The Nation: Dean's Kismet

John Dean almost missed his appointment with history — and his role as Richard Nixon's chief accuser. TIME learned last week that immediately after the 1972 election, Dean looked into a number of private-employment opportunities. He was making $42,500 at the White House and could have substantially increased that in a corporation or large law firm.

One offer seemed particularly attractive, and Dean told John Ehrlichman that he intended to leave the Administration. Ehrlichman advised strongly against it. Gazing into a spectacularly clouded crystal ball, Ehrlichman impressed Dean with the challenges and...