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.
Conservative pundits claim most of the 62,979,879 Americans who voted for Trump last year believe Democrats, Republican leadership, and Mainstream Media all cooperate with each other against them. Variously called “Bitter Clingers” by Obama and “Deplorables” by Hillary Clinton, Trump supporters see their man as someone with the temperament necessary to kick all their a**es while he “drains the swamp” in which they all reside.
s of the swamp went into a collective panic when Trump unexpectedly won. After the shock wore off, the lame-duck Obama Administration began laying traps for him using an obscure, never-enforced 1799 law called “The Logan Act” according to columnist Byron York. Using the Logan Act as justification, Obama officials cited the dodgy “Trump Dossier” constructed by an opposition research firm paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee (DNC). FBI agent Peter Strzok, whom Special Counsel Mueller recently dismissed from his investigation, used the dodgy dossier to obtain FISA warrants to wiretap both the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team.
It was Strzok, presumably under the direction of then-FBI Director Comey, who offered to pay $50,000 of taxpayer money to Christopher Steele, author of the dodgy dossier, to continue his research against Donald Trump during the campaign! Strzok also led the dubious FBI “investigation” of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Compared to these revelations, Nixon’s actions during Watergate seem trivial. Why aren’t Washington Post reporters looking into these developments?
Under dubious authority, other Obama officials including Susan Rice and Samantha Power requested hundreds of FISA transcripts including General Flynn’s December, 2016 contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak during Trump’s transition. They unmasked Flynn to set him up for FBI interrogation four days after Trump’s inauguration. ABC reporter Brian Ross breathlessly reported last Friday that Trump directed Flynn’s conversations during the campaign! Ross had to retract it hours later and was suspended by ABC, but not before his report caused the stock market to plunge.
According the Buzzfeed, it was Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner who instructed Flynn to contact Kislyak and discuss the then-upcoming UN Security Council vote against Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. According to Fox News, it was K.T. McFarland. Whoever it was, their instruction was during the transition after Trump had won – not during the campaign – and therefore not within the realm of Mueller’s original charge to investigate alleged Russia/Trump campaign collusion. It’s perfectly reasonable for a transition official like Flynn to contact foreign governments, yet Flynn evidently lied about them to the FBI. Why? We don’t know.
As of this writing, neither Mueller nor anyone else has yet found evidence of Trump/Russia campaign collusion despite a year-and-a-half of investigations by mainstream media and Congressional Democrats. Trump supporters see them all as part of “the swamp” conspiring to bring down the Trump Administration. For that, there’s plenty of evidence.
Watergate was nothing compared to what I’m seeing now.
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution