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Can Trump pull a Reagan and beat the rap?

IT ALL sounds so familiar.

A celebrity turned Republican presidential candidate wins over the white working class with promises to restore American greatness, only to become ensnared in a scandal involving dubious dealings with a hostile regime. As the press digs in, the White House appears l flustered, and the Justice Department appoints an independent counsel to investigate the president, as well as trusted members of his National Security Council and former campaign staff.

Are you thinking Donald Trump? Well, yes. But also Ronald Reagan. Three decades ago, the Gipper was embroiled in a major investigation, now known as the Iran-Contra affair. The thrust of the scandal: a bizarre scheme that involved the U.S. selling weapons to Tehran—a state sponsor of terrorism, according to Washington—and using the proceeds to covertly (and illegally) fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

Since allegations emerged that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian intelligence during the 2016 presidential election, many have likened the affair to Watergate, the most notorious political scandal in modern American history. And the parallels are clear. Both involve attempts to steal information from the Democratic National Committee, followed by purported cover-ups and ef orts to stymie the investigation. Yet many raise the specter of Watergate today not only to measure the sordid nature of Trump’s alleged misdeeds, but also as a prediction: Nixon resigned under threat of impeachment, and Trump, the analogy seems to imply, may also be removed from office.

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Freedom From Choice - Political operatives used fake news, Big Data and Facebook to suppress the vote and rile up racists in 2016. It’s going to be even uglier next time ’round.