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[23:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I am Don Lemon. Just a little bit before 11:00 p.m. here in the East Coast, live with all the breaking news for you. And it is a bomb shell, sources telling CNN that Michael Cohen, the president's former fixer is prepared to tell the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller that then candidate Donald Trump approved of the infamous Trump tower meeting with Russian in June of 2016. The one where the Russians were to expect to offer the Trump campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton. Let us get right to it now.
CNN's Chief National Security Correspondent, Jim Sciutto, is here. Also CNN Political Commentator, David Swerdlick, CNN National Security Analyst, Juliette Kayyem and Jack Quinn, who was White House Council to President Clinton. Good evening to all of you. Welcome to the program. Jim, tell us about what. What are you learning?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is what we are learning. Source right now, it is telling myself and Carl Bernstein, my colleague, Michael Cohen claims that then candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump tower, in which Russians were expected to offered his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton. Crucially, this sources say that Cohen is willing to make that assertion to the special counsel, Robert Mueller. Cohen alleges and this is key, that he was present along with several others when Trump was informed of the Russian's offer by Donald Trump Jr. By Cohen's account, Trump approved going ahead with that meeting with the Russians.
We should note this that our sources said, that Cohen does not have evidence and it is audio recording to corroborate his claims. A source form Collins that house testimony that before the House Intelligence Committee earlier this year said that he did not testify this there that Trump had advance knowledge. Cohen's claims also were not mentioned in separate reports issued by Republicans and Democrats again on the House Intelligence Committee.
I should note that of course, we reached out to the lawyers for a number of those involved in the story. Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyer, Alan Futerfas, he told CNN the following that Donald Trump Jr. has been professional and responsible throughout the Mueller Congressional investigation. We are very confident of the accuracy and the reliability of the information that has been provided by Mr. Trump Jr. and on his behalf. Contacted by CNN, one of Cohen's attorneys, Lanny Davis, he declined to comment. And on our air, you remember this, you saw this, Don, on Chris Cuomo's show. Rudy Giuliani, the president's lawyer, he attacked Cohen's credibility.
LEMON: Right, that he is been lying all week and he has been lying for years. Let us talk more. Jack I want to bring you in now. If this Cohen allegation is true and can be proven, was there a crime committed?
JACK QUINN, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Well, if this can be demonstrated or can be corroborated, that is the important word. I think it furthers both the narrative that the Trump campaign was not only willing, but eager to get the support of foreign powers including adversary like Russia. And it would also provide a motive for an obstruction case if this was proven to be true.
I think that, you know, this is a step back for a moment and put this into context of an investigation the doubtless is also focusing on the fact that the President invited Russia to come off with the 30,000 Hillary Clinton e-mails, the subsequent attack on her personal servers. The subsequent attacked on the DNC and the Clinton campaign and then the release of those things through WikiLeaks and Gucifer Organizations, with which Trump's associate, Roger Stone had a connection.
So, I think that this development needs to be put in the context of this broader piece where, you know, you can clearly see that the special counsel is painstakingly investigating whether this linkage can be made.
LEMON: So, Juliette, you know, the president, no collusions. There is no collusion, there is no collusion, does this allegation chip away at that claim?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I am so glad you asked that, because, look the trump administration and President Trump have remain consistent in one thing in saying -- in one big idea which is that there is no collusion. And to support that they came up with a bunch of sort of mini claims, right. That there is no context and we didn't know what was going on and no one knew that WikiLeaks is going to leak it.
Each one of those sub-claims and sub-being and I will say it a lie. An absolute lie. So, we are now at a point where there is no factual bases to support the one claim that is keeping this fallacy together which is that there is no collusion by the Trump campaign with the Russians.
One quick other thing, this great CNN story was the second story today about June 9th, 2016. The one date that we should be all focusing on for the next couple of months. The A.P. reported this morning that the lawyer Natalia had much more sense of ties with the Russians and so put those two pieces together and say all the focus now is on this single bay. [23:05:00] And whether, you know, whether it was Michael Cohen who's
talking about this or someone else in the room. Everyone seems to be focused on the fact that Trump knew before and that this big Meta no collusion claim have now fallen apart.
LEMON: OK, just seriously, one more time simply explain that. You said this focus is now all on one day. What is that saying to you?
KAYYEM: One day. June 9th, 2016. Because one, this is the meeting in which there is actual access. And I always ask myself. Why are they having this meeting at Trump tower the day that Donald Trump was there? Right? So, and now we think that Donald Trump knew about it before.
Donald Trump Jr., does anyone actually believe that Donald Trump Jr. is going to take a meeting like this and not tell his father. I mean, I don't know the guy but I have seen him and finally when he testify. Donald Trump Jr. before I think it is the House Intel, he alleges, and we also know this attorney-client privilege -- there is no lawyer in the room, right? He claims at that stage that he can't talk about it, because there was a lawyer in the room. We don't know who that lawyer was, but we do know that Michael Cohen was still Donald Trump's lawyer. So, June 9th, that is the date that everyone is focused on now.
LEMON: And you think about it -- gone on Trump tower and listen there are different floors, but when you go in the configuration when I was there, everyone's office is kind in a row with glass. Right? Where you can see of this and then right in the middle when you walk into the conference room, where they conduct business, the conference room is right by the elevator and the entrance and everyone can see everything. So, I am just saying and setting it up for you.
So David, listen, take a look of what Rudy Giuliani have to say. This is a bout Michael Cohen. And this is with Chris, watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GUILIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: The man is a liar. A proven liar. There is no way you are going to bring down the President of the United States on the testimony uncorroborated of a proven liar. And I guarantee you that this guy is a proven liar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So, he is calling him a liar and we know the President, you know, the relationship with the truth and not a very good one. Both sides have credibility issues. So, who does Mueller believe, David?
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Mueller got to talk to Michael Cohen, if he has not already and decide who is the most credible witness and get that stuff on the record. Look, as you said, President Trump himself, Mayor Rudy Giuliani's client had difficult at best relationship with the truth. My Washington Post colleagues have cataloged thousands of false and misleading statements. He has made right up until -- it was just last week, he would not revision on the Helsinki press conference.
I mean, there is a lot of people with credibility problems including the President of the United States. Don, if I can go back on to something that Jack said that I think is really, you know, something to focus on with the story right now is that Rudy Giuliani among others in the President's camp has been saying for weeks that there is no there "there-there." That the president -- no one expects the President to be charged with conspiracy.
But the president can't be charged with obstructing justice, because there was nothing to obstruct. But if it is true that the President knew as Michael Cohen as apparently saying, that the President knew about these meeting. That puts some meat on the bones of the idea that even if what they did not rise to the level of a crime. It was something that the President and his lawyers and his camp did not want to get out and therefore were trying (inaudible) go around it. If true, therefore, there is more to hang of obstruction and justice charge on, if that is the way Mueller goes.
LEMON: And as it had been noted here and previous segments by legal expert, Jack, you don't have to complete the conspiracy in order for it to be charged. Right? You can just sort of endeavor to do it.
QUINN: You bet. You can be involved in attempting to commit various crimes, including conspiracy and you can join the conspiracy after some of the underline criminal behaviors take place.
LEMON: OK. Hey, Jim, I have to ask you. And you know I think there is an obvious answer. But do you think that it is possible that Robert Mueller already knew this? I mean, if not from Cohen then from, you know, one of the witnesses that Michael Cohen claims also saw Donald Trump Jr. tell Donald Trump about the upcoming Trump tower Russia meeting?
SCIUTTO: Listen, we don't know. Robert Mueller is a black box from the beginning, does not leak. It is certainly possible, because Mueller has access to a whole host of sources of information. It could include intercepted e-mails, phone conversation and et cetera, if there were conversations documenting the contents of this meeting. The other thing I would reference is that based on our reporting there was more than one person whether more than just Michael Cohen and then candidate Donald Trump in the room when Cohen claims came Donald Trump Jr. came in to inform the President about this meeting and in fact get his approval for it. If there were other in the room, so that would -- if that is true that provides the special counsel or investigators of the Southern District of New York provide them with other witnesses to talk to, to corroborate this.
[23:10:20] QUINN: If I may just add one of the points on that. I really doubt that Robert Mueller thinks this is a good idea for Michael Cohen to be talking this way. I think this diminishes rather than enhances his chance of getting a deal.
LEMON: We are going to talk more. So stick around everyone. When we come back. More on this breaking news.
Source telling CNN that Michael Cohen claims Donald Trump knew in advance about that Trump tower meeting with Russians.
LEMON: So here is our breaking news, sources telling CNN that Michael Cohen claims then candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting with Russians in Trump tower and he is willing to make that claimed to Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.
[23:15:05] President Trump has repeatedly denied any knowledge of that meeting. So, let us just continue to discuss now. Back now with me Jim Sciutto, David Swerdlick, Juliette Kayyem and Jack Quinn. It is interesting of what they're saying to Robert Mueller, because this case is with, Juliette, the Southern District of New York. So why -- give me a distinction here. What's going on? Why is he willing to make it to the Special Counsel in the Southern District?
KAYYEM: Well, we don't -- I mean, to be honest, we don't know Michael Cohen's strategy.
LEMON: I think, I just answered, you know what, I think I know the answer to my own question, because Robert Mueller is investigating the collusion of -- the possibility of collusion. So, I get that.
KAYYEM: And the New York case, right. I totally want to say of Jim's reporting, Jim will never tell us as he should not is Michael Cohen is actually the source. We actually don't know that at this stage. And so, let us assume -- if the reporting -- as the reporting is accurate, what does it say? That says that this is the first time a news organization has reported that someone in the room or close to the discussion about that June 9th meeting is willing to testify in some manner that Donald Trump knew about it before. Now, let us also remember, Donald Trump knew about it after and he lied about it, right. Because he is the one in Air Force One, drafting the fake press released about the Russians adoptions. So, does it before, he knows about it after. One has to assume that he knows the substance of what was just sought.
LEMON: OK. Can I pose this to you? This is from a legal mind. OK. I think I should go to Jack.
So, this person says you have to remember, 90 percent of crime cases involved key testimony from witnesses with serious baggage. It is the basic M.O. of prosecutors to put those witnesses on the stand and explain why their motivations and more importantly corroborating information makes them sufficiently credible. Remember, Sammy the bull, had a lot more baggage than Michael Cohen, what do you say to that, Jack?
QUINN: Yes. Of course, I mean, you get testimonies against bad guys from bad guys. Rudy Giuliani himself had no doubt had testimonies from pretty unsavory people in order to convict people who he is trying to convict. So, you know, for him to go on the air and you know, you mentioned earlier with the you know, -- there is something that you said that reminded me of the President on Air Force One, and telling the press you have to talk to Michael Cohen, he is my lawyer. And now, all of the sudden, a short time later, he is a liar and he can't be trusted. Nothing he ever said has been truthful. So, you know, and this by the way is one reason why I question the tactics that had been employed on his side, because he has invited these vicious attack from Guiliani and no doubt soon to come from the president in a twitterstorm.
LEMON: So Jim, you are there in Washington, you know politically how this is going to play out. I am going to read, this from the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff. OK? He says if allegation Trump OK, June 9 meeting is true it means he not only publicly appeal to Russia for help but privately approve receiving it as forecast Papadopoulos that help would come in the release of Clinton's e-mail. The conspiracy case may have just gotten stronger. What do you think of that statement, Jim?
SCIUTTO: Listen. This is a line of inquiry that Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Intel Committee have wanted to go down for some time and had some time been blocked in those efforts and we have seen a lot of reactions of the story tonight from members of those committee, principally Democrats. One of them made the point that they attempted to subpoena Donald Trump Jr.'s phone records, because they wanted to know whether the blocked phone number was -- we talked about on this show before, Don.
Don Jr. Spoke to after that meeting with the Russians whether if that were the President's phone number. You know, questions like that. So this is the line of inquiry that they want to go down and did not get to go down all those lines, to ask those kinds of questions. So this is, it is certainly attracting their attention now. And you could imagine that those members are going to be polling for those same figs now. Listen, we got to explore this. This is indeed true that Michael Cohen is offering this.
The other point I would make is this, and god knows Jack more of a lawyer than me, I am not a lawyer at all. But when you listen to Rudy Giuliani's defense tonight. He was all about Michael Cohen's credibility. And he made this point, saying all we have to do is create a reasonable doubt.
[23:20:00] Right? So you got a little window into what their strategy is here is to impugn the witness. Not necessarily go after the facts or the comment, but impugn the witness. And I thought that was notable in his conversation with Chris Cuomo.
LEMON: It is so much to ask -- he is saying don't pay with cash. Pay with a check. I meant wouldn't instead of would. It is just crazy, but go on, who -- what did you want to say --
LEMON: I got to get David.
SWERDLICK: He is starting about reasonable doubt as if, you know this is going to be prosecuting as a criminal case and assuming and indictment. I mean look, I am sure that Congressman Schiff and others are thinking about an impeachment process which is more political than legal. But, look, all he was doing tonight was really trying to just destroy Michael Cohen and again I think Michael Cohen would have been better served to have these conversations with the prosecutors.
LEMON: That is in the court of the public opinion. I don't know how that would actually play out in the courtroom. But Juliette, quickly and I get to David, I will give you the last word.
KAYYEM: Yes. Remember the reporting also says there were others in the room. So, if they can do whatever they want with Michael Cohen. But I do think that there is some tip with these stories, there is some tipping. All of these stories are also for the people who are keeping quiet. Meaning that we kind of know something about you.
LEMON: All right. David, how do you think it is going to play out? These allegations if proven true politically -- what happen?
SWERDLICK: Look, forecasting down the road. Somebody, whether it is Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, Congress, a court, maybe, maybe not, is going to have to decide whether Michael Cohen is credible. But the issue now as Jim was saying is that, Mayor Rudy Giuliani went on tonight and tried to chum the waters. Not really directly attack the underlying facts, but more so, trying to attack Michael Cohen's credibility.
But the challenge that he is running up against and I agree with what Jack has said, I think Renato Mariotti said earlier that maybe this is not the typical legal strategy for someone potentially facing indictments, but what I see from the Cohen's team especially now that he has Guy Patrolo and Lanny Davis, is that he is not going quietly into that good night, whether he wants a deal, whether he wants to pardon, he is not going to go to the General Flynn, like take what I can get route -- he is going to Paul Manafort, defiant route.
He is going the, oh, we are going to play this out at the court of opinion. You got Mayor Giuliani, I got Lanny Davis and here I come and let's see what happens. And I think that is what we are looking at right now going forward in this.
LEMON: My goodness, I feel like that we are on an episode of like, you know, some show that were written -- that is too outlandish. I am not going to watch that. All right.
House of cards, Game of thrones? Yes, what's the other one with the President? The other one, I forget, I can't remember the name of it.
SWERDLICK: Say it.
LEMON: The one on ABC.
LEMON: Yes, scandal. I can't remember -- scandal.
Thank you guys. I appreciate it. When we come back more on our breaking news. Michael Cohen claiming that Donald Trump knew in advance about that Trump tower's meeting with Russians. Rudy Giuliani is slamming Cohen tonight. But is he helping or hurting the President.
[23:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Our breaking news tonight. Sources telling CNN that Michael Cohen is prepared to tell Robert Mueller that Donald Trump, then candidate both knew in advance and approve of the June 2016 meeting between members of the Trump campaign and Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. The President has repeatedly denied knowing about the meeting and now his attorney Rudy Giuliani is attacking Cohen's credibility.
I want to bring in now Defense Attorney, Joe Tacopina, also CNN Contributor, Michael D'Antonio, the author of "The Truth about Trump." Gentlemen, good evening to you.
Joe, give me the reaction of this news.
JOE TACOPINA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good evening. You know, not surprising. First of all, I don't for a second believe that Donald Trump did not know about the meeting that his son was going to regarding of potential bomb shell information that he would have against his opponent. That does just not sound credible, but the perps of this, you know he said, she said, credibility contest that is now going to become the focal point of the perhaps the Mueller investigation, because it is truly about collusion.
The questions is going to be does Michael Cohen have supporting information, does he have corroborative information, because many people have said, including my wife tonight, that you can't just believe anything that he is going to say now that he is under the gun. You know, generally when people are under the gun they are looking for a way out. And sometimes the way out is providing information to get something in return.
That being said, here Rudy Guiliani say, he has been lying for years. I hope not that is what he meant to say, well, I certainly would have said that if I were representing Donald Trump, because he has been his lawyer for years. He has been his sole client for the most part for years and he has been his employee for years.
LEMON: Let me ask you something. Let me ask you this, so if -- with the whole Russia thing, right? Does Michael Cohen really have any exposure when it comes to Russia or the possibility of collusion or obstruction of justice or any of that? Right? Does he?
TACOPINA: yes, I mean, here is the question, if there was obstruction of some sort. An obstruction is such a broad, broad field. You know, the answer could be yes. Of course, Michael Cohen's problem lies in the Southern District of New York in downtown with the federal prosecutors.
LEMON: That is my point. And I think that is where the confusing part for everyone. If his exposure is -- what he did with, I think I get the point now. If his exposure is what he did with Karen McDougal, Stormy Daniels and possible conspiracy or bank fraud or whatever, bank fraud, then what is the -- why would he give up this information about Russia?
TACOPINA: Because when you are a cooperator, the more checks you get in your piggy bank, the more credit you get on your account, the better it is for you later when you face sentence --
TACOPINA: When you become a cooperator, you only have to cooperate in that one investigation or case. If you help others including another federal investigation special prosecutor, in this case, you are going to get credit for that, you are going to get cooperation credit for it.
So if he can help Bob Mueller and cooperate in the southern district, the more the merrier. He's going to get more credit in that what they call that 5K letter that a federal prosecutor will eventually write and judge saying, yes, he has pled guilty. Yes, he has admitted to wrongdoing. He has committed serious crimes. But --
TACOPINA: -- he's done this, this and this. He has done all these great things for us.
LEMON: OK. We don't have time. Michael hasn't even spoken yet.
LEMON: So Michael, listen, given what you know about Trump -- given what you know about Trump, about this president and his family, how the family operates, and friends that interact with him, does this surprise you? Do you think he would know about this?
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, he absolutely knew about it, the day that it was revealed that this meeting took place. I think I said on CNN that of course, the president knew. He's a guy who has to make every important decision.
And if you watch Chris Cuomo with Rudy Giuliani this evening, you saw that Donald Trump is this giant swirling vortex of disgrace. And he is now sucking Rudy Giuliani down into that vortex because Rudy Giuliani looked terrible doing everything he could to call Michael Cohen a liar.
Well, every single person who has ever had a child knows that all human beings walking on this earth have lied at some point. In some way, Cohen may be telling the truth. And so we got all these people whether it is Cohen, Allen Weisselberg who was discussed by Cohen, Rudy Giuliani, everyone, everyone who has touched by Donald Trump is disgraced by him.
LEMON: You set up a soundbite that I want to play now. Joe, this is Giuliani now describing Michael Cohen. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: That's kind of part of human condition, right? (ph). I mean, we all make mistakes about people who turned out to be disloyal to us. You know, Benedict Arnold was disloyal to George Washington, the greatest president, right? So, anybody can (INAUDIBLE).
I mean, you can go back to ancient classical literature. You can find people who you think you trust. They turned out to be (INAUDIBLE). I saw the president when the president first found out that he had been taped. The president was completely shocked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): I believe that.
GIULIANI: And not -- he wasn't angry. You know, President Trump can get angry sometimes. He was disappointed, almost like a father who has been betrayed by a son.
LEMON: So that is some dramatic language there. I mean, is this a threat to Cohen in effect as Rudy Giuliani saying he's going to pay the price?
TACOPINA: A threat? Michael Cohen is not really worried about what Rudy Giuliani is saying on TV shows as oppose to what federal prosecutors in New York are doing to his life right now. So, it's not a threat.
And quite frankly, to hear Rudy Giuliani say that, you can't make cases on a proven liar. First of all, I don't know where he's proven to be a liar. Up until a month ago, he was Donald Trump's lawyer and someone Donald Trump was saying a great guy and a great lawyer. So, I don't know why he was proven to be a lawyer yet.
LEMON: Does that ring true to you, Michael? Quickly, please.
D'ANTONIO: It does ring true to me. If he has lied in the past, it was in service to Donald Trump. So all of this just circled back on itself and starts to sound crazy because it really is. We all know the truth here. We all know that Donald Trump is aware of this meeting. We all know that Michael Cohen is now trying to get some favor from federal government and it is going to be hold onto your hat for the next year and a half.
LEMON: Are you sure he is aware of this meeting because he wasn't aware of Stormy Daniels or Karen McDougal or any of those things.
D'ANTONIO: Yes, all this --
LEMON: I got to go.
D'ANTONIO: I will tell you one thing that I remember today, Don, is Trump paid cash to his girlfriends for their expenses, so he's familiar with cash. LEMON: Thank you. Wow! When we come back, more of the big legal issues President Trump is facing tonight. We're going to go through the major cases that could be a huge problem for the president, that's next.
[23:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We are back now with our breaking news. Sources telling CNN that Michael Cohen claims then candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting with Russians in Trump Tower, and he is willing to make that claim to the special counsel Robert Mueller.
So let's bring in now, CNN Contributor, Walter Shaub. He is a former director of the Office of Government Ethics, and investigative reporter, David Cay Johnston. He is the author of "The Making of Donald Trump."
Good evening, gentlemen. David, I will get to you, but a lot of what you said has come true over the past couple of years --
LEMON: -- that you have been on the show saying a lot of it has come true. I need to start with Walter, because I want to ask you about the ramifications of what you heard tonight and of this breaking news.
WALTER SHAUB, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, I think a lot of us may have suspected this but who would have dream that it will actually be provable.
[23:40:01] And if Michael Cohen is going to come in and say that, that really is inconsistent with the things that the president has been saying and certainly of the things these people have been saying.
And it takes us back in the category of trying to figure out whether they were seeking a contribution of some sort from a foreign government in terms of a thing of value, this opposition research that they may have been hoping to exploit to take advantage in the campaign against their opponents.
LEMON: Yes. David, give me your reaction.
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, it is hard at this point to imagine anything other than a criminal, Federal Election Commission violation because of what Walter mentioned, anything of value. And clearly they were offered things of value.
Let's keep in mind that, you know, there is photographic evidence that others came up with that Donald and Donald Jr. have known some of these people who were involved in the Russian meeting going back as far as I think 2013. I think anybody who is a grownup, Don, we all knew that of course Donald knows about this meeting.
And when we find out about the blocked phone number where Don Jr. made two calls at the time of this meeting, I'm sure we are going to find out it was Donald Trump's blocked phone number that he called. There is one other important aspect to this. There is no attorney-client privilege here because there were people in the room at that meeting at Trump Tower who were not there as client people.
One of the most P.R. men for the Russian rock n' roll guy, Rob Goldstone. So, there are going to be multiple witnesses. And if there are tapes, that would be incredibly fantastic information.
LEMON: You are reading my mind. I am wondering if there -- I am sure there are surveillance cameras in that part of the building. I know there is -- you know, in the lobby and elsewhere. But I am wondering how and if there are tapes, how far they go back, if they have been subpoenaed (ph) and on and on and on.
So that is -- that's a very good point that you make. But what does this say to you about the kind of damage that Michael Cohen is capable of inflicting on the Trump family?
JOHNSTON: Well, Cohen is in position to be a very, very dangerous witness not just to Donald Trump but Donald Jr. who testified to things that we -- I think we are going to find out are absolutely not true which puts him in the position of being prosecuted and if convicted sent to prison also.
One of the things we don't know is what's going on exactly between Cohen and prosecutors. Prosecutors can't be happy about what we were talking about in the news tonight. When you turn state evidence, they expect you to talk to them, to talk only to them, talk only on the witness stand, and to keep your mouth shut.
And one of the things we don't know is, you know, does this information leaked from the Trump's side which has been very mart and strategic in leaking material to get the damage out early? Remember, grand jury cases, leaks always come from the defense or ancillary (ph) witnesses. They never come from prosecutor.
LEMON: Do you think -- do you think they may be getting -- Walter, I'm going to get to you, but just quickly, do you think they may be getting it out, David, early before the midterms, OK, so the damage has already been done, this is already baked into the cake?
JOHNSTON: Well, I think the damage they are worried about is to themselves and interfering in whatever deal that Cohen is trying to make. They may not need Cohen to make cases. That's one of the things we don't know.
LEMON: Yes. So Walter, today we learn that longtime Trump organization CFO Allen Weisselberg who has worked with Trump family for decades has been subpoenaed to testify in the criminal case against Cohen. Weisselberg is known as Trump's underboss, so to speak. What could they get from him?
SHAUB: Well, I mean, my understanding is that he's been intimately involved in the business for decades. It is hard to imagine there is much of anything he doesn't know. And as they start closing in on people so close to the president like Michael Cohen and Weisselberg, you got to worry if President Trump -- that they are really getting close to you.
LEMON: Yes. Do you think they can unearth things that are relevant to the Mueller investigation?
SHAUB: Yes, I mean, of course the Mueller investigation has been so disciplined. It is hard to even know for sure what different angles they are looking at. But that professionalism they have shown in not leaking information is actually quite intimating if you are the defendant in that -- or the subject of the an investigation because it means that these are guys who know what they are doing.
LEMON: So Walter, tell me about this emolument case and what this could mean to the investigation.
SHAUB: Well, I am not sure how that would connect to the investigation, but it is another legal problem for the president. It is a fairly big one. From my perspective, it has been a good week in ethics and government. We have not had a lot of those lately.
[23:44:59] So, that's a good thing. What happened is the court in one of the three emolument cases, this is the one involving the state of Maryland and the district of Columbia with help from a good government group named CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, defended against a motion from the government to dismiss the case. They initially survived one when the government claimed they lacked standing.
Here the government was saying they failed to state a claim because the definition of emolument was incredibly narrow. And the government had a fairly bizarre read on it. They said emolument only prohibits you from receiving outside gifts or payments from a foreign government that are specifically for your government services.
So if the president wanted to take an outside job as a part-time professor at some foreign university controlled by a foreign government, he would be fine doing that. Of course, for years the federal government has refused to allow federal employees to do that and has forced them to repay money they gotten. So it is very strange that the government would take a position so opposite of what it has done and enforce against federal employees for years.
LEMON: Thank you, Walter. Thank you. Can you imagine, David, if there are those videos of it on a server?
LEMON: The irony. I got to go. But I am just saying the irony.
LEMON: Yes, I got to go. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. I have some breaking news to tell you about that is why I cut that short. A U.S. airport plane carrying what is believed to be the remains of U.S. troops killed during the Korean war some 65 years ago, it has arrived in South Korea. Pyongyang turned over what they say are an initial 55 cases holding remains of fallen service members. During the summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un last month in Singapore, the North Korean leader committed to returning the remains of American troops from Korean war battle sites. We'll be right back.
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LEMON: We have been talking about tonight's breaking news. There are so much more breaking news these days. A lot of important stories fall through the cracks. And this is one we think that needs to be reported so the public can be aware of it. So please pay attention to this.
Beginning next week, it will be legal for Americans to download and print 3-D guns. Let's talk about what this means. Chris Swecker is a former FBI assistant director of Criminal Investigative Division, and CNN Contributor, Cedric Alexander, a former president of The National Organization of Black Law Executives. Gentlemen, good evening to you. Thank you so much for joining us.
Chris, I am going to start with you. Starting August 1, Americans will be able to legally download plans to print 3-D guns at home. And this is because the State Department has reversed a previous position and decided to allow a private company to post gun blueprints online for access to anyone. What's your reaction?
CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION: This is a really, really bad idea. This is going to present challenges, maybe even challenges that law enforcement can't meet when it comes to detecting and tracing these guns.
So they'll be able to get through metal detectors, office buildings, airports, public events, public venues. And they will be in the hands eventually of felons, convicted felons and all the people that are prohibited from possessing and having guns.
So an incredibly bad idea. I'm not sure where the ATF is on this. The State Department is kind of an odd agency to even to be trying to enforce anything related to guns except for the export control in the tower (ph). I'm just wondering, where is ATF and where are some of the other law enforcement agencies? I'm sure the ICP (ph) will come out against it.
LEMON: Let's talk to Cedric a little bit more about that and the implications because all 3-D printed guns will be untraceable, Cedric. And since you can make them yourself, no background check is required. What are the implications?
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the implications are going to be really ones of which we're going to refer to them as ghost guns which is being referred to as of now, ghost weapons, weapons that cannot be traced. And someone who may have the technology to develop that type of weaponry in their home, in their garage and know someone who can, for law enforcement it's going to be a real serious issue.
But I think one thing I need to consider in all this when we think about it in the research I was doing earlier this afternoon, is that this is very new to everybody, Don, and it's really kind of being thrown out to the public very quickly. But as your guest has just indicated, I think it's going to be important to see how law enforcement chiefs and sheriffs across this country are going to respond to this type of technology.
And I don't expect for it to be a very good response because the men and women out there who are doing the tough job already trying to battle the number of weapons that are out there illegally, this is just going to add to the woes.
LEMON: More powerful weaponry than in many police departments.
ALEXANDER: Well, they'll have the ability.
ALEXANDER: They'll have the ability to develop AR-15s, if you will, and other weaponry that are commonly used in a lot of the mass shootings that we see.
LEMON: Let me ask you, Chris, before we run out of time. We know that the 3-D printing technology is expensive and the guns that you could print right now are not very durable and don't always work. But with how fast technology is advancing, that can change faster.
[23:55:02] And I'm wondering if the law can keep up.
SWECKER: You're correct, Don. The guns that are printable now, the plastic guns that they are seeing are not very durable, they don't work well. You know technology is going to move quickly on this. And will the laws keep up? Right now we got a patchwork quote (ph) of 50 different state laws relating to guns and gun control, that sort of thing.
It's serendipitous what state you're in as to what kind of gun you can get your hands on. So I don't expect these states or the federal government to keep up with this.
LEMON: All right. Gentlemen, thank you for your time. I appreciate you joining us here on CNN.
ALEXANDER: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: A lot of breaking news this evening, everyone, so make sure you stay tuned. Thanks for watching. Our coverage continues.
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