Is Trump’s fight with the FBI a Mission Impossible?

Trump may not be aware that history could repeat itself, as Robert Mueller prepares to question him

Trump may not be aware that history could repeat itself, as Robert Mueller prepares to question him
Trump may not be aware that history could repeat itself, as Robert Mueller prepares to question him

History suggests so

If comparisons have to be drawn between the Watergate scandal of Richard Nixon and Russiagate scandal of Donald Trump, it would appear as though Nixon was about to be impeached for a far lesser crime. Instead of getting impeached, Nixon resigned. How did this come about? Let us take a walk down memory lane, to April 1973.

April 27, 1973

It was a Friday. A dozen armed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents arrived at the White House, waving badges[1]. Their orders were to stand guard at the White House and prevent any tampering/ removal of the evidence of high crimes. Richard Nixon, who was at Camp David when this happened, returned back to see the FBI swarming all over the White House and knew that the game was up. It would take a further 17 months before Nixon would resign but the writing was on the wall on that date.

What was Nixon’s crime?

During the early morning hours of June 17, 1972, several burglars were arrested in the office of the Democratic National Committee, located in the Watergate complex[2] ( a set of buildings in Washington, D.C.) This was an unheard of event. The thieves were connected to President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign, and they had been caught wiretapping phones and stealing documents. Since the crime took place at Watergate, the scandal was named as such. Nixon tried aggressively to cover up the crime afterward, but it kept expanding and finally, in August 1974, after his role in the conspiracy was revealed, Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment. From start to finish, it was over in a little over two years.

January 26, 2017

FBI agents interviewed Trump’s National security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, about his contacts with Russian officials during the presidential transition. Flynn lied. A counterintelligence probe into Team Trump’s ties to Team Putin became a criminal case.

In February 2017, Trump pressured FBI Director James Comey to drop the FBI’s investigation of Flynn. In March, Trump leaned on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo to find a way to make Comey back off— very similar to what how Nixon leaned on the CIA to try and block the FBI’s investigation of the Watergate case, caught on the “smoking gun tape” that proved to be Nixon’s Waterloo. As if to repeat history, Trump went ahead and fired Comey—and recorded his own smoking gun tape in an interview with National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) News in which he said he’d done so with the intent of making the FBI’s Russia investigation disappear.

Mueller is about to question Trump

So the similarities are there. On December 1, 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about the meetings he had with the Russian ambassador, weeks before the Presidential election[3]. Step-by-step the investigation into RussiaGate is nearing Trump. In his submissions, before Robert Mueller, the ex-FBI Director, who has been appointed as Special Counsel to probe RussiaGate, Michael Flynn hinted at the involvement of Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump. If this turns out to be true, it could not only bring Trump down but also seriously jeopardize the Presidential ambitions of Ivanka Trump.

With Robert Mueller about to interview Donald Trump, there is a feeling of déjà vu in Washington D. C. It must be borne in mind that Nixon was a far more shrewd and sophisticated political operator than Trump. The next few weeks will be interesting.

References:

[1] Donald Trump wants to fight the FBI? Jan 26, 2019, Politico.com

[2] Watergate scandal History.com

[3] Trump-Russia: Michael Flynn admits lying to the FBIDec 1, 2017, BBC News

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An inventor and out-of-the-box thinker, Sree Iyer has 37 patents in the areas of Hardware, Software, Encryption and Systems.

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