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If I hear one more television talking head say the Clinton
crimes don’t measure up to the Watergate scandal, I think
I’ll have an aneurysm.

Let’s look at the facts.

In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommended
articles of impeachment against President Nixon for
violating his oath to uphold the Constitution and for
preventing, obstructing and impeding the administration
of justice. Specifically, Nixon was accused of the following
in article I:

  1. “Making or causing to be made false or misleading
    statements to lawfully authorized investigative
    officers and employees of the United States.”

    Sound familiar?

  2. “Withholding relevant and material evidence or
    information from lawfully authorized investigative
    officers and employees of the United States.”

    Have you heard this lately?

  3. “Approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and
    counseling witnesses with respect to the giving of
    false or misleading statements to lawfully
    authorized investigative officers and employees of
    the United States and false or misleading testimony
    in duly instituted judicial and congressional
    proceedings.”

    Can you say “suborning perjury”?

  4. “Interfering or endeavoring to interfere with the
    conduct of investigations by the Department of
    Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of
    Investigation, the office of Watergate special
    prosecution force and congressional committees.”

    Stonewalling, obstruction of justice, yada yada.

  5. “Approving, condoning and acquiescing in the
    surreptitious payments of substantial sums of
    money for the purpose of obtaining the silence or
    influencing the testimony of witnesses, potential
    witnesses or individuals who participated in such
    unlawful entry and other illegal activities.”

    Hush money? It worked for Webb Hubbell, too.

  6. “Endeavoring to misuse the Central Intelligence
    Agency, an agency of the United States.”

    OK, we don’t know about the CIA, but how about
    the IRS? How about the FBI?

  7. “Disseminating information received from officers
    of the Department of Justice of the United States to
    subjects of investigations conducted by lawfully
    authorized investigative officers and employees of
    the United States for the purpose of aiding and
    assisting such subjects in their attempts to avoid
    criminal liability.”

    Witness tampering by any other name.

  8. “Making false or misleading public statements for
    the purpose of deceiving the people of the United
    States into believing that a thorough and complete
    investigation has been conducted with respect to
    allegation of misconduct on the part of personnel of
    the executive branch of the United States and
    personnel of the Committee for the Re-Election of
    the President, and that there was no involvement
    of such personnel in such misconduct; or”

    “I did not have sex with that woman — Miss
    Lewinsky.”

  9. “Endeavoring to cause prospective defendants, and
    individuals duly tried and convicted, to expect
    favored treatment and consideration in return for
    their silence or false testimony, or rewarding
    individuals for their silence or false testimony.”

    Calling Susan McDougal.

Then there was article II, in which Nixon was accused
violating the rights of citizens:

  1. “He has, acting personally and through his
    subordinates and agents, endeavored to obtain from
    the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the
    constitutional rights of citizens, confidential
    information contained in income tax returns for
    purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in
    violation of the constitutional rights of citizens,
    income tax audits or other income tax investigation
    to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory
    manner.”

    Exhibit A: The Western Journalism Center.

  2. “He misused the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
    the Secret Service, and other executive personnel,
    in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights
    of citizens, by directing or authorizing such agencies
    or personnel to conduct or continue electronic
    surveillance or other investigations for purposes
    unrelated to national security, the enforcement of
    laws, or any other lawful function of his office; he
    did direct, authorize, or permit the use of
    information obtained thereby for purposes
    unrelated to national security, the enforcement of
    laws, or any other lawful function of his office; and
    he did direct the concealment of certain records
    made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of
    electronic surveillance.”

    Did someone say Filegate?

  3. “He has, acting personally and through his
    subordinates and agents, in violation or disregard of
    the constitutional rights of citizens, authorized and
    permitted to be maintained a secret investigative
    unit with the office of the president, financed in
    part with money derived from campaign
    contributions to him, which unlawfully utilized the
    resources of the Central Intelligence Agency,
    engaged in covert and unlawful activities, and
    attempted to prejudice the constitutional right of an
    accused to a fair trial.”

    Terry Lenzner, where are you?

  4. “He has failed to take care that the laws were
    faithfully executed by failing to act when he knew or
    had reason to know that his close subordinates
    endeavored to impede and frustrate lawful
    inquiries by duly constituted executive; judicial and
    legislative entities concerning the unlawful entry
    into the headquarters of the Democratic National
    Committee, and the cover-up thereof, and
    concerning other unlawful activities including
    those relating to the confirmation of Richard
    Kleindienst as attorney general of the United States,
    the electronic surveillance of private citizens, the
    break-in into the office of D. Lewis Fielding, and the
    campaign financing practices of the Committee to
    Re-Elect the President.”

    Gee, campaign finance abuses? Hmmmm.

  5. “In disregard of the rule of law: he knowingly
    misused the executive power by interfering with
    agencies of the executive branch: including the
    Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Criminal
    Division and the Office of Watergate Special
    Prosecution Force of the Department of Justice, in
    violation of his duty to take care that the laws be
    faithfully executed.”

    Obstruction, abuse of power — where have I heard
    this before?

And article III?

“In his conduct of the office of president of the
United States, Richard M. Nixon, contrary to his
oath faithfully to execute the office of the president
of the United States, and to the best of his ability
preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the
United States, and in violation of his constitutional
duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,
had failed without lawful cause or excuse, to
produce papers and things as directed by duly
authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on
the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, on
April 11, 1974, May 5, 1974, May 30, 1974, and June
24, 1974, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas.
The subpoenaed papers and things were deemed
necessary by the committee in order to resolve by
direct evidence fundamental, factual questions
relating to presidential direction, knowledge or
approval of actions demonstrated by other evidence
to be substantial grounds for impeachment of the
president. In refusing to produce these papers and
things, Richard M. Nixon, substituting his
judgment as to what materials were necessary for
the inquiry, interposed the powers of the presidency
against the lawful subpoenas of the House of
Representatives, thereby assuming to himself
functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of
the sole power of impeachment vested by the
Constitution in the House of Representatives.

In all this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner
contrary to his trust as president and subversive of
constitutional government, to the great prejudice of
the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest
injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore, Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct,
warrants impeachment and trial and removal from
office.”

Let’s remember, this last article was drafted after many
weeks of hearings by the House Judiciary Committee. Even
before similar hearings take place on the conduct of this
administration, it’s easy to see that Clinton is every bit as
guilty as Nixon. And that’s before we even start talking
about Chinagate, Travelgate, Whitewater and dozens of
other scandals yet concluded.

So, enough. Let’s not have any more talk about Watergate
being more serious than the crimes of the Clinton
administration.

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