Theatrics dominate at contentious Mueller report hearing

Theatrics dominate at contentious Mueller report hearing ,

What do you get when you cross the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, Medicare for All proposals and Twitter exchanges with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow?

Monday’s congressional hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, a frequently enthralling but also intermittently incoherent free-for-all titled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes.”

The key moments came from the committee’s Republicans sparring with John Dean, who as White House counsel provided key testimony in the Watergate proceedings.

Now a frequent critic of President Trump on cable news and social media, Dean came back to Capitol Hill to give a kind of seminar on how the lessons of 1973 still hold in 2019.

“The last time I appeared before your committee was July 11, 1974, during the impeachment inquiry of Richard Nixon,” Dean said, taking care to note that he was not a “fact witness” when it came to Trump.

“In many ways, the Mueller report is to President Trump what the so-called Watergate roadmap” was to Nixon, he said. “Special counselor Mueller has provided this committee with a road map,” he added.

His remarks echoed calls from those on the left who argue that the report offers plenty of evidence to impeach Trump.

But whatever lessons Dean hoped to impart were frequently disrupted by Republican defenders of Trump, who have treated Mueller’s report both as an exoneration — though it did not in fact exonerate Trump ,

Republicans echoes Trump’s message as the hearing began. The committee’s ranking member, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, criticized its chairman, Trump foe Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.

“We’re not bringing Russia front and center,” Collins charged. He then addressed Dean and the other witnesses, including former U.S. attorneys Barbara McQuade and Joyce White Vance,

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