This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," December 9, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Governor of Illinois busted. Check out the cover of The Chicago Sun-Times eight-page special edition. And The Chicago Tribune? Well, they worded it differently. They say "arrested." The point is the same either way. The governor of Illinois has been hauled from his house in handcuffs and charged with corruption. But the governor is only accused at this point. How bad does the evidence look in the 76-page affidavit in support of the complaint?
Let's bring back your panel. First of all, Chris, how do you get wiretaps?
CHRISTOPHER CHRISTIE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, you have to -- first off, you have to show probable cause. You have to go...
VAN SUSTEREN: To whom?
CHRISTIE: Well, first you have to show it to the Department of Justice and you have to get authorization from the Department of Justice to do it. Then you have to go back to a federal judge and get authorization from a federal judge. In this case, in the affidavit, they went to the chief judge of the district in the northern district of Illinois to get authorization to tap his home telephone and to place bugs in his campaign office and his campaign conference room. So this is serious stuff.
VAN SUSTEREN: And -- but it's for a limited period of time.
CHRISTIE: Thirty days, and then you review it again after thirty days. And I can tell you, knowing Pat Fitzgerald and knowing the way these cases work when I was doing them in New Jersey, this is something the U.S. attorney was paying a close attention to. And I will tell you, anybody who thinks this is fluff doesn't know Pat Fitzgerald, doesn't know what it means to prosecute a high-profile politician.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Bernie, I guess that shot was at you. And I should tell you during the break that -- that a law professor from Harvard, you know him, Sully, Ron Sullivan (ph), e-mailed me and he said you were a good PDS alert (ph) coming up with that fluff in the face of wiretaps.
BERNIE GRIMM, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. I mean, well, Chris threw a shot across my bow and said I didn't know what I was talking about. So I guess I'm going to lose sleep tonight because another U.S. attorney took a shot at me, so get in line and take a ticket.
I mean, it's fluff where I live. And I live in a courtroom, and when you go into a courtroom, this stuff doesn't stand up. And at least the last time I looked, Greta, when you were in a courtroom, you had some resemblance with the Constitution, but I guess perhaps you've gone to the other side, too.
VAN SUSTEREN: Bernie, you know what? You know what? Look, this is not a courtroom. I can tell you one thing. In reading this affidavit, I'm also not delusional. When I see that there are wiretaps, quotations, people...
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm saying that as a defense lawyer, if this is my client, I am -- you know, I have a stroke because I worry. I don't -- you know, it's really bad when the jury can actually experience what went on. They do that with wiretaps.
GRIMM: I know.
VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know the other side, but I'm telling you it's scary when you see this as a defense lawyer. At least I think so.
GRIMM: I know. I understand. And you had your last stroke, I think, 25 years ago when you were in a courtroom. But at any rate, it's not an easy job. The statements Michael Cardoza said...
VAN SUSTEREN: Nobody said it was an easy job.
GRIMM: In a wiretap case, the biggest problem is, is when the statements come from your own client. There's so many ways you can just dance on the head of a pin.
But here's what a jury's going to do in this case. When you look, essentially, Greta, at the other crimes evidence, you're talking about Rostenkowski, Rezko, all these guys, all these crooks. The last governor was convicted. If I'm in the jury, I'm just going to say he's part of the same machine.
CHRISTIE: Well, you know, (INAUDIBLE) also -- I think, you know, you look -- you have to look at Pat Fitzgerald's record on this when you're looking at that affidavit. This is a guy who's got a record that's pretty extraordinary of convictions in Chicago. He's not going to indict -- he's not going to bring charges...
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, but I don't even -- you know what, Chris? I don't...
CHRISTIE: ... Against a sitting governor...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... Even buy that. I don't buy -- I don't buy what you said because, you know, prosecutors do make mistakes. They can indict a ham sandwich. And you know what? Bernie -- but Bernie -- I think Bernie's also a little bit ignoring the fact that I don't think the FBI agent is sort of making up this stuff, these quotes, and having the -- I don't think they made it up that they had these wiretaps. I don't know, maybe a defense lawyer can make a -- you know, hay of this and poke a lot of holes in it. I know if I were the lawyer, I would do that. But I'm also not delusional that when I'm a defense lawyer and I get 76 pages showing wiretaps of my client for 60 days, it scares me. Maybe not you.
CHRISTIE: Well, this isn't a ham sandwich. This is the sitting governor of Illinois. And when you're a prosecutor, you're not going to make a mistake on this one.
VAN SUSTEREN: Michael, you got 30 seconds. You get to close this one.
MICHAEL CARDOZA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I got to tell you, one of the things that really bothers me is Fitzgerald gets out there and lays the case out. He's already affecting the jury pool. What happened when prosecutors stepped back...
VAN SUSTEREN: That's another issue.
CARDOZA: ... Said, “We have an arrest of the governor, we'll lay our evidence out into court?” When I prosecuted, we had a DA by the name of Lowell Jensen. We weren't allowed to talk to the press. What we did is spoke in the courtroom. So I don't like what Fitzgerald's doing at all.
VAN SUSTEREN: That's an -- that's an -- that's entirely...
CARDOZA: Wait for the courtroom.
VAN SUSTEREN: That's an entirely different issue. That's entirely separate...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... From the wiretaps, totally another issue.
CARDOZA: No question about it. But don't lay your case out to affect the jurors. Wait until the courtroom.
VAN SUSTEREN: And Ted [Williams], we're not going to get to hear your wisdom. We'll have to hear it during the break. We won't be able to share it with the class. Ted, panel, everybody, thank you.
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