Richard Nixon’s former White House lawyer is taking aim at Donald Trump, calling him “evil” and saying that he makes Watergate seem like “a brief idyllic daydream.”
John Dean has been a frequent critic of Trump, often calling on his historic role in Watergate to call out the president’s administration. In a tweet on Sunday morning, Dean said that Trump will be viewed more unfavorably than Nixon once the history books are written.
“History will treat Nixon’s moral failures as relatively less troubling than Trump’s sustained and growing decadence, deviousness and self-delusive behavior,” Dean wrote. “Nixon=corrupt; Trump=evil.”
John Dean has made other digs about Donald Trump in the past as well, and he is not the Watergate-connected individual to take aim at the president. Andrew Hall, a lawyer who represented one of Nixon’s top advisers and who also led a special investigations unit in the White House responsible for illegal operations, said he sees the same things happening today that took place leading up to Watergate.
In an interview with the Independent, Hall said he believes the Trump administration is engaging in a coverup regarding the Russia investigation. He pointed to a passage on Bob Woodward’s book in which Trump’s lawyers tried to prepare him for a potential interview with Robert Mueller’s investigators, an exercise that failed as Trump’s team believed it was inevitable he would perjure himself.
“The idea to prepare a witness in and of itself is a good idea, but the fact that he’s incapable of being truthful throughout the entire exam is pretty scary,” he said.
“It raises a whole lot of issues. If a lawyer knows his client is not telling the truth, he can’t sit by and let that happen, he can’t participate and he must disassociate himself with that activity … otherwise, they lose their license for facilitating perjury.”
But as the Hill noted, John Dean’s recent criticism of Donald Trump appears to move beyond the president’s alleged role in colluding with Russia during the 2016 election or obstructing the investigation afterward. His statement that Trump is “evil” comes after a two-week stretch in which one of the president’s supporters allegedly lashed out against Trump’s frequent targets, sending mail bombs, and which a man who espoused right-wing conspiracy theories opened fire in a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11. Trump has pushed back against those who said his harsh and sometimes violent rhetoric is influencing the violence, saying instead that it is the fault of the media for critical coverage of him.