Who is John Dean?

JOHN Dean was a White House counsel during the Nixon administration and was jailed for his role in the Watergate scandal.

He worked for Nixon between 1970 and 1973 and his involvement in Watergate eventually led to the President's resignation.

Who is John Dean?

Dean Wesley Dean III was born on October 14, 1938, and is best known for his role in the cover up of the Watergate scandal.

He joined the Nixon campaign in 1968 and wrote position papers on crime.

The following year when Nixon clenched the presidency, Dean became associate deputy for the Attorney General.

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In July 1970, he accepted a position to serve as counsel to the president.

Dean played a central role in covering up the Watergate break-in and in March 22, 1973, was tasked with putting together a report with everything he knew about the scandal.

Nixon fired Dean before he could finish his report, which is around the time he gave testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee.

In June 1973, Dean was granted use immunity and in his testimony he implicated administration officials, including the former Attorney General John Mitchell.

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He later wrote a book about the Watergate scandal and travelled the US to talk about it.

He regularly commented on politics and the White House on several media outlets.

Why did John Dean go to prison?

Dean pled guilty to obstruction of justice in a criminal trial in relation to Watergate.

On August 2, 1974, Dean was sentenced to one to four years in a minimum-security prison.

The White House counsel admitted to supervising payments of "hush money" to the Watergate burglars.

He spent his time insafehouse in Fort Holabird in Baltimore, Maryland.

What was the Watergate scandal?

The Watergate scandal refers to a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington and the subsequent chain of events that led to the spectacular resignation of President Richard Nixon.

The scandal began early in the morning of June 17, 1972, when several burglars were arrested in the office of the Democratic National Committee, located in the Watergate complex of buildings in Washington, DC.

The arrests were made at around 2.30am after the group were caught wiretapping phones and stealing documents, and it was later revealed that they were all connected to President Nixon’s re-election campaign.

One of the men was identified as James McCord Jr – the security chief of the Committee to Re-elect the President and it wasn’t his first time in the opposition’s offices.

The others arrested were later identified as identified as Virgilio Gonzalez, Bernard Barker, Eugenio Martínez, and Frank Sturgis

The suspects were found with a series of items, including lock picks, $100 bills with the serial numbers in sequence and a shortwave receiver that could pick up police calls.

Nixon took aggressive steps to cover up the crime, with White House press secretary Ron Ziegler describing the incident as a "third-rate burglary."

In August 1972, Nixon gave a speech in which he swore that White House staffers were not involved in the break-in, winning the public’s confidence and securing him another term in office.

However, a few months later, journalists and congressional investigations began to piece together details of the scandal – details which pointed directly to White House involvement.

It soon emerged that shortly after the break-in Nixon arranged to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in “hush money” to the burglars.

He and his aides then hatched a plan to instruct the CIA to impede the FBI’s investigation of the crime.

This was a more serious crime than the break-in as it was gross abuse of presidential power and a deliberate obstruction of justice.

Around the same time, seven conspirators were indicted on charges related to the Watergate affair, these included the five burglars and former FBI agent G Gordon Liddy and CIA operative and leader of the White House Plumbers, E Howard Hunt.

At the urging of Nixon’s aides, five pleaded guilty to avoid trial; the other two were convicted in January 1973.

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