I didn't read Toobin's op-ed urging Merrick Garland not to prosecute Donald Trump, because on what planet could he justify that? And this morning on CNN, former prosecutor Norm Eisen really let Toobin have it.
"It's totally wrong! Right now, we live in a system where Donald Trump tested our most fundamental legal precept, 'no one is above the law,' " Eisen said. "If the attorney general discovers evidence that Donald Trump did wrong, of course he should be investigated and prosecuted.
"Contrary to Jeff, there is already substantial evidence to predicate an investigation, to open an investigation. When you have a president who says to the Georgia secretary of state, 'Just find 11780 votes' or says to his own acting attorney general, 'Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me.' Those are the statements of someone who knows -- "
"What's the crime, Norm?" Toobin interjected.
"Jeff, it's election -- potentially, all I'm arguing is that, of course, the attorney general should investigate it. When you say there's little reason to even open a criminal investigation, that's wrong. The potential crimes? Election fraud, obstruction of an official proceeding, a conspiracy to defraud the United States and on and on and on. It must be investigated, Jeff. It must be investigated."
Toobin asked for the evidence of specific intent that Trump intended to violate the law.
"Usually when you prosecute someone specific intent crime, you have to show that they lied about what they do. What they did. They covered it up. What Donald Trump did was in plain sight. And for better or worse, every indication is that he actually believes that there was fraud in this investigation. So telling people to investigate fraud does not appear to me to be evidence of a crime."
"Seriously, Jeff?" Eisen said.
"Do you think his speech on January 6th where he said 'Let's march to the Capitol, let's be strong,' do you think that's a crime he should go to jail for?" Toobin asked.
(They've successfully prosecuted Mafia chiefs on their own coded language before. Toobin knows that!)
Eisen wasn't having it.
"Seriously, Jeff, now you want us to believe that Donald Trump was speaking the truth? You wrote in our op-ed that trump would assert he was seeking to uphold the law and we're supposed to believe him. Jeff, this was a person who lied 30,000 times," an incredulous Eisen said.
"We're not going to believe him for the first time now. And I think it's equally plausible and more than plausible enough for the attorney general to open an investigation that when Donald Trump says to the Georgia secretary of state, 'Just find 11,780 votes corrupt,' or when he says, 'Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me.' He knew that there was no basis. Look at the ridiculous grounds for his claim. He knew there was no basis. He's a serial liar! Of course, we shouldn't believe that.
"And cut off an investigation, how can you say there's little reason to investigate? The attorney general must investigate this. and, Jeff, to your point about the law, we prosecute this kind of thing all the time."