Like Watergate Only Worse
Yesterday James Clapper said that he thinks this is worse than Watergate even.
“James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, said the Watergate scandal that brought down the Nixon presidency “pales” in comparison to allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.”
“I lived through Watergate. I was on active duty then in the Air Force, I was a young officer. It was a scary time,” Clapper told reporters Wednesday at Australia’s National Press Club in Canberra, adding that “if you compare the two that Watergate pales, really, in my view, compared to what we’re confronting now.”
Sure. I mean Watergate didn’t have the hostile foreign power component. The component that this hostile foreign power has compromised the WH itself.
Watergate 2.0 also seems to be much more accelerated than the first one. We get to a Saturday Night Massacre like situation much faster-though the Comey firing was on a Tuesday. And Nixon didn’t actually confess-actually boast-publicly about the tapes. It was dragged out of Alexander Butterfield in Congressional hearings.
Nixon seemed to at least understand what needed to be hidden. Trump suffers from a unique form of political turrets syndrome.
Chris Matthews was just on MSNBC and argued compellingly that Comey may be the great witness. Matthews argued that there were other huge moments in US history-Joe McCarthy, John Dean at Watergate, etc. But nothing like this.
And this is because of the amazing evocative detail that he provides in his memos. He really puts you in the room. The grandfather clock, Mike Pence in the next room.
“JAMES COMEY’S OPENING TESTIMONY READS LIKE A POLITICAL FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.”
“The 7 most awkward moments from Comey’s torrid account of his encounters with Donald Trump.”
“On the eve of his highly anticipated hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, former F.B.I. director James Comey has released the text of his opening statement, detailing his various cringeworthy encounters with Donald Trump, whose belligerent disregard for the bureau’s independence apparently forced Comey, on one occasion, to literally try to hide among the curtains in the Blue Room to avoid another inappropriate conversation. According to Comey confidant Benjamin Wittes, the suspense-filled chronicle of their interactions, based on Comey’s contemporaneous memos, represents “the most shocking single document compiled about the official conduct of the public duties of any president since the release of the Watergate tapes.” It also happens to read like the screenplay for a D-list psycho-sexual thriller, combining elements of All the President’s Men and Between Two Ferns, with a hint of Fatal Attraction.”
“It may not be the testimony that gets Trump impeached, but it’s certainly the testimony that a scandal-weary public deserves.”
It may not-or it may. If the Dems win back the House he will. Is it possible for him to be impeached before that? Skeptical, but follow his approval numbers-if it gets under 30% watch out.
But I like this a lot-the political 50 shades of grey.
“On Valentine’s Day, Comey was summoned to the White House for what began as a group date with several other high-ranking officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but once again became a private conservation when Trump dismissed everyone but Comey.”
Dismisses everyone but Comey.
He wanted loyalty and I could only offer him honesty.
On Valentine’s Day. That makes it perfect. Indeed, this whole entire Russia affair has been too perfect. No screenwriter or publisher would have accepted it as a movie or novel. It’d have made Tom Clancy blush.
As Bill Palmer notes Mike Pence sure isn’t happy to be mentioned in the Comey Memos.
“Just a few moments after Comey’s planned opening statement was posted to the United States Senate website, Mike Pence abruptly canceled a scheduled interview with PBS Newshour, according to the show’s executive producer Sara Just (link). It couldn’t be more clear why: Pence knows he would have been asked about the damning assertions about Trump in Comey’s testimony, and Pence is afraid to answer those questions one way or the other.”
“Mike Pence has already gotten caught making multiple false statements about the Trump-Russia scandal. For instance Pence had been informed by Congressman Elijah Cummings that Michael Flynn was on the take from foreign governments, yet months later, Pence insisted that he didn’t know. These incidents have served to undermine Pence’s credibility, and raise suspicion as to whether he might have been involved in the Trump-Russia conspiracy himself.”
“So you can take Pence’s sudden cancelation today as a sign that he’s afraid he might get caught in more Trump-Russia lies and bring more suspicion on himself, or you can take it as a sign that Pence is no longer willing to stick his neck out by defending Donald Trump on these matters. But either way, the Comey testimony leak has been bad enough to prompt fairly level-headed Mike Pence to hit the panic button. That means it should be enough to send Trump through the roof with enraged and likely self-incriminating Twitter posts tonight or tomorrow.”
Speaking of Wategate, here’s what someone who helped prosecute it says:
Philip Allen Lacovara, a former U.S. deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department, served as counsel to Watergate special prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski.”
I helped prosecute Watergate. Comey’s statement is sufficient evidence for an obstruction of justice case.”
“That both Coats and Rogers denied that they “felt pressured” provides no comfort for the president’s position. The obstruction of justice statute prohibits not only successful interference with pending criminal investigations but also any use of “threats” to “endeavor” to obstruct an investigation. Thus, it is the attempt or objective that is criminal, and Coats and Rogers were apparently unable to deny that the president had solicited their interference in the pending FBI investigation. If Coats and Rogers did not yield to the endeavor, kudos for them, but that is no excuse for the president.”
Indeed. You have a lot of obtuse people like Chris Christie-geez, that’s just how NY realty guys talk. But like Greg Sargent notes, it’s very simple.
2) When Person X has power to fire Person Y, and X says:
"Hey Y, do me a favor, do A, B, and C?"
Is that a request, or a directive?
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) June 8, 2017
If you want to talk about Occam’s Razor it’s a lot harder now to give Trump the benefit of the doubt than otherwise at this point.
But Chris Matthews is right-Comey really is the great witness.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.