Andrew Cohen, a senior editor at the Marshall Project and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, is a legal analyst and commentator for “60 Minutes” and CBS Radio News, and a contributing editor to The Atlantic.
On this black Monday, congressional Republicans undermined generations of legislative history and precedent to help a president who then, before the sun had set, undermined the will of Congress in its battle to rein in the Russians. Some will call this treason. Others, obstruction of justice. I’d rather call it giving aid and comfort to the enemy. The really bad news of the day was the inescapable conclusion that the real enemy America faces is not foreign, but domestic.
Never mind the obvious factual differences in the stories—the allegations of Russian collusion are far more grave—American law, politics, and journalism is far too different now to think that matters will unfold the way they did in the 1970s. As complex a story as Watergate was, it reads like a children’s book compared to what Mueller and his team are dealing with. As vicious and as partisan as the events were back then, they seem quaint in comparison to the poisonous atmosphere in which the current scandal is unfolding. That is why the comparisons to Watergate are so facile.