Source: John Dale Dunn
Geoff Shepard is a former Nixon defense team member and, for 20 years and more, the most learned and erudite source of information on the Nixon coup. He has shown with impeccable research that a cabal of Massachusetts-based lawyers and D.C.-based judges joined to actuate a coup against Nixon and how they managed it. Today, for our benefit, Shepard shows that we are dealing with another attempt at a coup to effect a reversal of the presidential election in 2016. His essay that was published on November 23, 2019, on Fox News online, describes an eerie Watergate repeat — the effort of an organized coup to get grand jury testimony, which is supposed to be sealed, released to the congressional committee opponents of a sitting president, the target of the coup.
Mr. Shepard describes this latest trick by the Trump coup perps as a plan by the despicable Mueller team hit man Andrew Weissmann as “trying a new trick” that follows on a desultory and unsuccessful effort by the Schiff committee to make a case for impeachment. Andrew “attack dog” Weissmann, a former member of the Mueller hit team, took to cable news to coach Democrats to go big and explosive and compare Trump to Nixon, although Shepard makes a convincing case in his two books that Nixon was framed and viciously prosecuted by wild-eyed partisans. Shepard definitely can assess that little tactic against Trump by Weissmann and show how Nixon was screwed by the Left during the Watergate affair in the leftists’ aggressive efforts that included corruption of the judicial process and the political process.
As Shepard points out, the success of the Nixon coup compels the Democrats to make comparisons, which are reaching a fever pitch, so he indicates a few inconvenient (for the Democrats) comparisons between Watergate and Russiagate/Ukrainegate/briberygate, and he emphasizes the problem of revenge of the special prosecutors.
His case and arguments, eloquent and studied, are summarized here:
- What is an impeachable offense is undefined.
- Any legal defense requires some understanding and definition of the accusations and the pertinent laws.
- Treason, bribery are easy to define, but how about “other High Crimes and Misdemeanors”?
- Any sitting president is forced to deal with the opposition’s ability to make up allegations and accusations as it charges along.
- A great example of 4 is the Democrat transition from quid pro quo accusations to bribery accusations to facilitate their public relations scam.
But Shepard has a much more important warning:
Trump has bigger problems to worry about than the ever-fluctuating Democratic message. His opponents are leveraging Watergate precedent and hoping for creative legal opinions to eradicate the secrecy of grand jury proceedings. A grand jury’s function involves such one-sided procedures that there are strict rules on secrecy. Targets (accused persons) are forbidden to have counsel present, are unable to cross-examine accusatory witnesses, and are not permitted to produce evidence or witnesses of their own. Even if no indictments follow, the elicited testimony can be very damaging to those investigated. … Yet tidbits gleaned from questioning by politicized prosecutors who conducted such investigations is why congressional committees, both now and during Watergate, salivate over gaining access to the raw depositions. Yet the entire design of the investigators, from beginning to end, was to harm their presidential foe.
In the case of Watergate, special prosecutors had grand jurors adopt a report that they planned to have transmitted to the congressional committees, known as the “road map” that prosecutors asserted showed how Nixon was involved with paying for a cover up — and the road map was, as Shepard proved up in his writings and essays — a lie, as eventually shown in subsequent trials. There is, to this day, no credible evidence that Nixon paid for a cover-up.
Mr. Shepard asserts that Leon Jaworski, the second Watergate prosecutor, told Bob Woodward the WaPo reporter that the House committee needed the “road map” from the special prosecutors. Mr. Shepard makes a case that today we are seeing the same ploy, and the House Judiciary Committee has gone to court to demand grand jury testimony from the Mueller investigation. Judge Beryl Howell (an Obama shill) upheld their subpoena, finding that committee’s demand was in the nature of a judicial inquiry, and thus within an exception to the statute forbidding release of grand jury information. Nice work, Judge Howell — let’s just blow up the concept of the grand jury.
Shepard asserts that Weissmann knew that when the Watergate prosecutors concluded they couldn’t indict Nixon, they realized they needed to get their information to Congress as a basis for his impeachment even if it was grand jury testimony that was properly considered raw and in violation of basic civil rights of defendants.
We know (because of Shepard’s research) that Watergate special prosecutors colluded with House investigators by secretly sharing prosecutorial information. In the media environment of today, Weissmann and his allies would not jeopardize their long game to oust Trump, so Weissmann used a trick to continue the coup. Now he is a TV pundit pushing for grand jury revelations to be transmitted to his allies in the Schiff and Senate committees. As Shepard says, “Watch the Pit Bull (Weissmann)” now becoming the Democratic messaging maestro, equipped with a quiver of grand jury secrets he helped to plant. I’d offer my own Latin advice to Trump’s legal team: “cave canem.” Beware of the dog.
Geoff Shepard holds a law degree from Harvard and served as deputy counsel to President Nixon during the unfolding of the Watergate scandal. His recent book, The Real Watergate Scandal, Collusion, Conspiracy, and the Plot that Brought Nixon Down (Regnery, 2015) is being re-issued in paperback in July.