Watergate lawyer John Dean on Friday said the work of the House committee investigating last year’s US Capitol riot “is really going to be remembered long, long, long” after it makes its recommendations public next week.
The House panel is “taking such a historic look at the presidency at such an important time,” Dean, who served as White House counsel to former President Richard Nixon, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
The committee is considering recommending that the Justice Department pursue criminal charges against former President Donald Trump over the violence that unfurled among his supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, according to The Associated Press. Possible charges could include insurrection, obstruction of an official trial and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Cooper asked Dean, whom the FBI dubbed the “master manipulator” of the Watergate scandal when he flipped to cooperate with prosecutors against Nixon, how high the bar must be for the Justice Department to pursue the charges against Trump.
“Of course, it has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a federal court in a criminal proceeding like this, and that is the highest standard of proof,” the Dean replied.
“So, unlike this committee, which is relying on hearsay on occasions, they have to get to the source of everything,” he continued. “They do have the tools at the Department of Justice to do that — something the committee doesn’t. So naturally, they do rely on hearsay because they trust the source they’re getting it from. What is going to happen at Justice is much different than what happened at the committee.”
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