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. 
 
 
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. 
 
The development surrounding Cohen came as a jury in Virginia found Trump's former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDemocrats return to a battered Trump Manafort's legal team argues NY prosecution constitutes double jeopardy Clip surfaces of Paul Manafort and wife on Nickelodeon game show MORE guilty on eight charges of bank and tax fraud.
 
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