Unlike Nixon, Trump vows to not resign in the face of impeachment: ‘He left. I don’t leave.’
President Donald Trump pledged Monday he won’t pull a Richard Nixon and resign in the face of certain impeachment, saying he’s not the type of person who backs down from a fight.
Trump sought to set himself apart from the disgraced 37th president while fielding questions about mounting Democratic calls for his removal from office.
“President Nixon never got there. He left. I don’t leave,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “There’s a big difference.”
Nixon resigned on Aug. 9, 1974, after his political support had eroded amid a House Judiciary Committee impeachment inquiry unearthing damning information about his involvement in a cover-up of the Watergate scandal.
Nearly all members of Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike — had abandoned Nixon at the time of his resignation, and it was widely believed he would have been impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate had he not stepped down voluntarily.
But Trump — despite having a long history of pulling out of business ventures when the going gets tough — said it’s not in his nature to “leave” and pledged to stay put even if the House impeaches him.
“You can’t impeach somebody when there’s never been a thing done wrong,” Trump said at the White House.
The president’s comments came as former White House counsel and Watergate star witness John Dean testified before the House Judiciary Committee on what he called “striking” parallels between Trump and Nixon.
“In many ways, the Mueller report is to President Trump what the so-called Watergate road map … was to President Richard Nixon,” Dean said of the grand jury document that painted a damning portrait of Nixon and was handed over to the House judiciary panel in March 1974. “Stated a little differently, special counsel Mueller has provided this committee with a road map.”
Trump took aim at Dean even before he started speaking at the House hearing, tweeting, “Can’t believe they are bringing in John Dean, the disgraced Nixon White House Counsel who is a paid CNN contributor … Democrats just want a do-over which they’ll never get!”
A growing number of Democrats have called for Trump’s impeachment in light of special counsel Robert Mueller refusing to exonerate the president of obstruction of justice.
During an unusual public appearance last month, Mueller upped the ante even more as he said he never indicted Trump because it wasn’t an “option” under longstanding Justice Department policy.
Dean’s testimony was part of House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler’s effort to dig into the “lessons” of Mueller’s 448-page report.
Before kicking off Monday’s hearing, Nadler, D-N.Y., said the intent of the session was to make sure, “no president, Democrat or Republican, can ever act in this way again.”
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