Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara explained Friday that it’s difficult for President Donald Trump to claim he is innocent of attempting to bribe Ukraine when his own lawyer just returned from trying to dig up more dirt on the son of his opponent.
“Isn’t this what got the president in trouble in the first place?” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Bharara.
“Yes, it actually is,” Bharara said simply. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on here. I think Rudy Giuliani wants to be close to the president and help the president and argue on behalf of the president. There are a lot of implications that Rudy Giuliani is doing going on forays back to Ukraine, which some people would call the scene of the crime. It causes more scrutiny to be brought upon him. We’ve seen reported he’s under investigation himself, and I think it raises eyebrows in the political sphere. But I think something important about it relates to impeachment.”
He went on to say that everything Giuliani is doing is eroding Trump’s case that he’s innocent of the accusations that he tried to bribe Ukraine into investigating his opponent.
“His forays into Ukraine undermines the central defense of the president,” Bharara continued. “It’s a weak defense, but it’s a central one, that a lot of Republicans tried, with a straight face, to make that is that, the president of the United States, when he called the Ukrainian president he was not asking about the Bidens, per se, he cared about corruption generally. Obviously, that’s belied by the circumstances of the call. It’s belied by the president of the United States himself standing outside the White House saying, ‘I wanted them to open an investigation into the Bidens.'”
Suddenly, however, the president and his legal team think it’s acceptable for Giuliani to go to Ukraine to get former leaders to say whatever Trump wants.
“And now, in the midst of impeachment, as that vote looms, you have his private emissary, his personal lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, trying to find information on the Bidens and whether or this debunked theory of whether the Ukrainians were involved in the 2016 election,” said Bharara. “The very thing that all the defenders of the president are saying didn’t happen. I mean, I saw a Republican Congresswoman asked the question, ‘Do you think it’s appropriate to ask for an investigation of his rival?’ And she said, ‘Well, he didn’t do that.’ Well, it’s hard to argue he didn’t do that when you have your private lawyer going about trying to do exactly that thing.”
Watch his full take in the video below:
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CNN's Manu Raju revealed after the Senate adjourned that Collins audibly disputed Schiff's quote of the story during the trial.
"She shook her head and said, 'No they didn't. No, that's not true,'" Raju reported.
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