One of the Men Who Brought Down Nixon Reacts to the New Tape

A CNN host spoke to Carl Bernstein, one of the reporters who broke the Watergate story, to get his reaction to today’s news:

CNN:  Carl, is this deja vu for you to hear this kind of audiotape of the president of the United States, the sitting president … ?

Bernstein: It’s not deja vu. This is something far worse than what occurred in Watergate. We have both a criminal president of the United States . . . and a subversive president of the United States at the same time. This one person subverting the very basis of our democracy and willing to act criminally in that subversion. But more important, what we hear on this tape — this is the ultimate smoking gun tape — it is . . . the evidence of what this president is willing to do to undermine the electoral system and illegally, improperly and immorally try to instigate a coup in which he remains the president of the United States. 

And in any other presidency, 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 the members of his own party, that he resign immediately. That’s really what we ought to be hearing from Republicans at this moment. Mr. President, resign. Leave the White House. This is unconscionable, it is wrong and we of your party will not permit it. We’re not going to hear that. We might from a few Republicans, but that’s what’s really called for here.

And the one thing we should recall from Watergate, it is that the heroes of Watergate were Republicans who would not tolerate Richard Nixon’s conduct.