A CNN panel discussion on Attorney Bill Barr’s claim that there is nothing indictable in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report turned to the ongoing investigation — or investigations — by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York and whether Barr can influence it.
In a word, according to two federal prosecutors: “No.”
Speaking with host Anderson Cooper, former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi and ex-Deputy Assistant Attorney General Elliott Williams said there is a firewall between the Justice Department and the SDNY — and that investigators working in that office won’t stand for Barr’s meddling.
“I worked there for many years,” Williams explained. “The department works on with a great degree of independence and if this is the Southern District of New York or D.C. and Virginia and so on, we hope there won’t be political interference that we’ve seen from the attorney general over the last couple of days.”
“Even if it is not interference, there is a willingness to show a bunch of leg for lack of a better term about how things are spun and so on,” he continued. “But having been in the Eastern District of Virginia, there is a certain degree of independence with the investigations.”
Asked if he agreed, Rossi concurred.
“Absolutely. We both worked in the Justice Department and I could tell you this: if an attorney general tried to put his thumb on a scale on an important investigation, there would be holy Hell raised by the line attorneys, the career prosecutors and the career supervisors,” Rossi insisted. “And we’re talking about the Southern District of New York that prides itself on being called the sovereign district. and there is no way the attorney general will dare put his thumb on a scale on what they do in the SDNY — you would hear a leak.”
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Trump thinks impeachment is over after House vote
Following a vote by the Democratic House to table an effort by Rep. Al Green (D-TX) to approve articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, the president gloatingly told reporters "that's the end of it," and mocked the resolution as a "ridiculous project."
"The House of Representatives rejecting a bid to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump, and President Trump declaring victory," reported CNN's Erin Burnett. "Telling reporters seconds ago 'We've just received an overwhelming vote against impeachment, and that's the end of it.' He went on to call it the 'most ridiculous project.' Riding high now over how the whole saga over his racist tweets is playing out."
There are enough votes to impeach Trump if it comes to the floor: CNN’s April Ryan quotes congressman
On Wednesday, the House voted 332 to 95 to table articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump brought forth by Rep. Al Green (D-TX). Democrats were divided, with 137 members agreeing to table the resolution. All 194 Republicans and independent Justin Amash also voted to do so.
But despite the resounding defeat for Green's measure, one congressman told CNN commentator and American Urban Radio Network director April Ryan that while many Democrats want to continue with investigations for the time being, he believes there would be enough votes to pass it if it actually made it to the floor.
Pelosi slaps Trump with a backhanded compliment: ‘He’s a great distractor — that’s what this is about’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday accused President Donald Trump of making a racist attack on four U.S. congresswomen to distract from failures in his administration.
At a press conference, Pelosi told the reporters that lawmakers were "gentle" in condemning only Trump's tweets as "racist" in a recent vote.
"We weren't saying he is racist," she explained. "We were saying that the words that he used were racist."
"We all know the argument that could be made against us in terms of our philosophy, in terms of our priorities and the rest," Pelosi said. "And the president knows there are arguments that could be made against him and, therefore, he wants to distract from them."