Former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks called Donald Trump far more dangerous than disgraced former president Richard Nixon because Trump doesn’t even remotely believe in the rule of law.
In a discussion with MSNBC’s AM Joy on Saturday, Wine-Banks explained that even though Nixon was part of a massive criminal cover-up, he ultimately believed in the rule of law enough to comply with court orders.
“This is the beginning of the end of democracy if we do not have three separate but equal branches, if Congress doesn’t have the power to enforce,” the former Watergate prosecutor said. “In the end during Watergate, Richard Nixon did actually believe in the rule of law, and when ordered by courts to comply, he did.”
Wine-Banks added, “This president has said he will not, and it is a very scary thing.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) April 27, 2019
This is the beginning of the end of democracy if we do not have three separate but equal branches, if Congress doesn’t have the power to enforce. In the end during Watergate, Richard Nixon did actually believe in the rule of law, and when ordered by courts to comply, he did. This president has said he will not, and it is a very scary thing. That leads us to what can Congress do. Obviously, impeachment is one thing they can do, and I would say in terms of the process it’s not a binary choice for them between impeach now or never. It’s not a binary choice between how they do it. It is not a binary hoice between their constitutional obligation, between their moral imperative to take action against a lawless president, and between the political reality that he will not be convicted even though he would be impeached. It is a choice of process. … So we need to have the fact-finding hearings to educate the public and then we can move to what is the next step? Is impeachment the right thing? Even if he won’t be convicted, he would have that asterisk after his name saying that he had done something wrong. We can’t let this go unpunished. We can’t let him skate away and get no consequences.
‘The beginning of the end of democracy’
When someone so involved in the Watergate saga sounds the alarm bell and calls Donald Trump more dangerous to America’s democratic institutions than Richard Nixon, the public should listen.
So far, Democrats in Congress appear to be listening as they step up their efforts to follow Trump’s finances and call on former and current White House officials to testify on the Mueller report.
But if Donald Trump follows through on his commitment to not comply with these lawful inquiries, it will put America in a far more dangerous position than Richard Nixon’s Watergate ever did.
Democrats in Congress need to prepare for that eventuality and act accordingly.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.