Trump Corruption Beyond 'Even Nixon's Imagination': Woodward and Bernstein

Political reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein have said that Donald Trump's political corruption surpasses that of Richard Nixon, according to a new foreward to their book All the President's Men.

Woodward and Bernstein penned the foreword for a new edition of their landmark book, which was first published in 1974, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel on June 17, 1972, by operatives working for then-President Nixon. The investigation into the scandal, spearheaded by the two Washington Post reporters, eventually led to Nixon's resignation in 1974.

The foreword, published by the Post on Sunday, summarizes the scandal and compares the corruption and deceit employed by Nixon to Trump's presidency, in particular his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Ultimately, the reporters surmised that Trump's corruption "exceeded even Nixon's imagination."

"Donald Trump not only sought to destroy the electoral system through false claims of voter fraud and unprecedented public intimidation of state election officials, but he also then attempted to prevent the peaceful transfer of power to his duly elected successor, for the first time in American history," the pair wrote.

woodward and bernstein trump nixon corruption
Reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein wrote that the corruption of former President Donald Trump surpassed that of Richard Nixon, in a new foreward to their book "All the President's Men." Above, an archival shot of the reporters investigating the Watergate scandal. Bettmann/Getty Images

Woodward and Bernstein then go into detail about the machinations that ultimately led to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, stating that Trump and his team "zeroed in on the Jan. 6 session as the opportunity to overturn the election's result."

"In a deception that exceeded even Nixon's imagination, Trump and a group of lawyers, loyalists, and White House aides devised a strategy to bombard the country with false assertions that the 2020 election was rigged and that Trump had really won," the journalists explained. "Leading up to that crucial date, Trump's lawyers circulated memos with manufactured claims of voter fraud that had counted the dead, underage citizens, prisoners, and out-of-state residents."

The duo further claimed that the actions of Trump and his allies leading up to the Capitol riot were "clearly sedition," defining the term as actions that incite "people to rebel against the governing authority of the state." In summation, they declared Trump to be "the first seditious president in our history."

During the Trump administration and afterward, Woodward in particular wrote prolifically about the presidency and its various scandals. He published three books on the subject between 2018 and 2021, bluntly titled Fear, Rage, and Peril, respectively.

Woodward has received some criticism for his coverage of the Trump administration, in particular for holding some revelations back for months until publishing them in his books. In 2020, he claimed to have had recorded a phone call he had with Trump in February of that year in which he spoke of COVID-19 in more alarming terms than he did publicly, acknowledging the dangers it presented. He would not publicize the exchange for seven months, when Rage was published.