On Thursday, following reports that President Donald Trump will claim executive privilege to prevent former White House Counsel Don McGahn from testifying to Congress about the attempt to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, CNN’s Chris Cuomo held a discussion on whether blocking McGahn’s testimony constitutes valid executive power.
Former Trump White House lawyer Jim Schultz told Cuomo that it does, noting that courts have often given deference to presidents on the matter. But former FBI Special Agent Asha Rangappa strongly disagreed.
“Chris, the executive privilege is a limited privilege to protect deliberations, policy deliberations, things concerning national security, that are purely outside of the purview of Congress. It’s a separation of powers issue,” said Rangappa.
“When you are talking about obstruction of justice, in which Congress has an interest in protecting, then that privilege no longer is something that belongs exclusively to some executive branch function. It’s potentially concealing evidence of a crime,” Rangappa continued. “And we know from U.S. v. Nixon that the privilege then doesn’t hold, and I think it would not hold even in the case where it is Congress that has oversight because of the specific fact that Congress has an interest in uncovering acts of obstruction.”
“I think that you are right that he has waived the privilege already, and I think a third thing here is that the White House has no leverage over McGahn,” continued Rangappa. “If he actually wants to voluntarily come in and testify, there’s pretty much nothing that the president can do. So I think that this is an uphill battle for the president.”
“And just to add, the president is equating — if he is saying he has already talked to Mueller, so now, you know, Congress doesn’t need him to do more, then he’s basically conceding that Congress is entitled to see all of the 302s which McGahn provided to the FBI,” Rangappa said. “If they’re equivalent, then that should just be handed over if McGahn isn’t going to testify.”
GOP strategist Tara Setmayer says Republicans will defend Trump until he uses the N-word
Republican strategist Tara Setmayer told a CNN panel that the only way the GOP is going to be willing to stand up to President Donald Trump is if he uses the N-word.
In a panel discussion with CNN's Jake Tapper, Setmayer said that the Republicans in office will bend over backward trying to defend everything the president says and does.
"I think we’re at the point where I think anything short of the N-word they will make excuses for because at that point there is really no question about it, right?" she said. "So, it is obvious to everyone else, it is amazing to me how many of the Republicans are going out there and I said this yesterday, try to white-splain to people of color what racism is and what it feels like to deal with that every single day."
Mitch McConnell: AOC started Trump’s racist tweets by calling detention centers ‘concentration camps’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday refused to condemn the President of the United States for sending racist tweets in which he told four non-white congresswomen to "go back" to their countries of origin.
McConnell spoke on the matter at a press conference, but he did not explicitly rebuke President Donald Trump.
"There's been a lot of discussion about the events of the last couple days, I'd like to address it myself," McConnell volunteered. "I think there's been a consensus that political rhetoric has really gotten way way overheated all across the political spectrum."
‘White supremacy is a hell of a drug’: columnist explains the GOP’s garbled response to Trump
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump addressed comments he'd made telling four freshman congresswomen -- all American citizens and women of color -- to go back to their countries.
The comments set off a furor that the president was being outwardly racist.
“It's up to them. They can do what they want. They can leave, they can stay, but they should love our country,” the president told reporters Tuesday when he was asked about his remarks.
On CNN Tuesday, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali explained how Donald Trump's comments -- and his Republican counterparts' refusal to call them racist -- is rooted in a dangerous white supremacy, or terror at the "browning of America."