Destinating Donald Trump Will Be Harder Than It Was To Get Nixon Out

NEW YORK – Over the weekend, some leaders of the US House of Representatives said their investigation for the political trial does not have to prove that President Donald Trump launched a cover-up to hide his relations with Ukraine. As Congressman Hakeem Jeffries said: "We will remain focused on the abuse of power that certainly exists. There is evidence of that in plain sight, even in the unedited transcript." That transcript, which realizes that Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden in exchange for a "very good" deal, is enough for the political trial. What else do they need?

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, speaks with journalists from the White House in Washington DC to Florida, on October 3, 2019

More <p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Much more, probably. Congressional Democrats they need to persuade Republicans and the public that & nbsp;the Ukrainian scandal& nbsp; is much more than just another example of Trump acting in his own way. In that sense, they face a much more difficult task than Richard Nixon's critics during the investigation of the 1974. political trial. "Data-reactid =" 23 "> Much more, probably. Congressional Democrats need to persuade Republicans and public that the Ukrainian scandal is much more than just another example of Trump acting in his own way, in that sense, they face a much more difficult task than Richard Nixon's critics during the 1974 political trial investigation.


During the Watergate scandal, Nixon tried at all costs to keep his conversations with his co-conspirators secret. Nixon, an exceptionally clever politician, lied with a clear objective: to keep his public image of a statesman intact.

Trump, on the other hand, does not share Nixon's concern for taking careful care of his image. His lies are more indiscriminate than strategic. Consequently, their political opponents will have to face a higher rod. Nixon critics used Watergate's recordings to show the real man hiding behind the mask. But Trump has no mask. He is proud to break the rules of presidential behavior, to the point of even extorting foreign leaders.

Nixon's problems began in 1972, when the security director of his re-election campaign and four other men were arrested while they were forcibly entering the headquarters of the National Democratic Committee, at the Watergate complex. The White House denied any link to the incident and the president himself insisted: "No person employed by this administration was involved in this very strange incident."

Actually, it was an espionage and sabotage operation ordered by the Nixon campaign in order to discredit the Democratic presidential candidates. Nixon's advisors had paid for that operation with a large fund financed by undeclared contributions. The president knew that he needed to stop the investigation of the incident so that these crimes would not surface and – as the country would discover later – he immediately launched the cover-up.

Pressed by the Democratic senators, the government appointed a special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, to investigate the crimes, which were soon known as "Watergate." The Senate created a special committee to hold hearings for "illegal, improper or unethical activities" during the 1972 presidential election.

The most extraordinary testimony was that of Alexander Butterfield, assistant chief of staff, who revealed that the president had been recording his conversations at the White House. Cox ordered the presentation of some of the recordings. The Senate committee also demanded that the president deliver those tapes.

Nixon refused and cited the privilege doctrine of the Executive Power. When Cox insisted, Nixon fired him, but was forced to accept a new prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, and deliver some recordings to him and Congress. Prosecutors then discovered that one of the tapes had a gap of 18 and a half minutes, apparently as a result of manual erasure. Jaworski and Congress redoubled their efforts to get more recordings.

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Terrified by the possibility of others listening to the true tapes, Nixon refused again, and instead published the "edited transcripts."

That publication proved a fiasco. Instead of helping the White House to control the situation, the documents became objects of cultural fascination. The newspapers printed them complete. But Congress also collated the original recordings with the transcripts and discovered that someone had edited them to benefit Nixon.

It is clear that Trump is no stranger to cover-ups either. Today, the president's critics face a much greater challenge than with Nixon: to persuade a sufficient number of voters that the true Trump – the one we already know – is a criminal who should agree to leave office.

The New York Times

Translation by Jaime Arrambide



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