Here’s why Jody Wilson-Raybould’s Watergate reference is important
Jody Wilson-Raybould testified earlier today in front of the justice committee that there were “veiled threats” regarding SNC-Lavalin during her time as Attorney General.
You can read our coverage of her testimony here. During the multi-hour affair, she interestingly made a specific reference to Nixon’s disastrous Watergate scandal, comparing her situation to the Saturday Night Massacre.
That reference does not bode well for the Trudeau government. Here’s why.
During the Saturday Night Massacre, U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered his Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire the independent special prosecutor, Archibald Cox.
Cox had been notably assigned to investigate the events surrounding the break-in of the Democratic National Committee’s offices at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Richardson refused and resigned effective immediately.
Nixon did not stop there. He followed his first order up by instructing Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox.
He also refused and resigned.
Nixon, being the stubborn man he was, then ordered the third-most-senior official at the Justice Department, Solicitor General Robert Bork, to fire Cox.
As they say, the third time’s the charm, and Bork agreed to Nixon’s demand. The subsequent negative public reaction was so swift and intense that a new special counsel was appointed within eleven days, and a short ten days following that a court ruled that the dismissal had been illegal. With that Nixon was all but toast,
Less than a week after the event, an NBC News poll showed that, for the first time, a plurality of U.S. citizens supported impeachment, and within days of that, resolutions of impeachment were introduced in Congress against the president. Nixon was forced to resign.
The Prime Minister and those closest to him in the PMO are now alleged to have pressured the former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould by the Wilson herself.
By alluding to Watergate, Wilson-Raybould is making the public aware that Trudeau and Nixon share one major character flaw: hubris.
The difference is that Trudeau did not need three attempts to find his patsy. Just one.
The new AG David Lametti, a Quebec MP appointed by Trudeau, seems to have fallen hook line and sinker for the PMO’s narrative surrounding SNC-Lavalin. After being appointed as Attorney General, Lametti made it clear, he would base off his views on “pressure” based off of what the PM said, not speaking with the former AG at all.
He also dutifully opened a route for a potential deal with SNC-Lavalin.
This is all still a developing story, that is still somewhat muzzled as the PM has not waived all privilege in the matter.
What has been established so far things do not bode well for Trudeau. And it should be noted that members of the Prime Minister’s team are publicly showing their solidarity with Wilson-Raybould.
The PM has already announced that he will respond at 8 PM EST on February 27th. Such a rapid response does not connote real confidence. It seems to signify that Trudeau may be feeling anxiety that his cabinet is losing confidence in his government.
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