Following a new bombshell report from The New York Times, one former prosecutor is breaking out the Richard Nixon comparisons.
CNN on Wednesday morning discussed a report from the Times that President Trump asked then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to get an ally installed as head of the Southern District of New York's investigation into the president's former attorney, Michael Cohen. The ally in question had already recused himself. This, CNN analyst and former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Elie Honig concluded, is a big deal.
"If this is not an attempt to obstruct justice, I don't know what is," Honig said. "This is old-school, textbook, almost Nixon-style obstruction."
Honig said the only "rational, reasonable read" on Trump's reported request is that he wanted to "put a lid on the investigation" before it affected him. He also pointed to Trump's previous berating of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his recusal from the Russia investigation, saying this all adds up to a "fairly obvious pattern of obstruction." Trump has denied the reported conversation with Whitaker took place.
It wasn't only CNN analysts concluding this report looks bad for Trump — Fox News' Andrew Napolitano said that if the report is true, it clearly shows an "attempt to obstruct justice." Some did come to Trump's defense, though, with former Republican senator Rick Santorum saying the attorney Trump wanted to appoint was "not someone who would not normally be someone you would suggest would be in charge." He also said Trump's reported conversation with Whitaker was not "improper," although it also was not "wise."
Watch Honig's comments below. Brendan Morrow
“This is old-school, textbook, almost Nixon-style obstruction,” former federal prosecutor @eliehonig says about the NYT report that Pres. Trump asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to install one of his allies into hush-money investigation. https://t.co/kYAhHS5v71pic.twitter.com/3bh4eMGBaT