Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe pulled no punches while discussing Trump's "remarkably disgusting" undermining of the system of justice that he is supposed to protect with this latest round of corrupt pardons. During an appearance on this Thursday's New Day on CNN, McCabe was asked by host John Berman what message the pardon of Stone and Manafort sends.
"Well, John, the message that it send is if you are loyal to this president, if you help him obstruct justice, if you lie to prosecutors and lie to Congress and lie to the courts and judges and juries in an effort to cover his crimes, then he will pay you off with a pardon and give you the basically get out of jail free card at the end of the day" McCabe replied. "It's a remarkable -- it's a remarkable act of corruption I don't think we've ever seen before. You have a president who is actively engaged in undermining the system of justice that he is supposed to protect and defend. It's remarkably disgusting."
After Erica Hill discussed the fact that the pardons were actually dangled, McCabe reminded the viewers that those communications were detailed in the Mueller report, and that "These pardons are essentially the culmination of those acts of obstruction of justice. What was seen and referred to in the Mueller report has now been completed. The pardons were dangled and now they've been delivered in return for protection of the president."
"I don't even know how to describe it. It's so obviously corrupt, it really kind of shocks the conscience."
"The president was praising Paul Manafort for not cooperating, not the way that Michael Cohen did. He went out of his way to say, you know, Paul Manafort is not talking. He is not helping the investigation, but Michael Cohen is" Berman replied, "it's worth noting here, Andy, that if Donald Trump just wanted to erase the Mueller investigation altogether, he'd pardon Rick Gates, he'd pardon Michael Cohen, but he's not. He's not. Why? Because those people cooperated with the Mueller team."
"That's right," McCabe agreed. "The man who's responsible for ensuring that the laws are faithfully executed is rewarding people who obstruct justice, who lie and who cheat and continuing to punish those who admitted their mistakes and then worked with prosecutors."
McCabe went onto explain how Trump acted similarly in the Blackwater pardon, letting the ones who committed the war crimes off the hook, while the man who provided evidence and cooperated with the government still sits in jail.
After discussing the pardon of Kushner's father and Chris Christie's explanation for why Kushner was prosecuted, Berman asked McCabe what he thought was coming next.
"We are at the very beginning of this siege on justice and mercy, of course, the things that are supposed to generate or be considered when delivering a pardon. There's really no limit to where I think this president will try to go, certainly for his friends and associates who is face any sort of criminal concerns whatsoever," McCabe opined.
"So you think about Steve Bannon in that category, think about Rudy Giuliani, his own attorney in that category, but friends and family, folks who were simply associates and supporters of the administration could be walking away with essentially get out of jail free cards for anything and everything they've done for the last four years."
"We are at the very beginning of this story and it's just kind of -- it's frightening to think of what we're going to see along the way."