Rabaa Turan / Anatolia
– Former US President Donald Trump criticized the raid on the FBI office, saying, “Nothing like this has ever happened to the President of the United States.”
Trump is not the first former or current US president to face an FBI investigation
The most prominent American presidents who have faced investigations are: Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush
Former US President Donald Trump criticized the FBI’s raid on his Florida residence on Monday, describing it as “prosecution misconduct” to prevent him from running for the White House again.
“Nothing like this has happened to the president of the United States before,” Trump said in a statement.
This incident raises the question: Is what happened with Trump really the first of its kind in the history of American presidents?
What is the difference between it and the “Watergate” scandal, which eventually led to the impeachment of former US President Richard Nixon (reigned from 1969 to 1974).
Watergate is considered the largest political scandal in US history, as Nixon spied on the offices of the rival Democratic Party in the Watergate building in Washington, DC.
Although this is the first time in history that the FBI has raided the home of a former US president, Trump is not the first (former or current) US president to be investigated by the FBI.
According to Anatolia Monitor, among the US presidents who faced FBI investigations, during their time in office, rather than as private citizens:
– Richard Nixon
On August 8, 1974, Nixon, the 37th US president, resigned to avoid impeachment over the Watergate scandal.
On June 17, 1972, a political crisis erupted in the United States, after the arrest of 5 people at the Democratic Party headquarters in Washington, while they were installing hidden recording devices.
Nixon’s press secretary, Ron Ziegler, described the incident as an “attempted third-degree burglary.”
In August of the same year, the Washington Post reported that a $25,000 check for Nixon’s 1972 campaign entered the bank account of one of the men arrested for the break-in.
Several months later, reports and investigations indicated that the White House was involved in the raid.
On October 10, 1972, Washington Post reporters revealed that FBI agents had found links between Nixon’s aides and the Watergate storming.
It was also revealed that a recording system had been installed in the Oval Office, including Nixon’s conversations with White House officials.
On January 8, 1973, the Watergate storming trial began, while impeachment proceedings against Nixon began in the House Judiciary Committee on May 9, 1974.
In order to avoid impeachment, Nixon delivered his resignation speech, thus becoming the only US president to resign.
– Ronald Reagan
The administration of Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, who served from 1981-1989, faced an investigation into the “Iran-Contra” scandal related to secret US arms sales to Iran, in exchange for the release of Americans held hostage in Lebanon by the “Hezbollah” group.
The Reagan administration reportedly used the money from the sales to aid rebels trying to overthrow the Nicaraguan government, of which Reagan denied any knowledge.
The arms sales to Iran were met with criticism, at a time when Iran was under an arms embargo and pariah from the US government, due in large part to the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and the taking of 52 Americans hostage.
Several White House officials, including National Security Council member Colonel Oliver North, were indicted over the investigation, but no evidence of Reagan’s involvement was found.
– Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, and his wife, Hillary Clinton (and later Secretary of State and presidential candidate), were investigated in connection with the Whitewater scandal over their real estate investments in the southern state of Arkansas before either of them reached the Oval Office in 1993. .
And “Whitewater” is an issue that sparked a political debate at the domestic American level, and it began with investment projects in the real estate sector by Bill and Hillary Clinton and their partners Jim and Susan McDougall, establishing a company known as (Whitewater Development) that declared bankruptcy in 1970 and 1980.
The scandal was revealed thanks to an article published in the New York Times during the 1992 presidential campaign, in which it was stated that Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, had invested and lost money in the Whitewater development project.
The Clintons are accused of pressuring an Arkansas banker to provide McDougal an illegal loan, as well as making “fraudulent money” to be used in Clinton’s campaign for governor.
The New York Times article confirmed that Clinton, then the governor of Arkansas, pressured him to grant an illegal $300,000 loan to Clinton’s partner in Whitewater, Susan McDougall.
Numerous investigations were conducted by US agencies, Congress, and the special prosecutor into these allegations, however, the Clintons were cleared of any wrongdoing.
This was not the only time that Clinton was subject to an investigation. In 1994, he was on a date with a sexual harassment case brought by former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones, concerning White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Despite the House’s accusations of perjury and obstruction of the judiciary, Clinton was acquitted by the US Senate after being impeached in the Jones and Lewinsky cases in February 1999, to serve out the remainder of his second term.
– George W. Bush
George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, held office from 2001 to 2009, and some members of his administration faced allegations that the identity of a secret CIA agent, Valerie Plame, had been leaked to journalist Robert Nova.
Plame and her husband, Joseph C. Wilson, accused then-US President “Bush” Jr. of exaggerating the evidence to justify going to war in Iraq (the accusation of the Iraqi regime at the time, led by President Saddam Hussein, of possessing weapons of mass destruction), a claim that has been proven over the years.
Several Bush administration officials faced a 22-month investigation into this matter.
In the same case, Lewis Scooter Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted of lying to federal agents.
No evidence has been found implicating Bush in the Plame affair.
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