Rachel Maddow cited Richard Nixon’s Watergate crimes on Wednesday to show how Donald Trump could be on the hook for another article of impeachment following his decision to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance.
According to Maddow, what Trump shamelessly and publicly did on Wednesday to the former CIA director is exactly what Nixon did behind the scenes during Watergate.
“At least when the Nixon White House did it, they had the decency to write ‘Confidential’ on top of their discussions of these sorts of things,” the MSNBC host said. “We are not blessed in our era with the same set of subtlety or shame.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 16, 2018
The White House is now making clear: You criticize the president, specifically with regard to Russia intervening to help him in his election, then they will use the power of the presidency to hurt you. They’re gonna strip your security clearance to try to discredit you as a critic of the president on Russia. At least when the Nixon White House did it, they had the decency to write ‘Confidential’ on top of their discussions of these sorts of things. We are not blessed in our era with the same set of subtlety or shame. Security clearances are a real thing. The CIA and all the other agencies who grant them or oversee them. In fact, they have full-fledged, well-established procedures to strip security clearances from people for cause when there is cause to do so. None of those procedures were engaged here. Those procedures were not followed here. Those agencies were not involved. This was just directed personally from the White House from the president himself, who is being hands-on here in the way that Nixon was, in a way that ended up being a real problem for President Nixon 40-plus years ago. You right remember from the Nixon tapes, from the Oval Office tapes, how Nixon talked about what he was looking for in an IRS commissioner, when he wanted that IRS commissioner to be willing to do things to his enemies and not do things to his friends. The president being so hands-on on these kinds of punishment actions from the White House, this is part of what got Nixon the second article of impeachment.
Trump is even more shameless than Nixon
As Maddow noted on Wednesday, Nixon’s corruption didn’t happen so brazenly in the light of day. Much of Trump’s, on the other hand, has been in public view – from his Twitter feed to his public statements.
In this case, as the MSNBC host pointed out, it could add more fuel to the impeachment fire. Trump hasn’t just obstructed justice in plain sight, but as was the case with Nixon, he is using the power of the presidency to hurt his political enemies.
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Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.