Velshi: History May Repeat Itself, But Sure Does Rhyme

This week, the New York Times revealed that former FBI director James Comey and the agency’s former acting director Andrew McCabe were both picked for extremely rare and invasive tax audits. Two men who happened to be high up on Trump’s list of, shall we say, least favorites. You might remember when Donald Trump revoked former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, just because. And threatened to do the same to nine other critics. But there’s another crucial comparison to be made -- one that exposes the way in which Donald Trump and Richard Nixon used the levers of the government to go after their political opponents. One day in June, John Dean - Richard Nixon’s former White House aide - testified before the Senate committee that Mr. Nixon had kept a now-infamous ‘enemies list,’ including members of Congress, journalists, businessmen, entertainers, and Democratic party donors. It was like Nixon’s personal Burn Book. Nixon’s enemies also ended up on another list – one that ended up at the I.R.S. In his memoir, Johnnie Mac Walters - an I.R.S. official - wrote that in 1972, John Dean gave him the list, which had grown to about 200 names. Walters says the White House wanted those on the list, quote, “investigated, and some put in jail.” Nixon was not successful in using the IRS as a political tool, but the intent was there, and his abuse of the IRS became the centerpiece of one of the articles of impeachment against him. History may not be repeating itself, but it sure does rhyme.