Andrew Hall worked as an attorney for President Richard Nixon‘s right-hand man during the Watergate break-in and cover-up scandal of the early 1970s. In a recent interview with a London daily, Hall predicted that President Donald Trump will “undoubtedly be impeached.”
Speaking with The Independent, Hall reminisced about his stint as legal counsel for John D. Ehrlichman. While ensconced in his White House perch, Ehrlichman organized an semi-secret and fully illegal special investigations unit known as “The Plumbers,” which conducted illicit spying and espionage against political enemies.
Ehrlichman was famously described as one of “the meanest men on Nixon’s staff” in Hunter S. Thompson‘s landmark chronicle of Nixon’s presidential downfall. Hall now believes a similar downfall awaits President Trump. He said:
The coverup is always worse than the crime. And this one is very shady. We have a sitting president who will undoubtedly be impeached.
The Trump White House has recently devolved into an unusual state of chaos, in relative terms, due to various allegations contained in Watergate journalist Bob Woodward‘s latest tome of palace intrigue.
In a scene from Fear: Trump in the White House, Woodward describes former presidential attorney John Dowd telling special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump would likely perjure himself if questioned by Mueller’s investigators–a conclusion reached after a mock cross-examination of the president himself.
The Trump White House has denied the cross-examination ever took place and is pushing back against various claims in Woodward’s book. If it happened, however, Hall said that was probably one of the best ideas Trump’s lawyers have yet to make. Hall continued:
The idea to prepare a witness in and of itself is a good idea, but the fact that he’s incapable of being truthful throughout the entire exam is pretty scary. It raises a whole lot of issues. If a lawyer knows his client is not telling the truth, he can’t sit by and let that happen, he can’t participate and he must disassociate himself with that activity…otherwise, they lose their license for facilitating perjury.
Woodward’s own reporting was crucial to the public uncovering the extent of Ehrlichman’s culpability and Hall believes Woodward’s book is likely to contain additional details which will set another presidential impeachment in motion. Hall believes this will occur during Trump’s first–and current–term in office.
He said, “The November elections have an enormous impact on how this plays out. If the Democrats take the Senate, or enough Republicans switch over, there will be a successful impeachment.”
But, Hall noted, he doesn’t believe the combined gears of the constitutional impeachment process will fully grind through the 45th presidency and play out in their entirety. As impeachment becomes imminent post-2018 midterms, “[Trump] will resign,” Hall said.
And as for his associated apparatchiks and hangers-on? They’ll face some form of legal liability, too. Hall zeroed in on Trump’s lead attorney Rudy Giuliani. Of New York City’s former mayor, Hall said, “Rudy Giuliani is in worse trouble if the president lies to Mueller. Giuliani can be indicted.”
[image via Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images]