The more CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin read of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, the more he saw evidence of “obstruction of justice.”
During the Thursday panel discussion digesting the report, Toobin proclaimed, “If this isn’t obstruction of justice, I’d like to see what is obstruction of justice.”
The moment came after reporter Pamela Brown read a section about when President Donald Trump discovered a special counsel had been appointed.
“Oh, my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency,” Trump said in June 2017 according to Mueller. “I’m f*cked.”
“We’re learning that the president called his then-White House counsel Don McGahn at home over the weekend and told Don McGahn, directed him to call Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, saying, ‘Robert Mueller could not stay on as special counsel because there are conflicts of interest.’ We’ve learned that Don McGahn said he would not do so, that [it] would be another Saturday night massacre and that was not something that he was going to do.”
This points to an “intent” of obstruction of justice, according to Toobin.
“I mean, the scale and the number of episodes in the way that the president tried to stop this investigation without stopping it, and that needs to be pointed out, is just extraordinary,” Toobin said. “And you want to talk about motive — I mean, the part that Pamela just quoted, he’s sitting there looking at an investigation where he says, ‘this is the end of my presidency.’ So, he spends the next year trying to interfere with that investigation so his presidency doesn’t end.”
Toobin called it a “clear indication” of motive for obstruction.
“If you look at the extraordinary details here, the often minute-by-minute analysis of who the president is calling and when and what he’s saying including phone calls I certainly wasn’t aware to Corey Lewandowski,” Toobin continued. “I suppose, you know, one explanation for all of this is that he was just blowing off steam and the invariable explanation that we always get from Sarah Sanders that he was just joking, but it’s a lot of evidence of obstruction of justice.”
Dana Bash noted that if Trump clearly “wasn’t worried about collusion — if he really meant it, why was he doing all of this?”
There were 10 different examples quoted of obstruction, and Mueller did not determine one way or the other in his findings. He said only that if he had “not” found obstruction of justice, he would have said so.
Watch the full conversation below:
Trump felt free to ask for Ukraine election interference after Mueller let him off the hook: Wired reporter Garrett Graff
On CNN's "New Day Weekend," author and commentator Garrett Graff noted that President Donald Trump's attempt to push Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden came right after former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in 2016 ended — and suggested the two were related.
"You know, Garrett, there may be some people thinking 'Gosh, we just got out of the whole scenario with the Mueller report. Now we have this again,'" said anchor Christi Paul. "Do you get a sense that there are people looking at this saying 'I think I have confidence in the 2020 election?'"
CNN analyst has a question for Dems: ‘How low will Trump have to go for you to impeach him?’
Following a day of bombshell reports on the rapidly-growing scandal involving President Donald Trump and Ukraine, a CNN analyst wondered what it will take for House Democrats to impeach the commander-in-chief.
Earlier on Friday, in an interview with NPR, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she was still not in favor of impeaching Trump.
CNN analyst and New York Times contributing op-ed writer Wajahat Ali wondered what -- if anything -- could result in Speaker Pelosi backing impeachment.
CNN’s Jim Acosta busts Trump’s whistleblower lies: ‘Just not answering questions in a straightforward fashion’
CNN's Jim Acosta busted several falsehoods in President Donald Trump's remarks from the Oval Office about a whistleblower complaint filed against him by an intelligence official.
The president answered questions about the complaint, which appears to center on a phone call he made to the Ukrainian president, during a White House news conference with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.
"He did not really answer the question whether or not he spoke with the Ukranian prime minister about former Vice President Joe Biden, at one point saying it doesn't matter what he discussed," Acosta said. "But there are plenty of contradictions here that the president offered up to reporters when he was sitting down in the Oval Office, at one point describing the whistleblower has being partisan and part of a hack job, but at the same time saying he doesn't know who the whistleblower is."