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Trump lawyer’s own words show why stonewalling is an abuse of power: Ex-Whitewater counsel

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On Tuesday’s edition of CNN’s “OutFront,” Whitewater Associate Independent Counsel Kim Wehle pointed out the irony of former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) joining President Donald Trump’s anti-impeachment legal defense: His own words as a congressman make a clear case against Trump’s abuse of power.

“Trey Gowdy sided the with the president on getting rid of Jeff Sessions, and he led Benghazi, and … he’s been on Fox News a lot, as well, recently,” said anchor Erin Burnett. “But Trey Gowdy is not the kind of person who was always just a sycophant. Not at all. Here he is in 2012, they were talking about whether to hold A.G. Holder in contempt on Fast and Furious. The Justice Department refused to hand over some documents and here’s what Trey Gowdy said.”

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“The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress, no matter whether you’re the party in power or not in power, is wrong,” said Gowdy forcefully in the clip. “Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles.”

“So, Kim, do you think he just doesn’t feel that way anymore?” asked Burnett.

“I think he made the case for why the White House’s letter attempting to stonewall Congress, not completely and not just to specific issues, is flat-out wrong constitutionally,” said Wehle. “It will be interesting to see if he ends up the Rudy Giuliani of the Ukraine situation, and that is, most lawyers in practice would be defending or attempting to defend this on the merits and that is on the facts … we don’t see that in the letter.”

“Given the kind of evidence that’s out there, out of the president’s own mouth, that could be difficult, and he could be coming onboard to act as the spin person that will put out the message that the entire thing is unconstitutional, even though it’s in the Constitution, given how things work with Mr. Trump, and the loyalty that he expects, and the message he expects, consistent with devotion to him and fidelity to him versus the rule of law and the Constitution,” said Wehle. “I don’t expect Mr. Gowdy to function as a traditional lawyer might.”

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Trump wants ‘white grievance’ fight — while ignoring coronavirus: Pulitzer Prize-winner Maggie Haberman

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On CNN Thursday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman deconstructed President Donald Trump's unwillingness to address the national crises in America.

"According to three people familiar with his comments, Trump has brushed off efforts to address historic racial inequality, as something 'his people' won't care about," said anchor Jim Sciutto. "Maggie, you have covered this president and the White House. Clearly, he wants to leave the outbreak behind him, even as the numbers rise. Is there anyone in that building who is telling him honestly, directly, that he can't do that?"

"There are many people who are telling him that honestly, Jim," said Haberman. "What has become clear to people, or should have by now, this president wants to run his re-election effort a certain way, and that does not relate to talking about the coronavirus unless it's about describing his administration's response in glowing terms that just don't comport with reality. Certainly for the first many weeks as the pandemic was growing."

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‘No credibility’: Ex-CIA officer explains why Trump administration’s latest bounty intel excuses ‘can’t be true’

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A former CIA officer on Thursday told CNN's John Berman that the Trump administration's latest excuse for why President Donald Trump was purportedly unaware of intelligence indicating that Russia had placed bounties on American troops didn't pass the smell test.

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Susan Rice tears into Trump for ‘brushing off information’ critical to troops’ ‘life and death’ because he can’t hear bad news

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On CNN Wednesday, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice ripped President Donald Trump for ignoring intelligence on Russian bounties against American troops.

"My job was to brief the president, to bring to the president all that he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear," said Rice. "When I served President Obama, he would sometimes joke that I and others who brought bad news were the 'doomsday people,' but he always listened to what we had to say and he never conveyed the impression that news was too bad to be worthy of him hearing. You don't intimidate the messengers ... this president is derelict in his duty, brushing off information that is critical to the life and death of our service members and does so because he doesn't want to hear bad news."

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