Richard Nixon

Witcover: Trump follows Nixon to the courts, then blinks

Witcover: Trump follows Nixon to the courts, then blinks

Nearly half a century ago, President Richard Nixon blundered his way toward political destruction by depending on the Supreme Court to save his hide in the Watergate fiasco. It ruled against him in ordering the release of the White House tapes that confirmed his corruption and forced his resignation.

On Friday, President Donald Trump contemplated the same route to safety by counting on the court. He threatened to declare a national emergency and order construction of a southern wall despite the fact that Congress holds the power of the purse. But now he says, not yet.

There is no certainty that the Supreme Court would support him if he does invoke emergency powers on the...

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