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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: What Trump didn’t learn from Watergate: Incumbents don’t need to cheat

President Nixon at his desk on June 23, 1972.
President Nixon at his desk on June 23, 1972.
(National Archives )

To the editor: As it turns out, President Richard Nixon did not need a break-in at the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate office complex to trounce the Democrats in 1972. He compounded his mistake with a cover-up, leading to his resignation. (“It’s beginning to smell a lot like Watergate,” column, Oct. 13)

Former Vice President Joe Biden is imploding as you read this. Like the 1972 Democratic nominee George S. McGovern, Biden poses little threat to Trump; he may not even win his party’s nomination.

Similar to Watergate, Trump is clearly orchestrating a cover-up. The walls are closing in.

Still, the Senate will probably not vote to remove him from office, but the debacle will probably cost him the 2020 election. Like Nixon, it will have all turned out to have been a paranoid, futile attempt to attack an opponent who ultimately posed no threat.

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All the more poetic the justice.

David Marsh, Los Angeles

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To the editor: McManus’ column about the similarities and differences between Nixon and Trump establishes that regardless of the facts, the process is biased and political.

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Criminal conviction proceedings give the accused the right to be judged by a jury of his or her peers. Potential jurors are dismissed if they are found to be biased either for or against the accused.

This is not the case with impeachment. Political agendas come first. The Democrats who control the House will likely impeach Trump, and the Republican-held Senate will almost certainly acquit the president. In Nixon’s case, it took about two years for Republicans to side with those who wanted the president out of office, and only after highly incriminating tapes became public.

Congress must address the accusations of abuse of power, obstruction of justice and contempt of Congress with objectivity, not political bias.

Frank Deni, Lake Forest

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To the editor: McManus quips that Nixon at least didn’t outsource his dirty tricks. In fact, some of the Watergate burglars were Cuban exiles who were being paid under the table.

In pointing to similarities between Nixon’s and Trump’s presidencies, McManus could include the fact that in September 1971, at about the same point in his presidency as Trump’s, Nixon was also looking to smear a whistleblower, and his operatives burglarized the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist.

It seems we haven’t learned how to prevent the election of a lawless president, and now we will see if America has learned how to remove one. Still, I believe that even “Tricky Dick” was too much of a patriot to consider betraying America’s interests the way Trump appears to have done.

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Robert Fox, Los Angeles


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