By Jon Dougherty
Former Utah Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz blasted House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Saturday for calling a former Nixon-era official to testify as part of his quest to build an impeachment case against POTUS Donald Trump, calling it part of a “clown show” featuring “fried chicken” and abysmal Democrat behavior.
Nadler has called John Dean, a figure in the “Watergate” scandal from the early 1970s, which eventually brought down President Richard Nixon (R), who resigned from office before facing impeachment.
As Politico noted last week:
The House Judiciary Committee is preparing to call Watergate star witness and former Nixon White House counsel John Dean to testify on the Mueller report, an effort to draw public attention to special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings amid heated debate over the prospect of impeaching President Donald Trump.
Dean will be featured on a June 10 panel that also includes former U.S. attorneys and legal experts to discuss Mueller’s evidence that Trump repeatedly attempted to obstruct or constrain his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to the committee.
Chaffetz called the testimony a “made-for-C-SPAN event.”
“It’s sensationalism at its best,” the former Utah Republican said during an interview with Fox News.
“The House seems to be bringing convicted felons (former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen) before to somehow give testimony that’s to be compelling,” Chaffetz said, adding that Dean has nothing of value to bring to the current situation with POTUS Trump.
“He can shed no light on what happened during this event” regarding alleged Trump-Russia ‘collusion,’ which special counsel Robert Mueller has said ‘officially’ now never took place.
“It’s disgraceful,” Chaffetz continued. “What Jerry Nadler is doing is running a clown show with buckets of chicken, convicted felons, and people who know nothing about the case at hand.”
The chicken reference applies to Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who actually brought a bucket of KFC to a hearing last month to mock Attorney General William Barr for his refusal to become part of Nadler’s clown show.
Appearing with Chaffetz, former Watergate prosecutor Jon Sale, who managed to convict Dean and send him to prison, agreed that Nadler was trying to pull off a “political stunt.”
“What is he, an expert in obstruction of justice?” Sale noted. “John Dean pled guilty to a conspiracy to obstruct justice. He participated in the payment of hush money. He even encouraged people to leave the country.”
None of that has anything at all to do with POTUS Trump and the allegations of Russian collusion, which, again, never happened, Sale continued.
In Watergate, “there was underlying crime,” Sale continued. “He didn’t bring down Richard Nixon. The tapes brought down Richard Nixon.”
Last month, during an interview with Fox News, Sale said the main difference is that the burglary of the Watergate building was a clear “underlying crime” in 1972 and led to obstruction of justice charges against Nixon.
“So there was something to cover up. Here, there is no underlying crime,” he said on “Fox & Friends,” arguing Democrats are “overreacting” by issuing several subpoenas, while public opinion remains in POTUS Trump’s favor on the issue of impeachment.
“The ballot box is going to decide whether Trump continues or doesn’t continue.”
Even famed Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, who made a name for himself helping, with Carl Bernstein, to uncover the Watergate scandal, said that allegations against POTUS Trump don’t come close to the actual evidence against Nixon.
Chaffetz also noted that Trump was imminently cooperative with special counsel Robert Mueller.
“Look at what Donald Trump did,” the former lawmaker said. “He informed everybody, speak with the general counsel, make all the documents available, provide all the emails. He went to the unprecedented step of allowing his general counsel to spend more than 30 hours with the special prosecutor.
“He did exactly the opposite of what happened” in Watergate, Chaffetz continued. “Donald Trump should be winning awards from the Sunlight Foundation and from others for being as open and transparent as he was.”
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10