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EARLY START

Former Justice Officials Slam Comey; Investors Grapple with a Tight Race; Oklahoma Manhunt Ends; Powerful Earthquake Hits Central Italy; Heavy Fighting on Outskirts of Mosul; Venezuelan President Meets Opposition Leaders. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired October 31, 2016 - 03:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: FBI agents -- they get a warrant. They will now begin going through thousands and thousands of newly discovered e- mails that could be related to the Hillary Clinton investigation.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: FBI Director James Comey caught in the middle. What did he know about this brand-new batch of e-mails and when -- when did he know it?

BERMAN: All right, fired up for the last full week of the 2016 election campaign, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the road, trying to energize their supporters.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to "Early Start." I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans, on the road, trying to energize John Berman this Monday, October 31. It is 3 a.m. in the East.

Good morning, everybody. Happy Halloween. Breaking overnight, FBI agents obtained the search warrant that will allow them to scour the huge batch of e-mails to and from top Hillary Clinton aid.

Agents will try to assess whether Huma Abedin's e-mails add anything new to the investigation and to Clinton's private e-mail server. There's also new information this morning about the role of FBI Director James Comey in that investigation and the timing -- the timing of the probe, so close to election day, nine days away.

For the very latest, we turn to CNN's Evan Perez in Washington.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. FBI investigators have obtained a search warrant to begin reviewing thousands of newly discovered e-mails, belonging to Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Clinton's closest advisers. Investigators found the e-mails weeks ago, stumbling on them as they conducted an investigation of Abedin's husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Now, he's under investigation for allegedly exchanging sexually explicit messages with an underage girl. Now, that's leading to questions from the Clinton campaign about why all of this only became public on Friday, days before the presidential election.

Law enforcement officials tell CNN what's been going on behind the scenes in the past month is this. Technical experts spent some time cataloging all of the e-mails.

Now, top FBI officials were briefed after the surprise discovery of the e-mails. There were also some legal questions because the search warrant they had only covered the Weiner's sexting allegations.

FBI Director James Comey was aware of a couple of weeks ago that his investigators had uncovered e-mails that could relate to the Clinton investigation. But Comey was fully briefed on Thursday, after investigators had determined there was enough cause to seek a new search warrant.

Now, those investigators will now work to determine whether there's classified information in the Abedin e-mails, as well as their relevance to the investigation into Clinton's private e-mail server. Comey sent a three-paragraph letter to members of Congress on Friday.

Now, despite calls from the Clinton campaign and from Republicans to provide more information, Comey has no plans to say more while his investigators are still doing their work.

BERMAN: All right, that was Evan Perez. Thanks so much. This morning, nearly a hundred former federal prosecutors and high-ranking Justice Department officials, both Republicans and Democrats, have raised concerns about Comey's letter to Congress. They say it is, quote, "inconsistent with prevailing department policy."

Among the signers of the open letter, former Attorney General Eric Holder and former Deputy Attorney General, Larry Thompson. Larry Thompson served in the George W. Bush administration.

The letter says that Comey's "unprecedented decision to publicly comment on evidence in what may be an ongoing inquiry, just 11 days before a presidential election, leaves us both astonished and perplexed."

ROMANS: Director Comey also the subject of a critical op-ed this morning by former Attorney General Holder. The title tells much of the story. "James Comey is a good man. But he made a serious mistake."

Holder says Comey broke with fundamental principles, fears the director may have negatively affected public trust of the FBI now. Holder says, quote, "It is incumbent upon him or the leadership of the department to dispel the uncertainty he has created before election day, not for the sake of a political candidate or campaign, but in order to protect our system of justice."

BERMAN: Can I -- can I scroll (ph) a little more?

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: This is really extraordinary letter. It says, "I served with Jim Comey and I know him well. This is a very difficult piece for me to write.

He is a man of integrity and honor. I respect him. But good men make mistakes. In this instance, he has committed a serious error with potentially

severe implications." It's extraordinary to hear that from the former attorney general, who worked with Jim Comey for so long right there.

ROMANS: Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is actually accusing the FBI director of breaking the law. Reid has written to congressional committee chair, saying he believes that Comey's 11th hour revelations, quote, "may violate the Hatch Act.

The Hatch Act bars FBI officials from engaging in political activity." Comey was, until recently, a registered Republican.

He is now an independent. Reid also accused Comey in a double- standard, claiming that he has refused to release some unspecified information about Trump's dealings with Russia.

BERMAN: These are pretty wild charges from Harry Reid. He was known to throw political bombs from time to time.

But the idea that this is a violation of the Hatch Act, a lot of attorneys, I think government watch (ph) will tell you that's way out there. And when he floats this notion that Trump is working with the Russians to hack the e-mail, that, too, is sort of way out there.

So a lot of politics at play here. Donald Trump -- he is reveling in this controversy, hoping it's an October surprise that will help him close his gap with Clinton. Right now, in the CNN poll of polls, she holds about a five-point lead.

CNN's Jim Acosta with the Trump campaign.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, Donald Trump is now fully embracing the FBI's investigation of that new batch of e- mails possibly linked to Hillary Clinton. Trump and his advisers are praising the FBI for looking into those e-mails as part of his investigation of those sexting allegations against former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner.

That is a big shift after Trump accused the FBI as being part of a conspiracy to rig the election and give it to Hillary Clinton. Now, Trump says the FBI has all the information it needs to bring Clinton to justice.

Here is what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: But how do you have that many e-mails? What do you do? Sit down all day and just keep typing?

(LAUGHTER)

Hey, no wonder nothing gets done in our country.

(APPLAUSE)

This is the single biggest scandal since Watergate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Trump is pursuing something of a blue-state strategy in this late stage of the campaign, making stops in places like here in New Mexico and also Michigan. Those are some of the states that Trump will have to flip, if he has any hopes of winning on November 8.

John and Christine?

ROMANS: All right, Jim Acosta. Thanks, Jim. Hillary Clinton tried to contain the damage from the latest e-mail controversy without directly addressing it.

She campaigns in Ohio today. At a weekend rally in Florida, she did not mention the issue. Instead, she implored voters to remember the bigger picture.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: There have been ups and downs in all that we've gone through over the years and even in this campaign. But I want you to know, I am focused on one thing -- you.

There's a lot of noise and distraction. But it really comes down to what kind of future we want.

ROMANS: The race is tightening eight days out from the election. The question now, how does the Clinton campaign handle this unexpected Albatross.

Here is CNN's Phil Mattingly.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John and Christine. There was something noticeably absent from Hillary Clinton's remarks on Sunday -- any mention of FBI Director Comey or the letter that he sent to Capitol Hill on Friday.

There's a reason for that. The Clinton campaign, as they look at things now, their top advisers, no question, they are going to continue to attack Jim Comey, continue to try and undercut everything that he was trying to do by informing Congress. But Hillary Clinton herself, she is reverting back to what they were trying to do just 12 days ago, before this all started.

She has a campaign strategy and a campaign message that the campaign believes was winning before this all happened. It's the message they believe she needs to get back to now.

And here is why -- early voting. People are voting across the country, most noticeably, here in Florida, something Hillary Clinton made very clear. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: This is amazing. More than 20 million people have already voted in this election.

(APPLAUSE)

Most of those votes in the last few days, three million of those votes from right here in Florida.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, you only see numbers like that when people are standing up for what they really believe in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY: The big question is, will she lose support? Will the masses walk away from her? Her campaign advisers say no.

They believe, essentially, when it comes to the e-mail server, things were already baked in. They believe this may actually energize her supporters, might circle the wagons in some way, shape or form as her supporters come out and try and defend her over the course of these last seven, eight, nine days.

It's something we saw anecdotally at least here in Florida on Sunday. The big question is, will that carry over?

And of course, the bigger question is, will there be any large impact on the numbers as we're going to have to wait and see a couple of days for that.

John and Christine?

BERMAN: All right, Phil Mattingly, thanks so much for that. We're going to have an unusual presence on the campaign trail this week.

Melania Trump -- she's going to deliver her first speech since the Republican convention. The speech will be on Thursday in Philadelphia.

Donald Trump had promised that his wife is going to give two or three speeches before election day. He promises that they will be big, important speeches.

ROMANS: The presidential election has investors on edge, folks, futures pointing higher this morning. But the Dow dropped early Friday, after news of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mail broke.

Then, it recovered to finish just slightly lower -- a lot of nervousness. Global stock markets are mixed right now.

There is a reliable election predictor in the stock market since 1944. The market falls from August to October.

The party that controls the White House has lost the election 86 percent of the time. That's according to S&P global market intelligence with one trading day left in that span. The S&P 500 is down 2.1 percent.

BERMAN: It's not going to go up 2.1 percent today.

ROMANS: No, that points to a Donald Trump victory, if -- if that pattern holds. What will happen to stocks if Trump is elected?

Forecasting firm, Macroeconomic Advisers, predicts an eight percent drop in stocks. A study by Brookings projects a 10 to 15 percent drop.

That would -- that would -- I call that a plunge. A Clinton win could also move stocks lower, especially if Democrats flip the House.

That could give more influence to senators like Elizabeth Warren, who wants more regulation on Wall Street. They're like (ph), you know, there is this old saying in Wall Street, you know, sell the news.

So the market, you know, for some people, they've been just assuming in the market, a Hillary Clinton victory, if she were to win. You can still see stocks sell up (ph) because...

BERMAN: It's a lose-lose-lose-lose from the stock perspective.

ROMANS: Right.

BERMAN: All right, the manhunt for a suspected killer in Oklahoma is over. We have breaking news overnight on the gun battle that brought down Michael Vance. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: All right, the breaking news, the search for a suspected killer in Oklahoma is over. After eight days on the run, the fugitive, Michael Vance, was killed overnight in a shoot-out with police.

One officer was shot during this pursuit. He has been identified as Dewey County Sheriff Clay Sander.

At last check, he was in surgery for gunshot wounds to the forearm and shoulder. Authorities say Vance murdered two relatives last week and wounded two police officers, touching off the statewide manhunt.

ROMANS: Twenty-two people injured when a car struck a crowd of pedestrians, following a NASCAR event in Martinsville, Virginia, Sunday, nine of the victims taken to the hospital. This happened at a handicap parking area.

Police say the driver tried to pass someone, waiting in post-race traffic, struck that vehicle then plowed into the crowd. They say alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

Authorities at Italy are assessing the damage this morning for a powerful earthquake to hit the central part of that nation, the third in just two weeks. This one was a magnitude 6.6 Officials called this the strongest in more than three decades. At

least 20 people suffered injuries. The Italian prime minister is pledging to rebuild everything.

CNN's Barbie Nadeau, Following developments for us live in Rome.

And Barbie, just one after the other, after the other, has to be unnerving, to say the least.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, absolutely, for these people who are just determined to stay in the area is especially difficult. The civil protection authorities this morning are urging people who refuse to leave the area to just get to safety.

They want them to go spend the -- the next few days in the hotels along the coast, which are going to be safer for them. But so many people just refuse to leave their homes.

And that's causing a big problem because there are so many aftershocks, hundreds in the last 24 hours, including some over 4.2, 4.3 in magnitude. With each aftershock, those damaged buildings risk to collapse even further.

And the authorities want people out of there. And that's been -- that's kind of the problem of the day, in terms of assessing the damage, trying to get structures safe enough to return to.

But first, they've got to get the people out. Lots of people slept in their cars last night, people pitching tents in their front yards, people sleeping in every possible place they can.

But now, they want them out of there.

John?

BERMAN: Seeing these pictures and knowing this is just, you know, the third time in the last two weeks, on top of that much bigger quake before, it's just so devastating to see this. Barbie Nadeau in Italy for us. Thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right, in South Carolina, jury selection is set to begin this morning in the case of former North Charleston police officer, Michael Slager. He is charged in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Walter Scott, following a traffic stop, cellphone video showing Scott running away from the officer when he was shot.

Slager faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted.

BERMAN: All right, new developments overnight in the battle for Mosul, the fighting intense right on the outskirts of the city. The United Nations is now condemning the latest ISIS strategy as afraid (ph) and cowardly (ph).

We have live report from the front lines, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: Grim, new developments of the bloody battle for Mosul, 14

Iraqi soldiered killed in a rocket (ph) attack over the weekend during heavy fighting in the outskirts of Mosul. And ISIS fighters are now preparing for the final battle by kidnapping tens of thousands of civilians, apparently to use as human shields in the center of the city.

I want to bring in CNN's Nick Paton Walsh. He is live on the ground near Mosul for us this morning.

And Nick, bring us up to speed on the latest phase of this -- this battle.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Iraqi forces announcing that they are getting a broad offensive to the east of Mosul city, aiming to get to that urban sprawl, the most complex part of this offensive, frankly, as quickly as they can. That has always been their goal.

We don't know how fast they're advancing. We do know from what we saw just hours ago, they are facing heavy resistance from ISIS, heavy resistance that we, ourselves, witnessed, cost 14 Iraqi lives from the most elite part of their forces here -- U.S.-trained, U.S.-equipped, much of their equipment.

And they're moving as fast as they possibly can, often in very dangerous, difficult territory. We also know that to the west of the city, paramilitary forces, Shia-backed militia, frankly, moving into the city, too.

There are many different prongs in this offensive. But it's the civilians caught in the middle who are obviously most imperiled here. Tens of thousands, you mentioned in a city of 1.2 million residents still trapped in that particular area.

As the fighting gets closer and closer, and we've seen sheer volume of firepower at both ISIS and the Iraqi forces disposal (ph) that could potentially catch these civilians in the middle. This fighting will increase, indeed (ph) intensify.

We've seen the mood through the planes, perhaps you might say faster than some had expected. But it is the urban sprawl that would be the hardest fight yet.

And that fight is just beginning.

ROMANS: All right, Nick for us this morning, outside of Mosul. Thank you for that.

Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met with opposition leaders in an effort to diffuse a national political crisis. A Vatican envoy was among the international mediators of the talks.

The Opposition Unity Coalition blames Maduro for an economic crisis that has led to food shortages that's triggered riots. Opponents escalated anti-government protests after a recall referendum was halted. BERMAN: All right, there is still a world series, believe it or not.

The Cubs -- they won last night. They beat the Indians 3-2, of game five at Wrigley Field, because of that man -- or not that one, the other one, who was just on the screen.

Closer Aroldis Chapman -- he got eight outs in this game -- the final eight outs. Normally, a closer goes in for the last inning, tops, so three outs.

You know, six outs is a lot. He got eight outs. This guy did. He throws a hundred miles an hour, too.

ROMANS: Gee.

BERMAN: Aroldis Chapman does. So the Cubs won three to two. The series goes back to Cleveland in game six -- is Tuesday night obviously.

You know, it's still winner go home (ph) for the -- for the Chicago Cubs.

ROMANS: First win at Wrigley since '45, been (ph) right? First win in a -- in a...

BERMAN: Yes.

ROMANS: ...in a World Series.

BERMAN: That's because they dropped the first two games at Wrigley.

ROMANS: Yes, yes.

BERMAN: And there will be no more games at Wrigley Field in this World Series. The final two games are in Cleveland because Cleveland has home field because the American league won the all-star game.

ROMANS: Wow.

BERMAN: And it's complicated.

ROMANS: They really needed it. They really needed it.

BERMAN: Well, had they not won, they would have lost the World Series.

ROMANS: I know, I know.

BERMAN: So in that sense, yes, nothing more (ph), you're absolutely right.

ROMANS: Technically and not technically.

BERMAN: Literally and figuratively, they needed that.

ROMANS: They really needed that. All right, the search warrant is in hand now. FBI agents could begin examining those newly discovered e- mails belonging to top Hillary Clinton aide, Huma Abedin.

Where is all this heading, eight days out from the election? That's next on "Early Start."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: FBI agents get clearance to go through thousands of newly discovered e-mails that could be related to their Hillary Clinton investigation.

BERMAN: FBI Director James Comey, caught in the middle. What did he know about this brand new batch of e-mails? And exactly, when did he know it?

ROMANS: Fired up to the last full week of the race. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton hope this new October surprise energizes their supporters.

We are here bright and early, folks. Welcome back to "Early Start." I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: This is a special early...

ROMANS: It is.

BERMAN: ...early edition of "Early Start."

ROMANS: Early, early election -- early election...

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: Thirty-one minutes past the hour right now. And breaking overnight, FBI agents -- they did obtain the search warrant that will allows them to scour the huge batch of e-mails to and from a top Hillary Clinton aide.

Agents -- they will try to assess whether Huma Abedin's e-mails add anything new to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private e- mail server. There is also new information this morning about the role that FBI Director James Comey had in that investigation, and the timing of the probe so close to election day.

Let's get an update on the information now from CNN's Evan Perez.

PEREZ: Good morning. FBI investigators have obtained a search warrant to begin reviewing thousands of newly discovered e-mails, belonging to Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Clinton's closes advisers. Investigators found the e-mails weeks ago, stumbling on them as they conducted an investigation of Abedin's husband, former Congressman, Anthony Weiner.

Now, he's under investigation for allegedly exchanging sexually explicit messages with an under-aged girl. Now, that's leading to questions from the Clinton campaign about why all of this only became public on Friday, days before the presidential election. The law enforcement officials tell CNN what's been going on behind the

scenes in the past month is this -- technical experts spent some time cataloging all the e-mails. Now, top FBI officials were briefed after the surprise discovery of the e-mails.

And there were also some legal questions because the search warrant they had only covered the Weiner's sexting allegations. FBI Director James Comey was aware a couple of weeks ago that his investigators had uncovered e-mails that could relate to the Clinton investigation.

But Comey was fully briefed on Thursday, after investigators had determined there was enough cause to seek a new search warrant. Those investigators will now work to determine there's classified information in the Abedin e-mails, as well as their relevance to the investigation into Clinton's private e-mail server.

Comey sent a three-paragraph letter to members of Congress on Friday. Now, despite calls from the Clinton campaign and from Republicans to provide more information, Comey has no plans to say more, while his investigators are doing their work.

ROMANS: Evan Perez, thank you, Evan. This morning, nearly a hundred former federal prosecutors and high-ranking Justice Department officials, both Democrats and Republicans, they are raising concerns about Comey's letter to Congress.

They say it is, quote, "inconsistent with prevailing department policy." Among the signers of an open letter criticizing Comey, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former Deputy A.G. Larry Thompson, who served in the George W. Bush administration.

The letter says, Comey's unprecedented decision to publicly comment on evidence in what may be an ongoing inquiry just 11 days before a presidential election leaves us both astonished and perplexed.

BERMAN: Eric Holder, the former attorney general also wrote a pretty scathing op-ed in "The Washington Post," about Jim Comey. The title tells a lot of the story.

It says, "James Comey is a good man but he made a serious mistake." The former attorney general says Comey broke the fundamental principles and fears that the director may have negatively affected public trust of the FBI.

Holder says, quote, "It is incumbent upon him or the leadership of the department to dispel the uncertainty that is -- he has created before election day, not for the sake of a political candidate or campaign, but in order to protect our system of justice." Let me just read to you a little bit more here.

It says, "I served with Jim Comey. I know him well. This is a very difficult piece for me to write," writes the former attorney general.

He is a man of integrity and honor. I respect him. But good men make mistakes. In this instance, he has committed a serious error with potentially severe implications." Really interesting to hear something that detailed and that scathing from the former attorney general about the current FBI director, a man he knows well.

So a lot of people up in arms over this right now, obviously, on both sides of the aisle. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is actually accusing the FBI director of breaking the law. Reid has written to congressional committee chair, saying that he believes that Comey's 11th hour revelations, quote, "may violate the Hatch Act."

Now, the Hatch Act bars government officials from engaging in political activity, usually seen (ph) in the context of, you know, you can't be a member of Congress and do fund-raising calls from your congressional office. That's a violation of the Hatch Act.

So they're saying that FBI Director James Comey is doing Republican political activity from the FBI. Jim Comey, at one point, was a registered Republican. He -- he now says he's a registered independent.

I'm not sure that matters here. Reid also accused Comey of a double- standard, claiming that he has refused to release some unspecified information about Donald Trump's dealings with Russia.

ROMANS: Well, that's dropping a little bomb in there.

BERMAN: Yes, it is a lot of bomb there.

ROMANS: That's a -- that's a Harry Reid bomb.

BERMAN: There's a whole bunch of stuff in there from Harry Reid.

ROMANS: All right, Donald Trump is reveling in the Clinton e-mail controversy, hoping this big October surprise will help him close the gap with Clinton. Right now, she is ahead by five points in the latest CNN poll of polls -- 47 to 42 percent.

CNN's Jim Acosta is with the Trump campaign. He's got the very latest for us.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, Donald Trump is now fully embracing the FBI's investigation of that new batch of e- mails possibly linked to Hillary Clinton. Trump and his advisers are praising the FBI for looking into those e-mails as part of his investigation of those sexting allegations against former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner.

That is a big shift after Trump accused the FBI as being part of a conspiracy to rig the election and give it to Hillary Clinton. Now, Trump says the FBI has all the information it needs to bring Clinton to justice.

Here is what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: But how do you have that many e-mails? What do you do? Sit down all day and just keep typing?

(LAUGHTER)

Hey, no wonder nothing gets done in our country.

(APPLAUSE)

This is the single biggest scandal since Watergate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Trump is pursuing something of a blue-state strategy in this late stage of the campaign, making stops in places like here in New Mexico and also Michigan. Those are some of the states that Trump will have to flip, if he has any hopes of winning on November 8.

John and Christine?

BERMAN: All right, Jim Acosta. Thanks so much. So what does Hillary Clinton do about all this now?

She will go to Ohio today. Now, in a rally over the weekend over in Florida on Sunday, she did not mention the e-mail issue, although I have to say, she did a news conference and talked about it at length on Saturday.

But on Sunday, she implored voters to remember what she called the bigger picture.

CLINTON: There have been ups and downs in all that we've gone through over the years and even in this campaign. But I want you to know I am focused on one thing -- you.

There's a lot of noise and distraction. But it really comes down to what kind of future we want.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Again, so what is happening inside the Clinton world? How do they intend to address the e-mail issue going forward?

CNN's Phil Mattingly has the details.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John and Christine. There was something noticeably absent from Hillary Clinton's remarks on Sunday -- any mention of FBI Director Comey or the letter that he sent to Capitol Hill on Friday.

There's a reason for that. The Clinton campaign, as they look at things now, they are (ph) top advisers, no question.

They are going to continue to attack Jim Comey, continue to try and undercut everything that he was trying to do by informing Congress. And Hillary Clinton herself, she is reverting back to what they were trying to do just 12 days ago, before this all started.

She has a campaign strategy and a campaign message that the campaign believes was winning before this all happened. It's a message they believe she needs to get back to now.

And here is why -- early voting. People are voting across the country, most noticeably, here in Florida, something Hillary Clinton made very clear. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: This is amazing. More than 20 million people have already voted in this election.

(APPLAUSE)

Most of those votes in the last few days, three million of those votes from right here in Florida.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, you only see numbers like that when people are standing up for what they really believe in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY: The big question is, will she lose support? Will the masses walk away from her? Her campaign advisers say no.

They believe, essentially, when it comes to the e-mail server, things were already baked in. They believe this may actually energize her supporters, might circle the wagons in some way, shape or form as her supporters come out and try and defend her over the course of these last seven, eight, nine days.

It's something we saw anecdotally at least here in Florida on Sunday. The big question is, will that carry over?

And of course, the bigger question is, will there be any large impact on the numbers as we're going to have to wait and see a couple of days for that.

John and Christine?

BERMAN: All right, Phil Mattingly for us. All right, but someone (ph) on the campaign really hasn't been there in a while. Melania Trump is going to deliver her first speech since the Republican convention.

That speech will be Thursday in Philadelphia, Donald Trump announced in the middle of an interview with George Stephanopoulos, that Melania Trump is going to be giving two or three speeches before election day. And Donald Trump says they will be very, very important.

Philadelphia and its suburbs are very important with actually white college-educated voters there and women -- white college-educated women there are a big swing vote.

ROMANS: All right, so look forward to that. To markets now, two of the most reliable stock market election predictors, they point in different directions.

Since 1944, the market falls from August to October. The party that controls the White House has lost the election 86 percent of the time.

So that's analysis from the S&P global market intelligence. With one trading day left in that span, the S&P 500 is down to 0.1 percent.

That points to a Donald Trump victory if you follow that indicator. But another set of market metrics point to a Clinton win.

This one from Moody's. It has predicted every presidential winner since 1980. It shows four economic factors in Clinton's favor.

President Obama's approval rating is 54 percent. Gas prices remain low, the nationwide average around 220.

Economic was strong last week at 2.9 percent. It was a lot stronger than it was the first half of the year.

And the jobless rate is five percent. We're going to get a new reading on Friday of the jobless rate. That will be the last jobs report before the election.

We're coming down to the last everything before the...

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: Yes, no (ph), exactly.

ROMANS: There's only days left but those are the kinds of factors (ph) we're watching (ph) here.

BERMAN: This is not the last Monday before the election. There's one more. This is the penultimate Monday.

ROMANS: Oh.

BERMAN: Can we -- I want to start calling it a penultimate Monday.

ROMANS: This penultimate Monday, super early "Early Start."

BERMAN: Yes, yes, all right. All right, the manhunt for a suspected killer in Oklahoma is over. We have late breaking details about the gun battle that -- that finally caught this man. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Breaking news this morning. The search for a suspected killer in Oklahoma is now over. After eight days on the run, fugitive Michael Vance overnight was killed in a -- a police shootout.

One officer was shot during the pursuit. That officer has been identified as Dewey County Sheriff Clay Sander.

At last check, he was in surgery for gunshot wounds to the forearm and shoulder. Authorities say Vance murdered two relatives last week. He wounded two police officers, touching off the statewide manhunt.

BERMAN: Twenty-two people were injured when a car struck a crowd of pedestrians following a NASCAR that -- Martinsville, Virginia. This happened on Sunday.

Nine of the victims taken to the hospital. This happened in the handicapped parking area. Police say, the driver tried to pass someone waiting in post-race traffic, struck that vehicle, then plowed into the crowd.

They say alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

ROMANS: All right, in Italy, authorities are assessing the damage from a powerful earthquake, Sunday in Central Italy, the third quake in just two weeks, this one a magnitude 6.6. Officials are calling it the strongest in more than three decades.

At least 20 people suffered injuries, the Italian prime minister pledging to rebuild everything. CNN's Barbie Nadeau, following developments for us.

She is live in Rome.

And -- and Barbie, this is -- I mean, it's remarkable, the number of quakes there have been. People must be really on-edge this morning.

NADEAU: Absolutely. Even here in Rome, the schools are closed. There are still some roads closed here in Rome, while they're doing check to make sure everything is safe.

There, at the epicenter, there are (ph) a lot of people had evacuated last week when a strong twin (ph) earthquake hit the area. That's why we didn't see a huge loss of life.

But the devastation is just unbelievable. The towns wiped completely off the map. Some of these picture postcards, beautiful, mountain villages that people come to Italy to see that it's so characteristic of the area just don't exist anymore.

And the focus this morning, though, is the civil protection authorities want those last holdouts, those people who refuse to leave their homes, damaged as they may be, to get to safety. They're trying to move people to the coastline, putting them in hotels, saying just get out of the area.

There has been aftershock after aftershock, each one obviously -- there's a risk that the buildings that are already damaged will collapse. And they want people to be safe.

And they're trying to move people out. Then they can come in and assess what -- what they can save and what they really can rebuild.

Christine?

ROMANS: All right, Barbie, thank you so much for that. Again, the pictures -- really something there. And the schools shut in Rome this morning as they make sure that all the school buildings are safe for children.

BERMAN: This just won't let up. I mean, previous (ph), in the last two weeks, on top of the awful one that happened a couple of months ago. All right, jury selection set to begin this morning at South Carolina in the case of former North Charleston police officer, Michael Slager. He is charged in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Walter Scott, following a traffic stop.

This cellphone video showed (ph) Scott running away from the officer when he was shot. Slager faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted.

ROMANS: All right, 48 minutes past 3:00 a.m. in the East. It's another big merger Monday, this time a huge oil and gas deal but one of the companies is not known for its holdings in that industry -- details when we get on "Early Start" in your Monday.

That's a lookalike to me (ph).

BERMAN: It's like McNuggets.

ROMANS: Cheese (ph).

BERMAN: Burger King.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: All right, new developments this hour in the battle for Mosul. Iraqi forces, we are told, just launched a large new offensive on the eastern part of that city.

Want to bring in CNN's Nick Paton Walsh live on the ground for us in Erbil.

Hi, Nick. What are you learning?

WALSH: We know little about exactly geographically where this offensive is pointed. It seems to go into the language that the Iraqi military statements being broad in scope.

And we know the targets, obviously want to clear (ph) right (ph). It's now (ph) to the eastern part of Mosul city sprawl (ph).

But we saw it ourselves (ph), advancing meter-by-meter there, is by itself, an extraordinary, arduous and difficult task. ISIS, we saw ourselves, on Saturday night, are able to throw heavy artillery, a lot of machine gunfire to hold Iraqi forces back.

And in fact, in one series of clashes, 14 of Iraq's elite counterterrorist golden divisions -- U.S.-trained, U.S.-equipped, were killed -- an enormous loss, possibly one of the largest that we know of since the beginning of this offensive. Now, if this offensive does manage to gain ground, it could put the nearer town called Kojali (ph). That's the basic goal of the pictures from where you're seeing now.

That was the next place they wanted to head to.

We just don't know how easy that particular task will be. We know Iraqi Shia militia, paramilitary forces are moving in from the west hill (ph) and there's progress from the south as well.

But these planes (ph) around the city were always going to be the easier part, John, of this offensive, is when they hit that urban sprawl, dense, tightly packed. We could see the T.V. tower, seven kilometers away in the city center from where we are.

But the fight for that is the most perilous. And as for the civilians, 1.2 million by some estimates will be trapped in the cross fire and where things will get very bloody, indeed.

John?

BERMAN: No (ph), and again, the news from the Iraqi officials said, as they say that there is a new major offensive going on right there, we're just getting those details. And Nick Paton Walsh for us, thanks so much.

ROMANS: Embattled, the Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, meeting with opposition leaders in an effort to diffuse a national political crisis. A Vatican envoy is among the international mediators at these talks.

The Opposition Unity Coalition blames Maduro for an economic crisis, that has led to food shortages, triggered riots. Opponents escalated anti-government protests after a recall referendum was halted.

BERMAN: All right, there is a still a World Series this Monday morning...

ROMANS: Yey.

BERMAN: ...barely. The Cubs still alive because of that man, Aroldis Chapman, who I've been told is they've (ph) once pitched the New York Yankees. Is everyone happy?

All right.

ROMANS: Oh, gee.

BERMAN: Aroldis Chapman got eight outs last night -- eight outs for a closer, which is extraordinary. The Cubs won three to two.

Normally, a closer pitches either one out, two outs, three outs, six outs tops. But eight outs -- this guy carried the Cubs to game six, which will be back in Cleveland Tuesday night.

Christine Romans reports this was the first World Series win in Chicago in Wrigley Field since 1945?

ROMANS: Yes. Can you just think about that? I mean, just think how...

BERMAN: It must have been very nice. Of course, had they not won, the World Series would be over. It now goes back to Cleveland.

And the Cubs got a one, two straight.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: There weren't (ph) exactly zero selfies (ph) at the game in 1945. I can -- I can...

BERMAN: Interesting. It's a good point.

ROMANS: ...I can report...

BERMAN: It's a good point.

ROMANS: ...the game is the same but less (ph) is very different.

BERMAN: Yes, the internet was much slower back then.

ROMANS: Yes, dial-up. Let's get a check on CNN money stream this morning, investors grappling with a tight presidential election season, and eight days -- only eight days here.

Now, Dow futures right now, we're watching those -- they're pushing higher. The market dropped Friday then recovered after the news of a -- of a new investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

Stock markets in Europe opening in just a few minutes. The futures there -- so we're showing you futures there right now.

Asian stock markets are mixed. So we're at this interesting time of the day, Berman, when Europe is just opening. Asia is closing. And we're hours away from the U.S. opening (ph).

BERMAN: I like -- so nice -- 3:56 a.m., you call it an interesting part of the day.

ROMANS: This is an interesting part of the day.

BERMAN: It is an interesting part of the day.

ROMANS: General Electric could be expanding its oil and gas business with a huge merger. The "Wall Street Journal" reports G.E. and Baker Hughes are nearing a $30 billion deal -- 30B.

Both of the stocks are moving higher as rumors swirled last week. Baker Hughes declined our request to comment on the deal.

G.E. has not yet responded so no official response. But the two have scheduled an investor webcast for 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

So you can expect we will learn something more about it then.

BERMAN: You know (ph), I just want to dabble in webcasting, 8:30 in the morning. I decided (ph) tomorrow -- today's a good day for that.

ROMANS: Right, right. No comment from the companies. But they're be talking to investors in a few hours.

Friday's positive everything (ph) on the economy was overshadowed by Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal. But there are two more economic events that -- this week, that could get the candidates talking about the top issue for voters -- the economy and jobs.

The Federal Reserve starts a two-day policy meeting tomorrow, investors giving just an eight percent chance of a rate hike. Now, the money is on December, a 68 percent chance of an increase then.

Donald Trump has criticized the Fed recently, saying it's keeping interest rates low to preserve President Obama's economic record. Then on Friday, the government releases its October jobs report.

Early estimates are for a hundred and 70,000 new jobs, Berman, and a 4.9 percent unemployment rate, down from five percent in September. Now, I'll tell you what's so interesting is Reuters just did an analysis that they see a record number of people coming off the sidelines and starting to look for work again because you've had six years now, jobs growth and people who have sidelined starting to think that maybe there's a change (ph).

BERMAN: All that (ph) -- that could actually -- we do a tick-up...

ROMANS: It could.

BERMAN: ...in the unemployment rate.

ROMANS: It could. It could.

BERMAN: Even though that's good news.

ROMANS: Right, exactly. So things could get kind of interesting here. Check out the new money stream app.

It's business news personalized -- stories, videos, tweets, topics you want, all in one feed (ph). Download it now in the app store or Google Play.

BERMAN: Do all of it, man. All right, "Early Start" continues right now.

ROMANS: Yes. The FBI has a warrant. Agents will now comb through thousands of newly discovered e-mails that could be related to the Hillary Clinton investigation.

BERMAN: All right, a white hot focus on FBI Director James Comey. Why did he decide to send this letter to Congress?

What did he know about these e-mails? And when did he learn about it?

ROMANS: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both trying to spin this October surprise their way with just one full week to go in this race. Good morning, everyone.

Welcome to "Early Start," earlier start (ph). I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: Right, the special election week edition of "Early Start." I'm John Berman. It is Monday, October 31st, Halloween, 4:00 a.m. in the East.

And breaking overnight -- FBI agents -- they did obtain the search warrant that will allow them to scour that huge batch of e-mails to and from a top Hillary Clinton aide. Agents will now try to assess whether Huma Abedin's e-mails add anything to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server.

There is also new information this morning about the role that FBI Director James Comey played in this investigation and the timing of probe so close to election day. Let's get the very latest from CNN's Evan Perez.

PEREZ: Good morning. FBI investigators have obtained a search warrant...