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Thursday on CNN’s “Inside Politics,” immediately following a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing featuring testimony from former FBI Director James Comey, network senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin emphasized what he thought were the highlights of the hearing.
However, at the end of rehashing those highlights, despite written testimony from Comey suggesting otherwise, Toobin declared that we now know Trump is under criminal investigation because of this hearing.
Partial transcript as follows:
ANDERSON COOPER: So many key points today to go over that Jim Comey took what Donald Trump said about Michael Flynn as a directive, that he did not go to Jeff Sessions he says because he knew or assumed that Jeff Sessions would have to recuse himself. Jeff Sessions did so two weeks later.
TOOBIN: And I think the February 14 meeting remains the focus and the crucial issue in this whole investigation because that is the most incriminating act that the president took in terms of a possible obstruction of justice case telling Jim Comey and Comey clearly felt he was ordered to stop this investigation.
COOPER: Even though the president said, “I hope.”
TOOBIN: Yes. It was an interesting exchange – it was with the senator from Maine, Angus King, who they both – the famous line about Thomas Beckett, “Who will rid me of this meddlesome previous.” You don’t tell someone, but you know you send the message. There is also the point where there is the clearest conflict between Comey and Trump.
COOPER: Because the president has denied –
TOOBIN: Trump has said I didn’t make any sort of order. There was that question at the press conference that we played. So I think, you know, that remains the most important point of conflict. And the other point I think Dana alluded to this, but I think it’s very important – there was a — in the letter that Trump wrote firing Comey, he said three times you told me that I was not under investigation and that was in May. Well, here we know in June Donald Trump is under criminal investigation, and that’s a big deal, and that’s important.