Interesting historical contrasts between Watergate and Hillary Clinton are set to play out as the findings of U.S. Special Prosecutor John Durham begin to drip out (“Trump, Fox News swing back at Hillary Clinton after she bashed them in New York speech,” Web, Feb. 18).
In Watergate, Nixon‘s paranoia about the tactics of his political enemies led to the establishment of what he called an “attack group” which, by the presidential election year of 1972, came to be known as the “Plumbers.” The amateurish attempt by the Plumbers to bug Democratic Party National Committee Headquarters in the Watergate building failed to yield any information thanks to prompt police action. Nixon never ordered the break-in and when he first read about it, he dismissed it as “some sort of a prank.”
But what destroyed Nixon‘s presidency was his attempt to cover up the event, its implications and those involved. For 20 months he was hounded by the media and his opponents to the point of impeachment proceedings that led to his resignation. The cover-up proved a far bigger crime than the Watergate break-in.
Durham’s findings show that in July 2016 Hillary Clinton directly ordered tech executive Rodney Joffe, who worked for the Clinton campaign’s law firm, Perkins Coie, to fabricate a connection between candidate Donald Trump and Russia. This involved infiltrating internet servers in Trump Towers, New York and later the White House.
To lend credibility to her fabricated connection of Russia’s collaboration with Mr. Trump, Mrs. Clinton enlisted the CIA and the FBI to undertake criminal investigations into her narrative. The end result was the Mueller investigation, which failed to prove any such collaboration. Mr. Joffe failed to find any dirt on Trump and the alleged Russia connection.
The Clinton intention of bringing down Mr. Trump failed. Whereas Nixon could not prevent the leaks from his Plumbers destroying his credibility and presidency, the Durham report has cast-iron proof of Clinton‘s role in attempting to sabotage the legitimacy of an elected president.
Not surprisingly, Mrs. Clinton has rejected Durham’s findings as “nonsense.” Initially, Nixon had pretty much the same opinion of Watergate.
Leaks destroyed Nixon‘s attempted Watergate cover-up. But his crime was never treasonous. The ongoing Durham findings on “Hillarygate” portend a watershed in American history.
DUNCAN DU BOIS
Durban, South Africa