Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Bill Cosby Released From Prison After Conviction Overturned; Condo Collapse Death Toll Rises To 18, Two Victims Were Children Aged Four And 10; House Dems Approve Insurrection Probe, Just Two GOP Agree; Sources: NY Grand Jury Returns Criminal Indictments Expected Against Trump Org. And Its CFO; Anti-Defamation League: Anti-Semitic Incidents At "Near Historic Levels". Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 30, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: A very busy night, every House Republican but two voting against a select committee to investigate the January 6th attack. Criminal charges expected tomorrow against Donald Trump's company and one of his top corporate soldiers, longtime Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg.
The death toll climbing in the Surfside, Florida apartment collapse as more bodies are found in the rubble. And sadly, the number now includes children.
John Berman here in for Anderson.
There is all of that and then there's this: Bill Cosby out of prison, back home tonight after Pennsylvania's Supreme Court overturned his conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.
Now, he did not speak at a brief news conference today, but he did say this to ABC News about his prosecution and trial.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BILL COSBY, ACTOR: And nobody had the sense to say, wait one second. This doesn't match up with the truth. This is not what I was taught in college, this is not what I was taught at home, et cetera et cetera.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BERMAN: So, it's unclear precisely what Cosby is referring to there. However, if he is suggesting the court freed him because he did not do what he was convicted of doing, that's not the case.
The ruling hinged on due process and a promise that the local DA made at the time, Bruce Castor. Bruce Castor says he made that promise, a kind of criminal immunity for Cosby in exchange for him testifying in a civil case. Cosby did testify in that civil case and years later, a different prosecutor brought charges and used that testimony against him. The court said this violated his constitutional protection against
self-incrimination, which of course came as a tremendous blow to Andrea Constand and more than 50 other women alleging abuse dating back to the 1970s.
In a moment, we'll be joined by one of those accusers.
First, CNN's Jason Carroll is near the Cosby home just outside Philadelphia. Jason, what's the scene like tonight? You know, what's the scene like tonight?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now well, much different than how it was just a few hours ago, as you can imagine, outside of the Cosby's home. There were -- as soon as word came out, John, that the Supreme Court had made this decision to vacate Cosby's sentence, some of his supporters started coming out here, and his detractors as well. Those people who were supporting the accusers were out here as well being very vocal. So, we had both sides out here.
What became most interesting, obviously, is when Cosby himself came out with his attorneys, with those who have stood by him, his attorneys basically saying that the conviction was really more about politics, and the court of public opinion.
Of course, we were all waiting to hear what Cosby was going to have to say when he stood outside his home here a little while ago, he did not speak. He held up the peace sign, he walked back into his home, but at around six o'clock, he tweeted. I want to read you what he said.
He said: "I've never changed my stance, nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters, and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law."
Also, John, his attorney says what happened out here today, vacating the sentence was a victory, not only for Cosby, but they say a victory for all those who have been wronged by the legal system.
BERMAN: Jason, things moved so fast today. Is Cosby now out of legal jeopardy, or could he still face criminal or civil charges in a different court?
CARROLL: Well, it's a good question. And if you listened to what the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court was saying, one part of their decision was crystal clear, it said, he must be discharged and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred.
So essentially, that that is saying in terms of criminal prosecution, if anyone was going to try to do that, it would have to be something that falls within the statute of limitation, many of these allegations are from the mid-70s and later. And in addition to that, it would have to be something different from the case that was just presented.
So, in terms of criminal prosecution, I think a lot of legal experts would say it's done. It's over. But in terms of civil prosecution, Cosby is still facing, for example, a case out in California of a woman who is alleging that Cosby sexually assaulted her when she was 15 at the "Playboy" Mansion back in 1974.
So, that case out there in California, that civil case can still go forward, but in terms of criminal prosecution, it seems like it's pretty much done.
BERMAN: So Jason, I'm going to speak to one of Bill Cosby's accusers in just a moment, but generally speaking, what's the reaction been so far?
CARROLL; Well, you know, people say, oh, it's been mixed, but that truly is what it's been like out here in Cosby's neighborhood where you've got people who have been basically feeling as though Cosby was wronged, who feel as though this was something that was long overdue.
CARROLL: But there are a lot of people out here, some folks out here from the #MeToo Movement who really felt as though this was a miscarriage of justice. I spoke to one woman just very quickly, she came out here. She was very vocal, very angry. Once she saw Cosby out here, she started crying, and said this was just not our day -- John.
BERMAN: Jason Carroll on the scene, thank you very much.
So, if ever a court decision called for more discussion, this is clearly it. Joining us two former Federal prosecutors, CNN legal analyst, Shan Wu and CNN senior legal analyst, Laura Coates.
Laura, you, you've had a chance to process now the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision. Do you think it is reasonable or unreasonable purely from a legal perspective?
LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: On a legally procedural basis, their decision was actually reasonable. But of course, we can't look at it in a vacuum, can we? We know that there is the emotion. We know about the silencing of voices of victims of sexual assault. We know about the notion of this being the first case in the #MeToo movement to actually be prosecuted and for a verdict to be rendered.
And the Supreme Court in Pennsylvania never said that Bill Cosby was innocent. They did not address the substance of the factual allegations, or did they say -- nor did they say that the prosecutors in that case failed to meet their burden of proof. The jury found him guilty.
What they did say, however, was that look, a deal is a deal. And it wasn't Bruce Castor, in his personal capacity that created and executed this deal that effectively immunized Bill Cosby. He did it in his public capacity on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. And for that reason, even though another prosecutor came in to handle the case, the Commonwealth itself would still be bound.
And so this court was saying, look, the deal stands as is, it has greater implications, of course. The notion that it was a bait and switch -- they used that language -- to suggest that anybody who is going to rely on the statements of a prosecutor only to have the rug pulled out underneath them later on, it would probably undermine the integrity of those agreements.
But of course, when it comes to specific facts in this case, we know why it's so controversial. We know all the stakes involved. We know that although this case involved one named victim, we know the allegations made by dozens, upwards of 50 others, and so this is a very visceral reaction from so many people.
But on the idea of whether a prosecutor's deal must be bound and honored by prosecutors, they made the right call there.
BERMAN: And to be clear, this court did not question whether or not the events took place. But Shan, when you go back and look at this trial, remembering what was going on in 2018, did you see any red flags back in 2018?
SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I did. And you know, let me share Laura's position that this is a devastating blow. I mean, we have both tried sex offense cases. There's nothing worse to put a survivor through this and then have the conviction overturned.
I saw the red flags because in the first trial, which was a mistrial, they only let in one so-called other crimes evidence. The second time around, when they got the conviction, the Judge without laying a very good record put in a lot of other crimes evidence, and there was this issue of what kind of deal had really been cut by Castor.
This is a lesson for prosecutors, something we all learn, you can't just win the conviction, you have to protect it, and that effort to protect it starts a long time before the appeal. This was something they knew about. They needed to really vet and anticipate this. And that's something that it looks like they didn't do.
And I don't like this decision, but I agree with Laura, it is legally a defensible position. And really my question is, why wasn't this case tried in 2005? And I think we know the reason for that.
BERMAN: Well, that is the big question here, right? Bruce Castor, who made this deal with Cosby that said, if you testify in this civil trial, there will be no criminal charges brought against you. He was the guy who decided not to bring the criminal charges. You know, Laura, how unusual is that kind of deal?
COATES: Well, look, prosecutors everyday make this sort of cost benefit analysis, it is all about the burden of proof. Remember, we're talking about a case that is illustrative of so many others. We're talking about delayed reporting or sexual assault cases in general.
You've got the idea, but he said she said without other physical evidence to corroborate or substantiate the claims. That does not mean it did not happen, but it is a consideration for a prosecutor to know whether they can meet their burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt in the criminal context.
Oftentimes, they will maybe suggest or perhaps there was private conversation about the fact that there is a lower burden of proof in the criminal context. It's not the beyond a reasonable doubt. It's preponderance of evidence. It's a lower threshold.
My understanding is that Bruce Castor at the time did not believe they had enough to meet their burden of proof criminally, and so offered this immunity as a way of allowing Andrea Constand to have the benefit of a deposition of Bill Cosby.
COATES: Remember, he would not have made any statements in a deposition if he believed he prosecuted based on those statements later on. We all know that phrase -- in law and order, right? Anything you say can or will be used against you in a court of law.
But for that immunity, he would not perhaps have made those statements, so we're in a catch 22 here. The prosecutors in the new trial would not have been able to use that evidence against him had he not said it.
But the Supreme Court said essentially, look, it's not whether Bill Cosby should have been acquitted. They did not say that. The question is whether he should have been tried at all based on that particular agreement. And we see the cost benefit analysis of somebody like Bruce Castor, and weighing whether he thought he could then meet his burden of proof. We saw ultimately, the jury thought you could.
BERMAN: And Shan, the fact is, as you said at the beginning, for the more than 50 women who have come out with accusations against Bill Cosby, this stinks, right? This stinks. They're seeing this play out before their eyes. And do they -- legally, it may be sound, but do they have any recourse at this point?
WU: I don't think they really do. On the criminal front, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was clear as day saying that it's over. I just don't really see any further recourse. And you know, one thing I'm going to slightly differ with Laura on, is I am second guessing Castor's decision back in 2005.
I think he should have stayed out of this, whatever it was, immunity or not. A criminal prosecutor decides -- do I charge criminally or not? If he didn't want to charge, that's fine. He shouldn't have done any other kinds of arrangement because that ultimately is what doomed this case.
COATES: And just we're clear, I want to say to Shan, to support you, just so you're clear, I do not suggest that Bruce Castor made the correct decision, but it is a balancing of what he -- I know prosecutors do. But ultimately, the jury found that there was enough evidence. Imagine had it been tried back when it was first brought to the prosecutor's office in 2004? Where would we be now? Probably a conviction still.
BERMAN: Laura Coates, Shan Wu, again, thank you both.
Joining us now is Patricia Leary Steuer, who says that Bill Cosby assaulted her on two occasions, first in 1978, and then two years later. Cosby has offered -- had offered to mentor her in her pursuit of a singing career. Patricia, thank you so much for being with us again. We talked to you back during the initial trial. What's your reaction tonight now that Bill Cosby is a free man?
PATRICIA LEARY STEUER, COSBY ACCUSER: Well, I'm sad, and I'm feeling like this is a loss for me and for the other women who came forward. There were more than 63 of us who came forward in the end. I'm wondering what the purpose was at the 43 years of this ordeal and the trauma, the trauma that I had, and the trauma that my family endured as a result.
And I'm comforted that we did the best we could because we came forward and told the truth. In the end, that was the only power we had in this situation.
I'm also angry that the laws and the system is devised in such a way that it favors powerful and wealthy people, in this particular instance, a powerful and wealthy man, and that needs to change.
BERMAN: Do you worry that this decision will discourage other sexual assault survivors from coming forward?
STEUER: It took me 25 years to come forward, John, because the people I asked about coming forward said no one would believe me and these are people that loved me and cared about me. But his public image was such that they didn't believe it would make any difference.
And I lived with great resignation and despair about that, and I know other sexual assault survivors do as well. I hope this won't discourage people. It's a message of -- it is a discouraging message to sexual assault survivors. I hope it won't, because in the end, all you can do is come forward and tell the truth.
And you can be that standard bearer for other women in this case. I'm not going to speak about the men and the #MeToo Movement. I know there were men involved, but I'm going to speak about the women because that's who I am.
Come out speak, stand in truth about this. Be counted. Your voice matters.
BERMAN: It took tremendous courage for you to come out when you did and your truth is your power.
I want to get your reaction to what Bill Cosby ended up saying tonight in a tweet he said, "I've never changed my stance or my story. I've always maintained my innocent. Thank you to all my fans, supporters, and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law." That's Bill Cosby's statement. How does that make you feel?
STEUER: I think because of the technicalities and what the other attorneys have said on your show, this was a correct decision because of the technical legal reasons involved. Regarding his innocence, I know the truth, the other 62 women and Andrea Constand know the truth. We had no desire to be in the spotlight for this reason, believe me
when I say that to you. This is not a reason a woman would want to be in the spotlight, the public spotlight, and he has maintained his innocence as he says, but really, I believe he is quite deluded that he's had a compulsion to do this for a very long time. We're talking about five decades worth of women.
And he has always maintained and so has Mrs. Cosby that this was all consensual. It was not consensual to be drugged and assaulted.
BERMAN: Patricia Leary Steuer, again, I know you will continue to use your truth as an example to others. I appreciate you coming on tonight and speaking to us. Thank you.
STEUER: Thank you.
BERMAN: Still to come tonight, we have a lot of breaking news, including some tragic news in the search and rescue message in the condo collapse in Florida. And two new videos, one captured minutes before the collapse.
Also today's nearly unified effort by Republican lawmakers to close their eyes to what happened on January 6th, what their vote against a select committee to investigate says and what that committee could actually do.
Plus, what we know about the charges expected tomorrow against the Trump Organization and Donald Trump's top financial executive for three decades.
BERMAN: More breaking news now on the deadly collapse of the condo in Surfside, Florida. Much of it breaking in just the past few hours, a day ahead of President and First Lady Biden's visit and as a potential tropical cyclone threatens the search and rescue efforts.
Authorities say they've uncovered two more bodies today, bringing the total dead to 18 and 145 unaccounted for. Also announced that among the dead we know now, are children, ages four and 10.
Miami-Dade's mayor said any loss of life is a tragedy, but the loss of children is a weight too great to bear.
That news came shortly after we learned about another victim uncovered today, 92-year-old Hilda Noriega specifically that she was found with rosaries on her body. That's according to her priest, who suggests she may have been saying a rosary during the collapse.
He describes Hilda Noriega as a feisty woman who was very independent.
Also new leads tonight on the investigations into the collapse, which may soon include a Federal probe expected to be announced shortly. We have two videos we want to show you now. The first comes from a couple staying in a nearby hotel. It's difficult to make out exactly what's going on, but it does appear to show water gushing into the underground garage, also debris minutes before the collapse.
The wife says she became alarmed after hearing our large crash and seeing pieces of concrete on the ground. This was in an area inspector said in a 2018 report needed repairs, warning the pool slab above the garage had major structural damage.
The other video tonight from 2018, showing water leaking from a pipe in the garage. It was provided to CNN by an attorney for residents suing Champlain Towers South Condo Board. We should point out CNN does not know the conditions surrounding the leak or the video or if and how the building responded to the complaint. It is not known if issues raised in the video played in any part in last week's collapse.
Right now, as we've done every night, we want to focus on the families of those unaccounted for. I'm joined by Ashley Dean, whose sister is among those. Her sister, Cassie Stratton was on the phone with her husband when the building collapsed. She told her husband according to "The Miami Herald" that she saw a sinkhole open up where the pool used to be.
Ashley, I'm so sorry to be talking to you under these circumstances. I've been on site all week. I know how difficult this is, particularly for the families. I just want to know how you and yours are doing tonight.
ASHLEY DEAN, SISTER OF CASSIE STRATTON WHO IS UNACCOUNTED FOR: You know, we're just trying to really hold ourselves together. We are in an absolute state of shock. We just have a hard time processing what's actually happening and that it's happening to us.
And, you know, we just fear that she is gone, and, you know, it's really -- it's really hard to swallow right now.
BERMAN: I know how hard it is, particularly because this just isn't supposed to happen. Buildings aren't supposed to fall down like this in America. I know, Cassie was on the phone with her husband, Michael at the time of the collapse. What more do you know about this conversation?
DEAN: Yes, it's my understanding that yes, he called her husband at 1:30 a.m. Miami time and told him that the pool was collapsing, that the ground was shaking and cracking. And it's my understanding that she, you know, let out a very loud scream and the phone went dead.
BERMAN: That had to be very hard to hear. I can't imagine getting a phone call like that.
DEAN: Yes, it was very hard to hear that that would be -- yes, sir. And it was very hard to know that that was my sister's last words and just the terrifying moments that she endured in those last moment before you know it -- before and while it was collapsing.
You know, I have Cassie on Find My Friend and I could always click on at any time and know where she was at any time of the day, and usually I would click on it at night just to make sure that she was home and I did the same for her daughter, Ariana, and my daughter, Dakota.
DEAN: And I usually only would look at night and for some reason that day, on Wednesday, I had looked at her location during the day and she was doing her regular thing that she does, shopping at the Bal Harbour, and when I looked later on that night, I just kept trying to make it find her and it just kept spinning and spinning saying no location found, and it just tore my soul apart.
BERMAN: I'm so sorry. I mean, tell me more about Cassie. I know you have a special relationship and have for decades. I mean, you lost -- you lost your own twin sister in 1991, which I think brought you even closer to Cassie, just tell me about Cassie.
DEAN: Yes. Well, you know, after my sister, Kim, passed away, my mom was having a hard time taking care of us in a sense of being present, then so I took on the role of taking care of Cassie, putting ponytails in her hair, getting her to the school bus.
You know, Cassie was always a big dreamer and she was going to live in New York, and she was going to be a model and an actress. And, you know, she was always a very star struck young lady. And, you know, Cassie lived a lot of her dreams.
She was a model. She did have some parts in a couple of movies. She loved the limelight. She was very, very vivacious, and she just had a zest for life, and it pains me that she lost her life for no reason.
BERMAN: She sounds like a terrific sister. She really does. Sounds like a wonderful sister.
DEAN: She was a beautiful, beautiful person. And she -- she was the best baby sister. And, you know, I mourn for her as a daughter, you know, because I took care of her so long and mourn for her as my baby sister and I mourn for her that she was my best friend.
BERMAN: Just very quickly, what kind of information are you getting from officials? How are they keeping you updated?
DEAN: Well, I have a link to the Zoom meetings every morning and every evening. I've had a hard time being in communication with my mom, and my niece, and my brother-in-law due to the cell phone towers being clogged. And you know, they just don't have any service.
So, that's been really hard not being able to reach out to my family and tell my mom how much I love her and that I'm here for her and tell my niece, that nana is here for her, and to tell my brother-in-law that I'm here for him.
And so I think that's been a difficult part of my own processing because I was down in Miami, but I wasn't doing well. And so I thought I would be better at home. And so, you know, I've left a lot of those services behind and I have not been able to get some of the services that I truly need here and I've been alone. So, it's been really hard with all of my closest family in Miami and
of course, not being able to find my baby sister has been very, very hard on me.
BERMAN: I'm sure, Ashley, I hope they're all watching so they know how much you care and how much you're thinking about them. We appreciate you being with us and know that we're thinking about you tonight. Thank you.
DEAN: Thank you so much. Thank you.
BERMAN: Earlier today, Surfside's Mayor discussed the conversation he has had with family of loved ones still unaccounted for. The families, he said, we're particularly interested whether the dogs were being used as part of the search and rescue mission. They are, he said in our quote, "very, very active," even during these tough weather conditions we mentioned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CHARLES BURKETT, SURFSIDE, FLORIDA: An interesting question that came up in our conversation was whether or not the winds in the rain are inhibiting the dogs and the handlers told me no. The dogs are not inhibited.
As a matter of fact, they practice and they pick up cents from great distances and the winds actually just apparently the dogs are able to follow the scents to the destination, so that was good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: 360's Randi Kaye spent time with several dogs and their handlers involved in rescue effort and has their story.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): These K-9 search and rescue teams have just finished up a 12-hour shift searching for survivors in the rubble pile where Champlain Towers South once stood.
Families are counting on these dogs to help find loved ones. Bodie, Zoe, Stone, Gunner, and the others are all part of Florida Task Force One. They are built for this sort of delicate work.
PJ PARKER, FLORIDA TASK FORCE 1, BOHDI'S HANDLER: The dogs are the way they move across the rubble. They're very agile. They distribute their weight with four different paws they don't hesitate like humans do. So it's much safer for them to move across the rubble. They don't displace rubble, so they won't create further damage to the victim if there's a further collapse.
KAYE (voice-over): And when disaster strikes, their keen sense of smell gives them another great advantage over their human handlers. The team says dogs have as many as 300 million smell receptors in their noses, compared to about 6 million in humans. That sense of smell helps direct search crews where to look saving them precious time on the rubble pile.
FRANK GARCIA, FLORIDA TASK FORCE 1, ZOE'S HANDLER There's obviously not to say X marks the spot. Their job is to say, hey, this is where we need to start looking. This is where we strive to start our search. And that's where we bring in our tech search guys who will help to pinpoint. I know (INAUDIBLE), she's excited, my apologies.
She -- they will then work to pinpoint. And after that -- after that the tech, the technical cert -- the technical rescue guys will then bring the victim up.
KAYE (voice-over): On the pile, there are two types of dogs, those trained to find people who are still alive and those looking to help recover bodies. Both types of dogs alert their handlers by barking a lot. We ask them to show us how it's done.
MEGHAN WASHLOW, FLORIDA TASK FORCE 1, GUNNER'S HANDLER: I'm going to release my dog from up here. He's going to go search for Riley.
KAYE (voice-over): Team Member Riley Edgar is hiding behind some bushes. Watch how quickly this pup gunner sniffs him out.
WASHLOW: Dog coming. Search. Good job, buddy. That's a good boy. When you ready to let him win. Yes, bud, good job you found him. This way. Here, come here. Oh, that's a good job.
KAYE (voice-over): The dogs do it for the praise. And the toy they get as a reward. They have no idea lives are at stake, or that every minute counts.
JOHN LONG, FLORIDA TASK FORCE 1, STONE'S HANDLER: Everything we do is for the toy. So they think it's just a big game, you know, as price right and then (INAUDIBLE).
KAYE (voice-over): The key is teaching the dog to ignore other distractions that may be in the rubble.
WASHLOW: Will hide different clothes, cat food, high item, high reward items, cat food, meats, stuff like that to make sure that they know not to alert on those that only they're only alerting people.
KAYE (voice-over): Despite the 12-hour shift, handlers say the dogs never tire of the work, they often have to pull them off the pile and make them rest before their shift starts all over again.
KAYE: And John just getting back to their noses. One team member put it to me this way when you and I would walk into a bakery, we might smell chocolate and vanilla cake, a dog walks in and smells all the layers of flour, butter, milk, eggs in that cake. So that's how critical they are to be working on the pile. That's how important it is for these families to have them there, John.
BERMAN: Really amazing to see them at work. Randi Kaye, thanks so much for that.
Next, Alaska Democratic congressman about how he feels knowing that only two of his Republican counterparts support a select committee to investigate the attack that threatened all of them, Democrat and Republican alike on January 6.
Also breaking news on charges against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, one of the former president's closest confidence.
BERMAN: Just two Republican House members decided today that it's a good idea for them to investigate the single worst attack on American democracy by Americans since the Civil War. There were police officers attack that day, one later died.
With some of those police officers and the mother of fallen Officer Brian Sicknick while he gone, just two Republicans, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming voted today with 220 Democrats to set up a select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection.
Joining us now one of the Democrats who voted yes, Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado.
Congressman, you took cover in the House gallery during that insurrection. What message does it send that only two Republicans voted to establish the select committee to investigate what put you there?
REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): Yes, good evening, John. Thanks for having me. I mean, it's extremely disappointing. There's really no other way to put it. And I guess there was another way to put it, but I'm not going to say it on TV here tonight. And it's unfortunate that I'm getting used to being disappointed by the GOP colleagues in the House.
But what I can say is it doesn't actually change anything in terms of what we have to do what our obligation is. But I've always said since day one, that our oath and our obligations and our commitment to public safety, are committed to democracy. Our commitment to rule of law is not dependent on the actions of others. So we know what we have to do. We are clear eyed, we are disciplined, we are focused, and we'll get it done.
BERMAN: Most Republicans voted against the Independent Commission, the bipartisan independent commission, now all but to voted against the select committee. What are they afraid of?
CROW: Well, I think they're afraid of the truth. They're afraid of losing elections. They're afraid of the consequences of what voters will do if they know what happened, and who enabled it. And frankly, they shouldn't be afraid of that. Because the truth doesn't look very good. The truth isn't going to help them win at the ballot box, because the
truth is, Joe Biden won the election. The truth is, the big lie is just that. It's a big lie. The truth is, these conspiracy theories are wrong. And they're dangerous, and they undermine our democracy. They're toxic to our rule of law. They're toxic to our Democratic process. That's the proof.
And that's why we're going to have a select committee actually fully fleshed that out. And those officers gone you mentioned in your lead in here. Those officers that fought bravely over 140 that were brutally beaten by that mob, one who died it was injuries and other ones who took his life in the days after the attack. I have -- I've actually become very close to some of those officers.
I called one of the day after the insurrection. And I talked to him and he broke down in tears on the phone with me. And he said, sir, I fought for an hour, I fought for an hour in the crowd finally overwhelmed me. And they push me to the ground and they just beat me relentlessly. That was covered with bruises, and I thought I was going to die.
And all the old time I was just thinking to myself, where are the members? Got to save the members? And he said, sir, I feel like I let you down. I said, you did not leave -- let me down. Other people let you down. You shouldn't have been put into that position.
And we owe it to that officer and, and the others to get to the truth, and uncover what happened and why it happened. And that's exactly what we're going to do.
BERMAN: Democrats get to a point eight members, Republicans five, do you want one of the Democratic appointments to be a Republican maybe a Liz Cheney or an Adam Kinzinger?
CROW: Well, you know, Speaker Pelosi has done a really good job of assembling teams to deal with issues. You know, let's not forget, we've done two impeachments now, in the last three years, those impeachments have gone flawlessly from our perspective, we had no mistakes, we brought extremely strong cases, it was the Senate's problem that they didn't fulfill their obligations of their oath to convict. But I have confidence the Speaker will find the right team to get this job done.
BERMAN: What about the other side? What about Kevin McCarthy and his five members? How concerned are you that he might put a Marjorie Taylor Greene on this committee or someone of that ilk?
CROW: Well, Kevin McCarthy can do what he wants to do. You know, and that's obviously what he's going to do. If they want to try to make this into a circus or a clown show, you know, we can't prevent them from doing that. Again, what they do, it does not dictate what we do.
Our obligations and our duties are very clear. You know, I've taken many oaths in my life. I was an Army Ranger. I served this country at war three times. I took another oath when I became a member of Congress. That's the oath that we will fulfill. It does not change depending upon what other people choose to do with their oath. I will get the job done.
BERMAN: Congressman Jason Crow, we appreciate you being with us tonight. Thank you.
CROW: Thanks, John.
BERMAN: We do have still more breaking news now. Two sources tell CNN that a grand jury in the Manhattan DAs investigation into the former president's namesake company, that grand jury has returned charges. Again, there are now charges they do at this moment remain under seal. It is expected to be against the company the Trump Organization, and Allen Weisselberg. We cannot ascertain yet. We do not know yet the specific charges.
However, sources familiar with the investigation previously told CNN that they believe the charges would involve tax crime specifically connected to perks and benefits. This is one of two major investigations out of the New York -- out of the state of New York focused on the former president's company. Sources tell CNN that Weisselberg is expected to turn himself into prosecutors tomorrow.
Let's get perspective now from Norm Eisen, former council the House Democrats during the former president's first impeachment and a CNN legal analyst.
So Norm, you know, tomorrow, there'll be unsealed. We won't know until tomorrow, what these charges are all they'll be unsealed then. But what do you make of this moment?
NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, John, thanks for having me back on the show.
It's an inflection point in Donald Trump's long running back battle. It's been going on for decades with the rule of law. The some are minimizing these charges. While we have to wait until we see the indictments, it appears that they are serious ones. If, as is alleged there's tax fraud based on fringe benefit abuse. That's a serious matter, potentially felony, multiple felonies, jail time for individuals, large fines.
And most of all, the most ominous words in the whole investigation for Donald Trump are that the investigation continues. And reportedly when the lawyers asked about Trump, their response was along the lines of he's not being charged now, John.
So, as I wrote in a new Brookings report this week, he's at substantial risk in what lies ahead. This is the beginning, far from the end.
BERMAN: Is there any precedent to a former U.S. president's family business being hauled into a criminal court?
EISEN: There's no modern precedent for this. There have been allegations, some that have come out later about the business dealings of former presidents of both parties. But we've never seen an event like this again. The opening salvo, prosecutors have reportedly made clear they are going to continue to investigate.
And that means that Donald Trump is at substantial risk, including if Mr. Weisselberg decides that the possible prospect of jail time isn't appealing to him. And he cooperates with prosecutors acts as a sherpa (ph) (INAUDIBLE) -
BERMAN: Right now, there's no sign though, that he is going to cooperate. He's not cooperating yet. And we don't know that he will. What do you say to those Norm, because you raise this point, we expect these charges to be focused on perks and benefits? You know, there are those who say that these aren't the types of things that people were would be charged for under different circumstances. What do you say to that?
EISEN: John, with respect to the charges, let's look at the indictments. Let's see what is charged. Let's look at the seriousness the -- of the behavior, the amounts of the alleged abuse, how many individuals are involved, and then we'll see how serious it is. Whenever you have the words felony tax fraud, that is not good news.
And as for Mr. Weisselberg, you know, Trump's former campaign manager, Rick Gates hung tough for a while, he ultimately decided after the prosecution started that he wanted to cooperate. So, there are precedents for people. I've seen it happen often in my 30 years as a criminal law practitioner, John. People crack under this pressure. So there is much, much more to come before we form those final judgments.
BERMAN: It's just to reiterate that point, you're saying he hasn't cooperated yet. But you think that once these charges are brought, and it continues, you think he might?
EISEN: I won't predict what Mr. Weisselberg will do, John, but I will tell you that I've seen defendants and represented defendants in this situation over the past three decades. And we know from the recent history that Trump's scandals of his administration, that others in a similar position have decided to cooperate.
So this is clearly a decision by the prosecutors to go after behavior that they believe are serious violations, and also to apply another degree of pressure to Mr. Weisselberg. And it'll be very interesting to see if he's charged again. We don't have the indictments yet. If he's charged, it'll be interesting to see how he withstands that crushing pressure.
BERMAN: It'll be fascinating to see again, the indictments in that's the breaking news. Sealed until tomorrow. We'll learn much more than I expect. We'll be talking to you again in the near future. Norm Eisen, thank you very much.
EISEN: Thanks, John. BERMAN: So the rise of anti-Semitism here in the United States in actual physical attacks. This assault caught on camera against Jews at a Los Angeles sushi restaurant is just one of many examples. What we uncovered, next.
BERMAN: The rise in anti-Semitism in this country has reached with the Anti-Defamation League calls quote, near historic levels. The organization says there were more anti-Semitic incidents last year than in any other year since the ADL began tracking the numbers back in 1979.
Tonight, we begin a two-part investigation into not only what's been happening, but the reasons behind it. CNN's Nick Watt has a report.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A man who was stopped at the door of a South Florida synagogue recently then police say he left feces outside spat at a menorah.
RABBI YEHUDA CEITLIN, CHABAD OF TUCSON: We live in a world where hate is easy.
WATT (voice-over): And Jews are the most targeted religious group in America says the FBI. And it's getting worse.
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: We've seen an alarming increase in hate crimes across the country, many targeting members of the Asian- American Pacific Islander and Jewish communities.
WATT (on-camera): I mean, I noticed you're wearing a kippah.
BLAKE FLAYTON, STUDENT ACTIVIST, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIV.: I'm terrified to wear this outside.
WATT (on-camera): But do you?
WATT (voice-over): Twelve percent of Americans told pollsters that Jews in this country have too much power.
EVAN BERNSTEIN, CEO, COMMUNITY SECURITY SERVICE: You're dealing with tens of millions of people in the United States that, you know, have anti-Semitic tendencies.
WATT (voice-over): And it's not an ageing racist rump.
EITAH HERSH, ASSOCIATE PROF. OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, TUFTS UNIV.: Anti- Semitic attitudes, including in our own data measured in the fall of 2020 not very long ago consistently show higher levels among young people. Now that point is worth emphasizing because most forms of prejudice that we study are higher among older people and lower among younger people.
WATT (voice-over): Jews eating sushi in Los Angeles last month, sought out by young pro-Palestinian men.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get inside.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mom in the cars got out. Started running toward the tables and asking indiscriminately who's Jewish.
WATT (voice-over): Jew brutally beaten by young men in Times Square New York. He was surrounded by a group that began to -
JOSEPH BORGEN, VICTIM OF ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACK: Kick me, punch me, saw me with weapons and also pepper spray or mace me, I don't even know which one for good measure at the end. I'm trying to be, you know, macho and, you know, not let it affect me. But it does affect you. I mean, when you're alone, and you're in your mind, there's nothing on your mind.
WATT (voice-over): Some Jewish college kids after a barrage of hate the spring during the war between Israel and Hamas, now scared to go back to campus.
(on-camera): Are you scared?
JULIA JASSEY, FOUNDER, JEWISH ON CAPMUS: Yes. I mean, yes and I try not to be.
WATT (voice-over): Julia Jassey founded an Instagram forum and gathers tales like this.
JASSEY: Somebody drove by slowly rolled down her window and while filming me with her phone, started yelling out, F Jews -
WATT: F Jews.
JASSEY: -- about 17 times. And that was actually someone that I know at school,
WATT (voice-over): Anti-Semitism has now spread far and wide like never before, thanks to social media.
FLAYTON: If Adolf Hitler had an Instagram account, the Holocaust would have happened a lot quicker, because the public would have been convinced a lot sooner.
JASSEY: I saw a post yesterday saying that 40% of Palestinian children are sexually assaulted by Israelis, which is a crazy number that has no source. But it's spread all over the internet and there are definitely ways to critique the Israeli government without being Hispanic (ph) but it's not what people are doing.
WATT (voice-over): Some calling out posts they see as anti-Semitic.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Palestine will be free.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From the river to the sea.
WATT (voice-over): So where did the Jews go? That's Bella Hadid model of Palestinian descent more than 43 million followers. She also posted this charged language. Hadid says, it's not about hate. And the history actually dates back over 2,000 years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't learn history from Instagram.
WATT (voice-over): Some also call out members of the squad for the likes of this, and this.
Last month, Representative Cori Bush of Missouri tweeted the black and Palestinian struggles for liberation are interconnected. And she said this about U.S. military aid to Israel.
REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): Instead of funding a military, that police's and kills Palestinians. I have some communities in St. Louis city and in St. Louis County, that that where that money can go where we desperately need investment where we are hurting.
WATT (voice-over): Those Congress, women say they stand against all forms of hate that they are legitimately criticizing the Israeli government. Others see it differently that Israel and Jews are used as scapegoats.
FLAYTON: You make the Jews as a collective Israel, the face of all that you don't like. Of all that standing in the way between you and a brighter, more progressive future. That is how anti-Semitism and atrocities against my people have always begun.
WATT (voice-over): Synagogues are now being defaced from Alaska to Arizona.
CEITLIN: Sadly to new reality we're living and we've seen this rise across America.
WATT (voice-over): Yes, incidents spiked around the war in May, but -
FLAYTON: It's never been about the conflict.
WATT (voice-over): OK. What does the data say?
HERSH: Folks across the ideological spectrum of different racial groups they didn't point to the Israel-Palestine conflict, they point to Jews have too much power and media, Jews have too much power and finance kind of classic tropes of anti-Semitism.
WATT (voice-over): American-Jews are now suffering hate from many sides.
HERSH: Jewish Americans, I think can feel -- how do I say this right, they can feel squeezed.
WATT (voice-over): Stones were thrown through synagogue windows in New York in April, a young black man was arrested. Some see this man is fueling anti-Semitism in the black community.
LOUIS FARRAKHAN, NATION OF ISALM: And I'm here to separate the good Jews from the safe tanning Jews. Yes, yes, yes.
WATT (voice-over): But say the social scientists.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Jews will not replace us.
WATT (voice-over): One group is still the biggest issue.
HERSH: We see really high rates of anti-Semitic attitudes on the far right.
WATT (voice-over): And like on the left, it's largely the young the man accused of shooting up a synagogue near San Diego in 2019 was just 19 at the time.
YISROEL GOLDSTEIN, FMR RABBI, CHABAD OF POWAY: Standing there is spread apart, the aiming position right at me.
WATT (voice-over): Our previous president trivialized anti- Semitism.
DONALD TRUMP (R) FMR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: They're not going to support me because I don't want your money. Isn't it crazy?
JASSEY: It makes it acceptable. And you saw the President say it on the news. It's not a problem.
WATT (voice-over): He said this out loud.
TRUMP: Very fine people on both sides.
WATT (voice-over): After this.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Jews will not replace us.
WATT (voice-over): They won't. Roughly seven and a half million Jews in America, roughly 175 million white Christians.
BERNSTEIN: It's education.
WATT (on-camera): Yes.
BERNSTEIN: I think education is so critical.
WATT (voice-over): But for example, just 19 states require the Holocaust to be taught in secondary school. So, 31 states do not.
HERSH: There were a few generations of Americans who may have interacted with the Holocaust survivor, may have been a World War II veteran, and that's gone away.
WATT (voice-over): Security now stepped up around many Jewish institutions.
BERNSTEIN: We want to empower our Jewish community to protect themselves.
WATT (voice-over): Volunteers being trained to protect their own community.
CEITLIN: People that do such things. They're motivated by a very strong feeling of hate, of obviously ignorance as well. My question is what happens next?
BORGEN: I've never met these people in my entire life. I don't understand why they hate me so much. I wasn't wearing any Israeli flags. I didn't have any Israeli (INAUDIBLE), I'm not Israeli- American.
FLAYTON: There are many Jews my age who are ready to move to Israel, because they see the writing on the wall here.
JASSEY: (INAUDIBLE) anti-Semitism seems like a small thing until those people grow up.
WATT (voice-over): Let's end where we started. Florida. Hitler was right, a sickening sentiment gaining traction in America now in 2021.
BERMAN: To hear that, man, ask what happens next. Nick Watt joins us now. Terrific report, Nick.
Have there been other countries that have seen this rise in anti- Semitic attacks?
WATT: Yes, absolutely. Listen, John, anti-Semitism has been around for 2,000 years. It just morphs depending on the time and place. And a lot of people here in the U.S. are now saying it's beginning to feel like Europe and that is a bad thing. Because in Europe the past 10, 20 years, they have seen an uptick in incidents and attacks. Germany, parts of Germany they say in 2020 up 30%. So we do not want to be like Europe, and apparently we're getting there. John.
BERMAN: Nick Watt, thank you so much for that report.
The news continues. So let's hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME."