While MSNBC's morning shows were touting the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on the Mueller report that include former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean and MSNBC anti-Trump analysts as expert witnesses, Andrea Mitchell took a different perspective on her Monday afternoon show.
Mitchell questioned former Obama Deputy Assistant Attorney General Elliot Williams, "What can John Dean actually provide?" As Williams began his answer, arguing that Dean "highlights and brings attention to the wrongdoing and the predicate that the committee is hoping to lay for the investigation," Mitchell interjected and asked the former Obama official, "But, is this theater rather than evidence?"
Williams conceded that, "To some extent it’s theater, because look, he is not a fact witness." He would go on to argue that if the committee wanted to get the information it wants, it needs to hear from "either the witnesses who provide the background information in the Mueller report, or Mueller, or a member of his team himself." As for Dean, Williams again conceded Mitchell's point, saying, "he’s 45 years removed from having the most to say."
When MSNBC offers a platform to a former Obama Justice Department official and he says that the Democrats' key witness is there for theatrical purposes and not to provide facts, you know your hearing is teetering on the edge of playacting.
Here is a transcript for the June 10 show:
Andrea Mitchell Reports
12:18 PM ET
ANDREA MITCHELL: And Elliot, what can John Dean actually provide? Because the circumstances are different. The law is different, in terms of the special prosecutor back then and the independent counsel now. One works for the Justice Department. Back then it was slightly different.
ELLIOT WILLIAMS: So, it highlights and brings attention to the wrong doing and the predicate that the committee is hoping to lay for the investigation.
MITCHELL: But, is this theater rather than evidence?
WILLIAMS: To some extent it’s theater, because look, he is not a fact witness. He is not a witness that can testify. He can talk about what is in the Mueller report, but he didn’t write it, he didn’t gather the evidence and so on. And to some extent, to some extent, his testimony is a little bit limited, right? At the end of the day, what we need to hear from are either the witnesses who provide the background information in the Mueller report or Mueller or a member of his team himself. The committee is doing five more hearings. We need to find out what are the five hearings going to be about, but today will be good and I think we’ll keep focus and interest around the subjects of the report, but yeah, you touched on it, Andrea, he’s 45 years removed from having the most to say.