ABC New Live: Justice Department moves to keep Mar-a-Lago search affidavit sealed

Plus, first lady Jill Biden tests positive for COVID-19 and what this means for the president, and a dance center founder puts representation center stage during Black Business Month.
23:35 | 08/16/22

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Transcript for ABC New Live: Justice Department moves to keep Mar-a-Lago search affidavit sealed
[MUSIC PLAYING] - I'm Diane Macedo. Today on ABC News Live, former President Trump is calling for the release of the unredacted affidavit behind the Mar-a-Lago search as the Justice Department fights to keep it sealed. Why the Department says it could compromise their investigation and why investigators are now examining security footage subpoenaed from Trump's home. We're watching another set of primaries today. Polls are already open in Wyoming where Liz Cheney, the most outspoken Republican critic of former President Trump, is locked in a primary battle there unlike any other. Will her stance on January 6 and the 2020 election cost her her seat? We've got team coverage of the election. And First Lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19. We have the latest on her condition and what this means for the president. Dr. Patel joins us live. But we begin with that battle over the FBI's seizure of documents from former President Trump's Florida home. Trump is now calling for the release of the unredacted affidavit behind the search, but the Justice Department says that releasing it could jeopardize the ongoing criminal investigation, reveal cooperating witnesses, and has the potential implications for national security issues. Our senior national correspondent Terry Moran is in Washington with more. TERRY MORAN: Former President Donald Trump is calling for the immediate release of the completely unredacted affidavit behind last week's FBI search of his Florida residence. But the Department of Justice wants that affidavit, a sworn document that provides justification for a search, and thus a possible roadmap to the case, to remain sealed to protect witnesses in its investigation into Donald Trump's alleged mishandling of classified information. - They certainly don't want to put former President Trump or anyone close to him on notice of what they are looking at. TERRY MORAN: The Justice Department argues that publishing the affidavit would reveal specific investigative techniques and could even compromise their investigation. That investigation is a criminal probe with national security implications. DOJ revealing it has witnesses cooperating in this investigation and indicating that a grand jury is involved. Now some lawmakers are also demanding answers. The top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Intelligence committee have asked the Director of National Intelligence and the DOJ to provide the classified documents retrieved by the FBI, 11 sets in total, along with an assessment of potential risks to national security as a result of their mishandling at Mar-a-Lago. Sources tell ABC News investigators are now scrubbing through security footage subpoenaed from Mar-a-Lago as they try to retrace the movements of these classified materials and determine whether the country's national secrets have been compromised. Meanwhile in Georgia, in an unrelated case, one of the many investigations into Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, prosecutors in Fulton County have notified Rudy Giuliani, Trump's lawyer in those battles, that he is a target of the investigation there. That is typically one of the final steps before someone is indicted. Diane? - All right, Terry Moran, thanks for that. And let's bring in ABC News investigative reporter Katherine Faulders and former FBI agent and ABC News contributor Brad Garrett with more on this. Katherine, this DOJ filing to keep the affidavit sealed makes clear that this is an ongoing criminal investigation with national security implications and that a grand jury is involved. So what does that all tell you? - Well, look, a grand jury, this is DOJ confirming parts of this on the record. But it's important to note here that this has been an ongoing investigation for a few months. We reported back in May that a grand jury was looking into Trump's handling of classified information. So a lot leading up to this search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, Diane. Look, we had the grand jury reporting and then the visits by the FBI agents and in June, the video that Terry mentioned there that they're scrubbing through, that led up to this. So this has been something that has been meticulous, ongoing. They found different pieces of evidence along the way that is potentially in that affidavit that, of course, Trump is calling be unsealed. - Brad, this filing also shows that the government already has intended witnesses whose identities federal prosecutors want to protect. So what does that tell you about where this case is? And what happens if those identities are revealed? - Well, it's actually common in cases, Diane, to have sources that give you direct information about action, things people have said. When I say action, they've actually been there when the person has done whatever the allegation might be. And let's face it, this is such an explosive case. Having those names out there, it creates all sorts of issues about intimidation, threats. And it's the last thing you want in an investigation. The bottom line is you can imagine how difficult this case is to investigate. If you released the probable cause affidavit, I'm not sure how they could go forward, because of the number of people then blasting out into the media what they perceive and what they think this is, and isn't it awful? I mean, this tension that we have, going after FBI agents, et cetera, I think would even get bigger. - Do you think this is a legal strategy by Trump's team to make this request, Brad? - No, I think what it is is that he wants it out there so he can start intimidating or people around him can. I mean, it's sort of-- I've seen it happen, even in low-profile cases. All the murders I've worked, we were so careful about protecting sources, because we knew in those cases the shooter would go after the witness and kill them. And it has happened, obviously, in a number of cases. Here, I think, intimidation would just be off the charts, and trying to discredit the person that the government is ultimately using. One final important point is for them to ever have gotten to this point, Diane, they have really got a lot of evidence, perhaps against the president, perhaps people around him. This was no shallow attempt with this search warrant. - And Brad, quickly, there are also congressional requests to the Justice Department for these search documents. Do you think the DOJ will and should hand them over to Congress? - I don't know. I think you're talking about to the, I assume the Judiciary Committee, where they-- or the Intelligence Committee, where they have clearances. But I don't know why they need to know that. Can the Director of National Intelligence provide them a summary and a damage control? I think that's certainly appropriate. - All right, Katherine Faulders, Brad Garrett, thank you both. And former President Trump's influence is being put to its biggest test yet today in primary elections. Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney is one of few Republican lawmakers who have spoken out against Trump's false claims about the 2020 election. And she's vowing to fight on, even if she loses today. Meanwhile, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski was one of just seven senators who voted to convict Trump in his Senate impeachment trial. She faces a primary challenger who's casting doubts on the election results. FiveThirtyEight senior elections analyst Nathaniel Rakich joins me live now for more on this. Nathaniel, you say Liz Cheney and Lisa Murkowski's races, while highly anticipated, are actually pretty boring. Why? - Yeah, that's because I think we know what's going to happen. Liz Cheney is almost certainly going to lose her primary. The latest poll had her losing by 30 points. Now, of course, polls can be wrong, but probably not 30 points wrong. And in addition, this is just a very pro-Trump state, right? Wyoming gave Trump 70% of the vote in 2020. He's endorsed her challenger, Harriet Hageman. So I really don't think there's going to be a lot of suspense there. On the flip side, in Alaska, Murkowski is almost certainly going to make it to the general election alongside her pro-Trump Republican challenger, Kelly Tshibaka. And that's because Alaska actually has a new primary system this year where all candidates of all parties run on the same primary ballot. And then the top four finishers, regardless of party, advance to the general election. So both Murkowski, with her base of moderate Republicans and independents, and Tshibaka with her base of pro-Trump Republicans, look like they have the support to get to November. - And Nathaniel, what other races do you have your eye on? - Yeah, I'm also looking at the special election in Alaska. This is the race that could send Sara Palin to Congress. So this is a three-way race between Palin, who's kind of a Tea Party conservative Republican, Nick Begich, who's more of a probusiness traditional Republican, and then a Democrat, Mary Peltola. And this race is using ranked-choice voting. So it's very unpredictable. This is a system of elections that has not been tested very often in the United States. And actually, it's the first time Alaska's going to use it. So any of the three candidates could win. And, of course, if the Democrat wins, it could be more evidence that Democrats are energized in the wake of Roe v Wade being overturned. We've seen that in other special election results so far this year. - All right, Nathaniel Rakich, we appreciate it, as always. Thank you. - Thanks. - And let's bring in ABC News political contributor Barbara Comstock, a former Republican congresswoman from Virginia, and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former Democratic mayor of Baltimore, for a little bit more on this. Barbara, Liz Cheney voted along-- voted for President Trump's agenda more than 90% of the time. So what does it say that Trump's false election claims are the one issue that may end her career? - Well, the reason Liz received the Profiles in Courage Award, and the reason why we call it Profiles in Courage, is because it's somebody who makes a decision that they know can harm them politically, but they know it's the right thing to do. And in this case, she was standing up for the Constitution. And I think nobody has been more consequential in the January 6 hearings. And she has had a tremendous impact, which I think will make a tremendous impact on Donald Trump. And that is why he will never be near the White House again, which she made that choice to do that for the country, perhaps at the expense of her own seat. And I think she would do again. I'm proud and honored to be her friend, to be her supporter. And I will continue to work with her on this effort. And I think she's a winner today, no matter what she does. And Donald Trump will be the loser in history. And I think he'll be a loser pretty soon in front of the courts. - Stephanie, in many ways Liz Cheney has become the face of the wing of the Republican Party that is critical of Donald Trump. So what would her loss mean for the political landscape nationally? - I think they call that a little wing of the party. I think you mentioned earlier that she did this at the expense of her political career. I think we shouldn't forget whose feet or whose knee Liz Cheney learned that. And that's Dick Cheney. And Dick Cheney plays a long game. And I think Liz Cheney is playing the long game as well. Yes, what she is doing right now is definitely courageous. But I do not think this is the end of her political career by any stretch of the imagination. I think she's playing the long game and she's setting herself up. When this little wing of the Republican Party starts to turn the corner and regains the control of the Republican Party, she's going to be sitting in the catbird seat. - Barbara, when you look now at the landscape of Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, for example, or have been critical of him and how they've done in primaries for those who have faced off already, what do you think about the future of the party and where things are headed heading into the midterms? - Well, listen, I'm certainly disappointed that many of these people have lost in their primaries. But the real test is going to be how do these Trump candidates win in the general? And we're already seeing many of them doing poorly. Dr. Oz, yesterday the Senatorial Committee bailed on his campaign, took money out of there. Herschel Walker is really struggling in Georgia. And then you see Blake Masters and the election-denying candidates out in Arizona. I certainly hope that whole ticket goes down to defeat, and deservedly so. So when you see these seats that we should have, Republicans should have won in a good year, if you see them go down to defeat, there will be one man responsible. And that will be Donald Trump. And if it takes that for Republicans to wake up, then so be it. But I think that may be where many of these seats are heading. - All right, Barbara Comstock, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, thank you both. Meanwhile, President Biden is set to sign the massive health, climate, and tax bill into law later today. It's the largest climate investment in US history. ABC's Zohreen Shah joins me live now for more on this. Zohreen, what's in this bill? And what impact could it have? - I think a lot of people, Diane, are asking, what is not in this bill? Right, there's a lot in there. But one of the things the White House is touting, they are saying, look, there are 1.4 million Americans who spend over 2 grand on prescription drugs. And they, those Americans, they will see their costs capped at 2 grand. And it also impacts, they say, 50 million Americans for this specific, for this specific cost. And then they say there's 3.3 million Americans on Medicare on insulin who will get a new $35 monthly price cap. And then they say there are so many families who get electric vehicles. They will get a tax credit back. And they will save about $1,000 on fuel costs. DIANE MACEDO: Now, this is a major victory for President Biden and his agenda. How does that affect the political landscape ahead of the midterms? - I think right now it's really hard to tell what that impact could be, right? A lot of folks are saying, look, this could take a while. It's not going to be immediate. Experts are saying, read the fine print. A lot of this stuff could take another three to four years to take effect. Now, Democrats, at least they're at least hoping for a perception change, though. They know the president's poll numbers are really low. The last poll numbers were 37% around the country. They are underwater. And it's even lower when you look at inflation. So they're looking for any boost that they can get. - All right, Zohreen Shah in DC for us. Thanks, Zohreen. - Thanks. - Coming up, First Lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19. The latest on her condition and what this could mean for President Biden. Welcome back. The UK has authorized a new booster vaccine designed to protect against both the original COVID-19 virus and the Omicron BA.1 subvariant. This comes as we learn today that the first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, has tested positive for COVID herself. I want to bring in physician at Stanford Children's Health and ABC News medical contributor Dr. Alok Patel for more on all of this. Dr. Patel, thanks for being here. Let's start with the first lady. The White House says she's experiencing mild symptoms. She's been prescribed Paxlovid. The president just recovered from COVID himself. So is it possible he could get it again? They do say he's a close contact. - Well, that, I would say, very improbable. But there's two different things to think about here with anyone, it's can you test positive again versus will you develop actually bad symptoms from COVID-19? A lot of people, you and I have talked about, can get some viral content in their nose and then go and test positive. But will they actually go on to develop symptomatic illness? That's going to be a lot less common if you've been fully vaccinated and you have natural immunity, like the president does. Now, regarding Dr. Jill Biden, it is good news to hear from the White House that she has mild cold symptoms, has tested positive, and is in isolation, is fully vaccinated, is boosted, and is on Paxlovid herself. - What about this new bivalent COVID vaccine in the UK? How much of an impact could that have in trying to fight this virus globally? And do you think we could see a similar vaccine in the US? - Well, with regards to what's happening in the UK, I think this is more of a preemptive step as they have announced, and I quote, to have a new tool in their safety armory. Now, what's different about the UK bivalent vaccine and what was being proposed in the United States is the UK bivalent vaccine, Diane, is targeting the ancestral strain of SARS-CoV-2, plus Omicron BA.1, whereas our FDA and CDC want to wait for a little bit more of an updated bivalent vaccine that would target ancestral strain plus BA.4, BA.5. And so I do think that this is a step forward in terms of individual risk protection. But as far as what difference this is going to make on a global scale, we still have to go backwards and look at our original vaccination, numbers which are still not optimal. The United States, we're about 67% fully vaccinated, a little bit over 30% for people who have gotten an additional dose. That is what is going to make a large difference in terms of reducing overall death, is building up that vaccine, building up the people who are getting the vaccines and reducing hesitancy. - And I want to talk about monkeypox, too, because we now know of at least seven cases in children here in the US. More kids are heading back to school. I know you have a little one, not quite school age yet. But as parents, what do we do? What's the concern here? How do we keep our kids safe? How worried do we need to be? - Oh, the trio questions you asked me, Diane. As parents, we are paying close attention to the way that any infectious disease can spill over from a vulnerable population into another population. We're seeing this now in the pediatric context. Now, parents need to be realistic here and realize that based on all the data we have, including the big study from in the New England Journal of Medicine, and realize that monkeypox is really going to be spread from that close skin-to-skin contact with somebody who is contagious, who either is-- who either has that prodromal illness, a fever, fatigue right before they get the rash, or has the rash themselves. And so presumably and the kids who have tested positive, they have been in contact with someone who has monkeypox. This is not something that has happened from going into a crowded supermarket or playing on a playground. This is not COVID-19. But in any case, any parents out there who have a child who is developing these strange symptoms or has a rash that they don't know what that rash is or a child who is in contact with someone who has monkeypox should chat with their health-care professional about what the next best steps are to do. - And medical experts have raised some particular concerns about college campuses, because, of course, students are returning to college as well. What can you tell us about that? - Well, I think colleges, kind of in the back of their mind, are somewhat prepared for this, based on what they have all had to deal with over the past two and a half years. But from what we're reading from specific colleges and what their medical centers have put out in terms of statements, the important things for people to say, again, as we mentioned, is that if you are in a high-risk group and you were heading to college this fall to try and get one of those vaccines. Also colleges are being very realistic and talking about the fact that in a college setting, there may be a higher predisposition towards that close skin-to-skin contact, going into close parties, et cetera. I'm being diplomatic right now on television, but that's something that college kids need to pay attention to, especially if they're around anyone who has symptoms or has a rash. But again, this is not something that's going to be high risk or having a high chance of catching if you're sitting in a classroom, if you're walking by someone or having a casual conversation. And as always, it's very important that we balance targeted, good information towards vulnerable groups and awareness, and fight stigmatization, because this virus can absolutely infect anyone. - All right, Dr. Alok Patel, always great to have you. Thank you. - Thank you. DIANE MACEDO: Coming up, the dance center founder putting representation center stage. We're celebrating Black Business Month when we come back. Welcome back to ABC News Live. Kraft Heinz is recalling more than 5,000 cases of Capri Sun Wild Cherry flavor, saying they may have been mixed with a cleaning solution. The company says the solution was inadvertently introduced into a production line at a factory. The company is warning consumers not to drink the products and to return them to their place of purchase. Home Run Inn also has a recall, this one involving more than 13,000 pounds of frozen pizza. The company says some of its 33-and-1/2-ounce pizzas may be tainted with small pieces of metal. Affected packages have a best buy date of December 3. A group of Georgia high school football players are being hailed heroes for saving a woman from a potentially fiery car crash. The group pulled the 50-year-old from her car after it was hit outside their high school. The woman was transported to a local hospital. The students say they did what they had to do. And they are now wishing the woman a speedy recovery. And we are celebrating Black Business Month. All about today, the founder of a dance center putting representation center stage. The founder's goal? To make sure the dance floor has room for everyone. Robin Roberts has her story. ROBIN ROBERTS: Deep down in Dallas, smack dab in the Lone Star State-- - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. ROBIN ROBERTS: --you can find the Journey Dance Center, made up of ballerinas striving for excellence and representation. - It transforms you, really. You come out as strong, empowered, and you really just know your stuff. - It just feels like I'm around people who I know who will understand me. - Legs out in front of you. Sit tall. Sit tall. Sit tall. ROBIN ROBERTS: For founder Myatta Flangan, the idea began when she was a young girl looking to fill a gap in the dance world. MYATTA FLANAGAN: I noticed quickly that there weren't that many dancers that looked like me. So I really knew that was something that I wanted to do, was to create a program. ROBIN ROBERTS: Parents grateful to have the opportunity for their children to feel seen. - It's important for her to know that there's other girls who look like her, have the same hair as her, have so much confidence. ROBIN ROBERTS: It has been quite the journey for Myatta, who has persevered, especially through the recent tough economy. - So just like any small business, we have been affected by the aftermath of the pandemic. Right now we are in need and looking for our next place to call home. Our goal is to find a new permanent location so that we can offer our classes to a lot more families. I have families that just simply can't afford it. ROBIN ROBERTS: With no physical center, the dancers bounce around between rec rooms every night. - Whether it's us having to switch locations in the next 24 hours or so, it does become a challenge. Myatta has the most impressive perseverance that I've seen in a person. - It was just awesome to see a Black studio that we could not find. She persevered. And we assured her we were going to stand by her no matter what. - Such a great story of perseverance. Our thanks to Robin Roberts for that. And our thanks to you for joining us. I'm Diane Macedo. Stay with us as ABC News Live continues with more news, context, and analysis. We'll be right back. [MUSIC PLAYING]

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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