On CNN Tuesday, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe took Attorney General William Barr to task for trying to discredit the inspector general report largely defending the FBI’s investigation of President Donald Trump’s campaign — and expressed his skepticism that the parallel criminal investigation of U.S. Attorney John Durham, which Barr ordered, will find anything terribly different.
Barr, said McCabe, is “doing the exact same thing with the IG report,” that he did with former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, trying to taint the public’s perception of it before it is released — and it is “unprecedented.”
“We have seen from reports that this is an extensive report,” said anchor John Berman. “This is hundreds of pages long here. You can’t go into the details, but the fact that the attorney general would choose to take issue with something here, given the comprehensive nature of it, is pretty interesting.”
“Well, it is,” said McCabe. “And I can say that the report, at least the portions that I saw, were consistent with what you’ve described. It’s an enormous piece of work. It likely includes the result of hundreds of interviews, probably thousands of man-hours of attorneys’ and investigators’ work product. They had extraordinary access to FBI materials, documents to the personal correspondences and communications of all of the individuals involved in the investigation, the Russia investigation and the FBI. So for the attorney general to try to undermine conclusions that are based on that massive tranche of evidence is going to be a very tough hurdle for him to get over, and I would say he’s going to need to produce some contrary evidence, which is almost — that’s going to be a tough thing for him to do.”
“He’s got a whole other investigation,” pointed out Berman. “He’s got a backup plan. The Durham investigation, which is looking into the intelligence communities as well as the FBI. Do you think that’s where he might be headed?”
“It certainly could be,” said McCabe. “There’s a difference between the authority that a special counsel has in the case of Mr. Durham … there could be a difference in scope there. But again, it will be really interesting to see whatever conclusions are drawn from Durham’s effort. I find it hard to believe they’ll come up with much that the IG hasn’t already considered.”
Trump slammed for lawless obstruction of Congress: ‘He’s taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution’
On CNN Saturday, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY), who voted for the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, discussed the path forward for impeaching President Donald Trump.
"We know moderate Democrats are a bit frustrated with leadership over potentially expanding the scope of their consideration, maybe the Mueller report findings and drawing up these articles of impeachment," said anchor Victor Blackwell. "Do you think it's a mistake not to include anything beyond the Ukraine matter?"
"Yes," said Holtzman. "I think it would be a mistake, although, you know, I'm still at a distance, and the members of the committee really have to, who have been digging into this deeply have the best feel, but my sense is that the, what the president did is so egregious, not just with regard to Ukraine, but what part of what's bad about his activities in Ukraine, is that he's taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution by saying that Congress has no right to get information, and he's cut off his committee, his administration from, and ordered and directed them not to cooperate with the committee in any way."
Giuliani pummeled by ex-press secretary for ‘returning to the scene of the crime’ to create Ukraine chaos
On CNN Saturday, Rudy Giuliani's former mayoral press secretary Ken Frydman harshly criticized his former boss for his ongoing efforts in the Ukraine scheme.
"As you've watched the former mayor over the last several years, have you identified a point at which things shifted for the man who I guess still is for some known at America's Mayor?" asked anchor Victor Blackwell."
"Well, yeah. I think when he went into business with Donald Trump," said Frydman. "You saw a — a severe change in his personality. He had a zealous need to make money, to be relevant. To be part of the political process. And you know right now he's making, I think, ill-advised decisions, like returning to the scene of the crime, Ukraine, to make a propagandist documentary. Almost as if he's playing, he and the president, are playing, 'catch me if you can.' The president will not participate in the impeachment hearings, and Rudy is off in the Ukraine doubling down."
‘I haven’t had a personal cell phone for years’: Trump demands retraction from CNN — in tweet sent from his iPhone
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump had spoken to Rudy Giuliani over unsecured phone lines.
If he was using an unsecured phone to talk to Giuliani about Ukraine, Trump would effectively be allowing the Russians to listen in.
CNN confirmed the unsecured phone use, reporting "President Donald Trump has continued to use his personal cell phone to make calls, despite repeated warnings from his staff that the practice could leave him vulnerable to foreign surveillance, multiple officials told CNN."