On Wednesday, in the wake of a federal court decision shutting down President Donald Trump’s attempts to block enforcement of House subpoenas for his businesses’ financial records, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told “The Situation Room” host Wolf Blitzer just how thoroughly Trump’s legal maneuvers had been rejected by the judiciary.
“It’s another very important win, because the legal issue fundamentally is the same as the one yesterday regarding the accounting firm that did the president’s taxes,” said Toobin. “The issue is, is this a legitimate subject for congressional oversight? Does Congress have the right to investigate this area? The president’s lawyers have argued in both courts that this is a purely personal matter. It is not related to any sort of legislation, so Congress should not be allowed to get those documents.”
“That argument has now been convincingly rejected twice,” said Toobin. “And that, I think, is among the weakest of arguments that his lawyers will be raising. It’s certainly a weaker argument than the [former White House Counsel] Don McGahn executive privilege argument, which is upcoming, but this one is one that looks doomed. Doomed in D.C., doomed today here in Manhattan, and we’ll see if he does any better in the appeals court.”
Republicans are treating voters like ‘children’ with their defense of Trump: Ex-presidential adviser
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former presidential adviser David Gergen laid into Republican lawmakers for claiming that the impeachment probe is only based on "hearsay."
"The Republicans are treating us like idiots," said Gergen. "They just — they say you're only bringing forth hearsay. You don't have any firsthand information. We know there are three people who know exactly what happened. One is named [Rudy] Giuliani. One is chief of staff [Mick] Mulvaney and the third is [John] Bolton. And what's happened here? They all three have been called. The president said no, you must not talk. So the Republicans then come up and say, well, you only have hearsay."
Former GOP lawmaker criticizes his party’s impeachment stance: They ‘seem to be okay with not knowing all the facts’
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former FBI official and Nevada Republican state Sen. Greg Brower broke down one of his key frustrations with how his party is handling the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
"I'm a Republican who has never agreed with everything in the Republican Party platform. Most of it I did, and that's why I was a Republican elected official, and felt comfortable as one, but things have changed," said Brower. "I guess what I'm most surprised at is the number of Republicans, both in Congress and just out there in the country, who seem to be okay with not knowing all the facts, who seem to be okay with the president directing witnesses who clearly have information relevant to this inquiry, directing them to not cooperate and testify."
Here’s why Trump’s appeal to the Supreme Court to keep his tax returns secret could back him into a corner
On Thursday, President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court to step in and block New York prosecutors from obtaining his tax returns, with his lawyers arguing the president is immune from all criminal investigation while in office.
But on CNN's "The Situation Room," Washington Post reporter David Swerdlick argued that this line of defense is counterproductive to Trump in the long term.
"I think immunity is actually the weaker argument," said Swerdlick. "I think if I were the president's legal team, I would be making the argument that this is a fishing expedition, that this is politically motivated. Because even if the court says, look, the state of New York can't get it, they still have to address the issue of the House Ways and Means Committee chair asking for the president's tax returns, and there is a federal statute there, 26 U.S.C. § 6103, that says the House Ways and Means chair, the Senate Finance chair can get those."