Amanda Milius — director of the upcoming documentary film “The Plot Against the President” — says the effort to bring down President Donald Trump makes Watergate pale in comparison.
“It’s essentially Watergate reversed,” the Trump administration veteran told The Western Journal.
Instead of the president and his associates being guilty of wrongdoing, it was those within the Department of Justice and intelligence community who foisted Russiagate on the country.
The political scandal is “so much huger, so, so, so much bigger” than Watergate argued Milius, daughter of legendary Hollywood writer and director John Milius, who is known for such films as “Apocalypse Now,” “Conan the Barbarian,” “Red Dawn,” and “Clear and Present Danger.”
Watergate, which brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon, centered on “a couple of guys” sneaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters and stealing some documents, Milius explained.
“What happens when the entire intelligence community is involved in spying on a political campaign?” asked Milius, who worked on the 2016 Trump campaign and, following his election, served in the White House and State Department until this past spring.
“If Nixon’s a crook, Barack Obama is like a mafia boss,” she said.
The cast of the documentary is extensive, including former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes of California, who is the star of Smith’s book. (The book’s subtitle is, “The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History.”)
Also in the film are former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell; Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio; Sidney Powell, attorney for former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn; investigative journalist John Solomon; former Deputy National Security Advisor KT McFarland; former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski; former White House aide Sebastian Gorka; and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, to name some.
There are also a few “John Doe” interviews of sources whose identities were kept confidential because of their positions and the subject matter they discussed.
One of those Milius interviewed she found particularly helpful in putting the Russiagate scandal in context was John O’Connor, the attorney who revealed the identity of Watergate source “Deep Throat” to the world in a 2005 Vanity Fair piece.
O’Connor wrote that his client, the now-deceased former FBI Associate Director Mark Felt, was the famous source for reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post during the Watergate investigation.
O’Connor is “the perfect person to explain the contrast and similarities between this and Watergate,” Milius said.
“The Plot Against the President” goes beyond the material found in Lee’s book, which was published in October 2019.
“A lot of recent revelations are in there,” Milius told The Western Journal, “but we’re trying to stick to the basics as much as possible to kind of give people a foundation for how to understand everything that’s happening.”
The University of Southern California film school grad did not anticipate going back into movie making when she left the Golden State to join the Trump administration.
However, it became clear to Milius following the release of Smith’s book that its story needed to be told in movie form, and she was the right person to do it, given the relationships she had made in Washington.
“They’re going to trust me because…I’m not going to turn on them in some kind of Hollywood way and make everybody look like an idiot,” she told The Western Journal.
“It was somewhat difficult to leave the administration because … everything was going fairly well in my world,” Milius said. “But it was obvious that this was the more important thing to do.”
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The California native comes to the project, not as a politico, but as an artist who has spent her life working in and around the film and fashion industries.
Milius believes that background will give her movie a different aesthetic than other documentaries. The subject matter also lends itself well to Hollywood-style storytelling.
“It’s a spy thriller. Who doesn’t want to watch a spy thriller? An actual spy thriller that actually happened,” she said, according to a promotional packet for the film.
“It’s the real life ‘All the President’s Men,’ but bigger. One of my favorite movies, one of the only movies that really captures the desolate evil of D.C.”
“The Plot Against the President” is set for an early October release.
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