There is something retrogressively fetid in the odor wafting from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerold Nadler’s (D-N.Y.) show trial on Monday. In it, he called the infamously dishonest criminal John Dean as star witness to assist, once again, in the obstruction of justice we now know is being perpetrated by the Democrat Party in their ongoing attempt to frame several citizens, among them Donald J. Trump.
It makes sense, then, that Nadler and the House Democrats would invite Dean to “testify.” He lied to federal investigators 19 times, he lost his law license for “unethical, unprofessional and unwarranted conduct.” He’s a felon. It is not widely known, but before Dean joined the Nixon White House staff, he was fired from his Washington D.C. law firm after only six months for “secretly working in a television station license application for a competitor of one of his firm’s clients.”
Dean is also unrepentant about his part in the framing of Richard Nixon. He has been dining out on his role as a Watergate “hero” for nearly 50 years. He once held that George W. Bush’s “secret” presidency was “Worse than Watergate.” Now it is Trump who is predictably worse than Watergate. Dean’s shopworn narrative always points (conveniently) in the same direction: at Republicans.
When Dean joined the Nixon White House it appears that he sanctioned the “Hutson plan” in which he looked for extra-constitutional means to spy on Americans. However, when he handed over that document to federal prosecutors in the spring of 1973 in an effort to ingratiate himself as a reliable whistleblower, he denied having supported it.
According to the authors of Silent Coup, “Dean’s attempt to gloss over the actual disposition of the Hutson Plan was a first sign of the construction of a grand edifice of deceit.”
In the hearing this week, Dean stated that the investigative committee was providing a public service because most people had not read Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, even though it is widely available and free for the public to read. Like so many allegations made by the Democrats on the committee, Dean’s falls into the predictable pattern of an accusation more likely reflective of his own shortcomings than those of the American people and, of course, he made his statement without any attempt at verification.
This is rich coming from someone who fabricated his own dossier in the origins of the cover-up of the Watergate scandal. In fact, it was Dean and Jeb Stuart Magruder who concocted the cover-up before Nixon knew of anything going on. And yet Dean was happy to tell the Judiciary Committee this week that the Mueller report provided the committee a road map for impeachment.
He should know because it was Dean who orchestrated inside the White House an espionage campaign to implicate his superiors in the cover-up that he and Magruder originated. According to Geoff Shepard in his book The Real Watergate Scandal, Dean was the “principal accusatory witness—whose collusion in undermining the rule of law” is now beyond question.
Let this be clear: in a telephone conversation with Nixon after the break-in, Dean informed the president that he knew who broke into the Watergate, and Nixon, astonished, had no idea the parties involved.
In Silent Coup, Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin make a compelling case that Dean was not informing Nixon about the break-in, as people like G. Gordon Liddy assumed he was. Instead, Dean in effect framed Nixon by implicating him in the prior knowledge of the crime when it was Dean himself who was largely responsible.
When Dean famously told Nixon on March 23, 1973 that there was a “cancer on the presidency,” he omitted the fact that the cancer had been caused by Dean himself. Dean, in effect, was the mastermind of a coup.
Dean has experience in suborning perjury. He also admitted to destroying documents that likely would have exonerated some figures of the Watergate scandal. During the Watergate hearings, he engaged in a conspiracy with prosecutors to obstruct justice in order to name Nixon as a co-conspirator to a crime he never orchestrated. Those prosecutors so badly wanted to implicate Nixon, they accepted nearly any account, regardless of inconsistency, to achieve their chief end. Dean was all too willing to play along in order to escape justice.
As Colodny and Gettlin write: “Dean had succeeded beyond his expectations. He deceived the president…into joining a conspiracy to obstruct justice in order to cover up a crime that Nixon had not committed, and to conceal Dean’s own crimes.” The opposition to Nixon was broad and wide in Washington, D.C. The administrative state wanted him gone, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff who did not like their authority challenged by the people’s representative.
Knowing this, one cannot help but conclude that since the deep state was successful in committing one coup, they are back with the same playbook, except this time, Trump is not playing ball and is far more clever than Nixon. Moreover, as I wrote this spring, “Trump has the added benefit of being entirely innocent of the charges against him.”
Dean is a particularly bad witness for the Democrats. He was aware of the nascent plans to spy on the Democrats, and then when caught, covered up his role and blamed the president. Here, we see he’s at it again, albeit from a greater distance. A leopard can’t change his spots.
Photo Credit: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call