Watergate figure John Dean earns laughter for responses to GOP lawmakers

Exchanges between Watergate figure John Dean and House Judiciary Committee Republicans drew laughs several times during his testimony Monday.

In one such instance, Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanWhite House struggles to get in sync on impeachment Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry MORE (R-Ohio) asked Dean to explain earlier remarks claiming President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE was “incapable of accomplishing anything.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Mr. Jordan, I think that under the parliamentary rules of the house I'm refrained from addressing a full answer your question,” Dean responded. Told that he was “not refrained” in his tweets, Dean responded that his tweets were “not subject to the parliamentarian.”

In another exchange, Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzSchiff told Gaetz to 'absent yourself' in fiery exchange: impeachment transcript Do Republicans understand the Constitution? Ocasio-Cortez: 'Major crime' against Katie Hill will deter other female candidates MORE (R-Fla.), another staunch supporter of Trump in the House, noted that Dean, who has frequently compared Trump to former President Nixon, had written a 2005 essay comparing his former boss to then-President George W. Bush.

“Mr. Dean, how many American presidents have you accused of being Richard Nixon?” Gaetz quipped, accusing Dean of creating a “cottage industry out of” drawing the comparison.

Gaetz went on to accuse Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse to vote on bill to ensure citizenship for children of overseas service members As impeachment goes public, forget 'conventional wisdom' What this 'impeachment' is really about — and it's not the Constitution MORE (D-N.Y.) of bringing in Dean as a “prop,” saying that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats sharpen their message on impeachment Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate Siren song of impeachment lures Democrats toward election doom MORE (D-Calif.) had rebuffed Nadler on opening an impeachment inquiry and that instead "we're here reopening the impeachment inquiry potentially into Richard Nixon, sort of playing out our own version of 'That '70s Show.'"

“That was a speech,” Dean said in response to Gaetz’s remarks, which included a broader condemnation of the investigation into Trump. “I don’t believe I can respond to it. It’s not sufficient time.”

Trump blasted Dean as a “loser for many years” on Monday, denying any parallels between himself and Nixon and saying that “you can’t impeach somebody when there’s never been a thing done wrong.”