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The hijacking of a presidential election by a foreign antagonist like the Russian state would be, if proven, a monstrous crime against democracy, with weighty potential repercussions — from the makeup of the Supreme Court to tax fairness, from the availability of health care to the wars in the Middle East.It was against that background that Comey became the third top Department of Justice official to be axed as they led probes of alleged wrongdoing by the president or his associates.Nixon famously declared, to a convention of reporters, that “People have got to know whether or not their president’s a crook.
He knew this was big.” At NBC, broadcaster John Chancellor delivered the breaking news bulletin that interrupted the primetime lineup.
“The country tonight is in the midst of what may be the most serious constitutional crisis in its history,” he said, somehow omitting the Civil War.
“An impeachment stampede could well develop.”A squad of FBI agents arrived to secure the doors — and seal the files — at Cox’s office: The administration didn’t want any of the prosecutor’s staff carrying out evidence and leaking it to the press.
James Doyle, a former Globe reporter who was working for Cox as his spokesman, gathered up some family photographs and a print of the Declaration of Independence he had hanging on his wall. Just stamp it ‘void’ and let me take it home.”“We got lucky with Watergate — good prosecutors, and tapes! “This time, the firestorm of outrage is missing, replaced by the incoherence of cable news, the incompetence of the executive, and a one-party majority.
Nixon knew that he’d obstructed justice, and sought to secure the White House tapes that would, one day, reveal his crimes.
He ordered the dismissal of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and forced the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy, William Ruckelshaus, when they refused.
And then-US Attorney Preet Bharara was not fired to stop his investigation of Trump’s health and human services secretary, Tom Price, for possible improper stock-trading, or corruption among Russian officials, the White House insists; he was let go from his New York posting as a matter of patronage, the usual practice when there’s a change of administrations.
But if these explanations could be plausible, the reason given for Comey’s dismissal is not.
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