Legendary Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein said during an interview on CNN that if Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were in charge during the Watergate era, they would have stopped investigations into President Richard Nixon’s scandals.
“I think we may look back on tonight as the Monday night slaughter,” Bernstein said.
“A real slaughter by an obstructive, irresponsible, partisan gang in the House of Representatives that has put the interests of their party and the president of the United States and his personal fortunes above the national interest.”
Bernstein was asked whether he thinks the U.S. is heading toward a constitutional crisis.
“If the president continues down this road, and if his enablers in Congress continue down this road, a constitutional crisis in the sense that the system may fail us,” he said.
“And by this, I mean shutting down the legitimate investigation of the president of the United States.”
Bernstein said if the facts are exonerating Trump, he should be exonerated.
“But he is trying to suppress the investigation of the president of the United States,” Bernstein said, adding that during Watergate, the Republicans “were the heroes in making sure that that process went forward.”
“If you had Speaker Ryan and Mitch McConnell as the leaders during Watergate, I doubt seriously that that investigation would have gone forward and we would have seen, really, what we’re seeing now.”
The Hill added:
His comments come after the House Intelligence Committee on Monday voted to make public a GOP-crafted memo alleging what some Republicans say are “shocking” surveillance abuses at the Department of Justice.
At the same time, the committee voted against making public a Democrat-drafted memo.
The precise contents of the memo remain unknown.
However, it’s believed to contain allegations that the FBI did not adequately explain to a clandestine court that some of the information it used in a surveillance warrant application for Trump adviser Carter Page came from opposition research partially funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, now known as the “Steele dossier.”
His comments also came after Andrew McCabe on Monday stepped down as deputy director of the FBI, bowing to pressure from Trump and congressional Republicans who were clamoring for his ouster.