Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa and former Department of Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem on Thursday explained on CNN that there is no way that a reported “promise” that President Donald Trump made to a foreign leader would have been deemed a credible threat by Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson unless it was a deadly serious matter.
When asked to break down the process for flagging a presidential interaction with a foreign official, Rangappa pointed out that the bar for whistle blowers in this instance is very high because the president has a great deal of flexibility to shape foreign policy.
“When the complaint concerns the president’s interactions with another head of state or foreign leader, the bar for it to pass, to be an urgent concern under the definition that’s laid out in the statute, is very high,” she said. “And this is because the president has incredibly wide latitude in conducting foreign affairs and in negotiating with world leaders… this can’t simply be, you know, bad policy or unwise policy or some kind of objection in that way.”
Kayyem then chimed in to outline the three possible things Trump could have done to warrant such a response from the intelligence community.
“The first, of course, is that President Trump did something for his own personal gain,” she said. “The second is that he was willing to cede control or direction of an intelligence operation to another country. And then the third, of course, is some disclosure of sources and methods of a covert action. Almost nothing else is going to rise to the level of grave concern.”
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‘Useful Idiots’: Tonight’s impeachment debate will show how the GOP is now the ‘Grand Old Putin’ party
When Congress begins debating changes in the articles of impeachment Wednesday night, we will see on full display how Congressional Republicans, to defend Donald Trump, have given up any pretense of principle, the rule of law and loyalty to the country.
House Republicans have embraced Trump’s win-for-Trump-at-all-costs philosophy.
Think of them as the kind of cowards who would never jump on a hand grenade, but would instinctively push the person next to them onto the explosive. This is a political extension of the economic philosophy that we’ve got ours, tough for you, in Republican tax, spend and regulatory policy,
Republicans plan to flood House with amendments to sabotage impeachment debate: CNN
On Wednesday, CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported that House Republicans are planning to use the markup process for the articles of impeachment, scheduled to take place on Thursday, to introduce a flood of amendments designed to cripple the process.
None of these amendments are likely to have the votes to pass — but they will force House Democrats to waste time voting them down rather than crafting the particulars of their case.
"Tomorrow is when we see the real art of legislating on Capitol Hill," said Raju. "The House Judiciary Committee will consider votes on amendments to the articles of impeachment. Republicans are expected to offer a flurry of amendments aimed at undercutting the articles, to gut the articles, and the democrats are expected to beat back every single one of them. Those votes expected to be along party lines."
CNN’s John Avlon slams Bill Barr’s lifelong career of ‘radical’ hypocrisy
On Wednesday, CNN fact-checker John Avlon laid into Attorney General William Barr's agenda, breaking down his history as a hardcore partisan who adopts whatever beliefs are necessary to silence the left.
"Ten months into his tenure it's clear Bill Barr is one of the most radical and partisan attorney generals in American history," said Avlon. "In statement after statement, Barr seems to show he believes the attorney general should function as the president's personal lawyer. He cut a critical sentence and a half, hiding the first part that said Russia worked to secure a Trump presidency and the campaign expected it would benefit from their interference. On Monday, after Barr's own inspector general concluded there was no spying on the Trump campaign, Barr slammed the report on the president's behalf."