MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Monday suggested that a “liar, liar, pants on fire” legal strategy by President Donald Trump’s new lawyers may not work as a compelling argument within a court of law.
“The president has now hired a brand-new team of lawyers, whose entire job — specifically — is to keep the president’s tax returns secret and any related financial information as well, we learned today,” Maddow noted.
Maddow attempted to summarize the legal argument by “Trump’s secrecy lawyers.”
“Never mind, they say, that the language of the law is plain as day. The law says, black letter law — it says that the IRS shall furnish the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee with any tax return he requests,” she noted. “They say the reason he shouldn’t get the president’s tax returns despite the letter of the law is because the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee is a liar — nobody believes him when he says he wants the president’s tax returns for legitimate congressional oversight and if you won’t take our word for it, well, here are some Republicans in Congress who also think that he is a liar,” she explained. “That’s their argument.”
The host offered her thoughts on their legal strategy.
“As I have noted frequently, I am not a lawyer,” Maddow noted. “But I am really sure that it is not a hugely compelling legal argument to block a congressional request depending on black letter statute to just say, ‘liar, liar, pants on fire, everybody knows that guy sucks!’ I mean, I understand these new lawyers gotta make their billable hours, but I really don’t know what leg they are standing on here.”
Hope Hicks denied under oath knowing about Trump’s hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels
Former White House communications director Hope Hicks on Wednesday denied under oath knowing anything about the hush-money scheme set up by former Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen to pay off President Donald Trump's former mistresses.
"Hicks told lawmakers today that she did not have knowledge during 2016 campaign of hush-money payments made in run-up to election," reports CNN's Manu Raju. "Also she wouldn’t discuss what she learned about those payments during her time at White House because of immunity claims."
Hicks told lawmakers today that she did not have knowledge during 2016 campaign of hush-money payments made in run-up to election, per sources. Also she wouldn’t discuss what she learned about those payments during her time at WH bc of immunity claims https://t.co/GZWqzCzpGX
Federal Reserve chair defiant in face of Trump threats: ‘The law is clear — I have a four-year term’
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sounded a defiant note on Wednesday as he announced that there would be no further cuts to interest rates for the time being.
Even though President Donald Trump has been publicly calling for a rate cut to spur additional economic growth ahead of his reelection campaign, Powell kept interest rates at their current level and signaled that he did not foresee any interest rate cuts for the rest of the year.
Powell was asked by a reporter if he was concerned about being "demoted" by Trump in the wake of this announcement, the Federal Reserve Chairman said he wasn't worried.
John Dean explains the big mistake Hope Hicks made by stonewalling Congress
Former White House counsel John Dean, a key figure in the Watergate scandal, said Wednesday on CNN that there was a serious flaw in the attempt to prevent longtime Trump confidant Hope Hicks from testifying to Congress.
White House lawyers have asserted that Hicks has absolute immunity and is not legally required to testify about her time as Trump's director of communications. Hicks testified Wednesday during a closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary Committee — where she reportedly refused to answer questions about her White House job.
"Privilege is not being asserted here. Instead, the White House says that Hicks has absolute immunity regarding the time that she spent at 1600 Pennsylvania. Does absolute immunity even exist? And if so, can you explain to me the difference between the two?" CNN host Brooke Baldwin asked Dean.