Watergate’s Eerie Resemblances to Russiagate

 

Most Americans today were not alive when burglars clumsily broke into Democratic National Headquarters at the sprawling Watergate office and apartment complex in northwest Washington, DC on June 17, 1972. We’re coming up to that notorious event’s 50th birthday. The average age in the USA last year was 38.5.

The Watergate complex, Washington DC, along the Potomac River and Rock Creek Parkway circa 1972. Behind is the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Howard Johnson hotel across from the complex is now a college dorm.

The late Mark Felt, a disgruntled Associate Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, purportedly operating under the nom de guerreDeep Throat,” the title of a porn movie of that era, surreptitiously guided two young Washington Post writers to publishing and movie stardom. Richard Nixon remains the only President in American history to resign from office (August 9, 1974). Dozens of Nixon Administration and campaign officials were prosecuted, including the Attorney General, John Mitchell.

Nixon was never impeached, but the handwriting was on the wall. For a 16-18-year-old rural Oklahoma high school student, it was a mesmerizing experience that remains seared in my memory. One of my high school teachers made watching live, wall-to-wall broadcast coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings a daily experience. There was no CSPAN back then, just the three major networks and PBS. Every purported major Washington scandal now has “gate” attached for media effect.

Nixon came to dominate and define that political era in so many ways, from his election to Congress in 1946 to his presidential resignation 28 years later.

Fast forward to last week and Russia Collusion Hoax (Russiagate) special prosecutor John Durham, the former non-partisan and fierce US attorney from Connecticut. You’re forgiven if you’re not aware of the story, which the Washington Post and nearly all of the “mainstream media” completely ignored. Then again, Durham’s latest filing was made on the Friday afternoon of Super Bowl weekend. Probably a Justice Department decision. We’ll let Matt Margolis from PJ Media summarize the explosive story.

Lawyers for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign paid a technology company to “infiltrate” servers that belonged to Trump Tower and, later, the Trump White House “for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump,” according to a motion filed Friday by Special Counsel John Durham. (Emphasis added)

This begs more questions than answers. Who were all the lawyers and Clinton campaign officials involved (the firm Perkins Coie, including legendary Democratic uberlawyer Mark Elias, then represented the Clinton campaign)? Who, exactly, was hired to infiltrate both campaign and official government servers? Why weren’t they caught earlier, especially by the FBI or CIA, or was this White House “infiltration” not illegal?

Such irony between this surveillance and Hillary’s own sloppy use of a private server to conduct sensitive government business, including emails with President Obama.

Let’s consult Durham’s court filing, specifically the fourth and fifth paragraphs, courtesy of attorney Ron Coleman writing for legalinsurrection.com:

The Indictment also alleges that, beginning in approximately July 2016, Tech Executive-1 had worked with the defendant, a U.S. investigative firm retained by Law Firm-1 on behalf of the Clinton Campaign, numerous cyber researchers, and employees at multiple Internet companies to assemble the purported data and white papers. In connection with these efforts, Tech Executive-1 exploited his access to non-public and/or proprietary Internet data. Tech Executive-1 also enlisted the assistance of researchers at a U.S.-based university who were receiving and analyzing large amounts of Internet data in connection with a pending federal government cybersecurity research contract. Tech Executive-1 tasked these researchers to mine Internet data to establish “an inference” and “narrative” tying then-candidate Trump to Russia. In doing so, Tech Executive-1 indicated that he was seeking to please certain “VIPs,” referring to individuals at Law Firm-1 and the Clinton Campaign.

The Government’s evidence at trial will also establish that among the Internet data Tech Executive-1 and his associates exploited was domain name system (“DNS”) Internet traffic pertaining to (i) a particular healthcare provider, (ii) Trump Tower, (iii) Donald Trump’s Central Park West apartment building, and (iv) the Executive Office of the President of the United States (“EOP”). (Tech Executive-1’s employer, Internet Company-1, had come to access and maintain dedicated servers for the EOP as part of a sensitive arrangement whereby it provided DNS resolution services to the EOP. Tech Executive-1 and his associates exploited this arrangement by mining the EOP’s DNS traffic and other data for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump.)

The internet gathering arrangement may not, in and of itself, be illegal. But former Elias partner Marc Sussman lied to the FBI about it, and that’s a crime (18 USC 1001). That’s why Sussman was largely indicted. Just remember a lesson from Watergate: The coverup is almost always worse than the crime. Except it may no longer be true.

This may be just the tip of the iceberg, given the weaponization of the FBI and our intelligence agencies during and after the 2016 presidential campaign.

With the advent of the internet and sophisticated spying tools (Al Gore had not yet created the internet in 1972), old-fashioned break-ins and listening devices implanted into landline phones are the stuff of legend. But the similarities between Watergate and Russiagate are growing by the day. One need only ask Hillary Clinton herself, who once briefly served on the House Judiciary Committee panel that investigated the Watergate scandal. Or better yet, ask her boss, who fired her.

Except in one way. This time, the FBI, Justice Department, and perhaps federal intelligence agencies were in on the scandal. The Russiagate allegations were fed to the FBI to generate an official investigation, an act by itself that would discredit Trump, launch a $30 million investigation led by former FBI director Robert Mueller, and eventually, a House impeachment. The Clinton campaign used – some say conspired with – our federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political purposes. It does make one wonder if this investigation — official or media — would even exist were Hillary Clinton President of the United States.

Apparently, only conservative-leaning media and their consumers find this of interest. Sure, congressional Republicans may pounce on the political ramifications but they don’t have a stellar track record when it comes to effectively investigating such malfeasance (former US Rep. Devin Nunes, R-CA, and House Intelligence Committee ex-counsel Kash Patel excepted). Democrats conduct only partisan investigations; they turn a blind eye and worse when their fellow travelers become suspect. At least John Durham hasn’t been shut down, not yet, anyway.

There may be good reasons (ahem, political calculations) behind Attorney General Merrick Garland’s refusal shut far to shut down Durham’s investigation, given rumors that she’s availing herself for another run for President in 2024, when she turns a sprightly 77 years of age. Even most Democrats don’t seem particularly enamored by that idea, and would rather she be investigated for her Russiagate role. Tangled webs are being spun everywhere, and Watergate increasingly looks like child’s play compared to Russiagate when it is all said and done.

Thus is the state of journalism, politics, and justice in America today. Where are the Bob Woodwards and Carl Bernsteins of the mainstream media today when you need them? Anyone? Bueller? And will it make any difference if and when Republicans take control of the House and/or Senate early next year?

Meanwhile, we all have to admit – especially the media – that Trump was right: he, his campaign, and his presidency were spied upon. Just like he said.

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  1. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    @kellydjohnston what odds do you put on a Clinton ever being held accountable for their criminality?

    • #1
  2. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    There is a resemblance in the sense that the CIA was present in both.  There is no resemblance in the fact that Nixon was on tape involved in obstruction of justice.  

    • #2
  3. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    There is a resemblance in the sense that the CIA was present in both. There is no resemblance in the fact that Nixon was on tape involved in obstruction of justice.

    There are Brennan’s memo, notes from his meeting with Obama and Biden among others, plus additional documents if John Radcliffe is to be believed. 

    • #3
  4. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    One huge difference is McConnell is an oaf who will be unable to exploit this politically. Retake the Senate? Maybe. But only maybe. McConnell seems far more interested in propping up Democrats.

    • #4
  5. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    This is a ridiculous comparison.

    Watergate was a couple of Boy Scouts compared to the Clinton DNC  Deep State actions against Trump.

    • #5
  6. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS
    @user_54742

    If the Mueller Weissmann Special Counsel were a serious investigative entity and not an integral part(the head fake and stall) of the corrupt RussiaGate scandal, then the corruption Durham is beginning to reveal in 2022 would have been presented to the Country probably as early as 2018.

    The Weissmann Special Counsel 4 year search for made up crimes(ie: look more FARA violations!!!) and stalling effort(Barr made the Special Counsel conclude their never ending stall investigation) to subvert justice should be considered quite successful for the corruptocrats when taking into account statutes of limitations, lost memories and recollections, and the permanent disposal and destruction of data …..

    …… But most important the corrupt (D) Weissmann Special Counsel was relying on the fruit fly staying power of the US citizenry when following a complicated scandal with multiple moving parts which has gone essentially unreported in the MSM, other than when the MSM decides they need to poop on the truth to cover up their own complicity in the RussiaGate scandal.

    • #6
  7. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Hillary was on the staff of the House Judiciary sub-committee on impeachment during Watergate.  Perhaps she viewed it as a dirty-tricks tutorial.

    • #7
  8. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    According to Silent Coup by Len Colodny, the backstory of the Watergate obstruction of justice by the White House, was a seminal act of espionage against the White House by the Pentagon.

    It was still the Vietnam era and Henry Kissinger was engaged in all manner of backchannel negotiations with the North Vietnamese.   These machinations were held so close to the vest that even the Pentagon had no clue what Kissinger was up to.  On several occasions the military found their own plans and operations short-circuited by Kissinger’s doings.  Apparently, the military’s request to get let into the loop were rebuffed.   So they took matters into their own hands and opened an intelligence gathering operation against Kissinger.  This included uniformed personnel, assigned to State Dept and White House, copying classified documents from Kissinger’s briefcases.  They got caught.  It could have precipitated a Constitutional crisis.

    The “Plumbers” of Watergate fame were first organised in response.   Their job was to plug those leaks and keep the story buried.

    This bit is similar.

    • #8
  9. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS
    @user_54742

    The MSM pooping on the truth continues in earnest with the old “we weren’t spying, we were just investigating the malware” excuse ….. Brutal …..

    Durham filing started a conservative furor, but their narrative is wrong

    NYT Feb 15, 2022 8:25 AM ET

    There were many problems with all this. For one, much of this was not new: The New York Times had reported in October what Mr. Sussmann had told the C.I.A. about data suggesting that Russian-made smartphones, called YotaPhones, had been connecting to networks at Trump Tower and the White House, among other places.

    The conservative media also skewed what the filing said. For example, Mr. Durham’s filing never used the word “infiltrate.” And it never claimed that Mr. Joffe’s company was being paid by the Clinton campaign.

    Most important, contrary to the reporting, the filing never said the White House data that came under scrutiny was from the Trump era. According to lawyers for David Dagon, a Georgia Institute of Technology data scientist who helped develop the Yota analysis, the data — so-called DNS logs, which are records of when computers or smartphones have prepared to communicate with servers over the internet — came from Barack Obama’s presidency.

    “What Trump and some news outlets are saying is wrong,” said Jody Westby and Mark Rasch, both lawyers for Mr. Dagon. “The cybersecurity researchers were investigating malware in the White House, not spying on the Trump campaign, and to our knowledge all of the data they used was nonprivate DNS data from before Trump took office.”

    • #9
  10. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    NeverTrump Phase 1: Trump is a paranoid idiot for claiming he was being spied upon.

    NeverTrump Phase 2: Trump was being spied upon, but it was only a little spying and even though the people spying on him cut a few corners, but it was a legitimate, routine investigation.

    NeverTrum Phase 3: Spying on Trump’s campaign and creating a false narrative of Russian collusion was very important because Orange Man Bad.

    • #10
  11. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    [deleted]

    • #11
  12. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    According to Silent Coup by Len Colodny, the backstory of the Watergate obstruction of justice by the White House, was a seminal act of espionage against the White House by the Pentagon.

    It was still the Vietnam era and Henry Kissinger was engaged in all manner of backchannel negotiations with the North Vietnamese. These machinations were held so close to the vest that even the Pentagon had no clue what Kissinger was up to. On several occasions the military found their own plans and operations short-circuited by Kissinger’s doings. Apparently, the military’s request to get let into the loop were rebuffed. So they took matters into their own hands and opened an intelligence gathering operation against Kissinger. This included uniformed personnel, assigned to State Dept and White House, copying classified documents from Kissinger’s briefcases. They got caught. It could have precipitated a Constitutional crisis.

    The “Plumbers” of Watergate fame were first organised in response. Their job was to plug those leaks and keep the story buried.

    This bit is similar.

    See also the Moorer-Radford Affair, although I’m still seeing the resemblance to today as a stretch.

    • #12
  13. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    A very small question raised by the picture of the Watergate Complex.  I note that there is two story building in front of the Watergate Complex which looks tiny by comparison to the 13 story buildings.  Is it still there?

    • #13
  14. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    A very small question raised by the picture of the Watergate Complex. I note that there is two story building in front of the Watergate Complex which looks tiny by comparison to the 13 story buildings. Is it still there?

    If we’re on the same page, it’s a gas station.  Still there to my knowledge-high prices.

    • #14
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I’ll say it again, justice will not be restored in this country until Hillary is frog-marched in an orange jumpsuit into a federal courthouse to be tried and convicted for all manner of illegalities that exposed the nation’s top secrets to our enemies. And as head of the State Department, she knew it was illegal and a betrayal in advance. A.k.a — treason.

    Until then it’s a two-tier justice system and Durham’s investigation will come to naught.

    • #15
  16. Kelly D Johnston Coolidge
    Kelly D Johnston
    @SoupGuy

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    A very small question raised by the picture of the Watergate Complex. I note that there is two story building in front of the Watergate Complex which looks tiny by comparison to the 13 story buildings. Is it still there?

    Yes. It has been renovated and was purchased a couple of decades ago by George Washington University as campus housing. 

    • #16
  17. Kelly D Johnston Coolidge
    Kelly D Johnston
    @SoupGuy
    • #17
  18. Kelly D Johnston Coolidge
    Kelly D Johnston
    @SoupGuy

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    A very small question raised by the picture of the Watergate Complex. I note that there is two story building in front of the Watergate Complex which looks tiny by comparison to the 13 story buildings. Is it still there?

    I may have the wrong building. The very small building on the corner of Indiana Ave. and Rock Creek Parkway is an Exxon gas station, at least the last I checked.

    • #18
  19. Kelly D Johnston Coolidge
    Kelly D Johnston
    @SoupGuy

    Columbo (View Comment):

    @ kellydjohnston what odds do you put on a Clinton ever being held accountable for their criminality?

    Close to zero. She is very good at keeping her hands clean while others dirty theirs. 

    • #19
  20. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Kelly D Johnston (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

    @ kellydjohnston what odds do you put on a Clinton ever being held accountable for their criminality?

    Close to zero. She is very good at keeping her hands clean while others dirty theirs.

    I’ve been waiting for Justice for Hillary since the Whitewater days. I’m not holding my breath.

    • #20
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