Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Friday, June 27th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Friday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

POLITICS NATION
June 27, 2014

Guest: Jared Bernstein, Angela Rye, Ken Padowitz, Faith Jenkins

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks to you for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead. President Obama takes down the GOP`s big political stunt
today. For the first time, the president hit back against speaker John
Boehner`s outrageous plan to sue him for executive actions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And so, we take these
actions and then, now Republicans are mad at me for taking these action.
They are not doing anything. And then they`re mad that I`m doing
something. I`m not sure which of the things I have done they find most
offensive. But they have decided to sue me for doing my job.

I mean, I might have said in the heat of the moment during one of the
debates I want to raise the minimum wage, so sue me when I do. But I
didn`t think they were going to take it literally.

We can`t afford to wait for Congress right now. That`s why I`m going ahead
and moving ahead without them wherever I can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The p president is calling out Republicans for trying to block
him on everything. And he is challenging them to take action on anything.

In a TV interview with ABC, the president also dismissed Boehner`s lawsuit
as political game playing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: You know, the suit is a stunt. If you`re really concerned about me
taking too many executive actions, why don`t you try getting something done
through Congress?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This lawsuit is a joke. And the punch line is it`s actually
helping Democrats by firing up the base, triggering an avalanche of fund-
raising.

But Republicans still don`t get it. One day after Speaker Boehner compared
President Obama to a monarch or king GOP senator Mitch McConnell attacked
the president using similar language.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: The imperial President Obama
decided that he knew more than we did. I think the only thing that will
humble Barack Obama is the American people giving us the Republican Senate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president needs to be humbled? He`s acting like a king?

This is ugly stuff. But it`s become main stream in the GOP coming from the
two highest ranking Republicans in the country. Today, President Obama
talked about what`s really driving this Republican dysfunction and
extremism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I`m not saying these are all bad people. They`re not. When I`m
sitting there just talking to them about family, we get along just fine.
Many of them will acknowledge when I talk to them. Yes, I know, I wish we
could do something more. But they can`t be too friendly towards me because
they would be run out of town by the tea party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The GOP stunts have gone on too long. It`s time to stand up to
the tea party and move this country forward.

Joining me now is E.J. Dionne and Melissa Harris-Perry. Thank you both for
being here.

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC ANCHOR, MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY SHOW: Absolutely.

E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Melissa, President Obama has jumped on the lawsuit. I mean,
first of all, what does this reveal about the Republicans and their
priorities today?

HARRIS-PERRY: Well, honestly, as you were going through this, I had not
heard the McConnell language about humbling the president previously. And
I think my jaw might have hit the table here when heard that.

You know, I don`t mean to rev things up. But it really does sounds as
though he basically called the president a president now, uppity.

SHARPTON: Get in his place.

HARRIS-PERRY: That`s right. And that he needs to be humbled and the
American people should do so. So, what the American people have done twice
is to elect and then to reelect this president.

And so, what it clearly suggests to me is that, again, the Republican party
is not interested in running on anything they are affirmatively planning to
do. They are planning to go into the mid-terms, continuing to simply run
against President Obama and with what I think is vile language.

SHARPTON: Not only that. E.J. I think when you look at the fact that, I
think Melissa hit it on the head in terms of his trying to in many ways
belittle this president. And as I said, put him in his place. But I think
that it shows a real dark side that goes beyond politics to how they look
at the situation, E.J.

DIONNE: You know, well, I think there are several things going on here.
One is oddly, John Boehner is trying this because he doesn`t want something
worse to happen. And from his point of view, the worst thing would be
outright impeachment of the president.

The problem here, because he knows that nothing, nothing would turn out the
Democratic base more that it is the Republicans made overt impeachment
moves. But the problem is this move itself is already doing far more to
ignite the Democratic base, I think, than Boehner ever expected, as Melissa
suggested.

People are angry about the language being used and they are angry about the
personal attack. There is another upside to the president here which is,
and you saw in the speech, which is this really allows him to look strong
and on the offensive. He`s using it to stand up to these guys. Another
quote he offered today, if you are mad at me for helping people on my own,
why don`t you join me and we`ll do it together. This is helping to
underscores how little Congress is doing.

SHARPTON: You know, Melissa, when we talk about firing up the base and
backfiring, the fact is today, immigration activists protested outside
Speaker Boehner`s office and threatened him with a mark lawsuit for
blocking immigration reform.

I mean, did the speaker have any idea that his lawsuit would just fire up
his opponents?

HARRIS-PERRY: You know, they must. You know, look, Boehner has been in
office for a very long time. Certainly, he knew that there would be some
sort of backlash to this. I think part of what they keep miscalculating is
that in fact, there are moments when the president is weak, and weak in the
sense of his public opinion polls are lagging. What`s going on in Iraq has
certainly, and you know, the kind of summer doll drones (ph) where people
sort of tune out from thinking about the political world.

But what Boehner has done is this moment is actually to turn everyone away
from what had been a bad news cycle for the president toward a good news
cycle. Because Americans recognize that this is a dually elected twice
president. And that it is reasonable to disagree with him. But it is not
reasonable to behave as though he`s not operating, you know, with the will
of the American people.

SHARPTON: Particularly when he has come with more -- less executive action
than any president that we have had in recent memory, including Ronald
Reagan, both Bushes and Clinton.

HARRIS-PERRY: And also with fewer negative consequences for a large number
of people. So again, if we think about being misled into the initial war
in Iraq, I think that`s still reverberating in American foreign policy
right now. Still reverberating for the nation of Iraq. We were misled in
that. That`s not sort of about executive action. But it was about a
presidency that has overreached.

SHARPTON: And E.J., you have one FOX News host accusing the president of
committing treason for taking action on climate change. Listen to this.
This is on climate change.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS: I would say if you really are al Gore-ish and
you want to make that your passion, wait until you get out of office.
Because you have crises, that`s plural. That`s the best I can do, crises
to attend to. It`s almost treason for him to be focusing like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, this has become casual on the right, accusations of
treason. I mean, is this lawsuit one of the many big failed attempts to
really attack the president?

DIONNE: I think all these treason talks is truly outrageous. And the only
thing more outrageous is, as you say, how (inaudible) it`s become. We
talked before about that, Dick Cheney bad which came very close to accusing
the president of treason.

I mean, this is sort to goes back to the 50s and the kind of McCarthy-ite
sort of attack. But you made an important point, Reverend, which I think
needs to be brought up again and again as this discussion goes forward,
which is President Obama has issued fewer executive orders than almost all
the presidents of the past several decades. It`s not like he`s doing
something exceptional. If anything he`s been a little more restrained.

So, this notion that he`s an imperial president is absurd. And there is
something deeply inconsistent because out of one side of the mouth they say
he`s weak. And then they turn around and say he`s an imperial president.
Which is it? What do they really believe?

SHARPTON: Now, let`s go to the chase here, Melissa. The subtext of the
lawsuit is impeachment. I mean, a word right-wingers are throwing around a
lot on administrative officials.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes.

SHARPTON: Starting with the president but not only the president. Listen
to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: We can have an impeachment hearing
in the house and in my mind the president has committed impeachable
offenses.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: If attorney general Eric Holder refuses to
appoint a special prosecutor, he should be impeached.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would happen if we were living in a functional
constitutional republic is that articles of impeachment would be drawn up
against the secretary of HHS.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, we have also seen calls for secretary of state John
Kerry to be impeached. I mean, is there anyone in the Obama administration
they don`t want to impeach? Who`s next? Bo the dog.

HARRIS-PERRY: I just don`t want to miss this, right? So again, this is a
president who was elected and then stands for reelection after the passage
of his major piece of domestic legislation. So, Americans know what they
are getting. They choose to reelect him and the two powerful things that
this Congress has done is not only discuss the issue of impeachment of his
officials, but also remember, they have stood in the way of the president`s
ability to nominate and confirm members of the executive branch so he can
actually govern. I think that this level of resistance to simply
ideological disagreement is unprecedented.

SHARPTON: Well, we are going to have to leave it there.

E.J. Dionne and Melissa Harris-Perry, thanks for your time tonight and have
a great weekend.

DIONNE: And you too, Reverend.

SHARPTON: And be sure to watch Melissa Harris-Perry weekend at 10:00 a.m.
eastern right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, former President Clinton unloads on Dick Cheney for bashing
President Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Cheney has been
incredibly adroit for the last six years or so attacking the administration
for not doing an adequate job of cleaning up the mess that he made. And I
think it`s unseemly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: NBC`s David Gregory had the interview. He joins me ahead.

Plus, President Obama and Elizabeth Warren slammed Republicans for aiding a
rigged economic system. Today, numbers show Americans are with them.

And the mystery deepens in Detroit. Why did this 12-year-old disappear?
Why was he found in his dad`s basement? Why was there blood at the scene?
The justice files is ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Speaker Boehner`s stunt lawsuit against President Obama has our
facebook fans fired up for days especially now. The president`s hitting
back. But we want to know what you think is motivating Boehner? Is he
pretending to protect the constitution? Trying to make President Obama
look bad? Once again appeasing the far right fringe? Or not sure, like he
said, he`s not even sure.

The polls are live on our facebook page and on twitter. So vote now.
We`ll are have your answers later in the show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Americans are divided on a lot of things right now. But they
are definitely united on one point. They regret the Iraq war.

An NBC poll this week showed an overwhelming majority of Americans, 71
percent, said the Iraq war wasn`t worth it. Just 22 percent said it was.

Despite those numbers we have seen one of the main architects of the war,
vice president Dick Cheney emerge to criticize how President Obama`s
handling of the crisis there. Even suggesting the president was somehow
betraying America.

In an exclusive interview on "Meet the Press," David Gregory asked former
president bill Clinton about Cheney`s criticism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID GREGORY, HOST, MEET THE PRESS: Former vice president Dick Cheney
said of President Obama in an op-ed that claims that Al Qaeda is decimated
is clearly not true. In fact, Al Qaeda is on the march. The argument that
America is less safe under President Obama.

Do you believe Dick Cheney is a credible credit quick on these matters?

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: Well, I believe if they hadn`t gone to war in Iraq none of this
would be happening.

(APPLAUSE)

GREGORY: It wouldn`t be happening in Syria?

CLINTON: Well, it might be happening in Syria. But what happened in Syria
wouldn`t have happened in Iraq. Iraq would not have been, in effect, as
drastically altered as it has been. But Mr. Cheney has been incredibly
adroit for the last six years or so attacking the administration for not
doing an adequate job of cleaning up the mess that he made. And I think
it`s unseemly. And I give President Bush, by the way, a lot of credit for
trying to stay out of this debate and letting other people work through it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That sparked a very personal response from the former vice
president. Cheney said quote, "if there is somebody who knows something
about unseemly, it`s Bill Clinton."

Joining me now is the moderator of "Meet the Press," David Gregory. Thanks
for being here.

GREGORY: Good evening, Rev.

SHARPTON: You know, so, David, some very personal comments back and forth
there. I mean, what does that tell you about the Iraq debate in this
country both in terms of how the war began and what we do now?

GREGORY: Well, the debate is not really over. It`s never been over. And
it`s very personal. And in politics, you know, between Clinton and Cheney,
a president and a vice president, it can get to the level of being very
personal because of the nature of the attacks. right?

I mean, Dick Cheney, the former vice president accusing President Obama of,
in effect, letting America down, of making America vulnerable, of turning
his back on the fight against Al Qaeda. That`s essentially the argument
he`s making.

You know, Bill Clinton`s got a nuanced history about Iraq. He identified a
nuclear threat just as Cheney and Bush did and has said very supportive
comments about the war at various times. And, of course, Hillary Clinton
voted to authorize the war. She said that she would have prosecuted it all
differently, right?

So, this is a more tangled picture. But nevertheless you look at the
outcomes. You look at the nature of the criticism. It serves both sides
politically very well to take these kinds of shots at each other.

SHARPTON: Now, you also asked President Clinton about economic issues like
inequality and fairness. Here`s what he said about raising the minimum
wage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I think it should be raised because I don`t think that -- and I
think all consumers should be prepared to pay for it because I think if
somebody works full time and they have kids they ought to be able to raise
their kids without being in poverty. And so -- but it just depends on how
high it is whether it`s depressing unemployment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: David, how important will these issue be in the 2014 midterm
elections and then in 2016 in the presidential?

GREGORY: My sense is even more in 2016. I think, you know, this midterm
race you have been talking about whether it is a potential lawsuit against
the president over executive power, if it`s fighting about the affordable
care act. I mean, there is a lot of those issues that I think is going to
dominate.

These bigger questions about mobility of workers, whether people have a
livable age, this income inequality, I think is the stuff of 2016 in a
bigger way. I think it`s why the Clintons and the question of their wealth
has been an issue for them. There is populism on both sides on the left
and on the right.

The president was speaking, as you know, as part of a panel at the Clinton
global initiative America conversation. And I thought it was very interest
because I know you have talked about this.

That argument to say, look, is there a higher cost for businesses if the
minimum wage is raised? Yes. That could have an effect on people they
hire. But that consumers ought to expect to pay more in order to support
all of this, to support a living wage and that we have this kind of mutual
responsibility to make sure that somebody can be in a job and be able to
provide for their family in a minimum wage job without falling short,
whether it`s, you know, housing which is a huge issue. I think about in
Washington D.C. and the price at that goes into that, or child care. That
it ought to be sustainable of a living wage. So, I think this is going to
be an increasingly big issue toward the presidential race.

SHARPTON: You mentioned the talk this week about Mrs. Clinton and
discussing a wealth or discussing they were dead broke. I mean, did you
ask President Clinton about it? What did he say, if you did?

GREGORY: Well, his point wasn`t that people begrudge somebody because they
are wealthy. It is whether they are transparent about it. But we know, I
mean, if you are going to look at the 2012 race, certainly, Mitt Romney and
his wealth combined with corporate experience and the attacks against him
ended up having the effect of him appearing out of touch.

I think what you`re seeing on the left and on the right are people who are
saying Washington is not working for me. I`ve got real problems. And
Washington is totally unresponsive. Can we trust these people to do
something in our interest rather than in the interest of those people who
are getting them elected.

I think that the needle had moved on this in politics. If you are an
established politician, an establishment politician like the Clintons, I
think you face a new renew round of scrutiny from people on the left, just
like on the right who say, you know, do they really walk the same lawn that
I do going through my life.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m going to have to leave it there unfortunately.

David Gregory, congratulations on the interview. And thanks for your time
tonight.

GREGORY: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Be sure to watch David`s special interview with President
Clinton on "Meet the Press." There is no better place to be Sunday morning
than "Meet the Press." Check your local listings for the time.

And Dave, its full panel on our economic future from the Clinton Global
Initiative as on MSNBC at 3:00 p.m. eastern this Sunday.

Coming up, the far right trend of demonizing the poor is catching on. New
numbers tonight.

And a father charged with murdering his son after leaving it in a car for
hours. Now, his computer search is as sparking disturbing new questions.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Dick Cheney wants more money for the Pentagon and less money for
the poor. His outrageous comments about food stamps are lighting up our
facebook page. And they are in direct contrast to what President Obama
wants for the country. We`ll talk about how it`s time for some nation
building here at home next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: While Republicans stay busy filing bogus lawsuits and ginning up
scandals, President Obama`s fight for issues the American people actually
care about is going on. In Minnesota today, he talked about leveling the
playing field for the middle class.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I ran for president because I
believe this country is at its best when we are all in it together and when
everybody has a fair shot and everybody is doing their fair share and the
reason I believe that is because that`s how I came here. That`s how I got
here. That`s how Michelle and I were able to succeed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: In America, no one who works full time should be struggling to
make ends meet. Then the President went right after Republicans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Sometimes I get a sense they just don`t know what most folks are
going through. They keep on offering a theory of the economy that`s time
and again failed for the middle class. They think we should give more tax
breaks to those at the top, we should invest less in things like education.
They think we should let big banks and credit card companies and polluters
and insurers do whatever is best for their bottom-line without any
responsibility to anybody else. We tried what they`re peddling, and it
doesn`t work. We do better when the middle class does better, we do better
when workers are getting a decent salary, we do better when they have a
decent benefits.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But the right things we do better demonizing the poor. In a new
study pew found 88 percent of steadfast conservatives say poor people have
it easy. And 61 percent say if you are poor it`s because of a lack of
effort. Where on earth would they get this despicable idea from?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: We don`t want to turn the safety net into a
hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lies into dependency and
complacency.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Supplemental, nutritional assistance
program, the buy beer program with the government credit card.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Why don`t we just pay for your clothes? Pay for your
shoes? Pay for your housing?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A lot of people are lazy and a lot of people are
becoming lazier.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: People aren`t poor because of lack of effort. But we sure see a
lack of understanding from the right.

Joining me now are Jared Bernstein and Angela Rye. Thank you both for
being here.

JARED BERNSTEIN, FORMER CHIEF ECONOMIST FOR VP BIDEN: Thank you.

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Angela, how could anybody think it`s easy to be poor?

RYE: Well, Rev, it`s ironic. They have been calling Hillary Clinton out
of touch all week. And what we`re clear about is that, it`s not just been
one bad comment. It`s been a series of bad policy recommendations and
ideas coming from the party. They had a growth and opportunity report last
year. And the one thing that they have failed to address not only in the
report but in anything happening since that report is opportunity. The
reason why people are poor, Rev, is for a lack of opportunity.

There is no rising tide that lifts all boats when you don`t have a boat.
There is no ability to get ahead when for some of these folks who live in
republican districts, an overwhelming majority of four people that is are
voting interest with lifeboat money. They have to figure out another way
to address policies for people that have been under served and are low
income.

SHARPTON: You know, President Obama also talked today about how
Republicans are keeping the economic system rigged. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted
down every single serious idea to strengthen the middle class. Over and
over again they showed that they will do anything to keep in place systems
that really help folks at the top but don`t help -- you. And they don`t
seem to mind. And their obstruction is keeping a system that is rigged
against families like Ben`s and Rebecca`s.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, the American people agree the system is rigged, too. That
Pew report also found 62 percent of Americans say the economic system
unfairly favors powerful interests. Jared, how much would the President`s
agenda -- I mean, doing things like raising the minimum wage and extending
jobless benefits. How much of its agenda would help level the playing
field?

BERNSTEIN: Well, the Congressional Budget Office recently reported that
his proposal to raise the minimum wage would lift the wages of 24.5 million
workers and there would be 500,000 jobs lost. If you go back to his
American jobs act I`ll bet you that was what he was thinking of. Because
Congress wouldn`t even look at that back in 2010. Economists from both
sides of the aisle looked at that and said, it would create a couple of
million jobs.

So, whenever you hear people say from the conservative side of the aisle
that President Obama is presiding over a terrible economy, the thing you
really want to hear is that to the extent that it`s a tough economy it`s in
no small part because they have blocked every good idea he`s had. You
think about infrastructure investment. That`s something this country
needs. And by the way, it is not a left-right thing. There are business
people who would like to see that as well. And that would also put
hundreds of thousands of people to work.

SHARPTON: You know, Dick Cheney -- I mean, we have been hearing a lot
about him recently. But listen to what he said last night about food
stamps.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY, UNITED STATES: When I was secretary we
had basically a two-war strategy. We had to maintain sufficient forces to
fight two wars at once. He switched that. Now we are going to have a one-
war strategy. And that`s all being done as a rationale to justify further
deep cuts in the defense budget so he can allocate that money to the food
stamps or whatever else he wants to spend on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Angela, how do you react to that?

RYE: I don`t. I don`t know what planet these folks are on. There are
people that are struggling. And the fact, even going back to the results
of this poll, the fact that people think folks want government assistance
is crazy. People need government assistance. They don`t have their hand
out. They are trying to get a hand up so they can get ahead, and it`s
almost impossible. It`s not a system designed to as Paul Ryan said, the
hammock of poverty and kind of his keep them there, nursing them, lowing
them to sleep, that`s not what that is.

I remember being in elementary school and having students who were in my
school with me that we`re waiting in-line at the minimart until all of us
went ahead with our cash, so they could use their food-stamps to just be
able to eat, Rev. It`s not something where people are desiring this life.
It`s not the American dream, it`s a nightmare and I don`t know why they
don`t seem to get that.

SHARPTON: Well, I didn`t go to your elementary school but I grew up at one
point use in food stamps and there`s nothing, nothing appealing about that.
And I think Angela the thing that`s most upsetting is that people don`t
understand a lot of government policies are responsible for a lot of people
that can`t ever break the cycle of poverty.

RYE: No question.

SHARPTON: Let`s not act as though the economic policies of government have
nothing to do with it in many ways government has to have deal with
government has done.

RYE: Absolutely.

BERNSTEIN: There should be no question in anyone`s mind, especially
looking back over the last five years that what has failed, especially
from the perspective of the poor and many in the middle class as the
President was saying is not government programs, is not food stamps, is
not Medicaid, or Medicare or Social Security. It was the market economy.
OK? We have the deepest recession that we have had since the great
depression. That wasn`t because of government. That was because markets
sometimes fail.

SHARPTON: Right.

BERNSTEIN: And when that happens, you expect and need your safety net to
ramp up to provide people with the kind of help they need when the jobs
aren`t there. It`s that simple.

SHARPTON: But government allowed deregulation and allow other things that
helped to buttress that. Government allowed banks to deal with
foreclosures and had them dealing with mortgages that a lot of middle class
people could not pay. Government can`t act like those things weren`t
responsible.

BERNSTEIN: I would argue that what you are describing accurately there is
actually the absence of appropriate governmental oversight. And yes, that
was very much a problem in those years.

SHARPTON: And it was a government decision not to have the oversight. We
had the wrong people in charge of the government. But let me let it go
there. Thank you, Jared Bernstein. Thank you Angela for not telling
everyone not only didn`t I go to your school, I didn`t go the same year as
you went. Angela Rye, thank you both for your time.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you, Rev.

RYE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Have are a great weekend.

RYE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the mystery deepens in Detroit. What led to this 12-
year-old boy`s disappearance?

And a Georgia toddler left in a car dies. The father was charged with
murder. No, no, no. Now searches on his computer are raising very
disturbing questions tonight. The justice files is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We are back with tonight`s justice files. Joining me now,
criminal defense Attorney Ken Padowitz and former prosecutor and MSNBC
legal analyst Faith Jenkins.

We start in Detroit where the police chief says, he`s never seen a case
like this before. A missing 12-year-old discovered 11 days after he
disappeared, in his dad`s basement. Today some fast-moving developments.

Charlie Bothuell is out of the hospital today and staying with his mom.
The boy`s step-mother was arrested and appeared in court today on probation
charges unrelated to the case. Police revealed they found Charlie in the
basement, crouched down in a two-foot by four-foot storage room behind
stacks of plastic boxes and a heavy drum. There was bedding along with
food and drinks inside the small space.

Police believe he came upstairs to eat when the coast was clear. Police
have said they haven`t ruled out the possibility that he was abused. And
they plan to talk to the 12-year-old again today. One report said the boy
may have feared punishment for stopping a strict exercise routine. Police
are looking very closely at both the father, who learned of his son was
found alive on national TV. Today the father`s lawyer talked about
possible charges.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do you think your client will be charged with child
abuse?

MARK MAGIDSON, FATHER`S LAWYER: That`s what we have been hearing. We
expect the charges to come. So we are ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Why do you expect the charges to come?

MAGIDSON: Because they have been floating it out there all along. And
they have been threatening it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Ken, the prosecutor`s office has not received a warrant request
from police yet. Do you think the father will be charged?

KEN PADOWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it`s too early to say. I
mean, clearly, there is an information that`s floating back to the defense
attorney in this case. And he may have information that the rest are of us
don`t. But right now, based on the facts that are being reported in the
media, the police are doing exactly what they should be doing. They are
investigating, they`re trying to determine whether or not a crime had been
committed. Is this just merely a young child who ran away from home and is
hiding and using tunnels under the house in order to escape detection, and
no crime has occurred?

Or, on the other hand, is in fact adults involved in this. Is there child
abuse? Is this child being treated properly by his step-mother, by his
father, by other adults and do they in fact have any involvement in this
young man`s disappearance for so long? So, clearly the police need to find
evidence sufficient to help them determine whether or not a criminal law
has been broken in that state.

SHARPTON: Prosecutor Faith?

FAITH JENKINS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I agree with what Ken said.
There are two things that stand out to me right now. First when the child
was found the police went in with a warrant. Prior to that, in the prior,
three searches when the police went in --

SHARPTON: They went in with a search warrant?

JENKINS: They went in with the search warrant this time around. Why did
they need to request a warrant? Were the parents no longer cooperating?
So, I`m curious as to why a warrant was needed. And at that time, the
fourth time when they went in with that warrant, that`s when the 12-year-
old was found. I don`t think he was in the house on the prior searches.
They went in, they had dogs, they searched, the child wasn`t found. The
second thing is, how is it that a 12-year-old is able to evade the police,
evade searches, live for 12 days, have food, be barricaded, able to
construct this entire scheme by himself and alone in that house at 12 years
old? I don`t see how there wasn`t someone else involved, helping him, some
adult involved in this situation.

SHARPTON: If there was an adult involved, Ken, what would they charge the
adult with and what could be the possible motives? I know we are dealing
totally in speculation here.

PADOWITZ: Right. We`re totally speculating, I mean, the police must be
looking at child abuse. I mean, you might have aggravated child abuse, you
may have child abduction. You may be adopt number of different charges
that the prosecutors and police can be looking at in this case if the
evidence warrants that. And clearly when you are dealing with any type of
crime, but especially with a child you want to look very carefully to see
what`s happened to this child, was a law broken, was this child violated
and, if so, there should be a swift charges and the justice system should
take over from there.

SHARPTON: Even his own lawyer said they expected him to be charged. I
will be following this. I don`t know what the motive would have been. But
we`ll see. Now to a tragic story out of Georgia where are a 22-month-old
boy died after being left in a car -- a hot car -- on a 91-degree day. The
autopsy concludes little Cooper Harris`s death last week was caused by
hyperthermia consistent with being left in a hot car for several hours.
And now police are charging the boy`s father with murder and second degree,
child cruelty. Justin Harris claims he forgot to drop his son off at day
care only to discover his mistake seven hours later. But police was
suspicious saying his story didn`t add up. And witnesses say, Harris was
acting strangely when he pulled into a parking lot later that afternoon
after allegedly realizing his son was dead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED COCKERHAM, WITNESS: This guy was running all over, grabbing the trees
yelling "What have I done, what have I done?"

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And his son was laying on the ground?

COCKERHAM: Laying on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And he wasn`t near his --

COCKERHAM: If that were been my kid I would have been right there holding
the baby.

RAPHAEL HAYES, WITNESS: Anybody that loses a child is going to be
hysterical. But you know, at some point you can kind of see where it`s
going overboard? You know? Just from what`s going on. It seemed like he
was acting. If you ask me, I would say so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Police now say they found an Internet search on the father`s
seized computers that included, quote, "how long does it take for an animal
to die in a hot car." So, Faith, so tragic, this one. Was this is an
accident or foul play?

JENKINS: This case is so disturbing. There have been cases, Rev, where
parents have forgot and left their kids in the cars and the kids have died
because of the heat. But the police said at the very beginning of this
case they didn`t believe it was an accident. They believed the father knew
the child was in the car. Now with this computer search, this is strong
circumstantial evidence that he did know. I don`t believe that this is a
coincidence. And I think it`s strong circumstantial evidence and it goes
to his intent. His intent to commit this crime, to leave the child in the
car and that it wasn`t an accident.

SHARPTON: Ken --

PADOWITZ: Faith is absolutely correct. There is a lot of evidence that`s
coming out now. The Internet search looking to see if in fact how long it
takes for an animal to die in a hot car. The fact that he`s giving
inconsistent stories to the police. The fact that he went to his car
during lunchtime while his child was in the car seat and then left the
vehicle. The fact that he didn`t even drive leaving work towards the day
care center but was driving in a different direction.

And then when the child was finally pulled out of the car, the child,
according to the news reports, had been dead for a considerable period of
time, not choking as this individual said to other witnesses at the scene.
So, there is a lot of evidence building up that looks like this individual
should be charged with first-degree murder.

SHARPTON: Faith, in terms of the Internet search and saying about how long
does it take for an animal to die in a hot car, how will they be able to
prove that it was his search and not someone else using his computer?

JENKINS: Well, that`s going to be one of the defenses. In these cases
where his computer, we know it`s his computer, we know that search was made
on his computer. There are only a few arguments he can make. Well, I
didn`t do it. I wasn`t the one that make the search on my computer.

SHARPTON: Right.

JENKINS: Someone else must have done it. My computer was lost, it was
stolen, one of those things. But at the end of the day, if this case goes
before a jury, what are the chances that search was made. The next
question that the police are going to want to find out is when the search
was made. Did they made the day that the child was left in the car and
died? The week of? Because that makes it even more compelling.

SHARPTON: All right. It`s a terrible story. Terrible story. Ken
Padowitz and Faith Jenkins, thank you both for your time tonight.

JENKINS: Thank you.

PADOWITZ: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, what`s really behind Speaker Boehner`s stunt lawsuit
against President Obama.

But first, what is President Obama`s favorite TV show of all time, other
than POLITICS NATION of course. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Presidents, they are just like us. They even have favorite TV
shows. And yesterday, President Obama was asked about his.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I said I would ask you what your favorite television
show was.

OBAMA: Of all time or now?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Of all time.

OBAMA: Of all time. You know, that`s a pretty good question. I think --
I think one of my favorite shows of all time -- do you know what pops into
my head? But I`m older than you. You wouldn`t remember this.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Maybe.

OBAMA: Was a show called "Mash."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: President Obama has also said he`s a big fan of "The Wire." And
with the kids he likes to watch "Parks and Recreation" and "Modern Family."
That`s a nice list, Mr. President. But didn`t you forget one show? I
think you did. Oh, yes. There it is. President Obama watching POLITICS
NATION. Or watching a great job by our photo shopping team.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: This week we have seen one republican after another shrug off
the need to restore the voting rights act which was gutted by the Supreme
Court last summer. Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions said, quote, "The
justification no longer exists." Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte says
there is debate about whether it should be addressed at all. And Senator
Chuck Grassley said, he`s worried that a restored voting rights act
wouldn`t protect what he called legitimate voter I.D. laws.

These republican lawmakers are ignoring the voter suppression that`s
happening right now. Fifty years ago Freedom Summer volunteers were beaten
and murdered as they registered blacks in Mississippi. We have come too
far and sacrificed too much to let lawmakers stand by and watch the voting
rights act fall apart. We are going to keep up the pressure and make our
voices heard. And now the results from our question of the day. What`s
motivating Speaker Boehner`s stunt lawsuit against President Obama?

Three percent say he`s pretending to protect the constitution. Thirty five
percent say he`s trying to make the President look bad. Forty eight
percent say, he`s, once again appeasing the far right fringe. And 14
percent aren`t sure, because he`s not even sure. And I invite all of
POLITICS NATION to go to our Facebook page. Our online community continues
to grow. We have grown to nearly 300,000 likes. And most of it is thanks
to our web producer Morgan Whitaker. We like her and she`s heading into a
new chapter in her life. I want to thank Morgan for her hard work. And I
invite you to thank her -- where else? Our Facebook page! Yes, a
shameless plug. Good luck, Morgan. We`ll miss you very much.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. Have a great weekend. "HARDBALL"
starts right now.

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

<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2014 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Transcription Copyright 2014 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of
litigation.>






Sponsored links

Resource guide