“… in all of my years of public life, I have never obstructed justice. And I think, too, that I could say that in my years of public life, that I welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook.”
I’m a progressive liberal, I don’t get points for quoting Richard Nixon, but I bring it up now because there is one thing he is entirely correct about: The American people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook.
On August 14th of last year, just about three months before the election, the New York Times reports that a pro-Russia Ukrainian political party gave 12.7 million dollars to Paul Manafort, then the newly appointed top campaign official, for now, President Trump. He adamantly denied it the next day calling the idea “unfounded, silly and nonsensical”.
Turns out, it wasn’t. A few days later, after the DOJ and FBI announce they’ve reason to investigate Manafort’s personal and company connections to Ukrainian leaders, he resigns.
Then came the Washington Post report about Michael Flynn’s conversations with the Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak regarding sanctions. The response from the White House, “They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.”
Turns out they did. A few weeks later, after confirmation of having misled the FBI and the Vice President, Flynn is asked to resign.
Throw in a bipartisan, joint intelligence finding that Russian President Putin ordered cyber attacks on the US Election to aide the Trump campaign and then you’ll find yourself here, at Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the accusations that he also had some concrete contact with Russian operatives possibly outside of his official capacity.
But let’s get back to Nixon for a second… in 1972, the Washington Post published a report just after the re-election of Richard Nixon alleging that a burglary of a DNC office was connected to and at least three senior White House officials were directly implicated. The response from Nixon’s administration was similar to what we’re seeing now: “I neither authorized nor encouraged subordinates to engage in illegal or improper campaign tactics.”
Again, turns out he did. Several of his senior staff were implicated, investigated and found to have done just that. Nixon’s Presidency ultimately collapsed for it as he was forced to resign or face censorship and probable impeachment.
So when you ask me about Paul Manafort, or Michael Flynn, or Jeff Sessions, I’m immediately reminded of John Ehrlichman, or H. R. Haldeman, or John Dean’s denials. Which brings us to the overall point, the big lurking elephant in the room:
What ties these men together? What unifying factors do all these infractions lead to at the end of their nesting doll trail?
The only thing we know to be true at this point is, they all worked for the same man.