Nixon Lawyer: Expect Impeachment Proceedings

John Dean says Congress has 'little choice' but to get them started
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2018 6:26 AM CST
Nixon Lawyer: Expect Impeachment Proceedings
President Trump gestures as he walks to Air Force One Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Trump suggests that the flurry of late court filings Friday related to the Robert Mueller investigation "totally clears" him. But a man with familiarity in such things has a different view: "I think what this totality of today's filings show (is) that the House is going to have little choice, the way this is going, other than to start impeachment proceedings," former Nixon lawyer John Dean tells CNN. Dean, who served a short prison stint for his role in the Watergate scandal, was referring specifically to a sentencing memo in regard to Michael Cohen that links the president to felony violation of campaign finance rules. The memo says "Individual 1," believed to be Trump, directly instructed Cohen to coordinate illegal payments to two women alleging affairs with Trump.

The incoming Democratic chair of the House Judiciary Committee tells the New York Times that such a campaign finance violation would likely amount to an impeachable offense. If what prosecutors say is true, Nadler said he would tell his panel to investigate, though he drew a distinction between such an inquiry and an actual vote to impeach. “Is it serious enough to justify impeachment?” he asked. “That is another question.” All that is separate from a different issue: Could a sitting president be criminally indicted? The AP digs into that, but notes that legal experts are split on the subject and that the Supreme Court has never ruled on it. The story also points out that the court filing Friday does not accuse Trump of committing a crime—though it accuses Cohen of committing a crime and says Trump was involved. (Kellyanne Conway's husband has his own view.)

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