Sign in to comment!

Hannity

Did George Zimmerman help or hurt his case?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 19, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: The state attorney is going to see this interview as a gift when they go to cross examine George Zimmerman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, HOST OF "HANNITY": Now that was one of other attorneys for Trayvon Martin's parents this morning on "Fox and Friends." And today, Fox News learned that the Florida state prosecutor has entered my interview with George Zimmerman into discovery.

So will his sit down with me help or hurt his case? Here to respond, Fox News legal analyst, Peter Johnson, Jr. and the co-host for "The Five," Kimberly Guilfoyle, former prosecutor yourself.

I was watching that interview and you were co-hosting on "Fox and Friends" this morning.

PETER JOHNSON JR., FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. And the e-mail reaction that I got in response to what we were talking about is that it was an overwhelmingly positive interview and congratulations on the interview.

It was a great get. In terms of helping the case of George Zimmerman I think it's a net-net positive because it depicted him as not a racist monster, but as a person of introspection.

And maybe even a person of spirituality and a person who is standing by his actions, but understands the need to apologize to the family. We also came to understand it as a result of this interview. Things we never heard in the mainstream media.

He alleges that he was being suffocated and his head was being banged repeatedly and that the victim Trayvon Martin attempted after suffocating him to move his hand down his body to his holstered firearm in order to kill him.

HANNITY: We have -- remember the first eyewitness in the case, this was the night of the shooting, Kimberly, actually said to police that in fact he witnessed it was Trayvon on top of George Zimmerman and described exactly what George said in terms of taking the head and beating and pounding.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": We're getting a real glimpse into what the trial will be and what some of the witness testimony most specifically. You can have thousands of trials that go by where the defendant doesn't take the stand.

But you what you got there was George Zimmerman on the stand with you asking the questions. You brought up everything about what happened that night and you asked the questions about the percipient eyewitness to the crime.

And you confronted him on those details and he gave answers and that's why the prosecutor ran to the courtroom to enter this into discovery into evidence.

HANNITY: You had an interesting theory as we were talking earlier. You think this was done almost for PR purposes.

JOHNSON: Sure, done to intimidate the defense in the case to say to the defense listen you think you had a good night in getting your story out to a jury pool and telling America that your client is a person of some introspection and not a maniacal killer.

We think it is great for us. But I think Kimberly will tell you and I heard her talking about it earlier on "The Five." Maybe it gets into evidence. Maybe it doesn't get into evidence. Maybe he testifies. Maybe he doesn't testify. Who knows?

HANNITY: What fascinated me is what was picked up on by the media when used the term God's will and that seemed to be isolated. A little different coverage by the way on "Fox and Friends" to your credit this morning when he also said I pray for his parents every night. I think Peter's right in suggesting there is an element of spirituality here.

GUILFOYLE: Absolutely. And I think he made it very clear that he felt that he had no other choice, but to act in the way he did to save his own life, which is classic self-defense, which a jury can then find him not guilty of the crime.

But he regrets the ultimate outcome of the loss of a life so tried to really articulate that and showed a more human side than we have already seen repeatedly in the press and mainstream media, which has depicted him as sort of a monster and child killer.

HANNITY: But they tried to use that one line isolated.

JOHNSON: It was isolated and it is not what people are saying because I read the question and the answer that he gave and I'm not so sure he understood the question that was being asked when he gave the response that he gave.

But he';s a not a spine mister. He's not a professional communicator. He's obviously a person that has some values in terms of religion. And so when he's talking about God's plan in an inarticulate way he is talking about a complex theological theory.

That is in the Islam religion, in the Judaic religion, in the Christian religions and that's a notion of divine law and divine providence. I don't think he is speaking of that of God's will as it were. I don't think he's speaking it as a justification or somehow that he's a cold blooded --

HANNITY: God's will. That is how the media tried to portray the aspect of it, but it is certainly not compatible with I pray for them every day.

JOHNSON: That's the negative of giving an interview, but there are positives -- an interview. There are positives as well. I learned because I never focused on it he passed a lie detector test two or three times, a computerized voice analysis.

So we see a picture that we've never seen before and I think to his lawyer's credit he said listen Hannity's going to give me a fair shot. He will have some tough questions and you did and you asked some tough questions that may not put him in a good light going forward.

But at the same time Americans got to see unvarnished a story of one man thrust into a situation; how he responded and see how we respond.

HANNITY: Let me ask you one last question as a former prosecutor. The eyewitness, nobody saw the actual moment of the shooting.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

HANNITY: There were witnesses and we to have injuries compatible with the story that the eyewitness gave and what George Zimmerman specifically said.

How does a prosecution get to a guilty verdict, second-degree murder, when you have a story that is consistent, you have a witness that sees Trayvon on top of him, injuries inconsistent with it. How do they get the conviction?

GUILFOYLE: Right, it's going to be very difficult because what you're saying is the physical evidence and forensic evidence corresponds with the eyewitness testimony that was given after the incident and with the statements that George Zimmerman has given and certainly the one he gave last night.

So they're going to have to say to the jury hey look this guy is not believable and lacks credibility. Some of this could misinterpreted. He was actually the aggressor and point out any inconsistent statements to impeach him.

HANNITY: Does that get them to a guilty verdict?

GUILFOYLE: I think it will be challenging based on what we learned and what we heard last night in that interview I think the case got a lot better for George Zimmerman.

JOHNSON: You need a unanimous verdict. I think more than reasonable doubt was created last night and I think the only thing that none of us doubt is that all of these folks need our prayers that Trayvon Martin family and George Zimmerman because it's a terrible tragedy.

HANNITY: That's what I believe.

GUILFOYLE: For both sides.

HANNITY: When I said that one time I was criticized it could have been a terrible misunderstanding. A mindset of Trayvon and a mindset of George Zimmerman --

JOHNSON: And this confluence of events.

HANNITY: Thank you both.

Content and Programming Copyright 2012 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.