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Justice Department Is Expected To Make The Comey Memos Available To Congress; President Trump's 2020 Reelection Bid Facing A Snag Instead Of A Slam Dunk When It Comes To His Fellow Republicans; David Copperfield Has Been Forced To Reveal One Of His Trade Secrets In A Las Vegas Courtroom; Former Deputy At The FBI, Andrew McCabe Is Now One Step Closer To Possibly Facing A Criminal Investigation; Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired April 19, 2018 - 14:30   ET



[14:32:46] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Breaking news. CNN has just learned that the justice department is expected to make the Comey memos available to Congress.

CNN justice reporter Laura Jarrett is with me now.

Laura, when do you expect that to happen?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, that remains to be seen, Brooke. I'm told that the justice department is expected to make them available at some point later today. And there are at least seven different memos that we're aware of, some of which contain classified information. So at this point, it's unclear whether the justice department will decide to make them available in redacted form for that classified information or whether they will provide them un- redacted to Congress.

Of course, various congressmen on Capitol Hill have said they want them made public and they want them un-redacted. Chuck Grassley said earlier to CNN today, he thinks there's no reason they shouldn't be out there. And this has really served as the latest touch point for Republicans on Capitol Hill and amidst of all these different document fights with the justice department.

And as we reported yesterday, the Republican chairman Goodlatte on the House oversight committee or judiciary Committee, I should say, rather, is prepared to serve the justice department with a subpoena. So if the justice department had opted not to provide these, you could imagine that would happen later this week, Brooke.

BALDWIN: All right. Laura, thank you very much.

Also just in, as Jake Tapper is getting ready to interview James Comey this afternoon, the White House official tells CNN that the President has quote "weathered" the fired FBI director but the legal jeopardy involving his personal lawyer is quote "consuming him." We are also told the President is pleased with how Republicans in the White House have tried to discredit Comey n recent weeks. So Jake Tapper is with me now. You have a big afternoon ahead of you.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Yes, an hour and 25 minutes and 40 seconds.

BALDWIN: Counting the time.


BALDWIN: In all of these interviews he has done so far, what's your takeaway?

TAPPER: A few. I mean, I have noticed a couple verbal crutches that he goes to. I hope he is not watching.

BALDWIN: Like what? Let's talk about that.

TAPPER: Well, for instance, it's possible. He says that a lot, it is possible. And you know, I think that sometimes -- before he was an author, he was somebody who didn't deal with it is possible, he is somebody who dealt with. There's evidence for this or there is no evidence for this. So I think that is something to be explored.

He is also when mistakes or accusations of mistakes are pointed out to him, he says, you know, it's possible that that was a mistake. You know, I'm a human being, I make mistakes. And sometimes the inclination, I think, for most interviewers, you and me included is this person just acknowledged human frailty so we can move on to the next question but I think sometimes there's things to be poked at.

[14:35:23] BALDWIN: Are you going to do a little bit of that?

TAPPER: We will see.


TAPPER: The hope is to ask - I mean, there have been some excellent interviewers that have already had a shot with him. George Stephanopoulos, Savannah Guthrie, Terry (INAUDIBLE), et cetera. So my hope is to ask some questions that have not been asked.

BALDWIN: Sure. And there's also been more information that is dropping, right, in the last couple of days, the latest which Laura Jarrett was just reporting on. This whole inspector general report that on McCabe, who was Comey's number two, that the matter that he was involved in dating back to 2016, "the Wall Street Journal" reporter and the two FBI agents, that that will be referred as a criminal matter. And I think Comey was asked about that earlier in the week. And I would imagine because it's an active investigation, he can't comment?

TAPPER: Well, he has commented to the inspector general. I mean, he is in the inspector general report. He has not been asked about the criminal referral because that just happened. So I think there is something to ask about that. Also, the fact is that Andrew McCabe, who is now accused of basically lying, technically it's lacking candor but lying to Comey, to investigators and to others about this leak that he authorized according to the inspector general, confirming the existence of a probe into the Clinton foundation, doing that to protect his own reputation, not the public's right to know or the institution of the FBI. I think a good question is, and I'm not sure if he is going to answer it or not, but a good question might be does that reflect on you? You are the one who made him your deputy.

BALDWIN: So that is one potential question.

Just lastly, and you talked about the whole, it's possible, what question or two have you felt haven't had concrete answers yet?

TAPPER: I'm not going to --

BALDWIN: I mean, give me a little something.

TAPPER: I'm not going to tell you the questions I'm asked.

BALDWIN: I mean, if one were to be sitting in front of James Comey in hour in 20 minutes.

TAPPER: He has very smart people around him who are I'm sure watching right now who are saying Tapper is going to ask, I already gave a tip about that last one. But I will tell you --.

BALDWIN: He is in the cab. He is on his way.

BALDWIN: He has been asked a lot about didn't you throw the election to Hillary Clinton? How could you have done that?


TAPPER: Why did you do this for her probe but not for the Russia probe? He has been asked that a lot. He is also been asked about don't you demean yourself when you go after Trump's skin and his hair. And he has already on "the View." Also, that was another good interview. They did a great job on the "the View." He conceded the point and said if he could do it over, he wouldn't include that stuff. So I'm not going to ask those questions. There's a tip. Those questions I'm not going to ask.


TAPPER: But we have got 25 minutes with him. We have a lot to ask about. The news guys are being generous this afternoon with the McCabe news, with the news about the Comey memos. There are some news dropping on "Bloomberg" right now about Manafort. We have a lot to talk about.

BALDWIN: I cannot wait to watch at 4:00 eastern time on the dot.

TAPPER: You are so kind.

BALDWIN: I mean, I like you.

TAPPER: You are such a kind person. BALDWIN: Make you tune in to Jake's interview. It's not enough to

see the man live on television, we made a graphic for you. It is the James Comey interview on "THE LEAD," 4:00.

TAPPER: I purposely wore the tie from the promo, just so people would think consistency.

BALDWIN: Wow, Jake Tapper. Well done. Tapper, good luck. Thank you so much.

TAPPER: Thank you.

BALDWIN: We have new CNN reporting on a stunning revelation. More than two dozen House and Senate Republicans not yet ready to endorse President Trump's bid for a second term. One going far enough as to say he is not even sure Trump will run.

We will be right back.


[14:42:46] BALDWIN: President Trump's 2020 reelection bid facing a snag instead of a slam dunk when it comes to his fellow Republicans. The President is in gear hiring a campaign manager, holding rallies and yet plenty of Republican lawmakers up on Capitol Hill appear reluctant to endorse his 2020 reelection campaign.


SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: I have no idea who is going to run for President in 2020 and I'm not about to say who I will support for that. So we have no idea who is going to run. Whether the President runs again or not I think is very questionable.


BALDWIN: Just today, one Republican senator says Trump can count on him. He is Senator Lindsey Graham. And he tweeted as to the 2020 Presidential race, I believe President Trump will run for reelection and I intend to support him.

Let's talk it over with David Jolly, former Republican congressman from Florida.

David Jolly, nice to have you on.


BALDWIN: Lindsey Graham aside, congressman, what is up with the Republican reluctance to get behind Trump for 2020? I mean, isn't it sort of automatic that they, you know, endorse their party sitting President?

JOLLY: Look. It should be and historically it has been, but this is 2016 all over again. You have down ballot Republicans still unsure about how closely to align or embrace Donald Trump. And there are several reasons behind it, Brooke.

First is, it is a net negative to be aligned with Donald Trump. Look. Among the base of course that solidifies your base that the reality is among soft Republicans, independents and Democrats, it is a net negative to embrace Donald Trump.

Secondly, this far out, members are wrestling with whether or not this might be a President under indictment or at least some form of deferred indictment before 2020. And third, whether or not he faces a primary challenge.

I have been pretty open, there's a group of Republicans that continue to softly organize a primary challenge to Donald Trump. We don't know who that alternative might be. But the reality is a lot of these members of Congress and Senators may be facing a choice about a primary to Donald Trump. And so, they are keeping their powder dry.

BALDWIN: How likely do you think that really might be?

JOLLY: I think it's going to happen without question.

BALDWIN: You do?

JOLLY: No question at all. It is going to happen. The question is, who is the candidate?

BALDWIN: Who is it? There we go. Who is it? I'm putting you on the spot.

[14:45:01] JOLLY: No decisions have been made. But of course, you have to look to people like John Kasich. You have to look at Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, those types. But if it is not a sitting governor or sitting senator, you will see something akin to 1992 when Pat Buchanan challenged George Bush.

But I would say is this. The history shows that a primary challenge to Trump will be unsuccessful. But if people like me cannot create a landing spot within the Republican Party for reasonable Republicans, an alternative to Trump, then that party is lost and where do people like me go? Right now there's nowhere else to go. So you are going to see an alternative to Trump emerge in 2020. And I think that is red a sense (ph) you are hearing in some of the answers to Manu when he asks these question.

BALDWIN: Right, Manu Raju was the one tracking all these members of Congress down.

What about the alternative to the alternative, congressman Jolly? Which is, you know, you listen to Senator Corker. He says, he is not sure entirely Trump will even run for reelection. Why do you think Corker is even floating that out there?

JOLLY: Because the man Donald Trump, who is defined by nothing more than his own ego, cannot risk going out a loser. And so, I think there is a theory out there that I would subscribe to that would say Donald Trump will declare victory in 2020, say he drained the swamp, he fixed everything Obama broke and he is going back to New York to make money. It allows to go out a winner and a lot of these little troubles fade into history if he can survive that long.

BALDWIN: David Jolly, we shall see. Thank you so much.

JOLLY: Good to be with you, Brooke. Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up, famous, famous magician here - listen to me, a magician never supposed to reveal their secrets. That is precisely what David Copperfield has been forced to do. What the illusionist just told a Las Vegas courtroom.


[14:51:09] BALDWIN: He is built as the greatest illusionist of our time. But magician David Copperfield has been forced to reveal one of his trade secrets in a Las Vegas courtroom. Copperfield and MGM grand are being sued by a British tourist who said he suffered permanent brain injury while participating in the lucky 13 illusion. This is back in 2013.

On the witness stand in the civil trial against him, Copperfield explain in open court how his trademark trick works.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are like a horse with blinders on. You said tunnel vision. Is that what you meant by at that?

DAVID COPPERFIELD, MAGICIAN: I meant focusing. Tunnel vision, only think about the audience going through this space.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. You weren't thinking about that you weren't noticing everything, your peripherals weren't in use at that time?

COPPERFIELD: I was looking for the tape, the cup, the things --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see that we are going to be doing this for a very long time because you just want to keep doing that. And how many times can I ask the judge to instruct you? Really.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, move to strike.



BALDWIN: This is incredible. Ashleigh Banfield, host of HLN's "CRIME & JUSTICE WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD." I mean, he doesn't want to give up the special sauce.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, HLN HOST: I wouldn't. I wouldn't want to.

BALDWIN: Why is this such a huge deal?

BANFIELD: So it is a big deal because otherwise this would be a personal injury story. We would never give it the light of day, but it is David Copperfield.

BALDWIN: Of course.

BANFIELD: And this magic show that he has in Vegas is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. And magic, as we all know from our birthday parties when we were eight, is a big deal for a lot of people. And you don't give up the secrets of the tricks. Some of these tricks are really (INAUDIBLE) and intricate. And the one that he has got is the finale. So it is the biggest trick that he has.

BALDWIN: This is when all the participants, you get to look him up -- it starts on stage --

BANFIELD: Thirteen of them.

BALDWIN: Thirteen of them and then poof, they are in the back of the theater.

BANFIELD: In about a minute to 1:20, they go from being on this raised platform that circled with a, you know, a barrier, a sheet of some kind, and you cannot see anything beneath the barrier, you can't see little feet coming off the barrier. What they have coughed up on this trick is something I think we all really all know, they don't really disappear, Brooke.

BALDWIN: They don't?

BANFIELD: I'm sorry.

BALDWIN: Stop it!

BANFIELD: Santa Claus is as issue here as well, too. But they end up in the back of the theater. They run through a (INAUDIBLE) tunnel, you know, throughout the theater to get to the back of the theater. But for the audience, they never see these feet getting off this raised platform. So how do they do that? So that, by the way, he did not cough that up yet.

BALDWIN: Yet. He is back in court next week. We will see if he gives up the special sauce then. Let us know.

Ashleigh Banfield, thank you so very much.

Back to our breaking news. In just an hour before James Comey talks to Jake Tapper, his former deputy at the FBI one step closer to facing a criminal investigation. We are going to talk about Andrew McCabe next.

And is the President's lawyer about to flip? Why one of President Trump's former lawyers is warning him, no doubt Michael Cohen will roll.


[14:58:35] BALDWIN: All right, you are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for being with me here on this Thursday afternoon. We have breaking news on two huge stories, both about the FBI. One,

the memos, fired FBI director James Comey wrote on his interactions with President Trump are headed to Congress today. Remember that pledge of loyalty that the President denied he ever asked. And the pending release is happening just as we are getting new details on Comey's former deputy at the FBI, Andrew McCabe. McCabe is now one step closer to possibly facing a criminal investigation. McCabe was fired last month, just days before retiring from the FBI after his 21 years at the agency.

So I have Laura Jarrett and Pamela Brown standing by for those breaking details.

Pamela, first to you on Andy McCabe. Tell me more about this case.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: So Brooke, we have learned that the justice department inspector general has sent a criminal referral to the top prosecutor in the D.C. U.S. attorney's office on Andrew McCabe in the wake of this scathing A.G. report that was just released last week. That laid out the case that McCabe had lied to investigators and his former boss, James Comey on at least for occasions including three times under oath.

So what is happening is, the inspector general is now asking investigators, prosecutors with the D.C. U.S. attorney's office to consider possible criminal charges against McCabe. Now to be clear, that doesn't mean that is going to happen. And as you will recall, Brooke, there was a criminal referral on the Clinton email server. The FBI looked into it. No charges were press. So in this case what would happen is the D.C. prosecutor would look at the facts of the case and then make a decision based on the findings. But --.