I remember vividly, the 1972 burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex, Washington DC.
It was a small story, that got legs, and which ultimately led to the impeachment, and resignation of then Republican President Richard Nixon in 1974.
In between 1972 and 1974, as a result of the media coverage, the world became mesmerised by the constant litany of sackings and resignations of members associated with the Nixon campaign.
Like the words of pop group Queen it was a case of “another one bites the dust”. The public was transfixed almost nightly on our televisions as “names” fell, each one synonymous with the Nixon campaign and the 1974 election.
Now that there is the full version of the report passed by the attorney general to special counsel Robert Mueller, his own final report is creating all sorts of problems for the president. People are drawing a comparison with some aspects of Watergate, certainly in relation to collusion.
Particularly, the Democrats!
The Australian ABC has run a fascinating Podcast, drawing on various US and Australian sources, called “Russia, if you are listening”, which looks at the Mueller Report, which initially, “did not see any collusion with the Russians”.
Immediately, the president said, “there was no collusion. Matter closed, let’s move on.”
However, in a public letter on May 31 2019, Meuller opened up the matter once again, emphasising that Justice Department guidelines did not allow him to charge a sitting president, and as a result, his office did not determine whether Trump had committed obstruction of justice. ”If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
Mueller said, “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
The president was furious, and has berated Meuller in a highly personal, some say vindictive, manner, bagging Meuller as unsuitable. He had wanted to “get the job with the CIA or FBI, was unsuccessful, and I should never have employed him.”
The comments made by the National Enquirer and other US interests in “Russia, if you are listening,” will certainly be of interest to the Democrats, who will undoubtedly follow up and undoubtedly strengthen talk of “impeachment,” which the president, lashing out, has labelled as a “dirty word.”
It will be interesting to see how matters work out at the forthcoming presidential election, when the president seeks a second term of office.
Impeachment was advocated for Bill Clinton, largely over the Monica Lewinskie abuse of power situation, and while it was supported by the Congress, it was never formally evoked.
It is the “ongoing conclusions” that there is Russian interference in US politics, and undermining US democracy at subsequent elections.
That and the “close relationship” the president has with Vladimir Putin, and no doubt that will be tested at the forthcoming election.
As will dealing with international troublespots, including China, Mexico, Venezuela and the Middle East.
Drip, drip, problems, challenges, Russia, Mueller?