Today’s press corps is pretty embarrassing.
Just take this one exchange from Sunday’s ABC talk show “This Week,” with “journalist” Jonathan Karl interviewing President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow.
KARL: OK, one last question. Senator Warner, said that he is concerned that the president will issue pardons to the key figures in this investigation. Will the president rule out giving out pardons to people like Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, any others that are in this investigation?
SEKULOW: I have not had the conversation with the president about any of that, and I wouldn’t share it if I did because of the attorney-client privilege. But I’ve not had that conversation with the president on that and what he then (ph) could or could not do. He can pardon individuals, of course, that’s because the founders of our country put that in the United States Constitution, the power to pardon. But I have not had those conversations, so I couldn’t speculate on that.
KARL: So pardoning the key figures in this investigation is not off the table. It’s something he might do.
SEKULOW: I just told you, I’ve not had a — well, no. I can’t say that. The president told me in conversations that I’ve had with him about a variety of issues; we’ve talked — we’ve not talked about pardoning individuals in this at all, so you’re asking me to speculate on something that I cannot speculate on.
Ugh. Karl asks if Trump will pardon “key figures” — remember, there are no charges, and no evidence to date that any laws were broken. Sekulow says he hasn’t talked to Trump about that. So Karl says: “So pardoning the key figures in this investigation is not off the table. It’s something he might do.”
Yes, that’s what counts as “journalism” today. Seriously.
But Sekulow held his own, slapping Karl around throughout the entire interview. The smug host tried hard to gotcha’ Sekulow several times, but Trump’s lawyer did what lawyers do — stuck to the facts and nothing but the facts, ma’am.
Couching the whole Russia collusion canard in Watergate terms, Karl said he would ask questions about “what the president knew, and when he knew it.”
On the Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian woman, Sekulow said: “Look, here is the reality: the meeting in and of itself of course, as I’ve said before, is not a violation of the law, but I think it’s important to understand that, as counsel to the president, the president was not aware of the meeting and did not participate in it.”
Sekulow mused that if the meeting was “nefarious, why the Secret Service allowed these people in,” and then pointed out that Ukrainians official were in direct contact with Democratic National Committee officials “and traded information back and forth.”
Trump’s lawyer also broke down the very questionable way the special investigation by Robert Mueller came about.
Let me put this in context. How did this whole situation start? And we tend to lose this fact and we should not.
James Comey takes notes of a conversation, or a series of conversations, he has with the President of the United States. He takes note. He puts them on a government computer in a government vehicle, put them in a government desk. He gets fired by the President of the United States. He was terminated as the FBI director, which James Comey acknowledges the president had the right to do.
James Comey then leaks those documents to a friend of his for the sole purpose of leaking them to “The New York Times”, and with the desire to be — and James Comey said this under oath. Let me just finish this, Jon. He said under oath that he hoped to get a special counsel, which he did.
So the special counsel then is based on evidence that was illegally leaked. And that to me raises questions about the whole spectra of what’s going on here.
Game. Set. Match.