Irvin McCullough, who works at a nonprofit law firm that represents government whistleblowers, raked the Trump administration over the coals for how it’s handled the complaint about the president’s allegedly troubling call with a foreign leader.
In an interview with CNN’s Erica Hill, McCullough, who is a national security analyst at the Government Accountability Project, said it was “entirely absurd” for the Trump White House and Department of Justice to intervene and block the intelligence community inspector general from sharing the whistleblower complaint with congressional intelligence committees.
“The intelligence community inspector general is an independent entity that can make these determinations by themselves,” he said. “There is not supposed to be external pressure in any way placed upon the IG like this. The fact that the DOJ, the White House, the ODNI and the ODNI general counsel are weighing in is a body blow to the independence.”
McCullough then said that Trump’s acting director of national intelligence had placed Inspector General Michael Atkinson “between a rock and a hard place.”
“The DNI has made it almost impossible, he says in the letter, to carry out the two prime functions of his job,” McCullough explained.
Watch the video below.
CNN’s Toobin says all evidence points to Trump running an extortion scheme for political dirt
On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin laid out how all the evidence points to President Donald Trump attempting to extort Ukraine for political dirt — even the evidence Trump himself has put forward to the public voluntarily.
"May 14th, Trump tells Vice President Pence not to attend Zelensky, the Ukrainian president's inauguration," said Cooper. "July 18th, Trump decides to withhold nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that's already been passed by Congress. July 25th is that Trump and Zelensky phone call. I mean, I don't know if it's, you know, if it begins with the call from Putin, but there certainly is a lot of activity, a lot of dominos falling."
Trump’s attack on congressional legitimacy ‘boggles the mind’: Ex-Whitewater counsel
On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Whitewater senior counsel Paul Rosenzweig and anchor Erin Burnett discussed how Alexander Hamilton warned about leaders like Trump in his writings — and the president's stunning declaration of the impeachment probe as "crap" and "illegitimate."
"Historian Ron Chernow, whose biography on Hamilton is the biography, the one used for the Broadway musical, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post," said Burnett. "He says Hamilton, who was a defender of executive power, would have supported impeaching Donald Trump. He cites one of his Federalist Papers, where Hamilton writes, in part, 'When a man unprincipled in his private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper ... when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity to take every opportunity of embarrassing the general government and bringing it under suspicion, it may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.' Hamilton warning such a leader will become a demagogue and a tyrant ... Does it sound like Hamilton, even so long ago, could have been warning about a person like President Trump, Paul?"
Senate Republicans are ‘frustrated’ that Mulvaney has ruined everything: CNN reporter
On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," reporter Phil Mattingly noted that there is tremendous "frustration" among Senate Republicans over President Donald Trump's acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, for acknowledging a quid pro quo and throwing a wrench in the president's defense against impeachment efforts.
"The Republicans we're talking to tonight are not nearly in the same place that Mitt Romney is on most things, but on Mick Mulvaney, there is an agreement and broad frustration," said Mattingly. "Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) saying he believed if you ask Mick Mulvaney, he would acknowledge it wasn't his best performance over the last couple of interviews. Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the number two ranked Republican said it is, 'a rough patch for Mick Mulvaney.'"