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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Maine Filing Order to Enforce Nurse Quarantine; Investigators Search for Rocket Explosion Debris; Officials: Terror Leaders Survived U.S. Airstrikes
Aired October 29, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURTNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, Maine officials filing a court order to force nurse Kaci Hickox just back from the Ebola zone into quarantine. Her lawyer is OUTFRONT tonight.
Plus the rocket launch that ended in an enormous fireball, a catastrophe. Was 40-year-old technology behind the explosion?
And Ferguson's police chief supposedly on the way out. Will it make a difference on whether Officer Darren Wilson is indicted?
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news the fight over mandatory quarantine for those returning from the Ebola zone is heating up. Neither side giving an inch tonight.
Maine health officials at this hour say they are filing a court order to mandate quarantine for Kaci Hickox, that's the nurse who was first forcibly quarantined in New Jersey after returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa.
Now she is in Maine where she lives, where she is refusing to follow the state's quarantine orders. Hickox said she has twice tested negative for Ebola. She's still in the incubation period but she feels it is sufficient for her to self-monitor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KACI HICKOX, NURSE FIGHTING MANDATORY EBOLA QUARANTINE: I don't plan on sticking to the guidelines. I remain appalled by these home quarantine policies that had been forced upon me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: We're going to speak to Hickox's lawyer in just one moment. But first the president.
Today President Obama met at the White House with a group of health care workers fighting Ebola. He warned against rules that he says could discourage volunteers from working in West Africa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to keep in mind that if we're discouraging our health care workers who are prepared to make these sacrifices from traveling to these places in need, then we're not doing our job in terms of looking after our own public health and safety.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Jean Casarez beings our coverage OUTFRONT tonight in Fort Kent, Maine. That is where Kaci Hickox is tonight.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Doctors Without Borders nurse Kaci Hickox had defiantly opposed being forcibly quarantined.
HICKOX: I am not going to sit around and be bullied by politicians and forces to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public.
CASAREZ: After returning from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone last Friday, she was forced to stay in this tent at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey, even though she tested negative for Ebola twice. Now at home in Maine she's facing pushback from state health officials.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has heatedly his decision to quarantine Hickox.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: She needed to be isolated because she was suspected to have Ebola. So no, I have no concerns. And finally neither do the CDC who is on the ground in university hospital monitoring the conditions she was in. She had access to the Internet and we brought her takeout food.
CASAREZ: Another Doctors Without Border volunteer Craig Spencer treated Ebola patients in Guinea. Days after coming back, he walked freely around Manhattan. The organization did not require him to self-quarantine and defends its position with Hickox, saying, "MSF strongly disagrees with blanket forced quarantine for health care workers returning from Ebola affected countries."
To NBC freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, an Ebola survivor who sat down with CNN's Don Lemon, Hickox and other health care workers have the right to monitor their own situation.
ASHOKA MUKPO, EBOLA SURVIVOR: And to treat them as if they are a potential problem as opposed to a public asset, I just think it's extreme and I don't think it's the right way to act.
CASAREZ: If Hickox does decide to sue the state of New Jersey for its forced quarantine, Christie says.
CHRISTIE: Get in line. I've been sued lots of times before. Get in line. I'm happy to take it on.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CASAREZ: And we are right here in Fort Kent, Maine. It is the northern part of Maine, along the Canadian border. Kaci Hickox is right up this road, secluded we believe in a home, her boyfriend's home, we understand. But it may not be that way when the sun comes up because she is vowing to leave her home and the state of Maine is vowing to go to court to get an order for mandatory quarantine -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jean Casarez.
Kaci's lawyers will be with me in just a moment and answer those questions of where she'll be tonight.
I want to go first to Dr. Sanjay Gupta who was at the White House meeting today with the president and Ebola specialists.
What happened, Sanjay?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, some of that -- some of which you just heard in terms of the president's frustration with how things are being handled with some of the inconsistencies, in terms of some people being quarantined and others not being quarantined, and the impact that's having on health care workers going to West Africa was a lot of what he was talking about.
But I think, you know, Erin, it was almost as much as what you saw as what you heard. Take a look at a quick image. These are some images, on the left image, a picture that I took from inside the White House today. It's health care workers with the president, some of them have just returned from Liberia. They're within the 21-day period. They're with the president at the White House.
On the right, Kaci Hickox, even talking about, also returned from Liberia, within the last 21 days, all of them are asymptomatic, but on the left, there with the president in the White House, in the house, in quarantined. They're now facing a possible mandatory quarantine.
And I think it was that dichotomy in some way, the optics of that, Erin, that he really wanted to sort of point out.
BURNETT: Obviously, after that very public hugging of Nina Pham that many people are still talking about, which he did very much on purpose to show that he would touch her.
You had a chance to speak with some of those health care workers. What did they tell you?
GUPTA: Well, you know, the health care workers that had just returned, I really wanted to get at this issue, if you came back and were put into mandatory quarantine, first of all, how would you feel about that, would it impact your ability to do your work, would it impact your desire to go back to West Africa.
Dr. Daniel Chertow, who the president singled out today, called a hero for some of the work that he's been doing. I asked him that, take a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DANIEL CHERTOW, EBOLA HEALTH CARE WORKER: I have another job that I have to do. And, you know -- you know, based upon the science of this, if I felt like I was putting my wife at risk, my 2-year-old at risk, my co-workers at risk, I would take myself out of the game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: You know, he has a wife, he has kids, you know, he got back as a physician, working over there in Liberia and he told me, he said, the first thing I did was I hug my wife and I hug my two kids. I wouldn't have done that if I believe in any way that I was putting them at risk. And, you know, it may seem like a minor point, Erin, but I think it's a major one, obviously.
I was in West Africa myself. That's really putting it to the test, right?
GUPTA: With your own family, how you behave, and that's how he put it.
BURNETT: It certainly is. Of course, and you look at Dr. Craig Spencer, you know, he no doubt he was with his fiancee. He certainly didn't think he was putting her at risk, it turned out he had Ebola. So I ask the question, nobody thinks that it could happen to them.
GUPTA: Certainly at the time, though, that he was with his fiancee he wasn't sick and I think it's a point that Dr. Chertow made as well. You're not --
GUPTA: You're not going to infect somebody, you're not going to transmit the virus unless you're sick. If you develop any symptoms then obviously you need to get checked out.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Sanjay.
And joining me now, a lawyer for Kaci Hickox, Norman Siegel.
Good to have you with me. So I want to start here with what's happening in Maine. The governor of Maine is doubling down. We have a statement he just said, Kaci Hickox has been, quote, "unwilling to follow the protocols set forth by the Maine CDC and the U.S. CDC for medical workers who have been in contact with Ebola's patients." He went on to say, "Seeking legal authority to enforce her home quarantine."
What is she doing about that?
NORMAN SIEGEL, ATTORNEY FOR QUARANTINED NURSE: Well, we're talking to her tonight to talk about her options and what the consequences would be. The state of Maine, the ball is in their court, they have to decide whether they will get the court order. We've been trying to persuade them not to get the court orders so that we can amicably resolve this. But if they decide to go to court we have three days to then challenge it and we will do exactly that.
And the reasoning will be that the state of Maine has no justification, no justification to quarantine Kaci because Kaci does not have any symptoms of Ebola disease and therefore she's not at harm to the health, welfare, safety of anyone in the state of Maine.
BURNETT: So let me just ask you, though, this whole issue of symptoms. Obviously, we now know there was a world health sponsored study that appeared in the "New England Journal" magazine that said 13 percent of people who get Ebola never had a fever, which is sort of the basic symptom everyone is, quote-unquote, "self-monitoring for."
Obviously if you're sick or throwing up, and you're someone like Kaci, you would know that that's a symptom and you would also reach out. But I suppose the question is, obviously there's an incubation period, so she could get symptoms at any point during that period. That's why many states -- it's not just Maine, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Illinois are all doing the same thing.
SIEGEL: Yes, but they are doing those protocols based, in my opinion, on fear and on myth, not on medical fact. The medical community is very solid on the grounds that if you don't have the symptoms, then you are not putting people at risk. And part of the problem is, is the political leadership in those states is misleading their constituents by not explaining to them in a massive public education campaign exactly how this disease is transmitted.
It is similar to, when I was the head of the Civil Liberties Union in '85 when the HIV virus hit us and everybody were scared, people wouldn't want to drink out of the same cup. People who are concerned about HIV/AIDS and what happened was, there was discussion about quarantine. Fortunately we defeated that. We have to do the same thing here.
BURNETT: So has she decided whether she's going to violate this quarantine or not?
SIEGEL: She is not going to agree to the restrictions that they place on her. If they get the court order, then we will go to court and we will challenge it.
BURNETT: And if she wins her case, she walks free, will she seek other damages?
SIEGEL: That is something that we'll consider. I think Kaci is, in my opinion, an impressive American. She's very knowledgeable of this issue. The main concern is that her voice and the voice of people in the health community in this country, that they should be part of this debate. This debate should not be led and directed by the politicians/
BURNETT: Yes. SIEGEL: It should be led in directly by the medical community.
BURNETT: And on the medical community, you know, some people that don't understand this, don't see the way you see this, or Kaci sees this. They say, look, Ebola, has hit health care workers harder than anyone else, 244 of them have died. The same percent, even higher, than Ebola hitting the general population in these countries.
Let me just make my point here. A doctor came back to New York. Of course he thought he had taken every precaution, he wouldn't have been at home with his fiancee, exposing her if he didn't so, right? Of course he thought he had done everything. So not everybody knows whether they were necessarily exposed or not.
And I guess the question I just want to ask you, if people should trust health care workers implicitly? So that's why some people say, why wouldn't they just have a quarantine? After all, they're told not to go to work for 21 days, why not just stay home?
SIEGEL: Because we believe in principle in this country, we believe in the Constitution and the government can't take away your liberty unless there is some compelling basis for it. It doesn't exist here.
The myth, number one, is that if for 10 days someone doesn't have the symptoms, on the 11th day they get the fever. Those first 10 days when they are interacting with people in the public, they are not putting those people in jeopardy.
SIEGEL: And if the politicians would explain that, and stop playing political games, we could deal with this in a medical way, not in a political way.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Appreciate your time to explain it. Thank you.
SIEGEL: Thank you.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, investigators searching for answers after the spectacular explosion of this NASA rocket last night, just about 24 hours ago. What's amazing is that that rocket was running on a 40- year-old engine design. We're going to tell you what happened.
Plus news that the Ferguson police chief is about to go. Will that do anything to calm tensions if Officer Darren Wilson isn't indicted?
And there's increasingly -- increasing certainty tonight that U.S. strikes did not take out key terrorist leaders in Syria. Leaders that were planning an attack on the United States. Are they actively plotting one tonight?
BURNETT: Tonight investigators are trying to piece together exactly what caused the more than $200 million rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station to explode seconds after takeoff. The imploding rocket caused flaming debris to rain down across the launch pad at the Wallops Field facility in Virginia.
Athena Jones is OUTFRONT from Wallops Island, Virginia, tonight with more on what went so catastrophically wrong.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This morning, search teams scoured the waters off Wallops Island, Virginia. Looking for debris of the unmanned Antares rocket that exploded just seconds after liftoff Tuesday night.
I spoke to Bill Wrobel, the director of NASA's Wallops facility about the search.
BILL WROBEL, DIRECTOR, NASA'S WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY: It really helps them kind of reinstruct what happened. And so they'll get from the videos and from the telemetry data, the timelines and certain critical events relative to their telemetry, but -- then this also kind of helps them put that picture back together.
MARSH: The rocket launched at 6:22 p.m. Eastern Time, loaded with 5,000 pounds of cargo headed for the International Space Station.
DAVID THOMPSON, CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ORBITAL SCIENCES: This investigation may or may not lead us to the conclusion that the failure was caused by a problem with the Antares first stage main propulsion system.
MARSH: The flight termination system causes the rocket to self- destruct, blowing up its own fuel on a signal from Mission Control.
FRANK CULBERTSON, EXECUTIVE VP AND GENERAL MANAGER, ORBITAL SCIENCES: We observed the failure both in telemetry and visually, shortly after that, my understanding is that the range safety officer sent the destruct command.
MARSH: An executive for Orbital Sciences speculated on what may have caused the accident.
CULBERTSON: The ascent stopped. There was some, let's say, disassembly of the first stage, it looked like, and then it fell to earth.
MARSH: Eyewitnesses caught the spectacular fireball on camera from many angles. One from a plane in flight, others from miles away.
MATTHEW TRAVIS, EYEWITNESS: We could feel the heat when it exploded, we could feel the heat from the fireball three miles away.
MARSH: Officials are only beginning to calculate what was lost in the explosion.
CULBERTSON: The full cost of the rocket and the spacecraft itself is over $200 million. (END VIDEOTAPE)
MARSH: Now Orbital says they expect the investigation team to narrow down the handful of most likely causes of this catastrophic failure in just a matter of days but it'll take longer to zero it on the root cause. And the company says it's too soon to say for sure just how long the next launch which had been set for early April might be delayed because of this accident -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Athena, thank you very much. Live from Wallops Island, which is as we say very remote, several hours of drive from Washington, D.C. to the eastern shores of Maryland and Virginia.
Tonight a critical piece of Orbital Sciences' rocket. That's the company that was in control here. The company that launched that rocket. They have one piece of the rocket that's coming under incredible scrutiny. The engines. Because it turns out the engine used to lift the rocket were made out more than 40 years ago by then Soviet Union scientists.
We are not making this up. Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice-over): Orbital Sciences has an almost $2 billion contract with the U.S. government to take payloads to the International Space Station. That fits perfectly with the vision for the space industry laid out by President Obama when budget problems spurred a pullback of government spending.
OBAMA: We will work with a growing array of private companies competing to make getting to space easier and more affordable.
FOREMAN: Yet this disaster will only intensify the debate about whether private companies can handle such dangerous work well, while watching the bottom line. NASA says it has confidence in Orbital. The Virginia company says it will thoroughly investigate.
CULBERTSON: We will not fly until we understand the root cause and the corrective action necessary to ensure this doesn't happen again.
FOREMAN: Some point to the fact that Orbital has built its Antares rockets around refurbished Russian engines made decades ago. That's right. That American contract money is buying old leftover Russian engines.
In a 2012 interview with "Wired," Elon Musk, who founded a competing company, SpaceX, dismissed the Orbital, saying, "Their rocket honestly sounds like the punch line to a joke. It uses Russian rocket engines that were made in the '60s. I don't mean their designers from the '60s, I mean, they start with engines that were literally made in the '60s."
Earlier this year, one of those engines called an AJ-26 failed during a test. And Orbital says it now has plans to drop the Russian engines. THOMPSON: It is possible that we may decide to accelerate this change
if the AJ-26 that turns out to be implicated in the failure but this has not yet been decided.
FOREMAN: Furthermore, Orbital notes that in the two previous Antares flights the engines performed well. Maybe that is why others in the space industry are noting this is rocket science.
ERIC STALLMER, PRESIDENT, COMMERCIAL SPACEFLIGHT FEDERATION: Yesterday was a bad day, today, you know, we are regrouping but the industry is certainly going to be moving forward and upward.
FOREMAN: Certainly there is no sign at this point that Orbital will lose its deal with the government and even if it does, the government is showing little appetite for jumping directly back into the space race. Preferring to let private companies take the lead, and yes, the risk -- Erin.
BURNETT: Tom, thank you very much. Pretty incredible, though.
I mean, I want to bring in our CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien now, along with Captain Mark Kelly, a former astronaut who's also on the Safety Advisory Board for SpaceX. You heard Elon Musk mentioned there. But another company that sends rockets to the Space Station.
Let me start with you, Miles. 40-year-old Russian engines. This is the new great American private company innovation masterful way?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: In a word no. It doesn't sound like a lot of innovation to me. It sounds like you're going to space in a '69 Volga instead of a 2014 Tesla. This is not new technology. This is assumption of a lack of liquid rockets in this country. Homegrown. This technology has kind of withered here.
In the '90s there was a big press by the U.S. government to purchase Russian rockets, primarily the larger RD-180 to be used in the commercial sector. One of the big ideas behind that was to keep former Soviet rocket scientists from pedaling their wares to the likes of North Korea. Well, that was a good idea except that the commercial sector stopped developing their own alternative engines and so now there is this reliance on Russians, ironically, to foster this new U.S. commercial enterprise with the exception of Elon Musk's SpaceX. He builds his own rockets.
BURNETT: Right. And of course, Captain Kelly, I just emphasize again, I know you're on the Safety Advisory Board for SpaceX, but how -- this is just surprising I think to a lot of people. I was surprised, you were the first to mention this last night, I don't think most people would expect that when you have a private company doing this, that they using 40-plus-year-old Soviet engines.
CAPT MARK KELLY, FORMER SPACE SHUTTLE COMMANDER: Well, you know, Russian engines and Soviet engines are typically very reliable. The RD-180 is a very reliable engine. In this case the AJ-26, which is a refurbished different engine from Russia, an engine with -- I think it's an NK-33 may not as reliable.
You know, just that the hardware is 40 years old doesn't necessarily mean, you know, it's in bad shape. You know, you can preserve an engine for a long period of time and fly it very successfully. You know, the bottom line here is they're going to have to do an extensive mishap investigation and figure out what the root cause is, and then fix it.
BURNETT: And let me ask you, Captain Kelly, the NASA space shuttle program was canceled a few years ago, 2011. Since then, the government, you know, uses tax dollars, pays private companies to send rockets to the space station. I guess one of the question I have for you is, does this explosion scare you that this happened? I mean, SpaceX I know is -- has done four missions to the Space Station. They're going to be doing more. Does this explosion, though, scare you?
KELLY: Well, it doesn't scare me. I mean, as you know, there were no people on board. We lost up to 5,000 pounds of valuable cargo, including some spare parts and food and stuff to support the experiments on board. But, you know, this is a risky business. I mean, it's very difficult to accelerate a payload from zero to over 17,000 miles an hour in a couple of minutes. I mean, these rockets operate at the extremes of pressure and temperature and RPM of turbo pumps.
So, you know, no matter how safe we try to make it, you know, we are going to have accidents and we just try to improve it the next time.
BURNETT: Miles, is there pressure, though, for these companies now that there are so many more of them. Right? You've got more companies doing this, that to hit the bottom line, you know, you cut corners?
O'BRIEN: Well, it is tough. I mean, let's face it. They have to make a buck. And it is a business. And you have to square that with safety. And almost always, safety and the amount of money you spend tend to be at odds. And so these are the balances and the tradeoffs that have to be made. It's worth pointing out that over the years, when NASA was, you know, literally right there on the assembly line telling them how tight to turn the bolts and everything, in the old way of contracting, we had a lot of mishaps.
We lost 14 shuttle astronauts and we lost three Apollo astronauts in a launch pad test in 1967. So it is unsafe all of the time because it is not -- it is not a routine thing. And anybody who thinks it's routine hasn't done their homework.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to both of you.
And OUTFRONT next, breaking news, new evidence the top terror leaders survived American airstrikes in Syria, maybe actively plotting attacks. A live report from the Pentagon on this breaking story coming up.
Plus Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson expected to go, to resign, in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting. But if Officer Darren Wilson is not indicted, will it make any difference?
With election day around the corner, OUTFRONT investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't really consent to an interview right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Lawmakers, lobbyists together, at high-end resorts for great weekends.
BURNETT: Breaking news: officials telling CNN at this hour that two key terrorists targeted by the United States are still alive and plotting against the U.S. homeland. They are members of the Khorasan group, an al Qaeda affiliate. They were targeted in the opening night of airstrikes in Syria. The United States said they post a serious risk to American national security.
Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT from the Pentagon tonight with this breaking news.
And, Barbara, you know, I know they had -- they had done these massive strikes they said that were targeted at this group. It appears now this could have been a significant failure?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: It is beginning to look like that, Erin. I have to tell you, CNN's own Pamela Brown and myself have been talking to officials all day and what we are hearing, both of us, is that the U.S. now believes the two key Khorasan leaders are still alive, Muhsin al-Fadhli, the leader of the group, and a French jihadist named David Drugeon. These men have not been talked a lot about in public since the night of the strikes, very little word.
The U.S. had never really known if they had gotten them or not. But now, the officials are telling Pamela and myself that they're working assumption is both men are still alive. They may have left the area before the strikes. They may have been injured, we don't know.
But why is this so important? This is a group that is basically the same as al Qaeda core back in Pakistan. Many of them moved from Pakistan to Syria a few years ago. They are a nasty bunch.
They have a lot of bomb-making expertise. They know how to make bombs that can potentially get past airport screening. And the French jihadist that they believe is still alive has deep ties in Europe, and he is able not only to engage in bomb making activity but run operatives back and forth between Syria and Europe and possibly then on to the United States.
That is the big worry and that is why U.S. intelligence officials are still calling Khorasan an imminent threat to the United States. Tonight, they know they have to find these men -- Erin.
BURNETT: Barbara Starr, thank you. Pretty sobering.
Well, tonight the white police chief of Ferguson is about to go. Federal officials tell CNN that Thomas Jackson, you see him there, you may remember him in the heat of this, is expected to step down in an effort to reform the police department. Tensions, of course, have been high for months after Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer.
Officials in Ferguson have a different story, though, tonight. They say that police chief is not going anywhere.
Our justice reporter Evan Perez is OUTFRONT tonight from Washington.
And, Evan, as we are getting close to the grand jury's decision on indict or not indict, signs lately have been pointing to no indictment, there had been tensions rising, there had been people in the streets, the attorney general, Eric Holder, is now weighing in with some incredibly strong comments.
What's he saying?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Erin, I think the attorney general today did his own to increase pressure on -- not only on the Ferguson police chief, but also on the larger issue, which is to reform the Ferguson Police Department. Here are some of what he had to say today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think it's pretty clear that need for a wholesale change in that department is appropriate. Exactly what the forms of that change will be -- I think we'll wait until we complete our inquiry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREZ: The message here from the attorney general, Erin, is that, you know, he wants not only for the police chief, perhaps, to be removed here, but also that the department needs to be reformed in order to better serve this community. And, you know, this is all as you said, preparation for the coming of this grand jury decision as to whether or not there will be charges against Darren Wilson, the officer, and what the reaction on the streets will be.
BURNETT: Of course, that is -- that is the great fear as we've seen of the tensions rising. Evan Perez, thank you very much.
And now, CNN legal analyst Paul Callan, and Michael Brown's family attorney, Anthony Gray, joining me.
Thanks to both of you.
Paul, let me start with you. You are sitting next to me.
The public is waiting on a decision by this grand jury. A lot of people that point, reports are coming out saying that Wilson won't be indicted. We won't know until the grand jury comes out. But there has been a lot of reporting to that effect.
Is there a case against him? Is that a mistake not to indict?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, politically, it would be better to indict and to have a public trial because the public seems to be so upset with a process that has gone on. But I have to say, from the standpoint of the evidence that we know about so far, it seems to be falling on the side of the officer.
I mean, the officer's claim, and this is the argument his attorney will make at trial, is that you got a 6'1", 300 pound man, Michael Brown, who commits a strong armed robber of a convenient store, as he is fleeing an officer who was trying to apprehend him, he reaches into the car, struggles with the officer, causing the gun to go off. When the officer gets out and tries to pursue, he turns, and according to the officer, with the outstretched hands says, what are you going to do, shoot me, and then he starts approaching the officer to tackle.
Now, that outstretched hand motion is perceived by others to be a surrender motion. But the latest report from "The Washington Post" is that there might be seven African-American witnesses who back his version.
Now, I don't know what really happened in the grand jury. It's in secret. But if that's the case, you can't win that case at trial. Yes.
BURNETT: Anthony, you obviously believe an indictment is just?
ANTHONY GRAY, MICHAEL BROWN FAMILY'S ATTORNEY: No doubt about it. No doubt about it. And, you know, it is just interesting to hear these different versions of events as to what transpired on that day.
I like to go back to the initial witness statements that were spontaneous when they were given. They were not coordinated in any way. We saw that in video tapes moments after the shooting took place. They seem to describe something that was clearly criminal in nature and because of the criminal nature of what they described, I think that an indictment should have been proper right then and there.
However, they went through the grand jury process and it looks as though they are trying to have a trial in a grand jury, as opposed to a probable cause finding and that is the reason we have so much time transpire. But clearly, I think in this case, an indictment would have been proper.
BURNETT: And, obviously, Anthony, though, just to be fair, when you're talking about them coming out spontaneously, they did come out very close to the incident, but sort of have been a few days after, during which there was intense public outcry, there was a very strong public point of view.
I mean, there certainly was a point of view there. It is not as if they came out before there was a public outcry with that.
GRAY: Well, that might be. But I'm speaking of number one when Dorian Johnson gave his interview, that was the day of who's --
BURNETT: And that was the young man with Michael Brown.
GRAY: Yes. Exactly, who was standing right there with him. You had two construction workers who were being videotaped unbeknownst to them, that made spontaneous reactions they just saw just minutes before the videotape was rolling.
So, if you just take those three different eyewitness accounts of what happened, you have enough information right there to determine there was a crime.
CALLAN: But, you know, what have you to consider is this -- the reason you have secret grand jury proceedings is so that witnesses will not be afraid to come forward.
Now, if this report is true, that there are seven African-American jurors who back the officer's view --
BURNETT: Witnesses, yes.
CALLAN: Witnesses, would they have come forward publicly given the public opinion, which was totally in favor of Michael Brown and against the officer.
By having a proceeding in the grand jury, they were able to maintain their anonymity, they're not doing press conferences, obviously, and maybe the grand jury got to see testimony that we haven't seen.
Now, I don't know. I mean, it may turn out to be different. Maybe these are false reports, but I think we've got to wait until this grand jury hands down its decision.
BURNETT: How do, Anthony, in this issue of this is all being decided by witnesses because that's really all you have in something like this, right? There wasn't a video camera in the police car. So, it's -- it is witnesses determining this.
I guess what I'm confused about is if you have a few witnesses, it's not even a majority backing Michael Brown's story, why wouldn't you just have it go to a trial?
GRAY: And that is my point exactly. Because even if you have varying views and different types of perspectives in what they saw, that is all designed to be sorted out in a trial proceeding. That's not to be sorted out in a probable cause grand jury process. And that's what I've been advocating and basically saying all the time.
And it just seems to me that, you know, regardless of what people know to be the actual process, we somehow have gotten off on to this other track and we are basically having a trial in secrecy over what happened on August 9th as opposed to your normal grand jury process.
CALLAN: Grand jury (INAUDIBLE) practically every state in America. There is nothing unusual about what is going on, it's just that it is so high-profile that it is being covered. BURNETT: It is. And there is such a question about what the reaction
will be if there is not an indictment.
Thanks to both of you.
And OUTFRONT next: lawmakers and lobbyists together, cocktail parties, golf, weekends, ski trips. An OUTFRONT investigation is next.
Plus, does this Hitchcock scene ring any bells to you?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you go out with friends?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, a boy's best friend is his mother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Coming up, Jeanne Moos on another famous scene from "Psycho".
BURNETT: Tonight, an OUTFRONT investigation. So, it's less than a week before the most expensive mid-term election in history which is pretty shocking in and of itself considering people don't care about it.
Drew Griffin investigates how lawmakers are selling access to lobbyists every day, an undercover camera captures the length the lobbyists go to, $2,500 for cocktail party with a view, $5,000 to play golf, all in the name of access. That's tonight's "Money and Power."
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Montage Laguna Beach is one of the top resorts on the West Coast. Lush views of the Pacific, drinks delivered by the pool, and nighttime cocktail parties watching the sun slip into the sea. The single room rate here can top $1,000 a night.
In Maryland's eastern shore, the Inn at Perry Cabin isn't bad so either. Summer sales on the bay, posh golf down the street, and a twilight cocktail party with some of your good friends. On the days we visited, the center of attention at these lush resorts is a politician holding a fundraiser.
What want to hobnob overlooking the Pacific with California Congressman Duncan Summer, that's him in the sunglasses. The suggested contribution, $2,500.
Want to party and golf with Maryland Senator Ben Cardin? That's him arriving in the pink shirt. The suggested contribution: $5,000.
And as we found out from our undercover cameras, at the cocktail parties and golf outings, there is no shortage of lobbyists willing to pay for the chance to weekend with a lawmaker.
TIM WIRTH, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: It is basically corrupt. And it is legalized corruption.
GRIFFIN: Former Colorado Senator Tim Wirth says he's disgusted with the way lawmakers continually come up with clever ways of extracting money from anyone who wants to buy Washington access.
When rules changed and lobbyist could no longer take politicians on trips, politicians and their fundraisers designed a brand new scheme, organize the trips and invite the lobbyist as long to pay for it. We found that out last winter. Snowbird Resort Utah where Senator Mike Lee invited lobbyists to join him for a weekend on the slopes. The cost, pay your own way, pay your own hotel, and pay -- make that donate -- a suggested $1,500 per person for a chance to ski, drink and lunch with a caught-off-guard Senator Mike Lee.
(on camera): I just want to ask you, why so important? I mean, you're not the only guy that does this.
SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: Yes, I didn't really consent to an interview right now --
GRIFFIN: Well, I'm just wondering if I could ask you some questions about why you have these -- in general, why you have these kind of weekends for lobbyists?
LEE: Yes, politicians raise funds and this is what we do.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Take for instance, Congressman Duncan Hunter and his cozy cocktail party in Laguna Beach.
(on camera): It turns out luxurious weekends like this with lobbyists are nothing new for Duncan Hunter, who's been doing this ever since he first decided to run for his father's seat back in 2007.
(voice-over): Expense reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show around two dozen payments to hotels all over Southern California since his first election campaign.
Congressman Hunter declined our request for an interview, but an aide sent an e-mail saying, "The congressman holds events of all types in many different venues and either people choose to support him or they don't, simple as that." And, by the way, the staffer also told us they got the hotel rooms for less than $500 a night, not $1,000.
And as for Senator Cardin in Maryland, who is not up for election this year, he turned us down for an interview, too. But his staffer emailed that the money raised went to other Democratic candidates and that Senator Cardin is actually a sponsor of campaign finance reform -- presumably to put some sort of end to posh fundraising parties like this one.
BURNETT: I guess it's easy to talk the talk, and hard to walk the walk, do you know what I mean? They all do it. You know, they like to say others shouldn't do it, but no one ever says no.
GRIFFIN: Yes, and why don't they? It's because, Erin, they're essentially trapped in their party's own system, a system that requires money, whether you need it or not as a candidate. Ben Cardin isn't up for election until 2018. He doesn't need the money, but he needs that money to feed into, in his case, the Democratic Party which demands it of him.
The Republicans do the same thing. You want to pay for access, pay for power in Washington? You got to keep that money flowing, right after the election, Erin, to show you how this never stops. Right after the election, a weekend after the election, for about $3,000, and your expenses, you can spend the weekend with a very prominent senator at Disneyworld if you so choose.
BURNETT: Wow, I can't think of a worst way to spend the weekend in Disneyworld. That's just me.
All right. Thank you, Drew.
Pretty incredible report. We're going to put that online because I think it's worth watching again and again.
OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos with a woman who has taken the art of pumpkin-carving to a whole new "Psycho" level.
BURNETT: And now, let's check in with Anderson with a look at what's coming up in a few minutes on "AC360".
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Erin. Yes, we have a lot more on breaking news tonight, nurse Kaci Hickox recently returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, currently quarantined in her home in Maine, a home now surrounded by state police, surrounded on the order of the state's governor and threatening a lawsuit. Moments ago, she came out of her house and made a statement. We're going to bring that to you. We'll also speak with her attorney, Steven Hymen, as well as Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Also, an outrageous video of a woman who did nothing more than just walk around New York for 10 hours and recorded secretly more than 100 incidents of being harassed by complete strangers, guys making cat calls, making lewd comments, all sorts of comments. She is speaking out tonight, joining me on the program. Those stories and tonight's "Ridiculist", a lot more at the top of the hour -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Anderson. We'll see you in just a few moments.
And now, one of the most famous movie scenes in history, a marvel of film editing for its time in 1960, still a marvel in so many ways, it's being recreated, though, using pumpkins in honor of the week, just in time for Halloween.
Here is Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alfred Hitchcock has never been presented -- like this: carved in a pumpkin that might drive him psycho.
In honor of Halloween, there is a new take on that famous shower scene, matched practically frame for frame right down to the shower rings and shower head, carved in pumpkin by this Brooklyn artist.
YULIYA TSUKERMAN, ARTIST: If there is somebody out there who has carved more shower tiles than I have, I would like to meet them.
MOOS: Yuliya Tsukerman sat here at her dining table for a couple of weeks carving 30 frames from the classic scene, frames like the one showing Marion Crane's eye. The pumpkins have since rotted.
TSUKERMAN: They went to the pumpkin graveyard.
MOOS: So, she carved us a new eye, ouch!
TSUKERMAN: Sorry, Marion.
MOOS: She calls her three-minute video psych-o-lantern, you know, like psycho and jack-o-lantern.
TSUKERMAN: A hilarious plan.
MOOS (on camera): Yuliya is no pumpkin waster. She did the entire film using only 10 pumpkins, by carving three scenes per pumpkin.
TSUKERMAN: I was trying to save on pumpkin slaughter.
MOOS (voice-over): Yuliya isn't exactly a Hitchcock buff. Last Halloween, she first got the idea of doing a stop-motion video made out of carved pumpkins, but it was too late and pumpkins were sold out, so she did it this year.
Normally, her art consists of etching ships on ostrich eggs. But carving a bloody hand? So much spookier.
At the end of psych-o-lantern, Yuliya carved herself holding a pumpkin.
TSUKERMAN: Like this. And offering it to him.
MOOS: Offering it to Hitchcock.
(on camera): Do you like long showers?
TSUKERMAN: As a matter of fact I do.
MOOS (voice-over): You need a long shower to wash off all that pumpkin, but pumpkin sure beats blood circling the drain.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: Pretty amazing talent, though.
We'll be right back.
BURNETT: In tomorrow OUTFRONT, a third grade girl banned from school after arriving in the United States from Nigeria, which is Ebola-free. Her father is OUTFRONT
Anderson starts now.