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‘The ultimate sin’: Legal expert explains why letting Trump off the hook would be deadly for democracy

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Attorney Neal Katyal told CNN on Wednesday that it would be bad for democracy if Congress decided against holding President Donald Trump accountable — and he argued that merely censuring the president would not be sufficient.

Katyal, whose new book “Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump” argues for the president’s removal, warned that letting the president get away with abusing his office would do lasting damage to America’s constitutional order.

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“It’s the end of an executive branch that lives under the rule of law at that point,” said Katyal. “Because if the president can flout it and do it in secret — it’s not just this president, it’s any president.”

Katyal was then asked by host John Berman about the possibility of censuring Trump for his actions instead of impeaching and removing him.

“I don’t think it’s enough,” he said. “It’s a helpful start, but it’s really just a start. We’re talking about a president doing the ultimate sin: Putting his interests above those of the American people and using his powers… as commander-in-chief.”

Katyal then explained that it was bad enough when Trump encouraged Russia to help him win the 2016 election by asking them to release Hillary Clinton’s emails, but it’s something else entirely when he solicits foreign help when he has the power to withhold aid to countries as president.

Watch the video below.

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If people of color showed up to a Capitol protest heavily armed — Trump would call them terrorists: commentator

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Legal analyst Areva Martin explained in a CNN panel discussion Sunday that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has historically been a day in which white supremacists rear their ugly heads with racist protests and other public displays of bigotry. Monday's expected rally of racist gun nuts expected at the Virginia capitol is no different.

Colorblind author Tim Wise said that it's a whole different level with pro-gun activists. He noted that there was a message from the NRA that former President Barack Obama was going to take everyone's guns away. Of course, that never happened, but it was part of the narrative to scare sensible gun owners. Now, President Donald Trump is employing the same idea, saying that the rally of racists in Virginia is being spun by the president as another Democratic power-grab. Wise called it a kind of "front-lash" instead of "backlash."

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CNN

Watergate’s John Dean thinks Trump wrote part of his legal team’s brief — because it’s so terrible

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Former White House counsel for Richard Nixon, John Dean, explained that the legal brief out of President Donald Trump's White House was so bad that it had to have been dictated by Trump himself.

Saturday evening, Trump's legal team, chaired by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, filed their own form of a legal brief that responded to the case filed by Democrats ahead of Tuesday's impeachment trial.

The document called the proceedings “constitutionally invalid” and claims House Democrats are staging a “dangerous attack” with a “brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election.”

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CNN

CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield flattens Trump apologist for hilariously bad defense of the president

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CNN host Fredricka Whitfield did battle with President Donald Trump's official apologist on the network, Jim Shultz.

Schultz quoted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who said that if Democrats want witnesses, then all witnesses should be available to be called. The problem is that Republicans want to call people that weren't even involved in Trump's obstructions of Congress. Republicans want to call Vice President Joe Biden and his son, there are likely some Republicans who want to call Hillary Clinton to talk about Benghazi again, and they'll likely search for reasons they can randomly call Democratic officials in Congress, who also had nothing to do with Trump's actions.

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