John Dean never imagined a scandal like this would 'happen again' when he turned on Nixon
John Dean, Former White House Counsel for United States President Richard Nixon (Photo: Screen capture)

On Monday, following his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee and the attempts by congressional Republicans to discredit him, former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean told CNN's Anderson Cooper some of the things that disturbed him most about the whole affair.

"You think [former special counsel Robert] Mueller believes Congress should move toward impeachment, or at least hold hearings on impeachment?" said Cooper.

"I think that's what he says in the document," said Dean. "In fact, I cited a part of the document, one of the footnotes, where he says the reason he didn't make a charging decision on obstruction of justice is he didn't want to preempt or in any way influence the constitutional duties of the Congress. So, I mean, you can't be much more direct. He doesn't have authority to refer, per se, but that's one of the points he made in the document."

"Were you taken aback at all by how personal some of the attacks by Republicans were?" Cooper pressed him. "I mean, did you expect the hearing to be as contentious as it was?"

"I did, actually," said Dean. "I know the players. I've watched them before. I watched them badger Hillary Clinton. They're all flame-throwers. And I did make the point that when I worked at that committee many years ago, they actually accomplished things, because the Republicans crossed the aisle and worked with the Democrats, and we accomplished things like amending the '64 Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act of '65, the 18-year-old vote, the 25th Amendment. Those are things that would never get processed in that committee today."

"Looking at — you know, you look at these pictures side-by-side of you June 25th, 1973 and today," said Cooper, putting up the images of the younger and modern-day Dean testifying before Congress. "I mean, I wonder, did you ever imagine that you would be testifying before Congress again almost 46 years later, exactly?"

"I don't think I could conjure that," said Dean. "In fact, one of the reasons that I did what I did back during Watergate was the thought that this will never happen again. And one of the reasons I've had a knot in my stomach, one of the reasons I'm on CNN, is because I'm deeply troubled by the presidency we're living with."

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