Congress Holds Eric Holder in Contempt; Defense Rests in Jerry Sandusky Trial; Interview With South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy;
<Show: ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES>
<Date: June 20, 2012>
<Head: Congress Holds Eric Holder in Contempt; Defense Rests in Jerry
Sandusky Trial; Interview With South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy;
Sandusky Friend Speaks Out; Kidney Donor Deaths Tied to Device - Part
<Sect: News; International>
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Two pat-downs and one trip through security -- the passenger
gets one; then she gives one. We'll tell you why she says she did it
and what authorities thought of her explanation -- details ahead.
COOPER: Welcome back.
A quick clarification on something Marcia Clark said a moment ago.
She wondered why the prosecution didn't bring in an expert witness on
child abuse victims. The reason is pretty fascinating. Pennsylvania
is the only state in the country that bars such experts unless they've
been directly involved in the case.
Over the last few days, a string of character witnesses did take the
stand to testify on behalf of Jerry Sandusky: friends, former
colleagues of the assistant football coach. They've described him as
a generous, caring guy, devoted to his own family, to the family that
he founded to help disadvantaged kids.
The picture they painted didn't look anything like the sexual
predator, obviously, described in court by eight of Sandusky's alleged
victims the week prior.
A woman named Joyce Porter testified. She says she's known the
Sanduskys for four decades. She was one of the character witnesses.
And last night, I interviewed her. We played part of the interview I
did with her. But tonight I want to show you the rest of the
Porter is 100 percent convinced that Sandusky is innocent, despite the
evidence that came out. I asked her to watch part of an interview
Sandusky did with NBC sportscaster Bob Costas that never aired and to
tell me what she heard him saying. Watch.
BOB COSTAS, NBC SPORTS: So it's entirely possible that you could have
helped young boy A in some way that was not objectionable while
horribly taking advantage of young boy B, C, D and E. Is that
JERRY SANDUSKY, ON TRIAL FOR CHILD SEX ABUSE (via phone): Well, you
might think that. I don't know. In terms of my relationship with so
many, many young people, I would -- I would guess that there are many
young people who would come forward, many more young people who would
come forward and say that my methods and what I had done for them made
a very positive impact on their life.
And I didn't go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs
that I've helped. There are many that I didn't have -- I hardly had
any contact with who I have helped in many, many ways.
COOPER: And Joyce, some people hearing that find that kind of
startling, particularly the last line that Sandusky said, where he
said, "I didn't go around seeking out every young person for sexual
needs that I helped. There are many I didn't have" -- and then he
pauses, and he says, "I hardly had any contact with who I've helped in
many, many ways."
Some see that almost as an admission of sexual contact with children.
How did you interpret that? How did you hear that?
JOYCE PORTER, FRIEND OF SANDUSKYS: I heard him say he didn't have
sexual contact with kids that he helped.
COOPER: Well, he said, "I didn't go out seeking every young person
for sexual needs that I've helped. There are many that I didn't have"
-- and then he stopped and he said, "I hardly had any contact with who
I've helped in many, many ways." Certainly open to interpretation.
But is there any evidence that could be presented that would make you
believe what these accusers are saying about Jerry Sandusky?
PORTER: I would have to see him do it myself with my own eyes. I
think he's a wonderful person. I just can't believe these things.
COOPER: There's nothing to be sorry about. I mean, I think you're a
good friend, and you're standing by your friend.
His wife Dottie, who's your good friend, testified. How do you think
she did on the stand?
PORTER: I think she did an excellent job, and I think she validated
that she was a light sleeper and she would have heard something going
on if it was going on in her home.
I mean, she was there all the time. And she's a wonderful, moral
person. She would cracked the whip if anything were going on.
COOPER: Sandusky was overheard by a police officer years ago, telling
the mother of one of the accuser, quote, "I wish I could ask for
forgiveness, but I know I won't get it from you. I wish I were dead"
after she confronted him about taking a shower with her son. Does that
raise any eyebrows for you?
PORTER: No. It may me think that he felt bad enough just taking a
shower with a kid.
COOPER: And yet he continued to take showers with kids.
PORTER: I don't know if that was one of the first ones or one of the
COOPER: But if he did continue to take showers with kids, do you
think he really felt bad about it?
PORTER: I don't know. I would say he felt bad in that one case.
COOPER: Well, Joyce, I appreciate you coming on and talking to us.
Thank you very much, Joyce.
PORTER: Thank you, Anderson. See you later. Bye.
COOPER: One of Jerry Sandusky's strong defenders.
A lot more happening around the country and the world. Isha's here
with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, no sign of progress in Syria where
Syrian troops kept up the shelling today, and dissidents say at least
42 civilians were killed.
New reporting, as well, about just how many people have fled Syria.
"The New York Times" citing Jordanian authorities who estimate there
are now more than 100,000 Syrians living in Jordan.
Egypt next. Former dictator Hosni Mubarak tonight is off life
support. That's according to his lawyer. A state news agency saying
Mubarak is not clinically dead but is in critical condition and in
Greece has a new prime minister, Antonis Samaras, sworn in today,
after successfully forming a new government, something the
economically-devastated country has done without for the last 223
The U.S. economy, not getting much of a boost from the Federal Reserve
today. Chairman Ben Bernanke announcing the extension of Operation
Twist, which aims to keep borrowing costs low, but has only had a
modest effect so far.
And have you just had it up to here at the airport? Tired of long
lines and intrusive pat-downs? Well, this woman was. And not only
did the camera catch the pat-down, well, it also caught the passenger,
shall we say, patting back?
Carol Price, that's her name, is a retired TSA agent. She says she
was only demonstrating what happened to her. The law, though, says
otherwise. Anderson, Price is being charged with misdemeanor battery.
And Anderson, she's heading to court next month.
COOPER: Wow. She's been charged with misdemeanor battery for that?
SESAY: Yes. Apparently, they're saying she did not ask before she
put her hands on the supervisor, and that's what she's facing.
COOPER: Wow. And she's a former TSA person? That's really
SESAY: She is. And she's claiming that actually -- she says, you
know, it's a vendetta. But yes, I think you can say it's a bad day at
COOPER: Well, I guess we've all had those. Isha, thanks.
Two healthy people who donated their kidneys have died from the
surgery after the surgeons used a device warned to be unsafe since
2006. So how did that device end up inside them? The question is, is
the Food and Drug Administration doing enough to stop more deaths?
We're "Keeping Them Honest" next.
COOPER: Flash flooding turned streets into surging rivers in Duluth,
Minnesota. We have details on the damage and evacuations ahead in the
COOPER: Welcome back to the program.
A medical "Keeping Them Honest" report right now. Every year about
6,000 healthy Americans choose to donate one of their kidneys to help
save a life. It's a remarkable thing to do. And typically,
everything goes fine. The operation is considered safe. Very few
donors actually die.
But in just over a decade, since 2001, five donors have died. Their
deaths have been tied to a device that was warned to be unsafe back in
2006. So "Keeping Them Honest," did the Food and Drug Administration,
the agency that approves and monitors medical devices, did they do
enough to sound the warnings and to protect these patients? And is it
doing enough right now to stop more deaths in the future?
Here's CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Manuel
Reyna developed a deadly kidney disease, his sister, Florinda Gotcher,
didn't hesitate to give him one of her kidneys. In January of 2011,
she went in for what's considered to be a very low-risk surgery.
MELINDA WILLIAMS, VICTIM'S DAUGHTER: She was overwhelmed that she was
able to save her brother's life.
COHEN: The surgery was a success. Florinda was wheeled out to the
recovery room, where her daughter, Melinda Williams, was waiting. But
then, not even 30 minutes later, Florinda took a mysterious turn for
WILLIAMS: She raised up. She went and took a deep breath and her
eyes got real huge. And then she fell back down and then just, like,
started breathing really, really bad.
COHEN: Surgeons at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas,
rushed Florinda back into the operating room. Once inside, they
realized something horrible had happened.
In order to remove her kidney, doctors had to cut an artery. They put
clips on it to make sure it didn't open back up. But the clips
slipped off, and blood gushed out.
(on camera): And what was the next thing you heard?
WILLIAMS: "We couldn't save her. We did everything we possibly
could, but there's nothing we could do."
COHEN (voice-over): Florinda Gotcher, mother of four, bled to death
at age 41.
WILLIAMS: It just literally -- I couldn't hold it in no more. It just
felt like my world fell apart. My heart was torn in pieces.
COHEN: What Melinda Williams didn't know: her mother's death wasn't
just some freak accident. It was 100 percent preventable.
DR. AMY FRIEDMAN, TRANSPLANT SURGEON: To learn that yet another donor
has died has been simply devastating.
COHEN: Dr. Amy Friedman, a transplant surgeon in Syracuse, New York,
has spent the last eight years trying to persuade the Food and Drug
Administration to do more to warn that clips can kill kidney donors.
And yes, Dr. Friedman said another donor, Florinda Gotcher, was the
fifth kidney donor to die because of these clips. And at least 12
others suffered injuries.
The clips are safe to use in many types of surgery, but not in
laparoscopic kidney donor surgeries. Beginning in 2006, the FDA
worked with the manufacturer of these clips to send up to six warning
letters, alerting hospitals that the clips were contraindicated,
unsafe for use in that procedure.
But Dr. Friedman says the letters were hardly persuasive and easily
The letter Florinda's hospital received came five years before her
surgery, at a time when the hospital wasn't even using the clip. It
was one of dozens of letters about various devices and other safety
issues the hospital gets every year. And the letter about the
surgical clips never once mentioned patients had died.
(on camera) Would this letter have had more impact if they had
mentioned that people actually died?
FRIEDMAN: Absolutely. It's shocking that it doesn't say that even a
single donor died. It's meaningless without saying that.
COHEN (voice-over): By 2007, documents obtained by Dr. Friedman
through the Freedom of Information Act showed the FDA called these
letters effective and adequate to prevent a reoccurrence of the
problem. Effective and adequate, even though only about half the
hospitals acknowledged getting the notification, according to a 2007
audit by the FDA.
(on camera) Half the hospitals.
COHEN: Is that enough?
FRIEDMAN: Clearly, it was not enough, and clearly it still left gaps.
COHEN (voice-over): Florinda Gotcher and at least one kidney donor
died after the letters were issued.
Dr. Friedman says she wants the FDA to require a warning right on the
package and that doing so earlier could have saved lives.
(on camera) There's no warning on these clips. There's no warning on
the package the clips come in. There's no warning on the box.
Believe it or not, the only warning about how not to use these clips
doesn't come with the clips at all. It actually comes separately,
with an entirely different medical device, an applicator that's used
to put the clips on. And the warning is far from obvious. It's one
line in pages of instructions.
If you were designing this, what would you put?
FRIEDMAN: I think it would be great to say, "Don't use on a kidney
donor." That would be terrific.
COHEN (voice-over): Teleflex, the manufacturer of the clips, points
out that, although no specific warning is on the clip packaging, it
does feature a warning symbol and a referral to the applicator's
instructions for use.
(on camera) "Keeping Them Honest," we wanted to ask the FDA to justify
why they said the letter-writing campaign was effective, but only
about half the hospitals said they got the warning. We also wanted to
ask why they never required a warning label right on the packaging of
the clip. But the FDA wouldn't talk to us on camera.
(voice-over) In a statement to CNN, the FDA said, "Most transplant
surgeons heed the FDA's warning; however, despite repeated efforts to
communicate this important safety information, some transplant
surgeons continue to improperly use these clips.
"While the FDA can warn against the unsafe use of a medical device,
doctors are not prohibited from using cleared or approved devices for
an unapproved use within their practice of medicine. When used as
indicated, the clips can be used effectively."
Teleflex said surgeons have safely and successfully used their clips
in millions of surgical procedures and that "a contraindication is a
clear, well-understood and accepted concept in the medical community
that says, 'Do not use this device for this purpose.'"
Teleflex said it believes the transplant community is well aware of
University Medical Center, where Florinda died, admits its system to
track warnings was insufficient to alert the hospital of the 2006
notice when new clips were later ordered and has since put corrective
actions in place.
No one warned Florinda's family. Now all they can hope for is that,
by talking about Florinda, they can prevent another senseless death.
VIRGINIA REYNA, VICTIM'S SISTER: I told them I wanted my sister back.
I want my sister. They should have known better.
COOPER: So sad. Elizabeth, do we know if these clips might still be
used in kidney transplants that hospitals and patients don't know,
despite what the manufacturer and FDA say?
COHEN: Right. Anderson, doctors tell us that it is possible.
Right after Florinda died, the FDA issued a safety notification. But
those notifications aren't ongoing. As we say, there's nothing
specific on the label. Doctors could miss that one sentence in the
So doctors hope the transplant surgeons have gotten the message, but
it's possible that they haven't.
COOPER: Wow. Elizabeth, thanks very much. We'll keep on it.
Coming up next, wild weather across the country, from extreme heat in
the east to flash floods in Minnesota. Remarkable pictures there.
The latest on all of it when we continue.
SESAY: Anderson will be back in a moment. First, a "360 Bulletin."
And new developments in the Trayvon Martin saga. Word tonight that
Sanford, Florida, Police Chief Bill Lee has been fired. City manager
Norton Bonaparte made the call.
Chief Lee offered his resignation back in April, but city managers
voted not to accept it.
In Duluth, Minnesota, flash flooding has destroyed roads, forced
evacuations and left homes under water. The National Weather Service
says up to nine inches of rain fell between last night and this
A fire has damaged a warehouse at a pier in San Francisco that's
supposed to host an event for the America's Cup yacht race. The cause
of the fire isn't known.
And Big Bird may soon be back on the big screen. "The Hollywood
Reporter" says 20th Century FOX has picked up the rights to make a
"Sesame Street" movie. Two other "Sesame Street" movies have already
hit the screen: "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland" in 1999 and
"Follow That Bird" in 1995.
Of course, my own personal favorite episode of "Sesame Street" aired
in 2007, when we all got to see our own Anderson Cooper in a trash
Now back to Anderson.
COOPER: Isha, thanks.
Coming up, should dogs be allowed to vote in an election? "The
RidicuList" is next.
COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight we're adding an
election-year dog tale.
A guy in Virginia recently received a voter registration packet in the
mail addressed to his dog. Here is his dog. Cute little guy. His
name is Mozart, Mo for short. Mozart's owner says he was surprised to
see his dog was being asked to take such an active role in democracy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM MORRIS, MOZART'S OWNER: I opened it up and looked at it. And I
just -- I just laughed. I thought it was a joke at first. And turns
out it's real.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So apparently, it came from a private nonprofit group that's
trying to register more voters. But Mozart really slipped through the
cracks here, because not only is he a dog, he has unfortunately been
dead for quite a while. That's right: it's a dead dog.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What amazed Morris is that, if Mozart was human,
he would have been eligible to vote this year.
MORRIS: He would have been 18, 19 years old this year. And he passed
away two years ago, and I still have no earthly idea how they got his
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All right. Not to get too Gary Larson on you now, but why
shouldn't dogs be allowed to vote? For one thing, they tend to be
excellent judges of character. I say let's get a canine suffrage
movement started. Frankly, a solid dog constituency could be just
what the state of Virginia needs to knock out a certain Senate
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vote Hank for U.S. Senate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like any savvy campaigner, he's got an ad,
stickers, signs, even a Facebook page.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's running as an independent, so he had to have
a red and a blue tie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: See, here's the thing. If you give dogs the vote and let
cats run for office, they're going to have to be active citizens in
other ways, as well.
It's already happening in Massachusetts, as a matter of fact. A few
years back, a cat named Sal Esposito got a summons for jury duty. He
did not get picked for the actual jury. Must have been some kind of
conflict of interest. Maybe it was a petty larceny trial. Who knows?
But when it comes to how cats and dogs figure into the justice system,
I think the most cogent commentary came from the guy in Montana who
filed a notarized affidavit, asking to be let out of jury duty.
Quote, "Apparently, you morons didn't understand me the first time. I
would rather count the wrinkles on my dog's (EXPLETIVE DELETED) than
sit on a jury."
I know. It really is rather poetic.
In conclusion, let's all gather our leashes and walk the vote so
sometime soon every dog has its election day.
That's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT"
(Byline: Jason Carroll, Jeffrey Toobin, Anderson Cooper, Isha Sesay;
(Guest: Marcia Clark, Mark Geragos, Trey Gowdy, Joyce Porter)
(High: The defense rests in the Jerry Sandusky trial. A House
committee votes to hold the attorney general in contempt. South
Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy discusses the Fast and Furious
operation. A friend of Jerry Sandusky's defends him. Kidney donors
die because of the use of a medical device that already carries
(Spec: Eric Holder; Barack Obama; Jerry Sandusky; Trey Gowdy;
Congress; Justice; Health & Medicine; FDA)