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Trump Blasts 2 Democratic Congresswomen as "Unhinged"; Judge Orders Trump Administration to Reunite Families as House Votes on Immigration Bill; Peter Strzok Appears Before Congress; Officer Who Shot and Killed Antwon Rose Charged with Criminal Homicide; Trump: Additional Immigration Judges Not Needed. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired June 27, 2018 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: She is right to call for the impeachment of a president who is dishonest, who is morally corrupt, who lacks compassion, who doesn't treat the people of this world as global citizens as they deserve to be treated. Their tones are completely different. I resent the misrepresentation and mischaracterization of everything she's ever said and everything she's ever worked for. Look at her record compared to his, you'll see light years of difference. It is not fair and not honest.
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The confrontation and harassment regardless of --
RYE: She has not encouraged harassment.
STEWART: It's not acceptable.
STEWART: It's not acceptable and it's dangerous.
RYE: No, you know, it's not actually dangerous. What's dangerous is Donald Trump calling for a violent attack on her because she wants his cabinet to be held accountable for what they're doing. To be holding someone accountable is completely different than harassment. Again, I resent the mischaracterization and the misrepresentation of her remarks.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I think one thing we know for sure is we've reached a point where I don't think this administration and this White House is qualified to talk about calling for civility any more when --
RYE: There's a thought, Kate. I don't disagree.
BOLDUAN: -- with this campaign and where things stand down.
(CROSSTALK) BOLDUAN: Regardless, it's great to see all of you on this fine day, though.
Mark, Alice, Angela, thanks, guys.
RYE: Thank you.
STEWART: Thanks, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, a federal judge orders the Trump administration to halt family separations and to reunite the ones who have already been separated within 30 days, less for young children. And this comes as top officials are still struggling to come up with a plan of just how to do it. Let's cut through it, next.
[11:35:31] BOLDUAN: At some point today, in just a few hours, the House will vote on a Republican immigration bill. Important note, it still has little chance of passing. A note of encouragement though this morning from the president. House Republicans -- on Twitter, of course: "House Republicans should pass the strong, but fair immigration bill known as Goodlatte II in their afternoon vote, even though the Democrats won't let it pass in the Senate. It will show that we want strong borders and security while the Democrats want open borders, equals crime. Win."
The only surprising thing about this is that it's a total about face. It also in how unsurprising it is, leading me to think you really can't trust what the president believes what he just wrote this morning any more than you can trust he believes what he wrote on Friday when he told Republicans, don't waste your time on an immigration bill.
And then there's this, at least today. Score one for the families at the border. A federal judge in California has ordered the Trump administration to halt family separations and to reunite the ones who have already been separated within 30 days.
Let's get more on this. CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is on Capitol Hill.
We'll get there in just a second, Sunlen.
First let's bring in CNN justice reporter, Laura Jarrett, on this ruling coming out of California.
Laura, what did the judge order?
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Hi, there, Kate. For days, we heard the Trump administration say they're still working on implementing the president's new executive order on family reunification, keeping families together at the border. But this judge in California, the judge is saying you need to speed it up. He's set a pretty detailed time line here. For children under the age of 4 or I should say 5 years old, he said they have to be reunified within 14 days. Children older than 5 have to be reunified within 30 days. And all children need to get a call, a telephone call with their parents if they haven't within already within 10 days.
And I can't underscore enough, Kate, how striking the tone was from this judge. He's a George W. Bush appointee. But he says this in part: "The facts set forth before the court portray reactive governance, responses to address a chaotic circumstance of the government's own making. They belie measured and ordered governance, which is essential to the concept of due process enshrined in our Constitution."
The Justice Department, in a statement this morning, said this just shows it's even more imperative for Congress to act on this situation to keep families together more permanently, but the question is whether, how they will comply with this judge's order and whether they will appeal to the ninth circuit -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: It seems like an answer but it raises so many more questions about how this is all going to happen.
Thank you so much, Laura. Really appreciate it.
Let's go to Capitol Hill. Sunlen is there.
Sunlen, what is the latest today?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, this bill will be voted on later today in the House. And the expectation is still that it's going nowhere fast. It is very likely to fail that vote later today. This, of course, despite the eyebrow-raising presidential tweet this morning where he gave the clearest endorsement yet of this compromised measure that the Republican leadership backed. This is essentially what leadership had been waiting for the president to do. The feeling on the Hill is that honestly came a little too -- it was too little too late, essentially the fact that the outcome is largely already baked into the cake up here and that certainly Republican leaders would have wished that President Trump would have endorsed this measure earlier in the process, and the fact that it might not be enough to get this bill across the finish line. Steve Scalise, the House whip, up here, in an interview earlier today, said we will keep pushing forward and keep trying to make an effort today but not hitting a confident tone there, Kate, with the expectation that, later today, when they moved to that vote it will fail. The conversation will then quickly shift to what the Plan C is for addressing these family separations.
[11:39:34] BOLDUAN: All before they leave for the July 4th recess, which is next week.
Great to see you, Sunlen.
Thank you so much, Laura.
Thank you as always.
Coming up for us, the officer who shot and killed the unarmed teenager, Antwon Rose, is now charged with criminal homicide. We are live in Pittsburgh with the latest. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BOLDUAN: Right now, an FBI agent embroiled in controversy is getting grilled by Congress behind closed door. Peter Strzok is appearing voluntarily before the House Judiciary Committee. That was as he was arriving this morning. Strzok sent anti-Trump text messages to a colleague during the presidential campaign while working on the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. And after this all came to light, he was then removed from the Russia investigation. He has been a constant target of President Trump and his allies.
Here's from the president just today: "It should be shown to the public on live television and there should be total transparency when it comes to this hearing."
CNN senior congressional correspondent, Manu Raju, is live on Capitol Hill with more on this.
Manu, what's happening?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's the first time, Kate, that Peter Strzok has come before Congress in the aftermath of the revelation of those text messages he exchanged with FBI Attorney Lisa Page, thousands of text messages, some with decidedly anti-Trump messages. So lawmakers will undoubtedly want to hear what provoked him to send the messages, as well as things in the I.G. report that said that there was an uncertainty about whether his decision to focus more on the Russia investigation, rather than re- open the Clinton investigation in May 2016, was, quote, "free from bias." That question is something that will undoubtedly be explored. But I talked to members on both sides this morning so far and they said he's been cooperative, answering their questions. But this is going to be a very long day, and a lot of questions that need to be answered. The ultimate question is whether or not he provides any additional insight into exactly his role in 2016 and the inspector general report that said that any bias that may have been felt by people involved and how that ultimately affected the investigation's outcome that Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted based on the FBI recommendation.
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Democrat who sits on the House Oversight Committee, and has attended all of the five witness interviews that have come before these two panels. He said he has not learned anything new from this investigation so far.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:45:28] REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI, (D), ILLINOIS: I've been to every one of these meetings at this point. Nothing has come up that would, you know, lead us to believe there was a conspiracy to handle the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation in a certain way. I just haven't seen any evidence of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: So at the same time, there's a big fight among the Republicans for the Justice Department to provide a number of records over to the House as part of the Russia and Clinton investigation. Mark Meadows, who is a congressman who sits on the House Oversight Committee, has a resolution, Kate, that the House will vote on tomorrow that would actually compel the Justice Department to provide records by July 6th. And he told me earlier that if those records are turned over to Congress by then, then Rosenstein should be impeached.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: You have a resolution asking for these documents by July 6th and if he does not turn this over, Rod Rosenstein, should the House hold him in contempt or impeach him?
REP, MARK MEADOWS, (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Well, I think that, indeed, if the documents, all of the documents are not complied with by July 6th, providing we vote on that resolution tomorrow, which I believe we will do -- the speaker has indicated we will have a vote on the House floor tomorrow on that resolution -- that if they're not here by July 6th, then certainly contempt and impeachment would be in order.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: So you can see that the fight is intensifying between House Republicans and the Justice Department, even despite Peter Strzok's agreement to come to testify behind closed doors voluntarily, expecting to be out in public soon.. And that's something that Donald Trump has called for and conservatives on this committee have called for. And Bob Goodlatte, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, he told me, Kate, as he went into this closed-door meeting, that the public hearing will happen, quote, "soon." We'll see when that happens -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: No kidding.
Manu, a lot going on. Thanks. I appreciate it.
We're following more breaking news. The east Pittsburgh police officer who shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose has been charged with criminal homicide. Investigators say Michael Rosfeld shot Rose last week as Rose ran away from a car after a traffic stop. The teenager was unarmed. His death has sparked days of protests across Pittsburgh and beyond.
CNN's Athena Jones is in Pittsburgh where the district attorney just released more detail about what all has happened.
Athena, what have you learned?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kate. So much information coming out of this press conference with District Attorney Stephen Zappala that just wrapped up. He wants to ask the jury to consider all levels of homicide. It is unclear whether this would be first degree, second degree, third degree. He said the evidence supports the third degree but they want to be able to argue for murder in the first degree. The penalty for that is life in prison. The district attorney described Officer Rosfeld's act as an
intentional act, done recklessly, and said there was no justification for it. Antwon Rose did nothing in furtherance of a crime. And so that is why they would ask the jury to consider all levels of homicide. Stephen Zappala said you do not shoot someone in the back if they are not a threat to you. He said he didn't know exactly how many seconds passed between Officer Rosfeld stopping the vehicle and shooting Antwon Rose, but that it happened very, very quickly. We also know we're getting new video from the scene. And there were questions about the training of this particular officer. While Zappala would not get into the past of the police officer, he did say that some of that history left them with concerns and that there was almost no training in the East Pittsburgh Police Department -- Kate?
[11:49:07] BOLDUAN: Athena, thank you so much. So much going on there. We need to stay close to that.
Coming up for us, 5,000 new judges. President Trump keeps saying that's what he has been asked for to help with the backlog of immigration cases at the border. A veteran immigration judge joins me next and really cuts through the noise. What is really needed to stem the crisis at the border and what about the 5,000 judges?
BOLDUAN: The president has said it over and over again, that he's been asked for 5,000 more judges to handle immigration cases, and he's also said he doesn't want them or need them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everybody's being made a judge. They want 5,000 judges, more. It's crazy. Other countries, it's called, I'm sorry, you can't come in, you have to leave. This one, we have judges. If they step on our land, we have judges. It's insane. So we're going to have to change our whole immigration policy.
They said, sir, we have like to hire about 5,000 or 6,000 more judges. Five or 6,000? Can you imagine the graft that must take place? Where are you going to find 5,000 people to be judges?
How many do we have now? I don't know the number. They don't even know the number, even though they're in charge, OK? Nobody knows. We have thousands of judges already.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Now, while there's a lot that we don't know what's going on at the border or what's going on with the families and the children that have been separated, we do know how many immigration judges there are, 334. That's according to the National Association of Immigration Judges. And the bill that Senator Ted Cruz has been proposing is requesting that that number be increased to 750 to try to deal with the backlog and deal with this zero-tolerance policy. So let's cut through the noise on this. Joining me right now is Judge
Paul Wickham Schmidt. He was an immigration for 13 years. He was deputy counsel at the Naturalization and Immigration Service. He's now professor of law at Georgetown University.
Judge, thank you so much for coming in.
PAUL WICKHAM SCHMIDT, JUDGE & PROFESSOR OF LAW, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY & FORMER DEPUTY COUNSEL, NATIONALIZATION AND IMMIGRATON SERVICE: Thank you, Kate. I really appreciate it.
BOLDUAN: Thank you.
Can the current bench of immigration judges handle the influx of cases coming from the administration's zero-tolerance policy right now?
SCHMIDT: If the administration uses the available process, I think it can be handled with the judges that are on board right now. It may not be able to be handled the way the president wants to handle it. But I think if we give people fair hearings, yes, with 300 judges, there's plenty of judges to handle it.
You have to remember that this is sort of a self-created crisis. We've had similar ups and downs in immigration and migration over the southern border. This isn't really that unusual. That's what the court in the southern district of California said this morning, that the administration had basically created a crisis, and now they couldn't figure out how to get out of it.
[11:55:25] BOLDUAN: Talk to me about the backlog of cases that these judges are facing, that you faced as a judge.
SCHMIDT: Well, 720,000 cases, that's a tremendous backlog. When I -- at the time I retired, I think I retired two years ago, June 2016. I was setting cases probably in 2021, 2022. I think judges are still setting some of the cases that far out. So it's not going to be solved overnight.
BOLDUAN: Judge, that's important, what you just said. How long does an average case, if you give them a fair hearing, how long does the average case take to work through the system?
SCHMIDT: It depends on how big the backlog is in a particular location. How long does it take to hear an asylum case? In-court time probably takes three to four hours.
SCHMIDT: But the problem is there's a lot of cases stacked up. And there's another problem, I call it reshuffling, which this administration is doing to the max. And that is, since these aren't Article III courts controlled by the Justice Department, as each new administration comes in, they change all the priorities. And the cases that were at the beginning of the line in the last administration get moved to the end of the line, so that some cases never get done, and everybody keeps shifting priorities -- (CROSSTALK)
SCHMIDT: -- and we never finish the last priority before the new one takes over. And therefore --
BOLDUAN: And you see that happening.
SCHMIDT: -- it's shuffling. Well, it's happening right now.
BOLDUAN: You see it happening right now.
Let's me ask you --
SCHMIDT: And the president's executive order basically ordered a reshuffling of the cases.
BOLDUAN: Can I ask, you real quick?
BOLDUAN: The president says the country doesn't need more judges. The country needs more border security. What do you say to that?
SCHMIDT: That's absolute poppycock. Border security can't provide due process. These aren't economic migrants, as the administration and some of their supporters falsely say. These are individuals who are fleeing for their lives and who have a right to a fair determination of asylum. And that's not going to happen from a Border Patrol officer.
BOLDUAN: Judge, thank you so much for your time.
SCHMIDT: You're welcome. Thank you so much for having me.
BOLDUAN: Appreciate it.
SCHMIDT: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, how is this for a political disruption? A 28-year-old newcomer takes down a 10-term House Democrat. What does it mean for the future of the Democratic Party?
Stay with CNN.