On Wednesday, CNN’s Chris Cuomo laid out what made former special counsel Robert Mueller’s resignation speech so significant for both President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr, and the White House generally — and why he keeps clarifying the Office of Legal Counsel’s policy on indicting a sitting president.
“Bob Mueller is not on the same page with the A.G. and POTUS,” said Cuomo, playing clips of the president calling the investigation a “witch hunt” before contrasting with Mueller’s remark that “the matters we investigated were of paramount importance.”
“Now, on that point it would seem our A.G. arguably misrepresented the reason President Trump was not charged with obstruction. In fact, he did so at least six times, including this.” Cuomo then played a clip of Barr saying Mueller “made it clear that he had not made the determination that there was a crime.”
“Now we know why those two guys behind him were looking like that the whole press conference,” said Cuomo. “It doesn’t match up. Why does Mr. Mueller keep saying the opinion is what kept him from pursuing? And that Congress has a role in moving it forward? And why didn’t Mr. Sessions or Mr. Rosenstein tell us a year ago that there would be no charges possible against the president? Why have people thinking something was possible when it wasn’t?”
“However, what is not suspicious is Mr. Mueller’s mindset,” said Cuomo. “He put it in writing back in March when he complained about Mr. Barr’s four-page memo, that it did not fully capture the context, nature and somebodies tans of Mr. Mueller’s work. He said his hands were tied as his first point in that part of the report and the man described as a sphinx for the last two years doubled down today.” Cuomo showed Mueller saying, “Under longstanding department policy a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office … Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.”
“If it wasn’t a fundamental part of his inaction, why does he keep mentioning it?” said Cuomo. “Here’s why. Because of what came out from the White House just hours later.” Cuomo played a clip of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, “He, Mueller spent two years, did an exhaustive investigation and came back to say that there was no wrongdoing by the Trump campaign or any American.”
“That’s just not true,” said Cuomo. “Just like he said in his report, this lifelong Republican, Mr. Mueller, says if he could clear the president he would so state. Instead, Mr. Mueller laid out five instances in his report that all met his own high bar for obstruction of justice.”
“Look, we’ve been arguing for a long time that we needed to hear from Mr. Mueller. This is why,” said Cuomo. “You can say the president was exonerated but he wasn’t. You can say this was a hoax but it never was. The attack on our election happened. It may well be worst the next time. And while the president continues to tell you it wasn’t the Russians, Mr. Mueller says it was and it was bad and it should be a major concern for every American.”
“That’s what he said. And that’s the truth,” concluded Cuomo. “And it is now clear that the power of the presidency was abused to try and hide the truth. The only question that remains is what happens next.”
‘Beyond unconscionable’: Martin Luther King III tears into Bill Barr for comparing COVID lockdowns to slavery
On CNN Thursday, Martin Luther King III excoriated Attorney General William Barr for his speech comparing COVID-19 lockdowns to slavery.
"This is beyond unconscionable," said King. "To even compare it to the most cruel institution in history, in modern history, slavery, for over 200 years, is unconscionable. It is very sad that that's where we are in this nation."
"But also, when you think about the fact that this administration basically does not acknowledge systematic racism, that everyone realizes, most people who see visually that it exists, this administrator, the president, has stood up in Charlottesville for those who really promote hatred," said King. "This administration decided to disable protesters, nonviolent protesters in front of the White House. And so when you think about all these things, most importantly, refuses to acknowledge and hold policemen accountable for behavior that becomes fatal for so many in the African-American community, not to mention the virus that seems to affect Blacks and Browns in a disproportionate level, and a lack of management."
NAACP chief suggests Congress may need to impeach AG Bill Barr
On CNN Thursday, NAACP president Derrick Johnson tore into Attorney General William Barr for urging sedition charges for Black Lives Matter protesters — and said Congress should look into impeaching him.
"As far as the Attorney General, I wonder if we should be looking at ways we could impeach him," said Johnson. "We should not, in this moment, politicize the democratic principles of allowing people to exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully protest in the street. We should not politicize administration of elections to continue to represent the strongest democracy — emphasis democracy — in the world, we must open up access to voting, not politicize and try to sway the outcome of an election."
Ex-Trump staffer says it’s only just beginning — more aides to the president will defect to back Biden
On CNN Thursday, speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, former Trump Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor weighed in on the Biden endorsement from Vice President Mike Pence's national security aide Olivia Troye.
"I'll tell you this, this is an absolute bombshell," said Taylor, himself a supporter of Biden. "Olivia Troye was the lead staff member on the COVID-19 task force at the white house. Her testimonial is the clearest evidence yet that the president botched the response and cared more about his re-election effort than he did the lives of Americans ... no matter what the White House is saying, they always thought she was a top-tier staffer, that's why they kept her there for two years. This is truly damning for the White House."