Letter: More perilous than Nixon
March has been a good time for Americans to be paying attention. On Monday, March 12, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI announced that Russian cyber criminals have successfully hacked into vital American infrastructure and currently have to capability to shut down large sections of the American power grid.
On that same day Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee abruptly and prematurely ended that committee’s inquiry into Russian cyber attacks and election meddling while regurgitating the oft repeated Trumpian line of “no collusion.” In the evening of that same day, the Secretary of State issued a strong statement on Russia and was abruptly fired by Presidential Tweet the following morning, on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, National Security Adviser General HR McMaster issued a similarly strong statement on Russia, and by Thursday word of his impending termination was being reported by all major news outlets. At 10 p.m. on Friday night, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe was fired less than 48 hours before his retirement, presumably for his corroborating statements regarding the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Meanwhile, longtime Russian operative and former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort remains under house arrest, facing up to 300 years in prison for tax evasion and money laundering related to Trump organization interests in Russia. This was also the week that the president of the United States sued a porn star in federal court for $20 million for failing to remain quiet about a sexual liaison for which she had been paid $130,000 in hush money.
And then there was this, on Friday afternoon at 2:46 p.m. retired four-star General Barry McCaffrey tweeted:
“Reluctantly I have concluded that President Trump is a serious threat to U.S. national security. He is refusing to protect vital U.S. interest from active Russian attacks. It is apparent that he is for some unknown reason under the sway of Mr. Putin.”
In August of 1974 our system of checks and balances worked when Nixon resigned. Will they work now under far more perilous circumstances?