updated 10/19/2005 10:49:23 AM ET 2005-10-19T14:49:23

Guests: Steve Mendelson, Ivan Golde, Harvey Levin, Jim Thomas, Dennis Farrell, Matt Staver, Kim Gandy, Aitan Goelman, Solomon Wisenberg

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Coming up, more details in the search for who killed the wife of high-profile attorney, Daniel Horowitz. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS (voice-over):  Police interviewed a neighbor Horowitz says authorities are focusing on, a man he once tried to get a restraining order against, but now that man is talking and saying he had nothing to do with it.

And Long Island police trying to identify this woman, found dead near the mansion that inspired the book, “The Great Gatsby”. 

Plus, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers apparently once said she would support a constitutional amendment banning abortion.  Does that mean she‘s now a sure vote to overturn Roe v. Wade? 

The program about justice starts now. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS:  Hi everyone.  First up on the docket tonight, police say the investigation is wide up.  They have not named any suspects.  They don‘t have a motive in connection with the murder of Pamela Vitale, the wife of high profile attorney, Daniel Horowitz.  But we know one person they interviewed, a neighbor, Joseph Lynch, who Horowitz told me he got a restraining order against in June but that it was never served. 

In his application for that restraining order, Horowitz said—quote

“Everyone in the neighborhood is seeing an escalating pattern of attack by Joe Lynch.  Lynch‘s cycle of picking victims and making their life miserable is now returning to me.”

But court documents that we dug up show that less than a year before filing for the restraining order, Daniel Horowitz stood up for Lynch in court, pleading for leniency on his behalf, asking the judge overseeing a DUI case—quote—“to allow him one more chance” and saying that Lynch, despite his personal demons is a highly respected member of our community. 

But is too much attention being paid to Joseph Lynch?  “San Francisco Chronicle” reported today that a man from Vitale‘s past had an unhealthy attraction to Vitale.  Horowitz reportedly told them, he‘s a—quote—“a good man and a good friend.”

Joining me now, long-time friends of Daniel Horowitz, Ivan Golde, who is co-counsel on the Susan Polk trial and Steve Mendelson, former Santa Barbara County Sheriff Jim Thomas, and Harvey Levin who is managing editor of the upcoming entertainment Web site TMZ.com.  He spoke to Joseph Lynch at length today.  Gentlemen, thanks a lot for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.

Steve Mendelson, let me start with you.  Did you know anything about this ex-boyfriend?  Have you talked to Daniel at all about that? 

STEVE MENDELSON, FRIEND & COLLEAGUE OF DANIEL HOROWITZ:  No, that‘s news to me.  I have no knowledge of that.  They‘ve been in such a long relationship, about 12 or 13 years, that I had no knowledge. 

ABRAMS:  Ivan, do you know anything about it? 

IVAN GOLDE, FRIEND & COLLEAGUE OF DANIEL HOROWITZ:  Look, Dan and Pamela were the happiest of married couples.  They loved each other.  Their world resolved around each other.  When I would be in the office, Pamela and Dan would call back and forth, five, six, seven times a day.  Never, never was there a mention of anyone between the two. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Let‘s talk about this guy, Joseph Lynch.  Harvey, you had a chance to speak to him at length today.  He adamantly denies he had anything to do with this. 

HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM MANAGING EDITOR:  Yes, Dan.  I mean he said I guarantee it wasn‘t me.  At one point I asked him, on this telephone call, I said look, I said have you hired a lawyer?  And he said why would I hire a lawyer?  I didn‘t do anything.  He says that he has talked to cops several times.  He said he has given them a DNA sample, a hair sample.  He would give them more DNA if they want. 

He said he is confident that it will come out that he had nothing to do with this.  You know at one point he said to me he was furious that he saw a television report in San Francisco this morning where somebody said he probably did it and he said he‘s going to demand an apology from this guy when he says it will come out that he had nothing to do with t. 

Now Dan, I asked him, I said you know why do you think everybody‘s pointing the finger at you?  I mean there is this restraining order.  I said what kind of animosity is it?  And he said, and this is a quote.  “I‘m not going to go into reasons I should have animosity.” 

And I said, well wait a minute, do you have reasons or could there be reasons for animosity and his response again—quote—“a lot of people get pissed off if an eviction notice is issued against them because Daniel Horowitz did indeed try to evict this guy off of his property.  But he said he didn‘t harbor malice.  He was friendly with Horowitz.  He said Horowitz has done nothing but try and help him, got him into a drug rehab program.  He said he‘s clean and sober now and absolutely flatly denies it, Dan. 

ABRAMS:  Before I go to Jim Thomas, Ivan or Steve, do either of you know anything about his relationship at this time or right before this happened with Joe Lynch? 

MENDELSON:  I do not.  Certainly I did in the past when he was getting the restraining order and before that, but he hasn‘t spoken about him for months. 

GOLDE:  And let me say this.  Let me say this, Dan, if I could.  Dan would talk from time to time about trouble with neighbors, situations that were going on, people who were working on the house, people who were round.  A lot of people had access because Dan was building that beautiful 7,000 square foot 12-acre home, his dream home for him and Pamela, and a lot of people had access there.  I would not be surprised if it is someone related to some of the people who had so much access to his property. 

LEVIN:  You know what, Dan, it‘s interesting because when I spoke with Lynch this morning, he actually used exactly the same words.  He said and this is again a quote.  “There was no much access to that property, it‘s ridiculous.”  And he talked about some of the neighbors and he said these neighbors have been interviewed by police as well as he being interviewed by the cops and he started to say something bad about one of the neighbors, suggesting that that might be a person they‘d want to look into and then he just clammed up. 

ABRAMS:  This is again from the declaration in support of the restraining order.  This is from Daniel Horowitz.  He has decided that I want to kill him.  Then he decided that one of the people working on my house wanted to kill him.  Then he chose another of the people working on my project as the person trying to kill him.  Now he thinks a neighbor is firing guns to threaten to kill him.  He also believes that people are breaking into his house.  His delusions keep growing.

But Jim Thomas, if you‘re leading the investigation in this case and this guy says take hair, take blood, take whatever you want, take DNA, you know, that is an encouraging sign on his behalf, is it not. 

JIM THOMAS, FORMER SANTA BARBARA COUNTY SHERIFF:  Well it is to begin with, but frankly if it‘s something that they wanted, then the law enforcement agency would be able to get a search warrant for that DNA anyway, especially with that individual‘s background.  But the most important thing that‘s taking place right now, Dan, is the collection of the evidence at the crime scene.  In this type of crime, there will be a lot of evidence, there will be a lot of DNA, and eventually, if they can get the right person for the sample, then they‘ll be able to make that match. 

ABRAMS:  Jim, do you think this case is going to b cracked quickly? 

THOMAS:  No, I don‘t.  I think the—unless there‘s a confession because the DNA evidence itself, if you go to a private lab, may take weeks.  If you take it to the Department of Justice, it may take months before you actually get the final samples back for court preparation.  So it will be some time, unless somebody comes up and says that they did it or unless there‘s other more obvious evidence that‘s found, perhaps a murder weapon or perhaps clothing that may have blood that has a blood sample on it that that could do a match on.  That could crack it a little closer but the DNA will take longer and in talking to the people at the department today, the indication was is don‘t expect anything immediately. 

ABRAMS:  And when you say immediately, did they give you the sense you know nothing this week? 

THOMAS:  No, they didn‘t.  They did say that if there was something that they would report, that they would give us a two-hour notice before they would do some kind of release.  But at this point, the sense that I get at is that they have it wide open.  They‘re not going to focus on Mr.  Lynch or any other single individual at this point, because to do so would take away the ability to broaden that investigation, which is really where they need to go right now.  They need to look at everybody that‘s involved and talk to everybody that‘s involved and then try and narrow it from there as the evidence is processed. 

ABRAMS:  Jim, if you are running this investigation and friends of Daniel Horowitz, like Steve Mendelson and Ivan Golde and others, say you know look, there is, you know, there‘s no way that Daniel could have been involved in this, I can promise you that.  He has an alibi as to somebody he was with at the time that they believe—at least he believes that the murder took place.  How do you go about deciding when to announce, apart from sort of your decision-making process about clearing the person, how do you go about deciding whether to announce publicly, we have cleared Daniel Horowitz in connection with this crime? 

THOMAS:  I think Dan, and I like Daniel, too, because we knew each other from a previous trial.  But I think that what they have to do is wait until they have a suspect in hand to where they feel comfortable to make that announcement or they need to really solidify perhaps what his alibi would be for not being at the location at the time that the murder occurred.  But they‘re talking to him as well and I‘m not sure that at this point that announcing that that he is not involved is the primary focus to the case.  It‘s finding the person who is.  And of all people, Daniel Horowitz understands that process. 

ABRAMS:  And I have to say, Steve that I did find talking to Daniel yesterday at length about this that he did understand.  That he said that you know he was put in the back of a police car, treated like a suspect, but immediately after saying that, he said but you know what, I expected that.  I think that the authorities are doing a very good job here.  Do you think that he is starting to feel like it‘s going to be time pretty soon to say, look, we‘re not looking at him or do you think he‘s willing to wait until they name a suspect?

GOLDE:  Steve, that‘s yours.

ABRAMS:  Steve.

MENDELSON:  Oh, Dan has a lot of respect for what‘s been done up to this point.  I haven‘t spoken to him about this particular issue today, so I can‘t say his thinking now, but he has a lot of respect and patience.  He knows this is a long process.  He‘s been involved in many murder cases on the other side and he knows what needs to be done.

ABRAMS:  Ivan, any thoughts about that?

GOLDE:  Yes, I‘ve spoken to Dan about this somewhat and let me say this.  He is very, very pleased in what the Contra Costa County Sheriff‘s Department is doing.  He is working with them and they are working with him.  The Contra Costa County Sheriff‘s Department is putting forth all of their resources into this case.  They will solve this case.  Dan is very, very pleased at what‘s going on here. 

He wants to catch the perpetrator of this crime.  Dan Horowitz will find out who committed this crime and believe me, when that day comes, justice will go to that person and Dan Horowitz will be completely cleared.  I guarantee you that. 

ABRAMS:  Steve, Ivan, Jim, and Harvey, could you stick around for a minute?  I want you to go through when we come back from this break the timeline as to the time Daniel left home, when he met friends, et cetera. 

But also coming up later in the show, they‘re calling it “The Gatsby” murder mystery.  A woman found dead in a fancy Long Island New York suburb.  They don‘t know who she is. 

Plus, the battle over Harriet Miers‘ views on abortion heating up.  New documents suggest she once said she‘d support a constitutional amendment banning abortion.  Does that mean she‘d vote to overturn Roe v.  Wade. 

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Please include your name and where you‘re writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY LEE, CONTRA COSTA COUNTY SHERIFF‘S OFFICE:  We have interviewed Mr. Daniel Horowitz.  He has been very cooperative.  We‘re not focused on anyone, nor have we ruled anyone out.  It‘s still a wide-open investigation. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Oh, what he also said there, which we cut out, was that they had interviewed a man by the name of Joseph Lynch as well, a neighbor, former caretaker who Daniel had asked for a restraining order against and Harvey Levin had a chance to speak to him at length today. 

Harvey, does he say he has an alibi? 

LEVIN:  He didn‘t say one way or the other, Dan.  He—you know it was kind of a bizarre conversation because at points he would say I am not going to talk about it and then would just proceed to start talking.  But when I would ask questions, there were times he was just like a brick wall so he would not go there.  He would not go there. 

ABRAMS:  But...

LEVIN:  He did talk—I‘ll tell you, he did talk about one thing that was interesting.  He acknowledged to me because you know when you read that restraining order application, Daniel Horowitz talks about the fact that he says that this guy is on the edge of violence and even said he feared for his wife and said that he‘s worried that he‘s going to read this application and that worried Daniel Horowitz. 

But he admitted to me, Joseph Lynch said to me that he has had—and the way he put it—erratic violent behavior in the past but he says he doesn‘t have that now and he said that part of the reason is he‘s now in a V.A. treatment program for drugs and alcohol and as you know, in that restraining order application, Daniel Horowitz said that he was a meth amphetamine addict and alcoholic...

ABRAMS:  Let me read...

LEVIN:  He said he had problems, but he‘s really—he says he‘s conquered them. 

ABRAMS:  Let me read—drugs and alcohol seemed to have destroyed at least part of what has been good in Joe and now it seems that maybe he would go beyond hurting himself and others.  The conduct I have described here is all very close to actual direct physical violence.  I think unfortunately that is the next step in his attacks.

That‘s what Daniel Horowitz said on June 15, 2005.  Jim Thomas, Daniel Horowitz told me yesterday that he believed that the crime scene had been cleaned up, essentially.  But that doesn‘t mean you can‘t retrieve a lot of evidence, right? 

THOMAS:  Oh, absolutely not.  I mean today‘s DNA technology is phenomenal...

(CROSSTALK)

THOMAS:  ... especially in this particular case.  If there were a situation where she was defending herself, for example, and if she scratched the individual or the killer, then there would be DNA under the fingernails.  There‘s—one hair, one fiber can actually make a connection to a killer in a murder case.  So there will be plenty of evidence even though somebody may have tried to clean it up. 

ABRAMS:  Steve, how is Daniel doing? 

MENDELSON:  Daniel is devastated.  But he‘s Daniel.  He‘s an extremely strong individual.  He‘s a fighter.  He was working with some clients this morning on a matter that was very pressing for a short period of time.  Even while he was working, I was there with him for part of that, he was distraught and yet he was focused.  That is Daniel Horowitz.  He can be under the worst of circumstances and still be clear headed. 

ABRAMS:  This is the timeline that Daniel has laid out. 

At about 7:30 in the morning he left home.  That he met his friend Bob Massi for breakfast. 

About 9:15, 9:30, he tried to call home to Pamela Vitale.  No answer.  That‘s why Daniel I think is convinced that she had already been killed at that point or was being killed; 10:00, he finished breakfast.  He headed to his office; 10:45, he had a meeting with a private investigator.  At 2:00 he called Vitale again.  No answer.

Ivan, what time was it that Daniel returned home?

GOLDE:  Look, I was with Dan and the two investigators and a secretary from approximately 11:00 a.m. to 2:15, 2:30 p.m.  That‘s the time we were there in his office.  And anything else, any further timeline, any further information, it would not be appropriate really for me to get into that.  That‘s what the investigators are doing.  Dan is fully cooperating. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.

GOLDE:  They are cooperating with him.  And you know I can‘t go...

ABRAMS:  All right.  Fair enough.  Fair enough.  Jim, why wouldn‘t the authorities give a more exact time of death?  I mean they really offered almost nothing in terms of time of death.  Is that so—is that something that takes a long time to ascertain? 

THOMAS:  No, not at all.  They get it from a liver temperature, but the time of death is something that perhaps only the killer would know.  And law enforcement is not going to release anything at this point, to where if they do an interview that someone said well I was there, we fought, I killed her.  It was 9:30 a.m. and if in fact it was 9:30 a.m., that‘s something that only the killer would know.  So that‘s the type of information that law enforcement is going to resist from putting out because it‘s something that only the people involved in the crime would have knowledge of. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  All right.  Steve Mendelson, Ivan Golde, Jim Thomas, Harvey Levin thanks. 

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Appreciate it.  And look...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  ... I‘ve said this before.  Daniel Horowitz is a friend of this program and we are expecting that he is going to join us for his first live interview since his wife was murdered tomorrow on the program. 

Now to breaking news out of the small affluent town of Sands Point on Long Island, New York, where a woman‘s badly beaten body was found on the side of the road.  There has been a big development.  Police have just finished a news conference identifying the woman. 

Joining me now with the latest on that is Nassau County, New York Police Lieutenant, Dennis Farrell.  Lieutenant, thanks for taking the time.  This morning we saw in the New York papers a mere sketch of this woman. 

You all have identified her now? 

LT. DENNIS FARRELL, NASSAU COUNTY, NY POLICE DEPT.:  Yes, we have, Dan.

ABRAMS:  Can you tell me who she is? 

FARRELL:  The woman is—I‘m sorry. 

ABRAMS:  I was saying go ahead and tell us who she is, please. 

FARRELL:  OK, we‘re having a little trouble with the earpiece.  The woman is a 24-year-old Mastic Beach resident from Suffolk County on Long Island.  Her name is Elizabeth Parisi.  She is known to her family and friends as Lisa. 

She‘s a mother of two children, a 4 ½-year old boy and a 4-month-old girl.  The identification was a direct result of the interest in the case that was generated by news stories throughout the metropolitan area here.  We received a steady flow of phone calls starting about 5:00 last night through today.  And they started—we started pinpointing our identification aspect of the investigation on Ms. Parisi and we confirmed that through fingerprints later today. 

ABRAMS:  Have you been able to figure out why she might have been in that area? 

FARRELL:  That‘s part and parcel of the investigation as we go along from this point.  She has no known roots in that area.  In fact if I was to estimate, I would say her home is a good 60 miles away from Sands Point.  There‘s no obvious reason why she should have been there.  We‘re looking into all aspects of her life, her relationships and why on Saturday morning, her battered body was found at Sands Point.

ABRAMS:  Is the belief at this point that she may have been killed somewhere else and the body left there? 

FARRELL:  Well there‘s no question that she was killed somewhere else. 

The way the body was found, it appears that the body was disposed there.  She was not wearing shoes at the time she was discovered.  There were no shoes found nearby.  The question now is was she killed near the abandonment site or was she killed some distance away.  And that‘s, again, that‘s part of why I have detectives all over Long Island right now trying to ascertain. 

ABRAMS:  Now I know you‘re not going to want to get too specific on this.  Let me ask you a more general—in a more general way.  Have the families and those close to her, given you tips on who might be responsible? 

FARRELL:  I‘m not going to get into specifics in the information.  I mean speaking to a victim‘s family is obviously central to any investigation and we are doing that.  We have been doing that throughout the day.  We will continue to speak to family members, friends, acquaintances, and we‘re encouraging people to contact us.  Any one who feels they may have some information about what happened to Lisa Parisi and we would strongly encourage them to call the Crime Stoppers number here in Nassau County at 1-800-244-TIPS and all those calls will be eventually forwarded to my office. 

ABRAMS:  We‘ve got that—we‘ve got a graphic built right there with that number, with the sketch.  Is the sketch, do you believe a good representation of what she looks like? 

FARRELL:  I would say it‘s an excellent representation, based on what I saw of her photos of Ms. Parisi.  But I‘d also say that‘s supported by the fact that people who called us felt that when they saw it, they said there was no doubt in their mind when they heard the physical description and saw the sketch, that it couldn‘t be anyone but her, and we‘re hoping to release an actual photo of Ms. Parisi sometime in the next half hour. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Lieutenant Farrell, good luck and thank you. 

FARRELL:  Thank you very much. 

ABRAMS:  Coming up, she apparently once said she‘d support an amendment to change the Constitution banning abortion.  So does that mean Harriet mires is a sure bet to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

And the special council looking into who leaked the name of that covert CIA agent, they‘re not just looking and talking to Karl Rove and “Scooter” Libby, they‘re also talking to many in the vice president‘s office.  Is Dick Cheney now a target?

And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”, our effort to help find missing sex offenders before they strike again.  This week our search is in Colorado.

Authorities are looking for Ronald Cardenas, 44, 5‘7”, 150, convicted of attempted sexual assault.  He has not registered with the state of Colorado.  If you have any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, 303-239-5732. 

Be back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Coming up, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers apparently once said she‘d support a constitutional amendment banning abortion.  Does that mean she‘s a sure vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?  First the headlines.

(NEWS BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  What she was doing in that questionnaire was expressing her views during the course of the campaign. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  She is Supreme Court-nominee Harriet Miers.  The questionnaire, one she filled out for a Texas anti-abortion group during her 1989 run for a seat on the Dallas City Council.  The White House turned it over to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  It‘s unsigned, but the Bush administration says it‘s the real thing.  Now some senators must be wondering if a yes answer on a questionnaire adds up to a no on legalized abortion, except to prevent the death of the mother. 

Based on her answers, Miers agreed with the group‘s position.  A few examples—yes to supporting ratification of a prospective constitutional amendment banning abortion except when necessary to prevent the death of the mother.

Yes to supporting legislation to reinstate a similar Texas law if the Supreme Court reversed itself on Roe v. Wade. 

And yes to participating in pro-life rallies and events and to receiving an endorsement from the anti-abortion group.

Miers making the rounds on Capitol Hill, introducing herself to senators who will vote on her nomination, including New York Democrat Charles Schumer on Monday.  Miers told Schumer—quote—“nobody knows my views on Roe v. Wade.”

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK:  The questionnaire doesn‘t clear up things.  It rather makes them even more confounding. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Kin Gandy is president of the National Organization for Women and Matt Staver is president and general counsel of the Liberty Counsel, a non-profit group, describes itself as dedicated to advancing religious freedom and the sanctity of human life.

Thank you both for coming on the program.  Appreciate it. 

All right, Matt, let me start with you.  Doesn‘t this make it clear that she believes that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided? 

MATT STAVER, PRESIDENT, LIBERTY COUNSEL:  Not really.  It makes it clear that she believes in a constitutional amendment to protect the sanctity of human life.  But it doesn‘t indicate what she‘s going to do as a Supreme Court justice with regards to Roe v. Wade. 

ABRAMS:  Right.  That‘s not what I asked.  What I‘m asking is whether she—if she supports a constitutional amendment, I agree with you, it doesn‘t necessarily say she would overturn Roe v. Wade.  She could say precedent is too important to me, et cetera.  But it does seem clear to me she supports that amendment that she believes Roe v. Wade initially was wrongly decided. 

STAVER:  Well I think that‘s probably accurate.  If you‘re going to believe in a constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court decision, you probably don‘t agree with that Supreme Court decision, but it doesn‘t mean what she‘s definitely going to do as a Supreme Court justice. 

ABRAMS:  Kim Gandy, what do you make of that?

KIM GANDY, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN:  Well I think the thing that‘s primarily clear from all this is that the number one reason that Harriet Miers was named was because of her extraordinarily close, personal relationship with President Bush, literally, her devotion to the president.  Beyond that, she‘s fairly much a blank slate in terms of judicial philosophy. 

This does tell us something very important about her personal philosophy and that she does not, in my opinion, have a respect for the fundamental human rights of women.  She even went so far in that questionnaire as to say that she would use her influence as a member of the City Council to keep pro-choice people off of city health boards and...

ABRAMS:  Let me read...

GANDY:  ... commissions if it had anything related to reproductive issues. 

ABRAMS:  Let me read more from that questionnaire that you refer to.  Will you vote against the appointment of pro-abortion persons to city boards or committees that deal with health issues?  Yes, to the extent pro-life views are relevant. 

We go on.  Will you use your influence as an elected official within the confines of your oath of office to promote the pro-life cause?  Yes. 

Will you oppose the use of public moneys for abortion, except where necessary to prevent the death of the mother?  Yes. 

All right.  With that in mind, Matt Cooper, is this going to satisfy those who have been questioning her commitment to the cause? 

STAVER:  I don‘t think it does.  It clearly shows that at least in that questionnaire, she has a consistent pro-life view throughout all of these different questions that she‘s answered.  I don‘t think that alone should disqualify her for consideration at the United States Supreme Court.  But I don‘t think that‘s going to answer some of the questions that have been raised by conservatives, including myself and that is, what is her judicial philosophy and why don‘t we know anything about it through her 60 years of history. 

I think that‘s going to be the relevant inquiry.  We know what her personal views are apparently, but we don‘t know what her judicial philosophy is.  And I think the real question here for conservatives is why did the president pass over well-known conservatives with a long-standing track record on the judicial philosophy to go with someone who essentially is a stealth candidate. 

ABRAMS:  I mean I love—I have to tell you, it‘s amazing as sort of someone watching this to see what really seems like direct answers to this question and yet, here we have you and Kim Gandy on the program and you both are still agreeing, Kim, that neither of you feel that you know enough about her philosophy. 

GANDY:  Well, I think that we know enough about her philosophy on that issue.  Obviously, from our point of view, we think that‘s a very bad sign.  What we don‘t know and would like to know a lot more about is where she stands on other fundamental human rights issues.  But of course, as the potential fifth vote on Roe v. Wade and with possible other vacancies coming up on the Supreme Court, we don‘t know—one justice is 86 -- this becomes a very, very important appointment and we don‘t want a blank slate on the court. 

ABRAMS:  It sounds, Matt Staver, like your position is the same, that you don‘t want a blank slate on the court either, right? 

STAVER:  That‘s exactly right.  I think this particular position is too critical to have a blank slate on this particular nomination... 

ABRAMS:  Each of you want a guarantee that the person‘s going to vote your way. 

GANDY:  Of course. 

STAVER:  Well, I think that‘s exactly right. 

(LAUGHTER)

STAVER:  To be honest, I think that‘s what both sides are talking about and neither side really has any consistent track record as to where this nominee believes judicially. 

ABRAMS:  But you know—but would you—both agree with me that you two are two of the rare ones who are being honest about this?  I mean it seems like when we‘re having this public debate that people on each side are claiming, oh, no, no, no.  I‘m not asking for a litmus test or I‘m not asking for a guarantee that the person‘s going to vote my way. 

But in essence, the two of you, and I‘ll start with you, Kim Gandy, are admitting that you want certain—you don‘ don‘t want them to say I promise you, but you want to feel that you essentially have a guarantee that the person is going to vote your way. 

GANDY:  Well I think what we want is a belief that the person has a fundamental respect for basic human rights.  It‘s something that we had in 1981 when we testified in favor of Sandra Day O‘Connor as an organization.  We knew the was a Reagan appointee.  We knew that she was conservative. 

But from talking with people in Arizona, from talking with people who knew her, they said sure, she‘s conservative but she respects women‘s rights.  She respects people‘s individual rights, fundamental liberties and we had some sense that although we knew she would be conservative and heaven knows we‘ve disagreed with her a lot, but it turned out to be true...

ABRAMS:  Let me...

GANDY:  ... that she did have a basic underlying respect for human rights...

ABRAMS:  Let me just play...

GANDY:  ... and we don‘t see that yet with Harriet Miers.

ABRAMS:  ... play one piece of sound here from Scott McClellan, the president‘s spokesperson, speaking about this today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCLELLAN:  Harriet Miers, just like Chief Justice Roberts, recognizes that personal views and ideology and religion have no role to play when it comes to making decisions on the bench.  Your role as a judge is to look at all the facts and then look at the law and apply the law to that case. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  All right, I‘ve got to wrap it up.  Kim Gandy and Matt Staver, I appreciate both of your honesty on this topic.  Thanks for coming on.

STAVER:  Thank you.  My pleasure.

GANDY:  My pleasure.

ABRAMS:  Coming up, many believe indictments are on the way in connection with the leak of a CIA agent‘s name.  Is it possible Vice President Cheney is a target? 

Plus...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, the latest rumor is she has so few supporters that her nomination will be withdrawn.  That the Senate is going to withdraw it.  They think Bush may have to go with a woman who‘s had more courtroom experience, you know like Courtney Love, somebody...

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Harriet Miers may have been back on the Hill today trying to convince senators she‘s qualified, but it seems her biggest critics often come out at night.  It‘s my “Closing Argument”. 

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Please include your name and where you‘re writing from.  I respond at the end of the show. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Coming up, with indictments possible any day in the CIA leak case, some now asking could the special prosecutor be focusing on the vice president. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  The investigation into who leaked the name of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame is heating up.  Indictments could come any day now.  The investigation seems focused on the president‘s chief political advisor, Karl Rove, “TIME” magazine reporter Matt Cooper‘s source, and Vice President Cheney‘s powerful chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby. 

“New York Times” reporter Judith Miller says Libby was her key source.  Reports also say Fitzgerald is trying to determine if Vice President Cheney knew about the leak, which is apparently intended to discredit Plame‘s husband, Iraq war critic, Joe Wilson.  Both Libby and Rove have testified before the grand jury.

Both reportedly said that they told at least two reporters about Plame, but insisted they never mentioned her name or covert status, but many now believe that either or both could soon be indicted and the White House is already making plans.  Solomon Wisenberg is a former federal prosecutor who served as a deputy independent counsel for the Whitewater/Lewinsky investigation.  And Aitan Goelman is a former federal prosecutor who also helped prosecute Timothy McVeigh.

All right, bottom line, Solomon, after you see what you‘ve seen of Judy Miller‘s account of what she was asked, seem pretty clear to you that there‘s going to be an indictment here? 

SOLOMON WISENBERG, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR:  Well, if you made me bet, I would bet that somebody is going to be indicted in the next few days. 

ABRAMS:  Why do you say that? 

WISENBERG:  It looks like without question, there have been a couple of individuals at least, who have given conflicting testimony and in their initial conversations with law enforcement officers and or the grand jury, forgot certain very relevant things that one would perhaps not usually forget. 

ABRAMS:  And do you think that based on what you know that an indictment is warranted? 

WISENBERG:  Well, I‘ve said before it‘s simply irresponsible to talk about that because I can guarantee you, Dan, that 80 percent of the evidence about the case is not known and there are going to be thing that really, really surprise us when and if an indictment comes out.  Obviously, if somebody intentionally disclosed the name of an undercover CIA...

ABRAMS:  Yes.

WISENBERG:  ... agent, they should be indicted. 

ABRAMS:  Right.  Right.  But Aitan, look, I don‘t think we‘re going to be that surprised.  I think there will be some information that we didn‘t know.  But I think the bottom line is we‘re going to know—we already know much of what they‘re asking.  Look, Judy Miller recounted everything that she was asked.  You think that there are going to be a lot of surprises here? 

AITAN GOELMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR:  I‘m sure there are things we don‘t know.  We don‘t know the trail to Bob Novak yet, but you know, one of the things about having reporters testify before a grand jury is that they tend to be more willing to relate their experience to other audiences so you know we know pretty much chapter and verse of what Judy Miller testified about and we know, you know, a good deal that looks pretty bad for Karl Rove and Lewis Libby.

ABRAMS:  Well what do you think looks so bad? 

GOELMAN:  Well I mean you know—Sol‘s right that Karl Rove testifies four times in front of the grand jury.  Apparently, the first time he testified he didn‘t have any memory of talking about Valerie Plame‘s role and Joseph Wilson‘s mission and turns out he sees an e-mail later when (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- when the documents are subpoenaed, that that reveals that he actually did have a conversation and e-mailed Stephen Hadley about it. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.

GOELMAN:  I think that may be one of the worst things facing Karl Rove right now is what he said to Matt Cooper at the end of their conversation when he cut off the interview by saying I‘ve said too much already.  As a prosecutor, you don‘t get consciousness of guilt evidence that strong that often. 

ABRAMS:  What about this, Sol Wisenberg?  This is from “Scooter” Libby, according to Judy Miller.

The public report of every other reporter‘s testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame‘s name or identity with me.  That was in his letter saying to Judy Miller go ahead and testify and apparently prosecutors are asking questions and the question essentially was saying did you feel like that was telling you how you should testify. 

WISENBERG:  And apparently she did, but I think more significantly, she testified that it told her that he didn‘t really want to wave confidentiality and I think that‘s a reasonable interpretation.  But if I can go back to what Aitan said for a minute, I don‘t think that what Rove saying, I‘ve already said too much is consciousness of guilt.

I think that it‘s consciousness that he may have talked too much.  And you just have to remember and prosecutors forget this sometimes, people—even really important people do go into grand juries and do forget things.  Vernon Jordan came into our grand jury and was absolutely adamant that he had never had breakfast with Monica Lewinsky.  He would absolutely have remembered something like that and he had to come in later and we showed him the receipt from that breakfast, and he had to say, you know, I was wrong.  It does happen. 

ABRAMS:  Aitan, possibility of the vice president being a target here? 

GOELMAN:  I think that‘s pretty speculative.  I mean I understand that Pat Fitzgerald has been asking people about the vice president and I think that‘s just a responsible thing for him to do, to see how far up he thinks this thing extends.  But from everything that I‘ve read, it doesn‘t seem like, you know, Cheney‘s fingerprints are personally on this thing.  I mean, according to Judith Miller, she asked Lewis Libby if Cheney knew that he was speaking to her about this and Libby said no.  So...

ABRAMS:  Let me read that.  This is from Judy Miller‘s letter.

Before the grand jury Mr. Fitzgerald asked me questions about Mr.

Cheney.  He asked, for example, if Mr. Libby had ever indicated whether Mr.  Cheney had approved of his interviews with me or was aware of them.  The answer was no.

So this, though, Sol Wisenberg, could be one of those areas where we don‘t know what else they might have, but it doesn‘t seem that based on anything we do know, that they—they‘re really looking at the vice president. 

WISENBERG:  Well you know, Dan, it‘s a pretty big deal to indict a vice president and I‘ve got to believe it‘s not something you just—that we would have heard so little about it.  You know, even in terms of spin from the vice president‘s office before now.  And most of this stuff I‘ve been seeing in the last day or two in support of it, is extremely speculative so I completely agree with Aitan on that and I think it‘s between Libby and Rove, based on what we‘ve seen in the published reports, it looks a lot worse for Libby than it does for Rove. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  Yes.  We also may know more about the questioning with regard to Libby than we do with regard to Rove, but we shall se.  Aitan Goelman, Sol Wisenberg, thanks a lot. 

GOELMAN:  Thanks Dan.

WISENBERG:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Coming up...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, boy the Yankees didn‘t look that good last night.  I mean Harriet Miers watched the game and afterwards she said and they call me unqualified. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  The White House is spending a lot of time lobbying for Harriet Miers.  Maybe they should spend more time working on the late-night talk show hosts.  It‘s my “Closing Argument”. 

And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”, our effort to find missing sex offenders before they strike again.  This week the search is in Colorado.

Authorities need help finding Loran Leon Hellerman, 39, 5‘9”, 120, convicted of sexually assaulting a child, has not registered with the state of Colorado.  If you‘ve got any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, 303-239-5732.

Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  My “Closing Argument”—the White House clearly changing its tactics on Harriet Miers this week trying to convince senators and the public that she is a great lawyer by emphasizing her legal qualifications on Capitol Hill.  But it seems like White House operatives who want to get her confirmed as a Supreme Court justice might be better served by refocusing their efforts on the late-night talk show hosts who have been as brutal as Miers‘ most fiery opponents. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you very much.  And welcome to “Celebrity Jeopardy”.  Let‘s meet our contestants, shall we?  First up, a woman who‘s very much in the news lately.  Please welcome Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. 

(APPLAUSE)

(MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you for being here on “Jeopardy”, Ms. Miers. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Just don‘t ask me any legal questions. 

(LAUGHTER)

JON STEWART, HOST, ‘DAILY SHOW‘:  To those critics who are already calling Miers‘ appointment cronyism, like former FEMA head Mike Brown, believe me, Miers‘ resume doesn‘t have any Arabian horse association filler in it. 

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  When I came to the office as the governor of Texas, the lottery commission needed a leader of unquestioned integrity.  I chose Harriet because I knew she would earn the confidence of the people of Texas. 

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART:  The Texas lottery commissioner.  And indeed it was Harriet Miers who restored sanity to the Crazy 8‘s Scratch and Match.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well the latest rumor is she has so few supporters that her nomination will be withdrawn.  That the Senate is going to withdraw it.  They think Bush may have to go with a woman who‘s had more courtroom experience, you know like Courtney Love. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, boy the Yankees didn‘t look that good last night.  I mean Harriet Miers watched the game and afterward she said and they call me unqualified.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Here‘s what we know about Miers.  You know they‘ve been investigating her.  She‘s never been married and she has no known boyfriends.  In fact, today President Bush announced a very ambitious plan to put a man on Miers by the year...

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Ouch.  Coming up, your e-mails on the murder of Daniel Horowitz‘s wife.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  I‘ve had my say, now it‘s time for “Your Rebuttal”.  On Friday we played the entire unedited version of the tape showing New Orleans cops hitting a 64-year-old man they say resisted arrest on Bourbon Street.  We asked will the new tape change any minds about what really happened—lots of e-mails.

From Renton, Washington, Jeannie Vawter, “The uncut version changed one thing for me.  It erased all doubt that the police officers had any reason to beat that man.”

Gail in Columbus, Mississippi, “He was hit in the back of the head when he should have removed his hand from the wire and surrendered.  If police say give me your arm, give it and talk later.”

From Washington, John Mathews, “I don‘t really understand why people are actually trying to justify this.  There seems to be more outrage when a terrorist gets assaulted than an American citizen.”

And many of you writing in about our coverage of the case—I‘m getting it from both sides.

Clarence Collins in Montclair, New Jersey, “I used to be a fan of yours, but when today I watched your show, trying to justify police brutality in New Orleans, I became so very sick at that and right then realized I can do without watching your show.”

I thought I said I don‘t know how they can justify hitting him in the back of the head so many times.

John Donohue writes, “The guy resisted.  You don‘t resist arrest.  Cops get killed when creeps fight back.  You have no clue, sir, and I hope people stop watching your show.”

Many of you writing with condolences to a frequent ABRAMS REPORT contributor and our friend Daniel Horowitz. 

From Sherman Oaks, California, Leila Ludy, “Please send my condolences to Daniel Horowitz.  He has always been my favorite guest on your show.”

Sarah Konopik in St. Louis, “I‘m a huge fan of THE ABRAMS REPORT and of your frequent guest Daniel Horowitz.  I want to extend my deepest sympathies to him, his family and friends during what must be a horrific time.”

A lot of you writing in, I can tell you Daniel appreciates it. 

Your e-mails abramsreport—one word -- @msnbc.com.  Daniel will be on the show tomorrow.

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

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2005 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2005 Voxant, Inc. 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 Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

The Abrams Report each weeknight at 6 p.m. ET

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,