CNN political commentator and former ambassador to the Czech Republic Norman Eisen slapped down a suggestion by Trump surrogate Jeffrey Lord on Sunday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team should hire President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen to “balance” the team out.
Trump’s suggested this week that because ousted FBI Director James Comey and Mueller have known each other through the FBI — Mueller was FBI Director before Comey — then Meuller should recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
“This is just not a valid concern,” Eisen told CNN anchor Ana Cabrera and Trump surrogate Jeffrey Lord. “The mere existence of a friendship or acquaintance is not enough to disqualify a prosecutor.”
Lord demanded to know, then, why Mueller doesn’t hire Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen on to the investigation team to “balance it out.”
Some of the attorneys who Mueller has hired, complained Lord, have ties to Hillary Clinton.
“That on its face is a conflict of interest,” he insisted. “It’s simply wrong.”
Eisen explained that the lawyer who Lord is objecting to worked for a firm that was hired to act as legal counsel in a case involving the Clinton Foundation.
“This is grasping at straws,” he said. “Jeffrey, we can’t bring in Michael Cohen because he has a direct relationship with the president…and he himself has lawyered up.”
As to the counsel who worked for the Clinton foundation, he said, “That is what lawyers do. We get hired by clients, we do our best, but ultimately, we are officers of the court.”
“So, Michael Cohen,” Lord interrupted, “it’s okay to hire him?”
“He’s a witness,” Eisen said, “and you can’t bring in a witness, a potential witness who has a direct relationship with the potential target, the president.”
Cohen got into a confrontation that went viral when he demanded, “Says who?” of CNN’s Brianna Keilar about polls indicating Trump was down in the presidential race.
Watch the video, embedded below: