Trump news: White House 'is in fast competition' with Nixon administration on obstruction, Watergate accuser says

Chris Stevenson, Joe Sommerlad, Clark Mindock

Donald Trump is facing a renewed onslaught from House Democrats, who will begin picking over the Mueller report‘s obstruction of justice evidence on Monday as the party continues to weigh up launching impeachment proceedings against the president.

The House will stage a vote on whether to hold attorney general William Barr and ex-White House adviser Don McGahn in contempt of Congress on Tuesday after the pair ignored congressional subpoenas. Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee will review the ramifications of 2016 Russian election hacking for national security on Wednesday.

With those actions in mind, the House Judiciary Committee heard from former Watergate witness John Dean, and former US attorneys, who repeatedly told Congress that they believe that Mr Trump had attempted to obstruct justice. If he were anyone other than the president, they said, he would have been charged with the crime.

Mr Dean, during his prepared remarks, said that the Mueller report is very similar to a "Watergate Road Map", meaning it could help the panel as it investigates Mr Trump for obstruction or collusion.

He continued to say that Mr McGahn, should he not testify before Congress, would be perpetuating a "cover up" for the president.

"I sincerely hope that Mr McGahn will voluntarily appear and testify," he said. "His silence is perpetuating an ongoing cover-up, and while his testimony will create a few political enemies, based on almost 50 years of experience I can assure him he will make far more real friends."

Mr Trump had blasted Mr Dean, and Republicans on the committee likewise questioned why he should be trusted to give testimony, since he had pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice related to the Watergate scandal in the 1970s.

The president has also threatened China with further tariffs during a phone interview with CNBC, saying the Asian nation will ultimately make a deal “because they have to”, while also warning the tech giants of Silicon Valley he could take action against them over the “discrimination” he believes he and other prominent conservatives have been subjected to.

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