Op-Ed

Dick Morris: Susan Rice Memo Channels Richard Nixon

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On March 21, 1973 — exactly two months after he was inaugurated for a second term as president — Richard M. Nixon met, in the Oval Office, with his aides H.R. Haldeman and John Dean III to discuss how to buy the co-operation and silence of Watergate burglar Howard Hunt.

Haldeman reported that Hunt wanted $120,000 but Dean said it would likely take a cool $1 million.

Nixon replied that “there is no problem in raising a million dollars — we can do that — but it would be wrong.”

Knowing that he was taping himself, Nixon’s comment is widely and accurately seen as a CYA comment in case any payments that were made were exposed.

The same is probably true of Susan Rice’s email, sent hours before she left office, recounting an Oval Office meeting with President Barack Obama on Jan. 5, two weeks before the end of his term.

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The Rice email memorializes Obama’s words at the meeting saying that he wanted any investigation of the Russia-Trump scandal to be conducted “by the book.”

Rice’s email, sent on Jan. 20, 2017, the very day of Trump’s inauguration, described a meeting two weeks before with FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and Vice President Joe Biden about the investigation into Russian election interference.

Her email (possibly her last official action before walking out the door) notes that Obama stressed “his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.’ The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”

Obama’s comments smack of the same CYA motivation as Nixon’s in making sure he was on tape as saying that payoffs to the burglars (which in fact were being made as he spoke) “would be wrong.”

Do you think Susan Rice sent this memo in an attempt to protect herself?

We don’t know why Rice waited two weeks after the Jan. 5 meeting to send her email.

But we can imagine that it had slipped her mind and that she realized right before leaving office, perhaps as a result of a reminder from the president, that she needed to get it on record … now.

Just as Nixon was, indeed, paying off the burglars, so Obama’s people were conducting the Russia investigation anything but “by the book.”

The FBI has used the totally inaccurate dossier as the basis for warrants to surveil Trump staffer Carter Page before, during and after the transition.

But in getting the warrant to do so from the FISA Court, they hid the fact that the dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and had been amassed with substantial aid from Hillary black ops boys Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer and from the wife of Bruce Ohr of the Justice Department.

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If this was “by the book”, it must have been a strange book — the same one Nixon was using that led to his forced resignation.

Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, “Rogue Spooks,” was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.

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Combined Shape
Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.




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