As Hillary Clinton prepares to testify in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi later this week, her off-the-books email system is drawing more and more comparisons to another secretive endeavor — President Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal.
“There’s many unanswered questions on this,” Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“I’ve likened some of this to the Nixon tapes, and I think that’s valid and becoming more and more valid,” added Woodward, who, along with Carl Bernstein, broke the story of Nixon’s cover-up of a June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington D.C.
Woodward agreed with host Joe Scarborough that many of Clinton’s claims about whether her emails contained classified information have been misleading.
“She’s said ‘well nothing was marked classified at the time’ — that is the most ridiculous justification,” asserted Scarborough.
“It really is,” Woodward agreed.
When the email scandal first broke in March, Clinton said that she did not send or receive emails containing classified information. But after the Intelligence Community inspector general found two emails it says contained information that was “top secret” when originated, Clinton revised her claim, saying now that none of the emails were “marked” classified at the time.
Clinton’s handling of her emails — which she gave to the State Department in December, nearly two years after leaving office — elicited another comparison to Watergate on Sunday, this time from a Republican member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
“You mentioned Watergate,” Kansas Republican Rep. [crscore]Mike Pompeo[/crscore] said to Chuck Todd, the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “But this is worse in some ways. Secretary Clinton tried to hide every one of her emails. She destroyed 30,000 of them, and now we have an FBI investigation of those very emails.”
Pompeo said that Democrats on the committee and the White House have played “hide the ball” by denying the committee records Pompeo says it needs to complete its investigation.
Carl Bernstein, Woodward’s partner on the Watergate story, also weighed in on Clinton’s email system during an interview Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
Bernstein said that though Clinton had a good showing at last week’s first Democratic presidential debate, she has not answered lingering questions about her trustworthiness.
“I don’t think a reset was successfully hit, we’re still back to these basic questions about her truthfulness, about her server, about the foundation, about the FBI investigation,” Bernstein said. “And it’s all one story that’s not going to go away.”
“We get back to her difficult relationship with the truth,” Bernstein continued. “Eliding over easy questions about what happened and should have been able to be recited about what really happened as opposed to obfuscation.”