House Dems summon Watergate witness for bizarre ‘historical perspective’ on Mueller report
John Dean, former White House counsel to Nixon, was brought in to testify not as a “fact witness,” as he hastily acknowledged at the outset, but to give a “historical perspective” on the Mueller report in a Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday. Seemingly uninformed about the facts of the Trump case – he mentioned Michael Cohen twice when attempting to list individuals the president had attempted to bribe with a pardon, appending Roger Stone to the list through “informed conjecture” – he was full of stories about Watergate.Also on rt.com Russiagate is #1 threat to US national security – Stephen Cohen
The Watergate witness regaled the House with tales of Nixon’s “stage-whispering” about his mistakes, and multiple Democrats pressed him on decades-old details wholly unrelated to Trump. “What was the Saturday Night Massacre?” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) asked reverently.
“I’m hearing from the ’70s and they want their star witness back,” Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia), the ranking Republican on the committee, said, unimpressed by the apparent attempt at guilt-by-proximity.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) mocked the “Ghost of Christmas Past” for attempting to “raise the specter of Richard Nixon.”
“You are functionally here as a prop because they can’t impeach President Trump,” he said.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Arizona) denounced Dean as a “biased witness,” pointing to a pattern of accusing Republican administrations of being “worse than Watergate.”
“This has turned into a vaudevillian farce,” he said. And Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) forced the committee’s attention onto Dean’s more recent role as a CNN commentator, dredging up hyper-partisan statements he’d made on television in recent years.
Summoning Dean appeared to be the next best thing for committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D-New York) to summoning Trump White House counsel Don McGahn, who has dodged his own committee appearance, despite being subpoenaed last month. Dean repeatedly compared his own Watergate predicament to the situation facing McGahn, whom Nadler has sought to charge with contempt over his refusal to testify. While Nadler opened the hearing by asking the committee to “draw our own conclusions about the findings of the special counsel,” it was clear from Dean’s testimony which conclusions they were supposed to draw.Also on rt.com ‘I exposed corruption’: Trump blasts Dems & ‘fake media’ for continuing Russiagate post-Mueller
Former US attorney for Michigan - and current MSNBC legal analyst - Barbara McQuade opened her testimony with a familiar dog-whistle, declaring, “Russia interfered with our election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” But she and Joyce White Vance, the former US attorney for Alabama (and also MSNBC legal analyst), were mostly providing moral support for Dean.
Collins pressed both lawyers asking where their evidence was that Trump had committed a crime, asking, “What does this committee have that Robert Mueller didn’t have?” and specifically calling attention to a tweet McQuade had posted praising fellow MSNBC host Rachel Maddow for “finding the collusion.”
“Do you and Rachel Maddow have evidence of collusion that the special counsel didn’t have?” he insisted.
The hearing was panned as a disaster by those on the right, though the Russiagate faithful had a completely different take on the day’s events. But even some of the usual #Resistance suspects wanted to look away from the trainwreck.
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