House Republicans lined up to hammer John Dean, the Democrats’ star witness at Monday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, stating the Nixon White Home counsel deliberately obstructed their questioning of previous Trump legal representative Michael Cohen earlier this year, and explaining that he has breathlessly implicated many Republican presidents of Watergate-like misbehavior throughout the years.
At one point, the hearing room broke out into laughter, as Florida Republican Politician Rep. Matt Gaetz grilled Dean for turning Nixon comparisons into a lucrative ” home market” for himself. Dean helped with the Watergate coverup and pleaded guilty to blockage prior to becoming an essential prosecution witness, and President Trump has called him as a “scum” and a “RAT.”
Gaetz started by referencing Dean’s 2005 essay, “George W. Bush as the New Richard M. Nixon: Both Wiretapped Unlawfully, and Impeachably; Both Claimed That a President May Breach Congress’ Laws to Safeguard National Security.” Dean, in 1987, had also called the Iran-Contra affair “Big league” for Ronald Reagan, compared to the relatively ” minors” scandal of Watergate.
” Mr. Dean, the number of American presidents have you implicated of being Richard Nixon?” Gaetz asked.
” I in fact wrote a book about Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney with the title, ‘Worse than Watergate,’ Dean reacted, prompting loud laughter from those in attendance. Asked whether he generated income on the book, Dean replied that it was “really effective,” however decreased to specify how much he made precisely, besides that it was less than $1 million.
Dean also stated he is not sure just how much loan he makes as a CNN factor, where he often attacks the Trump administration. (Late Saturday, Dean intensified his personal attacks on Trump, tweeting: ” Would somebody get Trump a dog. He needs a buddy so he won’t constantly vent on Twitter. He’s uninterested in federal government and policy. He doesn’t check out. He doesn’t exercise. He has no real friends. A dog may save humankind. Undoubtedly, it a lot to ask of a canine. But aid is required.”)
In another dramatic minute, Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan pressed Dean on his conversations with Cohen lawyer Lanny Davis, saying Dean collaborated with Davis to “block” Republicans’ questioning of Cohen in February.
” Did you provide suggestions to Lanny Davis or Michael Cohen prior to Mr. Cohen’s testimony to Congress?” Jordan asked.
” No,” Dean reacted.
” Well, you stated on [CNN anchor] Erin Burnett’s show the night prior to Mr. Cohen testified in front of the Oversight Committee … that you had talked with Lanny Davis and that Michael Cohen need to hold his testimony as long as possible from Republicans. You didn’t state that to Mr. Davis? You stated it on Erin Burnett’s program the night prior to Mr. Cohen testified.”
” I didn’t state it directly to Mr. Cohen,” Dean reacted. He then acknowledged, “I did state, as quickly as you turn your statement over, it will be chosen apart.”
” You know what?” Jordan said, hammering Dean’s effort to “obstruct” Republicans’ questioning of Cohen. “They took your guidance. Mr. Cohen kept his testament from us for as long as possible.”
According to a records of Dean’s Feb. 26 interview with Burnett’s program, “OutFront,” Dean discussed his contacts with Davis, and stated he had recommended Cohen’s legal group to hold Cohen’s statement “as long as you can.”
” You were going over earlier with the congressman whether he would accuse the president of criminal offenses. Well, Lanny Davis informs me he will, so that’s one of the important things to prepare for,” Dean told Burnett. “[Crimes] while in office, yes, which is interesting to state the least. What I’ve truly been discussing with them however is not the substance of their testimony, rather the procedure matters, things that I thought and as once a previous committee counsel in your home Judiciary Committee, and then as a really long-term witness, that sitting alone at the table is essential, holding your declaration as long as you can so the other side can’t chew it up, providing type of process guidance like that is what I’ve generally done.”
” They took your guidance. Mr. Cohen kept his statement from us for as long as possible.”
— Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, to John Dean
For his part, Georgia GOP Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, buffooned Democrats for bringing Dean in for statement, implicating Democrats of utilizing him to try to assault the president. “This committee is now speaking with the Seventies and they want their star witness back,” he stated.
Collins mockingly added, “Let the program begin.”
Dean’s testament kicked off what could be a dramatic week related to oversight of the Russia probe: Nadler revealed strategies Monday to hit time out on efforts to hold Attorney general of the United States Costs Barr in contempt over his rejection to turn over Russia probe-related documents, Democrats could still move on a separate contempt-related resolution today to impose subpoenas for Barr and previous White House Counsel Don McGahn.
Separately, the Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence announced plans to hold an open hearing on Wednesday entitled, “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Counterintelligence Implications of Volume 1.”
Fox News’ Alex Pappas and Brooke Singman added to this report.