A Brief Time Line of events of Watergate and Monica Lewinsky vs. Gunwalker
Perspective is always interesting in judging events. At what point does a scandal turn from merely being a public relations "snafu" into a real crisis for our modern presidents. The best answer might be found in the timelines surrounding the scandals of presidents who faced the spectre of possible or actual impeachment. How much time does it take for a scandal to reach the actual vote or threatened vote of impeachment. If one dislikes the current occupant of the Oval Office, it cannot happen fast enough and if one supports the president, then they hope it dissappears. What if there is actual evidence and it cannot be whitewashed? When evidence or events are proven to be true: Was it a matter of months or was it years?
Watergate Timeline: Source: Watergate.info
* June 17, 1972: Five men, one of whom says he used to work for the CIA, are arrested at 2:30 a.m. trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate hotel and office complex.
* January 30, 1973: Former Nixon aides G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord Jr. are convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping in the Watergate incident. Five other men plead guilty
* April 30, 1973: Nixon's top White House staffers, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, and Attorney General Richard Kleindienst resign over the scandal. White House counsel John Dean is fired.
* May 18, 1973: The Senate Watergate committee begins its nationally televised hearings. Attorney General-designate Elliot Richardson taps former solicitor general Archibald Cox as the Justice Department's special prosecutor for Watergate.
* July 27, 1974: House Judiciary Committee passes the first of three articles of impeachment, charging obstruction of justice.
* August 8, 1974: Richard Nixon becomes the first U.S. president to resign. Vice President Gerald R. Ford assumes the country's highest office. He will later pardon Nixon of all charges related to the Watergate case.
Note that in this timeline it took over a full two years to get from the event to the actual potential of impeachment. It is also common knowledge that Richard Nixon was routinely attacked by the major networks, the only source of information at the time. It took over a full year to get a special prosecutor in 1973.
Monica Lewinsky Timeline:
Note: there are intersecting scandals and that the Special Prosecutors (Robert Fiske Jr. and Kenneth Starr) were appointed to first investigate The Whitewater Developement Corp financial irregularities. When Monica Lewinsky was deposed, it was as part of the Paula Jones scandal lawsuit investigation.
Sources: Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian
* 1992, The Whitewater Development Corp is dissolved, leaving Bill and Hillary Clinton with a loss of more than $40,000.
* January 1993, Bill Clinton's first term as president Begins
* January 1994, Attorney General Janet Reno appoints Robert Fiske Jr. as the independent counsel in charge of investigating financial irregularities in the dealings of the Whitewater property company.
* August 1994, Fiske is replaced by the more conservative Kenneth Starr as the independent counsel investigating the Whitewater scandal.
* August 1997, Linda Tripp is reported in Newsweek magazine as having seen White House staffer Kathleen Willey emerging from the Oval Office looking dishevelled but happy, and with her lipstick smeared. Mr Clinton's attorney, Robert Bennett, claims Ms Tripp is "not to be believed."
* January 16, 1998, Janet Reno, the US Attorney General, approves the Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr's request for an expansion of the inquiry to include the Clinton-Lewinsky affair.
* October 8, 1998, The House of Representatives vote for impeachment proceedings to begin against Clinton.
* December 19, 1998, President Clinton is impeached as the Republican controlled House approves two of the four proposed articles of impeachment by narrow partisan majorities: 228-206 and 221-212.
The Gunwalker Scandal Timeline (so far): Sources detailed on Nachumlist and links below
* February 23, 2011, CBS airs a report "Project Gunrunner" scandal, reported by Sharyl Atkisson
* March 16, 2011, Congressman Darrell Issa announces investigation into Gunwalker and BATFE (Audio)
* June 13, 2011, First Hearing on the Gunrunner scandal scheduled
* July 23, 2011, House Oversight Committee Announces Next Hearing on DOJís Operation Fast and Furious
* September 1, 2011, Issa and Grassley expand the investigation
* September 3, 2011, First calls for special prosecutor
As the scandal has grown in directions nobody could have anticipated, we can see by the comparative timelines that the scandal is only in its (relative) earliest stages. The wheels of justice do turn, but turn slowly. We have a timeline of years before either the Watergate scandal or the Monica Lewinsky scandal lead to impeachment hearings. In the case of Clinton, the coverup was so effective, that if Paula Jones had not sued, Monica Lewinsky and her dress would have remained unknown.
The Obama White House, with most of the press on its side has managed to resist the call for a special prosecutor for over one month (as of this writing) and probably resist until the equivalent of a John Dean type of whistleblower comes forward or the equivalent of Monica Lewinsky's Dress is presented as evidence. Serendipity comes into play in the case of Monica Lewinsky, the tapes and her dress. One could argue that the newly discovered Eric Holder memos could eventually lead to the prosecution of Eric Holder and the process would lead to the President. Based on past precedent, the process would take us past the next election- at least by comparing timelines. So, for all of you expecting impeachment hearings any time now. It appears the wait will be a long one. Maybe a very long one.