John Dean: “Trump has got a real problem” here, historically speaking

PBS NewsHour / YouTube A Look Back at the Senate...
PBS NewsHour / YouTube

Let us hope that this is one of those times when:

History is Rhyming — on multiple levels.

White House counsel Don McGahn is worried Trump’s setting him up on obstruction — so he’s talking a lot to Mueller

by Emily Stewart , Vox — Aug 19, 2018

President Donald Trump may not be speaking to special counsel Robert Mueller, but White House counsel Don McGahn has. At length. Because he fears Trump may be setting him up to take the fall on potential obstruction of justice and that he’d then wind up like John Dean, former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon who eventually flipped: in prison.

Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman at the New York Times reported on Saturday that McGahn has taken part in at least three voluntary interviews totaling 30 hours with Mueller’s team of investigators who have been looking into the Russia probe over the past nine months. He’s discussed a wide range of matters, including the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, the ouster of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and Trump’s public and private griping about Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The report appears to have incensed Trump, who raged about it on Twitter on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.


Well John Dean confirms he had the same fears that Don McGahn now has.  Having live through this himself, John Dean’s pivotal role in Watergate, may even been a warning for the current White House legal team, about what troubled waters they were traversing — with Trump at the helm …

Remember John W. Dean, a Watergate Informant? He’s Back in the Limelight

by Laura M. Holson, New York Times — Aug. 20, 2018


Mr. Dean was worried he was being set up by his former boss to take the blame for the June 1972 break-in by five men at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington. Indeed, the White House called him the cover-up’s “mastermind,” The Times reported in June 1973. For his part, Mr. Dean has long maintained his colleagues sought to make him a scapegoat.

In an interview in The Times last year, Mr. Dean said he had warned his White House peers at the time: “The jig is up. It’s over.” He also famously told Nixon in a conversation taped by the president in the Oval Office, “We have a cancer within, close to, the presidency, that is growing.” As the Watergate investigation intensified in 1973, Mr. Dean cooperated with the Senate committee.


Mr. Dean told the news organization Axios on Sunday, in response to Mr. Trump’s tweet, that he was “actually honored to be on his enemies list as I was on Nixon’s when I made it there.”


White House Counsel Donald McGahn and President Donald Trump — taking notes.

John Dean points out that McGahn’s testimony amounts to real trouble for Trump:

John Dean: ‘I think Trump has got a real problem’ after McGahn’s interviews with Mueller

by Sophie Tatum, CNN — Aug. 20, 2018

President Donald Trump “has got a real problem” after the latest revelations regarding White House counsel Don McGahn’s interviews with special counsel investigators, according to John Dean, who served in the same role for President Richard Nixon.

CNN has reported McGahn’s lawyers did not give Trump’s lawyers a full debriefing on McGahn’s interviews with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, according to a person familiar with the matter. The New York Times reported this past weekend that McGahn met with the special counsel for a total of 30 hours over the past nine months.

“I think that’s a lot of testimony, that’s a lot of visiting, and that’s just the bottom of what they know,” Dean said Monday in an interview on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” “It could well have been much more than that. It appears to have been ongoing. So, I think Trump has got a real problem here. And I’m not sure how he’s going to handle it.”


And Trump, like the failed Mob-boss he truly is, had few choice words for John Dean:

Insider testimony like Don McGahn’s could eclipse an unhinged White House

“If Trump is impeached, it will be for high crimes not vile nor puerile behaviour.”

by Paul Koring. , iPolitics — Aug 20, 2018


But the historical antecedent to McGahn’s co-operation with Mueller isn’t McCarthy but John Dean, the White House counsel during Richard Nixon’s presidency. Dean pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice, then cooperated with investigators to expose the Watergate scandal.

Trump was in full damage control mode. McGahn, he tweeted: isn’t “a John Dean type ‘RAT.’

It was a telling slip from Trump. After all, Dean was only a rat from the standpoint of a criminal president and his criminal cronies. To everyone else, Dean was a Watergate hero whose honesty — albeit belated — played a key role in forcing Nixon to resign rather than face the ignominy of certain impeachment and conviction.


Trump’s other “telling slip” here, if the CNN’s reporting is accurate, is that Trump has “no idea” whether McGahn “spilled the beans” on the 2 years of Trump obstruction, while in the White House — or not:

McGahn’s lawyers did not give Trump’s lawyers a full debriefing on McGahn’s interviews with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

If McGahn was half as smart as his doppelganger historic predecessor was — he told Mueller everything illegal that the Trump Team has planned, schemed, strategized over or committed.

That would be the appropriate “safe-guard”  — for “not taking the fall” for the brute of a scofflaw — flouting the highest Office of the land.

Like some sort of “King Kong” … (according McGahn’s own description of Trump’s behavior).

— — —


It’s the criminal “King-pins” that need to see Justice done — not their “foot soldiers”.

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