Corrupting the Commonwealth

On this episode of Now & Then, “Corrupting the Commonwealth,” Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman discuss recent reporting that the Trump Department of Justice subpoenaed the metadata of journalists and members of Congress. Heather and Joanne then look at three past reckonings over accusations of presidential corruption: Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson’s back-and-forth over the First Bank of the United States, the break in the 1870s Republican Party over President Grant’s enforcement of voting rights in the South, and President Nixon’s justifications for his notorious “black bag” operations. In the process, Heather and Joanne zero in on the morphing roles of the public and Congress in defining executive overreach and self-dealing.

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