updated 12/14/2007 10:41:15 AM ET 2007-12-14T15:41:15

Guests: Adam Smith, Cliff May, Stephanie Miller, Scott Horton, Artur Davis, Nicole DeBorde, Courtney Pilchman, Candice DeLong

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Tonight, some on the far right in Congress now calling for a new investigation into the intelligence that shows Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program.  This is some Democrats and Republicans call for a new investigation into the prosecution and conviction of the Democratic former governor of Alabama.  Allegations swirling that Karl Rove had a hand in what may have been a political witch hunt.  That‘s on tonight‘s series - Bush league justice.

And suspect Drew Peterson on why he‘s not really interested in joining in any new investigation into what happened to his wife, Stacey.  More of my interview with Peterson is coming up.

But first tonight: Lawmakers on the Right so angry at the National Intelligence Report on Iran‘s nukes, did not tell them what they wanted to hear.  That they‘re now calling for a new investigation.  The consensus of the 16 intelligence agencies that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 has apparently so incensed some like Republican Senator John Ensign and his far right peers in the House that they want a commission to produce an alternative report on the same intelligence, quote, “ We just see politics injected into this.  When it comes to national security we really need to remove politics.  We‘re saying, let‘s take a second look.”

A second look?  Just because the report doesn‘t tell them what they want to hear?  That in and of itself is apparently enough to call into question of the best judgment of the US intelligence agencies?  They seem to be following the lead of some Right wingers like former House speaker, Newt Gingrich, ex-UN ambassador, John Bolton, the “Wall Street Journal” editorial page, and of course, Rush Limbaugh.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST:  Dan Abrams all upset that I‘m attacking the bureaucrats who wrote the NIE, because suddenly now, when the intelligence comes out and it fits their world view, it fits their political view, what they want things to be and it‘s unquestionably accurate.  And it‘s just not right to assail it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Rush, it‘s not about my world view.  This report was different.  It was rigorously reviewed, unlike the report on Iraq which was put together in a month.  This one was painstakingly assembled, even delayed by intelligence agencies for more than a year and a half to take extra care of verify the sources.  A team even assigned to try to poke holes in the information.  The notion that another team of what Right wingers needs to re-evaluate the information is an insult.  I sometimes think the far Right just wants to see the end of objective facts so they can make everything they don‘t like a two-sided issue.  Well, this is too important.  Here now is Democratic congressman, Adam Smith from Washington;

Stephanie Miller, host of the Stephanie Miller Show and Cliff May, president of the foundation for the Defense of Democracies.  All right.  Congressman, let me start with you.  Were you surprised to hear about this proposal from of your peers for a new report on the report?

REP. ADAM SMITH, (D) WASHINGTON:  I wasn‘t surprise.  But I must say, I completely agree with everything you just said.  Basically, they don‘t like the facts, so they want to change them.  This has been a somewhat depressing pattern among the Bush administration and this supporters that they try to create their own reality wherever they can.  But you describe the process perfectly.  It was a rigorous process.  It was as rigorous as NIE we‘ve put out.  There‘s no reason to go at this except to try to create new realities.  Realities that in fact, don‘t exist.  This report is about as rigorous as you can get.  If they don‘t like the results, you know, that doesn‘t change the facts that they are in fact, accurate.

ABRAMS:  Cliff, are they just pandering here?

CLIFF MAY, FOUNDATION FOR THE DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES:  This report, Dan, which I‘m sure you‘ve all read carefully, says with high confidence that in 2003, Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program.  It doesn‘t say with high confidence that they may not have restarted a nuclear weapons program.  Let‘s take a look and figure that out since it‘s obviously relevant.  Right now, Iran is enriching uranium and testing brand new longer range missiles.  Anybody in the show what they are doing that for if it doesn‘t have to do with the weapons program.   Anybody can answer that.  Please.

ABRAMS:  Cliff, let‘s clear.  So, what you‘re saying is that you

disagree or agree with the findings of the 16 intelligence.  See, you‘re

trying to force people to answer a question that seemed pretty clearly

answered by this report.  So -

MAY:  It‘s not pretty clearly answers.  And keep in mind unfortunately, our intelligence community, every time they just tried to predict nuclearization of the nation has done it wrong.

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Were you making that particular comment about the NIE before this new finding about Iran?

MAY:  I have made it about the intelligence agencies.

ABRAMS:  Publicly?

MAY:  Let me say this, let me answer your question if I may, Dan.  The 2005 NIE said Iran is enriching uranium, building missiles, we better keep our guard up.  This NIE says, Iran is enriching uranium, building missiles, let‘s let our guard down.  I think a second opinion is called for.

ABRAMS:  Go ahead, Representative Smith wanted to step in.  Yes.

SMITH:  I want to say I kind of agree with what the guest is saying there.  There‘s more to this.  Obviously, Iran is potentially a threat.  But that‘s not what the senators are doing.  They‘re not making the argument you just made that we need to continue to be vigilant about Iran, which I agree with.  They‘re arguing that we should go back in this specific NIE and tear it apart.  It‘s far better to do what you suggested. 

Let‘s figure out how to contain the risk that is Iran, the real risk, not

the one -

(CROSSTALK)

MAY:  Congressman, I‘m pleased with what the congressman is saying.  I

also think it‘s not unusual for to have two teams look at the same

intelligence.  Henry Kissinger doesn‘t think this intelligence report reads

right, neither do the French, neither do the British, neither does the

International Atomic Energy Agency -

ABRAMS:  It‘s great that the same people who don‘t want to cite international law in cases are now citing international law.  But let me do this, let me play this from Fred Thompson, Stephanie and then I want you to respond.  This is - he‘s running for president, he seems to be supporting Senator Ensign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP).

FRED THOMPSON, ® PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I don‘t care what this latest NIE says.  That‘s foolishness that represents our own inability to get a handle on it more than anything else.

(END VIDEO CLIP0

ABRAMS:  I mean Stephanie,  there is no objective truth in this world.

STEPHANIE MILLER, STEPHANIE MILLER SHOW:  Dan, I think you know Rush Limbaugh is right.  The facts have a well-known Dan Abrams bias.  I mean, this people can‘t take yes for an answer, Dan.  Don‘t you wish we got this kind of scrutiny on the one-month report that was rushed in a month on the Iraq intelligence?  I mean this ridiculous, this has been a year and a half, 16 of our intelligence agencies.  Checked and double checked.

ABRAMS:  They don‘t give them in credit to the fact that they spent extra time, they spent a year and a half giving people the chance to poke holes in it.  Bringing in the second team and now, none of that is good enough, none of it matters.

MAY:  I want to make sure that Stephanie understands -

MILLER:  (INAUDIBLE) based on the word of one unreliable drunk.

(CROSSTALK0

ABRAMS:  Stephanie, I have good news for you.  Cliff May is about to lecture you, so let‘s listen, go ahead.

MILLER:  Cliff, bring it on.

MAY:  Yes, do you have new facts, new evidence.  I‘d would love to hear with those facts and what evidence is .  Otherwise, what we have is an interpretation and a key judgment that is probably political rather than based on intelligence.

ABRAMS:  Where do you get that from?

MAY:  It‘s exactly what Henry Kissinger says today.  By the way, a new

poll done by a Democratic and Republican pollster.  Neil Newhouse (ph) and

Stan Grenburg (ph) you know them.  Say that 70 percent of Americans don‘t

acknowledge -

MILLER:  All 16 of the intelligence agencies are far Left Bush haters?

MAY:  Stephanie, (INAUDIBLE) if you can tell me why Iran is enriching uranium and testing missiles not for weapon, I will listen to it very carefully, what‘s the reason?

MILLER:  Wasn‘t this the opportunity for the president to really start diplomacy.  Diplomacy works.

(CROSSTALK)

MAY:  Stephanie, you can‘t answer my question.  Why is Iran illegally testing missiles right now?

SMITH:  If I can take stand on it, Dan.  I think it‘s a legitimate question, something we ought to look into.  But again, what Senator Ensign and Fred Thompson are doing is they‘re saying let‘s dive back into the NIE.  And this is the 16 intelligence agencies that are of the Bush administration, the executive branch, that‘s their focus, not on the issue that you keep raisin that‘s legitimate.

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  And let‘s be fair to the president here because he‘s not taking the position that Ensign is taking.  Here‘s what Dana Perino said about this very issue today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANA PERINO, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  The bottom line for the president on the NIE was that the 16 intelligence community came together, assessed all the intelligence, they spent a good deal of time checking it.  I just don‘t know there‘s a need to have a second look at it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS: Cliff, does that upset you?  That the president is sort of letting you down on this one.

(CROSSTALK)

MAY:  No.  You‘re defending the president.  I think that we have had the intelligence community be wrong on a lot of things.  They slam-dunk on Iraq‘s nuclear weapons, 9/11 they didn‘t see coming, they didn‘t understand what have meant the terrorists were being trained in Afghanistan during the 1990‘s.  So, I think it would be a good idea since so many intelligence agencies around the world, we‘re not all around here, so many intelligence agencies around the world think this judgment, this interpretation of the facts is wrong, let‘s have a second look.  What‘s the big deal?

ABRAMS:  I mean again, what‘s the big deal attitude to me is so hypocritical from the same people and I made this point before.  But the notion that whenever we cite, I know this from the law, if you cite international law, the Right wingers they go crazy.  The Supreme Court should never cite international law but hey, wait a second when the intelligence - .

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER:  The rapture crowd is so upset.  We are so close to Armageddon with the bombing Iran and World War III and all.  But absolutely, I mean, you know, all the this talk now about water boarding.  You know, gee, when the Japanese did it to us, it sure was illegal.  You know, back in World War III, I mean, it just you know that‘s the point of International law Dan.  It doesn‘t change.

(CROSSTALK)

MAY:  I didn‘t realize it was against the law to ask for a second interpretation.

ABRAMS:  It‘s not.  It‘s just hypocrisy because the same people who say, don‘t look abroad are now saying look abroad for interpretations.  Because they don‘t like what they got.

MAY:  Dan, as a matter of fact, I‘m entirely consistent.  Because, when our intelligence agencies said, we sent Joe Wilson, an opponent of George Bush to Africa.  And he‘s found out conclusively that Saddam was never looking for uranium.  I said, you know what?  The British don‘t take that until this day.

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  I got give Representative Smith time here.

SMITH:  There‘s a larger issue here. And that is you know, what has happened in the last couple of years.  As the Bush administration just like they did in Iraq has overstated the case against Iran.  Now, that doesn‘t mean that Iran isn‘t dangerous.  They are.  Because the Bush administration overstated it, the visions of mushroom clouds and World War III, they have undermined our credibility.  Iran really need us to keep after them.  They are dangerous, no question.

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  You‘ve got 10 seconds, Cliff.  And I got to go.  Ten literally.

MAY:  Iran may have suspended the weapons program in 2003 that‘s because of what we did in Iraq and Afghanistan, we need a credible threat of force as well as diplomacy.

ABRAMS:  Look, you may not agree with Cliff May, I don‘t agree with him on a lot of things.  He‘s a great guest though.  We love to have him on the program.

MILLER:  I love you, cliff.

ABRAMS:  Stephanie loves you and that‘s a big statement. 

Representative Smith, thank you as well for coming on the program. 

Appreciate it.

Coming up next: The final installment of our series: Bush League Justice.  Our investigation to how the Bush administration has politicized the Justice Department.  Tonight, we expose a politically charged prosecution from Alabama.  The former Democratic governor is behind bars and the prosecution of his case may be trace back to Karl Rove.

And speaking of injustice, the American Bar Association has named this former disgraced attorney general Alberto Gonzales, lawyer of the year.  He actually beat out Scooter Libby and Duke prosecutor, Mike Nifong.  I am not joking.  That‘s tonight‘s Winners and Losers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Did you know, in 1994, a group called the Business Council of Alabama asked Bush inside to Karl Rove to help get a Republican elected chief justice of the State Supreme Court.  For the first time in over century, a Republican won after Rove ordered a recount.  Some accused them to trying to steal the election.  And coming up, the final installment of the series, Bush League Justice.  Tonight, we investigate whether Karl Rove was behind the prosecution of the Democratic governor of Alabama.  It sure looks like justice was far from blind in this case.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Tonight the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to hold in contempt former presidential adviser, Karl Rove and Chief of staff, Josh Bolton after they refused to testify about the politically motivated firings of US attorneys.  Now, this could be connected.  This latest development as we wrap up our series—Bush League Justice.  Our investigation into how this administration has politicized the Justice Department.  One of the most stunning allegations about pure politics trumping objective justice, the current state of Alabama with the former Democratic governor remains behind bars tonight and the prosecution of the case may be traced back to, one of the most powerful members of the president‘s inner council, Karl Rove.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS (voice over):  In 2003, Democratic governor, Don Siegelman was attempting a political come back after narrowly losing reelection to Republican, Bob Reilly.  That‘s when Siegleman‘s life was turned upside down.  He was investigated twice by the Feds, eventually convicted and this year, sentenced to seven years on corruption charges.  But evidence is mounting that he may have been singled out for prosecution by prominent Alabama Republicans.  And ultimately, presidential adviser, Karl Rove.  The chief witness against him, testify the corruption involved Siegelman and two prominent Alabama Republicans.  One currently a federal judge, the other a US Senator:  But neither of them were investigated or prosecuted.  Just the Siegelman, the Democrat.  And then a Republican lawyer who was working on the campaign against Siegelman came forward say under oath that key Republicans on the Governor Reilly‘s team discussed talking to Karl Rove about the case.  Quoting one of them who said, “Not to worry, he had already gotten it worked out with Karl and Karl had spoken to the Department of Justice.

(on camera):  If Rove was involved in bringing Siegelman down, this is an outrageous example of politics trumping objective justice.  Joining me, Representative Artur Davis from Alabama, he‘s a former federal prosecutor who‘s been investigating this case.  And Scott Horton, a Columbia law professor who has covered the case extensively for “Harper‘s” magazine.  Thanks for both of you for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.  All right.  Representative Davis, what is the latest here?  I mean, you‘ve been trying to get some information, you‘ve been trying to get documents, et cetera, so far you haven‘t had any luck, have you?

REP. ARTUR DAVIS, (D) ALABAMA:   Well, there‘s been a stone wall around this case from the White House, and most of these allegations of Department of Justice impropriety.  There are a lot of facts on this case but let me just try to cut through the essence of an extremely weak case that normally would not have been brought against anyone much as the former governor was brought against Don Siegelman.  We know that the  former lawyer for Don Siegelman, a very respective individual named Doug Jones, who himself used to be US attorney, we know that Doug Jones says that he was told in 2004 that there really was not much of a case against Don Siegelman.  The prosecutors were walking away from it.  Then, he says at the end of that yea that he learned that the Department of Justice has called the US attorney office, and said to go back and do a review of this case.  And that point, the thing turned into a fishing expedition.

ABRAMS:  And let me bring you in, Scott.  Again, we talk about the Department of Justice but there is this allegation out there of Karl Rove.  I mean, what is the evidence that Karl Rove had contact with the prosecutors to get them to sort of get Siegelman?

SCOTT HORTON, HARPER‘S MAGAZINE:  We don‘t have all the links in

placed but we do know that certainly beginning from 2002, Karl Rove out of

the White House was deeply involved in the election of Rob Riley,

structuring it, raising money for it, putting together a strategy for it,

apart of that strategy involved the Criminal Justice system nailing charges

landing charging on Siegelman on some sort.  And we know that it involved at some point, consultation with the Justice Department and also two US attorneys in Alabama, both of whom at one point brought charges against Siegelman.

ABRAMS:  And you made the point that you think that today‘s news about holding Rove and Bolton in contempt maybe related to this case?

HORTON:  I think there‘s no doubt about it.  I think if we got into all the communications records from the White House, email perhaps, and everything else, we would find the pattern of communications between Rove and individuals who deeply involved in this case.  It would certainly include political operatives in Alabama and might people in the Justice Department or in this US attorneys office.

ABRAMS:  All right.  Representative Davis, I‘m going to ask you why they wanted to go after Siegelman so badly but in the process of doing that I want to lay out a time line that I think that may help sort of put things into perspective.  So, in November 2002, Siegelman narrowly looses reelection bid for governor.  In May of 2004, he‘s indicted on the corruption charges.  In October of 2004, the charges are dropped, 2005, he launched another run for governor.  Then, in October of 2005, he‘s indicted on 32 counts, including bribery and conspiracy.  June of 2006, he losses the Democratic primary.  In June 2007, he‘s sentenced to prison.  Was he such a threat in Alabama that they had to use the arm of justice to get them out?

DAVIS:  Dan, this is what I think what happened in this case.  There are some people, Karl Rove is a classic example of it.  If they decide that their opposition is corrupt, if they decide the people they‘re trying to beat are corrupt in some way, their attitude is we can throw anything at them we want to and why not use the US attorneys office as another arm of politics.  That‘s what‘s wrong about politics.  That‘s what‘s wrong about this case, wrong about so many others.  The US Attorney‘s Office is not an opposition research tool.  You don‘t use it to bring down people politically.  And on this case, ultimately, Don Siegelman was convicted based on the words of two people, one of whom changed his story three different times.  I wonder why the government would allow a witness like that.  The other one, as you mentioned on your opener, told similar allegations, or made similar allegations against two high-ranking Republicans, allegations that were never followed up.  So, one of two things happens, either he was lying about the Republicans on which case he should have been used as witness or alternatively, they weren‘t interested in what they had to say about the Republicans and it‘s a classic evidence of selective prosecution, a case based on two weak witnesses.

ABRAMS:  Professor, let‘s talk about the connection between Karl Rove and these prosecutors, all right?  You got this Republican lawyer who‘s coming forward, Dana Gill Simpson (ph), and she‘s offering sworn statements, to say look, I was working for the Republican governor at the time, Governor Riley and I heard conversations which she then came forward under oath. And said effectively that Karl Rove was taking care of things.  One of them is Bill Canary, a very important Alabama Republican operative also the husband of the US attorney down there said, “Rob, don‘t worry.  My girls are getting him.  Leura‘s my wife, she works for the Middle District and then Alice Martin works for the Northern District.  What does all that mean?

HORTON:  Well, I think you know, William Canary is a lynch pin figure here.  And Canary you mentioned, the herald seat race for a Supreme Court in Alabama, at the opening of the segment.  Well, his close collaborator in that effort was Bill Canary.  And they‘re close friends, Rove and Canary are.  So, that is clearly a key connection into this case.

ABRAMS:  And Canary‘s wife is the one who brought the case.

HORTON:  That‘s right.  And I‘m sure that Bill Canary and his wife, Leura never talk to one another.

ABRAMS:  So, the allegation again is that Rove is calling Canary and Canary and his wife are in cahoots effectively.

HORTON:  And Alice Martin has been taking campaign advice regularly from Bill Canary.

ABRAMS:  Representative Davis, look, you got, 44 state attorneys general from around the country, Republicans and Democrats who wrote the following letter: “We, the undersigned former state attorneys general - both Democrats and Republicans - urge the U.S. Congress to investigate the circumstances surrounding the investigation, prosecution, sentencing, and detention of Don Siegelman.  There is reason to believe that the case may have had sufficient irregularities as to call into question the basic fairness that is the linchpin of our system of justice.”  Did this letter not have any impact?

DAVIS:  Well, it has an impact, Dan.  I was a federal prosecutor and

in fact, I worked in the district of Alabama for several years.  I can‘t

imagine bringing a case that rested on two non-credible witness both of

whom have been caught in lies -

ABRAMS:  But why this letter is pretty powerful.  I guess it‘s my question.

DAVIS:  I think it has had an impact.  It‘s a major reason why the

House Judiciary Committee has shown an interested in this case.  You make a

point, these are 44 former state attorney‘s general - Democrats and

Republicans who prosecuted cases, they look -

ABRAMS:  And I got to say one other thing that is Siegelman‘s former attorney has also made point that he felt like he was told this was all going away.  Here‘s what Siegelman said in 2004 after his lawyer apparently told him that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON SIEGELMAN:  I can‘t tell you what a great feeling sit to have this chapter closed and have this ordeal behind us.

(END VIDEO END)

ABRAMS:  Real quickly, professor, then they re—the charges are dropped.  And they wanted him so badly they bring up new charges.

HORTON:  They bring them up just in time for the election season again, amidst closely geared to the election.  I‘ve also been told by people in the Justice Department, they understood the case was over and pressure came from on high to bring it again.

ABRAMS:  All right.  We are going stay on the story.  We are not just going to let this go away.  Congressman Artur Davis, Scott Horton, thank you very much.  We appreciate it.  Now well, this was the last episode of this series, Bush League investigations are far from over.  A new attorney general has taking over.  We are going be watching very closely the days of Justice Department remaining under the mainstream media radar are over.  You‘re on notice.

Coming up: The Senate Judiciary Committee voting to hold Karl Rove and the White House Chief of Staff, Josh Bolton in criminal contempt at Congress for refusing to testify.  They also got my vote to be in tonight‘s Winners and Losers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  It‘s time for tonight‘s Beat the Press.

First up; I‘m tired of these fake so called exclusives wherein networks make us to believe that the only place to have a certain of information.  If you‘re watching cable news Monday night, you might have seen interviews with Jean Assam, the volunteer security guard who killed the gunman at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs.  She was on CNN on Monday night as indicated in their exclusive banner and the next hour, she was on FOX News.  If you tuned in to GOOD MORNING AMERICA on Tuesday morning, lo and behold, GMA exclusive.

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee appeared on Fox News, then later on, CNN and on MSNBC with Tucker Carlson.  But yes, when he appeared on “Good Morning America,” they had an exclusive with one of the most widely interviewed and available guests in America.  Pretty soon, interviews with their own reporters are going to be billed ABC exclusives. 

Finally, we all flub things on the air.  I do it all the time.  Here‘s

our own Contessa Brewer reporting on the Democrats statistical dead heat in

Iowa.  Statistical -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONTESSA BROWN, ANCHOR:  Right now, the latest MSNBC/MCCLATCHY poll of

Iowa Democrats shows Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in a statistical

(mispronounces) dead heat -

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  All right.  She‘s great.  She can always laugh it off.  We need your help beating the press.  So go to the web site, Abrams.MSNBC.com and leave us a tip in the box.

Up next, more of my conversation with suspect Drew Peterson.  He‘s definitely suggesting that something one going on with his missing wife and their pastor. 

And later, it‘s hard to believe what some prisoners will do to get

some love behind bars.  They apparently try to sneak in pictures behind

photos of their kids, sometimes hit on the emergency room nurse.  We‘ll

show you.   (

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Coming up, more of my interview with suspect Drew Peterson.  We had a long conversation and he finished by telling me he told he much more than he had disclosed before.  That‘s coming up.

But first, ever wonder what happens when cold-blooded killers get their heart broken?  And what if they don‘t have a loved one?  Can you imagine being the prison nurse?  MSNBC‘s “LOCKED UP LOVE” shows how inmates serving life at one of the toughest prisons in the nation, Holman, often find bizarre ways to keep the flame alive.  Let just say it doesn‘t involve dropping a bar of soap.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALAN CLARK, SERVING LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR AGGRAVATED MURDER:  For 15

years, I didn‘t have anybody to come and see me or write me or anything like this.  And then came (NAME DELETED).  She‘s a darling.  She‘s the love of my life. 

I miss her - something terribly.  You just wouldn‘t believe.  I really miss her.  Last year, in September, I became real sick.  I had been sick all that day.  They rushed me to the emergency room.  But I met a nurse there, and when she walked into the room and we made eye contact, I knew that she was going be my girl.

When we started seeing each other, I said, “I‘ve got life without parole.  I may not ever get out.”  And she‘s telling me - she says, “You let me worry about that.”  Finally, one day on the visiting yard, she came to see me.  I got down on the knee and asked her, “Will you marry me?”  And she says yes. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER:  Until his wedding day, Alan must rely on letters to communicate with his fiancee.  But before he opens his mail it must undergo a meticulous screening process. 

MS. ETHERIDEGE, WORKED AS PRISON MAIL CLERK:  Good morning, mail room. 

They‘re not allowed to have any kind of nude pictures, pictures that are sexually explicit.  That‘s not allowed.  When I was going through the mail, I was looking at the envelope, and I noticed it was like a big sticker.  You know, I had never seen one of them.  It looked kind of weird. 

I took the letter opener and peeled it up.  And when I did - nude picture.  I was like, “OK.  Well, that‘s rejected.”  We did have one woman, for three weeks in a row, purposely hid her nude pictures behind cards.  She would like open them up on the inside and try to glue them back down.  She‘d paste them behind other pictures of like her children.  That‘s a great one.  I loved that one. 

CHAPLAIN SUMMERS, HOLMAN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY:  Alan Clark‘s in lockup.  He‘s an inmate we‘re going to see.  He didn‘t know whether his fiancee was going to marry him or not.  He was under the impression that they were OK.  But apparently she hadn‘t returned any letters when he had written her. 

Alan, have you got a second?  Remember you told me to give her a call about you guys getting married.

CLARK:  Oh, that‘s kind of something.

SIUMMERS:  I had called and when talking to her, she sounded pretty upset. 

CLARK:  Oh. 

SUMMERS:  And I had asked her if she was still interested in getting married.  She said, “Married?”  I said, “Yes, Alan has wanted to get married for a while as I understand it.  I still wanted to see if you guys are going to get married.  She said, in emphatic terms, “Absolutely not.”  So I don‘t know how all that sits.  What do you think changed her mind?

CLARK:  I have no idea. 

SUMMERS:  She‘s noticeably upset. 

CLARK:  Yes.  Yes. 

SUMMERS:  Probably need to straighten that out whatever miscommunication might be taking place. 

CLARK:  Yes, definitely. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS:  You can see more of “LOCKED UP LOVE” tomorrow night at 10 p.m. Eastern on MSNBC.  Up next, more of my interview with Drew Peterson, still a suspect in his wife‘s disappearance.  He told me if he gets arrested, he won‘t be able to get a fair trial anywhere and even compared himself to J.R. from the program “Dallas.”

And later, this man fell out of the sky and survived.  His story is coming up in tonight‘s “Winners and Losers.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  More now of my interview with suspect Drew Peterson.  I spoke to him for 20 minutes last night on a range of topics including why he‘s never helped with the search effort for his missing wife Stacy.  He told me, quote, “I don‘t know what to do.  I‘m not going to go out checking fields and forests for her because I don‘t believe she‘s there.  What would you do?  I don‘t even know where to look.

I told him I‘d be out there.  After several playful, even bizarre incidents with reporters, Peterson now says the press is out to get him, quote, “Anytime there‘s anything positive about me, it goes on the wayside.  Anything negative about me goes on the front page.  If I have to go to trial, it‘s like, ‘How can Drew Peterson get a fair trial in this country?‘  I‘m like J.R. (in Dallas), the guy everybody loves to hate.”

Among the most startling suggestions, that Stacy may have had some romantic involvement with her pastor, Neil Schori who recently went public saying Stacy told him that Drew admitted to her that he had killed his third wife. 

Quote, “I know Stacy was very infatuated with the guy.  If it was a two-way relationship, I can‘t comment.  Every time she‘d go meet with him, she‘d be all dolled up in something voluptuous and seductive and her makeup was perfect.  And it was odd to go and meet a pastor like that.  I don‘t know if something was going on, but I didn‘t know about these other guys either. 

Here now, defense attorney Nicole DeBorde, former prosecutor Courtney Pilchman, and former FBI profiler Candice DeLong.  All right.  Let‘s talk about this business about the pastor.  All right, Nicole - now, Joel Brodsky first made this suggestion on this program.  Clearly, it came from Drew Peterson making these comments about the way he dressed, et cetera - about the way she dressed when she went to see him.  I mean., this is not smart for them, for him, for Joel Brodsky to be talking about some possible affair with the pastor now that he‘s making comments that they don‘t like. 

NICOLE DEBORDE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Not at all.  I mean, the reality is that he‘s not indicted.  He‘s not charged with anything at this juncture.  And he‘s in the best position that he could possibly be to be quiet.  The more he says, the more potential information he puts out in the community, the less chance he gets due process in this case. 

ABRAMS:  But Courtney, that‘s the legal answer and I get that as a legal matter you don‘t want to talk.  But the problem is, Courtney, he already has spoken.  And he‘s got a terrible - I think he‘s absolutely right about the way the public and media and everyone else view him.  They view him terribly.  So what, he‘s trying to go out there and rehabilitate to some degree. 

COURTNEY PILCHMAN, FORMER PROSECUTOR:  You know, Dan, the way he can rehabilitate is try to go out and find Stacy, and he‘s not done that.  The way he‘s trying to rehabilitate is to bleed money from the American people for his, you know, supposed defense.  He has spent more time and energy building a web site to get money for his defense than he has spent looking for Stacy.  And there‘s no way to rehabilitate with that kind of conduct.

ABRAMS:  Candice, I‘m going to twist this question on you, all right?  I‘m not going to ask you about Drew‘s psychology.  I‘m going to ask you what‘s the psychology of people who are donating to the Drew Peterson defense fund this holiday season? 

CANDICE DELONG, FORMER FBI PROFILER:  That‘s a good one.  Well, there‘s always a group of people out there that believe that people like us, pundits and people in law enforcement and defense attorneys, and prosecutors - not particularly defense attorneys, but cops, and whatnot,  and people that do what we do are - that we conspire to frame people.  Those will be the people, those believers that will be the ones that will send $10 here or $20 there. 

ABRAMS:  And look, let‘s remember all the Scott Peterson lovers who send him letters, et cetera. 

DELONG:  Oh, sure.

ABRAMS:  All right.  This is - I want to play this to you because this is important.  One of the things he told me about was about his ex-fiancee who was on this program, Kyle Piry.  I want to let you listen to what she said and I‘m going to read you what he - how he responded to it.  Here she is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KYLE PIRY, DREW PETERSON‘S EX-FIANCEE:  He was very controlling, didn‘t want me to go out with my friends.  After I called off the engagement, about a week later, I had gone to his house to get some things I had left.  That resulted in an argument on his part, calling me names, saying things.  He pushed me over a cocktail table and pinned me to the ground, sort of like a police hold.  That‘s what I would call it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  All right.  Here‘s what he said about her: “That fiancee is great, she‘s something else.  We were engaged and as the relationship continued, I found out she was seeing someone behind my back.”  He went on to say other things that he said she was doing.  “I broke up with her.  She was a kid and she was a brat so I broke up with her.  And now, she‘s running an anti-women‘s group.”

Nicole, this guy is so angry at all of his exes.  I mean, you talk to him about Stacy. He says he‘s in love with her but he still talks about, you know, negative things about her about how she‘s out, you know, with other guys and et cetera.  The third wife, problems with her.  This one - You know, this guy is obviously in his own mind, just making bad choices with women. 

DEBORDE:  Absolutely.  Every time he makes a comment, he becomes less and less sympathetic and this causes a great deal of damage to the potential defense in his case.  Because ultimately, if he does go to the grand jury and he has to testify, how is he going to deal with all of these excuses? 

You cannot have a logical excuse for every single thing that happens in your life.  He seems to want to propose that he does.  It‘s really pretty ridiculous.  Unfortunately, it‘s going to make his defense very difficult.

ABRAMS:  But Courtney, do you think it‘s going happen?  I mean, look, a lot of people are asking me do you think he‘s going to get charged?  And the answer that I‘ve been giving is I think he‘s going get charged in connection with his third wife. 

We‘re expecting autopsy results to come out at any day now.  They‘re formalizing the process, et cetera.  I think he‘s got more at stake with regard to his third wife right now until and unless they find Stacy‘s body. 

PILCHMAN:  Dan, I agree.  I think what‘s going happen is they‘re going to go after him for Kathleen Savio‘s death.  And then, in the meantime, they‘re going to continue their investigation into where Stacy may or may not be.  And Kathleen Savio‘s case may take six, a year, two years.  In the meantime, they‘re just going to keep building a case. 

And in two years‘ worth of time, you‘re not going have bank records from Stacy.  You‘re not going to have phone records from Stacy.  You‘re not going to have any kind of contact with Stacy and her children and/or her family, which is going to further the prosecution‘s case against him. 

When you build a pattern of behavior, they‘re going to be able to use what they‘ve learned in this case, whether it‘s from Drew himself or these women that he‘s dated, in the case against Stacy to talk about maybe a domestic violence kind of a situation or a stalking situation.  And they‘re going to build a circumstantial case.  And I think they‘ll ultimately get him on both cases. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  This is what Drew Peterson - there‘s been this allegation that the sister made about firing a gun in the house.  It doesn‘t sound like Drew Peterson is denying it.  Here‘s what he‘s saying about it.  He was saying, “It was an accidental discharge in my home by Stacy.  She had a fascination with guns.  I bought her a Glock for Valentine‘s Day because nothing says I love you like a Glock.  That was our joke. 

You know, apart from the whole joking aspect of it, Candice, it seems that, you know, again, it‘s Stacy‘s fault, right?   

DELONG:  He talks with a tremendous irreverence and disdain for all these women that used to be in his life, including the current missing wife who can‘t speak up for herself.  And now, he‘s implying she had an affair with the pastor.  And then the ex-wife who is dead.  He says horrible things about them and they can‘t speak up for themselves. 

The gun - when I was with the FBI, any accidental discharge - anywhere, in your car, or your home, had to be reported to your employer.  I‘m guessing the Bolingbrook Police Department is the same way.  Was the accidental discharge reported?  And if not, why not? 

ABRAMS:  All right.  I will also tell you that he also told me his retirement sucked.  But we knew he‘d been saying that already.  Nicole DeBorde, Courtney Pilchman and Candice DeLong, thanks a lot.

DEBORDE:  You‘re welcome.

DELONG:  Thanks for having me.

PILCHMAN:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Up next, in “Winners and Losers,” an electric eel powers up a Christmas tree.  London displays a drunk in a train station as part of an anti-drunk-driving campaign.  And a New York City window washer cheats death. 

An eel who lights up a tree; a lit Brit giving passers-by something to see; or a window washer who took a hard fall, a luckier man there might not be.  Which will be tonight‘s big winner or loser?

(MUSIC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Winners and Losers.”  Our first winner, an electric eel now providing power to light up a Christmas tree.  The exotic fish generating the juice as it slithers around its tank.  A pair of aluminum panels trap 800 watts of eel electricity, more than enough to light up the tree that‘s now on display at a Japanese aquarium.  

Our first loser, a British man now on display after getting a little too lit up.  Cliff Newman(ph) was busted for drunk driving.  His punishment?  Standing inside an upside down beer glass at a busy London train station.  The embarrassing exhibit is all part of a new anti-drunk-driving campaign called “Don‘t Get Trapped by a Pint.”

Our second winner, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez who somehow was named Lawyer of the Year by the American Bar Association Journal.  He edged out other legal luminaries like convicted felon and vice presidential aide Scooter Libby and disgraced Duke prosecutor Mike Nifong. 

The ADA claims the “honor” is not to recognize the best lawyers, just the one that had the greatest impact that year, proving that when it comes to Lawyer of the Year, you can still win no matter how much you violate the rules. 

Our second loser, many of Major League top baseball players accused today of violating the rules in an effort to win.  Former Senator George Mitchell made public a blistering new report today, accusing more than 80 of the game‘s top names of abusing steroids and performance-enhancing drugs, including some of the sport‘s elite like Roger Clemens, Miguel Tejada, and of course, Barry Bonds. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Just leave him alone.  Leave Barry alone.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS: But the big losers of the day?  Presidential pals Karl Rove and Josh Bolton.  Bush‘s former chief adviser and his chief of staff served contempt citations by congress today after repeatedly refusing to cooperate with investigations into the firings of nine U.S. attorneys.  The pair stonewalled lawmakers who were demanding documents and their testimony.  Bolton and Rove marking the latest in a string of administration officials to fall from grace. 

The big winner of the day?  A New York City window washer who survived an incredible fall by the grace of God.  Alcides Moreno plunged 47 floors off a New York City high-rise when the scaffold he was working on collapsed.  But somehow, Moreno survived the fall, leading many to wonder how he and others have seemingly cheated death. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER:  The magic of movies and professional stunt men make anything look possible.  But it is real life that can prove stranger than fiction.  Michael Home(ph) lived to tell about this face-first fall from two miles in the air.  Another sky dive gone wrong in 2005 Shanna Richardson survived this terrifying free fall.  And this video is proof that skateboarder Jake Brown is lucky to still be alive. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He could have felt those wobbles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Look at that.  He turns his body and he says, “I‘m all right.”  (UNINTELLIGIBLE)  That was the heaviest slam we‘ve ever seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, my god!

DAVID BORGANICK(ph), AUTHOR:  Our DNA is just encoded to survive.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER:  Author David Borganick(ph) says with luck, surviving worst case scenarios is possible.  

BORGANICK:  Every survival expert, no matter what the situation, tells you that surviving comes down to three basic things, number one being prepared, number two don‘t panic and number three have a plan. 

ABRAMS:  Good night.  See you on Monday.

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

END   

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