It is said that Watergate wasn’t about the crime, but about the coverup. Well, at least in the Watergate scandal, there was a proper crime — specifically, the break-in and wiretapping. The frenzy has created a scandal without perpetrators or a crime. There is a sense that Washington is on the brink, but no one can say on the brink of what.
Rice has a history of a strained relationship with the truth, and for a national security adviser, she has, at times, flown close to the partisan political flame. So, what was going on? Why did she do it? And with whom, in the government and the media, did she share the information?
Multiple senators are now demanding her testimony. There could have been crimes committed and a real scandal could develop, so you can bet the full story will be slow to emerge. It appears that Rice has issued the standard denials. And her defenders on Capitol Hill and in the media will do all they can to distract and demand that there is nothing to see here. Democrats and their media allies will continue to make baseless allegations, hoping that the Russia investigations will somehow deliver for them and become this president’s Watergate.
The result so far? Competing outrage. Just as Democrats are pursuing L-TACs (links, ties, associations or contacts) in search of a crime, the Obama White House’s national security adviser has now landed as one of the ones who will have to answer for her actions under oath. Washington is as scandal-primed as I’ve ever seen it — there is a lot of smoke right now, but no clear fire. So the noise and finger-pointing will continue. And I have no idea who is winning.