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Friday, June 07, 2024

The Repudiation of Watergate

One way of thinking about the Trump era in a more panoramic way is that we are witnessing the repudiation of the Watergate precedents. When people think about how institutions responded to Watergate, they probably come up with the following list: (1) intense press scrutiny from the likes of Woodward & Bernstein; (2) intense scrutiny from a District Court (Judge John Sirica); (3) a select congressional committee; (4) a special prosecutor; (5) an impeachment inquiry; and (6) Supreme Court action. The one missing tool was a criminal trial of Richard Nixon, due to President Ford's pardon.

To respond to President Trump's misconduct, all six options listed above were pursued. Up to now, though, they have all failed or, at least, cannot claim success. The only one that might is the criminal conviction of Trump (pending appeal). Thus, the takeaway might be that this should be the go-to choice in the future because it's the only effective remedy. I hope that's not the case, but we are on that path.

Posted by Gerard Magliocca on June 7, 2024 at 01:03 PM | Permalink


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