On Tuesday’s edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” former CIA officer Phil Mudd told Wolf Blitzer that ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s decision to brief the Justice Department about his infamous dossier on President Donald Trump’s connections to Russia is going to end badly for him, and possibly for the rule of law.
“This will be a car wreck,” said Mudd. “Look, this isn’t about the Mueller investigation per se. It’s about the origins of the investigation and how the Department of Justice — and Attorney General Barr has talked about this repeatedly, his suspicions about how the Department of Justice originated the investigation. Obviously one of the documents was Christopher Steele, former intelligence operative, the information he uncovered about Donald Trump from Russian operatives.”
Steele’s dossier alleged a number of things that turned out to be true, like that Russia laundered intelligence they gathered on the Democratic Party through WikiLeaks and that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was involved in personally lucrative negotiations with Ukrainian oligarchs. Other parts of it are salacious and unverified, like the claim that Russian prostitutes performed urine-related sex acts for Trump and the Russian government was blackmailing him with video footage of the incident.
The dossier was not the sole source of information that prompted the FBI to open an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. However, the president’s allies have long tried to use the dossier’s spottier claims as evidence that the FBI’s investigation, and the subsequent appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, was illegitimate.
“Let me give you how this game ends,” said Mudd. “Christopher Steele shows up in front of the Department of Justice, and I’m guessing doesn’t have terrific answers for the quality of the information in that Steele dossier. I’m telling you, Wolf, this is not going to go well. I can’t believe he has perfect answers about the origins of the Steele dossier. I’m not even sure why he’s showing up. If I were him, I’d go to Disney World. I would not go to the Department of Justice, because it will not end up well.”
“The question here is not just what Steele found,” warned Mudd. “If it’s determined that Steele had a bit of questionable information, that’s fine. If it’s found that that questionable information played into, for example, the FISA warrant to look at Carter Page’s e-mails, that is a hot mess, and I think that’s where we’re headed from here.”
GOP shamed by a presidential historian for not taking impeachment seriously
Following the House Judiciary Committee's historic vote, sending two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump to the House floor, presidential historian Tim Naftali broke down why this impeachment was both important and different from previous ones.
Sitting on the panel with host Wolf Blitzer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, Naftali began, "Impeachment is the last best defense against those who would abuse their power. In our history, four times the Congress has turned to that tool to deal with a president that for one reason or another they felt was a challenge to the constitutional order."
‘It’s all distractions’: CNN panel obliterates GOP for totally refusing to discuss Trump’s conduct
A CNN panel on Thursday obliterated House Republicans for once again completely ignoring the substance of allegations against President Donald Trump and instead throwing out numerous distractions intended to deflect attention from the president's actions.
"It's been distractions about the Bidens, it's been distractions about conspiracy theories about Ukraine's involvement in the election," said CNN legal analyst Carrie Cordero. "Yesterday, it was distractions about FISA and FISA so-called abuse. It was distractions from Congressman Gohmert reading calls from 1943! It's been all distractions and they won't wrestle with the actual conduct."
CNN’s Jake Tapper does line-by-line fact check of Jim Jordan’s nonstop misleading statements during impeachment hearing
Host Jake Tapper did a special web fact-check for CNN.com where he looked line-by-line into Rep. Jim Jordan's (R-OH) claims about the impeachment proceedings.
He had four specific talking points that were disingenuous and outright false.
1. Jordan: "There was no quid pro quo in the transcript"
There absolutely was evidence in the summary of the transcript. Tapper began by explaining that Americans still haven't seen the full transcript or a recording of the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
"If you read the summary of the transcript it clearly shows that after a discussion of U.S. military support for Ukraine, President Trump said the relationship is not 'reciprocal' and he asks Zelensky for 'a favor,'" Tapper said. "The favor? To investigate a conspiracy theory into the 2016 election and later in the call he says, 'one other thing,' he wants Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter."