Trump does a Nixon

On Tuesday, US President Trump fired FBI director James Comey.

Published: 11th May 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2017 12:40 AM   |  A+A-

The front page of The New York Times when US President Richard Nixon resigned over the notorious Watergate scandal

On Tuesday, US President Trump fired FBI director James Comey. Comey was supposed to lead the investigation into Russia's meddling into the 2016 campaign. This is not the first time a president has dismissed the person leading an investigation that has a bearing on him

Watergate moment
In October 1973, President Nixon dismissed the special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox.
Watergate is the most
notorious scandal in American history. The scandal, unearthed by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, lead to the discovery of many illegal activities undertaken by the Nixon administration, including bugging the offices of political opponents

‘Saturday Night Massacre’

  • The day when Nixon fired Cox came to be known as the “Saturday Night Massacre.” After a year of revelations, in July 1974, the US House of Representatives impeached Nixon. And on August 8, Nixon resigned
  • Since Watergate, presidents have been reluctant to take on FBI directors, no matter how frustrated they were, writes NYT’s chief White House Correspondent Peter Baker

Comey connect
During George W Bush’s term, the then FBI director threatened to quit if an ‘illegal’ surveillance program was reauthorised. Bush gave up. Guess who else threatened to quit for the same reason? James Comey himself. He was  deputy attorney general

‘Total hoax’
Many Democrats are comparing Trump’s move to Nixon’s. Many lawmakers are now calling for an independent committee to probe into Trump campaign’s Russian links. Trump meanwhile tweeted, “The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax ... ”


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