John Dean, a former White House counsel who testified against President Richard Nixon in 1973, argued there is a “very high historical standard” for an unannounced blockbuster witness to testify. He said the star witness during the Watergate hearings was the man who revealed the existence of the Nixon White House tapes.
“BETTER BE A BIG DEAL: There was only one surprise witness during the Senate Watergate Committee hearings,” Dean said in a pair of tweets on Monday. “On July 16, 1973 an unannounced witness appeared: Alex Butterfield, who testified to Nixon’s secret taping system — forever changing history!”
BIG DEAL STANDARD: The January 6 Committee is dealing with a very high historical standard in springing a surprise hearing and witness tomorrow. If it is not really important information it’s going to hurt the credibility of this committee! Cancel now if you can’t match!
— John W. Dean (@JohnWDean) June 27, 2022
The panel investigating the Capitol riot did not share many details, saying only that it would convene a hearing at 1 p.m. to “present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.” The names of those set to testify were not disclosed. The committee previously indicated there would not be any more hearings this month. Plus, the House is on recess this week.
Dean said that if the Jan. 6 committee cannot deliver revelations on par with Butterfield — the deputy assistant to President Nixon, who oversaw the Secret Service’s installation of the taping system that would record Nixon’s private meetings and conversations — the panel should cancel the hearing. His testimony led to the creation of the Privacy Act of 1974, which required agencies to notify the public of their systems of records, and the disclosure of the “Smoking Gun Tape” that preceded Nixon announcing his resignation to avoid impeachment by two days, according to the Nixon Presidential Library.
“BIG DEAL STANDARD: The January 6 Committee is dealing with a very high historical standard in springing a surprise hearing and witness tomorrow,” Dean tweeted. “If it is not really important information it’s going to hurt the credibility of this committee! Cancel now if you can’t match!”