President Donald Trump is a "cancer" on the office, and Congress should "excise" it, lawyer George Conway charged Thursday.
In a scathing opinion piece for The Washington Post, Conway — an ardent Trump critic and husband of White House counsel Kellyanne Conway, a stalwart Trump defender — argued the president's impeachable crime was putting his own interests above those of the nation.
"White House counsel John Dean famously told [President Richard] Nixon that there was a cancer within the presidency and that it was growing," Conway wrote. "What the Mueller report disturbingly shows, with crystal clarity, is that today there is a cancer in the presidency: President Donald J. Trump.
"Congress now bears the solemn constitutional duty to excise that cancer without delay."
According to Conway, Mueller's report is "damning."
"The president may have the raw constitutional power to, say, squelch an investigation or to pardon a close associate," he wrote. "But if he does so not to serve the public interest, but to serve his own, he surely could be removed from office, even if he has not committed a criminal act."
He argues Mueller's investigation "found multiple acts by the president that were capable of executing undue influence over law enforcement investigations" — and compares the effort to that of Nixon.
"[Nixon] was almost certainly to be impeached, and removed from office, after the infamous 'smoking gun tape' came out," Conway wrote, noting Nixon is heard on the tape directing his chief of staff to get the CIA director, Richard Helms, to tell the FBI not to go any further in the Watergate prosecution. Helms ignored the directive.
"The underlying crime in Watergate was a clumsy, third-rate burglary in an election campaign that turned out to be a landslide.
"The investigation that Trump tried to interfere with here, to protect his own personal interests, was in significant part an investigation of how a hostile foreign power interfered with our democracy. If that's not putting personal interests above a presidential duty to the nation, nothing is."
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