Return to Transcripts main page


Feinstein Urges Senate To Look At Obstruction Of Justice; Trump "100 Percent" Willing To Testify On Comey Meetings; Trump: Comey Is A Liar, Comey Is A Leaker; Sessions Set For Grilling Tuesday On Russia, Comey Firing; Blumenthal: Sessions Is Emerging As A Key Figure. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired June 10, 2017 - 11:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Welcome. It's 11:00 on the east coast. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Two weeks, that is how long the president has to hand over any memos or tapes relating to conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey. House investigators say they want to see this material and set June 23 as the cutoff date. This as President Trump says he is willing to testify under oath.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he said those things under oath. Would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of events?



WHITFIELD: Trump is spending the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, as teams on both sides of the investigation beef up their staffs in the wake of Comey's explosive testimony on Thursday.

And we'll learn more this coming week, the Senate Judiciary Committee could receive the Comey memos early as Monday. The committee had requested the memos on Friday from the man, Comey's friend, who Comey testified provided them to a reporter.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before a Senate panel where he will likely be grilled on his own alleged contacts with the Russians and the firing of James Comey.

Here now to discuss all of that is CNN Washington correspondent, Ryan Nobles and CNN justice reporter, Laura Jarrett. So Ryan, let me begin with you. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is pushing her committee to look into potential obstruction of justice. RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's a very important development, Fredricka, mainly because Diane Feinstein is a unique position here sitting on both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees in the Senate.

So she has been privy to almost all of the discussions surrounding the investigation into Russia's interference in the U.S. election, and in particular James Comey's role in that as FBI director and after he was fired.

And she sent this letter to the Justice Department looking for more information and it reads, quote, this is to her fellow Judiciary Committee members, "As a member of both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, I see firsthand the distinction between the legal and counterintelligence aspects presented by Director Comey's testimony this week.

It is my strong recommendation that the Judiciary Committee investigate all issues that raise a question of obstruction of justice. These issues should be developed by our legal staff, presented to us and be subject to full committee hearings."

And what is interesting about this comment and the fact that she raises the possibility of obstruction of justice is remember that Feinstein was there, of course, in the public hearing, but she was also there for the closed session hearing, which happened after the very public hearing of James Comey.

Whatever she heard in that hearing is what has compelled her to take this to her fellow Judiciary Committee hearing members and this could mean another big movement here as this investigation moves forward -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: OK, and Laura, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is adding several key people to his team. What do we know about this and what does this ultimately tell us?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, that's right, Fred. Despite the fact that Trump's personal attorney, Mark Kasowitz, has claimed victory here and said that the president feels vindicated, the special counsel, Bob Mueller, we are learning, is staffing up now with five formidable legal minds over on -- on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue, including Michael Dreeben, the deputy solicitor general, who is a foremost expert in the country on criminal law and has argued over 100 cases before the Supreme Court. So really signaling the seriousness of this investigation.

WHITFIELD: And what do we know about Trump's private attorney, Mark Kasowitz, and how he might be building the team?

JARRETT: Right. And so we heard from him earlier at a news conference this week on Thursday. He is known as an aggressive civil litigator from New York. He's represented Trump before about, but he is also now brought on two other members. Michael Bowie who represented Trump in several real estate development disputes in the past. He is a member of Kasowitz's firm as well as Jay Sekulow (ph), who has already penned an op-ed in the Fox News Online claims victory saying, "With his testimony, Comey's case against President Trump collapsed like a house of cards." So they are taking a very aggressive stance in this defense case -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. Laura Jarrett, Ryan Nobles, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.

All right, let's talk more about all of this with my panel, David Swerdlick is a CNN political commentator and assistant editor at the "Washington Post," James Gagliano is a CNN law enforcement analyst and retired FBI supervisory special agent, Mark Zaid is a national security attorney. Good to see all of you.

All right, David, you first. You know, the president says he is 100 percent willing to testify. His attorney might think otherwise. Would the president testify or even be subpoenaed?

[11:05:06]DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, there is not much President Trump could have said to that question other than that he was 100 percent willing to testify. Can you imagine if he had come out there in that press availability yesterday and said, well, we'll see?

It would have just made him look at least politically like he was trying to dodge something especially after Director Comey came out there and spoke fairly candidly and with this sort of, you know, half bureaucrat, half folksy or shucks demeanor that drove the news for the last day or two.

Whether or not he will be subpoenaed, it seems clear to me that there is a possibility that one day we'll see him testify in a closed setting, maybe like President Clinton was deposed back in the '90s, although I'm not sure of what legal steps would need to be taken to actually see him in front of cameras in a Congressional committee room or certainly not in court.

WHITFIELD: So then James, with Mueller building his team of investigators, do you believe they are moving toward the direction of perhaps deposing the president, whether it be privately or even publicly asking him to testify?

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely, Fred. I think we should anticipate that this is reminiscent of Kenneth Starr and William Jefferson Clinton, and buckle your seatbelts, it's going to be an interesting ride.

I was struck this past week. For me it was like being in a Dickens' novel, it was the tale of two cities, the best of times and the worst of times. I watched an FBI director that I thought had been beleaguered and beat down over the course of the last 30 days since he was fired.

And I watched him come in and defend the institution of the FBI, defend his own honor, and say some pretty harsh things about a president that listen, none of us on either sides of the political continuum can condone the behavior and the inappropriate request that he made.

What struck me, I guess, and disappointed me was the fact that he admitted to the leak and the way that the leak was conducted by giving his memo to a surrogate to give to the "New York Times" and listen --

WHITFIELD: Even though it was unclassified material?


WHITFIELD: A personal memo like a journal.

GAGLIANO: Yes. But you have to keep in mind, Fred, everything that an FBI agent up to and including the director puts down within the four corners of a document belongs to the Department of Justice. You're not allowed to give that out without going through the proper channels.

And there is a disclosure -- pre-publication disclosure rule that is on the books. Now listen, people can argue consequentialism and say the ends justify the means.

What I think the director did unfortunately was seed the moral high ground and you heard the president, no collusion, no obstruction, he's a leaker.

And I think unfortunately as much as it pains to say this, unfortunately, that became the story as a result of the leak instead of the fact that you had seven pages of some pretty damning testimony about the president's conduct.

WHITFIELD: So James, it sounds like that you believe might impugn, you know, Comey's credibility because this will be an issue of credibility as he said, you know, he said it's going to be Comey's word versus Trump's word, and their history of their remarks, the credibility of their remarks.

GAGLIANO: Fred, you and I spoke last weekend and you'll have to agree I've been full throated and unwavering in my defense of this FBI director. He is a man of high moral rectitude. He has great character. And if it's a he said/he said, I believe that 99.9 percent of the America is going to come on the side of this career public servant.

But I believe that the admission to the leak has diminished him and it pains me to say that because trust me, on social media, I've been called a Comey shill. I think he's an unbelievably accomplished career public servant and a man of high character and integrity. But the leak diminished him and I believe he ceded the moral high ground to the White House and their narrative.

SWERDLICK: Fred, can I just ask James a question on that real quick? Look, I understand that if Director Comey had actually handed off a copy of an FBI 302 or some FBI official document that was in an investigative file to his friend then to the media. That I do see the point that you're making that that would be maybe a breach of his past role as director of the FBI. But do you think that he had ceded the moral high ground just because he came out and told a story after he was fired and after the president basically went on national TV and said that he was thinking about the Russia investigation in mind when he fired Director Comey? Is that why he ceded the moral high ground?

GAGLIANO: David, fair argument and trust me, I'm not here to defend the president's actions. I don't think anybody unless they are working for the White House can defend his actions. Where he ceded the moral high ground is here, if I want to write a book about my 25- year experiences in the FBI, that intellectual property.

[11:10:08]Even though it belongs to me, it's my proprietary interests, I still have to get it cleared. So the argument and it's a nuance argument, and I understand where you're coming from, the argument is if he didn't turn over the actual paper and he just shared his experiences.

Listen -- I hate to take the side of the president in this issue, but a private conversation with an FBI director bereft of criminal activity, and we can argue the obstruction of justice case, but bereft of criminal activity that is Department of Justice material.

And should have been cleared through if he can't go to the White House to get a special prosecutor or to Capitol Hill, he should have gone to DOJ and to the current prosecutors there and brought it there.

WHITFIELD: So Mark, let me hear your point of view on that. Because you know, there is the terminology leak. There is whistleblower. There is the concern that Comey had that he wanted a special counsel that perhaps by handing over this information to his friend who would then give it to the media, that would help encourage a special counsel. So all of this that we're talking about, is it breaking the law? Is there something wrong with, from your point of view, what Comey did with those notes?

MARK ZAID, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: So in my practice, I represent probably more than anybody that I'm aware of. Those who write books and articles that were once inside the federal government especially the intelligence community and many times the FBI.

So, yes, there is a pre-publication review requirement and, yes, by sharing the memos, Comey violated that. It is a technical argument. It is a civil breach. So fine, the U.S. government can sue him for breach of contract. He didn't make any money so there are no damages.

But by releasing unclassified memo, he is allowed do that. It is no different really than releasing his recollection and by the strictures of what the pre-pub review requirements are, actually anybody who like my fellow guests here who talks on air, technically you're supposed to clear that with the FBI.

It's not practical, not realistic, he didn't say anything that was inappropriate. He a commenting upon current things, but technically it would be a problem. But for Comey on and more importantly he can be construed even though he probably didn't intend this way, to be a whistleblower.

And there is precedent within the U.S. government system that by giving information, I'll use the word sharing instead of leaking because leaking has a negative, unlawful connotation.

By sharing the information to the public that was unclassified and he was an original classification authority, so he can make that decision when he was the FBI director, by sharing that with the public through the media, he is a whistleblower entitled to due process and protection from any type of retaliation. Now, it's not much that the White House can do to him since he's not in the government any longer.

WHITFIELD: Even though the president says through his attorney that they will file a complaint?

ZAID: I mean, I suppose he could file a bar complaint wherever he still has his active law license, but the reality is if the government goes after him because of having blown the whistle on something that was incredibly important at a level of ways fraud abuse, maybe unlawful conduct, he is entitled to lawful protection.

WHITFIELD: All right, Gentlemen, stick around. I also want to ask you about Jeff Sessions who also will be called to testify next week. James Comey revealing there may have been a third meeting that Jeff Sessions did not reveal as it pertains to a meeting with or having contact with a Russian.

All right, so tomorrow morning there is much more on all of this. Don't miss "STATE OF THE UNION." Senator Feinstein will sit down with Jake Tapper to explain why she is calling for the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate any obstruction of justice over the president's firing of James Comey. That exclusive interview at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Also still ahead, first it was Comey and Tuesday it is Jeff Sessions' turn to testify. What the attorney general faces as questions now swirl over his alleged connections to Russia?


SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER: The hearing raised serious questions about Attorney General Sessions that he and the Justice Department must answer immediately.




WHITFIELD: Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be in the hot seat next week as he testifies about the Justice Department's budget. He is also expected to face a grilling over new reports about his relationship with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sources tell CNN fired FBI Director James Comey told senators behind closed doors on Thursday that Sessions may have had a third undisclosed meeting with Sergey Kislyak. That revelation was just the latest troubling moment for Sessions.

Here is CNN politics reporter, Chris Cilizza, on more of the attorney general's rough week.

CHRIS CILIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: The worst week in Washington this week goes to Jeff Sessions, the attorney general of the United States, because his week went from bad to much, much worse.

Start early in the week, a series of stories published on CNN, "Washington Post," "New York Times" making clear that Sessions and his one-time very close ally President Donald Trump had had a falling out and that Sessions has even offered to resign his job.

Turns out Trump didn't accept that resignation, but he is still not happy with Sessions because of Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after not making clear he had met with the Russian ambassador two times during 2016.

Trump does not like when people give in, does not like when people concede, and believes in his heart of hearts that had Jeff Sessions not recused himself, maybe be we wouldn't be at a special counsel Bob Mueller looking into this investigation, but it got worse.

[11:20:00]The White House was not willing to give Sessions a vote of confidence when directly asked. Senator Huckabee Sanders on Thursday said we have confidence in everyone who serves in the cabinet, which isn't terrible but isn't a direct vote of confidence in Jeff Sessions.

And then finally, Thursday, Jim Comey's testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he repeatedly ran down Sessions as someone who was not willing to stand up to Donald Trump and suggested that there was more to Sessions' Russia connections than he could say in a public setting. All in all, a very bad week for Jeff Sessions with likely more to come.

WHITFIELD: All right, back with me now to discuss, CNN political commentator, David Swerdlick and Mark Zaid, national security attorney. All right, Mark, so let's begin with you. These reports that Sessions may have had another undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador, if true, can it be a simple examination that Jeff Sessions simply forgot?

ZAID: I'm not sure I would say forgot, but this is a continuing problem with this administration. Every time they seem to omit something for some reason it has to do with Russia.

And the story in fact that CNN had first reported that Jeff Sessions on his SF-86, which is national security questionnaire that everyone fills out for clearance eligibility that he had not listed his contacts with the Russian ambassador. And the report back was that he had been told by FBI investigators that he didn't have to list anything that he did in his senatorial capacity and that could be true. Agencies can limit or broaden the scope of the SF-86 as they wish.

WHITFIELD: But he would know better. So is it too strong to toss around the word perjury as it pertains to his earlier testimony? He made a clarification because of the earlier omission and now potentially there is yet another meeting that he did not disclose?

ZAID: Well, the problem is if you read the testimony and the back and forth and even the clarification from a legal standpoint, it has room in it to say I didn't deny this, I just only admitted to that. And with perjury, of course it's intent.

But the issue more importantly for Jeff Sessions is it looks cute and it looks like gamesmanship. And the last thing you want to do is play games with the intelligence community and the Congress who get very fed up with something like that when they believe they are at least being misled if not lied to.

WHITFIELD: And he's now the top law enforcement officer. So David, a spokesperson for Sessions did push back on several aspects of Comey's testimony saying the attorney general recused himself from the Russia investigation because he was a Trump campaign surrogate and for that reason alone. So will that be justification enough if indeed he testifies before the House Appropriations Committee and has that explanation about the omission?

SWERDLICK: Fred, I think that was justification enough at the time he recused himself. Since then we've gone through the controversy with President Trump tweeting that President Obama had wiretapped him. We've gone through a series of discussions about the firing of Director Comey and the fallout from that.

And now we have this allegation, we don't know that it is true yet, but this allegation that there was yet another meeting between Attorney General Sessions, then Senator Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that may or may not have been disclosed.

And it's presenting a problem for his former Republican Congressional colleagues at a minimum because it's this kind of thing that makes it impossible for Republicans to say nothing to see here, let's move on, this is all smoke, there is no fire.

They A, don't want look like they are letting things go by them and getting rolled by the administration and they also can't simply dismiss this as there is nothing there. Remember, this is at some level we've gotten buried in the weeds of talking about obstruction of justice and Director Comey.

But at the broadest level, this is about the relationship or lack thereof between members of the Trump inner circle and contacts in Russia, and whether or not those amounted to collusion or anything else nefarious. And each little drip drop of this sort of spectrum of facts that are dripping out makes it harder and harder for the story to go away from the point of view of Congress, the White House, media, everybody.

WHITFIELD: And the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, is asking for Sessions to act in the form of actually resigning, Mark. In fact Sessions' spokesperson says that he has no plans to step down. Senator Blumenthal also telling CNN that Sessions is emerging as a key figure in the Russia probe. Listen.


SENATOR RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: What we have here is a pattern and I can't confirm what may have been provided in a classified setting, but with a third meeting and even without it, what we have is a pattern of contacts with the Russians by Flynn, by Sessions, by Kushner, secret and then concealed.

[11:25:12]UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think Attorney General Sessions will be Attorney General Sessions, he will stay in that job?

BLUMENTHAL: He is emerging more and more as a key figure here.


WHITFIELD: So Mark, could that pattern that Blumenthal is talking about really undermine his ability do the job be as attorney general?

ZAID: It's entirely possible, but I mean, obviously there is a lot of political theater going here from the Democrats and the Republicans. I lean far more towards what David is saying that as these facts come out that are troubling, whether or not they rise to any level of obstruction or lying, they are at worst or maybe at best misleading.

And that will put the Republicans into a real quandary as they try to figure out how to deal with this. There is just at some point in time where too many straws on the camel's back.

So, yeah, it's great to hear what Senator Blumenthal and Nancy Pelosi and the others say about such and such person should resign. I go like how Comey does. I want to go where the facts are, what the evidence is, and then we see what the fallout might be.

WHITFIELD: And so David, real quickly, is there any way to know what this has done to the relationship between Sessions and President Trump knowing that President Trump doesn't want anyone to ever back down, Sessions already recused himself from Russia related investigations, but now there is this. Does this mean the relationship is tenuous?

SWERDLICK: I don't know if we're at the point where Attorney General Sessions has to worry about his job, but yes, it's tenuous because my best working theory of how President Trump approaches any number of problems is that if something makes him look bad, he's not happy, and this makes him at least incrementally look bad. Both because he's the one who hired Sessions and both because it perpetuates the Russia story one day further, one inquiry further. WHITFIELD: David Swerdlick, Mark Zaid, thanks so much, Gentlemen. Good to see you.

All right, up next, it's a case of he said/he said in Washington as Trump and Comey openly call each other liars. And now the president's legal team is planning to file a complaint with the DOJ against the fired FBI director. More on that next.



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again. Thanks so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

James Comey has testified, the White House has responded calling him a liar and sources tell CNN President Trump's outside attorney is preparing to file a complaint about Comey for leaking his memos.

CNN's Michelle Kosinski explores what could happen next.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president say he is willing to testify under oath he did nothing wrong. It would be an extraordinary step for Special Investigator Robert Mueller to investigate and depose the president of the United States about whether he obstructed justice in his conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey.

SENATOR JACK REED (D), RHODE ISLAND: I would expect at some point, not right away, but at some point that Mr. Mueller would feel he has to depose the president.

KOSINSKI: Mueller now has Comey's detailed memos of his conversations with Trump. Testifying before Congress Thursday, Comey suggested that the president may now be a target of the investigation.

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I don't think it's for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct. I took it as a very disturbing, concerning, but that is a conclusion I'm sure the special counsel will work towards to try and understand what the intention was there and whether that's an offense.

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The snowballing effect that happens here is with every single instance, an intention by the president of the United States to try to stop or distract the investigation, you find additional shoes dropping, additional doors opening, and expansion of an investigation that likely would have been quite narrowly tailored.

KOSINSKI: Also emerging from Comey's closed door meeting with senators, the possibility that Attorney General Jeff Sessions might have had a third undisclosed meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016. Sources tell CNN intercepted communications revealed the discussion of such a meeting among Russians. The FBI has not made any conclusions. Raising the specter though of possible perjury by Sessions.

The Department of Justice today says Attorney General Sessions has no plans to resign and denies the meeting with Kislyak. Sessions will publicly face questions from senators on Tuesday.

Trump's son-in-law and key adviser, Jared Kushner, will meet Senate Intelligence Committee staffers soon and former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has now turned over hundreds of pages of documents to congressional investigators.


WHITFIELD: All right, thanks, Michelle Kosinski. I want to bring in Michael Zeldin, a CNN legal analyst, former federal prosecutor and also was Robert Mueller's special assistant at the Department of Justice. Good to see you.

All right, so in the event that Mueller does end up deposing the president and James Comey, if they reiterate their conflicting views of events, what is it going to take to make one more believable than the other?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Principally Comey's memos. If you have two people who are saying two diametrically opposite things, but one has contemporaneously written memos that reflect the conversations. That usually will be enough to carry day for that side versus the other side.

Of course, if there are tapes, that is a whole different world. But if it is just the one-on-one testimony and the memos, I think that Comey is probably going to be deemed more credible by Robert Mueller than will be the president.

[11:35:01]WHITFIELD: And if there are tapes, how will those tapes be evaluated so as to, you know, know the credence, time, whether they have been edited in any way?

ZELDIN: Right. So if they are official tapes of the White House, ala Nixon, that there is a White House system of taping in place, then they will be subpoenaed, they will be reviewed by the congressional committees on one hand and Robert Mueller on the other. All of these things carry data that reflects whether they've been edited or not edited.

The time and date that the communications were had so it's pretty clear when you get those things, what they are, when they were made and then of course who is speaking on them.

If however on the other hand as was reported about Donald Trump years ago in his private business life if he is personally recording things unknown to the other party on his cellphone or some other personal device, that, too, is subject to subpoena and review. Those may be a little bit more difficult to track in the same way that the official recordings would be.

WHITFIELD: OK, and Mueller has been building his own legal team including seasoned litigators and experts in criminal law. What if anything can we learn from the selection to his team, some of the names you see here, some of the faces based on your experience working with Robert Mueller?

ZELDIN: So everybody is a very formidable well regarded lawyer. The two names that stand out to me are Weissmann and Dreeben. Weissmann, the current head, but soon to be part of Mueller's team, who was head of the fraud section in the Justice Department known for his work on the Enron Task Force and international corruption matters is a formidable lawyer and the fraud/corruption part of his resume speaks perhaps to an indication of where Mueller may be thinking.

Dreeben is maybe the smartest lawyer in the history of the Solicitor General's Office. He's a brilliant guy, maybe he and Ted Olson. I think he is there to look at all of the constitutional issues that have been talked about these past few days.

Some have said Alan Dershowitz for example has said as of others that the president cannot be indicted, that the president cannot violate the obstruction of justice statutes because he has the authority to tell people not to do things.

Dreeben will be partly there to answer those sorts of questions. Can he be indicted, can he be charged with statutory obstruction of justice, what is an abuse of power, does this rise to the level of an impeachable offense that's worthy of a referral?

So it seems that Mueller is gearing up for complex set of litigation topics that he wants to be very well represented on, and for God sakes we know that he is now.

WHITFIELD: And getting in the mind of your former colleague, Mueller, you know, why would he have allowed, you know, a chief witness, James Comey to testify if there really is a criminal offense there?

ZELDIN: If there is a criminal offense against whom, there is no criminal offense against Comey. The notion of Comey as a leaker --

WHITFIELD: But there is an investigation to see if there is anything criminal that has transpired here.

ZELDIN: Well, I'm sorry to not understand, if the question relates to did Comey do anything criminal in communicating his memos to the "New York Times," I think the answer is no and your previous guest I think was spot on when he said this is really more of a whistleblower sharing of information, which he is entitled to do and in fact is protected.

And in fact the Kasowitz threatened bar complaint or filing with the IG, I think is abusive, frivolous and will not help Trump. If we're talking about did Trump violate the law by asking -- or hoping that Flynn's investigation could come to an end, why would he let Comey talk about that. Because I think he had confidence that Comey would stick to his script, that he would not be impeachable in secondary interviews or depositions, and that the American public had a right to hear what Comey had to say.

WHITFIELD: Because there are so many investigations and still unclear whether there have been any laws broken as it relates to the Trump campaign, any potential collusion with the Russians, whether the firing was justifiable, you know, and whether indeed there was obstruction of justice.

So there are a host of investigations under way and at some point we will learn whether there is anything criminal at hand. All right, Michael Zeldin, thank you so much from Washington. Appreciate it.

All right, so on the heels of a disastrous election gamble, British Prime Minister Theresa May's two closest advisers resign. We'll take you live to Downing Street for the details next.



WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Just days after losing her majority in the U.K. parliament, the two closest advisers to Prime Minister Theresa May have now resigned. One of them calling the election result a huge disappointment. May called a snap election ahead of Brexit negotiations with the rest Europe.

I want to bring in now CNN's Phil Black in London. So what should we be reading into these resignations now?

PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, it can only be interpreted as a further sign really of just how weak and isolated Prime Minister Theresa May is. These were her two closest advisors, her co-chiefs of staff.

There will be some rumblings within her Conservative Party for some time about these two because the feeling was that they had created a culture within Downing Street behind me that was secretive bunker like.

They ferociously protected Theresa May. They restricted access to her made it very difficult for her to hear dissenting opinions and so forth. And ultimately a lot of the anger within the party about this terrible election result is not just focused on the prime minister, but being focused on them specifically.

British media reporting that the prime minister was told that if they weren't jettisoned then, she would face a leadership challenge within the party, and so they are gone.

[11:45:06]Prime Minister Theresa May remains as she struggles to put together a working government and a working majority within the new parliament. But the question is and the question a lot of people here are asking, how long can she foreseeably stick around for as the leader of her party, the government, the country, given just how wounded she has been by this election result.

WHITFIELD: And then Phil, quickly on to the investigation into the London terror attack, we're also learning new details about the ringleader being free on bail at the time of the attack. So what can you tell us about that?

BLACK: So what we are hearing about this alleged ring leader of the London attack, Khuram Butt, was that he had been arrested in later 2016 on what's described as a minor fraud offense. Apparently, this is part of an operation according to counterterrorism and police sources in order to get known terrorists figures on the streets using pretty much some other alleged offense.

What this does, it backs up what we already knew about this particular character. The police have told us they are aware of him. They were concerned about him, but they could never make any sort of terrorism charge stick because they couldn't find any sort evidence that he was actually planning something. So it looks like they were trying to prosecute him using this other offense -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, Phil Black in front of 10 Downing, thank you so much from London. Appreciate it.

All right, it was an intense week of testimony in the case against Bill Cosby as 12 witnesses took the stand to share their stories. But the question remains will we hear from the man himself? We'll discuss next.



WHITFIELD: In what has been a riveting trial against famed comedian, Bill Cosby, we could see a sharp turn of events. The man once known as America's dad could take the stand in a highly publicized sexual offense case.


ANDREW WYATT, BILL COSBY'S PUBLICIST: Nothing is off the table when you're in a trial of this magnitude. You have to look at all of your options. So we're weighing every option.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though you previously said he would not testify.

WYATT: Well, a lot of things were previously said, but in a ball game, things have changed. Their players have taken out and sometimes a star player plays and sometimes they don't. So we are just going to see how things go and get the flow of things.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: All right, so after a week of intense testimony from 12 witnesses, the prosecution rested on Friday. Cosby is charged with three felony accounts of aggravated indecent assault. CNN's Jean Casarez has been following this case very closely and she joins us now with the very latest -- Jean.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Good afternoon, Fred. It was a very intense week with the sequestered jury here in Montgomery County from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. But the first witness of the Commonwealth was a sort of a surprise. It was a prior bad act witness and it was a woman who said that she, too, was drugged and assaulted by Bill Cosby in 1996.

She was the assistant to Bill Cosby's agent. What she described for the jury in her testimony was significantly similar to what Andrea Constand's allegations are. The defense absolutely with lead attorney, Brian McMonagle, tried to discredit her because in a deposition in 1996, she said that the incident at the Bel-Air Hotel happened in 1990. She testified now 1996.

But it was when Andrea Constand took the stand that the courtroom just really went to a hush. This is the woman that is the reason why this criminal case proceeded. We have never heard from her before. She's the only person to come forward to police and publicly avail herself back in 2005.

When she said as an employee at Temple University that Bill Cosby mentored her, befriended her, she trusted him, and she was betrayed by him, that he drugged her and sexually assaulted her and she had the inability to be able to consent.

The strengthened the defense are Cosby's statements to police back in 2005 where he specifically and really very similarly talks about when Andrea would come to his home, but the statements diverge when he said it was consensual activity.

That they partook in this together, that they were friends but they had romantic interludes also. And now, Fred, it's onto the defense on Monday. The defense is confident at this point, they say, and they have a list of what they call special witnesses, and they are yet to know who they are for us, but we will see come Monday -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: So it's one person's word against the other because there is no forensic evidence in this case, right?

CASAREZ: That's right. It is. There is no forensic evidence. There are no eyewitnesses, no direct witnesses or direct evidence at all. But both sides have been presenting a very strong case. The prosecution interweaving things, bringing on a toxicologist to talk about the effects of Benadryl, how similar they are to Quaaludes.

The jury hearing yesterday Bill Cosby in his deposition saying that he got prescriptions of Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with. They emphasized that and there was no cross-examination to that testimony. WHITFIELD: All right, Jean Casarez, thanks so much. Keep us posted. Of course, don't miss CNN's special report, "THE CASE AGAINST COSBY" tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Also, in its second season on CNN, "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" with W. Kamau Bell, explores the far corners of our country and its various groups and sub cultures. This week he heads to Puerto Rico.

Don't miss "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," Sundays 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. We have so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM. Stay with us.



WHITFIELD: Hello again, everyone. Thanks so much for being with me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. All right, the clock is ticking. House investigators have given President Trump two weeks to hand over any memos or tapes of his conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey, this as the president says he is willing to testify under oath.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he said those things under oath. Would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of --



WHITFIELD: The president is spending the weekend at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club as teams on both sides of the investigation are staffing up with Special Counsel Robert Mueller adding Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben to his team and we will learn more this coming week.