Watergate prosecutor slams Trump lawyer comments: 'No one is above the law'

A former Watergate prosecutor fired back Monday night at a comment made by President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE’s lawyer that presidents “cannot obstruct justice.”

Jill Wine-Banks told MSNBC’s Brian Williams that “no one is above the law,” including Trump and other commanders in chief.

“Anybody who studied history and studied the Watergate case knows that if it proved anything, it proves that no one is above the law,” she said. “The president can be charged with obstruction of justice.”

On Monday, Trump’s attorney, John Dowd, said a president “cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer” and “has every right to express his view of any case.”

Dowd’s comments come after he allegedly wrote a tweet sent from Trump’s account that appeared to state Trump knew that former national security adviser Michael Flynn lied to the FBI, a charge to which Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday. Trump said he fired Flynn in February because Flynn lied to the vice president, not the FBI.


Wine-Banks said she went back and looked at the Watergate indictment to compare to some of the legal debates currently surrounding Trump and the Russia investigation.

“So many of the overt acts and furtherance of the conspiracy to obstruct justice [in Watergate] are things that I can hear Donald Trump’s lawyer arguing, ‘Well, the president has power to do that, he has absolute authority so he can’t be charged with it,’ ” she said. “Well, The president and all his top aides were actually charged with that and they went to jail, they were convicted.”

Wine-Banks noted that President Nixon was impeached for both obstruction of justice and abuse of power, which could also be a factor in the Trump case.

“Even if you don’t think it’s obstruction, you have to realize that it’s at least an abuse of his power,” she said. “He cannot pardon everyone, that would be an abuse of a power he clearly has.”