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Dave Ross

Ross: Sorry, folks, this is not Watergate — yet

In this April 17, 1973 file photo, President Richard Nixon speaks during White House news briefing in Washington. Comparisons to the Nixon-era “Saturday night massacre” were swift after President Donald Trump fired the acting attorney general for refusing to enforce his executive order on immigrants and refugees. In both cases, a dispute between a president and his Justice Department led to an evening maneuver by the president to install an acting attorney general more to his liking. (AP Photo/Henry Burroughs. File)

I see headlines asking “Is it Watergate yet?” And I think the answer at this point is “no,” because it appears the investigation that has Donald Trump so angry is not about somehow connecting him to Russia, but about protecting him from Russia.

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“The biggest danger that the American people have to realize is that foreign intelligence services do want to penetrate the highest levels of the government,” said David Gomez, who served as an investigator and profiler during his 28 years with the FBI.

Gomez says countries like Russia are always trying to plant what are called “agents of influence” in the president’s inner circle.

It’s not about spying. The game is to plant ideas or perceptions helpful to Russia with a close adviser – and do it in such a subtle way that sometimes the adviser doesn’t even know he’s been played.

President Trump is the perfect candidate for this kind of Russian subterfuge.

“Particularly a president who relies on aides and their advice and his business associates so much in his decision-making process,” Gomez said.

RELATED: WA congressman Denny Heck determined to investigate Trump

So Gomez sees this investigation not as an attack on Trump, but just the opposite. It’s to protect him. Which is why Gomez thinks firing FBI Director James Comey was a mistake.

“I know that if I was still working in the FBI and I was working on this investigation, it would make me want to take a look at my efforts to date and see if there was something that I missed,” Gomez said.

So is it Watergate? Not yet. Watergate was about obstruction of justice.

But if I may pass on a little friendly advice based on what I hear from former agent Gomez: Do not destroy any memos, do not even think of paying someone not to talk, and do not record your private conversations.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.

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