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Special Prosecutor Announced To Look Into Maryville Rape Case; Dick Cheney's Odysseys Of The Heart; Obama Administration And Congress Face Poor Approval Ratings; Record Fine For JPMorgan; Will Fines Change Wall Street Culture?; New Allegations Against A-Rod; Packers Player In ICU; "Gravity" Grounds Box Office Competition

Aired October 21, 2013 - 16:29   ET



In other national news, a special prosecutor was announced just a short time ago to look into a rape case in Maryville, Missouri, one that is capturing the nation's attention. Last year, then 14-year-old Daisy Coleman and her 13-year-old friend told authorities two teenaged boys raped them after a night of drinking. Daisy says she was then dropped outside her house in the freezing snow and found by her mother Melinda the next morning.

Daisy's alleged rapist was arrested and charged but those charges were dropped amidst discussions that one of the alleged perpetrators comes from a powerful family in town.

Now, the case, however, is getting a second look in part because of the online hacking group Anonymous. Anonymous has pushed for the case to be reopened and are holding what they call a peaceful rally tomorrow in Maryville, Missouri.


TAPPER: Daisy, do you and your mother plan to attend this rally in Maryville tomorrow, that the group Anonymous is putting together?

DAISY COLEMAN, CLAIMS CLASSMATE RAPED HER: We were pondering it but it sounds almost as if it wouldn't be safe for us to go just because of all the people in Maryville being very angry with the case right now. But we are thinking about it and we are very thankful for all the people attending.

TAPPER: Melinda, the prosecutor who had handled the case in which all the charges were dropped has now asked that a special prosecuting attorney be appointed to conduct an independent review, possibly re- file charges. What are you and Daisy hoping for?

MELINDA COLEMAN, MOTHER OF ALLEGED RAPE VICTIM: What we really want and what we're hoping for is just to be heard and to have this looked at fairly and with some enthusiasm. We were disappointed that they didn't really do the job, they didn't really collect the evidence and they didn't seem to care from the beginning. Anything about that would just be extra. TAPPER: Your case has prompted a lot of discussion about a lot of different topics that are related. You and your friend, Daisy, both admit you were drinking that night. There's a columnist from named Emily Yoffe, she brings up a point about your case I'd like to read and get your reaction.

Quote, "Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue. The real feminism message should be that when you lose the ability to be responsible for yourself, you drastically increase the chances that you will attract the kinds of people who shall we say don't have your best interests at heart. That's not blaming the victim; that's trying to prevent more victims."

That columnist and that column have been attacked and criticized perhaps unfairly. I'm wondering what you think of that argument, that women should not get drunk because there are a lot of bad guys out there that will take advantage of it and even if it's not right and not fair, that's a reality -- Daisy.

D. COLEMAN: I feel she has the right to her opinion even though I may not agree with it, and I feel it is unfair that she is getting attacked for it. But yet again, I think she needs to realize that if she was in my shoes, she would feel much differently about it and that maybe she wouldn't be so close-minded about it.

TAPPER: Melinda, what did you make of that column?

M. COLEMAN: I think it's an excellent point. I do think also in this case, however, that there probably was a date rape drug component, so I don't think the girls had a chance. They didn't -- they didn't have a chance to realize that after one or two drinks, they were feeling a little inebriated. It went from one drink to completely blacking out.

TAPPER: Yes, it's an absolutely horrifying story. Daisy, the young man whom you have accused of rape is now in college and his parents have started to give interviews. They say the national attention the case is getting is causing him issues. Their son is being assassinated. I saw one headline that says he's the real victim, according to the mom. What's your reaction to this press, and what would you say to his parents?

D. COLEMAN: I feel like it is unfair that he had to drop out of college, but yet again, it's the exact same thing that happened to me, just more drastic. I was basically forced to move away from Maryville because of all the bullying and all the threats. And I'm sorry that it had to be this way and that their parents did have to go through this. But yet again, it's almost the same exact thing that happened with me.

TAPPER: Melinda, you must have seen these stories in which the alleged perpetrator's parents are quoted talking about him being the real victim.

M. COLEMAN: He has a lot more guilt in this than they're admitting, and I think they need to let him pay at least some price and some punishment so he can learn. I hope it doesn't take him killing some girl.

TAPPER: Daisy, when was the last time you saw him?

D. COLEMAN: It was last year at my brother's graduation. I really wanted to go see my brother graduate. And sadly enough they let him walk down the aisle, and I had to witness that. But I just kind of walked away from the whole situation. And I haven't seen him since.

TAPPER: Daisy and Melinda Coleman, thank you for your strength, for talking to us today. And I hope you see justice.

D. COLEMAN: Thank you.

M. COLEMAN: Thank you. We appreciate it.

TAPPER: Coming up in our Politics Lead, just about two months after taking the oath as vice president, Dick Cheney wrote a secret letter of resignation. We'll tell you why.


TAPPER: The Politics Lead now. Stents, angioplasties, a quadruple bypass, even a heart pump. Name the procedure, former vice president Dick Cheney has had it and lived to tell about it. Cheney is out with a new book called "Heart: An American Medical Odyssey" that documents the decades of heart disease that has plagued him, even in the White House.

He sat down with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta in an interview that aired last night on "60 Minutes." Cheney revealed one uncanny consequence of those operations: that his doctor had a real fear terrorists might hack into the vice president's heart defibrillator and kill him.

Sound like science fiction? Well, pretty close. It was actually a plot line on "Homeland" on Showtime. And one that Cheney doesn't think is out there at all.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: What did you think when you watched that?

DICK CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Well, it was an accurate portrayal of what was possible.


TAPPER: Incredible. Let's bring in our panel. CNN political commentator and Republican strategist, David Frum. CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen. And senior congressional correspondent for Politico, Manu Raju.

So David, the wi-fi on the president's (sic) defibrillator was turned off before the 2007 operation, but this is all to say Dick Cheney is one heck of a survivor. I mean, I suspect all of us will be gone and buried before he even gets another cold. Were you aware of any of this stuff going on when you were at the White House?

DAVID FRUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We all knew he had heart troubles there, that he himself constantly made references to it. And as you know, the vice president offered before the 2004 election to step down partly for health reasons, also to give President Bush a new start.

But make no mistake, as vice president, especially in the first term when I was there, Dick Cheney was an iron man. I mean, he worked hard, got to the office early. And if that's how he performed when his heart was not working brilliantly, he would be ready to run a triathalon, I think, if his heart was working well.

TAPPER: And Hilary, he and Sanjay got into it a little bit yesterday on "60 Minutes" about -


TAPPER: Well, Sanjay saying did anybody tell you your judgment might be affected by what was going on with your heart and the medication? And the vice president - Vice President Cheney was -- did not affect my judgment.

ROSEN: Well, because Sanjay was so thorough in that interview, and he unveiled study after study after study that actually shows that people who have had the kind of heart trouble that Dick Cheney has had demonstrate a blurred judgment -- you know, a lack of focus, all sorts of things that from my perspective, might explain some of Dick Cheney's decisions. But --

FRUM: Now, now.

ROSEN: Snap. But -- and Cheney would have none of it.

The other thing that I thought was fascinating was Sanjay challenged the very first -- as we all remember, when George Bush First picked Dick Cheney to be his vice president -- vice presidential candidate. And a letter was released from a doctor, noted heart surgeon in Texas. Sanjay revealed, of course, that that doctor had never examined Cheney, that he basically talked to Cheney's best buddy, who is the heart surgeon who he wrote this book with and gave it a clean bill of health.

And last night, Cheney said well, you know, if you have a problem with that, you're going to have to talk to him. I have no idea how he came to that conclusion.

TAPPER: Interesting.

So, Manu, I want to bring in some new poll numbers about the shutdown. We will change the subject if you will let me. Brand new CNN/ORC poll released this hour shows that 71 percent of voters think that most members of Congress should get the boot. But here's the number that could actually change something. Only 46 percent of respondents think their own lawmakers deserve re-election. That's down four percent from 2010. So, should Republicans be worried? Or should they not?

MANU RAJU, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, POLITICO: I think they should. Remember, Jake, as you know, a lot of times these polls show how unpopular Congress is, but the incumbents themselves generally fare decently. People generally like their members of Congress. But what we've seen through this whole shutdown and this crisis after crisis atmosphere in Washington is that incumbents are getting less and less popular.

So this is a concern for Republicans. Of course they have to keep the House next year. They are still favored to keep the House in the elections, but if there is another shutdown in January, if there's another crisis atmosphere and the party takes the blame for it, it's something they'll have to worry about. And it's something the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell will have to worry about, too. Yes, he cut the deal to reopen the government, but he's the leader of a party now that's experiencing extreme lows, and he's up for re- election in a tough state next year.

TAPPER: And David, I want to ask about this poll number which is also brand new. Who is too extreme? The Tea Party extreme, 60 percent. Republican Party extreme, 56 percent. Democratic Party extreme, 42 percent. You recently wrote on, David, that the Tea Party extremism contaminates the whole Republican brand. This has been something you have been talking about and has been winning you friends in your party for a long time.

FRUM: The worry is -- what I worry most about is not that people in November of 2014 will cast a ballot one way or the other because of events a year ago. I don't think people's memories work that way.

But what does happen is parties build brands. Are you the responsible party, can you be trusted? And we saw what happened in the 1970s and 1980s when Democrats acquired a reputation as people who just couldn't be trusted with responsibilities of government. They tended to lose a lot. First the presidency, then the Senate, then the House.

TAPPER: And that's why I wonder, Hilary, if Democrats are concerned about this rollout, if this is actually a bigger deal than everybody in the Democratic Party is trying to make it seem because this really does get at the heart of competence, which is one of the things President Obama talked about in 2008 and 2012. This Web site is not being rolled out competently. I think that's fair to say.

ROSEN: It is fair to say, but I also think it's going to inure to the detriment of the president and the administration. I don't actually think the Democrats in Congress are going to have -- they are going to be able to distance themselves from it. The other interesting thing about this poll --

TAPPER: You think members of Congress are going to distance themselves, Democrats, from the Web site?

ROSEN: Well, yes, I don't think -- it's easy to say of course it should have been rolled out better. I don't think they are going to wear the brunt of the problem -- of the administrative problems.

But you know, for the first time, I think we may actually have Tea Party being the boogeyman in this race the way that, for instance, Nancy Pelosi was in the last congressional election. I think Democrats have a chance to actually run against the Tea Party in some of these close districts, and that's going to help us.

TAPPER: To be continued. Hilary, David, Manu, thank you all so much. Appreciate it.

Coming up next on THE LEAD, J.P. Morgan broke a new money record, but not the kind they like bragging about. Find out just how much they have to pay in fines for breaking the rules.

Plus, the box office numbers are out. Did "Gravity" hold down the top spot for the third week in a row? We'll tell you.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Time for our "Money Lead." Call it a $13 billion smackdown. That's the record- breaking settlement amount JPMorgan Chase just tentatively reached with the Justice Department, but is it enough to change anything on Wall Street?

JPMorgan is on the hook for benefiting from the shaky mortgage deals from back before the real estate bubble burst in 2008. This was when many banks were signing with home buyers who had weak credit or unverified income, then selling the risky mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Sound complicated? William Cohan, contributing editor for "Vanity Fair" and a former managing director at JPMorgan Chase joins me now to break it all down. Mr. Cohan, thanks so much. JPMorgan reportedly has assets of $2.5 trillion so how big a hit is this $13 billion really, and how much did CEO Jamie Dimon expect to pay out?

WILLIAM COHAN, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "VANITY FAIR": Well, Jake, first of all, I don't think the Justice Department wanted to hurt JPMorgan so badly that it would cause them any real financial concern, so I think in the context, while I think we can all agree that $13 billion is real money nowadays, for JPMorgan Chase with a market cap in excess of $200 billion, with a stock price today, believe it or not, that hit I believe an all time high.

You know, they have net income of probably something like $25 billion this year, so $13 billion is not insignificant, they're not going to lose a whole lot of sleep about it. They're not happy about it. According to the "New York Times" the negotiations started with Jamie Dimon asking Eric Holder for $1 billion of settlement and ended up with $13 billion.

So negotiation didn't go well and he probably didn't have any leverage to begin with. But negotiation didn't go well and he didn't get what he wanted. But if he wants to get this situation behind him, he's going to have to pay the $13 billion. TAPPER: In terms of cost benefit, they made billions off shady deals in the first place. Was it worth it for JPMorgan to do that even with this fine?

COHAN: Well, it's going to be very, very hard to figure out exactly how much money they made off of mortgage-backed securities that Bear Stearns or JPMorgan chase sold, but what we do know for a fact is that they picked up both Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual for a song. It's added greatly to their footprint as we call it on Wall Street.

In other words, the size of the company, the fact that now Washington Mutual gives JPMorgan branches in California. Bear Stearns gave JPMorgan capital markets capabilities it didn't already have. So the value to JPMorgan Chase overall in the last few years has been well in excess of anything they paid for it, even factoring in the $13 billion.

If you told Jamie Dimon in my guess he would have to pay an extra $13 billion for Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, I bet he would still do that deal.

TAPPER: So you noted that the stock is up. Why?

COHAN: Why, because Wall Street investors don't like u uncertainty. They don't like the speculation, is it going to be $11 billion, $13 billion, will there be litigation hanging over this company. There has been so much litigation lately regarding JPMorgan. They reserved billions of dollars in this last quarter for litigation expenses.

Investors like to know there will be certainty. They like to know what the actual reliable earning stream they can count on from this kind of a company, ex all the litigation. I think they will finally get most of it behind them. Not all of it, because JPMorgan chase has a tendency to get itself in legal trouble, as many big firms do repeatedly, which is another big topic.

But I think once we get this behind them, investors can breathe a sigh of relief, which is what they're doing today by bringing this company to its 52-week, maybe it's all-time high.

TAPPER: All right, William Cohan, thank you so much. We appreciate your time and expertise.

COHAN: My pleasure. Thank you.

TAPPER: Coming up on THE LEAD, it reads like a crime novel, secret cash payments allegedly for stolen documents. Only this time it's playing out in the Major Leagues. Our "Sports Lead" is next.


TAPPER: Time now for the Sports Lead. The headline came firing in like a high and tight fastball. Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez is now batting down new allegations that he and his representatives were trying to buy evidence, evidence that might be used against him in court. Our Jason Carroll has the latest. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alex Rodriguez's arbitration hearing into his 211-game suspension for allegedly violating the game's drug policy is supposed to be private, but the public has already gotten a taste of how far each side is willing to go to prove their case, including paying huge sums of money for evidence and allegedly intimidating a witness, so says one man who asked his identity be concealed for fear of retribution from Major League Baseball.

(on camera): Did you ever see Alex Rodriguez use any performance enhancing substances?


CARROLL: He says he worked with Rodriguez and claims MLB investigators pressured him to say he saw Rodriguez and other players use PEDs and that if he didn't, he may not work again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I didn't see it, no, but I was pressured, a certain pressure on the part of Major League Baseball.

CARROLL (voice-over): He says he was not paid by baseball nor Rodriguez. His attorney says his client was questioned for eight hours at his house.

ROBERTO CUAN, LAWYER: He definitely was Major League Baseball investigators.

CARROLL: Major League Baseball's COO Rob Manford strongly denied any improper conduct on behalf of his investigators, saying our investigators have complied with all legal and ethical requirements throughout the process. He cleared the air on another topic. Payments made for evidence. He confirmed authorizing $125,000 in cash for documents to find out about violations of the league's drug policy, saying there is nothing that is illegal or unethical about paying for documents.

It's sometimes necessary to pay for documents for information. But what if those documents are stolen? The files in question come from the now defunct Biogenesis Clinic in Florida. A police report obtained by CNN shows the files were reported stolen from the car of a former Biogenesis worker. That worker told police MLB representatives had offered him a job and up to $125,000 for the client file.

That last alleged offer, according to the police report, was March 18th, almost a week later March 24th, the documents were reported stolen. Major League Baseball admits it later bought the documents. Manford says no one from Major League Baseball knew or suspected the documents were stolen. In fact, the people we bought them from made representations to the contrary. Rodriguez's attorney isn't buying it.

JOE TACOPINA, LAWYER: Shocking, shocking and deplorable.

CARROLL: MLB points out that they are not the only ones paying for evidence. It was revealed during arbitration that Rodriguez's team admitted paying $305,000 for evidence.

TACOPINA: They mischaracterized that.

CARROLL (on camera): How would you then characterize it?

TACOPINA: We have paid far less than they paid in this case, first and foremost.

CARROLL: Give me a number. Is it $305,000?

TACOPINA: No, it's $105,000, OK, paid for actual documentation from two witnesses. There was a $200,000 deposit made for a videotape.

CARROLL: Plus the $105,000 you have paid out is $305,000.

(voice-over): Sports radio host, Craig Carton says the tit for tat is just a side show.

CRAIG CARTON, BOOMER AND CARTON SHOW: There's only one question that needs to be answered. Did you do performance-enhancing drugs beyond what you admitted to having done in '01 to '03?

CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


TAPPER: For the record, Rodriguez's attorney reiterated this morning that his client Alex Rodriguez did not take performance-enhancing drugs.

In other sports news it was a moment that made football fans hold their collective breath. A star player for the Green Bay Packers was carted off the field, motionless and strapped to a gurney after a dangerous helmet to helmet hit in Sunday's game.

Tight end Jermichael Finley spent the night in intensive care, where he underwent observation for a neck injury. We're still awaiting word on the extent of his injury but there is some good news. The Packers staff say Finley has movement and feeling in all of his extremities.

Turning to the "Pop Culture Lead," a tortured teen with telekinetic powers proved to be no match for "Gravity" at the Box Office. The remake of the horror flick "Carrie" opened in third place this weekend earning a relatively measly 17 million bucks. That wasn't nearly enough to dethrone the sci-fi thriller "Gravity," which has been number one for three weeks in a row. The "12 Years A Slave" had a strong showing in limited release, earning nearly $1 million after opening on 19 screens nationwide. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I turn you over to Wolf Blitzer. He is right next door in a place I like to call "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Wolf.