This is a partial transcript from "On the Record" with Greta Van Susteren, July 19, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA STEWART: I’m also very troubled, as an American, that I did not receive a fair trial. That is the right of every citizen of this great country. The trial was fundamentally unfair in so many different ways and this will be the basis of the appeal that my lawyers are preparing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: That was Martha Stewart (search) speaking out about her sentencing on her Web site, marthatalks.com.
Joining us from New York is Martha Stewart`s attorney, David Chesnoff. Welcome, David.
DAVID CHESNOFF, MARTHA STEWART`S ATTORNEY: Good evening. Nice to see you, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you. David, I think this whole Nelson Mandela (search) comment frankly I think it’s been taken a little bit out of context, so I want to give you a chance to explain it. She wasn’t really saying she was Nelson Mandela, was she?
CHESNOFF: No, absolutely not. Martha is a great admirer of Nelson Mandela. It was taken completely out of context. She was talking about his suffering and how people do suffer but didn’t compare it in any way to the situation that she’s been through.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. We saw the very public Martha Stewart on Friday when she came out after the sentencing. Behind the scenes, I mean what was she saying to you in terms, I mean what was it like when that sentence came down?
CHESNOFF: Well, I think to a certain degree there was some finality as to what was going to happen. You do know the judge gave the lowest sentence she could give under the guidelines and then one of the challenges we have on appeal is to argue the unconstitutionality of the guidelines, which is now a very public issue.
She was anxious to speak and tell people that she was remaining strong, that she had confidence in the justice system, that her appeal would be strong. There are so many compelling issues suggesting that the total fairness of the trial was really not there. I mean we had perjury by two different people.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me stop you right there for a second. I mean to me the whole idea that the U.S. Attorney’s Office would turn around and charge one of its main witnesses, maybe not against Martha but against the co-defendant with perjury, so poisoned the confidence in the trial that I’m a bit troubled that the judge didn’t give her a new trial, not necessarily throw off the conviction for good. Why didn’t she give her a new trial when the prosecution said its own key witness was a perjurer?
CHESNOFF: Well, the judge made a decision that the witness who was charged with perjury was not part of the prosecution team. We are hopeful that the jurists on the Second Circuit will recognize that the man who’s in charge of the Secret Service (search) laboratory who was put on by the prosecution to have what they characterized as a CSI effect, the Second Circuit is going to recognize that he was part of the prosecution team and that there were various red flags that the prosecutors knew about to know that he was going to perjure himself and say you can’t try somebody for lying and rely on liars.
They had a juror who lied, who perjured himself, a man who had been convicted apparently of a crime against a woman. No self-respecting defense lawyer would have allowed that man on the jury in a case involving a very strong woman. And then we have the head of the lab at the Secret Service who they promoted to the jury as the man who’s responsible for helping to protect the president.
VAN SUSTEREN: And I mean with that I’ve got to cut you off but I just have to add my two cents on that. In my wildest dreams when the federal government admits its own witnesses are lying that this case would not have gotten a new trial. I don’t know if your client lied but to me that so poisoned the proceedings in terms of my mind whether it’s fair. David, thank you very much.
CHERNOFF: You’re welcome.
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