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I need help understanding in plain language the last few sentences of the following exchange between CNN's anchor Dana Bash and CNN's Chief Legal Analyst (and former federal prosecutor) Laura Coats in the July 28, 2023 Trump's lawyers have secret meeting with special counsel

BASH: And Laura, how conclusive must the evidence be in a case like this to show intent?

COATS: Well, an average case that's not under the microscope, but a case like this would be, the prosecutors must be able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. They want the jury to -- the grand jury, remember (hearing from?) the actual trial jury -- They're talking about probable cause, probable cause that a crime has occurred and this person (has done) it. But in reality, it's beyond a reasonable doubt in the sense that 'can I really be successful in the courtroom with this?' The vote that's returned, whether it's a majority, whether it's a slim majority, whether it's unanimous, will be very, very telling.

Well, remember, there's a reason why the lawyers for Trump want to talk to Jack Smith and prosecutors as opposed to Donald Trump himself. In a grand jury climate, it is the defendant alone or the witness alone who can go into the room. If they have a question for the lawyers, they've got to go outside and the grand jurors can ask questions. And so by the lawyers trying to have the meeting it's likely to suggest, 'Listen, we want to make sure that if this person would go before the grand jury, (he's chosen not to) that they are protected in some way.' That's for every single defendant, every single witness as well.

Coats packs a lot of information into each sentence and speaks quickly, and the YouTube transcript is imperfect so I've added a few parentheticals.

My confusion is with the line:

If they have a question for the lawyers, they've got to go outside and the grand jurors can ask questions.

Is "they" the grand jury? Is she saying that if the grand jury members have questions for Trumps lawyers, they (the grand jury) must leave the room and ask questions of Trump's lawyers in the hall outside the room or some similar "unofficial" location?

I don't see how that fits with the next sentence:

'Listen, we want to make sure that if this person would go before the grand jury, (he's chosen not to) that they are protected in some way.'

which seems to be from the point of view of Trump's laywers, not of the grand jury members.

What is Coats' point here?

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    The whole thing is more or less incoherent. I have trouble trying to make sense out of the part you highlight, and a lot of the rest as well.
    – Wastrel
    Jul 28, 2023 at 13:39

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The witness can go outside and ask questions of the witness’ lawyers

So if, for example, Mr Trump chooses to testify to the grand jury he goes in alone - no lawyers. If he wants to consult his lawyers he needs to ask to do, leave the room and consult them. If I were Mr Trump’s lawyer I would be worried that he wouldn’t know when he should do that.

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    and my guess (IANAL) about the comment "and the grand jurors can ask questions" is that the GJ can ask why the witness felt the need to talk to lawyers. As I understand it, members of a GJ panel can ask whatever they want in order to be able to decide how to vote. @dalem, if you know the answer to this part, you might want to add it to your answer.
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 28, 2023 at 14:25
  • @CGCampbell: "I invoke my right to council" is answer enough for any man being questioned by a grand jury. And the grand jury is not quite as protected as a petit jury; they can be asked why they chose to violate constitutional rights.
    – Joshua
    Nov 1, 2023 at 18:24

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