Drawing parallels between the investigation into Trump and Watergate investigations into Richard Nixon, Wine-Banks pointed out that the main difference between the inquiries appears to be the fact that, with Trump, the smoking guns are in plain sight.
Watergate culminated with the release of the tape in which Nixon was heard ordering subordinates to commit a crime, the Watergate prosecutor explained, but in the case against Trump, there are multiple smoking guns in plain sight, with one of them being the transcript of the president’s phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to Wine-Banks, in the impeachment inquiry against Trump, “we have a lot of smoking guns.”
“In obvious, plain sight, you have a commission of a request from a foreign power to help in his own personal benefit for his political gain. That, to me, is a crime,” she explained, suggesting that the request is another smoking gun.
The Watergate prosecutor also argued that much like Nixon, Trump is refusing to cooperate with Congressional investigations, obstructing probes, and abusing the power of his office.
“That’s what we should be looking at,” she said.
“We can focus on the Ukraine phone call because America understands that,” Wine-Banks added, arguing that it is “important to bring the public into this conversation and to have them understand what’s going on.”
She also issued a warning to Democrats in the House of Representatives, stating that it would be a “mistake” to allow Republicans to “divert attention to things that have no factual basis.”
Former United States Attorney Chuck Rosenberg, who also participated in the discussion, agreed with Wine-Banks, suggesting that Democrats build a strong case “brick by brick.” Rosenberg stressed the importance of witness testimonies, arguing that Democrats should focus on finding “credible, corroborative” witnesses.
According to an anonymous intelligence community whistleblower, Trump wanted to damage former Democrat Joe Biden’s White House bid and pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate the former vice president and his son, Hunter. He threatened to withhold military aid unless his request is fulfilled, according to the anonymous official.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and virtually all Republicans in the United States Congress have fallen in line, defending the president every step of the way.
GOP lawmakers have, in fact, been escalating their rhetoric, alleging that the impeachment investigation is an elaborate Democratic conspiracy meant to take Trump down without voting him out of office.
For instance, in recent interviews, two top Republicans — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Intelligence Committee member Devin Nunes — described the investigation is a “coup.”