updated 10/27/2005 1:20:56 PM ET 2005-10-27T17:20:56

Guests: Charles Foti, Veronica Russo, Jim Wilson, Susan Antilla, Pat Boyd, Debbie Boyd, Peter King

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight‘s top headline:  The Bush team on edge.  All of Washington waits.  Will the special prosecutor bring indictments against senior Bush officials?  And, if so, what does it mean for the president?  We have got an all-star panel to separate fact from fiction.

Then to New Orleans—we are going to take you inside the investigation into the allegations of mercy killings in the dark days after Katrina.  The Louisiana attorney general is leading the case there.  He is going to be here tonight with all the details and answer the question, whether terrible crimes were committed during those dark days. 

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required, only common sense allowed. 

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, thanks so much for being with us tonight.  We are live in Washington, covering the story of the leak investigation.  I will tell you what.  Everybody in Washington is talking about this story tonight, wondering when the shoe is going to drop. 

Also tonight, new developments in the search for missing California woman Christie Wilson.  Her parents are going to be with me tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to talk about an arrest, new evidence, and the very latest on the desperate search for their daughter. 

Then, stranded in Mexico, the horrific story of thousands of Americans who just can‘t seem to get home after Hurricane Wilma.  We will ask the question:  Is our government doing enough to help them out?  We are going to have that story.

But, first, the nation‘s capital, it really is on edge.  And the White House is bracing for possible indictments in the case of who told reporters the secret identity of a secret CIA agent.  Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is wrapping up a two-year-old investigation and could hand down indictments this week. 

With me here in Washington is MSNBC chief correspondent Norah O‘Donnell.  We also have Lawrence O‘Donnell.  He is the executive producer of “The West Wing” and a former congressional staffer. 

Let me start with you, Norah. 

What is the very latest?  You are here.  I mean, this—I mean, talk about a parlor game. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, everybody is guessing.  Who is going down?  When are they going down?  What‘s Fitzgerald doing?  What‘s going on?  Everybody expected the news to drop today.  It didn‘t. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORAH O‘DONNELL, NBC CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT:  Well, that‘s right. 

Tonight, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald remains in Washington.  He did convene the grand jury today.  No indictments handed down, as far as we know.  There could have been sealed indictments.  We know that Patrick Fitzgerald has met privately with Karl Rove‘s attorney in the last day, visiting him. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What is that about? 

N. O‘DONNELL:  Well, it could signal, according to some legal experts, that they could be working out some sort of deal.  Fitzgerald...

SCARBOROUGH:  A possible plea deal? 

N. O‘DONNELL:  Perhaps, yes.  They certainly know each other.  They have mutual friends within the Justice Department.  It could signal that there‘s something ahead. 

We also know that Fitzgerald is trying to wrap things up, with just two days left before this grand jury expires.  He is interviewing neighbors of Valerie Plame, seeing if they knew that she was a covert agent.  He has gone back to some White House staffers, interviewed them again. 

So, clearly, it looks like he‘s trying to wrap this up.

SCARBOROUGH:  So, what‘s the feeling, Norah?  A lot of activity.  The guy has been doing this for two years.  He‘s running around, going into residential neighborhoods all around Washington, D.C.

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you know what Valerie Plame did?  Did you think she was an economist? 

N. O‘DONNELL:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Does the White House consider that to be bad news?  Do White House allies consider that to be bad news for Karl Rove? 

N. O‘DONNELL:  Of course, the Republicans are very nervous, and very worried that two top White House aides could be indicted. 

It‘s been over 100 years since a sitting White House official has been indicted while serving still in the White House, so clearly this is a big deal.  They are concerned about that.  And everyone is sort of hoping and waiting for Friday to be over.  I find it interesting that people have described it as the darkest days since 9/11.  That‘s just a signal of how this has sort of cast this cloud over the whole White House. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, boy. 

And I will tell you, Lawrence, there is a cloud over the whole White House, isn‘t there, right now?  You take Katrina.  You take a Supreme Court nomination that, let‘s just face it, it has just been a humiliation for this White House.  And now you have indictments coming down, that, of course, on the heels of Tom DeLay, the most powerful Republican on Capitol Hill, also being indicted.  It doesn‘t get much worse than this, does it? 

LAWRENCE O‘DONNELL, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  It doesn‘t, and this isn‘t going to help, Joe. 

And it‘s so bad that—the air of failure around the White House now is so bad that no one has even bothered to take notice of the fact that the president‘s biggest second-term agenda item has been dead for months, which is Social Security reform.  Now, I said at the beginning of the year, it didn‘t have a chance, but it came to a death that no one even noticed, because of these gigantic other problems that the White House has had since Katrina, and now this. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, let‘s look at a poll right now.  It was released by “USA Today.”  When asked the question, did administration officials act illegally or unethically, 78 percent of those surveyed said yes, while only 10 percent said the officials did nothing wrong. 

Here‘s another disturbing poll for President Bush.  If the presidential election was held this year, 56 percent said they would vote for whoever the Democrat was.  Only 39 percent said they would vote for President Bush. 

Lawrence, that‘s just not good news.  What do you do when everything seems to be breaking against you?  I remember when Bill Clinton was accused of being a liar, his numbers went up to 65 percent.  They are not even nailing George Bush here and his numbers are dropping into Harry Truman territory.  What does the White House do to turn it around? 

L. O‘DONNELL:  Well, the Clinton polling, Joe, as you know, I think seemed to be about public reaction saying, let‘s not get into this.  It‘s not worth getting into. 

The public does seem to think that getting into this CIA investigation is worth getting into, that there is some serious government business there, even if it‘s not that easy to explain to somebody on the subway, so this is taken very seriously, and it‘s going to be part of the cumulative effect of all these negative outcomes that the Bush administration has had this season. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Norah, elections a year away, but this is smelling an awful lot like 1994, when idiots like me were able to run against Democrats and win. 

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

N. O‘DONNELL:  You‘re too tough on yourself. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You don‘t have to say that.  It‘s false humanity.  It‘s a Southern trait. 

But this—I mean, remember Rostenkowski indicted?  Remember James Wright a couple years before indicted?  Everything was going wrong as far as foreign policy goes.  I would guess Republicans on Capitol Hill have to be very nervous tonight. 

N. O‘DONNELL:  Democrats are already shaping their message, which is the culture of corruption that you have heard that they‘re saying is enveloping the Republican Party, whether it‘s the president in the leak investigation, Bill Frist in the sale of his stock, Tom DeLay, that there is this culture of corruption, that they have gotten too powerful, too aggressive. 

As you have pointed out, the numbers should be troublesome for the Republican Party, because the party in power has the lowest ratings since 1994, when there was this last big changeover.  So, it is worrisome for the party.  So, you see the Republicans now taking on big oil, taking on the companies that have record profits, you know, making the biggest profits of any company, billions of dollars while people are having to really suffer paying at the pump.  So, they have got to get back to some of those issues.

But this week is very crucial for the president‘s second term.  Patrick Fitzgerald in many ways holds the president‘s second term in his hands.  Does the president remove these key aides?  That‘s a big deal. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, Lawrence. 

L. O‘DONNELL:  Remember that Patrick Fitzgerald was on this same verge a year ago.  It took him over a year to get the testimony from Judy Miller and Matt Cooper that puts this case where it is now.

So, the game on the Rove end of this case a year ago was simply, let‘s get this thing on the other side of the election.  Imagine if this was where this case was 12 months ago, which is where it would have been if those two reporters had testified, instead of fighting their case all the way to the Supreme Court. 

N. O‘DONNELL:  Well, I think that you will still see a political move from the Republicans. 

I have been talking to Republicans who are familiar with what the

strategy will be at the White House and at the Republican National

Committee.  I am told that they have put together multiple scenarios to

fight back if Rove and/or Libby are indicted or other White House

officials.  They have already, once again, mentioned that Joe Wilson is the

quote, unquote—“imperfect hero,” that there are problems still with him and his background, what he said about Republicans, so they are still going to put out dirt on Joe Wilson, if you will, and they are going to fight this.  I am told they are prepared to fight. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And it‘s interesting, Norah, because you compare and contrast what the Clinton administration did, what James Carville did, when they really, every night, would go on TV and debone Ken Starr.  Here you have got Republican officials going out talking about what a wonderful man Fitzgerald is. 

N. O‘DONNELL:  Well, the president said on “The Today Show” that he has conducted his investigation in a dignified manner.

SCARBOROUGH:  Right. 

N. O‘DONNELL:  And Fitzgerald is pretty clean.  I have done a biography.  I have talked to some of his friends.  He is not affiliated with any political party.  He is clean.  He is going to be hard to attack as someone who is a political ideologue out to get these White House people.

But you do hear legal people say he may be being creative with the law. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  We‘ll see what happens. 

Norah, thanks a lot for being with us.  Greatly appreciate it. 

Lawrence, stay with us, much more on other side.

We are going to be talking to a close ally of President Bush and ask how the president is handling all of this.  It‘s coming up next. 

Also, the SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY exclusive:  Were there mercy killings in the New Orleans hospitals during the darkest hours after Hurricane Katrina?  Tonight, the attorney general of that state is here to give us the very latest on his investigation. 

And she vanished outside a casino—now a possible new clue in the search for Christie Wilson.  What does it mean for the man last seen with the young woman from California, and could it help police find Christie? 

We will be talking about that when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Will the man that they have always called the brains behind Bush be indicted this week?  And, if so, what does it mean for the White House?

That and much more when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  It seems that everybody that knows special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald says he is tough and he‘s willing to follow facts wherever they lead.  Could he be handing out indictments this week? 

For more on that, let‘s go to NBC senior White House correspondent David Gregory. 

David, what do you got?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID GREGORY, NBC WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT:  Joe, the grand jury met three hours this morning, and then adjourned without any announcement about its findings in the case. 

Special prosecutor Fitzgerald does appear to be concluding his investigation.  In fact, some lawyers involved with the case think that he has already reached a conclusion about some charges, but not others.  At the same time, however, today, privately, Fitzgerald met with the chief judge presiding over the case.  It is conceivable they discussed an extension of the grand jury‘s term beyond Friday, when it is set to expire, which the law would allow. 

Now, there‘s two other notable areas of activity tonight.  One concerns Karl Rove.  NBC News has confirmed that yesterday prosecutor Fitzgerald met with Rove‘s attorney, Robert Luskin, here in Washington.  It‘s unclear what impact, if any, that meeting had on whether Rove will face criminal charges in this case.

Additionally, we know that investigators have conducted 11th-hour interviews with neighbors of Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame, she, of course, the CIA officer at the heart of this investigation, an apparent effort to learn what lengths she went to conceal her work at the agency.  We know the underlying crime here, the real root of this investigation, is whether somebody unlawfully blew her cover as a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency. 

Now, Joe, lawyers involved in the case still expect to find out this week whether or not Rove or the vice president‘s chief of staff‘s—staff, rather—Scooter Libby will face criminal charges. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s bring in right now Congressman Peter King.  He‘s from New York. 

Peter, I just—you somehow have been brought into the middle of this.  I understand Joe Wilson, who is very involved in this case, called you a whore, and another word that I can‘t repeat because my mother watches every night.  I take it that you don‘t think a whole lot of this investigation. 

REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK:  Well, I have a lot of respect for Patrick Fitzgerald.  I think Joe Wilson is a liar and a fraud. 

I can‘t believe that you people in the media have given him such credibility over the last two years. 

SCARBOROUGH:  “You people.”  You know, that hurts me. 

KING:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We were running buddies.  And now I‘m “you people in the media.”  But it‘s not what...

(CROSSTALK)

KING:  Joe, you went over to the other side.  You went to the other side.

SCARBOROUGH:  I did.  I am on the dark side now, exactly.

(CROSSTALK) 

SCARBOROUGH:  But, you know, the thing is, and what I have said about Joe Wilson is, it doesn‘t matter.  OK, listen, Joe Wilson lied about a lot of things.  He misled a lot of people, but that doesn‘t justify anybody outing his wife if she is an undercover CIA agent.

(CROSSTALK)

KING:  And I will tell you why. 

First of all, if they knew she was undercover, she shouldn‘t have been outed.  But when you have a guy portraying himself as being an agent of the CIA, going over there for the vice president, implying that, and coming back with a report which really said nothing, and you have the president of the United States being attacked worldwide for this, because basically Wilson said he was a liar, and you find out, first of all, who sent him?

Cheney didn‘t send him.  Tenet didn‘t send him.  How did he go over there?  Well, his wife.  To me, it would be logical for you say, well, his wife works there, and she recommended him.  What is wrong with saying that?  Now, if they knew she was undercover, that‘s one thing.  But, if not, the‘s just laying out the facts.  And the people should know that.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Do we still not know after all these years whether she is undercover or not?  Was she an undercover CIA operative?

KING:  They don‘t know, because she was at one time, but she hadn‘t been—there‘s a question if she was overseas in the five years previous to that.

There‘s also a question whether or not when Hanssen was turned in 1994, that he had actually already given her name to the Russians, so she was taken back from undercover operations.  We don‘t know. 

But the thing is, to me, you have a group of CIA people trying to undermine the president of the United States.  You have Joe Wilson passing himself off as some honest observer, who was sent over at a high level, when he wasn‘t.  And you go to the president, and you go to the vice president, you go to whoever it was in the administration, I don‘t know what they said, but, to me, it would be very logical to say, we didn‘t send him, Tenet didn‘t send him, but his wife recommended him. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s say she is undercover.  And we all agree that she was undercover, certainly, for some time. 

Again, what I have been saying is, even if that‘s the case, imagine if James Carville had outed a CIA operative at a time of war while Bill Clinton was president.  We would have built the scaffolding to hang them from the highest point in Washington, D.C.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  So, should we... 

(CROSSTALK)

KING:  What is the answer to that, then?  What is the alternative?

If you have a guy like Wilson setting this up, his wife recommending him, how do you answer the charges, who this guy and why he was sent over there?  Don‘t the American people have the right to know that, working in the CIA, his wife is working with other operatives to send over Joe Wilson to cover themselves against the president? 

SCARBOROUGH:  The American people do not have a right to know the identity of undercover CIA agents. 

KING:  Do people in the CIA have the right to work against the president of the United States, then?  Send a guy over. 

SCARBOROUGH:  They do it all the time. 

KING:  Well, they shouldn‘t.  In a free society, they shouldn‘t.  They should not have it.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  But who decides when we are going to reveal the secret identity of CIA agents? 

KING:  Well, if she is not an undercover operative...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  If you get ticked off at Joe Wilson, does that allow you

if you don‘t like his spouse, who works in the CIA, are you able to go out and decide that I am going to reveal her identity? 

(CROSSTALK)

KING:  His wife was involved in this.  She was the one who recommended him for the job.  And he denied that and the Senate intelligence said he was a liar. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Right.  Joe Wilson is—again, we all agree, Joe Wilson can‘t tell the truth. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s not in him.

But, again, all I am saying is, that doesn‘t justify releasing Valerie Plame‘s name, does it? 

KING:  Well, she was involved in it.  She was the one who recommended him and sat there silently while all these lies are being propagated by Joe Wilson. 

And, also, we still don‘t know if she was undercover or not at the time or for the previous five years. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And that‘s still—you have got the special prosecutor going through Washington neighborhoods, probably went to Tucker Carlson‘s old haunt. 

Let‘s bring in Tucker right now of “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER

CARLSON.” 

Tucker, listen, again, I have got absolutely no use for Joe Wilson. 

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON”:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But you heard the back-and-forth with Peter King and myself.  A lot of Republicans very frustrated, saying these people are playing like they are honest brokers.  They were trying to undermine the president‘s Iraq policy from the very beginning.  What is your take on it? 

CARLSON:  Well, I think the president‘s Iraq policy from the very beginning was flawed, and now it looks tragically flawed.  I am not a supporter of this administration‘s Iraq policy at all.  I‘m a vehement opponent of it.

However, I think the people who don‘t live in Washington may not fully grasp what the city is like and how great a role nepotism plays in a lot of things here.  And I agree with Peter King.  In this specific case, I think the White House is not blameless, but I don‘t think a crime was committed, and I don‘t think a moral crime was committed. 

I think it‘s absolutely significant that his wife worked there.  Congress found that she was part of the reason he was sent there in the first place.  And, again, this is a town, as you know, Joe, as someone who served in Congress here, where everybody is married or sleeping together or friends with this other person...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Wait, wait.  I know nothing about that, Lawrence. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  OK.  Well, that‘s—but it‘s true; it‘s true.

And it‘s totally plausible.  And I have seen it 1,000 times living here, over 20 years, where so and so is married to so and so, and that‘s why so and so did such and such. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  It is significant.  And, in this case, I don‘t think it was a matter of the White House trying to destroy Joe Wilson by hurting his wife. 

If I thought that, I would never defend it in a million years, because, as I said and as you know, I am not reflexive administration defender.  If you hate the Iraq policy of this administration, attack it.  I do every day.  But I think this is a poor way to go after their Iraq policy by going after them on this. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Tucker, let‘s bring in Lawrence O‘Donnell for a minute. 

Lawrence, what do you make of all of this?  You have heard Peter King talk about... 

L. O‘DONNELL:  Well, I got to tell you, Joe, I got to tell you, Tucker is making me want to move back to Washington, if everybody is sleeping together. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Everybody is sleeping together. 

L. O‘DONNELL:  It wasn‘t happening...

SCARBOROUGH:  That is what Tucker is saying.

L. O‘DONNELL:  It wasn‘t happening when I was there. 

CARLSON:  Oh, yes, it was. 

(CROSSTALK)

L. O‘DONNELL:  It never happened when I was there.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Tucker doesn‘t even live here anymore.  And he‘s—how does he know everybody is sleeping together?  Good lord. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  It‘s true. 

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Put that in “The West Wing” next week, baby. 

(LAUGHTER)

L. O‘DONNELL:  I understand what—the essence of what Peter King is saying on one level, which is, it was understandable that the White House would want to somehow counter what Joe Wilson had decided to say publicly in his op-ed piece. 

But the legal question in front of this grand jury is, did the White House break any laws in doing that?  That‘s the legal question.  So motivation isn‘t really a factor here, and you can talk about it all night.  You can talk about what a gigantic irritant Joe Wilson was. 

The prosecutor doesn‘t care whether Joe Wilson‘s op-ed piece was true or false or fiction.  It doesn‘t care at all.  Cares about exclusively, what did these White House officials do in response to this, what—and does it amount to a conspiracy?  What—does it amount to a criminal conspiracy?  And has perjury and lying to FBI agents been involved in a cover-up of what they did once the investigation started?

Those are the legal questions in front of us, and I think you are going to get indictments for every one of the kinds of things I just mentioned. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Norah.

N. O‘DONNELL:  If you look at the special prosecutor‘s Web site, there is a document on there that shows that the deputy attorney general, James Comey at the time, who actually happens to be very good friends with Patrick Fitzgerald, in fact, gave him authority to look into perjury, obstruction of justice, and, in essence, whether there was a cover-up going on.  So, that holds. 

And we know this has been going on, this investigation, for two years.  We also know, just simply put, that initially the White House said, Rove and Libby were not involved.  Then, the White House said, yes, Rove and Libby talked to reporters, but they learned about Valerie Plame from reporters.  Then we learned last week that Rove learned about Valerie Plame from Libby, and then this week, we learned that Libby learned about Valerie Plame from Vice President Cheney.

So the story has changed, at least the portion of it that we have learned through press reports.  If that, in fact, is the case, and if that‘s the way that Libby and Rove have presented it before the grand jury, there may be a problem there. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

You know, Peter, I want to talk about all these inconsistent statements that are out there. 

(CROSSTALK)

KING:  Well, I don‘t know if they are inconsistent, but we can go into that. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, yes.  Yes.  There‘s a Web site.  Media Research Center said that I was NBC type of Republican, because I said that the vice president lied.  Katie trying to be polite.  And I said, well, in Middle America, we call that lying. 

He went on “Tim Russert.”  He said one thing that appears to be in complete contradiction with what‘s said, said he didn‘t know about Joe Wilson, or Valerie Plame, and the leak and all that other stuff. 

It certainly hurts the credibility of the administration and Scott McClellan and all these other people to come out and say one thing and then we find out later on it just wasn‘t the truth. 

(CROSSTALK)

KING:  Really, I mean, first of all, the only reason that we know that Scooter Libby heard from Dick Cheney about Valerie Plame was because of the notes that Scooter Libby turned over to the prosecutor.  These were his personal notes that he turned over.  If he was trying to hide something, he wouldn‘t give the guy his notes.  He would have destroyed them..

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Right. 

But, in those notes, though, we find out that the vice president actually did know what was going on when he was telling Tim Russert and others that he didn‘t. 

KING:  He told, I think, Russert in September that he didn‘t know this was going on until after the fact.  I mean, he had nothing to do with Wilson going over there.  Wilson went over in 2002.  And he wrote his op-ed in June, I guess, of 2003, and I think Cheney was on, the vice president was on with Russert in September of 2003. 

(CROSSTALK)

KING:  Obviously, by then, he knew who Wilson was, because the whole world knew who he was, the world‘s greatest self-promoter. 

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  So, what happens if Karl Rove is indicted, a big if?  I mean, how—that really is the worst-case scenario for the White House, isn‘t it? 

(CROSSTALK)

KING:  And, by the way, I am consistent.  I was against Ken Starr as special prosecutor.  I think he was a bad special prosecutor.

I think Fitzgerald does a good job.  I think it‘s dangerous having special prosecutors, unless they are absolutely necessary.  This case doesn‘t rise to that.  Having said that, now, if Karl Rove is indicted, sure it is.  It‘s a personal tragedy for him.  And it is, going to have a real devastating impact on the administration, absolutely. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks so much, Congressman Peter King, Lawrence O‘Donnell, Norah O‘Donnell, and, Tucker Carlson, especially for giving us the insight that everybody in Washington, D.C., is either married or sleeping with somebody else. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  We greatly appreciate you all being here.

And coming up next, were helpless hospital patients killed in New Orleans as the floodwaters came rushing in?  We are going to hear exclusively from the man who is in charge of answering that question. 

And, also, business deals getting done in strip clubs.  Some say it‘s a trade secret that is leaving women executives out in the cold.  Maybe we need to bring Tucker Carlson back in for insights on this one, too. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  We will be right back with more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  The Associated Press is reporting that 73 employees of Memorial Medical Center have been subpoenaed by the attorney general of the state of Louisiana.  It‘s an investigation into mercy killings, and it is heating up.  We will have that and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns, but, first, here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know. 

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  First, the glass ceiling, now the mirrored one, why some women are outraged about the new trend, men taking business meetings to strip clubs, a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown later on.

Welcome back to the show.  We are going to be talking about that and much more in a minute.

But, first, it‘s been three weeks since 27-year-old Christie Wilson disappeared.  She‘s shown here leaving a California casino with a 53-year-old man, Mario Flavio Garcia, on security cameras in the early hours of October the 5th.  That was the last time she was seen. 

Garcia has denied any involvement in her disappearance, but a hair found in his truck has confirmed a DNA match to Christie.  Garcia is currently behind bars on unrelated weapon charges, and he has been upgraded from a person of interest to a suspect in this case. 

With us now, Christie‘s parents, Pat and Debbie Boyd. 

Thank you all so much for being with us.  We know this is a terrible, terrible time for you. 

Let me ask you, though, Debbie, about developments in this case.  Obviously, the police are really starting to focus in on this man, who, again, was last seen with your daughter.  Talk about the latest in the investigation. 

DEBBIE BOYD, MOTHER OF CHRISTIE WILSON:  Well, as you mentioned, Mr.  Garcia has been upgraded from a person of interest to a suspect.  It‘s become glaringly obvious that Mr. Garcia‘s initial story does not correlate to the surveillance tapes, meaning that he had said that the last time he saw Christie was when he said his goodbye as they left the casino, and that he knew that she went back into the—excuse me—casino to get her cell phone, and never saw her again. 

Yet, now there‘s an unexplained hair that has been found in his vehicle.  And surveillance tapes show that she never did go back into the casino. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And during the hearing, you sat in the front row, said you wanted to send a message to him.  What is that message? 

D. BOYD:  The message is, Mr. Garcia, you have been intimidating many, many people for a very long time.  This is a family that will not be intimidated.  We will be at every court hearing that you attend, and we are going to see all—this process through to ensure that justice does prevail.  You have met your match. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Pat, the search is still going on for your daughter.  Talk about that side of the story. 

PAT BOYD, FATHER OF CHRISTIE WILSON:  Well, it was first done by Placer County  using dogs, helicopters, horses. 

Since then, they hit all the sites they thought were the most interest, or the most likely.  Since then, several of my friends, law enforcement officers throughout the state, have gotten together and started searching a wider target area, and that was going on last weekend.  And it‘s going to occur again this weekend coming up. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Talk about the forensic evidence that has been found in this case.  Obviously, we talk about forensic evidence found inside the truck of the suspect.  Do law enforcement officers—and I believe you are a former law enforcement officer yourself—do law enforcement officers really think that really closes the case, and nails this guy, Garcia, as the guy, the suspect that is responsible for your daughter‘s disappearance? 

P. BOYD:  Well, I am still a working detective, but, it‘s—yes, it would help tremendously, where it‘s found, what type of evidence, whether it‘s blood, cell, saliva, etcetera, and where it‘s found, whether it‘s on his clothing, in the trunk of a car compared to the inside the car.  Each location and how it‘s found makes it a stronger case. 

So, Debbie, what is next for you? 

D. BOYD:  Well, the prelim hearing on November 1, at which time we will understand what the outcome is going to be with regard to the charges that he is currently being held against, which is the weapons charge. 

I am hoping that, by the time we get to November 1, that the Department of Justice crime lab will have completed all of the forensic analysis.  That‘s my—my greatest hope. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Pat and Debbie Boyd, thank you so much for being with us tonight, and know that our thoughts and prayers remain with you, your daughter, and your entire family. 

D. BOYD:  Great.  Thank you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  God bless you.

P. BOYD:  Thank you very much. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

Now turning to another story that so many have been talking about in New Orleans, did hospitals and nurses and home workers possibly kill patients during the darkest hours of Hurricane Katrina? 

Charles Foti is the attorney general of Louisiana.  He has been investigating those charges, and he joins us now live from Baton Rouge. 

And, Mr. Attorney General, we understand the Associated Press is reporting that you have subpoenaed Memorial Medical Center, 73 subpoenas.  Did you have to do that because they were not cooperating with your investigation? 

CHARLES FOTI, LOUISIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL:  Well, we had received information from other parts that they had put out some kind of attorney-client letter.  We thought that that attorney-client letter was impeding our investigation, because it told them they didn‘t—not to talk with anybody.  And it made some representation.

So, we felt that we had some people that weren‘t talking to us, weren‘t forthcoming, that the only thing that we could do, then, was issue subpoenas to get to the bottom of this case. 

At the present time, we have indicted one nursing home.  We are investigating 13 other nursing homes and four medical centers.  We are investigating every death that happened during this time.  There has been allegations from a number of witnesses that euthanasia took place.  Those are very serious allegations. 

I think people have the feeling that if they go into a hospital or their loved ones go into a hospital, that they are treated rightly.  This hospital has a hospital within a hospital.  The other hospital has cooperated fully with us.  The main hospital has cooperated.  We have also about 15 days ago sent them a letter requesting lots of documents.  In the process, we have had autopsies being done on all of the bodies. 

We have taken tissue samples and sent them to labs for testing, and so this is a very active investigation to find out the truth of the matter, what did happen. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I understand that you believe there may be as many as 200 victims of negligent homicide or possible mercy killings.  Could it go that high? 

FOTI:  Oh, no, sir. 

They had about 200 people that died in the various hospitals.  Most of those were of natural causes.  But they had, like in St. Rita‘s case, the people drowned.  When it came in, they actually drowned.  They were in their beds.  And they drowned, and some of them got out. 

In others, they have similar type of allegations.  We have allegations that patients were left with very minimal care, so there‘s all different types of allegations in various different ways.  This particular case involved—involves the allegation of euthanasia.  This is a very serious allegation.  It is a crime.  It is morally wrong.  And we are looking at it.  And if we find that this crime has taken place, then we will investigate it on a criminal basis.  We will charge and attempt to convict. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We had last night Dr. John Kokemor.  He spent the worst days of Katrina at Memorial Medical Center. 

Last night, I asked him if he knew anything about the meetings where mercy killings may have been discussed.  I want you to listen to what he had to say and then respond. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JOHN KOKEMOR, MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER:  Absolutely, positively not. 

The meetings were organizational meetings to assign units to different physicians to assist in the—with the nurses and the patients‘ care.  We were also caring for numerous visitors.  We had approximately 1,800 lives in the hospital that we were responsible for.  That includes the 215 patients. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Mr. Attorney General, that is obviously just one medical provider out of hundreds that were down there at the time.  I am curious, though, do you have any information that would lead you to believe that there were meeting at hospitals or nursing homes talking about the possibility of mercy killings? 

FOTI:  Actually, we are in an active investigation.  And that‘s something you really can‘t discuss. 

When we finish, then either we will clear the hospital or we will file civil charges if we feel there‘s been some other violations of rules and regulations, or we will file criminal charges.  At the conclusion of all these investigations, we will issue a report pointing out the problems that happened, not only for our state, so that we can make some regulatory and/or statutory changes, but problems that should be taken into account by Homeland Security, because, basically, we had a hurricane, and then we had the levees break.

And so, we almost had a weapon of mass destruction that came in there, which destroyed the infrastructure, similar to what you would have in a war or a fantastic terrorist attack.  How do we react, what things we should do?  How are the people in these hospitals protected?  How are the hospitals protected?  What were the emergency plans?  Why did you run out of fuel?  Where was the generator placed? 

All of these things become important for the protection of the citizen, whether it‘s you, yourself, or your loved ones that goes into hospital.  You have the belief that you are being—going to be treated rightly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Right.  No doubt about it. 

Attorney General Charles Foti, thank you so much for being with us tonight.  We appreciate it and look forward to seeing you again as the investigation moves forward. 

FOTI:  Thank you.  

SCARBOROUGH:  I am joined now by Tucker Carlson.  He‘s the host of

“THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON.” 

Tucker, what is the situation tonight?

CARLSON:  So many, Joe.  We are waiting, as you know, to find out whether these indictments are coming.  It seems pretty clear they are. 

The question that I am interested in answering is, what‘s the response going to be?  What are Democrats going to say?  They have this amazing opportunity, potentially?  What are they going to do with it?  And, more to the point, what is the White House going to do?  If Scooter Libby is indicted, will they throw him overboard, as I suspect they will, or will they stand behind him, which makes logical sense?  He‘s been working there, after all, for the past couple of years.

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  You are shaking your head. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s logical?  Wait a second. 

CARLSON:  It is.

SCARBOROUGH:  You are acting as if people in Washington behave like human beings outside of Washington. 

CARLSON:  Well, let me put it this way. 

They know for a fact, because it‘s been reported and not refuted, that he was involved in the leak of Valerie Plame‘s name, that he spoke to reporters about her name.  That‘s basically all you need to know at this point.  If that is morally offensive, they ought to can him yesterday.  If it‘s not, they ought to defend him if he is indicted. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re saying, don‘t wait for the indictments.  Right. 

CARLSON:  It‘s that simple.  If—they know the facts, or most of them.  If it‘s wrong now, it‘s going to be wrong tomorrow.  And if it‘s OK now, it‘s going to be OK tomorrow. 

So, if they change their position and say, oh, it‘s outrageous, what he did, and he is leaving, and—no, I think that‘s wrong.  That‘s inconsistent. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, the part of the story that I am looking forward to hearing the most at 11:00 is, talking about the Democrats‘ response. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Because I am a conservative Republican, but I have been harshly critical of Republicans, the way they have behaved over the past six months to a year.

CARLSON:  And for good reason.  Me, too.

SCARBOROUGH:  For a good reason.  They have really let the entire conservative movement down. 

CARLSON:  Yes, they have.

SCARBOROUGH:  They have been shameful.

But, at the same time, Democrats have been worse. 

CARLSON:  Well, that‘s true. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You can‘t beat something with nothing.  And it seems like the Democrats have provided nothing for, well, maybe since Bobby Kennedy... 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Well, the Democrats are pathetic at the moment, because they are not standing on principles, whatever those principles are they now believe in—not clear.

SCARBOROUGH:  Right. 

CARLSON:  Conservatives have a set of principles.  They don‘t always agree on them, but they exist.  And to the extent they ignore them, they become pathetic, as the White House is now demonstrating to the rest of us. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, you know, that‘s really—that‘s the great thing, is, you and I can be angry at the Republicans for not adhering to the principles that Republicans are supposed to stand for.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  But you know what?  We at least know what those principles are. 

CARLSON:  Exactly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  For the life of me, right now, in 2005, I couldn‘t tell you what the Democratic Party stands for. 

CARLSON:  Exactly.  The point is ideas, loyalty to ideas, not to political parties or politicians.

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly. 

CARLSON:  Because they always let you down, but ideas remain the same. 

SCARBOROUGH:  They always let you—God bless you.

Tucker Carlson.

CARLSON:  Thank you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Looking forward to it. 

CARLSON:  Thanks.

SCARBOROUGH:  Make sure you tune into “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON.”  That‘s coming up next at 11:00. 

Coming up here next, stranded in paradise, thousands of Americans unable to go home, but it‘s no vacation.  Why some there say the United States government isn‘t doing enough to rescue them. 

And you have heard the story of a CEO who ran up a $241,000 bill at the strip club.  Well, this kind of behavior, from what we are being told, isn‘t unusual.  The secret weapon that businessmen are starting to use every day. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Tens of thousands of tourists stranded tonight in hurricane-ravaged Cancun, Mexico.  Five days after Wilma slammed into Cancun, nearly 30,000 tourists are stuck there with little food or water. 

Among them, thousands of Americans who are fighting every day to get out and get back home. 

NBC‘s Peter Alexander is in Cancun tonight, and he has that story. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETER ALEXANDER, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  Tonight, thousands of American tourists are still stranded, trying to get out of Cancun, Mexico, after Hurricane Wilma‘s three-day attack on this Mexican resort. 

JERRY FLORES, RESIDENT OF PENNSYLVANIA:  We had to learn the hard way not to book a—a vacation on hurricane season.  It was—it was rough. 

ALEXANDER:  Some lucky travelers arrived in Denver overnight, with harrowing details. 

RHONDA RAWLS, STRANDED IN CANCUN:  There were 15,000 Americans down there, 15,000.  Our country wasn‘t there.  The other countries were getting the people out. 

ALEXANDER:  The storm lashed Cancun for more than 72 hours, trapping some 40,000 tourists.  The hurricane slammed the airport, knocking out navigation aids and limiting flights to daylight hours only.  One of the two terminals closed indefinitely. 

ROB PERRY, STRANDED IN CANCUN:  We haven‘t had any contact with anybody from the U.S.  We haven‘t had any contact with any of our travel representatives or anything.  It‘s been tough.  Nobody knows anything.  We have got limited telephone service. 

ALEXANDER:  Meanwhile, in Havana, Cuba, streets are still flooded after Monday‘s powerful storm sent three feet of seawater surging five blocks inland.  A massive cleanup effort is under way in the Cuban capital, with reports that Wilma damaged at least 2,000 homes.  Tourists are still being evacuated on amphibious vehicles.

So far, there are no reports of deaths on the island, after 700,000 were evacuated from their home in the days leading up to the storm. 

Peter Alexander, NBC News. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  I will tell you what, there‘s so many, so many situations in what‘s been happening over the past several months regarding hurricanes and our government‘s response to it, not only obviously down where I live, but also, unfortunately, here in Cancun. 

Certainly, a lot of Americans feel like they are being let down by their government.  And they certainly are. 

We will be right back and ask the question whether business should be done inside of strip clubs.  It‘s a disturbing new trend.  And should shareholders be paying for CEOs and their night out? 

Coming up next, we are going to be talking to people who have seen it all up close.  And they will give you the inside scoop.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  There‘s been a lot of talk in New York City especially about whether it‘s wrong to do business in strip clubs. 

This CEO is finding out the hard way that many people believe it is.  But, tonight, some are asking, are strip clubs the new golf courses?  Do publicly traded company condone this type of behavior, and where is the line being drawn, and are they using your money, your stockholders‘ money, to carry on this type of behavior? 

With me now to talk about it is Susan Antilla.  She‘s a reporter for Bloomberg and the author of “Tales From the Boom-Boom Room.”  We also have Jim Wilson.  He‘s owner of City Scape, a gentleman‘s club in New York City.  Also with us, Veronica Russo, who works at City Scape. 

Susan, let me begin with you.  You have written a book about the culture of what you call sexual harassment on Wall Street.  Does it surprise you that more and more Wall Street types are getting business done in strip clubs these days? 

SUSAN ANTILLA, AUTHOR, “TALES FROM THE BOOM-BOOM ROOM”:  Well, it never surprises me, if there‘s an economic way for someone to do something. 

Men, as we all know, for a couple thousand years, have been enjoying seeing women with their clothes off, so that part doesn‘t surprise me.  The thing that I am surprised at in this particular business era is that you see more people doing this and putting it on their expense accounts.  You know, we are in a post-Enron, post-WorldCom era, and this is an issue to me of business ethics, and so I think that in this particular time in business history, it really does surprise me that you see guys going in and using corporate cards and getting away with it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It seems like they still don‘t get it, do they? 

ANTILLA:  I think not.  I think not. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Jim Wilson, let me ask you, are you noticing more and more people coming into your clubs, closing business deals in your clubs, or doing business in your clubs, because, again, as some people are saying, this is sort of the new version of golf in the 21st century? 

JIM WILSON, STRIP CLUB OWNER:  I don‘t necessarily think that it‘s a new version.  I think it‘s been going on for a while now.  I just think that people are starting to hear more about it. 

I don‘t really see the difference between going into a fancy restaurant and spending hundreds of dollars on nice dinners or going into one of the clubs to entertain their clients. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Susan, what do you say? 

ANTILLA:  Well, I just don‘t buy that. 

You know, I think that it‘s one thing if you are closing a deal, and you are doing this on company money.  If you tell me that you are going out on the golf course, which you mentioned before, Joe, I certainly can believe that you might stop in between doing what you are doing on the golf course.  You are standing around for a while.  You are walking from one place to another.  There‘s certainly lots and lots of opportunity to be talking with business with your colleagues and your customers. 

On the other hand, if you go to a strip club, absolutely, the attention is on the women who are performing, and people are doing a lot of drinking, and there‘s just nobody in the world who is going to convince me that the men who are in there are in there doing business. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But, Veronica, a lot of people come to the club.  And you have, obviously, a front-row seat to it all.  And you have got a front-row seat to the clientele that go there. 

Don‘t a lot of guys go there, trying to act like, you know, big shots, bringing friends in, bringing business partners in, throwing a lot of money around, and trying to impress their friends? 

VERONICA RUSSO, STRIPPER:  I don‘t really know if it‘s that much, whether it‘s for business or pleasure.  People are coming there to be entertained.  Whether they are coming there for entertainment or just for fun, I don‘t really see anything that people are throwing money around just as for drinking and for anything like that.  You know what I am saying? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

And Jim, what about the excess in this case, the so-called lap dunce, as “The New York Post” calls him?  How do you dump $250,000 in a night at a strip club? 

WILSON:  In one of my strip clubs, it‘s actually virtually, virtually impossible to do.  However, I wouldn‘t mind having some of them guys come over and spend that kind of money. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know what, man?  Idiots‘ money spends, I guess, as well as a genius‘ money. 

Thanks a lot for being with us. 

Susan, Jim, and also Veronica, greatly appreciate it. 

We will be right back in a second in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, if you have something to say, send me an e-mail, Joe@MSNBC.com.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, that‘s all the time we have for tonight.

But, right now, we have got “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON,” Tucker right here in D.C.

What‘s the situation tonight? 

CARLSON:  Thank you, Joe.  Well, we actually...

SCARBOROUGH:  I hear you have got breaking news.

CARLSON:  We do have breaking news.

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.

Watch Scarborough Country each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,