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Donald Trump Experiences His Long-Awaited Richard Nixon Moment

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Prior to the recent addition of three more charges. Donald Trump was already facing over 30 charges linked to his alleged illegal retention of classified documents. Alongside a range of other alleged felonies in various cases. These additional charges are unlikely to drastically alter Trump’s legal or political circumstances.

Trump’s New Charges: Obstruction of Justice and Espionage Act Violation

Donald Trump is now facing two fresh counts of obstruction of justice. Pertaining to his alleged attempts to erase security footage at Mar-a-Lago. Additionally, a new Espionage Act violation is being brought against him concerning his alleged possession of an Iran war plan. Which he reportedly brandished during an interview.

Although the superseding indictment may not appear significantly more severe than the initial charges, these new allegations could significantly bolster special prosecutor Jack Smith’s case for obtaining a conviction, both in the eyes of the public and in a courtroom.

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As exemplified by Richard Nixon’s infamous case. It’s often not the initial crime itself but the subsequent coverup that proves crucial. The new evidence suggests that Donald Trump directly instructed aides. To wipe a computer server containing security footage at his South Florida club. Indicating not only his awareness of wrongdoing but also his efforts to conceal the entire incident. This could potentially serve as a smoking gun. Reminiscent of Nixon’s accusers discovering the missing 18-minute audio gap in the White House tapes.

Trump and Nixon: Striking Parallels and Damning Indictments

Presidential scholars interviewed by The Daily Beast found it effortless. To draw parallels between Donald Trump and Nixon, with Barbara Ann Perry, a presidential studies professor at the University of Virginia. Quoting the Peter, Paul, and Mary line, “When will they ever learn?”

Perry emphasized that this wasn’t a situation where the coverup was worse than the crime. As Trump’s alleged violations of the Presidential Records Act are already known. He is said to have waved around a classified document on war plans with Iran. Endangering the lives of military personnel—an incredibly damning act.

The superseding indictment provides a detailed account of events. Stating that just two hours after learning about the federal subpoena for camera footage outside a Mar-a-Lago storage room containing classified records. Trump sought to speak with his Diet Coke valet, Walt Nauta.

Over the following days in June of the previous year. Nauta and Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker Carlos De Oliveira surveilled the cameras. De Oliveira then reportedly took the estate’s IT director, Yuscil Taveras, into an “audio closet”. To inform him discreetly that “the boss” wanted the server deleted. The IT director, however, questioned whether he had the authority to do so. And directed both Trump associates to the Trump Organization’s security director.

Trump’s Potential Fall: Echoes of Nixon’s Notorious Lawlessness

The revelation of Donald Trump’s alleged plan to destroy evidence significantly heightens the gravity of the case against him, raising the specter of an infamous legacy in the history books. If proven during trial next year, it could severely hinder his aspirations to return to the White House in 2025.

Presidential scholars, including American University professor Chris Edelson, who specializes in the power of the presidency, see Trump solidifying himself as the closest successor to Nixon’s infamous lawlessness. Scholars observe that both leaders were driven by an unyielding desire to retain power, a trait fueled by a personality disorder or “mental aberration” of sorts.

Trump’s and Nixon’s self-serving justifications for their actions bear striking similarities. Just as Nixon believed he was justified in committing crimes due to an assumption of similar actions by Democrats, Trump follows a comparable pattern. The recent indictment reveals how Trump allegedly nudged his lawyers to resist federal investigators by mischaracterizing the actions of an attorney representing his political rival, Hillary Clinton, marking a parallel to Nixon’s justifications for his deeds.

Trump’s Alleged Justifications and Echoes of Nixon’s Coverup

Presidential scholars draw striking parallels between Trump and Nixon, with American University professor Chris Edelson highlighting Trump’s belief that others are breaking the law, thus justifying his own actions, much like Nixon did. Both leaders seemed to possess a perception that the opposing side was engaged in nefarious activities.

The similarities continue, as Nixon’s downfall came about when he directed subordinates to commit additional crimes to conceal previous ones. Similarly, investigators today are collecting private phone communications and interviewing Mar-a-Lago employees as part of Trump’s indictment.

Nixon’s decision to cover up evidence was partly driven by his fear that a White House lawyer, John W. Dean III, who was cooperating with Watergate prosecutors, would reveal a trail leading straight to him. Nixon also suggested disposing of Oval Office recordings months before the public even learned of their existence.

In this unfolding saga, the alleged justifications and strategies employed by Trump share striking similarities with Nixon’s infamous coverup, raising questions about the potential consequences for Trump as investigators delve deeper.

Echoes of Nixon: Coverup and Tape-Deletion Scheme in Trump’s Legal Woes

Nixon’s motive for covering up evidence of his crimes appears to have been driven by his concern that White House lawyer John W. Dean III, who was cooperating with Watergate prosecutors, could expose incriminating information that led directly to him. Decades later, it was discovered that Nixon had suggested disposing of Oval Office recordings long before the public even knew of their existence.

In a recorded conversation with his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, Nixon expressed his disapproval of having sensitive Watergate discussions on record.

In Trump’s case, the American public may uncover more about his alleged tape-deletion scheme during the scheduled May 2024 trial in Fort Pierce, Florida, where prosecutors are expected to present evidence in court.

Currently, the indictment only alludes to the existence of a conversation. It highlights that Nauta, upon hearing about the former president’s desire to speak with him, changed his travel plans and, instead, embarked on a discreet mission to Florida, seemingly originating from higher authorities. The parallels between Nixon’s coverup and Trump’s legal predicament raise intriguing questions about potential outcomes as the investigations continue.

Nixon and Trump: Diverging Paths Hinge on American Voters

According to presidential scholars, the parallels between Nixon and Donald Trump hold the potential to lead in vastly different directions, with American voters holding the power to shape the outcome in the upcoming elections.

Nixon faced a Republican Party that couldn’t tolerate being led by a humiliated and disgraced politician. In contrast, the GOP of today has demonstrated unwavering loyalty to Trump, disregarding any embarrassment.

Presidential historian Luke Nichter points out the significant takeaway: Nixon wasn’t prepared to mount a strong defense as Reagan did during the Iran-Contra affair. However, with Trump’s dedicated base, partisanship prevails. Regardless of the evidence, remaining loyal to the leader has become the norm since Watergate. The future trajectories of Nixon and Trump’s legacies hinge on how the American voters navigate these contrasting paths.

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