“Our long national nightmare is over” said President Gerald Ford during his Inaugural Address on August 9, 1974 right after President Richard Nixon resigned because of Watergate.
Little did President Ford know there would be at least 3 other big “national nightmares” to follow.
Watergate set the bar for every independent counsel investigation of a sitting president. After all, investigative journalism prevailed and a crooked president left office.
Since Watergate, however, partisans who lost the last presidential election have sought to use the brass knuckles of independent counsel statutes as “long national nightmares” hopefully to force a sitting President of the other party to resign in shame just like Nixon did.
Democrats really hoped the Walsh Report on Iran-Contra would force President Reagan to resign. Republicans so desperately wanted to force President Bill Clinton out of the White House they passed articles of impeachment based on the Starr Report which focused on the Monica Lewinsky affair, not on any reasonable definition of “treason” or even “high crimes and misdemeanors” such as colluding with a foreign power by selling secret nuclear war plans to Russia or China or something else of that particular order and magnitude.
Hillary Clinton told her advisors on election night to spin her loss on “Russian Collusion” and the willing media complied. Democrats have hoped and prayed ever since that the Mueller Report would force Donald Trump to do the perp walk out of the White House into the Rose Garden in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs with full media coverage.
Using the power of the independent counsel statutes is no way to adjudicate national presidential elections. Special prosecutors have devolved into political hammers in search of a nail.
There have been 29 special prosecutors or “independent counsels” appointed since the founding of the American Democratic Republic. Six occurred in the 184 years before Watergate in 1973.
Since Watergate, we have had 21 special prosecutor investigations. Bill Clinton was the target of 12 special counsels all by himself.
Watergate turned out to be a legitimate investigation that uncovered grave constitutional issues at hand. A sitting President sought to use the power of our government to cover-up his role in the burglary of the headquarters of his political opposition in the previous campaign.
If you are a Democrat who is truly objective and 100% concerned about the abuse of power by any sitting President, you should demand that a special prosecutor now be named to look into the role of the Obama Administration and senior federal law enforcement officials starting Election night, November 2016.
If there was any coordinated effort between the Obama White House, the Hillary Clinton campaign, CIA Director John Brennan, NSA Director James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey and functionaries such as Peter Strzok to prevent the peaceful transition of power from President Obama to President Trump after he duly won, then we have a massive constitutional crisis that out-paces Watergate by a factor of 100.
No Democrat is asking for such an investigation. They are not interested in “good government” when it comes to President Trump. They just want to keep their base core partisan supporters engaged and enraged so they will vote against Republicans in 2020.
The Founders had a brilliant idea for dealing with malefactors in office: elections. If you don’t like the occupant of the White House, you have 4 years to plot, plan and scheme to defeat him at the only place we should be talking about, the ballot box.
Not the court system. Not in Congress. Not with a special prosecutor.
Perhaps this will be the fourth and last “long national nightmare” we will see in our lifetimes. It is time to put the independent counsel option to rest forever.