17 Watergate prosecutors tell Democrats: Don't wait, impeach now

17 Watergate prosecutors tell Democrats: Don't wait, impeach now
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Veteran Watergate prosecutors penned an op-ed for The Washington Post Friday arguing that enough "compelling prima facie evidence" already exists to make the case that Donald Trump has "committed impeachable offenses."

"This evidence can be accepted as sufficient for impeachment, unless disproved by any contrary evidence that the president may choose to offer," write the 17 prosecutors, including MSNBC contributor Jill Wine-Banks. They further urge the House to proceed with Trump's impeachment "fairly, openly and promptly."

"The president’s refusal to cooperate in confirming (or disputing) the facts already on the public record should not delay or frustrate the House’s performance of its constitutional duty," they write.

As Wine-Banks further explained on MSNBC Friday, time is of the essence. "There is enough evidence on the public record right this minute that you don't have to investigate anymore," she said. Wine-Banks said Trump's numerous impeachable offenses fall into the same three categories used during Watergate: obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and defiance of subpoenas.

But most of them, she added, fall under “contempt of Congress,” which goes beyond interfering with criminal investigations. "This is stopping all ordinary oversight; it is totally destructive of separation of powers and checks and balances, which are so important to how we run our government," Wine-Banks explained.

She said would be ready “right now” to make her closing arguments about Trump’s crimes and what a "danger to democracy" they represent. "Which is what you need for impeachment," she added. "You need to know that our democracy is at risk and, in this case, our national security and in fact world security is at risk because of what [Trump] has done."

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