CNN legal analysts rip apart Jim Jordan's 'nonsensical' defense of Trump witness intimidation
Jim Jordan speaks to reporters at the Capitol (MSNBC/screen grab)

CNN legal analyst Elie Honig blasted Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for arguing that President Donald Trump hadn't engaged in witness intimidation by tweeting attacks on a former ambassador as she testified against him in the impeachment inquiry.


Jordan argued the tweet can't be witness intimidation because Marie Yovanovitch wouldn't have known about the attack if Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) hadn't read it to her, but Honig said the GOP lawmaker's claim was ridiculous.

"His point is nonsensical," Honig said. "Of course, she was going to find out about a tweet that went out to 60 million people-plus. The law covers any way you look regarding timing."

"There are two different statutes," he added. "One of them is witness tampering, that covers actions before or during witness testimony. The other is witness retaliation, that covers actions intended to intimidate a witness or retaliate after the fact, so it doesn't really matter when she would have found out."

Legal analyst Laura Coates agreed, saying Jordan's argument was as "nonsensical" as saying your house wasn't robbed because you weren't home.

"That's how you said nonsensical, how stupid his actual argument is," Coates said. "(The idea that) if they hadn't told her about it she wouldn't have felt threatened. What happens afterwards? When the camera goes off on her she has to go back to live her life, the same people told by corrupt Ukrainians to watch out and now she has to watch out because people who may be sycophants or minions of the president or crazed in some way also takes issue with her testimony."

Coates added that Schiff immediately addressed Trump's tweets, because they could also be taken as a threat by other witnesses who have not yet testified.

"The reason he had to is because he knows full well tomorrow there is a testimony from somebody and next week, there are people watching, figuring out,'Listen, do you have our back or is it just for the camera or the sake of the democracy? Will I be protected?'" she said.