Shades of Watergate in Trump’s week of scandal

Posted

May 19, 2017 18:58:57

Richard Nixon and Donald Trump in a combination image.
Photo:

There are some parallels in a scandals of Richard Nixon and Donald Trump. (Reuters)

President Donald Trump calls it a “witch hunt” though some on Capitol Hill contend a liaison engulfing Washington bears an scary similarity to Watergate.

A surreptitious theft, sackings, rumours of taped conversations in a Oval Office and claims of division a march of justice.

The parallels between a review into purported Russian division in a 2016 US choosing and a play that brought down boss Richard Nixon in 1974 are many.

And they were not mislaid on distinguished Republican senator John McCain of Arizona progressing this week.

“I consider we’ve seen this film before,” Mr McCain said. “I consider it’s reaching a indicate where it’s of Watergate distance and scale.”

A liaison starts with a theft

For a refresher on all things Watergate, it competence be value examination All a President’s Men.

Based on a book of a same name by Washington Post star reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, a film opens with a break-in during a Watergate bureau building.

Men wearing gloves are arrested during a offices of a Democratic National Committee. The reporters shortly learn there is most some-more to this story.

The thefts during a heart of a Russian review are of a 21st century kind — cyberattacks.

Bob Woodward, one of a Washington Post reporters whose reported on a Watergate scandal.
Photo:

Bob Woodward, one of a Washington Post reporters whose reported on a Watergate scandal. (Reuters: Alex Gallardo)

Remember those WikiLeaks? In Oct of 2016, a month before a presidential election, a US claimed a Russians had stolen emails from a Democratic Party.

By Jan 6, 2017, a CIA and Office of a Director of National Intelligence went most further.

“We consider Russian President Vladimir Putin systematic an change debate in 2016 directed during a US presidential election,” they pronounced in a report.

“We also consider Putin and a Russian Government aspired to assistance President-elect Trump’s choosing chances when probable by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly resisting her unfavourably to him.”

Vladimir Putin in Sochi
Photo:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been indicted of conversion a US election. (AP: Yuri Kadobnov)

We now know a FBI is questioning either some of those connected to a Trump debate competence have had links to Russia.

On Thursday night, Mr Trump was austere “there is no collusion”.

“Certainly myself and my debate — we can always pronounce for myself and a Russians, zero,” he tweeted.

Conservative commentator Bill Kristol, owner of a Weekly Standard, responded by Twitter: “If @reallDonaldTrump unequivocally believes it’s a magician hunt, he can finish it. He can glow Rosenstein and glow Mueller. Maybe on a Saturday night?”

Controversial firings of pivotal investigators

That’s a anxiety to “The Saturday Night Massacre” — an barbarous night in Oct of 1973.

President Nixon dismissed Archibald Cox, a Independent Special Prosecutor looking into Watergate. Nixon’s attorney-general and emissary attorney-general soon quiescent as a result.

Sacked FBI executive James Comey
Photo:

James Comey’s banishment is underneath scrutiny. (Reuters: Joshua Roberts)

A discontented Mr Trump has pronounced he will support a appointment of widely reputable former FBI executive Robert Mueller as special warn to lead a Russia investigation.

It was Mr Trump’s preference to glow FBI executive James Comey that is underneath scrutiny.

Originally, a White House pronounced a preference to glow Mr Comey was since of his doing of a Clinton email investigation.

But in an talk with NBC News anchor Lester Holt, a President pronounced he was “going to glow regardless”.

The Russia box was a “made-up story”, he said, and Mr Comey was a “showboat”.

Taped conversations in a Oval Office

Then on May 12, Mr Trump dismissed off this tweet:

“James Comey improved wish that there are no “tapes” of a conversations before he starts leaking to a press!”

Tapes? What tapes? We still don’t know. The White House won’t endorse or repudiate either there are any tapes of a president’s conversations in a Oval Office. Congress wants them, if they exist.

Richard Nixon on a phone Oval Office 1972
Photo:

Richard Nixon on a phone in a Oval Office, Jun 1972. (Reuters/Nixon Library)

As any tyro of Watergate knows, it was a collection of tip tapes that cursed Nixon’s presidency. Ultimately, he was compelled to spin them over to Congress.

Those recordings supposing a “smoking gun” that he was perplexing to close down a FBI’s review into that Watergate break-in, that could be deliberate deterrent of justice. Mr Nixon quiescent before a House could opinion on impeachment resolutions.

Little things competence be large things. Or they competence not

Michael Flynn arrives during a news conference
Photo:

Michael Flynn quiescent amid reports he misled a administration about his hit with Russia’s envoy to a US. (Reuters: Carlos Barria)

But it seems there might be a opposite kind of recording of a row assembly between a President and a former conduct of a FBI. A memo.

According to a New York Times, a former FBI executive wrote a memo after a assembly in Feb in that he allegedly felt vigour from a President to close down a review into one of a President’s men, Mike Flynn.

Mr Flynn had usually quiescent as National Security Adviser amid reports he misled a administration about his hit with Russia’s envoy to a US. The White House rebuts this contention.

While there are engaging parallels, there are clearly differences. Most importantly, Watergate is history. The Russia review led by special warn Mueller is usually only beginning.

Follow a evidence

But if there is a essential doctrine from Watergate, it is this: follow a evidence. Wherever it leads. We don’t have all a facts; we don’t know how all fits together. That is because emissary attorney-general Rod Rosenstein allocated a special counsel.

In Washington, there is widespread agreement on one thing — there is maybe no one improved versed to lead this sensitive, formidable review than Mr Mueller.

Mr Comey’s prototype led a FBI for a dozen years — a longest reign of any FBI executive solely for J Edgar Hoover. He is respected, indeed revered, in Washington.

And it’s hoped he will be a one to finally discover, once and for all, usually how low a similarities between dual stories of liaison in American politics unequivocally go.

Sara James is NBC News’s Australasia correspondent

Topics:

donald-trump,

us-elections,

world-politics,

crime,

united-states

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