IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

PoliticsNation, Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

May 6, 2014

Guests: Kendall Coffey, Elizabeth Warren, Ken Padowitz, Faith Jenkins

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE ED SHOW: "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.

Later tonight, we`ll be joined live by Senator Elizabeth Warren. We`ll
talk to her about her fight for fairness, for equality. And why she says
Republicans have the magical thinking. We`re excited to have her with us.

But we start with tonight`s lead. Dramatic development in Governor Chris
Christie`s bridge scandal.

For the first time, a Christie staffer who was inside that Trenton office
before, during and after the lane closings is speaking out publicly and
under oath. For nearly five hours today, New Jersey lawmakers grilled
Christina Renna, the first witness to testify before the committee. It was
dramatic at times, emotional, and raised big new questions.

Renna worked in the office run by Bridget Kelly, who was Renna`s direct
boss and who sent that now notorious e-mail, time for some traffic problems
in Fort Lee. Since that e-mail surfaced, a major question has been who
else was involved, who else knew? Today, Renna testified that she didn`t
know of the lane closings plot and this is key. She doesn`t believe Kelly
cooked up the plan by herself.


architect, but she was instrumental in the process. I believe that, yes.
I think that Bridget was not the architect but I think that she was, you
know, participating in whatever this was.


SHARPTON: Not an architect. It goes to the heart of this investigation.
If Kelly wasn`t the architect, who was? Today Renna testified that Kelly
wasn`t a decision maker.


RENNA: Candidly, one way I would describe Bridget is a little insecure.
And she, you know, relied heavily on other people, I think, to make
decisions for her. I think that that was absolutely the case up until she
became deputy chief of staff, then she didn`t have anyone to make those
decisions for her. And she, you know, looked for guidance a lot. She was
just not a decision maker, I would say. Knowing Bridget, she wouldn`t
challenge, really, anyone, even at her level or above her at all. I mean,
she doesn`t -- I really don`t want to pile on to Bridget.


SHARPTON: Kelly wouldn`t challenge anyone at her level or above. Today
Renna also described in gripping detail the phone call she received from
Bridget Kelly on January 9th, one day after the story exploded. And she
also -- it was also the day that Governor Christie held his big press


RENNA: She called me before the governor`s press conference. I don`t` --
maybe an hour before the press conference crying, telling me that she had
been fired. She was hysterical. She could barely get the words out. I
was crying. I believe I asked her at that point if she talked to the
governor. And she said he won`t talk to me. And she said a few times, I
don`t know what I`m going to do, and she apologized a lot. And then she
said you can`t trust anyone, Christina. That`s what she basically closed
the conversation with. You can`t trust anyone.


SHARPTON: You can`t trust anyone. But investigators are digging for the
truth, both state lawmakers and the U.S. attorney.

But the takeaway tonight, someone who worked for Bridget Kelly does not
think she was the architect of the plan. So who was the architect? Who
had the plan? Why was traffic problems e-mail sent. And the big one, who
knew about it.

Joining me now is former U.S. attorney general Kendall Coffey and "the
Washington Post`s" Jonathan Capehart.

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Kendall, someone who worked for Kelly says Kelly didn`t act
alone. What`s your reaction and your questions now?

COFFEY: Well, my reaction is that`s exactly the road map that I think
anyone investigating this wants with respect to Bridget Kelly. We didn`t
get directly incriminating information from the witness today that would
take it to someone higher up the ladder. But we`re told a couple of things
that I think definitely helped point the way for prosecutors.

One, is they`ve got even more information incriminating Bridget Kelly. Why
is that important? Because to get someone to cooperate, you want to have
them absolutely nailed at the wall so they have no choice but to tell you
the truth, including the truth about hire-ups.

Secondly, as you pointed out a few moments ago, she has strongly indicated
to her belief, she`s extremely well positioned this thing, that in fact,
Bridget Kelly wasn`t the mastermind. We recall the report from the
governors outside council, basically blaming 90 percent of everything in
Bridget Kelly. Now, we have someone right in the heart of the organization
that says no, she was an instrument. And what that tells us is in the
opinion of at least this witness, there was a higher-up.

SHARPTON: Now, Jonathan, just on that last point Kendall made, it was
interesting because during the hearing, one lawmaker said when he dealt
with Bridget Kelly, she was always very aware of the chain of command.
Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The answer was always, let me go back to the governor`s
office and check. Now, does that sound like Bridget Kelly to you?

RENNA: It sounds like Bridget Kelly, because she was constantly checking
before she made a decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bridget Kelly is not a decision maker, is that correct?



SHARPTON: So obviously, they`re painting the picture that she would not
have done something like this on her own because that just was not her way
of operating.

CAPEHART: That was not her way of operating, she was not a decision maker,
as Kathy Renna says -- Christina Renna says in the testimony as the
question you just showed.

What it says, though, is, and thing Christina Renna said this in her
testimony that she followed orders. So if Bridget Ann Kelly, the deputy
chief of staff was not the architect or an architect, then we know that
whoever that architect is, it`s certainly not someone below Bridget Ann
Kelly. It must be someone above her. Was it David Wildstein? Was it Bill
Stepien? Was it the governor? And that is going to the very top.

It also leads the way to figure out, as Kendall said, we now have a road
map to figure out who the architect was. And we`re not talking about a
broad universe of people. We`re talking about a very small group of
people. And so now what we have after this testimony is a direct
contradiction to the conclusions of that so-called exonerating report done
by Gibson Dunn.

SHARPTON: Now, during the hearing today, Kendall, one lawmaker said that
he dealt with Kelly, there was always a chain of command. Then today`s
testimony also focused on the e-mail.

On September 12, the third day of the lane closings, that`s when Renna told
her boss, Bridget Kelly that Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich was, quote,
"extremely upset about the reduction of lanes from three to one." To which
Bridget Kelly responded good.

Now, lawmakers wanted to know why Renna didn`t go to an ethics office when
Kelly later asked her to delete that e-mail. Listen to this.


RENNA: I didn`t think it rose to a level of having to go to an ethics
officer for it. I just -- I didn`t. Not at the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were aware at the time that there were legislative
hearings on this issue.

RENNA: I was, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And notwithstanding the fact that there were
legislative hearings on this issue, Bridget Kelly asks you to delete an e-
mail from your own personal e-mail account, you delete it, preserve it
somewhere else, but you don`t think it rises to the level to talk to

RENNA: I didn`t, no.


SHARPTON: Now, she did delete it, Kendall. She said in testimony. But
she forwarded it to her personal account, but never went to an ethics
committee and -- I mean, isn`t this something that would get a prosecutor
or an investigator`s eyebrows raised very high?

COFFEY: Of course it would. Her explanation that she didn`t think it
would rise to that level is very lame. But she`s a human being. She`s not
a perfect witness in the sense that she obviously, I think, transgressed
into deleting an e-mail that was in effect a public record.

But prosecutors don`t expect perfect human beings and they`re not going to
be a perfect witness. At the end of the day, what she did was fairly
human. She compromised. She deleted it as instructed to try to save her
job. She kept it for future reference so at the end of the day, it`s still
there. Not a perfect explanation, but one that I think is understandable
to most of us.

SHARPTON: But that`s the point, Jonathan. She deleted it but kept it for
future reference. Is this the culture of the governor`s office where you
kind of make sure you protect yourself but you delete, you -- I mean, this
is a mayor complaining about going from three lanes down to one. That is
being looked into by the legislature while this conversation is going on
about delete.

CAPEHART: This is the whole thing about all of this. Everyone is trying
to cover their behinds. Bridget Ann Kelly is calling on Christina Renna to
delete an e-mail to cover her behind so it doesn`t -- this incriminating e-
mail doesn`t get out.

Christina Renna deletes the e-mail, but then saves it for future reference.
And I have to agree with Kendall, her explanation is lame. If you don`t
think it rose to the level of going to the ethics officer, but you decide
to save it because the request seemed kind of serious, well then, you
should go to the ethics officer and make sure that they know, to really
cover your behind. But what you have people doing is covering their behind
in very unethical ways.

SHARPTON: Kendall, what would you do now if you were the prosecutor on
this case? Where would you go now to try to force your next step or you`re
really using whatever information is now available after Renna`s testimony
to move forward, trying to get Bridget Kelly to cooperate.

COFFEY: Well, I think by now I have enough ammunition. And that sort of
tops it off to basically confront Bridget Kelly, obviously with her lawyer
and say look, the train is going to leave the station. We need to know the
truth, the whole truth, let`s talk about higher-ups. They don`t use
language that blunt, obviously. But just to make it clear that it`s now or
never. Because if you come back six months from now and then come clean,
it might be too late to get a really good deal.

SHARPTON: Kendall Coffey and Jonathan Capehart, thank you both for your
time tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

COFFEY: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, our live interview with Senator Elizabeth Warren.
She`s fighting back against Republicans who want to shred the safety net.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: You built a factory and it
turned into something terrific or a great idea. God bless. Keep a big
hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk
of that and pay forward to the next kid who comes along.


SHARPTON: And tonight, she has a new plan that could make a huge
difference in the lives of millions of Americans.

Also, new signs the health care law may literally be saving lives. How can
Republicans defend their attempts to roll it back?

Plus, big news tonight about the so-called affluenza teenager. Are his
victims finally getting justice? It is in tonight`s justice files.


SHARPTON: Coming up, there is not a more powerful voice for fairness in
America than Senator Elizabeth Warren. And she join us live one-on-one for
an interview tonight. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: A matter of life or death. That`s what the president`s health
care law is. It shouldn`t be about scoring political points but about
saving lives. And today, more signs that the law will do just that.

A new study by researchers from Harvard and the urban institute looked at
what happened after Massachusetts passed its health care law in 2006. They
found the mortality rate fell three percent after the law went into effect.
And remember, the Massachusetts law, also known as Romney care was a model
for the affordable care act.

The study also found for every 830 people who got insurance, one person
avoided a premature death. These are real people who would have died if
they hadn`t gotten care through the law. And we already are seeing the
same thing happen nationwide.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Jackson`s insurance premiums soared from
$150 to nearly $700 a month after he was diagnosed with an intestinal
disease. He`ll now pay just $100 a month for coverage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It saved my life. Literally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Rachel couldn`t afford insurance until he and
her husband signed up for Kaiser coverage through the health exchange. Her
first mammogram in years revealed a potentially life threatening problem.
This now been fixed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Mike and his wife were able to get coverage
through the health insurance market place for $190. That allowed him to go
on the transplant waiting list.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He wouldn`t be here with me or my children if it went
for Obamacare.


SHARPTON: This law is truly a lifesaver, but it should be doing even more
if it were allowed to. Republican governors and legislatures in 24 states
have still refused to expand Medicaid, turning down federal money to give
their residents better care. This shouldn`t be a political decision. It`s
a moral one. Why? Because it saves lives.

Joining me now are Michelle Cottle and Maria Teresa Kumar. Thank you both
for being here.



SHARPTON: Maria, let me go to you first. The law in Massachusetts saved
lives. So how can Republicans be against it on a national level?

KUMAR: Well, not only did it saves lives, but that report that you said,
it also stated that the folks that received the best coverage that actually
where the ones that were lifted out of poverty were the poorest of the
poor. They are the ones that benefited the most from Romney care, as you
stated, and they`re the ones that actually saw their death rates actually
decrease as a result of this health care.

And that`s huge. Unfortunately, that also signals that the Republicans
just aren`t on the right side of the American people. Because when we talk
about expanding Medicaid, we`re talking about roughly five million
Americans in these specific states that could actually benefit, not only
making sure they have health care coverage, but as in Massachusetts,
actually prevent death.

SHARPTON: Now let me go, Michelle, having heard that from Maria. Here`s
how the governors who are against expansion defend their position. Listen
to this.


GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Every governor has two critical
decisions to make. One is do we set up exchanges and second, do we expand
Medicaid? And no, in Louisiana we`re not doing either one of those things.
I don`t think it makes sense to me those.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t care how temporary or how many promises
Washington makes, I`m not buying.

RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Medicaid is a failed program. To expand this
program is not unlike adding 1,000 people to the titanic.


SHARPTON: Giving people health care is like putting people on the titanic?

COTTLE: Well look, this has never been, despite all of the talk about how
Obamacare is unworkable and a disaster. The objections have never been
about its practical feasibility. I mean, it`s been an ideological
objection. They don`t want people further dependent on the government and
they`re willing to turn down millions of dollars and let all these people
go without health care to hold on to this ideological objection.

And what`s so, you know, kind of tragic about it is so many of the states
that have turned down the money are the states with the people that have
the highest populations of uninsured. So, it`s the states that most
desperately need this money.

SHARPTON: Now Maria, you know, today in Missouri demonstrators actually
shut down the state Senate. They were demonstrating for Medicaid expansion
and they shut the state Senate down, shouting and praying as police led
them away. What kind of effects do these kinds of protests have?

KUMAR: Well, let`s look at the makeup of who the protesters were. For the
most part, reverend, they were reverends, clergy people basically saying we
need to provide to the poor e of the poor. And if you`re talking about
being your brother`s keeper and providing for the poorest of the poor as
often times the Republicans state that`s what they`re for, then, you
actually have to make sure that you`re providing them with basic
necessities. In this case, Medicaid expansion.

I think what we`re going to see is just like we saw in Missouri is a bit of
a by-product of what we`ve seen in North Carolina with moral Mondays. And
we`re going to see that type of protests of organizing from grassroots,
evangelicals, from labor and from just ordinary Americans saying we need to
have certain criteria in order to make sure that we are fulfilling our
American dream. One of them is having health care, and it`s up to the
states and those people that represent the American people to make sure
that they are fighting for them.

I think, unfortunately, what`s happening, though, is that a lot of these
governors in a lot of these state legislators realize if they prevent
individuals from getting Medicaid expansion, they`re talking about,
unfortunately, you are talking about the poor, who are the least likely to
go out and vote on Election Day. And that`s unfortunately what it comes
down to. We need these individuals to organize, but also to register and
to vote.

SHARPTON: No doubt about it.

You know, the new study, Michelle, comes after weeks of good news about the
law. I mean, over eight million people enrolled in the exchange, over 4.8
million added to Medicaid and chip. And yesterday, a new poll found 13.4
percent of Americans are uninsured. The lowest levels since January of
2008. I mean, how much longer can Republicans deny that this law is
working, given this data, Michelle.

COTTLE: I think they`re absolutely going to deny it at least through the

I mean ordinary, we would be gook looking at a great scenario with this
study that`s out. Mitt Romney should be cheering himself for kind of what
he did in Massachusetts and kind of how it lifted up the neediest of his
citizens instead, because this has turned into a partisan issue he`s going
to have to be really embarrassed about this.

SHARPTON: Michelle Cottle and Maria Teresa Kumar, thank you both for your
time tonight.

KUMAR: Thank you, Reverend.

COTTLE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Senator Elizabeth Warren is here live on the Ryan budget,
on income inequality, on minimum wage and much more. I can`t wait to talk
to her.

Plus, Monica Lewinsky breaks her silence. And what she`s saying now might
surprise you.

And the mom who drove her van into the ocean with her three kids inside of
the van makes an insanity defense. What do you think? You be the judge


SHARPTON: Things are heating up in Washington. For years Republicans have
made it a priority to deny climate change. They call it a hoax, but let`s
get back to planet reality, as in earth.

Today, the White House released a new report on climate change, after three
years of research by hundreds of scientists and expert, it concluded,
quote, "climate change once considered an issue for the distant future has
moved firmly into the present. Summers are long and hot, an extended
periods of unusual heat last longer than any living American has ever

Climate change has moved firmly into the present. But Republicans are
frozen in time. They refused to admit this new report is legitimate. One
said the Obama administration was trying to quote "stretch the truth."
Another called the report fear tactics. And Senate majority leader Mitch
McConnell offered this cloudy criticism.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: Later today, we expect the
president to talk about the weather at the White House. Presumably, he`ll
use the platform to renew his call for a national energy tax. And I`m sure
he`ll get loud cheers from liberal elites. In the kind of people who leave
a giant carbon footprint and then lecture everybody else about low flow


SHARPTON: You know they`re in denial when they`re talking about low flow
toilets. But I digress. The president did talk about the new report this
afternoon with NBC`s Al Roker who asked him about the uphill battle he
faced on climate change.


urgency for the last five years. You`ve seen some resistance from
Congress. This is not some distant problem of the future. This is a
problem that is affecting Americans right now. Whether it means increased
flooding, greater vulnerability to drought, more severe wildfires, all of
these things are having an impact on Americans as we speak.


SHARPTON: He`s seen resistance from Congress? You don`t say.

Did Mitch McConnell and the republicans think we wouldn`t notice their
bizarre climate theories are melting? Nice try but whatever climate you
are in, just know this, we gotcha.


SHARPTON: Senator Elizabeth Warren has become one of the strongest
voices in fighting for fairness in this country. We saw that even before
she made it to Capitol Hill, by making a progressive agenda the centerpiece
of her candidacy.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: There is nobody on in this
country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there,
good for you. But I want you to be clear, you moved your goods to market
on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us
paid to educate. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific
or a great idea. God bless, keep a big hunk of it. But part of the
underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for
the next kid who comes along.


SHARPTON: Since then she`s moved equality to the front of the
nation`s agenda and she`s called out those who would deny this progress.


WARREN: Paul Ryan looks around and sees three unemployed worker for
every job opening in America and blames the people who can`t find a job.
Paul Ryan says keep the money flowing to the powerful corporations. Keep
their huge tax breaks, keep the special deals for the too big to fail banks
and put the blame on hardworking play by the rules Americans who lost their
jobs. But let me tell you, that maybe Paul Ryan`s vision of how America
works. But that`s not our vision of this great country.



SHARPTON: That`s not our vision for this country. This year already
we`ve seen Republicans say no to raising the minimum wage and extending
jobless benefits. That`s not right. We should live in a country where the
rich paid their fair share where we have a strong safety net where college
education is affordable for everyone. That`s a vision we should all be
able to get behind.

Joining me now is Senator Elizabeth Warren, democrat from
Massachusetts. She`s also the author of a new book "A Fighting Chance."
Thanks for your time this evening, Senator.

WARREN: It`s good to be with you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, is this the defining issue about time
making sure everyone has a fighting chance in our society?

WARREN: You know, I really believe it is. Because I believe has
happened here in Washington is that we`ve got a system that works for those
who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers and they make sure that every
rule works for them, every tax break works for them, everything works for
them. And everybody else is just left behind. And the way I see it is
that`s not America. That`s not what it means to be America. We believe
that every kid should have a fighting chance. And that`s what I`m out
there fighting for, that`s what I talk about in that book. And that`s what
I think we really can do. I really believe that.

SHARPTON: You know, Senator, one of the things that I was very
interested in talking to you about, particularly today, is because today,
you and fellow Democrats introduced a bill to tackle the student loan


SHARPTON: And it`s a major issue. The average college senior has
more than $29,000 in debt. This bill would allow those that are eligible
to refinance their loans at a lower rate, and it would be paid for through
the buffet rule which ensures millionaires and billionaires paid their fair
share in taxes. I mean, who could oppose something like this? Who could
oppose this kind of bill?

WARREN: In fact, I just want to make clear on this one that we all
see what`s happening. Right now, we`ve got young people out there paying
student loan debts that are up at 7 percent, 8 percent, 9 percent, 10
percent, even higher. And people refinance their mortgages down to low
interest rate, now that we`re in a low interest rate environment. They
refinance small business owners. They refinance their business debt. Even
municipalities have refinanced their debt. But students don`t have a way
to refinance that outstanding student loan debt.

Instead we`re set up now so that the United States government
continues to make tens of billions of dollars in profits off the backs of
our kids who are just trying to get an education. It`s not right. In
fact, what it`s doing is creating an emergency in this country. Student
loan debt is crushing our kids and it`s holding back our economy. The bill
that I introduced today along with two dozen other senators would help fix
that. It would bring down student loan interest rates for about 40 million
Americans who have outstanding student loans. It`s a good first step.

SHARPTON: Now, you`ve also been very much involved in the battle to
raise the minimum wage. It`s been a key issue of yours this year. But
many on the other side of the aisle don`t agree. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I don`t believe there ought to be a national
minimum wage. That`s my position.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I want people to make as much as they can. I don`t
think the minimum wage law works.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: You would abolish the minimum wage?

ALEXANDER: That`s correct. Correct.

SANDERS: You would abolish the minimum wage.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Will you support to seek or block increasing the
minimum wage?

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: It`s bad economics, Andrew.


SHARPTON: How do you respond to these kinds of statements?

WARREN: You know, I just don`t know the alternative world that says
that we don`t need a minimum wage for people. I`ll give you 14 million
reasons we should raise the minimum wage. And that`s the number of
children whose economic fortunes would be improved if their parents made at
least $10.10 an hour. Nobody should work full time and still live in

SHARPTON: You know, in your new book, you staunchly defend the power
of government programs. You write, we can`t bury our heads in the sand and
pretend if big government disappears, so will society`s toughest problems.
That`s just magical thinking. And it`s also dangerous thinking. And when
I think of some that are trying to cut the safety net, eliminate these
kinds of government programs, then I`m start with a report that says, we
could see the world`s first trillionaire in 25 years, first trillionaire
and we can`t get $10.10 cents in minimum wage?

WARREN: You know, Reverend Al, this is personal for me. My mom
worked a minimum wage job to keep us from losing our house. I went to
college. There was no money for college for me. I went to college at a
commuter college that cost $50 a semester. Why? Because I grew up in an
America that was investing in young people, that was investing in the
future, that was trying to give every kid a fair shot. And now, we` got a
group in Washington who just say nope. This place is supposed to run for
the rich and the powerful. Help them get richer, help them get more
powerful. Well, all I can say is that we have something on our side, too.
We may not have their money. We may not have their power, but what we`ve
got is our voices, we`ve got our votes and we`re going to fight back.

SHARPTON: You know, talking about fighting back, you and I, you know,
met and talked even before you were in the Senate.

WARREN: Long before.

SHARPTON: And worked on issues. And a lot of people around this
country love that you`ve been dealing with this income inequality, dealing
with minimum wage and today with student loans. Is there any circumstances
that could make you consider running for president?

WARREN: That`s not what I`m focused on. You know, what`s important
right now is that we not get distracted and lose our focus on the
importance of raising the minimum wage, on the importance of reducing
student loan debt. We`re going to have to tackle Social Security and make
sure that it`s there for all of our people for the rest of this century.
We`ve got to raise payments for those at the bottom. We`ve got to stay
after those big financial institutions and make sure that they`re
accountable when they break the law. There need to be consequences. We
got so much we`ve got work on right now. I don`t want to lose focus on

SHARPTON: But that`s why we need a candidate and a candidate that
will focused on that. I`ll make sure the candidate that is there is
focused. There`s no way you would consider that? Or at least be very
instrumental in making sure whatever candidates out there have to deal with
this issue?

WARREN: I`m not running for president. But I am going to stay
focused on these issues. I`m going to stay focused on making sure that all
of our kids get a fighting chance. That`s why I wrote that book. You
know, that book is a personal story as well as an eyewitness account to
what I saw in each of these fights in Washington. And what I`m hopeful is
that we stay organized or our side, we make our voices heard, we make our
votes count, we can make some real change in Washington. You know, I never
want to forget, you don`t get what you don`t fight for. We`ve got to get
out there and we got to fight for ourselves and fight for our children.

SHARPTON: No doubt about it. Senator Elizabeth Warren, you`ve always
been a great fighter. Thanks for your time this evening.

WARREN: Good to see you.

SHARPTON: And again, her new book is called "A Fighting Chance."
Still ahead, a big development in the case of the so-called affluenza
teenager who killed four people in a deadly DUI crash. Are his victims
finally getting justice?

Also a key decision by the mom who tried to drive her kids into the
ocean. Will her new defense plan keep her out of prison? The Justice
Files are next.


SHARPTON: It`s time for the Justice Files. Joining me now, criminal
defense Attorney Ken Padowitz, and former prosecutor and MSNBC legal
analyst, Faith Jenkins. Thank you for being here.

FAITH JENKINS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you for being here.


SHARPTON: First up, the pregnant Florida mom accused of trying to
kill her three children. Ebony Wilkerson was charged with second degree
murder after driving her three children into the ocean. Her defense
attorneys just filed a motion of intent to use an insanity defense, saying
she was suffering from schizophrenia and a psychotic disorder. So Faith,
an insanity defense. How difficult would it be to prove Wilkerson didn`t
know the difference between right and wrong the day she drove her minivan
into the ocean?

JENKINS: Well, what you just said is T because the insanity defense
is not just about a person having a mental disease or defect. That mental
disease has to be the prevailing factor that prevents them from knowing the
difference between right and wrong at the time they commit a crime. That`s
really difficult to prove in court which is why a lot of people fail using
the insanity defense.

But here in this case, I think there`s some clear indicators of things
that happened before she drove her minivan into the ocean that she was
suffering from some time of mental breakdown. Her sister called 911 just a
few hours before the incident. The police responded and the police officer
who responded actually issued a police report and said, he believes she
suffered from some kind of mental illness, but he did not have enough to
keep her and subject her to an involuntary mental examination under Florida

SHARPTON: You`re a defense attorney, Ken. How would you use the
sister`s call, the police report in call to build your case that you`re
defending if you`re representing Ebony Wilkerson is in fact, didn`t know
the difference between right and wrong at the time of this incident.

PADOWITZ: Well, all of those things are very, very important.
Forensic psychologists are going to be appointed and those psychologists
and the ones hired by the defense are going to do evaluations of the
defendant. And all of those factors, the police statements, other family
members, actions that the defendant took prior to this happening. All of
those are going to go into the evaluation and determination by the
psychologist as to whether or not she meet what it`s called the McNaughton
rule in the state of Florida. And so, in this particular case.

Even though 95 percent probably of insanity defenses fail and don`t
work and don`t sway jurors, in this case, they actually may have a fighting
chance that the defense will get a successful conclusion or a verdict or
not guilty by reason of insanity. Because there`s a lot of indicators and
a lot of evidence in this particular situation that will help the defense
in that kind of self-defense argument.

SHARPTON: Does that mean Faith or Ken either one that knows, does
that mean she gets treatment and she does not go to jail?

JENKINS: Well, that`s what her defense attorneys are certainly going
to push for. This is not a woman who should be -- and let`s be clear.
There are a lot of people who suffer from mental illness in our prisons


JENKINS: But her defense attorneys are going to push, listen, she
didn`t know what she was doing. This is not a woman who needs to go to
prison. She needs treatment and that needs to be the initial response to
this, not prison, but treatment and rehabilitation.

SHARPTON: All right. Now to the case of this 16-year-old who killed
four people while driving drunk. Ethan Couch got ten years probation and
no prison time. After his lawyer said, he suffered from affluenza, meaning
he`s too wealthy to understand the consequences of his actions. Today,
we`re learning one of the victim`s families that reached a settlement in
the case. The Couch`s family insurance company will pay them $2 million.
Five other families are also trying to settle with the Couch family. But
at least one family is seeking a jury trial. Ken, is it common in cases
like this for the insurance companies to pay a settlement even if the
parents are wealthy?

PADOWITZ: Well, insurance obviously depending on the policy Ken and
does in fact in cases like this, pay out. So yes, insurance can pay out.
The family can pay out. And so, at least there`s some justice that is
going to the victims and their families because of this horrific incident
and this criminal act. And still though, rings hollow, the fact that the
judge in the criminal justice system did not sentence this young man to
some term of prison. We just had a case here in Florida yesterday where
somebody for killing one person got a 15-year Florida State prison
sentence, which I think is too much. And here in this case, with four
people dead, no prison time. So that`s the horrible thing. Thank God, at
least they`re getting --

SHARPTON: Four people dead Faith and affluenza as a defense. If they
spend $10 million, if they give every family $2 million, what are we saying
about the value of people`s lives? And what are we saying about too rich
to go to jail?

JENKINS: Well, first, I mean, you get rehabilitation before you kill
four people. Not after. Those issues should have been addressed prior to
this happening. Listen, I think that this young man, his family and him,
they`re getting about $2 million in this latest settlement and that`s the
young man that`s unable to walk or talk. And I`m sure that that family
would give every penny of that $2 million back to have their son able to
walk and talk and function again. But I`m glad that the settlements are
happening as quickly as they are because they are able to put this aspect
of the case behind them. And you know, just like in life, they have to
understand that sometimes you have to accept an apology you`ll never get,
take that and move on and start the healing process.

SHARPTON: Yes. It`s a very bad legal president. Ken Padowitz, Faith
Jenkins, thank you both for your time tonight.

JENKINS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.

PADOWITZ: Thank you.


SHARPTON: Sixteen years after she became a household name, Monica
Lewinsky is breaking her silence. The former White House intern is
speaking out in an article she wrote for "Vanity Fair" called "Shame and
Survival." Lewinsky writes candidly about her relationship with President
Bill Clinton which ultimately led to his impeachment in 1999. She opens up
about her feeling, suicidal in the thick of the scandal. And about how she
turned down millions, millions of dollars in office to exploit the fame
because it didn`t feel like the right thing to do. And for the first time,
she admits that she`s remorseful about her relationship with the president.
Lewinsky writes, I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and
President Clinton. Let me say it again, I, myself, deeply regret what

She also makes it clear that her relationship with Clinton wasn`t an
abuse of power. Writing, I will always remain firm on this point, it was a
consensual relationship. And she explains why she`s coming out now. All
these years after the scandal that forever change to life. She writes I am
determined to have a different ending to my story. I decided to finally
stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and
give a purpose to my past. What this will cost me, I will soon find out.
We hope this article helps Ms. Lewinsky find the purpose to her past that
she`s been looking for.


SHARPTON: We close tonight with some welcome news. The U.S. is
sending a team to Nigeria to help find hundreds of abducted schoolgirls.
Nearly 300 girls were abducted from school by a terrorist group last month.
Now, they`re allegedly being sold as brides to militants for just $12 each.
The tragedy has sparked global outrage with protests here in the U.S. and
around the world. Today, the White House announced it was sending a team
to help find the girls. President Obama talked about it in an interview
with NBC News.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I can only imagine what the
parents are going through. So what we`ve done is we have offered and it`s
been accepted, help from our military and law enforcement officials. We
are going to do everything we can to provide assistance to them. In the
short term, our goal obviously is to help the international community and
the Nigerian government as a team to do everything we can to recover these
young ladies. But we`re also going to have to deal with the broader
problem of organizations like this that, you know, can cause such havoc in
people`s day to day lives.


SHARPTON: He`s right. This is a global problem. An estimated 4.5
million people are victims of sexual exploitation worldwide. It`s time to
bring our girls home. All of them. Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton.
"HARDBALL" starts right now.


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