Curtis Sliwa, Pam Bondi, Pat Brosnan, Davidson Golden, John Depetro, Chris Daly, Bill Goodman, Bill Donahue, Richard Walter
RITA COSBY, HOST, “LIVE AND DIRECT”: I will see you tomorrow night. Let‘s go to Joe Scarborough and SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY—Joe.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Thanks so much, Rita.
And right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, did liberal laws kill a New York student? Police zero in on an ex-con in the brutal rape and murder of a New York graduate student. This guy was linked to a drug king pin. The parole board called him a menace to society. But can you believe our laws allowed him to walk before he served his full jail term? We‘re talking about it tonight.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. No passport required, no early parole 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: Thanks a lot for being with me tonight. We‘re going to investigate laws that let thugs out of prison early and put you and your family at risk.
Plus the impeachment of George W. Bush. Is it coming to a Congress near you? Well, it will be if some Democrats get their way. It‘s a campaign flat—platform for candidates this year, and it‘s tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown.
And is spring break bad for the health of young women? The American Medical Association says yes. The pictures tell you why. Plus, we'll tell you why the AMA says so.
But first, new details tonight in the fast-moving case of savage rape and murder of a 24-year-old graduate student from New York. At this moment, police are waiting for forensic results they believe are going to tie the brutal crime to a suspect now held on a parole violation.
Let's go right now live to Rita Cosby. She's outside of the home of the man police are questioning tonight.
Rita, this thug was called a menace to society by his own parole board, connected to a drug kingpin who targeted cops in gangland style executions, and yet he walked free. Tell us about this thug who walked free in 2004 before he even served his full prison sentence.
COSBY: And those comments, you're talking about them, the parole board. Then some two months later the guy gets out, which was unfortunately sort of standard procedure. And of course, a lot of people are shaking their heads tonight that this man was actually walking free.
What we're also learning tonight is that authorities are trying to see if he is connected to any other cases, any other possible violent crimes cases. Particularly the possibility that he may be connected to three rape cases.
The reason they suspect that is there are three reported rape cases, two in this area, one in Nassau County, which is the bordering county a few miles away from here. And in those cases of the three, apparently, the women were pulled into a van by a man, an African-American man, they're told.
Darryl Littlejohn, the key suspect, authorities are now basically saying he is the key suspect in this case. Looked similar, is what we're being told, to some of the descriptions that we're being told by these women.
And in the three cases they said that the person was impersonating a federal officer, pulled them into the van, raped them and basically pretending that they were some sort of federal officer at the time, throwing blankets over and then swabbing them down in their private parts so there would be no DNA evidence.
Today we know that there was a lineup brought in. The women in those cases were not able to pinpoint Darryl Littlejohn, the suspect in the case that they're looking at now with Imette St. Guillen.
But one of the women did point out a van, a very interesting blue van that was parked in the driveway. In fact, you can sort of see the driveway here. When I was here at the house the other day the van was actually parked in the driveway. And today, one of the women actually pinpointed that van. It's a very distinctive sort of blue-paneled van that we saw. And apparently, in that particular case, the woman said that van looks like the guy who actually attacked me.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Rita.
COSBY: It's all circumstantial evidence, but a lot of nuggets, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: All circumstantial. Rita, if you could, tell us where you're standing right now, what neighborhood it is. Pinpoint your place for our viewers.
COSBY: You got it. I'm actually in Queens, which is about, you know—about 10 or 12 miles or so down from downtown New York. And the home that I'm standing in front of right here, this is Darryl Littlejohn's home. You can see some of the yellow police tape in front. You can also see the police officers also standing in front.
And the reason they're doing that, Joe, is because they went into the house, we know, for the first time on Monday. And we know that they brought out a number of key items. They brought out a seat from one of the vans. Not the van that we spoke of, but another van that was parked near the home.
They also got tons of bags of evidence. We're also told, also, Joe, alcohol scabs. And the reason that is extremely significant, again, these women in these other cases were wiped down. Also ties. She was also bound, and they believe some of these pieces of evidence combine in building up the case.
And again, authorities are saying to us tonight that they're looking at Darryl Littlejohn. He's the only guy they're looking at. And again, blocking off the house so this evidence is not tampered with.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thank you so much, Rita. Great reporting. Really appreciate it.
Let's bring in right now radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa.
Curtis, we've got some real troubling questions that need answers tonight, not just about this case, but about our system and how broken down it is. My producer, Caruso (ph), put this stuff together for me.
Here this guy, Littlejohn, he didn't even serve his entire sentence. He only served about 2/3 of his sentence because the parole board basically was handicapped by the laws.
And before they let him go, the parole board wrote this: “Your violent and out of control behavior shows you to be a menace to society. Your continued incarceration remains in the best interests of society.”
They couldn't hold him in jail, because the state law required they let him go. This also about Littlejohn. He worked as an enforcer for a notorious New York City drug kingpin, Lorenzo “Fat Cat” Nichols, according to federal records.
Curtis, why is our system still broken in 2006?
CURTIS SLIWA, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, because the laws are written to award good time. So that means I grew up in my deformative years in Queens. I was basically mentored by, as you mentioned, Lorenzo “Fat Cat” Nichols, who himself was a leg breaker, an extortionist, a crack dealer and an executioner of cops and parole officers.
SCARBOROUGH: They target—Curtis, and let's tell people what this guy did, who Darryl Littlejohn worked for. He targeted the NYPD for gangland-style murders.
SLIWA: That's right, the NYPD. And this is way back. We're taking it into the ‘80s. Finally understand what the crack cocaine menace was doing. Because this is a middle-class neighborhood. This is not a neighborhood of projects and tenements for impoverished people. We're talking middle-class folks. And crack cocaine was ravaging this black middle class community.
The cops came in with a heavy hand, and Lorenzo “Fat Cat” Nichols, who controlled the crack dealers by strong arming them, said, “Oh, yes? I'm going to show the NYPD some of my muscle.” And he sent four thugs out to an Office Vern (ph), who was protecting an informer, a Ghanan (ph) immigrant who was informing on the crack cocaine dealers. They had already fire-bombed his house. That's why the cop was outside. And they put two slugs in the back of his head and they got away with it.
And for years he would be infamous in the street, strutting his stuff, saying, “I got it like that. I'll kill a parole officer, a cop.” And no doubt at that time, Darryl Littlejohn was probably just a little one being weaned on a life of crime.
SCARBOROUGH: And that's what the feds said in 2002, that they actually had information that he worked for him all the way back in the 1980s. This guy sounds dirty from the very beginning.
Let me ask you something, Curtis. I'm not from New York City. I don't understand how it works. But this guy, Littlejohn, he had to have a reputation on the streets. If you've been a thug since the 1980s working for this guy, if you've had all the problems that he had, don't you think that the bar owners that hired him had to know he was dirty to the core?
SLIWA: Well, let's face it, the bar owners don't live in that part of New York City. But they don't want to know. They've got window shades on their eyes, cotton balls in their ears, a zipper on their mouth. They just want a muscle head, and Darryl Littlejohn could be menacing.
In fact, I guarantee you, Scarborough, he could stare so hard at you that your mother would feel the vibrations. And that's what they want. Because they don't want him just to be an intimidating force at the door to search people, to make sure they're not coming in with weapons, but they want someone street smart who can sense 5-0, a detective, an undercover cop who might come in and find that they're in violation of the law.
And you know what that means, Scarborough? You lose your liquor license. You get padlocked. You're out of business.
So that's why a guy like him would get paid under the table to literally be outside standing like an antenna. Not just a bouncer, but to be a lookout for the police.
SCARBOROUGH: And you know, a young lady is probably dead because of it. Stay with us, Curtis.
I want to bring in right now “New York Sun” columnist, Davidson Golden; Florida prosecutor, Pam Bondi; and former New York police detective Pat Brosnan.
You know, Darryl Littlejohn is no stranger to crime. We've talked about this before. So if you can tell me, the fact that he had so many problems, going back to the 1980s, the fact that this bar hired him despite that, despite the fact they ran no background checks. The more we find out about the Falls and the family, they more it looks like shut they're going to shutter this place, right?
PAT BROSNAN, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: I told you last night, Joe, if you want to have a drink at the Falls, you might want to go soon.
The heat is on this bar. Not only because they employed a convicted felon, which they shouldn't have, but also because one of the owners of the bar apparently misled the cops in the early days of the inquiry saying that Imette St. Guillen had left on her own. Now, maybe he thought she was leaving on her own because the person who walked her out was the bouncer, Darryl Littlejohn.
SCARBOROUGH: We heard they heard muffled screams. Right?
DAVIDSON GOLDEN, COLUMNIST, “NEW YORK SUN”: That's a bit of an exaggeration. It's been described to me as more like a commotion. And they probably figured that there was an argument between this drunk girl, young woman who didn't want to leave...
SCARBOROUGH: They didn't talk about it for a week, though. I mean, they told the police officers they served her two drinks. I mean, these guys were not telling the police the truth, were they?
GOLDEN: There's no question they were withholding information from the police. And the question is, was it an innocent mistake or more likely, as people suggested, that they know they've probably done something wrong by having this guy work for them in the first place.
SCARBOROUGH: Despite all of that, state law requires bouncers and security guards to take a 24-hour training course, file their fingerprints with the state and federal governments, and this bar did nothing about it.
So really, what we're talking about has absolutely no impact on possible criminal proceedings that could be brought against the bar, right?
GOLDEN: Joe, there are so many laws in New York I don't know who can keep track. There's a law that says you can't smoke in restaurants and bars. People are smoking in a fair number of them. It's much less than it once was.
The point is, a lot of these laws exists and they're simply not enforced. I checked today with the state liquor authority. They said it's up to local law enforcement generally or people complaining to enforce this law that bouncers actually have these licenses.
I don't think that people are going around checking to make sure that bouncers are licensed. And as I've said before, my guess by the end of this we're going to see some sort of immense law, I think we will see Imette's law with more enforcement. It is a good question, why if this law exists, were bouncers like Mr. Littlejohn allowed to work in the first place?
SCARBOROUGH: And Pam Bondi again, you look at what the parole board said about this thug. They said he was out of control. They said he was a menace to society. They said that he should stay in jail. He should remain incarcerated. And yet, they had to let him go.
What's the deal with our laws? Why are we still—I mean, I thought that garbage happened in 1968. Why is it still happening in 2006, where parole boards know if a guy gets out, he's going to be a menace to his society. He still has two years to serve on his term. They've got to let him out. You're a prosecutor. What the hell is going on?
PAM BONDI, PROSECUTOR: Yes, thanks, Joe. And that's how we feel every day. When you're calculating someone's sentence and you have to figure that they're only going to serve 85 percent.
And I'll tell you in Florida now, Governor Bush and attorney general have given us incredible laws, 10, 20, life. Prison release reoffender. So that problem where these guys are going to serve day-for-day if they're convicted.
And we're seeing a big difference in Florida. But in New York, and—as in every state. We've got to build prisons where these guys are going to serve their full sentence.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat, what's happening is, Pat Brosnan. Let me bring you in here. What's happening is the parole boards know these thugs need to stay in jail, but they've got to let them out because they don't have enough prison space, do they, Pat?
BROSNAN: That seems to be the underlying problems, Joe. But when we were in the Bronx, a guy like Littlejohn, who is a predicate—a violent predicate, would have a specific characterization, which is called a “Wow”, which is basically the worst of the worst.
And violent predicate offenders, which is a double robbery hit and a weapons hit, which is actually a triple hit, should have been more significant in terms of the predicate law. So I'm very surprised that his 85 percent number that Pam pointed out was allowed to fall into position.
And furthermore, he should have taken a three-time hit because he had seven felony convictions, two of which were robbery, one of which was a weapons possession, a D felony in New York, criminal possession of a weapon, separate from the armed robbery and the bank robbery.
SCARBOROUGH: So this guy—I mean, this guy, Curtis, a total thug. Again, he slipped through the cracks. There are so many different things that went wrong here. Whether you look at the bouncer law that was ignored, if you look at the parole board who screwed up, if you look at the lax parole laws. Who in the end is most responsible for this?
SLIWA: Well, remember, he knows how to play the system. He got over on us like a fat rat.
The legislators, because look, the federal system has eliminated parole. You've got to do time. You get a little bit of time off if you're a good boy. And I don't have a problem with that, but not two or three years off your sentence.
In the state system they have parole, and they consistently allow guys to do two, three years less of their time. You know, this guy is the perfect poster child for three strikes and you're out. The three strikes and you're out he would be doing triple life without parole.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, everybody stay with us, because I want to talk about that when we come back.
Plus, we're going to ask the question was the victim asking for it? Our next guest says yes. We're going to ask him why.
And later impeach Bush? You know what? The movement among activist Democrats is growing, and come candidates are picking up on the campaign. Political war breaking out from Vermont to California. That's coming up in our “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY Showdown” later. We'll be back.
SCARBOROUGH: A new study by the American Medical Association says spring break is hazardous to women's health. We'll have the pictures and tell you why.
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back.
Murdered grad student Imette St. Guillen was partying alone in a Manhattan bar when she was last seen alive. Is it fair to blame her for what happened that night? One Boston radio talk show host says yes, and he's here to talk to us and tell us why.
John Depetro, welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. You've obviously touched off a firestorm in Boston and across the country with some of your comments. Why do you believe she may have invited this tragedy on herself?
JOHN DEPETRO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Joe, again, no one is blaming the victim. And everyone here in Boston, since she grew up here, feel horrible for her and what happened, this horrible crime.
SCARBOROUGH: People think you're blaming the victim.
SCARBOROUGH: No, most people that listen to what I have to say don't think I'm blaming the victim. People like Dan Abrams and National Organization for Women that live in fantasyland believe I'm blaming the victim.
But what happened was this young woman made a mistake. And if you talk to law enforcement or people that just use common sense, it does not make sense for a young woman to be out alone intoxicated alone at 4 a.m. in New York City.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, John. Just for Americans that haven't heard this yet, let's take a look at some of the things you said. You said about being alone, you said Imette was asking for trouble. She invited trouble. She should have used more common sense. You said, quote, “Out past 3 a.m., you were either doing something or somebody” and, quote, “You cannot be alone and out like that; doesn't lead to anything good.” And you said that she was inviting it on herself.
Can't you understand why a lot of people, other than NOW, would be very angry that you are attacking this young lady's judgment before her body was even cold?
DEPETRO: Joe, we were having a general discussion. I do a talk show. People were reacting to the initial news that we had and what this is a matter of. And I think most people would agree with this, with common sense, that you heighten your risk when you're a woman alone at 4 a.m. intoxicated.
You talk to police, they will tell you it's not a good idea to be out on the street like that.
Here in Boston, a big college town, when young women come to Boston, what do the colleges do? They warn them of the dangers.
SCARBOROUGH: OK. That's common sense, John. I don't mean to cut you off.
DEPETRO: Well, it's not common sense.
SCARBOROUGH: It is common sense, and I understand the point you're trying to make. My point is, don't you think you could have said it better? Don't you think could you have held off for a week, two, three weeks? I mean, her family obviously was grieving. A terrible time for them, and for you to go and basically say it's her fault, I mean, my God, that's awfully harsh, guy.
DEPETRO: Joe, I'm going to repeat. And I like you, Joe. And I like your program. But no one said it was her fault. No one is blaming this woman. But Imette, poor Imette, made a mistake. And that is a mistake that I haven't talked to one young girl who would repeat that mistake.
SCARBOROUGH: And Curtis Sliwa, let me bring you in. John's audience, apparently, if you listen to the show, John's audience, they agree with him. You got a radio show yourself. Do you agree with him?
SLIWA: Well, John is a very popular talk show host in Boston. I've heard him there, read about him in the “Boston Herald.” You're right. That statement of his did set off alarm bells.
But I've have to say on this, my very dear friend, John Depetro, you couldn't be more hopelessly wrong. A week from now, spring break, Daytona Beach, there are going to be girls, girls, girls galore out until 3, 4, 5 in the morning. Does it mean because they're half in the bag that they're begging rapists? They're sort of urging criminals to take advantage of them? We would never would apply this same standard to guys, would we?
DEPETRO: Curtis, it's not the same for guys. Here in Boston at the colleges, if you're a young woman, and you're alone at the library at night and you want an escort back to the dorm, you call security. There aren't guys calling this—for this program; it's women. And women are more at risk.
And Curtis, you know that. The Guardian Angels started. And if there are rapes in a certain section of New York City, it's the Guardian Angeles that step in, will escort women back. Why? Because women are the target and women are more vulnerable.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Pam—let me bring Pam Bondi in here. Pam, you—obviously, you prosecute sex crimes. When this story first came out, I'm going to admit it, my producers came to me. They wanted me to do it. And I said you know what they're going to say in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY? They're going to say a young, petite girl out at 4 a.m. in the morning, in New York City, she was—she was putting herself in a position for terrible things to happen.
A lot of people in middle America agree with John. In fact, I would say more would agree with John than would agree with the National Organization of Women. I'm not one of them, but a lot of people out there think this was a reckless thing to do. What would you say?
BONDI: Joe, I feel better about what John said tonight than his previous statements. The fact that he said she was inviting trouble and asking for what was happening to her, that's ridiculous, and I think it's an ignorant statement based on the fact that no young woman would every anticipate that some monster would attack her like that.
I think it's also insensitive to the Imette's family.
However, I agree with him in that anybody nowadays in this society needs to be more cautious. Of course, no one needs to be walking home alone late at night. Her friend appreciated that fact. I think this will show people in this country that you have to be more cautious when you're out alone.
But you have to be very careful when you blame anything on a victim in this country. She is a victim. And the fact that she would never anticipate some monster attacking her is just—is just beyond me.
SCARBOROUGH: John, are you sorry...
BONDI: Never say that.
SCARBOROUGH: John, are you sorry that you used the word “invited”? That you said that she invited this on herself? Do you want to apologize for that tonight?
DEPETRO: Joe—Joe, we were talking about not her, but just someone who was out alone could be inviting trouble. It's an expression. We do a talk show.
Joe, I want to be very clear, also. This isn't a matter of right. Dan Abrams is trying to make it seem like do women have the right to be out? This is about personal safety, personal responsibility. And a lot of people have said this is a teachable moment. This is when people pay attention. This is when people have discussions. This is when people say, “Hey, you know what? Maybe it's worth having that extra discussion.”
SCARBOROUGH: Let bring in Pat.
DEPETRO: As far as my friend Curtis Sliwa, if I had a daughter—and I have two, very young—a daughter going to spring break, I would have a discussion with them and say what exactly is going to go down.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Pat, what do you make of all this? You're a former New York City cop. Do you think that John was doing women all across America a disservice?
BROSNAN: Here's the thing, Joe. Let me tell you. Right now, any transfer, OK, any transfer whatsoever, even one percent, of responsibility for this nightmare crime from the savage...
DEPETRO: No one is doing that. Come on. You're a cop; you should know better.
BROSNAN: Listen to me, John. First of all, the person we ought to be concerned with the time out may very well have been the individual who was out past their parole time, the mandated time. So...
DEPETRO: Criminally, he is 100 percent responsible. But as a cop in New York, if someone said, “Do you think it's a good idea for a woman to be out alone, intoxicated, at 4 a.m.?”
BROSNAN: John, let's get something clear right now.
DEPETRO: You would say no.
BROSNAN: Let's get something clear. New York City is not Boston, so let's get that crystal clear.
DEPETRO: That has nothing to do with it.
BROSNAN: That has everything to do with it, because you are assigning blame to the victim. You've got to wake up, look around and understand what you're saying.
DEPETRO: You must have been some cop.
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second.
DEPETRO: ... control.
BROSNAN: Hey, John...
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second. Hold on, John.
BROSNAN: You listen to me.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, this is Joe Scarborough. Hold on. Let me talk. Because I want to make a—follow up on a point that you just made.
John, you know, I started working in TV three years ago. I hadn't spent a lot of time in New York City. When I came up here this show ended late, and I was shocked to find out that New York is a pretty safe place. In fact, it's a lot safer walking in downtown New York than it is in Atlanta or Boston or a lot of other cities. I mean, don't you have to take that into consideration, also?
DEPETRO: You know what was a great piece was Rita Cosby on MSNBC “LIVE AND DIRECT.” She had her two producers do the same route as Imette a week later. In the course of 15 minutes they encountered two people on the street. There was a period of three minutes with no cars going by. They couldn't believe how desolate it was.
And I go back. The police will tell you when you're intoxicated, man or woman, you're a target. That's who they prey on.
SCARBOROUGH: So the bottom line is, you won't apologize for your comments. Curtis, I'll give you the final word.
SLIWA: Well, remember, Dorrians ejected her in a drunken state. They are culpable.
SCARBOROUGH: No doubt.
SLIWA: What they should have done is put her in a cab and made sure that she securely got to her next location. They took a woman who hadn't been throwing any punches, who hadn't created a disturbance, that created any physical violence, and they threw her on the street with this muscle head, who it now appears took advantage of that. Not some creep who was hiding off in the shadows, John, and then pounced upon her.
SCARBOROUGH: No doubt about it.
All right. Thank you all so much. John, thank you for being with us, explaining your comments.
DEPETRO: Thank you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Curtis Sliwa, Davidson Golden, Pam Bondi, Patrick Brosnan, really appreciate you being with us to talk about this important case.
Coming up next, from Vermont to California towns and cities are calling for the impeachment of George W. Bush. What is behind the movement that some Democratic candidates are taking up in a time of war?
And why is a Catholic leader demanding a disclaimer on the upcoming “Da Vinci Code” movie? That's going to be our “SCARBOROUGH Showdown” straight ahead.
SCARBOROUGH: The American Medical Association reporting today that spring break is hazardous to young women's health. We'll tell you what the doctors figured out and what warnings you need to issue to your daughters before they head south. We'll talk about that in a little bit. But first, here's the latest news you and your family need to know.
SCARBOROUGH: “The Da Vinci Code” is just a movie, right? Well, some are saying that. But it is attacking Christianity. Now, a battle to put a disclaimer on the new “Da Vinci Code” movie. That's our “Showdown” straight ahead.
And later, the American Medical Association's message to young women: don't go wild this spring break. The results of a stunning study.
Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Those stories in just a minute, but first, Democrats attacking the president's leadership. There's a movement out there right now calling for George W. Bush to be impeached.
Just take a look at how many cities and towns across America have either drafted resolutions calling for the president's impeachment or are considering doing so.
Not only that, but 11 candidates for the House of Representatives and three for the U.S. Senate are all running on the impeachment platform.
Why do they want the president gone? Well, here are the common seasons cited. The war in Iraq, which they say Bush lied to get us into; warrantless eavesdropping, authorized by the president; the torturing of prisoners; and the president's response to Hurricane Katrina.
Let's bring in right now MSNBC political analyst, Pat Buchanan, also Monica Crowley. Also with us, Chris Daly from the San Francisco board of supervisors, which last week passed a resolution asking their Democratic representatives in Congress to pursue the president's impeachment. We also have Bill Goodman, author of “Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush.”
Chris Daly, let me start with you. You actually voted to impeach George Bush. What high crime and misdemeanor has the president committed that would justify impeaching him?
CHRIS DALY, SAN FRANCISCO BOARD OF SUPERVISOR: I think you laid it out. I think that the case is clear. Not only is George Bush going to go down as one of the worst presidents...
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you don't impeach somebody for being one of the worst presidents. If we impeached people for being a bad president, Jimmy Carter would be gone.
DALY: Not only—I said not only is he going to go down as one of the worst presidents in the history of the country, but the case is clear for impeachment for the reasons that you have chronicled at the top of this segment.
SCARBOROUGH: What's the high crime and misdemeanor?
DALY: For lying to the American public, or at the very best...
SCARBOROUGH: Lying about what?
DALY: ... deceiving us into a war that's cost over 2,000 American lives.
SCARBOROUGH: What did he lie about?
DALY: Lied about purchasing yellow cake from Niger. The State Department at the time knew that was a doctored document. The president used that in his State of the Union. This is well chronicled, his...
SCARBOROUGH: So you're saying impeach the president of the United States because he used 16 words in a State of the Union address that he got from Great Britain's—Great Britain's intelligence agency, and also for lying about WMDs, despite—hold on a second—despite the fact that every intelligence agency in America, in Great Britain, in France, in Germany, in Russia, the U.N. Security Council, Resolution 1441 voted 15-0, Saddam had weapons of mass destruction? You can't impeach a guy for believing what he's told by his CIA director.
DALY: But I don't believe that he did believe. And at the time, the State Department...
SCARBOROUGH: What do you mean he don't believe he did believe? You're going to impeach him because the CIA director told him it was a slam-dunk case? And you say, well, he didn't really believe that, so let's impeach him?
DALY: He misled the nation to war. The war is...
SCARBOROUGH: The CIA director told him it was a slam-dunk that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
DALY: You're out of control, Joe Scarborough. You're out of control.
SCARBOROUGH: I'm not out of control.
DALY: Let's move on. Lied to the American public about war.
SCARBOROUGH: I want to know what the high crime and misdemeanor is.
DALY: The—knowing about the potential for levees to break in Katrina, I think the videotape that surfaced a day after our vote last week in San Francisco, calling on impeachment, was quite instructive.
SCARBOROUGH: OK. So do we also impeach—OK, well, hold on a second.
DALY: Making the case for San Francisco. They knew it's just a break and that four days...
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second.
DALY: No one knew. Again, lying.
SCARBOROUGH: Let's also—hold on a second. You know what? You can't keep talking. You need to respond to questions.
DALY: While Mexicans (ph) are—you do it. You talk...
SCARBOROUGH: My question is this. If we go in to impeach George W. Bush what do we do to the governor of Louisiana, who told the FEMA director three and a half hours after the levees were breached that we don't think the levees have been breached? This is after the National Weather Service issued a report at 9:30 that the levees had been breached. Pat Buchanan...
DALY: Well, Joe, why are you misdirecting? Why don't you address the issue directly about the president's willful neglect of the people of New Orleans?
SCARBOROUGH: I just did. You're talking about—you're talking about the levees.
Pat Buchanan, let me bring you in here, because we've got four guests. I want to get to everybody. Pat, it sounds like we're now impeaching presidents because we disagree with them.
Let me tell you. Nobody has been more vicious towards President Bush than I have on his handling of Katrina. But you don't impeach somebody because they're stupid. If that were the case, Jimmy Carter would have been gone in 1977.
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, Joe, what we're talking about is San Francisco, the supervisors.
SCARBOROUGH: But we're also talking about Vermont. We're also talking about candidates in Michigan. We're talking about candidates across America.
BUCHANAN: But Vermont—Vermont—you're talking about candidates that aren't going to get elected. Look, the Democrats have got a great chance to win the Congress or win many seats in the fall. The way they can blow the whole thing is to run on the fact they're going to impeach George Bush for a war for which a majority of the Democratic Party voted to tell him to go to war. That's preposterous.
As for the NSA wiretapping, the president of the United States has argued his case. There's different legal arguments. But no Democrat has—major Democrat has stood up and said cut off the antennas, stop it now. All they've asked him to do is go to the FISA court. This is ridiculous.
These are political arguments. They're not impeachable offenses.
SCARBOROUGH: You know Bill Goodman, the reason why I like your argument, the reason I was fascinated about the article that I read about what Harpers did up in Vermont, is the fact that you're intellectually honest about it. You say the Democrats are spineless. You say this presidency is growing. You think impeachment is a good tool to use to take this president down a notch or two. Right?
BILL GOODMAN, AUTHOR, “ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH”: I think impeachment is a good way to raise the issue. We demand an investigation.
We've written a book about it, actually, “Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush” by the Center for Constitutional Rights. And we spell it all out.
You know, when Pat says look, no major Democrat is willing to say cut off—but off the wiretapping, the fact is that the law provides a clear-cut way that the president has to do these things. He has to go to the FISA court. He knowingly violated that law. And the law says—there are two laws, in fact, that say that when you do that, you are guilty of a crime. There it is. That is one of the high crimes and misdemeanors.
BUCHANAN: Why don't you Democrats then in the House or the judiciary committee impeach him on those grounds? Why don't the United States senators and Democrats say sir, what you are doing is illegal and unconstitutional, stop it now. Because a, they don't believe it or they are too gutless.
GOODMAN: Come on. The Democrats don't control the House Judiciary Committee or the Senate Judiciary Committee.
BUCHANAN: Why don't they stand up in the Senate and say what he's doing is wrong?
GOODMAN: You know there's a resolution in Congress to investigate impeachment, and that's what should happen. And by the way, who knows whether the president lied or didn't lie to get us into Iraq. I think he did.
BUCHANAN: Who is the major Democrat that signed on to impeach the president?
GOODMAN: There's no one in the Senate, but I can name plenty of house members.
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second, Bill, Pat. Pat Buchanan, though, this is a point I made at the beginning, Pat. You know, the thing is about Bill is he steps forward and he says the Democrats are gutless. They need to do this. They need to get the arguments out there. But no major Democrats are doing it.
Monica, I want to bring you in here. What's so fascinating about this is, back in 1997, I think, you had Bob Barr, a guy who served with me on the judiciary committee, talking about impeachment against Bill Clinton. And everybody kind of chuckled: the guy is a right-wing lunatic. A year later, Bill Clinton impeached by the House of Representatives.
There is a possibility, is there not, if Democrats take control of Congress, if they start these investigations in the judiciary committee and armed services committee and the commerce committee and all these different committees, isn't there a possibility that this president could face an impeachment investigation at the very least in a year or two?
MONICA CROWLEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the Democrats would have to have grounds on wish to impeach him. And I have yet to hear anybody on this panel raise legitimate grounds on wish to impeach the president.
What is so absurd about this, is that impeachment is a very serious legal and political process, and it should not be thrown around like it doesn't mean anything. Of course it should be reserved for high crimes and misdemeanors. But what's been laid out so far does not meet that standard.
And what's even more irresponsible on behalf of all of these groups and all these fringe candidates who are out there screaming for the president's scalp in this case, is that we are talking about a commander in chief in the middle of a wartime situation. Can you imagine anybody doing this kind of thing to Franklin Roosevelt in World War II? It is totally irresponsible.
I'll tell you something else. There are legitimate criticisms of the way this administration has handled certain aspects of the Iraq war and the war on terror. I have been very critical of the president on illegal immigration, border security, the Dubai Ports deals. Raise those issues, but do not threaten impeachment every time you disagree with this president. It is absurd, and it's very damaging to the cause and to the arguments of the president's opponents, because they end up marginalizing themselves.
SCARBOROUGH: Monica, impeachment is a political tool?
CROWLEY: Of course impeachment is a political tool. And it's totally irresponsible, especially in a wartime situation like this when nothing, not a single argument the Democrats or those who have opposed the president, arguing for impeachment in this case, not a single cause rises to that level.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. You know, we've got to go, but I want to go back and I want to talk to Bill and Chris. And I want to ask them, give me your best shot. If you had to pick one area where the president could be impeached, I'll give you 15, 20 seconds to make your case to America.
Chris, I start with you. What—what is the president's highest crime and misdemeanor to you?
DALY: Lying to the American people. He's got the blood of over 2,300 American soldiers on his hands.
SCARBOROUGH: And you're saying lying on the yellow cake?
DALY: An illegal war in Iraq. Yellow cake and there's dozens of countless other crimes that Bush, Cheney or administration officials did. And you can laugh off San Francisco all you want, but it's not just San Francisco.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. And Chris, I can agree with—I can agree with you there, there a lot of places across the country.
Bill Goodman, I'll give you your shot. You're standing before the House Judiciary Committee, the Democrats in charge. What are they focused on to impeach George Bush?
GOODMAN: All right, Joe. Fifteen or 20 seconds, I agree with what Chris said. The clearest example, one that nobody has really disagreed with or found fault with, is that he clearly violated the law. It's all laid out in our book, “Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush” by the Center for Constitutional Rights. All of these arguments are in there. And it's accumulation, but I think the clearest one is illegal wiretapping.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: All right. Thanks so much.
Pat Buchanan, Monica Crowley, Chris Daly, Bill Goodman, appreciate you all being here.
Friends listen, everybody obviously has a right to believe what they believe. Step forward and give intellectually on this argument. I've got so many problems with using impeachment as a political tool. I think that's what's going on here.
Yes, Bill Clinton, because I know a lot of Democrats are now saying what about Bill Clinton? He got impeached for having sex? No, he didn't. He committed an act, lying to a grand jury, that would put you or me in jail in a federal penitentiary for six months.
What did George Bush do? He screwed up on Katrina. He didn't get good intel from the CIA director. But if your main argument is you're going to impeach the president of the United States because he believed the CIA director? When he said to his CIA director, “Hey, you know what? It doesn't look like we've got a lot of strong evidence to go to war.”
And your CIA Director stands up in the office and shouts at you, waving his arms, Mr. President, it's a slam dunk. At that point, you can be impeached if the CIA director is right and you ignored his advice.
I think Democrats are making a big mistake here.
Coming up next, a new effort to set the record straight about “The Da Vinci Code.” What's Hollywood afraid of?
And March means spring break and, according to a new study, big dangers. We'll see who's most at risk when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: The most anticipated movie in years, and “The Da Vinci Code” is still stirring controversy. The book and the new film have angered many in the religious community who say it's anti-Christian. And now the Catholic League is using this ad to call on the film's producer, Ron Howard, to use a disclaiming “calling it a work of fiction.”
With me now to talk about it, Bill Donahue. He's the president of the Catholic League. And Richard Walter, he's a professor of film at UCLA.
Bill, you want a disclaimer. Why?
BILL DONAHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Well, because the movie's a hoax. And I'm sick and tired of the lies that are being told about the Catholic Church. And if there were lies told about any other segment of the population, you'd get the representative who represents that particular group to object, as well.
You know, Dan Brown says on the one hand it's fiction. The next thing out of his mouth, he says it is based on historical truth. He opens the book with three facts, all of which are demonstrably wrong, historically wrong. And I've been able to demonstrate that, as well as many, many authors out.
And then you have John Calley, who's the co-producer, who admits that the movie is anti-Catholic.
So people are wondering why am I complaining? I can't imagine a movie being anti-Semitic or gay-bashing or racist that wouldn't engender the same type of robust response that I'm offering.
SCARBOROUGH: Richard Walter, what's wrong with the disclaimer?
RICHARD WALTER, FILM PROFESSOR: Well, Ron Howard has said that it's fiction. If you go to the book stores, you'll find it in the fiction section.
I just can't believe the arrogance of my friend Bill and the Catholic League, demanding that a filmmaker put a message into a movie that that filmmaker doesn't want to put in.
They should be jumping for joy that this is going to be in the hands of Ron Howard, that it's going to be produced by Brian Grazer, that the screenplay is by Akiva Goldsman. They've made responsible, intelligent films. Imagine having so little faith in God's church as to believe that a bad movie could shake it.
WALTER: It's likely to be a very good movie.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Richard, it probably is going to be a very good movie. And the book was a good read.
But, a lot of people out there very offended by the fact that “The Da Vinci Code” said Jesus was basically a hoax, Christianity was a lie, that the Catholic Church is run by thugs who killed people through the centuries.
And when Dan Brown was on “The Today Show” talking with Matt Lauer about his book, Matt Lauer asked him whether the book was truth or fiction. Let's roll the tape and show America what Dan Brown said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, NBC'S “THE TODAY SHOW”: How much of this is based on reality in terms of things that actually occurred? I know you did a lot of research for the book.
BROWN: Absolutely all of it. Obviously, Robert Langdon is fictional. But all of the art, architecture, secret rituals, secret societies, all of that is historical fact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Richard, I mean, that's pretty damning; it doesn't sound like fiction to me.
WALTER: It doesn't sound damning to say that the art and the architecture is authentic. He claims that it's fiction.
I read the book. You yourself said it's a good read. People have the right to write books offend people, that provoke people. That's what art is supposed to do. The worst you can say about it is that it's bad art. But what are you going to do in a free country with bad art, other than tolerate it?
SCARBOROUGH: Bill, are you intolerant?
DONAHUE: No, I'm simply doing what Abe Foxman did at the ADL. He was asking for disclaimers with “The Passion of the Christ.” No one ever seemed to complain. It's always when Catholics complain that we have this problem.
And the fact of the matter is, Richard, he talks about in the facts documents. What documents? Where is the document that says that at the Council of Nicea in 325 they were sitting around wondering whether or not Christ was divine and trying to make it up? That's a fabrication.
SCARBOROUGH: Bill, we've got to go. We'll be right back with you all on the other side of the break.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Bill Donohue, aren't Catholics' faith strong enough to withstand a Hollywood movie?
DONOHUE: Well, of course it is. But the fact of the matter is that I'm not interested in seeing whether or not the Catholic faith can survive. I want the Catholic Church to thrive. And that's why I don't want any more lies told about it.
And after all, if everything says this really is a work of fiction, then Ron Howard should have no problem getting back to me. I wrote him a year ago. He should easily accede to my request to put the disclaimer in.
SCARBOROUGH: Richard Walter, what's wrong with that?
WALTER: The ADL demanded a disclaimer on “The Passion of the Christ.” They didn't get it. Nobody said that Gibson had to give it.
The Catholic League is demanding it on the Ron Howard picture. They're not going to get it. What they're doing is giving tremendous publicity to the picture. They're promoting something that they claim is injurious. It does not serve the church. It doesn't serve American film. It doesn't serve the democratic process.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thank you Richard. As always, thank you, Bill. Greatly appreciate the debate. We'll be right back to tell you how spring break can be hazardous to your health.
SCARBOROUGH: Parents and young women, be aware that the American Medical Association is warning girls not to go wild this spring break. The AMA is very concerned that risky behavior leads to sexually transmitted diseases, blackouts and violence against women.
Last year, police in Daytona Beach reported twice as many rape cases during spring break. And a new survey finds that more than 85 percent of college co-eds say spring break involves heavier than usual drinking and drugs. And close to 75 percent say it results in increased sexual activity and other outrageous behavior that's bad for their health.
Be safe out there.
That's all the time we have for tonight. Tucker Carlson is on vacation. Stay tuned for “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews. Thanks for being us with tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION”: If you've tuned in for “THE SITUATION” tonight, we've got some sad news. We're off for the week. We'll be back—have no fear—Monday, March 13.
In the meantime, stay tuned for “HARDBALL.”
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