In a panel interview featuring people on both sides of another presidential special investigation, Bill Clinton’s former White House counsel observed that Donald Trump’s legal team may have made a huge mistake when waiving executive privilege.
Responding to news that current White House counsel Don McGahn has spent 30 hours in cooperating interviews with special counsel Robert Mueller (a move that required Trump to waive his executive privilege), Clinton-era White House counsel Jack Quinn told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that he was stunned by the president’s move.
“It is breathtaking that while they were totally focused on what might unfold if the president sits for an interview,” Quinn said, “they completely took their eye off the ball and the ball just hit them in the nose.”
Earlier in the interview, Paul Rosenzweig, former senior counsel to Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated Clinton during the Whitewater scandal, laughed at the idea that Trump’s legal team believes they can retroactively re-assert executive privilege now that the president has waived it.
“That’s highly unlikely to be successful,” Rosenzweig said.
The lawyer described a “rare circumstance” that an “inadvertent waiver” can be claimed — “If I, for example, send you a privileged e-mail by accident because I typed the wrong name into the ‘to’ line, sometimes you can unring that bell.”
“In all other circumstances,” Rosenzweig explained, “it is almost uniformly the law that a waiver in one circumstance will redound all the way down the line to which the other uses to which the information might be put.”
“You can’t put the egg back in the yoke,” he joked. “You can’t unpeel the banana.”
Watch below, via CNN: