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THE SITUATION ROOM

Senate Subpoenas Donald Trump Jr.; Interview With Rep. Steve Cohen (R-TN); House Judiciary Votes To Hold Attorney General Barr In Contempt; School Shooting Rocks Colorado; White House Exerts Broad Executive Privilege Over Mueller Report; Colorado School Shooting Suspect Appears In Court; Students Hailed For Heroically Confronting Attacker; U.S. Imposes New Sanctions As Iran Says It Will Partially Withdraw From Nuclear Deal; Harry And Meghan Introduce Baby Archie. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired May 8, 2019 - 18:00   ET

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


[18:00:15]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news: contempt of Congress. The battle between House Democrats and the Trump administration over the Mueller report escalates dramatically, as the Judiciary Committee votes for hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt.

Blocking access. President Trump asserts executive privilege, refusing to give Congress the unredacted Mueller report. With the Trump team stonewalling lawmakers on multiple fronts, one committee chair calls it a constitutional crisis.

Trump's son subpoenaed. The Senate Intelligence Committee orders Donald Trump Jr. to return and testify. But sources say he's considering invoking his Fifth Amendment rights or just ignoring the subpoena altogether. How will this standoff end?

And heroic students. New details of the latest deadly school shooting, including how students jumped the gunman, preventing greater loss of life, but costing one student his. Tonight, emotional parents are speaking out.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: We're following multiple breaking stories this hour, including a vote by the House Judiciary Committee to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, with Chairman Jerry Nadler calling the standoff over the Mueller report -- and I'm quoting him now -- a constitutional crisis.

Also breaking, President Trump adding to his administration's stonewalling by asserting executive privilege over the entire Mueller report, in an effort to keep it from House Democrats and setting the stage for a courtroom showdown. Also tonight, CNN has learned the Senate Intelligence Committee has

subpoenaed the president's son Donald Trump Jr. And sources say he is considering refusing to testify, citing the Fifth Amendment, or simply just not appearing at all.

We will talk about the breaking news and more with Congressman Steve Cohen of the Judiciary Committee. And our correspondents and analysts are also standing by.

First, let's go to Capitol Hill.

Our Senior Congressional Correspondent, Manu Raju, is on the.

Manu, now the full House of Representatives must vote on whether to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And that's going to happen in just a matter of days, Wolf.

And then after that, court action will then ensue. The big question for Democrats is, now that the president has invoked executive privilege, how will that affect their investigations going forward?

The House Judiciary Committee chairman, Jerry Nadler, just told me moments ago that such a move could have a -- quote -- "chilling effect" on his investigation into potential obstruction of justice. And he said this -- quote -- "tyrannical power" must not be allowed to stand.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAJU (voice-over): In a dramatic escalation in the war between Democrats and the administration, the House Judiciary Committee today voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress.

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): We did not relish doing this, but we have no choice.

RAJU: For defying a subpoena to turn over the full Mueller report and the underlying evidence.

NADLER: There can be no higher stakes than this attempt to arrogate all power to the executive branch, away from Congress and, more important, away from the American people. We have talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis. We are now in it. We are now in a constitutional crisis.

RAJU: It's a move that came just hours after the president took the dramatic step of blocking the release of the records by citing executive privilege, something bound to spark a drawn-out court fight.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This isn't about executive privilege. It's about burying the evidence, Mr. Chairman. If it was about executive privilege, the attorney general would not have offered you to be able to view the documents and then tell you that you can't tell anyone what you saw. I thank you for not taking the latest Trump hush offer.

RAJU: Some Democrats said the move to defy Congress on all fronts means the House should start to take up impeachment.

REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D), LOUISIANA: Do I think we're inching closer to it every day that the president has a blanket privilege or just saying that he's going to obstruct the congressional investigation? Yes, for me, we're inching towards it.

RAJU (on camera): Do you think this committee should start talking about another thing, impeachment?

REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR (D), TEXAS: I think we have to talk about it.

RAJU (voice-over): In a letter to Congress, the Justice Department argued it could not comply with Democrats' request without violating the law and said the president has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials, adding that committee Chairman Jerry Nadler made this assertion necessary by moving ahead with the contempt vote.

[18:05:00]

House Republicans defended the White House and attacked Nadler.

REP. DOUG COLLINS (R), GEORGIA: We're manufacturing a crisis.

RAJU: Saying Nadler acted in bad faith after refusing to review a less redacted report offered by the Justice Department, which has already publicly released the vast majority of Mueller's report.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: I think it's all about trying to destroy Bill Barr because Democrats are nervous he's going to get to the bottom of everything. He's going to find out how and why this investigation started in the first place.

RAJU: The fight with the White House also raising questions about whether Mueller will be prevented from testifying before the House this month.

Nadler not as optimistic as he once was.

NADLER: We're still planning to have Mr. McGahn appear before us, to have Mr. Mueller appear before us. The president has made that more difficult by ordering Mueller not to appear.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RAJU: Now, as Nadler said that we are in a constitutional crisis, I asked him, well, if we are in a constitutional crisis, why not pursue impeachment? Why are you resisting impeachment?

And, Wolf, he said, the short answer is that may not be the best answer in this constitutional crisis. He says there are a lot of considerations for that. Not all Democrats, it seems, are on the same page. Some want to push for impeachment right now, a sign of the divide within the party about what to do next, now that the White House is defying the requests on all fronts -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, clearly a split on that front.

Manu Raju on Capitol Hill, thank you.

Let's get some more now on the breaking news about the president's son.

CNN's Kara Scannell is working this part of the story for us.

Kara, sources telling us Donald Trump Jr., they want him to come testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. How's he responding?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf.

I mean, this is the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee. And they have subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr., asking him to come in to testify.

Now, Donald Trump Jr.'s camp is saying that this is essentially going to become a standoff. Sources tell us that it's possible that Donald Trump Jr. pleads the Fifth, or that he doesn't show up at all.

And Kaitlan Collins just got a statement from someone close to Donald Trump Jr. And in that, he says: "No lawyer would ever agree to allow their client to participate in what is an obvious P.R. stunt from a so-called Republican senator too cowardly to stand up to his boss, Mark Warner, and the rest of the resistance Democrats on the committee."

So that's pretty strong fighting words coming from the Don Jr. camp. It looks like that the standoff is not going to reach any sort of resolution, and that he's going to continue to fight this appearance before Congress.

BLITZER: Senator Burr is the chairman. Mark Warner is the vice chairman. Clearly, he's not his boss. But that was in that statement.

But what is even more dramatic, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee agreeing with the Democrats on calling Donald Trump Jr. to come before the committee a day after the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said, you know what, it's over, case closed, it's time to move on, stop all the investigating.

SCANNELL: Right.

I mean, I think this is telling us that that is not how the Senate Intelligence Committee feels. They don't agree with Mitch McConnell on that. And if you remember, the -- Don Jr. went in and spoke with the Senate Intelligence Committee, the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee in 2017. But he refused to speak to special counsel Robert Mueller. And over that 18-month period, so much more information has come to light.

So, the Senate Intelligence Committee is still conducting their investigation. They had Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and adviser, come back in recently. They're asking for Don Jr. to come back in. And it seems like the standoff is just going to stay where it is, where Don Jr. is not going to answer any substantive questions.

I mean, I think the issue here is what we see in this person close to Don Jr. telling Kaitlan is that the real concern here is that this is just a potential perjury trap. They're just trying to get Don Jr. to get tripped up on some of these issues.

I mean, he is in the Mueller report talking about the Trump Tower. Well, not him specifically, but he comes up in the report around the Trump Tower Moscow discussions, the Trump Tower meeting with the Russian lawyer and other places. So it seems like the legal risk here is really too great for Don Jr. to come in before the committee.

BLITZER: Kara Scannell with the latest on that front, a dramatic development indeed. Kara, thank you very much.

President Trump has just added another obstacle to Democrats' efforts to see the full Mueller report by asserting executive privilege.

Let's go to our Chief White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta. He's traveling with the president in Florida right now.

Jim, the president and his team seem to be defying Democrats almost at every turn.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf.

And as for this news on Donald Trump Jr., I should tell you, the White House at this point is not expected to comment on that news. We don't expect that to happen.

But, of course, you never know what will happen at a Trump rally, as the president will be on stage in a couple of hours from now. So we will have to wait and see if he wants to comment on these latest developments regarding his eldest son.

But, Wolf, the president does appear tonight to be heading toward a constitutional crisis with House Democrats. The White House is defending the president's use of executive privilege over the Mueller report, as the president appears to be turning the art of the deal into the art of the conceal.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA (voice-over): Playing a game of hide and seek, President Trump is pulling out all the stops to keep the full Mueller report out of the hands of House Democrats.

QUESTION: Mr. President, if the Mueller report clears you, why not let Congress see all of it, sir?

[18:10:03]

ACOSTA: In a retaliatory strike, the president is now asserting executive privilege to block the report's unreleased materials from House Democrats, after Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler sought to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over what they want.

In a letter, Barr told the president: "In these circumstances, you may properly assert executive privilege with respect to the entirety of the Department of Justice materials that the committee has demanded."

The White House is all but taunting Nadler to take the matter to court.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You would think, for an attorney, Chairman Nadler would be a little bit more up on the law. I'm not. And I actually feel like I understand it better than he does.

Chairman Nadler is again trying to violate the law. The president and the attorney general are the ones that are actually upholding it.

ACOSTA: The standoff over the Mueller report comes one day after the administration instructed former White House counsel Don McGahn to refuse to cooperate with Nadler's committee, prompting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to drop the I-word.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The president goading us into -- wants to go to goad us into impeachment, whether it's obstruction, obstruction, obstruction, obstruction of having people come to the table with facts, of ignoring subpoenas and the rest, every single day. The president is making a case. He's -- he's becoming self-impeachable in terms of some of the things that he is doing.

ACOSTA: As for his other big secret, the president is defending his practice of avoiding paying taxes, after a "New York Times" report found he suffered more than $1 billion in business losses in the '80s and '90s, tweeting: "Real estate developers in the 1980s and 1990s, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write-offs and depreciation. You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes. Almost all real estate developers did, and often renegotiate with banks. It was sport."

"The New York Times" revealed Mr. Trump was able to avoid paying taxes for much of that 10-year period. The president has bragged about his ability to avoid paying taxes in the past.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Because the only years that anybody's ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license. And they showed he didn't pay any federal income tax.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That makes me smart.

I have a tremendous income. And the reason I say that is not in a braggadocios way. It's because it's about time that this country had somebody running it that has an idea about money.

ACOSTA: Mr. Trump's steep losses in real estate also call into question his main pitch to voters in 2016, that he was a business genius.

TRUMP: Our country needs a truly great leader. And we need a truly great leader now. We need a leader that wrote "The Art of the Deal."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: And the president's eager to get down to this rally here in Florida for one of those raucous events with his supporters who remain very loyal to the president.

Of course, the president's supporters are just as feisty as administration officials back in Washington, who seem also eager to take this standoff with congressional Democrats over the Mueller report, over all these other areas from the hearing room to the courtroom -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jim Acosta, thanks very much.

Let's get some more on all of this. Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee is joining us. He's a member of the Judiciary Committee. He was there throughout the day.

Congressman, you just voted to hold the attorney general in contempt. Did you accomplish really anything practical today, or was this simply a political stunt, as your critics allege?

REP. STEVE COHEN (D), TENNESSEE: It was a proper activity for the Judiciary Committee to take.

Barr has been contemptuous of us last week, in not showing up and trying to dictate the rules of how he would be questioned. And he was contemptuous today by not giving us the documents that we had requested.

So it's appropriate that we do it. The contempt that we brought will probably end up in the courts, and it will take some time before anything happens. And it could even be through the election.

I would rather have done inherent contempt, but we chose not to do it, because I want to take strong action to show that this attorney general, this administration, this president will not sully the Constitution and the work of our founding fathers and what this country, this building where I am in now, was built upon, and that's what they're doing.

BLITZER: Your chairman, Jerry Nadler, says that he may pursue a civil lawsuit. But, realistically, is that going to have any effect on the attorney general?

COHEN: None whatsoever.

He is a Roy Cohn for Donald Trump, who is standing in the shoes of Joe McCarthy.

BLITZER: The Justice Department says that you have terminated negotiations for the unredacted Mueller report by holding this contempt vote today.

Have you undermined, Congressman, your own effort to get that information?

COHEN: Well, we will have to see what happens. And that's possible that's what they will do.

[18:15:01]

They want to stonewall everything. Trump has said that they're not going to respond to any subpoenas Congress issues from any of the committees. And I suspect that they wouldn't have complied with this one.

What they offered us was just nothing. They suggested additional staffer would be able to go. They said that people that could participate in the hearing could keep their notes. That was their concessions.

It's really the Judiciary Committee, the Intelligence Committee should both see the entire report. And that would all be appropriate. We have legislation and powers that we have that it's necessary to have all that information at our disposal.

BLITZER: But, as you know, President Trump today asserted executive privilege over the entire Mueller report in response to your vote. Is that a legitimate use of executive power?

COHEN: I think the courts will find that it is not.

They have -- not only have they allowed these people to testify before Mr. Mueller and/or testify before grand juries. They have basically given up executive privilege. But to exert executive privilege over an entire investigation, over an entire special counsel's report is unheard of.

And I think the courts will rule on our side that that's not appropriate. But this is all part of their stonewalling, delaying tactics. Trump is just trying to stay alive. He's like the Bee Gees. He's staying alive.

BLITZER: The chairman of your committee, Jerry Nadler, says discussions they have the special counsel, Robert Mueller, testify are ongoing.

Are your efforts better spent on securing that testimony, rather than escalating this fight with the attorney general, which may simply wind up in court and drag on and on and on and go nowhere?

COHEN: Well, I'm not sure what would be best.

I know where we are. And I think we're doing what we should do, because he's been contemptuous of the Congress. And he lied to the Congress when Charlie Crist asked him about Mueller and the Mueller team and their opinion of his 3.5-half-page summary.

He lied last week, I believe, also when he was in the Senate. So, when you lie to Congress, when you're contemptuous of Congress, Congress needs to take actions. We don't need to -- we play too nice with this man. And we play too nice with the Russians.

And the Russians influenced the election, and Trump's in. And they're taking all of the activities they can. And they're grifting their way through to try to finish this term and see if they can't con the American public and their supporters into another term. That would be the worst thing that could happen to this country.

It would just be catastrophe. And it'd be the end of America as we have known it.

BLITZER: One final question before I let you go, Congressman.

You have been getting some criticism, some flack for bringing the fried chicken to that hearing where the attorney general didn't show up, suggesting your opinion that he's a chicken. We're showing our viewers some video of that.

Any regrets for having done that?

COHEN: Only regret I have is that I bit into the chicken, because there's a lot of photographs, and it's hard to bite into chicken and look real good afterwards.

I regret that. But I don't regret doing it. I think we created a hashtag for him and we brought to a lot of people's attention the fact that he did chicken out, that he was cowardly, didn't appear before our committee, and brought it to an audience that otherwise wouldn't have known it, people that don't watch THE SITUATION ROOM.

But they might watch the late-night TV shows. And I think, effectively, it got that message out, and a visual sometimes is better than the talking or writing. And so I think we succeeded in that.

And it was a bit of humor. I don't -- I have always had humor in my life. Maybe it's "Mrs. Maisel." I binged on "Mrs. Maisel" this past week. And so I was a bit Mrs. Maisel-like in a way. But I like comedy, and I thought it was a little funny.

And as far as the late-night TV show folks that might not have been that wild about it, and see if they get booked in Congress.

BLITZER: Congressman Steve Cohen, thanks so much for joining us.

COHEN: You're welcome, Wolf. BLITZER: All right, the breaking news continues next with more on the

House Judiciary Committee's vote to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress.

Plus, Donald Trump Jr. now facing a subpoena from the Senate Intelligence Committee. Will he respond?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:23:44]

BLITZER: Breaking news.

CNN has learned that the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. to testify on matters related to the Russia probe.

Also breaking, the House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold the attorney general, William Barr, in contempt.

Our political and legal experts are here with some analysis.

Phil Mudd, what does it tell you that Donald Trump Jr. has now been subpoenaed to come before the Senate Intelligence Committee?

PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Well, I presume he declined an invitation. Otherwise, they wouldn't have to subpoena him.

I think the interesting question, obviously, is, why did they do this? The first point would be simple. They looked at the report and they said, maybe we will have some follow-up questions.

There's a better reason they did this. People sat down, I guarantee you, on Capitol Hill and said, what did he tell us in testimony? How does that match up with the Mueller report? Oh, wait a minute. There's some discrepancies between those two.

And that's why I believe he's going to say, no, he can't explain the discrepancies, I'm guessing.

BLITZER: And that committee, the Republicans are the majority in the Senate.

MUDD: Yes. Yes.

BLITZER: The committee chairman, Richard Burr, going against what the -- Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said yesterday, end all these investigations, case closed.

MUDD: Yes.

BLITZER: Let's move on.

Susan Hennessey, a source close to Donald Trump Jr. calling the subpoena -- quote -- "an obvious P.R. stunt from a so-called Republican senator."

We're talking about Richard Burr, the Republican senator from North Carolina, the committee chairman.

[18:25:02]

We're also learning that Donald Trump Jr. is considering either pleading the Fifth or simply not showing up.

SUSAN HENNESSEY, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right.

So if Donald Trump Jr. pleads the Fifth, then Congress will have a choice. Either they can immunize them or they can accept him not -- essentially not to testify.

Now, as Phil alluded to, essentially, the concern here is whether or not Donald Trump Jr. committed perjury. There are a couple different instances. But things like that Donald Trump Jr. testified before the committee that he did not inform his father of that -- in that meeting in which Russians offered to give Hillary Clinton -- dirt on Hillary Clinton in advance.

Michael Cohen said that he was present for an exchange between Trump Jr. and Sr. in which they discussed a meeting that appeared to him as though they talked about it previously. And so the committee would not -- would potentially want to bring Donald Trump Jr. in to discuss that.

Now, there are some indications that Donald Trump Jr. may have already asserted the Fifth Amendment, and that's a little bit of a hint in the Mueller report. We don't know what's behind those grand jury redactions. But if you read the report carefully, it does talk about attempts by the Mueller's team to interview Donald Trump Jr., that they weren't able to do that.

Then there is a redacted portion for grand jury testimony purposes. If he had, in fact, asserted the Fifth or said he was going to assert the Fifth, that's the way it would -- would present itself.

Ultimately, though, Donald Trump Jr. can -- he can probably decline to answer specific questions, but the indication that he's just not going to show up, that he's not going to comply at all, that, he probably is not going to get away with.

BLITZER: Are you surprised, David Swerdlick, that the subpoena comes from the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee?

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN COMMENTATOR: Not totally surprised, Wolf, because Senator Burr and Senator Warner on the Senate Intelligence Committee have had better working relations than, let's say, Congressman Schiff and Congressman Nunes from the last Congress.

So it seems like this is something they can at least approach together. And it seems like this invitation started before this refusal, and now that the report, that the Mueller report is out, that Donald Trump Jr. has changed his position a little bit. I just want to follow up on one thing that Susan was saying. I agree

with you on everything that you just said. I do think, though, that Donald Trump Jr. is testing the proposition of whether he can get away with not showing up.

And I think he realizes, look, this isn't "Game of Thrones." The Capitol Police are not going to go over and pry him away from his Secret Service detail just to enforce a subpoena.

But I think the Democrats are handling this wrong. All they have to do is bring in some other witnesses, ask them about -- like Mark Corallo and Hope Hicks. Ask them about what took place on Air Force One when the president was preparing a statement about Donald Trump Jr.'s involvement in the Trump Tower meeting, and get them to testify, and then see if Donald Trump Jr. wants to revise his statement based on those other witnesses.

BLITZER: What do you think, Sabrina?

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think that, to David's point, it's worth pointing out that the Senate Intelligence Committee has so far operated in a way that is more bipartisan than what you have seen from some of the committees in the House.

There are these unanswered questions, and now stemming from the Mueller report even more scrutiny, over what Donald Trump Jr. told members of Congress when he testified before them in September of 2017. And it's not just about that Trump Tower meeting in June of 2016, where he was receptive to at least receiving dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russians, but also what he said about negotiations over a potential Trump Tower project in Moscow.

He said at the time that he was only peripherally aware of that project. You have had evidence to the contrary, not just from the Mueller report, but also from the testimony of Michael Cohen, the president's former attorney, who said that he briefed Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump something like 10 times about the nature of that project.

But it's certainly significant, because this is one of the first times that we have seen a subpoena against one of the president's children. It's probably something that the president himself will not react well to. The question is, of course, what Congress chooses to do if Don Jr. defies the subpoena.

BLITZER: I suspect he's very, very angry right now, the president of the United States.

Everybody, stick around.

There are more dramatic developments unfolding right now. We will take a quick break. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:30:00] BLITZER: Let's get back to our specialists, our analysts. David Swerdlick, the House Judiciary Committee today, a historic vote, they voted to hold the Attorney General of the United Stated, William Barr, in contempt. What led to this moment?

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So, Wolf, I think given where we are, they probably had not much choice. The Attorney General and up to -- including the President are asserting executive privilege over this sweeping range of information relative to the Mueller report.

And that's not what executive privilege is for. Executive privilege is there so that the President can confer confidentially with senior advisers to run the run the government, not to say that everything in general is a secret. That's what the Supreme Court held in U.S. V Nixon in 1974 in eight-nothing-decision.

The law is on Democrats' side. The problem, I think, is that the Democrats have played this all by sort of Marquess of Queensberry rules. You know, they want everything to be above board and good sportsmanship and that's not the way the White House and the Justice Department are playing this.

BLITZER: Is the President within his right to exert executive privilege over the full report when a big chunk of that report detailed information before he became President?

SUSAN HENNESSEY, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY AND LEGAL ANALYST: So, certainly, executive privilege doesn't apply to things that took place before Trump was in office. However, executive privilege may apply to investigative materials. And so, in this case, what the Department of Justice has done is ask for the President to assert protective executive privilege.

[18:35:00]

So, essentially, they are saying, we're going to exert this broad executive privilege over all kind materials. We're acknowledging that some of those materials are not properly subject to the privilege but we're making that claim now because we need additional time to review that information, not just the information in the Mueller report but also all of that underlying investigative material.

And so this really is about buying themselves more time and also to give Bill Barr a defense to the contempt charge that the House voted on today. , So ultimately, we're probably going to see the negotiating process between the two branches continue on this issue.

BLITZER: Jerry Nadler, Sabrina, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, says there's now a constitutional crisis. His words, a constitutional crisis. The Justice Department says it couldn't comply with what the Judiciary Committee Democrats wanted because they say they'd be breaking the law if they did so. So I assume there's going to be a lengthy legal battle right now.

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that's precisely where this was all headed. And that's one of the concerns Democrats have had. And now that we're entering this next phase, which is likely to be a protracted legal battle, that process could take months, if not, years.

They've obviously made the case as there's a great due of urgency in getting the full Mueller report available to members of Congress. They were seeking the full report, unredacted report and the underlying evidence. And they had hoped that the Justice Department would work with them to obtain grand jury information through a court order. And that's obviously what led to this stalemate.

Now, there are going to be questions, of course, about the tactics here and whether or not Democrats should have gone ahead with an actual contempt vote, which is, of course, a dramatic escalation between the legislative branch and the executive branch.

But I think they wanted to send a clear message because this is not just one specific request but it comes at a the time when the White House has also told Don McGahn, the former White House Counsel, to defy a subpoena to appear and testify on Capitol Hill. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin separately denied the House Ways and Means request for the President's tax returns. So I think they also wanted to send a very clear message to this Trump administration that there will be consequences for ignoring the oversight demands of Democrats in Congress.

BLITZER: And Chairman Nadler now says he is less confident that the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, will actually come before his committee. Are you confident that we'll eventually hear from the Special Counsel?

MUDD: Yes. But we're operating on eastern daylight time. It's Mueller time. I worked for that guy for four-and-a-half years. He's not -- I never saw him sweat over anything. Let's talk about his timeframe. We have the Attorney General obviously saying the oversight committee and I have a third grade timeout about whether I testify and whether we actually send the full report over to Congress.

The Department of Justice and the Attorney General obviously oversaw the Mueller investigation. If you're a seasoned pro like Mueller who never sweats, you're sitting there saying, they've got to resolve their issues about whether the guy who was -- who presumably will oversee the investigation now will testify before I go up there. He'll go but not until the dust settles, I think.

BLITZER: It's going to be battle over that front, I suspect, as well.

Guys, stick around. There's more news we're following. Breaking news. A suspect from the deadly Colorado School shooting has just appeared in court. We're hearing incredible tales of heroism from some of the students who helped stop the attack from claiming even more lives.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:40:00] BLITZER: Breaking news. One of two suspects from the school shooting near Denver, Colorado has just appeared in court for the first time. The other suspect has not yet had a hearing. One student was killed during the attack, which also left eight people wounded. CNN's Scott McLean is joining us now with details. Scott, what's the latest?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Wolf. One of those suspects, an 18-year-old, was in court today. His hair was dyed purple. He kept his head down and only spoke when responding to the judge. Now, the prosecution asked for more time. And so there won't be any formal charges filed until Friday.

Police are pretty clear on -- or pretty unclear about any of the potential motives here, but witnesses say there is no doubt who helped stop these shooters, a private security guard and a student named Kendrick Castillo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you had chance to talk to Mr. Ericson?

MCLEAN: Tonight, 18-year-old Devon Erickson, one of the suspects in the STEM school appearing in court. A second suspect in custody, a female juvenile yet to be named. They're still trying to determine a motive. Gunfire erupted just before 2:00 P.M. Tuesday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Attention all units, I'm getting information on the shooting at STEM School.

MCLEAN: Officers responded within minutes. The STEM School had a single-armed private security guard who went straight to the sound of the gunfire apprehending one shooter as they left the room. Kendrick Castillo didn't hesitate when one of the shooters walked into his class.

TUSCANY GIASOLLI, STEM SCHOOL STUDENT: As soon as he said don't you move, Kendrick lunged, giving all of us enough time to hide under our desks.

MCLEAN: That's one of Kendrick classmates, describing the heroic act that cost him his life but saved so many others. His parents aren't surprised.

JOHN CASTILLO: KENDRICK CASTILLO FATHER: We raised him to be good. Because of what he did, others are alive and I thank God for that.

MCLEAN: But the Castillo's go on to admit.

CASTILLO: There's another part of you that wishes he would have turn and ran, retreated, hid, you know, did something to put himself out of harm's way if that was possible.

MCLEAN: They say Kendrick was always a defender of others, a patriot and the proud grandson of a U.S. marine. He was also a soon to be graduate who was active on his school's robotics team and plan to go to college to become an engineer. [18:45:03] His mother says if it weren't for him, her child wouldn't

be alive.

REPORTER: How does it make you feel to hear that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It makes me happy that she has her son, and, you know, but it makes me sad that mine is not here.

MCLEAN: In fact, his parents say when they heard of the shooting, they tried calling Kendrick's cell phone. No one answered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was getting nothing. My anxiety and my lump in my chest was growing.

MCLEAN: And at the reunification center, they anxiously watched as parents hugged their kids, eventually realizing --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We didn't have that.

POLICE DISPATCHER: All units, we have a shooter in room 107, 107.

MCLEAN: A student's cell phone was recording a student's first heard this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attention, please. Lockdown.

MCLEAN: And then this.

Her son Owen sent these texts from inside the lockdown. You can't keep her updated, he says, because we have to keep our hands free.

Eight people were injured in the shooting, three of them in intensive care.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLEAN: Now, Kendrick was one of three students who tackled one of the shooters to the ground. One of the others is Brendan Bialy, an aspiring marine. The marines today called his actions admirable and inspiring. Meanwhile, Bialy called his friend Kendrick a hero -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Also heartbreaking. Scott McLean, thanks very much.

Just ahead, the U.S. intensifies maximum pressure campaign on Iran. We have details of what prompted these tough new sanctions.

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[18:51:14] BLITZER: The United States is imposing new sanctions on Iran after that country's president announced a partial withdrawal from the nuclear deal it signed with six Western countries.

Our National Security Reporter, Kylie Atwood is here in THE SITUATION ROOM with the latest.

Kylie, the Trump administration clearly intensifying its maximum pressure campaign against Iran.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: And that could be one of the reasons for the pronouncements that we've heard from Iran. So, today Iran said it plans to scale back on the commitments to the Iran nuclear deal but not overnight. It's essentially saying to the signatories of the deal, you have an option here. If you ease the restrictions on our oil and our banking sectors, then we'll stay in the deal. If you don't, 60 days from now, we are going to be in non- compliance with the deal.

And this comes as you point out as the U.S. continues to ramp up the pressure. They put new sanctions on Iran's metal exports today. That's a very important sector to the Iranian economy, it's the third largest revenue when it comes to exports and the U.S. says that more sanctions are coming. They are not stopping here.

BLITZER: And how close was Iran before the nuclear deal to actually develop some sort of nuclear weapons capability?

ATWOOD: Estimates range. So, it was from about three to six months before the Iran nuclear deal that experts believed that it would take Iran to have enough time to develop, essentially a fuel to develop a nuclear weapon. But now, that breakout time with the deal in place is about a year.

The question is, if Iran does move forth in 60 days and gets out of this deal, then what? How do the signatories to the deal respond? They said just over the past day they could come back with sanctions but also how does the U.S. respond? Would they go after some of these nuclear facilities in Iran?

BLITZER: Important issue. Kylie, thank you very much for that report. Kylie Atwood reporting.

And just ahead, a very different story. A royal debut as Harry and Meghan show off their new son and announce his name.

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[18:57:54] BLITZER: The duke and duchess of Sussex introduced their new baby to the world today and announced this somewhat, somewhat unusual name.

CNN Royal Correspondent, Max Foster is in Windsor for us.

So, Max, tell us more about Baby Archie.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Archie. No regal history at all, really, certainly not in that form. Archibald perhaps but you have to go a long way to find it. They chose Archie simply because they like it I'm told, and then Harrison, Harry's son.

So, very simple. They just want to reflect normality in many ways and move away a bit from the regal system perhaps. Natural parents in a very grand palace behind me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: It's magic. It's pretty amazing and I have the two best guys in the world, so I'm really happy. He has the sweetest temperament. He's really calm and --

PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: He gets that from me.

MEGHAN MARKLE: He -- and he's been -- he's just been a dream. So it's been a special couple days.

PRINCE HARRY: Yes, it great. Parenting is amazing. It only been, what, two and a half days, three days, but we're just so thrilled to have our own little bundle of joy and we get to spend some precious time with him as he slowly starts to grow up. He's already got a little facial hair, as well. Wonderful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: After that photo opportunity, a private moment as well. Photographers brought in behind the scenes. They came up, Wolf, with a stunning image with Doria Ragland there, Meghan's mother with the queen. Everyone looking really natural. It almost looks like a painting.

So, that's on all of the front pages tomorrow. I can say they won't bring this baby up with a title. They want him to have his own life, his own career away from the strictures of palace life, which is interesting, as well.

BLITZER: Very quickly, what's the reaction to the name Archie?

FOSTER: Well, Archie in this country is a very popular name. Lots of people have it. It's just not a very regal name. So actually, I think it's really in endeared the couple to the entire country.

BLITZER: I like it myself. Nice name, Archie.

All right. Max Foster, thanks very much.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.

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