It was recently announced that defrocked attorney John Dean has accepted an invitation to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on matters relating to … uh … Actually, it is not clear as to what relevant information Dean can provide other then his obvious disdain for President Trump – as evidenced in his frequent appearances on CNN and MSNBC.
Unless you are hooked on one of the anti-Trump cable news networks, you are likely to have no idea who this John Dean is or why his opinions matter. Even if you are familiar with his ubiquitious appearances, you may not know his history. I am aware of all of the above because I had a passing acquaintanceship with Dean when we were both working for the Nixon White House – little more than an occasional nod as we passed in the hallway.
Though Dean lacks substantive value to anything going on before Congress these days, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler sees political value in putting Dean in front of the cameras. That is what it is really about – the cameras. There is no information or insight that Dean can provide the Judiciary Committee that they do not already know – and even that is largely irrelevant to their legislative purpose. Nadler’s scheme is to essentially misuse the investigative process (no surprise there) to create a bit of an anti-Trump dog and pony show.
Dean staked his claim to fame more than 45 years ago when, as White House counsel, he testified against President Nixon in return for getting a lighter sentence for his role in the events surrounding the Watergate burglary by operatives of the President’s re-election campaign and then help orchestrate the cover-up that ultimately ended the Nixon presidency.
Dean had participated in meetings in which plans were made to break in and surveil the Democratic National Committee. When the “burglars” were arrested, Dean proceeded to gather and destroy evidence that tied the break-in to key individuals in the Nixon White House – including Attorney General John Mitchell. He paid hush money to those arrested in the break-in to obtain their silence.
Dean appeared several times before the grand jury – taking the Fifth Amendment for every question. He sought an immunity from prosecutions (a pardon) from Nixon for any crimes he may have (did) committed while serving as White House counsel. Nixon refused, and that is when Dean cut a deal with prosecutors.
Dean was originally sentenced to one to four years in prison in return for his cooperation. That was further reduced to time served in a safe house holding facility – which meant he officially served only four months.
Dean was really one of the bad guys in the entire scenario. He avoided his just desserts by taking a plea agreement and flipping on the President. In many ways, Dean was the sleazy Michael Cohen of his day. Prior to his White House job, Dean had worked for the then-powerful Washington law firm of Welch & Morgan. He was fired for conflict-of-interest when he attempted to negotiate a television broadcast license for himself when he was representing a client seeking the license.
Following his incarceration, Dean began a new career in the investment business and entered the world of political oblivion for decades. Thanks to his willingness to become an unabashed Trump critic, and his role in bringing down a President, the anti-Trump media brought Dean back into at least the edge of the public spotlight – where he could serve as one of the paid parroting panelists. That is where he appears to have attracted Nadler’s attention.
Nadler’s entire strategy with Dean appears to be designed to draw comparisons between the disgraced Richard Nixon and Trump – even though the comparisons are minuscule and largely irrelevant. This is such an obvious shabby political tactic that even some of those in the left-wing media are scratching their heads – wondering what value Dean brings to the table. The answer is little to none – only if you are looking at political value – and even then, the tactic is too obvious to have much impact.
In providing a platform for a guy who has nothing to say except what happened more than 45 years ago suggests that Nadler and the Democrats are getting desperate in their effort to swing public opinion in favor of impeachment.
So, there ‘tis.