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History As It Happens

Apr 11, 2023

Few things in life, let alone politics, are truly unprecedented. When it comes to the American presidency, Donald Trump did make history as the first former chief executive to be charged with a crime. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg got a grand jury to indict Trump on 34 felony charges of falsifying business records. Trump's case comes half a century after President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, preventing the latter from facing any legal consequences for the Watergate scandal. While Ford hoped to put the "long national nightmare" in the past, the pardon deprived the country of establishing any precedent for prosecuting rogue presidents. But no two cases will ever be the same, and in this episode, historian and Watergate chronicler Michael Dobbs discusses the major similarities and differences between then and now.