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PoliticsNation, Friday, April 25th, 2014

April 25, 2014

Guests: Jan Schakowsky, Faith Jenkins, Carmen St. George

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE ED SHOW: When you`ve got the big boys after
you, you know you`ve got a good product. That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Ed
Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.

Good evening, Rev.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, new offensive comments from to the lawless hero on the
right has politicians and pundits running for the hills and damage in
control mode.

Today, Cliven Bundy is comparing himself to Martin Luther King and Rosa
Parks. More on that in a moment. But this morning, he also went back to
his radical anti-government rhetoric, the same talk that made him a star on
the right.


CLIVEN BUNDY, NEVADA RANCHER: I live in a southern state of the state of
Nevada and I abide by all of the state laws and I will be damned that this
is a property that the United States, they have no business here. Nevada
is the sovereign state. The land within this state belongs to the state of
Nevada, not the United States. This is a sovereign state. And they do not
have jurisdiction. They do not have authority. They do not have policing
power. And they move back down on that. They want policing power. They
want to make this a policing state.


SHARPTON: For lack of a better term, that`s crazy. He doesn`t think the
government exists, it`s the police state? It`s the same extremist story
Bundy was selling all along. And it`s exactly what so many conservatives
fell in love with.


BUNDY: It seems like the United States government is operating with
unlimited power. It`s not about cattle. It`s about federal government
abuse on state rights and state sovereignty.

I abide by all the Nevada state laws, but I don`t recognize the United
States government as even existing.


SHARPTON: How come politicians weren`t running away from that? Senator
Cruz, Senator Paul, Senator Heller, they all condemned by this racism, but
still haven`t condemned him for calling for lawlessness and disorder.

Today, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee complained, it`s
not fair to link the GOP to Bundy. But listen very carefully to what else
he said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The issue with Clive Bundy has absolutely nothing to do
with this party, zero. He`s a Nevada rancher that had a beef with the
federal government`s continued overreach.


SHARPTON: Get that? There`s that boogie man again, government overreach.
And what does is Bundy`s biggest fan say now?


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The ranch standoff that took place out in
Nevada was not about a name called Cliven Bundy. At the heart of this
issue was my belief that our government is simply out of control.


SHARPTON: Out of control government. Since President Obama took office,
this rhetoric has exploded on the right. States trying to secede. Talk of
being armed and dangerous. A Supreme Court justice talking about revolt
and a lawless Nevada rancher becoming a right wing folk hero.

Joining me now is "the Washington Post`s" E.J. Dionne and`s Joan

E.J., let me start with you. What does this controversy reveal to the
mainstream about the Republican party?

E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think this shows that
there are a significant number of Republicans, including those senators
that you saw, who at this moment are willing to identify with what you
might almost call a neo-confederate view of the federal government. I
mean, he is saying the federal government doesn`t exist.

I don`t like the word treason because people throw it around at anyone they
disagree with, but I think he falls within the technical definition of
that. And the notion that someone who doesn`t want to pay the federal
government what he owes it doesn`t recognize the federal government, the
notion that this person is lifted up as a patriot tells us something really
terrible about how some people on the right are thinking these days. And I
hope that this episode actually causes some conservatives to say hold on,
we`ve got to stop this and stop trying to de-legitimate the federal
government of the United States.

SHARPTON: And that`s what`s disturbing to me, Joan.

Yes, the racial statements was disgusting, but the core message, even
before his racism was exposed, the core message was an anti-national
government, anti-union message that these guys rallied around. One of
Bundy`s biggest supporters has been Sean Hannity. Now, he`s strongly
condemned Bundy`s racist remarks, but he continued to claim this is a case
of government overreach. Listen to this.


HANNITY: This is government gone wild. It`s not limited to Cliven Bundy.
We have seen it play out in and they have been tax agency efforts to target
and silenced and intimidate citizens. We watched tragically as our top
diplomats and our commander-in-chief lied in the wake of a terrorist attack
that took the lives of four brave Americans. We`ve also endured the
universal nightmare that is Obamacare.


SHARPTON: So let me get this right, Joan. Somehow a rogue rancher all of
a sudden is the fault of IRS, Benghazi, the affordable health care act. I
mean, this is absolutely way over the top, but it spells what this fight
was really all about.

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, SALON.COM: Right. And it`s only bad when he
says racist things and the racist things are inextricably linked to his
philosophies. But still, you know, Sean Hannity is purporting to make
things better, Rev., but he titles the whole segment government got wild.

Government only goes wild when we`ve had Democrats, bay basically. We have
a real sharp upturn in this kind of a talk under President Obama. But it
actually goes back to President Clinton.

We saw this around, you know -- it culminated in Timothy McVeigh who talked
about sovereign states. you know, the sate rights rhetoric is exactly as
E.J. said, neo-confederate. But the Republican party mainstream figures,
Rand Paul is not a fringe figure. Rick Perry, you know, same kind of
rhetoric. They`re not running away from these controversies. They`re
running towards them.

SHARPTON: But how can you run for president of a union that you`re
supporting people who say the unions don`t exist.

WALSH: I don`t know. And I hope they pay for it. We`re going to see.

SHARPTON: You know, E.J., the one leading conservative pundit Charles
Krauthammer is questioning why conservatives embraced Bundy in the first
place. Listen to this.


conservatives end up in bed with people who, you know, he makes an anti-
government statement, he takes and anti-government stand. He wears a nice
big hat and rides a horse and all of a sudden he`s a champion of democracy.
This is a man who says he doesn`t recognize the authority of the United
States of America. That makes him a patriot?


SHARPTON: I mean, I don`t agree with Krauthammer often, but even he
understands wait a minute, what are you talking about here? And he`s a
conservative pundit.

DIONNE: Right. I mean, Charles Krauthammer it`s worth noting once upon a
time worked for Walter Mondale before he became more conservative. And he
remembers that conservatives are supposed to be people who believe in the
constitution. These guys, not Charles, but some of these right wingers
call themselves constitutional conservatives. You can`t be, as he
understands, a constitutional conservative if you don`t believe in the
government that the constitution itself created.

But they need to be a lot more like Charles coming out there. They need to
be a lot of Republican politicians who stand up and say enough of this.
But this talk is so popular on FOX News and with Rush and what David Frum
called the conservative entertainment complex that a lot of them are afraid
to stand up and say this is ridiculous.

SHARPTON: You know, Joan, leave it to Ted Cruz. He goes even out and
blames President Obama. Here`s why he said this story was resonating.
Listen to this.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: For five years, we have seen our liberty under
assault. We have seen our liberty under assault from a federal government
that seems hell bent on expanding its authority over every aspect of our
lives. We should have a federal government protecting the liberty of the
citizens, not using the jack boot of authoritarianism to come against the
citizens. And I think this is the unfortunate and tragic culmination of
the path that President Obama has set the federal government upon.


SHARPTON: So now this was a statement made before the racist statements,
but it still carries over, right, to what we`re kiss discussing tonight.
You`re telling me thousands of ranchers pay what they`re supposed to pay
for the government. This guy decides he doesn`t want to pay and the
federal government all of a sudden is oppressing and exploiting him? And
this guy is leading some -- I mean, this is outrageous.

WALSH: Well even Glenn Beck, this was too much for Glenn Beck, remember?
So, if it`s too much for Glenn Beck, it`s really out there. I mean, I want
to take issue with everything, Ted Cruz said the one thing that this is
resonating? It`s not resonating. It really isn`t resonating. Let`s
always remember, this is a tiny fringe. These are mainstream politician.
They are the mainstream of their party right now. But they are playing to
a tiny, paranoid embattled base.

The last time we heard the rhetoric of Jack booted thugs was in the era of
Timothy McVeigh. I mean, this is dangerous language. It often it`s
connected to racism. It sometimes leads to violence. And you know, I want
to applaud Charles Krauthammer as you did, Matt Lewis in the "Daily
Caller." They`re not going to love us giving them credit, Rev., I promise
you that, but we`re going to do it anyway.

SHARPTON: I`ll attack them, whatever way they want it, but they`re right
on this.

But let me say this, E.J. The outrage of this, let`s not get away from, is
these guys still have not addressed the central issue that they`re talking
about. We played the tape, armed militias that they will face federal
agents and they will fight and say that the federal government doesn`t
exist. And they`re not denouncing that. They`re denouncing the racist
remarks. They`re not denouncing that and some of them were talking about
running for president. Others of them are holding elected office. This is

DIONNE: It is outrageous. And the use -- the notion that you`re going to
support action against the federal government is outrageous as Joan
suggested. The use of that term, Jack Boot, is outrageous.

And one other thing is outrageous that we don`t talk about a lot, which is
President Obama is no leftist. What was he held bent on doing? He was
held bent on spending some federal money to get us out of the recession.
He was hell bent on getting some people health insurance which essentially
Mitt Romney`s health care plan.

Now come on, these guys are trying to paint Obama as something he
absolutely is not. And I think some of them know it.

SHARPTON: Well, I know they know it. but I am left to sending many
things. And can you imagine of a leftist group or group of color was out


SHARPTON: Breaking with militia. Can you imagine the position of these
people. It`s hypocrisy at its worst and it`s against the interests of this

E.J. Dionne and Joan Walsh, thank you for your time tonight. Have a good

DIONNE: Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the lawless rancher on race and comparing himself to
heroes of the civil rights movement.


BUNDY: If those people cannot take those kinds of words and not be
offensive, then Martin Luther King hasn`t done his job done yet.


SHARPTON: And today, some new signs Republicans are crumbling in the fight
to repeal the affordable care act.

Plus, should the so-called affluence defense been banned from the
courtroom? Can you be too rich to jail? It might have happened again,
this time with a millionaire CEO.

Tonight, you be the judge. Big show ahead. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: The lawless rancher who has become a hero on the right compare
himself to Rosa Parks? This is no Rosa Parks. And I have prove why, next.


SHARPTON: Cliven Bundy hasn`t back down from his offensive comments in
anything he is doubled down. In an interview today, he even compared
himself to heroes of the civil rights movement.


BUNDY: They talk about Rosa Park taking her seat at the front of the bus.
Now, Reverend Martin Luther King did not want her to take her seat in the
front of the bus. That wasn`t what he was talking about. He did not say
go to the front of the bus and that`s where your seat was. What Reverend
King wanted was that she could set anywhere in the bus and that nobody
would say anything about it. And you and I can set mile anywhere in the
us. That`s what he wanted. And that what I want. I want her to be able
to sit anywhere in that bus and I want to be able to sit by her anywhere on
that bus.

SHARPTON: Rosa Parks, Cliven Bundy has no Rosa Parks. When Rosa Parks
refused to give up her seat on that bus, she was fighting discrimination.
It was an act of selflessness. She sat so that millions more could stand
up to the racism of the 1950s.

Cliven Bundy is a lawless rancher. He`s not fighting against
discrimination and he`s not fighting on behalf of others. He`s fighting
for himself. He`s refusing to pay fees that thousands of other ranchers
have no problem with.

In this country, you`re allowed to challenge laws you think are unjust.
I`ve done that myself. I protested the bombings in Viejas (ph) and I even
served 90 days in jail for this belief. If Mr. Bundy believes in his cause
so much, why won`t he do That?

Joining me now are Joe Madison and Bill Press. Thank you for coming on the
show tonight.



SHARPTON: Joe, let me start with you. What do you make of this rancher
comparing himself to Rosa Parks?

MADISON: Well, first of all, you had me think of something. Rosa Parks
was quite honestly defending the constitution of the United States.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

MADISON: It was a Supreme Court decision that dealt with, not just the
state of Alabama, but it was about the entire country. So here you have a
man to just got through saying to everybody, he doesn`t believe in the
United States but he would be right there with Rosa Parks who by the way
was upholding a federal law that he says he doesn`t believe in.

Look, he also chooses to compare himself to those who are no longer with
us. I mean, why doesn`t he compare himself to John Lewis? Because John
Lewis would stand up and tell him, neither is he a Rosa Parks or John

And finally, as it relates to this, you`re absolutely right. You`ve gone
to jail, I`ve gone to jail with you. And I just got out of jail as it
relates to South Sudan. If you are honest about what you want to do, then
don`t fight them, you know, sacrifice. Go to jail and stand up and be
counted like Rosa Parks did.

SHARPTON: Bill, he also compared himself to -- he said this about Martin
Luther King. Listen to this.


BUNDY: When you talk about prejudice, we`re talking about not being able
to exercise what we think and our feelings. We don`t have the freedom to
say what we want. If I say negro or black boy or slave, I`m -- if those
people cannot take those kind of words and not be offensive, then Martin
Luther King hasn`t got his job done yet.


SHARPTON: I mean, I don`t know what he thinks Dr. Kings job was that
people can call people black boy, but Bill, Martin Luther King clearly
talked about governors who talked about nullification, which was states
rights. And this man and his supporters are the ones out here now saying
let`s nullify federal government law and they want to impose state law
across the board. And that`s what`s at the bottom of this issue.

PRESS: Absolutely. I want to say two quick points about Rosa Parks. You
know, number one, look at that picture of Rosa Parks on that bus. I didn`t
see any armed vigilantes standing around Rosa Parks the way they were
standing around Mr. Bundy out there. I mean, this is so odious for him to
compare himself to her or to Martin Luther King.

But you know, the other thing, Reverend Al, is this goes back to the
history of our country. In the 1790s, there was something called the
whiskey rebellion when people just like Clive Bundy in western
Pennsylvania, ranchers said they were not going to play the federal
government the whiskey tax and George Washington himself, president of the
United States got on his horse and led the federal agents in western
Pennsylvania and suppressed them because he said the federal government has
got to be willing and able to suppress any violence resistance to the
federal government. That`s exactly what we`re seeing right here. And
these armed vigilantes, these -- I mean, I think E.J. was right. This was
treason and ought to be dealt with treason.

SHARPTON: You know, Joe, what bothers me is how if you want to stand for
something, say that. But to try and miss use others, like the world net
daily conservative pundit Alan Keyes asked what`s going on on the Bundy
ranch was a Rosa Parks moment, I mean, some on the right have invoked the
jams of civil rights leaders to defend their stance on certain issues.
Their names have been used to defend opposition to the affordable care act,
to defend their crusade for gun rights, to defend their anti-abortion
stand. They even invoke king to defend voter ID.

I mean, if you`re going to stand for something, how are you going to use
the people that fought for strong central government to protect themselves
against states rights. Why distort them? Use the examples that you really
believe in and that you`re consistent with.

MADISON: Yes, you can do it because -- we call it -- remember the day, we
called it co-opting. They have co-opted everything. And that`s exactly
what they`re doing. You know, this would be like comparing the night
riders of the Klu Klux Klan to the freedom riders of the civil rights
movement. And that`s what these guys do.

And the sad thing is, the sad thing is they get away with it because
Reverend Sharpton, most people don`t know their history. And so, you can
make these kinds of comparisons. And they`re playing to the low hanging
fruit. They didn`t pay attention in history class. They didn`t pay
attention to the civil rights movement. I mean, Bundy is older than I am.
And I never saw him at a civil rights march. Nothing has ever stopped him.

SHARPTON: And he`s transparent on this, Bill. He said states rights. I
played the tape. He said it. And States rights has always been the
opposition to civil rights. So why use civil rights? People will say why
am I talking civil rights? Because he`s bringing it up. He`s bringing up
Rosa Parks and Dr. King when he`s doing the exact opposite.

PRESS: There`s something else going on here, too, Reverend Al. And I
think we got to say is that it`s no accident that Rand Paul and Ted Cruz
and Rick Perry and Sean Hannity rushed to defend this guy because he is who
they are. He is the Republican party. You take 100 pounds and that hat
off of that cowboy and he is Rand Paul. He is Ted Cruz. They are really
anti-federal government. That`s exactly who they are.

SHARPTON: Thank you both, Joe Madison and Bill Press. Thank you both for
your time this evening. And if we sound passionate, it`s because we are.

MADISON: We are.

SHARPTON: Coming up, new numbers showed that the Republican obsession with
health care is backfiring. And that means one thing, Karl Rove is back
into spin mode. Who`s ready for another meltdown?

But first, Speaker Boehner is caught on tape mocking his fellow
Republicans. I`ll tell you why next.


SHARPTON: I used to think that dog ate my homework was the sorriest excuse
in the book. But that`s until I heard how speaker John Boehner`s excuse
for not putting immigration reform to aboard in the House. He blamed
President Obama.


distress about whether he is committed to the rule of law. Listen.
There`s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted
to enforce our laws. And it`s going to be difficult to move any
immigration legislation until that changes.


SHARPTON: He can`t trust the president to enforce the law? That`s why he
won`t let the house vote on immigration reform. That`s his line and he`s
sticking to it.


BOEHNER: I`ve tried to get the house to move on this now for the last 15
or 16 months. But every time the president ignores the law, like the 38
times he has on Obamacare, our members look up and go wait a minute, you
can`t have immigration without strong border security and internal
enforcement. And how can we trust the president to actually obey the law
and enforce the law that we would write.


SHARPTON: But Speaker Boehner strayed from his script yesterday. Here`s
what happened in his home district in Ohio.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boehner got a little dramatic when he was asked about
immigration reform. He says he thinks Congress should take action this
year and mocked his colleagues for what he called a lack of an appetite to
tackle the issue.

BOEHNER: But here`s the attitude. Oh, don`t make me do this. Oh,
this is too hard.


SHARPTON: Bravo! Bravo! A magnificent performance. Encore.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Here`s the attitude 37.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oh, don`t make me do this. Oh, this is too hard.


SHARPTON: It`s even better the second time, mocking his colleagues
for being too afraid to take on the issue of immigration. Sounds to me
like he`s admitting his Republican colleagues are the real obstacle to
meaningful immigration and not President Obama. If that`s true, there`s a
simple way to fix it. Just put immigration reform to a vote.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), OHIO: Are you kidding me?


SHARPTON: No, I`m not. Let`s get a vote, Speaker Boehner. Did we
think you wouldn`t notice your mocking on the vote on immigration? Nice
try, but here`s my encore performance because we got you.


SHARPTON: When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans
aren`t at acceptance yet, but are we close to leading the denial stage?
This week a new poll found, even though southerners don`t necessarily like
ObamaCare, they also don`t want to repeal it. And this morning, I almost
had to do a double take when I read this from Speaker John Boehner. Quote,
"To repeal ObamaCare isn`t the answer. The answer is to repeal and
replace. The challenge is that ObamaCare is the law of the land." Fifty
five votes later, we`re still waiting on that replacement. And check out
what happened in Michigan. When a constituent told Congressman Tim Walberg
he was benefiting from the law.


REP. TIM WALBERG (R), MICHIGAN: That`s not to say that the ACA hasn`t
helped a few people. I met those people. I also met people who are
getting help who say I don`t want to be subsidized by the government. I`m
not saying it hasn`t worked for some people.


SHARPTON: Forced to admit the law is working. But I know there`s
still skeptics out there. So, here`s how you know this repeal game might
be entering a new stage. I give you Karl Rove on that new poll.


accept the fact that this is going to be a hard fought battle right up to
the end and many of these races are toss-ups. But let`s put aside for a
moment "The New York Times" and Kaiser Family Foundation poll because it
was badly done.


SHARPTON: Questioning a poll. Are we nearing a new on-air meltdown
on poll numbers? No matter how hard they try, there`s no denying the
health care law is working.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, democrat of Illinois,
congresswoman, is it time to pop some champagne, celebrate Speaker
Boehner`s admitting repeal alone isn`t the answer?

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Well, I don`t know about popping
the champagne. We know that for some, there`s still a hard sell. But I
want to tell you, you know, what? Tim Walberg also said that he has talked
to people that get the -- that have the insurance but don`t want to be
subsidized by the government. You know, I would like to see somebody who
went on to the exchange and found a lower cost health care plan and is now
objecting to the fact that they`re getting the subsidy. You know, they
don`t have to get the subsidy.

They can decide to do it on their own. And it`s just absolutely, you
know, pulling out of the air a crazy answer. I do think that the tide is
definitely turning, though. We`re seeing that candidates like Allison
Schwartz running for governor in Pennsylvania now using it as a positive
and saying if she were governor, she would expand Medicaid and 500,000 more
Pennsylvanians would be able to get health care. So, we have definitely
turned a corner because ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act, it`s working.

SHARPTON: You know, Speaker Boehner says, repeal alone isn`t the
answer and today House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was at a memo on the GOP
spring agenda. He says they want to, quote, "reform our health care system
by replacing ObamaCare with policies that improve patient choice, access to
doctors and hospitals, and lower costs." It`s been four years and they`re
still working on their replacement?

SCHAKOWSKY: Exactly. They have had four years to come up with a
repeal and replace. All they`ve done is repeal about 50 times. You know,
John Boehner in 2011 had said, well, you know, ObamaCare is the law of the
land. No, in 2012, after the election, it`s the law of the land. And then
in 2013 when there was a new group of Republicans, they wanted a chance to
vote no. They didn`t think it was going to go anywhere.


SCHAKOWSKY: But they wanted to be on record. The hypocrisy of the
whole thing is just astonishing. And now they`re being really trapped by
the facts that so many Americans are really benefiting from the Affordable
Care Act.

SHARPTON: All right. Talking about astonishing, let me go to one of
your astonishing colleagues. Kansas republican Congressman Tim Huelskamp.
He made this claim last week.


REP. TIM HUELSKAMP (R), KANSAS: It`s hard to get accurate numbers on
anything. Whether it`s USDA or HHS or those kinds of things. But the
numbers we see it today, is that as I understand them, and we believe
there are more people uninsured today in Kansas than they were before the
President`s health care plan went into effect. And I thought the goal was
to bring more people under insurance.


SHARPTON: Hey says, the healthcare law raised a number of uninsured.
"The Washington Post" fact checked that and gave him four Pinocchios for
that line and said the congressman isn`t entitled to conjure phony facts
out of thin air. I mean, how do you fight this kind of misinformation from
your colleagues on the other side, Congresswoman?

SCHAKOWSKY: We fight it with good opportunities for Americans who
have been not denied health care. Women who have had to pay a premium
because of gender discrimination. We fight it because seniors are now
seeing the doughnut hole, the extra cost for prescription drugs shrinking.
It`s experience that people are finding. One of my colleagues wanted his
staffer to give a story of how hard it was for him to sign up for ObamaCare
and instead he said well, I got really lucky because I got to stay on my
parents` policies. He`s one of 3.5 million young people that gets to stays
on their parent`s policies.

SHARPTON: Well, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, thank you for your time
tonight. Have a great weekend.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you, you, too, Reverend al.

SHARPTON: Ahead, a major development in the Alicia McBride murder
trial. And it has to do with the judge. Plus, it was the defense that
stunned the country. A teen who claimed he was too rich to jail. But will
that defense soon be banned in court? The Justice Files, next.


SHARPTON: Time for the Justice Files. Joining me now, former
prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Faith Jenkins and criminal defense
Attorney Carmen St. George. Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: We start tonight with the case in Detroit being compared to
the Trayvon Martin tragedy. In November, 19-year-old Renisha McBride was
intoxicated and crashed her car into a parked vehicle around 1:00 a.m. She
walked to Theodore Wafer`s house, her family says, to seek help, but the
55-year-old shot McBride in the face through a closed door after she went
on his porch. He claims self-defense saying McBride was trying to break
into his house.

Wafer`s defense has been aggressive, trying to question McBride`s past
and pushing to get the judge removed for an alleged friendship with
prosecutors. Today a circuit court judge recused the judge from the case
saying one of the prosecutors assisted with the sale of tickets to one of
her fundraisers. There will be a blind drawing for a new judge next week.
Faith, the defense is playing tough, how do you read this decision today?

JENKINS: Well, I think this judge was being extremely cautionary with
this ruling. It wasn`t that he decided that this judge was biased because
of his relationship with prosecutors but he wanted to avoid the appearance
of the impropriety. And he was concerned because one of the prosecutors
had worked on the campaign or contributed funds to the campaign that that
could create an appearance of impropriety. So, in order to, just put that
issue to dead, you saw people went later come and argue that will, perhaps
there was an injustice here, because one of the prosecutors had a prior
relationship with a judge, we`re just going to put a new judge on the case.


GEORGE: Well, Reverend. We talked about this case a few weeks ago.
And I had the suggestion that the judge is going to be recused in this
case. It is because there`s an appearance of impropriety even in New York
here, we have a heightened standard for recusal for judges. We`re very
careful when judges go out and campaign, they are careful who contributes
what they say, they can`t speak about their political views. So, here you
had somebody heavily involved in the prosecution of this case that had
contributed. That had thrown a fundraiser, and that had spoken out behalf
of the judge --


GEORGE: So it was a wise decision. There is enough judges to try the
case. We`ll move on and we`ll have a fair case.

SHARPTON: All right. So, I understand the recuse of things. But it
also shows me, this guy is going to do a very tough defense. He`s going
after McBride`s, the deceased, the young lady that was shot. He`s going at
the background. He`s going all in, it looks like.

JENKINS: Well, it is not going to be a surprise here, if you see sort
of what a taking a page out of what George Zimmerman`s attorney did in that
case which is he turned the focus on Trayvon Martin. Very early on before
the jury was selected in talking about all these activities that he engaged
in, photos that he had on his phone, fights that he was allegedly involved
in. Things that would not necessarily get in front of the jury. But he`s
talking about these things in a very public manner, wanting to sort of
paint a picture of who Trayvon Martin was before the trial ever started.

SHARPTON: But you`re a defense attorney, Carmen, couldn`t that also
backfire at some point? Every jurors is not the same. Because couldn`t it
look like you`re blaming the victim who was killed, for being killed?
Because there`s no question here that this young lady was not on, and that
even we can`t say he did or did not believe that she was robbing, that`s
going to be his defense, but clearly there`s no evidence that that`s what
she was doing.

GEORGE: Absolutely. A wise defense attorney would not be attacking
the victim`s credibility in this case. You`re going to stick with the
facts, you`re going to go and ask, what was she doing? What time was it?
What was he sensing? Did he feel as if he was in fear of imminent danger
for the people in his household? Did he have a right to defend his home at
that time? A wise defense attorney would focus on the facts and steer
clear, especially in this case from attacking the victims.

JENKINS: And they`re not going to do that. They`re not going to do
that. Because they want these. They want people to believe that he was in
fear for his life and they want to paint a picture of who Renisha McBride
was outside of that night. And that`s what you`re going to see.

SHARPTON: But the problem with that comment, is that he didn`t know
her. So, whatever her background, it was unknown to him.

GEORGE: Right. It was unknown and you`re also, what is not known
yet, is who the jurors are.


GEORGE: And what the demographics of jury poll is going to be. You
want a fair and impartial jury to listen to this case, to assess the facts
and circumstances and to say this man acted in self-defense.

SHARPTON: We`ll keep watching that. Let`s go now to a disturbing
story out of San Francisco. On a 30-minute beating caught on videotape.
The defendant, Gurbaksh Chahal, a millionaire CEO of an online advertising
company, he sold his previous company for $300 million, and last week he
pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges and one count of domestic
violence and one count of battery. For beating and kicking his girlfriend
117 times. He was originally charged with 45 felony counts for hitting her
repeatedly in the head, covering her mouth with his hand to obstruct her
breathing, hitting her in the head while holding his other hand over her
mouth, and threatening to kill her.

He dodged those counts and will face zero jail time. Instead he was
sentenced to three years probation, 52 weeks in domestic violence training
program. And 25 hours of community service. He was arrested last summer
when police responded to a 911 call, a home security video that documented
the 30-minute attack was not allowed to be shown in court because it was
taken illegally. Faith, his girlfriend wouldn`t testify against him. So
what`s going on here? Should he face harsher punishment?

JENKINS: Well, the judge suppressed the videotape. They said that
the police came in and secured that video footage without having a warrant.
The prosecutors argued there were circumstances here. They have to get the
videotape or they thought it would be deleted. I mean, the guy is CEO of
the tech company. He could probably delete that videotape remotely for all
we know. And so, the judge essentially made a major ruling in the case.

And without that tape and without having a cooperative witness, the
girl friend, the prosecutors didn`t have a lot to go on. Why do you think
that they got misdemeanor convictions here? I think that initially the
girlfriend was probably cooperative. And this was an extremely brutal and
vicious attack. She probably had visible injuries and so they had enough
evidence to go forward without her perhaps, but with this guy having the
money that he does and the resources that he does, they knew what they were
up against, so they had to settle for their misdemeanors convictions and
it`s unfortunate.

SHARPTON: I got to go.

GEORGE: I disagree this was overcharged, he hit her with a pillow.
And at the end of the day, you have a video that was taken illegally, we
have a right against -- here, they could have done it, with the proper
channels to a warrant and got into evidence should they have had to.

SHARPTON: Faith Jenkins and Carmen St. George, thank you for your
time tonight. Have a great weekend to both of you.

GEORGE: Thank you.

JENKINS: You too.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the Obama administration`s big step forward in
correcting the injustices of our legal system this week.


SHARPTON: Now to a civil rights protests that went to a new level,
literally. It happened in Uganda, where it is a crime to be open to gay.
Homosexual acts will have you put away for life. You can go to jail for
just knowing gay people or supporting gay rights. Here`s the president
signing this hideous bill into law in February.


main course of sexuality then society can do something about it to
discourage the trend, that is why I have agreed to sign the bill.


SHARPTON: It`s back protest all over the world but perhaps not bigger
than this. Take a look at this picture, you can see Neo Gutley (ph), a
California business man, and gay rights activist in Uganda, with the gay
pride flag. And here is where it gets good. See that sign? It says,
15,763 feet, is the highest point Uganda. He posted this to Facebook,
writing to the president of Uganda, "The people you wish to imprison are
the same people who can help Uganda grow into a great nation. If you don`t
like said flags on your highest peak, I urge you to climb up and take it

It took Neo six days to climb up Margarita peak to quote Martin Luther
King, Jr. he`s been to the mountaintop.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, writing wrongs in our criminal justice
system. This week, President Obama and Attorney General Holder announced
new criteria for nonviolent federal drug offenders seeking clemency. Who
have received lower sentences if their offenses were committed today. "The
New York Times" currently points out, quote, "the purpose is to deal with
the aftermath of the war on drugs whose casualties are the thousands of
people sentenced under harsh and outdated laws." The announcement has
sparked a national dialogue on president reform. The drug war and on just
sentencing laws. And it`s not a partisan issue. Republican Senator Rand
Paul has been outspoken on this issue. And this week, support of the new


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: This is one thing I`m happy to
compliment the president on. The last couple of days, and really over the
last year, he started commuting some sentences and letting people out.
There is a problem and it`s something that I`ve actually spoken with Eric
Holder on. I`m willing to work with the administration on second chance
for people that kids should not have their future taken away. I think it`s
a mistake to use drugs but I think it`s not something that you should not
have to give up your future.


SHARPTON: You should not have to give up your future. He`s right.
Yet some on the right have denounced the president and Attorney General`s
announcement. They`ve called it ludicrous, and alarming abuse, get out of
jail early cut. They said the President was gutting the constitution. But
they`re wrong. This is about fairness, it`s not to get out of jail early
cut. It`s a second chance. For nonviolent offenders, they should have a
second chance. Particularly if they`re there, in sentences that they would
not have gotten today.

Let`s be fair as we try to rebuild some lies they can`t be rebuild.
In this program note, this Wednesday, I`ll be live at Morehouse College at
Atlanta for special politics nation as part of MSNBC`s growing hope
program. We invite you to come see us and share your hopes for change
around issues that impact you and your community. We hope to see you

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


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