The bombshell BuzzFeed report about President Donald Trump instructing former “fixer” Michael Cohen to lie to Congress sent shockwaves through Washington, D.C. on Friday morning, and a CNN panel said there was no doubt that Trump had committed an impeachable offense if the report is true.
CNN’s Alisyn Camerota started off the panel discussion by arguing that instructing someone to lie under oath is a clear-cut case of illegality that the president will have a hard time escaping.
“Suborning perjury is not ambiguous,” she said. “That’s a crime, it’s impeachable.”
Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa agreed with Camerota’s legal analysis and said the case to impeach Trump on this charge would be “pretty cut and dry.”
“Just to be clear on why this… is especially egregious is, this is directing someone to lie to Congress,” she said. “This is the president, in his office as the president, actually impeding the functions, the legitimate oversight functions of a coequal branch which is looking into activity.”
CNN’s John Berman then noted that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani responded to BuzzFeed’s report by trashing Michael Cohen’s credibility — without actually denying the substance of the report itself.
Watch the video below.
White House lawyers were desperate not to talk about Rudy Giuliani — or Trump’s other conspiracy theories: CNN analyst
On Saturday, CNN analyst Gloria Borger noted a key piece of the timeline that was conveniently missing from the defense presented by President Donald Trump's legal team: The involvement of Trump's private lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
"The one person that Jay Sekulow didn't mention is Rudy Giuliani, because this is Rudy Giuliani's theory of the game here," said Borger. "They were very careful not to bring up Rudy Giuliani because they know that he is not well regarded in the United States Senate, but if you again look at this summary of the transcript of the president's phone call, the president talks about CrowdStrike, he talks about a lot of things that went on. 'I would like to have the attorney general call you or your people, I would like to have you get to the bottom of it,' this whole nonsense, he talked about Bob Mueller and said a lot of it started with Ukraine."
Pompeo ridiculed by CNN panel for his ‘phony mock outrage’ response after being outed as a foul-mouthed bully
Responding to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued through the State Department accusing an NPR journalist of being "shameless" for going public with an encounter she had with him in his offices where he cursed at her, a CNN panel all but rolled their eyes at his "phony" outrage.
Speaking with host Anderson Cooper, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called out the blustery Pompeo as well as many Republicans who took "umbrage" at Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) mentioning a report that the Donald Trump would have their heads on "on a pike" if they crossed him.
White House lawyers’ Trump defense ‘deteriorated’ as they tried to make the case for the president: CNN’s Toobin
As President Donald Trump's legal team put forward their defense of the president's Ukraine scheme at the impeachment trial on Saturday, CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin weighed in on the effectiveness of what they had presented.
"There was information put forth today that would allow Republicans to vote against witnesses and to vote for an acquittal," acknowledged Toobin, offering as an example that the team did a good job at creating doubt over when the Ukrainians knew the foreign aid was cut off. However, "after that I thought it deteriorated."
"I was surprised that Jay Sekulow, who I think is a very fine lawyer, seen him argue in the Supreme Court several times, wandered in the wasteland of the Mueller report, that didn't seem relevant," said Toobin. "Mr. Philbin, who is not a spellbinding performer, went on about how it was legitimate in their view not to respond to subpoenas, not to provide any witnesses by the Trump administration. I thought that was a particularly weak performance. But, you know, if you are inclined to the defense point of view, there were facts and arguments to justify your position this morning."