Reporter’s Notebook: The impeachment inquiry, in all its complexity

nearvideo President Trump, Speaker Pelosi spin competing narratives about the house impeachment inquiry

Democracy 2020 Sunday panel weighs in on the stories of both parties turn to win the political favor during the house impeachment investigation.

I stood with my father on the stage at Dave Finkelman Auditorium in Middletown, Ohio, waiting for the interview Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. It was the 2. March 1989.

I was a college student. I worked for a radio station in Cincinnati, so my Plan was of ‘scatter shot’. It was impossible to maintain a regular schedule in Miami’s campus in Oxford, Ohio, so I also took a couple of classes at Miami’s Middletown and Hamilton branches. Miami brought Cox to speak as part of their annual Casper Lecture Series. A political science professor at Miami’s Middletown campus, Mel Cohen, suggested that I visit, and I brought daddy. We sat near the back.

According to Cox ‘ s a short interview speech, I went on stage with my tape to secure the device. The only Reporter there were, someone from the local paper-and me.

I didn’t know much about Watergate at the time. I had heard that the Saturday night massacre. I would not the Men read, “All the President ‘s”, the Woodward and Bernstein for a further two years. I was not familiar with the name Archibald Cox, until Cohen told me of him and the lecture.

When I power on the stage, I asked Cox about the recent scandal possible presidential abuse: Iran-Contra. President Reagan had just given his office made weeks. President George H. W. Bush, which is now the Oval Office is occupied. Congressional hearings probing the Iran-Contra in the summer of 1987, but questions about the Iran-Contra-Bush during the 1988 presidential campaign. What is the Republican candidate to know about the “arms for hostages” business, when he served as Reagan’s Vice President? Bush argued that he was “out of the loop.” But the diary entries are different.

Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh conducted a seven-year investigation into Iran-Contra. Wash the investigations eventually led to several convictions of top defense and National security Council officials. Note: the term “independent lawyer for advice.” The political decision-makers changed the title and the parameters of the “special counsel” to Cox and Watergate. That’s why Walsh and others were “independent consultant.”

Walsh’s inquest began during the Reagan administration, was still at the end of the Bush administration and has closed well in the Clinton administration. And some people thought Robert Mueller’s investigation dragged on for too long? In one of his last acts as President at the end of 1992, Bush, former Reagan Secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger pardoned. Weinberger 1992 presidential election, was indicted shortly before the year and had not yet gone to trial. Bush sought the advice of his attorney General about a possible pardon. The attorney General at the time? The same in the office now: William Barr.

It is not difficult to see, such as the Iran-Contra surprise the country at the time. President Nixon made the order to sack Cox, 1973 Saturday Night Massacre, when the Prosecutor probed Watergate. So it seemed only appropriate to ask Cox at the beginning of 1989 about the Iran-Contra and the possible parallel if there is abuse to the possible presidential corruption and power.

“The public will never understand, Iran-Contra,” Cox said in my microphone. “It is too complex.”


Cox said Watergate was easier to distill. A break-in at the Watergate building. The tapes from. Missing parts of the tapes. Of His Dismissal. All of this has in a way made it easier for the casual to follow Americans and to digest, he suggested. Iran-Contra? Not so much.

The Iran-Contra scandal involved a complicated web of money, diplomacy, weapons, hostages and backdoor foreign policy.

You will need to first most understand how the CIA’s training of Contra rebels in Nicaragua was, duking it out, with the Cuban-backed group called ” the Sandinista. The fighting in Nicaragua was a proxy war between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold war. Reagan took a special interest in the Contras. He called them “freedom fighters,” as the Communists fought. The cocaine-trade funded the Contras. Liberal Democrats in Congress blasted covert efforts to support the Contras. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Edward Boland, D-Mass., authored a series of changes that “the prohibition of the use of funds to” overthrow “the government of Nicaragua.” Reagan in a law, under law regulations, the adoption of these amendments.

Then enter Iran. The United States tried to secure the freedom of American hostages held by an Iranian group in Lebanon. To send the Reagan administration designed a plan to get weapons to the Iranians deserve the freedom of the American hostages. Reagan publicly listed, there was a trade embargo with Iran, and the United States does not negotiate with terrorists. Nevertheless, the plan was sent to wash, the profits from the arms to Iran to the Contra rebels.

So, a complicated tissue of backdoor dealings, was difficult to follow for many people. To keep track of who was what, who was involved and why they were important, made the story almost impenetrable. Sure, the scandal damaged Reagan. There is talk of impeachment was back in 1986 and 1987. Various officials went to prison or were eventually pardoned by Bush. But, as Archibald Cox has suggested, the story is not done, a lot of copy in the newspaper – let alone on television. Watergate was easier. It was more direct.


It could even be argued, to believe that the impeachment of President Clinton was easier. To say you are thinking of the house of representatives, President Clinton indicted, not for having an affair with Monica Lewinsky, but failed to, the truth about it under oath. But the Clinton impeachment centered around the “sex sells” script. It was an affair. In a blue dress. A President and an internship. To understand just so much easier for people to follow.

Questions remained to this day about Iran-Contra, and the roles of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but there was no indictment.


The house of representatives was hurtling toward impeachment of President Trump. It was the call. The unknown whistleblower. If the President threatened to cut off support for Ukraine unless Kiev moved against the Ex-Vice President Joe Biden. It was a “quid pro quo?”

And, there’s the parade of names. Former Ukraine Envoy Kurt Volker. The former U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander He Received His. Minister Of Energy, Rick Perry. The Former National Security Adviser John Bolton.


Can the public keep these straight?

Further revelations could come to light. But, if the house moves into the future with charges, top Democrats need to present curating a narrative of the public. And to paraphrase Archibald Cox, will understand the public? Or is it too complex?

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