Megyn Kelly, an attorney, visited The O’Reilly Factor last night, to weigh in on Sean Hannity’s interview with George Zimmerman the night before. Kelly didn’t mince words. “The real question is why would Mark O’Mara (Zimmerman's attorney) have agreed to this?” she asked. The answer appears to be that it was to raise money. But Bill O’Reilly was more interested in exploring why she thought Zimmerman had harmed his case than why an attorney would agree to such a thing.
O’Reilly reportedly hates Hannity so it’s not too much of a surprise that he would have Kelly come on to critique the interview. But Kelly’s comments were in line with those of colleague (and fellow attorney) Greta Van Susteren. And a slew of other legal analysts. Hannity had to dig up two legal toadies, Fox’s Peter Johnson and Kimberly “I was liberal until I joined Fox News” Guilfoyle to spin his efforts (more on that in my next post).
The real question is why would Mark O’Mara have agreed to this? I can even understand George Zimmerman wanting to speak. A lot of defendants want to speak. It’s up to their lawyers, who are counsel, who are schooled in the law and the ways of criminal defense to say, ‘It’s not a good idea, George!’”
…(I)t’s human nature that the more times you comment on something, the more inconsistencies there will be. He offered a couple statements that are inconsistent with his prior statements already in this case.
Kelly noted as especially damaging the part where Zimmerman says he had no regrets about getting out of the car, taking out his gun, that it was “God’s plan.” (Video of that exchange and my analysis of the entire interview here.) Kelly continued, “Then he comes back after – there was clearly a break and says, ‘When I said I had no regrets, I thought you were talking about… whether I had regrets about talking to the police or getting an attorney.’ Well, that’s not at all how it went down. Hannity asked him, ‘Do you have regrets about having a gun?’ ‘No.’ ‘Regrets about getting out of the car?’ ‘No.’ So, he looks not credible to come back later and say, ‘Oh, I thought you were talking about do I have regrets about talking to the cops.’”
She later said, “It’s not good and I really think it’s not Mr. Zimmerman’s fault. It’s Mr. O’Mara’s fault. He shouldn’t have put his client in this position.”
According to CNN, “(O’Mara) said Fox had not offered his client anything in exchange for its session with him, and that Zimmerman agreed to go on the show because Hannity ‘was fair to him from the beginning, telling everyone to not rush to judgment.’” And yet CNN also reported that Zimmerman had demanded a month’s “shelter and security” for his wife as part of conditions for doing an interview with ABC.
But Florida’s WFTV, reported that Zimmerman did the interview as an effort to raise money for his defense.
Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, told Channel 9 the Hannity interview was part of a tactic to get Zimmerman supporters to donate more money. But overnight, Zimmerman only raised an additional $1,000 to $2,000, WFTV learned.
O’Mara claims that’s because Hannity didn’t promote the new website like he agreed to during that first interview.
So Hannity agreed to promote the website… and then didn’t? What else did Hannity agree to do in exchange for this big get? As I wrote previously, Hannity and Fox seem to have carefully parsed their words about how Hannity didn’t offer to pay any of Zimmerman’s fees. But maybe Hannity paid for something else? Made a "voluntary donation" before asking to do the interview?
Regardless, it seems that Zimmerman’s and O’Mara’s hunger for cash ruled their decision – and allowed O’Mara to compromise his client’s interests in the process. From WFTV:
O’Mara weighed in on the timing of the Hannity interview, saying it “wasn’t the best.”
“It’s out of necessity,” O’Mara said. “George and his family and the defense fund is basically broke, and he was hoping that he could highlight (the website).”
…O’Mara has motives, too, according to Channel 9’s Daralene Jones. He is no longer doing the case pro bono. O’Mara said on Thursday that he may ask the court to declare Zimmerman indigent if they can’t raise more money.
I wrote in my first post about the Hannity/Zimmerman interview that the only one who was served by it was Hannity. That seems to be even more true than I knew. Whatever else you think of Zimmerman, he has the right to a fair trial. The fact that his own lawyer may have compromised that right or helped to compromise it because of financial concerns is a new tragedy compounded on the rest of the tragedies surrounding this awful case.
That’s an excellent point… I missed that.
I’m very sorry for the delay in getting to the jaw-dropping Guilfoyle/Johnson segment. I was rocked by the Aurora shooting and it felt somehow inappropriate to post about anything else on Friday. I will get to it this weekend sometime, probably Sunday.
Now, granted Zimmerman’s attorney pulled a bonehead move by allowing this interview; whether Zimmerman pushed for it or not, an attorney’s FIRST responsibility is his client’s best interest. O’Mara could have—or should have—stopped the interview the first time that Hannity even appeared to have violated their “agreement” and left Hannity to swing with 10 or 30 minutes, or whatever, without a guest.
But, ultimately, a juror will be asked if he/she can put aside his/her opinion(s) and be able to judge a case on the evidence. A juror who hears evidence that poses an ethical dilemma should send a note to the judge requesting to be excused.
Any thoughts from anyone that this was done just to taint the jury pool? I have no idea where they are going to find 12 people who have no opinion on this case or haven’t heard about it.
My thoughts and prayers to all of you.
But that will be future news,something like this doesn’t stay a secret.
The inconsistancies will prove who is the culprit in this situation.
O’Mara’s greed and KKKlannity’s appetite for ratings will help put Killer Zimmerman away.