Weicker, last member of Watergate Committee, talks Trump

OLD LYME, Conn. (WTNH) — An interesting perspective about President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey and the fallout over the past week. Some lawmakers are demanding a special prosecutor and Senator Richard Blumenthal even comparing it to Watergate. Connecticut’s former governor and senator Lowell Weicker, is the sole surviving member of the Senate Watergate Committee, and sat down with News 8 Tuesday.

He said it’s too soon for the comparisons between Presidents Nixon and Trump, and that the congressional committees need to complete their investigations first.

“Maybe something will come out, maybe it won’t,” Weicker said from the living room of his Old Lyme home. “But to automatically jump to a Watergate conclusion and special prosecutor, I’m not so sure we’re at that point.”

Weicker won election to the Senate with strong support from President Nixon. But in a matter of years, the junior senator was tasked with investigating the president he once supported.

“There was nothing that I thought was illegal (at first),” Weicker said. “It was only after months of investigation that everything unraveled.”

It has been seven days of tumult for President Trump — from the firing of FBI Director James Comey, to reports that the president shared highly classified information with Russian officials. Weicker, a former Republican, warns that Republicans need to be more vocal and willing to criticize a president of their own party.

“Nowadays, Republicans are loathe to criticize. And they’re going to get stuck with whatever mess occurs unless they do step up.”

Weicker also said members of Congress need to talk more outside the Capitol and find ways to compromise in order to end the partisan gridlock.

“We’d have our battles on the floor,” Weicker said. “But then when the bell rang and it was night, we’d go have a drink and discuss how we can accommodate each other.”

In 2017, that type of bipartisan cooperation seems a thing of the past.

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