John Dean

John Dean is a CNN News contributor, analyst and author. He served as Counsel to the President of the United States from July 1970 to April 1973. Before becoming White House counsel at age thirty-one, he was the chief minority counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives, and an associate deputy attorney general at the US Department of Justice.  Dean recounted his days at the Nixon White House and Watergate in three books: Blind Ambition (Open Road reissued 2016), Lost Honor (1982) and The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It (2014), which is currently being developed by Amazon Studios into a feature film entitled “Watergate.”

Among his more recent best-sellers are Conservatives Without Conscience (2006), which explains the authoritarian direction of the conservative movement that resulted in Trump’s election a decade before it happened, and Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches (2008), which addresses the consequences of GOP control of government. Most recently, Dean published his twelfth book, a collaboration entitled, Authoritarian Nightmare: Trump and His Followers (2020).

After retiring from a business career as a private investment banker doing middle-market mergers and acquisitions for two decades, Dean returned to full-time writing and lecturing, including as a columnist for FindLaw’s Writ (from 2000 to 2010) and Justia’s Verdict (since 2010). For the past two decades he has been a visiting scholar and lecturer at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. From 2015 to 2016, he held the Barry Goldwater Chair of American Institutions at Arizona State University. He also teaches continuing legal education (CLE) programs that examine the impact of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct on select historic events from Watergate (and the Trump presidency) with surprising results – see

Dean graduated with degrees in English Literature and Political Science from Colgate University and the College of Wooster. He accepted a graduate fellowship at American University to study government and the presidency before entering Georgetown University Law Center, where he received his JD with honors in 1965.

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