by Jonathan Chait, Intelligencer – NY MagazineNovember 2018
Most of the public fascination surrounding the legal ordeal of President Trump has attached itself to whether (or, more accurately, how successfully) his campaign colluded with Russia. Much less attention has fixated on the question of Trump committing obstruction of justice in office.
This isn’t because obstruction is less serious an offense. Quite the opposite: It’s the very crime that drove President Nixon from office. Rather, it’s paradoxically because the obstruction is so public and naked that it’s been robbed of its mystery. The collusion question has enough hidden tangents to create some compelling drama about the outcome, even if the basic contours are clear.
But obstruction is still sitting right there. The latest reminder comes in the form of an analysis in the legal blog Lawfare co-authored by James Baker, who until late 2017 served as general counsel of the FBI. The putative subject of the piece is the Watergate “road map,” which detailed Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski’s grounds for impeaching Nixon. But the real subject of the analysis is Trump, whose offenses appear strikingly similar.
Authoritarians are very dependent on social reinforcement of their beliefs. They think they’re right because almost everyone they know and listen to tells them they are. That happens because they screen out sources that will suggest that they are wrong.
Read the synopsis via Intelligencer
Read the full story via Lawfare