Dean, John W. (John Wesley), 1938-Variant names
John Wesley Dean, III (b. 1938), lawyer, was chief minority counsel to the House Judiciary Committee from 1966 to 1967. He was Counsel to President Richard M. Nixon from 1970 to 1973. He was the first person to deliver sworn testimony that implicated the President in the Watergate scandal. He served four months in prison for his involvement in the Watergate affair.
From the description of Dean, John W. (John Wesley), 1938- (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10580336
John Dean was born on October 14, 1938, in Akron, Ohio. He is the son of John Wesley (a businessperson) and Sara (Magill) Dean. He attended Staunton Military Academy; Colgate University, 1957-59; College of Wooster, B.A., 1961; graduate study at American University, 1961-62; Georgetown University, LL.B., 1965. He married Karla Ann Hennings on February 4, 1962 and divorced in 1970. He then married Maureen Biner Kane on October 13, 1972. He has a son, John Wesley IV.
In June 1970, Dean was appointed counsel to United States President Richard Nixon in regards to the Watergate Affair or scandal. Of the key Watergate figures, Dean was among those most responsible for bringing about the president's downfall, and he is attributed with one of the most enduring quotes from the Watergate saga.
The Watergate scandal was triggered by the burglary of Democratic National Committee Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. by individuals connected to the White House. Subsequent White House attempts to cover up the break-in and other illegal activities were revealed in congressional and law enforcement investigations whose scope was defined by Senator Howard Baker before a federal congressional committee in June 1973: "What did the president know and when did he know it?" Key to answering those questions was John Dean, who decided to cooperate with investigators and testify before Congress. Dean had been intimately involved with covert and illegal activities from the beginning. According to testimony by Jeb Stuart Magruder who had been the deputy campaign manager for the Committee for Re-election of the President (CREEP), Dean and others had discussed various plans regarding the Watergate burglary with John Mitchell, who headed CREEP. Dean then assumed a central role in initial attempts to cover up the burglary. In a July 20, 1972 conversation with Nixon, chief-of-staff H.R. Haldeman said that "Dean is watching it on an almost full-time basis and reporting to me and [assistant for deputy affairs John Ehrlichman]...There's no one else in the White House that has any knowledge of what's going on there at all." Dean attempted to involve the Central Intelligence Agency in the cover-up and was involved in pay-offs to the Watergate burglars for their silence. However, Dean became disturbed by the cover-up and, in a pivotal conversation on March 21, 1973; he told the president everything he knew about the cover-up that, Dean said, was "a cancer within the presidency."
On April 23, 1973, as the scandal was beginning to break, three key White House staffers resigned and Dean was fired. He testified before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Activities in June, and although his testimony was detailed and potentially damaging, there was initially no corroboration for it. That changed dramatically when another presidential aide revealed in July that White House telephone calls and conversations had been taped since 1971. Nixon's refusal to comply with subpoenas for the tapes prompted a struggle of epic constitutional proportions between the executive and congressional branches, but the tapes were eventually surrendered, and their contents proved so damaging that the president ultimately resigned on August 14, 1974. Dean was sentenced to one to four years for conspiracy to obstruct justice, but served only four months. Dean wrote the book Blind Ambition about the Watergate affair.
In 2001, Dean published The Rehnquist Choice, an expose of the White House's selection process for a new Supreme Court justice in 1971, which led to the accession of William Rehnquist to the United States' highest court. Three years later, Dean authored a book heavily critical of the administration of George W. Bush, entitled Worse than Watergate, a polemic which calls for the impeachment of Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney for lying to the Congress. Dean is now an investment banker in Beverly Hills, California, as well as an author and lecturer.
In 2005, he returned to his alma mater, The College of Wooster, to speak. He is also a part-time contributor on FindLaw with his next book due to be released in Summer 2006 entitled Conservatives Without Conscience . After the revelation that George W. Bush authorized NSA wiretaps without warrants, Dean asserted that President Bush "the first President to admit to an impeachable offense."
From the guide to the John Dean papers on the Watergate Affair, 1972-1996, (Ohio University)
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|associatedWith||Poff, Richard H. (Richard Harding), 1923-||person|
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|associatedWith||Talmadge, Herman E. (Herman Eugene), 1913-||person|
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|Watergate Affair, 1972-1974--Sources|
|Watergate Affair, 1972-1974|