In an interview with CBS broadcast on Sunday, former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said that President Donald Trump needs to be impeached because he poses a “fundamental threat” to the Constitution, reports The Hill.
Katyal, who served in the Obama administration, argued that evidence suggests Trump committed at least three impeachable offenses. According to the legal expert, the president is guilty of bribery, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power.
“Here the most important thing is not just Ukraine but the president’s reaction to Ukraine,” Katyal told Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan, adding that Trump has engaged in “unprecedented obstruction.”
Trump’s crimes, the legal expert argued, are worse than former President Richard Nixon’s.
“No president in our history has ever done this, saying unilaterally ‘I declare the entire investigation illegitimate,'” he said, suggesting that if Trump gets away with obstruction it would set a dangerous legal and political precedent, and allow future presidents to do the same.
“If this president can do it every president can do it whether it was Obama before, or a President Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders,” he said, adding that “impeachment is so central to our checks and balances, what he’s doing is a fundamental threat to our Constitution.”
The legal expert also agreed with House Democrats’ strategy of pursuing a narrow impeachment inquiry, with the president’s allegedly inappropriate contacts with the Ukrainian government at the core of the accusations.
However, according to Katyal, Democrats could use former special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings as additional evidence in their case against the president.
Drawing a parallel between Trump and Nixon, Katyal said that “some of the other evidence [from] Mueller can come in as kind of supporting evidence,” just like the impeachment articles against Nixon were based on the Watergate scandal but also contained additional evidence.
Former Solicitor General @neal_katyal tells @margbrennan that @realDonaldTrump has engaged in “unprecedented obstruction,” and lays out three potential articles of impeachment. WATCH: pic.twitter.com/KxQLXsgye2
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) December 8, 2019
According to Democrats in the House of Representatives, Trump committed impeachable offenses when he allegedly pressured the Ukrainian government to launch investigations into his political rivals. According to an anonymous whistleblower, Trump pressured the Ukrainians to investigate Democratic White House hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden, threatening to cut military aid unless the Ukrainian authorities do as he says.
A number of high-ranking Trump administration officials are implicated in the case. Documents released by the State Department suggest Secretary of State Mike Pompeo worked on pressuring the Ukrainians, coordinating with the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. Vice President Mike Pence also participated in Trump’s Ukraine scheme, according to reports.