Benjamin Wittes, a friend of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE, said that he's unable to say how far President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE is willing to push the legal bounds of the presidency because it would involve "looking into his soul" — and he's not quite sure Trump has one.
Asked by former U.S. Attorney Preet BhararaPreet BhararaWhatever else he did, Cuomo did not obstruct justice by ranting to Obama White House Why Trump (probably) won't be indicted New York Times in discussions to acquire The Athletic: report MORE on his podcast "Stay Tuned with Preet" how far he thinks Trump is willing to stretch the constitutional constraints of his office, Wittes said he would need to look into Trump's soul to answer that question.
"I'm hesitant to answer that question because it involves looking into his soul," Wittes said.
Pressed by Bharara on what he sees when he looks "into his soul," Wittes responded: "Well, first of all, I question whether he has one. But that's a question that I'm not in a position really to have an answer to."
"I will say this, if you look at areas where he is genuinely unconstrained, his behavior is pretty consistently awful."
Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the editor-in-chief of the blog Lawfare, contended that Trump has, in the past, appeared willing to push other boundaries and that those instances may offer insights into how he treats his legal authority as president.
"If you want to understand how he would behave in the absence of legal restraint as president, looking at how he behaves in the absence of legal restraint in other areas of his life when he doesn't fear consequences is not a terrible way to start answering the question," Wittes said.
Wittes has spoken out about the former FBI chief's interactions with Trump in the wake of Comey's firing in May. He has also called for Trump to be impeached, arguing that the real estate mogul has abused the powers of the presidency and has failed to provide clear moral leadership in office.
Bharara has also spoken critically of Trump. He was fired from his office in March after he refused to resign at the request of the Trump administration.
Updated Oct. 24 at 9:47 a.m.