My god, has it been 46 years ago when John Dean, White House Counsel for Richard Nixon, testified before Sam Ervin’s Watergate committee and said he told Nixon “there was a cancer on the presidency.”
Dean still had a relatively full head of blonde hair back then, but now he is gray and partially bald but returned to Capitol Hill Monday to discuss parallels between the actions that led Nixon to resign and even more questionable actions by current corrupt president Donald Trump.
“The last time I appeared before your committee was July 11, 1974, during the impeachment inquiry of President Richard Nixon,” Dean testified to the House Judiciary Committee.
As a columnist for The Telegraph in Alton, IL, I followed Dean’s testimony then and I did so Monday as he drew parallels of lies by Trump aides like William Barr and the ones told by Attorney General John Mitchell, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. He drew other similarities between the Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey and Nixon’s dismissal of Archibald Cox — efforts by both presidents to shut down FBI probes.
Dean told about Nixon promising pardons to those who might lie for him and noted that Trump has done the same. Nixon told Dean to lie. Trump told his attorney, Donald McGahn, to do the same.
“The Mueller report, like the Watergate Road Map, conveys findings, with supporting evidence, of potential criminal activity,” Dean told the House Judiciary Committee Monday. “It’s quite striking and startling to me that history is repeating itself, and with a vengeance.”
Dean does not like Trump, a feeling that is building with more and more people in America.
Writes columnist Dana Milbank in The Washington Post:
The current situation is worse than Watergate — not necessarily in the illegality (history will judge that), but in the way the political system handles the investigation.
During Dean’s first go-round, serious legislators put country before party and launched honest and sober investigations of Nixon’s misbehavior. But now, Republican lawmakers reflexively defend Trump’s impropriety and support his refusal to allow aides to testify before congressional inquiries.
Meanwhile, many Democrats, rather than following the Watergate model of lengthy investigation before impeachment, are clamoring for immediate impeachment proceedings. And then there’s Trump. Nixon, for all his faults, never declared that John Dean was a “sleazebag,” “loser” and a “rat.”
At Monday’s hearing, the chairman, Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) pleaded with colleagues to treat the session with the “seriousness it deserves.”
One has to wonder if the current Republicans on Capitol Hill have the ability to get serious about anything but their narrow focus beliefs and cult-like following of a con artist like Donald Trump.
Would this group have taken on Nixon in 1974? Probably not.
Will they ever realize they are now backing a criminal whose actions have been called “treasonous” by many? Not likely.
John Dean lost his job, his law license and went to prison because of his time in the Nixon White House. So have a growing list of those associated with Donald Trump.
Is Trump worse than Nixon?
As a career newspaperman who also worked for a short time as a GOP operative — a bad move I have apologized for many times — I wrote extensively about Watergate and now have been doing the same about Trump.
Yes, I believe Trump is worse. I believe he is just as criminal and more dangerous to our system of government, our country and our way of life.
Since Congress appears unable to do the job because of too much gamesmanship and too little leadership, it now must fall to the voters to take Trump out.
Let’s remember that he lost the popular vote by more than three million votes before an Electoral College system driven by gerrymandered districts overturned the will of the people of this country.
This time, the margin of defeat must be larger and must come in states that cannot be controlled by an Electoral College system that, like Trump, ignores the will of the people, the law and the needs of America.
Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue