Donald Trump will almost certainly face impeachment for his role in trying to bury the Russia investigation, a former Watergate lawyer claims.
Andrew Hall represented one of President Richard Nixon’s top advisers who also led a special investigations unit in the White House responsible for illegal operations, giving him a firsthand view of how a scandal can envelope a White House. In an interview with the Independent, Hall said he sees the same thing happening in the White House now.
“The coverup is always worse than the crime,” Hall told the newspaper. “And this one is very shady. We have a sitting president who will undoubtedly be impeached.”
Hall pointed to a passage from Bob Woodward’s new book about the Trump White House in which the president’s lawyers tried in vain to prepare him for a hypothetical interview with Robert Mueller’s investigators. They gave up in frustration out of fear that Trump would perjure himself.
That was not a good sign, Hall said.
“The idea to prepare a witness in and of itself is a good idea, but the fact that he’s incapable of being truthful throughout the entire exam is pretty scary,” he said. “It raises a whole lot of issues. If a lawyer knows his client is not telling the truth, he can’t sit by and let that happen, he can’t participate and he must disassociate himself with that activity … otherwise, they lose their license for facilitating perjury.”
As the Independent noted, Hall already has a connection to Woodward, who as a Washington Post reporter uncovered inconsistencies in his client John Ehrlichman’s story about the Watergate break-in. Hall said he believes the current landscape is not amendable to impeaching Donald Trump, but that would change if Democrats regain control of the House and Senate.
Hall is not the only one with a historical perspective who sees bad signs for Trump. Fellow Watergate figure John Dean, the White House attorney who ultimately provided damaging evidence against Nixon, said Trump could be in a similar situation after his own White House lawyer sat down with Mueller’s investigators for more than 30 hours.
“I think that’s a lot of testimony, that’s a lot of visiting, and that’s just the bottom of what they know,” Dean said in an interview with CNN. “It could well have been much more than that. It appears to have been ongoing. So, I think Trump has got a real problem here. And I’m not sure how he’s going to handle it.”
For his part, Donald Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has characterized the Russia investigation as a politically motivated witch hunt.