Return to Transcripts main page


Remains of Caylee Anthony Officially Identified; Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Speaks Out

Aired December 19, 2008 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, Illinois' governor speaks out and says a mouthful, channeling Churchill, quoting Kipling.
Call it stirring, call it weird, call the Men in Black to zap the memory of that hairdo out of your head. You will not be able to stop watching. And we will give you the opportunity to see it all.

Also tonight, it is official. It is Caylee. The disappearance of little Caylee Anthony is now a murder case. We're going to show you how the remains were identified and look at how authorities are making the case against Caylee's mother.

Also tonight, a Palin family scandal -- Bristol Palin's future mother-in-law and grandmother of her soon-to-be-born child busted on drug charges.

And, later, breaking news for Ellen DeGeneres and all the other same-sex couples who married in California. The people who pushed Prop 8 are going to court to get the marriages annulled. And the man behind it, Ken Starr. Remember him?

All those stories and the auto bailout tonight on 360.

We begin tonight with Rod Blagojevich's first formal statement since federal agents was frog-marched him out of his house more than a week ago. He is accused, you will remember, of a staggering array of public corruption, among other things, shaking down a children's hospital and putting Barack Obama's old Senate seat up for auction.

Until now, he has had no answer, except to say that he would soon have an answer. Well, today he had something. That's for sure. What exactly that something was, well, that's for you to decide.

Take a look.


GOV. ROD BLAGOJEVICH (D), ILLINOIS: OK. Thank you very much.

I'm here to tell you right off the bat that I am not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing, that I intend to stay on the job, and I will fight this thing every step of the way.

I will fight. I will fight. I will fight until I take my last breath. I have done nothing wrong, and I'm not going to quit a job the people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob.

Now, that's what I'm going to do. Let me tell you what I'm not going to do. I'm not going to do what my accusers and political enemies have been doing, and that is talk about this case in 30-second sound bites on "Meet the Press" or on the T. V. news.

Now, I'm dying to answer these charges. I am dying to show you how innocent I am. And I want to assure everyone who's here, and everyone who's listening, that I intend to answer every allegation that comes my way.

However, I intend to answer them in the appropriate forum -- in a court of law. And when I do, I am absolutely certain that I will be vindicated.

Rudyard Kipling wrote, If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you; if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you and make allowance for their doubting, too; if you can wait and not be tired by waiting; or being lied about, don't deal in lies; or being hated, don't give way to hating.

Now, I know there are some powerful forces arrayed against me. It's kind of lonely right now. But I have on my side the most powerful ally there is, and it's the truth.

And besides, I have the personal knowledge that I have not done anything wrong.

To the people of Illinois, I ask that they wait and be patient, sit back and take a deep breath, and please reserve judgment. Afford me the same rights that you and your children have. The presumption of innocence. The right to defend yourself. The right to your day in court. The same rights that you would expect for yourselves.

And one last thing: To all of those -- to those of you who have expressed your support to Patti and me during this difficult time, I would like to thank you for your thoughts; I would like to thank you for your prayers; and I would like to thank you for your good wishes.

Patti and I cannot express to you how grateful we are for your kindness.

Merry Christmas. Happy holidays.


COOPER: "Happy holidays."

Nothing today on what precisely he will be basing his defense on. Kipling, after all, only goes so far in federal court.

Let's dig deeper now with senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, and correspondent Gary Tuchman, who is in Illinois. Jeff, were you surprised he was so defiant? I mean, he basically was sort of doubling down. Either he has been completely wronged and he's defiant, or he is completely lying, and he's just going for it.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, I guess I wasn't surprised, what I -- what I know about Blagojevich. We seem to be in a new moment in political history, whether you're Sarah Palin, or Blagojevich, or even Caroline Kennedy: the public appearance without answering questions.

You know, you say what you want to say, and then that -- that's it. He's daring the court to go forward with the criminal case. He's daring the legislature to go forward with the impeachment. But he is offering no real defense, other than, "I didn't do it."

COOPER: Gary, the governor said he -- he's the victim of a political lynch mob. Does he have much support left in -- in Illinois?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I will tell you, tossing around a sensitive term like "lynch mob" is bound not to go over very well.

I talked with the Democratic state representative who was very insulted and very angry by it. And it's important to point out, Anderson, when he talks about a mob, this is the most bipartisan mob you will ever see, conservative Republicans, liberal Democrats in the legislature. Fifty Democratic U.S. senators have called for him to step down.

These are people who generally and often don't even like each other, don't cooperate, but they're all against this governor.

COOPER: It's interesting, Jeff. You compare what he said today and his tone with what allegedly he said on this wiretap. I want to read one of my -- one of my personal favorite things that he allegedly said.

He said -- this is about the -- the selling of Barack Obama's Senate seat: "I have got this thing, and it's 'bleeping' golden. And I'm just not giving it up for 'bleeping' nothing. I'm not going to do it. And I can always use it. I can parachute me there."

It certainly sounds shady, but, I mean, is that evidence of guilt right there?

TOOBIN: Well, certainly, from what his lawyer has said, the outlines of his defense are clear, which is that this sort of talk was simply political horse-trading that you can't make into a criminal defense.

It is just like campaign contributors always go to candidates and say, look, I want you to support lower taxes. And he says, I will support lower taxes. So, the money changes hands.

That's what he is saying has gone on here. The -- certainly, if the tapes are accurate, and if these transcripts are accurate, it goes well beyond the normal political horse-trading.

It is: I will not give $8 million to this children's hospital if you don't give me the $25,000 in campaign contributions.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: That's the kind of explicit quid pro quo that I think will be difficult to defend in front of any jury.

But the outlines of a defense are clear. And, you know, it is a reasonable defense. We will see which way the facts go.

COOPER: Gary, the Illinois Supreme Court has opted not to get involved. The legislature is moving forward with impeachment.

But -- but, until that happens, or until he resigns, he is the governor. Is he actually getting any work done? I mean, we have seen -- we have seen him kind of jogging around his block.

TUCHMAN: I mean, I think what's notable about this, Anderson, is, when Richard Nixon went through this 30 years ago -- or now 34 years ago -- he had a lot of Republican supporters still.

This man has no one who has come to the microphone when we were in the state capital of Springfield, in the capitol building, who said, "I support this governor."

Republicans don't support him. Democrats don't support him. His own lieutenant governor doesn't support him. The Democratic attorney general doesn't support him. It's very hard to be governor of a state when you have no one who supports you.

And it's very notable that, during his three minute and seven second speech today, he didn't, for at least three of the seconds, say, "Here's how I'm going to govern."

He just talked about himself the whole time.

COOPER: I guess no surprise about that.

Jeff, legally, did -- the U.S. attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald, has, what, 20 days from the time of the arrest to actually bring charges or bring...


COOPER: ... to the grand jury.

TOOBIN: Bring charges in -- in an indictment in a grand jury.

But that will start a lengthy process. A complex white-collar case, as this will certainly be, will take months to go forward. And Illinois has never had an impeachment. So, they are feeling their way. What's the standard of proof? What kind of evidence has to be presented? All of that will take some time to organize. Plus, they have got a whole new state legislature coming in, in January. So, he is likely to be there for some time.

COOPER: Yes, it's interesting.

Gary Tuchman, Jeff Toobin, thanks a lot.

If you want to talk with us and other people watching right now, join the live chat happening at Check out the live Webcast -- it's (INAUDIBLE) Friday -- during the break.

Also, after the break, the development in the Caylee Anthony disappearance that nobody wanted to see: her remains identified. Now it comes down to justice being done for this little girl. We will look at the case against her mother with Ashleigh Banfield and a member of the Casey Anthony defense team.

Also, the weather nightmare before Christmas: snow and ice, and Chad Myers with a look at what is coming next.

And, later, breaking news in the gay marriage battle. Ken Starr gets involved. The opponents of gay marriage move tonight to get the thousands of same-sex marriages already performed, marriages like Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi there, to get those marriages nullified. And now California's attorney general is weighing in. The court filings have just happened tonight -- ahead.



KEVIN BEARY, ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA, SHERIFF: The bottom line is, folks, no child should have to go through this. And we have far too many of these incidents across this country all the time.


COOPER: Well, she vanished in June. The remains of a child uncovered last week, some of the bones no bigger than a pebble, today, DNA tests confirmed that the bones found a half-mile from her grandparents' home are those of little Caylee Anthony, the cause of her death, homicide.

The murder case against her mother now goes forward, with the most powerful and heart-wrenching evidence powerful.

In "Crime and Punishment" tonight, let's get the latest from Erica Hill.


ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The remains of a very little child discovered last week are now unfolding a very big mystery. DR. JAN GARAVAGLIA, ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA, MEDICAL EXAMINER: With regret, I'm here to inform you that the skeletal remains found on December 11 are those of the missing toddler Caylee Anthony.

HILL: No specifics yet on how and when the 2-year-old girl was killed. But authorities say she was a victim of homicide.

Investigators are still waiting for toxicology reports. No tissue, though, was found on the bones, so experts are not optimistic they will be able to specify a cause of death. Further tests, including samples from the ground where the remains were found, could connect some of the dots.

Forensic scientist Dr. Larry Kobilinsky is an adviser to the defense.

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, PROFESSOR OF FORENSIC SCIENCE, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Physical evidence is what this case is all about. The FBI is looking to match that questioned material that they find at that scene with exemplar, or known, specimens from the Anthony home or perhaps the vehicle.

HILL: Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony, is already facing first- degree murder and other charges in her daughter's disappearance, charges filed before the remains were found.

PAMELA BETHEL, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I don't think it changes the case. They had already charged her. They thought they had a strong case.

HILL: Casey Anthony has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, the 22-year-old could be sentenced to life. Prosecutors said they will not seek the death penalty, although they could change their mind.

While authorities held their news conference, the man who made the gruesome discovery was also speaking out. He is a meter reader for the local utility, and his call to police last week wasn't his first in this case.

ROY KRONK, DISCOVERED BONES: Back in August of this year, I had previously reported to Crimeline and to the sheriff's communication center that I had spotted something suspicious, a bag in the same area. I have been and will continue to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation by the sheriff's office and the FBI.

HILL: In fact, Roy Kronk made three calls to report a suspicious bag. The sheriff's department tells CNN it is reviewing those calls and how they were handled.

KEVIN BEARY, ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA, SHERIFF: People need to realize, we took 50 -- over 56,00 tips on this particular case, both state and nationwide. If we missed a window of opportunity -- we don't know if we have or not -- but we have done the very best we can.

HILL: The investigation is not complete. But the focus now shifts to the courtroom and to little Caylee's mother. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Let's talk about Casey Anthony. Do we know how she reacted to the news?

HILL: No, in fact, they're -- they're not saying specifically. They said: We will not comment on her reaction, what she said.

We can tell you, though, Anderson, that she was notified at 1:45 p.m. at the jail by a chaplain. Her attorney was apparently present in the building at that time, but was not in her presence when she was notified. The statement says that was happenstance. It is not policy.

Also interesting, her family's pastor showed up at about 2:00, left about 20 minutes later. Apparently, she refused to meet with the pastor, because, at the time, she was meeting with one of her attorneys.

COOPER: Hmm. All right. Erica, thanks.

We're going to have more on Caylee Anthony when we come back with "In Session" anchor Ashleigh Banfield and Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, who you saw just a moment ago. He's also a member of the defense team.

Also tonight, the bottom line for Detroit -- President Bush approves a bailout. But what kind of mileage will GM and Chrysler really get out of the money? Will it really do any good?

And, later, Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol is about to give birth, just as her fiance's mother is arrested on drug charges -- that and more ahead on 360.


GARAVAGLIA: With regret, I'm here to inform you that the skeletal remains found on December 11 are those of the missing toddler Caylee Anthony.


COOPER: The Orange County medical examiner confirming the worst.

I'm joined by "In Session" anchor Ashleigh Banfield and Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and, we should mention, a member of Casey Anthony's defense team, or consultant to it.

Let's -- Dr. Kobilinsky, let's talk about this meter reader. He tipped off authorities, first made calls back in August. What sort of evidence has been lost because those calls weren't successfully followed up on?

KOBILINSKY: Well, Anderson, as you know, time -- you know, the concept of time in a forensic case is critical. And the fact was...

COOPER: It was basically just bones...


COOPER: ... skeletal remains found, not -- not flesh.


But I guess what I'm saying is, had this body been found in August, the fact is, is that there would have been soft tissue, we believe. There could have been soft tissue. And that could have revealed cause of death. Toxicology results might provide some clarity as to what happened.

COOPER: So, with bone -- just with -- with skeletal remains, you cannot provide toxicology or -- or cause of death?

KOBILINSKY: It becomes much more difficult.

They do have hair, as we understand, that was also found with the skeletal remains. Hair is a -- a tissue that you can do toxicology on. But the likelihood of them finding something, if it were the use of a poison or something of that sort, which was an acute situation, in other words, the -- the child died immediately, you wouldn't expect to find that -- these toxic substances in hair.

COOPER: So, legally, Ashleigh, how -- how can they say homicide? I mean...

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, TRUTV ANCHOR: Well, the -- the funny thing is, some people have been saying homicide, this means murder. It doesn't. Homicide is just an unlawful death, not a natural death.

So, in fact, I think is something the defense can jump on today. This is this -- this doesn't show a lot, Anderson. This doesn't show a lot of what we usually find in a body. We don't see any tool marks. We don't see any strangulation. We don't see whether there was a knife that didn't penetrate a bone.

There could have been all sorts of ways that this child died.

COOPER: Well, how much of this case, although, will boil down to physical evidence based on these remains and all this other...

BANFIELD: Circumstantial?

COOPER: ... circumstantial, and also just the behavior of this mother, the -- the lies, the -- the stories?

BANFIELD: Behavior is huge, not that it should be, but it is. Juries have convicted on bad behavior before, and very little evidence.

Juries have also convicted on loads of circumstantial evidence and not a lot of direct evidence. And, so, it's crucial that, when you put the pieces of the puzzle together, when you mount that pile high, all of a sudden, coincidence starts going by the wayside. And that's how juries usually come to their gut feelings.

COOPER: Dr. Kobilinsky, do you think this is a case that will be decided by forensic evidence?


I think there are questions that have been raised about admissibility of different kinds of -- of testing in the case. This kind of physical evidence can support an allegation, or it can exclude this -- the theory. So, I think it's very critical that we understand what the evidence says, what kind of information is coming out of that, and is it consistent with one theory or another? It's very critical.

COOPER: Do we know if -- what -- what they found with the remains? I mean, I know I -- I read a report there was duct tape on the skull. There was that report about a plastic...


COOPER: ... plastic bag. Do we know if they matched that to -- to any plastic bags in the residence?

BANFIELD: Well, listen, that's huge. When we talk about the evidence that comes along with this case, apart from the bones and the DNA and the skeletal -- whatever the skeletal remains will -- will -- will give us, the -- the evidence alongside this case will be huge, because if in fact there is duct tape, that is loaded with fingerprints and fibers and hair samples and all sorts of things.

And, if there is a bag, if there is a garbage bag, which, by this point, we know there is, you can actually match a garbage bag on a murder scene to a garbage bag under your sink. Just by the striations, you can match it to the lot. So, that will be evidence that will be extraordinarily damning in fact it matches.

But you know something else? Filicide, which is the killing of your child, or patricide, or parricide, killing of your family members is really hard to prove when there is all of this kind of forensics involved, because of course you're going to have your mother or your father's DNA somewhere near you or a hair sample or a fingerprint. You live together.

COOPER: This spot -- this spot -- another woman -- I had read a report another woman had reported that police should look at this spot a while back. And she was a former friend of Casey Anthony's. They used to hang out. This was a spot she says they went to in high school. Is that correct?

BANFIELD: Yes. Apparently, this is sort of a regular high school hangout, and a hangout for Casey and her friends.

And I will tell you something about that spot.

COOPER: Where the -- where the remains are found is a place where Casey was known to have hung out? (CROSSTALK)

BANFIELD: Absolutely. Yes, and it's only -- look, it's three- tenths of a mile from her home, so I'm sure she passed by that on a daily basis.

But I think what's huge for the defense today -- by the way, since this such a terrible day for the defense, in finding an actual body, what is huge for the defense is that they have found that the police have made mistakes already. And you have covered trials where -- O.J. -- where you have seen that defense attorneys love it when there's some evidence of police mistakes, because that gives jurors reasonable doubt.

COOPER: What sort of mistakes, I mean, not following up on the meter reader?

BANFIELD: Well, they have already said they have to review their thoroughness and they are going to have to investigate their own.

That -- those are terrible words when you get into litigation, and when you get to a murder trial. Defense attorneys love to say, are you kidding me? These are Keystone Kops.

COOPER: Dr. Kobilinsky, for the defense, what comes next?

KOBILINSKY: Well, I think there is a big question about establishing the time of death.

We -- we don't know. We have no idea. And the other really big question is, when was the body left at the scene? This could be very crucial. This determination could make the difference between an exoneration or -- or just the opposite.

COOPER: All right.

Dr. Kobilinsky, thanks.

Ashleigh Banfield, thanks, as well.


COOPER: Still ahead: breaking news out of California. The sponsors of Proposition 8 are now asking, just tonight, the state Supreme Court to nullify the marriages of almost 20,000 same-sex couples who have already gotten married before the referendum passed. Can they do that? We will talk about that with legal expert Jeff Toobin.

Also ahead, a major winter blast putting the deep freeze on holiday travel -- maybe some of you in airports stuck, watching us right now -- hundreds of flights canceled, people without power. And it's not over yet. We will have a live report when 360 continues and a look at what's going to happen in the next couple hours and tomorrow.

Also, winter without the wonderland, but with plenty of misery, mess -- a lot more about the weather coming up.


COOPER: Pretty as a picture if you're not stuck in the middle of the mess or waiting for a flight -- in Spokane, Washington, police urging residents to stay inside today. Two feet of snow have fallen there since Wednesday, and a new storm, with potentially blizzard conditions, expected over the weekend.

As the storm moved east, it caused major delays at airports. It disrupted everything else.

Susan Candiotti has the latest.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What a mess: snow in Chicago canceling 300 flights at O'Hare, travelers trying to get an early jump on the holidays, instead trying to catch 40 winks at the airport.

A snowball effect forced delays up to five hours, from the Midwest to the Northeast. It was time to get out the snowplows in Milwaukee, this man using one to clear out his yard. In Boston, road salt was moving almost faster than the roads, icy streets making it hard to get out of parking spots. And highways were covered with snow just about a day before the official start of winter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is what it is. So, we will -- we will take Mother Nature as it comes. And I think we're going to be in for a long a long -- a long, long winter.

CANDIOTTI: Sure looks like it from here.

In Seattle, about 75 bus passengers had to be scared out of their wits when this bus was dangling over a freeway. It's not clear if weather was to blame or something else, but the roads were icy at the time.

In Buffalo, the Skyway Bridge was closed because of high winds and several inches of snow. Advice to motorists?


CANDIOTTI: But, in New York, that's the last thing Mayor Bloomberg wants people to do on the last Saturday before Christmas.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Getting last-minute holiday shopping -- the stores need the business. And you need to buy things.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On time? I'm shocked.

CANDIOTTI: But, at La Guardia, the only thing these weary travelers want to do is get home. And good news, their flight's on time. Or is it? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No matter what that says there, that doesn't really mean that we're going.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That doesn't necessarily prove anything. We have -- we have been through that before, where it said that right up until the end, and, then -- and, two minutes before we're -- we thought we were going to board, whammo. So...



CANDIOTTI: Well, and his flight may be leaving, but others aren't.

This board is showing that some flights are still canceled or delayed. But a lot of it -- these signs say on time. The thing is, they're all talking about tomorrow morning. And if there is more bad weather, well, everyone here has their fingers crossed that those flights will be leaving on time -- Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Yes, me too. I'm just checking a flight right now that is supposed to leave tomorrow morning. We will see. It says on time, but I don't believe it.

Let's check in now with meteorologist Chad Myers for the latest -- Chad.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: The only way it's going to be on time, Anderson, if the plane that you're going to be on gets there and lands tonight.

You know, if it's delayed somewhere else, then, all of a sudden, you're at a gate with no plane in it. The rain and the snow and the sleet, pretty much, though, it's -- it's -- it's leaving. It's getting out of here, finally, getting away from Boston, getting out of Maine and -- and Vermont and New Hampshire. That's the good news. The bad news, is will be back on Sunday.

So, maybe, if you're going to get out of town tomorrow, that's the way to do it. The snow is essentially over for New York City. It's still snowing across parts of Upstate New York, but just about done at this point in time.

There are a lot of planes still in the air, 4,000 planes in the air right now. The only problem? Only 39 are officially from La Guardia. There should be a lot more than that in the air at this time on a Friday night.

Now, for tomorrow, it will be raining across the Deep South, but nothing for the Northeast. The problem is, again, for tomorrow night and into Sunday, blizzard warnings for the Northwest, another storm system coming on shore that will affect the Northeast later in the week. But what will it do for tomorrow? There is that storm there. The storm tomorrow moves into the Plains, and a big snow and ice event, Anderson, for the northeast on Sunday. Goes away on Monday, but not before another six to 10 inches of snow in New England. And then for Wednesday, just in time for Santa Claus, it rains and washes all that snow away. And Santa doesn't mind, because he has roller blades on the bottom of his sleigh anyway. Anderson?

COOPER: That's what I heard, too.

Chad, thanks.

Much more coming up tonight including a drug bust in Wasilla, Alaska moving the mother of Bristol Palin's fiance. We'll figure that out. First, Erica Hill with "The Bulletin."

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, Bernie Madoff accused of bilking $50 billion from investors is under tighter restrictions tonight. He is now confined to 24-hour detention in his posh Manhattan apartment. The court-ordered restriction is to, quote, "prevent harm or flight."

One person killed, 18 others injured today when a pedestrian bridge collapsed in Atlanta's botanical garden. Now this is part of the garden's expansion. Workers were actually pouring concrete on part of the canopied walkway. It soared to 40 feet in places when it collapsed.

Remember that sports memorabilia in Las Vegas that got O.J. Simpson into all that trouble and eventually jail? Well, it will soon belong to Fred Goldman who may sell it online to help pay the $33.5 million judgment he won against Simpson in the civil trial for the murder of his friend Ron. Goldman's attorney says hopefully somebody will be enthralled enough to buy the football that put O.J. behind bars.

His words.

COOPER: Very. Strange. All right, Erica. Let's check out our "Beat 360" winners. Our daily challenge to viewers to come up with a caption for a photo that we put on our blog that's better that we could think of her. Here is the photo, President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush attending the unveiling of their official portraits in Washington. President Bush kind of looking up. Our staff winner tonight is Joey who went with this, "Star light, star bright, first shoe I see tonight."

HILL: That's why this should be called beat Joey.

COOPER: It is. Joey yet again wins. Our viewer winner is Ashley from Hamlin, New York, her caption, "Who put the mission accomplished banner up there?"

HILL: I like it.

COOPER: Good job. Your "Beat 360" t-shirt is on the way. Heck of a job, Ashley. You can see all of the entry in today's Up next, breaking the marriage of people like Ellen Degeneres and Portia Dirossi and thousands of others null and void. We'll tell you about the new court battle over Proposition 8. It just happened about an hour or two ago.

Plus, a day before Sarah Palin's teen daughter is expected to give birth, Bristol Palin's mother-in-law is under arrest. The bizarre story ahead.


COOPER: Now breaking news out of California. Tonight, the battle over Proposition 8 is heating up again. Today the sponsors of the gay marriage ban which passed last month filed lawsuits to uphold Proposition 8 and widen its scope by nullifying thousands of same-sex marriages performed before the ban. Ken Starr, who you may remember led the investigation to former President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky will argue the case for Proposition 8.

Meantime, California's Attorney General Jerry Brown is speaking out tonight, just moments ago, calling on the California Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8. As a state official, he is bound to uphold the law which he personally opposes. All of this six days before Christmas. Senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins me. This was as you said the great unanswered question about Proposition 8. What would happen to those 18,000 or so who already have gotten married?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. And this is a very hard legal question. Anyone who says it's obvious is blowing smoke, because it is hard to know which way the court will go. Because Ken Starr's argument which he filed today is he said, look, the proposition says that -- Proposition 8 says that the only marriages recognized by California are those between a man and a woman. So even though these marriages were legal when they took place, they are no longer recognized. I mean, it's not a crazy argument. It has a certain appeal. But Jerry Brown and others say, look, if you are told by the State of California that you can get married and you get married, legally, with the support of the state, it is a violation of your due process rights to just take that right away from you.

Both good arguments. I don't know how the courts are going to ...

COOPER: Jerry Brown just spoke out a short time ago, he's the California attorney general. Let's just play what he said.


JERRY BROWN, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: My job is to defend the law of the people, but that law also includes the Constitution itself. And when we harmonize the two, we come down on the side of the fundamental liberty interests. And that's the issue that really turns this case to strike down Proposition 8.


COOPER: What does he mean?

TOOBIN: That's a different legal argument. There are two legal fights brewing. The one is what happens to these 16,000 marriages. What Jerry Brown is doing is having Proposition 8 itself overturned. Because his argument is, that Proposition 8 was such a fundamental change in California's Constitution that it required a two thirds vote.

COOPER: Because it was a -- a re-writing of the Constitution.

TOOBIN: A re-writing of the Constitution. The supporters of Proposition 8 say, no, it was just an amendment to the Constitution.

COOPER: But my understanding for it to be an actual rewriting of the constitution is it has to change state procedures.

TOOBIN: Well, it has to change the existing rights under the Constitution. Frankly, these categories are not all that clear. And frankly, I think that's a long shot argument. Because the voters spoke, it was pretty clear what they were doing. I don't think, frankly, it was a change in the fundamental values of the Constitution. But I think Jerry Brown has a much better argument on keeping the 16 to 18,000 marriages intact. But this is going to be a big fight.

COOPER: So there is going to be a court hearing in March on the actual proposition itself.

TOOBIN: Correct.

COOPER: And do we know when this question of the current marriages is going to be decided?

TOOBIN: That will probably be a little earlier. Because that's a much more immediate legal question, because these are people who are married, they've they have hospital visits to deal with, their inheritances, their contract rights. That has to be dealt with right away. That, I think, will be dealt with faster.

COOPER: We've never seen anything like this having 18,000 people's marriages taken away from them. It's never happened before.

TOOBIN: Never. This has never happened. The closest analogy is when the U.S. Supreme Court said bans on racial intermarriages were unconstitutional. It would be as if they then changed their mind, because this is effect what happened. It was legalized, then it was made illegal. That's never happened before.

COOPER: Engineer Jeffrey, thanks. Appreciate it. Just ahead, President Bush's final Cabinet choices and the latest on the auto bailout his team will inherit. Coming up next we will talk strategy with David Gergen and Joe Johns.

Plus, 18-year-old Bristol Palin, Governor Sarah Palin's oldest daughter expecting a baby any day. Tonight her future mother in law, though, is out on bond facing six felony drug charges. Try to figure out what that's all about. Be right back.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT-ELECT: The auto companies must not squander this chance to perform bad management practices and begin the long- term restructuring that is absolutely necessary to save this critical industry and the millions of American jobs that depend on it while also creating the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow.

COOPER: President-Elect Obama warning GM and Chrysler not to blow the multimillion dollar lifeline that President Bush through them today. The two most troubled carmakers are going to get $13.4 billion in emergency federal loans this month and next, $4 billion to Chrysler, $9.4 billion to GM. Carmakers could get another $4 billion in February, but only if Congress votes to withdraw from the financial industry bailout fund. The money does come with strings. GM and Chrysler have to prove their viable by March 31st. If they don't, they will have to repay the money, no delay.

Even with that threat, President Bush is taking major heat from fellow Republicans. The ultimate fate of the U.S. auto industry is going to be decided by Obama who today named his finally cabinet picks. Let's talk strategy with senior political analyst and former presidential adviser David Gergen and Joe Johns.

David, did President Bush have any other choice? They delayed this and talked about choice of some sort of orderly bankruptcy, but in the end, he went ahead and did it.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Not unless he wanted to go home as Herbert Hoover on Christmas Eve, he had no choice. As you say he came under heat from the Republicans in the Senate for doing this, came under heat for Democrats for seeming to put a lot more pressure on the UAW, the automobile workers and really pushing the automobile companies to extract huge concessions from them in the next few months.

COOPER: It does, Joe, I guess, take a fair amount of pressure off President-Elect Obama at least in the early days of his administration.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's some breathing room. And you avoid a collapse. But the truth is, this Obama administration is going to have to move pretty quickly and make some really tough decisions. This industry needs to heal itself, a lot of people think Washington is going to have to do something to try to force them to do that. So some tough choices for this administration ahead.

And they're going to be under tremendous pressure from a lot of people in Congress who represent interests inside the autoworkers' union, for example, who don't like that idea of cutting costs of autoworkers, you know, paychecks. This is a recession. People don't want to lose money right now, Anderson.

COOPER: David, on the Cabinet choices, Obama rounded out his Cabinet, his economic team. You call it the makings of a dream team. Why? GERGEN: Well, let me first come back to what Joe Johns said and get to the Cabinet. I -- it is true that Barack Obama gets a little breathing space in this auto deal. But if you look at the totality of what he now faces, he's got to make decisions for about -- over a trillion dollars in new government spending and commitments in the next 90 days. How to do that wisely, he's got this huge stimulus package to figure out. He now has to figure out the future of the automobile industry. He's got -- the money has run out on the bailout for the -- financial institutions, he's got to go back and refigure that out. He's got to figure out what to do about the housing industry. And do financial regulation. That is a lot on his plate.

And that's what makes his Cabinet so important. And I must say, when you look at the totality of the Cabinet, are there some holes here? Yes. He doesn't have a lot of administrative or managerial experience in his Cabinet. He doesn't have enough southerners, he only has two Republicans. But if you look at the overall talent and the centrism in this Cabinet, this is one of the most promises Cabinets we've had in decades. 19 out of the 21 people around that Cabinet table will have graduate degrees. Twelve of them will have been elected successfully to office.

You know, when we had the best and the brightest back in the Vietnam period, Sam Raburn House speaker from Texas said he would feel a lot more comfortable if anybody had ever been elected to sheriff. You've got 12 people in this Cabinet who have been elected to high office. You know, both at the state and national level.

So this is a very, very talented team. He's going to need all that talent to deal with these huge, huge problems ahead.

COOPER: Joe, dream team or not, there is push back from women's groups now, chief among them saying Obama hasn't pointed enough women to the Cabinet.

JOHNS: That's right. You've got, what, five women in the cabinet now. People don't like that. They say, you know, a lot of women did a lot of work to get Barack Obama elected. And what's he doing for us? There is also the issue, of course, of gay rights. Folks on that side are savings you know, what about this business with Rick Warren and so on?

So there are a lot of different constituencies out there, particularly on the left that are pushing against Barack Obama. They're saying, hey, we got you elected, we're supposed to get something out of this. Barack Obama is going to want to try to govern from the middle, at least to some extent. It's a problem for him.

COOPER: David is there such a thing as too big a tent and too much of a team of rivals?

GERGEN: Well, that's an interesting question, and I don't think we know the answer to that. But if it he's going to break through this polarization that we've had now that has plagued both the Clinton administration and the Bush administration, he's got to try some things that are different. And we do know that in times of crisis, the big-tent approach has worked extremely well. It worked extremely well for Abraham Lincoln and with a team of rivals, and it certainly worked well for Franklin Roosevelt as war approached when he brought Republicans into his cabinet.

It does -- it does build confidence across the board. And look, he's got these huge problems ahead, but he also has the support now of about 70 percent more of the public who really want to see him do well. And that includes a lot of Republicans.

COOPER: David Gergen, we're going to leave it there. Joe Johns as well, have a good weekend. Thank you guys.

Still ahead, Sarah Palin proudly stood behind her pregnant teenage daughter in the national spotlight. The baby is due any day now. And the Palins are back in the news. Bristol Palin's future mother in law busted on felony drug charges.

Details on that coming up.

Plus kids and their computers these days. An I-Reporter takes a page from 360 and has some fun at our expense. And we're giving him national exposure. Why not? Tonight's "Shot" coming up.


COOPER: Well, that was our first glimpse of the entire Palin family onstage at the Republican convention back in August. Eighteen-year- old Bristol Palin is about five months pregnant then. She brought along her fiance, Levi Johnston, and Governor Sarah Palin spoke proudly, looking forward to being a grandmother. That could happen any day. Bristol apparently is due to give birth as early as tomorrow. Not the best timing for her future mother in law to be arrested.

Sherry Johnston, mother of Levi Johnston was booked yesterday on six felony drug count. She is out on bail tonight. Joe Johns not on vacation yet is joining me with more. Joe?

JOHNS: Anderson, that's right, the mother of the young man Sarah Palin may soon marry is in trouble with the law. Sherry Johnston, whose son Levi is engaged to marry Bristol Palin got arrested in Alaska yesterday. State police locked her up on six felony drug charges. The authorities won't say what drugs, but these are serious charges. We took a look at the state laws in question and they prohibit making, dealing or possessing, among other things, powerful pain pills, as well as heroin, methamphetamines and dozens of other drugs, Anderson.

COOPER: So we don't know exactly what drugs it is she is accused of. But it seems like serious drugs.

JOHNS: Well, yeah, it sounds serious. It sounds very serious. Police served a search warrant on Johnston's home in Wasilla, Alaska after undercover investigation, would suggest authorities could have been keeping tabs on her for a long time. The governor's office told us tonight, it doesn't comment on ongoing criminal investigations, Johnston was taken to a pretrial detention center, released on bail with a court date set for January. Sherry Johnston's birthday, we're told, was just this week. She just turned 42.

COOPER: All right. Joe Johns, appreciate that. Thanks. Up next, is it a 360 tribute, or does an I-Reporter want my job?

It's actually not bad. It's our "Shot of the Day."

And the top of the hour, one of the strangest press conferences we've seen in a while. Governor Bla -- Blagojevich comes out swinging. That's the first time I've messed that up. He comes out swinging and quoting Rudyard Kipling. The first time I've heard that in a while. Hear it for yourself in his own words, coming up.


COOPER: All right. Time for "The Shot." They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That works for us. Take a look at this I-Report by Marcus Harun and see if it seems kind of familiar. Take a look.


MARCUS HARUN, I-REPORTER: Larry, thanks very much. We begin tonight with breaking news.

He wants my job. A 16-year-old from Hamden, Connecticut does news broadcasts in his basement studio, premiering for the first time ever, on 360, the best technical team on television.

Thanks very much, Doctor Harun, Marcus Harun, Marcus and Marc Harun. We should invite him here on the show sometime. I'm sure he loves it so much and would like to come here and meet us here.


COOPER: Harun Marcus writes that he created all of the graphics and edited all of the video together to create his own MH 360.

HILL: I like it.

COOPER: I'm very impressed.

HILL: Good stuff. He's from my home state of Connecticut, too. Right up the road in Hamden.

COOPER: He can do it by himself, how come we need these people?

HILL: Anderson, come on, we talk about the layoffs, we don't need to hear this. Christmas is next week!

COOPER: I know.


HILL: We hear Rene (ph). COOPER: Rene is on the show anyway.

HILL: He is like the voice of God. We couldn't do it without everybody.

COOPER: Yes. I don't know how he does that stuff.

HILL: I don't know, either. We'll have to invite him on and ask him.

COOPER: The other thing I was stunned about, do we have that map that Chad Myers showed that of all of the flights in the air, about 3,500 I think.

HILL: This is fascinating they don't collide when you look at a map like that, I know they're at different levels and they're not all at the same height - altitude.

COOPER: They're not all that big, too.

HILL: Really? They're not.

COOPER: Compared to the map.

HILL: See, now it's all clear.

COOPER: If you're sitting in an airport and waiting for your flight, a picture like that is the last thing you want to see.

HILL: So for all of those sitting in the airport right now watching this broad cast, we apologize.

COOPER: If it's any consolation, I missed my flight today and waited all day and am hoping to get out tomorrow but I don't think that's going to happen either.

HILL: Maybe you'll see Anderson at the airport.

COOPER: If you do, be kind.

HILL: Oo. Oo.

COOPER: Erica, have a great weekend.

Coming up at the top of the hour, the governor is finally talking, and he is saying a mouthful. Is Rod Blagojevich being unfairly targeted? Is he, as one fellow Democrat says, simply delusional. Did he have the football, the brush that he likes to have near him at all times? Did he have it near him today? Listen and decide for yourself.

Later, a sad milestone, DNA testing confirming the worst possible news. The question now, where does the Caylee Anthony murder case go next? We'll be right back.


COOPER: Tonight, Illinois' governor speaks and says a mouthful, channeling Churchill, quoting Kipling, call it stirring, call it weird, call the men in black to zap the memory of that hairdo out of your head. You will not be able to stop watching. And we'll give you the opportunity to see it all.

Also tonight, it is official, it is Caylee. The disappearance of little Caylee Anthony is now a murder case, we're going to show you how the remains were identified and look at how authorities are making the case against Caylee's mother.