Despite Donald Trump‘s claims to the contrary, Hillary Clinton‘s email scandal is definitely not bigger than Watergate, according to one of the reporters credited with unearthing the 1970s-era scandal.
On Friday, FBI director James Comey notified U.S. Congress that his organization was looking into newly-discovered emails involving Clinton that were pertinent to the original case.
Friday night, Trump told a group of supporters in New Hampshire the Clinton email scandal was “bigger than Watergate.” A comparison he has used continuously of late.
Not so fast, according to former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein.
Bernstein took to Twitter Saturday, saying, “No way HRC emails ‘bigger than watergate’ -or close. Watergate was about a criminal Potus & 48 aides/co-conspirators found guilty.”
The Watergate scandal involved members of former U.S. president Richard Nixon’s re-election staff assigning people to burglarize the Democratic National Committee’s campaign office and install wiretaps.
The plan was carried out at the behest of Nixon and his staff.
Nixon initially denied any knowledge of the dirty tactics but Bernstein and Carl Woodward eventually uncovered information that showed Justice Department, FBI, CIA and the White House were all involved.
WATCH: Hillary Clinton calls letter from FBI Director ‘strange, unprecedented and deeply troubling’
Eventually Nixon was forced to resign rather than face certain impeachment. Another 69 government officials were charged. Forty-eight were found guilty, including John Mitchell, who was U.S. Attorney General, and H.R. Haldeman, Nixon’s chief of staff.
In a nutshell, the Clinton email scandal is based around the Democratic presidential nominee sending emails from her own servers rather than sending correspondence through government servers.
Some of her emails contained classified information, which may have been a violation of State Department protocols or procedures—depending on whom you ask.
In July, the FBI concluded her actions were “extremely careless” but recommended no charges.
A short time later they announced the case was not closed and on Friday, Comey dropped his “October surprise”.