
So yes, those things could happen. There could be an agreement that was already inked and signed. And the lawyers have already done it. You just don't know. It's all speculation, what we do best on cable.
But ultimately, they could -- they could have gotten something from her they thought was valuable enough to trade for immunity.
BURNETT: Right. OK, but then what happens? You know, they took the DNA out of her family home yesterday and, of course, they said they found female DNA on one of the bombs, no absolutely link between the two, but if they were to find that there was and the public finds out about it, this woman was given immunity and is walking around on the streets, I mean, that's tough.
GERAGOS: Well, yes, opens yourself up to a lot of criticism, I suppose, but like I say, most of this is speculation. We just don't know.
If they did give immunity now and that was normally what happens is they're not going to, the federal system, they generally will not give immunity until they've got a pretty good idea of what's going to be said. And, clearly, if she said she's got in involvement and then it turns out she was lying, they can come down with the full force and credit of the U.S. government on her.
BURNETT: All right. And, of course, at this point, we have no idea whether that was any involvement whatsoever.
All right. Mark Geragos, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
GERAGOS: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: And for the first time, Amanda Knox, the American college student convicted of murdering her roommate is telling her side of the story. Knox and her former boyfriend spent four years in an Italian prison before their convictions were then thrown out in 2011. But in a dramatic ruling last year, Italy's high court threw out that decision and ordered another trial.
Alina Cho is OUTFRONT with Knox's attempt to set the record straight.
ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a glossy rollout timed to the release of her new book, "Waiting to be Heard," Amanda Knox is breaking her silence on the pages of "People" magazine and a primetime special on ABC. AMANDA KNOX, AUTHOR, "WAITING TO BE HEARD": I was in the courtroom when they were calling me a devil. I mean, it's one thing to be called certain things in the media and it's another thing to be sitting in a courtroom, fighting for your life while people are calling you a devil.
CHO: Knox, then an American college student in Italy, spent nearly four years in prison after she and her Italian boyfriend were convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher, Knox's then-roommate. Details emerged of a kinky sex game gone wrong. Knox was dubbed a femme fatal.
This is how she responds to Diane Sawyer.
DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: She-devil with an angle face. Sphinx of Perugia.
KNOX: I haven't heard those. I mean, I've heard the jest of them and they're wrong.
CHO: In "People," the 25-year-old speaks candidly about life in prison.
BETSY GLEICK, EXEC. EDITOR, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: One of the things that sustained her, she has a family photo album and she's so lonely, she's caressing the pictures.
CHO: So lonely, she thinks about suicide.
GLEICK: She talked about, you know, would she do it in the shower? And there's a little window in the shower and it would be all fogged up so nobody could see here. She would bleed to death and that would be a peaceful death.
CHO: Then, two years after she was convicted, a dramatic turn of evidence involving bad evidence, Knox was set free and returned home to Seattle.
KNOX: Thank you to everyone who's believed in me, who has defended me.
CHO: On why she's talking now, she says, "I'm not a murder." But in the latest twist, Italy's highest court has ordered a retrial.
SAWYER: What was your reaction when you heard the Supreme Court decision?
KNOX: It was incredibly painful. I felt like after crawling through a field of barbed wire and finally reaching what I thought was the end, it just turned out that it was the horizon and I had another field of barbed wire that I had ahead of me to crawl through.
BURNETT: That's Alina Cho reporting. And still to come, almost eight months after the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Libya, House Republicans are saying State Department officials are blocking and testifying about missteps. What the president said today about this so-called intimidation and whether it adds up.
Plus, something historic just happened in Europe that hasn't happened in more than 120 years. So why don't more people care?
BURNETT: President Obama's Benghazi burden.
So, there are new and serious allegations tonight that the Obama administration is engaged in a cover up about what happened in and around last fall's deadly attack on the American consulate in Libya. It has been nearly eight months since four Americans were killed in the Benghazi attack. There have been no significant arrests. None. One person for questioning.
House Republicans are investigating and they say the State Department is effectively blocking its own employees who know important information from speaking out and testifying.
Our chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash is OUTFRONT tonight from Washington.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president appeared to be caught flat-footed.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not familiar with this notion that anybody has been blocked from testifying.
BASH: He may not be familiar, but there's a high stakes tug of war going on between the State Department and GOP House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa
At issue, according to one attorney involved, at least four employees, three at the State Department and one at the CIA, apparently want to talk to Congress about the administration's handling of the Benghazi situation. But much of that information is classified.
A veteran Republican attorney Victoria Toensing says she can't get answers from the State Department on how to get clearance to see the classified information in order to advise her client.
VICTORIA TOENSING, ATTORNEY: There's a clear obstruction to my client when my client cannot give me all the information because the State Department will not give a process for my being cleared.
BASH: The State Department suggests it is up to the employee to ask. PATRICK VENTRELL, ACTING DEPUTY STATE DEPT. SPOKESMAN: We're not aware of any employees who have requested clearance for private attorneys, security clearances for private attorneys in connection with Benghazi.
BASH: But Toensing argues her client is afraid to ask and shouldn't have to.
TOENSING: I have to protect my client and I'm not going to let my client go to people in the State Department and expose himself or herself without my being able to be with that person and if I'm not cleared, I can't be with the person.
BASH (on camera): So it's the chicken or an egg?
TOENSING: It's a chicken or an egg, and the State Department's playing games with that kind of language.
BASH: Has he or she felt threatened?
TOENSING: Well, if you're going to talk away somebody's job or living, that's a threat. It's a kind of a threat.
BASH: And your client has been told their job or living will be taken away if they come forward and talk about whatever it is they felt they need --
TOENSING: In a more subtle way.
BASH: How is it done?
TOENSING: They just put somebody in an office and say we just don't have an assignment for you.
BASH: The State Department denies anyone is being threatened. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated a promise to help Congress get answers.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We have to demythologize this issue and certainly depoliticize it. American people deserve answers.
BASH (on camera): House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa plans to hold a public hearing next Wednesday and he's hoping to have the State Department client testify. But that won't happen unless she can fully advise her client, including about information that's classified -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Dana, thank you.
Radio host Stephanie Miller and our contributor, Reihan Salam.
All right. Great to have both of you with us.
Reihan, according to one of the attorneys here, four State Department and CIA employees, at least four -- make sure I'm saying this correctly -- are being intimidated and blocked from cooperating with the congressional investigation to what happened in Benghazi. It's not a small allegation.
REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's right. It's also part of a larger pattern. You see this in the Bush administration. You see this in the Obama administration as well.
You have very aggressive leak prosecutions in the national security space, including, for example, an NSA agent, Thomas Drake, who leaked to a "Baltimore Sun" reporter that you had bloated budgets in the NSA. Now, he's facing potentially a stiff prison term.
So, when we're talking about aggressive treatment towards whistleblowers in national security, you are not just seeing it on Benghazi. You're seeing it elsewhere as well.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Stephanie, let me -- you know, here we are eight months since the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, as we know. Yet the administration had an indication within 24 hours of who was responsible for the attack from intercepted cell phone calls that they had. We now know that.
At this point, you don't have people in jail. You don't have anyone being held accountable and this does seem absurd. And the ambassador was killed, other Americans were killed, and the group that the CIA intercepted celebrating the attack has actually subsequently been paid to provide security in Benghazi. I mean, it is fair, right, to have deep frustration with the fact that it seems no one may ever be held accountable?
STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO HOST: Well, you know, Erin, yes, there are some questions and the investigation's not complete, but is there anything that doesn't give Lindsey Graham the vapors at this point? I mean, to me, this is part of this Obama derangement syndrome. Doesn't matter if it's Benghazi, the Boston bombing, Libya, it's always the president's fault, he's always done something wrong, they always demand answers immediately.
Do you know how many of these happened on George Bush's watch? I mean, you know, the fact is there was confusion that night and there were -- there was an investigation that was ongoing, and I just don't think this is -- everything is Watergate to them.
SALAM: The problem with this line of analysis is when you look at Lindsey Graham, when you look at John McCain, these are two of the three senators calling for an independent commission to investigate what happened. These are also two Republicans who broke ranks with many other Republicans to defend President Obama on national security. For example, with regard to the campaign in Libya. These are folks who have been very happy to actually say that President Obama made the right call in many cases.
So, the fact that they're actually saying now, look, wait a second, we don't know everything that happened, let's actually throw more resources out, let's figure it out, because this is not the last time this is going to happen. And given that we still haven't made any arrests, given that we haven't made the kind of progress that a lot of Americans expect, it seems reasonable to try to figure out piece by piece what happened.
MILLER: Reihan, somebody at the president's press conference today cited Lindsey Graham again, I believe this one was the Boston bombing. There's always --
SALAM: Lindsey Graham is also a champion of the president's immigration reform effort and much else. Lindsey Graham faces stiff challenges in a primary in his own state for actually working with the president on many issues. So he is taking a stance on this issue because it matters.
BURNETT: All right. It is part of the problem here, perhaps, Stephanie, though, far from the State Department, the administration or anyone else, actually has to do with the fact the American administration, whatever it might have been, Democrat or Republican, is actually impotent here. I just want to play what the president said right after the attack. There's an important two words in here.
Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Make no mistake: we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The two words being the Libyan government, Stephanie, which we don't even know what it is at this point and working with them and having to work on their territory may make this impossible -- maybe about the Libyan government.
MILLER: Well, I mean, it reminds me of the beginning, everybody saying oh, they said it was the video. Well, the fact is, Erin, this ridiculous video caused a lot of unrest across the entire Middle East and it may have been part of what started the trouble there.
You know, I mean, the fact that they ascribe every like horrible motive to the Obama administration no matter what it is, the fact is what Secretary of State Clinton said at the time was true. Americans are dead, what difference does it make at this point what happened when and who said what word.
SALAM: Wait a second. I think we definitely know that it wasn't a video. We know this was a terrorist attack. A, I think there's not a lot of dispute about that. B, the reason it matters is our personnel are vulnerable not just there but elsewhere and they are going to be vulnerable in the future. That's why we need to learn from this experience.
BURNETT: And hold people accountable.
All right. Well, we'll talk to you both again about this. Thank you.
And still to come, something happened today that hasn't happened in 123 years. So why don't more people care about it? The essay is next.
BURNETT: A big day in the Netherlands today as the country inaugurated its new monarch. Actually, it was yesterday. Willem- Alexander was crowned king after his mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicated. It's Netherlands' first king in 120 years. That could explain the lavish celebrations that took place in the Netherlands with people filling the streets, wearing giant orange crowns, which is the color of the Dutch royal family, and even dressing up as the king and new king and queen. Yes.
There were also a number of the world's other royal heirs in attendance all decked out for the others to see who was the best dressed. But outside the country, it wasn't front page news and Dutch expats didn't cram the bars to watch coverage. In fact, according to "The Washington Post", at the Dutch embassy in Washington, just 700 Dutch-Americans are expected at tonight's watch party on tape delay.
Tape delay? A whole day and night later? Even the Dutch in America don't care enough to watch this live?
This is a far cry from when millions of Americans tuned in to see Prince William marry Kate Middleton. Could it be that Americans only like the British royal family or could we be ending our love affair with royalty all together? Because as ridiculous as the idea of a monarchy is, and it is ridiculous, there is something fun about it, too. Because even though we don't seem to care about royalty anymore, there is something about these relics of the past that still captivates us.
"A.C. 360" starts right now.