Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), a fierce defender of President Donald Trump, is very upset that the House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony from a Watergate-era figure on Monday about presidential obstruction. His reasoning: Watergate happened a long time ago.
John Dean, who was White House counsel for President Richard Nixon in the 1970s, will testify before the panel as part of a hearing entitled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes.” In 1974, the same committee approved articles of impeachment against Nixon alleging obstruction of justice. (Nixon resigned before the full House of Representatives could vote on impeachment.)
In his final report on Russian interference, which was made public in April following a nearly two-year long investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller documented at least 10 instances involving President Donald Trump which may have constituted obstruction. Though he did not refer any indictments against the president, Mueller effectively handed the reins over to Congress to take the next step — widely accepted to be impeachment proceedings.
Rather than learning from history, however, Hawley, 39, thinks it would be better to simply ignore it.
Asked by Fox News on Monday about the Dean hearing, Hawley decried it as a “ridiculous” waste of time and “theater to distract” from prescription drug prices and border security.
“Talk about living in the past,” he said. “The Democrats want to talk about Watergate? I mean this happened before I was born! This is a total waste of time. It’s a total waste of time.”
Despite his insistence Monday, Hawley has not always objected to learning about things that happened before his birth.
Just last week, he joined Trump on a trip to Normandy, France, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. In a video, he said it made him “think about how we should honor that sacrifice.”
“What are we gonna to do in our day and in our time to carry forward their legacy to protect freedom in our country and around the world?” he asked.