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Political scientists taking 'watch and see' approach, but say Russia scandal comparable to Watergate

Posted at 10:00 AM, Dec 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-03 19:33:20-05

DENVER -- The investigation into contact between people inside the Trump campaign and the Russian government could end up being as significant of a scandal as Watergate.

That’s the take of two political scientists, Dr. Norman Provizer from Metropolitan State University of Denver and Dr. David Goldfischer from the University of Denver, who sat down with Anne Trujillo on this weekend’s Politics Unplugged to discuss developments in the case involving former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

“I think it’s much worse than Watergate,” Dr. Goldfischer said. “People talk about Flynn is the John Dean and John Dean was certainly cooperating, but what Flynn was doing was basically engaging with a hostile foreign power to continue harm being inflicted on our country. It’s far more dramatic to me than Watergate.”

“The reference talks about a very senior official, but there are no names associated to it so we have to draw these connections,” Dr. Provizer added when talking about the charge of lying to the FBI that Flynn pled guilty to on Friday. “When you see what happened, [to] former General Flynn, [you see why] President Trump was trying to convince former FBI Director [James] Comey not to go here.”

Both professors agree we may not be near the end of the investigation. They say Flynn’s guilty plea may be an indication that he is cooperating with a bigger investigation. If that’s the case, it’s unclear how much farther the investigation may reach.

“I think we can assume that he has a lot more information than we’ve seen so far,” Goldfischer added.

“It’s the first significant breach of the White House gate in terms of all of this activity,” Provizer said. “We don’t have everything in as yet, but it shows the investigation is moving in a direction that does not dismiss everything as made up news and there’s nothing to it.”

Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Denver7.