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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
Hillary Clinton Answers Reporters' Questions After Nearly A Month Of Silence; Federal Trade Commission Cracks Down On Four Cancer Charities; The Prevalence And Cache Of Biker Gangs In The U.S.; Week Four Of The Aurora Movie Theater Shooting Ramps Up. Aired 12:30-1p ET
Aired May 19, 2015 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[12:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: We've got some breaking news. It has been virtually weeks since Hillary Clinton has answered questions from reporters and she's doing so now, let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: That's what I'm asking them to do, please move as quickly as they possibly can to get them out.
CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You regret deleting 32,000 other e-mails, Mrs. Clinton?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Oh man, that was something else, folks, because you heard that reporter yelling "Do you regret deleting 32,000 e-mails." There's been news this morning actually from State Department about Hillary Clinton's e-mails, they've announced that it's going to take long time to get through those e-mails and effectively complete the review that is being required of the State Department. And you want to know how long a long time is? It is 2016. January of 2016. It's going to take for that review.
In the meantime, I wanted to just play some of the tape that we just missed in commercial breaks that you can hear exactly what it was that the reporter asked, and what Mrs. Clinton answered. Have a look.
So here's the frustrating part, when you turn tape real fast, sometimes one of the channels isn't on. And right now it's the audio channel, so my apologies to you. We're not going to be able get that audio up right away. But you know what? We're really good at fixing it. And we're going to fix it and we're going to play it for you just as soon as we can. Apologies.
But she was referring to the e-mails which were -- you know, great significance as well as Clinton charities and donations. So those are big issues for the candidate. This is, you know, Cedar Falls, Iowa. She's on the trail. She's on the campaign trail and finally taken this question. So we'll get those for you just as soon as we can.
In the meantime, right before the break, I told you it just makes your blood boil when you give money, you don't feel like it's going where it should.
The Federal Trade Commission thinks that too and it's cracking down on four different charities for ripping off generous Americans who are trying to help people suffering from cancer.
The Federal Trade Commission just announced that it's going to levy $130 million in fines against the following four charities, Cancer Fund of America, Children's Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, and The Breast Cancer Society.
CNN has reported extensively with Drew Griffin that the founders of these charities allegedly spent their donations widely. What do I mean? I mean trips to Las Vegas, Disneyland, purchases of all kinds of goods that places like Victoria Secret among others.
Joining me now is the senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin who exposed these charities and has also confronted them.
I have watched you chasing down these people, trying to get simply answers about documents that they've themselves filed with the government saying how much money they took in and how much money they actually sent out.
Drew, it's outstanding, give me the nutshell of what you discovered about this collection of charities.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: First of all, today, for the first time in history, the FTC and Attorneys General from all 50 states are joining together to go after a charity. And they're the --
GRIFFIN: -- four charities you mentioned. They're going to put two of them out of business immediately. Two other ones will try to fight it. But let me put in a nutshell just from the summary of the case what these people did.
And I'll read to you, "Defendants, four sham charities and the individuals who run them, have engaged in a massive nationwide fraud telling generous Americans their contributions will help people suffering from cancer, but instead, spending the overwhelming majority of donated funds supporting the individual defendants, their families and friends, and their fundraisers."
Ashleigh, its $187 million which is how much Americans gave these four charities from --
GRIFFIN: -- 2008 to 2012. And among other things they spent the money out, dating website subscriptions. As you read this complaint, hardly any of it went to anything involved with helping cancer patients, yet they --
GRIFFIN: -- would be on phone lines with telemarketers telling people "Your money is going to half of children, for --
BANFIELD: 100 percent of it.
GRIFFIN: -- in cancer and --
BANFIELD: Right? 100 percent of your money is going to go --
GRIFFIN: Right. Right.
BANFIELD: -- all of this. Drew, can I just ask you quickly?
[12:35:02] GRIFFIN: Yes.
BANFIELD: Look, its one thing to go after people who've been, you know, raking in the millions and then, you know, dribble and driving it out in the minor thousand. But it's another thing if they go to jail. Do we know what the story is about jailing these people and really making them feel the pinch?
GRIFFIN: You know here's the secret of charitable contributions in the United States. It's almost impossible to put people in jail because they can hide various judgments that happened in the past, whereby, if I'm telling you right now over the phone while I'm asking you for money that children with cancer suffer, that is considered some kind of educational purpose, same with flyers --
BANFIELD: You're kidding me.
GRIFFIN: That same with flyers that come into mail, send me a $100 because blind people can't read printed script. That is considered educational material. So it's very difficult to put people in jail. What you can do is find them, try to catch them on some of this fraud -- various fraud charges related to their pitches which is what is being done here. But it's hard --
BANFIELD: Well, Drew -- but --
GRIFFIN: -- to put them in prison.
BANFIELD: So, I hear you but at the same time I'm -- you know, sort of going to do the analysis of all of the different options available state to state and federally, and I can't imagine there isn't some grand theft that put people behind bars because what you -- you got to a phenomenal report that shows they fill out people work saying, for example, the Cancer Fund of America raised $6 million through it's fundraising campaign but only gave away $14,940 and they say things like gift and kind --
BANFIELD: -- but then you call these people that were supposedly -- you know, getting the gifts and kind. We never heard of them.
GRIFFIN: Yes, and --
BANFIELD: -- you know, they're just theft.
GRIFFIN: And just real quickly, gifts and kind -- gifts and kind is left over junk that they repurpose. No one is paying for this. You know what, Ashleigh, all I can tell you is that all 50 states are involved in this.
And so the Attorneys General, the fraud experts in all 50 states got together -- the first time along with the Federal Trade Commission. They tried to crackdown as hard as they could. This is what they came up with. It's very difficult because the way the laws are written in the United State and the case law interpretation of them, I'll tell you, you got to be very careful with charities, very careful. Many of them do good work, a lot of them do very bad work and they hide behind crappy paperwork and not doing what they say they're going to do.
BANFIELD: Well, you know what, I am glad that you took up the cause because if it weren't for people like you, who diligently sorted through thousands and thousands of documents, they would have been caught. So, great work, Drew. You and your team again, huge kudos. For the veterans, with the charity that just never stop. Thank you, Drew Griffin.
GRIFFIN: Thanks guys.
BANFIELD: Always nice to see you.
I want to go back to that breaking news just before Drew came on with his story, we were showing you something we didn't expect to happen today and that was Hillary Clinton who's in Cedar Falls, Iowa on a campaign stop. It's been 27 days since she took any questions from reporters then wow shazam, she took him today. They were asking about the Clinton Foundation and the issues that the foundation is undergoing right now. And also the Clinton e-mail, that's another issue that even today State Department said it's going to take another year or so, or less than a year before they can actually get the complete review.
And now we have to found and here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Secretary Clinton, do you regret the way the Clinton Foundation handled foreign donations when you were U.S. Secretary of State? And your opponents say the donations and your private e-mails are examples of the Clintons having one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everyone else. Do they have a point?
CLINTON: I am so proud of the foundation. I'm proud of the work that it has done and is doing. It attracted donations, from people, organizations, from around the world. And I think that just goes to show that people are very supportive of the life-saving and life- changing work that it's done here, at home and elsewhere. And I'll let the American people make their own judgment to that matter.
UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: Secretary Clinton, given the situation in Iraq, do you think they were better off without Saddam Hussein in power?
CLINTON: Look, I know that there have been a lot of questions about Iraq posed to candidates over the last weeks. I've made it very clear that I made a mistake plain and simple. And I have written about it in my book. I've talked about it in the past. And, you know, what we now see is a very different and very dangerous situation. The United States is doing what it can, but ultimately this has to be a struggle that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people are determined to win for themselves. We can provide support, but they're going to have to do it.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: On your income disclosure, recently just come out on Friday, you are in the top echelon earners in this country. How do you expect everyday Americans to relate to you?'
CLINTON: Well, obviously, Bill and I have been blessed, and we're grateful for the opportunities we had. But we've never forgotten where we came from and we've never forgotten the kind of country we want to see for our granddaughter, and that means that we're going to fight to make sure that everybody has the same chances to live up to his or her own God-given potential.
[12:40:23] So I think that most Americans understand that the deck is stacked for those at the top, and I am running a campaign that is very clearly stating we want to reshuffle that deck. We want to get back to having more opportunities for more people so that they can make more out of their own lives. And I think that's exactly what America's looking for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you explain your relationship as secretary of state with Sidney Blumenthal? There's a report out this morning that you exchanged several e-mails. And should Americans expect that if elected president you would have that same type of relationship with these old friends that you've had for so long?
CLINTON: I have many, many old friends, and I always think that it's important when you get into politics to have friends you had before you were in politics and to understand what's on their minds.
And he's been a friend of mine for a long time. He sent me unsolicited e-mails, which I passed on in some instances. And I see that that's just part of the give-and-take. When you're in the public eye, when you're in an official position, I think you do have to work to make sure you're not caught in the bubble and you only hear from a certain small group of people. And I'm going to keep talking to my old friends, so whoever they are. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Secretary Clinton, Secretary Clinton do you learned today that the State Department might not release your e-mails until January 2016.
A federal judge said they should be released sooner. Will you demand that they be released sooner and to follow up on the questions about the speeches, was there a conflict of interest in your giving paid speeches into the run-up to the announcement that you're running for president?
CLINTON: The answer to the second is "No." And the answer to the first is, I have said repeatedly, I want those e-mails out. Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do. I respect the State Department. They have their process that they do for everybody, not just for me. But anything that they might do to expedite that process I heartily support.
You know, I want the American people to learn as much as we can about the work that I did with our diplomats and our development experts. Because I think it will show how hard we worked and what we did for our country during the time that I was secretary of state, where I worked extremely hard on behalf of our values and our interests and our security. And the e-mails are part of that.
So I have said it publicly and I'm repeating it today here in front of all of you today, I want them out as soon as they can get them out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But will you demand it?
CLINTON: Well -- they're not mine. They belong to the State Department. So the State Department has to go through its process. But as much as they can expedite that process, that's what I'm asking them to do -- please move as quickly as they possibly can to get them out.
CLINTON: Thank you all very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: And there you have it, thank you all one, two, three, four, five questions answered. Here is a nutshell (ph) she's part of the foundation, she made a mistake with the respect to devote to authorize the Iraq war, she talked about her income disclosure. And she represents the Blumenthal and unsolicited e-mails, form a presidential aid, she also talks about e-mails not belonging to her and instead belonging to the state department that's the readers digest version.
But you're going to get a lot of coverage of this. Especially in Wolf Blitzer who's coming up next, this is going to be a big part of his program today as well.
Also coming up coming up next we're going to take you inside with that in-depth look at biker gang much bigger and better than you might have imagined as you look at the constant stream of faces that are coming up as the camera clicks and mug shots in Waco Texas.
[12:46:04] BANFIELD: Biker gangs or motorcycle club as many like to be called, have a long, checkered history in the United States dating back to the 1930s. Justice Department says today there are about 500 large gangs right across the country with multiple chapters. If you count the smaller organized ones the number swells to about 2,500.
Add them all up, and the FBI estimates that the grand total is about 44,000 Americans belonging to biker gangs.
Joining me now live from Toronto is an expert on biker gang, investigative journalist Julian Sher who's literally written the book "Angels of Death: Inside the Bikers Global Crime Empire."
First question, Julian it's a repeat question that I gave to my attorneys on the set the earlier. And that is this, you got a 170 guys right now who are all facing the same charge organize crime with capital murder which in Texas carries with the potential of death penalty. And I know these guys have a code but, how deep and red is that blood run if you're facing capital murder in a place like Texas that doesn't like criminals and likes to execute. Will these guys turn?
JULIAN SHER, BIKE GANG EXPERT: It'll be tough these bikers really do have a code, it is blood and family, they hate the police, they hate the system. You know, when I've talked to gang members they say we are a law into ourselves, we govern ourselves.
They don't go to the police when they know who has killed their brother in. They will solve with themselves, so will one member flip against a rival gang possibly. The police have tried to infiltrate biker gangs, if they had a snitch already if they have somebody inside maybe that person will give information.
They've got a huge number behind bars, 170, they might be able to squeeze but don't ever underestimate the power of the patch and that biker loyalty.
BANFIELD: So there was this, our Kyung Lah, is this great reporter who, you know, was able to track down one of these guys who's already fled a side, he didn't want us to say where he was, he didn't want the cops coming after him.
But he said this, if the American government and police forces think that we are all just bunch of bad guys, criminals and thugs, they got it wrong. And then if -- I'm paraphrasing he says just like cartoon character.
In fact I want you to listen to what he said and how he characterize, what he think to everyone thinks of biker gang. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY GRAVES, BANDIDOS MEMBER: They don't know us, no, they've been reading too many comic books, watching T.V., watching too many B rated biker movies. We have been stereotyped. We're nothing like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Is that true? Because I'm hearing that they're going to be using this murder or shootout as a recruiting tool?
SHER: They will and the Bandidos openly say, you know, we're the people, your parents warned us against. I mean I've written about the bikers, I've met with them, I'm used to this kind of thing where they say we're just a social club, you know, of motorcycle enthusiast.
And the point is not every single member of an outlaw motorcycle gang is a criminal. But first of all they call themselves outlaws. And they're proud to say that they are separate from us.
And when you look at the history, right the Bandidos killed the war between the Bandidos and the Hell's Angels, the other big global gang killed more than a 160 people in Canada, in Europe, in Australia, the question I always put to somebody who says no we're just a nice guys who have to have a good time is, are they going to expel any members of the Bandidos, will they come on CNN, will the leaders of the Bandidos say anybody who is murdered somebody, who is convicted in the Waco shooting, they are out of the club.
No. They stay in the club, even when they go in jail, they're called heroes.
BANFIELD: Yeah, well Julian there's a lot that we still want to learn about this. Not the least of which is whose going to really come down as the focus of this investigation with 170 options in front of us.
[12:50:04] Julian Sher, good to see you thank you sir, it's nice to see you in Toronto.
SHER: Take care.
BANFIELD: Julian Sher, joining us live.
Coming up next, the movie theater murder trial through the eyes of a mother whose daughter should be graduating from college right now, if it weren't for that man highlighted in your screen.
BANFIELD: It is week four of the Colorado movie theater shooting trial and James Holmes defense is pulling out all the stops really to try to prevent that jury from hearing the most graphic details including how badly the victims were injured and how bad the blood bath was.
But the judge is having none of it. Telling the defense last week "The defendant has a constitutional right to a fair trial. The defendant doesn't have a constitutional right to a sanitized trial."
The prosecution is making sure that jurors don't forget what is at the heart of this case? Please look at your screen because this is what's about. These people, these victims, the dead, the injured, 70 people were injured, 12 people were killed including 23 year old Micayla Medek, known to her friends as Cayla.
[12:55:00] Right now it is graduation season and Micayla had plans to graduate college this year Micayla's mother Rene Medek joins me live from Centennial Colorado right now.
Rene, I'm so sorry that you are instead in a courtroom you should be at your daughter's graduation, how are you holding up along with the other family members in during this terrible, terrible testimony?
RENE MEDEK, MICAYLA MEDEK'S MOTHER: Well I'm holding up. But I have to honor the victim's, all of them that -- 70 plus and million more that lives he has destroyed.
BANFIELD: So often Ms. Medek we look at the judge in a courtroom as the advocate for everyone. The defendant himself but also you, I mean you are the people who have lost so much, do you feel with the objections that have been raised and the way the judge has been handling all of these things that you're getting a fair shake in there?
MEDEK: I think so, I hope so, I haven't heard them object yet.
BANFIELD: You know, what I've read the --
MEDEK: The defensive --
BANFIELD: Go ahead, go ahead.
BANFIELD: I know we have delay between us. I'm so sorry. It's difficult because we have this delay between us but I'll ask you another question. And that is this, I read something the other day about another family member reaching forward during some difficult testimony and holding the hand of an unrelated victim's family member in row in front of her.
And it made me realize you have all become quite an extended family are you finding that in the courtroom, that support from all the other people who are going to this awful journey with you?
MEDEK: Yes, all the family's are pretty close at lost people and all the people in the theater that we come to court together are all very close.
BANFIELD: Yeah. Do you ever look across the courtroom at the defendant and just stare and try to figure out what that person is?
MEDEK: Yes, I just -- I looked at him and I just think he's sick. That's all I can feel. He's just sick.
BANFIELD: Well Rene we are thinking of you and Cayla and the other family members and those who were lost in this terrible crime and we're sending our thoughts and our prayers to you and the others. Thank you for being with us today.
MEDEK: Thank you Ashleigh. And I did want to bring up a compassion fund.
BANFIELD: OK quickly. Go ahead.
MEDEK: International -- the compassionfund.org
BANFIELD: OK. All right.
MEDEK: Where all of the victims for -- to help pay their medical bills and to discount those all those victims that were in the theater.
BANFIELD: OK. Thank you for that I appreciate you mentioning you that, compassionfund.org
Rene Medek joining us live from Colorado at this time.
And we are out of time but I want to turn you over to Wolf Blitzer, my colleague who's going to begin right after this.