Is Donald Trump Experiencing Another Watergate?

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The FBI is raiding Donald Trump's Florida mansion. The former president has described the event as a Watergate .

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Photo: Flickr-Michael Vadon

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: ¿Donald Trump está viviendo otro Watergate?

Former US President Donald Trump is heading his candidacy for the next elections in 2024. Officially, he will compete in possible Republican primaries and then face (most likely) current President Joe Biden.

However, the controversial New York tycoon has just added a new scandal. Due to an investigation for alleged misuse of official documents, former President Trump's house in Mar-a-Lago, in the state of Florida, was raided, where they even opened his safe. Trump described it as an event similar to the Watergate scandal, accusing this of political persecution.

But how much does this act resemble the Watergate scandal that brought down a sitting president?

What Was Watergate?

In the early 1970s, one of the biggest political scandals in the United States was known. It began with a theft of information from the Watergate office complex, located in the city of Washington. This information was stolen from the National Committee of the Democratic Party. This theft, as it became known later, was orchestrated by the administration of President Richard Nixon, who tried to cover up the incident.

The FBI discovered a connection between the men who broke into the offices of the CNPD and the Committee for the Reelection of President Nixon and the Republican Party itself.

Within the events, there was also harassment of opposition politicians or officials who were considered suspicious by the group close to Richard Nixon. The White House also instrumentalized the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which ended in an institutional crisis due to the abuse of power that the Nixon government was implementing. These events ended in the resignation of the president in 1974, in addition to 48 people, who were part of the Government, imprisoned.

Is Donald Trump Experiencing a Watergate?

Obviously, there are words that are repeated: FBI, investigation and raid of an opposition leader. However, the context is completely the opposite and does not suggest an abuse of power by the current administration, or at least not for now.

However, today, the actions of State institutions have an investigation involved. The president and his close group are being investigated over the former president's handling of official documents, something similar to the investigation Hillary Clinton faced after her role as Secretary of State during the presidency of Barack Obama.

It was even the same Trump who in his 2016 campaign insistently asked that his Democratic opponent, former first lady Hillary Clinton, be “imprisoned” for the scandal of misuse of confidential emails. For his part, Trump is being investigated for allegedly being responsible for the mishandling of official documents, for which the National Archives asked the Department of Justice for an investigation. This, because the presidents of the United States have the obligation, by law, to transfer all their letters and work documents and mail to the National Archives. There is a speculation that Trump did not comply and that there was damage to several files.

The New York tycoon denied these accusations at the time and called them fake news. What is striking is that this law, which prohibits getting rid of official documents, was created some time after the Watergate scandal, with the intention of keeping a record of the actions of the leaders when they leave power and verifying their conduct.

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For the FBI to enter Mar-a-Lago, an investigation and a warrant signed by a judge were required, as well as the approval of the director of the FBI and Attorney General Merrick Garland. Trumpism has sheltered its leader, and they have warned that as soon as they take control of the Lower House, they will carry out investigations into Garland to evaluate these actions.

“I have seen enough. The Justice Department has reached an intolerable state of armed politicization. When we Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned. Attorney General Garland, put your papers away and clear your schedule,” said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Trump is also currently facing investigations for his participation in the 2020 Capitol takeover. The efforts of the president or his associates to ignore the 2019 elections that gave victory to Joe Biden and that Trump and several of his followers have focused on in unaware.