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‘The noose is tightening’ around Trump — and Rudy Giuliani may flip on him: CNN panel

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A CNN panel Friday night outlined the strange pattern that always emerges in Trumpworld when it comes down to someone taking the fall for President Donald Trump. Former White House counsel John Dean warned that something is different in the case of Rudy Giuliani: he has no intention of being thrown under the bus.

In a panel discussion, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) started the conversation off saying that trying to make others the fall-guy for Trump’s actions likely “won’t fly.”

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“Nobody’s going to believe for a second that Mick Mulvaney or Rudy Giuliani was acting on their own without any consultation with the president,” the Republican said. “I think, just like Michael Cohen paid off Stormy Daniels, didn’t he? He just did that on his own, under the direction of the president? They may try to throw these guys under the bus and they’ll do it in this order and they’ll throw [Ambassador Gordon] Sondland under the bus and Mulvaney and Giuliani in that order. But I don’t think it’s going to be effective. I think it’s laughable, the facts are simply not on the president’s side. The noose is tightening. The quid pro quo has been established and all of these people who have spoken up did so out of concern for national security and also because of interference in our elections. So, these are more distractions and they’re not going to be effective.”

Dean warned Republicans against making Giuliani the fall-guy.

“I think that would be very dangerous for the Republicans to do it, and I would think Trump would tell them to stay away from that strategy,” said Dean. “Rudy at some point, if he sees himself being discarded by the White House, and discarded by the Republicans and on his way to the bureau of prisons for a long stay, he’s somebody who can give up the president because there is a crime-fraud exception in the attorney-client privilege that Trump can’t block his testimony if that happened.”

Despite all of the revelations released about the Ukraine scandal, the president continued to talk to Giuliani about their efforts, sources report.

Watch the full discussion below:

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Trump’s Senate trial will be ‘riddled by hypocrisy’ with Ken Starr defending him: CNN legal analyst

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President Donald Trump's decision to tap former Whitewater special prosecutor Ken Starr for his impeachment defense team drew a sharp rebuke from former federal prosecutor Elie Honig on Friday.

"Whatever they do will be riddled by hypocrisy," Honig said of Trump's impeachment defense team during an appearance on CNN. "Ken Starr, the guy who spent years trying to throw a president out of office for lying about sex in a civil deposition, is now defending a president who has been impeached for trying to shake down a foreign country to interfere with an election. I don't know how you square that."

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Rick Santorum flattened by CNN’s Berman after calling Parnas bombshell revelations ‘extraneous’ to impeachment

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Rick Santorum and CNN's John Berman got into a frantic back-and-forth on Friday morning after the former Republican senator attempted to dismiss the revelations by former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas as something that should not be submitted as evidence in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

Discussing the Senate trial expected to start next week, Santorum said the only testimony and witnesses that should be allowed are ones that came up in the earlier House hearings.

"The House's responsibility to bring to us a case," Santorum stated. "They're the one who is said these are offenses that are worthy of the president being removed from office; here is the record, here are the charges. The Senate didn't impeach, the House did, so we are going to look at the record the House presented us. We're going to look at the witnesses and say are there are questions that we have for the people that brought this case forward and relied on these witnesses and look at their testimony."

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Here’s why some Americans don’t appreciate ‘extraordinary’ accusations from Lev Parnas

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin broke down a key reason why indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas hasn't quite gotten across the severity of his accusations against President Donald Trump to the American people.

"Jeff, what do you think of Parnas as a witness?" asked Cooper.

"He has a distinctive style. He's very deadpan, very low-key," said Toobin. "You somehow don't realize how extraordinary story he is telling. The proprietor of a company called Fraud Guarantee, and he is going to the leadership of the government of Ukraine and saying, unless you announce an investigation of the Biden family,  you are not getting the money that Congress has authorized. you are not getting the visit from the president and you are not getting an Oval Office visit. And it's true. None of it happened."

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