Trump Impeachment 'Easier' to 'Start and 'Prove' If Rosenstein Charged, Says Former Watergate Lawyer

House Republicans could make it "easier" to impeach President Donald Trump should they move forward with impeachment articles filed last month against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to a former Watergate attorney.

Michael M. Conway, who served as counsel on the House Judiciary Committee that looked into potential charges against President Richard Nixon, explained that the argument for Rosenstein's potential impeachment put forward by Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina and 10 other Freedom Caucus members "lowers the bar" for "high crimes and misdemeanors."

He specifically cited a similar case Republicans and Nixon made with refusals to fork over all tapes and documents to Watergate investigators.

"Meadows and company argue that the refusal of the executive branch to produce every document subpoenaed by Congress is grounds for impeachment," Conway wrote in an op-ed published Sunday by NBC News. "This is a theory that Republican members of Congress rejected when Richard Nixon refused to turn White House tapes and documents over to the Judiciary Committee in 1974."

Meadows, along with Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio and others, have repeatedly clamored for Rosenstein and the Justice Department to fully release materials related to the Trump-Russia investigation as well as the Hillary Clinton private email server probe.

Conway waded through the history of the House's impeachment process involving Nixon, and that one former House Republican thought it "frightening" that a president could be removed from office for failing to respond to a House subpoena. Conway believed Meadows's apparent justification for impeaching Rosenstein would be that same "frightening" scenario.

"Yet Meadows' resolution could potentially make that 'frightening' scenario a reality by lowering the standards of justification," Conway said. "His argument hinges on the theory that failing to give Congress every document sought in any type of proceeding is grounds for removal from office."

Rosenstein, who signs off on all charges and indictments brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, has been the subject of intense criticism by some Republicans over transparency and just how and when the investigation of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election started.

Conway concluded: "So what does all of this mean? Rosenstein is almost certainly going to keep his job. But the existence of this new impeachment solution could make future impeachment proceedings easier to start—and maybe even easier to prove. "

Rod Rosenstein impeachment Donald Trump
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein attends the Religious Liberty Summit at the Department of Justice on July 30 in Washington, D.C. Rosenstein has recently been cited by the House Freedom caucus as a potential impeachment target for allegedly not releasing documents. requested by members of Congress. Getty Images/Win McNamee

Some of Trump's opponents, including nearly 70 Democrats who voted to file articles of impeachment against the president, have often called for his removal from office. They've cited his alleged attempts to thwart Mueller's investigation, as well as his immigration policies and overall conduct in office.

However, an impeachment vote and trial in the Senate against Trump could in all likelihood not happen unless Democrats take control of the House in the fall midterms. A conviction in the Senate would also be unlikely with Republicans maintaining a slim majority presently, and the need for two-thirds of the Senate to convict.

Trump Impeachment 'Easier' to 'Start and 'Prove' If Rosenstein Charged, Says Former Watergate Lawyer | U.S.