Exclusive: The Duggars respond to their critics on 'The Kelly File'

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," June 4, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, a media feeding frenzy after our sit-down with the Duggars as the family that became famous for their Christian values speaks out about a painful secret and touches off a dramatic new debate.  Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. It was a little more than 24 hours ago that we sat down with members of the Duggar family. Stars of the hit TLC show "19 Kids and Counting." We discussed the serious allegations of inappropriate touching some 12 years ago by a teen teenaged Josh Duggar. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar explained what happened with Josh, what happened with their family and why they handled it the way they did. Their answers have angered some of their critics. And we will hear from one of them tonight.

They raise new legal questions. And we will look at those as we reveal breaking news on how police released the report that brought this story to the nation. And they prompted new allegations in their interview with us of a cover-up. We will get to all of that. But, first, we begin with some of the Duggar interview you did not see last night.


JIM BOB DUGGAR, "19 KIDS AND COUNTING": I think about going back to those 12 years ago, if people have seen us on TV and now they're questioning whether the Duggars fake all this time or whatever. No, what they were seeing, is they're seeing our family actually went through this and our family was broken, our family was humbled by all this. And you see a family that instead of losing our faith, actually, we were drawn so close together to God and to each other.

KELLY: All of you?

J. B. DUGGAR: All of us.

KELLY: The girls, too, with respect to Josh?

J. B. DUGGAR: Yes. The girls have totally forgiven Josh and gone on.  And Josh is now a wonderful husband, father, he's a godly man. And it's just like, you know what, sometimes there's young people that make mistakes, they get involved in alcohol and drugs and different things in their youth. And then they get treatment and they get therapy and they go on and they become very great people. And so I think that's the reason normally in society that we seal juvenile records. In our case this stuff was exposed because young people make stupid mistakes. And society as a whole is not wanting to hold juveniles, what they've done out for the public viewing.

KELLY: What was that like? Were you worried, Michelle, that he wasn't going to emerge out of that law enforcement- --

J. B. DUGGAR: We didn't know if they were going to arrest him at that point or what they were going to do, this was going to open up investigation for our whole family or what was going to happen.

KELLY: What did he say when you said --

MICHELLE DUGGAR, "19 KIDS AND COUNTING": I have to go back to this.  As we were walking through this, I just remember, I said to Josh, I said, when he came back, he was broken, he was so humble, he was so repentant, over and over he asked for forgiveness, you know, to all that, you know, that he had hurt. And I said to him, Josh, God's word is true. He said that if you cover your sin, you won't prosper. But who so confesses and forsakes it shall have mercy. And I said, you've had mercy. God's forgiven you, these people have forgiven you and I said, now we were waiting to hear, you know, were they going to come. Serve a warrant, come take him away, we didn't know what they're going to do.

KELLY: You believed that was a possibility?

M. DUGGAR: We did. We figured it, you know --

J. B. DUGGAR: We know the police are mandatory reporter, so we assumed that there will be an investigation started and something would happen but nothing ever happened. We didn't realize.

KELLY: I'm talking about before you bring him down there, because that had to be a big decision in your family.

J. B. DUGGAR: We felt like this was an important step in Josh's life to not ever do anything like this ever again.

M. DUGGAR: Right.

KELLY: I know that your daughters wrote a book, and they talk in there about the importance of forgiveness, even if bitterness remains.  Does any bitterness remain or do you feel like you've gotten to the point of true forgiveness in your family?

J. B. DUGGAR: Yes. Our family has definitely gotten to the point that there's no bitterness. As a matter of fact, forgiveness is not something you feel like doing, it's really a choice. When people wrong us, you say, God, I choose to forgive this person. And sometimes people come back and ask for forgiveness and sometimes people don't. It's important just like Jesus was hanging on the cross, he said father, forgive them for they know not what they do. That doesn't mean you don't necessarily have blind trust. You know, it's kind of like we tell our kids, you know, if somebody lies to you, you're not going to trust them anymore. But if somebody lies to you and then they come back and ask your forgiveness and they're very humble about it, that starts rebuilding the trust. That's what happened to Josh. Josh did some very wrong things but then he came back and asked for forgiveness and started rebuilding that trust.

KELLY: Well, what do you make of, because it's about more than just what's happened inside your family now. The media blowback, the advertisers canceling on the TLC reality show.

J. B. DUGGAR: Everybody deals with something. If you're a parent, you dealt with children doing things that are wrong. And so, I think as far as to say that --

M. DUGGAR: I think our faith have been strengthened through this difficult situation and I think now because it was brought out in such a way that really has been slanderous and cruel to the victims, I think now, we can truly say we dealt with that years ago. If we deal with that conflict or whatever in the right way, it can strengthen relationships as well. And so we think through the years as people, you know, watched our family and all, we haven't been fake. I mean, when people come up to us and they say, we love your show! We're like, thank you, but it's not a show. It's really our life. And we are just a family, honestly, living life, purposing by God, just do the next right thing. And you know, back 12 years ago, we did the best that we knew how at that point. And we've learned some things since. I think by God's grace, we're going to continue to learn and help our children and our grandchildren.


KELLY: Well, the mainstream media's reaction to our interview was swift and fierce, as they picked apart not only the Duggars' answers but how they handled the situation with their son overall. Here's just a very small simple of the enormous response.


MATT LAUER, NBC HOST, "TODAY" SHOW: A lot of times people do an interview in a situation like this to lay the issue to rest. I think in this case this interview may have even raised more questions.

DAVID WRIGHT, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": Let me just say right up front as a father of three little girls, this was a brutal hour of television to watch.

DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: My understanding, guys, is that they locked the bedrooms of the girls and he was still able to get through and find his way in. I mean, that is not how you handle this. The bottom- line, these were horrible things that were going on and now we're getting some better insight into how pervasive this was and how disturbing this was.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Don't bring up God, don't do it. You can't do that and talk about God forgiving people when you don't have forgiveness in your own heart.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN ANCHOR: I think for fans, obviously some fans of the show take away the fact that this family is trying to heal, that there was contrition. There are a whole lot of critics out there though as well.  And maybe this story, one of those stories, a red, blue, left, right story.


KELLY: Howard Kurtz is host of Fox News Channel's "Media Buzz."  Howie, great to see you. Why? He's not wrong. This feels like it's splitting into some sort of ideological battle. Why?

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIA BUZZ": Because it's the latest round in the sexual culture wars. So, you had some people on the right at least expressing sympathy for this family. But many liberal media types denouncing the Duggars in part because they did give some weak and troubling answers to some of the interview questions and that's fair game.  But also in part because they're viewed as overly preachy and now hypocritical Christian conservatives. And we see the same pattern Megyn with Bruce Jenner, who is also doing a reality show hailed by the mainstream media as a hero for becoming Caitlyn Jenner. But at the same time, I have absolutely no problem with that. At the same time, some conservative pundits viewing that story and that movement as an assault on traditional values.

KELLY: Uh-mm. Remember the Lena Dunham thing where she admitted in her book that, you know, she behaved very inappropriately with her younger sister. And at that time, you know, many on the Right went after her and many on the left defended her. I mean, is there sort of nothing that we can keep our politics out of? I mean, it just seems like, this is a story about a family in trouble. And they went through something terrible and now we're going through something terrible again. I think all the questions about hypocrisy, fair game, whether people were duped, fine, whether they handled this correctly, great, all that's fair game. And I think actually the discussion is doing some good in bringing issues of sexual abuse to the forefront. And we'll get to that later in the show because we have some evidence of it. But why must it go to the red-blue place every time?

KURTZ: Because we live in such a polarized media and political culture, that that becomes more important than anything else. I am not defending it, I am explaining it. It saddens me that the right would go crazy on Lena Dunham but they're not have anything to say about some clearly truly troubling behavior including, you know, the possible cover-up by the Duggars. I mean, here's -- a Daily Beast writer saying on MSNBC, that he wanted an interview where the moderator would be shaking a finger at them and damning them to hell. That's our media culture in a nutshell.  If I don't like your ideology and you make a mistake, you should go to hell.

KELLY: You know, I don't know who that was but I read a write-up in "The Daily Beast" today who said they were talking about the exchange and they said about yours truly, she may not have done that with the finger but she asked tough compelling important questions but this writer was dissatisfied with the answers.

KURTZ: Right.

KELLY: But there was an acknowledgment that that wasn't a realistic expectation, right? To get that from a moderator, and an interviewer, to instead get something meaningful in the answers. I felt like the Duggars, whatever you think of what they said, they told their story. And it's out there now for the world to consume. You know, did someone need to go in there and take an ideological bent?

KURTZ: Well, you know, other writers though who don't like the Duggars and not only criticizing them but they're criticizing Fox which they don't like anyway for giving the family a platform. I mean, look, when I was watching this as a journalist and I watched these parents say that there was no problem in parading their children through the glare of a reality show because the molestation problem had already been resolved, I don't think so. And when I heard them say to the girls who were molested, their own daughters, they weren't even aware of it because they were sleeping or not paying attention, all this I found really troubling. But watching it as a dad with young daughters, it was impossible not to feel some sympathy for what they had been through. But too many people, as I say, in this culture would rather point fingers than to say, these are human beings. And that being treated by many people, they're being treated as political targets.

KELLY: Well, here's the other thing I don't understand Howie. Here's the last thing I don't understand. How can you claim to be so outraged over what Josh Duggar did to his sisters and what the parents did not do when the information was brought to their attention, and have no outrage over the blatant violation of those same daughters' privacy rights here?  The exposure that they did not want, that the law is meant to prevent. The same people are going out and, as I said before, dining on the carpets of their dead privacy rights.

KURTZ: Right. People who ordinarily would protest and protect and defend the privacy rights particularly of juveniles because unfortunately we live in a world of selective outrage, where people who want to score political points, who have an ideological point of view, too many of them, not all, would rather point the finger at the things that they don't like and the people that they don't like, give others on their side a pass and then just ignore the inconvenient details like the leaking or unauthorized release of this report which is, as big an outrage as the conduct itself which of course is very troubling. And I don't think, you know, they got a pass from you in that interview.

KELLY: Wow! I mean, that is what the daughters think. And we're going to have the daughters tomorrow night on that. Howie, thank you.

KURTZ: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: We actually have more of our sit-down with the Duggars tonight that you have not yet seen including some of what the parents had to say about suggestions of a cover-up here.

Plus, one group in particular is even more angry with the Duggars now than before our interview and one of those folks is here next.


KELLY: In the main charge we've heard from your critics have been, they are hypocrites. They preached family values.




KELLY: And the main charge we have heard from your critics has been they are hypocrites. They preached family values. Josh once said we are the epitome of conservative values and yet they have this secret and they weren't honest with the world about who they were.


J. B. DUGGAR: I don't think you go up to total strangers and say, hi, my name is so-and-so and I want you to know what I did as a child and share everything about your past. You know, every family has things happen in the families. And some families maybe have darker things than others. But everybody deals with some --

KELLY: What the critics are going for is that you shouldn't have been preaching about moral values when you had a secret like this in your own family, that you should be calling other people sinners, when you yourselves are sinners.

J. B. DUGGAR: Our son violated God's principles of doing some improper touching. That was terrible. Yet I think it's been recently said what Josh did was inexcusable but it was not unforgivable.


KELLY: Of all the charges we hear from the Duggar critics, the most common complaint is that the family are hypocrites saying Duggars have no right to condemn others for alleged immorality when admittedly immoral acts happened under their own roof and they knew it.

Robert Zimmerman is a New York DNC committee member and he is one of the folks who feels that way. Is that right? Do you?

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, NEW YORK DNC COMMITTEE MEMBER: First and foremost, congratulations on an important interview. It really started a very critical national debate, that's most importantly. But this is not a democrat or republican issue. I'm not speaking as a democrat.

KELLY: So, you disagree with that red-blue thing?

ZIMMERMAN: I really do. I think this is so much bigger. Because I think all Americans, when they see faith being used to preach fear, when they say the pulpit being used to teach ignorance and prejudice, if think is there not just a bipartisan but national reaction. Because our nation was founded on the concept of inclusion and equality and opportunity. And the Duggars really violate the very core of the principle that makes America exceptional.

KELLY: That's where they really went wrong with some Americans because they're very outspoken about gay rights, they're against same sex marriage and you know, they think it's a biblical thing and they've alienated a lot of people because of that.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, Megyn, that's much bigger than just --

KELLY: Yes, that's not the only concept but that's were the main ones.

ZIMMERMAN: That's right. On that issue for example, which is what I care deeply about and passionately about. Their position is not that they're opposed to gay marriage, I'm not suggesting they marry other people that they don't want to marry. They shouldn't marry lesbian and gays if they don't want to. Their position is to deny everyone else that opportunity.

KELLY: But you know, that's a biblical thing for many people. I mean, they're following their Christian beliefs.

ZIMMERMAN: And they can follow their Christian beliefs but they can't impose their beliefs on the rest of society. And in America, 60 percent of America supports marriage equality.

KELLY: Well, and that's the thing. And so, you know, they've been advocates for their position, it's not just that they hold this privately held beliefs. They've been advocates.

ZIMMERMAN: They've been hatemongers on their position. Josh Duggar for example belongs to a hate group called the Family Research Council.

KELLY: Well, I mean, that's matter of opinion. Tony Perkins runs that group.

ZIMMERMAN: That's fair.

KELLY: That's right. And he advocates for strong Christian values that he thinks are base in the bible. You know, he's an advocate for those principles. And if realize others see that as nothing but hateful. But that's sort of whether Zimmers, I mean, the Duggars, you're a Zimmerman.  That's where the Duggars fall. But the question is whether they waive their right to make the case for their values when they have sinned themselves in the past, because if understand the other argument, which is if that's the case, none of us are going to be able to say anything.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, they lose credibility when they use their celebrity to demonize people they disagree with. When Michelle Duggar refers to transgender individuals as pedophiles. Or when Josh Duggar for example through the Family Research Council leads -- the same equal rights that all Americans have that the gay and lesbian community seek to have.

KELLY: Do you think that's why people pounced so much because I mean, I asked Michelle Duggar about that comment --

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, you did.

KELLY: -- about suggesting transgender people are --

ZIMMERMAN: You hold them accountable. Absolutely.

KELLY: Well, and I wanted to know how, I mean, how could you do that when you know what you know? And she stuck to it. I mean, she basically said, that is a risk. That's a scary thing and people needed to be alerted to it. These are genuinely held beliefs. But I think that doesn't excuse the preaching in people's minds. And they were waiting for a moment that they could fight back.

ZIMMERMAN: It also doesn't excuse their generally held beliefs.  Because they are, I'm sure, very sincere in their ignorance and in their prejudice and then their bigotry, that doesn't make it see acceptable, that doesn't mean we should tolerate it or accept it.

KELLY: But it seems to be getting to a more of a fever pitch now. I mean, I'm sure you had this position before the scandal broke.


KELLY: But now that the scandal has broken, it seems like folks sense an opportunity, bring the Duggars down. This is the end of the Duggar.

ZIMMERMAN: I think that's a fair point. I think a lot of people who have listened to their preaching, watched their shows, some who believed in them, some who resented them, now see an opportunity to really take on their conduct and their hypocrisy.

KELLY: Great to see you.

ZIMMERMAN: Good be with you.

KELLY: Robert Zimmerman.

ZIMMERMAN: Thank you.

KELLY: It's been a lot of Duggar lately.

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, no comparison.

KELLY: Great to see you. I know I call my husband Duggar so it's actually been very confusing. Like mommy is going to see Duggar. My kids are like, what?

Well, lots of folks have claimed that the police had every right to release the Duggars' juvenile records. Saying that there were fair game for the media. That's how this story first broke nationally.

For the first time tonight, we will show you what the judge said on this matter.

And then, why, why do some in the Left love to hate this family? Some answers to that question are next.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The fact that they should be brought down by these truly moralist Christians all over the world should be saying, well, we need to divorce ourselves from anything that has to do with the Duggar family because this is -- it's so grotesque.



KELLY: While conservative Christians do sometimes get a little roughed up in the public square, but what has happened in the Duggar family in the last couple of weeks may be without precedent. Some folks have now gone beyond reasonable questions about faith and parenting and are now just really angry. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: This sounds like, you know, very nice people but denial and a very insulated family --


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: -- in an insulated community where they're kind of like -- they just want to keep everything -- oh, this might happen in our community, but let's not do anything about it. I don't know about that.  I'm just saying, but it seems as though they're saying that they do care about -- I think I do care about the children.

DR. DREW, HOST: The mom was clear there.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The problem started when you start celebrating people surely because they pumped out 19 kids.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And the fact that they were made to be secular heroes and going on these morally based evangelical speaking tours now this is fact that they should be brought down by this really truly moralist Christians all over the world should be saying, well, we need to divorce ourselves from anything that has to do with the Duggar family. Because it's so grotesque. Sexual abuse happens all over the world and it's an unfortunate part of the human experience. But to cover it up, clearly an orchestrated act of not only the family but the law enforcement in the town and the local government.


KELLY: Joining me now, Dr. Robert Jeffress who's a senior pastor of the First Baptist Church, Dallas. And a Fox News contributor.

Good do see you tonight, sir. So, I mean, is there any question in your mind that the fallout here for the Duggar family is bigger because they are so outspoken on their Christian beliefs?

DR. ROBERT JEFFRESS, SR. PASTOR, FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH DALLAS: Megyn, that is one layer of this story, but frankly, it's not the primary layer, I don't even think the Duggars would say it's the primary layer. Look, we cannot diminish the fact that real abuse took place against these girls, serious abuse. Josh has admitted that. He has received his sister's forgiveness. He has received God's forgiveness and while God's forgiveness erases the eternal consequence of our sin it doesn't erase temporary consequences. You know, forgiven people still has to go to jail, they still have to sit in the electric chair. And I think what you're seeing is Josh is experiencing the temporary consequences of his mistakes. But putting that aside, the truth is the left, if think, is using this tragedy for its own agenda. Look, if only perfect people can speak out against moral principles nobody is going to speak out which is what the Left wants.  And just because somebody falls short of a principle.

KELLY: My last guest, is like, if you waive your right to condemn any behavior because you yourself have committed bad behavior in the past, I won't say anything to anybody ever again. And yet, many people in this country would say, good, keep your judgments to yourself!

JEFFRESS: Well, that's exactly right. Look, if Josh were at the Family Research Council now as a 27-year-old and was molesting children right now, yes, he would be a hypocrite. But you know, what's really hypocritical to me is those democrats and republicans, who is adult government leaders say they love women and for women's rights or say they're for family values and they're having affairs and abusing women, now that is hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle.

KELLY: Well, they define the terms differently. But in this case everybody defines what Josh Duggar did as wrong, grossly wrong. And so, that's where the hypocrisy charge comes in. Because, you know, he then ascended to a quote, "moral perch," where he passed judgment on other people's lifestyles. I mean, on other people's, you know, on people being gay and being lesbian. And they felt attacked, unfairly, and are looking at him thinking, who are you to lecture us?

JEFFRESS: Well, and I understand that, Megyn. But if we're all honest tonight, we all would have to say we have episodes in our past that we hope never turn out as the opening story of THE KELLY factor. And I just remind myself of what CS Lewis said, to be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable in others because God has forgiven the inexcusable in us. And that kind of puts things in perspective.

KELLY: I don't know that show you're referring to. But on THE KELLY FILE, I would never put anything bad about you and certainly I don't know what you're talking about. I don't have anything like that in mind -- oh well, time is running out. Great to see you. Great to see you, Dr. Jeffress.

JEFFRESS: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: Up next, more actually of our -- we're going to show you a new clip, a long one, and this is actually going to be relevant to what we've been seeing in the press lately. We've got more of our sit-down with the Duggars. You have not yet seen this clip including some of what the parents had to say about suggestions of a cover-up. We'll do fact checking on that, next.


KELLY: So, in looking at what's been released about your story, some people have said, why did they wait? Why didn't they go to the authorities or go for the counseling at the very first time he came to you?

J. B. DUGGAR: You know, what? As parents, you're not mandatory reporters. The law allows for parents to do what they think is best for their child.



KELLY: "In Touch" magazine, which broke the story of the Duggar Family past pushed back today on some of the claims Jim Bob and Michelle made in our interview. In particular, when the police finally investigated this matter in 2006 that their family fully cooperated, the magazine points out a police report from the time shows that Josh never sat for a police interview. We touched on that yesterday in this as yet unseen clip. I asked the parents, after they sent Josh away for treatment and he confessed his behavior to a state trooper back in 2003, how the story resurfaced with police three years later.


J.B. DUGGAR: What happened was this was not necessarily a secret, back when it happened. After we sent Josh away, all the people in the community knew that we sent Josh away. They knew we had more struggles and may not know all the details. We confided in several close friends and shared with them and I think somehow through that it leaked out, a friend told a friend who told a friend and somebody was kind of out to get us and thought, you know, this family is -- had this -- and not everybody knows about it. I want to try to expose them. It was a very painful thing.  That's what happened. So, at that point we got a call from the state police and said, hey, we have a tip that this happened in the past. And we were able to share with them, you know what, we have already gone down to the police station and shared all that with the officer. And nothing like that has ever happened since.

KELLY: Then you all went and sat with him. You two gave interviews.

J.B. DUGGAR: They said we want to meet with you. The process, they say, we want to meet with you for a few minutes and we met with them and said we want to interview all the kids. We said we have nothing to hide. This had been three years before and we already had taken care of all this. They said, well, can you bring the children down to the child's safety center. We said, yes, we'll do that. We took all our children down to the child's safety center...

KELLY: Including Josh?

J.B. DUGGAR: Not Josh. Josh was 18 at the time, he was not a juvenile anymore. This was three years after this happened. All the children down to the child's safety center and let them share everything that's ever been done in our family. They asked them all kinds of questions.

KELLY: You two sat for an interview with them.

M. DUGGAR: Our children poured outside their hearts to them and shared everything.

J.B. DUGGAR: The authorities said all this would be confidential, everything a child says is confidential.

KELLY: Did you provide those reassurances to your daughters, the victims?

J.B. DUGGAR: We told them whatever you tell this will all be confidential. You share everything. They did, they shared what Josh had done, how it was handled and nothing had happened since. So, then they -- the process is typically they open up a family in need of services to kind of supervise the family for a period of time and then you go before the judge, the judge reviews it all. At the end of all that, as a matter of fact, the people in the system, said, you know what, this was a bad situation back in '02, '03, when Josh just turned 14, going on 15, but you guys handled this better than most families.

KELLY: Department of Human Services said that to you.

J.B. DUGGAR: A lot of the people in this system they said we've hardly ever seen a parent go and have their son go and turn himself in to the police. Then, they said, we didn't realize but because that report was made back three years before, they said, the statute of limitations has run out because it was the police responsibility to take action on that on a confession. Because they didn't do that, they said you know what, everything was taken care of, and this is over. It seems like you, the parents, have gotten counseling and done everything that needs to be done for your family.

KELLY: Did Josh go in and speak with the authorities at that time?

J.B. DUGGAR: Josh actually went to court with us, and the judge talked to him sternly about what he had done and, I mean, burned in his mind, never to go down that road again.

KELLY: Was there a fear then? I'm asking not with judgment whether he spoke...

J.B. DUGGAR: This was three years later.

KELLY: Was there still a fear at that point that somebody might charge him.

J.B. DUGGAR: Yes at that point we didn't know if he would be charged or not and didn't know the statute of limitations had run out. He had already confessed everything three years before.

J.B. DUGGAR: Any time it was brought to a place where he was sharing, he didn't cover anything. He was telling what he had done.

KELLY: Then, in 2007, Josh sued the Department of Human Services.  What happened there? Why?

J.B. DUGGAR: Well, eventually, that was just a -- in Arkansas, they had his records and they were there and he wanted to make sure all that was sealed and kept in confidentiality.

KELLY: It didn't work out so well.

J.B. DUGGAR: It didn't work out.


KELLY: So, was it legal for police to release the Duggar Family files when they were supposed to be confidential? For the first time, see what a judge in this case has to say, next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not sure how that "In Touch" magazine knew to contact that particular law firm. I think there's something that's going to come out.



KELLY: There was also pushback today on the Duggars claim that the police report detailing Josh's behavior was improperly released. The city attorney of Springdale who authorized the disclosure here said to The Kelly File tonight that the police report was not under seal or protected by law.  He says Josh, while a minor, when he committed these acts, was 18 at the time the police investigated his behavior. The Duggar Family says that's nonsense, saying the records were protected. It turns out a judge agrees with them. "The Kelly File" confirming that an Arkansas juvenile court judge, Stacy Zimmerman has issued an order siding with the Duggars finding that the release year was illegal and that these records should never have been produced. She ordered the police to destroy any remaining copies. So the judge says one thing, the city attorney says another. Who's right?  Joining me now, Arthur Aidala, Fox News Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney and Mark Eiglarsh who is also a Criminal Defense Attorney and a Former Prosecutor. Mark, who's right?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The judge is right. Arthur is wrong as always, the judge is right.

KELLY: It's not about Arthur, it's about the city attorney.

EIGLARSH: But I know what Arthur is going to say, I know how he thinks. The statute is very clear. Let's go to the Arkansas code 928217.  It makes it very clear that any reports, any memorandums, correspondents concerning juveniles shall -- meaning must not be released to the public.  There are a number of exceptions and "In Touch Weekly" is not on the list.  I'll tell you this. The investigation didn't start when he was an adult.  It started when he was a juvenile in 2003, when he walked into the police station and confessed his involvement in these abhorrent offenses.

KELLY: They seem to be relying on the fact that at the time they finally got around to investigating him, Arthur, for his juvenile acts, he had reached the age of 18.

ARTHUR AIDALA, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: That's not -- that is what -- that is what they're saying they're relying upon. I would like to go back 48 hours ago where Mark was saying this was such a black and white, clear cut issue...


AIDALA: It's a clear cut issue. The judge has ruled in this particular case in favor of them. However, your honor, Miss Kelly, what I will tell you is this...

EIGLARSH: Don't suck up.

AIDALA: There is a clear opinion by two different attorney generals of this state that says when a juvenile is not arrested, is not detained or is not charged, those records are not automatically sealed and those records are subject to a freedom of information act. So if you're not arrested, you're not detained and you're not charged, you're not protected.  The public policy...

KELLY: But the law says exactly the opposite, exactly the opposite.

AIDALA: If you're the state attorney...

KELLY: Go ahead, Mark.

EIGLARSH: Let me hit you with this, Arthur, what do you say to this, Arkansas code section 1690...

AIDALA: Quote as much as you want, Counselor...

KELLY: Let me say for the audience, this is actually important. This is the section of the law that deals with protection of victims.


KELLY: Look at it. A law enforcement agency shall not disclose to the public information directly or indirectly identifying the victim of a sex crime. And Mark is -- did that happen here?

EIGLARSH: Yes. So here's the question. We know from your interview that neither of these victims came forward and said, I was the one, I was the one who was victimized, it came forward because from the reports, while they did redact certain details, the identity of the victims are clear.  Before Arthur said, no, they didn't put the names in, it would be comparable to saying, I don't know who committed a crime in Arkansas last night, however, she follows O'Reilly and her last name rhymes with jelly.

KELLY: That's exactly right. You read the police report, Arthur, it is very clear.

AIDALA: You know what's very clear, your honor, what's very clear is that my client, state attorney or police chief got a foil request, they went through their archives and they found opinions from two different attorney generals.

KELLY: No one said you could release the records of victims.

AIDALA: You have to do that if it's redacted to redact the appropriate documents...

KELLY: The law says you cannot indirectly, even indirectly identify a victim. Every one knew who the victims were when that report was released and that is wrong. I don't care how you feel about Josh Duggar, I really don't. Nobody has sympathy for what he did but the girls in this case, Arthur, have been victimized twice.

AIDALA: OK but the law also says you have to release the arrest reports -- I'm sorry, the police reports if there's no arrest, no detention. They have to. They have to.

KELLY: It's not true. That's why the judge has said don't release it and destroy the remaining reports. Where is the concern for the victims?  I don't understand this.

AIDALA: The concern for society wanting to know what he did. That's what a foil is all about.

KELLY: You know what, society doesn't get to know about little girls who get molested by identity. That's what happened here. We know who they were. When you see this interview I had with the girl's tomorrow night you will feel differently. Those girls feel extremely victimized for what happened to them.

AIDALA: I'm not arguing with emotion, I'm arguing the law.


KELLY: -- behind the law.

AIDALA: To let people know who's doing what. That's what foil is all about, not to conceal these things.

KELLY: Then why does the law as written -- put it back on the board so people can see it, why does the law say specifically you may not -- look, you shall not disclose to the public information that directly or indirectly identifies the victim of a sex crime?

EIGLARSH: It does to it protect them, so they don't abuse -- on their own terms to come out and let people know. I believe that they knew this statute and they thought about it and they said, like us, you know what, screw them. Let everybody know about it. I believe that.

AIDALA: From the Arkansas state attorney general when you get these requests you have to disclose it.

KELLY: I will concede because I looked...

EIGLARSH: Don't you think it could have been redacted better?

AIDALA: I want to hear Judge Kelly speak.

KELLY: Now, having gotten neck-deep into the law in Arkansas on family matters, I see there are all these state attorney general opinion letters that are conflicting. I don't understand how that affects the law we just put on the board that says, you may not directly or indirectly identify victims of a sex crime. That could not be clearer.


KELLY: Nor do I understand, Arthur, how any judge could say a kid who commits crimes when he's 14 years old, who doesn't get investigated, and Mark has a point, maybe the investigation began in 2003 but the cops don't get to a full throat investigation until he's an adult, all of the protections are gone? So if you commit heinous crimes when you're 12 years old or 8 years old they investigate you and cops don't catch up to you until you're 25, its all fair game.

AIDALA: It happened to the Michael Skakel Connecticut. The Kennedy family member was charged with committing a murder when he was 15 years old, and the judge ruled he could be charged as an adult and his name was out there -- murder at 15.

EIGLARSH: That's different. He was charged as an adult, Arthur.


AIDALA: He was in juvenile court, initially he was in juvenile court.

EIGLARSH: Objection. Move to strike.


KELLY: I don't know whether we have cleared anything up.

AIDALA: It's a close call Megyn. What we cleared up is it's not such an easy decision like it was two nights ago. There are two opinions from an attorney general that makes it a closer call than we try to tell everyone it was the other night.

KELLY: I think that's actually true. I think you're right about that.


KELLY: The Duggars have an order from a judge in Arkansas saying they shouldn't have been disclosed, all right, guys. Thank you.

AIDALA: Have a good one.

KELLY: We have just been discussing the Duggar daughters. And, listen, that's the piece of this case that fires me up only because I have spoken with them, and up next, you will hear from them as well, a short preview of tomorrow night's show.


KELLY: You are going on the record as being two of Josh's victims. Does it feel strange to use that word?




JILL (DUGGAR) DILLARD: Why do they have a right to do this? We're victims. They can't do this to us.

KELLY: And yet they did.

DILLARD: And they did.

JESSA (DUGGAR) SEEWALD, "19 KIDS AND COUNTING": The system that was set up to protect kids, both those who make stupid mistakes or have problems like this in their life, and the ones that are affected by those choices. It's just greatly failed.


KELLY: Tomorrow night, perhaps the most powerful part of my exchange with the Duggar Family, as Josh's sisters, two of them, Jill and Jessa, speak out for the very first time about what Josh did to them, how they feel about their brother today, and why these two young women decided to go public. Listen.


KELLY: You are going on the record as being two of Josh's victims. Does it feel strange to use that word?

DILLARD: You know, I think we didn't choose to come out and tell our story. This wouldn't have been our first choice. But now that this story has been brought about, we really feel like as we've been seeing these headlines, as we've been seeing things that people are saying about our family, we feel like as victims, we have to come out and speak.  This is something like we chose to do. Nobody asked us to do this. Jessa and I were talking. And we're like, oh, my goodness, most of the stuff out there is lies. It's not true. And so for truth's sake, we want to come out and set the record straight.


KELLY: And they will attempt to do that tomorrow night when our full interview with Jill and Jessa Duggar airs, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on the "Kelly File," up next, why this story is doing some good in the country.


KELLY: The subject of child sexual abuse is a difficult one. But there is help for victims. Call 1-800-4-A-child. We are told after last night, the phone was "ringing off the hook saving even more lives." Don't hesitate to call if you or a child needs help 1-800-4-A-child. Thank you for watching, we'll see you tomorrow night with Jill and Jessa Duggar.

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