Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein told CNN on Thursday that the strategy behind President Donald Trump’s legal team’s communications with Michael Cohen -which he described as something out of “The Godfather” — was to dangle pardons to make sure people involved in the Russia probe won’t talk.
“It sounds like a little bit of Shakespeare and a lot of Mario Puzo combined,” Bernstein said of the emails Cohen turned over to Congress, in which Trump’s legal team wrote “sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places.”
“Do I see this pattern? Of course, the pattern is there,” Bernstein went on with a dry laugh. “The suggestion of pardons for many people involved in the Russia investigation is out there, there is no question about it.”
“Any reasonable person, I think, would conclude that the president wants these people to be under the impression that he may pardon them so that they won’t talk,” he continued, and slammed Trump and his lawyers. “It is a horrible thing to watch the president of the United States act like this. Nixon didn’t talk like this in public, it’s extraordinary.”
Bernstein said he was using “The Godfather” novels “to try to show a benchmark of what we are listening here to by the president of the United States, whether it constitutes impeachable offense” or even outright criminal behavior.
“There is a matrix of a cover up in front of our very eyes,” Bernstein said. “I would like to ask [fellow guest and former Associate White House Counsel] Jim Schultz, ‘is that not a reasonable inference for lay people especially to draw given on what we have seen so far?'”
Watch the video below.
CNN’s Cuomo demolishes Rudy Giuliani’s conspiracy theory about Biden and Ukraine
Last week, CNN's Chris Cuomo played host to President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who went off on a half-intelligible rant about former Vice President Joe Biden and tried to paint him as corrupt for fighting to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor.
"For us it's about whether or not people in power are telling you the truth, and Rudy Giuliani was not telling you the truth on things that matter," said Cuomo. "So we wanted to check the holes in the president's theory several times on this show. It's not just about the Biden family, it about other things that Rudy Giuliani's calling out and we went to the source."
Trump’s Ukraine stunt was just the beginning — he will do whatever it takes to poison the 2020 election
On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," New York Times political editor Patrick Healy dropped an ominous warning about President Donald Trump's push for Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden: Trump is going to keep doing this, no matter the circumstance and no matter the Democratic nominee, in his desperation to win re-election.
"The reality is, President Trump has been spreading this what looks like pretty clear misinformation for a while now in terms of these unsubstantiated allegations about Joe Biden," said Healy. "And the reality is, this is how President Trump plans to run his re-election campaign, whether it's Joe Biden or frankly any other Democrat who comes out."
An ‘obvious quid pro quo’ the American people must punish: CNN’s Toobin goes off on Trump’s Ukraine plot
On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin broke down the "obvious" quid pro quo demand in President Donald Trump's attempt to pressure Ukraine into hunting for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
"What do you think, Jeffrey?" asked host Wolf Blitzer. "Does it sound like the president tied that military aid to his request to investigate the Bidens?"
"Of course. Of course," said Toobin. "The only reason the Ukrainian president is interested in talking to the president is because he wants this aid. And the president says, as he's acknowledging, go and investigate Biden. This is an obvious quid pro quo, and it's a quid pro quo not for the benefit of the American people, not for the benefit of our national interests — it's a quid pro quo to help Donald Trump get reelected."