On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee kicked off its hearing on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, welcoming a quartet of legal experts to share their thoughts on Mueller’s findings—particularly those that pertained to whether or not President Donald Trump obstructed justice over the course of Mueller’s investigation.
Among those witnesses were former White House Counsel John Dean, a key Watergate figure who drew on his experience in the impeachment inquiry into former President Richard Nixon to, as he put it, “give a bit of historical context to the Mueller Report.”
However, when Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert had his turn to question the witnesses, he seemed far less interested in any parallels between the Nixon and Trump administrations and much more interested in re-litigating the actual break-in at the Watergate Hotel nearly five decades ago.
“Did you order, or ever convey to order, the break-in at the Democratic headquarters?” Gohmert repeatedly asked Dean, before noting without a shred of irony that “I’ve only got five minutes” to ask questions.
Ostensibly, Gohmert was following the GOP party line in an attempt to discredit Dean as a witness. But instead of landing a blow against Dean’s credibility (something Dean himself has been extremely forthcoming about), he simply came off like a delusional weirdo more interested in settled history than anything happening now.
Joining Gohmert in making an spectacle of himself was Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who insisted Dean had gone to jail for obstructing justice, only to be corrected by Dean, who said he had not, in fact, actually served any prison time.
“Glad you got to stay out of prison,” an embarrassed-sounding Jordan replied.
Jordan also used his time to praise Trump for his diplomacy and eventually slumped back in his chair in frustration when Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler pointed out that everything Dean had testified to regarding the Nixon administration was eventually proven to be true.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, the avowed Trump zealot fresh off a milkshaking, was also in fine form, trying to bewilder Dean by asking him about Medicare for All and asking if they could summon Nixon via Ouija board.
Meanwhile, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley had earlier slammed the whole hearing, basically saying being concerned about history is a massive waste of time.
“Talk about living in the past,” he said in a Fox News interview. “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.”
Another proud day to be a Republican.