Watergate figure John Dean told senators on Friday at Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings that President Donald Trump is not "controlled" by other branches and could "shoot someone" without facing prosecution.
Dean, whose testimony helped to topple President Richard Nixon during Watergate, made reference to the Trump line of the 2016 campaign that said: "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone" without losing the support of their faithful followers.
According to Dean, Kavanaugh's views on the affairs of the executive branch could tip the Supreme Court away so that Trump can get away with the crimes, at least avoiding the accusation while he is in office.
According to former Nixon counselor John Dean, the view of Brett Kavanaugh, nominated by the Supreme Court, on issues of executive power could tip the Supreme Court to Trump to get away with the crimes, at least avoiding the accusation while occupying the position.
"According to Judge Kavanaugh's recommendation, if a president shot someone in cold blood on Fifth Avenue, that president could not be prosecuted while he was in office," Dean said in a testimony, where minority Democrats brought him witness.
"The fact that we have a president who is not now controlled by other branches makes it particularly timely to worry again about Kavanaugh's positions in many cases that would improve the presidential powers," Dean told lawmakers under question.
Dean was the first Nixon administration official to testify that the president was part of a cover-up.
Vice President Nixon smiles after being nominated for president at the Republican National Convention, July 1960
A panel of experts and eyewitnesses was sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the final stage of the confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump's presidential candidate, Brett Kavanaugh, in Capitol Hill, Washington, on Friday, September 7, 2018. Since the left are real estate agent Monica Mastal, John Dean, former adviser to President Richard M. Nixon, Paul Clement, former attorney general
Former White House Advisor to President Nixon John Dean
Kavanaugh, who served on Kenneth Starr's team of investigators during the Clinton administration, has been questioned about his writings on executive authority, but revealed relatively little during his testimony.
Dean said that "there is much to fear from an unchecked president who is inclined to abuse his powers.
It is a fact that I can attest from personal experience. "
Dean told Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono that he could see [Kavanaugh] as the leader of the 5-4 who would improve the presidential powers & # 39;
Dean talked about how his testimony helped trigger a discussion of the White House recordings.
Describing why Nixon resigned, he said, said the Californianhe was going to lose in a battle of impeachment that the House would reject and the Senate would declare him guilty and eliminate him.
But he said that even though Nixon had been caught in an "uncomfortable" situation by lying about what he had known, "the man at his core had respect for the rule of law" and decided to leave office.
Dean does not have that vision of Trump. "I do not think he gives up, he does not care about the rule of law," Dean said.
Asked by Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal: "Now it can be said that there is now a cancer in the presidency as malignant and metastatic as then, right? & # 39;
"Yes, I agree with that," Dean replied.