Former federal prosecutor Elie Honig on Wednesday reacted with shock to the New York Times’ bombshell report about Trump asking former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker whether he could put a political loyalist in charge of investigations at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
When asked by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota whether Trump’s reported actions constituted obstruction of justice, Honig didn’t hesitate to respond.
“If this is not an attempt to obstruct justice, I don’t know what is,” Honig said. “This is old-school, textbook, almost Nixon-style obstruction! The message here is, ‘We need to put a lid on this investigation before it impacts me.’ I think that’s the only rational, reasonable read on what he said to Whitaker.”
Honig went on to say that this behavior was part of a pattern for Trump and could not be seen as a one-off incident.
“We talked about patterns before,” he said. “The president did this exact same thing with Jeff Sessions, and he did it out in the open in public on Twitter. He berated Sessions for recusing himself from Russia and failing to put a lid on that investigation. We see a fairly obvious pattern of obstruction here.”
Articles of impeachment against both Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton both included charges of obstruction of justice.
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