tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 19, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
under the law and over companies si oversight and functioning congress, they can't allow it either. >> thank you all very much. and thanks very much to all of you for joining us for that live vote. ac 360 starts now. good evening. members of the house select committee on january 6th have just decided to recommend the full house find former-trump associate steve bannon in contempt of congress for defying a committee's subpoena to appear. i want to start off right now with cnn's ryan nobles at the capitol with the very latest. so walk us through what happened at this vote, ryan. >> reporter: it was pretty straightforward, anderson. the committee chairman, bennie thompson, the vice chair liz cheney both read somewhat lengthy opening statements kind of outlining the case as to why they believed that this was a necessary step to refer steve bannon for criminal contempt. they talked about how defiant bannon had been in terms of his lack of cooperation with the committee.
they also really took aim at his legal arguments that he somehow was protected by executive privilege because of the efforts of the former-president donald trump, and saying it just was not enough for him to be so uncooperative with the committee. and then, liz cheney who is of course the vice chair and a republican and a big critic of the former president talked specifically about how both bannon and president trump's actions played a direct role in what we saw here on january 6th. and -- and that gave an awful lot of insight into what the committee's thinking is at the base of their investigation as they move forward. after those opening statements, it was pretty cut and dry, anderson. the chairman called for a vote of the committee members. they offered up a roll call vote. all nine members voted in the affirmative. they reported the report out. it's now going to go to the full house of representatives. we're told that could happen as early as thursday. once the house votes on it, it will then go to the department
of justice who will determine whether or not they will prosecute steve bannon for criminal contempt so this is a major step for in committee as they move their investigation forward, anderson. >> just talk about a little bit, the process in the house now. the house will -- will vote on this. um, is it -- will be discussed much? do you know that -- what the exact timeline of everything? >> yeah. so the -- what we are being told right now and it hasn't been formally scheduled yet but a number of people that are familiar with the planning of the house floor calendar have said that this will come to the floor as soon as thursday. there will be an opportunity for debate on the floor, as there always is with any resolution. and i think, anderson, the big question that we have here tonight is, you know, there won't be many surprises on the democratic side. this will pass and it shouldn't have any trouble passing. the question is how many republicans will vote in favor of this criminal-contempt charge? how many of them will stick by the former-president donald trump, as opposed to the
authority and the rights of the congress as outlined in the constitution? this is something that the congress has the right to do. subpoena someone. and if they do not respond appropriately to that subpoena, find them in criminal contempt. so, you know, we are going to have to keep an eye on some of these republicans. many of them, that voted to impeach the former president when they were given the opportunity. of course, we know two republicans on the panel, both liz cheney and adam kinzinger voted to do so tonight but there is a wider space of republicans who will now be, once again, on the record as it relates to the former president's conduct, steve bannon's conduct. and then, also, just the responsibilities and the authority of the united states congress in the grand scheme. so that's one of the big questions we'll have after -- over the next couple of days but once that vote goes through as soon as thursday, it is then in the hands of the attorney general, merrick garland. and the department of justice to begin the process of prosecuting this case. it will likely go before a grand
jury. and then, the process will begin from a criminal prosecution standpoint. and all of this, with the goal of trying to get steve bannon to cooperate with this committee not just to offer up his testimony but also to provide the documents and communications and information that he knows about what happened on that day. >> yeah. i mean, to see how many republicans in the house actually have the courage of liz cheney, of adam kinzinger, um, that is one thing we will be watching very closely. ryan nobles, thank you. joining us is cnn senior political commentator and former senior adviser to president obama, david axelrod. cnn chief political correspondent, dana bash. so, dana, just on a political level, how significant is this move by the committee tonight? i mean, if the former president and his allies are able to stall the investigation, obviously, in the months ahead while they claim persecution and try to run out the clock for the midterms, does this whole thing then become a huge rallying cry for republicans in the election year? >> yes. i mean, no matter what, it is going to be a rallying cry for
republicans in the election year. and you are probably going to see that play out in a very big and robust way on thursday when the full -- the full house i should say, is expect today bring this up. but it doesn't mean that the democrats, plus the two republicans of course who are on this committee are going to change course because they are determined to -- to get to the facts. to get the facts that they believe steve bannon has. but more importantly, as we have heard, you know, throughout the last couple of weeks, particularly in the run-up to this vote tonight, they want to make it very clear to the other holdouts. to the other former-trump officials who are defying subpoenas, this is what's going to happen to you. they need to start the -- the ball rolling and they need to set the precedent. >> david, you tweeted something this week, obviously sarcastically but your point was well taken. you said that -- is this nation coming to -- what is this nation coming to if, quote, a president can't even confidentially confer
with his co-conspirators while plotting to overturn an election and fomenting against the government and constitution, i mean, what's executive privilege for? does it surprise you to hear people basically saying, oh, department of justice won't want to get involved in this or if the courts get involved, it will take forever and there is no point? >> well, look. i think the -- the department of justice should be diligent about how they pursue this because there will be a lot of questions about it. and they have to be concerned about doing things properly. in terms of delaying, i -- look -- donald trump's whole business model for -- throughout his career and his model in government was to defy, delay, string things out, try and wear down his opponents by litigating everything and it's not surprising to see him do that here. my sense just watching these proceedings and talking to those i know is that this committee is determined to move forward, and they're getting information. they do not feel that they are
going to be flummoxed or -- or -- or deterred by these tactics. there are other people who are talking to the committee. they are gathering quite a bit of information. and after all, the suspicion about bannon wasn't fed by some anonymous tip. it was -- it was fueled by the things that he said on his own podcast. >> right. he said all hell's going to break loose tomorrow. i mean, he was very spechk. >> exactly. exactly. >> dana, and -- and david, fwuld if you would stay with us. joining me now, congresswoman, appreciate you being with us. what message do you believe the committee has sent tonight with this vote? and do you think it will pass the full house? >> well, thanks, also, for -- for having me and as you may have just seen, we voted unanimously to forward this criminal contempt for not complying with the subpoena. i think the message it sends and chairman thompson very clearly said, i mean, the law applies to everyone and mr. bannon should understand that he can't evade a subpoena from congress and that
we are going to act quickly. and we are going to use all of the tools that we have in order to enforce the law, and to receive his testimony. and i also thought my colleague, ms. cheney, made some very, very powerful remarks to her republican-fellow colleagues. along the lines of, you know, that you know. look into your heart. you understand, you know the truth and you understand why that we have this committee and why we are doing this investigation. and it's time for you to tell yourself the truth, and to essentially what i inferred from it was to tell the public the truth because the dominion voting machines were not tampered with. um, there was no big lie. the -- the -- the election had, you know, no discernible significant fraud. it was a free and fair election and that ms. cheney, you and my fellow republicans need to understand this and face the truth as well. >> i want to in fact play something that -- that -- that liz cheney said tonight. let's listen. >> in the words of many who participated in the january-6th attack, the violence that day
was in direct response to president trump's repeated claims, from election night through january 6th, that he had won the election. the american people are entitled to mr. bannon's firsthand testimony about all of these relevant facts. but as the chairman noted, mr. bannon is refusing to provide it. >> you know, i mean, the courage that -- that she and dadam kinzinger as well, you know, showed just by -- by doing this and i mean her words tonight. you know, it -- it's -- i mean, plenty of her republican colleagues know exactly what a farce the president's big lie is. and i -- i assume, are secretly horrified about what happened the day of the insurrection. but it's stunning to me that -- that so few of them have any kind of courage to actually stand up for the truth.
>> well you know what's even more shocking? is that some of them were publicly terrified on january 7th, including leader mccarthy. but he's quickly shifted back to being an enabler, along with so many other republican members in the house. um, of this big lie. and we hear the former president repeating these lies about the election over and over, again. and continuing to embolden people who are engaging in political violence, and, you know, this investigation has to get to the bottom of that. we have to hear from the people who were closest to the former president at the time of january 6th and were familiar with his thinking and -- and can understand, like ms. cheney said, things that we know very publicly from public statements that -- that the president -- the former president was aware of these things going on around him. um, and, you know, made comments himself and failed to take action himself to -- to tell people to stop and go home. >> can i just ask you just what it was like tonight to be sitting there, you know, with your -- your colleagues?
i mean, obviously, it -- it is a -- um, it's an important night and -- and to be in the room as liz cheney is saying these things. and the political price that she is already paying. i mean, her colleagues are trying to destroy her as -- as they are with adam -- adam kinzinger. um, just what was it like in that room? >> well, i have always -- since my coming to congress -- had a great relationship with liz cheney. we serve on the arm services committee together and even before taking this huge step of courage against her own party, um, i've admired her and admired her service even though our, you know, political views and votes are probably quite different at many times. think she is very, very courageous in this moment and it is really important that -- that she and adam kinzinger and, you know, i -- i wish there were more. if you ask my sentiment, it's like i was sad. i was sad that there were only two republicans there with us
who supported the need to move forward with this committee. and, you know, we wanted to do an independent commission. i mean, the goal was to literally take this out of the hands of the house and to do an independent commission, similar to what had been done post-9/11. but the only result we were left with was to go forward with this commission -- or committee that we are doing now because so many of the republicans, they just must be afraid of the facts that are going to come out and did not want any investigation at all. >> yeah. congresswoman, i appreciate your time tonight. thank you. >> back now with david axelrod and dana bash. um, dana, i mean, again, just the -- the -- the courage that liz cheney shows. she -- i mean, she is -- they are trying to destroy her, aren't they? >> absolutely. first and foremost, to beat her and the -- the former president has endorsed and is encouraging her -- one of her primary opponents. now, i guess, her main republican primary opponent. and in wyoming, she's got an
at-large seat. having the trump endorsement is a big deal. donald trump won wyoming by more points than -- percentage points than any other state in the union. so, that's a huge, huge deal. the cheney name is -- is an important one and it's one with a big legacy in wyoming. but she understands, full well, what she is doing here and what she could be doing is ending her political career in the short-term potentially. but she says, over and over again, she is owning it that she's just g-- she is going to o it for the reasons she described tonight. >> david, do you think many -- or really any other republicans in the house will go along with this -- this call on steve bannon? >> i mean, there may be a handful that will vote on this contempt citation because we did see ten vote for impeachment. but, look. you know, there was a big called "profiles in courage," that john
f. kennedy wrote about people who showed political courage. and the definition of it was they were willing to risk their political careers for a higher principle. and that is what we are seeing with liz cheney. that's what we are seeing with adam kinzinger. but it -- there's -- that was a rather slim volume, anderson. those stories are not legion in american history. and right now, republicans are running for cover. they are frightened of donald trump. 78% of republicans embrace the big lie. they are worried about primary challenges. they are worried about losing their careers, and that's what makes what liz cheney and adam kinzinger did tonight and what, maybe, some others will do on thursday so notable. >> yeah. and i mean, chuck grassley as we talked about days ago. taking the -- the endorsement of -- of president trump, avoiding even the comments he, himself, had made about the insurrection now. david axelrod, dana bash, appreciate it. thank you. coming up next, a closer look at the next steps from a legal standpoint if as expected the full house votes to refer
criminal contempt charges against steve bannon. later, one of the best-known lawyers in his state. now, the defendant accused of misappropriating millions, asking a judge for bail. how alex murdaugh's day in court went and why there is so much more to this bizarre story than just that, ahead. the last day of vacation is still vacation. with guaranteed 4pm checkout at fine hotels + resorts properties. one of the many reasons you're with amex platinum. most bladder leak pads were similar. until always discreet invented a pad that protects differently.
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breaking news just moments ago. the house select committee on january 6th voting to recommend criminal contempt charges against steve bannon for defying a subpoena to appear and provide documents. next up, a vote by the full house. the question is, then what? what are the legal steps after that? we can turn now to cnn contributor, former nixon white house counsel, john dean. also, uc berkeley law professor and former deputy assistant attorney general, john yu. john dean, i want to read something that congressman adam schiff, a member of the select committee, just tweeted. he wrote steve bannon was given every opportunity to comply with the lawful subpoena. he chose, instead, to make specious claims of executive privilege. tonight, we voted to hold him in
criminal contempt, despite what he and trump may believe, no one is above the law, unquote. what do you make that have? >> well, i think it's very accurate. i -- i'm surprised that bannon is -- is as blatant as he is. he is working with an attorney who certainly knows what's happening and understands it. but yet, they have decided to make a stance that i don't think is going to withstand the test. there are very few arguments that can be made. they're highly technical. and if the department of justice -- which i think will happen -- proceeds to go forward and take this to a grand jury, there will be an indictment forthcoming. and he will be facing misdemeanor charges. he's got -- there's an overwhelming case against him. >> professor yu, i mean, the legal fight shaping up as a question of executive privilege even with the two examples involving president nixon, is there a clear legal standard for what applies here? >> i'm afraid there is but it's not in steve bannon's favor. the major -- presidents have always had the right to keep discussions secret with their
aides but it has to give way before legitimate inquiries from the other branch. the problem here for bannon is that that privilege is between presidents and government employees. he's not working for the government. he can't claim a privilege. and so, i agree with john. i think he is going to end up losing. the interesting thing is as you said, anderson, what comes next? bannon doesn't want to testify before congress. he doesn't want to give evidence out in public that could be used in a prosecution of him for sedition or for insurrection. so i think he -- his next step, he is going to start to consider whether to take the fifth and not show up in congress because he could end up testifying against himself. >> so, it -- if -- but -- but, professor, if this is a misdemeanor, i mean, can he just -- he can do that? he can just plead the fifth? not show up in congress and what would happen? he pays a fine for the misdemeanor? >> well, what would happen is that he would still litigate and try to claim that there is executive privilege here. the supreme court is very leery of these cases.
they have asked the lower-court judges to try to get congress and the president, in the past, to compromise and reach some kind of deal. there is another interesting question here is joe biden has already waived executive privilege so it's not clear whether president trump can even claim the right to secrecy here at all. that's something the supreme court really has to weigh and decide, finally. we're really not sure. but i don't think that the courts are -- even the lower courts -- are going to really look favorably on bannon was he wasn't working for the government at the time that these statements that the committee wants to see were made. and so, he really can't claim the privilege at all. >> john dean, i mean, how long would this drag out for, though? and -- and if, in the end, i mean, can he be forced to actually provide documents or forced to testify? >> well obviously, the committee wants the -- the documents and the testimony. they'd prefer that, rather than a lot of litigation and criminal prosecutions.
i think what they will do is if the committee asks them to expedite these proceedings because of the importance of what they're investigating, i think justice will probably assist them in that, rather than just sit on this. the -- we know the courts don't like these cases. and as professor yu said, they're going to try to get the -- the parties to cooperate. that'll be their first drill. and if that doesn't even work in the context of a criminal prosecution, they will have to go forward. and i don't know if we're talking -- we're not talking weeks. we're clearly talking months but i don't think we are talking years. so i think this thing is going to be moved pretty quickly. >> so, professor yu, i -- and pardon my repeating this because i -- i'm just -- i'm not a legal -- i have no law degree and -- and i -- i don't understand these things, exactly how it works. >> that's why everybody likes you. >> right? i don't know about that. but -- but so, if he pleads the fifth, i mean, can somebody
actually be forced to provide documents? or forced to talk? i mean, it -- yes, it -- it -- you know, it goes through courts. he pleads the fifth. what, in the end, actually happens? does it just amount to a -- a fine? or does he actually talk? >> this is -- this is really interesting. it's very murky. the last time this kind of happened was with ali north and the iran contra investigation. and so, what happened there is congress really wanted the information, so they granted north immunity to testify. and so, that's what bannon's lawyers are probably going to be working on right now. is they will say, okay, we'll show up. we'll testify. as long as you give us immunity from prosecution. that means the prosecutors have to ignore anything he says in their -- in the hearings while they build a potential case against bannon for conspiracy of insurrection. but as john said, that could take months and months to work out. if you are bannon's lawyers, i suspect all they want to do is
get to the november elections, and maybe the house changes hands and then the whole thing gets dropped. >> well also, john dean, to the professor's point, you know, bannon as a vested interest in not talking not only because it may incriminate him in some way. but his whole, you know, podcast, his whole career depends on the continued support of the former president. and also, all the followers of the former president. and if he is suddenly the guy who, you know, gets a deal and then testifies, that certainly doesn't set him up for, you know, whatever his podcasting career may amount to. >> no but this is all giving him an awful lot of attention which is what he does like and what he does want and which will spread his podcast. i think that the easy answer is that if he gets forced -- if he is immunized, then it's not likely he can be prosecuted. so his lawyer is savvy, he will
probably play for immunity and say you give me immunity, i'm in front of you and then he will have to testify truthfully. >> thank you so much. really interesting. up next, new information about mixing and matching covid boosters. plus, an exclusive interview with a doctor who is spreading disinformation about covid-19. why what he says impacts so many people.
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for an exclusive live stream with jamie lee curtis. a q&a with me! join for free on the xfinity app. our thanks your rewards. sources tell cnn the u.s. food and drug administration is planning on allowing americans to receive a different coronavirus vaccine for their booster shots than their original dose. this comes after the nih presented research last week showing it was safe to mix boosters and mixing and matching actually revved up immune response. also tonight, we have new data about vaccinations. accordings to the cdc, 57.1% of the u.s. population is vaccinated. that is about 189 million people. 22.8% or about 65 million people of the eligible population are not vaccinated.
and 35 states have vaccinated more than one half half of their residents. meanwhile, all across the country, high-profile doctors, physicians who went to medical school, are persuading people not to get the covid vaccine. to ignore health measures like wearing masks. you are about to hear exclusively from one doctor who makes frightening statements about covid and the vaccine that are wrong. but we think it's important for the public to hear his beliefs, together, with the truth because he and other high-profile physicians who deny the facts collectively reach millions of americans. while the vast majority realize it's bs, a dangerous number of people believe the lies. here is cnn's senior investigative correspondent, drew griffin. >> reporter: dr. rasha, at one time, had more than a million followers and is considered one of the top spreaders of disinformation about covid-19. >> more people are dying from the covid vaccine than from covid. >> reporter: that is not true. neither is his tweet that the red cross won't accept blood from people who have had the covid-19 vaccine.
he posted, most who took covid vaccines will be dead by 2025. but his biggest whopper is the overarching conspiracy theory that covid was a planned operation which was politically motivated as part of a secret global plot to depopulate the earth. you believe the pandemic was planned? >> i do. >> okay. >> i do. >> but you don't know. >> i have no idea. >> and you don't know why? >> well, i suspect that there's -- the research that's coming now that would indicate that it's probably something to reduce the population or -- or minimize reproduction rates. >> reporter: it would be laughable if it wasn't so dangerous. he compares covid and the vaccine to world war ii and dr. anthony fauci to adolf hitler. >> fauci is a criminal. you talk about hitler. okay. well -- >> whoever dr. fauci is in your mind, he is a government
bureaucrat and you are comparing him to hitler. to nazis. >> i am. >> who killed 6 million jews. >> i think this -- this number is going to be higher. >> you think dr. fauci is involved in some kind of plot to kill millions of people? i just want to make sure i understand this. >> again, drew, i'm a reasonable person. you asking me what i think and i said it could be this but i can tell you that dr. fauci is not an innocent bystander. he is very well aware of what he is doing. and the extent of it and his involvement, i don't know. i am not privy to that information. >> reporter: as atrocious as the doctor's fake conclusions and conspiracy theories are, he is just one of the doctors spreading dangerous covid disinformation to millions of people across social media. accordling to the center for countering digital hate. >> let's be absolutely clear. lies cost lives in a pandemic. if you are encouraging people not to vaccinate, you will cause people to lose their lives. >> batar is encouraging people to distrust lifesaving vaccines.
and like other disinformers, he is using false, twisted information and unproven conspiracies to do it. do you think the covid vaccine works? >> i think that the covid vaccine is very effective at what it was designed for, perhaps. but it's not preventing death, certainly not. >> it's not preventing death? >> no. >> reporter: even faced with indisputable facts, he doubles down on his belief that lifesaving vaccines are more dangerous than the virus itself. >> people don't die from covid. you have her already seen the data. >> so why are we getting a vaccine that causes more deaths than the problem, itself? >> 6.34 billion doses of this vaccine have been given. if you are right, people would be dropping dead all around us. >> it's not orchestrated to do that. >> it's not orchestrated to do that? >> each vaccine has been geared up. so you can look at the ingredients of the vaccines themselves. it is a all been published. >> complete the sentence. each vaccine has been geared up for what?
>> each vaccine is designed -- it appears to be different. i don't know the details because i am not a vaccine developer. >> scientific corruption. >> reporter: because of his disinformation, batar has been removed from facebook and instagram but he is still going strong on twitter, telegram, and his own website all filled with falsehoods. on september 5th, you retweeted a photo of an astrazeneca p packaging that seems to indicate it was made in 2018. that picture that you retweeted was a doctored photo. it was fake. >> perhaps, it was fake. >> why would dow that? >> so, drew, let me ask you something. you saying it's not reasonable to question the same agencies that have resulted in numerous deaths? >> it's reasonable to ask questions. what i don't understand is how you get from your asking questions to your belief. you had 1.2 million followers at one point. >> yes. >> they got false information from you. not -- not correct or challenging medical information. they got a -- a doctored photo.
>> if i sent a tweet out of a picture that was doctored and i didn't know about it, i'm not perfect. maybe, i did make that mistake. but i am not making mistakes on the numbers. >> reporter: the very latest vaccine studies show they remain 90% effective in preventing hospitalization and death. batar tells his followers it is the vaccine that is the danger. >> we always see thousands of people dying. this delta variant is all vaccine injury. i mean, the cdc's own data is showing that now. >> that's just not true. >> i don't want to be part of this mass genocide that i see happening. and i think that what's going on right now will be remembered as a worst time in history compared to what world war ii happened. >> i just want to be straight with you. i think you're crazy. before covid, north carolina's board of medicine reprimanded batar, twice, for the way he was treating autism and cancer patients. the board accused him of charging exorbitant fees for his
ineffectual therapies which he denied including injecting a patient with hydrogen peroxide. the fda, also, sent him a warning letter over products he made and sold that promised to do everything from treating chronic pain to improving sex drive. >> and yet, i have unrestricted license to practice for 30 years. >> reporter: and that is the problem. dr. batar repeatedly lies and disinforms on matters of public health. yet, that doesn't have an impact on his medical license held in north carolina. across the country, covid-19 has created a subculture of disinformation among medical outcasts. state medical boards don't know what to do. >> those kinds of comments are very troubling to doctors who are on the front lines and managing covid. they are particularly frustrating. in fact, some of hmy colleagues are livid. >> cnn contacted medical boards in all 50 states. half of them responded.
only two, rhode island and oregon, said they had actually disciplined doctors for coronavirus misinformation or related violations. that is despite hundreds of complaints. the federation of state medical boards issued a warning to physicians who generate and spread covid-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation. that they are risking disciplinary action, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license. >> especially, in a pandemic, um, your actions could lead to the deaths of thousands of individuals because people trust what doctors say. >> reporter: batar doesn't seem to care. you had an outsized influence over just somebody who is living down the street in terms of people getting their medical advice. you have to admit that. >> absolutely. absolutely. >> reporter: and you are raising doubt about a vaccine that -- >> i hope i am because i hope more people take heed of the warning that is necessary. >> and if you are wrong and they die because of that? >> i am confident -- more than
confident -- in my ability to have looked at the data and observe what's going on and that if i'm wrong, so be it because i have to look at myself in the mi mirror every night when i go to bed and every morning when i get up. and i don't lose any sleep, drew. >> drew grirffin joins us now. i don't know where to begin with this guy but i am stunned that he still has a license and that, you know, i mean, i know medical boards protect doc -- doctors like to protect each other and stuff and it is very hard to get a -- a doctor -- lose his license. but i mean this is just incredible, the stuff that this guy is saying. it's just -- i mean, is he making a lot of money doing this? >> this is how he makes money. he also has lots of patients who, quite frankly, have nowhere else to go so they turn to him. he sells hope. hope that he mostly cannot deliver on. the medical boards are really geared towards the last century.
they are not geared up for this kind of disinformation online. they are geared for a patient going to see a doctor who is, you know, treated badly. and then, there is basically a lawsuit that comes out the other end. this guy is disinforming patients he doesn't even know or meet and that is the problem. people sitting at home on the internet, believing that this guy who very much reminds me, anderson, of that pillow guy who is looking at basic facts and so misinterpreting them that it's hard to believe. but he is doing it in such a way that he's telling these people, and convincing them not to get a lifesaving vaccine. it is really troubling. >> you know, i was reading the fineprint on the -- what he was accused of before in some of his practice. i actually did a piece along -- years ago on 60 minutes about another guy who was doing the same sorts of -- of -- of treatments that show no efficacy. it's stunning that this guy is just still out there and still, you know, saying what he is
saying. drew, i appreciate it. thank. ahead tonight. disgraced south carolina attorney alex murdaugh faces a judge on fraud charges linked to millions of missing funds that prosecutors say was meant for his housekeeper's estate. what the judge did today, coming up. what does it feel like to sell your car to carvana? it feels amazing. when you get a great offer in seconds... (all cheering) it feels too good to be true. it's kicking back and relaxing as we pick up your car. and when you get paid on the spot, it feels like scoring big. you know the feeling. you just never imagined you could get it from selling your car. well, with carvana, you can. experience the new way to sell a car.
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so, thanks for everything ice cream, but we'll take it from here. yasso audaciously delicious just months ago, alex murdaugh was one of south carolina's most prominent attorneys. but now, a judge has denied him bond for allegedly stealing millions of dollars if from an insurance settlement. prosecutors say he embezzled millions of dollars from his deceased housekeeper's estate. now, this is just the latest scandal to engulf the disgraced lawyer following the unsolved killing of his wife and son. cnn's amara walker has the latest from south carolina. >> reporter: for the second time in the past month, alex murdaugh appeared in court shackled at the wrist and ankles to face another set of charges. this time, he is accused of stealing insurance money following the death of his
housekeeper of 25 years, gloria satterfield. >> from the very family of the housekeeper that helped raise his kids. this is a crime that we've never seen before. >> reporter: during his bond hearing in columbia, south carolina, the prosecutor and attorneys for satterfield's estate laid out how murdaugh allegedly used more than $3 million, most of which was intended for satterfield's sons. >> he had been carrying $100,000 credit card balance for months that gets paid off. he writes 300 some odd grand to his father. he writes a check for 610 grand to himself. he writes a check for 125 grand to himself. not a dime goes to the family back here. satte satterfield died in murdaugh's home in 2018 after what was described as a trip and fall accident. at her funeral, the prosecutor said murdaugh approached her sons to recommend they hire attorney cory fleming in order to sue murdaugh. you heard that right. the sons on murdaugh's
recommendation would sue him in order to win money for their family. fleming brokered a $4.3 million settlement. but they alleged the family was not notified of the settlement, nor were they air aware fleming was his close friend. instead, authorities say the money was deposited in alex murdaugh's bank account titled forge, which sounds very similar to forge consulting llc, a south carolina firm that handles insurance settlements. >> and it appears that this account was nothing more than a -- an illusion -- a fabrication in order to create the illusion that these checks that he was getting in various settlements were going to a legitimate settlement consultant. >> reporter: murdaugh was denied bond and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after attorneys pointed out his opioid addiction and alleged suicide for hire scheme. >> no amount of bond that the
court can set that would safely provide protection to mr. murdaugh, to the community. >> reporter: separately, the south carolina law enforcement division, or sled, opened an investigation last month into satterfield's death. it is just one of a half a dozen investigations connected to the murdaugh family. in september, the 53-year-old was arrested request charged with insurance fraud, among others, after police say he tried to stage his own killing to collect $10 million of life insurance for his surviving son. in june, murdaugh's wife and son were found shot dead outside their family estate. one of his lawyers last week told cnn affiliate, whns, that murdaugh is a person of interest in sled's investigation of their murders. we reached out to sled, and they are not commenting on matter. that investigation led authorities to re-open a probe into the 2015 unsolved death of 19-year-old steven smith, found dead on the road in hampton county. >> there is no evidence that he was involved in any untoward act
towards gloria satterfield in terms of her falling down the stairs or steven smith. there is no evidence, whatsoever. and i meaner i don't -- i just think is reacting to sort of the public pressure. >> now, anderson, in a strikingly similar case, a law firm that alex murdaugh once worked for announced last month that it is suing alex murdaugh to recover money. insurance payment settlements that he allegedly stole from clients of the firm. they say for many years to use on his own personal expenses. alex murdaugh's attorney, jim griffin, released a statement saying that this was a sad development. that they would cooperate with the law firm's investigation. and by the way, this is a law firm that alex murdaugh's great grandfather founded back in the early 1900s. another bond hearing is set, by the way, for next week, anderson. >> incredible. amara, thanks very much. up next, what the gang behind the kidnapping of the 16 american and one canadian
the gang that kidnapped a group of 17 americans in haiti is demanding $17 million, $1 million each for their release. that is according to the haitian justice minister. the five men and seven women and children, including an eight-month-old baby, were abducted on saturday. what do you know about the status of the people kidnapped? >> reporter: we had a conversation today with our source in the haitian security forces, anderson, who tell us at least at moment the kidnapping victims, as far as they know, appear to be in good health. they didn't suffer too bad in terms of physically from this kidnapping event. but that's something they'll be watching very closely and it's something they're having talks with when the gang members do make phone contact with christian aid ministries. that's the group that these kidnapping victims were here in haiti working with. and, of course, it's really concerning when you consider there are five minors in the group ages eight months, three years, six years, 13 years and
15 years. but, again, they seem to be okay at least for the moment. in terms of being they're being held, anderson, the justice minister tells me they're probably being held outside quadibuket. that's the gangs' area of control. they don't usually keep kidnapping victims inside there, so it's a location outside of there. the conversations that law enforcement through the ministry has had with these gang members, and we know there are fbi agents here assisting, the minister tells us it has been clearly communicated to this group that they will face severe consequences, the gang will, if any harm comes to any of those kidnapping victims, but at least so far that has not swayed these kidnappers. they remain committed to that ransom you talked about just off the top there. although our source in the security forces say these conversations for now are calm.
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president biden and house and senate democrats are close to an infrastructure bill. we have a town hall on thursday, 8:00 p.m. eastern time on cnn. i'm chris cuomo. bell come to "prime time." we have breaking news tonight. the january 6 committee unanimously agreeing to hold steve bannon in contempt of congress because he is denying his subpoena. he is following trump's efforts to delay, hiding under an imaginary cloak of executive privilege that provides him no cover whatsoever. the panel isn't havingt.