On CNN Saturday, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig tore into the GOP’s argument that if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) withholds the articles of impeachment to exact demands from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), then President Donald Trump hasn’t “really” been impeached yet.
“Let’s start with the basics,” said anchor Amara Walker. “Apparently there are questions over whether Trump has really been impeached over a technicality. We spoke with Jenna Ellis, who is the senior legal adviser to the 2020 Trump campaign, and to the president a few hours ago, and she said technically that President Trump has not yet been impeached because the Senate does not yet have the articles of impeachment … do you agree?”
“That’s a ridiculous argument on a couple levels,” said Honig. “First of all, it’s only a matter of time before the House does formally deliver the articles over to the Senate, so if it gives the Republicans a talking point for a couple of weeks, it’s not going to last. Second of all, this whole idea comes from an article by law professor Noah Feldman. This is what happens when law professors get a little too clever.”
“The Constitution is clear here,” continued Honig. “The Constitution gives the House the sole power to impeach and the Senate to try impeachments. There’s nothing about a formal transmission. This is something that is made up. We all saw the House of Representatives. They voted, it was a majority, it was on TV. He is impeached. Now it’s up to the Senate to go ahead and try the case.”
‘That’s how authoritarian countries work’: CNN’s Toobin warns Trump is acting like a dictator
On CNN Wednesday, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin broke down the significance of President Donald Trump's decision to pardon several high-powered friends accused of political corruption and tax crimes.
"There is no doubt, under the Constitution, the president has the power to do this," said Toobin. "This is not legally a — an open question. And there is a history of controversial pardons, whether it's President Clinton pardoning Marc Rich, a fugitive financier, or George Herbert Walker Bush pardoning the Iran-Contra people on his way out of the office."
"So what makes this so troubling is in the middle of his term, here he is assigning friends, basically friends and friends of friends, to get pardons and clemency, which is how authoritarians behave, which is playing favorites with your personal friends at a time when you are playing with the opposite of favorites with prosecutorial decisions," said Toobin. "I want these people prosecuted, these people freed — that's how authoritarian countries work. Countries where there is the rule of law, there are systems in place for who gets prosecuted, who gets clemency. This is a very individually-focused way to run a presidency."
GOP’s portrayal of Trump as a corruption fighter torn to shreds as ‘complete nonsense’
Republicans who defended President Donald Trump during impeachment hearings insisted that he wasn't trying to shake down the Ukrainian government to investigate his political foes, but was instead sincerely concerned about fighting corruption abroad.
CNN's John Avlon, however, argued on Wednesday that Trump showed these claims were "complete nonsense" after he unleashed a slew of pardons and commutations for corrupt former public officials, including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who both were sent to prison after being found guilty of abusing their offices for personal gain.
Pete Buttigieg answers those who question his family values: ‘I’ve never had to pay off a porn star’
Mayor Pete Buttigieg appeared on CNN Tuesday for a town hall in Nevada where he was asked about his sexual orientation. Thus far, Buttigieg is the first openly gay presidential candidate being taken seriously by both the media and the electorate.
He was asked by a voter how he would deal with the flood of personal attacks on his sexual orientation and his family.
He explained that it would happen and he was ready for it. Speaking about his coming-out story, Buttigieg said that he wasn't sure what impact it would have on his career but that he didn't want to not have a personal life anymore after he got out of the military.