On Tuesday, John Dean, White House Counsel under Richard Nixon and a key player in the Watergate hearings, testified before Congress, blowing up the Trump administration’s official story on the Mueller report.
Dean was accompanied by law professors Joyce White Vance and Barbara McQuade, who also undercut the claim that the Mueller report exonerates the president.
Writing in The Washington Post, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin praised the attorneys for their testimony and ripped into Republicans trying to obscure the truth. She noted that Dean had been “elegant and restrained” despite the “unhinged Republican committee members.”
“The hearing demonstrated three things,” Rubin writes.
“First, Republicans must obscure the report and lie about its contents since it has no real defense to Trump’s conduct. The amount of evidence is extensive. McQuade argued that this was worse than Watergate; Vance reaffirmed that this was not a close call and that there was substantial evidence of criminality.”
“Second, all witnesses and a number of congressmen made the strong case that McGahn’s testimony is essential. Third, this is the beginning of a process that will, if committee chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is successful, include fact witnesses who can bring to life what the panel explained on Monday.”
Rubin concludes that Trump is hardly in the clear, regardless of whether Democrats impeach.
“Whether it changes public opinion sufficiently to encourage Democrats to move to impeachment is unknown, but if part of the task here is to make an historical record, Democrats have certainly succeeded,” she writes.
“And if Trump is paying attention, he’ll want to get a pardon before leaving office; there are about 1,000 prosecutors who’d love to take up the case for which Mueller has documents.”
Iran says new US sanctions show talk offers hollow, block diplomacy
Iran vehemently responded Tuesday to new US sanctions against its leaders, saying they showed Washington was "lying" about an offer of talks and marked the end of diplomacy with the Trump administration, amid an escalating regional standoff.
Washington blacklisted Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top military chiefs on Monday, saying it would also sanction Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later in the week.
"At the same time as you call for negotiations you seek to sanction the foreign minister? It's obvious that you're lying," Rouhani said in a meeting with ministers, broadcast live on TV.
Migrant children removed from ‘inhumane’ Texas detention centre
A Texas congresswoman says the federal government has removed most of the children from a remote Border Patrol station near El Paso following reports that more than 300 children were detained in squalid conditions.
The U.S. government has removed most of the children from a remote Border Patrol station in Texas following reports that more than 300 children were detained there, caring for each other with inadequate food, water and sanitation.
Just 30 children remained at the station outside El Paso Monday, said Rep. Veronica Escobar after her office was briefed on the situation by an official with Customs and Border Protection.
‘No locks’: GOPer says kids at migrant camps are ‘free to leave anytime’ but they don’t because they like it
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) argued on Monday that children at border detention facilities are "free to leave" if they do not like the conditions.
In an interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Burgess said that he has not personally seen the appalling conditions that media often describe for the children at the centers.
"So you think this is fictional?" Hayes asked.
"I don't know if it's hyperbole," Burgess replied. "Hatred for this president is so intense that people are liable to say anything."
"I've been to the [detention center] at Casa Padre," the congressman added. "Yes, it's a restored K-Mart. But you know what? There's not a lock on the door. Any child is free to leave at anytime but they don't. You know why? Because they are well taken care of."