First thing every morning I skipped down two flights of stairs to get the Boston Globe because I couldn’t wait to read the latest developments in the Watergate scandal then bringing down the Nixon Administration. Familiar as I still am with those details, they pale by comparison to abuses of power under the Obama Administration and its collusion with the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign recently coming to light.
President Nixon’s campaign had hired a group called “the plumbers” to plug leaks of information from his administration to the media. Their activities were legal up to the point when they broke into to a rented office of DNC Chairman Larry O’Brien in Washington, DC’s Watergate Hotel, hence the name of the infamous scandal. They were hoping to find embarrassing information to hurt Democrat presidential candidate George McGovern’s 1972 campaign against Nixon.
During the long investigation into this break-in, other illegal activities came to light including another break-in to the office of Daniel Ellsburg’s psychiatrist. Ellsburg had leaked the classified “Pentagon Papers,” which revealed that some of Nixon’s public statements about his conduct of the Vietnam War were erroneous, and the New York Times published them. Nixon was not aware of the Watergate break-in until the Washington Post began publishing stories about it. At that point he began using his executive power to thwart the investigation. That led to credible charges of “obstruction of justice,” for which he resigned to avoid impeachment.
Nixon had contemplated other abuses of his power like using the IRS to harass political enemies of which he had made an infamous list. He never did, but Americans were appalled that he considered it. The Obama Administration, however, did more than consider it. It actually used the IRS to harass political enemies, but The Washington Post and the rest of mainstream media were disinclined to investigate.