Rep. Gaetz to John Dean: ‘You’re Here as a Prop’

By Michael W. Chapman | June 12, 2019 | 1:48pm EDT
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

( -- During Tuesday's House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller Report, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) criticized witness John Dean, a disbarred lawyer and convicted felon, because he had "no knowledge of a single fact on the Mueller Report" and was only there, as a 1970's Watergate culprit, to function as a "prop" for the Democrats. 

John Dean, 80, was the White House Counsel to President Richard Nixon from July 1970 to April 1973. Dean testified against his colleagues and was given a reduced sentence for obstruction of justice in the Watergate scandal. He was also disbarred as a lawyer. He has written several books about Watergate and abuses of executive power.


Rep. Gaetz said, “Here we sit today in this hearing, with the Ghost of Christmas Past [John Dean] because the chairman of the committee has gone to the Speaker of the House [Nancy Pelosi] and sought permission to open an impeachment inquiry. But she has said no, and so instead of opening an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump … we’re here reopening the impeachment hearing inquiry potentially into Richard Nixon -- sort of playing out our own version of That '70s Show."

"What I really regret is you're here as a prop," said Gaetz to Dean. “You are functionally here as a prop because [the Democrats] can’t impeach President Trump because 70% of Democrats want something that 60%  of Americans don’t.”

"So they’re in this no-win situation and you sit before us here with no knowledge of a single fact on the Mueller Report on a hearing entitled ‘Lessons from The Mueller Report.'" said the congressman.

John Dean, who was convicted of obstruction of justice in the Watergate case. 
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Commenting further on the hearing in general, Gaetz said, We have a false accusation against the president of the United States – that he was an agent of Russia. My colleagues on the Democrat side made that accusation. … You guys need to get your act together and figure out if you’re going to open an impeachment inquiry or not because this is a straight-up fiction.”

The Mueller Report concluded that no Americans and no one in the Trump 2016 campaign colluded with Russians to affect the election. In addition, the report found no evidence that President Trump had obstructed justice. 

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