On MSNBC’s ‘The Beat’ on Tuesday, two legal analysts both used the term “absolutely outrageous” to describe the latest reported efforts by the White House to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigations.
The host, Ari Melber, introduced former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman to add context to all the breaking news.
“Nick, four big stories, the one that has the most potential malfeasance would appear to be this highly unusual report of a new FBI director threatening to resign,” Melber suggested.
“I think that’s right,” Ackerman agreed. “Again, it shows that Trump has no regard for the rule of law, that he thinks he can run the FBI, he thinks there should not be independence between criminal investigations, the Department of Justice and the president of the United States, which is counter to our entire history of the president dealing with the FBI.”
“Trump still thinks that we’re living in a pre-1776 world where there is a king and not a president and a constitution and laws that constrain the president from doing precisely what he’s trying to do,” Ackerman charged.
“It’s absolutely outrageous, the FBI is not a political party, the FBI investigates crimes for the Department of Justice,” Ackerman said. “I worked with hundreds of FBI agents, lots of investigations, we never once talked politics.”
“I say three cheers for Christopher Wray for sticking up for the bureau,” Ackerman suggested.
Professor Maya Wiley agreed.
“That the President of the United States would insist that the department would protect him as opposed to protecting the country by protecting our laws and ensuring that there is compliance with our laws is absolutely outrageous,” Wiley said.
“I think it clearly suggests that Bob Mueller’s team is climbing up the totem pole, I think we all knew this was coming, both the Sessions interview and the Comey interview, it was just a matter of when,” Price said. “I think the most important revelation we learned today is not that these two interviews took place, but the fact that Donald Trump’s interview will be about Michael Flynn.”
Former CIA Agent Ned Price wondered if President Trump himself may be implicated.
“There is one key question Ari that remains unanswered there, why did Michael Flynn lie to the FBI?” Price asked. “One quick data point here Ari, just a couple of days after Michael Flynn signed that plea with the Mueller team, two sources told NBC News that Bob Mueller’s team is now investigating whether Michael Flynn had been directed by Trump to lie to the FBI.”
“Which I think at least raises the possibility that there could be some fire where there’s smoke,” Price concluded.
“There are three big issues that are going on, Michael Flynn, the fact that he’s testifying and he’s revealing all to the Mueller team,” Ackerman explained. “Because sanctions is really what Michael Flynn lied about and he lied about sanctions relating to what occurred during the campaign, which leads me to believe that there was some kind of quid pro quo relating to sanctions, and the third sort of theme that runs through all of this is the obstruction of justice.”
“If you take these three things and everything that’s happened in the news today, they kind of all tie together,” Ackerman concluded.