Julian Epstein, the former Democratic Chief Counsel at the House Judiciary Committee, told CNN on Thursday that the Trump White House’s decision to launch an angry attack on special counsel Robert Mueller could be a grave miscalculation.
Epstein said that the letter Trump attorney Emmett Flood sent to Attorney General William Barr — in which he said Mueller and his team of prosecutors “failed in their duty” — would only make things worse for President Donald Trump in the weeks ahead.
“I think that they are barking up the wrong tree if they are trying to make an argument that Mueller somehow overstepped,” he said. “All they are going to do is antagonize Mueller and make things worse for them.”
Epstein went on to say that this strategy is particularly baffling because it seemed like the White House was poised to put this entire investigation behind them.
“There was a road map for them to get this Russia matter, I think, concluded before the end of the summer, and what they are doing is they are stealing defeat from the jaws of victory,” he said. “Barr’s obfuscation of what the Mueller report really was… they are making decisions that are only going to put steel in the spine of the Democrats on the Hill, increase the narrative, buttress the narrative that this administration is corrupt.”
Epstein concluded by arguing that “impeachment was a dead issue” for Democrats a week ago and “I’m not sure that’s the case anymore.”
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Giuliani could get locked up for violating lobbying laws: Former FBI deputy director
On Monday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe discussed a potentially serious source of criminal liability for President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani: Failure to register as a foreign agent.
"Forget about impeachment. Let's say it goes nowhere, doesn't go anywhere," said Cuomo. "If you're running this case, [Southern District of New York], and you're looking for potential criminality, what are the potential crimes involved with what we know about Rudy so far and where questions might lead."
"We don't know," said McCabe. "The Southern District has many, many more facts than we have at this points but from the few facts we have, I think one of the things you would have to consider with respect to Mr. Giuliani is a possible FARA, Foreign Agents Registration Act, that requires any person acting as an agent of a foreign principal to file a very detailed registration for the Department of Justice."
Ex-Watergate prosecutor: Trump’s complaints about impeachment are ‘constitutionally unsound’
On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Watergate assistant counsel Philip Allen Lacovara told anchor Erin Burnett that President Donald Trump has no leg to stand on when he complains about the impeachment process.
"Look, it's the House. It's more of a grand jury investigation is how it's been described, right?" said Burnett. "This isn't about, you get to have a lawyer and counsel present and all of those things. But this is how they're going to play the game. They're going to say it's unconstitutional, a miscarriage of justice. Is there any truth to it?"
"No, there is no truth to it. It's a constitutionally unsound argument," said Lacovara. "One of the things I learned in law school is if you don't have the facts on your side, argue the law. If you don't have the law, argue the facts. If you don't have the facts or the law, you appeal to fairness or equity or something. That's basically where they are. They are complaining about process even though it's clear the House does not have any constitutional obligation to use any particular process."
Intel Democrat says Trump’s Russia adviser’s testimony was ‘incredibly helpful’ for impeachment
On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) told anchor Wolf Blitzer that President Donald Trump's former Russia adviser Fiona Hill's testimony was "incredibly helpful" for the impeachment investigation.
"You were in the room for Fiona Hill's closed-door deposition today," said Blitzer. "How helpful do you believe her testimony to your investigation will be?"
"Incredibly helpful, Wolf," said Swalwell, who serves on the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. "Also helpful that she showed up, and, like some others, has chosen to defy orders from the president and the State Department to not show up. And when witnesses actually just show up, it advances our investigation."