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John Dean sees 'remarkable parallels' between Watergate, Mueller investigation

John Dean sees 'remarkable parallels' between Watergate, Mueller investigation

The hearing will feature John Dean, a former White House counsel who helped bring down President Richard Nixon's presidency, and former USA attorneys.

Nadler said a lawsuit may yet be necessary and added that Tuesday's vote may force former White House counsel Don McGahn, a central figure in Mueller's report, to testify.

In his opening remarks, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, called Mr. Dean "a critical witness", saying the committee needed to rely on his testimony and others to "draw our own conclusions about the findings of the special counsel".

The sudden turn of events came before a pivotal week for House Democrats, who are torn over whether to go ahead with impeachment proceedings and are looking for ways to focus public attention on Trump's actions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that attacks by President Trump - including his description of her last week as "a nasty, vindictive, awful person" - have only bolstered her political standing.

"They were created to take your attention away from the Mueller report", said Pelosi, who called Trump the "diverter-of-attention-in-chief".

Dean is best known for his bombshell testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities during the Watergate scandal, which paved the way for Nixon's dramatic resignation from office.

When the committee threatened Barr with contempt of Congress charges, the White House responded by invoking executive privilege over the information in question.

Dean said the last time he testified before the House Judiciary Committee was July 11, 1974, almost 45 years ago.

Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, referenced Mr. Dean's past statements criticizing President Trump along with his obstruction construction.

The Democratic-controlled House will still vote as planned on Tuesday on a measure that would increase pressure on Trump by allowing the committee to sue the administration in federal court if needed over access to the report.

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Committee chair Rep. Jerry Nadler has said that the hearings would further allow Congress to "examine the findings laid out in Mueller's report so that we can work to protect the rule of law and protect future elections through consideration of legislative and other remedies".

Nadler also stated that his Committee will delay scheduled contempt hearings stemming from the matter, provided the DOJ acts in good faith with their agreement.

"Special Counsel Mueller has provided this committee with a roadmap".

At the beginning of his testimony, Dean acknowledged he was "not here as a fact witness", and said he only wanted to give "historical context".

Nadler said that, under the deal with Justice, he will hold off on a threat to bring criminal contempt charges against U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

"I guess they paid him a lot of money over the years", Mr. Trump said at an event honoring Simon Pagenaud, the Indy 500 victor.

The president also lashed out at Dean, calling the former White House attorney a "sleazebag". Nadler also noted the political divides the Russian Federation probe has since created in Washington, saying that both parties should at least proceed with a common understanding that the USA was attacked.

Dean laughed, and said "I did, actually".

Republicans are poised to defend the president at the hearings and challenge Democrats on the decision not to open impeachment hearings.

"The Justice Department has yet again offered accommodations to House Democrats, and I am glad Chairman Nadler - for the first time in months - has finally met them at the negotiating table", the Georgia Republican said in a statement.