John Dean and the Abuse of Power

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In his most recent book, The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It, John Dean listened to hundreds of hours of never before exposed tapes recorded during Nixon’s time in office. In the interview, Dean discusses the history of presidential recordings and why Nixon’s were ultimately his downfall. He also talks about the difference between Goldwater Republicans, which he considered himself to be, and the current state of the GOP, with a faction he considers uninterested in actually governing.

Scheer and Dean also discuss how presidents have used national security as a justification for violating people’s civil rights, from Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon papers, through the George W. Bush administration into today. A fascinating and surprising interview with a man who has the unique perspective of being first a participant and ultimately a scholar on the Nixon presidency.

Photo: President Richard Nixon and Robert Scheer