The Trump Justice Department’s secret seizure of the smartphone data of Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee is “Nixon on stilts and steroids,” so-called Watergate “master manipulator” John Dean said Friday.
Dean, who served as White House counsel to Richard Nixon before flipping on the then-president over the Watergate scandal, told CNN’s Erin Burnett that the actions of the Trump DOJ went far beyond what his former boss ever did.
He said comparisons with Nixon were wide of the mark.
“Nixon didn’t have that kind of Department of Justice,” said Dean.
He then recalled how the Nixon administration responded to the leak of the classified Pentagon Papers detailing U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
I got a call from the Oval Office the day after he learned that, and could the Department of Justice bring a criminal action for this? Called over, found out the short answer was they could, but they won’t. So Nixon couldn’t use the department as he wanted to.
Burnett asked Dean if the Trump DOJ’s actions went “beyond what Nixon did.”
“It is beyond Nixon, yes,” Dean responded. “It’s Nixon on stilts and steroids.”
Watch the interview here:
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