Guests: John Perry, Jim Zamora, Pamela Davis, Tony Blankley,Tony Perkins, Catherine Crier, Trent Lott
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Tonight‘s top headlines: breaking news in the case of the accused Goth killer. Today, as the accused killer appears in court, the police make a stunning arrest. We are going to have the very latest in the twist in this case.
Plus, crisis in the White House. That is certainly everything—anything that they are talking about in Washington, D.C., right now.
And also, the president‘s Supreme Court pick quits. We are going to be asking a key senator whether conservatives really killed this nomination.
And, tonight, the Bush team awaits indictments that could come tomorrow in the CIA leak case. What does it mean for the president and what does it mean for Washington and what does it mean for SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY?
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required, only common sense allowed.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, thanks so much for being with us tonight. I am in Washington again. We are going to be breaking down all the latest right here in just a minute.
And, also, get this, record profits for oil companies, while you are paying so much at the pump. I want to know, and I have asked oil execs this. I knew a lot of them when I was in Congress. I said, why is it that we are paying so much more at the pump, because oil prices supposedly are so much higher, and yet you are making record profits? I still haven‘t been given the answer. You haven‘t been given the answer. Hopefully, we will get it tonight. It‘s an important story, and we are going to get at it.
Plus, celebrities, they are mad as hell and they aren‘t taking it anymore from the paparazzi. They are snapping back, taking pictures of the paparazzi and posing them on the Internet, because they want to see how they will like it.
But, first, today‘s bombshell in Washington, first, the announcement that the president‘s Supreme Court pick, Harriet Miers, has withdrawn her nomination from the land‘s highest court. This withdrawal comes less than a month since Miers was chosen to replace Sandra Day O‘Connor on the bench.
Now, earlier today, I sat down with Mississippi Senator Trent Lott, who was a critic of Harriet Miers from the beginning, and I asked him for his reaction to the news.
SEN. TRENT LOTT ®, MISSISSIPPI: I believe it‘s a great opportunity, because we were not pleased, a lot of us, with that selection.
At the same time, we respect the president and his prerogatives. We want this president to succeed and to get his choices on the federal judiciary. But we were uncomfortable with this. And we were dreading the process. You know, realizing that some of us may have eventually voted for us or maybe just said, I just can‘t do it in this case, Mr. President.
So, it was putting a cloud over the institution. And so we are, frankly, a little relieved.
SCARBOROUGH: Senator Warner from Virginia said today that Harriet Miers was denied her due process, because right-wing conservatives didn‘t give her a shot to be heard before the Senate. What do you think about that?
LOTT: That‘s not true.
Actually, in the Senate itself, Republicans were for the most part saying we want to wait and see. We don‘t know her that well. We don‘t know that much about her record. We don‘t know that much about her abilities, but we are going to wait and see how she does when she meets with senators and how she does in the hearings.
And, look, I am a conservative, but I wasn‘t being influenced by conservative groups. I did have concerns. From the very beginning, I said I had concerns.
SCARBOROUGH: You have crossed conservative groups before on judicial nominees before, when you talked about qualifications.
LOTT: Absolutely. I do think the number-one requirement is to get somebody that is qualified, that really is ready for the job. This is an important job.
And then, also, I am looking for a strict constructionist and a conservative, but I think you can be—John Roberts was both. You can‘t tell me that there‘s not some more out there like John Roberts. I believe this is, frankly, an opportunity. I think, in a few days, people will look back and say, you know, that—that issue was dealt with. We got us a better nominee. I think the president will come up with something really God, and we will be able to get that person confirmed, and we will move on.
We have got three years in this presidency. I want him to be successful, because, if he is, our country will be.
LOTT: And I hope that he will seize the moment.
SCARBOROUGH: Will there be a possibility of the so-called nuclear option being trotted out again if the president picks a conservative jurist along the lines of the ones he promised to pick, a Thomas or a Scalia?
LOTT: Oh, yes, the nuclear option is still out there, and I don‘t think we should be afraid to use it.
My preference would have been to have invoked it back in March or April of this year. But I believe the president can come up with a highly qualified, man, woman, or minority, that is a strict constructionist, and a conservative, that the Democrats will not be able to filibuster.
SCARBOROUGH: You just returned from the White House earlier.
SCARBOROUGH: What kind of spirit is the president in right now? Kind of—is he beaten up?
LOTT: I‘m sure he is feeling, you know, a little disappointed right now.
But I think that, you know, I believe this president does have an indomitable spirit. I believe his visceral instincts are good. I think he will not be happy, but, by tomorrow, he will be moving on.
SCARBOROUGH: With me now in Washington to talk about the meltdown at the White House, MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan, and also have Court TV anchor Catherine Crier. She‘s the author of the book “Contempt: How the Right is Wronging American Justice.”
And what a perfect lead-in for you, Catherine.
You knew Harriet Miers when you all were both civil litigators back in Texas. Do you feel like the right wing in Washington, D.C., drove a good woman away from the Supreme Court?
CATHERINE CRIER, COURT TV: Well, I, like Trent Lott, wanted to hear what she had in front of the hearings. I remember the chant, up-or-down vote; just give them the up-or-down vote.
But, in fact, in this case, I think it‘s exactly what I talked about in the book. The ultra-conservatives, not the traditional conservatives, decided that she was not prepared to carry their political agenda or would not confirm that for them before she appeared in front of the rest of the committee, and so they were unwilling to support her. And an ultra-conservative group basically cut out from under her the opportunity to be heard.
SCARBOROUGH: You think they were being hypocrites?
CRIER: Oh, I think they were certainly being hypocrites, because, in fact, they have been screaming that everybody has a right to a vote, certainly a right to be heard before the committee. The country had no chance to get to know this woman. I wanted to hear what she had to say, and basically it was clear that the back-room politics from one group within the Republican Party basically blasted her nomination.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, a lot of people are asking in Washington tonight, why didn‘t Harriet Miers get a chance to at least speak before the Senate Judiciary Committee?
PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST: She had a chance. She could have gone up there and spoken before the committee, Joe. She withdrew her nomination herself.
BUCHANAN: A lot of conservatives said it ought to be withdrawn. That‘s correct, but no conservative withdrew that nomination. She withdrew it herself for a simple reason. After the story came out in “The Post” yesterday where she said basically that, you know, I believe that judges have to act when legislators don‘t, she showed herself to be a judicial activist, and the Concerned Women for America withdrew their support, as they have got every right to do.
But she pulled herself out, Joe. Nobody denied her a hearing, except herself.
SCARBOROUGH: Catherine, what about that?
CRIER: Oh, Pat is too astute in the ways of politics to believe what he is saying.
CRIER: There‘s no question about it. In fact, the back-room conversations were, and plenty of Republicans have come forward to say this, that she—quote—“did not have the votes,” and, therefore, the president probably went to her. And we all know how this goes.
CRIER: Gee, Harriet, I love you dearly. Do what you think is best in your heart.
And, by George, she had just—Pat, she delivered in eight boxes responding to that questionnaire on the second round last night, and the letter shows up today.
BUCHANAN: But she did all of those things. No conservative I know—and I was opposed to the nomination, but no conservative I knew withdrew this nomination.
There‘s only two people who can withdraw it, the president of the United States and Harriet Miers herself.
CRIER: She was a good foot soldier in the war.
BUCHANAN: Why didn‘t they go up there and say, we have heard your arguments, and we are going to make ours before the committee, whatever you say?
They didn‘t do it. They pulled the nomination, I think wisely, for this reason. It would have torn the party, the movement, and the president‘s administration apart. I don‘t think she would have succeeded there. But nobody denied her the right to that hearing, except she herself or the president of the United States, Catherine.
BUCHANAN: There‘s no sense blaming opponents for the fact that they didn‘t go up there and try to fight it.
CRIER: No, you just explained that the president‘s circumstance, tearing apart the party, what was going on in the administration, the possible indictments tomorrow, the political atmosphere is what brought that about, not this woman saying, gee, maybe I am not qualified and I am going to withdraw. It was politics, played out primarily in the ultra-conservative element of the party, that brought about the withdrawal.
BUCHANAN: Don‘t blame us, Catherine. Don‘t blame us.
SCARBOROUGH: It‘s all your fault, Pat, OK?
CRIER: It‘s always Pat‘s fault.
SCARBOROUGH: It‘s always Pat‘s fault. That‘s why we love him so much.
Catherine, let me ask you this, though. I talked to some people who have been in close contact with members of the Judiciary Committee, and I was struck by everybody that I spoke with. They all said Harriet Miers seemed like a wonderful woman, very bright corporate litigator, but I heard all these stories about, when it came to constitutional law, she didn‘t seem to have a basic grasp on this obviously very important part of the law.
If you are going to be a Supreme Court justice, and you have the person, Dan Coats, who is supposed to be walking her across the Hill, his defense sounded—it sounded like a defense I heard 30 years ago of one of Nixon‘s appointees. He basically said, well, she may be mediocre intellectually, but the mediocre people of America deserve representation on the bench also.
CRIER: Well, I am going to defend Harriet in this instance. I don‘t think she is mediocre intellectually at all.
But, remember, we have had plenty of nonjudges come forward on the Supreme Court. We even had nonlawyers as late as the late 1940s, early ‘50s. So, the fact that she could not do what John Roberts did admirably so, and that is, basically, give us constitutional law to the letter since the Constitution was written, she was not prepared to do that, I don‘t have a problem with that.
But we all know that there are justices—and I will tell you what. Clarence Thomas, I would like to see him perform anywhere near Judge Roberts. I don‘t think you are going to see that. So, we have had it before, but now is a different time. The bar was set very high with Roberts, but I don‘t necessarily know that the Supreme Court should be made entirely of D.C. circuit judges with that kind of constitutional history.
BUCHANAN: But I will agree with you. Look, look, I will agree with you.
Let me give you a name. I believe that the fact she is a born-again Christian is a fine thing. We got a born-again Christian named John Ashcroft, attorney general of Missouri, governor of Missouri, senator from Missouri, attorney general of the United States. He‘s a loyalist to the president. If the president appointed John Ashcroft, everybody would have said, look, the guy has got tremendous experience. He‘s got a formed judicial philosophy. Let‘s support him.
We didn‘t see anything on Harriet Miers.
And, with due respect, Catherine, we have got a perfect right as conservatives who have been waiting for this fight for 40 years to look at a nominee and say, for heaven‘s sakes, find us somebody who is outstanding. Let‘s go with a meritocracy. Let‘s win this battle. And we are throwing up the president‘s personal lawyer because she had no paper trail?
SCARBOROUGH: And, Catherine, speaking of right-wingers, there—certainly, a lot of people were upset that the president of the United States said in his talking points, the fact that Harriet Miers was an evangelical Christian, and that‘s why Republicans should support her on Capitol Hill.
CRIER: Well, believe me, I agree with what both of you just said.
I do not think that her religion had anything to do. Just as the right said don‘t ask Roberts about his Catholicism, you shouldn‘t be waving around her evangelical status. But, at the same time, I think that this woman had an opportunity to come forward, that—and she was stifled basically by politics.
I do not think—and I really, truly mean this—I do not think the ultra-conservatives want the best jurist. They want the jurist that is going to carry their political ideology on the bench, that is, not perform as a good judge, but perform as a good politician.
BUCHANAN: Well, that is complete nonsense, Catherine.
CRIER: I disagree with you completely.
BUCHANAN: Wait a minute. We got something—we got Antonin...
SCARBOROUGH: You all are going to have to fight in the break.
BUCHANAN: We have got Scalia. We would like another Scalia.
SCARBOROUGH: You know what? I can never let these two get together, because it always gets ugly. At least, Catherine, he hasn‘t called you, lady like he called the nun we had when he was fighting the future of the Catholic Church.
CRIER: ... I‘m no lady. What can I say?
SCARBOROUGH: Stay with us.
Coming up next, one of those people that certainly weighed in early on. We got have Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council going to be with us.
Also, we are going to be talking about stories that could wipe the Miers story off the front page. Washington is waiting for a bombshell of indictments in the CIA leak investigation. It could possibly bring down a lot of people at the White House.
Also, major developments in the case of the accused Goth teen killer.
On the day he faces a judge, another stunning arrest tonight.
And celebrities are fighting back against so-called stalkarazzi. You are going to meet a man they are trying to hire and see some video of him in action.
We are just getting started in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Stay with us. We will be right back.
SCARBOROUGH: Word buzzing around Washington, D.C., tonight, that there could be some indictments coming down tomorrow morning in the CIA leak.
We will be back with that and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, let‘s bring in Tony Perkins. He‘s the president of the Family Research Council.
Tony, a lot of people in the middle and the left very angry with people like you. They believe the right-wingers of America drove Harriet Miers from this nomination. What do you have to say to them?
TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: That‘s quite amazing, Joe, when you think about some of the conservative social leaders, Jim Dobson, Richard Land, Jay Sekulow, endorsed Harriet Miers early on.
Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, we said we are going to take a wait and see. We wanted her to have her day before the committee to determine exactly what her judicial philosophy was. Last time I checked, George Will was not among social conservatives. I think it was more of the fiscal conservatives that quickly pushed against—back against the president on Harriet Miers.
SCARBOROUGH: Tony, let me ask you about tomorrow.
Obviously, the president is looking at a new nominee. Do you hope that tomorrow or possibly Monday the White House announces a strong social conservative that could bring about a big fight and the so-called nuclear option? Is it time to go to war?
PERKINS: Well, Joe, look, you have got two choices. You can try and placate the left with a nondescript candidate, and lose the base, or you can energize conservatives across the board and get them enthusiastically involved in the nomination process, which it‘s going to take to be successful. You have one of the two options. You can‘t do both.
So, I think what the president has now is a second chance, a chance to nominate someone like he described in his reelection campaign, someone along the judicial lines of a Thomas or Scalia, and I think that will energize, enthuse—and make the base enthused to go to work and to speak to the Senate about this nominee.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Tony, you talked about the president having a chance to get his base back. Obviously, a lot of conservatives feel betrayed. But word out of the White House tonight is, the president is very, very angry with conservatives.
He feels bitter, resentful. He thinks they abandoned him, gave Harriet Miers, a good friend of his family, a raw deal. What message would you like to give to the president tonight?
PERKINS: Well, that‘s absolutely not true. We gave his nominee the benefit of the doubt.
We were waiting to see exactly what her judicial philosophy was. Unfortunately, there was not enough evidence to prove that she was one who held a judicial philosophy of restraint. I mean, in fact, the speeches that came out that she made in Texas, just as Pat described earlier, showed her as one who invited the court to get involved when legislators would not act on key issues like abortion and education. That clearly is not the philosophy of someone who holds to judicial restraint.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thank you so much, Tony. Always appreciate you being with us.
Now, tomorrow could be another big day in Washington. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, seen here going to lunch today, he is expected to lay down indictments in the CIA leak investigation. “The New York Times” is reporting tonight that they believe that Libby, Lewis Libby, will be indicted tomorrow, but that Karl Rove may avoid indictment.
That‘s all the buzz in the nation‘s capital right now, talking about what is going on if top White House aides go down tomorrow.
With us now, we have got Tony Blankley. He‘s the editorial editor of “The Washington Times.” We have got Pat Buchanan back with us, ready to fight Catherine Crier another round. And we are going to be getting Howard Fineman in a minute.
Tony, let me ask you, if Karl Rove avoids indictment tomorrow and if it‘s just Lewis Libby that goes down, Scooter Libby that goes down, it‘s to bad for Libby, but that‘s a big win for the White House politically, isn‘t it?
TONY BLANKLEY, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, “THE WASHINGTON TIMES”: I guess so. I mean, I don‘t like...
SCARBOROUGH: It‘s hard to say that, but it‘s the truth, though, isn‘t it?
BLANKLEY: I don‘t like the phrase just, if it was preceding my name.
BLANKLEY: And Libby is a big player. But, obviously, Rove...
SCARBOROUGH: Just Machiavellian, though, Rove drives that machine.
BLANKLEY: Rove is the most known of the aides in this White House, and if he were to be indicted, that would be a bigger political event than if others were, so I don‘t know it‘s good news, but it‘s less bad news.
SCARBOROUGH: Karl Rove drives this White House. I mean, the president hates hearing that. And other people hate hearing that, but Karl Rove has been driving this president back when he was a governor in ‘94 in Texas, right?
If Karl Rove is indicted tomorrow, that‘s devastating to the operation, isn‘t it?
BUCHANAN: Well, I think it‘s a terrible blow to the president, because no doubt Karl Rove is—he‘s—George Bush has been an extraordinarily successful politician and president, and Karl Rove is responsible.
Secondly, Rove is one figure who is known outside the city. And with due respect to Mr. Libby, Joe, I don‘t think—inside the beltway, we all knew who Louis Libby is. But I don‘t think outside the beltway you would find, say, one in 50 Americans who even know who he is.
SCARBOROUGH: Patrick, Patrick, one in 500. And that‘s the point that I was making. Again, it‘s certainly—it‘s terrible for Scooter Libby.
SCARBOROUGH: But, for Middle America, they don‘t know who he is.
They don‘t care.
BUCHANAN: But let me tell you the problem.
If it‘s a simple indictment for lying about the Joe Wilson thing or perjury, something like that, that‘s one problem. But you hear Bill Bennett‘s brother say this is a—he is going after a big case. If he is going after conspiracy and if he‘s going after the Niger forgery documents and this is broader, then there‘s a horrendous problem.
If it‘s a narrow thing, like just somebody lied about the Joe Wilson thing, I think the president can get beyond it.
CRIER: I find this just phenomenal to listen to this.
And I‘m sorry. This is going to tag me sort of lefty, but I went after Bill Clinton big, big time when he lied in federal court. And to now listen after, the country went through that nightmare over did he have sex with Monica and he loses his law license, he gets chastised by Judge Wright, and now to say this little something...
CRIER: Hold on. Let me finish—when we were in the midst of a war, and to say that outing a CIA agent, covert agent, is somehow no big deal, so much for obstruction of justice.
BUCHANAN: There‘s a difference, Catherine. Let me tell you the brief difference, Catherine.
CRIER: Oh, you tell me the difference now.
BUCHANAN: It is one thing, whether Lewis Libby, who nobody knows lied, and there‘s another whether the president of the United States committed perjury, obstruction of justice, and subornation of perjury.
CRIER: I think the vice president‘s number one and I think that Karl Rove is pretty darn big.
SCARBOROUGH: My question is this, Catherine.
SCARBOROUGH: And, actually, you have started. You have already hit on it already. Do you think, as a former judge, that, if somebody commits perjury, that that is a serious enough crime to bring charges against him in a case like this, that may have national security implications? I have got to tell you, as somebody that practiced law, I personally believe it is.
CRIER: I believe it is.
SCARBOROUGH: Whether it‘s Bill Clinton lying in a sexual harassment suit about sex or whether it‘s Libby lying in this type of case, if you get somebody under oath before a grand jury and they lie, I think they should be thrown in jail.
CRIER: A national security issue, a material element, where we are talking about the life and death not only of this agent, but people that she may have worked with, this is to me very large, very important, and we do not dismiss it because of political expediency.
SCARBOROUGH: Howard Fineman, let me bring you in here. Open your reporter‘s notebook. Tell me, what is the status right now? What are you hearing? What can you tell us?
HOWARD FINEMAN, NBC CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what I hear comports with what “The New York Times” is reporting.
I have talked to a couple of people who have been before the grand jury and who have been talking to prosecutors and their lawyers over the last 24 hours or so. The assumption in this sort of little community within a community is that Libby was the person in the most trouble. As one person put it to me, you know, he is the first guy out of the chute.
It looks like that‘s going to be the case. Karl Rove, meanwhile, and his lawyer, have been fighting a frantic effort to prevent the president‘s right-hand man and political counselor going back a quarter-century from being indicted. It looks like, for the time being, they may have done so, because the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, is having a hard time proving that it was anything other than a slip of the mind and memory of Karl Rove‘s that he didn‘t tell the grand jury early on about his now famous conversation with Matt Cooper of “TIME” magazine.
And Bob Luskin, Rove‘s attorney, has been finding e-mails and bringing e-mails to the prosecutor in an attempt to show that this was somehow an innocent mistake, that it doesn‘t rise to the level of perjury, and there‘s no intentionality there. And if the prosecutor tries to bring the charges, he won‘t be able to prove them in court.
So, it looks to me for the time being that Rove has stayed off—staved off this possibility, but Scooter Libby is very much under the gun. Now, that squares with everything I have been told by people I know who have been before the grand jury and know about the lines of questioning that Fitzgerald has pursued.
SCARBOROUGH: Howard, you are talking about a community inside of a community. Is that community inside the community the very close-knit legal community in Washington, D.C.?
FINEMAN: Not just them, but some people who have been before—witnesses who have been before the grand jury, too.
SCARBOROUGH: The closed community inside the closed community inside the closed community, exactly.
FINEMAN: Yes. Right. Right.
SCARBOROUGH: Is the conclusion tonight that Fitzgerald actually is a very careful, very conservative prosecutor? He is not going to indict Rove just to make headlines, that this guy is going to make sure that every I. is dotted, every T. is crossed?
FINEMAN: Well, that‘s the sense I get of it, but given the expectations that have evolved around here in the last week or so, if it turn out that this phase of the grand jury ends with only Scooter Libby being indicted, although he is the vice president‘s chief of staff and an adviser to the president and probably the key guy in the sales effort on the war in Iraq and the defense of that war, that will be seen as almost—you know, everything is an expectation game, in politics, as you know, Joe.
FINEMAN: That will almost be seen as a backwards kind of victory here, if Karl Rove is not indicted tomorrow.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Howard—and, again, because we are talking about a man with, obviously, family and friends, is going to be obviously torn apart personally by this.
But just the cold, hard political reality is that, if Scooter Libby is the only person indicted and Karl Rove is not, I think that is a huge political win for the White House, because, as Pat said, let‘s face it. There‘s not a lot of people in Middle America who know who Scooter Libby is. It‘s hard to base a campaign and off-year election on Scooter Libby going to jail, isn‘t it?
FINEMAN: I think it is.
I think if, indeed, Lewis Scooter Libby is indicted, it will open up a whole new argument about the war in Iraq and that sales effort, as we have talked about before.
FINEMAN: Because I do think it‘s a kind of way to refight the politics of the war in court. But Karl Rove is an entirely different matter.
He has been on the cover of the news magazines. He has been on the front pages. Everybody in the country knows that he and George Bush have been political partners for a quarter-century.
Karl Rove is a big national figure and as close to the president of the United States as you can get without being a member of the president‘s family. And so, politically, Karl Rove is the much bigger fish here. And I think that‘s why Fitzgerald is proceeding so carefully, so methodically.
And if indeed he decides to extend this grand jury, which I am a little confused about...
FINEMAN: ... because I thought he couldn‘t really extend this particular grand jury, but maybe he has found some way to do it, that means he is still unconvinced that Rove is telling the truth about this, but he has not been able to come up with the evidence that he thinks would stand up in court.
SCARBOROUGH: And he continues.
All right. Thanks so much, Howard. Greatly appreciate you being with us.
SCARBOROUGH: I am going to ask Tony Blankley, Catherine Crier, and Pat Buchanan to stay with us.
And, also, we are not only going to be talking about the indictments in this case. We are also going to be talking about a big development tonight in the case of the Goth teen. I am going to ask Pat Buchanan to stick around and talk about this, but it‘s big. Accused of killing attorney Daniel Horowitz‘s wife—wait until you see who police have just arrested.
That‘s when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: The mystery of this case just deepens. We have breaking news tonight in the Goth killer case. We are going to get to that in a second.
But, first, here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know.
SCARBOROUGH: I want to bring back our political panel right now. We have got Tony Blankley, editorial page editor for “The Washington Times,” MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan, and Catherine Crier.
Tony, if in fact what we are hearing tonight, just breaking over the wires, “The New York Times” saying that Karl Rove may avoid indictment tomorrow, it‘s a big win for the White House. They really got to be at their low point right now. You actually wrote a political memo, an open political memo to the White House about what they needed to do to turn things around.
SCARBOROUGH: Actually, if this is the case, then this week, which the White House has been dreading for so long, ends up being a huge—I mean, a successful week for them, doesn‘t it?
BLANKLEY: Well, look...
SCARBOROUGH: Between Miers and Rove?
BLANKLEY: Look, they have certainly dodged a bullet, and a dangerous bullet. It doesn‘t mean that they are moving up. I think they have to act.
In my memo that I ran Wednesday, I suggested—and it was pretty much a political memo, an open political memo to the White House—I suggested four things that I thought the president needed to do to snap back the base, and be in a competitive position the next year. First, he had to withdraw the Miers nomination.
BLANKLEY: Second, he had to weigh in with a real fight to cut the budget because of all the...
SCARBOROUGH: He has done that.
BLANKLEY: Which, he did that.
Three, he has got to—and this is the tough—probably the toughest one for him—he has got to get tough on the border and put to the side his guest worker program. And, four, he has got to get on the right side of the gas prices. Even though I personally think the market forces define pricing...
BLANKLEY: The truth is, a majority of Republicans, a majority of conservatives, a majority Democrats all think that price-gouging is there. And out of pure political expediency, I think he needs to jawbone the oil executives and...
SCARBOROUGH: But you know what, though? That ain‘t going to happen, unfortunately.
BLANKLEY: No. No.
BLANKLEY: But let me tell you, notwithstanding whether that happens or not...
BLANKLEY: ... getting rid of Miers today and maybe even making an appointment tomorrow, which there‘s some word that they are thinking about doing it very quickly.
SCARBOROUGH: A conservative, right.
BLANKLEY: If it‘s a good, solid, qualified conservative, which would then share the news light with if it‘s only, as we say, only, a Libby indictment...
BLANKLEY: ... he comes out of this with a lot of the base snapped back to him. He is now fighting for budget cuts.
He has got a good solid conservative to fight. It will be a liberal-conservative fight, instead of the inane fight that we have had between conservatives.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, conservatives fighting.
BLANKLEY: As I said in the column, right now, we are in this idiotic fight between blind loyalists to the president and sighted loyalists to the president.
BLANKLEY: We are now past that.
BLANKLEY: I think he is beginning to take steps. We could have a very strong president with a conservatives fighting for him for the next year.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ll tell you what. The blind loyalists have been winning that fight for five years.
Catherine crier, does it make you angry hearing about Harriet Miers having to be thrown overboard to help the White House? Listen, conservatives were gleeful today on Capitol Hill because this woman stepped down. You knew her. Talk about the Harriet Miers you know.
CRIER: Well, even more than Harriet Miers, and someone I knew with tremendous integrity, with tremendous intelligence, and the notion that it was economic conservatives that I heard earlier from Tony Perkins that threw her out, this woman represented the Fortune 500 corporations for years in litigation, very much an economic conservative.
It was the social issues that got her tossed overboard. But what concerns me is, maybe they call this a win for the White House, but if, in fact, the nominee that is to follow is the ultra-conservative, not the John Roberts, who I supported on air—I said, this guy is fine with me, but if you start looking to the Edith Jones or the Rogers Browns or the Owens and you set up this whole nuclear option battle, you are going to have a conversation. You are going to have a political nuclear war instigated in this country that is going to continue to foment major dissent, not only between liberals and conservatives, but I think it‘s going to bring in the American people in a way that the president might not anticipate.
BLANKLEY: I have just got to say, Judge Crier—and she‘s a wonderful lady. But the idea...
CRIER: There‘s lady. Oh, it came in.
BLANKLEY: But the idea...
SCARBOROUGH: You have been elevated to lady. Buchanan didn‘t call you that.
BLANKLEY: But the idea that this was some ultra-conservative attack, this was the heart and soul of the conservative movement. It‘s the conservative movement that has elected five of the last seven presidents of the United States.
We are dead center in the American political spectrum, and the idea this is some extreme phrase, which is the phrase that the Schumers of the world are using to try and disparage the dissent.
CRIER: How can you be, Tony..
BLANKLEY: I‘m sorry for liberals‘ misperception, but conservatives are in the center of the spectrum.
CRIER: No, no, no. I‘m not—I am a former Texas Republican judge.
I have never been called a liberal. I am a libertarian, if anything.
CRIER: To basically say that you are in the center...
BLANKLEY: I was mentioning Senator Schumer, who I think is a self-admitted liberal.
BUCHANAN: Let me get into this. Joe, Let me say this.
CRIER: No. Let me finish.
CRIER: When, in fact, the poll numbers show on so many of these issues, the American people are much more moderate than the group I am talking about, and the rhinos, Republican in name only, are much more traditional conservative. I think this is a segment of the Republican Party, and that‘s why you saw the fight between these two groups.
BLANKLEY: It wasn‘t a segment. It was the entire conservative movement.
BUCHANAN: The president is going to choose a nominee that is going to alienate Buchanan or Blankley or it‘s going to alienate Schumer and Reid. What do you think he ought to do?
BUCHANAN: When it came to the election last fall, I have been a dissident Republican where the Bushites are concerned. I was behind the president. Every conservative was behind the president against Kerry.
All we are saying is, unite us. Luttig, Edith Jones, Alito, McConnell, any of these people would totally unite the movement.
CRIER: They will divide this country.
BUCHANAN: OK, we lose Catherine Crier. It‘s a loss we are going to have to accept.
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on. Politically, though, before we wrap this up, though, let me ask you all, don‘t you think that when the president is in trouble, his approval ratings are low, the thing to do, you don‘t reach out to the Schumers. You reach out to your base.
And I am always reminded. Ronald Reagan, when Iran-Contra came, Reagan survived it, because the conservatives never left his side. Bill Clinton—I could never understand why Bill Clinton went against 80 percent of the population and voted to ban—voted against the ban on partial-birth abortions.
But when Monica Lewinsky and that crisis came out, the women‘s groups all stayed with him. You run to your base when you are in trouble, don‘t you? That‘s politics 101.
BLANKLEY: You do, absolutely. That‘s why I wrote in my memo.
But I don‘t want to let it pass that this was some highly qualified person that was thrown over for political purposes, because I don‘t think that. And I don‘t think anybody in this town thinks that. And I have heard secondhand, so it‘s not 100 percent, but pretty reliable, that, in her murder boards at the White House, that she was not able to handle the second-level questions, and that this was a judgment made all around, that she wasn‘t ready to take those hearings or to do this job on the Supreme Court.
And the fact that she was a perfectly qualified corporate lawyer didn‘t mean that she was qualified to be on the bench. This is a win both for substance and for politics.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, listen. You know what, Tony Blankley, thanks for being with us.
Catherine Crier and Pat Buchanan, you are going to have to take it to out into the streets for the next 20 minutes.
SCARBOROUGH: Thanks for being with us, Catherine. We greatly appreciate it.
CRIER: You bet.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m joined next by Tucker Carlson. He is the host of
“THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON.”
Tucker, it looks like Rove may walk away from this process, and a guy named Scooter may be going down. What‘s the situation tonight?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON”: Looks that way.
Can I just point out that Pat Buchanan is the coolest guy in the world?
CARLSON: He is so cool.
CARLSON: I mean, he is really is a funny, great guy.
SCARBOROUGH: You know what? Buchanan—Buchanan was cool like before, what, country was cool? I don‘t know, Tucker.
CARLSON: Yes, he was. And he was right about Iraq, too, if I can just point that out. But, anyway...
SCARBOROUGH: No, he wasn‘t. No, Buchanan was wrong about Iraq.
CARLSON: Yes, he was. Go back and read Pat Buchanan.
SCARBOROUGH: If you want to debate Iraq, Tucker, you are not invited on my show.
CARLSON: I‘m sorry. I couldn‘t control myself.
SCARBOROUGH: If you want to talk about Katrina or the Supreme Court, go ahead.
CARLSON: That was rude. And I beg your pardon.
SCARBOROUGH: Listen, that‘s all right, Tucker.
CARLSON: You shouldn‘t go on another man‘s show and debate.
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on. Tucker, let‘s try it again.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, I am joined now by Tucker Carlson.
SCARBOROUGH: He‘s the host of “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON.”
SCARBOROUGH: What is the situation tonight, baby?
CARLSON: This is the situation. This is the situation.
“The New York Times” piece, front page tomorrow, it says Scooter Libby will be indicted. The grand jury will be extended.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s big.
CARLSON: Karl Rove not going to be indicted now, but could be. He is continuing to investigate, Pat Fitzgerald is. This is a huge story. That, coupled with Miers, we have more news almost than we can cover in an hour, but we are going to cover it anyway, every angle. It‘s unbelievable. This is like Christmas for news.
SCARBOROUGH: Boom, said with ruthless efficiency.
SCARBOROUGH: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Thanks, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, make sure to tune in to “THE SITUATION” with Tucker at 11:00.
As it‘s been happening over the past couple of nights, news is breaking over the hour while Tucker is on, because you have “The New York Times” and “Washington Post,” all these other newspapers that are actually posting their news.
When do you guys post on “The Washington Times”?
BLANKLEY: Midnight, usually.
SCARBOROUGH: Midnight. So, you will have to see a rerun on CNN to figure that one out.
SCARBOROUGH: But, anyway, make sure you watch Tucker at 11:00.
We have got breaking news also coming up we will tell you about when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Stunning new developments tonight in the case of 16-year-old Scott Dyleski, who appeared today in court on charges that he brutally murdered Pamela Vitale. She was the wife of prominent attorney Daniel Horowitz.
But, as Dyleski was standing before the judge, his mother was being arrested, accused of being an accessory to the killing.
For the very latest on the story, let‘s go to California now live and MSNBC‘s Jennifer London.
Jennifer, talk about the late-breaking news out of California tonight.
JENNIFER LONDON, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, good evening, Joe.
As you mentioned, late this afternoon, Scott Dyleski‘s mother, Esther Fielding, was booked into the Contra Costa County jail. She‘s being accused by police of being an accessory to the murder of Pamela Vitale.
Fielding is suspected of helping her son after he allegedly murdered Vitale, but, at this point, her role in the alleged murder is not clear. Prosecutors not commenting tonight, citing a gag order which was imposed earlier today.
However, according to reports, Esther Fielding may have known her son was in trouble before he was arrested, this because of information about stolen credit cards. Also, Esther Fielding allegedly hired an attorney for her son, again, before he was arrested. This is the same attorney who bowed out of the case today at Dyleski‘s arraignment.
Also, Esther Fielding allegedly told her son the night of the murder to spend the night at his girlfriend‘s house, saying that there was too much police activity on the road. The sheriff‘s department tonight, Joe, also not commenting because of the gag order. Bail has been set for Esther Fielding at $500,000.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thanks so much, Jennifer London. Greatly appreciate that update. The case getting a lot more interesting.
Let‘s go to two people who are very familiar with the case, former California prosecutor Pamela Davis and also Jim Zamora, who has been covering the case for “The San Francisco Chronicle.”
Jim, let me go to you first. Obviously, some late-breaking news. Do police believe that this mother could have been involved in the credit card scam or the murder or do they think that she was just covering up for her son when she realized he was in trouble?
JIM ZAMORA, “THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE”: Well, the prosecutors haven‘t exactly laid out their case in court papers, and because of the gag order, they haven‘t explained everything, but this much we can infer from what is already in the court file.
She is accused of aiding and abetting her son after the killing, so it‘s not believed at this point that she participated in the death or in any of the crimes necessarily that preceded that. But it appears, based upon the search warrants that the sheriff‘s department served, that she was involved in aiding her son after the killing and perhaps destroying evidence or at least obstructing the investigators‘ ability to obtain that evidence.
SCARBOROUGH: Pamela Davis, what do you have to do? If you are a mother and you just tell your son, don‘t go out on the streets, there are a lot of sheriffs out there patrolling the area, or go to your girlfriend‘s house, so the heat won‘t be on you as much tonight, does that rise to the level of getting somebody arrested for aiding and abetting?
PAMELA DAVIS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, it just seems to me, Joe, that that would be a reach. I think that simply telling your son not to come home, there‘s too much police activity in the area, isn‘t going to get you arrested for an aiding and abetting charge.
And this is an accessory after the fact. At least, it sounds like that‘s what it is. So I suspect that if it was just interfering with the police investigation, that they would have chosen to charge something like that, and this is something where she actually assisted him in the furtherance of the crime, and it could be something about getting rid of the bloody gloves or getting rid of his bloody clothing or hiding some type of evidence.
I just don‘t think it‘s—we are going to see accessory charge if it‘s simply telling her son not to come home.
SCARBOROUGH: Jim, let me ask you about that. We have heard about a bloody glove. We have heard about evidence found in the mother‘s car.
Do you have any information out there to verify that that is, in fact, what the police found?
ZAMORA: Well, we know that the police found a great deal of evidence on the property, on the home that they shared that they rented from another family. We don‘t know, based upon the search warrants or what has been available in court so far, exactly what her role was in any of that evidence.
So, it‘s a bit unclear exactly what she did. We are hoping that the investigators and prosecutors are going to tip their hand more when she is called in to court later, but, at this point, it...
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Go ahead.
ZAMORA: Oh, well, I was just going to say, at this point, it‘s unclear exactly what she may have done after the fact and what involvement she may have had.
ZAMORA: There are certain things we can infer based upon the search warrants that have already been returned with regard to her son, but what exactly her role was is still unclear.
On Friday night, they did tow her van off of that property, and they searched that van, in regard to the son‘s investigation. It could be that that in some way led them to her, but we just don‘t know at this point.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. That‘s something that we will obviously be finding out the next 24 hours.
Pamela Davis and Jim Zamora, thank you so much for being with us tonight.
And, coming up next, we are going to be talking about the biggest stars in Hollywood saying, enough is enough. They are turning to one man for help, and he is going to show us how he is fighting back against the overzealous paparazzi.
SCARBOROUGH: Celebrities are being hounded by paparazzi more than ever, like Lucy Liu in the video you‘re being shown right now. As the demand for candid shots of stars keeps grow, one person is helping them fight back. His name is John Perry from Sunset Protective. His agency follows, photographs, and documents paparazzi to help protect various celebrity A-listers.
Hey, thanks for being with us, John.
Tell me what you do and why you do it.
JOHN PERRY, SUNSET PROTECTIVE: Well, Joe, we are a security company. We assist celebrities in deterring paparazzi, so they can enjoy their lives in privacy and comfort and harmonious environment.
SCARBOROUGH: How bad has it gotten?
PERRY: It‘s gotten pretty bad.
The benefits and rewards for obtaining pictures are so great that people are willing to take tremendous risks in obtaining their goals.
SCARBOROUGH: How much—let‘s say somebody wanted to get a picture of Lindsay Lohan in Los Angeles somewhere. She seems to be somebody that is being harassed more than most. Let‘s say you get a good shot of Lindsay Lohan that people want to see in all these magazines, which, let‘s admit, I mean, they are selling like hotcakes.
SCARBOROUGH: How much do you get for a shot like that?
PERRY: Well, it depends.
An exclusive picture, it can bring upwards of a $1 million, if it‘s something groundbreaking or first edition. People can retire off one picture now.
SCARBOROUGH: So, that‘s why people take the chances, right?
PERRY: Exactly. The benefits are too great.
And my job is to up the consequences for them, and let them know, the risks may not be worth it, and that‘s what I do.
SCARBOROUGH: What is the Web site?
PERRY: SunsetProtective.com. There‘s pictures of paparazzi on it.
And I believe they are long overdue for the recognition and notoriety that other people have experienced at their hands. And we are just turning the camera on them. And a lot of them actually appreciate being on the Web site.
SCARBOROUGH: They probably do.
Thanks a lot, John Perry. Greatly appreciate you being with us.
We are going to be right back—now here‘s a tease for you—with the world‘s tallest dog.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait until you see this one. What‘s that?
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, if you got something to tell me, send me an e-mail, Joe@MSNBC.com.
We will be right back.
SCARBOROUGH: Now it‘s time to go to Tucker Carlson to find out what the situation is.
Tucker, what‘s the situation tonight, buddy?
CARLSON: Every night, Joe, I say there are many situations tonight.
SCARBOROUGH: There are a lot tonight.
CARLSON: Tonight, I‘m not exaggerating in any way.
SCARBOROUGH: This is unbelievable.
CARLSON: This is unbelievable. We have the...
SCARBOROUGH: A cornucopia of situations.
CARLSON: ... Harriet Miers resignation, the end of the nomination, and this.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s huge. That‘s—that‘s huge.
CARLSON: Every night, for the past three nights, we have had breaking news right before we go on the air.
SCARBOROUGH: Every night.
CARLSON: And tonight is the biggest of all.
SCARBOROUGH: It‘s huge.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Copy: Content and programming copyright 2005 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2005 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.