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‘Let’s Pretend’ Trump Planned a ‘Bank Robbery’

On Wednesday, CNN Newsroom co-host Jim Sciutto was visibly frustrated that Americans were not “moved” by the vague quid pro quo allegation against President Trump. To spice things up, Sciutto enlisted the help of CNN analyst Paul Callan, who conjured up a fanciful hypothetical world where President Trump had been caught planning a bank robbery.

Sciutto was excited about a recent New York Times piece alleging that President Trump had released the hold on foreign aid to Ukraine only after learning about the whistleblower report – according to “two people.” He strategized with his panel about how best to present this evidence in a way that might make more Americans support impeaching the President:

Paul Callan, let’s imagine for a moment that the facts in this matter; just imagine that world. You are a lawyer trying this case and you discover that your client here, you know, only acted after he learned this new information – and that when you put two and two together here, how would you present that case to a jury?

Callan then compared foreign aid being delayed to a premeditated violent felony. “Let’s say you were representing somebody who planned a bank robbery,” he began. “And there was lots of evidence. There were meetings about the bank robbery. Discussions about how the bank would be robbed.”

 

 

Callan continued with his analogy at length (see the video above), before getting sidetracked by his own bizarre theory that the President’s use of the term “quid pro quo” was itself evidence of guilt: 

And why would the president start using a Latin phrase, no quid pro quo? You ever see any of his rallies? I’ve never seen him throwing a lot of Latin phraseology out there. All of a sudden, he’s now telling people there’s no quid pro quo. That phrase came into his mind because of what was found out. From the whistle-blower. 

Sciutto, of course, was thrilled with Callan’s performance. “If only we lived in a world where facts mattered,” he sighed wistfully. Minutes later, he uttered this complaint a third time in as many minutes: “Again, imagining we lived in a world where the facts moved people.” 

Callan’s ridiculous analogy aside, this segment illustrated an ugly trend among many in the media: poorly-concealed frustration with Americans for not caring enough about impeachment. Sciutto’s sanctimonious whining that “the facts” didn’t “matter” to people was just the latest instance of this habit.

To read a transcript of the exchange, click “expand” below:

CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto
11/27/2019
9:07 – 9:09 ET
 

JIM SCIUTTO: Paul Callan, let’s just imagine for a moment that the facts in this matter. Just imagine that world [laughs in Democrat]. You are a lawyer trying this case and you discover that your client here, you know, only acted after he learned this new information – and that when you put two and two together here, how would you present that case to a jury. 

PAUL CALLAN: You’re in a tough spot as a defense attorney. And you know, I think that’s a good analogy. Let’s turn it and pretend we’re in a courtroom. Let’s say you were representing somebody who planned a bank robbery. And there was lots of evidence; there were meetings about the bank robbery; discussions about how the bank would be robbed. 

SCIUTTO: Over the course of weeks and months. 

CALLAN: And then, when the guy organizing the bank robbery becomes aware that there’s a wiretap in place and they are onto him – i.e., in this case, the whistleblower report. Because the president in mid-August became aware that the whistleblower was making a claim that military aid to Ukraine was being held up to force them to give information and investigate Joe and Hunter Biden. Okay? You find out about that. 

The next thing out of the president’s mouth in early September to his ambassador Sondland is, there’s no quid pro quo. That’s like the bank robber saying, we’re not going to rob a bank. Okay, guys? We’re going to go on a picnic on the day of the bank robbery. It’s a consciousness of guilt. 

And why would the president start using a Latin phrase, no quid pro quo? You ever see any of his rallies? I’ve never seen him throwing a lot of Latin phraseology out there. All of a sudden, he’s now telling people there’s no quid pro quo. That phrase came into his mind because of what was found out. From the whistle-blower. 

SCIUTTO: If only we lived in a world where facts mattered.