Are We Headed Toward Another “Saturday Night Massacre?”

Richard Nixon leaving the White House grounds after his resignation

By Kyle Pratt

Executive Editor

Many members of the Republican Party clearly demonstrated last week that party and political expediency are more important to them than the people and nation they were sworn to serve.

House Republicans released a memo on Friday, written by Rep. Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, alleging the FBI’s Russia investigation is riddled with biases and political allegiance. Ordinarily, a politically-aimed law enforcement agency would be cause for concern, but there’s one problem: the memo is crap.

The FBI itself, led by Trump appointees, expressed concern about the memo for its omission of the full truth, and it containment of classified information.

“As expressed during our initial review,” the bureau said in a statement, “We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”

F.B.I director Christopher Wray, again, a Trump appointee, pleaded with the White House to disallow the publication of the memo, The New York Times reported before the memo was released. Republican Senator from Arizona Jeff Flake also condemned the memo in a joint statement with Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware just before it was released

“President Trump should heed the warning of the Justice Department and FBI, and reverse his reported decision to defy long standing policies regarding the disclosure of classified information,” the Senators said, “The president’s apparent willingness to release this memo risks undermining U.S. intelligence-gathering efforts, politicizing Congress’ oversight role, and eroding confidence in our institutions of government.”

So why then would House Republicans release an inaccurate memo with classified information that puts Americans’ confidence in the nation’s leading law enforcement agency? Simple: to protect a failed president who faces a real risk of impeachment.

Republicans, including the president, believe this memo discredits the F.B.I.’s investigation into the Trump campaigns connections to Russia, and the president’s clear attempts to obstruct that investigation. They see what is coming down the pike.

Arguably, there is more evidence of obstruction of justice by this president than against President Richard Nixon. The only difference is that Republicans then put their country before their party. This time, not so much.

This president fired his F.B.I. director, and then bragged to Russian officials about how it relieved “great pressure” on him, the New York Times reported in May of last year. He publicly ridiculed his own Attorney General after he recused himself from the Russia investigation. This memo paves the way to his next step: firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller in true Saturday-night-massacre-style.

The “Saturday Night Massacre” was when Nixon ordered his Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, and is Deputy Attorney General, William Ruckelshaus, to fire the special prosecutor that was investigating him during the Watergate scandal. Both men refused and resigned, but the prosecutor was eventually fired, prompting numerous articles of impeachment with support from both parties.

This is where we are headed.

In order to fire Mueller, Trump would have to go through Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed the special counsel. The president is setting the stage for another dangerous, treasonous massacre, except this time, the entire Republican party will be complicit.

 

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