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:
Prosecutors offered indicted GOP congressman a deal to keep his multiple taxpayer-funded trysts quiet — but he refused
On Tuesday, CNN reported that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), facing indictment for stealing campaign funds and falsifying spending reports, was offered a deal by to keep secret the incidents in which he used taxpayer money to finance affairs with lobbyists — but he refused.
"Prosecutors told a judge they tried to cut a deal with Hunter to avoid revealing the alleged tryst, but his attorneys refused," reported CNN's Tom Foreman.
The affairs were made public shortly after it was revealed that Hunter's wife Margaret, an alleged co-conspirator in the scheme, was cooperating with prosecutors. Hunter had previously tried to blame the entire scheme on his wife — a claim that looks increasingly dubious.
Trump elicits unintentional laughter in Oval Office meeting: My wars ‘don’t need exit strategies’
President Donald Trump revealed on Tuesday that he does not use exit strategies when planning for war.
During an Oval Office press gaggle, the president was asked if he had a plan for ending a possible war with Iran.
"You're not going to need an exit strategy," Trump opined, possibly misunderstanding the term. "I don't need exit strategies."
Some in the room could be heard audibly laughing as the president answered.
Watch the video below from CNN.
Moderate Dem lawmaker tells CNN why Trump’s ‘appalling behavior’ changed his mind on impeachment
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), a moderate Democrat and a member of the centrist New Democrat Coalition, went on CNN on Tuesday to explain why he has changed his mind and now supports starting an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
In an interview with CNN's John Berman, Himes said that Trump has regularly shown that he doesn't care about obeying the law, as evidenced by his decision to completely shrug off his own Office of Special Counsel's finding that adviser Kellyanne Conway has repeatedly violated the Hatch Act.
"Kellyanne Conway had clearly broken the law and she should be removed from office," Himes said. "And the president said, 'Ah heck, that doesn't matter.'"