Ryan Goodman, a law professor at the University of New York School of Law, believes that President Donald Trump has already surpassed former President Richard Nixon if he really instructed former “fixer” Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.
Writing at Just Security, Goodman argues that confirmation of Thursday night’s bombshell BuzzFeed report would mark a point of no return that would set Trump squarely on a course toward getting impeached by Congress.
Goodman then explains why this would be an even graver offense than the ones that forced Richard Nixon to resign in 1974.
“What makes the Cohen lies even worse — and yes, far worse than Watergate — is that it exposed any U.S. officials who were involved in orchestrating his false testimony to blackmail by Russia,” he writes. “If Trump suborned false statements, the president would have exposed not only himself to Kremlin blackmail, but also other members of his team who, according to court documents and reporting, helped orchestrate his personal lawyer’s congressional testimony.”
Instructing Cohen to lie would be such a clear-cut case of obstruction of justice, Goodman argues, that even Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, would not step in to save him if it’s proven to be true.
“William Barr, the man nominated for attorney general with extreme views of presidential power, has written and testified . . . that suborning perjury or inducing a witness to change their testimony is a criminal act for which no presidential power protects it,” he writes.