Former President Richard Nixon’s White House Counsel, John Dean, said Thursday that the Mueller report is “more damning” that the Watergate report, The Daily Beast reports.
Dean went on CNN to discuss Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s much-anticipated document detailing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Mueller cleared Trump and his campaign of conspiring with Russia to win the election, but seemingly suggested that the president may have obstructed justice, refusing to exonerate him for the crime.
“While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” a key section about potential obstruction of justice by Donald Trump reads. As CNN notes, Trump appears to have failed to obstruct Mueller’s probe and failed, but not for lack of trying.
According to Mueller, Trump instructed aides to obstruct Mueller’s investigation but they refused to carry out his orders. Notably, former White House counsel Don McGahn — who left his post in fall — refused to follow through on Trump’s requests, perhaps saving the president from himself.
But according to Richard Nixon’s White House Counsel John Dean, the Mueller report is “more damning” that the Watergate report. In fact, according to the lawyer, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report is “more damning” than Ken Starr’s report and the Iran-Contra report.
“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, this is really a devastating report.”
The legal expert argued that President Trump obstructed justice.
“As far as obstruction goes, this is clear obstruction. The obstruction statute is an endeavor statute… if you endeavor to obstruct you’ve violated the obstruction statute,” he said.
Even though the Mueller report does not exonerate Trump when it comes to obstruction of justice, the president has repeatedly insisted that it does, suggesting that Mueller has cleared him of both — collusion and obstruction.
Mueller evaluated 10 episodes for possible obstruction of justice but said in his report that he could not conclusively determine that Trump had committed criminal obstruction of justice. https://t.co/lPEMxecBjp— The Associated Press (@AP) April 18, 2019
Hours after Mueller’s report was made available to the public, Trump’s re-election campaign claimed vindication, ridiculing the president’s critic in a video posted to YouTube, according to The Hill.
Echoing the president and other Republicans, his campaign chairman Brad Parscale suggested that the origins of Robert Mueller’s Russia probe need to be investigated.
This comes as no surprise given that Attorney General William Barr argued during his Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that the FBI’s efforts to “spy” on Trump’s 2016 campaign need to be investigated.