CNN's Jeffrey Toobin: DOJ considering special counsel for Uranium One makes it look like “Fox News runs the Justice Department”

Toobin: “I don't want to be Chicken Little, but this is what happens in authoritarian countries like Turkey and Russia”

From the November 14 edition of CNN's New Day:

Video file

CHRIS CUOMO (CO-HOST): [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions is coming up today. He's going to get questioned again. Obviously, part of the curiosity was him cleaning up his prior testimony about what Russians he met with and when and about what. But now he's going to have a new iron in the fire, which is going to be that this -- there's this development that he may be looking at appointing a special counsel in certain matters surrounding the Clintons and their foundation. Timeline is also important here. So, Paulina, let's put up what we know. You have November 3rd, OK, the president of the United States says, “Look at them. Don't just look at me.” OK? That's basically what he's saying there, all right? November 13th, all right, we get a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice directed to the Honorable Robert W. Goodlatte [(R-VA)], who's the chairman of the Judiciary Committee for the House of Representatives. Why do we care about that? All right, so Bob Goodlatte in July and September, he sent two letters over to the Department of Justice saying the same thing, “We want you to look into people on the left as well, this time in the form of the Clintons.” So, November 3rd, Trump tweets what he tweets. Ten days later, the U.S. Department of Justice responds to letters that they had gotten months earlier from Bob Goodlatte and says, “We are looking into this. If there is anything that needs more investigation than is currently going on the [attorney general] and the deputy [attorney general] will look at a special counsel.” I think the media is getting ahead of the headline a little bit. I don't think that this letter says, “I'm going to appoint a special counsel,” as much as the media's saying it will. But, you have to also do it in context. Back [on] November 22nd, after the election, the president was asked about this. So are you going to go after the Clintons, because you kept saying you were going to do it all during the election. Here's what he said. ... “So, look, I want to move forward, I don't want to move back. And I don't want to hurt the Clintons. I really don't. She went through a lot. And suffered greatly in many different ways. And I'm not looking to hurt them at all. The campaign was vicious.” So that's where this started. Now because of what's been going on with him, Jeffrey Toobin, do we see a very different posture now being motivated by the U.S. Department of Justice?

JEFFREY TOOBIN: I don't want to be Chicken Little, but, you know what, this is what happens in authoritarian countries like Turkey and Russia, that when a party takes power, they start criminally investigating their opponents. I mean, that's what this is, if it happens. Now, it hasn't happened, as you just pointed out, Chris. But we're talking about the Clinton Foundation back in the '90s and the early part of this decade. We're talking about Uranium One, who's already been investigated. I mean this is a question about whether Fox News runs the Justice Department or whether the career prosecutors run the Justice Department. And that's the issue here.


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