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17 Watergate investigators: Trump should be impeached for 'abuses of power'

There is compelling evidence Trump committed impeachable offenses, wrote 17 investigators who worked on Watergate.

By Dan Desai Martin - October 10, 2019
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Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Minneapolis, for a campaign rally.

The drumbeat for Trump’s impeachment just got a little louder Thursday when 17 former members of the Watergate special prosecutor force published a Washington Post op-ed outlining why they think Trump committed impeachable offenses.

The investigators who wrote the piece worked at the Justice Department during the Nixon administration, uncovering crimes committed by Nixon and his allies, including breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s office, which was located in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.

Trump has “demonstrated serious and persistent abuses of power that in our view satisfy the constitutional standard of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,'” the group wrote.

“Rather than indicting the president, the grand jury named him an unindicted co-conspirator, delivered to the House a ‘road map’ of the evidence implicating him in wrongdoing and deferred to the House’s constitutional responsibility to address such presidential wrongdoing through the impeachment process,” they wrote.

The Trump administration recently argued that a pivotal federal court decision from the Watergate era that forced the administration to share evidence with Congress was “wrongly decided.” The argument in federal court was part of an attempt to hide some documents and underlying evidence gathered by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation from Congress. The judge called this argument an “extraordinary position.”

Even without additional evidence, the investigators argued in their op-ed that the House has enough evidence to bring forward the same three articles of impeachment used against Nixon: one for obstruction, one for abuse of power, and one for contempt of Congress.

The group points to Trump’s recent Ukrainian scandal where Trump asked the Ukrainian president to interfere in the 2020 election by providing political dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden. The group also wrote that Trump “obstructed lawful congressional investigations by systematically withholding evidence and by directing government agencies and employees¬†to refuse to cooperate with legitimate oversight by Congress.” Trump publicly declared his intention to stop cooperating with Congress in a Wednesday letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

If the House impeaches Trump, the investigators urged senators to “put aside partisan loyalties and carry out their own constitutional duties courageously and honestly.” The group wrote that in 1974 a group of Republican senators told Nixon his actions would result in both impeachment by the House and removal from office by the Senate. Rather than face these consequences, Nixon resigned.

Thus far, Trump seems committed to fighting the impeachment process every step of the way.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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