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Alleged Trayvon Martin revenge beating a hate crime?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 26, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

BILL O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly.

In the "Kelly File" segment tonight, we begin with the John Edwards trial, which is currently underway in North Carolina. As you may know, the federal government has charged the former senator and vice-presidential candidate, if you can believe it -- I still can't -- with misusing campaign funds. He could go to prison for 30 years.

So how is it going for Edwards? How is it going?

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Aren't you going to introduce me? Here now, Megyn Kelly.

O'REILLY: I just said "The Kelly File." Now, all right. Her name is Megyn, first name Megyn.

KELLY: How rude.

O'REILLY: Why don't we just have a name tag for you right there? "Hi, my name is Megyn." All right. How's it going?

KELLY: It's -- I think it's actually going pretty well for the prosecution. I mean, I know -- this is contrarian, because a lot of people think it's going poorly for the prosecution, because Andrew Young is not a likeable witness, and he's the prosecution's star witness.

O'REILLY: Yes.

KELLY: But it doesn't seem like a lot of the facts are in dispute. This elderly woman, Bunny Mellon, loved John Edwards, and she funneled almost $100,000.

O'REILLY: And it was called Bunny money.

KELLY: Bunny money.

O'REILLY: Bunny money.

KELLY: She funneled almost $100,000 to his mistress through Andrew Young to hide her. It doesn't seem like a lot of that is in dispute.

Now, the defense is trying to say, oh, well, Andrew Young kept some of it. All right. Maybe he did. I don't know. A lot of it -- most of it went to Rielle.

O'REILLY: Yes.

KELLY: And then there was another guy who funneled money through Andrew Young to Rielle. Why? To hide her. That seems like it's not in dispute.

O'REILLY: But did they just give the money as gifts or did they give it as a campaign donation?

KELLY: You've got it.

O'REILLY: That's what it is.

KELLY: You've got it. That's what it comes down to. What -- for what purpose was the donation? Was it -- and even if it's a gift, it's not legal...

O'REILLY: Then they get into IRS.

KELLY: ... if the purpose was to protect him or advance his campaign. Then, if he didn't report it and it was too much money and he did something illegal.

O'REILLY: So the prosecution is going to say, "Look. The money was given solely for one purpose. So his campaign wouldn't blow up."

KELLY: Yes. And even after his presidential hopes died, so that his political aspirations wouldn't die. You know, he wanted to become attorney general or was maybe thinking vice president.

So the money was -- so they're arguing over was the money to hide Rielle Hunter from the American public, which is what the prosecution claims? You know, it was a campaign donation to keep his campaign aspirations alive?

Or was the money to hide Rielle Hunter from Elizabeth Edwards, which is what John Edwards' lawyer seems to be suggesting? This is all a cover- up from the wife. It had nothing to do with him wanting to be...

O'REILLY: That's crazy.

KELLY: ... attorney general or president or anything else.

O'REILLY: So you say the prosecution is making its case, has this Abbe Lowell, the defense attorney for -- and he's a former Watergate -- not Watergate, former Lewinsky guy.

KELLY: Clinton yes. Impeachment.

O'REILLY: Is he -- is he making any inroads?

KELLY: He's doing what he needs to do. I haven't been that impressed by what I've heard.

O'REILLY: Lowell?

KELLY: He doesn't have that much to work with. He's trying to point out the inconsistencies between Andrew Young's testimony and his book. It's been nothing explosive.

O'REILLY: In this trial, is Edwards going to take the stand, do you think?

KELLY: I will be shocked if he does.

O'REILLY: Right, he's going to sit there?

KELLY: I think he's going to...

O'REILLY: He got the hair cut for nothing?

KELLY: But if he gets up there, it's going to be because he -- the hubris, you know, the razzle-dazzle that he thinks he can do.

O'REILLY: But it's a really short trial. This is going to be over in a week or so.

KELLY: Did you see how happy he was leaving the courtroom yesterday? It's a sunny day in more ways than one.

O'REILLY: I just want to point out again, we had this guy's number early on. I hope you remember some of the reporting we did about John Edwards. We had this guy's number. We knew he was a phony, a charlatan, an exploiter and a narcissist.

KELLY: Well, you know, Abbe Lowell ought to put -- pull his client aside and say, "Word to the wise. When you're on trial for conspiracy and for, at a minimum, covering up an affair that you had with a pregnant woman while your wife was dying..."

O'REILLY: He doesn't think he did anything wrong.

KELLY: "... maybe don't you skip out of the court with a big smile about how sunny it is."

O'REILLY: Narcissists don't ever think they did anything wrong.

All right. Now, we've been following a couple of criminal cases: one in Alabama, one in Michigan, one in Ohio, where there have been black attacks on white people. Where some -- Trayvon Martin's name is mentioned. Should I take any of these seriously as a hate crime?

KELLY: Well, the police in Chicago are.

O'REILLY: Really?

KELLY: They charged a hate crime.

O'REILLY: Have they?

KELLY: Under the Illinois hate crime statute.

O'REILLY: What happened?

KELLY: And I think they have reason to. One black attacker who's 18 years old attacked a white teenager and said, "This is justice for Trayvon."

And the reason this guy, Alton Hayes, was charged with a hate crime, because he got the guy at random. He did it -- he said he killed him because he was white. He pinned his arms to his side and then picked up a tree branch and attacked him.

O'REILLY: So he assaulted the guy?

KELLY: He assaulted that guy.

O'REILLY: OK.

KELLY: That crime was motivated, according to the reports -- apparently, there's been an admission -- solely because of race. That is a hate crime.

O'REILLY: So now he's got -- instead of an assault beef against him he's got a federal hate crime beef against him.

KELLY: This apparently was charged under Illinois' hate crime.

O'REILLY: Illinois' hate crime statute?

KELLY: It's still a state beef. But the other crime that they're looking at in Alabama, maybe not so much. In that case, as well, the assailants, and there were 20 of them. One of them was heard to be saying, allegedly, "This is justice for Trayvon."

O'REILLY: And I think a lot of this stuff is just macho bravado by thugs and this and that, but you've got to take it seriously.

KELLY: It has to be motivated solely by the person's race.

O'REILLY: Finally, we got an e-mail from a very alert and intelligent viewer, who said that in the Zimmerman 911 recording altering by NBC, there could be, for Zimmerman himself, a lawsuit against NBC under some kind of statute.

KELLY: He wanted to know if they could be sued for false light. Painting somebody in a false light. In Florida, that's called defamation by implication. Basically, you defame somebody, but you didn't do it explicitly by saying he's a racist. He's a racist. You're coming out there and editing a tape to make it look like he's a racist.

There is no chance of Zimmerman prevailing.

O'REILLY: No false light here?

KELLY: No. Because for the same reason you can't sue anybody for defamation. I can't sue anybody for defamation. Zimmerman became a public figure.

O'REILLY: So you can put public figures in false light all the time?

KELLY: That's exactly -- it's...

O'REILLY: OK.

KELLY: It's very hard. You guys know.

O'REILLY: Why don't we get protection? I don't understand why famous people don't get protection.

KELLY: You don't need it. Because you've got a microphone.

O'REILLY: We don't need it?

KELLY: You've got a microphone. You can go out there and fight -- fight for yourself.

O'REILLY: Zimmerman doesn't have a microphone.

KELLY: He does, but for smart criminal law purposes, he's choosing not to use it.

O'REILLY: All right. So this thing, if you're a famous person, again, no protections at all?

KELLY: As a practical matter, you have virtually none.

O'REILLY: All right. Megyn Kelly, everybody. There she is.

KELLY: But don't let that encourage any of your viewers to go to the Internet right now and say anything awful.

O'REILLY: OK. In a moment, 50 years of James Bond movies. The News Quiz will ask you about it.

And then a cartoonist insults FOX News. We'll deal with it in "Pinheads & Patriots." Coming right back.

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