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AMERICAN MORNING

Formal Charges

Aired December 18, 2003 - 09:11   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's turn now to our senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin. A lot to talk about in the Michael Jackson case. Interesting to hear from the D.A. Tom Sneddon, who said all along, you know, we're not complete idiots, if we didn't have some kind of a case, we wouldn't move forward, paraphrasing of course what he said. So I guess we'll know by the end of the day.
Do you expect, though, there will be something revelational? I mean, do they need a big revelation?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: There won't be a lot of detail. But there will be one very important thing in these documents released today, which is the dates of the alleged abuse, because as we know from the document that was released on the smoking gun -- the smokinggun.com Web site last week, that the accuser and his mother denied in February of last year that any abuse took place. If the abuse is before then, I think the prosecutors have a lot of trouble. If the alleged abuse is after February, then I think that document becomes much less of a problem for the prosecution.

O'BRIEN: The arraignment originally set up for January 9th, now pushed back to the 16th. Is there anything to be read into that? Or does that have anything to do with this trip to Great Britain?

TOOBIN: It may well. When you have a situation with a defendant who is represented by a lawyer, who is not really regarded as a flight risk, you often have negotiations about what days various court proceedings take place that are worked out by mutual accommodation, and I don't think it matters much one way or another.

O'BRIEN: So it's not unusual that they're giving his passport back temporarily?

TOOBIN: It's somewhat unusual. But the fact is Michael Jackson can't go anywhere. He can't jump bail. He's too famous. And realistically, it is not a -- he's not a threat to leave. That's what they thought about O.J. Simpson before he took off in the bronco, but it is true that I think Michael Jackson is not a threat to skip bail.

O'BRIEN: Jeff Toobin, thank you very much.

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