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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  July 10, 2009 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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it's t congress versus the cia again. let's play "hardball." snchts thisonfirmation of nancy peloss riduled charge a couple months ago that theia misl hear about water arding? we have thchairman of the house intelligence coittee joining us in a moment t tell us what thinks the cia is really dng. also, we have late-brking news
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here at theolitical x scandal desk. late today we learned th lawy for john ensign says the senator's parents ga nearly 00,000 to ensign's mistress and her family. plus, who is sonya sotomayor? she the radical lefty portrayed by her critics or the sor moderate careful judge admired by h supporters? we'll talk to someone who has just publhed a study o her judicialord. so, more breaking news we got word thisevenin that senator roland burris of illinois will not run f elti next year in 2010. burris, of course, was cght up in the rob blagojevich pl for pay scandal. and president obama's old senate seat is now totally up for grabs. that story is in the politics picks. finly, what does it mean to pull a lin? th term is now officially in
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e new online urban dictionary. we'll fill you in onhe "hardball side show." we begin, the chargeby the democrats at cia mislead congress binning in 2001. congressmanylvester rys of texas is the democratic chaian of the lect intelligence committee in the huse of representatives. and texasepublican congressman matt thornberg is also a meer of that committee. mr. chairman,escribe how we came to kow in the last hos that there's an accation going from you tohe cia tha yohave been lied to about a secret program for the last eit years. >> i wrote letter to my ranking member pete hoek stra -- askinghat we setaside the issues that have bn irling around wi the controversial of w knewhat
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when. and that we focus on getting the authorization bill tohe floor, voted t so that we can go to the senate whore told will be mkingup next week. in the letter, i mentioned that we havelearned we got more short comings and t cia has t fully informedur mmittee. at lea i o instan we feel they have lied to the committee. >> yeah. your lawyer seems as said, es the word lied. ronger than just a phrasing like shortcomings. let's take aook at i you ote to your replican colleaon the committee. u said --
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now, mr. chairman, you me reference to other instances beyond what leon panetta discussed with you recently. in that are u trying to specifically referthe controversy involving nancy losi a whether or not she was lied to about waterboardg? im not because i was not there and haveo idea what information was provided to the speaker. these are separate itances that the committee has become aware . >> congressman trnberry, what do you make of this? were you shocked by at leon
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panetta ha tell the coittee? >> wt i make of it is this is more about polical cover for the speaker than it is athing else we get befgs regularly on issues and since i have been on the committee, there have always beenssues about notifications, about when we're notified,ow soon we're notified, howull the notification i but what's unusual in ts case is that it was more than two weekago when this briefing occurred and yet it was only two days ago just as the cia budget bill is cominto the floor that a of this gets ma publi >> cgressman thornberry -- >> it looks ke it's more political. >> iyour time on the committee has the director ever walked inhere, sat down with you, and told you you have been misd about a program, a sret program for eight years?
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is this the first time that's happened to you? >> don't remember that happening this time. weo get information about programsegularly, and part of our job is to ask more questns and see shld we have been notified about this? whknew about it? did this rise to a ctain level? so there'sefinitely questions at need to be asked and answed in this case, but at's very different from going out and saying tia lied so the speaker must be right. that just is part of this political bolstering of a speakethat got in trouble. >> so are u saying that your democratic colleague and chairm that we have here on the show right n is misleading our audien about what leon panetta reveed to this committee? you were there, the chairman w there.
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are you telling me that wh you just heard ychairman say is notrue? >> i hrd what director panetta id. he brought a matter to our attentn that had not been brought to our attention before. i don't know that necessarily shouldave, and i certainly don't know that the committe was intentionally ed to about that mter. there are mouestions to be asd, but i think those -- r homework needs to be de before we adopt aeady, shoot, aim sort of mentaly. >> well, cgressman thornberry, before i go back tthe chairman, let me just re t you mething i know you've read before, which is the statute, the natial security act, which spifies exactly what the cia musteveal to congress. it says and has said in law since 1947, the cia shall ensure that theongressional intelligence committees are kept fully and curreny informed of the telligence activities of the united states, inclung any significant anticipated intelligence activity. so what it is saying is the cia mu inform you when they anticipate doing setng. they must then infm you when they are currently doing something, and what leonanetta came in therand said, and you have just agreed that he said, that they were ccting a
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secret program thayou were not told about for eight years. how can you look at that as anything but a violation of the law we just read? >> number one, you only ad a portion of the law. there are a number of except that a lted later. nuer two, director panetta came androughto our attention a tter that he thought needed to berought to ouattention, and all of us appreciate that. that is very different from jumping to a conclusiothat says they violated the law o th they intentionally liedo congress. and the problem here is that you throw out that allegation,nd nobody can back it up, and nobody can contradict it because it all classified information. at's part of the reason, as well as the timing, that this looks ke it's more political than it is anythg else. >> mr. chairman, tell your republican colleague herwh it is, at ast conceptually, what it is he should havbeen listening to that leon panetta
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id that has provoked this reaction from yo side of the committee.ñ2cx >> well, first of all, congressman thornberry ia good friend of mine and am disappointed that he's trying to put a spin on formation that cly all of us in the committee heard,ncluding the ranking member who reacted mh the way thatll of us reacted that information. like congressman thornberry, i n't saenough about what a stand-up guy direcr panetta is because he brought this information to t committee prably ls than 24 hours afr he found out about that, but the record is clear. 're in the process of evaluating what our next steps are going to be. i amispointed that we can't seem to get beyond the politics, get the authorizatiobill on
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the floor, get it voted t, and geit conferenced with the senate so th we can support the hard-working mennd women of the -- thhe central intelligence agency and th other 15 agencies that are protecting our national security. >> congressm thornberry, if you and other republicans who were in that meeting now saying that at will we're really dealing with here is just some democratic inired political spin, are yoying th the cia director, democrat leon panetta, the cia director, came up to t house intellig committee to feed them political spin? that he did not come up to ge them serious and important information that theneeded to know, at the cia was legally obligated to deliver to them >>f course not. and t me point out, director panetta has reafrmed as recently as within theast two days that e cia does not lie and does not have policy of lying.
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>> wel let me clarify. he reaffirmed what the policy is. that's le saying this is what e speed limit is son the interstate. is doesn't mean everybody obrves ievery minute. >>hen asked specifically about this issue- and here is the pot. s, there are questions that need to be asked and answered. my probls jumping to ncsions and making those conclusis public just when the bill is comingo the floor in an effort to preventther questions from being askedbo the spear. and that's what'troubling about this. >> let'so to the speaker. t's listen to what speaker pelosi said about the a back in may wshe was in her own back and forth about whoold who what when. let's listen. >> i'm tellingou thathey talked aboutnterrogations that they had done ansaid we want to use enhced techniques and we he legal opinions that say that they are ay.
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we are not using waterboding. that's the onlmention, that ey were not using it, anwe now know that earlier they were. so, yes, i am saying that th are misleading, th t cia was sleading the congress. >> mr. chairman, thepeakerow takes r place among a long list of members congress and the senate over decas o have acsed the cia of misleading them in diffent situations. is what you're reveali this week in any e supportive of whatpeaker pelosi said in that press conference? >> well, first, let me make two points. thfirst one is this is not about speaker pelosi becau none of us were there and don' know what kind of informatn shgot. this is about taking the bl to the floor. this is --y thinking was let's set aside these pocal issues. t's gethe bill debated.
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let's get it voted on, and let get ready to conference th the na. it is not, at least from my perspective, anything to do with the speaker. >> and congressm thornberry, i just wanting to back ove this point one more time because you seem to be minimizinthe idea of what leon panetta brought to you. in your exrience on the intellence committee, no cia director has er previously walked in there and realed to you that ty were conducting a secret program for eht years that they wereupposed to inform you about and had n informed you abo as the law requires. you have never had that experience wita cia director's briefing before in your caer
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this committee, is that righ >> no, there's lot in your question that i don'age wi. it is regularly the ca that we get briefis about things we did not know about, and we h continued to have issuesack and forth withhe ministration about what we should have known about an should have been notied about, and i thk those issues certainlneed to be pursued in this case. what is different here is at some peoplare jumping to con collusions at a politically opportune time rather an getting downthe weeds and ndg out whether we should have been notified and exaly when what happed whe. >> so on the fin word on this one today, congressman thornberry, yoaprently agree with your chrman that what the cia did in this case as described by leon patta should be invesgated by your committee. >> of course we shou, and we should do thatefore we start sending out letters to the press anmaking lot of public stements about it. >> all right. thank yo chairman reyes and congressman mac thornberry. coming up lawyer for john engn says his parents gave nely $100,000 to his mistss
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and her parents. can nar ensign survive this scandal? we'll get into it with your strategists. having the right totoolis crucial toeiei able to manage urur dbetes properly. it very important fofor to uh check my bloloodugugar before i go on s sgege. being on when i'fefeing low can be likikaa rollercoaster. it does at times feelel le e body iselling me to do one thihing.. and, my mind, my h hrtrt telling me to s somhing else. managing my highs s dd lows is super important. with my contour metete i can personalize myigigh/ settings so i irereal does
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micrcrananagwhere my blood sugar neneedtotoe. i'ninickonas and never r owowindown isis msimple win. coming u u w whakind of fiwowos will we see next weeeek ring the confirmation heararin for sonia a totomar? presesidt t oba's pick for the supreme court. a new study of s sotayayor dedesions may really disapappot her critics. we'll get in tt later right heheren "hardball." tang its rightful pce in a long line of amazi performance macheses. this is the new e-coupupe. this is merc-benz.
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welcome back t"hardball." republican sator john ensign of nevada, who admitted to an extramarital affair a couplef weeks ago, today admits at his parents gave nearly $10000 to his mistressnd her family. how can republicans ep these embarrassingpisodes, these mong republican sex scandals, fr hurting the party anymorthan it already has? and how shouldhe democrats react? for that we brinin the strategist democrat steve
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mcmahon and repuican todd harris. now, steve, i'm gointo start with you today because i think i know yr answer. you can get out of t way quickly and let toddend for himself. >> for the rest of the segnt. >> wt should the democrats do a situation like this, anmy guess you're going to say ey should sit back and watch. go ahead, ease. >> yes, was the great lee at water who once said wh your opponents arse-destructing, the best thing to do is get out of the way. i think at would be the best advice for democrats, get ouof the way and enjoy thspectacle cause that's really whatt is here, a spectacle. it's too bad for these people's mily, but it's great television and probably grea ratings. >> all right, steve, get o of the way and enjothspectacle. t todd sweat here. we've got now this lettefrom senator ensign's aorney that i haven't read yet that's just being put in front of us. senator ensi's attorney put out statement today that reads in part, in apl 2008 senator
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johnnsign's parents each made gifts to douhampton, cindy hampton and two of the chilen in the form of a check totally $96,000. each gift was limited $12,00 e payments were made as gis, accepted as gifts, and complied with tax rules governing gifts aftethe senator told his parents abouthe affair, his pants decided to make the gifts out of concern for the weeing of long-time family friends during a difficult time. the gifts are consistent with a pattern of gerosity by the ensiamily to the hamptons and others. oh, boy. todd, where do you guys go fro here d let me just point out for the audience$12,000 is the irs limion nontaxable gifts. if hgave,000, there would be a tax on the $1,000bove the $12,000.
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so $12,0 was a very carefully picked number. they're called gifts by e lawyer. there are ways of looking at t world in which those coulde called bbes. am i being t cynical about that >> well, yeah, i think we're going learn a lot more in the coming maybe en urs, certainly days and weeks. i think there are two ises here. the first is the handling ofll of t and senator ensign and the people arounhim broke probably the two most important cardinal rules of dealing wi crisis commucations. e first one is get all of the bad stf out there in one news cycle. they should havencluded this information when he first made this disclosure. obviously, people we aware of . th should have said all of this up front,ne horrible news cycle is much better tn a ip, drip of several rely b
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cycles d the second rule they broke is when you violate rule numr one d you have more bad informatioto dump out, do it on a d when the world's attention is somhere else. they shod have slipped this out wh everyone was trying t figure out where the hell mark sanforwas, whether he was in the appalaian mountains, and buried the story. they didn't do any of that. now what they've got ia story of their o, headlines of their own, and the short answer to your question is, ye this is, of cours a continued problem for the republican party, an the thing that's sfrtrating about this for me ateast is that it's coming just at the time when we as republicans were traction with some of r sue contsts with the obama administtion, whether it's thr wasteful spending, massive increase of government governmentakeover of the heal care system. we were making real prress chalnging the administration
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on all of ese policies, and now this is into throw everything, at least for a day or two, everythingff track. >> now, todd -- gohe, steve. you want to jump in re? >> there's aually a rule that todd forgot to menti. that's don'treak the law. don't break the la >>e n't know about that. >> it's a rule that most -- >> wl, we do know about that, toddbecathis -- the $25,000 of severance mey which wasn't severance money, byhe y. serance money is what you give an employewhen you lay them f. it's not money you give your mistress to stayuiet, and the gift mon, the irs has a spific definition of what a gift is, and it ys tyou expect notngn return and you
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got no consideration in exchange. and whathese people clearly expected in return was silence they wanted to que a political scandal and it wasn't a gift, it was a payoff. was a bribe, and it was illegal, and that's the e thing that they d that's the mosterious thing in my opinion. >> steve, like that you're sitting back and reling and letting the reblicans sink on this by thselves and not -- >> they're sinki on their own. >> i like you're not doi any howork like looking at the tax co to the flames of what's gog on here. taking a closer look at the tax code than i did. >> i jusrember it from tax class in law school. that's all. >> so we've got a cumulave effect here, todd. we've gosanf you know, and we've got sign, and it seems like sanford m have survived in southarolina. ere isn't really a processn place that wld be removing him. michael steele and mitch mcconneland the leaders of the reican party have to sit down and have a sex andal meeting and say, wch one of these gu do we have to
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crifice? do we haveo get rid of now in the next couple of weeks to se the message to ouramily values votehat we have not wandered completely away fromhere they want us to b >> well, i think seone needs to send a pressie clear signal that the party doesn't sta for this kind of behavior. now, just toe clear here, therare horable egregious sex scandals on both sides othe aisle -- >> not this week and notast week. >> right, not th week, but, you know, thensign scandal rrors almost perfectly what gavin newsom did. he's now the fnt-runner to be the democratic nominee for governor of california, haan affair with thwife of one of his staffers. it's the exact same thin >>id his parents pay $100,000 to keep her quiet? >> i think mayor newsom could probably afford to p them himself. no one party has a monopoly on this kd of behavior. you ow, i'm not going to make any excuses r it, and, yes, frankly, it does open e republican party up to charg of hypocrisy. i'm not going to deny that as a republicaand omeone who runs campaigns for a living, it's very frustratg for me. >> look, demrats and steve and when they el like it are going to be calling th hush money. i don't e how you can call it anything else. ere'st no conceivable
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definition of wh this money is other an hush money. how does senatornsign continue? how does he, forxample, try to raismoney to keep himself in office when we alreadynow this is what he's doi with his senate payroll. he's using it for hu money in rtain situations. he has task the parents to help him out wh the mistress. i ju don't see how senator ensign gets go forward from here tell me how he can do it. how doou recommend for him t go assuming now know everythi, which is a very big assumption in thensign case. t t's just assume for now, todd, this is , nothing else is coming out. how does ensign get fr here to his next ection? >> well, he's got toay low for a while.
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i would focus on t day-to-day constituent work of ing united states senator, g out of the spotlig. pray a hope to god there are no more revelations becausth would be reay crippling. but, y know, if you rewind a day, a lot of peop were saying looks like ensign got through this becse we hadn't heard anything new. so now tre's this huge new bombshell which they should have taken care of a few weeks ago when this first came up. i think if tre'shing new, this is neda, voters are fairly lertarian, you know. it's home of las vegas, what happens in vegastays in vegas. theye very understanding, nevada voters, but they haveot to contain this. >> steve, quick, oneord answer, good ia for the democrats to bring this to the senate ethics coite to check out what ensign was up to with his senate payroll? good idea for the democrs to do that, yes or no? >> i'm not se they're going to ve any choice because someone is going to file comnt and it's going tend up there. >> all rig, stau steve mcmahon and todd harris. up next, wondering what it means to pull a palin? it's one of the newest entries in the online urban ctionary and we'll tell what you it mea ne in "sideshow." yoreatching "hardball" only on msn. (annncncer roundup extend c contr dodoes t j js... at once.
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welcome back to "harall." we have breang news from chico. apted illinois senator roland burris, who took esidenobama's seat in the united states senate, has announced thate has decided not to seeelection to that seat next year in 10. thchicagsun times is repoing burris will announce his decision torrow. wel ve more later in the ur. time now for the "sideshow." first up, presidential gifts at the g-8 summiare not as diplomatic as you mit pect. consider brazil's ft to president obama. last mth the american soccer team was on the rge of a major upse 2-0 at halftime against the brazilians. but the u.s. end with a tough 3-2 loss. fast forward to this morning, o zil's president gave barack obama a big braziliasoccer jersey sigd by the entire te. according to theresident's spokesn obama left the meeting
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vowing good naturedly thhe americans ulnot lose a 2-0 lead again. next u how is this for a quick turnaround? urban dictionary, which is hipper than webster's, has already got an entryerencing govern sah palin's strange announcement last week that she's resigning. they're using the phrase "pulling aalin." rere the definitions. one, quitting when the going ge tough. two, abandoning th responsibili entrusted to you by your neighborfor book advances and to make money on the leure circuit. numberhree, bizarre move that will damn ambitions for hier office. there's sarah palin makier mark in potil and ling wiss take history. up nt, confirmation heings for president obama's supreme court minee nia sotomayor begimonday, and a new report has a lot to say about the kind of judge sotomayor has been androbably will be. we'll talk to the rert's author and what it mea for her confirmation next. you're watching "hardball" only on mbc. businesses more efficientltly,
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president obamawraps up his part of the g- suit in italy today. he'll meet with pope benedict before goi on to gha. the u.s. marshal ser is talleying e largest round in history. operion falcon rested in 35,000 arres of g members and other violent crimins. the fbi's ln called i to help investiga the cemetery desecratioar chicago. 300raves were unearthed. four cemetery workers are charged in a schemeo resell theurial plots. "washington post" is reporting that $180 billion bai yutfor aig is getting ready to distributenother run of boses to top executives. thcompany says there are bonus that's were supposed to have been distributedn 08. that's the latest. now ck to "hardball."
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lcome ck to "hardball." confirmation hearings for nia soyor kick off monday in the senate judicia committee, and republicans are making se nois about mounting resistance even if they have no chance opng her from joining the supreme court. heres senate republican leader mitch mccoell today. >> all of usre impressed by heremarkable life story. it reaff not only to amicans but to people around the world that ouris a cntry in which one's wilngness to dream and to work hardemain the only requirements for success. and yet it's precily the truth about amera that makes it so impoant that our judges apply the law the same way to one individual or group as to ever
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other. this is why 'vraised the estions we have, and this is why we will continue to rae them as the confirmation hearings f judge sotomayor oceed. >> mcconll andther republicans ha questions about whether sotomayor ist they call an activist judge. the brennan center for justice nyu law school released a report today on judge somar's record. 're joined now by the author of that report, attorney mona eune. monica, the brenn center is named after justice brennan from the supreme court, and you have donen analysis based exclusively on her judicial apintments. you did not include in this alysis things like her public speeches or marks de off the cuff in question and awer situations, bujust her dicial opinions. >> exact. we were not just looking at the opinions sheuthored but at any case in ich she was part of the panel or en banc making e decisions. >> evening on the appes court they will have opinions written
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by threeudges or larger groups of judges depeing on where the case is. some of them a authored by sonia sotoyor, some of them are things where she's just sayi i agree with judge catsn who wrote this opinion, right? >> yes. and a lo them it's hard to tell who wrote the onion because the opinion is unsigned. >>nd how does it line up? es her name show up only on the side where demratic appointees to at court are agreng with themselves or is shever fding herself in agreent with republican appointees to that cou. >> what we found, and we looked at almost 1,200 cases, wlooked at every conitutional decision of the second uit over the past t years that she has been sittinon the court, and what we found was striking unanimit and striking biptin consensus. we see judge sotomayor basical writing --oining unanimous decisions. her decisions are unanimous 94% of the time. >> let's go back or that for a
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second. on a court that is composed of both democrat and repuican appointees to that crt -- >> yes. >> all confirmed by the uned stes senate, her opinions are unanimous what percent othe ti? >> not just heopinions, her decisions in general. when judge sotomayor ion a nel, we are seeing a 98% unanimity te. now, the second rcuit i should point out -- >> so if you pick one hese cases and you'reaying sotomar was really flakey on is decision, you're saying that about every other jud who joined that sion. >> exactly. now, i should point out that the secondircuit has a reputation for being a court that reall privileges consensus they are a court that's abou evly split between democratic apintees and republican
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appointees, and u see an overl 93% animity rate for the circuit asosed to a 94% rate for judge sotomayor. i think i may have misoken earlier. she'in the majority 98% of the time. she's unanimous 94% ofhe time. >> let take a look at the basic conclusion of your rept. here iwhat it says. the conclusion iunmistakable based on t data in constituonal cases, judge sotomayor's reco pces her squaly in the mainstream of e second circuit. at do you mean there by constitutional cases? >> well, we weren't, unfortunaty, able to look at evy cision the second circuit has made over the past ten years. that would have been tens of thousands of cases aopposed to the 1,200 that we were able to review iadvancof the hearin focus on cases in whica ld constitutional issueas raised, whether that be a first amdment aim a civil rights claim, criminal cas in which a due process, you know, vlaon is alleged, that sort thing. and just so the audience understands, in the federa
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court system there c be plenty of trivial case that ican make it up to that level. i mean a postal woer accused of stealing stamps on some procedural motion can d up in one of these cases, and that not the kind of thing that you' going to look at to evaluate someone's fitness for the unit states supreme court. at why you're zeroing in o the so-called nstitutional case. people can race constitutionallaims in less important cases as well as me important case but t reason we wanted to focusn constitution cases is constitutional casesre the cases in whichur federal judges have the most pow. th can actually strike down the action or, you know, stute passed by a legislature or an action of another governmental official and say that that action was unconstutional. you're not allowedo do it again.
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>> let me go to one thing, al franken has just joined th judiciary mmittee, the first tie're going to see him as a senator will be en he's participating in these hrings starting monda he is not a lawyer he's one of nothree people on the judiciary people who never went to law school. how do you feel as a law school graduate, a lawyer, a judial pert dng this kind of work, how do you feel abt entrusting the evaluation of supreme t nominees to people w don't have professiol legal traini? you know, one thing i think abt that is that, you know, the law applies to everyone, to lawyers and nonlawyers alike, and tooften judges get caught in this concept of law, and they're not thinking about the way inhich aaw plays out in the al world. they're not thinking that the are people who have to live by this. there are pele whose decisions
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in terms of certainty, iterms of whether tir action is going to be considered illegal or not, need to know how to have, and i think that it's valuable to have voices of people on the committee who are nojust people who a legally trained. all right. we're ing to leave it there for today. thk u monica youn. up next, senator roland burris of illinois who took bark obama's seat in the united states sate says he will not seek election to that seat next year. what does that meafor the democrats? that's next in "the lics fix." this is "hardball" oy on msnbnbc. kes.. so much real cheese in such small bit?? ♪ bakining colele! well, now youou know. cheez-it. . the big eese. 90s slacker hip-p-p.u know. ♪hat can strain your lationships and hurt youou 'cause we'pride ♪ ride ♪ ♪ it's the creditit rollerr coaster ♪ ♪ and as you u can see kinda bites! ♪ ♪ so singhe lyrics with me: ♪ when your dt goes up yoururcore gs down ♪ ♪ when you pay y littleff it goes the otheray 'round ♪ ♪ it's just t s same r everybody, evevery b and girl ♪ ♪ the cdit ller coaster makes yowanna hurl ♪ ♪ sthrow your hands in the air, and wave 'em around ♪ ♪ike a wanna-be frat boy trying to get down ♪ ♪hen bring 'em right backckoo where your laptop's atat... ♪
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coming up, back our lead we're back, and it's te for "the politicfix." with pulitzeprize winner eu robinson of the ashington post" and "newsweek's"ichael isikoff. eugene, roland burris has made the desion he's not going to y to hang onto that seat that rod blagojevich gave him wn maybe no one else would ke it. he seems to have recently survived t illinois legislature's inveigation of sorts into whether there was a kind of buying andaying for th and any kind of promises abt fund-raising. how do you read this at this poin eugene? it's a 71-year-old guy who certainly looked le whene arrid there was going to have some fun andling out this decadef his life there looked like something hwanted to do. but day he given up. >> yea roland, we hardly knew you. this is not -- you kno this was never going to work out very
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well for roland burris gen the way he arred in the senate, and i suspect soriends -- i hope some iends had the obvious foresight to tell m that. you know, whenou're appointed by rod blagojevich whenobody else will takehe job, you know, you're not going to ve a very smooth ride, and apparently he was -- he had thought about trying to go f a term in his own right, he wasn't ablto ise any money. you know, thiss a huge mess for the democratic pty basically. this should have beea irly easy transtion. obama gets ected, democratic vernor names a democratic replacement whn hold the seat when it comes up in010. that's a fairly elementary thing to do in politics. yet, they maged to bungle this one que badly.
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>> michael, blagojevich' appoinent in burris in the first place was a real defiae of patrick fzgerald, the prosecutor's whose wyou know ll, was prosecuting blagojevich his conduct in office. and seeing roland burris kd of oput at this point, do you sense a possibilithere of another shoe dropping in ts from the fitzgeralside of this story? he, u ow, burris may have survived his question and answer period with e illinois legislature, but you know the wapatrick fitzgerald just stays tse things. >> yeah, well, look,t's hard to know. there's been no hintrom fitzgerald's office inny of the fings that point to burris. but it is worth mentiong that investigation, the onehat led to blajevich's indictment and upcoming trial is ongog. just yesterday, blagojevich's former chief of staff, jn rris, pled guilty and beme a cooperating witness with the
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feds. there arstill shoes to drop in that overall invtigation. and whether not they were going to point to iminal charges against burris, there's nouestion that were burris to whole blagojevich inveigion he and coming trial and all its many tentacles we going to continue to be in e illiis press and would contin to dog him throughout a campaign he tried to run. i think he was a doomed candidacy from t get go. the ly surise is that it's taken him this long to reaze that and make the anuncement that he's not g to run. >>ike, you studied fitzgerald closely in the scoot libby case and you got a feel for e way the guy work. we're ner going to know this. but don't you have to think todapatrick fitzgerald is glad to know thathe guy rod blagojevich appoinis not going to be senator as of two years from now? >> i'm not sure thinkmuch about thingsike that.
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thk knowing fitzgerald, he a pretty focussed guy. he's probably singularly focussed right now on making sure his -- the blojevich gets convicd in the upcoming trial. slipping a few more witness. there are a lo, you know, shoes to drop in tt investigation. things that have yet to come out. i would remind you that, you know, one key witnagainst blagojicas the coconspirator named ny resco, close associate of barack obama's. weave yeto learn exactly what he has told t feds. there's going to be a loof continued interest in that investigation. >> and wre going to stay on . we'll be bk with eugene robion and michael isikoff. you're wching ardball" only on msnbc. we're ck with the washington post eugeneobinson and michael isikoff. michael, the cia versucongress broke out agn as an argument about whs telling who the truth. there's a longradition here. moats and republicans in t house and the sete accusing
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the cia at different times of lying them. barry goldwar, one of the hero publicans of all time accud the cia of lyi to him about the miningf the harbors in caragua. what do you make of this latest round of this? >> well, there's a couplof interesting developments. first of all, the letter tha was sent by the house democrats was prty startling in its language.
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> we're back with the shington post eugene robinson and michael isikof miael, the cia versus congress broke t again as an argument about who's tellinwho the truth. there's a long ttion here. democrats d republicans in the housand the senate accusing e cia at different times of lyg to them. barry gowater, one of the hero republicans of all time cused the cia of lying to him abt the mining of the harborin niragua. what do you make of this latest round of this? >> well, there's couple of inteing developments. rst of all, the letter that was sent by e house democrats was pretty startling in its language. said that the cia had concealed significanactions from congress and misled memrs gog ck from 2001 until last moh. now, there's undoubtedly a political context this.
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speaker pelosi was under fir fromhe republicans when she said the cia h misled her a couple omonths ago, republicans said ty were shocked that the speaker wld tarnishing the representations of hard-woing pressionals at the agency, and so, i thk the democrats saw the concession by leon panetta when he came forward with is as the smong gun proving that pelosi was in e ear. whether it really adds up to that, it's hard to say at th point. althoughe did report this ternoon, my colleague and i on that panetta has ordered an interl inquiry into why this informationbo this specified covert program was not provided to congress eaier. that's an implit concession that this is infortion that the congress suld've known about. >>ugene robinson, the democrats insisting that they're not doing thisnot
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talking about th to try to help nancy pelosi, but clely ey are. is it ing to work? is it going to help her with her controverson the cia? >> i think it malp her somewhat. if you jt -- if it were left here where it is now, she woul be able to point and say, u know, see i to y, this is the sort of thing they do. but you mentioned, you know, th is not the first time that the hill or that people on t hill have pointeto the cia and said lied to us, you didn't tell us something yoshould have told us. what i'm curious about and i think everybody is, okay, what s it? given what we knowbo things that were done durinthe bush-cheney years, especially under the interests of the cia, itould be -- >> eugene, w going to have to leave it there for day. michael isikoff going to have to find t what it is. join us again tomorr at 5:00 and 7:00asrn for more ardball." righght w w 's time for "the ed