U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (Reuters / Laura Segall)
In his weekly column, Dr. Ron Paul blasted the Obama and George W. Bush administrations for taking the ‘imperial presidency’ ‒ which was supposed to end after President Richard Nixon resigned ‒ far further than the disgraced politician ever did.
The former Republican congressman from Texas took the two most recent presidential administrations to task for abusing their power, and compared them to the actions Nixon took that forced him out of office before Congress impeached him. Paul, a three-time presidential candidate, focused his ‘Nixon Vindicated’ op-edon the use of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), spying and the warfare state.
The renowned libertarian first analyzed Nixon’s IRS scandal versus the current one that the Obama administration faces. In May 2013, the US tax agency confessed it had targeted conservative political groups, putting them under extra scrutiny during the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election. Nixon had used the IRS to persecute his political opponents, which was a subject of the articles of impeachment against him.
“As bad as Nixon’s abuse of the IRS was, he was hardly the first president to use the IRS this way, and the present administration seems to be continuing this tradition,” Paul wrote, adding that, under President Barack Obama, the agency had targeted one of his organizations, Campaign for Liberty. The IRS “demanded” the non-profit “hand over information regarding its major donors.”
The main focus of Nixon’s downfall was the Watergate scandal. On June 17, 1972, burglars broke into the Democratic Party’s National Committee offices in the Watergate complex in Washington, DC. The burglary and subsequent cover-up were eventually tied to the president, who won reelection later in 1972. By 1974, Congress had moved to impeach Nixon, who resigned on August 8, 1974.
“Watergate is now an all-encompassing term used to refer to: political burglary, bribery, extortion, phonetapping, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, tax fraud, illegal use of government agencies such as the CIA and the FBI, illegal campaign contributions and use of public money for private purposes,” watergate.info wrote.“Most of all, Watergate is synonymous with abuse of power.”
To Paul, Watergate is minor when contrasted with the actions of those who have followed Nixon in the White House.
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