Watergate whistleblower John Dean testifies
by Harvest Prude
Posted 6/11/19, 10:35 am
WASHINGTON—John Dean, a former lawyer for the Nixon administration, testified during a House Judiciary Committee hearing Monday, calling the Mueller report a “road map” to investigate President Donald Trump. Democrats asked Dean, a key whistleblower in the 1970s Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, to provide historical context for investigating a president. He described similarities between special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the Watergate investigation of Nixon’s presidency.
“In both situations, the White House counsel was implicated in the cover-up activity,” Dean said, noting that former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn was a “critical observer” and compared Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to the break-in at DNC offices in the Watergate office building in Washington during Nixon’s 1972 reelection campaign.
Mueller concluded there was not sufficient evidence to prove the Trump campaign interfered in his investigation, but he also said he could not exonerate the president of attempting to obstruct justice.
Republicans criticized Dean’s appearance as a partisan ploy. “The committee is now hearing from the ’70s, and they want their star witness back,” said Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the committee. Dean acknowledged that he did not appear as a “fact witness.”
Barbara McQuade and Joyce Vance, two former U.S. attorneys, also testified on Monday, as did John Malcolm, a legal scholar with the Heritage Foundation and chairman of a criminal law group with the Federalist Society. McQuade claimed that Trump instructing McGahn to ask Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to “get rid” of Mueller constituted obstruction.
Trump tweeted that Dean is “the disgraced Nixon White House Counsel who is a paid CNN contributor.” The president added that Democrats “just want a do-over which they’ll never get!”
On Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing to review the first part of the Mueller report dealing with Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.