Former ethics czar under President Barack Obama, Norm Eisen, feels bad for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
During an interview with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, Eisen admitted he was passing not merely judgment but his own “human judgment” by the comment.
“I’ve had difficult clients over the years and I have no doubt that there was some expression from the White House whether probably came through Don McGann, the White House counsel, maybe through the chief of staff, Reince Priebus, ‘Can you say something about leaks,'” he said.
He went on to say that the deputy attorney general did the best he could under the circumstances but admitted that the statement released Thursday night by Rosenstein was a little unusual.
“The weirdest thing about it, Kate, was the suggestion that some of the officials may not even be American officials,” he continued. “The hint that it was coming from foreign sources. That was odd. So, I think that I would not have advised the deputy attorney general to do. If he’s going to do something, do something much more vanilla. Some day we’ll find out how that sausage was made. It was not a very tasty one.”
Watch the full exchange below:
John Dean says Gordon Sondland just had his ‘John Dean moment’ by flipping on Trump: ‘The truth has come out’
Former White House aide John Dean on Wednesday compared his testimony against President Richard Nixon to the testimony of European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
"This has been called by some commentators a John Dean moment," CNN host Jake Tapper noted during a break in the testimony. "And there is no person I can think of who is better qualified to weigh in on that than John Dean."
"Is he the John Dean of this impeachment inquiry?" Tapper wondered.
"His statement certainly caught the Republicans off guard," Dean replied. "They didn't pick away -- just a few little picky points."
‘The worst day with the most damning evidence’: CNN’s Tapper explains how Sondland was very bad for Trump
European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony before the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry on Wednesday generated several startling revelations, including confirmation of an explicit quid-pro-quo deal involving investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.
CNN's Jake Tapper described Sondland's testimony as " a monumental and historic moment on what may turn out to be the worst day with the most damning evidence for President Trump in the impeachment inquiry."
He then laid out all the ways that Sondland has been very bad news for the president.
"Sondland directly implicated the president in directing the operation to pressure Ukraine," Tapper explained. "Sondland is testifying that there very clearly was a quid pro quo -- this was for a White House visit for the Ukrainians in exchange for an announcement about an investigation into the company Burisma and the Bidens. Now, Sondland later said it became clear to him that the quid pro quo also, he presumed, was tied to the holdup of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that Ukraine desperately needed."
Here are the most important moments from Gordon Sondland’s bomshell impeachment inquiry testimony
EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, a key actor in President Donald Trump's effort to pressure Ukraine for dirt on his political rivals, was in the hot seat Wednesday as Democrats built their case for impeaching the US leader.
Here are some of the key quotes from his opening statement.
- Following Trump's orders -
- "As a presidential appointee, I followed the directions of the president. We worked with (Trump's personal lawyer Rudy) Giuliani because the president directed us to do so.
"We had no desire to set any conditions on the Ukranians. Indeed, my own personal view -- which I shared repeatedly with others -- was that the White House meeting and security assistance should have proceeded without pre-conditions of any kind."