New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Donald Trump, Eric Schneiderman, TrumpRussia, Watergate


May 10th, 2017

TrumpRussia, the Watergate Sketches, and You

Jurors listen to the Watergate tapes. Sketch by John Hart.

The sketches hang in my office as souvenirs from a trial long ago. I represented the estate of the courtroom sketch artist in a medical malpractice trial, and a grateful widow sold them to me when the trial was over.

Watergate. The scandal by which all others are measured, as the ubiquitous -gate suffix was tagged to anything and everything that it could be tagged to.

The scandal stood for, above all else, obstruction of justice and abuse of power. As everyone knows (or should know) it wasn’t the “third-rate burglary” that sent Nixon packing. It was the cover-up.

I look at the sketches every day.

H.R. Haldeman, White House Chief of Staff, on the witness stand. Judge John Sirica behind him. Sketch by John Hart.

And now, with FBI Director James Comey being fired amidst an investigation he was conducting into the TrumpRussia scandal — no need for the -gate suffix here — Watergate is on everyone’s mind.

For it was Nixon that gave the order to ax special prosecutor Archibald Cox who was doing the investigation. And when the attorney general and deputy attorney general both refused, and resigned in what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre, the job fell to future judge Robert Bork.

No one in the Trump White House, it seems, could foresee that a president firing the guy that was investigating his own administration regarding Russia’s meddling in our election, and possible collusion, might be a problem.

But while Trump can fire Comey, and Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, and Preet Bharara, all of whom were investigating him — he can’t fire everyone. Because not everyone works for him.

Prosecutor James Neal talking to the jury. Judge John Sirica in the background. Sketch by John Hart.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating Trump. And Schneiderman is beyond Trump’s reach.

The tell for if/when Schneiderman is getting close to something will be when Trump starts tweeting about him.

Ultimately, however, the Constitution charges we the people with the task of removal. And if not by an unwilling Congress, then by a change of the Congress the next election day.

One way or another the republic will survive this. We can only hope that there are no improvident actions in the interim that cost people lives.

7 thoughts on “TrumpRussia, the Watergate Sketches, and You

  1. The CNN efforts to connect Yates and Bharara to “investigating” Trump are vapid and silly. Similarly, Schneiderman’s not investigating anything, but riding coattails and challenging the loss of funds under Obama programs that he likes and Trump is cutting. One of the ways Trump manages to deflect responsibility for what he does do is the excessive hyperbole used to try to “get” him for what he does do.

    There is certainly plenty here with which to attack his firing of Jim Comey, but let’s not gild the lily with fantastical claims about things that are simply untrue. Trump shouldn’t get away with it because his critics can’t stick to the truth either.

    • AS you know, it’s always hard to know exactly what is going on with investigations, but I’m pretty confident that Schneiderman is/was investigating the phony Trump charity, and since this has implications for tax issues both state and federal, it would have made sense for Bharara to be there also. Tax issues means tax returns, and from there the camel’s nose is under the tent. And Yates clearly involved with Flynn and TrumpRussia issues.

      • Those aren’t “investigating Trump” things. And Yates’ only involvement was Flynn, not Trump. Let’s stick with facts so as not to hand him back the opportunity to point out the “fake news.” There are facts. Let’s stay with them.

        • And Yates’ only involvement was Flynn, not Trump.

          I think it’s premature to try to separate Flynn from Trump, given that Trump knew about the Flynn-Russia problem and didn’t do anything until after it was made public. What Trump knew, and when did he know it, will most surely be a question that is asked of Flynn and others.

          Time will tell, unless the bodies get covered.

  2. Ok, “Eric Turkewitz for President” is a tad premature. As well, we can expect, “Eric Turkewitz for AG”, might well be met with a shy demurer from the nominee, who claims, modestly, “I only know about Personal Injury cases”. Nominees from this evil administration, however, display even less knowledge of the law, alas.

    But, in an unexpected groundswell of support, the Internet is swamped by pleas of the type “But we have all been personally injured by this bogus administration!” Top that, jurists!

    Still in touch with his inner self, Eric agrees at least to keep us all in touch with WHAT REALLY MATTERS.

    Go Eric!

    PS did you run Boston this time? If so, tell!

    • Ok, “Eric Turkewitz for President” is a tad premature.

      I found it terrifying during the election that, at times, I actually knew more policy than the person that won.

      As to Boston, you got to get in it to win it, or even just to compete in it, and I haven’t qualified in years. But I’m still hopeful I’ll return.

  3. ET, How cool to see the John Hart sketches again and…..I always enjoy the commentary. Keep speaking out! CS