CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin explains why Trump’s offer to pardon Cohen would be ‘the definition of an impeachable offense’
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin reacted live on-air to news that Donald Trump’s former “fixer” Michael Cohen believed the president would pardon him if he took a hit.
Just after the network broke news of Cohen’s belief — and that he realized Trump would not pardon him after he began publicly downplaying their relationship — Toobin told CNN’s Anderson Cooper just how big a deal the story is.
“Did Donald Trump promise Michael Cohen that he would take care of him, either in a pardon or some other way, in return for staying loyal in terms of his testimony?” the analyst mused. “Was this a quid pro quo?”
If a pardon was offered in exchange for “lack of cooperation” with special counsel Robert Mueller or other investigators, such an “abuse of presidential power” would be “the definition of an impeachable offense,” Toobin said.
“It is very similar to one of the Articles of Impeachment that the House Judiciary Committee voted against Richard Nixon in 1974 — promises of leniency in return for lack of cooperation,” he added.