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ABC "This Week with Christiane Amanpour" - Transcript

Interview

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett was the attorney general who began investigating accused sexual predator Jerry Sandusky, and he joins me now from Harrisburg.

Governor, thank you for joining me.

CORBETT: Thank you for having me on, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Let -- let me just ask you, why do you think it took this sort of public shaming for the university to finally act? Why do you think everyone, basically, hid this thing for so long, from the president to Coach Paterno?

CORBETT: Well, Christiane, first, I have to put on the record that it's hard for me to talk about a lot of the -- the past. We have to look to the future, because I was the attorney general involved in the investigation. I have certain ethical rules that I have to follow.

But I would note that the board of trustees has appointed Ken Frazier to lead the investigation, along with my secretary of education, to determine exactly the question that you're asking. What happened? Why did it happen? And most importantly, how does the university move on from here?

I think that you saw yesterday a very good outpouring of support for everyone. When those two teams came together and, really, that whole stadium came together with those two teams.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me -- let me ask you, because this is obviously massively serious. And I understand your ethical and legal obligations. However, don't you think that the mere risk that somebody who you've been investigating for more than two years, the mere risk that he could have continued to abuse during this investigation, demanded a call to the police? Should that not have been, at the very least, something that the coach, that the president should have done?

CORBETT: We would have expected law enforcement to have been involved much sooner than it got involved. And as you know from newspaper reports, our office, as the attorney general became involved, not in a case related to the university, but in a case from a next-door county, Clinton County, and a school there, where Mr. Sandusky was helping out as a coach.

AMANPOUR: Do you think others are going to be held accountable? How far up do you think that this should go? Do you think Coach Paterno is going to face legal issues?

CORBETT: Well, as you know, again, Attorney General Linda Kelly has already said at this point that he's not a subject of the investigation. And she stopped at that point.

When you have investigations like this -- and I'm not going to talk about this one -- but the one thing you learn when you're conducting investigations is that, as people face charges, they may start to cooperate, they may start talking about different things. The investigation is an ongoing one. So, because of that, I can't make projections or speculation as to where this may go.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you about the former graduate assistant coach, Mike McQueary, who allegedly witnessed Sandusky actually raping a child at Penn State in 2002, but did not intervene. You have said that if you -- if it had been you, you would have intervened. Why do you think that he didn't? And why do you think that that was not taken up the chain of command?

CORBETT: That's a good question for Coach McQueary, as to why something didn't happen. I'm sure it's going to be answered at some point in time during the course of the facts being revealed in this investigation over the course of a trial. Mr. McQueary is a witness in this trial. And I'm sure that the facts will be determined as to exactly how far up that knowledge was passed through the chain of command.

AMANPOUR: Do you think that Joe Paterno should have come out and actually talked to the students about what happened, instead of just allowing this rioting to go on, I mean, take some responsibility?

CORBETT: Well, it's not for me to figure out what's going through Joe Paterno's mind. Certainly, he was under a great deal of pressure, a shock that he'd just been told that he was no longer the coach of Penn State. And I think your question was one that you have to deliver to him.

AMANPOUR: What do you think? Do you think adults should take responsibility for so brazenly failing children?

CORBETT: Well, in my role as attorney general, my role as a U.S. attorney, and now as governor, I believe adults should always stand up for children.

AMANPOUR: Governor, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

CORBETT: Thank you.

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