He 'was involved in the crime’: Former Watergate prosecutor explains why Trump is more corrupt and dangerous than Nixon
Former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks often appears on cable news to discuss the Ukraine scandal and the likely impeachment of President Donald Trump in the U.S. House of Representatives. But when Wine-Banks, now 76, spoke with MSNBC’s “Morning Joy” on Sunday, she stressed to host Joy Reid that there are some crucial differences between Watergate and Ukrainegate: Trump is even more corrupt and dangerous than Nixon was in the 1970s.
The Watergate scandal came about following the June 1972 burglary of Democratic National Committee (DNC) offices in Washington, D.C. — a break-in clearly ordered by pro-Nixon Republicans. Historians have debated whether or not Nixon himself ordered the break-in, but he obviously found out about it and went to great lengths to cover it up.
Wine-Banks told Reid that Nixon himself didn’t break into DNC headquarters, whereas Trump was actually on the phone when, on July 25, he tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
Wine-Banks asserted, “Nixon was not involved in the break-in…. He was involved in the cover-up…. Trump was involved in the crime; he was on the phone with Zelensky.”
Although articles of impeachment against Nixon were drawn up in the House, Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974 before those articles could come up before a full House vote — and Vice President Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as president of the United States the following day. Nixon ultimately accepted defeat, but Wine-Banks fears that Trump is incapable of that.
Wine-Banks told Reid, “I never thought that Nixon wouldn’t leave office….. He actually believed in the rule of law. I’m not sure Trump actually believes that.”
MoveOn’s Karine Jean-Pierre, who was also part of the panel discussion, responded to Wine-Banks’ comments and told Reid, “We are in a dangerous, dangerous place right now with our democracy and our constitution.”