Back in the day when the Democrats were the ones trying to shine the light on government secrets, President Richard Nixon was tarred with the reputation of someone whose political dirty tricks often rose to the level of criminality. Even before the Watergate scandal came tumbling down on Humpty-Dumpty, there were people behind the scenes who were playing – shall we say – on the margins. Donald Segretti was high up in the political dirty tricks’ food chain. A few of Segretti’s crimes included:
- Printing fliers regarding Senator Muskie’s(D-ME) position on Israel and putting them on cars outside synagogues.
- Stealing or fabricating Muskie stationery and using it to send letters accusing Henry “Scoop” Jackson of fathering an illegitimate child.
- Concocting a false news release on Humphrey stationary that claimed Rep. Shirly Chisholm (D-NY) was mentally unbalanced.
Segretti ultimately pled guilty to three misdemeanors and served four months in prison. Next came the many and varied scandals related to the break-in at the DNC headquarters then located in the Watergate office complex. And finally, the big kahuna – the thing that brought Richard Nixon to his knees – was the cover-up of the break-in and bugging operation. By August of 1974, 17 FBI wiretaps on journalists and government officials had been discovered.
But the coup de grace was Nixon agreeing to Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman’s plan to get the CIA to block the FBI investigation of Watergate. That was the kill shot that cemented Nixon’s longtime moniker “Tricky Dick” for time immemorial.
Fast Forward to Today
In an effort to be “transparent” – and let’s face it, to stick a knife in the Democrats before the midterm elections – the president has ordered the declassification of documents with information about how the Trump-Russia collusion investigation began and whether it represented a legitimate use of federal power or an attempt to scuttle Trump’s campaign. This release of non-redacted, formerly classified information is about to move us figuratively from the days of Donald Segretti to those of H.R. Haldeman. That is to say, it’s entirely possible that this document dump just might show some or all of the following:
- Portions of a secret surveillance warrant granted by a FISA court giving federal officials the right to spy on a Trump campaign.
- Text Messages from James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Bruce Ohr, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
- Evidence that senior officials at the DOJ and the FBI were trying to stack the deck against a Donald Trump presidency.
- A fishing expedition by members of the Department of Justice to interfere with the democratic process by pointing the finger at people in the Trump campaign.
Unfortunately, the leg that Democrats had to stand on in keeping these papers from the American people just got a whole lot shakier. Do they really believe what House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff (D-CA) has said about Trump’s decision to release these documents to the public, that it demonstrated “a clear abuse of power.”? If the FBI and DOJ did nothing wrong, what exactly is the harm in allowing the American people to see these documents?
Despite the distance of time, why was it right to release everything and anything to do with Watergate, and a hideous crime for Trump to do the same thing?
The fact that Democrats so fear this declassification is most telling. At the very least somebody’s going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do.