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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Ex-Defense Secretary lays into Trump’s Syria pullout: He ‘plays into’ authoritarians’ hands to ‘weaken the United States’
On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta blasted President Donald Trump over his foreign policy — particularly his withdrawal from Syria.
"Secretary Panetta, just generally what do you make of how this whole withdrawal, non-withdrawal is being handled by the White House?" asked Cooper. "We're seeing the administration trying to walk back a broad policy announcement from the president."
"I think from the very beginning this has been a — probably the most disastrous foreign policy blunder in recent history," said Panetta. "And there is no way when you commit a blunder like this that involves the consequences we're now seeing, there's no way to paint this picture as if somehow everything's going well."
CNN’s Toobin says all evidence points to Trump running an extortion scheme for political dirt
On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin laid out how all the evidence points to President Donald Trump attempting to extort Ukraine for political dirt — even the evidence Trump himself has put forward to the public voluntarily.
"May 14th, Trump tells Vice President Pence not to attend Zelensky, the Ukrainian president's inauguration," said Cooper. "July 18th, Trump decides to withhold nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that's already been passed by Congress. July 25th is that Trump and Zelensky phone call. I mean, I don't know if it's, you know, if it begins with the call from Putin, but there certainly is a lot of activity, a lot of dominos falling."
Trump’s attack on congressional legitimacy ‘boggles the mind’: Ex-Whitewater counsel
On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Whitewater senior counsel Paul Rosenzweig and anchor Erin Burnett discussed how Alexander Hamilton warned about leaders like Trump in his writings — and the president's stunning declaration of the impeachment probe as "crap" and "illegitimate."
"Historian Ron Chernow, whose biography on Hamilton is the biography, the one used for the Broadway musical, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post," said Burnett. "He says Hamilton, who was a defender of executive power, would have supported impeaching Donald Trump. He cites one of his Federalist Papers, where Hamilton writes, in part, 'When a man unprincipled in his private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper ... when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity to take every opportunity of embarrassing the general government and bringing it under suspicion, it may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.' Hamilton warning such a leader will become a demagogue and a tyrant ... Does it sound like Hamilton, even so long ago, could have been warning about a person like President Trump, Paul?"