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Congressional Candidate Arrington Injured in Car Accident; Lawmakers Tour Immigrant Detention Facility in Texas; Lawmakers Prepare to Tour Immigrant Detention Facility in Florida; Atlanta Mayor Closes City's Jails to ICE Detainees; Sarah Sanders Kicked Out of Virginia Restaurant Because She Works for Trump; Trump Policy Reversal Causes Chaos and Confusion on Separated Families; Cohen Frustrated Trump Hasn't Offered to Pay Legal Fees; "Champions for Change" Spotlights Stacey Edwards & Horse Therapy for Vets with PTSD. Aired 1- 2p ET
Aired June 23, 2018 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:09] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. Thanks so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
We begin with breaking news. The Republican candidate who beat South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford in last week's primary has been seriously injured in a car crash. Katie Arrington is hospitalized with serious injuries after a driver traveling in the wrong direction struck the car that Arrington was riding in. The person traveling with Arrington, Jacqueline Goff, also suffering serious injury. She was the driver of the vehicle that Arrington was a passenger in. The driver of the vehicle that struck them, that was traveling the wrong way, was killed.
Mark Sanford tweeted early this morning, "Our thoughts and prayers this morning go to Katie Arrington, her family, and those involved in last night's automobile accident."
I want to bring in CNN political reporter, Rebecca Berg.
Rebecca, what are you learning about this?
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Fredricka, obviously, very sad news, very sad development with Katie Arrington hospitalized. Her campaign says they expect she'll be in the hospital for around two weeks, perhaps more. Her injuries from this crash, very serious. There's a fracture to her back, they say, broken ribs, a partial collapse of the main artery in her leg. So it will require multiple surgeries, including surgeries potentially today. Her friend is also hospitalized with her as a result of this very serious crash that killed the driver of the other vehicle when it crossed over and collided head-on with Arrington's car.
Arrington was on her way to Hilton Head, South Carolina, for an event. And just weeks ago, of course, she won this primary race against Mark Sanford, unseating the incumbent in South Carolina's 1st district. As of right now, CNN does not rate her congressional race as a toss-up. It's a safely Republican seat here in South Carolina. So Arrington expected to win this race. For right now, however, her Democratic challenger, Joe Cunningham, has said he is suspending his campaign activities in light of her accident.
And of course, the president and Mark Sanford tweeting their thoughts and prayers for Arrington. The president, Fred, entered this race at the last moment, deciding to endorse Arrington over Mark Sanford. It was a big moment in the race, in the final hours. So of course, he is supporting her in the general election as well.
So a very sad bit of news. Her campaign noting that she's a very strong woman, a woman of faith, and they expect that those qualities will help her during this time. And we'll keep you updated, of course, on any developments we hear.
WHITFIELD: All right, Rebecca Berg.
Of course, we're all wishing for the speedy recovery of Katie Arrington and Jacqueline Goff.
Meantime, attention is still being focused on the chaos and confusion at the border. Today, more than two dozen lawmakers are touring immigration facilities in Texas. Thousands of migrant families have been separated under the White House's zero-tolerance policy but only a few hundred have been successfully reunited. And there's still no clear plan to get the remaining families back together.
CNN correspondent, Polo Sandoval, is in McAllen, Texas.
Polo, the lawmakers there were very descriptive about what they saw, saying it demonstrated inhumane conditions. Many of them saying it was barbaric, and something's got to give.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For the message today that we heard from these lawmakers, obviously, very similar we've heard from other Democrats who have visited these facilities in the last couple of weeks. Of course, as you mention, these lawmakers using the word really "prison" to describe what they saw inside, describing the scenes as heartbreaking, children sleeping behind chain link fencing under mylar, those aluminum-like blankets. The pictures we've seen before through some images handed out by the government in recent time.
Currently, though, we do know these lawmakers are now on their way to another detention facility in the lower Rio Grande valley, an area described as one of the busiest for Border Patrol when it comes to apprehensions.
Representative Jackie Speier leading this delegation, about 25 Democrats from Washington, wanting to take a closer look at what's happening and try to get a better idea of where exactly the government stands when it comes to getting some of these children back together with their parents.
(END VIDEO CLIP) REP. JACKIE SPEIER, (D), CALIFORNIA: In terms of reunification, I have zero, zero, understanding that anyone has been reunited with their parents. I think these children have been sent off -- they may have an "A" number, but when they go through the Department of Health and Human Services, they get a different number. So the ability to match them I think becomes much more difficult. So I don't believe they have been reunified. You've got to show me proof.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[13:05:06] SANDOVAL: Proof. That's what we are hearing from these lawmakers. That is what they want right now, to try to get that message back to Washington on where things stand.
As far as that goes, let me tell you a little bit about the numbers right now, Fred, the latest update released by HHS here. About 2,400 kids still being cared for by the government under age -- under 13 years old. About 482 of them are children under the age of 5. As we heard from the lawmakers today, some of those children that they saw today were under the age of 5.
And lastly, I should mention, they did have an opportunity to speak with some of the Border Patrol agents, some of the personnel at this facility, only about two miles north of the U.S./Mexico border. And the lawmakers did say they understand these men and women are trying everything they can to be as compassionate as they can and working with what they have, but ultimately, according to them, the odds are still stacked against them. It is a logistical nightmare right now that they're trying to deal with as they still wait for more direction from Washington as far as when should these reunifications start to happen and where.
WHITFIELD: Polo Sandoval, thank you so much, in McAllen.
Other lawmakers are also about to view immigration facilities in Florida. Senator Bill Nelson says 100 children currently at the facility in Homestead were separated from their parents at the border.
CNN correspondent, Dianne Gallagher, is there now.
So, Dianne, some of the lawmakers just spoke. They're from McAllen, Texas. Has there been an expressed point of view yet from Homestead, Florida?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Actually, just a couple of minutes ago, a small delegation of Democratic congressman and women walked in to the facility here at Homestead. They spoke beforehand.
Now, this is not the first time this week they've tried to get in to this, as HHS calls it, a temporary shelter. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, others, all from this immediate area, are here to go ahead, look through on a tour, a guided tour. If it's anything like what I went through yesterday, it's pretty quick, brisk, and you don't get to see a whole lot.
But Debbie Wasserman Schultz spoke out, saying, look, we should have been able to see this when we showed upped on Wednesday. Here's what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, (D), FLORIDA: There really shouldn't be any issue with giving a member of Congress access essentially upon request. If there's nothing that they are concerned about not showing us, then other than making sure they're taking precautions to keep the children safe and that we're not disrupting the routine that the children are in, then it is imperative that both Congress, as well as the executive branch, be able to conduct that oversight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: I will tell you also Senator Marco Rubio, the Republican from the state of Florida, he visited this facility yesterday. He said I was not allowed to talk to any children when I was there. They cited privacy concerns. It's the same thing they told me. They also wouldn't let us bring cameras or phones or any recording devices in there, citing those privacy concerns of the children. The Democratic delegation here said they were told the same thing but they're going to try to talk to kids.
Look, I can tell you I've been -- now this is my second facility I've toured. The first one was the centralized processing center they were talking about in McAllen, Texas. I talked to people in there. I had a chance to interact with them. I didn't get a chance inside here to speak to any of the nearly 1,200 kids from ages 13 to 17 that are inside this facility here. It was very different-looking. There are no cages or kennels that we could see aside from this fence around the actual camp. It's an old vacant Job Corps site. But even within the dorm rooms, we didn't get a chance to see kids in there. We saw a couple kids in classrooms but couldn't go inside. We did see their rigorous schedules. 6:30 am, wake-up call, 10:00 p.m., lights out. In between that, all sorts of school planned, history, science, math, art and reading, hour by hour. We've heard music coming from the facility. It's music hour according to that schedule. Earlier, we heard kids playing soccer out here, which we saw yesterday. Most of them, it seems, have to go inside because we've had lightning storms out here. Really, that's apparently what's delayed Senator Nelson. He's going to be on this tour but had a difficult time traveling into this area due to weather, we're told.
WHITFIELD: All right, Diane Gallagher, thank you so much in Homestead, Florida.
Now the city of Atlanta is also jumping into this immigration battle in a different way. The city's mayor has signed an executive order directing the city's jails not to take in ICE detainees from federal immigration authorities. Atlanta currently has an agreement with the U.S. Marshals to take some detainees arrested by ICE officers.
The Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joining me now.
So, currently, you have how many ICE detainees in Atlanta jails?
KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS, (D), ATLANTA MAYOR: We have close to 200 right now. We've already turned away nine.
WHITFIELD: What was the breaking point? Why did you sign this executive order say nothing more?
[13:10:03] LANCE BOTTOMS: Like so many people, I've watched the news and been simply mortified to watch children, to watch families, broken apart. And I often look at things in the lens of my four children. And the question for me is, what would I be able to say to my four children we in the city of Atlanta did to address this. So the executive order was something that I looked at in terms of what our role is in the city. Would we inadvertently become complicit in this inhumane policy? We've had a long-standing agreement to house ICE detainees, and I was personally conflicted, because when detainees are not brought into our city jail, they are sent into other areas of the state, facilities which had been accused of human rights violations, and they don't have access to legal services and other resources that we provide in our city jail. But, until we can get assurances that we will not somehow be responsible for separating families, I wanted to make sure that the city of Atlanta pressed pause and then we will re- evaluate our policy over the next few weeks and make a determination on how we will go forward.
WHITFIELD: Let's talk further about that feeling of feeling conflicted. While you don't want to be complicit in the Trump administration's policy you just expressed, you know, you're not happy with that, at the same time, might this have been an opportunity to say, OK, if I take in more detainees here, we'll be able to extend to them a type of service or comfort, for lack of a better word, that perhaps you're not seeing that's been extended to them in other places as a result of this policy?
LANCE BOTTOMS: The good thing is we are now a part of the conversation. So we are having a conversation with our federal partners on what our policy will be going forward. I can tell you our federal partners are now having an issue finding a place to house detainees. Again, the issue is often not if people will be picked up but where they will be housed. But the larger issue is that we have a policy in this country that is separating families in 2018 in the United States of America. And it is incumbent upon local leaders and national leaders to look at our respective policies and see what we can do to make a difference to effectuate chance. As a mayor of a major city, we have the world's busiest airport, we know we get asylum seekers coming through our airport. I cannot stand by and be complicit with a policy that is unbelievable in 2018 in destroying the very nature of who we are as a country.
WHITFIELD: You heard some of the descriptions by some of the 25 members of Congress who were in McAllen who did visit a facility today and they used words like "inhumane, barbaric," describing it as a prison, they are in cages, we don't treat people who are seeking asylum this way, it's a humanitarian crisis. These are just a variation of quotes coming from so many of those lawmakers. You mentioned you're a mother of four. Is it possible to look at these images, to hear about the separation of these families, and not think about your own family and your own children? LANCE BOTTOMS: It's impossible not to. My daughter, my 7-year-old
daughter, looked over my shoulder last night as I was reading some information, and she said, mommy, what is sobbing? To explain that to her, for her to see that image, was heartbreaking for me. Because what is it we do when our children are sobbing? We comfort them. We seek to protect them. And to know there are families in our country who have been separated, and we don't even have a plan for unification of these families, it's really unbelievable. But I think, as local leaders, we had to look at our respective policies and determine what it is we can do to help make a change in this country. And so I hope in this, whether it be big or small measure that this begins a conversation with other cities across the nation. Because we know, just like with the civil rights movement, Atlanta and Birmingham and Montgomery and other cities made small steps that literally changed the world. And I'm sure that we can still do it in 2018.
WHITFIELD: When you think about that rhetorical question of what can we do, is it your feeling that the answer lies within legislation, within lawmakers on Capitol Hill or do you believe that question can be answered in another manner?
LANCE BOTTOMS: Fredricka, I think it begins with simple human compassion. Donald Trump is a father. He is a grandfather. So at the very least, he understands what it means to have a bond with your child and what it means to potentially be separated from your child. So as we, first of all, have a very human conversation about it, I think we can come up with some very quick answers. But long term and short term, there are funding mechanisms that Congress can enact. We can allocate resources at the national level to make sure there are hearing officers, to make sure there are judges available to hear some of these cases, some of these backlogs of cases. Meanwhile, our policy has always been to be an opening and a welcoming country. We are still that nation. And in 2018, we have a responsibility to look at our laws and our ability to make sure we are still the United States of America, that we were created to be.
[13:15:37] WHITFIELD: How long can you see that these little kids would be comforted under a mylar blanket?
LANCE BOTTOMS: You're a mother. What comfort can you give to a child who's crying out for their parent lying on a concrete floor?
WHITFIELD: Because right now, that's all many of them have. Reportedly, folks who are working in many of these detention facilities are not allowed to hold, to hug, to comfort.
LANCE BOTTOMS: My 7-year-old son said to me this morning, he said, mommy, when I wake up, I'm afraid and then you make me feel better, essentially is what he said to me today. So that's what every parent hopes to do. We hope to be there for our children when they need us. And you think about the journey of these children -- it doesn't begin in these detention centers. These children have traveled months and weeks to get to the border because they are leaving conditions that are less than humane. And for them to finally reach our borders and for us, as the United States of America, to do this to families is simply unbelievable. WHITFIELD: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, thank you for your
All right, straight ahead, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says she was kicked out of a restaurant because she works for President Trump. That story, next.
[13:21:13] WHITFIELD: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said she was out for dinner last night in Virginia when she was refused service at a restaurant because she works for the Trump administration.
I want to bring in CNN's White House reporter, Sarah Westwood, who is in Nevada for the president's rally later on today. She's following these developments. Also back in the Washington metro area.
Sarah, so what are you learning about what happened in Virginia?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders became the latest member of the Trump administration to be confronted about Trump's immigration policies while out trying to enjoy a meal. Sanders revealing she was ejected from a local restaurant on Friday, tweeting, "Last night, I was told by the owner of Red Hen, in Lexington, Virginia, to leave, because I work for the president, and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully, and will continue to do so."
Now, this comes just days after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled out of a local Mexican restaurant by activists as outrage and confusion continues to build about the president's immigration policies.
That zero-tolerance policy, which has obviously resulted in the break- up of hundreds of families at the border, has been the subject of protests around the country, including on Capitol Hill, and here in Las Vegas, where President Trump will be landing shortly.
We should note, though, before Friday's incident, four days had gone by without Sarah Sanders answering questions about this policy. The last time we saw her at the podium, Fred, was on Monday.
WHITFIELD: And, Sarah, you know, the president will be there in Nevada, where you are, later on today. What's expected?
WESTWOOD: Well, President Trump has a busy political schedule today. He'll first hold a fundraiser for Republican Senator Dean Heller, perhaps one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbent Senators this cycle. He'll speak here in this room just a couple of hours from now to the state Republican Party. Then he'll be heading to a tax reform roundtable where he'll boost the tax cuts he signed into law in December. All of this, again, coming against the backdrop of uncertainty over immigration policies. That's obviously a hot-button here issue in Nevada, a state with proximity to states that touch the border with a large Hispanic population. That's certainly something he's likely to touch on during his remarks today -- Fred?
WHITFIELD: All right, Sarah Westwood, thank you so much.
Still ahead, a mother inside a detention center and separated from her 9-year-old son has no idea where he is. We'll take a closer look at how these families and if they're going to be reunited, next.
[13:28:26] WHITFIELD: Despite the administration's claim that 500 families have been reunited at the border, the status of thousands more separated families is still unclear. One immigration lawyer representing families inside a detention center tells CNN this reunification process could take a month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EILEEN BLESSINGER, VOLUNTEER ATTORNEY: My understanding is there's no process set yet. They're still in the process of figuring out the procedure for that. What I was told is it might take a month just for that reunification to happen. The people inside the jail actually had no idea that was even a possibility. They're getting information from the news. They had no idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN correspondent, Ed Lavandera, spoke to one detained mother that is desperately trying to find her son.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Senora?
(voice-over): The phone call came from inside the Port Isabel Detention Center in south Texas. On the line is an undocumented immigrant who asked that we not identify her by name. She's from Honduras and was separated from her 9-year-old son 11 days ago after crossing the Rio Grande illegally.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
LAVANDERA: I asked her how she's feeling.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
LAVANDERA: "Not good at all," she says. "It's a trauma we will never forget. All of the mothers who are here as well as the kids. The truth is, we never imagined this would happen."
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
I asked her how she was separated. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
LAVANDERA: "They betrayed us," she said. They told us we weren't going to separate us from them, and we never imagined it was going to be for so long."
Department of Homeland Security officials have vehemently denied that immigrants have been misled in anyway.
JODY GOODWIN, ATTORNEY: There are things you can do specifically to help out with the children --
[13:30:07] LAVANDERA: From inside her south Texas law office, Jody Goodwin is trying to find 22 children. She represents 25 undocumented immigrants who have all been separated from their children for about two weeks.
(on camera): Most of them don't even know where their kids are at this point?
GOODWIN: None of them know where their kids are. I don't know where their kids are.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Goodwin says her clients have tried calling the numbers provided by the federal government to track where their children were sent but that hasn't worked. Only three of her clients have even spoken to their children.
GOODWIN: It's just not a system where you punch in a parent's name and it pops out the child's name. It just doesn't exist.
LAVANDERA (on camera): Will be highly frustrating for them.
GOODWIN: Very frustrating. Very frustrating. Each time I see them, you know, they ask, any news, do you have any news.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): While there have been a number of emotional reunions between separated families, there are still many families struggling to just connect over the phone. The Department of Homeland Security says there's not a publicly accessible database to track the shelters where undocumented children are being kept. DHS says the adult detention centers have phones where the parents can call their children.
The Honduran immigrant on the phone tells me she's in a wing of the detention center with 70 other mothers who are also trying to communicate with their children.
I ask her what message she would like the world to hear.
(on camera): (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) LAVANDERA (voice-over): She says, "President Trump, for one second, put yourself in our place. The only thing we want is for them to give us our children back."
(on camera): Government officials say the reason the children's database isn't widely accessible is because of security concerns. But the fact of the matter is, there are hundreds of undocumented immigrants who have been detained for weeks who still haven't been able to find out where their children are, much less talk to them.
I spoke with one Central American man who has been detained nearly three weeks. He told me his greatest concern is worrying about the anxiety, uncertainty and confusion that his daughter must be experiencing because of this separation.
Ed Lavandera, CNN, Brownsville, Texas.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Straight ahead, the president's former longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, frustrated that he's not getting more help from the president to deal with his mounting legal issues. We'll talk about that next.
[13:36:50] WHITFIELD: The president's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is under mounting legal and financial pressure, and looking for some relief, possibly from Trump himself. The "Wall Street Journal" citing sources familiar with the matter, saying, quote, "Mr. Cohen has frequently told associates in recent months he is frustrated that the president hasn't offered to pay his legal fees, which he has said are bankrupting him. He has said he feels that Mr. Trump owes him after his years of loyalty to the former real estate developer whom he served for nearly a decade at the Trump organization."
The paper says the White House didn't respond to a request for comment and there's been no indication the president is planning to pay for Cohen's legal fees.
Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor, is joining us from Cleveland. Richard Herman, a New York criminal defense attorney and law professor, is joining us from New Orleans.
Good to see you both.
AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Hey, Fred.
RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Good to see you, Fredricka.
So, Richard, you first.
Do you take this at face value that Cohen just wants financial help or do you think that Cohen is trying to send some other message to the president?
HERMAN: Fred, let's face it, very, very expensive legal representation in a case like this, and Cohen's crying he just doesn't have the money to do it and he expects the president to pony up on that money. Apparently, the president or his campaign or someone was paying his legal fees up to about the last bill. Well, that firm's gone. He's now retained a local New York City former federal prosecutor to represent him, a former head prosecutor in the southern district, who worked at the time where Mueller was a head of the FBI. So there's a relationship there.
And everybody is speculating, Fred. Look, Cohen hasn't even been indicted yet. But the cards look like he is going to be indicted. That search warrant was really telling, Fred. It's very hard to get a search warrant over the attorney's house and office and hotel room. It's very difficult.
HERMAN: The standard is very high. And they got it. And they got documents. And they got over 300,000 documents that were just reviewed for attorney/client privilege, and only about 168 of them were deemed attorney/client privilege. The rest of the 300,000 were not.
Look, he's got a long relationship with President Trump. I don't know if he has the goods on him. I don't know if he'll be a credible witness.
FRIEDMAN: We'll see.
HERMAN: But I can bet you the government's going to want to use him.
WHITFIELD: I have read that legal bills for one month alone have piled up to something like $300,000, Avery.
WHITFIELD: Yes, that's a lot of money.
FRIEDMAN: It's more than that, Fredricka, because, originally, there were 3.7 million folders and who knows how many documents in each folder. And I'm -- I think very few would have been privileged. A lot of the materials would have went over. The FBI has it. The special master has sent it over. So not only is Michael Cohen paying legal fees but he also has to pick up half the tab of the special master.
But you know what? I have to tell you, I have a little different theory here.
WHITFIELD: What do you mean?
[13:40:02] As far as Donald Trump is concerned, Michael Cohen has cooties. He's not going to touch him with a 10-foot pole. So what's going to happen is Michael Cohen isn't important. Donald Trump, to many, is. So don't be surprised to see two things. Number one, dark money. You can thank Citizens United. Money coming up from sources we will never know about. Then, secondly, those people who are ardently supportive of President Trump. They are additional sources. While the spinners -- look, a journalist can only report what they're told by others. What they don't know right now, what nobody knows is who's pulling money into the Michael Cohen legal defense fund.
WHITFIELD: I wonder, though, you know, Richard with this -- you know, with these mounting bills, I mean, it shows a certain vulnerability, right?
WHITFIELD: So I wonder if the legal -- I mean, the prosecutors would jump on this to say now's the time to start dangling that carrot, you know, to get him to cooperate or to talk, or does Michael Cohen find himself in a position where there's a greater willingness to talk because of these mounting bills and this kind of vulnerability?
HERMAN: I have to shake my friend, Avery, and wake him up from that dream state he's in. Here's what's going to happen, Fred. He's going to have to cooperate. He has really no choice if he gets indicted. Because, federally, those charges could be anywhere from five at a minimum to 20 years in prison.
HERMAN: Again, it's speculation. I guess it's wrong to do this but, you know, money laundering, wire fraud, those bring 20-year sentences in the southern district. And this judge, Kimba Wood, will sentence him to those --
HERMAN: So in order --
HERMAN: Yes. In order to protect himself, in the federal system, you have to do 85 percent of the sentence time, and the only way to reduce that is to cooperate and work for the government. And because, financially, he probably can't pay a defense in this case -- whether he even has a defense, I don't know, Fred. The government has these papers. They've got documents they put together from shredders.
HERMAN: There's recordings. It could be he has no choice but cooperate. Even if Trump was to pardon him, Fred, even if he was to pardon him now, he would still be compelled to go before a grand jury. He would not have Fifth Amendment rights. He could have to give them the goods or be --
HERMAN: -- indicted for perjury.
WHITFIELD: So I wonder, too, Avery, you know, I mean, the flip side to this, even though Michael Cohen, Donald Trump have had a very long relationship, friends, working relationship, whichever, Avery, is the president in a situation where, if he were to give financial assistance, that only makes it more complicated for him legally? He cannot, the president, show his allegiance to his friend, who is under investigation, by giving him a wad of money to help him out, could he?
FRIEDMAN: Yes, that's the cootie factor. He can't touch him even if he wants to. The fact is that the last person Donald Trump is going to be communicating with right now is Michael Cohen. He may want to reach out because he wants to protect himself, but there's no way he can do it.
WHITFIELD: I mean, it could be construed as potentially tampering with a potential witness, right? I mean
WHITFIELD: It's not just cooties but it's really --
HERMAN: Obstruction, tampering.
WHITFIELD: Yes, it creates a whole other legal problem for him.
HERMAN: That's right. It's federal felonies.
FRIEDMAN: That's exactly right, you've got felonies there. But I don't think you discount -- I mean, you know, Richard believes it's conjecture, but, frankly, I think there's money out there. They're going to help that guy because they're supporting Trump. They're not supporting Cohen.
I also agree that the charges could be substantial. I don't care if you resurrect Johnnie Cochran from the dead, the problem is the charges are serious, and I think there's an inclination by Cohen ultimately to flip. He's got him.
WHITFIELD: All right.
No final word, Richard?
HERMAN: It may not be -- you know, you can't cross examine a tape. They play a tape of you and the government says, OK, we're done.
HERMAN: And if you're the defense attorney -- there's no cross examination on that tape. It's devastating in front of a jury. His cases may not be defensible. They've got a lot of documentary evidence ---
FRIEDMAN: No matter who the lawyer is.
HERMAN: -- out of those boxes where he lives. He may have no choice but to work with the government to reduce. He's 51. He's got a wife and kids. A 20-year sentence could be --
WHITFIELD: He's not just thinking about himself. There's a lot to consider.
HERMAN: Right. He's going to save his life. He's going to save himself.
WHITFIELD: Avery, Richard, thanks so much. Always good to see you. Thanks so much. Have a great weekend.
FRIEDMAN: Thanks, Fred.
HERMAN: Thanks, Fred. Have a good weekend.
[13:44:48] WHITFIELD: All right, you, too. Have a great weekend.
And we'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: All this week, we've been telling the stories of extraordinary people and organizations that are making a difference. This "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE" series gave us an opportunity to highlight issues that are important to us and work alongside change makers who are making a difference.
Like Stacey Edwards, in Georgia, who is offering horse therapy for veterans suffering from PTSD. I took a ride alongside this "champion for change" to see how she helps.
[15:50:08] RUSSELL "RUSTY" FAIRBREAN (ph), MILITARY VETERAN: I was in the Navy for a year and eight months. I discharged in 2006.
WHITFIELD: What was it like for you when you got out of the Navy?
FAIRBREAN (ph): It was rough.
WHITFIELD: What do you mean? FAIRBREAN (ph): You go from a very structured time table, everything.
You know when you're doing what. I was like, all right, now what? I was just in a rough spot. It was major depression, anxiety, PTSD from my dad passing away.
WHITFIELD (voice-over): Stacey Edwards has opened her barn and her heart here at Special Equestrians of Georgia to help as many vets as possible for free.
STACEY EDWARDS, FOUNDER, SPECIAL EQUESTRIANS OF GEORGIA: It's such a long road, I think, for anybody, but for the veterans who are already dealing with life issues and then post-traumatic stress and then trying to have a family, you know, there's so many things that we just as humans have to deal with.
WHITFIELD: In 12 years of offering horse therapy here, she has yet to break even in operating costs, but says she can't afford to not do this.
EDWARDS: With PTSD, you can't get out of your head. Getting out of your head is therapeutic in itself.
It's amazing to watch horses connect with people who have stuff going on, but for veterans in particular, it's a big powerful animal. It seems to understand them.
WHITFIELD: How's it made a difference in your life?
FAIRBREAN (ph): It's pretty much saved my life. It's going from a very dark place and not having a lot of people to talk to or people I was comfortable talking to about all the issues I had. For me, it was just wanting to run from everything, which I did for a long time. A lot of suicidal thoughts. And I still battle with them. I still battle with a lot of anxiety, but there's an outlet for all that now.
WHITFIELD (on camera): Really hits home with me, because my dad is a military vet, and my brother is a military vet. My dad, he was a Tuskegee airman. He served in World War II, Korean War, U.S. Army, and then later U.S. Air Force. He would also be an Olympian representing USA, representing the armed forces. Most of his years, he did not talk about his military service. And about five years before his passing, did we as a family even know that he had been struggling with PTSD?
Learning of his diagnosis and not knowing of the signs and not knowing that he may have been struggling with this all these years also kind of adds to the agony of what it is for so many military vets, that many are suffering in silence.
(voice-over): Like the markings on a horse, there are so many unique ways these massive, magical creatures touch our lives. I've loved them from early on, even volunteering as a teen at Rock Creek Horse Center in Washington, D.C.
(on camera): That should feel good, girl.
I think when I came here it was really for selfish reasons that I would get a chance to be around horses, but at the same time, what I end up seeing here was that there was this beautiful therapeutic riding program. And I would see how transformational it would be when you would have riders who had Down syndrome, who had neurological, who had spinal issues.
AMILA GIORDIAND (ph), MILTIARY VETERAN: I have cerebral palsy. I realize with horseback riding the horses don't judge who you are. They judge you on how well you can, like, try. They judge on your success. They judge on your feelings. They want to help you.
WHITFIELD (voice-over): Everyone is looking for new outlets in which to address things that they have encountered, whether in combat or in training.
The technique of equine therapy has advanced so much that challenges are just being tackled differently today.
I mean, you are changing people's lives.
EDWARDS: I hope so. I like to help however I can. I think our most- vulnerable population is also one of our most special populations, especially our vets.
WHITFIELD: And thanks to Stacey Edwards at SEG and to Nikki Beverage at Rock Creek Park for helping so many vets and so many others by way of horse therapy.
And you can see more inspirational stories during the "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE" one-hour special, tonight, 8:00 p.m.
And tomorrow, on an all new "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," W. Kamau Bell heads north to Canada.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST, "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA": What is the biggest difference between Canada and the United States of America?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Canada, people are informed on what's going on in Canada and the world and some of the places I go in the U.S. really don't know a whole lot. And I'm sorry, I have to be cautious about what I say.
[13:55:07] BELL: I can't act like it's not true.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not like what's happening in the U.S. it's a lot more understanding --
BELL: What do you mean about this? What do you mean by what's happening --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: South of the border type situation.
BELL: I don't think about this being south of the border, but in this case I do.
From your perspective, what's going on south of the border?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, people are staying in their sections, whether it's white, black, Asian. I think that in Canada as a whole, there's a lot more of that understanding. You know, there's a lot of Americans that do come up here. They go, oh.
BELL: Really like that up here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can walk safely. I can do this?
BELL: It's always that that way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. This is Canada.
BELL: Yes, yes.
WHITFIELD: An all new episode of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," airing tomorrow, 10:00 eastern and pacific, only on CNN.
And we'll be right back.