The House Judiciary Committee on Monday announced a "series of hearings" related to special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report, beginning with a June 10 hearing featuring President Richard Nixon's former White House counsel, John Dean.
The Democrat-led committee revealed its new schedule as calls to impeach President Donald Trump grew louder from a growing list of Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates.
The hearing with Dean, titled "Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes," was announced less than a week after Mueller, in his first public remarks since becoming special counsel in May 2017, said that he would not go beyond the details in his 448-page report if he is forced to testify before Congress.
Dean, who was a central player in the Watergate scandal, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in 1973. He also cooperated with the Watergate special prosecutor and testified against other Watergate figures.
The upcoming hearing will focus on Trump's "most overt acts of obstruction," said Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. in a press release. It will also feature other former U.S. Attorneys and legal experts, according to the House Judiciary Committee.
Dean's selection shows that House Democrats are "taking a long-term view" as they broach the question of whether to impeach Trump, said Ken Hughes, an expert on Watergate at the University of Virginia's Miller Center. "They're not trying to rush to any conclusion, they want to put this into historical perspective for the vast majority of the American people."
House Democrats have had trouble getting key Trump administration figures, including Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn, to appear before their committees. Barr, who oversaw the tail end of the special counsel's probe and whom Democrats accused of politicizing its release, skipped a House Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for May 2. McGahn, the most-cited witness in Mueller's report, did not show up for a May 21 hearing before the same committee, after the White House instructed him not to comply with the panel's subpoena.
"No one is above the law," Nadler said in the press release Monday afternoon. "While the White House continues to cover up and stonewall, and to prevent the American people from knowing the truth, we will continue to move forward with our investigation."
Nadler added: "Given the threat posed by the President's alleged misconduct, our first hearing will focus on President Trump's most overt acts of obstruction. In the coming weeks, other hearings will focus on other important aspects of the Mueller report."
It was not immediately clear when those subsequent hearings would take place and who would be asked to appear at them.