Toobin on Giuliani’s Bizarre CNN Appearance: Seemed Like ‘Stream of Consciousness’
Toobin on Giuliani’s Bizarre CNN Appearance: Seemed Like ‘Stream of Consciousness’ (Mediaite)
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani made the rounds on TV yesterday to claim that collusion may not be a crime, a line of thought that caught the attention of many analysts, including CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin.
“Unfortunately, we’re sort of getting into legal semantics here,” Toobin explained to CNN colleague Brooke Baldwin of Giuliani’s claim. “If you are assisting a foreign government to intervene in an American election, that is unlawful. That is an illegal conspiracy. That crime is not called collusion in the law books, but illegal campaign contributions by the foreign countries, foreign companies, that would be a crime.”
“Hacking by foreign entities or anyone in the American campaign is assisting is a crime,” he continued. “So collusion by that word is not a crime, but a conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws and other laws, that is a crime. And that is really what the Mueller investigation is all about.”
Baldwin transitioned to Giuliani’s appearance on New Day in which he first hinted that collusion may not be a crime and asked Toobin what Giuliani might “be trying to get out ahead of in this case” by redefining the goalposts, as it were.
“You know, I’m not really sure,” Toobin replied. “I actually was in the studio with Alisyn [Camerota] and David Gregory… so I was watching the interview live. And I didn’t get the impression that Rudy Giuliani was, like, intentionally moving the goalpost. It seemed like a more of a stream of consciousness thing.”
“It’s also a position that the president and his defenders have been saying for a number of months,” he added. “It’s not like some new idea that collusion is not a crime. What’s interesting is the president picked it up. And now that there is substantial evidence that there were at least some contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians, maybe the sort of next line of defense is, well, maybe there was collusion, but collusion itself is not a crime.”