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Hardball: Watergate Redux

[media id=1956] [media id=1957] YouTube (thanks to Heather for the vids) When you have Tony Snow spinning wild accusations against Democrats to dis

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When you have Tony Snow spinning wild accusations against Democrats to distract from the news that Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee has requested a Special Prosecutor to look into Alberto Gonzales's conflicting testimony before Congress, who else better to have on than a former Reagan official? After all, it's not like Saint Ronnie's man could be accused of a partisan witch hunt.

Chris Matthews talks to Stan Brand, former US House Counsel and Bruce Fein, formerly part of Reagan's DoJ. Not surprisingly, Fein sees parallels in what is happening with Watergate.

MATTHEWS: How can Tony Snow come on the show as the President's spokesman and deny seeing and hearing what we just heard and saw?

BRAND: Well, he's not a grand jury and he's not a prosecutor...

FEIN: He's Ron Ziegler during Watergate. And you remember all the equivocations that were made by Mr. Nixon that these are just concocted allegations and John Dean is lying. Well, John Dean wasn't lying. One of the ironies there about this attempt to split hairs right now is what it's a reminder of for Republicans: it's President Clinton with the meaning of the word "is" is, what's the meaning of the word "alone"? This is not games when you're under oath and testifying with regard to an oversight function of Congress.

MATTHEWS: Okay, let me ask you this, the toughest question in the world: so what? Can those guys on the Hill, Chuck Schumer, etc. and Patrick Leahy for judicial or political reasons, or Constitutional reasons, really bring the case to this White House and this Attorney General? Can they really put him in jail for lying?

FEIN: They cannot, because they cannot enforce the law and initiate a criminal prosecution. What they can do and what they would have to do is begin impeachment proceedings. The President has a duty to faithfully execute-not sabotage-the law...

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