Why is John Dean testifying before the House about the Mueller report today?

I’m not even going to post a clip of it because who cares, really? Let me just re-up my theory from Friday of why Nancy Pelosi continues to talk ever tougher about Trump while continually inching away from impeachment:

The impeachment chatter on both sides looks increasingly like little more than kabuki performed for the 2020 electorate. Pelosi’s happy to have Democrats threaten Trump in ever more draconian ways *if* doing so sates their appetite for formal action. Embarrassing the president by impeaching him would inflame Republican voters, she fears, but talking about sending him to prison or whatever? Eh, talk is cheap. Trump talked endlessly about locking Hillary Clinton up on the trial in 2016, didn’t he? Meanwhile, if Pelosi’s not going to hand him turnout fuel by actually impeaching him, Trump’s going to use their tough talk about prison etc. as kindling instead by feigning offense, as in the tweets above. It’s a performance on both ends.

Andy McCarthy took the same position in a piece published Saturday. Pelosi thinks 2020 is the Democrats’ race to lose, she doesn’t want to upset the dynamic by rolling an impeachment grenade into the fray, so she and Jerry Nadler are going to do what they can to scratch the left’s anti-Trump itch in various ways short of impeachment to try to keep them happy. If that means blowhardery about sending Trump to prison or whatever, fine. If that means letting geriatric liberals reminisce about Watergate by hauling John Dean before the Judiciary Committee to sputter about parallels between Nixon’s actions and Trump’s, fine. (“I’m clearly not a fact witness,” Dean himself acknowledged in an interview before today’s hearing.) If it gets under Trump’s skin too, so much the better for them:


It’s all just a show, says McCarthy, and so it is. If John Mitchell were alive, they would have brought him in to say “crimes are bad mmmkay” and to insinuate darkly about Bill Barr that he knows what it looks like when the Attorney General loses his legal and moral bearings. Dean’s like the one original member left from an old doo-wop group that was mildly popular back in the day who goes on tour with a bunch of ringers for some easy money from nostalgic grandmas and grandpas. That’s what Pelosi’s offering the liberal old-timers in lieu of an actual impeachment proceeding.

Here’s GOP Rep. Doug Collins laying into him and the Democrats for this stunt, followed by Dem Rep. Steve Cohen all but admitting that it’s a show. Democrats will defend this, I suspect, by arguing that all they’re trying to do is call public attention to what’s actually in Mueller’s report. Most Americans haven’t read it; many don’t know even some of the bottom-line findings. If Dems can get a little extra media attention and TV time by having a familiar name run through those findings, so much the better. Is Dean’s name familiar to anyone under the age of 65, though? Conversely, is anyone over the age of 65 waiting for Dean’s take to make up their mind on Russiagate? If you’re the sort of person excited to see Nixon’s lawyer lay into Trump, your mind’s been made up about the president since before day one. If they want to get the word out about Mueller’s findings, they should have Oprah or Taylor Swift testify about their understanding of the report’s conclusions. A show this big deserves a star above the D-list. Exit quotation via Alex Griswold: “I wonder which current Trump lackey will be the one who spends the next several decades selling books on how each successive Republican administration Is Worse Than Trump, And Believe Me, I Would Know.”