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John Dean: Trump-McGahn Reports Point to 'Pattern' of Obstruction on Russia

John Dean: Trump-McGahn Reports Point to 'Pattern' of Obstruction on Russia
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By    |   Friday, 05 January 2018 03:42 PM

Former White House counsel John Dean said Friday that reports that President Donald Trump ordered his top staff lawyer to stop Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from the Russia probe points to "a pattern developing" that the president tried to obstruct justice.

"There is a pattern developing that shows that it was clearly an endeavor to obstruct justice," Dean, who counseled President Richard Nixon and was implicated in the Watergate scandal, told Brooke Baldwin on CNN. "This sort of fits in that pattern."

The New York Times reported late Thursday that Trump directed Donald McGahn to work to keep Sessions in charge of the Moscow investigation.

He was unsuccessful, and Sessions recused himself last March.

"Whether McGahn actually was a part of a conspiracy or this is an isolated incident, is not clear on the evidence we have right now," Dean told Baldwin.

"But there is clearly a pattern of endeavor that is evolving and becoming apparent for all of us."

He said that McGahn served the Office of the President of the United States, not Trump personally.

"His client is the Office of the President, not the man who occupies it," Dean told Baldwin. "That's a post-Watergate clarification.

"Nixon was very confused about that and wanted me to be his lawyer and not the office's, but that's clear now.

"McGahn has a responsibility not to Trump, but to the office that Trump has been elected to," he said. "That's a big difference."

Dean then commented on an anecdote from Michael Wolff's scathing book on Trump, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House."

In it, Wolff says the president slammed former FBI Director James Comey as a "rat" and then said: "Do you know what John Dean did to Nixon?"

"I certainly know what I did to Nixon," Dean told Baldwin. "I told the truth about him.

"That's not something that Trump wants his aides talking about, apparently."

Dean's testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee in June 1973 implicated Nixon and several top administration officials, including former Attorney General John Mitchell.

"It showed he had some glimmer of knowledge of Watergate," Dean told Baldwin. "He was understanding that what he was doing paralleled Watergate in many, many ways.

"I don't think he should want to go there.

"But every signal he's shown is a cover-up," Dean said. "That's been consistent from day one of his presidency."

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Former White House counsel John Dean said Friday that reports that President Donald Trump ordered his top staff lawyer to stop Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from the Russia probe points to "a pattern developing" that the president tried to obstruct...
john dean, donald trump, donald mcgahn, reports, obstruction of justice, russia
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2018-42-05
Friday, 05 January 2018 03:42 PM
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