Ex-Watergate prosecutor: Giuliani's defense of Trump tweet is 'very weak'

Ex-Watergate prosecutor: Giuliani's defense of Trump tweet is 'very weak'
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A former Watergate prosecutor late Wednesday criticized President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE's attorney Rudy Giuliani over his explanation that Trump was merely issuing an "opinion" when he called for Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHarris to resign from Senate seat on Monday Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Sessions, top DOJ officials knew 'zero tolerance' would separate families, watchdog finds MORE to end the special counsel probe.

"I think it’s a very weak defense," assistant Watergate special prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks said on MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell."


"It is a question for the jury as to whether 'should' is an order or just an opinion. And I think when presented to a jury, they would find in the context of all of the other tweets that the president has done and all the other actions he has taken, including the firing of [former FBI Director] James ComeyJames Brien ComeyBiden to keep Wray as FBI director Comey: 'Republican Party has to be burned to the ground' Juan Williams: The real 'Deep State' is pro-Trump MORE, that they would find the word 'should' was an order." 

Wine-Banks argued that Trump's tweet on Wednesday calling for Sessions to immediately end the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was sent with the intention that Sessions obey it and that Trump has "undermined" the probe from the beginning.

Sessions, who previously served as an adviser to the Trump campaign, recused himself from probes involving Russia last year. Sessions's recusal left his deputy, Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office Trump turns his ire toward Cabinet members MORE, as the highest-ranking Justice Department official overseeing the probe. Rosenstein then appointed Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE as special counsel after Trump fired Comey.

"He has polluted any possible impact on a potential jury in any case because of what he is saying," Wine-Banks argued of Trump on MSNBC.

Trump ratcheted up his attacks on the Mueller probe on Wednesday, tweeting that Sessions "should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further."

Trump lawyers Jay Sekulow and Giuliani later asserted that Trump was expressing an opinion in his tweet, with Giuliani pointing to the word "should" to support his argument.

In a press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders echoed that line, saying that the tweet was the president's opinion.

Mueller is reportedly looking at Trump's tweets as part of an investigation into whether the president obstructed justice.