Politics

Report: House Democrats Will Use John Dean As Impeachment Draw

REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

The House Judiciary Committee is planning to bring in former White House counsel and Watergate whistleblower John Dean to testify on the Mueller report, Politico reported Monday.

Dean — who worked in the Nixon administration — is best known as the key witness who brought down President Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal. Democrats hope his presence before Congress will prompt further consideration of President Donald Trump’s potential impeachment, according to Politico.

White House counsel John Dean testifies to the Watergate Committee. (YouTube screenshot/PBS Newshour)

White House counsel John Dean testifies to the Watergate Committee. (YouTube screenshot/PBS Newshour)

Dean will be the star attraction on a June 10 panel that will examine whether the Mueller report found any evidence of obstruction of justice on behalf of the president and whether Mueller actually invited the Congress to pursue impeachment measures against him. (RELATED: John Dean Thinks Nixon ‘Might Have Survived’ Watergate With ‘A Fox News’)

“These hearings will allow us to examine the findings laid out in Mueller’s report so that we can work to protect the rule of law and protect future elections through consideration of legislative and other remedies,” Democratic New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary committee, told Politico. (RELATED: Judiciary Chair Says Trump Is Guilty of Obstruction. And He’s Thinking About Impeachment)

Trump has been resisting efforts by the committee to put the Mueller report under a microscope, suggesting it is a fruitless exercise born of partisan politics. The president has told some potential witnesses like former counsel Don McGhan not to provide testimony to the committee.

Bringing in a Watergate figure like Dean is likely to rile Trump, who has called him a “rat.”

The committee has shown particular interest in Attorney General William Barr, voting to hold the senior official in contempt of Congress because he would not provide an uncensored version of the Mueller report to the committee.

William Barr testifies at the start of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be attorney general of the United States on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Jan. 15, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

That led to a rebuke from the Department of Justice, which described the action as “politically motivated and unnecessary.”

“The only side who has made accommodations is the Attorney General, who made extraordinary efforts to provide Congress and the public with information about the Special Counsel’s work,” the DOJ noted in a press statement Wednesday. Barr is unable “to comply with the House Judiciary Committee’s subpoena without violating the law, court rules, and court orders.”

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