Former Nixon Domestic Council official, Watergate defense lawyer, and author Geoff Shepard presented the fourth Richard Nixon Legacy Forum Monday. Shepard spoke about the conventional wisdom of Watergate, five alternative perspectives on how the controversy unfolded, and the role of former White Counsel John Dean as the orchestrator of the cover-up.
The conventional wisdom is that “Dean was a young lawyer, who got mixed up with bad people,” Shepard said, but Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox “saw Dean’s guilt as one constant.”

When the cover-up collapsed, he conveniently implicated his superiors. His statements to prosecutors were equally misleading, contradictory, and evolved as the case progressed. This exculpatory evidence, however, was never disclosed to the defense.

“Watergate is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” said Shepard, “the key to understanding Watergate is John Dean.”

Watch the full video of “The Mysteries of Watergate” below:

Photo courtesy of William Vasta: Geoff Shepard presents the fourth Richard Nixon Legacy Forum, “The Mysteries of Watergate”