Puerto Rico hasn't come up much in the Democratic primaries, but several candidates expressed support for civilian protests in the territory on Friday.
As citizens continue to protest in light of the revelation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló's profane private chat and corruption probe involving several former members of his administration, Carlos "Johnny" Méndez, the president of Puerto Rico's House of Representatives, created a special committee on Friday to advise him on whether Rosselló committed impeachable offenses.
U.S. lawmakers, including presidential candidates, have added their names to the list of people calling for new leadership in the territory. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) compared Puerto Rico with her home state of Hawaii.
Hawaii and Puerto Rico share many of the same experiences and stories. I stand with Puerto Ricans demanding change, who have had enough of government corruption, and who deserve a government of, by, and FOR the people. El pueblo unido jamás será vencido. #RickyRenunciapic.twitter.com/6flI25WJfv
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also expressed solidarity with the protesters, while former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro said he believes Rosselló should resign.
I've been standing with the people of Puerto Rico in their protests against corruption and their governor’s behavior. The people have spoken—loud and clear: @RicardoRossello should resign. https://t.co/cdqSC59GlM
The leaked chats showed the governor and 11 of his top aides exchanging profanity-laced, homophobic, and misogynistic messages about their fellow politicians, media, and celebrities. The messages also contain at least one joke about those who died during Hurricane Maria. Tim O'Donnell
Following a new bombshell report from The New York Times, one former prosecutor is breaking out the Richard Nixon comparisons.
CNN on Wednesday morning discussed a report from the Times that President Trump asked then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to get an ally installed as head of the Southern District of New York's investigation into the president's former attorney, Michael Cohen. The ally in question had already recused himself. This, CNN analyst and former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Elie Honig concluded, is a big deal.
"If this is not an attempt to obstruct justice, I don't know what is," Honig said. "This is old-school, textbook, almost Nixon-style obstruction."
Honig said the only "rational, reasonable read" on Trump's reported request is that he wanted to "put a lid on the investigation" before it affected him. He also pointed to Trump's previous berating of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his recusal from the Russia investigation, saying this all adds up to a "fairly obvious pattern of obstruction." Trump has denied the reported conversation with Whitaker took place.
It wasn't only CNN analysts concluding this report looks bad for Trump — Fox News' Andrew Napolitano said that if the report is true, it clearly shows an "attempt to obstruct justice." Some did come to Trump's defense, though, with former Republican senator Rick Santorum saying the attorney Trump wanted to appoint was "not someone who would not normally be someone you would suggest would be in charge." He also said Trump's reported conversation with Whitaker was not "improper," although it also was not "wise."
Watch Honig's comments below. Brendan Morrow
“This is old-school, textbook, almost Nixon-style obstruction,” former federal prosecutor @eliehonig says about the NYT report that Pres. Trump asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to install one of his allies into hush-money investigation. https://t.co/kYAhHS5v71pic.twitter.com/3bh4eMGBaT