CNN Panelist: Releasing the Memo is a 'Constitutional Abomination'

February 1st, 2018 5:04 PM

During a discussion on CNN’s Wolf Thursday afternoon, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Wehle referred to the decision to release the so-called “mystery memo” that details surveillance abuse by the FBI as a “Constitutional abomination” and “a scam on the American public.”



The panel went on to discuss a statement from former CIA Director John Brennan, who criticized the “political partisan behavior” of the House Republicans and the “absence of moral and ethical leadership in Washington.” If only Brennan had the courage to speak up about the “political partisan behavior” that took place in Washington during his tenure, such as the IRS scandal.

The media spent all day Thursday trying to convince its viewers that the President and the Republicans want to release the memo as part of their effort to paint the Russia probe as a partisan witch hunt. At the same time, the media has encouraged its viewers to dismiss the contents of the memo because of its partisan origins. 

It looks like soon the American people will have the ability to take a look at the memo and decide for themselves.  

Here's the relevant transcript from CNN's Wolf on February 1, 2018:

WOLF BLITZER: For the President to ignore the strong words coming from his Justice Department, from the FBI, men that he named who are both Republicans.

KIM WEHLE: Absolutely. I’m also a Constitutional Law professor and I worked on Ken Starr’s Whitewater investigation. And I would say this is really a constitutional abomination and potentially a scam on the American public in that we have a three part system of government and the challenges here in the memo are to a judge’s decision to issue a warrant. That’s a judicial determination by an Article III judge and an Article II prosecutor making a determination to present that to the judge. So, in, in the memo itself, we know was actually created by a member of Congress. This is not some kind of factual piece of evidence that, they was in a file somewhere that actually demonstrates real-time information. This was a memo created by a partisan branch of, of the government. And so, the American people, regardless of which side they are on the aisle have to understand, this has severe consequences, potentially, to the integrity of our separation of powers. I mean, Paul Ryan has said “this is about accountability” and this is not how accountability works in our tripartite structure of government.

BLITZER: As you know Molly, the President, he wants people to be loyal to him, and now we’ve been reporting that back in December, he asked the Deputy Attorney General. CNN is reporting that the President asked Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, if he was “on my team.” “Are you on my team?” That sounds like he’s seeking some sort of loyalty test.

MOLLY BALL: Well, and it wouldn’t be the first time, right? That’s what he did to Comey, according to Comey’s allegation. The whole “who did you vote for”, with I believe McCabe. So this is obviously a repeated pattern, this is Trump’s obsession. He wants people who he thinks work for him, serve him primarily. When somebody seems to be loyal instead, to, to the law like Jeff Sessions recusing himself, Trump gets very angry at that and sees that as disloyalty. And so what is the potential end game here? We know, based on reporting last week, that Trump has already has tried to fire Mueller and was convinced that would be a disaster. Above all, it would be a political problem for him. So, if this memo comes out, and he manages to convince a large enough swath of the American public that the whole investigation is dirty, potentially, that means perhaps that he believes that he can then fire Mueller with a clean conscience. 

BLITZER: Let me read to you and to our viewers, Jim, what the former CIA director John Brennan is now saying. He’s blasting Republicans for wanting to release this controversial memo. “I had many fights with Congressional Dems, Democrats, over the years on national security matters. But I never witnessed the type of reckless partisan behavior I am now seeing from Nunes and House Republicans. Absence of moral and ethical leadership is why it’s fueling this government crisis. Let me repeat that. Absence of moral and ethical leadership in the White House is fueling this government crisis. Those are serious, serious words.