The Lesson from the Saturday Night Massacre


Jonathan Bernstein: “In October 1973, Nixon ordered his attorney general to fire a special prosecutor, fired the attorney general when he refused, and then had the second-in-command at Justice resign as well. The strong reaction against what Nixon had done brought the possibility of impeachment into the mainstream.”

“That example was surely helpful to the Justice Department officials who resisted Trump’s scheme to install Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general. Trump took their threats to resign seriously in part because of this famous precedent; he was convinced it would go badly for him because it had gone badly for Nixon.”

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