John Dean, the high-profile attorney that served as White House Counsel for Richard Nixon during the early days of his impeachment inquiry — and whose “flipped” testimony proved to be Nixon’s undoing — appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 yesterday afternoon, after Day One of Donald Trump’s public impeachment hearings was in the books, to discuss with a rather large panel the events of the day.
That was a discussion that got heated, with quadrennial loser for the Republican nomination for President Rick Santorum playing (ironically) the Devil’s Advocate on what amounts to “it’s bad, but not impeachable,” and a litany of pundits including the investigative reporter who actually broke the Watergate case, Carl Bernstein.
The host, Cooper, asked Dean whether he thought that any of the day’s proceedings had “moved the needle” at all on impeachment for Republican Senators, who would be the ones who essentially decide by themselves — since they hold the majority in the Senate, where the actual trial would take place after article of impeachment are advanced through the House — whether or not Trump was removed from office.
Dean didn’t play coy about the likelihood of a conviction, but clearly thought there should be one:
We know from what’s come out of the executive sessions generally where this is going. What struck me today in listening to these two witnesses [Bill Taylor and George Kent] is they already more than they had against Richard Nixon to impeach him, just on all accounts. Because the evidence is there.”
Of course, that set off another round of discussion, but the fact is that Dean is correct: Even without considering the mountain of non-Ukraine-related evidence of crimes committed by Donald Trump while in office, there is already a bigger case of evidence of wrongdoing against this President than there has been against any other in history.
So far entered into public knowledge and established fact: Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Biden in return for an Oval Office meeting and the release of millions in aid to help them beat back Russian advances. That aid was withheld until it was known by the President’s team that there was a whistleblower. Trump’s personal attorney was running a shadow operation — an “irregular” channel to Ukraine — to guide, facilitate, and amplify the investigation into Joe Biden and his son. The Trump administration attempted to hide the transcript of Trump’s communications with Ukraine’s President on a highly secured server.
All of that is, after yesterday, in the public record as an established timeline of factual events that took place — a record of criminal activity that will have to be ignored by Senate Republicans if they choose not to convict Donald Trump.
Watch the exchange here:
Featured image via screen capture
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