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:
Rudy Giuliani goes completely off the rails in bellowing interview with CNN’s Cuomo
On Thursday night, following reports that the whistleblower in the intelligence community was complaining about a call President Donald Trump made to the Ukraine, CNN's Chris Cuomo hosted Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who recently tried to recruit Ukrainian officials to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. And things went off the rails quickly.
"I don't know the answer as to why it was released but I find nothing wrong in what he did," said Giuliani.
"You don't even know what he did," said Cuomo.
"I find a lot wrong in what you are covering up and what you continue to cover up and what your network continues to cover up," said Giuliani. "Go look. Go look at Joe Biden January of 2018. Bribery 100 percent."
Jeffrey Toobin destroys GOP lobbyist for claiming whistleblower is waging a ‘political fight’ against Trump
On CNN Thursday night, GOP lobbyist and American Conservative Union director Matt Schlapp tried to explain away the whistleblower complaint against Trump's promises to Ukrainian officials as a "political fight" against Trump. CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was having none of it.
"Matt, do you agree that under the law or believe that under the law, the [Director of National Intelligence] is required to forward any complaint?" asked anchor Anderson Cooper.
"No, no," said Schlapp. "These whistleblower statutes are intended to empower employees of these IC agencies and other agencies in government. To be able to find a way to have legal protection when they see wrongdoing within the agency. It would be a bastardization of Article II of the Constitution if whistleblower statutes were somehow expanded so that people and agencies could make political fights against the president of the United States, especially in his role as commander-in-chief, Anderson. He has very wide authority, really, unchecked authority to talk to world leaders about anything he deems appropriate as he is representing the United States of America."
Anderson Cooper recounts devastating list of times Trump was ‘dumb enough’ to reveal secrets to foreign officials
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," Cooper slammed President Donald Trump with a list of occasions on which the president shared sensitive intelligence information with foreign officials, in light of the growing whistleblower scandal centering partly on a phone call he had with a foreign leader.
"As for the president, he tweeted this: 'Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. No problem! Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially 'heavily populated' call,'" said Cooper. "Whether the president is in his own words, 'dumb enough,' that's unclear. But his larger denial would certainly be easier to swallow if it weren't for some of what we know he has done when he's not surrounded by witnesses."