Whispers of "payback" are being directed at Hillary Clinton after she decried as "unprecedented" the surprise FBI revival of its probe of her email scandal.
That's because 24 years ago, as former President George H.W. Bush was surging back against challenger Bill Clinton, a special prosecutor raised new charges against Bush in the Iran-Contra probe, prompting Clinton to claim he was running against a "culture of corruption."
Many Republicans claimed that the indictment made by special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh against former Reagan-era Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger the weekend before the 1992 election cost Bush a second term. The indictment, later thrown out, challenged Bush's claim that he did not know about a controversial arms-for-hostages deal that dogged the Reagan-Bush administration.
When it came, Clinton seized on it, saying for example, "Secretary Weinberger's note clearly shows that President Bush has not been telling the truth when he says he was out of the loop." Clinton added, "It demonstrates that President Bush knew and approved of President Reagan's secret deal to swap arms for hostages."
Powerline blogger Paul Mirengoff wrote, "What goes around comes around."
The Clintons seized on the new indictment, howling about a "culture of corruption" that supposedly pervaded the administration. Bush's poll numbers declined and Bill Clinton won the election.
Shortly after the election, a federal judge threw out the new indictment because it violated the five-year statute of limitations and improperly broadened the original charges. President Bush then pardoned Weinberger.
Keep this history in mind during the coming days when you hear Democratic hacks talking about how awful it is for law enforcement officials and/or prosecutors to "interfere" in the presidential election process.