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Opinion

Opinion: Echos of Watergate in the Manafort indictment

Paul Manafort
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, left, leaves Federal District Court in Washington on Oct. 30.
(Alex Brandon / AP)

To the editor: I think it’s safe for me to say I was among the very first people to read the initial news reports about the Watergate break-in back in 1972.

I was a young congressional staff assistant working on Capitol Hill then, and when I reported the story to my friends back in Southern California, they said, “So what?” Their reaction then did not prevent what was at first a trickle of news from becoming a flood that swept away a sitting president and his most trusted White House advisors (among many others).

Today, as I digest the news about former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s indictment, I can’t help but compare his situation to those who covered up the abuses of President Nixon in the Watergate scandal. (“Paul who? Manafort ran Trump’s campaign but the president downplays his role,” Oct. 31)

The stench of Watergate smells the same today. Dozens of people ended up being convicted of crimes in the 1970s. How many will suffer the same fate soon?

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Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: The Trump White House has never accepted responsibility for any of its lies, distortions or highly suspect actions, and we should not expect it to start now.

Trump’s favorability ratings keep slipping, and so does his ability to allege “fake news” and attack Hillary Clinton as his way to distract us from the growing pile of evidence against people involved with his presidential campaign. The truth has a way of rearing its ugly head, as it appears to be doing with the most scrutinized and problematic administration in American history.

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There will be many more bombshells ahead, as Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III continues his investigation. The framers wrote the Constitution for such a historic moment, and their system of checks and balances will hopefully protect us from the most corrupt and incompetent administration in American history.

Bette Mason, Corona Del Mar

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