Moreover, we’ve yet to see the results of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, which very likely will lay out the elements of an obstruction of justice charge. James A. Baker, a former general counsel of the FBI, and Lawfare author Sarah Grant take us through the recently released Watergate roadmap, with obvious parallels to the current administration:
As a result, the road map’s references to President [Richard M.] Nixon’s interactions with [then assistant attorney general Henry E.] Petersen — the person who was heading the investigation — take on a different and more nefarious meaning. Those interactions must be understood within the larger context of the president’s knowledge of the facts regarding Watergate at the time that he was in contact with Petersen. In other words, when the president sought information from Petersen, provided his views to Petersen on the various matters that they discussed, and discussed Petersen’s future, he was not merely exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution to supervise the executive branch and trying to get the facts necessary to do so; the president of the United States was also acting as a criminal co-conspirator trying to obstruct lawful investigative activities of the Justice Department.
Nixon was forced to leave office to escape impeachment, and was later pardoned. But the episode now serves as a roadmap to legal and political disaster for Trump.
In sum, Trump’s presidency is in a downward spiral. He is likely to react more irrationally and unpredictably as the crises pile up. In other words, the first two years likely will be looked upon as the glory days of the Trump presidency.
Read more from Jennifer Rubin: