Legal expert: Cohen's guilty plea has parallels to Nixon, Watergate

Legal expert and Hill contributor Jonathan Turley said on Wednesday that there were parallels to Michael Cohen's plea deal with federal prosecutors and developments in the Watergate case during the Nixon administration. 

"Has any president faced this kind of a day in terms of the courts and criminality of their close advisers in recent history?" Hill.TV's Krystal Ball asked Turley on "Rising." 
 
"Yeah, Richard Nixon. The fact is this has some parallels to Nixon. You have the president's lawyer going south on the president. You have these sort of bombshell moments," Turley replied. 
 
Cohen, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE's longtime lawyer, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance law violations in a New York courtroom. 
 
Trump's former lawyer said he broke campaign finance laws "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office," an indirect reference to the president. 
 
Some have drawn parallels to Nixon's former White House counsel John Dean, who cooperated with federal prosecutors during the Watergate case.
 
Dean pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for his part in covering up the break-in at the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) offices at the Watergate complex in 1972. 
 
 
Turley said parallels should not be drawn between Manafort's trial and Watergate because the charges against Manafort are not related to his work on the Trump campaign. 
 
"I think you have to separate out Manafort. I don't think it's a lethal threat to him. I think the president is right, it's removed from him and his campaign," he said. 
 
"But anyone who doesn't think that Cohen flipping in this way is not an existential threat hasn't been paying attention." 
 

— Julia Manchester