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.