Excerpt from the PBS Newshour in which Judy Woodruff interviewed John Dean, the former White House counsel for President Nixon:
JUDY WOODRUFF: There are going to be a number of comparisons drawn out of this, one of them, of course, the Saturday night — so-called “Saturday Night Massacre,” when President Nixon fired his attorney general and others because they wouldn’t carry out his wishes in the time of Watergate.
Any connection with that, or is this a completely different set of circumstances?
JOHN DEAN: I think this is different, Judy. I think it doesn’t have any of that kind of feel.
Archibald Cox was defying the president and taking his own course of action and taking a — making a decision that was very much placing Nixon in jeopardy. So, I don’t think we have any similarities here.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And just refresh our memory on the role of the FBI director. This is intended to be an independent position, is it not? I’m asking to remind everyone that the FBI is conducting a critical investigation right now into any connections between the Trump campaign for president and Russian officials.
JOHN DEAN: Well, it was post-Watergate that they — indeed, after Hoover, that the Congress made this a 10-year appointment, to give it some independence, where it could go over from one president to the next.
The presidents do have the ability, if they don’t have confidence in the director, to fire him, but we have not seen that very often. It has been the exception to the rule. They have tried to depoliticize the bureau, which is the way it should be, where we have a politics-free federal investigation unit, but he is subject to the — reports to the attorney general, who, of course, is a political appointee.
So, there is always that filter. But yet just the weight of the bureau itself carries its own independence. And when it has strong leadership, it is highly respected. When that leadership has not been so strong, it has been suspect.
And we — you’re absolutely right. It couldn’t come at a more difficult time, given the implications of the Russian hacking and how that’s going to all unravel.
If he manages to serve out his term, Donald J. Trump has 1350 days left as pr*sident.
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“The slow-rising central horror of ‘Watergate’ is not that it might grind down to the reluctant impeachment of a vengeful thug of a president whose entire political career has been a monument to the same kind of cheap shots and treachery he finally got nailed for, but that we might somehow fail to learn something from it.”
~Hunter Thompson, 1974
TWEET OF THE DAY
BLAST FROM THE PAST
At Daily Kos on this date in 2005—Time for 101st Fighting Keyboardists to enlist:
So why don't they enlist? Is it that they think they're too good to serve with the good men and women in the armed forces? Too middle-to-upper class? Too intelligent? Do they think the nation will suffer from their blogging and punditry absence? That they're doing more for the war effort than they could ever do so with a rifle in their hands?
Or is it merely cowardice?
Except that "cowardice" is too light a word for those who claim to believe in a just cause, but would rather send others to die in the service of that cause.
After Pearl Harbor was bombed, Americans lined up at military recruitment offices to give themselves to their nation in its time of need. That was the true definition of patriotism, those men spoke truth to our national anthem's "home of the brave".
The cowards in the 101st Fighting Keyboardists are the polar opposite. They lay shame to our nation.
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: High & low-lights of Yates testimony. And Comey’s, too. Yeah, that’s back in the news. NJ Kushner project loses its big tax break. Blue slips: the next Senate battle over judges, explained. Big name gun writer’s suicide. Sadly, Kimmel learns, no, we don’t “all agree.”
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