Mueller Report Is “More Damning Than Watergate,” Says John Dean
John Dean, former Nixon administration White House counsel, said the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is “more damning” than the Watergate investigation that led President Richard Nixon to resign.
“This report from the special counsel is more damning than all those reports about a president,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “This is really a devastating report.”
Former WH counsel John Dean: “I looked on my shelf for the Senate Watergate Committee report, I looked at the Iran Contra report. I also looked at the Ken Starr report … In 400 words, this report from the special counsel is more damning than all those reports about a President.” pic.twitter.com/9WuUaicKvt
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) April 18, 2019
The Mueller Report “did not establish” conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in the 2016 U.S. election. But the report also said that while the investigation did “not conclude” Trump had criminally obstructed justice, it also “does not exonerate” him.
The report listed ten instances of possible obstruction by the president. Dean believes, based on the report, that Trump clearly obstructed justice.
“If you endeavor to obstruct — and there is much evidence here of endeavor — you’ve violated the obstruction statute,” he said in the interview, adding that the president “doesn’t give a hoot about the law.”
The Mueller Report stated that despite the president’s attempts to influence the Russia investigation, many of his staffers refused to carry out his orders. An example of this was when White House Counsel Don McGahn declined to fire Mueller on Trump’s orders
Dean found Attorney General William Barr’s attempt to put a positive spin on the president’s conduct to be “very disappointing.”
“One of the post-Watergate norms was that attorneys general did not serve as the president’s personal counsel,” he said. “Mr. Barr violated all the norms that had been established post-Watergate, and took us back right into Nixonian-type operations.”