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Why Is Watergate Witness John Dean Opening Up Nadler's Hearing on Impeaching Trump?

Why Is Watergate Witness John Dean Opening Up Nadler's Hearing on Impeaching Trump?
John Dean, former White House counsel to President Nixon. (Mark Wilson/Getty)
 

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Tuesday, 04 June 2019 06:36 PM Current | Bio | Archive

There were more than a few gasps on Capitol Hill Monday after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., announced that John Dean would be the opening witness in his committee’s upcoming hearings on possible impeachment of President Trump.

John Dean. 

For 46 years, the onetime Nixon White House counsel’s name has been synonymous with his role as a star witness in the nationally televised Senate Watergate hearings. 

Dean’s testimony about the break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 and the subsequent role of the Nixon White House— including himself — in the cover-up of the scandal was a factor in the eventual resignation of the 37th President.

But Dean’s hands were by no means clean. The FBI referred to him as the “master manipulator of the cover-up” and Dean himself pleaded guilty to a single felony count and spent four months in the federal pentitentiary.

Now 80 and an author of numerous books critical of Republicans, Dean’s re-appearance is not viewed favorably by those who dealt with him in his White House days.

“Once a famous witness, he’s made a life of being a witness,” Stephen Hess, a White House aide to Nixon and official under three other presidents, told Newsmax, “I feel sorry for John. It’s not the way I would like to spend my life.”

Hess said that Nadler’s calling on Dean to testify “seems to want to suggest a parallel between Nixon and Watergate and 'Trumpgate.' But political scientists don’t see the parallel at all.”

He recalled how then-White House staffer Pat Buchanan was a highly impressive witness defending Nixon before the same committee as Dean.

“I say if you’re going to invite John Dean to testify, then give equal time to Pat Buchanan,” Hess told us.

Reached by Newsmax, Buchanan chose not to comment on Dean or Hess’s encouragement that he testify.

“However, the balance of forces, politically, is far more favorable to the President today than back there in 1973 and 1974,” Buchanan told us, “If the impeachers think this is going to be a cakewalk, with the media cheering them on to victory after victory, they may find they have stumbled into the Little Big Horn.” 

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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There were more than a few gasps on Capitol Hill Monday after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D.-NY, announced that John Dean would be the opening witness in his committee's upcoming hearings on possible impeachment of President Trump.
nadler, john dean, trump, committee, witness
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2019-36-04
Tuesday, 04 June 2019 06:36 PM
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