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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
GOP Rep. Cheney: We Can't Be A Cult Of Personality; Legal Advisers Hope Trump Will Join Court Fight To Block Materials Seized In FBI Raid At Giuliani's Apartment, Office; At Least Three People Arrested During Protests; Family Lays To Rest Andrew Brown Jr. While Demanding Accountability And Access To Full Body Cam Videos; Inside The Dangerous World Of Human Smuggling; How Migrants Risk Their Lives To Cross The Border. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired May 3, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So a lot of anger and a lot of criticism for the government's handling of this situation.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, Clarissa. Thank you very much for that powerful report, as always.
And thanks very much to all of you for watching it. "AC360" begins now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy has a decision to make and it may just affect the entire future of the Republican Party. It is about whether to back or bury the third highest ranking Republican in the house, Liz Cheney who has repeatedly and publicly expressed her disdain for the lies and actions taken by the former President.
Cheney did it again today behind closed doors. CNN has learned, Congresswoman Cheney, this afternoon told a group of conservatives at a conference in Georgia that to accept the idea that the 2020 election was stolen is quote, "poison in the bloodstream of our democracy."
We'll have more on what she said in a moment.
But how Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy deals with Cheney is very much an open question. After all, Kevin McCarthy has been anything but consistent and seems to change his opinion depending on how he senses the political winds are blowing.
Listen to what he said just after the attack on the Capitol.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The President bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.
These facts require immediate action by President Trump. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, keep in mind, the Speaker was a man with a unique vantage point to judge the President's culpability, because we now know the two men had a phone conversation on January 6th as the riot was happening.
Lawmakers who were briefed on the call afterward have told CNN that they were told McCarthy was pleading with the President to help against the rioters. But the former President told McCarthy quote, "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."
So it sounded like McCarthy was finally taking a stand there on January 13th against the former President or about -- against the then-President who he thought would soon be just a former President.
Well, just a week after his comments on the House floor, a different Kevin McCarthy emerged.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Leader McConnell has said that President -- former President Trump and other important people provoked those -- those folks to come to the Capitol. Do you believe that President -- former President Trump provoked?
MCCARTHY: I don't believe he provoked if you listened to what he said at the rally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, in one week, he went from saying the President bears responsibility to quote "I don't believe he provoked," and a week after that comment, McCarthy went to Mar-a-Lago to meet with then former President and there is no mistaking the meaning of this photo. He is all but kissing the former President's ring.
And that is what this current fight inside the Republican Party is about: loyalty. Not to a specific ideology or policies. No, loyalty to one man. And to show loyalty means pretending all the lies he spouts are true.
Congresswoman Cheney is apparently one of the few Republicans in Congress not afraid of the former President or at least not afraid to speak out for the truth. Senator Mitt Romney has also spoken out and like Cheney voted for the former President's impeachment. Here's how he was received this weekend at a Republican conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): Now, you know me as a person who says what he thinks and I don't hide the fact that I wasn't a fan of our last President's character issues.
[BOOING] (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The Senator barely survived a censure vote from that group not long after the booing finally stopped. But Congresswoman Cheney might not be so lucky when it comes to keeping her leadership position in the party.
A House Republican lawmaker voted in February to keep Congresswoman Cheney in position says that after speaking with colleagues, it's clear her support in the conference is waning.
In the face of that, Cheney again today spoke out and our Jamie Gangel joins us now with that breaking news.
So what more are you learning about what Congresswoman Cheney said today?
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: It's clear, Anderson, as you said, Liz Cheney is not afraid of Donald Trump. And what she did today was double down.
She basically said that this is about truth versus lies. This isn't even about the heart and soul of the Republican Party. For her, it is about saving democracy. And I just want to read what she said, quote: "We can't rebuild the party or the conservative movement on a foundation of lies.
We can't embrace the notion the election is stolen. It's a poison in the bloodstream of our democracy. We can't be a cult of personality. We can't whitewash what happened on January 6 or perpetuate Trump's big lie. It is a threat to democracy. What he did on January 6, is a line that cannot be crossed."
And I will tell you, Anderson, from what I'm learning, this is just the beginning. I think you will see Liz Cheney come out again this week, this month, this year. It is her -- when she voted for -- to impeach Donald Trump, she meant what she said and she is going to keep fighting and calling him out.
COOPER: It's so interesting, because clearly Kevin McCarthy, you know, has sensed the political winds shifting after he made that initial statement on January 13th. You know, by a week later, he had changed his tune. And then of course, he went down to Mar-a-Lago to try to, you know, document the moment on film.
So, is Liz Cheney, unaware of the political winds within the Republican Party? Or is she aware that there's more quiet support for her or she is simply making a stand for what she believes is the truth, whatever the consequences for her?
GANGEL: She is making a stand. She is very aware whether she loses her leadership post or loses her seat, she believes that democracy comes above politics. Let me just talk about Kevin McCarthy. My sources are telling me that
Kevin McCarthy is going after Liz Cheney, for one reason, and one reason only. He is trying to get back into Donald Trump's good graces because he wants to be Speaker of the House, and he thinks the only way there is to get Donald Trump fundraising and his political support. That's what this is about.
COOPER: And what is the likelihood of McCarthy calling for a vote among G.O.P. House members on Cheney's potential removal as a conference chair?
GANGEL: I think it's going to happen and it's likely that it will happen on May 12th at nine o'clock that morning. They have their Republican conference. I'm being told that either Kevin McCarthy will call for the vote, or he will get one of his allies to call for it.
But no question, he is orchestrating this move against Liz Cheney as a way to do Donald Trump's bidding.
COOPER: Jamie Gangel, fascinating reporting. Appreciate it.
Now, for perspective now from 'New York Times" columnist, Tom Friedman, author of "Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations," and tons of others bestseller and important books as well.
Tom, I mean, there are a lot of Democrats who maybe are watching right now, watching what's going on the Republican Party and think, great, let them fight amongst themselves.
You and I have talked about this before. This isn't just some internal Republican squabble, you said this actually matters for the future of our democracy.
THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": You know, Anderson, whenever people ask me how I feel these days, I give them an answer that almost sounds like English is my second language. I just say to them, country, not right. Country, not right.
Our country is not right.
And what Liz Cheney is doing, what Mitt Romney is doing, is standing up for our democracy. I think people are being lulled here in the very best way by Joe Biden doing a terrific job and dealing with vaccination, terrific job in getting the stimulus checks out. There's a sense out there that everything is okay.
Everything is not okay. Anderson, our democracy today is as threatened as at any time you know, since Donald Trump took that elevator ride. Why is that? Because something very gradually happened and then started to happen quickly, just in the last few weeks. And that is that basically subscribing to the big lie that this election was stolen has become a prerequisite now for thriving, surviving and rising in this Republican Party.
And what does that mean, Anderson? It means that this G.O.P. is going to be built on a gigantic lie.
Now, how could you possibly ever trust this party in power again? If the calling card of getting into this party is claiming that our last election, the greatest election, certainly in modern American history where more Republicans and Democrats voted in the middle of a pandemic, their votes were counted by their neighbors and Republican judges and election monitors affirmed their votes, the Attorney General of the United States, the F.B.I. Director, all appointed by Trump also confirmed the integrity of this election, that denying all of that and making the calling card of this party, that you have to subscribe to this big lie. That is terrifying.
Think of what would happen if they got back into power.
And therefore, what Liz Cheney is doing, what Mitt Romney is doing is they're not just fighting for the Republican Party, but they certainly are -- they are fighting for the future of our democracy. It is in so much more danger now than people realize.
COOPER: What's so interesting about what you're saying and scary about what you're saying is, I mean, it's in more danger -- if it's in as much danger as before, it's actually in more danger because as you said, most people have been lulled into a feeling of like, you know what, like the foot is off the gas pedal. We don't have crazy tweets every day. Things are moving along fine. We're optimistic about coming out of this pandemic.
But when you start to drill down, I mean, there was a CNN poll from April that found 70 percent of Republicans said they don't think President Biden legitimately won. And we know Republican legislatures -- dominant legislatures across the country are passing laws to limit voting access.
FRIEDMAN: Now, just imagine, for one second, Anderson, we have over 300 bills in over 40 states trying to basically promote voter suppression and limit access to the polls. Imagine if they succeed. Imagine if in 2022 or 2024, forty percent plus of the country elects our next President, and who dominates the Senate and the House?
You want to see people in the streets. I'll show you people in the streets, if we get real minority rule based on voter suppression. And again, that's why what Cheney and Romney are doing in trying to fight this, because that big lie is what is then giving permission for all these voter suppression legislations.
And something enormous is at stake here. And I think the reason people are being lulled is not only because of Biden's success and his calm. But it's that it actually happened really fast. It's happened like in the last couple of weeks, where everyone fell into line.
And people like Kevin McCarthy, their willingness to politically prostitute themselves, in order to, you know, get the Speaker of the House, it is breathtaking that someone would sell his soul. That, shamelessly is -- it is just chilling. Imagine if you would do that? What will they do once they're in power
to keep power? We are in real danger here.
COOPER: They are also selling their souls to a person, the former President, who has no loyalty, who has no shame, who has disdain for these very people who are traveling down to Mar-a-Lago to suck up to him?
FRIEDMAN: Well, again, that's part of the mystery here that there's only a few people, the Adam Kinzingers, the Mitt Romneys, the Murkowskis, you know, the Liz Cheneys who are ready to stand up and say, you know what, being in politics is great, being in the House or the Senate is great.
But surely, it isn't something we're selling your soul for, to go down in history, selling your soul to this man -- this soulless man who cares, nothing for the laws and Constitution of this country.
It is absolutely incomprehensible to me, but it is happening. And what I'm trying to say, Anderson has started to happen really quickly, just in the last few weeks, where what we thought was a big lie that would fade away. In fact, what's happened is it has become -- the embracing of that big lie has become the ticket into this party into Trump's -- and the future.
COOPER: So if it is a threat to democracy itself, what do Americans do about it, and to those who are -- who believe it is a threat?
FRIEDMAN: Every principled Republican, and there are so many we know because they stood up to defend this election. Every principal Republican has to rally to what Liz Cheney is doing. What she is doing is incredibly courageous.
And she clearly has decided she's going to politically die on this hill, okay. But this is -- she has taken a principled stand. Mitt Romney is a good man. He is taking a principled stand.
When he looked out at that audience in Utah last weekend, he said something very important. He said, "Aren't you embarrassed?" Aren't you embarrassed? Really? Aren't you ashamed at what you're doing?
We all have to help them. But Anderson, I want to take you back to post 9/11. And what was going on in the Middle East then, what was I arguing at the time about the Arab-Muslim world? You have to have a war of ideas. You have to have a war of ideas inside Islam. We cannot change it from the outside.
This is your story. This is your narrative.
And Republicans today need to have a war of ideas inside the Republican Party in order to make sure that that honest and fair -- and positions of integrity and people triumph because if they don't and they get back into power, we are in real danger.
I'm sorry, until they have this internal fight, and the only way to cure them of that is to keep them out of power until they do. [20:15:00]
COOPER: Well, also, I mean, Republicans used to actually be a party of ideas, whether one, you know, agreed with them or not, there were a lot of ideas floating around and arguments being made. There are anything but, I mean, certainly the former President, there are no ideas there. It is a cult of personality.
There is irony and what happened to them, or if you can call it that. Liz Cheney said all this behind closed doors to former Speaker Paul Ryan and Ryan obviously left politics because of the current climate. But he also sits on the board of FOX News, which has been months pushing the big lie. I mean, the point is, so few people are clean on this.
FRIEDMAN: Well, clearly this is a network with a party, not a party with a network, you know, and, you know, Rupert Murdoch and his son, Lachlan Murdoch, you know, they will have to answer to history for what they have allowed to go off on the airwaves from their network.
But you know, I just can't tell you how important this is, this moment. And I think -- and just how important it is that we support these people.
What Liz Cheney is doing, I think and I hope he is going to empower, enable and inspire other principled Republicans. We saw just before I went on the air, I was reading about George W. Bush now coming out and basically echoing what she is saying.
So I think the fight is finally, finally being engaged and God bless Liz Cheney for having the courage to stand up virtually alone in the beginning, her and Romney and I think you're going to see them find supporters now.
I think people will start to stand up people like Nikki Haleys and the Kevin McCarthys who have flipped-flopped and gone along with this shameful big lie, I think in the end, are really going to regret it. I sure hope so.
COOPER: Tom Friedman, appreciate it. Tom, thanks very much.
We're going to continue the conversation next with two Republican Party insiders, including a former Member of Congress. What is Congresswoman Cheney hoping to achieve and can she achieve it as the former President and his allies appear to hold the keys right now to the power in the House?
Also tonight, a famous attorney and defender the former President during his first impeachment is coming to the aid of Rudy Giuliani in the wake of that F.B.I. raid last week. Details when we continue.
COOPER: More on our breaking news, as our Jamie Gangel reported before the break, Congresswoman Liz Cheney is not letting up in her denunciations of the former President even though she faces a second possible attempt to remove her from leadership.
According to Jamie Gangel, the call for that vote could come in the morning of May 12th, nine days from now. She told a group of conservatives at her conference in Georgia today that the Republicans can't quote "whitewash" unquote January 6, nor perpetuate the big lie, quote, "It is a threat to democracy," she said.
Two perspectives now from inside the Republican Party, former Congressman Denver Riggleman of Virginia and Amanda Carpenter, former Communications Director for Senator Ted Cruz, and a CNN political commentator.
Amanda, if this comes down to the standing of Liz Cheney in perpetuating the big lie. I mean, it doesn't seem like the odds are very good for Cheney. Does the foundation of the Republican Party become a lie?
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, right now, it already is a lie. She is fighting to change that dynamic.
We had an incredible situation after the election, you had what 147 Members of Congress voting to object to Biden's election after the insurrection, 18 Attorneys Generals trying to cancel votes, dozens of conservative groups attempting to cancel votes through state legislatures. That is the dynamic Liz Cheney is trying to change.
The odds are clearly stacked against her. But what makes this so different are the stakes. She is a member of leadership making this argument. I don't think we've had that before, Anderson. We've had other people just kind of look at this landscape, throw up their hands and say, "I can't do anything about it."
Paul Ryan resigned, other senators resigned. We have people like Jeb Bush wouldn't even show up at conventions. But she is digging her heels in and making the argument to anybody that ask the question, and that question is not going away, whether they get rid of Liz Cheney in leadership or not.
COOPER: Yes, Paul Ryan resigned. He's on the board of Fox News now. Congressman Riggleman, I mean, like Liz Cheney, you also say the G.O.P. has become a party of one person, not a party policy. What do you think is going to happen in the short and long term now with, you know, the former President clearly still being the driving force in the Republican Party?
DENVER RIGGLEMAN (R), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I think in the short term, after 2022, I think you're going to see a lot of success. And, you know, Liz is out there screaming alone, Adam Kinzinger.
As you remember, Anderson, I did this last year and I know what it feels like to be alone. And the best analogy I have is you feel like a freshman with braces at a high school prom. I mean, you're just -- you're by yourself, and there's really nowhere to go. And when you're seeing polling that you're seeing right now, with
those who are still sort of attached to Stop the Steal, you get a little bit discouraged. And I think that's the issue that we have, instead of looking at facts, this has almost become a holy war, you know, where it's the belief or this irrational need to have some kind of idea that the election was stolen because it didn't match your parameters.
And now that you see the conference looking like it is starting to turn on, Liz, the only reason they would do that, Anderson, is polling. My guess is internal polling is showing that Liz isn't polling well and that's the only thing I could think of because, you know, Kevin just supported her not too long ago.
And so it looks like to me, there must be some kind of internal polling, the Republican leadership only reacts to polling. And that concerns me also because to have this kind of flip that fast, which isn't that, you know, rare right now in the Republican Party to flip your positions quickly, but it seems to me that there's something going on internally that's really been a red flag for the Republicans about Liz and all of a sudden, they have turned their messaging guns on Liz and I think it's a shame.
COOPER: And Amanda is this just, you know, fear of their own voters. I mean, fear of the loudest voices in the party who still support the President and that's what all these folks in Congress are just listening to?
CARPENTER: It is about fear. But I think it's really about something more pathetic. It's about a lack of a vision from anything different than Trump.
You have the people looking at the polling, and they don't have a better argument to make to those voters, than, hey, let's double down on the insurrection. I mean, to me, that is really just the bottom level of politics here.
This fight with Liz Cheney is not about policy. It's about doubling down in the election lie because all these people looked at the landscape and the aftermath of 2020, and they just said, we don't have a better idea. So we're just going to double down and stage a BS voting rights fight to try to restrict voting, to stop these people from coming back in 2024.
It is just a -- people cannot think of any other coalition to build so they just keep stripping people away. And so you know what, go ahead, try to win without the Liz Cheneys, the Mitt Romneys. I don't know, NASCAR, Major League Baseball. I mean, I don't know who is left in this tent, besides Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene; and Kevin McCarthy, if you want to go down that road, just give up the gavel because they hold the power anyway.
COOPER: Congressman, Riggleman, I mean, is this -- you know, Tom Friedman has talked about this as a threat to democracy. Certainly, Liz Cheney has said it is. Do you agree?
RIGGLEMAN: I agree. I mean, if you look forward, how are we going to have a policy discussion based on facts? Where do we go from here? And, you know, I had this argument with somebody actually, in a committee meeting, when I said, Listen, you know, we were talking about QAnon and I said, I'm telling you right now that there's not a Democratic cabal, you know, Satan worshipping, you know, child bloodsuckers. I said, that's ridiculous.
And they automatically as most of them said, Denver, you know, you're being paid by George Soros. You know, you're part of that. You're trying to change the sexual orientation of children.
And it's very difficult to have a discussion, you know, based on facts when that's the automatic belief and that belief isn't something that it's based on, on here, in the head. It's based in their heart. It's based on the fact that this is sort of Messianic that Donald Trump was blessed, that our country is blessed by God, and that again is what scares me.
Listen, we can be religious, but you know, we've got to come to a point that facts are facts and if we're always basing something on fantasy or feelings on or allowing this grift to continue because you know, it's all follow the money. And when we talk about Liz, when you listen to Amanda talk about what's happening with election integrity as a cover for Stop the Steal. If we continue to follow the money, we're going to see the polling relates to money.
She talked about Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz. Marjorie Taylor Greene raised $3.2 million last quarter. Matt Gaetz raises a hell of a lot of money.
So this is about money in polling. This isn't about the integrity of the message. It isn't about the future of the country. It's about winning right now. And I think that's the biggest threat as we don't have people that are public servants anymore.
COOPER: Amanda, how do you think this ends?
CARPENTER: I think this is -- it's going to be a long story. You know, I talk to people who are trying to figure out what to do, where Republicans like us fit in? Do we have a faction within the Republican Party? Do we work outside of it? And it's hard to work with moderate Democrats.
And all of us that look at this to say, this isn't a one year thing. It's not a two-year thing. This might be a generational thing, okay.
We're going to have to create new and different coalitions if the Republican Party looks at people like Liz Cheney and Matt Gaetz, and chooses Matt Gaetz.
COOPER: Yes. Congressman Riggleman, Amanda Carpenter, I appreciate it. Thank you. To be continued.
Next up, will Rudy Giuliani go to court in an effort to prevent Federal prosecutors from accessing items seized during the F.B.I. raid on his apartment and office? He believes the items are protected by his relationship with the former President. The latest on that, coming up.
COOPER: Attorney Alan Dershowitz who says he's acting as a legal adviser rather than a lawyer for Rudy Giuliani says he hopes the former president will join a court fight to try and block federal prosecutors from accessing material seized during an FBI raid on Giuliani's apartment in office. Dershowitz says Giuliani believes the seized items are protected by attorney client privilege.
Joining me now is CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen who was counseled to House Democrats during the first impeachment of the former president.
Ambassador Eisen, you wrote in a new column in USA Today, you said this is all a red flag for Trump and anyone else who followed his lead and playing fast and loose with the law. Haven't there been a lot of suppose that red flags before this I mean does this seem different to you and somewhere?
NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Anderson, thanks for having me back. The -- I understand folks who say, well, we've been hearing about Trump blowing through red lights for years, but there is a sense of acceleration now, around Giuliani. The thing that is different is that the President is no longer in office, there is no obstacle to his being prosecuted now. And I think both in this case, there's potential exposure, as well as in other prosecutions going on in New York, the New York DA Fulton County, Georgia.
So, I think President Trump's going to be in increasing peril now that he's out of the White House.
COOPER: So, in terms of attorney client privilege, what do you make of, you know, what Dershowitz is saying and Rudy Giuliani saying that he hopes the former President is going to go to court and try to block the government from looking at the seized material pertaining to him?
EISEN: Anderson, that won't work. The Southern District of New York has heard many of these cases before, including in the Cohen case. There was an unsuccessful attempt there by Mr. Cohen, in which President Trump, then President Trump joined to try to block the government from looking at the materials.
The case law in New York is that the government can look at them, the court might or might not decide to appoint a special master. But the privilege doesn't allow lawyers to participate in crimes. And that is what the Southern District of New York wants to look at was Giuliani doing criminal activity and did it involve President Trump, they're possibly looking for that as well.
COOPER: You were special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee for the first impeachment. How much do you believe a potential case against Giuliani would overlap with what Americans saw in her during the impeachment trial?
EISEN: Well, that is the million dollar question. That's probably one of the reasons that we have this extraordinary spectacle so rare of a raid on Mr. Giuliani's premises. The government is attempting to ascertain what other evidence Mr. Giuliani has about his own dealings with Ukraine or possibly the President.
The impeachment was focused on President Trump's shakedown of Ukraine. And we wrote in the impeachment report about the potential federal crimes, violations of the anti-bribery statute mail and wire fraud. Giuliani, we know was deeply involved in the President's dealings with Ukraine.
And I think we're going to find out is there any evidence in these devices, electronics that the government has seized, tying the president and Giuliani together?
COOPER: We should point out that there are, you know, it's understandable to have concerns about attorney-client privilege, there is a system in place where, you know, these things have been seized. They are then looked at by a separate team than the team doing the investigation to look at issues of attorney-client privilege, correct?
EISEN: That's correct, Anderson. It's been done hundreds and hundreds of times around the country, including in the Southern District of New York, which has one of the most active high profile federal criminal dockets in the land. And there is an established procedure for doing this, for protecting the privilege.
But some of those documents might turn out not to be privileged if they constitute evidence of the President, ex-president and his lawyer working together on illegal activity if we've got to see what's on there and we want to be cautious and not jump to conclusions.
COOPER: Norm Eisen, appreciate it. Thanks.
(voice-over): Up next, breaking news on the protests over the shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. in North Carolina. His family and friends gathered for his funeral, and his legal team continues to seek access to all the body cam video on the day that he was shot to death by sheriff deputies. You're going to hear from one of his attorneys Benjamin Crump, next.
COOPER: There's breaking news from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. At least three people have been arrested tonight during protests over the shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. The police chief says they were impeding traffic. This comes just hours after Brown's family and friends gathered at a church for his funeral and shared memories the 42-year-old father and grandfather. They continue to demand transparency and justice they save for Brown who was shot 12 days ago by sheriff's deputies. Body camera video from that day still hasn't been released to the public. Only two family members have been allowed to see a 22nd snippet of the video which family attorney said depicted and execution.
Benjamin Crump another attorney for the family spoke outside the church today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR ANDREW BROWN JR.'S FAMILY: It doesn't make any sense why the taxpayers will pay all this money to have uniforms retrofitted or body cam video, then when we need it most critically you say we're not going to release it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: By the time the shooting the arrest warrant, Brown was being served with was for possession of three grams of cocaine.
Joining me tonight is the attorney we just heard from Benjamin Crump. Mr. Crump We heard you at Mr. Brown's funeral calling for the release the body cam footage, what are you being told about when you and the family will be allowed to see the entire video?
CRUMP: Where at this point Anderson is like Reverend Al Sharpton said in his eulogy, it seems to be a shell game. They're saying that one brother can see the video footage from the four body cameras, and just one member of our legal team who's bought in the state of North Carolina.
However, they won't show it to all of his family members, his other children, his sisters and brothers. And it's such a terrible game to play with his family at the -- they shot him and justifiably in the back of his head.
I believe if they want to try to build trust, Anderson Cooper, they need to be transparent. But apparently the District Attorney Womble does not want to build trust.
COOPER: What do you think the strategy is by the district attorney to limit the showing of just to one family member, one attorney?
CRUMP: You know, it's asinine Anderson because it seems to be that they're trying to figure out a way to sweep it under the rug. But right now, the whole world is watching Elizabeth City, North Carolina because we've seen all the objective evidence of the fact that his car hit a tree that is about 15 feet from where they live in and shot a bullet in a neighbor's home. And you're saying that they're just shooting recklessly?
I mean, in the video is going to show that Anderson, why is it they continue to shoot black people from the back when we are going away from them? It's one of the most cowardly, not to mention the most unjustifiable things you could do to a person. COOPER: So if they're trying to limit the video to just one family member, one attorney that certainly seems to indicate they have no intention, at least of now of publicly releasing that video.
CRUMP: Exactly. And I keep saying that, they're going to have to release it eventually. And unless they tamper with the video is going to be seeing it's not going to change. So why won't they release the video of them killing Andrew Brown? What are you trying to hide? The truth is going to come out. A lot can not live forever. And that seems to be their issue. They want to perpetuate this fallacy that they didn't do anything wrong.
We know Stevie Wonder can say that they did something wrong because if they had and they would have already released a video.
COOPER: So will you agree to have one family member and one attorney, look at the video?
CRUMP: We're regrettably that is what the judge has ruled. They have also agreed in 30 to 45 days, they will revisit the issue where the you and the public can finally see this video. The longer they delay the release of this video, the more attention is going to be bought to this small town in North Carolina, where Andrew Brown is the latest black man who was executed by the police unjustifiably.
COOPER: CNN is reporting that the Brown family wants the local district attorney to recuse himself from the case. What -- why is that?
CRUMP: Because he has demonstrated that he seems to be bias that he does not stand for transparency and accountability. And so, the family wants to have the North Carolina Attorney General take over the case, as was the case in Minnesota with George Floyd. And we're asking for the Department of Justice to start a federal investigation into this matter.
COOPER: Your -- what is your reaction to decision by the sheriff's office to return for their deputies involved in the shooting to act of duty?
CRUMP: You know, underscores this whole shell game, this whole game of charades Anderson Cooper, where they said they had to blur out the officers faces to protect their identity, and then they return them back to work and release their identity.
You know, they will never ever build trust with the communities of color if they continue to play these games when they kill us. And were our blood splattered on the street. And they won't give the taxpayers the exact thing that they pay for which is transparency when they have all of the police uniforms retrofitted with body cam videos.
Anderson, why would they not show us the videos that the taxpayers paid all this money for?
COOPER: Benjamin Crump, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
CRUMP: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER (voice-over): Well up next exclusive look at how migrants risk risking lives and relying on human smugglers crossing the border and getting into the U.S.
COOPER: Tonight, extraordinary footage from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a city just crossed the border from El Paso, Texas. CNN correspondent Matt Rivers and his team met with and followed so-called polleros or human smugglers and captured the moment when they smuggled two migrants into the U.S. It's video rarely seen from this perspective from the migrant's point of view.
Human smuggling is of course, a crime, but we want it to document the process because it's part of the reality of what's happening the border every single day. And what could be lost and all the numbers is exactly how so many migrants actually arrive here using smugglers can be a terribly dangerous journey that hundreds of thousands of people are still willing to take part to come to the U.S.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As long as there's been a border wall, people have tried to climb it up from Mexico down to the U.S., hoping for something better on the other side. Today, one such attempt starts here in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, we watched from afar as to men carry a makeshift ladder toward a car, lashing it to the side.
These are polleros or human smugglers who help cross migrants who pay them to get into the United States. Today, the smugglers had told us to be in this neighborhood at a certain time. If they had migrants to cross, they told us we could follow them, but would not tell us exactly when or where this would take place.
After we arrive though, we're told they would indeed try to cross two migrants currently in the backseat of that car. And so, the car takes off driving just a stone's throw from the border wall and El Paso, Texas on the other side. Further up the road the car slows, and a minute later, the trio heads toward the wall as we follow behind.
This smuggler has never allowed cameras to trail him before. After months of repeated requests, he agreed to have only myself and a local producer following only recording on our cell phones, knowing our presence could increase his chances of getting caught. Trying to cross the wall here is extremely dangerous.
(on-camera): So right now, they're just making their way slowly towards the wall. They're crawling clearly trying to avoid anyone who might be on the border dragging us to go up and over the wall. This is a difficult track here, no question. (voice-over): It's slow progress on their hands and knees and a bit further on they catch their breath. So, we had about 30 seconds to talk with the migrants. They allowed CNN to record them only if we hid their identities, a young man and woman 18 and 20 years old.
Originally from Ecuador, they say they paid various smugglers thousands of dollars each to bring them to this point. They told us they're hoping to eventually find work in South Texas.
This is the last step of the journey tens of thousands of people make every year risking their lives and their freedom migrating to the U.S. with the help of smugglers. Smugglers who are often accused of everything from sexual abuse to extortion, some taking terrible advantage of the vulnerable migrants they purport to help.
And some of those migrants are children as record numbers of unaccompanied minors have been headed north recently many from Central America. Some make it to the U.S. and others get caught by Mexican officials and end up in government run shelters like this one. Either way, it's likely their families paid smugglers to bring them here. Officials at this shelter say about three quarters of the kids here were smuggled a horrifically dangerous trip.
The shelter psychologist says they can be raped, they can be robbed, they can be extorted, they can die on the journey. This 14-year-old girl says she was smuggled from Guatemala and that along the journey passed from smuggler to smuggler, the threat of rape was always there, at times crowded into a van with many others. She felt like she couldn't get enough air.
We couldn't make any noise. She says they would only open up these little windows for a bit and then they would close them. It felt like you were choking.
Human smuggling like this is often run by loosely organized groups, but sometimes and especially in Mexico, experts say there is a big role played by organized crime.
(on-camera): The cartels that operate so freely here, smugglers bringing people North either worked directly for those cartels or they work independently, but they have to pay the cartels for the right to move through certain territories.
VICTOR MANJARREZ, FMR BORDER PATROL EL PASO SECTOR CHIEF: Human smuggling is a multi-million dollar industry. And I would venture to guess that it's approaching a billion dollar industry.
RIVERS (voice-over): Former Border Patrol El Paso Sector Chief Victor Manjarrez says some cartels have used that money to create wide reaching sophisticated smuggling networks.
MANJARREZ: And it's almost like a Fortune 500 company dealing with their supply chain. RIVERS (voice-over): And at the very end of that chain, smugglers like these, the men that we would later follow to the wall. They say they work for La Linea, an armed wing of the Juarez cartel. Each migrant they cross pays the cartel roughly $2,000 a staggering sum for most migrants that often leaves them penniless. The smugglers say the cartel gives them a small cut for performing what they call a service.
We try to help them he says people come and ask for help kids, women, men, we support them. But this isn't some selfless act. They get paid for this. And they are part of a system where rape, extortion, kidnapping, and even murder are rampant. We don't do that, he says we're all humans, they want to arrive safely. We don't harm them. We give them food and water and help them cross, other people may hurt them. But we don't.
We of course have no way to know if he's telling the truth. But he says for him, this is a family affair. He works with his brother and even his 14-year-old nephew, they all smuggle people, the 14-year-old shows me one of the ladders they use.
RIVERS (voice-over): Now when he cross these kids over the wall, some his own age or even younger, he does it another way.
He says, I tie a thick rope around their bellies and lower them down so they don't fall. His uncle says without them two migrants, like the ones that we follow through the desert who want to get to the U.S. wouldn't be able to. We watch as they hook their ladder over the border wall fence.
The young man goes first. Once he's down, he runs. And the young woman then follows. Once up and over, she hits the ground and races off as well. We can't watch where she goes because the smuggler tells us we've got to go.
(on-camera): I have to run back from the fence obviously, because the smuggler were still afraid of getting caught. But for him, it was a successful mission.
(voice-over): But for the two people that just crossed their journey is far from over. It's mainly desert on that side of the wall. And they didn't really seem to have a plan. The smuggler told us he had no idea what happened to them after they went over. Those two migrants managed to get in. But for many, that's not the case.
A few days later, we were filming something else on the border when we noticed something.
RIVERS (voice-over): More people desperate to cross a woman and three young children make a break for the wall. Here though the actual border is just the Rio Grande more of a stream really, one by one holding hands, they make their way and once they've crossed they're in the U.S., but then comes the wall, a towering steel presence between them and where they want to be. Border Patrol detain them a few minutes later.
COOPER: And Matt, do we know what role if any Mexican authorities are playing in this kind of smuggling?
RIVERS: You know, Anderson, the first time we tried to go to the smugglers house to interview them we weren't able to because outside were three different law enforcement vehicles from a couple different kinds of police and also the country's national guard. The smugglers told us later that they had arrived at that point to collect what they call their semi regular bribe of roughly $2,500. And then they let the smugglers do what they do.
All the agencies involved told CNN that bribery is unacceptable but corruption continues to be a problem in Mexico. It's been a problem for decades and Anderson there's little to no doubt that in some way, the state is at least looking the other way when it comes to the, you know, facilitating smuggling like this in Mexico.
COOPER: Matt Rivers, appreciate the report. Thank you. The news continues. Let's hand over Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris.