tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN April 9, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
in visit petmeds.com today. congressman matt gaetz takes to the stage in florida to try to save his career telling people the sex allegations against him are smears and distortions. but he is taking them seriously enough that he is hiring two high powered new york lawyers. now the house ethics committee is opening an investigation into the allegations. and the second week of testimony in derek chauvin's murder trial wrapping one the medical examiner telling jurors that george floyd's death was a homicide caused by police officers restraining him on the ground and chauvin kneeling on his neck. a forensic sigh come sift said that he died from a lack of oxygen. not from drugs.
right to the trial of derek chauvin. good evening, omar. today we heard from the medical examiner who conducted george floyd's autopsy and ruled his death a homicide. tell me about his testimony. >> reporter: yeah, don. so today was all about maybe arguably the most important part of the trial. that comes down to george floyd's cause of death. this was a highly anticipated day because we heard from dr. andrew baker. the chief medical examiner here and critically the one who conducted george floyd's autopsy. he ruled george floyd's death a homicide which he stuck to today. a lot of it today was going back and forth over what is a factor in someone's death and what is the cause of someone's death, when it comes to that he died from fentanyl and medical hish his history. take a listen. >> things that played a role but
didn't directly cause the death. so for example mr. floyd's use of fentanyl did not cause the sub dual or neck restrain. his heart did not cause it. >> so in your opinion, both the heart disease as well as the history of hypertension and the drug, the drugs in his system, played a role in his death. >> in my opinion, yes. >> and again, it goes back to that relationship between playing a role in the death versus actually causing the death. and we do know drugs were in george floyd's system. but as the medical examiner said, there were no pills found in george floyd's stomach or pill fragments. you might be able to hear a little protest going behind me. but also, we heard from a forensic path on the jest who testified over the course of the day, she ruled out overdose as the cause of death and went even
further to say that george floyd would be alive if not for this interaction with law enforcement. >> i know there's a protest going on and we understand. it has been the site of many protests as well as a makeshift memorial and people go to the scene form. so we understand that you have a protest behind you. if i can ask you, how did the jury respond to what they heard today? >> they were very engaged. when you talk about that first witness today, dr. lindsey thomas. the forensic pathologist, former stand medical examiner. she testified that she believed the main mechanism of george floyd's death was asphyxia. nearly all the jurors wrote that down. at one point one juror seemed to take issue with the defense's line of questioning for dr. baker. he was squinting hissize, shaking his head. then there was a moment where nearly all jurors took note as dr. baker testified that he believed george floyd was found
in a locked home without any other factors, he would have classified this as an overdose without any other factors. and these are the dynamics that really matter at this point. how these jurors are interim rhetting these exchanges on that ever important question of george floyd's cause of death. >> thank you very much. there is a protest happening right near him. i bring in joey jackson and former prosecutor laura coats. thank you for joining us. what a week in this trial. laura, you're a former prosecutor. let's look at the prosecution's case. the medical examiner fefg heart disease and drugs may have been factors but it was chauvin's use of restraint and neck compression that caused him to rule the death a homicide. does this make the case here? >> this is extraordinarily compelling. it's not just this in a vacuum. you're talking about the accumulation of the evidence over the weeks of the trial. and yesterday you had the very
compelling testimony of a pulmonologist. if people didn't know what that was then, they know now. it was used as a the extra, they built up on every particular witness. they've corroborated, complemented, they've allowed the medical examiner, for his testimony to be all the more clear to clarify what is men by cardiac arrest. it was not this term, heart attack. to demonstrate how the last minutes of george floyd's life actually looked. and they had the benefit they normally don't have. usually an m.e. only has the process of elimination to figure out what happened or didn't happen. now you have the star witness in this case, the 9:29 video. not only helping the jurors understand the scene and what happened but now to inform and guide the actual forensic pathology and the autopsy. it is invaluable. >> joey, good to see you.
i want you to take the role of defense counsel here. you need to raise doubt in the mind of one juror. how do you do that in. >> yeah. good evening. this is about the rules of engagement, right? we have to understand that you have a system where 12 jurors have to be in accord. and any one. those jurors who for any reason is sympathetic to police, thinks the police are not out there looking to do anything untoward, certainly illegal, you play for that audience of one. you have a mistrial. i think what the defense is doing here, it is a stretch admittedly. the other rule of engagement is that you have to demonstrate that the neck compression is a substantial cause. not the sole cause. you can have all these contributing factors. the defense is looking at fentanyl and they're making a statement with regard tom. they're looking at meth in his system, heart disease, they're looking at this 90% blockage in
his system. they're looking at hypertension, covid, everything. they're trying to raise these doubts by blaming really like a brew of activity that was going on in the body. now, you could also remember and recall there debate that was had between, i ate the drugs or i age have any drugs. and the reason the defense raise that had issue was to raise the specter of doubt. maybe there was a point that george floyd injested a significant amount of drugs and that might have led to his demise. so what is the the defense is raising to bring the doubt to have the jury say, i know there was a lot of things amiss in george floyd's system. was that it or the neck compression? >> so let's talk about the prosecution. at this point you've call eight medical witnesses. 11 law enforcement witnesses to make your case. laura, at what point do you think more testimony could potentially hurt?
is that possible? >> well, you know, you're always balancing as a prosecutor whether the juice is worth the squeeze. and you run up against sometimes a law of diminishing returns. for the reason joe talked about, you have to be exhaustive. you cannot assume because you think of how it's going, you heard the testimony as the prosecution. you say, i know i've got this checked off. i have this one. that's what i want to come in. you have to realize you're playing to a series of laymen and wild cards who may need to have it preempted. whatever seeds of doubt are actually raised. you have to be comprehensive and holistic. the thing is once you've been admonished by the judge as they have been about the number of law enforcement agents, that was a moment they had to then turned toward the second causal factor of death here. that's why you've seen the shift. i think they have enough in terms of being able to substantiated the elements, that this was a substantial causal
factor of death. a lot of it made up until now about the dueling medical experts and the family had one report and the hen pin m.e. had a different one. there was not this combativeness or contradiction. instead, it was the very thing that we've seen through the unreasonable use of forceful now the jury has to be sure. we're not in the courtroom. we don't see the jurors' faces. we don't see them nodding or being irritated. you have to make sure that you're comprehensively allowing them, when they go in that verdict room, there is no stone unturned no, room for a seed to g germinate. >> would you argue that chauvin believed in the moment that his actions were reasonable? >> you know, that's where they have to go. they being the defense has to make this argument, you may
recall they argued about this case called graham versus connor. that defined a standard of onlyive reasonableness. what does that mean? it means the court looks at three things. one is the seven artist crime. we're talking about a counterfeit $20 bill. not so significant. and the other is the immediately of the threat. initially could you argue there was some justification of the forceful but there is an issue of reassessment. and the officer has an obligation to derrell whether you're in control such that i can let go and stop. not let go in the general sense of letting you go but letting up on the forceful the other come possibly is the resistance. what level of resistance if any are you getting? so where the defense has to go in the pillars of the case, they have to argue the force is justifiable. number one. it meets the standard. and then they have to pivot to the medical issue that the cause
of death, the whole host of factors that i just mentioned to you. and i think that's what we'll see next week. when the defense has its turn they'll put up these expert witnesses to enunciate their case. the theory of unreasonableness. that it was all these other things and assist them as to the medical cause of death. to the extent they do that effectively is the extent to which we see that happen. we have to remember there are three different option. the first is most significant. they establish an assault. the death was the result of an assault. you get the second-degree murder. 40 years. say the jury isn't convince bud you have this element of depravity. we've heard about the prone position, face down, he had his knee on his neck, three minutes more after he was dead. that gets you to depravity and third degree murder. and then if you can establish
there was negligence, there were policies and procedures, now you get to the manslaughter. so the defense has multiple buys at the apple here. i think preming the case in a pretty compelling way. >> what do you say to that? >> i think the idea of having that bevy of courses for the jurors is key. especially given that most jurors are still questioned whether they'll give officers the been fist doubt. this is still a big psychological thing for so many jurors in the country to able to convict someone who at the time was an officer. no one wants to believe an officer gets up in the morning, puts on their uniform and intends to commit murder. jurors have to overcome the hurdle which is why you spent so much time distancing law enforcement from derek chauvin. why you had actual law enforcement witnesses there to suggest that look, this was a
cop in name only. he knew better. he was trained better. he chose not to do better even in the face of. so imploring by the by standers. so they're preparing for. but there are 12 human beings, 12 wild cards, and no prosecutor who is worth his or her salt would ever, ever believe it's a foregone conclusion even with the strongest of cases. so to manage expectations, they've got to be thorough and comprehensive and they may have to respond to whatever presentation of evidence the defense puts on. >> so you can start presenting your case as early as next week, right? who is the most important prosecution witness that you need to undermine? >> i think you have to undermine, there are two really. there's two different pillars. case. the first being use of force. so you have to undermine, remember the compelling evidence. you have the chief who goes there and says, sanctity of life. those are the values of our
department. you have lieutenant zimmerman, senior most officer, 40 years, right? and he's telling you this is not what we do. you have a sergeant saying, not today, not now, not us. so you have to undermine that from a defense perspective. all the issues concerning self-defense. then you have to pivot to the medical issue and you have to undermine all the medical testimony that we heard that was so compelling with respect to the critical question. yes, he may have had hypertension. yes, he may have had blockage. yes, he may have had meth, yes, he may have had any other substance, fentanyl, but guess what, the substantial cause, was the neck compression. that's it. so you undermine those two things. you can make head way. and it is an uphill battle indeed. >> i know this is a tough one for you because you know, you're an attorney. do you call chauvin to the stand? yes or no? >> i say at this point, i would not do it. my esteamed --
>> i said edmonton. you've proven my point. i said yes or no. you've proven my point. so you don't call him. >> i say it's too risky, don. >> laura, what do you say? snu asked a lawyer a yes or no question? are you kidding me? you're going to get all these different caveats. i call him to the stand if i'll the defense counsel. he is all he has left. he is persona nongrata. what does he have to lose besides 40 years in prison? >> he will fold as to his past prior bad acts, as to what he did, as to, sir, you should have reassessed. you in you the rules, you were on the force for 19 years, you were trained every year and you still did it. he would be shredded. i would be thinking twice, three times and four times before i put him on the stand. >> but you have to think to yourself. if you're the jurors out there, you might be looking. i'm not saying that chauvin will be the ideal witness and i think that he will inflict a lot of
self-inflicted wounds. however, the jurors, the question lingering this entire time, why didn't you? why didn't you? please give me some reason to see that there is a human exhibition was not there when the mixed martial arts guy spoke to you or tried to get you to do the right thing. they may be hook for something, anything. sometimes people can feel emthat a athletic knick ways that go against common sense or the instructions of a jury. he has to gamble. i want -- >> that's what is known as a yes or no question. >> these the conversations being had. >> that's why i let you go on. >> this is a war room and i bet you there's a laura coates in there saying get him on. and someone on my side -- >> a joey jackson. >> yes. >> thank you both. i'll see you soon. so you had to see it coming. matt gaetz complaining about being canceled. too many republicans seem to be
grasping at straws, cancel culture. will that be enough to save them from themselves? one calling them political terrorists. >> you called some of these members political terrorists. >> oh, yeah. jim jordan especially. my colleague from ohio. >> i just never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart and never building anything. never putting anything together.
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yeah i should've just led with that... with at&t business... you can pick the best plan for each employee and only pay for the features they need. congressman matt gaetz at trump's doral property giving his first speech since being under investigation by the justice department. >> this past week has been full of encouragement. from president trump, marjorie taylor green and jim jordan to the maga nation that shares so much love. so let me assure you. i have not yet begun to fight. >> well, earlier today the house
ethics committee announcing they are launching their own investigation into the allegations surrounding gaetz and the latest blow to the embattled congressman. joining me now to discuss it, the former u.s. senator doug jones and cnn political analyst ron brownstein. he is also the author of "the new york times" best seller, rock me on the water. a new book. congratulations. thank you, sir. thank you both for joining us. although you're the best seller, i'll start with doug. let's talk about gaetz. he was define, praising the former president while speaking at that event hosted by women for america first. that's the same group that hosted the january 6th rally that turned into the insurrection. he's playing the cultural warrior for all it's worth, right? >> absolutely doing that, don. it's stunning, the brashness of folks facing the kind of problem that matt gaetz is having.
not just with the house ethics committee. this guy has a colleague where there is serious evidence. he is looking at jail time. he is looking at an indictment down the road. and the brashness is just stunning but not unexpected from somebody like matt gaetz. >> he says he's the victim of the deep state. but gaetz lost another staffer over his legal troubles. and now calling for his resignation. do you think he can survive this politically? if so, how long, if not, how long? >> first, it's a neighborhood you know well, "the new york times" best seller list. he's beyond spent here. he's looking at serious legal allegations. if the evidence develops against him along the lines that it seems to be going, there's no, you can yell deep state all you want. you can yell cancel culture all
you want and it won't change the realities that he faces. this is the most inevitable plays of inevitable plays. that he's being targeted because he's a conservative but he is way beyond the point where he can affect his fate by trying to frame or spin this. >> the very people who were supposed to unseat or uproot the deep state, that is a justice department that was started under donald trump's justice department bill barr who carried the water for him. senator joe manchin is insisting that bipartisanship is the only way to move forward, given what we've seen so far. were republicans going to the table on good faith for any part of joe biden's agenda? >> sure. they can and they will. it will take some work. what you're seeing is there is an obstructionist view. it goes back to what president
obama. but at the same time, there is a group of senators meeting regularly to talk about areas of common ground. and is it possible? absolutely it's possible. >> is it probable though? is it probable? we just -- is it -- you left shortly, a short time ago or has it moved on light years since you've been there? >> well, that's like asking the yes or no question that you just asked your previous guest. probable versus likely. it is going to be difficult. no question. i do believe, don, i really believe on voting rights and some other things there is some common ground. but democrats will have to take out some of the poison pills as well. if they're willing to do some of that, to do the good things possible, the progressive things that are out there with some common ground, i think they can get something done but it will be tough. >> i'm glad. thank you for your honesty. possible? yes.
probable? that's tough. i think that's a perfect answer. you were shaking your head. do you want to say something? >> i'm more dubious if there are ten republican votes for anything meaningful joe biden wants to do. first of all there are only three republican senators from states he won. i think mcconnell has made it clear as of 2009, 2010, he'll be putting a lot of pressure to avoid allowing democrats to claim anything is bipartisan. on voting rights, he's made it very clear that his goal is to provide air cover in washington to the ground offensive in the states. the republicans are undertaking to make it tougher to vote and i don't think he will accept anything establishes a nationwide framework of, a baseline of voting rights. even on infrastructure. where you think it could be possible. the fact is that republicans are arguing that any attempt to pay for it by reconsidering the trump tax cut is inherently a deal killer. the trump tax cut reconsidered democratic tax policy from before. the idea that you'll go back and
look at tax policy, that's a deal killer, doesn't leave with you a lot of room. i think joe manchin made it clear that he wants to test whether republicans are willing to work. the question will be what do him and they do when they can't get ten republican votes for almost anything they care about. do they say at that point, we let the issue die or do they say, i'll negotiate with other democrats. >> that was a yes or no from a political expert right there. that was a yes or no answer. i'm kidding. talking about the lawyer thing. i want to ask you, the white house announcing a commission to study the supreme court and look at possible reforms. biden has been facing pressure from the left to add seats to the court. he was cagey about the issue. should he be considering adding seats? >> well, you know, joe is doing exactly what he promised toot on the campaign trail. he was not just cagey. he was saying, i believe in the institutions of government.
i believe in the supreme court the way it is composed right now. he promised he would take look and that's what he's done. he's delivering on his promises. if you look at the commission and their charge, it's not just the number on the court. it's the history of the court. how they get their cases. the rules. there's any number of things that could come out of this that may or may not get enacted. he's doing what he said he would do on the campaign trail. that's the most important thing. it is called rock me on the water. the year it trags formed movies, television and politics. i want to know, what drew you to this? give us some lesson that's you've learned. >> thanks. at one level, it is just incredible confluence and constellation of things came together in the early 1970s. joni mitchell, the eagles,
movies, jane fonda, directors like steven spielberg, and tv, carroll o'connor and mary tyler moore. the literary world of paris in the '20s or the art world in new york in the '50s. at a deeper level where it really has resonance, this was the moment when the '60s critique of american life was happen entered into american culture. ideas like more suspicion of authorities. changing between men and women. more autonomy for women. this was the moment when those ideas took root. and they took root in popular culture even as richard nixon was winning two elections. that's the real parallel to today. trump showed that there is a big constituency that can be mobilized against the way younger generations, particularly the increased diversity of generations is manager.
i think my story from the early '70s tells us, while you can fight a delaying action this many politics, the future always gets the last word. and culture is often ahead of politics. >> great reading and great coffee table book. it's great. thank you. and climbing tim best seller list. we're happy about that. rock me on the water. >> we're neighbors. >> thank you both. thank you very much. i appreciate it. brit an's prince phillip dying at the aiming of 99. we're live at windsor after this. ♪ ♪ ♪ hey google, turn up the heat. ♪ ♪ ♪
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sometime tomorrow, buckingham palace expected to announce the full funeral arrangements for prince phillip who died at this at the age of 99. he was in poor health but the palace said he passed away peacefully at windsor castle. if i am's death, another blow to the royal family still reeling from the accusations made by prince harry and his wife meghan. max, thank you for joining. reactions from around the world to the death of prince if i am. what is the latest there tonight, which is tomorrow morning where you are? >> reporter: well, the queen is having to deal with what happened yesterday and then also, sign off on the funeral arrangements. prince if i am was very involved in his funeral arrangements. he didn't want a lot of fuss. did he want the organizations that he built up over his lifetime to be reflected.
in. a lot of that won't be able to happen because of the pandemic and the restrictions around that. so what we expect to hear after the queen has signed off is that everything will be contained within the castle walls behind me. perhaps a funeral next weekend but it will be limited to 30 people under the current restrictions unless some sort of exemptions have been made here. so we're waiting to hear the details. the queen would have wanted prince if i am to have a bigger fanfare, really. she feels he made a very big contribution. not just the marriage but the monarchy and also the commonwealth. >> you know, meghan and prince hardy put out a statement following the news of the death. and it says in loving memory of his royal highness, the duke of edinburgh. thank you for your service. you will be greatly missed. prince harry was very close to
his grandfather. do you expect him to attend the funeral? >> well, as you say, he was close and after the ohm interview, he went out of his way to say to oprah that phillip and the queen were not the people he was referring to with the reference to the race of his unborn child at that time. so he was protecting phillip. and he did that because he does look up to the person he was. i think he would want to come. i think they would expect him to want to come. the duchess, not so sure. she is pregnant, of course, and the numbers will be restricted. so it will depend whether the queen signs off on the guest list as well. i think he would want to come. if he does want to come, there is a quarantine process. he would have to be in quarantine at least five days. he could do it if he left soon. we'll have to wait and hear. >> former president barack obama sharing a beautiful tribute of
him and the former first lady michelle obama posing with the queen and the duke. at the queen's side, trailing the customary two steps behind, prince phillip showed the world what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman of the yet he also found a way to lead without demanding the spotlight is what is written there. so what will prince if iphillip legacy be? >> we will know him as the person who supported the queen, always by her side. she will remember him as a husband but also, the one person she had been normal with which is hugely important when you're a member of the royal family. even her children bow and curtsy to her when they bow and see her. he was the one person who could be himself with her. she would take his advice shelf described him as her strength and say. and you will hear people who know them very closely talking
about how she couldn't have done it without him. he had a huge contribution to her monarchy which is one of the great monarchies in british history. some would say the greatest monarchy. so she's lost her greatest adviser and that's the key part of what has happened today. so his legacy will be what he did for the crown. also, what he did for the family. behind the scenes. he was the head of the family. he would make all the key decisions. there was some sort of decision between him and the queen. he made a lot of compromise over the years but he did it for his wife. >> max foster. thank you for staying up late, or waking up early, whichever it is. thank you. we appreciate it. he fired up trump supporters just hours before the insurrection. his lies so bad that his own party thought about removing him from committees. congressman mo brooks could become senator mo brooks soon. stay with us. we'll talk about that.
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behind the big lie that donald trump won the 2020 election. firing up trump supporters at the stop the steal rally that preceded the deadly damage of the riot at the capitol. >> today is the day americans start taking down names and kicking ass. >> now he's being rewarded from an endorsement from the former president. he now seeks the alabama senate seat being vacated by richard shelby. >> he saw the crooked election, what happened. he was willing to speak up. >> trump choosing brooks, and before others could jump in. though trump's 2017 picks in the alabama seat both lost. this time it could be different. with republicans seeing brooks as a clear front-runner all thanks to trump. brooks repeated the false hoods about the election and compared it to his 1982 bid for a seat in
the alabama legislature where he contended that machines would not allow votes to be cast for him. he won that race. what exactly happened then was never fully resolved. >> when i saw what happened last year with donald trump, i recognized it pretty quick. i had seen it before. >> as one of the staunchest conservatives elected in the 2010 tea party wave, brooks has emerged as one of the biggest defenders. during trump's first impeachment hearing, he storld a closed hearing about whether trump withheld military aid to ukraine as he pushed for an investigation into the bidens. asked by cnn about a key witness's testimony, brooks erupted. >> the opening statement says very clearly. let me finish what i'm saying. let me finish my question. >> the substance of what em? it doesn't make any difference we don't know whether what he
said is true because. process being used. >> he has also refused to take any responsibility for inflaming the january 6 riotgoers. repeating the big lie just hours after the pro trump mob stormed the capitol. >> noncitizens overwhelmingly voted for joe biden in exchange for the promised amnesty and citizenship and in so doing, helped steal the election from donald trump. >> his actions alarmed colleagues from both parties. with cnn learning that republicans privately considered stripping him from his committee assignments. the republican steve womack said he played the remarks to his gop colleagues. >> i'm not going to get into that. >> but brooks has remained define. >> do you regret speaking at that rally? >> did i my duty to my country.
>> some republicans were concerned about what did he in the run up to january 6th, he received no punishment. he is still soevg his committees and co-very well be a united states senator next year. one reason is donald trump is still popular in the state of alabama. he won that state by more than 25 points and republicans believe that there is very little chance that democrats could pull off an upset. in very red state as they did in 2017. so whoever wins that primary could very well be the winner and could become the next united states senator from alabama and the moment mo brooks appears to be the favorite. >> thank you very much for that. i want to make sure bunk the new cnn original series, the people versus the klan. it tells the story of beulah may, a black mother who took down the ku klux klan. watch back to back episodes sunday at 9:00 eastern right here on cnn.
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everyday people are changing the world. and since 2007, cnn heroes has celebrated hundreds of these amazing individuals. they are all around us, and you can help shine a light on their efforts by nominating them as a cnn hero. here is anderson, with more. it's been a time of challenges and change. but it's, also, a time for hope. ♪ you know we can do anything ♪
>> this year, cnn heroes celebrates our 15th year of honoring everyday people, doing extraordinary things. from frontline workers, fighting against the coronavirus pandemic. to those battling for racial equity and social justice. those spontaneous acts of courage, to those who dedicated their lives to making a difference. >> we need to see the world differently. >> anyone can have an impact, no matter their age. >> everyday heroes are all around us. do you know a hero? tell us about them. nominations for 2021c cnn heroe are now open at cnn heroes.com. now, more than ever, the world needs heroes. >> and you don't need to per
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