House Judiciary Committee Will Hear Testimony From Watergate Witness John Dean Monday Afternoon

By Susan Jones | June 10, 2019 | 6:32am EDT
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) will preside at a hearing on Monday featuring Watergate witness John Dean. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - It's Monday, and House Democrats, led by Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nader (D-N.Y.), are back at work trying to build an impeachment case against President Donald Trump.

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a 2 p.m. hearing titled, "Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes."

The hearing will feature long-ago White House Counsel John Dean, now a staunch anti-Trumper, who helped cover up crimes in the Richard Nixon administration, then became a key witness against Nixon.

John Dean has nothing to do with the case Democrats are trying to build against Trump, but he will serve as a publicity-generator for the pro-impeachment cause.

"And that's what's going to happen on Monday," said Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), a member of the Judiciary Committee. "The American people are going to begin to see the real story and understand the conduct of this president."


(On Monday, Cicilline told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the purpose of calling Dean to testify is to walk people through the Mueller report, "read sections of it, so that the report really comes alive, so people understand what the conduct of this president has been...and then have them make judgments on what that conduct means.")

Cicilline told "Fox News Sunday," "What is really at stake here is the responsibility of the Judiciary Committee to conduct oversight, to demonstrate to the American people that no one is above the law -- including the president of the United States. We're going to get to the truth, and we're going to demonstrate that this president must be accountable for his own conduct."

Cicilline said he believes the Mueller report lays out an obstruction case against the president:

The president of the United States directed (former White House Counsel) Don McGahn to fire the special counsel and then to prepare false documents to deny that he was told to do that. He directed an outside person, Cory Lewandowski, to direct the attorney general to limit the special counsel's investigation. And a number of other instances of obstruction of justice that are detailed in this report. These are specific things the president did.

That's the purpose of our hearing Monday. These are criminal acts, obstruction of justice, clearly impeachable offenses. And so, you know, it's kind of rich to hear the president complain about this when he began a campaign with 'lock her up' as his bumper sticker and, you know, led an effort to delegitimize the first African-American president by claiming he wasn't born in this country.

Cicilline said there's "complete agreement" among congressional Democrats that "this president must be held accountable, that no one is above the law, that we have a responsibility to conduct oversight, to follow the facts where they lead.

"And we're not going to let the president...engage in a cover-up and prevent the American people from learning the truth. Now, there is some discussion about what's the best vehicle to do it? Is it through our normal oversight proceedings or is it through the opening of an impeachment inquiry? That's really a process question.

"But what we really want the American people to know is that the president of the United States directed individuals to create false documents, to give -- to lie to investigators, to try to prevent this investigation from going forward. Those are very specific acts."

Today's hearing of the House Judiciary Committee is the latest in a series of hearings and other actions intended to keep the focus on President Trump's alleged "obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power," as the Judiciary Committee phrased it.

On March 27, 2019, the Committee held a hearing on the pardon power.

On April 19, 2019, the Committee subpoenaed the Mueller report and underlying documents.

On May 2, 2019, Attorney General William Barr refused to appear for a scheduled hearing before the Committee. The Committee voted to authorize a contempt resolution on May 8, 2019.

On May 15, 2019, the Committee held a hearing on executive privilege.

On May 20, 2019, the White House blocked former White House Counsel Don McGahn from appearing for a scheduled hearing before the Committee.

On May 21, 2019, the Committee issued subpoenas for Annie Donaldson, former chief of staff for former White House counsel Don McGahn; and for Hope Hicks, former White House Communications Director. Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson were sent document requests as part of the Committee’s investigation on March 4, 2019. The White House has directed the two women not to comply.

The full House of Representatives, meanwhile, is expected to vote on a civil contempt resolution against Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn on Tuesday. Approval of the resolution would allow Congress to turn to the courts to force compliance.

President Trump said Democrats want a "do-over" of the Mueller investigation, and he won't allow that. "They are even bringing in...sleazebag attorney John Dean," he tweeted. "Sorry, no Do Overs - Go back to work!"

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