CNN FREAKS Over NYT Item: America’s in ‘A Constitutional Crisis’ with ‘Impeachable’ Trump

The New York Times published a gargantuan item Tuesday about how Republicans and the Trump White House have dealt with the federal probes that have enveloped the Trump presidency. With that mind, CNN Right Now reacted with what’s become predictable hyperbole, deeming it a sign that America’s in “a constitutional crisis” with a President who committed an “impeachable offense” by meddling in one of those investigations. 

American Urban Radio Networks correspondent April Ryan was more than eager to react to this story, taking a friendly lead-in from host Brianna Keilar to assert that “there is a lot here” that goes “beyond loyalty” to the current state of America.
 

 

 

“You know, when people talk about constitutional crisis, if this is indeed true, there’s a constitutional crisis. There is an issue where there is not a separation of — of — of the Department of Justice and the White House,” Ryan declared. 

Ryan’s comments were in reference to a new claim in The Times piece that the President had asked then-acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker if a Trump ally-turned U.S. Attorney could unrecuse himself to take control of the Southern District of New York’s investigation into the President.

As NewsBusters has documented, the phrase “constitutional crisis” has become not only repetitive but tiresome in the syntax of the Trump era alongside words like “unprecedented” or “this is not normal.”

Moments later, Keilar teed up CNN legal analyst and former Clinton White House counsel Jack Quinn (click “expand”):

And — and Jack Quinn, I also want to point out this is a story — this is really the bombshell that this is a wide-ranging, expansive story by The Times talking about a concerted effort beyond just this bombshell. This is sort of a campaign, if you will, by the White House, by President Trump, by his allies. It — there is no learning curve, Jack Quinn, at this point in time, so how would this work with, say, an obstruction piece of the Mueller investigation when it goes to the President — the President clearly would know that this is wrong. It goes to intent. 

Quinn responded that “[t]his will feed into impeachment articles involving obstruction, involving abuse of his office” because “I can't think of anything more abusive of the power of the presidency than trying to rig an investigation in which he has a clear personal interest.”

He added that not only was “[t]his...an impeachable offense,” but that he’s “quite confident I will not be wrong, that this will appear in an article of impeachment one day down the road.”

CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd took a gleeful tract, deeming it “a good news day for America” and a sign that “we’re actually okay” because The Times expose illustrated that unelected government workers continue to do their jobs and “be immune to political pressure.”

Keilar concluded the segment by revisiting Quinn’s “impeachable” line, which led to this hysterical admission from Quinn:

Well, I haven't even had a chance to read the article, but just being told that the President was trying to put in charge of the investigation in the Southern District of New York — by the way, a U.S. Attorney's Office with a longstanding reputation for both integrity and independence[.]

Oh really?! How that’s funny.

To see the relevant transcript from February 19's CNN Right Now, click “expand.”

CNN Right Now
February 19, 2019
1:32 p.m. Eastern

BRIANNA KEILAR: And April, at the beginning of this story, what you have to remember about Mark Whitaker [sic] is he’s someone who privately, this report notes, had told associates that part of the role at the Justice Department was to jump on a grenade for the President and even — right — and so that’s — “jump on a grenade,” those are in quotes, that's something he said to others. Even with that in mind, when the President, according to this report, asks Whitaker to do this, he says essentially, no, this can't be done. He knows this can't be done

APRIL RYAN: Yeah.

KEILAR: and it would have been silly, Jack Quinn, you can speak to that in a moment, to do this and the President sours on Mark Whitaker [sic] in part because of this. What do you think? 

RYAN: You know, there is a lot here. First of all, this is beyond loyalty. You know, when people talk about constitutional crisis, if this is indeed true, there’s a constitutional crisis. There is an issue where there is not a separation of — of — of the Department of Justice and the White House. You are not — in the White House, you are not supposed to reach into the Department of Justice and influence any kind of investigation or situation and, you know, for — for Mark Whitaker [sic] to say I would fall on a grenade, it's almost similar that some people have said in the past with presidents, I'll fall on a sword for the President. It's basically the same thing when he did not do the bidding when he understood the depths of this, that's why there is a breach. But this is saying at the time this allegedly happened, there was no learning curve here. The President knew what he indeed was doing and doesn’t —

KEILAR: This is late last year. 

RYAN: Late last year, which was probably a few months —

KEILAR: This was a few months ago. 

RYAN: A few months ago, exactly.

KEILAR: A few months ago, alright. I don’t want to — late last year. This is a few months ago, again.

RYAN: There is no learning curve just late last year. 

KEILAR: And — and Jack Quinn, I also want to point out this is a story — this is really the bombshell that this is a wide-ranging, expansive story by The Times talking about a concerted effort beyond just this bombshell. This is sort of a campaign, if you will, by the White House, by President Trump, by his allies. It — there is no learning curve, Jack Quinn, at this point in time, so how would this work with, say, an obstruction piece of the Mueller investigation when it goes to the President — the President clearly would know that this is wrong. It goes to intent. 

JACK QUINN: This will feed into impeachment articles involving obstruction, involving abuse of his office. I mean, I can't think of anything more abusive of the power of the presidency than trying to rig an investigation in which he has a clear personal interest. 

RYAN: That's right. 

QUINN: This is an impeachable offense. 

KEILAR: This is — this is an impeachable offense?

QUINN: In my opinion, it is and — and I predict — I'm quite confident I will not be wrong, that this will appear in an article of impeachment one day down the road. 

KEILAR: Phil Mudd, I mean, what do you think? 

PHIL MUDD: I'm going to break here and say it's a good news day for America. If you look at every step of the way where we've had the American people question the integrity of the man in the Oval Office, question the Congress, and you look at every step from people some Americans don't like, Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein. You look at people who might question Robert Mueller, that's very few and now you look at people who are openly partisan, that is the acting Attorney General Whitaker, in every step there’s an element of government that includes judges and that includes Department of Justice prosecutors, who in the wake of American distrust, the American government said, we will do what we’re paid to do and we will be immune to political pressure. It's a rare day. I may walk home and say we're actually okay. 

KEILAR: Jack, we're going to get in a quick break, but before we do, Jack Quinn, just to revisit, you said this is an impeachable offense. Is there something about this that to you makes this a watershed detail? 

QUINN: Well, I haven't even had a chance to read the article, but just being told that the President was trying to put in charge of the investigation in the Southern District of New York — by the way, a U.S. Attorney's Office with a longstanding reputation for both integrity and independence, that he was trying to put in there one of his own political appointees for what purpose? Again, to rig the investigation, to make it okay for the President, to protect him. That — that is — that is an abuse of our system of justice. 

RYAN: And there’s no middle man right here. It’s saying the President himself versus someone else being told by the President. There is a direct correlation right here.

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