Former Defense Department Special Counsel Ryan Goodman explained during an appearance on CNN that the Republican-authored report on impeachment flies in the face of the facts viewed by Americans during the hearing.
“I think it’s not effective,” Goodman told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “I think they have played their hand, whatever hand they had, and it does have Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan’s name right at the top, and that’s for a reason. So, it’s across-the-board on every single fact, it’s for the president. ‘Everything was correct and appropriate’ for the president.”
He went on to say that the Republican report flies in the face of what was heard during the weeks of hearings.
“It defies what we learned for the last two weeks in the public hearings,” Goodman continued. “It defies the fact that three or four Trump-appointed senior officials reported the phone call itself, criminal referral to the Justice Department. It defies the fact that the GOP witness, Kurt Volker, said in retrospect, he understood it was about Biden and the 2020 election and he would have objected if he understood it at the time because it was unacceptable. So, I think they lose a lot, because many Americans, republicans as well, say they think the president acted inappropriately, but it’s not impeachable, but at least it was inappropriate. They get to that point.”
Burnett walked through key facts in the report and then played back testimony refuting the GOP’s claims. Specifically, the GOP said that there was “no quid pro quo,” a talking point straight from Trump’s mouth. Burnett read the summary of Trump’s call with Ukraine on July 25 that asked for “a favor though” after Ukraine brought up their need for military weapons. (A screen capture of the transcript is below)
“So, that’s the summary of the call and that doesn’t add up to Republican analysis,” said Burnett.
“The evidence does not establish that President Trump withheld a meeting with President Zelensky for the purpose of pressuring Ukraine to investigate Burisma Holdings, Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, or Ukraine influence in the 2016 election,” the GOP says in their report. President Donald Trump’s summary of the Ukraine call (above) dispells that assertion.
“Of course under-oath testimony shows the complete opposite to be true,” Burnett said, and showed videos confirming her assertion. “So, point by point, that we were just able to kind of eviscerate those points.”
Watch the full panel below:
CNN’s Elie Honig praises DOJ lawyers for revolt against Barr: ‘Like students rising up against the oppressive headmaster’
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig on Thursday heaped praise upon Department of Justice prosecutors who disregarded many of the changes to sentencing guidelines for convicted Trump ally Roger Stone that were made by Attorney General Bill Barr.
When asked by CNN's Kate Bolduan for his reaction to the prosecutors' actions, Honig responded enthusiastically.
"I applaud what this prosecutor is doing," he said. "And as a DOJ alumni on the front lines trying cases, I'm so impressed by this. This is like the scene [in a movie] where the students rise up and push back against the oppressive headmaster."
‘Barr is a toady’: Jeffrey Toobin says talk of attorney general resigning is ‘just a big show’
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says he doesn't believe Attorney General William Barr when he claims he considered resigning from the Trump administration.
Sources close to Barr told ABC News that the attorney general had contemplated quitting because President Donald Trump's tweets make it difficult for him to do his job.
"Barr is a toady," Toobin explained during an appearance on CNN. "Barr is doing what he's told. He had this one statement, 'Oh, whoa is me, it's hard for me to do my job when the president tweets.'"
‘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."