In an interview with CNN broadcast on Saturday, former President Richard Nixon’s White House Counsel John Dean weighed in on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, reports The Washington Examiner.
Dean argued that Democrats waited too long to launch the impeachment investigation, suggesting that Trump could have been impeached long ago.
“I think this president probably should have been impeached the day he walked in,” he said.
The former Nixon White House counsel seemingly suggested that the president has long been violating the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, using the office of the presidency to enrich himself and build up the Trump brand.
“He’s incompetent. He has a terrible attitude. He doesn’t understand government. He is in there trying to build his own brand, and he’s taking advantage of the office from day one.”
“It’s just kind of caught up with him with this incident,” Dean added, referring to Trump’s allegedly inappropriate contacts with the Ukrainian government, which are the core of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
The lawyer also noted that the Trump appears to have obstructed justice during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and related matters, suggesting that Democrats could have impeached the president over offenses pertaining to Mueller’s probe as well.
According to Dean, Trump should be facing “about 10 instances of obstruction of justice from the Mueller report.”
Dean has long been critical of the president, and the two have publicly feuded on numerous occasions.
Dean, who was part of the Watergate scandal, testified in the Mueller hearings earlier this summer, which prompted the president to call him a “sleazebag.”
According to the former Nixon White House counsel, thanks to witness testimonies, Congress has more evidence against Trump than it had against Nixon during the Watergate scandal, so he should be impeached by the House of Representatives.
As the Washington Examiner notes, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently issued a similar statement, suggesting that Nixon’s crimes pale in comparison to Trump’s.
“What President Trump has done… makes what Nixon did look almost small,” she said.
Much like Dean and Pelosi, numerous legal experts have argued that the president needs to be impeached, and that what he did during his contacts with the Ukrainian government amounts to extortion and bribery.
For instance, Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe and former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah both suggested that Trump engaged in bribery and extortion when he allegedly pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponents, threatening to cut military aid unless his requests are fulfilled.