Speed Reads

impeachment inquiry

Historian finds another similarity between the Trump and Nixon impeachment scandals: 'Wildly misleading' transcripts

Is it 1974 all over again?

The Trump administration hopes not, but Kevin M. Kruse, a historian at Princeton University, pointed out some similarities between the current impeachment inquiry and how the Nixon administration handled Watergate.

Kruse dug up a New York Times report from June 1974, which details how President Nixon released transcripts of his infamous tape recordings, but it turned out they differed — sometimes significantly — from the House Judiciary's version, indicating the White House edited the transcripts.

It's relevant because the Trump administration released a rough transcript of President Trump's phone call in July with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The perception was that the White House was trying to confront the accusations of corruption head-on, but there was always a risk it could backfire. Some people likely think that's what happened yesterday when Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman reportedly testified before Congress that the White House's reconstructed transcript omitted critical words and phrases, including a mention of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Kruse, for his part, thinks the Nixon administration should have retained the rights for a Watergate reboot. Tim O'Donnell