Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN on Monday that he was baffled by Attorney General Bob Barr’s declaration that President Donald Trump did not obstruct justice.
During a panel discussion on CNN, Clapper praised special counsel Robert Mueller for his work on the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, but he said the question of whether the president committed obstruction of justice looms large over his work.
“For me, as a layman, not as an attorney, it sure looked like obstruction was committed to me,” he said.
He went on to say that as much of the Mueller report should be made public as possible and that “the intense interest in this demands that.”
Lisa Monaco, a former chief of staff for Mueller during his tenure as FBI director, said that she was not surprised that Mueller did not make a determination for whether the president obstructed justice given that Department of Justice guidelines dictate that sitting presidents cannot be indicted.
However, she said Attorney General Bob Barr’s decision to add his own conclusion on the obstruction question tipped the balance in the president’s favor.
“What I think is quite striking is the attorney general’s decision to weigh in,” she said. “It seems to be that, what may be the case, is that Bob Mueller and his team laid out a… road map if you will for the next phase in this process, for Congress.”
Watch the video below.
CNN’s Elie Honig praises DOJ lawyers for revolt against Barr: ‘Like students rising up against the oppressive headmaster’
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig on Thursday heaped praise upon Department of Justice prosecutors who disregarded many of the changes to sentencing guidelines for convicted Trump ally Roger Stone that were made by Attorney General Bill Barr.
When asked by CNN's Kate Bolduan for his reaction to the prosecutors' actions, Honig responded enthusiastically.
"I applaud what this prosecutor is doing," he said. "And as a DOJ alumni on the front lines trying cases, I'm so impressed by this. This is like the scene [in a movie] where the students rise up and push back against the oppressive headmaster."
‘Barr is a toady’: Jeffrey Toobin says talk of attorney general resigning is ‘just a big show’
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says he doesn't believe Attorney General William Barr when he claims he considered resigning from the Trump administration.
Sources close to Barr told ABC News that the attorney general had contemplated quitting because President Donald Trump's tweets make it difficult for him to do his job.
"Barr is a toady," Toobin explained during an appearance on CNN. "Barr is doing what he's told. He had this one statement, 'Oh, whoa is me, it's hard for me to do my job when the president tweets.'"
‘That’s how authoritarian countries work’: CNN’s Toobin warns Trump is acting like a dictator
On CNN Wednesday, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin broke down the significance of President Donald Trump's decision to pardon several high-powered friends accused of political corruption and tax crimes.
"There is no doubt, under the Constitution, the president has the power to do this," said Toobin. "This is not legally a — an open question. And there is a history of controversial pardons, whether it's President Clinton pardoning Marc Rich, a fugitive financier, or George Herbert Walker Bush pardoning the Iran-Contra people on his way out of the office."
"So what makes this so troubling is in the middle of his term, here he is assigning friends, basically friends and friends of friends, to get pardons and clemency, which is how authoritarians behave, which is playing favorites with your personal friends at a time when you are playing with the opposite of favorites with prosecutorial decisions," said Toobin. "I want these people prosecuted, these people freed — that's how authoritarian countries work. Countries where there is the rule of law, there are systems in place for who gets prosecuted, who gets clemency. This is a very individually-focused way to run a presidency."