Fox News
July 02, 2013

Why did prosecution play Zimmerman's interview with Sean Hannity?

Guests: Jonna Spilbor, Remi Spencer, Rebecca Rose Woodland

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 2, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome to "Hannity." I'm Tucker Carlson sitting in tonight for Sean.

Earlier today, jurors heard testimony from George Zimmerman's friend, the lead police detective who investigated the shooting at the outset, a medical examiner and many more.

But the focus of the day was Sean's exclusive interview with George Zimmerman from last July. Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda introduced the interview as a piece of evidence. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: We will formally play the "Hannity" interview on July 18th, 2012. I think there's a preliminary obstruction.

JUDGE DEBRA NELSON: Yes.

Ladies and gentlemen, at the direction of the court, certain portions of the defendant's interview with Sean Hannity on July 18th, 2012 have been excised or redacted based upon legal determinations made by the court. The parts excised or redacted are not relevant and you are not to concern yourselves with why this occurred or with the contents of any excised or redacted portions. You may proceed.

DE LA RIONDA: Thank you, your honor. For the record, state's exhibit 1-A.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": And tonight in an interview that you will only see right here on "Hannity,"George Zimmerman, the man charged with second degree murder of Trayvon Martin, breaks his silence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Well, the jurors heard about 23 minutes of Sean's interview before the prosecution called in their next witness.

Here with reaction to what happened today, that would be day seven of the Zimmerman trial, defense attorneys Jonna Spilbor, Remi Spencer and Rebecca Rose Woodland.

Really, a dream team to analyze what happened today.

(LAUGHTER)

Now, it seems to me that the most controversial certainly, Jonna, I think, segment of those 23 minutes played today with Sean's interview was this, when Zimmerman said these now famous words. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Do you regret getting out of the car to follow Trayvon that night?

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, TRAYVON MARTIN'S SHOOTER: No, sir.

HANNITY: Do you regret that you had a gun that night?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

HANNITY: Do you feel you wouldn't be here for this interview if you didn't have that gun?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

HANNITY: You feel you would not be here?

ZIMMERMAN: I feel it was all God's plan, and for me to second guess it or judge it --

HANNITY: Is there anything you might do differently in retrospect now that time has passed a little bit?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: I feel it was all God's plan. What -- how do you read that, Jonna? What does that mean?

JONNA SPILBOR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, what I don't think is going to really impress the jury one way or another. I think what he was trying to say in answer to Sean's question was, look, I didn't do anything wrong, I got out of my car, I'm a lawful gun holder, I got out of my car, I questioned this guy, and what happened happened, I'm not going to apologize for that, because I did not break the law. In his mind, and he could be right, that's where he's going with that.

CARLSON: So, he's saying Remi by that explanation, he's saying, it's God's will he survived that exchange?

REMI SPENCER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That's exactly right, Tucker. I mean, that the state made the decision to introduce this video at the trial, is very surprising. This was an interview that Zimmerman set up with his lawyer, and it was a self-serving interview. He explained and the jury now has heard that he did nothing wrong, that he was defending himself. Why the state would give the defendant the opportunity to testify in the state's case in chief is really odd.

Now, maybe they're expecting that they're going to impeach him in some way, maybe they think that he may testify and he'll contradict what he said to Sean in that interview. But it almost seems like the state is sort of throwing their arms up in the air and saying, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you decide. This is what he's saying, you decide. As if, perhaps, they didn't even want to bring this case to the courtroom in the first place.

CARLSON: Well, of course, as you all remember, they may not want to have brought this case, there was tremendous political pressure brought to bear on the authorities here on the chief of police by different interest groups, et cetera. Do you think the case is being made by the state here?

REBECCA ROSE WOODLAND, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think that the state is in deep trouble. I think the state is in deep trouble to make a second degree murder charge system stick with this jury.

CARLSON: Why not manslaughter? Why second degree?

WOODLAND: I think they overcharged, they said that from the beginning.

CARLSON: Have they gotten to manslaughter, do you think?

WOODLAND: Well, we'll see, at the end of this case, we don't know yet. Right now, where we are right now, even that I would say would be a really a tossup.

But with this, why would you put the defendant on the stand and not subject him to cross-examination. That's what they did by introducing Sean Hannity's interview, allowing him to speak without cross-examination or without direct questioning by the prosecution. It doesn't make any sense. I mean, why they did that, I've yet to see, nor can I predict how this will help the prosecution. I think it only hurt them --

CARLSON: Well, it seems that I have no special insight into this. But he doesn't come off in that interview as a monster, or someone animated by race, hatred or anything like that. Is it your experience Jonna that prosecutors just ask for more than they think they're going to get? Is this a negotiation? It seems, if they come out with manslaughter and said, you know, we're not saying he was a racist or crazy or motivated by hate, but he did kill this guy. So, could they have gotten that? Why didn't they do that?

SPILBOR: You know, it might have been smart for them to go there, but from a defense perspective. Self-defense is self-defense. Self-defense doesn't mean I'm going to get a lesser included manslaughter.

CARLSON: Right.

SPILBOR: Self-defense means, I'm not guilty or the killing is justified because of the nature of self-defense. So, I don't know if that would have helped the prosecution too much. But to shed a little light on what I think where the prosecution is going with this, they put stupidly all of these videos into evidence, stupidly, we can agree on that, but now what they're trying to do is by other witnesses show that Zimmerman was lying.

For example, the witness that they had on the stand, his friend who said, yes, he said that the guy that Trayvon reached for a gun and touched the gun, well, they bring on a fingerprint expert to say, there are no fingerprints on that gun. So, that's one little piece that they're trying to chip away at.

SPENCER: Well, I also think though that this may be the very unique case where a defendant can put on a self-defense without ever having to testify, thanks to what the prosecution is doing. Typically, when you say, yes, I did this, but I did it in the defense of myself or the defense of others, you are obligated to get on the stand, put your hand on the Bible and tell the jury what you did. But he doesn't even have to do that anymore, because of what the state has done.

CARLSON: It's so interesting now, a friend of Zimmerman's testified today that Zimmerman initially believed there was a videotape of his altercation with Trayvon Martin. And his first reaction to learning that there was such a videotape was excitement, he was grateful, he was relieved.

WOODLAND: Yes, I believe --

CARLSON: That sounds exculpatory.

WOODLAND: That's also the lead detective on the case, when he was questioning him, questioned him in some different ways, and one of the ways was, well, you know, there was a videotape. Mr. Trayvon Martin, the victim here, took a video tape on his phone. And apparently George Zimmerman said, thank God.

So, clearly from almost the beginning of being questioned he was thankful that the truth would come out, which is what we're hearing, and what the defense's strategy has been all along. Just let's see the truth. The truth here is self-defense.

CARLSON: Right, so you all -- very quickly, you're all, of course, defense attorneys, very familiar with this, you can you evaluate your peers in this case. Let's go right down the line, give them between one and 10 rating. So far the defense in this case.

WOODLAND: So far, the defense is doing well, because the prosecution is doing poorly.

CARLSON: So, by default?

WOODLAND: Not by default but I mean, you know, they have a good step in the forward direction when the prosecution does things like they've done lately, and the witnesses. The witnesses are telling the truth, apparently.

CARLSON: You impressed?

SPENCER: Yes. This is the state case right now, so we'll see if the defense is even going to put on a defense. But the way it is looking today, this case for the defense to lose, it's theirs to lose.

CARLSON: So, Jonna, if you're facing second degree murder charges, would you want this defense team representing you?

SPILBOR: I would want to be prosecuted by this prosecutor. That's serious.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: That sounds like a proverb. Maybe prosecuted by this prosecutor. Thank you all very much.

SPILBOR: Thank you.

CARLSON: Still ahead. Breaking news out of Washington. The White House announced today it is delaying the implementation of a key Obamacare provision that will affect millions of Americans. Why? Because they have no choice, it's a disaster, and we have details on this embarrassing concession later in the hour.

But first, our coverage of the Zimmerman trial continues. Our legal experts are here to analyze the injuries that were sustained by the defendant during his encounter with Trayvon Martin. And whether or not they prove he was acting in self-defense.

Also, a quick programming note. Be sure to tune in tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. right here on FOX. You'll see Sean's exclusive interview with George Zimmerman in its entirety.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I made a comment on the air one day, and I got beaten up pretty bad for saying, this could have all just been a terrible misunderstanding or mistake. Do you think maybe -- is there any possibility he thought you were after him, and you thought he was after you and there was some misunderstanding in anyway?

ZIMMERMAN: I've wrestled with that for a long time, but I can't -- one of my biggest issues through this ordeal has been the media conjecture, and I can't assume or make believe --

HANNITY: The parents of Trayvon Martin. They lost their son. This is your first interview. What would you like to tell them?

ZIMMERMAN: I would tell them that again, I'm sorry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

This is a Fox News alert, we continue to follow the breaking news out of Washington, where just hours ago, the Obama administration announced it will delay the mandate that will require businesses to provide employees with health insurance. That won't take effect until 2015, after the midterm election, surprise, surprise.

Joining me now to explain how this will affect doctors and businesses are from the "National Review" magazine, John Fund and from the Fox News Medical A team, Dr. Marc Siegel. We get the political effect and the medical effects. Doctor, tell us how is this going to affect the average American's interaction with Obamacare?

DR. MARC SIEGEL, FOX NEWS MEDICAL A TEAM: To start with, Tucker, Joe Trippi is totally wrong because businesses have been anticipating this problem, and the insurance policies they've been able to offer their employees have been changing. Under Obamacare, the kind of insurance that employers offer is more and more comprehensive, it costs more and more, the premiums are higher, the deductibles are mandated to be lower and lower, they have less they can do with flexible spending accounts.

The bottom line dollar that it's costing businesses is astronomically high, that's causing them to dump employees, they are going to have to go to the state exchanges. Also it's causing them to make employees more part time. I in my office are faced with more and more employees, who don't have coverage or who won't have coverage or are worried they're going to lose their coverage.

Their current policies, high deductible, low premiums are jeopardized, they're endangered species. If the playing field is changing, of course, employers would rather pay the penalty when it happens. The Obama administration knows this, HHS knows this. This is the white flag we're seeing here.

CARLSON: For people who just want to be covered and don't want to pay for other people's hair transplants or sex changes, they're out of luck. I keep hearing Democrats saying, implementation of Obama care at the end of the year is going to be a disaster.

JOHN FUND, "NATIONAL REVIEW" MAGAZINE: The chairman of the Finance Committee, Max Baucus said, this is a train wreck coming. This is the first light out of the tunnel heading back at us. They are backing off. If they can blink once, they'll blink twice. There's going to be more things suspended.

CARLSON: Like what?

FUND: Well, last week Gallup announced they surveyed small businesses around the country. One out of five said, we have cut back on hiring because of Obamacare. Another 40 percent said we have suspended new hiring. This is a jobs disaster. We are already seeing a small economic recovery. Obamacare could literally put a blanket over that, in order to avoid losses in the 2014 election. I think the next thing they may delay is the individual mandate.

CARLSON: It's hard to argue that businesses ought to get a pass on the mandate, but individuals shouldn't, no, Doctor?

SIEGEL: Of course, it has to be consistent. The problem is the mandate is pretty much unenforceable. Of course, there's also the amount of money --

CARLSON: The individual mandate?

SIEGEL: Both are unenforceable. This is going to cost them $5 billion, which they're counting on. What Obamacare is, is a big behemoth that has to suck money out of everywhere, Medicare. I can't work with Medicare anymore because I'm getting so restricted by regulations. Suck money out of Medicare, penalties, businessman date they're going to lose now. Suck money from the individual mandate.

Patients are going to have to go to the state exchanges, because employers are going to continue to drop them. Without the mandate, even more employees are going to have to go to the state exchanges. We're starting the state exchanges this year, sure, but they're going to be overloaded with employees who are going to be dumped.

CARLSON: Exactly.

FUND: This is the easiest way to bring back a cash economy into health care. A lot of people will drop insurance, will be thrown off insurance by their employers, I think you're going to see a black market development. People will say, right up front I'm only paying cash, let's negotiate.

CARLSON: Which will be a problem for efficiency.

FUND: There's a guy in California whose hospital bill was $20,000, he only paid $16 of that. He should have paid more than $16. This actually might create a black market. Unfortunately, it's not the way --

CARLSON: Or maybe a more efficient market. What Expedia and hotels.com have done for the hospitality industries --

SIEGEL: John's making a great point here because there's a great doctor shortage. They can't work with all this insurance. Over 50 percent of our time is spent with paperworks. We're going to say bring us a chicken, a gift. Barter us, bring us some money. Cash up front, I'll take care.

CARLSON: Why not a direct payment?

FUND: There's no aren't doctors are going to have to do this, Deloitte & Touche, has a survey. Many of their colleagues are going to retire in three to five years because they canned handle this mess.

SIEGEL: Or we'll scale back. The AMA has a survey that shows 70 percent of physicians are restricting the amount of Medicare we take. We're either going to retire only, restrict our practices or take cash only.

CARLSON: In the end this law will collapse under the weight of its own. The Republican Congress has been unable to repeal it.

SIEGEL: The White House did this only because Democrats and Congress are panicking. This will collapse --

CARLSON: Look at what happened in the last midterm election because of Obamacare. This is an albatross around them.

SIEGEL: The biggest atrocity is patient care.

CARLSON: That's the thing we never hear in Washington. Thank you both very much.

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