On Monday’s edition of “Meet the Press Daily,” former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi laid into President Donald Trump’s counsel Rudy Giuliani for claiming that “there’s nothing wrong” with getting political dirt from the Russian government.
As Figliuzzi noted, if Giuliani’s only standard is that the president isn’t going to jail for his behavior, he has lost sight of why special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating the matter in the first place.
“This is where, I believe, that the criminal-only standards that were applied by Mueller, and certainly by Attorney General Barr, are not serving us well,” said Figliuzzi. “You remember that this whole special counsel inquiry started as a counterintelligence investigation. That’s not about putting people in handcuffs. That’s about determining whether or not people are open, vulnerable, co-opted, or compromised by a foreign power, and it’s clear in over a hundred pages of the Mueller report that there were incredible amounts of contact between Kremlin-associated people and people in the Trump campaign.”
“If the new standard in our country is ‘if it ain’t criminal, it’s fine to do,’ then we’re missing the point of what a counterintelligence national security threat looks like,” continued Figliuzzi. “And Americans — and Congress — need to hear people like Rudy Giuliani say, ‘hey, that’s the new standard, we’re fine if it is not indictable.'”
“And I think that should factor into Congress’ decision on what to do next,” concluded Figliuzzi. “Is this acceptable behavior from an American president, or is it not?”