CNN host ridicules Trump's evolving excuses: 'There was an earthquake, a terrible flood, locusts!'
US President Donald Trump says there is "nothing wrong" with listening to foreign governments offering dirt on his political opponents. (AFP / SAUL LOEB)

In discussion with legal analyst Elie Honig, CNN's Jim Acosta couldn't help but quote late actor John Belushi as Joliet Jake Blues in "The Blues Brothers," when he begs Carrie Fisher not to kill him. Acosta noted it is remarkably similar to former President Donald Trump's comments over the past several days that keep evolving.

"Oh, please don't kill us! Please, please don't kill us. You know I love you, baby. I wouldn't leave you! It wasn't my fault! ... I ran out of gas! I got a flat tire! I didn’t have change for cab fare! I lost my tux at the cleaners! I locked my keys in the car! An old friend came in from out of town! Someone stole my car! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!"

"We've heard multiple excuses," said Acosta. "First, it was the FBI planted evidence. Then Trump claimed it was all declassified. That they didn't need to seize anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted. I think today he is saying some of the stuff is privileged, attorney/client material."

So, Honig walked through some of the excuses and struck them down, one by one.

"The declassification argument: it is possible President Trump declassified some of the documents before he left the White House. You would expect there would be some record, some evidence, some paper trail or witness to support it. All we've seen is statements, yes, we declassified. It remains to be seen. Also, important to note, of the three laws that DOJ listed on their search warrant documents that justified the search, none have anything to do with whether these documents were adequately classified or declassified."

The next idea from Trump is that the FBI simply could have asked for the documents and that they didn't need a search warrant.

"They did ask. The National Archives asked and only got some of the documents. DOJ asked. They tried to subpoena. That's the easy way. They still didn't get all the documents. That defense holds no water," explained Honig.

Trump even alleged at one point that Mar-a-Lago was broken into and compared the search warrant to the DNC break-in at the Watergate.

"This was not a break-in. We've seen the paperwork," he continued. "DOJ did the same paperwork I've done many times and a judge signed off this is a lawfully authorized search warrant. It should not be called a break-in."

"I can't believe that he got that one wrong, Elie," Acosta cut in. "Can you break down the Espionage Act for us? What are we talking about here? Some people may not understand what the possibilities are with that."

"The Espionage Act sounds dramatic and there are portions that bring to mind cinematic cloak and dagger type of things," said the former prosecutor. "The limited subsection that's alleged in the papers relates to mishandling of defense information. It essentially makes it a crime to mishandle, to take, and to transmit national security information if you know or have a reason to know that dissemination of that information could be harmful to U.S. national security interests. It's not nearly James Bond stuff but it's still vital, how we store and protect our national secrets."

See the full conversation below:

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