Nixon White House counsel John Dean on Sessions ousting: ‘Planned like a murder’

Anna Moneymaker

John Dean, the White House counsel under former President Nixon, on Wednesday said the ousting of Attorney General Jeff Sessions was like something with the appearance of being “planned like a murder.”

Dean made the comments while making an appearance on CNN shortly after it was announced that Sessions was stepping down.

“Well, unlike the Saturday Night Massacre, where Nixon relieved the special prosecutor, [Archibald] Cox, that was sort of a culmination of disregard for the president’s directions not to go after his tapes,” Dean said.

“Here I think this seems to be planned like a murder.”

He explained further, citing President Trump’s refusal to answer a question about Sessions’s standing during a press conference earlier on Wednesday.

“I say that given that the president was asked a question in the press conference this morning, he brushed it off, said we’ll deal with it later,” Dean said. “And he’s clearly been thinking about it and later meant he’s not going to necessarily fire Mueller, he’s gonna undercut him by the people around him.”

Trump was asked about Sessions during a whirlwind press conference at the White House and told the reporter he would rather discuss the issue later.

Dean said he is fairly certain Sessions was forced out in an effort to undercut special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.

“It is almost impossible to interpret this in any other way than in effect to undercut Mueller,” he said.

“Also, Mueller has been well aware of that and probably has planned for that contingency,” he added.

Dean said Mueller could have sealed indictments in preparation for this occurrence.

Dean added that he has faith in the justice system, regardless of Sessions’s resignation.

“Well, I have a lot,” Dean said. “The system is not just five judges that are conservatives on the Supreme Court.”

“It is an entire branch of the government, and even for those five justices, if they do lean towards the president, to do precedent-breaking action that makes us look like a banana republic, you could start losing one or more of those five.”

“I have an underlying faith in the system,” he concluded.

Tags Attorney general Donald Trump Jeff Sessions Robert Mueller Russia collusion Special counsel
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