F301 Spring 2019 Russia-gate: “What's It All About, Alfie?”
Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Mar. 25–Apr. 15
Instructor: Burt Wides
Coordinator: Dick Young
The past two years’ kaleidoscope of headline revelations, tweets, and court proceedings has made Russia-gate hard to follow, let alone to understand the welter of charges about “fake news,” hacked e-mails, covert social media, collusion, conspiracy, and corruption. As was true during Watergate, Washington has been “like a burlesque runway, where you never know what's coming off next.” The instructor will clarify the issues, the accusations, and the responses among the players of this saga. He will present all sides and an objective as possible analysis, from one who has been in the trenches for decades describing a Rashomon situation. The class will also address the relative roles of congressional investigations, the special prosecutors, and impeachment in our system of checks and balances, and how the United States is defending our democracy against foreign interference.
Burt Wides, a former senior counsel to several senators and both congressional judiciary committees, also was chief investigative counsel for the Church Committee and special counsel to President Carter for oversight of US intelligence agencies. He coauthored Archibald Cox's charter as Watergate special prosecutor and the subsequent Independent Counsel Act, which was replaced by the Justice Department regulations under which Special Counsel Mueller has operated.