Anderson 360: Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsome Re: Sneddon possible witness


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Fallout From Flawed Intelligence; 'Too Much Too Soon'

Aired July 9, 2004 - 19:00 ET


COLLINS: And covering the Michael Jackson case for us tonight, 360 legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom. So this is a little bizarre. How common is it for a prosecutor to actually testify in a case he's involved with?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, 360 LEGAL ANALYST: It is highly unusual. And here you just don't have an assistant D.A., you have the head district attorney himself, Tom Sneddon, who's really interjecting in this case, going on -- basically putting himself into the investigation, going to this investigator's place, his place of office, taking photographs. It is basically doing this himself when he's supposed to allow the police to do it. There is a good argument that he would have to recuse himself because it is improper. However, no criminal charges should be levied against this D.A. But he really should back off.

COLLINS: Yes, it sounds like a huge conflict. Well, what about everything that he says at the hearing? Is it actually admissible at trial?

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: Yes, he even volunteered to testify. It is the last thing any district attorney wants to do is make themselves a witness, I'll take the stand and talk about it. He says, "I have nothing to hide." It is preposterous. He should stay out of it, let his office and the police handle it. And anything he says could be used if it becomes relevant at the trial himself.

COLLINS: Well, could he actually testify at the trial then? GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: He could. If any of those issues come up, he could be called to the stand. If that's the case, there is a good argument that his whole office should be recused and that it should be taken over by a different jurisdiction. And this is where you're starting to create a lot of problems because there is already allegation that this has been prosecutorial misconduct, that this is overzealous, that he's out to get Michael Jackson, that it's a conspiracy against Michael. This sort of feeds into that.

But of course he's going say I'm a D.A. who is not afraid to get my hands dirty and get involved in this case.

COLLINS: We'll talk about the overzealousness of this, that is the defense. They've been trying to paint that picture of him. It seems like it is working.

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: Well, it does seem like it is working. For him to come to court and say I'll testify, I have information about that. Again, Heidi, in the grand jury, he's questioning witnesses and saying that's wrong, you've got it incorrect according to records and questioning the witnesses saying no, that's not how it was. I remember. So he's making himself a witness. The defense has ever right to call him to the stand now and probably in the case itself if it goes too far.

COLLINS: So overall, how could all of this impact the case?

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: His office could -- and it is a good argument. I mean, that's the problem. You can't do this in a case. If you're the D.A. prosecuting it, you're losing your good judgment and be an impartial person bringing this case, you then become part of it.

So maybe someone else should take it over like the attorney general.

COLLINS: Interesting indeed. Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, thanks so much, tonight.