Tuesday, June 25, 2019 | ePaper

Watergate figure John Dean sees ‘parallels’ between Nixon, Trump scandals

  • Print


Former White House counsel John Dean, a key figure in the Watergate scandal that toppled former President Richard Nixon, testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing titled "Lessons from the Mueller Report" on Capitol Hill.



John Dean, the White House lawyer who helped bring about the Watergate downfall of Richard Nixon, told Congress Monday that there are "remarkable" similarities between the former president's illegal behavior and alleged acts of obstruction by Donald Trump.
Dean told the House Judiciary Committee that the Mueller report, which outlines 10 possible acts of obstruction by Trump, is equivalent to the famous "road map" that prosecutor Leon Jaworski delivered to Congress in 1974, sparking impeachment proceedings against Nixon and forcing his resignation.
"In many ways the Mueller Report is to President Trump what the so-called Watergate roadmap… was to President Richard Nixon," the 80-year-old Dean told the House Judiciary Committee.
There were "remarkable parallels" between the two, especially related to obstruction of justice, said Dean, who as Nixon's White House counsel was deeply involved in illegal efforts to stifle the Watergate probe.
One of those parallels, Dean noted, was the primary role in Trump's alleged obstruction efforts of former White House counsel Don McGahn, a main source for the Mueller investigation.
McGahn, who has been prevented by the White House from testifying to Congress, "is the most prominent fact witness regarding obstruction of justice cited in the Mueller Report," Dean said - as he himself was 46 years ago.
Dean's testimony came as congressional Democrats debate impeaching Trump for his interference in the special prosecutor Robert Mueller's Russia meddling investigation.
It sparked an angry attack from Trump, who has struggled in vain to put the Mueller probe behind him. On Twitter he called Dean a "sleazebag attorney" in a Democratic effort to "redo" the probe.
"Can't believe they are bringing in John Dean, the disgraced Nixon White House Counsel who is a paid CNN contributor. No Collusion - No Obstruction! Democrats just want a do-over which they'll never get!" Trump tweeted. Trump told journalists separately that Dean has "been a loser for many years."
Asked if he thought he could be forced to step down like Nixon, Trump replied: "I don't leave."
"You can't impeach somebody when there's never been a thing done wrong," he added.
·Dean was the top lawyer for the Nixon's White House in 1972 when the president sought his help to cover up his staff's involvement in the break-in of Democratic offices at the Watergate complex.
Facing criminal prosecution, Dean turned against Nixon, laying out his own work with the president to hide their ties to Watergate.
He was sentenced to one to four years in prison, but was freed after four months, during which he gave evidence against other key Watergate conspirators.
In recent years he has been a commentator on politics for CNN.
Republicans on the committee accused Democrats of putting on the hearing - which included three other witnesses - for show, as none of those testifying had any direct knowledge of the Mueller investigation or Trump's actions.
Representative Matt Gaetz accused Dean of making a career out of his Watergate history.
"Mr Dean has made a cottage industry out of accusing presidents of acting like Richard Nixon," he said.
Calling the hearing a "frivolous exercise of going after the president," he challenged Democrats: "You guys need to get your act together and figure out if you are going to open an impeachment inquiry or not."

More News For this Category

Memes, cartoons and caustic Cantonese: the language of Hong Kong's protests

Memes, cartoons and caustic Cantonese: the language of Hong Kong's protests

AFP :Viral artwork pummelling city leaders, clever word plays and Cantonese cursing that would make a sailor blush-Hong Kongers have displayed a characteristically riotous embrace of satire during their huge

Vietnam jails US national for 'state overthrow plot'

Vietnam jails US national for 'state overthrow plot'

A court in Vietnam has sentenced a US citizen to 12 years in prison after finding him guilty of attempting to "overthrow the state".Michael Phuong Minh Nguyen, 55, had admitted

Saudi women use wedding contracts to assert right to drive

Saudi women use wedding contracts to assert right to drive

AFP, Dammam :Saudi salesman Majd had just begun his wedding preparations when his fiancee sought to enshrine in their marriage contract a condition already guaranteed by law-her right to drive.Wedding

Iran denies US cyber attack ahead of new sanctions

Iran denies US cyber attack ahead of new sanctions

AFP  :Iran denied Monday it was hit by a US cyber attack as Washington was due to tighten sanctions on Tehran in a standoff sparked by the US withdrawal from

Mike Pompeo Arrives In Saudi Arabia For Iran crisis talk

AFP, Jeddah: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived Monday in Saudi Arabia for talks on coordinating with the close ally amid mounting tensions with Iran.Pompeo is expected to meet

Turkey opposition deals blow to Erdogan in Istanbul win

Turkey opposition deals blow to Erdogan in Istanbul win

AFP  :Turkey's opposition revelled Monday in a landslide win in Istanbul's re-run mayoral vote-a blow for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that even some pro-government media called a victory for democracy.Ekrem

Trump's son-in-law's economic plan for ME peace faces Arab rejection

Trump's son-in-law's economic plan for ME peace faces Arab rejection

Reuters, Riyadh :US President Donald Trump's economic vision as part of the wider plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was met with contempt, repudiation and exasperation in the Arab world,

UK's Boris Johnson under pressure to explain domestic 'row'

UK's Boris Johnson under pressure to explain domestic 'row'

Boris Johnson, the strong favourite to become Britain's next prime minister, came under pressure from figures in his own party on Sunday to explain reports of a domestic 'row' that

North Korean leader receives 'excellent' letter from Trump: KCNA

North Korean leader receives 'excellent' letter from Trump: KCNA

AFP, Seoul :North Korean leader Kim Jong Un received a personal letter of "excellent content" from US President Donald Trump, the country's state media said Sunday, amid a nuclear deadlock

US conducted cyber attack on Iran in response to drone downing: Report

US conducted cyber attack on Iran in response to drone downing: Report

The United States launched cyber attacks against Iranian missile control systems and a spy network after Tehran downed an American surveillance drone, according to US media reports.US president Donald Trump