TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

Three years ago, the city launched a probe into several ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools after parents, former students and teachers complained about the quality of education they were providing. City officials were denied access to half of these Yeshivas. Now, the city is asking the state for guidance on how to deal with this sensitive issue. We’ll explore the latest developments. Dan Abrams, one of America’s best legal minds, joins us to  break down the strategy of the Mueller investigation and the White House defense. Plus, he’ll share a little known story about the murder trial that propelled President Abraham Lincoln onto the American political stage. Meet the young women who are breaking down barriers in a male dominated industry, and writing their own tickets into tech.

Aired on August 23, 2018.

 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' INVESTIGATING NEW YORK'S -- THREE YEARS AGO THE DE BLASIO ADMINISTRATION LAUNCHED A PROBE OF ULTRAORTHODOX JEWISH SCHOOLS.

THE CITY IS ASKING THE STATE FOR GUIDANCE.

> ONE OF AMERICA'S BEST LEGAL MINDS IS HERE, DAN ABRAMS BREAKS DOWN THE STRATEGY OF THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION AND THE WHITE HOUSE DEFENSE.

PLUS, ABE LINCOLN ESQUIRE, THE UNTOLD STORY OF HOW A MURDER TRIAL PROPELLED ONE OF AMERICA'S GREATEST PRESIDENTS ONTO THE AMERICAN STAGE.

> WRITING THEIR TICKET TO SUCCESS ALL VIA CODE.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

Announcer: THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MIRL TISSUE, SUE AND EDGAR WALKENHEIM 3, BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P.

WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

WE BEGIN TONIGHT WITH THE RENEWED SCRUTINY FACING A NUMBER OF THE CITY'S JOSHIVAS, WHETHER THEY'RE PROVIDING AN ADEQUATE EDUCATION ON SECULAR SUBJECTS, INCLUDING ENGLISH, SCIENCE AND MATH.

THE CITY NOW CLAIMS HALF OF THOSE SCHOOLS ARE REFUSED ENTRY TO EDUCATIONAL OFFICIALS MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE TO EVALUATE THEM.

THE INVESTIGATION WAS LAUNCHED IN 2015, AFTER A GROUP OF PARENTS, FORMER STUDENTS AND TEACHERS COMPLAINED ABOUT THE STANDARD OF EDUCATION THERE.

SINCE THEN, MAYOR DE BLASIO HAS BEEN RELATIVELY QUIET ABOUT THE FINDINGS, PROMPTING CRITICS TO ACCUSE HIM OF SLOW-WALKING THE PROBE.

NOW IN A LETTER TO THE STATE EDUCATION COMMISSIONER, RICHARD KA TH ANZA EXPRESSED, QUOTE, SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT THE LACK OF ACCESS, AND ASKED FOR GUIDANCE OVER WHAT TO DO NEXT.

JOINING ME NOW TO BREAK IT DOWN IS BEN MAX.

WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU.

SO AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, THIS PROBE BEGAN THREE YEARS AGO, COULD YOU ELABORATE A LITTLE BIT ON HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED?

SO AS YOU INDICATED, IT WAS A LETTER SENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, THE CITY FROM MORE THAN STAKEHOLDERS, PARENTS, TEACHERS, FORMER STUDENTS OF JASHIVAS ASKING FOR AN INVESTIGATION AND MAKING ALLEGATIONS ABOUT THIS LACK OF SECULAR EDUCATION TO WHAT WAS THEN STILL A RELATIVELY NEW MAYOR, A YEAR AND A HALF IN OFFICE, MAYOR DE BLASIO AT THE TIME.

WE RECENTLY FOUND OUT THAT 15 OF THESE 30 SCHOOLS IN QUESTION HAVE NOT ALLOWED THE CITY TO COME IN AND INVESTIGATIE.

NOW, THERE'S WORD ABOUT MAKING AN BOAPPOINTMENT TO GO VISIT.

WHY DOES THE CITY NEED THE OKAY FOR THESE SCHOOLS FOR THEM TO GO IN?

DOESN'T THAT DEFEAT THE PURPOSE?

IF I TELL YOU I'M INVESTIGATING YOU ON TUESDAY, YOU'RE TOO PREPARED?

I WAS ACTUALLY A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER BEFORE I BECAME A JOURNALIST.

IF THEY TOLD YOU WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO COME IN AND EVALUATE YOU, YOU HAVE A LOT OF DIFFERENT APPROACH TO WHAT THAT'S GOING TO LOOK LIKE, THAT'S A MAJOR QUESTION AROUND THIS INVESTIGATION THE FACT THEY'RE SETTING UP APPOINTMENTS AND DOING ANNOUNCED VISITS AS OPPOSED TO UNANNOUNCED SO WE CAN IMMEDIATELY QUESTION EVEN SOME OF THE FINDINGS OF THAT.

BUT AS YOU INDICATED FOR THIS TO BE THREE YEARS SINCE THE COMPLAINT AND ONLY HALF OF THE SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN VISITED, REALLY RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND CITY HALL HAVE BEEN SLOW WALKING THIS INVESTIGATION.

TALK ABOUT THAT.

THE ACCUSATION IS, AS I SAID, THAT, YOU KNOW, MAYOR DE BLASIO WAS A LITTLE LEARY OF UPSETTING A BIG BLOCK OF VOTERS, WHICH IN THE PAST HAS SUPPORTED HIM.

I'M TALKING ABOUT THE ULTRAORTHODOX JEWISH COMMUNITY, THEY VOTE FOR HIM, AND WHOSE CHILDREN GO TO THESE SCHOOLS.

WHAT'S THE TRUTH?

DID HE SLOW WALK IT BEFORE THE NOVEMBER ELECTION?

WE DON'T HAVE ANY CONCRETE EVIDENCE THAT HE TOLD ANYBODY TO SLOW DOWN, WE H L WHERE HE'S SAYING YOU SHOULD SLOW WALK THIS.

WE DO KNOW THAT CERTAINLY THIS UPDATE ON THE ISSUE HAS COME AFTER HE WON A SECOND TERM.

HE'LL BE TERM LIMITED OUT OF OFFICE.

HE MAY NOT RUN FOR ANYTHING AGAIN.

SO THERE'S A LOT LESS VULNERABILITY FOR HIM TO UPSET WHAT IS A POWERFUL VOTING BLOCK THAT HE'S BEEN VERY CLOSE TO IN THE PAST AND HE'S ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HE'S WORKED WITH THIS COMMUNITY QUITE A BIT IN THE PAST AND HE ACTUALLY THINKS THAT THAT GIVES HIM A GOOD PERSPECTIVE FOR BRINGING PEOPLE TO THE TABLE, HAVING COMMUNICATION.

HE'S ACTUALLY BROUGHT FORTH THIS NEW INFORMATION, AND HE CLAIMS THERE'S SIGNS OF PROGRESS HERE BECAUSE SOME OF THE SCHOOLS THAT WERE VISITED HAVE AGREED TO CONTINUE TO IMPLEMENT A NEW CURRICULUM THAT'S BEING DEVELOPED AND WORK ON THE SECULAR EDUCATION THAT TRE SO HE SORT OF EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY COULDN'T GET INTO SOME OF THE SCHOOLS, BUT ALSO TRIED TO --

HOW DID HE DIRECTLY RESPOND TO THE ACCUSATIONS THAT HE SLOW WALKED IT FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES?

HE DISMISSES THAT.

I DON'T THINK ANYBODY WATCHING CLOSELY WOULD THINK THAT HE'S HAD A SENSE OF URGENCY HERE.

WHILE WE MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO DEFINITIVELY PROVE THAT HE ORDERED ANYBODY TO DO ANYTHING MORE SLOWLY THAN THEY OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE, IT'S TAKEN A VERY LONG TIME TO GET WHERE WE ARE NOW.

THEY RELEASED THE REPORT AFTER A LOT OF ACKNOWLEDGING THAT IT HADN'T BEEN RELEASED YET AFTER EXPECTATIONS WERE RAISED THAT IT WOULD BE.

AND THERE'S CLEARLY A LACK OF URGENCY ON THE MAYOR'S BEHALF.

HOW DOES THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, HOW DID THE RANK AND FILERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, HOW HAVE THEY REACTED, OR RESPONDED TO ALL OF THIS?

WELL, WE DON'T GET A LOT OF INSIGHT INTO HOW, YOU KNOW, FOLKS WHO WORK AT THE DOE FEEL ABOUT CERTAIN THINGS, UNLESS THERE'S A WHISTLE BLOWER.

WE HAVEN'T HEARD?

WHAT WE DO KNOW IS THE NEW CHANCELLOR HAS TAKEN ON TOUGHER ISSUES IN HIS RELATIVITY YOUNG TENURE, LIKE SCHOOL DESEGREGATION ACROSS THE CITY THAT WERE MUCH MORE PUSHED TO THE SIDE UNDER THE PRIOR CHANCELLOR.

BUT AGAIN, THIS WAS ALSO MORE IN THE MAYOR'S FIRST TERM.

SPEAKING OF THE CHANCELLOR, HE WROTE THAT LETTER, A 14-PAGE LETTER, ASKING FOR GUIDANCE FROM THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, THE STATES COMMISSION.

FIRST OF ALL, THAT'S KIND OF UNUSUAL, ISN'T IT, FOR SOMEBODY FROM THE DE BLASIO ADMINISTRATION TO ASK FOR GUIDANCE?

IF YOU WANT TO PUSH THE BUCK OFF A LITTLE BIT, THAT'S WHAT YOU DO MAYBE, THERE ARE, OF COURSE, STATE GUIDELINES IN PLAY HERE, THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE INVESTIGATING IN THE FIRST PLACE, WHETHER THE SCHOOLS ARE MEETING STATE LAW.

ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS IN PLAY IS THAT THE LAW WAS RECENTLY CHANGED IN THE STATE BUDGET THROUGH AN AGREEMENT LED BY ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL STATE LAWMAKERS WHO MAYOR DE BLASIO HAS HAD TO WORK WITH IN BROOKLYN BEFORE.

ONE THING THE CITY IS LOOKING FOR IS NEW GUIDANCE FROM THE STATE THAT REFLECTS THE NEW CHANGES IN LAW WHICH MANY PEOPLE HAVE SAID EASES UP ANYMORE IN TERMS OF OVERSIGHT AND WHAT QUALIFIES AS A SUBSTANTIALLY EQUIVALENT EDUCATION.

HAS THE STATE RESPONDED TO THE LETTER?

THEY HAVE NOT RESPONDED IN DETAIL.

WHAT REALLY -- REALLY WHAT'S NEEDED IS 'A,' MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WHEN THOSE SCHOOLS THAT REFUSE TO ALLOW VISITORS IN, WHEN THEY WILL ALLOW VISITORS IN.

AS YOU INDICATED, ONCE THE LETTER WAS MADE PUBLIC SOME OF THOSE SCHOOLS SEEMED TO BE COMING AROUND.

THAT'S, OF COURSE, GETTING BACK TO THE POINT OF WHY DID THE DE BLASIO ADMINISTRATION WAIT SO LONG TO PUT THAT KIND OF PUBLIC PRESSURE, NAMING THE SCHOOLS THAT WEREN'T GIVING ACCESS?

SO WE NEED TO KNOW WHEN THOSE SCHOOLS WILL BE VISITED AND WHEN THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT IS GOING TO PROVIDE MORE.

WE HAVE LESS THAN 30 SECONDS.

WHAT'S YOUR BEST GUESS?

WHERE WILL IT GO FROM HERE?

IT WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE VERY SLOWLY.

IT'S NOT SOMETHING THE MAYOR REALLY WANTS TO DEAL WITH, SOMETHING THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION THAT HAS 1,800 PLUS SCHOOLS TO DEAL WITH REALLY WANTS TO TAKE ON.

YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT OBVIOUSLY MAJOR CHALLENGES WITH WORKING WITH A COMMUNITY THAT DOESN'T OFTEN WANT TO WELCOME IN OVERNIGHT.

ALL RIGHT, WELL, BEN, THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

WE'LL SEE HOW THIS PROCEEDS.

THANK YOU.

> PRESIDENTS AND LEGAL ISSUES.

IN MANY RESPECTS THE LAW HAS BECOME ONE OF THE DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS OF MANY PRESIDENCIES, INCLUDING THAT OF THE CURRENCY OFFICE HOLDER.

ONE OF OUR MOST FAMOUS PRESIDENTS, ABRAHAM LINCOLN FOUND HIMSELF AT THE CENTER OF LEGAL QUESTIONS, MANY OF WHICH HAVE PARALLELS TODAY.

IN ADDITION TO PROVIDING INSIGHT, HE'S ALSO WRITTEN A NEW BOOK WHICH REVEALS A COMPELLING PART OF LINCOLN'S OWN LEGAL HISTORY AS A TRIAL LAWYER.

WE'RE ALWAYS HAPPY TO HAVE DAN HERE WITH US TODAY TO TALK ABOUT HIS NEW BOOK, IT'S CALLED 'LINCOLN'S LAST TRIAL' AND ALSO TO HAVE A CONVERSATION THAT WILL HOPEFULLY HELP US TO UNDERSTAND THE LEGAL ISSUES SWIRLING AROUND PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS ADMINISTRATION.

DAN, ALWAYS GOOD TO HAVE YOU.

GOOD TO BE WITH YOU, JACK.

THERE'S A LOT FF US TO TALK ABOUT IN TERMS OF THE ADMINISTRATION AND LEGAL ISSUES.

I WANT TO START OFF WITH THE BOOK.

IT'S FASCINATING.

YOU AND I BOTH, OUR BACKGROUNDS ARE IN THE LAW AND CHRONICLING THE LAW.

WE ARE BOTH INVOLVED IN HISTORY AND OTHER ASPECTS OF THINGS.

YES.

AND THIS BOOK ACTUALLY GOT STARTED BECAUSE SOMEBODY STUMBLED ACROSS A TRANSCRIPT THAT NOBODY EVEN KNEW EXISTED.

TELL ME ABOUT HOW IT GOT STARTED.

THEN WE'LL TALK SOME MORE ABOUT THE TRIAL ITSELF.

SO 1989, IN THE GARAGE OF THE GREAT GRANDSON OF THE DEFENDANT, THEY FIND, WRAPPED IN A BOW, A 100-PLUS PAGE TRANSCRIPT OF A TRIAL.

AND IT NOW IS THE ONLY TRANSCRIPT THAT EXISTS OF ANY CASE THAT LINCOLN EVER ARGUED BECAUSE BACK THEN, WRITING A TRANSCRIPT, WASN'T TYPICAL.

IT WAS HARD WORK.

AND IT WAS EXPENSIVE.

AND --

YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT WRITING IT, YOU WERE WRITING IT.

IT'S A TIPPED PEN, GOING IN THERE AND DOING THAT.

IN THIS CASE THE FAMILY OF THE DEFENDANT HAD SOME MONEY.

LINCOLN KNEW THE RIGHT PERSON, THE PERSON WHO WOULD ACTUALLY TRANSCRIBE THE LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATES FOR HIM, AND HE HIRED HIM AND SAID, LOOK, FAMILY'S GOING TO COVER THIS.

ET CETERA.

SO JUST THE FACT THAT THERE WAS A TRANSCRIPT MADE WAS UNIQUE.

AND THE FACT THAT WE DIDN'T KNOW IT EXISTED UNTIL 1989.

BUT REMEMBER, THIS IS NINE MONTHS BEFORE HE GETS THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION.

SO HE'S BECOMING SOMETHING OF A LUMINARY.

IS HE THERE YET?

NO.

IS HE ABRAHAM LINCOLN YET?

NO.

BUT HE IS WELL-KNOWN IN THE WEST AS A GREAT LAWYER, BUT HE'S NOT A HUGE NATIONAL FIGURE YET.

NO QUESTION, THOUGH, THAT AT THIS POINT HE'S EVALUATING THE POSSIBILITY OF RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.

AND SO TAKING ON THIS KIND OF CASE, THIS IS A MURDER CASE, AS IS THE CASE TODAY WHEN YOU REPRESENT THE DEFENDANT IN A MURDER CASE YOU CAN BE VERY UNPOPULAR IN TOWN.

YEAH, I REPRESENTED -- I'VE DEFENDED A NUMBER OF THEM.

PEOPLE WANTED JUSTICE, RIGHT, BECAUSE HIS CLIENT KILLED SOMEONE, HE ADMITTED IT.

IT WASN'T A WHODUNIT.

IT WAS A SELF-DEFENSE CASE.

PEOPLE WERE ANGRY.

AND THERE'S ABE LINCOLN TAKING A RISK OF BEING THE GUY'S LAWYER, AND BEING DESPISED IN THE COMMUNITY WHEN WE'RE NINE MONTHS BEFORE HE EVENTUALLY GETS THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION.

IN A LOT OF WAYS, TALK ABOUT RISK, THIS IS NOT JUST THE RISK OF LOSING THE CASE OR NOT JUST THE RISK OF SAYING, OKAY, AS A LAWYER, MAYBE HE'S NOT THAT GOOD, HE LOST THE CASE, THAT'S NOT NECESSARILY A CORRELATION, REALLY GREAT LAWYERS HAVE LOST CASES.

BUT HE IS NOW LOOKING AT THE HIGHEST OFFICE IN THE LAND.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT HE WAS WILLING TO JUMP IN ON THIS?

I THINK HE WAS 'A,' CONVINCED THAT THE DEFENDANT DIDN'T DESERVE TO BE CONVICTED.

I THINK HE WAS ASKED BY HIS LONGTIME FRIEND AND FORMER LAW PARTNER TO DO IT.

AND I THINK THAT ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN IS, UNLIKE TODAY WHERE WE'D SAY, NINE MONTHS BEFORE, YOU'VE GOT TO START THINKING, YOU'RE ALREADY WELL INTO THE PRIMARIES, YOU KNOW, FOR HIM, IT WAS I STILL GOT TO BE A LAWYER FOR NOW.

I'VE GOT TO MAKE A LIVING.

I'VE GOT TO DO WHAT I DO, AND I'M NOT GOING TO WORRY TOO MUCH YET ABOUT HOW THAT'S GOING TO BE PERCEIVED.

AND LINCOLN WAS VERY SELECTIVE ABOUT THE KINDS OF CASES HE WOULD TAKE.

HE WAS NOTORIOUS FOR SAYING NO TO CASES WHEN HE DIDN'T BELIEVE IN THEM.

AND IT IS CLEAR FROM THE DEFENSE, AND THERE'S ONE POINT IN THIS CASE, AND THERE ARE DESCRIPTIONS FROM PEOPLE WHO WERE THERE IN THE COURTROOM ABOUT HOW ANGRY LINCOLN GOT AT ONE POINT DURING THE TRIAL AT THE JUDGE FOR A REALLY IMPORTANT RULING IN THE CASE THAT JUST SHOWS YOU HOW PASSIONATE HE WAS ABOUT THIS CASE, AND THIS DEFENDANT.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE IS FASCINATING, THE VICTIM HAD WORKED FOR LINCOLN?

THERE WAS A PERSONAL CONNECTION THERE.

PERSONAL CONNECTION.

YEAH.

AND LINCOLN LIKED HIM.

HE SERVED AS AN INTERN, BUT HE STILL FELT THAT FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE, JUSTICE WAS TO REPRESENT THE DEFENDANT HERE.

IT WAS A CLOSE CASE.

IT WAS, WE'RE NOT GOING TO REVEAL ANYTHING.

NOT GOING TO GIVE IT AWAY.

WHEN YOU SAY TO SOMEBODY WHO'S DONE A WORK OF HISTORY, THAT IT READS LIKE FICTION, THAT, I THINK, IS A PRETTY GOOD COMPLIMENT.

I HOPE SO.

WE SPENT A LOT OF TIME TRYING TO MAKE IT LIKE ANY MODERN DAY CRIME THRILLER.

IT IS.

AND THAT'S --

THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY HAPPENS TO BE ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

YES.

AND IT HAPPENS TO BE TRUE.

LET ME SEGUE FROM THAT.

WE MENTIONED IN THE TOP THAT ANYBODY WHO'S A STUDENT OF LINCOLN KNOWS WHEN HE WAS A PRESIDENT WHAT SORT OF LEGAL ISSUES SUSPENDED THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, ACTUALLY PUT SOME JOURNALISTS IN JAIL BECAUSE HE DIDN'T LIKE WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT.

PEOPLE WERE SUING HIM AND THE PRESIDENCY.

IT LEADS US INTO PRESENT DAY.

LET'S TALK ABOUT ISSUES AND ABOUT PERSONALITIES.

A LOT OF WHAT'S SWIRLING AROUND ABOUT THE PRESIDENT RIGHT NOW HAS TO DO WITH ROBERT MUELLER'S INVESTIGATION.

I'M NOT SO SURE THAT EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS THE NOTION OF A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR.

WE GO BACK TO PRESIDENT CLINTON, THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR STARTED OFF WITH WHITE WATER, A REAL ESTATE DEAL HE DID WHEN HE WAS GOVERNOR, AND THEN IT EXPANDED.

FROM WHAT YOU'RE SEEING IN TERMS OF ROBERT MUELLER AND HIS INVESTIGATION, WHERE DO YOU THINK THIS THING IS GOING?

AND LEGALLY, IS IT A LEGITIMATE INVESTIGATION?

SO LET'S REMEMBER THAT THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL STATUTE THAT KEN STARR WAS WORKING UNDER WAS A CONGRESSIONAL ACT.

SO NOW THAT'S EXPIRED.

THAT'S NO LONGER ON THE TABLE.

NOW YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT REASON HERE, BASICALLY, THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DETERMINING THAT IT'S NO LONGER CALLED AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL, THAT WAS FOR THE STATUTE, IT'S A SPECIAL COUNSEL IS NECESSARY TO INVESTIGATE SOMETHING WHERE THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CAN'T DO IT EFFECTIVELY ON ITS OWN.

I THINK IT WAS PRETTY CLEAR, BASED ON WHAT THEY KNEW AT THE TIME, THAT EVERYONE AROUND THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT JUST ABOUT THOUGHT IT WAS NECESSARY TO HAVE SOMEBODY LOOK INTO RUSSIAN MEDDLING IN THE ELECTION, PERIOD.

AND THE QUESTION OF WAS THERE ANY CONNECTION TO THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN?

AGAIN, LET'S BE CLEAR, THAT DOESN'T MEAN DONALD TRUMP, IT MEANS PEOPLE CONNECTED WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN.

AND WE'VE ALREADY SEEN, IN THE CONNECTION WITH MUELLER'S INVESTIGATION, GUILTY PLEAS BY MEMBERS OF TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN IN CONNECTION WITH WHAT THEY WERE SAYING ABOUT CONTACTS WITH THE RUSSIANS.

THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THERE WAS COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN.

YOU KNOW, WHEN PEOPLE SAY COLLUSION'S NOT A CRIME, YOU HEAR THIS, AND THAT'S TRUE, BUT IF THERE WAS COORDINATION BETWEEN -- LET'S CALL IT THE JONES CAMPAIGN AND THE RUSSIANS IN CONNECTION WITH HACKING HILLARY CLINTON'S E-MAILS.

RIGHT.

THEN YOU'VE GOT A POSSIBLE CRIME.

YOU'VE GOT A CRIME.

AND SO IT'S JUST TOO SIMPLISTIC TO SAY COLLUSION'S NOT A CRIME EVEN THOUGH THAT'S FACTUALLY TRUE.

YOU THEN HAVE TO ASK THE NEXT QUESTION, WHICH IS, OKAY, WELL THEN WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING INTO?

THEY'RE LOOKING INTO COLLUSION.

THEY'RE LOOKING INTO CONSPIRACY.

THEY'RE LOOKING INTO POSSIBLE COMPUTER AND HACKING CRIMES.

YEAH, AND ABOUT WHAT?

RIGHT.

WHERE IS THE GOAL?

BUT IT ALSO -- PRESIDENT TRUMP MAY TURN OUT TO BE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT THAT THERE WAS NO SORT OF BIG PICTURE COLLUSION BETWEEN THE RUSSIANS AND HIS CAMPAIGN, YOU KNOW?

AND THAT'S WHAT HOPEFULLY WILL GET SOME ANSWERS.

WE'LL SEE.

LET ME ASK YOU ONE OTHER THING, BEFORE I LET YOU GO, MOST RECENTLY, RUDY GIULIANI, WE KNEW HIM FROM A LONG TIME AGO, I HAD CASES AGAINST HIM WHEN HE WAS THE U.S. ATTORNEY, ARE YOU SURPRISED FROM THE LEGAL PERSPECTIVE AT HOW VOCAL AND HOW OUT FRONT HE HAS BEEN IN TERMS OF HIS REPRESENTATION OF THE PRESIDENT?

NO, BECAUSE WHAT YOU'VE SEEN IS AN EVOLUTION IN THE TYPE OF LAWYERS REPRESENTING DONALD TRUMP.

OVER TIME THAT THIS INVESTIGATION HAS GONE ON, PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS BECOME VERY FRUSTRATED WITH THE INVESTIGATION.

AND GIULIANI IS A GREAT WAY TO VENT ABOUT THOSE FRUSTRATIONS, FOR WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP WANTS, RUDY GIULIANI IS THE RIGHT GUY.

YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

AND WE'LL SEE.

THE PRESIDENT IS FOND OF SAYING, WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

YEAH, EXACTLY.

DOWN THE ROAD.

DAN, ALWAYS GOOD TO CHAT WITH YOU ABOUT SOME OTHER THINGS.

WE'LL HAVE YOU BACK.

GREAT.

TOMORROW WE'LL CONTINUE OUR CONVERSATION WITH DAN, TACKLE THE THORNY QUESTIONS OF SO-CALLED FAKE NEWS AND GROWING ACCUSATIONS THAT THE WHITE HOUSE IS RUNNING A DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN TO DISCREDIT THE PRESS AND THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION.

SO WE'LL HAVE A LOT MORE TO TALK WITH DAN ABOUT TOMORROW.

> COMPUTER SCIENCE TECH IS AN EVER GROWING PART OF OUR DAILY LIVES, IT PLAYS A ROLE IN OUR PHONES, OUR HOMES AND APARTMENTS, OUR CARS AND SO MUCH MORE.

IT'S A MULTIBILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY.

BUT IT'S DOMINATED BY MEN.

SO THIS, A ROOM FULL OF YOUNG WOMEN, LEARN THE ROPES OF COMPUTER SCIENCE IS SOMETHING YOU DON'T SEE VERY OFTEN, IF AT ALL.

IT'S A PART OF A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN CUNY AND WOMEN IN TECH.

IT'S CALLED WHITNEY FOR SHORT.

THE MISSION, DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF UNDERGRADUATE WOMEN WHO CHOOSE TO MINOR OR MAJOR IN COMPUTER SCIENCE OR RERELATED FIELDS.

AS THOSE OF US IN THE FIELD KNOW, BUT NOT EVERYBODY IS EQUALLY AS AWARE, WE HAVE A HUGE GENDER EQUITY ISSUE IN TECH.

NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE THAT ISSUE, BUT THAT ISSUE HAS ACTUALLY BEEN GETTING WORSE THE LAST 30 YEARS.

WAY BACK IN 1985, ABOUT 37% OF THE GRADUATING CLASSES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE WERE WOMEN, AND TODAY THAT NUMBER 17%.

WE STOPPED BY TO SEE WHITNEY'S SUMMER GUILD IN PROGRESS.

ALL OF THE YOUNG WOMEN WHO PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROGRAM HAVE RECENTLY GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL AND ARE SOON TO START ONE OF THE CUNY COLLEGES.

AND THE GOAL OF THE PROGRAM IS, IN ONE WEEK, TO EXPOSE THEM AND HAVE THEM PARTICIPATE IN ALL OF THE DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF WHAT COULD BE TECHNOLOGY CAREERS, ALL WITH A SINGLE GOAL, WHICH IS TO INCREASE THE PROBABILITY THAT WHEN THEY START COLLEGE IN THE FALL, THEY'RE MORE LIKELY TO SIGN UP FOR AN INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER SCIENCE CLASS.

I LIKE IT BECAUSE THIS IS SOMETHING THAT I'VE NEVER REALLY BEEN INTRODUCED TO.

AND I THINK IT'S A NEW EXPERIENCE, BEING THAT TECHNOLOGY IS ADVANCING EVERY DAY.

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE SHOULD BE INTO.

AND THE EXPERIENCE OF WORKING WITH FEMALES AROUND MY AGE AND STUFF LIKE THAT IS GOOD BECAUSE THERE'S NOT A LOT OF ACTIVITIES THAT INVOLVE WOMEN INTERACTING WITH EACH OTHER.

SHANIA THOMAS WILL BE HEADING TO COLLEGE IN THE FALL AND HE'S ONE OF HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS WHOSE INTEREST HAS BEEN SPARKED BY THE SUMMER GUILD, IN ITS THIRD YEAR.

IN OUR VISIT, WE SAW THE LADIES IN A PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT LIFE CYCLE, COMING UP WITH PRODUCT IDEAS TO SOLVE A PROBLEM OR FIX A NEED.

THEY LEARN ABOUT CODING AND PUT TOGETHER A WEBSITE.

WE CAUGHT UP WITH THE TEAM AS THEY BRAINSTORMED IDEAS AND PROTOTYPES.

WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT THE DESIGN.

I THINK IT'S REALLY EMPOWERING BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD THINK THAT WOMEN DON'T REALLY HAVE A PLACE IN THIS FIELD.

SO IT'S KIND OF LIKE UPLIFTING FOR US TO BE ABLE TO WORK WITH EACH OTHER AND DO STUFF LIKE THIS BECAUSE IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE SEE WOMEN DOING EVERY DAY.

SEEING HOW THE GIRLS COME UP WITH THEIR IDEAS AND SOLVING THE PROBLEM IS JUST PHENOMENAL.

IT GIVES ME CHILLS, SOMETIMES, JUST TO LISTEN TO THE YOUNG LADIES AND HEARING WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY.

AND HOW THEY SOLVE A PROBLEM, AND THEIR IDEAS IS JUST OUT OF THIS WORLD.

CHARISMA PAGON HAS BEEN TEACHING IN THE PROGRAM SINCE THE BEGINNING, AND HELP IT IS STUDENTS AS THEY WORK EACH DAY ON NEW ACTIVITIES.

THIS FIVE-DAY COURSE CULMINATES IN THE FOOIFT AND FINAL DAY, I'M WHISPERING, THE GIRLS ARE INSIDE MAKING THEIR PRESENTATIONS.

THAT'S WHAT THEY DO.

ON THE LAST DAY THEY MAKE A PRESENTATION TO THEIR FELLOW STUDENTS AS WELL AS TEACHERS.

LET'S GO IN AND SEE WHAT THEIR PRESENTATIONS HAVE IN STORE.

WE HAVE A FUNCTION IN JAVA SCRIPT TO ALLOW US TO HAVE THE COLOR CHANGE FROM BLUE TO ORANGE DEPENDING WHETHER OR NOT YOU CLICK ON IT OR NOT.

I DIDN'T EXPECT TO BE LIKE GIVING SUCH A BIG PRESENTATION IN FRONT OF SO MANY PEOPLE.

AND THERE ARE LIKE IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE AS WELL.

IT'S JUST EXCITING AS WELL.

EMILY IS HEADING TO HUNTER COLLEGE IN THE FALL.

THE COMPUTER SCIENCE BUG HIT HER IN HIGH SCHOOL AFTER SHE TOOK AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN CLASS.

MY PRESENTATION WAS ON A APP.

IT WAS TO USE USER INPUT BASED ON YOUR MOOD, IT WOULD SUGGEST DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES FOR YOU TO DO IN THE MEANTIME.

IT WAS AT THE BEGINNING IT WAS MOSTLY TARGETED TOWARDS PEOPLE WITH ADDICTIONS, PEOPLE WHO ARE ADDICTED TO SMOKING, THEY WOULD USE THIS APP TO TAKE UP OTHER ACTIVITIES RATHER THAN USING THEIR BREAK TO GO OUTSIDE AND TAKE A SMOKE.

IT'S THAT TYPE OF SPARK THE PROGRAM IS LOOKING FOR.

I ASKED WHITNEY'S FOUNDER THE HEAVY QUESTION, WHY AREN'T THERE MORE WOMEN IN TECH?

THERE'S NO SINGLE ANSWER.

WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE ROLE MODEL ISSUES, YOU KNOW, IF WE THINK ABOUT WHO ARE THE SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS AND TECHNOLOGISTS THAT COME TO MIND, THEY'RE ALMOST ALL MALES.

SO WE HAVE THAT ISSUE.

WE HAVE THE SORT OF ONGOING ISSUE THAT YOUNG GIRLS TEND TO MOVE AWAY FROM MATH AND SCIENCE TYPE SUBJECTS WHEN THEY'RE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL.

BUT WE ALSO HAVE A CULTURAL ISSUE IN THE TECH FIELD THAT EVEN YOUNG WOMEN WHO EXPRESS AN INTEREST IN IT AND MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION END UP GETTING DISCOURAGED OR DISSUADED BECAUSE OF THE PERVASIVE GENDER, EQUITY CHALLENGES THAT EXIST IN THE TECH FIELD.

AFTER TALKING WITH THESE YOUNG LADIES, YOU COULD QUICKLY SEE A THEME.

IN THESE GROUPS, PROGRAMMING EQUALS EMPOWERMENT.

AND IN THIS CIRCLE, A WEIGHT HAS BEEN LIFTED AND THESE GIRLS FELT A LITTLE MORE FREE TO LET THEIR IDEAS FLY.

IT'S VERY UPLIFTING TO SEE.

I WENT TO A MICROSOFT CONFERENCE IN PHILADELPHIA FOR AZURE, AND THERE WERE 800 PEOPLE OR MORE, AND I SAW FOUR WOMEN INCLUDING MYSELF.

WHEN I WALKED IN, I WAS SO HAPPY TO SEE SO MANY GIRLS AND WOMEN IN ONE ROOM INTERESTED IN THE SAME TOPIC.

IT'S A SENSE OF RELIEF, ALMOST PUTTING YOUR GUARD DOWN.

YEAH, IT'S LIKE, WOW, IT'S NOT JUST ME.

I'M NOT ALONE IN THIS.

THE SUMMER GUILD PROGRAM HAS SEEN ABOUT 1,500 YOUNG WOMEN COME THROUGH ITS DOORS SINCE THE INCEPTION IN 2016.

THERE ARE A DOZEN IN HERE.

THEY'VE MADE FRIENDS IN THIS WEEK AND WHITNEY WILL STAY IN CONTACT WITH THE GIRLS OFFERING MENTORSHIP AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES AS THE SCHOOL YEAR GETS GOING.

> BEFORE WE SAY GOOD NIGHT, A PERSONAL INVITATION FROM ME TO YOU.

I'D LIKE YOU TO JOIN ME AND JAMIE LLOYD FOR A VERY IMPORTANT AND TIMELY CONVERSATION HAPPENING AT THE 92nd STREET 'Y' HERE IN MANHATTAN ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 30th, THE TOPIC, RACE AND JUSTICE IN AMERICA'S LEGAL SYSTEM NOW AND IN THE AGE OF THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT THROUGH THE LENS OF OUR EARLIEST AND MOST FUNDAMENTAL CASES, SOME NEARLY 100 YEARS BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR IN WHICH SLAVES SUED THEIR WHITE OWNERS FOR THEIR FREEDOM.

THE OVERLYING QUESTION, CAN A PERSON OF COLOR GET A FAIR TRIAL IN AMERICA?

HAVE THINGS ACTUALLY BECOME MORE FAIR OR LESS FAIR OR JUST FAIR IN A DIFFERENT WAY?

AND WHY DO WE SO EASILY FORGET YESTERDAY'S TRIAL WHEN CONSIDERING ISSUES OF RACE AND JUSTICE IN TODAY'S COURTS?

THE THEME, A FAMILIAR ONE FOR ME HAVING JUST PENNED 'CHAIRIOT ON THE MOUNTAIN,' A BOOK ABOUT KITTY PAYNE, A SLAVE WHO SUED HER OWNER, SEEKING HER FREEDOM 15 YEARS BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF THE CIVIL WAR.

AND I'D ALSO LIKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET YOU AND SAY HI.

IF YOU'RE IN THE AREA, COME ON DOWN TO THE 92nd STREET 'Y' AT 7:00 P.M. ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 30th FOR AN IMPORTANT AND TIMELY CONVERSATION.

AND FROM ALL OF US HERE AT 'METROFOCUS,' HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.

Announcer: 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MAY RECALL TI-- MERRYL TISCH, SUE A EDGAR WALKENHEIM, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING FOR 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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