tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN October 14, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT
it's time to treat td. td is not ok. visit askforaustedo.com good thursday morning. i'm erica hill. >> i'm jim sciutto. it is deadline day for two of donald trump's former senior aides and neither man is expected to adhere to those congressional deadlines. last hour we learned that former defense department official kash patel will join steve bannon in defying a congressional subpoena to testify in front of the january 6th select committee today. the next step could be criminal contempt charges. overnight, bannon's attorney confirmed his client will not be providing testimony, that is unless they say an agreement is reached with former president trump who is claiming executive privilege over the
communications or if a court weighs in on the matter. >> now the committee is calling on another former trump aide to testify. ex-doj official jeffrey clark. that name may found familiar, he's a person who drafted a letter which falsely claimed the justice department found voting irregularities in georgia. all of this as former president trump is now facing an order to provide documents to the committee within 30 days, that order, of course, coming after the white house rejected his attempt to exert executive privilege here. our team is standing by with all of the latest developments and reaction on this busy thursday morning. let's begin with cnn's senior legal affairs correspondent paula reed in washington. kash patel not expected to appear today as jim said, sources are telling you he is still engaging with the committee. what does that mean? >> exactly. he was originally scheduled to appear for a deposition today, but sources tell ryan nobles and myself that his lawyers and the committee they continue to engage, these conversations appear to be constructive.
they're working towards what is referred to as an accommodation, a way to agree on how he can potentially comply with this subpoena. this is the standard process often when you receive a subpoena like this. but it is not clear if they're going to be able to reach an agreement that is amenable to both sides. and the committee made it clear, they're going to move swiftly to potentially pursue criminal contempt against anyone who does not comply to their satisfaction. with patel, off the calendar today, the committee is able to focus on steve bannon. now he made it clear he does not intend to cooperate with the committee until ordered to do so by a court. he made this blanket claim of executive privilege. well, let's be clear here, steve bannon was not in the executive branch at the time in question, and the fact that he is making this blanket claim of executive privilege concerns and saying he has to wait for a court when no legal challenge has been filed, legally that is just untenable and the committee has been clear, they're going to move swiftly, perhaps as soon as today to refer him for criminal
contempt. >> so we know as well that the january 6th committee has officially subpoenaed former doj official jeffrey clark. this is key, right, because clark is someone who is trying his darnedest to use the doj to overturn election results. explain why this is critical. >> in this subpoena he received, the committee cites what they describe as credible evidence he tried to interfere with the transfer of power. specifically they say that he wanted to try to delay certification of election results in georgia, and other states. he even allegedly wanted to hold a press conference to announce a federal investigation of voter fraud. now, both of those proposals were dismissed for a lack of any factual basis and the fact that is not the justice department's role. yesterday, his former colleague, former acting attorney general testified before lawmakers for eight hours, so a source familiar with clark's thinking says, look, it is likely he will testify because his options are
really limited at this point. >> interesting. we'll be watching for that, paula reed, appreciate it. we're also learning new details this morning about warnings that came before january 6th, according to newly obtained documents, local police in washington alerted their law enforcement partner agencies on january 5th that there were social media reports urging attendees to come armed. >> it has been an ongoing issue because there were sane signs o social media. whitley wild joins us now. what are we learning about what was posted and crucially how did law enforcement treat those posts? was it seriously enough? >> i think based on what we saw on january 6th, it is pretty obvious that it was not taken seriously enough. this email, which was obtained by citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington shows that following a briefing from the metropolitan police department, that's the d.c. police department here, to their law enforcement partners and
fbi, member of the fbi washington field office sent a summary to their law enforcement partners at the united states secret service. it shows that everybody was in communication here. and this email shows that there was information law enforcement had that on social media people were posting, suggesting, urging people to come to washington on january 6th armed. however, the overarching conclusion from that email is that there were no credible threats, no threats identified. further, the email notes eight firearms were recovered, five arrests were made at a pro trump rally in november 2020, they knew this was a possibility that pro trump people would come armed. however it also notes that that didn't happen in the december -- in relation to the december rally, that there weren't firearms recovered in that case. the point is here that this is one more piece of evidence, again, obtained by citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington, which has done a lot of work to dig up these documents. and it shows that there was
ample evidence that law enforcement had that people were saying outwardly, in the open, come to washington, come armed, and yet we still had that insurrection, very clearly it was not taken seriously enough. >> jim, erica. >> no question, there were a whole host of ways that those insurrectionists were attacking police officers without arms. just remember those videos of crushing one of them in a door, whitney, thank you very much. joining now to discuss, elie honig, cnn senior legal analyst. good to have you here. so, question here about these subpoenas. this is not the first time that folks have been subpoenaed have defied those subpoenas and what we have seen by the way under both democratic and republican presidents is the justice department hesitating to then charge them criminally. why is that and when you look at the situation now, do you expect this to change? >> it is a really good question, jim. why hasn't anybody been charged with criminal contempt of
congress by the justice department? in fact, in over 50 years we have seen doj under both parties decline to bring charges. why is that? i would attribute it to two things. one is politics. it is just messy, potentially ugly. some people held in contempt, bill barr and eric holder were the attorney general, especially awkward to -- for doj to charge the attorney general and i think the second part of the answer is just timidity, it takes a lot of guts and backbone to charge somebody. you're buying into a potential trial there and it could get messy. merrick garland has to stand up here and do his job, even if it may be difficult. >> what do you think the chances are that happens, elie? >> i'm split on this. on the one happened, merrick garland has not shown a lot of appetite for anything that may be politically fraught during his time here. i think he's undercharged some of the january 6th defendants. i think he's not gone high up enough in the chain. he's shown no interest in investigating anything relating to donald trump. the steve bannon case in
particular is so extraordinary, his claim of executive privilege is so utterly ridiculous that you can't just let it go with no consequence. >> here's the thing, yes, the politics are messy. this is not the first time that politics have been messy or sensitive with an issue like this. but january 6th, and what happened prior and afterwards, a sitting president trying to overturn the results of an election, using multiple levers of government is inherently political. it is weaponizing politics, so is this a case, right, where you have to pursue the criminal path because otherwise there is really no remedy in. >> yeah, two things, jim. first of all, prosecutors should never hesitate because something may be politically difficult or politically controversial. that's sort of the whole point of doj. you just do your job. this is a law on the books. and then second of all, as you say, the circumstances here could not be more serious, could not be more dire. if you look at past incidents
where people have been held in contempt, they all involved scandals and controversies, but nothing even remotely approaching january th w6th wite future of democracy itself. >> it is such an excellent point. i want to get your take on what we're seeing now with executive privilege. the white house formerly rejecting the request from former president trump. he could file a lawsuit, right, to try to continue to block that disclosure. right now he has 30 days to turn over those -- for the release of those documents. how long realistically could he drag this out? >> you hit on the key issue there, delay. he's very, very likely to lose this argument. it is almost certain. it is near certain that the current president controls executive privilege, not the prior president. but this could be all about delay. look, we have sort of some fence posts here. the don mcgahn subpoena dispute took two years. that's utterly inscexplicable a inexcusable. they have to prioritize and if you're a federal judge, and you get a lawsuit involving
separation of powers, balance of powers, you need to handle that right away. realistically they can get this done in three, four months tops if everyone recognizes the imperative of the moment. >> by the time he got up to the hill, trump was out of office, right? and the questions were about his activities during his time in office. elie honig, good to have you on. >> thanks, jim. thanks, erica. happening now, some 10,000 employees of john deere, members of the united autoworkers association, are on strike. employees of the farming equipment manufacturer rejekd a proposed deal regarding wage increases and benefits. >> alison kosik following all of this for us. looking at this, look, there also has impacts on the labor market and where things stand right now. >> reporter: this is also yet another headache for the biden administration which is already dealing with huge pressures on the u.s. economy, including supply chain pressures and
inflation. now you have a situation where you have a lot of workers kind of rising up and saying we want better. and so now we have this strike happening overnight, as you said, negotiations from a deal that was worked out two weeks ago, they broke down when 90% of the work -- the rank and file members said they didn't want to go for that deal because they wanted higher wages. they want their fair share of -- their piece of the pie. you look at how john deere did, at least this last fiscal year, it is a revenue raise $32.7 billion, that's up 11% from the same period of 2019, ahead of the pandemic. so i think what you're seeing is workers saying, look, john deere did really well. we want to see this reflected in our benefits and our wages. so as i said, john deere going ahead and striking overnight and they're not the only company. kellogg also striking, they're ready to go into their second week, 1400 members went on strike, shutting plants, you know, these cereal brands, those
workers are not on the job as well. this is a trend that we're seeing in the labor market now. we're seeing workers have actual leverage, organized labor, they're really flexing their muscle. but general workers as well, now they're saying, listen, the leverage is on our side. we know you, the employer, you're having trouble filling these spots. and we're going to fight for these better benefits and wages so now is our time. >> it is a great point, right? you are seeing with unions here, also with people who are flat out refusing jobs that they might have taken before saying, hey, not getting paid enough, too dangerous during a pandemic. >> yeah. a job isn't just a job anymore. a job people want to be more fulfilled in what they're getting, they want to get something out of it and not just, you know, work the same way we did before the pandemic. by the way, before i go there are two other potential strikes i want to mention that could be lingering. one kaiser permanente, could involve 38,000 work fers if a dl isn't reached and hollywood, tv
film production, we could see them go on strike if negotiations break down, we could see them go on strike next week. >> notable. >> yeah, absolutely. keeping an eye out for all of those. appreciate it, thank you. well, at this moment, an fda advisory committee is meeting to decide whether to approve a booster shot for moderna's vaccine. all this coming out as a new study shows that mixing and matching vaccines could actually give people stronger protection. but is there more to that headline? plus, dr. sanjay gupta goes into the lion's den as he calls it, joe rogan's podcast. hear how he tried to dispel vaccine myths with the influential host. >> you know, your risk of clotting as it turns out 80 times higher from the disease covid rather than from the vaccine. >> 80 times? >> 80 times. >> those numbers don't lie. it is a great moment here worth watching. later, the white house announces the port of los angeles is now going to operate 24/7 to help clear a major cargo back load there.
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♪ right now, the fda's vaccine advisory committee is meeting to discuss whether they will vote to recommend booster doses for the moderna vaccine. moderna, the company, is asking for a half dose booster for people who have been fully vaccinated for at least six months, and either worked in high exposure settings, healthcare workers, for instance, 65 and older, or are considered high at risk for other reasons. >> now, all of this comes as a new study from the national institutes of health finds it is not only safe to mix and match, covid-19 booster shot, but in
some cases it may actually be better. here to discuss emergency physician and cnn medical analyst dr. lena wen. we appreciate you breaking this down for us. this has been a question for some time, right, can i mix and m match? what more can we pull from these results? >> so this say really important study that a lot of people have been looking forward to because people want to know do i need to stick with the exact same brand of the vaccine that i got in the first place or can i switch to something else out of convenience or preference? so it is a pretty small study so far and involves 458 participants and nine groups because three of the groups are people who got the original vaccine and then the same booster and then six of the groups are people who got different vaccines the second time around. what they found is that there is good safety, that it doesn't matter if you got a same or different vaccine, it all looks to be safe, there are no different or new or worse side effects that have come up. and they also found that there is pretty good efficacy
throughout as in you get a very strong antibody response no matter what kind of booster you end up getting. it looks like moderna and pfizer for each other appear to be interchangeable. the most interesting result is with johnson & johnson. people who get a second dose of johnson & johnson after the one dose of j&j, they get a four fold increase in the neutralizing antibody response. if they get a -- second dose, they get a 35 fold increase in neutralizing antibody and if they get moderna, a 76 times increase in neutralizing antibody. and so -- give pause for the fda and cdc to say, first of all, people with the j&j vaccine, the 15 million americans who have been waiting for some guidance -- they should -- >> if the data is showing waning
immunity, months after vaccination and if the data is also showing that a booster shot, some of those numbers there, 76 -- you know, why aren't we yet moving toward a recommendation for boosters for a broad section of the population? is it about supply distribution? >> not a supply or distribution issue because we have the supply, the biden administration secured the supply and we have plenty of supply because there are unfortunately a lot of americans who are refusing their first shots of the vaccine. also not a distribution issue because pharmacies and clinics that are ready to give the vaccine, but rather i think there is a question that some scientists have -- what is the goal of vaccination? because for pfizer and moderna, the protection against hospitalization holds up. johnson & johnson is decreasing. j&j is clear they should be getting another dose. for pfizer and moderna, if some people are saying if you don't
end up hospitalized or dying, that's okay, you don't need a booster. i think a lot of other people are saying, including myself, are saying what is the goal of vaccination? part of the goal should also be to reduce symptomatic illness. a lot of people don't want to get sick. they also don't want to end up missing work or potentially infecting their family. so give everybody the option to get that booster dose. i think it should be the recommendation. >> here's where it gets tough too. we see the great numbers that you just pointed out as we go through this nih study looking at the boosters and specifically mixing the boosters. the surgeon general earlier this morning said, though, maybe there should be a little caution and people need to step back and make sure they're not trying to play doctor themselves. take a listen. >> what i would tell them is number one, sometimes you got to make individualized decisions and consultation with your healthcare provider. we should generally, whenever we can, try to follow the advice of the fda and the cdc here. they are looking at the totality of the data. there might be some reason people don't want to stick with
the original vaccine they got, maybe it has to do with the reaction they had had, other considerations, but by and large, i would follow the fda and cdc recommendations on mixing and matching right now. >> so he's saying even as we look at the results from that nih study and it was fairly small, we should still hold off until we hear from the fda and the cdc. i understand why that's frustrating for some people. >> absolutely. i think there has been a lot of confusion also, especially because the boosters have already been approved for people who got the pfizer vaccine, so people who got moderna and the 15 million who got johnson & johnson who really have had no guidance or wondering what about me? thankfully we're close. the fda is meeting today and tomorrow, cdc is meeting next week. we will have guidance for people with moderna and johnson & johnson very soon. though i will also add that many patients have already taken matters into their own hands. i hope in consultation with their physicians because my hope in all of this is that the fda
and cdc, our federal health officials are going to be preventing people for doing what is best for their health. >> dr. lena wen, thanks so much. this is one of those conversations that needs to happen more often frankly. podcast host joe rogan who has come under fire for criticizing the covid vaccine says he almost got it. our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta sat down with him, for more than three hours on his podcast, difficult conversation at times, but you see some progress made. rogan says in the past he had an appointment to get the shot and two weeks before he got it he heard some news, for instance the j&j vaccine put on pause, that made him nervous, he decided not to do it. but it is interesting, erica, how sanjay responded to that and other questions he had. he basically said, okay, here's the data as we know it. and it struck me that he seems to have made some progress. >> it just -- to your point, conversations that we should
have. it is good to sit down and have a real civilized conversation with facts, with people who may be looking at things differently, that rogan did admit to sanjay he does think it is a good idea for vulnerable people, specifically to get vaccinated. he says he's worried about the lack of long-term data, though, specifically when it comes to kids. listen to this part of the exchange. >> -- the only way to know long-term stuff is with the passage of time. >> they're terrifying for parents. >> it is. >> the idea that your son could get vaccinated and most likely he would have been fine if he got covid, and that your son could catch myocarditis and have permanent heart problems. >> well, i don't know we can say the person will be fine if they get covid, joe. >> a young boy? most young boys with no co-morbidities. >> you mean that they're not going to die? >> like me. i had covid, i'm fine. >> you look like you're as strong as an ox. you get teenagers who will have
these long covid naps, you get -- >> what does that mean? >> they're tired all the time. they get long hauler type symptoms. less so in kids, but you talk about 33% of people having persistent symptoms that last months, i just feel like we de -- i think we're allowed to have a nuance d conversation about this. >> rogan had his own bout with covid in august. in part of the conversation, he also asked why people with natural immunity should get vaccinated? well, dr. sanjay guptarecent da. i think we have talked about a fair amount, but what is not clear, because this is new, there are questions about long-term effects understandably for adults and children, but there are questions about how long that immunity lasts if you had covid. >> no question there. and another topic of the conversation i think is important is that getting
vaccinated is not just about yourself or even your children's health, as important as that is, it is about not letting the thing spread, right, because even if you don't get horribly sick yourself, you carry it, it mutates and you might get somebody else sick. it is good to see it happening. all of us have had simpler ones around the dinner table. it is good to see this happening with dr. sanjay gupta. we'll be right back. so, should all our it move to the cloud? the cloud would give us more flexibility,
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global supply chain crisis. the president announced the port of los angeles will begin operating around the clock, said major companies such as walmart, u.p.s. and fedex have promised to do the same. >> major retailers are warning product shortages and rising prices are likely to last through the holiday. the white house says there is only so much they can do at this point. >> they're not the postal service or u.p.s. or fedex. we cannot guarantee. what we can do is use every lever at the federal government disposal to reduce delays, to ensure that we are addressing bottlenecks in the system. >> joining us now cnn's amara walker from the port of savannah, facing a major backlog. we hear so much about the west coast. the east coast also facing some tough moments. what is the situation in savannah, amara? >> reporter: well, erica, you're seeing the supply chain nightmare play out here in
savannah. what we're seeing here is a major traffic jam of cargo ships as well as a major backlog of supplies. if you look at the view from our mass cam, you'll see this wall, this mountain of shipping containers stacked as high as you can see. we're talking about 70 to 80,000 of these steel boxes that have been sitting here every day, waiting for somebody to pick them up to get to their final destination. we're told this is a 50% increase. so why are we seeing this huge backlog? well, as you know, as we have been reporting, there is this major shortage of truck drivers around the country, right? and also that's causing retailers to leave their containers here and the georgia port authority has been calling the retailers to remind them, look, your container has been sitting here for 12 days or weeks actually, we're told.
hundreds have been sitting here for several weeks. so what we're being told right now, what is happening is that there are seven vessels at the dock, in the berths, being unloaded, most of these shipping containers take about 24 hours or so to be unloaded. that's not atypical. what's atypical is the fact that there are 25 cargo ships in the queue right now, many of them could be waiting up to as long as five days, erica and jim. >> it is amazing. >> products waiting out there as well. amara walker, thank you so much. joining us to discuss the bigger issue, derrick thompson, staff writer for "the atlantic is the number of ships at anchor in effect sitting out as they wait to come in and unload all their products. it is just a dramatic jump.
it used to be a 30-minute wait, now some are there for many days. how long does it take to breakthrough that logjam. if you run ports 24/7, does it take days, weeks, can you do it? >> this is going to take months. we need to think about this as a problem that is not going to be resolved in the next few days, not resolved by a few overnighters in los angeles or long beach. it is going to be resolved in months and for that reason i think we should be prepared for the fact that the holiday season is going to be a mess. i don't think this is necessarily going to carry over into the second quarter of next year as bad as it is right now there are a couple of things clearly getting better. this is a months long crisis i think and we should look at it as such. >> so and there are so many elements to it. it is not just that it is going to take that long to get the ships unloaded. it is the trucking issue as amara pointed out. with all the talk about the holidays and people upset if they can't get the christmas tree they wanted or the gifts they wanted, at the same time,
we look at that versus nec necessities. give us a sense of the impact this is having on basic necessitys? >> it is having an impact on everything now. when i go to walgreens or cvs, they're running out of drugs and products i certainly consider necessities in my household and i'm sure lots of people watching that have also found this experience that they go out for a one hour errand and it turns into a three shopping odyssey because they have to go to three different places to find the things they typically found at one. this is hitting essentials, but at the same time it is important to point out that it is mostly hitting things like electronics and cars and the kind of things we are buying from vietnam and overseas that can be essential but sometimes are just the nice to haves. >> so manufacturers around the world have boasted about they're just in time formula for years. they have this global supply chain, it is tracked by
satellites, it is computerized. great stat to me was that even for the trips across the pacific they take a number of weeks. they get them into port within a half hour. it requires a lot of just in time kind of management. i wonder are we expose something weaknesses in the system here? >> we are exposing weaknesses in the just in time model. no question about that. i think it is important to point out that when something happens, that has never happened before, it means that that thing might not happen that exact same way again. this might not be a new normal. it might be something truly extraordinary. one reason it is extraordinary, we mentioned a lot of important factors, the containers, the trucker shortage, the rail that is backed up. look at consumer demand. if you look at the demand for hard goods, the kinds that tend to be shipped overseas, it has soared in the last three months. americans are buying a lot more exercise equipment and televisions, cars, the demand for that stuff has gone berserk
and that demand is going to come down as the stimulus checks are spent out. and as a result, we're going to see a relatively more normal demand curb going forward and that will alleviate this as well. this has exposed problems that might be endemic to the supply chain system, but this is also still a very unusual crisis and we shouldn't expect it to last forever. >> all right, but buckle up for the next two months. derek thompson, appreciate it. thank you. just ahead, a potential terror attack in norway. authorities say a man went on a killing spree with a bow and arrow. we have the details next. so, you're recalibrating and reconnecting to the environment. seeing yourself as an artist - legitimate and genuine - can be transformational.
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the vera wang love collection. designed for zales the diamond store. police are now calling a bow and arrow attack in norway that left five people dead an act of terrorism. officials say they had previously been in contact with the danish man, charged in the attack. they have been in contact for radicalization concerns. the suspect has not been named yet. the charges not yet announced. >> cnn's sameh abdelaziz joins us from london. what do we know about the attacker? >> reporter: this is an absolutely horrific attack that has caught norway in shock. the deadliest terror incident seen in a decade there. it occurred around 6:30 p.m. in the evening yesterday, this perpetrator was carrying a bow and arrow, shooting people with that arrow in an open place, in a marketplace. he was able to operate over a
large area, police say, before he was captured. unfortunately four people, four women and one man lost their lives, there are also two injuries and you can imagine these horrific scenes again of arrows being blown over streets, seen in the sideway, it left a community in shock. police say they're now treating it as a terror investigation. they are hoping that that investigation will reveal the motivation of the attacker, but here is what we know about him so far. he's a 37-year-old danish national living in norway. he had been previously flagged by police for links to radicalization. we also understand he's a recent convert to islam. there is questions there for authorities. meanwhile, police have been given a very rare temporary order to carry firearms and there is hope that that could begin to calm tensions there. >> i'm sure they'll be asking if they have ties to international islamist groups. thanks so much. there are new details this morning on u.s. citizens who remain stranded in afghanistan.
the state department says that most evacuation flights scheduled to leave this week have been canceled. in the email reviewed by cnn, state department has not yet said why. >> which raises more questions than it answers. at the same time we're hearing a terrifying new account about one of the initial flights out of afghanistan, involving the attemptedjabjacking of a commercial airliner. what do we know about that inc incident? >> we don't have too many details yet because this is so sensitive is and all had to be approved by u.s. central command, but it speaks to the frenetic final days of the u.s. evacuation and withdraw from afghanistan. lieutenant colonel kristen duncan from the 23rd wing which had airmen working in afghanistan wrote of those final days and she said as c-17s were beginning to steadily rife into kabul's international airport, they were five people flagged on one of the commercial flights going in and out of the airport at the time. take a look at this graphic, it
will give you a better sense of what was happening here. it was a commercial flight. we don't know on what exact date or for which airline, but according to this account, there was intel that flagged five people on board one of these commercial flights. the airmen went on board and removed these people from there and they were handled. we don't know yet what happened to them after that. these are some of the follow on questions we have. but she writes here, our team worked to get them clear naft o nato ramp, then ultimately under the south side where the situation was handled. we have requested any more details that are available, but that would have to be cleared by central command before it comes to us. that might take some time. there is also another interesting part of the account. and that's when expeditionary rescue squad rrons went to make sure there were medical facilities that would remain open. she wrote this, one of our captains was on the rooftop taking effective sniper fire. every enemy combatant was taking
every opportunity to incite more chaos in what was already a chaotic event. again, that speaks to the frenetic situation we saw in the video and accounts of what was happening at kabul international airport in the final days of the u.s. presence there. >> to be clear, did these five individuals attempt to hijack that plane as it was taking off? >> that's what this account says. we don't know it was before it -- how it was on to the runway and taking off, that much seems clear from this account. what happened to them, who they were, who was handling the investigation or what the intel was, don't know any of that yet at this point. >> interesting. well, we know you'll do your best to keep digging. appreciate it. thank you. professional thieves targeting drugstores in san francisco. stealing thousands of dollars worth of goods, forcing some stores to shut down in response. we're live next.
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a rash of they felts at walgreens prompting the pharmacy giant to shut down a number of its locations in san francisco. five of its stores set to be closed due to ongoing retail problems. >> it's organized stuff on a big scale. the san francisco police department has reported nearly 22,000 larceny theft cases since the beginning of this year. year to date, that is up more than 7.5%. what's behind it all? how are they doing it? dan tsa simon has more. >> reporter: boxes and boxes of over-the-counter drugs. it looks like a warehouse distribution center for medicine. in reality, it's a warehouse
full of stolen goods. >> this is not petty shoplifting. what you're looking at is an organized criminal ring. >> reporter: law enforcement making this bust last year in san mateo, california, just outside of san francisco. these videos offering a glimpse inside the sophistication of organized shoplifting rigs, san francisco an epicenter, so much so that walgreens says it will soon be closing five of its stoerps here, that in addition to the 17 stores the retailer had previously shuttered in the past few years. >> this is a real blow to san francisco, a blow to the merchants, a blow to our reputation as a city. >> reporter: it begins with something like this. a thief grabbing items off store shelves. this viral video captured in june at a san francisco walgreens in plain view of a security guard. the store among those being shut down. >> you have street-levels thieves who are selling to boosters who are then selling to larger syndicates, who are building million-dollar businesses selling stolen
product. it's not something that is limited to san francisco. it's happening all over the country. san francisco is a focal point now. >> reporter: jason brewer of the retail industry leaders association says the stolen goods then wind up being sold online. >> we've allowed criminal networks to create a business model selling stolen goods online and that is what's put this problem on steroids. >> i'm really sad that the situation in san francisco is driving businesses away. >> reporter: this walgreens shopper saddened to see her store shut down but understands the decision. >> if business is going to lose money, why should they stay open? >> reporter: so you don't blame walgreens? >> no. why would? business is to make money. >> reporter: san francisco police have added foot patrols to deter threats in known hot zones. >> our police department is working hard to make sure that people are apprehended and held accountable for these crimes. >> reporter: and the mayor says criminals are only hurting people in their own
neighborhoods. >> when they do this, it impacts their family members, their grandmothers who can't get medicine at the pharmacies or can't get resources they need to take care of their health and well-being. >> reporter: and this is one of the walgreens behind me that's going to be shuttered. experts say the real key to attacking this problem is to try to prevent these stolen goods from appearing online in the first place. now, a bill is working its way through congress that could potentially help in that regard. it's called the informed consumers act. it would require third-party merchants to be vetted by these online marketplaces. but the bottom line here is this is a very complicated issue and it's just so sad for these neighborhoods to lose their corner pharmacies. jim and erica? >> thank you so much. today is a critical day in the investigation of the january 6th attack on the capitol. how will lawmakers proceed now that at least two senior trump
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good thursday morning to you. it's almost friday. i'm jim sciutto. >> i love a good friday eve. i'm erica hill. it is also decision time for the gymnastics select committee. will lawmakers pursue criminal contempt charges now that a pair of president trump's former aides are expected to refuse to appear for today's scheduled depositions? cnn has learned that both steve bannon, former defense official patel will