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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New Terror Fears; Defense Rests in Connecticut Home Invasion Murder Trial; Looking for Sanford Bishop: Mixed Messages from Congressman's Staff; More Testimony Heard in Home Invasion Case
Aired September 28, 2010 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And thanks for joining us, everyone.
Picture this. You wake up one day and discover that a public official is targeting you, that he singled you out by name and set up a blog dedicated solely to making vicious allegations against you, calling you a Nazi. And, well, that's just for starters.
The weird thing is, you don't even know the guy, and you're not even out of college yet. Sound like a nightmare? Well, it's happening to a college student in Michigan. And, tonight, we confront the public official behind it. We're going to ask him, why this kid and how does he justify targeting him? We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Also tonight, breaking news: growing concerns about a possible al Qaeda commando attack, with gunmen on city streets storming hotels, shooting anyone in their path. If you remember the attacks on Mumbai, this would be the sequel. We have got the latest on where officials fear it could happen and where the killers could be coming from.
And later: The defense rested today in a trial of two men accused of the horrific home invasion murder in Connecticut, overwhelming evidence against them. We will show you what kind of defense they put on today and where the case goes from here. That's our "Crime & Punishment" segment tonight.
We begin, though, "Keeping Them Honest."
We begin tonight "Keeping Them Honest" with a law enforcement official who seems to be waging a one-man war against a college student. A public servant, an assistant attorney general in the state of Michigan in charge of upholding the law, in his spare time, however, he's targeting a single individual who's committed no crime with an ongoing campaign of vitriol and Internet attacks.
I just want to bring you over to the wall here and just show you the -- the people involved in this story. It's one of the strangest stories, I have got to tell you, that we have reported on recently.
Now, this guy here on the left is Andrew Shirvell. He's an assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan. And on the right is a young man named Chris Armstrong, who is the object of Mr. Shirvell's considerable attention. Chris Armstrong is student body president of the University of Michigan. He was elected by his fellow students. He's also the first openly gay student body president at the school. And that is what got Mr. Shirvell's attention. Now, shortly after Armstrong was elected student body president, Andrew Shirvell set up a blog devoted entirely to tracking and attacking Armstrong. You're looking at the opening page of the blog.
Here's a closer look at the picture that's on the opening page. This say picture of Mr. Armstrong with the word "Resign," a gay flag with a Nazi swastika in there over it.
Now, here's another posting, Chris Armstrong, it says "the privileged pervert." There's another page here. This is from the blog of Mr. Shirvell. It says: "Outrage alert. Armstrong engages in sexual escapades at churches and children's playgrounds."
Shirvell also calls Armstrong a Nazi-like recruiter for the cult that is homosexuality and admits to having protested outside his home. He also accuses Armstrong of joining a racist campus organization because, writing -- quote -- "That's exactly what most affluent white homosexual males like him are, racist and elitist to the core."
Now, the organization is called the Order of Angell. It's an honor society that once used Native American artifacts in meetings, but apparently doesn't anymore. And it counts among its members former President Gerald Ford and others.
Now, apparently Mr. Shirvell seems to believe there's a sinister -- sinister aspect to all this. He also on his blog carefully tracks Facebook pages and comments of Armstrong and his friends, attacking them and even his friends' family members.
Now, again, just remember, this is a public official, a grownup, fixating on a 21-year-old college student, dedicating a blog to vilifying him, scouring his Facebook page, making unproven allegations.
Now, you might wonder, how is that this man is still employed in the attorney general's office in Michigan? Well, he's a civil servant. And he's allowed to express his own opinions in his spare time.
So far, the attorney general hasn't taken any action against him. The attorney general, Mike Cox, did release a statement to us, though. I just want to read you part of it.
It says: "Mr. Shirvell's personal opinions are his, and his alone, and do not reflect the views of the Michigan Department of Attorney General. But his immaturity and lack of judgment outside the office are clear."
That's from Mike Cox, who is the Michigan attorney general.
Now, under Michigan's civil service rules, Shirvell can't be fired for his political views, but he can be let go for conduct unbecoming a state official. That hasn't happened.
We asked Chris Armstrong to come on the program. He declined. It turns out he's pursuing legal action Mr. Shirvell. Mr. Shirvell, however, apparently was more than happy to speak about his months-long focus on Chris Armstrong. I spoke to him a short time ago.
COOPER: Andrew, I want to go over some of the stuff that you have on your blog. There's a picture of Chris Armstrong with a Nazi swastika near his face. There's another with the words "racist, elitist liar" scrawled on his face. You accuse him at one point of being Satan's representative on the student assembly.
I have got to ask you, you're a state official. This is a college student. What are you doing?
ANDREW SHIRVELL, MICHIGAN ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, Anderson, basically, if you have been involved in political campaigns before, you know all sorts of stuff happens, and this is just another tactic bringing awareness to what Chris really stands for.
COOPER: This is not some national figure. This is a guy who's running a student council.
SHIRVELL: Well -- well, Anderson, as a private citizen, and as a University of Michigan alum, I care, because this is my university. And I wasn't the only first person to criticize Chris.
In fact, long before I started the blog, a couple of weeks before that, the Alliance Defense Fund, a well-known legal Christian foundation, put out an alert about Chris. So, I'm not the only person that has criticized Chris, and I'm not the first person to criticize Chris.
COOPER: But you are the only person -- you are the only person running this blog, which is putting Nazi swastikas on this guy. You're -- you're a grown adult. Does that seem appropriate to you?
SHIRVELL: Well, like I said, this is a political campaign. This is nothing personal against Chris. I don't know Chris.
COOPER: What do you mean it's nothing personal? You're outside his house. You're videotaping his house. You're shouting him down at public events. You're calling him Satan's representative on the student council. You're attacking his -- his parents, his friends' parents. I mean, you can't say it's not personal.
SHIRVELL: Well, Chris -- in any political campaign, you have to raise awareness and issues, and that's one way of doing it, is by protesting.
COOPER: Well, I mean, of course you're free to express whatever you want, but I guess I just -- in -- in terms of sheer decency, do you really think an assistant attorney general targeting some college student because he's gay is appropriate?
SHIRVELL: Well, again, I'm doing this as a private citizen, off work time, as a University of Michigan alum. We're quibbling over tactics. We're not quibbling over substance. The substance of the matter is, Anderson, Chris Armstrong is a radical homosexual activist who got elected partly funded by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund to promote a very deeply radical agenda at the University of Michigan. And he wants to do that by...
COOPER: His biggest -- his biggest issues were extending the hours at the cafeteria and lowering tuition, as well as some gender housing issues.
SHIRVELL: No, that's not correct. No, that's not correct, Anderson.
His biggest issue is gender-neutral housing. What we're talking about is anybody, any -- any man or woman wanting to choose to live together. That's a radical redefinition of gender norms. And I think that's...
COOPER: You say this is a -- this is all just a political campaign, though. A, you're not running for any political campaign, nor is he. He's already the student council president. He's not some national figure. And you're putting swastikas on his face and saying he's Satan's representative. That seems like below-the-belt campaigning. I don't know what campaigns you're used to being involved with, but don't you think that is beyond the pale?
SHIRVELL: Well, no, I don't think it's beyond the pale. Like I said, I think you're -- I sense a lot of anger in your voice, Anderson, and I don't understand where that's coming from.
As an astute observer of political campaigns, you know, for many years, you know that these kind of tactics are par for the course.
COOPER: It appears, though, that you're obsessed with this young gay man. I mean, I have read all your blog postings. You're -- you're like perusing his Facebook, his friends' Facebook pages. You're -- you're making completely unwarranted accusations, unproven accusations, based on what you're gleaning from his Facebook pages.
SHIRVELL: Excuse me, Anderson. Who said they were unwarranted and not true? Chris has never come out and denied anything.
There's a reason why he isn't giving interviews, and that's because he can't defend what's on the blog. He -- I mean, I stand by what's on the blog. I have gotten stuff from other third-party sources.
COOPER: You stand by that he's Satan -- you stand by that he's Satan representative -- he's Satan's representative on the student council? You stand by that?
SHIRVELL: Well, excuse me, Anderson. That isn't on the blog. That's taken from another posting somewhere on the Internet I may have put out. But that's my... COOPER: So you don't stand by that?
SHIRVELL: That's my opinion. That's my...
COOPER: OK. I'm just -- I'm just asking you if you stand by it.
SHIRVELL: No, I do stand by that.
COOPER: OK. You stand by it.
Your boss, the attorney general of Michigan, Mike Cox, put out a statement saying that while he recognizes your right to express your opinions, your -- quote -- "immaturity and lack of judgment outside the office are clear."
Do you worry at all that your boss thinks you're immature and -- and lack judgment?
SHIRVELL: Anderson, I agreed to do this interview by stating that I wouldn't make any comments regarding my employment.
COOPER: I was reading the criteria that the state of Michigan uses to identify someone who is a cyber-bully. And they say a cyber-bully is someone who uses technology to harass, embarrass, intimidate, or stalk someone else. And it lists the types of content a cyber-bully may send, including vulgar and argumentative messages, cruel, offensive, and insulting remarks.
Under that definition, aren't you a cyber-bully?
SHIRVELL: No, absolutely not. And that's a total mischaracterization from the local news reporter, Ross Jones, that did the piece on me, who was very biased. You can read about that on the blog.
COOPER: I don't -- I don't know who that is. I don't -- I don't know who that is. I have -- I have read the state's definition of what a cyber...
SHIRVELL: Well, that's...
SHIRVELL: That's -- that's where you're getting this...
COOPER: No, I read the state's definition of what a cyber-bully is. There's a pamphlet that the state hands out, and that's the definition. And, you know, it seems to apply to you.
SHIRVELL: Well, I don't meet -- I don't meet the definition. I have never contacted Chris. I have never spoken to him.
COOPER: Yes, you have followed him around and you stood...
SHIRVELL: A cyber-bully is somebody that... COOPER: ... stood outside his house and videotaped.
SHIRVELL: I don't -- I do not follow him around. I protest with a sign. That's exercising my First Amendment rights, Anderson. That's not following anybody around. I don't live anywhere near to Ann Arbor. I have been down there maybe or four times since I started the blog.
That's not cyber-bullying/
COOPER: Have you ever been outside his house and hung outside his house and videotaped?
SHIRVELL: I have protested outside of his house, yes.
COOPER: Do you consider yourself a bigot?
SHIRVELL: Absolutely not.
I'm a Christian citizen exercising my First Amendment rights. I have no problem with the fact that Chris is homosexual. I have the fact that he -- I have a problem with the fact that he is advancing a very radical agenda.
COOPER: I -- I bring up the bigot question because, you know, Merriam-Webster's dictionary quotes bigot as a -- quote -- "person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinion and prejudices; also one who regards or treats the member of a group with hatred and intolerance."
I mean, labeling the student a Nazi, Satan's representative, picketing his house, it certainly makes you appear intolerant, at the very least. It seems like you hate this guy because he's gay.
SHIRVELL: Well, Anderson, that's your spin on it.
The real bigot here is Chris Armstrong. I don't have any hate in my body at all. I recognize that Chris is a child of God. However, that -- just because he's a homosexual doesn't mean he gets a free pass and we can't criticize him.
That doesn't make you a bigot to criticize somebody or somebody's agenda. He's a political figure, Anderson.
COOPER: You're expected, though, to uphold the law as equally and impartially for all Michigan residents. I mean, in your work, how can you do that, if you openly display, you know, attitudes toward this guy like this, if you're calling this guy a Nazi, if you're calling this guy Satan's representative on the student council?
SHIRVELL: Anderson, I stated...
COOPER: Would a gay person feel comfortable being defended by you?
SHIRVELL: Anderson, I stated that I wouldn't talk about any aspects of my employment. I have a right, as an alum and as a private citizen, to criticize him in my after-hours work.
COOPER: No one's questioning your right to do it, just, I guess, your -- questioning your judgment.
Andrew Shirvell, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
SHIRVELL: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, that was Andrew Shirvell, assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan.
Let's bring in senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Does this seem bizarre to you?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It's really bizarre.
But, you know, this is not really about Andrew Shirvell, bizarre though he is. This is about Mike Cox. Why hasn't Mike...
COOPER: The actual attorney general.
TOOBIN: The attorney general. Why hasn't he fired this guy?
You know, he says...
COOPER: But he says, well, look, that he's a civil servant. He has a right to -- to say what he wants to say in his spare time.
TOOBIN: The Supreme Court has said over and over again that public employees do not have the same free speech rights as -- as other people.
You have a right to express yourself. You don't have a right to a job that the taxpayers pay for. People have been fired from public jobs for far less egregious statements than this one. So for Mike Cox to hide behind the First Amendment and to hide behind the civil service law, that really doesn't wash.
The idea that the taxpayers are paying this guy, who spouts such poison and not harasses this college student...
COOPER: But he says he's doing it in his -- he says he's doing it in his spare time.
TOOBIN: Doesn't matter. It doesn't matter under the law whether it's at 5:05 that you put the swastika on -- on this kid's, you know, face. It is just -- that -- that distinction is meaningless under the law.
COOPER: You know, I'm -- in doing interviews, I try to put myself in someone else's shoes. And I'm thinking, OK, well, rough-and-tumble of a political campaign. But this is not a political campaign. He's not running for anything. And this kid is already -- he's not a kid. He's 21. This guy has already won office, was elected, and he's -- he's on a student council.
TOOBIN: Well, yes. This is a grown man who is a representative who goes into court every day on behalf of the people of the state of Michigan, and the -- I forgot his name, the...
TOOBIN: No, the other...
TOOBIN: Armstrong, he is -- is a college student who was involved in a student -- you know, who won a student race, which is now over.
This is not the kind of First Amendment activity that public employees...
COOPER: So, where is the line, though? There's free speech. And everyone has a right to their opinion and to express it.
I mean, there's also slander and character assassination and libel. Where -- where is the...
TOOBIN: Well, I think this is why Armstrong has got a lawyer, and Armstrong isn't talking to you, because, at some -- you know, it's very hard to...
COOPER: You think he has a case?
TOOBIN: He may -- he may well have a case for harassment, for some sort of tort where Shirvell has violated his rights.
The cyber-bullying law that you...
COOPER: Which, in Michigan, there is no cyber-bullying law yet.
TOOBIN: Right. Right.
But the -- the federal -- there is a federal cyber -- federal law on this subject. I mean, certainly, there will be grounds for a lawyer to call up Shirvell and say, you stop or...
COOPER: Why do you think the attorney general hasn't let him go?
TOOBIN: Well, I think there's a lot of politics involved here.
Mike Cox is the first Republican attorney general in Michigan since the 1950s. He's very conservative. He's very tied in with certain evangelical groups that are very...
COOPER: Shirvell helped him run his campaign.
TOOBIN: Right, and Shirvell was on his campaign -- who are very associated with family values, and certainly not associated with gay rights.
To fire Shirvell, who is a political ally of his, would be difficult. I mean, that, I think, is something that is very much a part of this story.
COOPER: It's a fascinating case. We're going to continue to follow it.
Jeffrey Toobin, thanks very much.
Let us know what you think at home. Join the live chat right now at AC360.com.
Up next tonight, breaking news: We're going to you about a terror threat that may explain why they have been evacuating the Eiffel Tower. Remember, that happened for a second time? It could go far beyond just a landmark, though. It could involve plotters from the same German city, Hamburg, where some of the 9/11 hijackers planned their attacks. It's breaking news tonight. We will have details ahead.
And later: One of the Democratic congressmen caught giving the scholarship money, you know, the money meant for needy kids, giving it to his own relatives and those of his staffers, well, he doesn't want to talk about it, so, today, we tried to track him down. See what happened.
COOPER: Some breaking news to tell you about, new rumblings of terror threats a lot like the bloodbath that played out in Mumbai, gunmen hitting soft targets like hotels and other tourist spots, or possibly banks and economic assets.
It could explain why Paris officials have evacuated the Eiffel Tower twice in the past couple days, a federal law enforcement official telling us -- quote -- "The volume seems to be turned up on threat information out of Europe" -- some of it apparently coming from at least one German in custody, the intelligence pointing to using people with Western passports in an attack. Let's talk about it now with former White House Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend and CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen.
Fran, there are, I'm sure, hundreds of threats being monitored around the -- the world every single day. Why this? Why now?
FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, interesting, Anderson, we see from the reports now and talking to intelligence and law enforcement officials, they have an individual in custody, we think in Afghanistan, who, we're told, is providing really important information.
They take that information, they share it with their Western European allies, like Germany, like France. And I was told by one senior official that they have gotten very good cooperation.
But the pieces begin to fit, and that's what makes this different. That's why you see the French reacting and closing or evacuating the Eiffel Tower. They're looking now for keys, and they're particularly focused on these soft targets, Anderson.
And one person said to me, you know what? We have had a lot of success across two administrations of hardening the sort of government targets, and the big ones. And so now it really points to the vulnerability of soft targets, resorts, banks, museums, the places where large groups of people will congregate, and you can have mass casualties and real chaos by one individual. You don't need a whole team anymore.
COOPER: It's also not very common to have the director of national intelligence comment on a -- on a threat.
TOWNSEND: That's right. I mean, the minute Clapper came out -- I think Peter will -- can -- will -- had the same experience -- people are very angry about the leak. And I think Director Clapper really wanted to send the signal that he didn't want leaks.
The problem was, what that resulted in is, people like me and Peter getting lots of phone calls from lots of people, saying, geez, we're really angry. This is a really important case. And, of course, journalists ask more questions. And that served to confirm it.
COOPER: And, Peter, there's been an uptick in unmanned drone attacks in -- along the Pakistan/Afghan border. Is this -- do we know, is this in any way related?
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: You know, it may well be. And, certainly, you know, we have seen 20 drone attacks, at least 20, already this month, which if you think, in the last year of the Bush administration, there were only 34. So, you know, in one month...
COOPER: Wow. So there have been 20 drone attacks in the last month, but only 34 in the last year of the Bush administration. That's -- that's an amazing parallel.
BERGEN: Right. Right. In fact, there have been more drone attacks -- there have been double the number of drone attacks under Obama than there were the entire eight years of the Bush administration. And so this thing has been ramped up very dramatically.
I think there are a number of reasons for that. One is, the bombs are smaller. The intelligence is better. The civilian casualty rate, there's a debate about it, but it -- there's no doubt that it's going down. Some government officials say to me it's as low as 1 percent or 2 percent. From the public record, it looks more like 10 percent.
But, either way, those civilian casualties are going down. I think the floods interrupted the drone strikes for a while because the bases where some of the drones are flown -- flown -- flown from are in Pakistan. The floods have receded. That might account also for this uptick, and then, of course, the fact that this plot -- or, you know, alleged plot -- may -- one way to kind of interrupt it is to increase the pressure on the area in North Waziristan where many of these militants are based.
COOPER: You know, Fran, when -- when you look at the Mumbai attacks, it wasn't just -- I mean, a lot of people said, look, this is kind of a new way of attacking. I mean, it was basically a handful of commandos trained with relatively light weapons, grenades, you know, machine guns and the like.
They basically held the city of Mumbai hostage for several days. And we saw the same kind of techniques, if memory serves me correct, I think, on an embassy attack in Kabul. I can't remember. I think it was on the Indian Embassy. And I,think, also, in Pakistan, there was an attack of like a few gunmen basically moving in and taking over a facility and kind of holding authorities at bay.
This seems like kind of a new way of attacking that's very effective.
TOWNSEND: That's exactly right, Anderson.
And -- and, if you think about it, what -- what al Qaeda needs, without having had a big attack on the homeland, they need something that will draw attention to their cause again. It -- it serves to recruit. It serves to fund-raise and bring attention that they're really still viable.
I don't have any doubt that, based on talking to the counterterrorism officials, they're really concerned about this, and this is a very difficult method of attack to defeat. You know, we can't harden every hotel, every resort, every museum. And, so, officials really require very specific, you know, tactical intelligence to defeat this sort of thing.
TOWNSEND: And they're unlikely to get that in a timely way.
COOPER: And, Peter, we see, you know, one gunman in the Discovery headquarters a couple weeks ago who obviously didn't have a terrorist agenda, but created terror. A handful of gunmen in multiple sites in one city in one day can wreak havoc. BERGEN: Yes, these so-called fedayeen attacks, where you recruit people who are effectively going to commit suicide in the course of the attack, and they know that going in.
And, of course, if you go back to the Mumbai attacks, there was 60 hours of live coverage around the world, of course, by CNN as well, drawing tremendous attention to the cause of these attackers. And that is something that, as you mentioned, Anderson, has been learned in other attacks.
We saw an attack, for instance, on the GHQ, which is the headquarters of the Pakistani military, which exactly followed this about a year ago, attracting a lot of news attention in Pakistan. So, unfortunately, this idea is out there, and apparently the person in custody is giving information that is suggesting that these attacks may happen also in at least -- maybe in Europe and perhaps -- perhaps elsewhere.
COOPER: And, Peter, we have been told by a law enforcement source that has told CNN that Osama bin Laden has actually signed off on the plan and what they describe as a Mumbai-style attack.
Does that -- I mean, does that sound possible to you?
BERGEN: Yes. I mean, yes, it's possible. He's obviously not in very active communication with a lot of people, but...
COOPER: But that style of attack is certainly something that's much more doable than some massive attack.
BERGEN: Yes, I mean, provided you can recruit the people. I wouldn't underestimate -- it's still you have got to find several people willing to commit suicide. Obviously, al Qaeda has a lot of those. And you have still got to infiltrate them into wherever they're going to go.
Obviously, we have had maybe 100 to 150 Westerners showing up into Pakistan's tribal regions where al Qaeda is located in last year or so. Many of them are German. We have seen a number of Germans pop up in al Qaeda or al Qaeda-affiliated propaganda videos. So, they do have that kind of resource, and that that is obviously what is of concern right now.
COOPER: Fran Townsend, I appreciate it on the breaking news.
Peter Bergen, as well, thanks for your expertise.
Up next tonight, see what happens when we tried to find a congressman to ask him about giving scholarship money meant for needy kids to his own stepdaughter and his wife's niece, "Keeping Them Honest."
Later, "Crime & Punishment": The defense makes its case in the Connecticut home invasion murder trial. Both sides now have rested. We will talk about where the trial goes from here. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Well, when Republican candidate Christine O'Donnell suddenly stopped talking to the national media, we made sure to point that out. So it's only fair, we thought tonight, that we point out the same thing when Democratic congressman refuses to talk about a scandal he is embroiled in. We'll promise to keep you updated on it.
Now, we're talking about Georgia Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop. That's him. He was caught giving Congressional Black Caucus Foundation scholarship money meant for needy kids to his stepdaughter and his wife's niece. Seven scholarships in all between 2003 and 2005.
He says he's done nothing wrong. He reportedly repaid the money. But on Friday, the Associated Press reported four more questionable scholarships had surfaced. All four reportedly went to people with close connections to Congressman Bishop and his family.
The congressman claims the awards met the rules of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. An attorney for the foundation that oversees the scholarship fund says the fund was established to benefit disadvantaged, needy kids.
So we'd like to ask Congressman Bishop how that squares with what he did. But he declined our invitation to come on the program on Friday. We tried again yesterday, and his office told us he'd be campaigning in Georgia today. But when we called his Georgia campaign office, we were told he didn't have any campaign events today. They said that he was actually in Washington. So then we called another staffer in Washington who said, "Nope, he's actually back in Georgia." You probably see where this is going.
When Joe Johns called back again to point out all the mixed signals, here's what he found.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're calling Tim Turner now, the Sanford campaign manager.
TIM TURNER, SANFORD CAMPAIGN MANAGER (via phone): Tim Turner speaking.
JOHNS: Hey, Tim, it's Joe Johns with CNN. How are you doing?
TURNER: All right. How are you doing, sir?
JOHNS: Good, good. We're doing a story on trying to catch up with the congressman. I was just wondering if you could tell us whether the congressman is in Georgia or in Washington, and if there's a chance we can maybe interview him.
TURNER: He's in Washington. and I don't know what his schedule is today.
JOHNS: Now that we know he's in Washington, perhaps we'll go over to the Capitol and see if we can get a hold of him.
Fourth floor. Congressman Bishop's office is 2429. We're going to go and check it.
Hello, anybody home? Is Congressman Bishop around? Hey. Looking for Mr. McCray.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. McCray?
JOHNS: Or congressman Bishop. You think he'll talk to us later?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His schedule is fully booked for the rest of the day.
JOHNS: All right. Has he talked to anybody about the scholarship business?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is unavailable and...
JOHNS: Ask him to give me a call, will you? All right. Thanks a lot.
So there's simply no way of telling whether Congressman Bishop is here. His staff says he's not available but not volunteering any information about where he might be. The staff says he's working all day, but there are no votes on the House floor. It's pretty clear Congressman Bishop doesn't want to talk to us.
COOPER: We just want to ask him some very basic questions, Joe. I guess you can't just camp out at his office, huh?
JOHNS: No. I mean, you can't camp out inside his office. You can't camp out outside his office. There are a lot of rules to covering the Congress, and it's the Congress, of course, that makes the rules.
COOPER: No doubt about that.
You know, he's held this seat for almost two decades. Do you think -- I mean, is this hurting his race? He's in a race right now, obviously.
JOHNS: He's definitely getting attacked with it, and he's got a clear advantage. It's a majority or almost majority African-American district.
He's running against a guy named Mike Keown, who's a state representative. The thing about this is right around April to June, Keown got a whole lot of money infused into his campaign, and now he's got some Tea Party support. So Bishop is a lot more vulnerable than he was last time around, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, again, we extend the invitation to the congressman any night. We're around. We're here every night.
Joe, thanks very much.
We're following several other important stories. Randi Kaye joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, an event in Albuquerque, New Mexico, billed as a talk on the economy turned personal for President Obama today when a woman in the crowd asked Mr. Obama about his Christian faith.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, I'm a Christian by choice. So I came to my Christian faith later in life. And it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life I would want to lead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Former President Jimmy Carter will remain at a Cleveland, Ohio, hospital tonight where he's being treated for an upset stomach. He was taken there after getting sick on an airplane and missed a book signing in that city.
In Afghanistan, an emotional speech from embattled President Hamid Karzai. With his voice breaking, his eyes filled with tears, Karzai said, quote, "I have pain in my heart." He called on Taliban militants to put down their weapons and said he fears one day his son may be forced to flee the country.
Back here in the U.S. police in Utah say they're investigating the alleged polygamous marriage of the stars of TLC's new reality show, "Sister Wives." In the show, one man is thought to be married to four women.
Well, in Utah, anyone found guilty of being married to more than one person, Anderson, could face up to five years in prison.
And what's so strange about this is that they've apparently been living this way for quite some time. But now the officials feel that going on television is putting it in their face...
KAYE: ... so now they're going after them.
COOPER: That will be the second season. Very special episode.
KAYE: Such drama.
COOPER: Right, exactly.
Randi, we'll check in with you for more headlines later on.
Still ahead, testimony wrapped up for good in the Connecticut home invasion/murder trial we've been following but not before a prison guard told jurors what he overheard Steven Hayes, one of the accused, tell another inmate about the murder of Jennifer Hawke-Petit.
Also ahead, one of the young men who accused Pastor Eddie Long of sexual coercion. Well, he is speaking out publicly, using some pretty strong language, calling the pastor a monster. We'll hear what else the accuser now has to say.
COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight. Both the prosecution and the defense rested their cases today in the Connecticut home invasion/murder trial, but not before the jury heard more testimony.
Steven Hayes is accused of murdering Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters in 2007. A prison guard testified today that Hayes told another inmate in 2008 that his accused accomplice, Joseph Komisarjevsky, told him to kill Hawke-Petit and that he did so when he saw police approaching the Petit home.
He also testified that Hayes told the inmate he thought Dr. Petit may have been in on the plot to collect insurance money. No other evidence about that, though. More on the testimony in a moment.
But first, the most chilling video from the trial shows Jennifer Hawke-Petit withdrawing $15,000 at the bank at the demand of her captors just before her murder. Police testified that Hayes took her to the bank while Komisarjevsky held her family hostage back at home. A bank teller called 911.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a lady who is in our bank right now who says that her husband and children are being held at their house. The people are in a car outside the bank. She is getting $15,000. That if the police are told, they will kill the children and the husband. She is petrified.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, authorities also released surveillance video from a gas station where one of the suspects allegedly purchased $10 worth of gas that would be used to burn down the Petits' home.
Jennifer Hawke-Petit was sexually assaulted and strangled. Her daughters, one of whom was also sexually assaulted, died from smoke inhalation. Dr. Petit was badly beaten. He survived the attack, however. Steven Hayes could get the death penalty if convicted. Joshua Komisarjevsky will be tried separately at a later date.
We'll talk about it now with Jeffrey Toobin, CNN senior legal analyst, and Beth Karas, correspondent on "In Session," which is on our sister network, TruTV. She was in the courtroom today.
Beth, the testimony ends today, not before the prison guard testified, though, that he heard one of the suspects tell another inmate that he thought Dr. Petit might have been in on the crime to get insurance money, but there's no evidence of any of that. BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": Oh, no. That was investigated, and there's absolutely no evidence of it. And the family reacted -- Dr. Petit reacted angrily outside of court today and said he wasn't even going to dignify it with a response.
But no, there is no evidence. He was very severely wounded. He was tied up in the basement, and he was able to free his hands and hop out of the basement and roll to a neighbor's home and yell for help.
COOPER: Yes. And in fact he's the one who motivate the police moving in, because that was the first indication that anything was going wrong.
Basically, Jeff, the defense for this guy, for Hayes, is blame -- seems to be kind of trying to point the finger of the real responsibility at the -- the other co-defendant.
TOOBIN: That's the only defense, because even Hayes' lawyers are not asserting that he was not a participant, that he was somehow innocent. This is really all a setup for the penalty phase. They are not contesting the guilt.
COOPER: They're just trying to avoid the death penalty.
TOOBIN: They're trying to avoid the death penalty. And after he is convicted, which he presumably will be sometime next week, they'll have a penalty phase. And that's when the defense will really develop their theme that Hayes was just a patsy, a moron, a follower, and Komisarjevsky is the guy who really created the circumstances that led to this horrible, horrible murder.
Now, whether the jury buys it, whether -- you know, this is a very tough case for the defense to say the least, because it's just unspeakable.
COOPER: Beth, the prison guard also testified that Hayes said that he killed Hawke-Petit, Mrs. Hawke-Petit when he saw the police cruisers outside her house, but she might have actually already been dead by that point, right?
KARAS: Yes. The evidence is that she did not die from smoke inhalation. She was strangled to death, and he is the one accused of strangling her to death. He probably killed her Long before the fire was set, or at least minutes before the fire was set.
TOOBIN: It's worth mentioning that these jailhouse snitches, these people who say that people confessed to them, they are notoriously unreliable, particularly in cases where they're the only evidence. I mean, here there's just an abundance of evidence.
But the fact that the jailhouse snitch's testimony doesn't line up with the physical evidence in the case is not surprising. Because, you know, whether -- whether Hayes actually said that or not and -- is, I think, a open question.
COOPER: The fact that they bought, or that one of these guys bought gasoline beforehand and had gasoline there, I mean, it seems obviously to indicate that they planned to kill these people or to at least burn the house down.
KARAS: They say initially they were going to steal money and jewelry and tie everyone up and leave. They put pillowcases over the little girls' heads. They didn't want to be identified.
But they didn't find a lot of money and not too many jewels in the house, and they decided when they found a bank account with a lot of money, $30,000 or so in it, they were going to wait for morning so the bank opened and take Mrs. Hawke-Petit, Mrs. Petit to the bank, and that's what they did.
So they ended up killing their prisoners, because they could have identified them. And when the police came, and they realized -- everything happened at once at the end -- that Dr. Petit had escaped from the basement, the police have already formed a perimeter but they haven't rushed into the place. They didn't know exactly what they were encountering. And -- and they set the place on fire, all at the same, time and literally ran into the arms of -- rammed into the cars of the police outside.
COOPER: Beth, you've been in a lot of courtrooms for a lot of years, and you were saying just before the break how tough it is going into this courtroom every single day and hearing this testimony.
KARAS: This case really affected me. I was petrified about going into the courtroom, because I'm so haunted by this story. And I've been hardened for 2 1/2 decades by being in the criminal justice system, as an assistant D.A., as a reporter. Cases involving children who are killed really, really affect me. This one, I wasn't sleeping last night.
COOPER: Yes. It just is a shocking case. Beth Karas, appreciate it.
And Jeff, closing arguments are later in the week.
TOOBIN: Friday, presumably a verdict relatively soon next week. And then, if it's -- if it's guilty, as, you know, it almost certainly will be, the -- then there will be a penalty phase. And that's why the gasoline is actually so significant, because it suggests premeditation.
TOOBIN: And premeditation is a very important part of a death penalty consideration.
COOPER: But even if they got the death penalty, I mean, it would be years before they're executed.
TOOBIN: And Connecticut has a death penalty on the books, but there have hardly been any executions for 20 years. There was one. But -- so this is a beginning of a very Long legal process, if the jury even sentences them.
COOPER: Right. Beth Karas, Jeff Toobin, appreciate it. Thanks.
Up next, one of the young men suing mega church pastor Eddie Long speaking out for the first time. His message for Bishop Long and why he says he has no reason to lie.
Plus, Gloria Estefan's great escape on camera. Find out why she climbed out of a third-floor window at a Miami Dolphins game Sunday night. It was caught on tape. We'll show it to you.
COOPER: Well, tonight an accuser of Bishop Eddie Long is speaking out. The prominent Georgia pastor, who has a mega church, is facing sexual misconduct lawsuits filed by four young men who accused Bishop Long of using scripture and church money to sexually seduce them.
Just after the allegations surfaced, Long released a statement saying the charges against him and New Birth are false. and he spoke at his church on Sunday, vowing to fight the claims in court.
Atlanta TV station WAGA did an interview with Jamal Parris, who's now 23. He told WAGA he joined Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church when he was 14 and said Long wanted him to call him Daddy and trust him with spiritual guidance. In his own words, here's what Mr. Parris said about the influence Long had over him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMAL PARRIS, ACCUSER OF EDDIE LONG: So all the media and the press and the rest of the people around the city, around the country look at us, how can a grown man let another man touch us? This man manipulated us from childhood. This was our father and we loved him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Mr. Parris also talked with WAGA about the lasting impact of the alleged sexual misconduct.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PARRIS: I cannot get the sound of his voice out of my head. And I cannot forget the smell of his cologne. and I cannot forget the way THAT he made me cry many nights when I drove in his cars on the way home, not able to take enough showers to wipe the smell of him off of my body.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: As we said, Bishop Long said he will fight the allegations in court. Mr. Parris had this to say, as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That man cannot look me in the eye and tell me we did not live this pain. While you can sit in front of the church and tell them that you categorically deny it, you can't say that to our face, and you know this. You are not a man; you are a monster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Plenty of other stories we're following. Tonight Randi Kaye is back with the "360 Bulletin" -- Randi.
KAYE: Anderson, violence at the University of Texas at Austin. Officials say a 19-year-old sophomore identified as Colton Tooley, randomly fired shots on campus this morning from an AK-47 assault weapon before killing himself. No one else was hurt. Tooley's motive is not known.
An eighth person has died in connection with the gas line explosion and fire earlier this month in San Bruno, California. Thirty-seven homes were completely destroyed in the fire. A federal investigation into the cause of the pipeline rupture is now under way. Meanwhile, California's request for federal disaster aid has been rejected.
Actress Lindsay Lohan is back in rehab. She was sent to jail last week in Los Angeles after failing a drug test but was released after posting a $300,000 bail. Back in August, Lohan spent three weeks in a court-ordered rehab program.
And you know that old saying about necessity being the mother of invention? Well, take a look at this. That's singer Gloria Estefan. She was forced to climb out a window and into an adjoining suite at the Miami Dolphins game Sunday night. She was set to introduce Enrique Iglesias at halftime, but apparently, the door to her suite was locked. She couldn't get out. Even the firefighters, the locksmiths, the security there, Anderson, they all tried. Couldn't pry it open, so that's what she had to do.
COOPER: Wow, that's interesting.
KAYE: Yes. She had to even take off her high-heeled shoes and then race across the field.
COOPER: Wow. She was a good sport.
All right. Tonight's "Shot" kind of hits close to home, I think, for a lot of folks working in newsrooms. You know, when you work in a newsroom, you have to remember there are kind of live cameras around often, which could catch you, well, you know, digging for stuff.
So we found this on YouTube during a live shot of this news program. See what's going on behind the anchorwoman's shoulders.
COOPER: And wait for it, wait for it, boom. There you go.
KAYE: Oh, the payoff.
COOPER: There's the payoff. Let's take a closer look now. Let's light that one up. Unaware, clearly, she's on camera.
KAYE: Oh, my.
COOPER: Oh, hello. Hi. Yes.
KAYE: Now I get what you meant by digging for stuff.
COOPER: Yes. And wait, and wait for it and -- should I -- yes. Boom.
COOPER: Yes. Yes.
KAYE: Wow. That's brutal.
COOPER: I feel so bad for this poor person, though, like can you imagine now everyone -- I mean, yes.
KAYE: I hope she's not watching. I kind of hope she is, I kind of hope she isn't.
COOPER: If she is, put your hands down.
KAYE: There you go.
COOPER: Stop touching the nose area.
COOPER: Yes. All right, Randi. Something to think about tonight.
A lot more ahead at the top of the hour. A lot more serious and really one of the stranger stories that we've covered in a long time. A state law enforcement official, assistant attorney general in Michigan, seemingly fixating on an openly gay college student, singling him out with a Web site dedicated just to attacking him. We confront him about it. See how he explains his actions. We're "Keeping Them Honest."