(NewsNation) — Barry Goldwater Jr was a Republican Congressman from California from 1969 — the year Richard Nixon was first sworn in as president — to 1983.
In 1974, he had every expectation that he and his House colleagues would hold an impeachment vote, which President Nixon would lose, but that never happened.
It never happened because President Nixon resigned.
Nixon resigned because of what is known to this day as a “Goldwater moment.”
It’s named not for Goldwater Jr, but for his legendary father and namesake, Former Sen. Barry Goldwater Sr.
With impeachment all but guaranteed, the elder Goldwater marched into the White House and told Nixon there was no way out and that if he took his chances in a trial, most Republican Senators would vote to convict.
Several years later, Rep. Goldwater published a collection of his father’s journals — with another pivotal figure from Nixon’s downfall: former White House counsel John Dean.
Goldwater and Dean had been roommates at military school in Virginia.
NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield asked Goldwater Jr. about Watergate and if he believed there were any comparisons to Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol.
“It’s politics then, and it’s politics today. In a democracy, it’s all about power: Who makes the rules. Who makes the laws. That is the struggle that always goes on. And what’s going on today with the hearings that they’re portraying against Donald Trump is all about power,” Goldwater said.
“It’s not that the power struggle doesn’t have a cause. Watergate was a cause. The hearings today, the storming of the Capitol was a cause. But it becomes a politics showcase when the opposition gets a hold of it and makes it much bigger than it actually is,” Goldwater said.
Goldwater added that the nation can learn from these events and that there are positives that can come from them.