Retired Rear Admiral John Kirby on Monday suggested that Saudi Arabia has some kind of “leverage” over President Donald Trump that would allow the country to skate on accusations that its top officials ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
During a discussion of the Trump administration missing a Congressional deadline to report its findings on the Khashoggi murder, Kirby said that the administration was dragging its feet in issuing a report on the killing because it would likely be bad news for Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been accused of personally orchestrating Khashoggi’s assassination.
“They are slow rolling this,” he said. “This whole episode shows you the degree to which this administration has gone all in on Saudi Arabia. It shows you the degree to which their Middle East policy is about Iran, and they see Saudi Arabia as the biggest counterweight against Iran.”
Kirby then explained how the Trump administration is so dependent on the Saudis that the country likely now believes it can get away with anything.
“They have leverage over Trump,” he said. “I think they are absolutely seeing signs from the Trump administration that they’re going to continue to get away with this. It’s what both sides are doing — the Saudis and the Trump administration — just playing for time.”
Watch the video below.
Giuliani could get locked up for violating lobbying laws: Former FBI deputy director
On Monday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe discussed a potentially serious source of criminal liability for President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani: Failure to register as a foreign agent.
"Forget about impeachment. Let's say it goes nowhere, doesn't go anywhere," said Cuomo. "If you're running this case, [Southern District of New York], and you're looking for potential criminality, what are the potential crimes involved with what we know about Rudy so far and where questions might lead."
"We don't know," said McCabe. "The Southern District has many, many more facts than we have at this points but from the few facts we have, I think one of the things you would have to consider with respect to Mr. Giuliani is a possible FARA, Foreign Agents Registration Act, that requires any person acting as an agent of a foreign principal to file a very detailed registration for the Department of Justice."
Ex-Watergate prosecutor: Trump’s complaints about impeachment are ‘constitutionally unsound’
On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Watergate assistant counsel Philip Allen Lacovara told anchor Erin Burnett that President Donald Trump has no leg to stand on when he complains about the impeachment process.
"Look, it's the House. It's more of a grand jury investigation is how it's been described, right?" said Burnett. "This isn't about, you get to have a lawyer and counsel present and all of those things. But this is how they're going to play the game. They're going to say it's unconstitutional, a miscarriage of justice. Is there any truth to it?"
"No, there is no truth to it. It's a constitutionally unsound argument," said Lacovara. "One of the things I learned in law school is if you don't have the facts on your side, argue the law. If you don't have the law, argue the facts. If you don't have the facts or the law, you appeal to fairness or equity or something. That's basically where they are. They are complaining about process even though it's clear the House does not have any constitutional obligation to use any particular process."
Intel Democrat says Trump’s Russia adviser’s testimony was ‘incredibly helpful’ for impeachment
On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) told anchor Wolf Blitzer that President Donald Trump's former Russia adviser Fiona Hill's testimony was "incredibly helpful" for the impeachment investigation.
"You were in the room for Fiona Hill's closed-door deposition today," said Blitzer. "How helpful do you believe her testimony to your investigation will be?"
"Incredibly helpful, Wolf," said Swalwell, who serves on the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. "Also helpful that she showed up, and, like some others, has chosen to defy orders from the president and the State Department to not show up. And when witnesses actually just show up, it advances our investigation."