Risky Wednesday – White House Turmoil Worries Markets

"Don't compare it to Watergate!"  

That is the GOP talking point du jour as an Army of Trump apologists storm the media to counter claims that President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.  

The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. Late Tuesday, Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded that the F.B.I. turn over all “memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings” of discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.  Such documents, Mr. Chaffetz wrote, would “raise questions as to whether the president attempted to influence or impede” the F.B.I.

So you see, it's nothing like Watergate, where Nixon was attempting to "stonewall" the investigation – not impede.  Totally different this time…

The Watergate incident, like Russia meddling in the US election, took place during the time before the President took office and, like Watergate, Trumpgate is unfolding in May and will likely come to a head in the Summer.  In Nixon's case, the break-in happened in June of 1972, Nixon won by a landslide in November of 1972 and a year later, a defiant Nixon said "I am not a crook" and it wasn't until August 8th, 1974 when Nixon finally gave up, two weeks after Congress began impeachment proceedings.  

We're still waiting for this generation's "Deep Throat" to step forward and please, be careful if you Google that phrase!

Image result for nixon watergate doonesbury

Market-wise, the S&P was at 142 when Nixon was sworn in in January of 1973 and fell 39% to 86 by the time he resigned in August of 1974 as people's faith in the US economy deteriorated along with their faith in it's President.  We've all enjoyed the benefits of the "Trump Rally" with the S&P up 317 points (15%) but, as I noted yesterday morning (and 4 Tuesdays…
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