- Carl Bernstein, whose reporting on Watergate led to Richard Nixon’s resignation, appeared on CNN Sunday to discuss a call between President Trump and the Georgia secretary of state.
- Trump asked Brad Raffensperger Georgia to “find” more votes to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win of the state.
- Comparing his evidence against Nixon to the new audio, Bernstein said Trump’s call was “far worse” and “the ultimate smoking gun.”
- He said that “in any other presidency” it would be enough to bring about impeachment.
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Carl Bernstein, who helped expose President Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, says President Donald Trump’s attempts to pressure a Georgia official to overturn the presidential election is “far worse.”
On Sunday, The Washington Post published audio from a call the president had with Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger on Saturday, where he told him to “find” enough votes to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win there.
During an appearance on CNN on Sunday, Bernstein was asked if the tape gave him déjà vu from Watergate — in which it was revealed that President Nixon ordered a break-in to steal campaign secrets from the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters.
“It’s not déjà vu. This is something far worse than occured in Watergate,” Bernstein said.
—The Recount (@therecount) January 3, 2021
Bernstein described the tape as “the ultimate smoking gun” that shows what Trump “is willing to do to undermine the electoral system and illegally, improperly, and immorally try to instigate a coup.”
“In any other presidency, this tape would be evidence enough to result in the impeachment of the President of the United States, his conviction in the Senate of the United States, and really an immediate call by the members of Congress — including of his own party — that he resign immediately.
“That’s really what we ought to be hearing at the moment.”
Since news of the call broke on Sunday, a DC watchdog group and Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have called for a new impeachment of Trump. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris called the conversation a “baldfaced, bold abuse of power.” Republicans have stayed mostly quiet.
Bernstein said it was unlikely that Republicans would turn on Trump over the news, and said that was one of the biggest contrasts to Watergate.
“The one thing we should recall from Watergate is that the heroes of Watergate were Republicans who would not tolerate Richard Nixon’s conduct,” Bernstein said.
Bernstein has been a frequent critic of Trump, and it’s not the first time he has said one of his scandals was worse than Watergate.
In September, responding to his former reporting partner Bob Woodward’s taped conversations with the president, in which Trump admitted to downplaying COVID-19, Bernstein said the admission was “even more devastating than Nixon’s tapes.”