While acknowledging he was not a “fact witness” on the Mueller report, former White House counsel John Dean highlighted similarities he saw between the two presidents, particularly on the matter of pardons and whether they were used to obstruct justice.
WASHINGTON — Former White House counsel John Dean testified Monday about parallels between President Donald Trump and Dean’s former boss, President Richard Nixon, at the first hearing of the House Judiciary Committee aimed at understanding Robert Mueller’s findings.
“In many ways, the Mueller report is to President Trump what the so-called Watergate road map… was to President Richard Nixon,” said Dean, whose congressional testimony in 1973 ultimately led to the resignation of Nixon. “Special counsel Mueller has provided this committee with a road map.”
While acknowledging he was not a “fact witness” on the Mueller report, Dean highlighted similarities he saw between the two presidents, particularly on the matter of pardons and whether they were used to obstruct justice.
Mueller identified 10 potential cases of obstruction of justice by Trump in his report, but the former special counsel said his office could neither clear nor accuse Trump of obstructing his investigation, citing a long-standing Justice Department opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
Committee Republicans mocked Democrats for bringing in Dean — a name from a bygone era who has a CNN contract — and several other former U. S. attorneys who have TV contracts. Rep. Douglas Collins, R-Ga., the top GOP lawmaker on the panel, said if Democrats really cared about stopping Russian interference in future elections, the committee would be asking experts — not cable commentators — to testify.
“I can catch your testimony on TV!” Collins said to the witnesses before pivoting to Dean, specifically. “This committee is hearing from the ’70s and they want their star witness back.”
He added, “Here we are again, with priorities in this committee turned upside down.”
Dean said the last time he testified before the House Judiciary Committee was July 11,1974, nearly 45 years ago. Seven of the committee’s 41 members were born after his testimony.
The criticism underscores the problem Democrats face in trying to draw attention to Mueller’s findings, particularly because Trump has blocked former White House aides from testifying.

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