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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sometimes the parallels between the present national crisis and the Watergate scandal are almost eerie. Consider the latest argument from Trump attorney John Dowd (the same sly mouthpiece who implausibly claimed to have authored a highly incriminating presidential tweet).

Last Sunday, Dowd claimed that the “President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.” Most constitutional scholars would find this notion that the president is above the law absurd and offensive — but there is at least one famed attorney who would have agreed.

The late Richard M. Nixon was driven from office for a series of crimes that included obstruction of justice. His Dowd-style view of absolute presidential power was captured in Frost/Nixon, a drama based on his real-life interviews with the late TV host David Frost (starring the great Frank Langella as Nixon and Michael Sheen as Frost).

Maybe someday, long after this president mercifully leaves office, we’ll see something similar: Colbert/Trump?

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