Over the last two years, some of the very best legal analysis to come from a cable news network has been delivered to the public by MSNBC’s two “wonkiest” hosts, Rachel Maddow and Ari Melber. In fact, it’s hard to imagine how the network could have kept viewers quite as apprised of the ongoing series of probes by Robert Mueller, the wider Justice Department, Congress, the Southern District of New York, and all of the various courtrooms that have been graced by the victims and the perpetrators of offenses in the “Trump/Russia” ordeal than through the analytical lens of Maddow’s scrutiny and through the interview skills of Melber — who has often led his guests into admitting or explaining more on his show than they otherwise might have in any other venue.
That’s why it was exciting to see his two guests, Preet Bharara and Benito Romano, on the show: The two former US Attorneys who each led the offices of the Southern District of New York are always good for a fresh take on current legal events — especially regarding Trump — but on Melber’s show, their presence promised to deliver something America was dying to hear.
They did not disappoint.
After introducing his guests, Melber got directly to the point: What about the DOJ policy against indicting a sitting President? Then, in a surprise clip, Melber showed David Kelly, yet another former head of the SDNY, answering that very question:
It’s a policy, it’s not the law. Policies can be bent, policies can be broken.”
Benito Romano was quick to agree when asked by the host. Preet Bharara, who was actually fired by Donald Trump after refusing to resign along with nearly 50 other US Attorneys culled by the incoming administration, was not as eager to sign on. “I’m going to disappoint some people,” he said, before going into a brief explanation of why he would abide by the policy. But almost no time passed before Romano and Melber each said to him that it sounded like he was simply talking about exercising discretion, not ruling out indictments entirely:
If I did have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the President had, like he likes to say he can, shot someone in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue and killed that person, then I might not abide by the policy.”
Watch the clip here:
Featured image is a screen capture.