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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Trump slammed for lawless obstruction of Congress: ‘He’s taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution’
On CNN Saturday, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY), who voted for the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, discussed the path forward for impeaching President Donald Trump.
"We know moderate Democrats are a bit frustrated with leadership over potentially expanding the scope of their consideration, maybe the Mueller report findings and drawing up these articles of impeachment," said anchor Victor Blackwell. "Do you think it's a mistake not to include anything beyond the Ukraine matter?"
"Yes," said Holtzman. "I think it would be a mistake, although, you know, I'm still at a distance, and the members of the committee really have to, who have been digging into this deeply have the best feel, but my sense is that the, what the president did is so egregious, not just with regard to Ukraine, but what part of what's bad about his activities in Ukraine, is that he's taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution by saying that Congress has no right to get information, and he's cut off his committee, his administration from, and ordered and directed them not to cooperate with the committee in any way."