In a discussion Wednesday night, CNN panelists — including a congressman who was at Donald Trump Jr.’s House Intelligence Committee earlier in the day — explained why the junior Trump’s invocation of “attorney-client privilege” isn’t legally sound.
“This is not a privilege in the law,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) told host Anderson Cooper. “If it was, essentially every defendant in America could call into their attorney’s office, an alibi witness, and talk to them directly to get their stories straight and a prosecutor would never be able to penetrate that. That’s not how it works.”
The California congressman went on to say that he hopes the Republicans who control the committee either call Trump Jr. back or subpoena him because, as many associated with President Donald Trump have exhibited in the past, his hand may need to be forced. He also said Republicans on the committee could have told Trump Jr. that he’d need to come back under a subpoena, but didn’t.
“I believe the Republicans should start putting these witnesses under subpoena and then when they assert bogus privileges compel them to testify,” Swalwell continued, “and I think we’ll get to the truth.”
The panel then shifted to Michael Zeldin, who formerly served as special counsel Robert Mueller’s Justice Department special assistant. When asked by Cooper if Trump Jr.’s invocation of attorney-client privilege “had any legal merit,” Zeldin answered unequivocally that it has “none whatsoever.”
If that privilege existed, it would “probably be waived” because, as Zeldin noted, “there were third parties present” and as Trump Jr. himself asserted, he and his lawyer spoke through White House senior adviser Hope Hicks as an intermediary to the president.
“There’s nothing that’s attorney-client privilege protectable in that chain,” the former federal prosecutor.
“Maybe the assertion of attorney-client privilege here is to buy time to get their story straight,” Zeldin said later in the segment, “which is in and of itself very problematic and I don’t think Mueller will find that availing.”
Cooper later asked Zeldin if Mueller would permit the attorney-client privilege claim, to which the former prosecutor, the congressman and co-panelist Gloria Borger all laughed. He then said that it’s possible Mueller could use that claim to add to obstruction of justice charges brought against Trump Jr. and his father.
You can watch the segment on Trump Jr.’s bizarre privilege invocation below, via CNN.
Trump is ‘a soulless man with a broken mind’: George Conway calls out his wife’s boss in scathing op-ed
George Conway, the prominent Republican attorney married to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, blasted his wife's boss in a new Washington Post op-ed published online on Friday evening.
"Until three brief months ago, President Trump never faced a serious crisis, at least one not of his own making. But now he has faced two, and is failing two, in short order: the covid-19 pandemic, with its concomitant economic devastation; and now social unrest, and rioting, stemming from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody," Conway wrote. "Lacking in humanity, Trump has had no idea how to handle either one."
Fox News triggers outrage with graphic comparing how much stocks have risen after racist tragedies
On Friday, Fox News displayed a graph that appeared to compare the amount the stock market has risen in the week after various racial tragedies, including the assassination of Martin Luther King, the beating of Rodney King, the Ferguson incident, and the death of George Floyd.
2. Here’s the video of the graphic as it aired on Fox News this evening. pic.twitter.com/Iww2DnzkkI
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) June 5, 2020
Bill Barr denies giving the order to gas protesters for Trump photo-op
America's top law enforcement office on Friday denied giving the highly-controversial order to gas protesters prior to a photo-op with President Donald Trump holding a Bible.
"Attorney General William Barr says law enforcement officers were already moving to push back protesters from a park in front of the White House when he arrived there Monday evening, and he says he did not give a command to disperse the crowd, though he supported the decision," The Associated Press reports.
"Barr’s comments in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday were his most detailed explanation yet of what unfolded outside the White House earlier this week. They come after the White House and others said repeatedly that the attorney general ordered officers to clear the park," the AP reported. "Shortly after officers aggressively pushed back demonstrators, President Donald Trump — accompanied by Barr, Pentagon leaders and other top advisers — walked through Lafayette Park to pose for a photo at a nearby church that had been damaged during the protests."