In Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” host John Oliver discussed the impeachment inquiry into President Trump and compared the ongoing scandal with the fallout around Robert Mueller’s report.

Oliver recapped the road to the House’s impeachment inquiry and noted that after the complicated nature of Mueller’s 22-month investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, the Ukraine inquiry seems simple.

“Trump pressuring Ukraine to get dirt on his opponent and then hiding the conversation is easy to understand,” Oliver said. “It’s just gettable.”

Where the Mueller report discussed Trump surrogates dealing with Russians and an obtuse web of interactions, the Ukraine inquiry involves Trump pressuring Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy for political support, Oliver explained, and that’s obviously “something presidents should absolutely not be able to do.”


The Ukraine inquiry, which Oliver titled “Stupid Watergate II: The Stupidest Watergate,” — in reference to his title for the Mueller affair — also involves a “thorough” abuse of power, the host said, especially because of the work of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer.

Citing a New York Times story from May, Oliver pointed out that Giuliani was headed to Russia explicitly to push the incoming government to investigate Mueller and former vice president Joe Biden, who was the subject of Trump’s call with Zelenskiy.

“We’re meddling in an investigation,” Giuliani told the Times.

“He did this in plain sight,” Oliver exclaimed.

The straightforward nature of Ukraine affair, Oliver argued, may mean the president will face political consequences — and yes, Oliver said, he holds that opinion despite the fact that Trump has largely avoided congressional disciplining following the release of Mueller’s report.

Peter Bailey-Wells can be reached at peter.bailey-wells@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @pbaileywells.