On Wednesday’s edition of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” former federal prosecutor and deputy assistant attorney general Elliot Williams told Chris Cuomo just how many crimes President Donald Trump could be committing if he follows through with his remarks on knowingly accepting dirt on political opponents from foreign governments.
“There’s any number of crimes that could be violated here,” said Williams. “There’s campaign finance violations. And it’s ironic that we’re having this conversation, literally, Chris, the day Donald Trump Jr. testified before Congress that he didn’t know that he was receiving value potentially wrongly from a foreign actor, but clearly his father doesn’t help that case, does he?”
Williams continued to list offenses. “So there is all the campaign finance violations. Look, if you’re using computers, there’s wire fraud questions. If you know what you’re doing and interacting with a foreign government, you start getting into the realm of espionage and national security offenses and then computer hacking and other sort of computer offenses, too. So there are a lot of things that are implicated when you start talking about taking the aid of a foreign government in our federal election system. And the president’s just opening the door to that. Look, I’d like to say it’s shocking at this point.”
“Let’s use an instructive example from 2000, when the Gore campaign just got a package on its front doorstep of, not even foreign intelligence, but about the Bush campaign,” said Williams. “They immediately called the FBI because something seemed kind of fishy about it. That’s what you do and that’s when you’re behaving properly.”
Williams added that behavior this egregious is virtually an article of impeachment unto itself.
“Impeachable offenses don’t require the reasonable doubt standard, which is kind of what saved Donald Trump Jr.,” said Williams. “If he’s behaving poorly and abusing his constitutional oath, absolutely this becomes impeachable. Look, the president seems to be sort of this walking obstruction of justice machine every time he opens his mouth. He’s either obstructing justice or tiptoeing up to the bounds of what’s lawful. And statements like this can absolutely come in, either in a criminal proceeding or in an impeachment proceeding as indicating his intent that this is what he intended to do back then.”
“It’s almost like an ongoing scheme that he continues to keep perpetuating,” Williams concluded. “I’d like to say the president ought to shut his mouth. I know we’re not going to get that, but we can’t expect sound judgment from this president anymore on any of this legal stuff, Chris.”
Former Defense Secretary warns: ISIS is back, and Trump can’t ‘pretend it’s not there’
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Defense Secretary and CIA head Leon Panetta warned that ISIS is gaining strength in the Middle East again — and that after all of President Donald Trump's boasts that he had utterly defeated the terrorist organization, now it is time for him to get serious.
"Roughly estimated 15,000 ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria now," said host Kate Bolduan. "Secretary Pompeo saying the terror group is, in some ways, stronger than it was three or four years ago. How big of a concern should the news be for Americans?"
"It should be a very serious concern for the president of the United States and for our country," said Panetta. "Because his first responsibility is to protect our country. And we learned from 9/11, the fact that these terrorists have one fundamental aim, which is to attack the United States and attack countries in the West. And now what we're hearing is that ISIS is clearly re-mobilizing to the tune of almost is 15,000-18,000, that are mobilizing into secret cells, mobilizing into attack teams, conducting not only attacks but kidnappings and assassinations and bombings, as we saw in Afghanistan. So this is, in the end, a national security threat that the United States cannot simply stand back and pretend it's not there."
Trump supporters are furious about Trump’s anti-Semitic comment because now they can’t criticize Democrats anymore: CNN correspondent
President Donald Trump continues to suffer fallout from his anti-Semitic claim on Tuesday that Jewish Democrats are guilty of "great disloyalty."
As CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins noted on "The Situation Room," he is even facing blowback from his own party — which spent months trying to paint Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as rabid anti-Semites for far less.
"He's ... being criticized by people on both sides of the aisle for this comment," said Collins. "Not just the president's usual critics who don't like things that he says or say he oversteps the line, but people who are on his side are saying, by making this comment, he doesn't realize why they have been critical of people like Rashida Tlaib, like Ilhan Omar for their in the past."
NYC public advocate confronts defender of Eric Garner’s killer: ‘Stop pretending black folks aren’t human’
Former New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and former FBI special agent James Gagliano debated the firing of Daniel Pantaleo, an NYPD officer who caused the death of Eric Garner.
Gagliano called the firing a "glaring miscarriage of justice."
"I look at it from the perspective of the law," Gagliano opined. "It's easy to watch the video and feel passion for the [Garner] family. We've had his wife on here, we've had his mother on here, we've had his children on here."
Gagliano insisted that he is not an "unabashed police shill." He said that basing the firing on the video of Garner's death is "unfair to the officer."