Special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian collusion in the 2016 election has moved with ruthless efficiency, nabbing guilty pleas from a host of President Donald Trump’s associates and even paying for itself in asset forfeitures.
On Saturday, former federal prosecutor Shan Wu appeared on S.E. Cupp’s show to discuss the latest developments. Wu was briefly a lawyer for Rick Gates, the former aide to Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort who testified against his former boss, and said he was amazed b=y how fast and forcefully the Mueller team moved.
As for what Manafort can give Mueller, who seemingly has gotten so much information already, Wu pointed out that Manafort is the first person to plea guilty who was at Donald Trump Jr.’s Trump Tower meeting with a Russian intelligence agent for the purpose of getting “dirty” on Hillary Clinton.
Manafort is also one of very few people who are in position to talk about what Trump was thinking.
“Somebody in his position is really uniquely situated to give insights into the campaign and possibly what was going on in the president’s mind, because if you’re looking at this question of possible obstruction, you have to figure out what is the mindset of the defendant,” he said. “And it’s not easy to figure that out, until you have somebody who has been talking with that person. And, in that sense, Manafort is right there, and can give a lot to Mueller’s team.”
‘Mulvaney lied’: CNN panel breaks down ‘incredibly damning’ White House confession
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," a panel discussed how White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's press briefing was a disaster for President Donald Trump.
"Can I just point out why this matters?" said CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. "I mean, this is not just some gotcha thing because we all want to get something on the chief of staff. Here we have congressionally appropriated money. Congress says give this money to the Ukrainians. Taxpayer money. And what the White House has done and what they admitted today was, you only get the money if you help us win the election. Not because you help us [with] national security, international relations. The only thing we want from you is help to defeat Democrats. That is wrong. That’s why this matters."
Sondland may have refused to be ‘the fall guy’ — but he’s still complicit: CNN security analyst
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," CNN security analyst and Lawfare editor Susan Hennessey pointed out that even though EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland turned against President Donald Trump in testimony, it should not be forgotten he was a willing participant in much of the Ukraine scheme.
"In his opening statement today, Sondland wrote he was 'disappointed by the president's direction that we involve Mr. Giuliani in the Ukraine policy,'" said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "In his actions, though, did Ambassador Sondland actually advance Giuliani's goals here?"
"Yes, and to the extent that he was disappointed in what the president asked of him, he took the ball and ran with it," said Hennessey. "He was trying to facilitate Giuliani's efforts, trying to introduce him to Ukrainian officials, and Sondland himself was carrying the same corrupt message, including they needed to be investigating the Bidens for the president's personal political interest. This is Sondland saying, I'm not going to be the fall guy. So I don't know how strong of a message it is that he was saying, I knew it was wrong, but that's the message that he's not willing."
Trump’s lead counsel disavows Mulvaney’s admission the president engaged in Ukraine quid pro quo
On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney stunned reporters by effectively admitting President Donald Trump demanded a quid pro quo from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for foreign aid appropriated by Congress.
According to CNN's Jim Acosta, Mulvaney's speech was so out of left field that the president's chief attorney immediately disavowed it.
"Mulvaney's performance blindsided the president's outside legal team, as the president's lead attorney, Jay Sekulow, said on the record to CNN, the legal team was not involved in the acting chief of staff's press briefing," said White House correspondent Jim Acosta. "That is pretty telling when the chief counselor to the president is saying, we did not have anything to do with this."