John Dean may have been a favorite among Democrats when he testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, but Republicans stuck to a hard line of questioning when it came to the Watergate figure.
One of the Republicans to push back against Dean’s testimony — he has no direct connection to the Mueller report and is more of a left-wing commentator these days — was Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).
“It’s unusual to have the majority fail to properly give the basis for expertise of one of its own witnesses,” said Gohmert when he got the opportunity to ask the “witnesses” of the day questions.
He continued, “Mr. Dean, you have a lot more qualifications in this area than they [Democrats] actually provided in the introduction.”
The congressman then brought up a New York Times story that accused Dean of perjury and conspiracy during his time with the Nixon White House. Dean cooperated with authorities back then, but he also had to plead guilty to obstruction of justice at the time, something Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was quick to point out when he questioned Dean. Dean pled guilty to the felony and avoided a harsh prison sentence by cooperating with authorities.
Dean’s ties into the Watergate scandal are not completely known and some have alleged that he was more involved than he would likely ever really admit.
“Did you ever order or convey an order to break in to the Democratic headquarters at Watergate hotel?” Gohmert asks after listing off the various criminal accusations against Dean stemming from his time with Nixon.
Dean responded by taking issue with Gohmert’s description of him pleading guilty to authorities.
“That came from the New York Times,” Gohmert said. “You can take it up with them.”
After being asked again, Dean finally gave a “no” answer to the question. Gohmert and Dean then talked over each other until the congressman pointed out that he “only had five minutes” and he didn’t want to waste it on Dean not directly answering questions.
Gohmert actually agreed with Dean that there are parallels between the Mueller investigation and Watergate, but they weren’t the parallels that Dean likely expected.
“There are similarities, you’re right, with regard to Watergate [and the Mueller investigation]. In both an administration was seeking to illegally spy on another candidate,” said Gohmert, referring the accusations that the Obama administration heavily spied on the Trump campaign at the beginning of the investigation into collusion with Russia.
While Watergate involved burglers hired to break into DNC offices, Gohmert said “RussiaGate” involved an administration politicizing and using the FBI and Department of Justice to stop another candidate.
Gohmert finished up by saying Constitutional rights are under serious attack because of the precedents the Mueller investigation has set.
“The frauds that were committed on the FISA court in this matter and the abuses of American citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights and the fact that people who once cared about this country’s Fourth Amendment rights are now more concerned with taking out another party’s president, making sure he doesn’t get reelected,” said Gohmert.
The congressman added, “This tells me we are in a greater danger for our Constitution at this time than we were from the outside during World War II.”