That precedent, the camel's nose, was when Ford pardoned Nixon.
Exactly. I don't often agree wholeheartedly with Republicans nor Democrats, but I think it was Boehner who said "who's going to jail for this?" If gov't employees don't start fearing what might happen if they knowingly break the law and commit institutional discrimination (against any group), then we're all done.
Unfortunately, most of the talking heads seem to have begun treating this less as a real-live issue with a smoking gun and more as a Republican versus Democrat "gotcha" scandal.
It's an understandable rut. How often have we seen parties fabricate "really important issues" from non-issues? After decades of this, people tend to lose perspective.