From 1953 to 1954 he served in the Arizona House of Representatives and then went into private practice, which he continued until 1969. During this time he was also a candidate for Governor of Arizona.
He resigned on April 30, 1973 in the midst of the Watergate scandal and returned to private practice. Kleindienst resigned the same day John Dean was fired and H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman quit. He was convicted of a misdemeanor for perjury during his testimony in the Senate during his confirmation hearings. He was fined and given a suspended jail sentence.
Kleindienst died of lung cancer in 2000.
- Kleindienst, Richard, Justice: The Memoirs of Attorney General Richard Kleindienst, 1985.