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CNN's Toobin Declares Trump 'Guilty,' Frets Hunter Biden 'Poison Pill'

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Monday;s Anderson Cooper 360, CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin declared that President Donald Trump is "guilty," and seemed to worry that Senate Republicans might block the inclusion of witnesses harmful to Trump by demanding the "poisoned pill" of pushing for Hunter Biden to also give testimony.

At 8:17 p.m. Eastern, after his fellow CNN legal analyst, Preet Bharara, talked up the possibility that there would be witnesses giving testimony in the upcoming impeachment trial because several moderate Republican Senators will push for it, Toobin predicted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would prevail in his goals, suggesting that the "poisoned pill" approach might be used:

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: I have a different view. My view of the United States Senate is, whatever Mitch McConnell wants, Mitch McConnell gets. He doesn't want witnesses. He thinks this thing needs to be shut down very quickly, and, you know, these moderates, they always talk a good game, you know, Susan Collins is always about to do something that she never actually does, and I just don't think there are going to be any witnesses. How it actually plays out, I don't know. I suspect one way it may play out is that the Republicans put in a poisoned pill like they say, "The only reason we'll have witnesses is if Hunter Biden is also a witness or Joe Biden," which will sort of blow up the whole thing, but I just don't think Mitch McConnell wants witnesses -- to call witnesses.

It was not suggested that it would be a good idea to have someone like Hunter Biden give testimony since the actions President Trump was impeached over revolved around Biden's business dealings in the Ukraine.

Toobin then proclaimed that the President is "guilty" as charged:

TOOBIN: The other thing to remember about witnesses is all the witnesses will show that the President is guilty because he is guilty. And that's why they don't want --

ANDERSON COOPER: Well, we don't know what Bolton would say.

TOOBIN: Well, I mean, what could he say that would be not incriminating? I mean, you know, why would he call the interactions with Giuliani a "drug deal" if he thought this was a wonderful negotiation?

Toobin and Bharara then went back and forth over the possible impact of John Bolton's testimony:

PREET BHARARA, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: He could give inappropriately a legal opinion, and he could say, "Look, I thought it was a drug deal -- I thought it was terrible stuff -- I thought he shouldn't have said those things --"

TOOBIN: But a nice drug deal.

BHARARA: "-- but it's not a criminal offense -- it's not impeachable." Which that's the best he could do.

 

 

 

(...)

TOOBIN: The other thing to remember about witnesses is all the witnesses will show that the President is guilty because he is guilty. And that's why they don't want --

ANDERSON COOPER: Well, we don't know what Bolton would say.

TOOBIN: Well, I mean, what could he say that would be not incriminating? I mean, you know, why would he call the interactions with Giuliani a "drug deal" if he thought this was a wonderful negotiation?

PREET BHARARA, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: He could give inappropriately a legal opinion, and he could say, "Look, I thought it was a drug deal -- I thought it was terrible stuff -- I thought he shouldn't have said those things --"

TOOBIN: But a nice drug deal.

BHARARA: "-- but it's not a criminal offense -- it's not impeachable." Which that's the best he could do.

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