In one of the indelible moments of the Watergate scandal, former White House counsel John Dean can be heard on a secretly recorded Oval Office tape warning President Richard Nixon of a cancer on his presidency: The break-in at Democratic headquarters by operatives tied to his 1972 reelection bid.

Dean initially helped the White House cover up its connection to the break-in, but eventually he implicated Nixon and others.

If he were back in his old job, what advice would he give President Trump?

Dean said he would urge Trump to fully cooperate with Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel charged with investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential race and the collusion, if any, with Trump’s campaign.

“If you don’t act decisively today,” Dean said he would tell Trump, “you are merely going to watch your presidency unravel slowly, unpleasantly, and with increasing disgrace.”

The rest of his response in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, edited for brevity:

“Mr. President, you are not going to beat the rap if you have somehow conspired with a foreign country.

“If you have engaged in treason to obtain your office, the sooner you leave it the better for you and for the country. If you come forward now you might make a deal with special counsel Mueller.

“If you did not personally do this, but you learned that people on your staff did, you are aiding and abetting them, or you are conspiring with them, and this is just as bad as having done it yourself. But you might get some credit for ending the crime now, explaining what happened and how it happened and why it happened.”

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