RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The latest political scandal and investigation into Russian interference in the election has drawn comparisons to the most infamous scandal in recent history.
“It’s of Watergate size and scale,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) this week.
The break-in at the Watergate Hotel would eventually lead to the end of Richard Nixon’s presidency, as he resigned in 1974.
“The facts are very, very different,” said Gene Boyce, an attorney in Raleigh. “Watergate was a huge investigation. So far, the current investigation is nowhere near that expansive.”
Boyce was the lead investigator on the Senate’s Watergate committee that discovered the taping system in the Nixon White House.
“Nixon tried to prevent the disclosure of those tapes, but the truth was on those tapes. Whether there’s any taping now, we don’t know,” said Boyce.
He recalls an exhaustive investigation but one that took place in a much different political climate.
“But today, the political activity is overwhelming, taking over what’s going on,” said Boyce. “The public’s entitled to know what it says, and we’re entitled to form our own opinions.”
He says the main comparison he sees between the two events is the focus on who knew what and when. But beyond that, he says reported evidence such as tapes and documents still need to be heard and seen.
“Everything I’ve heard so far is just political conversation. There’s nothing substantial that’s come out yet. I hope they can find it,” said Boyce. “To rely on what A said to B and what B said he heard, my experience has been frequently two different things.”
He said he supports the appointment of Robert Mueller as special prosecutor, hoping that will lend credibility to the investigation wherever that may lead.
Boyce and many of the people who were involved in the Watergate investigation plan to be in Washington next month for a reunion on the 45th anniversary of the break-in at the Watergate Hotel.