Robert Reich served in the administrations of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, and brought some left wing intellectual muscle to the post of Secretary of Labour for Bill Clinton.
Since the election of Donald Trump, Mr Reich, Professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, has turned his focus to the actions of the President, and concluded the New York tycoon could well be impeached.
In his latest comments, Mr Reich has said he believes Mr Trump has already done enough to warrant impeachment.
“Obstruction of justice was among the articles of impeachment drafted against both Presidents Nixon and Clinton,” he wrote on his website.
“The parallel between Nixon and Trump is almost exact. White House tapes revealed Nixon giving instructions to pressure the acting FBI director into halting the Watergate investigation.”
He added: “Two weeks after Trump told Comey privately, ‘I need loyalty. I expect loyalty’, he had another private meeting with Comey in the Oval Office. After shooing out his advisers – all of whom had top security clearance – Trump said to Comey, according to Comey’s memo written shortly after the meeting, ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go’.”
Mr Trump has rejected claims that he has done anything wrong and described the ongoing investigations into whether his campaign colluded with Russia to alter the election, as a “witch hunt”. He has repeatedly cited Mr Comey, his former FBI Director’s testimony before congress, that he is not personally under investigation.
His legal team has also dismissed reports, which first appeared in the Washington Post, that he was under investigation for possible obstruction of justice by Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor heading the federal probe since Mr Comey was fired.
Many observers have pointed out that the chances of Mr Trump being impeached are modest, especially before the midterm elections, unless there were to be some staggering revelation from the Russia probe. Impeachment can only happen if Republicans decide to ditch Mr Trump and there has been no sign they have decided to do that yet, despite whatever concerns officials may express about him in private.
But Mr Reich believes there is already enough to convict the President.
“The federal crime of obstruction of justice applies to “[w]hoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law,” wrote Mr Reich.
“There’s already more than enough evidence of probable cause to begin that impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump.”
Source: The Independent