Some similarities exist in the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the 1972 Watergate scandal that led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation, Bob Woodward said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
"Indeed there are comparisons. This is a remarkable moment. It’s not something to take lightly,” Woodward said. “The circumstances, in fairness, are also quite different."
Woodward, a Washington Post associate editor, investigated and reported on Watergate in 1972 along with Carl Bernstein for the Post.
In1973, when Nixon ordered the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy William Ruckelshaus resigned instead of complying with Nixon’s order.
"There was a lot of pressure on Nixon after he fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox, but then, because of that pressure, Nixon blinked in two ways," Woodward said. "He agreed to hire another special prosecutor and he turned over a bunch of the tapes—which were the issue here. Those tapes contained a lot of incriminating information … that accelerated the independent investigation by Leon Jaworski and by the Senate Watergate Committee.
"And eventually there were more tapes. The Supreme Court forced Nixon to turn those over and that ended the reign,” Woodward said, referring to Nixon’s resignation.
The journalist noted the primary difference between the Comey firing and the Watergate-era firing of the special prosecutor.
"By the time special prosecutor Cox was fired, there had been four days of public testimony by Nixon’s counsel John Dean, devastating testimony saying that Nixon was leading the cover-up."
John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's former campaign chairman, made a reference on Twitter comparing Nixon's actions - dubbed the "Saturday Night Massacre" - to Trump's.
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