John Wesley Dean III (born October 14, 1938) is a former attorney who served as White House Counsel for United States President Richard Nixon from July 1970 until April 1973, where he became deeply involved in events leading up to the Watergate burglaries and the subsequent Watergate scandal cover-up. He was referred to as the "master manipulator of the cover-up" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He pleaded guilty to a single felony count, in exchange for becoming a key witness for the prosecution. This ultimately resulted in a reduced prison sentence, which he served at Fort Holabird outside Baltimore, Maryland.
Shortly after the Watergate hearings, Dean wrote about his experiences in a series of books and traveled around the United States to lecture. Dean is currently a commentator on contemporary politics, authoring books, and writing a column for FindLaw's Writ online magazine. He is strongly critical of neoconservatism and the Republican Party, and is a registered independent. He has been strongly critical of Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump.
John Dean in the White House, 1973
|White House Counsel|
July 9, 1970 – April 30, 1973
|Preceded by||Charles Colson|
|Succeeded by||Leonard Garment|
John Wesley Dean III
October 14, 1938
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
|Political party||Republican (formerly)|
College of Wooster (BA)
Georgetown University (JD)
Dean was born in Akron, Ohio, and lived in Marion, the hometown of the 29th President of the United States, Warren Harding, whose biographer he later became. Thereafter, his family moved to Flossmoor, Illinois, where he attended grade school through the eighth grade. For high school, he attended Staunton Military Academy in Virginia. He initially attended Colgate University, and then The College of Wooster in Ohio, where he obtained his B.A. in 1961. He received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1965.
Dean married Karla Ann Hennings on February 4, 1962; they had one child, John Wesley Dean IV, before divorcing in 1970. Dean married Maureen (Mo) Kane on October 13, 1972.
After graduation, he joined Welch & Morgan, a law firm in Washington, D.C., where he was soon accused of conflict of interest violations and fired. He was alleged to have started negotiating his own private deal for a TV station broadcast license, after his firm had assigned him to do the same exact thing for a client of theirs.
Dean was a student at Staunton Military Academy with Barry Goldwater Jr., the son of then-U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, and was a close friend of the family. Dean was subsequently employed as the chief minority counsel to the Republican members of the United States House Committee on the Judiciary from 1966 to 1967. Dean then served as associate director of the National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws for approximately two years.
|1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-06-25; Part 1 of 6, 1:07:59, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC|
Dean volunteered to write position papers on crime for Richard Nixon's presidential campaign in 1968. The following year, he became an associate deputy in the office of the Attorney General of the United States, serving under Attorney General John N. Mitchell, with whom he was on friendly terms. In July 1970, he accepted an appointment to become counsel to the president, after the previous holder of this post, John Ehrlichman, became the president's chief domestic adviser.
On January 27, 1972, Dean, then White House Counsel, met with Jeb Magruder (Deputy Director of the Committee to Re-Elect the President, or CRP and CREEP) and John N. Mitchell (Attorney General of the United States, and soon-to-be Director of CRP), in Mitchell's office, for a presentation by G. Gordon Liddy (counsel for CRP and a former FBI agent). At that time, Liddy presented a preliminary plan for intelligence-gathering operations during the campaign year 1972. Reaction to Liddy's plan was highly unfavorable. Liddy was ordered to scale down his ideas, and he presented a revised plan to the same group on February 4, which was, however, left unapproved at that stage. In late March of that year, in Florida, a scaled-down plan would be approved by Mitchell.
This scaled-down Liddy plan would lead eventually to attempts to eavesdrop on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., and to the Watergate scandal. The burglars' first break-in attempt in late May 1972 had been successful, but several problems had arisen with poor-quality information from their bugs, and they wanted to photograph more documents. Specifically, the burglars were interested in information they thought was held by Lawrence F. O'Brien, head of the DNC. On their second attempt to break in, on the night of June 16–17, 1972, the burglars were discovered by hotel security. After the arrests of the burglars, Dean took custody of evidence and money from the White House safe of E. Howard Hunt, Jr., who had been supervising the Watergate burglaries, and later destroyed some of the evidence before it could be found by investigators.
On February 28, 1973, Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his nomination to replace J. Edgar Hoover as Director of the FBI. Armed with newspaper articles indicating the White House had possession of FBI Watergate files, the committee chairman, Sam Ervin, questioned Gray as to what he knew about the White House obtaining the files. Gray stated he had given FBI reports to Dean, and had discussed the FBI investigation with Dean on many occasions. It also came out that Gray had destroyed important evidence entrusted to him by Dean. Gray's nomination failed and now Dean was directly linked to the Watergate cover-up.
White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman would later claim that Dean was appointed by Nixon to take the lead role in coordinating the Watergate cover-up from an early stage, and that this cover-up was working very well for many months. Certain aspects of the scandal had come to light before the 1972 elections, but Nixon was re-elected to a second presidential term by a significant margin.
On March 22, 1973, Nixon requested that Dean put together a report with everything he knew about the Watergate matter, and even invited him to take a retreat to Camp David to do so. Dean did go to Camp David and performed some work on this report, but since he was one of the cover-up's chief participants, this report-writing task placed him in the difficult position of relating his own involvement, as well as that of others, and he correctly concluded he was being fitted for the role of scapegoat in the cover-up by those higher up. Dean did not complete the report.
On April 6, Dean hired an attorney and began his cooperation with Senate Watergate investigators, while continuing to work as Nixon's Chief White House Counsel and participate in Nixon's cover-up efforts, not disclosing this obvious conflict to Nixon until some time later. Dean was also receiving advice from the attorney he hired, Charles Shaffer, on matters involving vulnerabilities of other White House staff with the cover-up.
Dean continued to provide information to the prosecutors, who were able to make enormous progress on the cover-up case, which up until then they had virtually ignored, having concentrated on the actual burglary and events preceding it. Dean also appeared before the Watergate grand jury, where he took the Fifth Amendment numerous times to avoid incriminating himself, and in order to save his testimony for the Senate Watergate hearings.
Coupled with his sense of distance from Nixon's inner circle, the "Berlin Wall" of advisors H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, Dean sensed he was going to become the Watergate scapegoat and despite going to Camp David, he returned to Washington without having completed his report. Nixon fired Dean on April 30, the same date he also announced the resignations of Haldeman and Ehrlichman.
Dean had earlier asked Nixon for formal immunity from prosecution for any crimes he may have committed while serving as White House Counsel. Nixon refused to grant this request and his refusal led Dean to cooperate with the prosecutors very soon afterwards. Upon going to the prosecutors, Dean also requested immunity, which was not granted despite his many revelations.
On June 25, 1973, Dean began his testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee. The committee had voted to grant him use immunity (doing so in a divided vote in a private session that was then changed to a unanimous vote and announced that way to the public). In his testimony, Dean implicated administration officials, including Nixon fund-raiser and former Attorney General John Mitchell, Nixon, and himself. Dean's testimony attracted very high television ratings since he was breaking new ground in the investigation, and media attention grew apace, with more detailed newspaper coverage. Dean was the first administration official to accuse Nixon of direct involvement with Watergate and the resulting cover-up in press interviews. Such testimony against Nixon, while damaging to the president's credibility, had little impact legally, as it was merely his word against Nixon's. Nixon vigorously denied all accusations against him that he had authorized a cover-up, and Dean had no corroboration beyond various notes he had taken in his meetings with the president. It was not until information about secret White House tape recordings having been made by President Nixon (disclosed in testimony by Alexander Butterfield, on July 16, 1973) and the tapes having been subpoenaed and analyzed that many of Dean's accusations were largely substantiated. Earlier, Dean had had suspicions that Nixon was taping conversations, but had not known this for sure, and he tipped prosecutors to ask witnesses questions along this line, leading to Butterfield's revelations.
Dean pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice before Watergate trial judge John Sirica on October 19, 1973. He admitted supervising payments of "hush money" to the Watergate burglars, notably E. Howard Hunt, and revealed the existence of Nixon's enemies list. Archibald Cox, Watergate Special Prosecutor, was interested in meeting with Dean, and planned to do so a few days later, but Cox was fired by Nixon the very next day, and it was not until some time later that Cox was replaced by Leon Jaworski. On August 2, 1974, Sirica handed down a sentence to Dean of one-to-four years in a minimum-security prison. However, when Dean surrendered as scheduled on September 3, he was diverted to the custody of U.S. Marshals, and kept instead at Fort Holabird (near Baltimore, Maryland) in a special "safe house" holding facility primarily used for witnesses against the Mafia. He spent his days at the offices of Jaworski, the Watergate Special Prosecutor, and testifying in the trial of Watergate conspirators Mitchell, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Robert Mardian, and Kenneth Parkinson, which concluded on January 1, 1975. All except Parkinson were convicted, largely based upon Dean's evidence. Dean's lawyer moved to have his sentence reduced and on January 8, Judge Sirica granted the motion, adjusting Dean's sentence to time served, which wound up being four months. With his conviction for felony offenses, Dean was disbarred as a lawyer in Virginia and the District of Columbia, so he could no longer practice law.
When it was uncovered that President Nixon had secretly recorded all meetings in the Oval Office, famous psychologist and memory researcher Ulric Neisser analyzed Dean's recollections of the meetings, as espoused in his testimony, in comparison to the meetings' actual recordings. Neisser, a sharp critic of studying memory in a laboratory setting, saw "a valuable data trove" in Dean's recall.
Neisser found that, despite Dean's confidence, the tapes proved that his memory was anything but a tape recorder. Dean failed to remember any conversations verbatim, and often failed to recall the gist of conversations correctly. Yet, Neisser did not explain the difference as one of deception; rather, he thought that the evidence supported the theory that memory is not akin to a tape recorder and, instead, should be thought of as reconstructions of information that are greatly affected by rehearsal, or attempts at replay. Neisser further concluded that Dean's memory, and likely everyone else's, merely retains common characteristics of a whole series of events.
Shortly after Watergate, Dean became an investment banker, author, and lecturer. Dean chronicled his White House experiences, with a focus on Watergate, in the memoirs Blind Ambition (1976) and Lost Honor (1982). Blind Ambition was ghost written by Taylor Branch and later was made into a 1979 TV miniseries with Martin Sheen playing Dean.
In 1992, Dean hired famed attorney Neil Papiano and brought the first in a series of defamation suits against G. Gordon Liddy for claims in Liddy's book Will, and St. Martin's Press for its publication of the book Silent Coup by Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin. Silent Coup alleged that Dean was the mastermind of the Watergate burglaries and the Watergate coverup, and the true target of the burglaries was to seize information implicating Dean and the former Maureen "Mo" Biner (his then-fiancée) in a prostitution ring. After hearing of Colodny's work, Liddy issued a revised paperback version of Will supporting Colodny's theory. This theory was subsequently the subject of an A&E Network Investigative Reports series program entitled The Key to Watergate in 1992.
In the preface to his 2006 book, Conservatives Without Conscience, Dean strongly denied Colodny's theory, pointing out that Colodny's chief source (Phillip Mackin Bailley) had been in and out of mental institutions. Dean settled the defamation suit against Colodny and his publisher, St. Martin's Press, on terms which Dean stated in the book's preface he could not divulge under the conditions of the settlement, other than stating that "the Deans were satisfied." The case of Dean vs Liddy was dismissed by the judge "without prejudice." Also in 2006, Dean appeared as an interviewee in the documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon, about the Nixon administration's efforts to keep John Lennon out of the United States.
Dean retired from investment banking in 2000 while continuing to work as an author and lecturer, becoming a columnist for FindLaw's Writ online magazine. He currently resides in Beverly Hills, California.
In 2001, Dean published The Rehnquist Choice: The Untold Story of the Nixon Appointment that Redefined the Supreme Court, an exposé 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, which called for the impeachment of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for allegedly lying to Congress.
His subsequent book, released in summer 2006, is titled Conservatives without Conscience, a play on Barry Goldwater's book The Conscience of a Conservative. In it, he asserts that post-Goldwater conservatism has been co-opted by people with authoritarian personalities and policies, citing data from Bob Altemeyer. According to Dean, modern conservatism, specifically in the Christian Right, embraces obedience, inequality, intolerance, and strong intrusive government, in stark contrast to Goldwater's philosophies and policies. Using Altemeyer's scholarly work, he contends that there is a tendency toward ethically questionable political practices when authoritarians are placed in positions of power, and that the current political situation is dangerously unsound because of it. Dean cites the behavior of key members of the Republican leadership, including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, and Bill Frist, as clear evidence of a relationship between modern right-wing conservatism and this authoritarian approach to governance. He places particular emphasis on the abdication of checks and balances by the Republican Congress, and of the dishonesty of the conservative intellectual class in support of the GOP, as a result of the obedience and arrogance innate to the authoritarian mentality.
After it became known that George W. Bush authorized NSA wiretaps without warrants, Dean asserted that Bush is "the first President to admit to an impeachable offense". On March 31, 2006, Dean testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during hearings on censuring the president over the issue. Senator Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who sponsored the censure resolution, introduced Dean as a "patriot" who put "rule of law above the interests of the president." In his testimony, Dean asserted that Richard Nixon covered up Watergate because he believed it was in the interest of national security. This sparked a sharp debate with Republican South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, who repeatedly asserted that Nixon authorized the break-in at Democratic headquarters. Dean finally replied, "You're showing you don't know that subject very well." Spectators laughed, and soon the senator was "sputtering mad".
Dean's 2007 book Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches is, as he wrote in its introduction, the third volume of an unplanned trilogy. In this latest book, Dean, who has repeatedly described himself as a Goldwater conservative, built on Worse Than Watergate and Conservatives Without Conscience to argue that the Republican Party has gravely damaged all three branches of the federal government in the service of ideological rigidity and with no attention to the public interest or the general good. Dean concludes that conservatism must regenerate itself to remain true to its core ideals of limited government and the rule of law.
In 2008, Dean co-edited Pure Goldwater, a collection of writings by the 1964 Republican presidential nominee and former U.S. Senator from Arizona Barry Goldwater, in part as an act of fealty to the man who defined his political ideals. His co-editor was Goldwater's son Barry Goldwater, Jr.
In the 1979 TV mini-series, Blind Ambition, Dean was played by Martin Sheen. In the 1995 film, Nixon, directed by Oliver Stone, Dean was played by David Hyde Pierce. In the 1999 film Dick, Dean was played by Jim Breuer.
On September 17, 2009, Dean appeared on Countdown with new allegations about Watergate in hand. He stated that he had found information via the Nixon tapes, that showed what the burglars were after: information on a kickback scheme involving the Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida. Dean also asserts that Nixon did not directly order the break-in, but that it was ordered by Ehrlichman on behalf of Nixon.
In 2017, Dean stated that Donald Trump was even worse than Nixon. He said, "It's a nightmare. They don't know what their jeopardy is. They don't know what they're looking at. They don't know if they're a part of a conspiracy that might unfold. They don't know whether to hire lawyers or not, how they're going to pay for them if they do. It's an unpleasant place."
In November 2018, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions' forced resignation on the day after the midterm elections, Dean commented on the removal in colorful terms, saying it "seems to be planned like a murder" and that special counsel Mueller likely has contingency plans, possibly including sealed indictments.
| White House Counsel
Colonel Donald John Dean VC OBE (19 April 1897 – 9 December 1985) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.Fred F. Fielding
Fred Fisher Fielding (born March 21, 1939) is an American lawyer. He held the office of White House Counsel for US Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush in addition to serving as an Associate and Deputy White House Counsel for Richard Nixon under John Dean. Fielding was also of counsel to the presidential transition of Donald Trump.Jack Atchason
John Dean "Jack" Atchason (born November 16, 1936) is a former American football end. He played college football at Western Illinois University, and played professionally in the American Football League in 1960, for the Boston Patriots and the Houston Oilers.Jeff Cooper
John Dean "Jeff" Cooper (May 10, 1920 – September 25, 2006) was a United States Marine, the creator of the "modern technique" of handgun shooting, and an expert on the use and history of small arms.John Dean (cyclist)
John Dean (born 22 December 1947) is a New Zealand former cyclist. He competed at the 1968 Summer Olympics and the 1972 Summer Olympics.John Dean (tenor)
John Dean (September 2, 1897 – March 20, 1990) was an English singer and actor, best known for his performances in the tenor roles of the Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.John Dean Dickinson
John Dean Dickinson (June 28, 1767 – January 28, 1841) was a U.S. Representative from New York.John of Oxford
John of Oxford (died 2 June 1200) was a medieval Bishop of Norwich.
John's father was Henry of Oxford, sheriff of Oxford. He was a royal clerk and represented King Henry II at a diet held in May 1165 at Würzburg that dealt with the issue of the Antipope Paschal III. Some reports held that John supported the antipope on behalf of Henry II, but John denied this charge. Bishop Josceline de Bohon of Salisbury appointed John Dean of Salisbury, but the appointment was overruled by Pope Alexander III on 8 June 1166 because of John's dealings with the antipope and because some of the cathedral chapter were absent from the election. Archbishop Thomas Becket then excommunicated John on 12 June 1166, and both the chapter and the king appealed to the pope, the king sending John to Rome. John then surrendered the office to the pope and was reappointed by the pope before December 1166.John was elected to the see of Norwich on 26 November 1175 and was consecrated on 14 December 1175. He died on 2 June 1200.L. Patrick Gray
Louis Patrick Gray III (July 18, 1916 – July 6, 2005) was Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from May 2, 1972 to April 27, 1973. During this time, the FBI was in charge of the initial investigation into the burglaries that sparked the Watergate scandal, which eventually led to the resignation of President Nixon. Gray was nominated as permanent Director by Nixon on February 15, 1973, but failed to win Senate confirmation. He resigned as Acting FBI director on April 27, 1973, after he admitted to destroying documents received on June 28, 1972, 11 days after the Watergate burglary, that had come from convicted Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt's safe, given to him by White House counsel John Dean.Gray remained publicly silent about the Watergate scandal for 32 years, speaking to the press only once, near the end of his life; this was shortly after Gray's direct subordinate at the FBI, FBI Deputy Director Mark Felt, unexpectedly proclaimed himself to have been the secret source to The Washington Post known as "Deep Throat".Mark Dean (swimmer)
Mark John Dean (born October 13, 1967) is an American former competition swimmer and Pan American Games gold medalist.
Dean represented the United States at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, where he competed in the B Final of the men's 200-meter butterfly event, and finished with the ninth-best time overall (2:00.26). He later won the gold medal in the men's 200-meter butterfly event at the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba.Dean began swimming at the age of 6 and emerged on the international stage under the tutelage of Kansas City Blazers head coach, Pete Malone. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), after competing for coach Ron Ballatore's UCLA Bruins swimming and diving team and earning recognition as an All-American athlete. He attended law school at St. Louis University, and is now a practicing attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. He lives in Chesterfield, Missouri with his wife Mary, with whom he had a son and daughter.Master list of Nixon's political opponents
A master list of Nixon political opponents was compiled to supplement the original Nixon's Enemies List of 20 key people considered opponents of President Richard Nixon. The master list was compiled by Charles Colson's office and sent in memorandum form to John Dean. Dean later provided to the Senate Watergate Committee this updated "master list" of political opponents. The original list split out "Black Congressmen", listing "all of the Black congressmen [and congresswomen]".Nixon's Enemies List
"Nixon's Enemies List" is the informal name of what started as a list of President of the United States Richard Nixon's major political opponents compiled by Charles Colson, written by George T. Bell (assistant to Colson, special counsel to the White House), and sent in memorandum form to John Dean on September 9, 1971. The list was part of a campaign officially known as "Opponents List" and "Political Enemies Project".
The list became public knowledge on June 27, 1973, when Dean mentioned during hearings with the Senate Watergate Committee that a list existed containing those whom the president did not like. Journalist Daniel Schorr, who happened to be on the list, managed to obtain a copy of it later that day.A longer second list was made public by Dean on December 20, 1973, during a hearing with the Congressional Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation.Operation Gemstone
In the context of the Watergate scandal, Operation Gemstone was a proposed series of clandestine or illegal acts, first outlined by G. Gordon Liddy in two separate meetings with three other individuals: then-Attorney General of the United States, John N. Mitchell, then-White House Counsel John Dean, and Jeb Magruder, an ally and former aide to H.R. Haldeman, as well as the temporary head of the Committee to Re-elect the President, pending Mitchell's resignation as Attorney General.
The first meeting occurred in the Attorney General's Washington, D.C., office at 11:00 a.m. on January 27, 1972. Liddy described in great detail both his plan to disrupt the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida, and his plan to prevent any disruption of the upcoming Republican National Convention, then scheduled to take place in San Diego, California. Liddy's proposals would cost approximately $1 million to carry out. Among the various elements of Gemstone were plans to kidnap specific "radical" leaders, and others who might cause trouble at the Republican Convention, and hold them in Mexico until after the Convention was over. According to all four participants of the January 27 meeting, Attorney General Mitchell declared, with some evident sarcasm, "Gordon, that's not quite what I had in mind."
John Dean described his recollections of this meeting to President Nixon on March 21, 1973, during the "Cancer on the Presidency" conversation: "So I came over and Liddy laid out a million dollar plan that was the most incredible thing I have ever laid my eyes on: all in codes, and involved black bag operations, kidnapping, providing prostitutes, uh, to weaken the opposition, bugging, uh, mugging teams. It was just an incredible thing."The second meeting occurred one week later, on February 4, 1972, again at Mitchell's office. The participants of this meeting were the same four men as the first, although John Dean was not present for the entire meeting. Dean himself later testified that he arrived "very late" to the meeting. Liddy, Magruder, and Mitchell all disputed this claim. At the February 4 meeting, Liddy proposed a scaled-down plan that would cost $500,000 to enact. While less ambitious than the January 27 agenda, "Operation Gemstone" still involved several proposed criminal acts, most notably including the use of wiretaps to eavesdrop on telephone conversations involving Democratic party leaders.Beginning in April 1973, as the Watergate scandal began to unravel, Magruder and Dean both gave public and private testimony that was very damaging to John Mitchell. For his part, Liddy remained silent until the publication of his memoir Will in April 1980. However, all four men have publicly stated that the February 4 meeting adjourned without Mitchell having expressed any approval for any of Liddy's plans. More specifically, all four participants have publicly agreed that the break-in of the Democratic National Committee's Watergate offices, generally considered the emblematic crime of the Watergate scandal, did not come up in the meeting.Timeline of the Watergate scandal
Timeline of the Watergate Scandal —Regarding the burglary and illegal wiretapping of the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex by members of President of the United States Richard Nixon's re-election committee and subsequent abuse of powers by the president and administration officials to halt or hinder the investigation into the same.Watergate scandal
The Watergate scandal was a major political scandal that occurred in the United States during the early 1970s, following a break-in by five men at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972, and President Richard Nixon's administration's subsequent attempt to cover up his involvement. After the five burglars were caught and the conspiracy was discovered—chiefly through the work of a few journalists, Congressional staffers and an election-finance watchdog official—Watergate was investigated by the United States Congress. Meanwhile, Nixon's administration resisted its probes, which led to a constitutional crisis.The term Watergate, by metonymy, has come to encompass an array of clandestine and often illegal activities undertaken by members of the Nixon administration. Those activities included such dirty tricks as bugging the offices of political opponents and people of whom Nixon or his officials were suspicious. Nixon and his close aides also ordered investigations of activist groups and political figures, using the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as political weapons.The scandal led to the discovery of multiple abuses of power by members of the Nixon administration, the commencement of an impeachment process against the president, and Nixon's resignation. The scandal also resulted in the indictment of 69 people, with trials or pleas resulting in 48 being found guilty, many of whom were top Nixon officials.The affair began with the arrest of five men for breaking into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex on Saturday, June 17, 1972. The FBI investigated and discovered a connection between cash found on the burglars and a slush fund used by the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP), the official organization of Nixon's campaign. In July 1973, evidence mounted against the president's staff, including testimony provided by former staff members in an investigation conducted by the Senate Watergate Committee. The investigation revealed that Nixon had a tape-recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations.After a series of court battles, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled that the president was obligated to release the tapes to government investigators (United States v. Nixon). The tapes revealed that Nixon had attempted to cover up activities that took place after the break-in, and to use federal officials to deflect the investigation.
Facing virtually certain impeachment in the House of Representatives and equally certain conviction by the Senate, Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974, preventing the House from impeaching him. On September 8, 1974, his successor, Gerald Ford, pardoned him.
The name "Watergate" and the suffix "-gate" have since become synonymous with political and non-political scandals in the United States, and some other parts of the world.White House Counsel
The White House Counsel is a staff appointee of the President of the United States whose role is to advise the President on all legal issues concerning the President and his Administration. Pat Cipollone is the current White House Counsel serving since December 2018.William Gaines (professor)
William C. Gaines (November 1, 1933 – July 20, 2016) was an American journalist and professor of journalism. Gaines was a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune. He retired from the paper in 2001 and taught in the Department of Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign until his retirement and designation as an emeritus faculty member in 2007. He died July 20, 2016 at the age of 82.Writ (website)
Writ is a legal commentary website on the topic of the law of the United States hosted by FindLaw. The website is no longer adding content, having published its last entry in August 2011. Before then, Writ published at least one new column by one of its regular columnists every business day, and frequently posted a second column by a guest columnist. The regular columnists were all notable attorneys. Almost all contributors are law professors; some are former law clerks from the U.S. Supreme Court; some are past or present federal prosecutors; one is a former Counsel to the President; one is a novelist, and one is the current director of the Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program of Human Rights Watch. The guest columnists also tend to be law professors or seasoned attorneys. When the website was still producing new content, columnists commented both on notable ongoing court cases and recent court decisions, as well as on current events.
Writ also published occasional book reviews, on books of both legal and more general interest; the book reviewers were likewise academically inclined attorneys.
Writ is free, and maintains all of its material from its inception in a free archive.
Although Writ is known mainly among legal circles, its columnists tend to be prolific authors who reach a broad audience. Many have published books as well as frequent articles and op-eds in newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, U.S. News & World Report, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Slate. One Writ columnist, Marci Hamilton, was the first guest on The Daily Show in its new studio in 2005; columnist Edward Lazarus also appeared on The Daily Show in 2006.
Writ is available online, but has published just two columns since December 30, 2010.