Criminal Justice

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump. Photo from

Seventeen former Watergate special prosecutors have made a case for three articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

The former members of the special prosecution force think compelling evidence supports Trump’s impeachment, unless the president is able to disprove it. “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 wrote.

The former prosecutors said three articles of impeachment under consideration in President Richard Nixon’s impeachment inquiry would also apply in Trump’s case. They are obstruction, abuse of power and contempt of Congress.

The writers said Trump obstructed congressional investigations by refusing to cooperate in the Ukraine inquiry and sought to obstruct the special prosecutor investigation of Russian interference. They also asserted that Trump subordinated the integrity of the electoral process to his own political interests by soliciting and encouraging foreign interference.

“If a bill of impeachment comes before the Senate, we urge all members of the Senate to put aside partisan loyalties and carry out their own constitutional duties courageously and honestly,” the Oct. 10 op-ed said.

“In 1974, it was a group of Republican senators who put national interest over party loyalty and informed Nixon that his conduct was indefensible and would compel conviction by the Senate and removal from office. We hope the current Senate would similarly put honor and integrity above partisanship and personal political interest.”

Among those who signed the op-ed are Philip Allen Lacovara, counsel to Watergate special prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski; Richard Ben-Veniste, one of the lead Watergate prosecutors; Paul Michel, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; and Jill Wine-Banks, a former executive director of the ABA.

In a second public statement, 16 conservative lawyers published a letter supporting an “expeditious impeachment investigation,” report the National Law Journal and the Washington Post.

“In the past several weeks, it has become clear to any observer of current events that the president is abusing the office of the presidency for personal political objectives,” the Oct. 10 letter said.

One of the lawyers who signed that letter was George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.