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Special Report

Friday Lightning Round: Weiner, Palin's E-mails

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 10, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: This is a Fox News alert, updating a story we brought you at the beginning of the show. Police in Newcastle, Delaware, this afternoon went to the home of 17-year-old high school junior, asking her about direct online communications she had allegedly with Representative Anthony Weiner.

Now, two officers were there at the house, they talked to her for roughly 30 minutes. A FoxNews.com reporter talked to police there. The girl, obviously her name is being withheld because she is a minor. The investigation is continuing.

We just had an update from FoxNews.com breaking the story, talking to police in Delaware. They are investigating, according to the police sources, not only this incident, but other young women who may have had communications. We do not know exactly what the communications were. We do know that Representative Weiner direct messaged this girl according to sources back in April at least once. And we don't know what other communications the two may have had or what other communications there may be with other young girls.

That's where we come back to for the Friday Lightning Round. Before the break we asked you who will quit first, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich or Congressman Anthony Weiner. And 59 percent of you said Gingrich, 41 percent said Weiner.

Well, we're back with the panel. This is the Friday Lightning Round. We'll start with the new information. Kirsten, you had an interesting write-up this week. What is your sense now about this whole deal?

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, what I've been saying all along in terms of him resigning, is that he will not resign unless there is somehow --something illegal where they threaten to prosecute him. Anything barring that, even if the ethics investigation finds that he did something ethically wrong, I really do not believe he will step down. He will push through this. He is -- being a congressman is just his entire identity. I just do not see him stepping aside.

Now this new news, if there was something illegal here, then I think I would expect him to step down. But we don't really know yet whether this was just inappropriate or illegal.

BAIER: Steve, today the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that it's up to the individual member and his constituents as to who represents him or them in Congress.

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Yeah, it was an interesting comment from Nancy Pelosi. And I think, you know, in general, these things are not partisan. You have these people in Washington on both sides of the aisle. And it's mostly a function of power rather than political party or ideology.

But I do think that there has been a tremendous difference in the way that these two past scandals have been handled. John Boehner in his handling of the photograph that Chris Lee sent out, immediately said, you're gone. We want you out of town. This is it. Nancy Pelosi has not said. And not only has she not said that, I think her comment today serves to tell Anthony Weiner that if he wants to fight and stay, he can fight and stay.

BAIER: Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Particularly since there was a Marist poll a few days ago of his own constituents that showed 56 percent, I believe, want him to stay and only a number in the 30's who want him to leave. So he can always look at that and say, in answer to Pelosi, it looks like my constituents want me to stay.

I think -- I agree with Kirsten. I think this is a man whose identity is so fused with his job that unless he has to plea bargain with the job -- was it Vice President Agnew who had to leave office because he had done something illegal and he traded - basically he resigned and in return for not being prosecuted? I think that's the only time in which I can see him resigning.

BAIER: But if there is residual pressure from other Democrats who are feeling the pain in their districts and getting asked about this nonstop, and it takes away a lot of attention from what they're saying is a good talking point for them on Medicare, doesn't it build?

KRAUTHAMMER: It builds, but this is a guy who is at the end of a plank. And unless there is a legal reason he has to go, he will stay where he is. Pressure is pressure, but they can't make him resign.

BAIER: Okay, let's talk about Newt Gingrich, he is vowing to fight on in this presidential campaign despite the fact that his staff left in masse, senior aides. Steve?

HAYES: Well remember, back in 2008, John McCain had significant staff departures and sort of cratered and then came back in a magnificent way for him and won the nomination. That's not gonna happen here with Newt Gingrich. There's no chance of that. I think he is done. There's no chance that's happening here.

(CROSSTALK)

KRAUTHAMMER: A bold prediction.

HAYES: I was just laying it out there, it's not happening.

BAIER: I want to wrap up, though, with the Sarah Palin e-mails and the media frenzy about this in Alaska. It's amazing. And, we have been out there. We're looking through the 24,000 pages. But Charles, it's pretty unprecedented what is happening.

KRAUTHAMMER: It's unprecedented and it's a disgrace. The Times and the Washington Post are actually asking readers to go through this and to send in stuff. Now if you want to read old e-mails of a politician, a retired president or letters of a president, as a way to get around an understanding of that personality, that is done all the time. Historians always are doing that. And then you would do it yourself.

But you don't do that, if you want to get around an understanding, you don't send it out to strangers to look for "gotcha stuff" in this. And that's exactly what the mainstream media are doing. And I think it is utterly egregious.

BAIER: Kristen?

POWERS: But you know, they did find that maybe she was gonna get a tanning bed. And that's really important for all of to us know. I mean this is the kind of stuff that they're, really finding out really important stuff. So I agree with Charles, if you want to go through a politicians e-mails, nothing wrong with that. Anybody would do it.

BAIER: I mean she is a Fox News contributor. We point it out all the time but as far as the big context, Steve, this is really something.

HAYES: How much time have these mainstream media organizations spent covering the NLRB controversy in South Carolina, the arming of terrorists by Iran in Afghanistan? These are issues that have profound impact on U.S. national security or the way that we conduct our government, and they're spending all of their time going through Sarah Palin's e-mail.

KRAUTHAMMER: Palin derangement syndrome, that's what it is.

HAYES: Seriously.

BAIER: That is it for panel. But stay tuned to see a tight squeeze at the White House.

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