Presidential historian: First impeachment article against Nixon was ‘obstruction by directing others to lie’

Presidential historian Jon Meacham on Friday resurfaced the first article of impeachment brought against former President Nixon in a discussion following a bombshell report that President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE directed his former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.

“The first article of impeachment against Nixon was just this: obstruction by directing others to lie,” Meacham tweeted early Friday morning. “This is not hysteria or hyperventilating. It’s history.”



The perspective from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author comes after the report published Thursday night stated that Trump directed Cohen to lie to congressional committees about efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump also reportedly supported a plan by Cohen to visit Russia to launch negotiations about the construction effort shortly before the 2016 presidential election, according to two federal law enforcement officials who were reportedly close to the investigation.

The then-candidate also supported a plan to have Cohen meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the trip, Buzzfeed News reported.

“Make it happen,” Trump allegedly told Cohen around the time.

Cohen admitted in November to lying about the Trump Moscow property plans while testifying before congressional intelligence committees.


He said he lied about his travel plans and how long the project was discussed with Trump Organization officials before the election.

Meacham, a presidential biographer and frequent Trump critic, said in May that impeachment will be the “season finale” to Trump’s time in office. 

Nixon was not impeached following the Watergate scandal, but resigned in 1974 shortly after articles of impeachment for obstruction of justice, misuse of power and contempt of Congress were introduced. He was told an impeachment vote in the House was unavoidable and that he would likely be convicted in the Senate.

Trump brushed off impeachment talk earlier this month, saying Democrats in the House couldn’t impeach “the most popular Republican in party history.”

“How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time, done nothing wrong (no Collusion with Russia, it was the Dems that Colluded), had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history 93%?” Trump tweeted.