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All the Presidentís men
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By David Conde

We are in the middle of the Republican convention to nominate President Trump for reelection. To date, the campaign for this purpose has been deeply affected by the mishandling of the COVID-19 Pandemic that has so far brought death to almost 180,000 Americans, an economy that is in the toilet and a national conversation on racial justice that has involved 4 out of 5 people in the country.

On top of that, we have a president that has been impeached for his role in trying to get Ukraine to find dirt on his political opponent, has been investigated for his relationship with the Russians that helped him win the 2016 election and investigated for his private business dealings in and out of the presidency. Even more, he has surrounded himself with friends and political operatives that have been criminally charged or convicted for doing things mostly on his behalf or theirs.

This reminds me of All the Presidentís Men (1974) a book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward that documents the story behind the 1972 break-in and burglary at the National Democratic Headquarters located in the Watergate Office Building by a team of operatives associated with President Richard Nixon and his reelection campaign. A movie by the same name was released in 1976.

Bernstein and Woodward, reporters for the Washington Post, investigated and wrote on crimes by a large number of characters in and out of the White House that brought the Nixon presidency down. The first to be arrested in 1972 were the burglars and their handlers known as the Watergate 7 that had broken into the Democratic headquarters to steal sensitive files (Does that sound familiar?).

A second set of 7 members of the Nixon administration or campaign were indicted and criminally charged 2 years later. They included headliners such as John N. Mitchell, the former Attorney General and director of the Presidentís campaigns, H.R. Halderman, the White House Chief of Staff and John Ehrlichman who handled domestic affairs.

In a similar fashion and for similar reasons as far as protecting the President, we now have the Trump 7. The list begins with Paul Manafort, one of the chairs of the Trump campaign followed by Roger Stone, the Presidentís longtime friend and adviser, Michael Flynn, a national security adviser, George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser, Rick Gates, head of Trumpís inaugural committee, Michael Cohen, the Presidentís personal lawyer and Steve Bannon, a White House strategist.

Together, they represent the President well in both character and outlook. Six out of the seven were heavy into the Russian election interference affair.

Manafort was convicted in relation to an illegal and profitable relationship with a pro-Russian government of the Ukraine. Roger Stone was convicted of lying to Congress and obstructing the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his Russian communications. George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian relationship.

Rick Gates lied to the FBI about his dealings with the Russians among other things. Michael Cohen was Trumpís personal lawyer and fixer who was convicted of lying to Congress about a Trump real estate deal in Moscow and for his role in paying hush money to two of the Presidentís ex-lovers.

Steve Bannon and associates just got arrested for fraud and accused of taking money raised to build a wall on our southern border for their private use. Indications are that there is a deeper bottom to this corruption.





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