A former Watergate prosecutor said on Thursday that she's experiencing déjà vu, seeing "a lot of similarities" between recent developments in the ongoing Russia investigation and the President Nixon era that make her "really suspicious."  

"The coverup is worse than the crime, although in this case it may be that the crime is worse than the coverup because the crime may be using a foreign adversary to hurt our election," Jill Wine-Banks told MSNBC's Chris Hayes. "That would be worse than just a break in at the [Democratic National Committee] headquarters." 

Wine-Banks said that she thinks we've "gone beyond the smoking gun" in terms of evidence connecting President Trump's campaign to a Russian effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, mentioning that one of her Watergate colleagues said "it's a smoking cannon" and believes "we're there." 

Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday released a chain of emails of his conversations about setting up a meeting during the campaign with a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, offering damaging information about then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

He released the emails after The New York Times reported that he was told before the meeting that harmful information on Clinton the lawyer was offering was part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s presidential campaign. 

But Trump Jr. has said that the lawyer offered no damaging information on Clinton during the meeting. 

"It’s nonsense when we say, 'Well, they didn’t get anything,' " she said. "First of all, we don’t know that they didn't. Second of all, the release of information, the timing of it, looks like they did have an influence on when it was released. And third of all, an attempt ... if they didn't get what they wanted, it's still an attempt and it's still a crime."