Whitaker said his job was to 'jump on grenade' to save Trump: Bombshell New York Times report
Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker testifies before Congress. Image via screengrab.

A blockbuster New York Times report released Tuesday revealed that President Donald Trump had asked former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker if he had the authority to intervene in a Manhattan investigation into his former fixer Michael Cohen. According to the Times, Whitaker knew that he didn't have the authority to intervene and Trump wasn't pleased. Previously Whitaker had told associates that his role in the Department of Justice was to “jump on a grenade” for the President.

On CNN Tuesday, panelists discussed the ramifications of Whitaker's grenade comment.

"Getting a guy in a position to be able to jump on a grenade is exactly what he would have wanted," legal analyst Paul Callen observed. "I mean he was pounding Jeff Sessions since the day Sessions recused himself."

Callen added that criminal intent would still have to be proven.

"Having someone in a position to jump on a grenade to protect you still doesn't make it criminality. You have to have a specific intent to obstruct a criminal investigation," he said, adding that proof of criminal intent could still come out. "