Only on CNN would discussions among top-level Justice Department officials about removing the duly elected president of the United States from office be described as being “not particularly good ideas.”
But that pales in comparison to the assertion that the move was “patriotic.”
To the surprise of few, a CNN panel defended former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who remarkably claimed in a “60 Minutes” interview that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested he could wear a wire to secretly record President Trump in the Oval Office and raised the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.
Had such a scandalous revelation — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called it an “attempted bureaucratic coup” — surfaced against Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, these panelists would be foaming at the mouth.
“I think we need to take ourselves back to what the situation the Justice Department and FBI officials were facing in that moment,” the Brookings Institution’s Susan Hennessey rationalized.
Heavy on superlatives, Hennessey proceeded to lay out a scenario she envisioned that justified these trusted DOJ officials effectively plotting a silent coup.
“They were investigating Russian election interference,” she said. “They’d seen an absolutely disturbing, bizarre number of contacts with the campaign of the individual who would become president. They’re interviewing Michael Flynn, his contacts with Russians and lies about those contacts. The president of the United States asked the FBI director to see his way to letting Flynn go, which the FBI believes is potentially obstruction of justice.
“Then the president actually fires the FBI director which they think might have been an effort to actually impede the Russia investigation. Itself, a national security issue, right? Sort of the obstruction is the collusion sort of theory. I think what we’re seeing is they were panicked. They had never seen anything like that really in the history of the United States. It goes to how overwhelmed they were in that moment.”
If Hennessey had a shred of credibility left after that diatribe, she finished it off when she fully dismissed the stunning events by saying none of the plotters “have authority with regards to the 25th amendment,” likening the actions of senior DOJ officials to a panel discussion on cable television.
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“It’s not different than any of us sitting around and talking about the 25th amendment,” she suggested. “Except in one way, these are people who are actually seeing the president up close in private, the way he is conducting himself.”
The comparison to a CNN panel fitting, given that both entities seem to have the same goal — getting rid of Trump.
Hennessey then skillfully pivoted to the president, calling into question his mental capacity, which she suggests is more shocking than government officials plotting an overthrow.
“So, yes, it’s shocking to hear that they were talking about this but it’s not as shocking as the idea that they were concerned enough about the president’s mental stability that they actually thought that this was a reasonable discussion to have,” she concluded. “And that they thought that cabinet members might go along — I do think that is a pretty disturbing fact.”
As shameless as her smarmy defense was, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin topped in a hurry, describing the “attempted bureaucratic coup” President Trump has called treasonous, as being “patriotic.”
“I think the correct term is not treasonous, but patriotic,” Toobin declared. “They are thinking about the national security of the United States. These are all career officials. These are not Democratic political appointees. These are people whose job it is to care about the national security of the United States and, remember, all this evidence has only gotten stronger over the past two years.
To qualify that absurdly false assertion, he cites noted Trump-hater Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, now the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who plans to use his panel as a political weapon to target the president.
Never mind that the Senate Intelligence Committee just determined that there was “no factual evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”
” You know, Adam Schiff is now conducting an investigation to determine, in effect, if the president is a Russian asset,” Toobin says with a straight face.
“This remains a serious concern and there is much more evidence to support this idea. They didn’t even know at the — during 2016. All those discussions about Trump Tower and Moscow, I mean, the idea that they were treasonous is 180 degrees wrong.”
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