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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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CNN’s Cuomo smacks down GOP congressman for claiming Democrats have no impeachable offense on Trump

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) tried to claim that Democrats had no impeachable offenses against Trump — and anchor Chris Cuomo promptly fact-checked him.

"I still ask that question, what was the impeachable offense?" said Mullin. "They started with quid pro quo, moved to bribery and when the articles of impeachment came out, they say it's high crimes and misdemeanors. From day one they have been in search of a crime. They've been trying to explain to the American people why they're impeaching a duly elected president. Underneath the past impeachments it was very clear. Clinton committed perjury. Andrew Johnson, he removed the Secretary of War illegally and Nixon broke into the DNC. Those are impeachable offenses. I ask the question—"

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CNN

Trump and Barr’s attacks could chill the FBI from investigating future election crimes: Ex-FBI counsel

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former FBI general counsel James Baker warned that President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr's attempts to smear and discredit the FBI — even in the face of an inspector general report broadly exonerating their investigation of Russia — could lead to FBI agents steering away from investigations of future election interference.

"I think it sends a terrible message," said Baker. "The president's statements, I think in his tweet, whenever it was, about Director Wray — I mean, the FBI is not a 'broken' organization. It is not and has not been. It's a tremendous organization. It's out there every day defending America. So the American people should rest assured that the FBI is there, doing its job. It's protecting all of us."

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Bill Barr is acting as ‘the president’s lawyer’ against the agency he is supposed to be leading: Ex-FBI deputy director

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe excoriated Attorney General William Barr for trying to poison public perception of the FBI — even as his own department's inspector general debunked right-wing conspiracies of an FBI-centric "deep state" working to bring down President Donald Trump.

"The attorney general of the United States is saying others, but also you, acted in bad faith," said anchor Erin Burnett.

"That's absolutely false," said McCabe. "It didn't happen. I know that. I didn't need the IG to tell me that. But it's good the IG reported there is no situations of that what so far."

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