Nick Akerman, one of the federal prosecutors involved in the Watergate case, appeared on MSNBC late Tuesday night and spoke with host Brian Williams about the latest in the U.S. Justice Department, from the status of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to the latest in the ongoing saga of Russia and the Trump campaign.
Williams asked Akerman if President Trump recognizes the importance of recusal, and why Jeff Sessions decided it was appropriate to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Akerman indicated that he doesn’t believe this factors into Trump’s decision making at all.
“All he cares about is trying to stop this whole Russia investigation,” Akerman said, saying that whether or not Sessions’ recusal was the legally or ethically appropriate move had nothing to do with it. “The problem with this president is he has no regard for the rule of law … he doesn’t care less what the law is unless he can manipulate it.”
Williams went on to discuss President Trump’s behavior and how it might impact Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia. “Do you think he is witnessing the behavior of an innocent man?” Williams asked. Akerman didn’t pull any punches in his response.
“He certainly isn’t witnessing the behavior of an innocent man,” Akerman said. “Everything this president has done cries out guilt.” Still, he doesn’t think Trump’s words or actions are affecting Mueller’s decisions.
Akerman went on to discuss the Trump camp’s response to the investigation, saying, “This is no different than what happened in Watergate.” He elaborated by saying that in both cases, instead of letting their lawyers handle everything, the people involved are speaking out, specifically Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, at what Akerman believes is the president’s direction. As a result of this direction, Trump Jr. is “taking the fall,” while Kushner is minimizing his role in the notorious meeting with a Russian attorney and other Russian figures.
Akerman said that this narrative is “a very clever setup.”
[Image via MSNBC screengrab]