In an interview with CNN broadcast on Sunday, former White House Counsel John Dean — who served President Richard Nixon — discussed the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump, reports Raw Story.
According to the lawyer, the Republican Party is “denying reality” of what is actually going on by defending Trump. Dean said that “in the current Republican Party, two plus two does not equal four.” He continued by accusing the GOP of spreading conspiracy theories to protect the president from the investigation.
According to Dean, Trump’s alleged misuse of power to pressure a foreign government to benefit his re-election campaign is a “very, very serious offense,” which is far worse than Nixon’s wrongdoings.
Drawing parallels between Trump and Nixon, Dean suggested that Trump’s alleged pressuring of the Ukrainian government is unprecedented.
“We’ve never had a president pull a trick like this. Nixon, in his darkest thoughts, I don’t think would envision doing this. That’s why this is so serious.”
Dean also shared that he believes articles of impeachment will be sent to the U.S. Senate within weeks. He said the newly released State Department documents are not even necessarily game-changers, explaining that there is already plenty of evidence pointing to Trump’s alleged crimes.
“[W]e’ve already seen the smoking gun in the memoranda of conversation that Trump had with Zelinsky, asking him to do him a favor and clearly mentioning Biden and 2016,” said Dean. “That to me has always been — we started with a smoking gun and this is just further corroboration,” he concluded.
The new State Department documents Dean referenced, which were released following a lawsuit from American Oversight, detail lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s involvement in the case.
The documents suggest that Giuliani and Pompeo worked together as the president withheld military aid. Allegedly, the two men pressured Ukrainian officials to investigate Trump’s political opponents, trying to oust now-former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
The documents appear to corroborate claims originally made by an anonymous intelligence community official, according to whom Trump was freezing military aid to force the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden — one of Trump’s main political rivals.
According to many Democrats in the House of Representatives, Trump committed impeachable offenses by pressuring the Ukrainians as a means of benefitting himself. House Democrats are reportedly drafting four different articles of impeachment, which accuse the president of bribery, obstruction of justice, obstruction of Congress, and abuse of power.