Tags: Donald Trump | NSA/Surveillance | Presidential History | Watergate | investigation | bipartisan | intelligence

Unlike Watergate, This Probe Will Look Both Ways

Image: Unlike Watergate, This Probe Will Look Both Ways
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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Monday, 06 Mar 2017 10:12 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Barely 24 hours after President Donald Trump's "shocker tweet" Saturday morning, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said his panel would expand its probe of Russian influence in the 2016 U.S. elections to also investigate Trump's charge his campaign headquarters was bugged last year at the orders of then-President Barack Obama.

In so doing, Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., did what Senate Democrats steadfastly refused to do as they commenced their investigation of the Watergate political scandal 44 years ago: expand the probe beyond the abuses of then-President Nixon's re-election campaign to include abuses Democratic presidents committed against their Republican opponents.

"One of the focus points of the House Intelligence Committee's investigation is the U.S. government's response to actions taken by Russian intelligence agents during the presidential campaign," Nunes said in a statement Sunday night.

"As such, the committee will make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party's campaign officials or surrogates, and we will continue to investigate this issue if the evidence warrants it."

The Senate voted unanimously Feb. 7, 1973, in favor of Sen. Edward Kennedy's, D-Mass., Resolution 60 that created the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities.  Popularly known as the Senate Watergate Committee, it consisted of four Democrats and three Republicans and was charged with probing campaign activities in the presidential election year of 1972.

"My old boss [Florida Republican Sen.] Ed Gurney was one of three Republicans on the committee," recalled James L. Martin, once Gurney's top aide and now head of the SixtyPlus Seniors Association. "He proposed what Nunes is doing, an investigation of both parties if you will."

But Martin noted the committee's Democratic chairman, North Carolina Sen. Sam Ervin, "made sure it did not happen."

"Forty-four years later, Devin Nunes is doing what Sam Ervin wouldn't do," Martin added. "He will conduct a bipartisan investigation of campaign abuses."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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The House Intelligence Committee chairman vowed to do what was not done for Watergate: expand the probe beyond the abuses of then-President Nixon's re-election campaign to include abuses Democratic presidents committed against GOP opponents.
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2017-12-06
Monday, 06 Mar 2017 10:12 PM
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