Lawyer Jeffrey Harris worked as the principal assistant to Rudy Giuliani, and also served during the Carter administration. He was one of over 400 former Justice Department attorneys who oppose the decision not to indict President Donald Trump on obstruction of justice. During a Monday conversation with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Harris explained precisely why Trump’s own lawyer would disagree with Attorney General Bill Barr’s decision.
“When you read the Mueller report it’s not just one instance of what is conduct that would be obstruction of justice,” said Harris. “For example, if you tell a witness to lie, that’s enough. That’s obstruction right there. If the witness is in a federal criminal case, if you read the statute, it’s pretty clear. And what the Mueller report describes is multiple instances over a long period of time, any one of which would probably be enough to indict a person who wasn’t the president.”
While testifying before the Senate, Barr claimed that there is a requirement that the evidence be convincing beyond a reasonable doubt. In fact, that is not the legal standard to be met for an indictment.
Former federal prosecutor Jack Weiss said that Barr was “dead wrong,” noting that the law is clear.
“I’ll just say it’s not only former prosecutors such as Jeffrey and myself, but I dare say if people in the DOJ currently were allowed, if it were at all proper, which it isn’t to sign such a letter, you’d have an overwhelming response as well,” said Weiss. “I’ll just give you one example of why I feel so strongly about this: When Trump orders Cory Lewandowski to go make that back channel to Jefferson Sessions to try to get Sessions to un-recuse himself, that’s not an official act. He’s not acting as president directing a subordinate. Those are the sort of things Barr has said in the past the president is immune from prosecution for. Just the Cory Lewandowski episode alone is enough to convince me this is a prosecutable case.”
When it came to Giuliani working as Trump’s free legal spokesman, Harris explained that the man he worked with at the Justice Department was an entirely different person.
“I worked with Rudy on a daily basis for nearly five years in a variety of positions,” Harris said. “We were prosecutors together. I have absolutely no doubt that prosecutor Rudy Giuliani would have indicted someone who committed the acts that are put out in the Mueller report in a heartbeat. I am 100 percent confident of that.”
Watch the full conversation below:
Ex-Trump official bashes White House ‘apologists’ who haven’t quit yet: ‘There’s not much hope for them’
A report on the silence coming from first daughter Ivanka Trump and her White House advisor husband Jared Kushner after Donald Trump attacked American Jews turned to the future of White House aides who are either complicit in the president's policies or stand idly by as he lurches from controversy to controversy.
In an interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar, former Trump adviser J.W. Verret pointed out there are still some "adults in the room" with Trump, but CNN's Kaitlan Collins first pointed out that -- as of late -- Ivanka and Kushner are not among them.
"This fits a pattern that we've seen from Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at times during times when the administration tried to repeal parts of Obamacare, and of course, the big one the president has made about Jewish people who are supporting Democrats," Collins explained. "Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are both Orthodox Jews. They've been involved with the president on many things. but neither of them have said anything publicly about the president's comments. and when we asked the white house have they been advising the president privately on this, the White House did not get back to us."
‘Hypocritical’ Republicans busted for disappearing now that Trump has exploded the deficit
In a "Reality Check" segment on CNN on Thursday morning, contributor John Avlon called out GOP fiscal hawks who have suddenly disappeared from the public square now that a Republican president has exploded the national debt.
Introduced by host John Berman, who asked, "This morning new numbers from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirm it: The national debt and deficit are much worse than thought. So where is the party of fiscal responsibility in times like these?" Avlon broke it down.
"While President Trump was busy proclaiming himself 'the chosen one,' you might have missed more bad news in the form of data," Avlon smirked. "Brand new CBO numbers shows the budget deficit is skyrocketing, projected to rise 25 percent over last year and heading to over $1 trillion next year. Tax revenues are $430 billion below where they were expected to be before the Trump tax cuts while spending in is in drunken sailor territory adding $1.7 trillion in the next decade."
‘Something wrong’ with Trump’s mental health — and he needs an ‘intervention’: Dem lawmaker
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) told CNN's John Berman that President Donald Trump's mental health should be a cause of deep concern for all Americans.
In particular, Deutch pointed to Trump's string of strange statements on Wednesday, in which he favorably quoted someone who called him "The Second Coming of God" and then flat-out referred to himself as "The Chosen One."
"If you or I had an uncle who went on social media and started making claims or tweeting claims about being the 'King of Israel' and the 'Second Coming; and then went out into public and talked about being the 'Chosen One,' you know what we would do?" he asked rhetorically. "We would gather our family members and figure out how to have an intervention because there's something clearly wrong there."