CNN’s Toobin Sees ‘Abuse of Power,' Not 'Criminality'

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CNN's chyron on Friday (at right), echoed by host John Berman, makes the liberal network's conclusion clear: the latest revelations about Ukraine are "damning" for President Trump. And when Alisyn Camerota interviewed CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin this morning, she was pushing the CNN party line, suggesting that President Trump's actions constituted criminal "bribery."

But for whatever reason, Toobin declined to go with CNN's damning flow, repeatedly saying that he saw no "criminality" in Trump's actions. That said, Toobin did suggest that Trump had committed an impeachable abuse of power.

Camerota pressed, “People keep asking the criminality of it. I know that a sitting president, we’ve established a sitting president won’t be charged, with this Department of Justice. But is there criminality in this stuff?” 

The legal analyst rebuffed: 

You know, I don’t think it is criminality. Obviously I’ve been thinking about that question. Is it extortion? Is it bribery? No, I think it is an issue of abuse of power. And, you know, going back to the Federalist papers, it’s been very clear that impeachable offenses do not have to be crimes. They do not have to be violations of the criminal code. But I don’t think there is an actually criminality here.

 

 

Guess CNN will just have to take what it can get from Toobin.

Note Camerota's snide suggestion that "this Justice Department [i.e., Trump's]" won't charge President Trump. In fact, the principle that a sitting president can't be indicted is decades old.

Here's the transcript. Click "expand" to read more. 

CNN
New Day
10/4/19
7:07 am EDT

ALISYN CAMEROTA: People keep asking the criminality of it. I know that a sitting president, we’ve established a sitting president won’t be charged, with this Department of Justice. But is there criminality in this stuff?

JEFFREY TOOBIN: You know, I don’t think it is criminality. Obviously I’ve been thinking about that question. Is it extortion? Is it bribery? No, I think it is an issue of abuse of power. And, you know, going back to the Federalist papers, it’s been very clear that impeachable offenses do not have to be crimes. They do not have to be violations of the criminal code. But I don’t think there is an actually criminality here.

CAMEROTA: Bribery is a crime. Why don’t you see bribery?

TOOBIN: Well, I don’t think that, you know, use of federal money in this way would, counts as bribery. I mean, you know, others may disagree. I’d be interested to hear what others have to say. I think it is just a question of how the president exercises his power. 

. . . 

JOHN BERMAN: There’s a lot more to talk about on the damning text messages revealed overnight. 

 

>> Help us fight back against the media’s impeachment crusade. <<

Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Events Trump Impeachment Foreign Policy CNN New Day Alisyn Camerota Jeffrey Toobin Donald Trump

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