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June 21, 2001
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May 13, 1974
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Approved For Release 200~Q$/Qft~ift RDP77-00432R000100330'007- --i INTERNAL USE ONLY This publication contains clippings from the domestic and foreign press for YOUR BACKGROUND INFORMATION. Further use of selected items would rarely be advisable. GOVLRNMENTAL AFFAIRS GENERAL WESTERN EUROPE NEAR EAST' FAR EAST WESTERN HEMISPHERE Destroy after backgrounder has served its purpose or within 60 days. Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 "'Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R0001003300.07-4 The President Gambles on Going Public "Never before in the history of the presidency have records that are so pri- vate been made so public. In giving you these records-blemishes and all-I am placing my trust in the basic fairness of the American people. " With those words in his televised ad- dress to the nation last week, Richard Nixon declared the greatest bet of his lifetime of high-risk politics, making a desperate and dangerous wager on his place in history. The stakes were noth- ing less than his survival in office and his ultimate image as a man and as a President. In still another effort "to put Watergate behind us," to show once and for all "that the President has nothing to hide in this matter," he announced that he was making public 1,254 pages of transcribed tape recordings of his per- sonal conversations about the Watergate scandal with his most trusted aides. That was not what had been asked of him. He was acting against the dead- line of a subpoena by the House Judi- ciary Committee, which is weighing his impeachment, for the actual tapes of 42 White House conversations. But he would or could not deliver the tapes, for reasons he did not explain in his speech. (Later the White House said that tapes of eleven of the requested discussions had been lost or never, in fact, existed.) Instead, the President chose to gamble that he could defy the subpoena and go over the heads of the Congressmen to protest his innocence directly to the American people, basing his case on the enormous mass of evidence contained in the 150,000-word transcripts. Best Light. He admitted that the ex- traordinary picture they painted of de- liberations in the inmost sanctity of the White House was in places ambiguous, confusing and contradictory. At various times the President can be found say- ing, as he and his aides tried to cope with the exploding Watergate scandals, such diverse things as "I am being the devil's advocate," "We have to keep the cap on the bottle," and "I say [exple- tive removed] don't hold anything back." He acknowledged that even with the White House's deletions of the ob- scenities, the style and tone of many of his talks with aides "will become the subject of speculation and ridicule." But, he said, "I know in my own heart that, through the long, painful and difficult process revealed in these transcripts, I was trying in that period to discover what was right and to do what was right." The President's speech was followed a day later by a 50-page legal brief by his attorney. James St. Clair. It attempt- ed to argue the best case possible for the President by seeking to discredit the testimony of former White House Coun- sel John Dean against Nixon and by pointing up parts of the transcript that excerpts beginning page 20) shows time show the President in the best light. "In script evidence in three key areas: and again a President torn between try- says, the thousands of words spoken," it When did the President learn of the and the truth come out and then says, "even though they are often un- cover-up?John Dean testified to the Sen- aing to greeing to some fresh device oa and clear and ambiguous. not once does it ate Watergate committee that he in- appear that the President of the U.S. ferred that Nixon was "fully aware" of to avoid just that. His disclosures on was engaged in a criminal plot to ob- the effort to hide White House staff in- April 16 seem to have come only be- struct justice." Approved For Relessenait09t/08WO8ai&JAeR@lrlct`Zi-G0432R000 10-988A60T nspimtors were Damning Evidence. Speaking as an advocate, St. Clair could hardly be expected to read evidence of wrongdo- ing into any Nixonian ambiguities. But many a reader of the transcripts did just that-and saw a record of presidential .transgressions against both the letter and the spirit of the law. That was all the more damning because the conver- sations on which St. Clair had based his brief were selected by Nixon and his staff. The mass of material that they did not hand over or that was found "un- intelligible" by Administration stenog- raphers could hardly have been more helpful to the beleaguered President. The searing reality of the transcripts made the White House campaign an al- most Sisyphean enterprise. By delaying their issuance for half a day so that St. Clair's brief could have an unrivaled cir- culation, the White House won a few hours of suspended judgment. But once the transcripts became available and be- gan to be plumbed, the severity of the President's difficulties soon began to seep across the capital and the rest of the nation. Not many Republicans, who had initially rejoiced at his speech, had the temerity of Vice President Gerald Ford, who proclaimed that the tran- scripts "show the President to be inno- cent." With few exceptions, the press analyses were devastating. By and large, legal and law enforce- ment professionals were aghast at the damning evidence against Nixon. Chi- cago Professor Philip B. Kurland, one of the nation's leading experts on the Constitution and a consultant to the Sen- ate Watergate Committee, said that he found "strong evidence" in the tran- scripts that Nixon was guilty of induc- ing his aides to commit perjury and of obstructing justice-both indictable crimes and therefore impeachable of- fenses by Nixon's own definition. Kur- land added: "I can't find either ambi- guity or any evidence which tends to exonerate him." Dean Michael Sovern of Columbia University Law School looked closely at the transcript for the crucial March 21, 1973, meeting at which, Nixon later said, he learned for the first time that White House aides were deeply enmeshed in Watergate. Sovern concluded: "In context, the tran- script would support a prima facie case for impeachment." One former high Nixon Administration official said bluntly and bitterly that the President's impeachment was now guaranteed, add- ing: "If I were Pete Rodino (Judiciary Committee chairman), I'd say we don't need anything else. I'd say thank you, Mr. President-and adios. " The President in his speech and St. Clair in his brief attempted to defend 1 Nixon in some-but not all-of the most potentially damaging areas of evidence presented in the transcripts. An anal- ysis of their contentions and of the tran- i early as Sept. 15, 1972. Nixon and St. Clair argue that the President learned of the cover-up only on March 21, 1973, when Dean told him. They point out that Dean, after all, himself requested the meeting to lay out for the President all the facts of the cover-up. They cite that in the process of doing so, Dean said: "I can just tell from our conver- sation that these are things you can have no knowledge of." There may well have been many as- pects of the cover-up that Nixon had' no knowledge of until Dean spelled out the chapter and verse on March 21. But the transcripts before indicate he cer- tainly had knowledge that more than just the seven men indicted on Sept. 15 were involved, and that in at least one instance, that of White House Aide Gor- don Strachan, a member of his staff had twice lied to federal investigators in de- nying knowing about the break-in and was prepared to lie again before the Sen- ate Watergate committee. Dean told Nixon of that on March 13, and Nixon agreed that committing the perjury was probably a good idea: "I guess he should have, shouldn't he?" The exchange even led Nixon to wonder whether Strachan might have informed White House Chief of Staff H.R. ("Bob") Haldeman : of the cover-up. On learning of the cover-up, what did the President do? The operation that 'Dean described to the President on March 21 constituted a criminal con- spiracy to obstruct justice. By law, any citizen must report the discovery of a crime at once. In his speech, Nixon as- serted that "after March 21, my actions were directed toward finding the facts and seeing that justice was done fairly and according to the law." But he also admitted that, in trying to decide what to do, he was motivated by more than simple considerations of justice and law. He was concerned for "close advisers, valued friends" who might be involved, the "human impact on ... some of the young people and their families," and "quite frankly," the "political implications." He said: "I wanted to do what was right. But I want- ed to do it to a way that would cause the least unnecessary damage in a high- ly charged political atmosphere to the Administration." However laudatory or understand- able in human terms, those motives might not hold up in a court of law-or an impeachment proceeding. They do not really explain why, having learned of evident crimes from Dean on March 21, it was not until April 16 that Nixon finally discussed with his Attorney Gen- eral his knowledge of probable crimes I by White House aides. That conversa- tion was. initiated by Richard Klein- dienst, then Attorney General. More- over, the evidence of the transcripts (see Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 talking to the Watergate prosecutors. Clearly, the cover-up was going to be ex- ploded with or without his acting. When he learned that Jeb Stuart Magruder, deputy director of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, had gone to the prosecutors and changed his ear- lier perjured story, Nixon asked almost pathetically: "What got Magruder to talk? I want to take the credit for that." Did Nixon order the payment of hush i to E. Howard Hunt? One of the reasons that Dean laid out the cover-up for Nixon on March 21 was that at least one of the jailed Watergate seven was es- calating his money demand for keeping' silent. The immediate problem was a fresh request for $120,000 by Hunt, the CIA alumnus and White House consul- tant who had pleaded guilty to break-in and bugging charges. Dean did not know how to meet the urgent request. Hunt as threatening to tell about some of his pre-Watergate clandestine activities for the White House. including the bur- glary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist. (Ellsberg was the man who released the secret Pentagon papers on the Viet Nam War.) Authorizing or pay- ing such money is, of course, a crime. In his speech, Nixon said: "1 re- turned several times to the immediate problem posed by Mr. Hunt's blackmail threat, which to me was not a Water- gate problem but one which I regarded, rightly or wrongly, as a potential na- tional security problem of very serious proportions." Little Choice. "I considered long and hard whether it might in fact be bet- ter to let it go forward, at least tem- porarily, in the hope that this national security matter would not be exposed in the course of uncovering the Water- gate cover-up. I believed then and I be- lieve today. that I had a responsibility as President to consider every option, in- cluding this one, where protection of sensitive national security matters was at stake. "In the course of considering it and of just thinking out ivud, cs i put it at one point. I several times suggested that meeting Hunt's demands might be nec- e,,sary ... (but) my conclusion at the end of the meeting was clear. And my ac- tions and reactions ... show clearly that I did not intend the further payment to Hunt or anyone else be made," The evidence in the transcripts seems (at less ambiguous than the Pres- ident has suggested. The last time the President raises the Hunt money prob- lem, he says: "That's why for your im- mediate things you have no choice but to come up with the 5120.000, or what- ever it is. Right?" Dean replies: "That's right." And Nixon says: "Would you n ,cree that that's the prime thing that .ou damn well better get that done?" lo which Dean says: "Obviously he ought to be given some signal anyway." And the President says: "(Expletive de- letedi Get it." That same night, according to a Wa- tergate ;rand jury. Hunt was given 575,- 000, and in the subsequent discussions in the White House all anxiety about Hunt's blackmail vanished. The subject did not come up again until much later. when the cover-up was collapsing. Given the enormous hazards for Nixon in the transcripts, it seemed baf- fling that he released them at all. He may have felt that he had little choice. Having resolved not to turn over the tapes to the Judiciary Committee, he had to make some extraordinary ges- ture to avoid almost certain impeach- ment for defying Congress. He pondered the move all the previous weekend in the privacy of Camp David. Then, Sun- day afternoon, he learlled that forriier Attorney General John Mitchell and former Secretary of Commerce Maurice Stans had been acquitted in New York City of charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. The welcome news may have convinced Nixon that at last things were looking up. That same weekend he decided to release the transcripts. According to aides, he reasoned that the move would end the spiraling de- mands of the committee-as well as those of Special Watergate Prosecutor Leon Jaworski-for more tapes. Ex- plained one presidential adviser: "We felt a growing concern that it was be- coming a test of manhood between the two branches. We decided this might be a way to defuse that feeling." In addi- tion, aides reported, the President saw disclosure as a way of repairing his dam- aged credibility. Said St. Clair: "People were getting more and more imbued with the idea that the President had something to hide." Touchdown Cheers. Nixon had al- ready spent many hours reviewing the transcripts, which a staff of secretaries and lawyers, headed by White House Special Counsel J. Fred Buzhardt, had been painstakingly preparing since mid- March. After the secretaries transcribed each tape, it was gone over by Buzhardt and his assistants, who marked proposed deletions of irrelevancies, national secu- rity matters and profanity. But the final editor was Nixon. "As far as I know," Buzhardt said, "he read the entire pack- age, and he had the final say on it all." About three dozen passages were 1Ilalk d "Malellal 1101 related to pres- idential actions deleted." Buzhardt ex- plained: "These were sections that had no relation to what he did or knew. Oth- er people came into the room. He was in- terrupted by a telephone call. Other top- ics were discussed." At first-before what was in the transcripts became widely known-the Nixon counteroffensive brought joy to the Republicans. Supporters looked on the offer of transcripts as the evidence of innocence they had been begaine the Presidentt for months to release. Wash- ington Governor Dan Evans said that he felt "like a football fan cheering on the home team. I think the President threw a touchdown pass." The Rich- mond (Va.) News Leser exulted: "This is an immensely happy development. For the first time, those who want to sup- port the President-those who have clung to vestiges of hope that he was not involved-have something tangible." There was much negative reaction as well, centered mostly on the fact that the President was not obeying the law by complying fully with the subpoena. The Gallup poll surveyed some 700 adults by telephone following Nixon's speech and found,that it had left 17% with a more favorable opinion of Nix- on but 42% with a less favorable view. By 44% to 41%, those interviewed said that they thought there was now enough evidence for the House to impeach the President, though by 49% to 38% they said Nixon's actions were not serious enough to justify the Senate's removing him from office. A survey conducted ear- lier for TIME by Daniel Yankelovich, Inc., found that 55% of Americans want- ed Nixon to resign or be impeached. up from 39% in November (see story page 19). Members of the House Judiciary Committee agreed that Nix- on had not satisfactorily met the terms of their subpoena. They also resented the fact that he had replied to it with a public speech. Democrat John F. Seiberling of Ohio complained: "To respond. to a lawful subpoena by gong on television was not a de- cent thing to do." But the committee members split over what their reaction' should be. Republicans urged' another attempt at negotia- i tion. Michigan Congressman Edward Hutchinson, the committee's ranking Repub- lican, argued: "In our system of government, it was never contemplated that the sepa- rate branches. should con- front each other. It should be avoided at all costs." A few Democratic liberals wanted Nixon cited for contempt of Congress. Chairman Rodino, how- ever, wanted to avoid the question of contempt to keep the committee from splitting ir- revocably on partisan grounds. In a rare night session, he persuaded the members to approve a letter that mild- ly chastised the President by advising him that his delivery of edited tran- scripts instead of tapes "failed to com- ply" with the committee's subpoena. Even on that relatively innocuous re- joinder, the committee split 20-18, by party (although two Democrats and one Republican crossed party lines). But Ro- dino had succeeded in keeping the com- mittee from being diverted from the hearings on Nixon's impeachment that it will open this week. Dropped Words. The first few ses- sions, in which the committee staff will summarize the evidence it has collected, will be closed. But, partly in anger at Nixon's use of television, the committee voted unanimously to allow the rest of the hearings, which are expected to last about six weeks, to be televised. In ad- dition, the committee granted Lawyer St. Clair the right to question and call witnesses. Mindful of his reputation as a brilliant courtroom tactician, the com- mittee also granted Rodino stringent powers to shut off St. Clair if necessary to stop him from obstructing the pro- ceedings or filibustering. During the meeting, Committee Counsel John Doar disclosed that some of the transcripts released by Nixon "are not accurate," though they were appar- ently not intentionally altered. He ex- plained that the committee staff had made transcripts of the seven tapes that had been given to it by Special Pros- ecutor Jaworski. When comparing them with the White House documents, they found that the Administration's tran- Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-WP77-00432R000100330007-4 `'Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 ?? scribers had dropped out certain words and identified as "unintelligible" some segments that the committee staff found intelligible. Doar blamed other differ- ences on the White House's inferior, playback equipment and inattention by the people who operated it. Jaworski's staff found similar discrepancies be- tween tapes and transcripts. Indeed, so many notations of "un- intelligible" occur at critical points on the transcripts that suspicions inevitably arose that some of the missing portions were intentionally left out. For exam- ple, in discussing the possibility of of- fering clemency to Howard Hunt, Nixon apparently had a precedent in mind, but the transcript for that meet- ing on March 21. 1973, quotes the Pres- ident as telling Dean: "The only thing we could do with him would be to pa- role him like the [unintelligible] situa- tion." Again, the transcript for an April 17. 1973. meeting has Nixon saying to Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Ron- ald Ziegler: "Damn it, John Dean's highly sensitive information was on only one count. Believe me guys, we all know -well-the [unintelligible] stuff regard- ing Bob." ("Bob" is Haldeman.) The gaps and discrepancies were one reason why investigators insisted that they needed the tapes. Only a study by experts of the tapes themselves can set to rest any suspicions that they have .been cut, erased or otherwise violated. There were other reasons as well. Ex- plained one expert who has heard the tapes that are in the Special Prosecutor's possession: "The tapes themselves give the mood, the anxiety, the attitudes. Some of them reflect people banging on the tables, moving from here to there, raising voices. On that March 21 tape, Dean sounds as if he's pleading with the President. That doesn't come through at all on the transcript." Once out, several newspapers pub- lished all the transcripts; most others ran extensive excerpts (see THE PRESS). Broadcast journalists read lengthy pas- sages. The transcripts, sold by the Gov- ernment Printing Office at $12.25 a copy, moved briskly. In Washington, the GPO at first had only 792 copies, which it sold in less than four hours, but thou- sands more were being printed. In ad- dition, three publishers planned to have paperback books containing the com- plete transcripts on'sale this week. The initial favorable reaction to Nixon's gambit quickly dissipated as the transcripts became available. A case in point was the Los Angeles Times. On Tuesday morning, it felt that Nixon had "taken a giant step toward resolving the controversy over his relationship to the Watergate crimes." By Thursday, its ed- itors had studied the transcripts and found that "the President and his chief aides seem. time and again, more con- cerned with self-serving manipulation and control of evidence than with the open and full pursuit of justice " Changed Mood. There was a sim- ilar evolution of opinion among Con- gressmen, particularly Republicans. On Tuesday, they lined up to praise Nixon from the floor of the House. After a day of reading, however, the Republican mood began to change. As Democratic Leader Thomas P. ("Tip") O'Neill of Massachusetts noted, on Wednesday "not one man took the floor" to laud Nixon. In fact, many Republicans were Approved profoundly shaken by what they learned. Conservative Republican Con- gressman H.R. Gross of Iowa concluded that the documents "do prove conclu- sively that Mr. Nixon made many mis- leading statements to the American peo- ple on his knowledge of the Watergate cover-up." Gross also found "an amaz- ing lack of ethical sensitivity in the of- fice of the presidency." Similarly, Re- publican Senator Robert W. Packwood of Oregon said that he considered Nix- on's view of Government -'rather fright- ening" because "there are not even any token cliches about what is good for the people." Senator Robert Dole of Kan- sas, former head of the Republican Na- tional Committee, was asked by a re- porter if he would want the President in his state during his campaign for re- election. Replied Dole: "Sure. Let him fly over any time." On the Democratic side, Party Chairman Robert S. Strauss said: "I've seen just about everything. But this read- ing of these tapes has upset me more than anything else in my life. I told my wife over the third martini last night, I'm embarrassed to have our kids read this and think it's part of the life I'm in." Democratic Congressman Morris K. Udall of Arizona made a pitch for politicians in general, saying: "They de- serve better than to be branded with the cynical iron that has marked the bur- glars, buggers and influence peddlers of this Administration." Both Nixon and St. Clair regarded the transcripts as seriously compromis- ing John Dean, the President's chief ac- cuser at the Senate Watergate Commit-' tee hearings. Earlier, White House aides had welcomed the not guilty verdicts for Mitchell and Stans as evidence that Dean was no longer credible. Dean was one of 59 witnesses at the trial of the for- mer Cabinet members. Both had been charged with nine counts of perjury, ob- struction of iusiice and conspiracy to hinder an investigation of Financier Robert Vesco s tangled affairs in ex- change for a secret $200.000 cash con- s:....... rut tite jury found iiicm uvi guiiiy on all counts. Dean Under Fire. Some jurors found Dean to be an impressive witness during his testimony, which bore on three of the perjur}'" counts against Mitchell. But they were put off by his ad- mission that he was awaiting sentencing for his confession of guilt on conspiracy to obstruct justice in the Watergate cov- er-up. Moreover, they were unsettled by the fact that he admitted under cross-ex- amination that he hoped his perfor- mance at the Mitchell-Stans trial would be noted by the judge who would mete out his punishment. Clarence Brown, a postal employee, expressed his fellow ju- rors' feelings: "I liked John Dean. I t didn't fully believe him. though. He was a man tryinZ to save his own skin." Both Nixon in his TV address and St. Clair in his brief took dead aim at Dean, attempting to discredit him. As the ,,,.e1 vent on the White i-tn having put together what in the tran scripts is called a "PR team," increased the firing on Dean. Administration aides prepared a summary of contradictions in his statements and gave it to South Carolina Republican Senator Strom Thurmond, who had it published in the gone largely unnoticed, Communica. tions Director Ken Clawson gave an- other detailed list of the alleged Dean contradictions to the press. At the same time, Press Secretary Ziegler declared: "Anyone who says the transcripts sup- port John Dean hasn't worked at his reading or is looking at it with a totally partisan or biased eye." The White House assault made no, mention of the fact that Dean's testi-: mony was corroborated, in most re- spects, by other witnesses. A close com- parison of his testimony with the i President's transcripts showed that while he was self-serving before the Wa- tergate Committee, he was remarkably accurate. His occasional errors were, rel- atively minor and can perhaps be ex- plained by the Administration's refusal to let him have access to his White House files in preparing his testimony. Both Committee Chairman Sam Ervin and Vice Chairman Howard Baker, a Republican, said that they have faith in Dean's credibility. Special Prosecutor Jaworski continues to count Dean a key witness in the Watergate trials. In a way, the White House blitz on Dean seemed either a diversionary tactic or mere vin- dictiveness. Now that the evidence of the tapes is available, Dean's testimony is far less vital or relevant. Court Battle? Nixon's decision, in another transcript phrase, to "store- wall" his opposition, also applied to Ja- worski's subpoena of tapes. Lawyer St. Clair presented a brief to Federal Judge John J. Sirica, arguing that Jaworski's subpoena for 64 additional tapes should be quashed because he had not shown that the material was relevant to the tri- al of the seven Nixon associates charged in the cover-up.* St. Clair also argued that all portions of the subpoenaed ma- terials that had not been made public were protected by Executive privilege and could be kept confidential by the President. Sirica scheduled a hearing on the argument for this Wednesday. Aides to both Nixon and Jaworski said that they were willing to carry the fight to the Supreme Court, thus raising the prospect of another lengthy court battle reminiscent of the one the White House lost last fall. That fight led to Nixon's fir- ing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox and the resignations of Attorney Gen- eral Elliot Richardson and his assistant William Ruckelshaus. As a further part of the Nixon strat- egy, General Alexander M. Haig Jr., the White House chief of staff, refused to an- swer questions before the Senate Wa- tergate committee last week. He pre- sented a letter from Nixon ordering him not to testify on grounds that it would be "wholly inappropriate for the com- mittee to examine you about your ac- tivities as chief of staff." The White House also gave no sign that it would comply with the Judiciary Committee's request for tapes of 142 ad- ditional conversations between Nixon and aides. The tapes bear on the Wa- tergate cover-up, the Administration's 1971 decision to increase milk-price sup- ports and its antitrust settlement with ITT that year. St. Clair urged the com- mittee to study the transcripts before de- manding more evidence. He declined to say how the White House would respond if the committee pressed on. At week's end Nixon took to the road to sell his side of the transcript sto- For Rele$seti2Oi)t1QS1(fl& wGV6 "t7r7-111 i432ROA1O33i0OQZtr.4Kenneth Parkinson and Gordon Strachan. Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 ry to the public. His first stop was Phoe- nix, Ariz., where his audience of 13,000' at a Republican fund raiser was mostly friendly. But shouts of "Hail to the thief?" and rhythmic clapping from a handful of hecklers in the balcony rat- tled Nixon. His voice quavered, his hands tightly gripped the flower-be-' decked lectern, and he occasionally mis- pronounced words. Still, cheers drowned out the boos when he said that he had furnished "all the relevant evidence" Water to behind us" t on, one man whose reputation was par- ticularly damaged by the transcripts was Assistant Attorney General Henry Pe- tersen. Nixon picked him to run the in- vestigation into the cover-up in April 1973 when Richard Kleindienst re- moved himself from the case because of his close ties to John Mitchell. Peter- sen's gravel-voiced testimony before the Ervin committee last summer was con- sidered by many to be a virtuoso dis- play of candor and integrity. The tran- scripts, however, reveal that Petersen was callously manipulated by the Pres- ident, who even went so far as to boast to Ehrlichman and Ziegler, "I've got Pe- tersen on a short leash." Perhaps from an excess of loyalty, zeal and awe of the presidency, Peter- sen appeared eager to give the White House every break he could. He was used to undermine his own investigation. On March 21, Nixon asked John Dean why the Assistant Attorney General had "played the game so straight with us." Said Dean: "Petersen is a soldier. T41 kept me informed. He told me when we had problems, where we had problems and the like. I don't think he has done hui _iet!to ma k.- ct.rN that the investigation was narrowed down to the very, very fine criminal thing, which was a break for us." Even with the hundreds of "inau- dible" and excised passages, the tran- scripts provided an exQ,raordinary look at Nixon in private. His conversations were often bizarre, involving hours of foggy and imprecise musing. Instead of .a tough, calculating, incisive Nixon, the transcripts revealed a lonely, aloof Pres- ident who could not remember dates, could not recall Watergate Conspirator E. Howard Hunt's name, and who for- got that another of the convicted con- spirators, G. Gordon Liddy, was in pris- on. In the transcripts, Nixon made few decisions, issued few orders and almost never exhibited the-quick, encyclopedic mind that associates claim he has. From time to time the President did exhibit odd grace notes. He expressed deeply felt concern for Hunt, whose wife Dorothy was killed in a plane crash in Chicago. He worried about "poor Bob- Haldeman, who was "totally selfless and honest and decent" but because of Wa- ter-gate was "going through the tortures of the damned." There were even at- tempts at humor, albeit rather heavy- handed. For example, Nixon joined in the merriment on March 22, 1973, when Haldeman joked that "John says he is sorry he sent those burglars in there" and that he was glad "the others didn't get caught." "Yeah," said Nixon, "the ones he sent to Muskie and all the rest; Jackson: and Hubert, etc." For the most part, however, Nixon came across in the transcripts as a coarse and cynical President, chiefly bent on manipulating associates and plotting strategies to keep himself isolated and insulated from Watergate. The, tran- scripts showed a President creating an environment of deceit and dishonesty, of evasion and cover-up. In public, Nix- on was pictured as detached, too busy with affairs of state to probe Watergate. In private, the transcripts showed that he wanted to know every detail of the scandal's effect on the press and public. Stratagems were 'devised; "scenarios" were roughed out and rehearsed. An- swers were shaped for questions sure to needed to ge 5- and promised "to stay on this job." On ably puffed on his pipe and said, 'Go Saturday, Nixon opened Expo '74 in ahead,' and never really reflected on u n bet " Spokane, Wash., where he was wet= conned with a few impeachment signs. Of the eleven additional presidential conversations subpoenaed by the com- mittee, White House aides claimed that the tapes of those exchanges, which all took place in 1973, either were missing or were not made through failures in the recording equipment. Thus there are no accounts of - A Feb. 20 meeting with Halde- man to discuss finding a suitable job for Jeb Stuart Magruder, the former dep- uty director of Nixon's re-election cam- paign committee. Magruder had made clear to Haldeman that he wanted a high Government job in recognition of his ef- forts for Nixon. - A Feb. 27 session with Haldeman and Ehrlichman concerning the need for Dean to report directly to Nixon, rath- er than through them, on matters re- lating to Watergate. In the ensuing six weeks, Dean met with the President more than 70 times. - An April 15 telephone conversa- tion with then-Attorney General Rich- ard Kleindienst in which they discussed Watergate problems. - Four meetings on April 15, when the White House cover-up on Watergate was clearly crumbling. The meetings were with Ehrlichman, Dean, Klein- dienst and Assistant Attorney General Henry Petersen, who was then heading the investigation into the break-in at the Democratic National Committee offic- es. The White House says that the tape ran out in midafternoon of April 15. - Three meetings on April 16 with Haldeman and Ehrlichman to discuss their resignations and Dean's request for immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony about Watergate before the grand jury. - An April 18 phone conversation with Petersen in which Nixon report- edly told him to stay out of the inves- tigation of the break-in at the offices of Ellsberg's psychiatrist because it in- volved national security. The transcripts that the White House provided offer fresh details about the origin of the plan to bug the Dem- ocratic national headquarters, as well as precisely what the undercover team was after. At their March 21, 1973 meeting, Dean told Nixon that the operation orig- inated with an order from Haldeman to "set up a perfectly legitimate cam- puign intelligence operation" within the Nixon re-election committee. In Janu- ary 1972, White House "Plumber" G. Go; Lion Liddy came up with an incred- ible scheme that he said would cost Si million. According to Dean, it involved ' Mack-hag operations, kidnaping, pro- viding prostitutes to weaken the oppo- Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 John Mitchell, then Attorney General, who was later to head the re-election campaign. But in February, Dean said, Strachan began stepping up efforts "to get some information." Dean said that he believed Haldeman. who was Strachan's boss, had assumed that Lid- dy's operation was "proper." In any case, Dean cairn. leb Ma grader t..r,k Strnchan's meccag "ac a signal to nrnh- ably go to Mitchell and to say. They are pushing us like crazy for this from. the White House.' And so Mitchell prob- what nt was a a Dean told Nixon that the bugging team "might have been looking for in- forr; ation about tha Democratic con- ventions." Liddy had earlier informed him that there was a plan-never car- ried out-to bug Democratic Chairman Lawrence O'Brien's hotel suite in Mi- ami. The Liddy operation was a failure from the beginning. The team first tapped the telephone of Democratic Committee Official R. Spencer Oliver. Elrlichman told Nixon on April 14, 1973. that "what they were getting was roostiy this fellow Oliver phoning his girl friends all over the country, lining up as- signations." Ehrlichman said that "Liddy was badly embarrassed by the chewing out he got" from 'Mitchell for providing such weak "itilc1hgence and promised: "Nir. Mitchell, 1 11 take care of it.'. Ehrlichman added: The next break-in was entirely on Liddy's own notion." During that operation on June 17, the bugging team got caught. The transcripts provided new in- sights into Nixon's former top associates and his working relationships with them. Some of the revelations: JOHN DEAN. Before the Senate Wa- tergate committee, he seemed to be only a minor functionary, a modest clerk. Now he emerges as having played a key White House role, first in making sure the cover-up held through the election, then in advising Nixon on how to cope as it fell apart in early 1973. JOHN EHRLICHMAN. Always consid- ered one of the staff heavyweights. he often demonstrates a better I-rception of the law than the President. Early on. as the Watergate revelations began to threaten the White House itself, he of- fered Nixon the best advice of all. Be suggested that the Administration take the "hang-out road" and tell the truth about is role in the brook--in and cover- up, letting the chit--and men-fall where they might. H.R. ("BOB") HALDEMAN. The most formidable guardian of Nixon's Oval Office, the chief of staff was considered the most powerful man in the White House after Nixon. Indeed, it appears that in private he often dominated the President, as well as the rest of the staff. JOHN Mi1CHELL. He was one of Nix- on's closest friends and political confi- dants. But the President was willing to let Mitchell take the rap for overseeing Watergate, drawing the heat away from the White House-if a way could be found to get him to agree. The disclo- sure bore out Martha Mitchell's cele- brated telephone call on March 31. 1973, which seemed wildly improbable at the time. She complained to a report- er: "I think this Administration has turned completely against my husband." Liddy's plans were twice vetoed by Among those who surrounded Nix- "Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 be asked. For the Record. Nixon's aides sometimes included imaginary press re- action as part of their scenarios. On April 14, 1973, Ehrlichman sketched what he thought might be "the news- magazine story for next Monday" if he were to present Nixon with a report naming John Mitchell and Jeb Stuart Magruder as ringleaders in the Water- gate break-in. Ehrlichman suggested that the story might say: "The President . then dispatched so and so to do this and that ... Charges of cover-up by the White House were materially dispelled by the diligent efforts of the President and his aides." The story obviously pleased Nixon. "I'll buy that." he said. At times, Nixon sounded in the tran- scripts like a man speaking for the taped record, rather than spontaneously. Dur- ing a discussion on April 14, 1973, with Haldeman and Ehrlichman, Nixon said of the Watergate cover-up: "Well, I knew it. I knew it. I must say, though, I didn't know it, but I must have assumed it though." On April 16, 1973, in the middle of a period in which Nixon and his top aides were concocting "scenar- ios" to isolate the President from Wa- tergate, he told Dean: "John, tell the truth. That is the thing I've told every- body around here." A day later, the President and Haldeman were trying to recollect what happened when Dean told Nixon that Hunt. was demanding hush mney. Nixon.' oI didn't tell him to get the money, did I? Haldeman: No. Nixon: You didn't either did you? Haldeman: Absolutely not! In one of the many war games and scenarios on how to handle the deteri- orating situation, Attorney General Richard Kleindienst on April 15, 1973, advised Nixon: "One aspect of this thing which you can always take and that is, as the President of the United States, your job is to enforce the law." Wheth- er as a public relations tactic, as Ni,:.on and his men seemed to view most things, or as his sworn duty, it was surely ad- vice that he ought to have taken. ho% Mont Critical NWOR AcomAr-erscal The portions of the transcripts that appear to bear most directly on the President's guilt or innocence are excerpted in chronological order. with comment and annotation, on these and the following pages. As Nixon said. many of these words are ambiguous, but many of them are less so than the White House has tried to depict them. [low they are judged by the Congress and the American people may well determine Nixon's survival in office. The White House tran- scripts. often unpunctuated and containing spelling and other errors. are reproduced here as they v,ere issued, in a distinctive typeface for ready recognition. Where a part of a spoken sentence has been omit- ted for space reasons, the omission is indicated by three dots .. . and where whole sequences of dialogue have been deleted for compres- sion purposes. the gap is indicated by a square ^. SEPTEMBER 15, 1972, 5:27 P.M. The Oval Office. Present: the President (P), H.R. Haldeman (H) and John Dean (D). In the morning, a federal grand jury had indicted the five Watergate burglars along with Nixon Re-Elec- tion Committee Lawyer G. Gordon Liddy and White House Consultant E. Howard Hunt Jr. P: Hi, how are you? You had quite a dry today didn't you. You got Watergate on the way didn't you? D: We tried. H: How did it oil end up? D: Ah, I think we can say well at this point. The press is playing it just as we expect. H: Whitewash? D: No, not yet-the story right now- P: It is a big story. H: Five indicted plus the WH former guy and all that. D: Plus two White House fellows [Liddy and Hunt]. H: That is good, that takes the edge off whitewash really, that was the thing Mitchell kept saying that to =~.+_!c a: ,. 'hc Cv y _:;.ntry `idd a d " -' -1- . .vu~r' un wF.e Mn ' be that is scar. P: Just remember, all the trouble we're taking, we'll have a chance to get back one day ... The talk is interrupted by a call to the President from John Mitchell in New York. Nixon tells his for- mer Attorney General that "this thing is just one of those side issues and a month later everybody looks back and i n d^ what all the shooting was about." Then the discussion resumes. D: Three months ago I would have had trouble pre- dicting there would be a day when this would be for- gotten, but I think I can say that 54 days from now [Election Day], nothing is going to come crashing down to our surprise. This assurance contrasts with Dean's later testimo- ny before the Senate Watergate committee when he said that he had warned the President at the Sept. 15 meeting that "there was a long way to go before this mat- ter would end." lot of this stuff that went on. And the people who worked this way are awfully embarrassed. But the way you, have handled all this seems to me has been very skillful' putting your fingers in the leaks that have sprung here! and there ... It is one of the "ambiguities" that could be mis construed. Dean has testified that he assumed that Nixon was congratulating him on succeeding in "con- taining" the case to the seven through the illegal cover-up. P: We are all in it together. This is a war. We take a few shots and it will be over. Don't worry. I wouldn't want to be on the other side right now. Would you? D: Along that line, one of the things I've tried to do, I have begun to keep notes on a lot of people who are emerging as less than our friends because this will be over some day and we shouldn't forget the way some of them have treated us. P: I want the most comprehensive notes on all those who tried to do us in. They didn't have to do it. They are asking for it and they are going to get it. We have not used the power in this first four years as you know. We have not used the Bureau [FBI]. and we have not used Justice, but things are going to change now. And they are either going to do it right or go. D: Vv hat an exciting prospect. P: Thanks. It has to be done ... They discuss how to head off pending hearings by the House Banking and Currency Committee on im- proper campaign practices. The President agrees that "heat" should be put on Speaker of the House Carl Al- bert. "The hearings, in fact, were called off. P: You really can't sit and worry about it all the time. The worst may happen but it may not. So you just try to button it up as well as you can and hope for the best, and remember basically the damn business is un- fortunately trying to cut our losses. D: Certainly that is right and certainly it has had no effect on you. That's the good thing. H: No, it has been kept away from the White House and of course completely from the President. The only tic to tha Wh1*c House is the `-1_- R 1 u..+uri ~:rl Gi 1 i!1Cy !~CC~ Try- ing to pull in [,Charles Colson. farmer special counsel to Nixon]. D: And, of course, the two White House people of lower level-indicted ... That is not much of a tie. FEBRUARY 28,1973,9:12 A. M. The Oval Office. Present: the President and Dean. By late January, the Watergate seven had either pleaded guilty or been convicted. At the end of the trial, Judge John Sirica had warned that he was not sat- isfied that all the guilty persons had been brought to jus- tice. In early February, the Senate voted to set up the Watergate committee to investigate 1972 presidential campaign practices. L. Patrick Gray was making his first appearance before the Senate Judiciary Commit. P: Oh well, this is a can of worms as you know a Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 tee, which was holding hearings for his confirmation as permanent FBI director. The President is concerned about the leaks on Watergate froi the FBI. P: The Bureau is leaking like a sieve to Baker [Sen- ator Howard Baker, vice chairman of the Senate Wa- tergate committee]. It isn't coming from Henry Petersen [chief of the Criminal Division of the Justice Depart- ment] is it? D: No. I would just not believe that. The problem of the sentencing of the Watergate con- spirators comes up. P: You know when they talk about a 35-year sen- tence, here is something to think about. There were no weapons! Right? There were no injuries! Right? There was no success! Why does that sort of thing happen? It is just ridiculous! [Characterization deleted) P: Well, you con follow these characters to their Gethsemane. I feel for those poor guys in jail, partic- ularly for Hunt with his wife dead. [She had been killed in a plane crash while delivering $10,000 in hush mon- ey for Watergate defendants.] D: Well, there is every indication they are hanging in tough right now. P: What the hell do they expect though? Do they ex- pect clemency in a reasonable time? What would you advise on that? D: I think it is one of those things we will have to watch very closely. P: You couldn't do it, say, in six months. D: No ... This thing may become ... a vendetta. This judge ?[Sirical may go off the deep end in sentencing. Nixon declares that the people most disturbed about Watergate are "the [adjective deleted]" Republicans, who are "highly moral. The Democrats are just sort of saying [expletive deleted] fun and games." Dean men- tions Donald Segretti, practitioner of dirty tricks on be- half of Nixon's campaign. P: [Expletive deleted] He was such a dumb figure, I don't see how our boys could have gone for him. But nev- ertheless, they did. It was really juvenile! But, never- theless, what the hell did he do? Shouldn't we be trying? to get intelligence? Weren't they? ... D: Absolutely! P: Don't you try to disrupt their meetings? Didn't they try to disrupt ours? [Expletive deleted] They threw rocks, ran demonstrations, shouted, cut the sound sys- tem, and let the tear gas in at night. Dean continues to assure the President that Water- gate is not getting out of control. D: I had thought it was an impossible task to hold to- gether ... but we have mode it thus for, and I am con- vinced we are going to make it the whole road and put this thing in the funny pages of the history books rather than anything serious because actually- P: It will be somewhat serious but the main thing, of course, is also the isolation of the President. D: Absolutely! Totally true! P: [Expletive deleted] Of course, I am not dumb and I will never forget when I heard about this [ad- jective deleted] forced entry and bugging. I thought, what in the hell is this? What is the matter with these peo- ple? Are they crazy? A prank! But it wasn't! It wasn't very funny. I think our Democratic friends know that, too. They know what the hell it was ... They don't think I would be involved in such stuff ... They think I have people capable of it. And they are correct, in that Col- son would do anything. The President worries that John Mitchell might be in trouble if he is called upon to testify before the Wa- tergate committee. P: Mitchell won't allow himself to be ruined. He will put on his big stone face. But I hope he does and he will. There is no question what they are after. What the committee is after somebody at the White House ... Hal- demon or Colson, Ehrlichman. D: Or possibly, Dean. You know, I am a small fish. P: Anybody at the White House they would-but in your case I think they realize you are the lawyer and they know you didn't have a [adjective deleted] thing to do with the campaign. MARCH 13,1973,12:42 P.M. The Oval Office. Present: the President, Haldeman and Dean. In the second week of his confirmation hearings,. Gray has revealed that be regularly gave Dean FBI re- ports on the Watergate burglary investigation. Nixon has just issued a statement prohibiting any of his White House aides, past or present, from appearing before the Watergate committee on grounds of Executive priv- ilege. In the discussion he makes clear that informa- tion is to be given the committee, but only on his terms. P: My feeling, John, is that I better hit it now rath- er than just let it build up where we are afraid of these questions and everybody, .. D: These questions are just not going to go away. Now the other thing we have talked about in the past, and I still have the some problem, is to have a "here it all is" approach. If we do that ... P: And let it all hang out. D: And let it all hang out. Let's with a Segretti-etc.' P: We have passed that point. D: Plus the fact, they are not going to believe the truth! That is the incredible thing! P: They hope one will say one day, 'Haldeman did it,' and one day one will say I did it. They might ques- tion his political savvy, but not mine! Not on a matter like that! Nixon says he noticed in his news summary -that there is a crisis of confidence in the President. D: I think it will pass ... I don't think that the thing will get out of hand ... P: Oh yes, there would be new revelations. D: They would want to And out who knew ... P: Is there a higher up? D: Is there a higher up? .. . P: I think they are really after Haldeman. D: Haldeman and Mitchell. P: Colson is not big enough name for them ... P: In any event, Haldeman's problem is Chapin isn't it? [Dwight Chapin, Nixon's former appointments sec- retary under Haldeman] P: Now where the hell, or how much Chapin knew I will be [expletive deleted] if I know. Assured that Chapin did not know about Water- gate, the President asks if Gordon Strachan (a Hal- deman aide) was aware. Dean admits that Strachan knew early on, but has twice denied to Federal inves- tigators having any knowledge. Dean says that Strachan is ready to deny it again before the Ervin committee. Nixon thus knows that before March .21 at least one White [louse man is involved in the cover-up. D: Strachan is as tough as nails. He can go in and stonewall ... P: I guess he should, shouldn't he? I suppose we can't call that justice, can we? D: Well, it is a personal loyalty to him. He doesn't want it any other way. He didn't have to be told. .. The President reflects that the Watergate espionage must have been unproductive since he received no re- port on it. P: What was the matter? Did they never get any- thing out of the damn thing? D: I don't think they ever got anything, sir. P: A dry hole? D: That's right. P: [Expletive de!etedl D: Well, they were just really getting started ... P: That was such a etu :-J ihin:;! ... To think Mitch- Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 ell and Bob wcu!d have allowed this kind of operation to be in the carnpaign committee. P: Is it tco late to go the hang=out road? D: Yes, I it is. The hang-out road- P: The har;-c:.t road [inaudible] D: It was k:cr.ed around Bob and I and ... P: Ehrlich. -Dn ol?.vays felt it should be hang-out. D: Well, I think I c:nvinced him why he would not want to hang-out either. There is a certain domino : .- uation here. if some things s"att gong, a Ict of c`:?:er things are going to start going ... MARCH 17, 1973, 1:25 P.M. The Oval Ofi_e. Pret_nt: the President and Dean. For the rr:'time, the President learns of the break- in at the of_-- of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist, Dr. Lewis Fielding - P: What in the world-what in the name of God was Ehrlichman having something [unintelligible) in the Ellsberg [uninte!ligible]? D: They were ... they wanted to get Ellsberg's psy- chiatric records for some reason. I don't know. P: This is t e first I ever heard of this... D: We'.I, anyway, [unintelligible] it was under an Ehrlichmcn structure, maybe John didn't ever know. I've never asked l?n if he knew. I didn't want to know. P: I can't see that getting into this hearing (the Wa- tergate committee investigation 1. MARCH 21,1973,10:12 A.M. The Oval Office. Present: the President, Haldeman and Dean. This is the most crucial meeting covered by the Wa- tergate irair~~lriits. in his ic!eviscu s ech last week, the President concentrated on this 103-minute conver- sation, trying to strengthen the weakest link in his de- fense. At issue is his seeming authorization of hush money to buy Hunt's continued silence. He argued that he considered paying only because a national --security, problem-which he did not further identify-was in- volved. In the end. he said, he "did not intend the fur- ther payrnert to Hunt or anyone else be made," but he conceded that his words on the tapes were ambiguous. In the published transcript, Dean warns that a "can- cer within the presidency" is "growing geometrically." He spells out most of the Watergate operation for the President, including the attempted cover-up that in- volved the White House staff. He omits, however, some of his own actions in the scandal. The President ap- pears not to have prior information, he asks more than 150 questions. Dean says that he could tell that Nixon did not know what had been going on. Dean says that after the burglars were caught, Gordon Liddy said that he had attempted the break-in because Jeb Magruder. re-election committee deputy director, wanted better in- formation about the Democrats. Magruder had com- plained: "The White House is not happy with what we are getting." Dean tells Nixon that both Magruder and Herbert Porter, an assistant to Magruder, had perjured themselves in the trial of the Watergate burglars. D: I honestly believe that no one over here knew that [the burglary was planned). I know that, as God is my maker, I had no knowledge ... P: Bob (Haldeman] didn't either, or wouldn't have known that either. You are not the issue involved. Had Bob known, he would be. C: I v,?es under pretty clear instructions not to in- ves': =c'e but this could have been disastrous on re e_;'.dote if all l:e!l had broken loose. I worked on a ihe:ry c?` containment. P: Sure. D: To try to hold it right where it was. P: @Q'.:t. D: The,-e is no doubt that I was totally aware of what ::e E_reau (FBI( doing at all times. I was to- ta"y aware of what the Grand Jury was doing. I knew t of vv:i:r.esses were going to be called. I knew what tley :, ore asked, and I had to. ti:;n Dean tells how the President's personal at- tor-_y }'ercert Kalml'ach raisod money to pay the at- tcrr._.?,' fees for the Watergate defendants. Nixon spec- u::._cs that the "cover of a Cuban committee" must have been used. (Some of the burglars were Cuban exiles.) P: [Unintelligible], but I would certainly keep that cover for whatever it is worth. D: That's the most troublesome thing because 1) Bob [Ha!deman] is involved in that; 2) John [Ehrlich- man] is involved in that; 3) I am involved in that; 4) Mitchell is involved in that. And that is an obstruction of justice. Dean goes on to describe the "continual blackmail operaby the Watergate defe.^.dants: then requests e for money to keep them from talking. D: It will cost money. It is dangerous. People around here are not pros at this sort of thing. This is the sort of thing Mafia people can do: washing money, getting clean money and things like that. We just don't know abc:;t those things, because we are not criminals and rot used to dealing in that business. r D: It is a tough thing to know how to do. P: Maybe it takes a gang to do that. D: That's right. There is a real problem as to wheth- er we could even do it. Plus there is a real problem in raising money ... But there is no denying the fact that the White House, in Ehrlichmon, Haldeman and Dean are involved in some of the early money decisions. P: How much money do you need? D: I would say that these people are going to cost o pillion dollars over the next two years. P: We could get that ... You could get a million dol- lars. You could get it in cash. I know where it could be gotten. It is not easy but it could be done. But the ques- tion is who the hell would handle it? Any ideas on that? D: That's right. Well, I think that is something that Mitchell ought to be charged with. P? I would think so too. D: And get some pros to help him. P: Let me say there shouldn't be a lot of people run- ning around getting money- D: Well, he's got one person doing it who I am not sure is- P: Who is that? 3v, D: He has Fred LaRue- [a former Mitchell aide] do- ing it. Now Fred started out going out trying to solicit money from all kinds of people. P: No! r P: You need it in cash don't you? ... Would you put that through the Cuban Committee. D: No. P: How if that ever comes out are you going to han- dle it? Is the Cuban Committee an obstruction of justice, if they want to help? D: Well, they have priests in it. P: Would that give a little bit of a cover? ... D: Some for the Cubans and possibly Hunt. P: Don't you think you have to handle Hunt's finan- cial problem damn soon? D: I think that is-4 talked with Mitchell about that last night and- P: It seems to me we have to keep the cop on the bot- tle that much, or we don't have any options. D: That's right. P: Either that or it all blows right now? D: That's the question. What really bothers me is this growing situation. As I say, it is growing because of the continued need to provide support for the Water- gate people who are going to hold us up for everything we've got, and the need for some people to perjure themselves as they go down the road here. If this thing ever blows, then we are in a cover-up situation. I think it would be extremely damaging to you and the- P: Sure. The whole concept of Administration jus- tice. Which we cannot have! D: That is what really troubles me. For example, what happens, if it starts breaking, and they do find a criminal case against a Haldeman, a Dean a Mitchell, an Ehrlichman? That is- P: If it really comes to that, we would have to [un- intelligible] some of the men. D: That's right. I am coming down to what I really think, is that Bob and John and John Mitchell and I can 7 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 000100330007-4 sit down and sp gr d,q,8R?tleta4QJEP8/08 : CIA-F P7Z- 0043?!Z out one, how this can be carved away from you, so that canto the Fifth Amendment. Y Y P: That's right. it does not damage you or the Presidency. It just can't! H: You can say you have forgotten too, can't you? You are not involved in it and it is something you P: You can say I don't remember. You can say I shouldn't- don't recall. P: That is true! D: I know ... I can just tell from our conversation that these are things that you can have no knowledge of. P: You certainly can! Buggings, etc! Let me say I am keenly aware of the fact that Colson, et al, were doing their best to get information as-we went along. But they all knew very well they were supposed to com- ply with the law. There was no question about that! Even if the money were given to Hunt and the oth- ers, the President wonders if he would not have to offer clemency as well. D: I am not sure that you will ever be able to de- liver on the clemency. It may just be too hot. P: You can't do it politically until after the '74 elec- tions, that's for sure. Your point is that even then you couldn't do it. D: That's right. P: No-it is wrong, that's for sure. The President has insisted that his use of the word wrong applied to the whole question of delivering hush money and then providing clemency. In context, how- ever, the word quite clearly refers only to clemency. Even then, it seems to be less a moral judgment of the impropriety of offering clemency than an assessment that the President would be open to political attack if he pardoned the conspirators before the 1974 elections. When Haldeman arrives. the conversation turns to the Ellsberg break-in. For the first time, national se- curity is mentioned as a possible defense. D: You might put it on a national security grounds basis. H: It absolutely was. P: National security. We had to get information D: Then the question was, why didn't the CIA do it or why didn't the FBI do it? P: Because we had to do it on a confidential basis. H: Because we were checking them. P: Neither could be trusted. H: It has basically never been proven... P: With the bombing thing coming out [the secret bombing of Cambodia] and everything coming out, the whole thing was national security. D: I think we could get by on that. Later the President returns to the problem of the hush money. P: Let's say, frankly, on the assumption that if we continue to cut our losses, we are not going to win. But in the end, we are going to be bled to death. And in the end, it's all going to come out anyway. Then you get the worst of both worlds. We are going to lose, and people are going to... H: And look like dopes. P: And, in effect, look like a cover-up. P: Another way to do it then, Bob, and John re- alizes this, is to continue to try to cut our losses. Now we have to take a look at that course of action. First it is going to require approximately a million dollars to take care of the jackasses who are in jail. That con be ar- ranged. That could be arranged. But you realize that after we are gone, and assuming we can expend this money, then they are going to crack and it would be an unseemly story. Frankly, all the people aren't going to care that much. D: That's right. P: People won't core, but people are going to be talking about it ... The second thing is, we are not going to be able to deliver on ... clemency. The President considers convening a new grand jury to investigate Watergate as preferable to the Water- gate committee. The sessions would be private, and rules of evidence would apply. The conversation returns to Hunt; Dean fears that he is the most likely of the convicted Watergate con- spirators to give the true story unless he is paid. P: That's why for your immediate things you have no choice but to come up with the $120,000, or what- ever it is. Right? D: That's right. P: Would you agree that that's the prime thing that you damn well better get that done? D: Obviously, he ought to be given some signal P: [Expletive deleted] Get it. In view of this curt command, it would be hard to argue, as the President has, that he did not approve of the hush money. This simple order, allowing no mis- interpretation by Dean, may constitute the single most impeachable offense in the entire transcript. Nixon asks how the money would get to Hunt. D: You have to wash the money. You con get $100,? 000 out of a bank, and it all comes in serialized bills. P: I understand. D: And that means you have to go to Vegas with it or a bookmaker in New York City. I have learned all these things after the fact. I will be in great shape for the next time around. H: [Expletive deleted] P: Well, of course you have a surplus from the cam- paign. Is there any other money hanging around? The reply: there is none. Nixon tells his aides that "delaying is the great danger to the White House area." A few hours later, according to grand jury testimony, Hunt's attorney received $75,000. Next day John Mitch- ell flew down from New York. He told Ehrlichman that Hunt was no longer a "problem." MARCH 22,1973,1:57 P.M. The Presidential office in the . Executive Office Building [E.O.B.]. Present: The President, Haldeman, Dean, Ehrlichman (E) and John Mitchell (M). During a strategy session on Watergate options The President is concerned that Dean should finish a re- port on the scandal to be used as a public relations po- sition paper. Nixon tells Dean not to get into specifics. D:? I am talking about something we can spread as facts. You see you could even write a novel with the facts. r U E: I am looking to the future, assuming that some corner of this thing comes unstuck, you are then in a po- sition to sad: "Look, thct document I published is the doc- ument I relied on." P: This is all we knew. H: This is all the stuff we could find out. E: And now this new development is a surprise to me -l am going to fire A, B, C and D now. P: At the President's direction you have never done anything operational, you have always acted as coun- sel. We've got to keep our eye on the Dean thing-just give them some of it-not all of it. P: Do you think we want to go this route now? Let it hang out, so to speak? D: Well, it isn't really that. ti: it's a limited hang-out. D: It's a limited hang-out ... What it is doing, Mr. President, is getting you up above and away from it. I Tkot is the most important thing ^ P: I feel that at a very minimum we've got to have this statement [on the Dean report] ... If it opens up doors, it opens up doors. MARCH 27, 1973, 11:10 A.M. The Oval Office. Present: The President, Halde- ? Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 man, Ehrlichman and Ziegler (Z). Another strategy session is in order now that .Va- tergate Burglar James McCord has sent his letter to Judge Sirica implicating higher-ups and charging that perjury was committed at his trial. The group ponders how to handle Jeb Magruder if he decides to change his perjured testimony and reveal that White House staff was involved in Watergate. P: What stroke have you got with Magruder? ... E: I think the stroke Bob [Haldeman] has with him is in the confrontation to say, "Jeb, you know that just plain isn't so," and just store him down on some of this stuff and it is a golden opportunity to do this ... I am sure he will rationalize himself into a fable that hangs to- gether. But if he knows that you are going to righ- teously and indignantly deny it, ah ... P: Say that he is trying to lie to save his own skin. E: It'll bend him. H: But I can make a personal pbi'nf of view in the other direction, and say, "Jeb, for God's sake don't get yourself screwed up by solving one lie with a second. You've got a problem. You ain't going to make it better by making it worse." Ehrlichman suggests that Magruder be instructed to seek immunity and take the rap for the Watergate break-in without implicating anyone else. Magruder did not take this advice. He confessed to the prosecutors that he had committed perjury and disclosed the roles of Mitchell and Dean in Watergate and is awaiting sentencing. APRIL 14, 1973, 8:55 A.M. E.O.B. office. Present: The President. Haldeman and Ehrlichman. With indictments thought to be pending against Ma- gruder and Mitchell and more people preparing to talk, plans to contain the scandal are breaking down. In a conversation laced with incriminating confessions, the . President and his top aides discuss how the Justice De- partment investigation might be cut off at the level of the Nixon re-election committee officials-notably Mitchel.1 and Magruder-rather than reaching into the White House. Their aim is to persuade the former At- torney General and close friend of the President to as- sume total responsibility for Watergate. E: if Mitchell went in, that might knock that whole week into a cocked hat. P: Why? H: We, I'm not sure then they care about the cover- up any more. P: We!!, they might. E: if iriitchell gave the a couple a siuiettient- P: I wish they wouldn't, but I think they would, Bob. The cover-up, he said that--well, basically, it's a sec- ond crime. Isn't that right, John? ... Do you think they would keep going on the cover-up even if Mitchell went Nixon instructs Ehrlichman to talk to both Mitch- ell and Magruder. Ehrlichman proposes a cautious, roundabout way of telling them that the President -.ants then to testi y' honestly about their roles. (Ni x_.., !-erc refers to himself in the third person.) P: Well, you could say to Mitchell, I think you've got to soy that this is the toughest decision he's made and it's tougher than Cambodia-May 8 [the mining of Haiphong harbor] and Dec. 18 [bombing of.Hanoi] put together. And that he can't bring himself to talk to you about it. Just can't do it ... But John Mitchell, let me say, will never go to prison. I think that what will hap- pen is that he will put on the damndest defense. APRIL 14,1973,5:15 P.M. E.O.B. office. Present: the President, Haldeman and Ehrlichman. Magruder has told his revised story, implicating Dean and Mitchell. to the prosecutors. Mitchell has re- jected Ehrlichman's subtle pitch that he consider shoul- dering the blame. The scenario i;-falling apart. Dean has started telling federal prosecutors what he knew Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : about the break-in and cover-up. He has implicated Mitchell, Ehrlichman and Haldeman. That leaves the President a solitary, frustrated figure trying to hold the remaining pieces together. P: Let me tell you, John, the thing about all this that has concerned me is dragging the damn thing out. And having it to be the only issue in town. Now the: thing to do now, have done. Indict Mitchell and the rest' and there'll be a horrible two weeks--a horrible, ter- rible scandal, worse than Teapot Dome and so forth.' And it doesn't have anything to do with Teapot. E: Yeah. P: I mean there is no venality involved in the damn thing, no thievery or anything. Nobody got any pa- pers. You know what I mean? E: Yeah. That's true. H: Glad to hear it. P: The bad part of it is the fact that the Attorney General and the obstruction of justice thing which it ap- pears to be. And yet, they ought to go up fighting. I think they all ought to fight. APRIL 14,1973,11:02 P.M. The Oval Office. A telephone conversation between the President and Haldeman. P: I just don't know how it is going to come out. That is the whole point, and I just don't know. And I was serious when I said to John [Ehrlichman] at the end there, damn it all, these guys that participated in raising money, etc., have got to stick to their line-that they did not raise this money to obstruct justice. H: Well, I sure didn't think they were. P: At least I think now, we pretty much know what the worst is. I don't know what the hell else they could have that is any worse. Unless there is something that I don't know, unless somebody's got a piece of paper that somebody signed or some damn thing ... H: It doesn't appear that there is such a thing. What you hear is all stuff that has been hinted at. APRIL 14,1973,11:22 P.M. The Oval Office. A telephone conversation between the President and Ehrlichrnan. P: [Haldeman] is a guy that has just given his life' hours and hours and hours you know, totally selfless and honest and decent ... You know you get the ar- gument of some ... you should fire them. I mean you can't do that. Or am I wrong? E: No, you are right. P: Well, maybe I am not right. I am asking. They say, clean the boards. Well, is that our system? E: I think you hove to show ... some hears on this thing. P: Well, the point is, whatever we say about Harry Truman, while it hurt him, a lot of people admired the old bastard for standing by people ... who were guilty as hell. E: Yep. P: And damn it, I am that kind of person. I am not one who is going to say, look, while this guy is under at- tack, I drop him. The President then turns the conversation to how Dean could be kept from telling the prosecutors too much. In a potentially damaging portion of the tran- script, the President suggests that Ehrlichman hint to Dean that only Nixon can pardon him. For his part. Ehrlichman implies that a plan is needed to ensure that the testimony of Dean and others does not involve the President. The crucial segments: P: What are you going to say to [Dean]? E: I am going to try to get him around a bit. It is going to be delicate. P: Get him around in what way? E: Well to get off this passing the buck business. P: John, that's- E: It is a little touchy and I don't know how for I can go. P: John, that is not going to help you. Look, he has to, look down the road to one point that there is only one man who could restore him to the ability to prac- 9 CIA- RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 tice law in case fh es go w i~~rife'VIoT'toetibG9 2ff IO8 : Clt~ctdtli'tdtl~i; TH'e7 t~`'fFYeg'f3wOeOa7C7po Bible case on E: Uh, huh. P: He's got to know that will happen. You don't tell him, but you know and I know that with him-and Mitch- ell there isn't going to be any damn question, because they got a bad rap ... ? P: Well, with Dean I think you can talk to him in con- fidence about a thing like that, don't you? He isn't going to- E: I ain not sure-l just don't know how much to lean on that reed at the moment. P: I see. . E: But I will sound it out. P: Well, you start with the proposition, Dean, the President thinks you have carried a tremendous load, and his affection and loyalty to you is just undimin- ished. ? ? .. . E: Alright. P: And now, let's see where the hell we go. E: Uh, huh. P: We can't get the President involved, in this, his people, that is one thing. We don't want to cover-up, but there are ways ... Look, John, we need a plan here. And so that LaRue, Mardian and the others-I mean- E: Well, I am not sure I can go that for with him. P: No. He can make the plan up. E: I will sound it out. P: Right. Get a good night's sleep. APRIL 15,1973,11:112 P.M. E.O.B. Present: the President and Attorney Gen- eral Richard Kleindienst (K). . Ushered into the President's hideaway in the Ex- ecutive Office Building, Kleindienst, who has been' up all night being briefed by the Watergate prosecutors, promptly discloses that Nixon's highest advisers are now being tied into the cover-up. K: There is a possible suggestion that Haldeman and Ehrlichman oh, as yet-it looks that way-wheth- er there is legal proof of it so for as that-that they ... well, [had] knowledge in this respect, or knowledge or conduct either before or after the event [the June 17, 1972 break-in at the Watergate] ... P: Both Haldeman and Ehrlichman? K: 'Yes ... That is my primary reason for talking to you... P: Who told you this? Silbert? [Assistant U.S. At- torney Earl J. Silbert. chief prosecutor of Watergate trial]. K: Yeah. P: I have asked both Haldeman and Ehrlichman. K: I know you have. P: And they have given me absolute-you know what I mean ... I don't believe Haldeman or Ehrlich- man could ever-you know. * . K:.... It will be circumstantial, an association, an in volvement, and it's going to be- P: Why don't you do something about it? Kleindienst avoids a direct answer to what many would interpret as a highly improper question. But he does say that the evidence is "going to come out," and might involve charges of obstructing justice. Then Kleindienst warns Nixon that a sheaf of indictments would soon be handed up and that the whole story is "likely to be all over town" in a day or two. P: Involving Haldeman and Ehrlichman, too? K: Yeah ... P: Do they tell you flatly Mitchell will be indicted? K: Yes. They do--so will Dean. P: W;ll be indicted? K: Yeah. P: What is your recommendation, then? K: ... It seems to me that so long as I do anything of the Deportment of Justice I cannot hereafter be with Haldeman, Ehrlichmon, Mitchell, LaRue. They won't be lieve that we didn't talk about the Watergate case. P: Who con you have contacts with? Me? K: ... I don't know whether I need contact anyone. Colson ..'. He knew about and was involved in a con- versation pertaining to money for Liddy's projects ... P: They consider there's a weak case on him ... K: Yes-and a very, very peripheral, weak case -probably not an indictable case with respect to Ehr- lichman and Haldeman. P: You know, it's embarrassing and all the rest, but it'll pass. We've got to-we've got to just ride it through Dick ... Do the best we con. Right? K: Yes sir. P: We don't run to the hills on this and so forth. The main thing is to handle it right. ^ P: And naturally because of your association with John Mitchell you would have to disqualify yourself. K: Mardian, LaRue. P: Oh-you know them all. Right-right-right. Now the difficulty with the special prosecutor-it gets a guy into the [expletive removed) thing ... It's a reflection -it's sort of on admitting. meo culpa for our whole sys- tem of justice. One concern of Nixon's-unmentioned here but ev- ident in other conversations-is that a special prose- cutor, who would coordinate the entire investigation, could not be counted on to keep the President from being involved. Later the President and Kleindienst muse on how things could have gone so awry. P: They thought there was an election-you know -let's face it ... But after the election, I couldn't think what in the name of [expletive removed) reason did ,l-..-y 1i' y around then? Do you? K: No. P: You didn't know that they were doing this? I didn't know. K: No sir-I didn't know. P: I didn't-yov know-as I was--one of the prob- lems here-I have always run my campaigns. I didn't run this one I must say. I was pretty busy. Or-maybe -handling the Russian Summit. And you know, after the election-we were right in the middle of the Dec. 8th bombing-and holding meetings ... At the end of this 70-minute dialogue the two agreed, in Kleindienst's words. "to delegate the respon- sibility for the entire matter to [Henry] Petersen. As- sistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division." -APRIL 15,1973,3:27 P.M. Telephone conversation between the President and Haldeman. The White House claims that its taping sys- tem broke down toward the end of the Nixon-Klein- dienst meeting. As a result. 4 hours and 35 minutes of talks variously involving the President, Ehrlichman, Haldeman. Dean. Kleindienst and Petersen-all on that crucial Sunday in April-are lost. But the telephone re- corders remain intact, and in this exchange, after tell- ing Haldeman. "We are so low now we can't go any lower," Nixon says he favors the idea of a special pros- ecutor after all. P: He is just in there for the purpose of examining all this to see that the indictments cover everybody. H: Uh, huh. Well that does protect you a lot, be- cause if they don't indict some of us then you have a cover-up problem .. . P: Then he goes out and says, "I have examined all of this, and now let's stop all this. These men are not guilty and these men are not indictable and these are." Nixon returns to the notion that John Mitchell might serve well as a sacrificial lamb. P: Look, if they get a hell of a big fish, that is going to take a lot of the fire out of this thing on the cover-up and all that sort. If they get the President's for- mer low partner and Attorney General, you know. .. H: Yeah. What I feel is people want something to be done to explain what to them is now a phony-look- ing thing. This will explain it. ^ H: It seems to me that ... public .'eaction is going Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 to be, well, thank God that is settled; now let's get away from it. Rather than the reaction of, "Ho, ho, ho, here is something pretty bad; let's spend a lot more time looking into it." P: That's right. APRIL 15,1973,11:45 P.M. Telephone conversation between the President and Petersen (HP). There are four short calls from the Pres- ident to Petersen between 8:14 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. After discussing Dean's demand for immunity, Nixon asks Petersen about Haldeman and Ehrlichman. HP: It is not going to come out neat and clean ... with respect to either one of them. HP: I think with respect to the obstruction of justice thing is concerned, it is easy for me to. see how they fell ir'tr_ thct :1 e lake. P: Yeah. Uh, huh. Rather than being directly con- spirators? HP: That's right. That's right. P: And there is a difference in that respect ... HF: A difference, at least, in moral culpability .... In plain terms of ultimate embarrassment ... P: The embarrassment is there, but in terms-ba- sically in terms of motive which might be the legal cul- pability, they might be off but in terms of embarrass- ment they would have to be out of th Government? HP: Yes, Sir. P: I get your point and, frankly, either one is enough. APRIL 16, 1973, 9:50 A.M. still five steps ahead of what will ever emerge pub- licly," and the President, quoting Petersen, says hope- fully that "the obstruction of justice thing is a [exple- tive omitted] hard thing to prove in court." D: Well, my lawyer tells me, you know, that, "le- gally you are in damn good shape." P: Is that right? Because you're not-you were sim- ply helping the defendants get their fees and their -what does he say? D: In that position, I am merely a conduit ... I am a conduit to other people. That is the problem. P: What was the situation, John? The only time I ever heard any discussion of support for the [Water- gate burglars') defense fund was [inaudible]. I guess I should have assumed somebody was helping them. I must have assumed it. But I must say people were good in a way because I was busy. ^ P: What did you report to me on, though? It was rather fragmentary, as I recall it. You said Hunt had a problem ... I said, "Why, John, how much is it going to cost to do this?" D: That's right. P: And you said it could costa million dollars. D: I said it conceivably could. I said, "If we don't cut this thing ... P: Who handled the money? D: Well, let me tell you the rest of what Hunt said. He said, "You tell Dean that I need $72,000 for my per- sonal expenses, $50,000 for my legal fees and if I don't get it I am going to have some things to say about the seamy things I did at the White House for John Ehr- lichman." All right, I took that to John Ehrlichman. Ehr- lichman said, "Have you talked to Mitchell about it?" I said, "No, I have not." The Oval Office. Present: the President. .Haldeman and Ehrlich man. The three assemble to discuss Dean. who is due in ten minutes; apparently they have agreed that he has to go, but the question is how. Two letters have been pre- pared for Dean to sign, one offering his resignation and the other requesting a leave. Then the President and his two closest aides discus"S "'scenarios" for ex- plaining their way out of a difficult situation. P: I would like also a scenario with regard to the President's role, in other words, the President- E: Ziegler has just left my office. He feels we have no more than twelve hours. He's got some input from the Post and he estimates unless we take an initiative by 9 o'clock tonight it will be too late. Apparently worrying about what revelations might be forthcoming, the three discuss whether the White House should take the initiative by issuing a statement detailing what is being done to further the investiga- tion. No firm decision is made. APRIL 16, 1973, 10 A.M. The Oval Office. Present: the President and Dean. P: You will remember we talked about resignations, etc., etc. that I should have in hand. Not to be released. D: Uh, huh. P: But that I should have in hand something or oth- erwise they will say, "What the hell. After Dean told you all of this, what did you do?" You see? D: Uh, huh. P: But what is your feeling on that? ... D: Well, I think it ought to be Dean, Ehrlichman and Haldeman [leaving together]. P: Well, I thought Dean at this moment. D: Alright. P: Dean at this moment because you ore going to be going and I will have to handle them also. But the point is, what is your advice? You see the point is, we just typed up a couple just to have here which I would be willing to put out. You know ... In the event that cer- tain things occur. D: Uh, huh. P: First, what I would suggest is that you sign both. Supremely wary, Dean avoids signing the letters. but volunteers to draft one of his own "putting in both options." Later he soothingly assures Nixon, "You are ^ D: I talked to Mitchell ... A few days later ... Ehr- lichman said ... "Well, is that problem with Hunt straightened out?" He said it to me and I said "Well, ask the man who may know: Mitchell." Mitchell said, "I think that problem is solved." Looking toward his defenses, Nixon constructs a scenario for Dean to follow. P: I just wanted to be sure that it jives with the facts. I can say that you did tell me that nobody in the White House was involved and I can say that you then came in, at your request, and said, "I think the Pres. ident needs to hear more about this case." D: That's right. P: Then it was that night that I started my inves? tigation. P: That is when I frankly become interested in the case and I said, "Now [expletive omitted] I want to find out the score." Under Nixon's questioning, Dean describes how Magruder and Mitchell have tried to get him to per- jure himself. P: What got Magruder to talk? I would like to take the credit .. . D: The situation there is that he and Mitchell were continuing to talk. Proceeding along the some course they had been proceeding to locking their story, but my story did not fit with their story. And I just told them I re- fused to change, to alter my testimony ... P: Oh yes, I remember. You told me that. I guess ev- erybody told me that. Dean said, "I am not going down there and lie," because your hand will shake and your emotions. Remember you told me that. D: Yes, I said that. I am incapable of it. P: Thank God. Don't ever do it, John. Tell the truth. That is the thing I have. told everybody around here ... If you are going to lie, you go to jail for the lie rather than the crime. So believe me, don't ever lie. D: The truth always emerges. It always does. APRIL 16,1973,10:50 A.M. The Oval Office. Present: the President, Haldeman and Ehrlichman. Scarcely has Dean departed than Haldeman and Ehrlichman return and almost immediately the Pres- 11 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 ident says: "Well. John, let me say this [Dean] is quite the operator." Soon the talk turns again to the question of scenarios. P: How has the scenario worked out? ... H: Well, it works out very good. You become aware sometime ago that this thing did not parse out the way it was supposed to and that there were some discrep- ancies between what you had been told by Dean in the report that there was nobody in the White House in- volved, which may still be true ... P: I would say I was not satisfied that the Dean re? port was complete and also I thought it was my obli- gation to go beyond that to people other than the White House. - E: Ron [Ziegler] has on interesting point. Remem- ber you had John Dean go to Camp David to write it ' ' " I can t.: . . up. He came down and said, P: Right. E: That is the tip-off and right then move. you started to P: That's right. He said he could not write it. H: Then you realized that there was more to this than you had been led to believe. [unintelligible] ^ E: And so then we started digging into it ... You began to move ... And then it culminated last week ... in your decision that Mitchell should be brought down here; Magruder should be brought in; Strochan should be brought in. P: Shall I soy that we brought them all in? E: I don't think you can. I don't think you can. ? E: But you should say, "I heard enough that I was satisfied that it was time to precipitously move. I called the Attorney General over, in turn Petersen..' APRIL 16, 1973, 12 NOON The Oval Office. Present: the President and Hal- deman. Once again, Nixon reviews "how we stage this damn thing." Haldeman discusses with him "the Garment plan," drawn up by White House Counsel Leonard Gar- ment and calling for the jettisoning of not only Mitch- ell and Dean but also Haldeman and Ehrlichman to protect the President. P: What does Ron think about this, leaving out the PR: does he think we should try to tough it through? ... H: I am not sure. I think Ron would soy just wait and see. You see his point is that there is no question that I will be tarnished. ? H: Then I go out. Garment's statement is that then I go out and hit this, use the position that I have es- tablished that way from the outside to- P: To fight? H: Yeah ... Len is the panic button type. If we had reacted in Garment's way in other things, we wouldn't be where we are. That doesn't mean he isn't right this time, incidentally. P: I know. ^ _ H: Len's view is that what you need is ... some kind of a dramatic move. Henry [Kissinger] feels that, but Henry feels that you should go on television . which is his solution to any problem. APRIL 16,1973,1:39 P.M. E.O.B. Present: the President and Petersen. For a prosecutor, Petersen seems inordinately ea- ger to downplay the merits of the Justice Department's case-and to impart whatever information and advice he can to his boss. During an afternoon meeting that lasts for nearly two hours, Nixon seems deeply con- cerned about his image, emphasizing "the need ... to show that the President takes the initiative" and that "once I find something out-I say-ACT'" He also is worried about Dean.. P: How does Dean come out on this thing? HP: His counsel says we wont a deal. This man was an agent. This man didn't do anything but what Holde- P: Haldeman and Ehrlichman told him to do. HP: And Mitchell, and if you insist on trying him we, in defense, ore going to try Ehrlichman, Haldeman, Nixon and this Administration ... P: He'd try it-the President too? HP: It's a goddamned poker game. Yes sir. Summoning Ziegler to join the conversation, the President resumes his musings over what sort of public statement he could issue that would "knock true." P: I want them [the press] to know that since the 21st [of March] I've been working my tail off, which I have -l-I'm so sick of this thing. I want to get it done with and over, and I don't wont to.hear about it again. APRIL 16, 1973, 3:27 P.M. E.O.B. Present: the President, Ehrlichman and Ziegler. Second thoughts begin to surface about how nec- essary it is, after all, to issue a statement. P: We just won't try to get out in front ... We've got- ten into enough trouble by saying nothing so we'll say nothing today. You know, actually, thank God we haven't, thank God we haven't hod a Haldeman state- ment. Believe me. [Unintelligible] Thank God we didn't get out a Dean report. Right? Thank God. So, we've done a few things right. Don't say anything. E: I'd sure like to see us come out sometime, and I suppose it has to be at a time that Magruder makes his deal. P: Well, let me say, I'll-I've got Petersen on a short leash. Ehrlichman continues to argue for a statement. pref- erably on April 17; eventually he prevails. APRIL 17, 1973, 9:47 A.M. The Oval Office. Present: the President and Hal- deman. Nixon discusses the need to issue a Watergate state- ment because "they keep banging around and banging around. The prosecution gets out the damn stuff." There is a note of fatalism. P: [Dean] basically is the one who surprises me and disappoints ... because he is trying to save his, neck and doing so easily. He is not, to hear him tell it, when I have talked to him, he is not telling things that will, you know- .H: That is not really true though. He is. ^ H: That is the real problem we've got. It had to break and it should break but what you've got is peo- ple within it ... who said things and said them, too, ex- actly as Dean told them. APRIL 17,1973,12:35 P.M: The Oval Office. Present: the President, Haldeman. Ehrlichman and Ziegler. For nearly two hours, the threat from Dean dom- inates the conversation. P: You see Dean-!et's see, what the he!!.-what's he got with record to the President? He came and talked to me, as you will recall, about the need for $120,000 for clemencies- E: You told me that the other day, ? didn't know that before. H: But so what? P: I said, what in the world John, I mean, i said John you can't [unintelligible] on this short notice. What's it cost [unintelligible] I sort of laughed and said, "Well, I guess you could get that." E: Now is he holding that over your head? Saying- P: No, no, no, I don't think Dean would go so for as to get into any conversation he had with the President -maven Dean I don't think. The discussion turns to the constant pressure and unceasing disclosures. Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 P: The point is can we survive it? Can Haldeman and Ehrlichman survive it? The point that I ... I know that as for as you're concerned, you'll go out and threw yourselves on a damned sword ... Damn it, you're the two most valuable members on the staff. I know that. On the basis of his talks with Petersen, the Pres- ident knows that the prosecutors are paying a great deal of attention to the $350,000 that was raised for the convicted burglars, and to the roles played by Ehrlich- man and Haldeman in that effort. P: Have you given any thought to what the line ought to be-I don't mean a lie-but a line, on raising the money for these defendants? Because both of you were aware of what was going on you see-the raising of the money-you were aware of it, right? ? E: Well, Mr. President, when the.truth and fact of this is known, that building next door is full of people who knew that money was being raised for these people. P: E.O.B.? E: Yes, sir, just full of them. P: Many who know but there were not so many ac- tors. in other words, there's a difference between actor: ^ E: I want you to think very critically about the dif- ference here between knowledge of the general trans- actions going on, on the one hand, and being an af- firmative actor on the other, because that's the difference between Dean and me. Now on this business on whether Dean should have immunity, I think you have to ask yourself really, the basic question, whether anybody in the White House who does wrong, ought to get immunity, no matter how many ... he implicates. The President agrees that Dean should not be giv- en immunity and notes that Chuck Colson feels the same way. P: I can call Petersen in and say he [Dean] cannot be given immunity ... Whether he'll carry that order out -that's going to be an indicator that that's Dean and [unintelligible]. And then what do I say about Dean. Do I tell him that he goes? E: Well, you see, the thing that precipitated Col- son's coming over is that he found that Dean was still here ... Colson called and says you've got an ass at your bosom over there, and so, today he checked again ... and discovered that Dean was still here ... He came in and he says, "You guys are just out-of-your-minds" ... He was fit to be tied. P: But you see if I say, "Dean, you leave today," he'd go out and say, "Well the President's covering up for Ehrlichman and Haldeman." ^ P: We've got to remember ... he's going to do any- thing to save his ass. Nonetheless the decision is made to keep Dean away from the White House without actually firing him ("Pass the word to.everybody in this place that he's a pira- nha," Ehrlichman suggests). Nixon needs no urging. He emphatically makes the point that Dean never saw him alone until March, and then only at Ehrlichman's suggestion. He. declines responsibility for Dean's conduct. It is finally decided that Nixon will make a state- ment on television announcing that he has ordered a full investigation and will automatically suspend any White House staffers who are indicted by the grand jury and fire any who are convicted. APRIL 17,1973,2:46 P.M. sen. Nixon bears down hard on Petersen not to grant im- munity to Dean. With immunity, Dean can get off scot- free or escape with prosecution for a minor offense in exchange for talking freely. Petersen tries to resist Nix- on. but the pressure is intense. HP: I don't want to immunize John Dean; I think he is too high in the echelon but-it's a- P: The prosecutor's got the right to make that de- cision? - HP: Yes, sir. a P: I think it would---look-because your close re- lationship with Dean-which has been very close-it would look like a straight deal. ^ HP: The thing that scares the hell out of me is this -suppose Dean is the only key to Haldeman and Ehr- lichman and the refusal to immunize Dean means that Haldeman and Ehrlichman go free. ^ P: ... 1 cannot ... in good conscience and you can't in good conscience say that you are going to send Hal- deman and Ehrlichman-or anybody for that matter -or Colson--down the tube on the uncorroborated evidence of John Dean Later, reviewing how the whole mess began, Nix- on says, "Mitchell wasn't minding the store and Ma- gruder is a weak fellow ... and then afterwards they compounded it ... basically they were trying to protect Mitchell-let's face it." Then there is this exchange. P: What would you do if you were Mitchell? HP: I think I would probably go to Saudi Arabia to tell you the truth. P: Poison. As Nixon's TV date draws near, Petersen begins ad- vising the President on what should be said. At one point, he comments: "Damn, I admire your strength. I tell you." And Nixon replies: "Well, that's what we are here for." At another, Petersen recounts how he has told Silbert: "Now damntit, Silbert, keep your eye on the mark-we are investigating Watergate-we are not in- vestigating the whole damn realm of politics." APRIL 17, 1973, 3:50 P.M. The Oval Office. Present: the President, Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Ziegler. By this time, the group is re- signed to Dean's blasting the Administration. Still, Ehr- lichman finds cause for optimism. E: The more battles the President wins, like the eco- nomical stabilization performance, the more urgent the Ervin hearings become. It's the only thing they have left now. You're winning all the big ones. APRIL 17, 1973, 5:20 P.M. E.O.B. Present: the President, Haldeman, Ehrlich- man and Secretary of State William Rogers (R). Waiting for his two aides to return from a first meet- ing with their lawyer, John J. Wilson, Nixon chats with Rogers. "Dammit," he says of Dean, "why didn't he come in earlier and tell me these things, Bill?" None- theless, he seems confident. P: This'll be in better perspective in a year, I think. R: I think so. I think ... well, the first blush will be... P: Terrible. R: But when it's all over-finished ... P: I'll be here, all along, Bill. When Haldeman and Ehrlichman return from their meeting with Wilson, Nixon offers a suggestion. P: Both of you, and Bob particularly, you ought to get yourself a libel lawyer, Bob, and use the most vi- cious libel lawyer there is. I'd sue every [expletive de- leted] ... that also helps with public opinion. P: John, this libel thing. You may as well get at the libel thing and have yourself a little fun. E: Might make expenses. APRIL 19,1973,8:26 P.M. E.O.B. Present: the President, Nilson (W) and Frank Strickler (S). attorneys for Haldeman and Ehrlichrpan. This is basically a mutual get-acquainted session. Says Wilson: "We admire you so much-we both are 13 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 dyed-in-the-wool Republicans." Strickler notes that he was at the Shoreham on election night. P: You were there? Oh boy. That was a great night? Well, that was what it was all about. S: Yes, it sure was. P: Well, we'll survive this. You know-people soy this destroys the Administration and the rest-but what was this? What was Watergate? A little bugging! I mean a terrible thing-it shouldn't have been done -shouldn't have been covered up ... and the rest, but we've got to beat it. Right. APRIL 27,1973,5:37 P.M. HP: We had a kind of crisis of confidence night be- fore lost. I left to come over here and I left my two prin- cipal assistants to discourse with Silbert and the other three. And in effect it concerned me-whether or not they were at ease with my reporting to you ... P: Yes... HP: There is a very suspicious atmosphere. They are concerned and scared. Nixon himself is concerned-and possibly scared -about another matter. Ile has heard rumors that the New York Times has information linking him directly to the cover-up. P: We have gotten a report that, ah, that really we've got to head them off at the pass. Because it's so damned-so damn dangerous to the Presidency, in o sense. P: Information indicating that Dean has made state- ments to the prosecuting team implicating the President. And whether ... the [Washington) Post has heard sim- ilar rumors. Now, Henry, this I've got to know. APRIL 27, 197316:04 P.M. The Oval Office. Present: the President. Petersen and Ziegler. Only minutes after Nixon has expressed his fears to Petersen, the prosecutor returns for yet another meet- ing and assures the President that there are no ~spe- cifics to the Dean charges. Nixorr'tells Ziegler 'to 'kill any budding newspaper story on the subject and "kill it hard." P: Take a hard line ... Anything on that they bet- ter watch their damned cotton picking faces. Because boy, if there's one thing in this case as Henry will tell , you, since March 21st when L had that conversation with Dean, I have broken my ass to try to get the facts of this case. P: If there's one thing you have got to do, you have got to maintain the Presidency out of this. I have got things to do for this country and I'm not going to have -now this is personal. I sometimes feel like I'd like to re- sign. Let Agnew be President for a while. He'd love it. Toward the end of the 44-minute session, Petersen decides to get something bothering him off his chest. Cit- ing a personal example, he brings up the growing p,b- lic doubt that the President is telling all that he knows about the Watergate cover-up. HP: Mr. President, my wife is not a politically so- phisticated woman ... But she asked me at breakfast -she, now I don't want you to hold this against her if you ever meet her, because she's a charming lady- P: Of course. HP: She said ... P: "Why the hell doesn't the President do some- -thing?" HP: She said, "Do you think the President knows?" And I looked at her and said, "If I thought the President knew, I would have to resign."... Well, when that type of question comes through in my home- P: We've got to get it out. Three days later, what gets out is Nixon's announce- ment that Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Dean and Klein- dienst have resigned. that Elliot Richardson is being. appointed Attorney General with authority to name a special prosecutor and that he, the President, takes full responsibility for what has happened. Nixon also re- calls that at his second inaugural he gave each Cabinet member and senior White House staffer a special four- year calendar marked to show how many days remained in his Administration. It began with 1,461, and on the day he delivers the speech, he says, "It showed exactly 1,361 days remaining in my term." More than a year .has passed, Watergate is far from over, and the figure on the President's special calendar is now down to just under 1,000. An u se .. a Private President Apart from the evidence it provides about the Pres- ident's critical conversations, the edited transcript fur- nishes a potpourri of marginalia that limn the style and character of the Nixon White House. A represen- tative. sampler. NIXON ON OTHERS The President's confidential assessments of other mien in talks with trusted aides were tough.. candid, and o^_.. ,.:r.. Senator Howard Baker. "A smoothy-impressive" but also possessed of a "thick skull." Senator Sam Ervin. "[Expletive deleted] He's got Baker totally toppled over to him. Ervin works harder than most of our Southern gentlemen." L. Patrick Gray III. "Oh, he's dumb ... he is just quite stubborn and also he isn't very smart." Jeb Stuart Magruder. "Not a very "bright fellow. I mean he is bright, but he doesn't think through to the end ... a very facile liar. Magruder's a sort of light- weight in a very heavy job." Charles Colson. "Talks too much ... is also a name- dropper." J. Edgar Hoover. "Well, Hoover performed. He would have fought. That was the point. He would have defied a few people. He would have scared them to death. He has a file on everybody." Robert Kennedy. "Bobby was a ruthless Icharac- terization omitted]." WISHFUL THINKING For a man proud of his political shrewdness, the President as revealed in the transcript was frequently .sio.: eo -rasp the full seriousness of the Watergate mat- ter, and he gravely misread the public mood on several important points. "[Expletive deleted] it is a terrible lousy thing-it will remain a crisis among the upper intellectual types, the soft heads, our own, too-Republicans-and the Democrats and the rest. Average people won't think it is much of a crisis'unless it affects them [unintelligible]." (March 13. 1973) Nixon was strangely sanguine even though the Sen- ate Watergate Committee planned to hold hearings: "Well, it must be a big show. Pubic hearings. I wouldn't think though, I know from experience, my guess is that I think they could get through about three weeks of there and then I think it ..!d L,--;n to p-,!cr somewhat." (March 13, 1973) AS DECISION MAKER Contrary to the President's carefully nurtured im- age as a cool and dispassionate leader accustomed to tough going, the transcript reveals an indecisive man often dazed by a confusion of conflicting daia. . Haldeman's judgment easily prevailed over the President's in this discussion about whether or not to re- veal the contents of Jeb Stuart'Mag?'der's grand jury testimony: 14 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 'Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 P: And I think you should tell lJohn Connallyl -would you tell him about Magr uder? H: Nope. P: No, I guess not. P: I think with Bill lRoger:,l, though, you could teiI him, don't you think? H: Nope. I don't think I should. In the first place, I am not supposed to know. P: This isn't from the grand jury, Bob. H: No, I know. But Kleindienst isworried about John I Ehrlich rrn'sl giving the information to cnybody, and that- P: I see. You're right. (April 14. 1973) n`,ScS..uvv THE BLAME Whi!c the Presidents conversations reveal a com- plete absence of outage at his oCvfl'subordinates for the Watergate imbroglio, he was quick to place the blame on reople outside his circle: raised by Watergate. At one point Nixon misunder- stood the legal niceties involved in preparing the orig- inal Watergate defendants for their testimony: P: Did Mardian coach them? E: In some cases Mardian, I guess, was very heavy- handed about it, and- P: Well, is there anything wrong with that? E: Yeah, well there's something wrong with- P: He was not their attorney is the problem? E: Well, no, the problem-the problem is he asked them to say things that weren't true. P. Oh. (Apnl 15, 1973) P: What did he [Egil Krogh, deputy assistant to the President for domestic affairs] perjure himself on, John? D: Did he know the Cubans. He did. P: He said he didn't? D: That is right. They didn't press him hard. P: He might be able to--I am just trying to think. Perjury is an awful hard rap to prove. If he could just say that I-Well, go ahead. (March 21, 1973) "No, I tell you this itis the lost gasp of our hardest op- ponents. They've just got to have something to squeal about." ( .'-larch 13. 1!73) "They Ithe Demtxrats) are having a hord time now. They got the hell kicked out of them in the election ... But the basic thing is the establishment. The establish- ment is dying and to they've got to show that despite the successes we haze hod in foreign policy and in the election, they've got to show that it is just wrong just be- cause of this." (March 13, 1973) THE KENNEDY SPECTER In the view of Nixon and his men. Teddy Kennedy loomed large as the individual who might have the most to gain from the entire Watergate affair. ' D: I am convinced that he ISenator Ervin] has shown that he is merely a puppet for Kennedy in this whole thing. The fine hand of the Kennedys' is behind this whole hearing. There is no doubt about it .. . P: Yes, I guess the Kennedy crowd is just laying in the bushes waiting to make their move. (Feb 28, 1973) On one occasion, Dean brought up an FBI agent's idea for collecting information on the Democrats. The President's reply: "If he would get Kennedy into it, too, I would be a bit more pleased." (March 13, 1973) The President and his immediate circle of advisers were also worried that Kennedy would exploit the Er- vin hearings for his own advantage, going do television to give his version of the events. AS A LAWYER Though an attorney himself, the President was of- ten vague and uninfonmed on various questions of law SPEAKING IN CODE: In the Oval Office, Nixon and his closest aides of- ten employed a kind of verbal code, a jargon clearly fa- miliar to everyone present. It was a mixture of Mad- ison Avenue, locker room and pop psych-the shorthand of the club: "Stonewall, with lots of noises that we are always willing to cooperate, but no one is asking us for any thing." (Dean, on how to reply to embarrassing ques-~ tions, March 20, 1973) 1 P: The reason I raise the question of Magruder is~ what stroke have you got with Magruder? I guess we've got none. (March 27, 1973) D: If we go that route, sir, I can give a show we can sell them just like we were selling Wheaties on our po- sition. (March 21, 1973) P. All right, let's leave it this way-you will handle Baker now-you will babysit him starting like in about ten minutes? Alright? (March 22, 1973) NIXON ON NIXON: Occasionally in the transcripts, the President laps- es into a personal assessment, a revealing aside on how he views himself. "I believe in playing politics hard, but I am also smart." (March 27, 1973) "I mean, after all, it is my job and I don't want the presidency tarnished, but I am also a law enforcement man." (April 14, 1973) "And damn it I am that kind of person. I am not one who is going to say, look, while this guy is under at- tack, I drop him. Is there something to be said for that, or not?" (April 14, 1973) "Nobody is a friend of ours. Let's face it! Don't wor- ry about that." (March 13, 1973) 15 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 TIME, MAY 20, 1974 Richard Nixon's Collapsing Presidency The full impact of the transcripts is just beginning to seep in. The reaction of the public is now making itself felt on the members of Congress, and the public is dismayed, shocked and appalled. That assessment by Illinois Con- gressman John Anderson, chairman of the House Republican conference, ac- curately summed up the deteriorating situation confronting President Nixon last week. Before releasing transcripts of 46 private conversations with aides, he had somehow deluded himself into thinking that the American people would conclude that the text proved him innocent of wrongdoing in the Water- gate scandal. Moreover, he had reck- oned that the portrait of a foul-mouthed, conniving, amoral President revealed by the transcripts would soon fade from public memory. Instead, publication of the transcripts produced a floodtide of outrage and indignation as ever-grow- ing numbers of Nixon supporters aban- doned him in Congress and the nation. Resignation rumors were spawned fast- er than the White House could deny them, and a mood of crisis gripped Washington. Nixon's moral authority and ability-to govern seemed shattered beyond repair. By all the usual political omens, Nixon had lost the most auda- cious gamble in his political career and with it, in all likelihood, his chance of serving out his term of office. The Nixon crisis was most pressing on three fronts: - In Congress, a consensus was gathering that the situation was intol- erable. Some of Nixon's hitherto stout- est Republican supporters were falling. Senate Republican Leader Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania declared that the tran- scripts revealed a "deplorable, disgust- ing, shabby and immoral" performance on the part of the President and his for- mer aides. House Republican Leader John Rhodes of Arizona seconded that description. He recommended that Nix- on, if his position continued to deteri- orate, "ought to consider resigning asa possible option." One liberal Republi- can, Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania, broke completely with the President and became the third G.O.P. Senator to call for Nixon's res- ignation, joining Edward Brooke of Massachusetts and James Buckley of New York. (See story page 24.) - Newspaper editors and publishers in the Republican heartland studied the transcripts with sinking hearts and mounting dismay. One after another, they reversed their previous positions and wrote, in sorrow and in anger, ed- itorials calling for Nixon's resignation or impeachment. In a column published by all of the Hearst newspapers, Editor in Chief William Randolph Hearst Jr. said that the President "seems to have a moral blind spot." The Omaha World- Herald saw him "as a man incapable of providing the moral leadership which the United States is entitled to expect from its President." The Chicago Tri- bune deplored his "lack of concern for high principles" and "lack of commit- ment to the high ideals of public office." - The House Judiciary Committee in a solemn televised ceremony began formally to consider "whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Repre- sentatives to exercise its constitutional power to impeach Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States of Amer- ica." Given the reaction to the Presi- dent's transcripts, the committee's hear- ings on the evidence against Nixon may well be outrun by events. But if Nixon refuses to yield to the rising clamor for his resignation, the months-long consti- tutional process seemed more likely than ever before to lead to his removal. Even staunch Nixon supporters found it hard to name 34 U.S. Senators who would surely acquit him of impeachment charges and thus keep him in office. The pressure for Nixon to resign drove the White House to denial after denial of reports of imminent presiden- tial action. Ari exasperated Ronald Zie- gler, the President's press secretary, finally tried to still the rumor tongues by declaring of Nixon: "His attitude is one of determination that he will not be driven out of office by rumor, spec- ulation, excessive charges or hypocrisy. j He is up to the battle, he intends to fight it, and he feels he has a personal and constitutional responsibility to do so." White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig was a little more cautious. In what seemed to be a slight crack in the stone wall against resignation, he said: "I think the only thing that would tempt resignation on the part of the President would be if he thought that served the best interests of the people." That, of course, was exactly the rationale being offered by many in the capital and the rest of the country. One conservative Senator, Republi- can Milton R. Young of North Dakota, pointed out that Nixon need not resign to leave voluntarily. Young, who is run- ning for re-election this November, said: "He's getting in deeper trouble all the time. It's a question of whether he can continue as President. It would be a whole lot easier for members of Con- gress and myself if he 'used the 25th Amendment and-stepped aside until this thing is cleared up." This amendment permits the President to let the Vice President take over temporarily if the President is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."* But White House spokesmen denied that Nixon had any idea of doing this. Nixon himself inadvertently con- tributed to the national jitters by sud- denly calling Vice President Gerald Ford to his Executive Office Building hideaway for an hour-long chat on Fri- day. The summons perhaps was intend- ed to show that Nixon was still in con- trol of the Administration. A day earlier, Ford had reflected the deepening na- tional anxiety by voicing his sharpest criticism of the Administration since taking office. He deplored the "crisis of confidence" that Watergate has created and-in a pointed reference to the tran- scripts-said: "And while it may be easy The amendment also provides an alternative to the impeachment process for removing a Pres- ident. It states that if the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet inform Congress that the President is unable to perform his duties, the Vice President shall immediately take over. If the President objects and claims that "no in- ability exists," the Congress must decide the issue by a tuo-thirds vote. The amendment was orig- inally passed. in 1967, to cover cases of physical and mental disability. to delete characterization from the printed page, we cannot delete charac- terization from people's minds with a wave of the hand." Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Gerald Warren said that Nixon's dis- cussion with Ford was dominated by foreign and domestic policy. Warren acknowledged that impeachment and Ford's impressions of public sentiment `'may have come up in a peripheral way." But Warren insisted that the con- versation did not include any talk of Nixon's resigning. Afterward Ford told reporters that Nixon suggested "perhaps I was working too hard" in his stren- uous speaking tours-which was con- strued by some as an oblique reproach by Nixon for Ford's critical comments. Ford did indeed emphasize the pos- itive in subsequent speeches. There - seemed small chance that Nixon could stem the massive outpour- ing of public and congres- sional dismay as he finally did after the firing of Spe- cial Prosecutor Archibald Cox last October and the res- ignations of Attorney Gen- eral Elliot Richardson and his chief assistant, William Ruckelshaus. Nixon, after days of disastrous erosion in his support, appeased some of his critics that time by promising Cox's successor, Leon Jaworski, virtually complete independence and by eventually surrendering seven of his Watergate tapes to a grand jury. Since then the President's room for ma- neuver has been greatly nar- rowed by the various Wa- tergate investigations and his unwillingness to release more tapes. Even the doucht'iiest nres- :dential aides conceded that the blows from Republican leaders and conservative newspapers had been stag- gering for the President. But they clung to the hope that, as one put it, "some of this suffocating moral outrage will diminish" with time. The presidential advisers seemed to miss the point of much of the criticism. They preferred to think that Nixon was be- ing condemned for his foul language, not for the sleazy, devious and possibly criminal conduct . exposed by the transcripts. Throughout the week, the presiden- tial public relations machinery operated r in high gear. Haig and Presidential Spe- cial Counsel James St. Clair appeared on TV talk shows to defend Nixon's de- cision not to turn over any more tapes to the House Judiciary Committee or Special Prosecutor Jaworski. St. Clair contended that Nixon "feels that he has been in more than full compliance" with the Judiciary Committee and Ja- worski subpoenas by yielding the ed- ited transcripts. In that atmosphere of presidential intransigence, the House Judiciary Committee opened its historic impeach- ment hearings with an 18-minute pub- 16 .,t Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 ,Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 .. lic ceremony at 1:08 p.m. on a gray and rainy Thursday. Chairman Peter Rodino declared that "the real secu- rity of this nation lies in the integrity of its institutions and the trust and in- formed confidence of its people. We con- duct our deliberations in that spirit." Ranking Republican Edward Hutch- inson outlined the view that impeach- ment will require "finding criminal cul- pability on the part of the President himself, measured according to criminal law." This view is held by some-but not all-Republicans on the committee. Then the committee went into secret session to begin its deliberations, which were expected to last for six weeks. Black Binders. The sober spirit of, the hearings was embodied in two thick black binders placed on each of the 38 committee members' desks. One was an annotated index of the documentary or taped evidence accumulated by the conLrnittee staff in the six months that it has probed 41 allegations of wrong- doing-including obstruction of justice and complicity in the Watergate cover- up-by Nixon. The other binder held .:the material that Majority Counsel John Doar's staff presented to the committee during its first three-hour session. It amounted to a recitation of the events that led up to the break-in at the Dem- ocratic National Committee offices in the Watergate complex on June 17, 1972. More binders would follow as Doar's staff outlined its evidence of the Watergate cover-up and other presi- dential scandals- The initial secret phase was expected to take four days. That meant, since the committee planned to meet only tl:r cc d avs a :zc:k. that the First public, televised Cession would not take place before Tuesday, May 21. During its first session, the com- mittee agreed not to issue a blanket sub- poena for the 107 tape recordings and documents that President Nixon has refused to give it. Instead, the com- mittee will vote individual subpoenas throughout the hearings as gaps ap- pcar in the evidence already recei?. ed from the White House, a Watergate grand jury and other sources. One of the first subpoenas is likely to include a request for the tape of a meeting be- tween Nixon, former Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman and then-Attorney General .John Mitchell on April 4, 1972. Ac- cording to testimony given to the Sen- ate Watergate committee, that was just four days after of Icials of Nixon's re- election committee approved the scheme to bug the Democratic head- quarters. The committee needs the tape to determine whether Nixon-despite his denials-had advance knowledge of the plan. An audio system has been installed in the committee room so that mem- bers can listen to tapes over earphones. In addition, they will see evidence from other congressional committees and fed- eral agencies, as well as the briefcase of material turned over by a Watergate grand jury that indicted seven of Nix- on's former White House and re-elec- tion campaign associates on March 1. Meanwhile, a 170-page draft of the Senate Watergate committee's final re- port was made available. The deadline for its being approved by the commit- tee and issued is May 28, the date on which the committee is scheduled to dis- band. The report asserts that John Mitchell. despite his denials before the Ervin committee, did approve the in- telligence-gathering scheme that led to the Watergate break-in on June 17, 1972. The draft says that the money clandestinely paid by White House of- ficials to the original seven Watergate defendants was intended to buy their si- lence, not simply as legitimate support for their families and to cover their le- gal fees. The report declares that the committee found no national security justification for the break-in of the of- fice of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist. The staff is also preparing a chapter on presidential involvement in Watergate. The committee continued its inves- tigation' into Billionaire Howard R. Hughes' $100,000 contribution to Nix- on's re-election. campaign. Committee investigators suspect that the cash was given in exchange for a bending of an- titrust guidelines to permit Hughes to add the Dunes to his string of Las Ve- gas hotels and gambling casinos. The in- vestigators further believe that the pur- pose of the Watergate bugging was to find out if Democrats knew about the deal. Democratic National Chairman Lawrence O'Brien had done some pub- lic relations work for the Hughes orga- nization, and it was feared, according to investigators, that O'Brien might know about the Hughes donation. Periods of Silence. The $100,000 was handed to Charles G. ("Bebe") Re- bozo, Nixon's close pal, who last week agreed to give the committee some of his personal financial records. The com- mittee is trying to determine whether the money remained in Rebozo's safe- deposit box for three years, as he claims. Herbert W. Kalmbach, Nixon's former personal attorney, has testified that Re- bozo told him some of the money was disbursed to Presidential Secretary Rose Mary Woods and Nixon's brothers. In- vestigators suspect that Rebozo later used different bills to repay Hughes. As Nixon's transcripts underwent a second week of close study, more ques- tions were raised about their complete- ness. Reporters found that some of the transcripts contain unexplained periods of silence. An April 16, 1973, meeting lasted 14 minutes and covers eleven pages of edited transcript. Another meeting that day lasted 28 minutes but fills only nine pages of transcript. Again, the White House logs recorded a March 22, 1973, meeting as beginning at 1:37 p.m. and ending at 3:43 p.m. Yet the transcript ends with John Ehrlichman, then the President's chief domestic counselor, telling Nixon: "It is 3:16." Moreover, of the approximately 1,700 portions of conversations that the tran- scribers omitted as "inaudible" or "un- intelligible," most were from statements by a single speaker-President Nixon. Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Gerald Warren insisted, however, that "there are not gaps on those tapes." He said that the White House taping sys- tem was so unsophisticated that its sound-activated recorders were some- times turned on by the noise of air con- ditioners, rattling of coffee cups or rus- tling of papers. Furthermore, Special Counsel J. Fred Buzhardt Jr., who su- pervised the transcribing, said that many of the "inaudible" segments were caused by a "swerping" noise the record- ers made when they turned on. More questions about the tapes seemed inevitable un- less Nixon changed his mind and permitted them to be ex- amined by outside electronics experts. So far, they have studied eight tapes, a cassette and a dictabelt, including the tape with the 18%-minute gap in Nixon's conversation with Haldeman. They con- cluded that the gap could not have been caused accidental- ly. According to other tape experts, a period of "silence" with background noises might not be suspicious on the tape, but a dead silence might be an indication of tampering. There was a flurry of oth- er activity in Congress as well. The Senate Judiciary Committee decided to begin full-scale hearings this week into why the Justice Depart- ment failed to unravel the Watergate cover-up in the summer and fall of 1972. One of its first witnesses will be Assistant Attorney General Henry Petersen. Nixon put, him in full charge of the Wa-, tergate investigation last spring after Richard Klein- dienst, then Attorney Gener- al, withdrew because the probe's targets included some of his close friends and for- mer associates. As both foes and former friends re- jected the latest Watergate maneuver- ings, many White House aides appeared grim and Bloomy. The President, how- ever, showed no visible strain. At the East Room swearing-in ceremony of William E. Simon as Secretary of the Treasury, Nixon looked relaxed and controlled. Nor was there any sign of ob- vious strain the following day, when he discussed the economy for two hours with Republican congressional leaders, including some who had severely crit- icized him earlier in the week. Watergate was not brought up dur- ing that meeting, but it doubtless was up- permost in the President's mind. For a large part of the week, he secluded him- self in the Executive Office Building. pondering his next move. One night, ac- companied by a White House doctor and a military aide, he cruised the Potomac for an hour and a half aboard the pres- idential yacht Sequoia. On another night he dined aboard the Sequoia with Wife Pat, Daughter Julie and her husband David Eisenhower. As Julie later re- called in a press conference with David. the President "said he would take this constitutionally down to the wire. If there is only one Senator who supports him, that's the way it is going to be." Julie said that the transcripts portrayed "a human being reacting to a difficult sit- uation." But David acknowledged that the documents revealed a new side of his father-in-law. Said David: "It is not the same guy at the family dinner ta- ble." Saturday evening, Nixon delivered the commencement address at Oklaho- ma State University. To the crowd that greeted him at the airport he declared: "I have that old Okie spirit, and we nev- ergive up." Then he flew to Camp David to spend Mother's Day with Pat. Even measured by what has hap- pened over the tumultuous year of Wa- tergate, it was the worst week of Nixon's presidency. And there was no immedi- ate prospect that things would get better. The public outcry seemed likely to con- 17 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 tinue building, adding to the pressures already on the President So far, he seemed determined to stay the course. But all the returns were far from in. The Public: Disilkisioned From almost every region of the country last week, the message for Rich- ard Nixon was ominous. Now it was not the outcry of his traditional liberal op- ponents that threatened him. Instead, it was a swelling disillusionment and outrage among many of his sturdiest- supporters, his natural Republican and Middle American constituency. In sur- prisingly large numbers Americans were making their way through the long White House transcripts-at least four soft-backed versions were selling fast -and what they learned from those complex, intimate conversations was be- ginning to crystallize. In interviews throughout the nation, TIME correspondents found some will- ingness to defend Nixon. But across the board, among Democrats, independents and Republicans, the transcripts ap- peared to have accomplished a decisive shift in public opinion. Nixon was badly damaged by a stun- ning series of defections among news- papers that had previously supported him. The Chicago Tribune, the most in- fluential voice of conservative Repub- licanism in the Midwest, came out with a long scathing editorial demanding Nixon's resignation. Ironically, two weeks ago the White House had slipped an advance copy of the transcripts to the Tribune because the paper's publish- ers intended to run the full text, which they did. Shortly before the Tribune's presses started running with its edito- rial. Presidential Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler called Tribune Editor Clayton Kirkpatrick. long.a supporter of Nixon policies, and urged him to reconsider. The record, Ziegler argued, was incom- plete. "You made it so." Kirkpatrick shot back. Ziegler finally said he was very sorry that the Tribune was moved to take such a position. "I'm kind of sor- ry about it myself," said Kirkpatrick. Even more startling was the apos- tasy of the Omaha World-Herald, a highly conservative paper whose sup- port for Nixon was evident for years in its news columns as well as on its edi- torial page. Those views reflected the thinking not only of its owner Peter Kiewit, a construction multimillionaire and Nixon contributor, but also of the people of the state that it blankets. Nix- on got his best voter percentages in Ne- braska in 1960 and 1968, and only a few other states did better for him in 1972. Yet the World-Herald concluded last week that Nixon should resign. A re- markable number of other major news- papers that had previously supported Nixon-including the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Kansas City Times and the Los Angeles Times-urged his removal from office. The nation's largest news- paper, the normally pro-Nixon New York Daily News, stopped short of de- manding impeachment, but said the President's failure to co-operate with the House Judiciary Committee "demon- strates an appalling insensitivity to his moral obligations." Felon's Lair. "I know America," Richard Nixon said in 1970, "and the American heart is good." Now he must contend with millions of Americans who believe that they have at last peered into Richard Nixon's. heart. The outrage ex- pressed at the tapes is above all a moral anger, and Nixon, who has so often ap- pealed to American morality in the past, is feeling the fury of a nation that is still extraordinarily idealistic about its Government. especially the presidency. "It is a fundamental law of Arne. ican politics." vv; ites Political Ar:alyst Mi- chael Novak, "that whoever speaks with the power of morality on his side gains enormous practical power." With the publication of the transcripts, Nixon may have lost that power. Said William P. Thompson. chief ex- ecutive of the United Presbyterian Church: "It is almost as if the public has been admitted to the most private plotting within a felon's lair." To Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congrega- tions, the presidential conversations "reek with the stench of moral decay." The Rev. Foy Valentine, head of the Southern Baptist Christian Life Com- mission. described the tone of the con- versations as "utterly reprehensible, made worse by the fact that there had been such a pretense of piety." Nixon's friend, the Rev. Billy Graham, refrained from criticism, but remarked. "I think he will put what's best for the country above everything else." Graham added his homily: "The Lord is listening all the time. The Lord has got his tape re- corder going from the time you're born until you die." Nixon still seemed to enjoy his greatest continuing support among Southern conservatives and Wallaceites, with their abiding distrust of the East- ern press and television networks. Pol- itics aside, John D. Tollerson, a man- agement psychologist in Atlanta, said: "There is nothing immoral in his con- versation as far as I know. I resent the furor and moral indignations raised by his opportunistic opponents. (Expletive deleted], lots of people swear." In Vicks- burg, Miss., Mrs. Ronnie Forsythe ar- gued that "the media acts as judges and won't let people think for themselves." Too Tough. Such charges were echoed by Nixon supporters elsewhere. Said George A. Vossler, chairman of the Erie County, N.Y., Conservative Party: "So far. Nixon has been judged by tele- vision and the news media." Frank Di- Gennaro, a Baltimore photographer, in- sisted flatly: "1 still consider Nixon this country's greatest President. His ene- mies never cease trying to tear him down, but you watch. Hell be too tough for them." A nationwide TivtE-Yankelovich survey conducted by telephone last Wednesday and Thursday found that Nixon has lost an important weapon in his fight against impeachment: the pre- viously prevailing fear felt by a major- ity of Americans that impeachment would mean disaster for the country. While 61% of the people polled shared that fear last November, only 38% ex- pressed such concern last week..Accord- ing to the survey, only 38% of the Amer- ican people wanted Nixon to remain in office. A majority. 537c. wanted him ei- ther to resign or be impeached. A Louis Harris poll, also conducted last week, found that 49% wanted Nixon im- peached and removed from office, while 41% did not. In April, Harris showed a 42-42 standoff on that question. TIME correspondents assessed reac- i NEW ENGLAND So strong has been their disillusion- ment with Nixon that New Englanders were probably less affected by the tran- scripts than were other Americans. In Massachusetts, bitterness over the clos- ing of military bases and the energy shortages had already eroded much of the 45% of the vote that Nixon received there in 1972. A Boston Globe survey in the solidly Republican towns of Need- ham and Reading, which Nixon carried by 57 to 43 in 1972, found a remarkable 67% of the voters in favor of resigna- tion or impeachment. Said Pollster Tubby Harrison: "It's really astounding. Only 30% want him to stay in office, and this is real Nixon territory." In Maine, the jointly owned Port- land Express and Press Herald swiveled around 180? from their previous support and called for impeachment. The small Central Maine Morning Sentinel in Wa- terville declared it was impossible to read the transcripts "without feeling like an embarrassed and unwitting voyeur." Some New Englanders, of course, spoke up for the President. Bruce Cal- lahan, an engineer from Lee, Mass., de- clared: "Nixon acted wisely in keeping the lid on the whole thing. If he had shot off his mouth when he first learned of it, he might have impaired the cases of a lot of people who were going to stand trial." But negative sentiment was stronger. Said Morgan James, a tele- phone worker in Boston: "If he was con- cerned with the country, he would do what Willy Brandt did in Germany and resign for the good of the U.S." THE MID-ATLANTIC Here, as elsewhere, a majority be- lieves the President is guilty, perhaps im- peachably so. But a battered,, steadfast minority refuses to budge from its con- viction that Nixon has done nothing wrong, and each side reads the tapes to buttress its view. Typical of the support- ers is Bernard Shanley, a G.O.P. nation- al committeeman from New Jersey. Said he: "The tapes have proved Nixon is not responsible for a crime, and no mat- ter what people think of the transcripts, they do not have evidence that he com- mitted a crime." Some Nixon support- ers, Republicans, independents and even Democrats, fear the possibly cat- aclysmic effect of an impeachment trial. Attorney Samuel Fallk, of Scranton, Pa., was never "a Nixon fan," but he wants the President to stay in office because,'. in the words of Brutus after Caesar's death: "Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more." Many Republican professionals, however, were bewildered or outraged or both. Said Harry Sayen, G.O.P. chair- man in Mercer County, N.J.: "If this is an indication of coming clean, I'd hate to think of what is left behind." Accord- ing to New York Republican Assem- blyman Fred Field: "On the basis of the transcripts, there is a total breakdown of the moral attitude of those at the lead- ership level in the White House." Rolfe Neill, editor of the Philadel- phia Daily News, wrote in a column: Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 ."Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 "Those who wish to package lies and call it truth are tampering with the na- tion's soul. The President must be im- peached, and these are not high crimes, they are the highest crimes." Said Fran- cis Laping, the Hungarian-born owner of a publishing firm in Philadelphia: "As an immigrant, it hurts me to see Amer- ica humiliated like this. The President thinks he is God, but he is guilty as hell." The normally staid Baltimore Evening Sun editorialized: "Richard Nixon is making God-damn patsies of us all." THE SOUTH There seem three discernible groups in the South: 1) those who want Nixon out, no matter what, 2) the conservatives and Wallace voters who want Nixon to. survive, and 3) those who, as the At- lanta Journal said last week, are "sat- urated, nay, satiated with Watergate" and wish it would simply go away. James Bryson, a buyer for a Nashville shoe store, said: "This has carried on long enough-impeachment proceed- ings should get under way to settle it once and for all." Ann Waldron, book editor of the Houston Chronicle, believes that Nixon has become "despicable -beyond the pale. He may have been ill-used by his subordinates, but anyone who would hire such people must an- swer for it. They were all without ide- als, without compassion and with no loy- alty to each other or the country." Harriet Arbuckle, headmistress of a Houston nursery school, sighed: "The whole thing is so sad. I feel we should keep a cool head and not burn our house down now with impeachment, but find L out about the next person we select as president [in 1976]." THE MIDWEST The transcripts are changing atti- tudes in the Midwest more rapidly than anything the President has ever done. For years, Midwesterners tended to con- sider Nixon one of their own, a decent, law-abiding and hard-working man. But the character revealed by his own words seems to many Midwesterners even worse than his enemies had described. An Illinois Republican Party profession- al reported that about half the down- state county chairmen are shaking their heads: "A lot of them knew Nixon was a rough guy, and they figured he was in- volved in some way [in the cover-up]; but they never figured he was in so deep, or that he was so amoral" The other half of the G.O.P. county chairmen, he added, are just suffering in silence. Next to Nebraska, Oklahoma was Nixon's best state in the Midwest. Un- til a few weeks ago, people were writ- ing letters to the editors of local news- papers comparing the President to Jesus Christ. a man persecuted for his purity. But the mood changed just after the transcripts were released. Said the Rev. John Wolf, of Tulsa's All Souls Unitar- ian Church: "People have seen the meanness and the ugliness behind the whole thing. Nothing could be more an- tithetical to our system. [The President and his men] seem to have no sense of what law and order really means. They don't seem to understand what Amer- ica is." In Kansas, the Topeka Capital- Journal broke ranks with Nixon. Wrote Publisher Oscar S. Stauffer, an activist Republican for nearly 50 years: "It's time to hand President Nixon his hat. The transcript of the tapes dips to sor- Further Tales from the Transcripts THE PRESIDENT: The announce- ment-what I had in mind would be [in- audible] announcement-still to the [in- audible] going to name several other people who were involved ... [inaudi- ble] because of the people named [in- audible] language used. [Inaudible] some people [inaudible] judgment [in- audible] matter for the President [inau- dible] special, I'm going to call him spe- cial counsel [inaudible] this case [inaudible] possibility before he walks into that open court [inaudibleI can't get to that today [inaudible] meeting with [inaudible]? HENRY PETERSEN: [Inaudible] question. [inaudible] I told him ... I would be willing to go [inaudible] ... THE PRESIDENT: [Inaudible] That kind of dialogue might be a hit in the theater of the absurd, but it hardly seems the stuff of popular suc- cess. Yet even though the White House transcripts of taped presidential conver- did depths ... Walls of the White House echoing with conspiracy reminds one that gangland has profaned America's most hallowed halls ... May the Pres- ident pass into oblivion and the nation again resume its true posture." THE WEST As in the Midwest, the week went fairly disastrously for Richard Nixon in the Western states. In Oregon, a former key Nixon political operative finished reading the transcripts, got up uC m his desk, and turned his autographed pic- ture of Nixon to the wall. Leslie Dut- ton, a Nixon loyalist from Santa Mon- ica who only two weeks ago was posing with Nixon in the Oval Office after giv- ing him a petition of support from 10,000 admirers, confessed: "We got to start l(1JILRll1s 0.WUL L11L. WMLIQI L. Vl L11L. il41 Ly, and where this leaves the President, I just don't know." New Mexico G.O.P. State Chairman William Murray Ryan said bleakly: The CiiCCL Vi iuc L1 11_V_11PLb ila. ucci devastating." Los Angeles Republican Congressman Alphonzo Bell had mail running 55 to 45 in favor of Nixon after the President's speech. But then a sec- ond wave of letters came in reflecting re- action to the transcripts themselves. His letters were 5 to I against Nixon. Republican leaders in California, Colorado, Oregon, Ari7nna and New Mexico agreed that while there remains a significant number of Nixon loyalists in the party, the majority believes Nix- on should step down as quickly as pos- sible. They also concur that many peo- ple found the transcripts too diffuse and confusing to significantly add to their previous judgments of presidential guilt or innocence. What disturbs the public, they said, was the bad language and the coarse, vindictive tone of the conversa- tions. According to Nancy Mucken, a Portland, Ore., housewife: "I hadn't really made up up my mind about Nixon and Watergate until I read the tran- scripts. But now I am very concerned. I think he is a very corrupt man." What- ever the truth of such suspicions, Col- orado Republican State Chairman Bill Daniels undoubtedly expressed the opinion of most Americans: "The whole sations are shot through with such pas- sages as that one between the President and the Assistant Attorney General on April 16, 1973, they have become the na- tion's newest bestseller and biggest con- versation piece. With good reason. To be sure, these 33 hours or so of re- corded talks are a minuscule fraction of Richard Nixon's presidential conversa- tions-and, one can only hope, the grub- biest fraction. The transcripts might not necessarily be representative of the way he always conducts business; the lan- guage and tone may be loftier and more dignified when he confers with, say, Henry Kissinger or other officials. De- spite the indecipherable passages and inelegant language, however, the tran- scripts yield an absorbing insight into the inner workings of Nixon's White House and of the President's mind. Some noteworthy examples follow. I: THE MAIN THING IS [INAU- DIBLE] AND [UNINTELLIGIBLE] The version issued by the Govern- ment Printing Office runs to 1,308 pages and contains some 1,700 notations of "unintelligible" or "inaudible." They are not, however, randomly distributed. An extraordinary number occur at crucial points in conversations; a remarkable to- tal, perhaps two-thirds, are gaps in the President's conversation. In a meeting with then White House Counsel John Dean III in the Oval Office on Feb. 28, 1973, for example, the President (P) is discussing how to handle the newly es- tablished Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities-the Watergate committee. P: Make a deal-that is the point. Baker [Senator Howard Baker], as I said, is going to keep at arm's length and you've got to be very firm with these guys or you may not end up with many things. Now as I said the only bock-up position I can possibly see is one of a [in- audible] if Kleindienst [Richard Klein- dienst. then Attorney General] wants to back [inaudible] for [inaudible]. in a March 13, 1973, meeting, Dean (D) talks about using William Sullivan, former assistant director of the FBI, to disclose how other Presidents had used the bureau for political purposes. D: if i have one liability in Sullivan here, it is his knowledge of the earlier : [unintelligible] that occurred here. P: That we did? D: That we did. In an April 14, 1973, meeting among the President, John Ehrlichman (E) and H.R. ("Bob") Haldeman (H) at the Ex- ecutive Office Building to discuss the spreading stain of Watergate, Nixon makes a truly Delphic utterance. P: Let's suppose they get Mitchell [John Mitchell, former Attorney Gen- eral]. They're going to say now what about Haldeman, what about .-.. the rest? ... I want somebody to soy, now look, here are the facts. Of the White House people [unintelligible]. There are no other higher-up. The White House [unintelligible]. Put a capon it. Watergate mess has gotten out of hand. Still another key passage occurs dur- and we've got to get it settled quickly." ing the April 17, 1973, meeting between 19 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved Nixon and Henry Petersen, then head- . trig the .N.LaiergatC..nVCS.agntlC:a. P: Now-this brings us to a basic command decision with regard-with regard to what you do about White. House people. The main thing is [inau- dible] and you con look at it in terms of the fact that anybody who this touches should go out-without [inaudible] ... let's suppose-just take Ehrlichman is a case in point-that this thing brought in by [inaudible] that proves to be [inau- dible] don't get anything else on Ehr- lichman then the question is that nev- ertheless that in itself would raise a cloud 'over Ehrlichman. When the House Judiciary Commit- tee was debating two weeks ago wheth- er to accept the transcripts or insist on getting the original tapes. Majority Counsel John Doar said flatly, "The transcripts are not accurate." Doar has- tened to explain that certain words might have been dropped by the White House transcribers because of inatten- tion and that some "unintelligible" seg- ments might be attributable to inferior listening equipment. But some commit- tee members thought Doar was being unduly generous and that some tapes bad in fact been tampered with. One unexplained discrepancy was detected by cas last week. In the March 13, 1973, transcript, Dean talks about Federal District Judge John J. Sirica. D: Sirica is a strange man. He is known as a hanging judge. P: [Unintelligible] Yet last June, when White House Special Counsel Fred Bu hardt prepared a report on the same tare, his summary included this passage: "Dean said Siri- ca was a hanging judge. The President said he liked hanging judges." II: EXCISING THE EXPLETIVES In addition to the words and passag- es marked unintelligible, nearly 150 ex- picti'ves, adjectives or pcrs nai charac- terizations have been deleted from the transcripts. Again, most occur when the President is talking. Many of the exci- sions were ac by Buzhardt, a lay m_-1c by ..?~~~ ~ Southern Baptist minister from South Carolina who neither smokes, drinks nor cusses. But while Buzhardt saw fit to delete 'every "goddam," "Jesus Christ" and other examples of presidential irrev- erence, he left intact a good many four-, five-, ten- and twelve-letter specimens of Anglo-Saxon earthiness. These fell be- fore Nixon's own blue pencil. So too did some ethnic slurs used by Nixon. Ac- cording to the New York Times, the President referred to Judge Sirica as 'that wop," spoke of "those Jewboys" in the Securities and Exchange Commis- sion, and described L. Patrick Gray III, then acting FBI chief, as a"thick-necked mick." According to CDs. Nixon used the word "Jewboy" in referring to Daniel Ellsberg. The White House denies that Nixon used any of those terms. Even in its expurgated farm, there is much in the transcript that is vulgar and contemptible. Perhaps the low point oc- curs in this scatological exchange among the President, Haldeman and Ehrlich- man about Dean's possible testimony before the Watergate committee. For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432RQ00100330007-4 su p o t e increasingly sinister aura tt f f t ll , you er o ac , as a ma E: We might have turned the set up some day and watched your White House Counsel crap-for glorious television. It would at least be surprising. H: That's right. P: Oh, it's done up there? H: Sure, he pulls it up there. III: THE PRESIDENT AND THE [ADJECTIVE DELETED] PRESS Nixon and the White House have to cultivated the myth that the Paw- ident is too bury to read newspapers or watch television. An adjunct to the myth is that Nixon gets the news better and straighter from the 20- to 50-page press summary delivered to him before 8 a.m. each day by White )mouse Special Con- sultant Patrick Buchanan. The tran- scripts should thoroughly dispel the myth. In his Feb. 28 meeting with Dean, the President discusses in impfessivo de- tail what the newspapers are saying about the woes of Campaign Finance Chairman Maurice Stans. P: Somebody is after him about Vesco [Fugitive Financier Robert Ves- co]. I first read the story briefly in the [Washington) Post. I read, naturally, the first page and I turned to the [New York] Times to read it. The Times had in the sec- ond paragraph that the money had been returned, but the Post didn't have it. D: That is correct. P: The Post didn't have it until after you continued to the back section. It is the [adjective deleted] thing I ever saw. D: Typical. P:. My guess is the [Washington] Star pointed out [inaudible]. Not that the President is exactly pleased by what he sees in the press. During the same meeting there is this exchange. P: Well, one hell of a lot of people don't give one damn about this issue of the suppression of the press, etc. We know that we aren't trying to do it. They all squeal about it... [White House Spe- cial Counsel Charles] Colson sure mak- ing them move it around, saying we don't like this or that and [inaudible] D: Well, you know Colson's threat of a law suit ... had a very sobering ef- fect on several of the national maga- zines. They are now checking before printing a lot of this Watergate junk they print. They check the press office trying to get a confirmation or denial, or call the individuals involved. And they have said they are doing it because they are afraid of a libel suit on them. So it did have a sobering effect. We will keep them honest if we can remind them that they can't print anything and get away with it. Nor does Nixon think much of the motives of the press. Still conferring with Dean, he makes the point that Senator Sam Ervin's Watergate committee ought to conduct itself as if it were a court of law. P: There will be no hearsay, no in- nuendo. This will be a model of a Con- gressional hearing. That will disappoint the [adjective deleted] press. No hear- say! No innuendo! No leaks! IV: THE BIG ENCHILADA surrounding the absent and feared Chuck Colson; the bizarre conduct of Convicted Watergate Burglar G. Gor- don Liddy, who never broke his silence and who deliberately burned his arms while in prison to prove that he could en- dure anything; the delicate compromis- ing of Henry Petersen. Perhaps most striking is the story of how Nixon pro- gresses from disbelief that John Mitch- ell is involved in the scandal to an un- seemly eagerness to turn his longtime friend, confidant, law partner and cam- paign manager into the chief scapegoat, and how, through it all, the President is unable to confront Mitchell directly. As late as Feb. 28, 1973, Nixon tells Dean. during a conversation on Sena- tor Baker's role on the Ervin commit- tee: "Baker's got to realize ... that if he allows this thing to get out of hand he i9 going to potentially ruin John Mitch- ell. He won't. Mitchell won't allow him- self to be ruined. He will put on his big stone face." By March 27, Nixon and his chief aides have become aware that Mitchell is in deep trouble over Water- gate. This exchange takes place among Nixon, Haldeman and Ehrlichman. P: Mitchell, you see, is never never going to go in and admit perjury ... H: They won't give him that conve- nience, I wouldn't think, unless they fig- ure they are going to get you. He is as high up as they've got. E: He's the big enchilada. H: And he's the one the magazines zeroed in on this weekend. P: They did? What grounds? H: Yeah. [unintelligible] has a quote that they maybe have a big fish on the hook. P: I think Mitchell should come down. As of April 14, however, Mitchell has not yet been summoned to Wash- ington from New York City. Nixon, Ehrlichman and Haldeman agree that somebody had better talk with him. E: The purpose of the mission is to go up and bring him to a focus on this: The jig is up. And the President strongly feels that the only way that this thing can end up being even a little net plus for the Administration and for the Presidency and preserve some thread is for you to go in and voluntarily make a statement. P: A statement [unintelli- gible] E: A statement that ba-. sically says . "I am both morally and legally respon- j sible." P: Yeah. 20 Later during the meeting Ehrlichman suggests that the' President summon Mitchell to the Oval Office "as the provable wrong-doer" and tell him: "My God, I've got a report here. And it's clear from this report that you are guilty as hell. Now, John, for [expletive deleted] sake go on in there and do what you= should. And let's get this thing cleared up and get it off the country's back and move Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 .~ Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100336007-4 on." Haldeman is enthusias- tic about that scenario. "That's the only way to beat it now," he says. By then Nix- on is in agreement, but he does not want to give Mitch- ell the word himself. "Mitchell-this is going to break him up," he says. "You know its a pain for me to do it." He del- egates the job to Ehrlichman and, re- ferring to himself in the third person, gives him these instructions: "You could say to Mitchell ... that he just can't bring himself to talk to you about it. Just can't do it." It soon becomes clear that Mitchell is not about to shoulder the blame and is, in fact, as adept at shifting it as are his quondam colleagues. E: Well, let me tell you what Mitch- ell said. It was another gigging of the White House. He said, "Yoj know, ... [Deputy Director of Nixon's Re-election Campaign Jeb] Magruder said that Hal- deman had cooked this whole thing up over here at the White House and- P: Had he said that? E: Well that is what he said ... Mitchell's theory- P: Whatever his theory is, let me say, one footnote-is that throwing off on the White House won't help him one damn bit. Before the week is out. Kleindienst is advising the President that Mitchell is certain to be indicted. The "big fish" has been hooked, and Nixon, Ehrlich- man and Haldeman mistakenly assume that the Watergate probers will be sat- isfied and will quit casting for even bigger ones. . V: THE TOUCHIEST TAPES The two tapes that may figure most heavily in any effort to impeach the President are those of March 21 and 27, 1973. TIME has learned that it was the March 21 tape of an Oval Office meet- ing of Nixon, Dean and Haldeman that prompted the Watergate grand jury to recommend the President's indictment for conspiracy. Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski dissuaded the jurors, arguing that it was questionable whether an in- cumbent President can in fact be indict- ed, that the recourse against a President is impeachment. Jaworski also warned that if the Supreme Court were to rule that the grand jury had exceeded its au- thority in going after the President, in- dictments of seven other officials might be jeopardized. The 23 jurors were par- ti:u!arly impressed by the President's apparent failure to rule out the payment of hush money to the Watergate bur- g!ars. At one point Nixon told Dean, "Get it." and investigators later con- firmed that S75.000 as delivered that very night to the lawyer for E. Iloward Hunt Jr., one of those convicted of stag- ing the break-in. Also, the jurors were convinced that the President's state- ment, "It would be wrong. that's for sure." did not refer to the payment of bribes. In context, the statement appears to refer to the granting of clemency -and to have been made out of polit- ical. not moral, considerations. Moreover, tape experts hope to de- termine whether portions of the March 13 tape of a meeting between Nixon and Dean were cut out and spliced into the March 21 tape. The investigators are aware that what Dean said was dis- cussed on March 13 actually came up on the March 21 tape; Dean later con- ceded that he had probably got the two conversations mixed up. A few-but not all---of the Watergate investigators won- der whether the tapes were doctored in order to establish a later date for the President's learning of the Watergate cover-up. One reason for their suspicion: all through the Watergate hearings, it was believed that the final payment of hush money was made on March 20; had the President not learned of the cov- er-up until March 21. he could not pos- sibly have approved the final payment. Not until recently was it established that the last installment was actually paid on March 21. The March 27 transcript raises ques- tions about Haldeman's role in the cam- paign intelligence setup run by Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy. Haldeman tells the President on that date that one of his aides "believes ... that the whole Liddy plan, the whole super-security opera- tion, super-intelligence operation was put together by the White House, by Haldeman, Dean and others. Liddy, Dean cooked the '% hole thing up at Hal- deman's instructions ... Now there is some semblance of. some validity to the point, that I did talk, not with Dean but with Mitchell, about the need for intel- ligence activity." Haldeman concedes that 'the plan was put into action only after Haldeman Aide Gordon Strachan relayed word to Mitchell that "the Pres- ident wants it done and there is to be no more arguing about it."' Nfitchell's re- sponse was, "O.K., if they say to do it. go ahead." . The name Henry Kissinger surfaced only rarely and obliquely during the en- tire Watergate affair. Yet Kissinger did not operate in isolation from the rest of the White Krause. On April 16, 1973, there is this exchange between the Pres- ident and Haldeman: P: Have you filled Henry in, Bob? H: Nope. P: You haven't? He's got enough problems in Laos. I haven't. Somebody else-he seems to know of it. H: Well, Garment [then White House Special Consultant Leonard Gar- ment] took it upon himself to go meet with Henry and Al Haig [thenvKissin- ger's assistant, later Haldeman's succes- sor as White House chief of stag] to dis- cuss his [Garment's] concern about the whole situation, apparently. P: What the hell did he do that for? H: On the basis that he. thought there was a real danger and threat to the Presidency. Aware that the Watergate scandal was becoming a threat to the presiden- cy itself as well as to Nixon, Garment sought the support of Haig and Kissin- ger in his attempt to persuade the Pres- ident that Haldeman and Ehrlichman would have to leave the Administration to save the President. It is not clear whether Kissinger supported the pro- posal. His global perspective and his concern that a weakened President would lead to international difficulties, however, led him to agree with Garment on another matter: H: I think Len's view is that what you need is a bold, new, you know, really some kind of a dramatic move. Henry feels that, but Henry feels that you should go on television. P: I know, 9 o'clock. H: Which is his solution to any problem. P: Do you believe I should do the 9 o'clock news? H: On this, no. P: I don't think so either. H: I said, we are all steeped in this, but look at the newspaper. Where is Wa- tergate today? P: Well in the country it is not that big. The White House transcripts show that Richard Nixon displayed a propri- etary attitude toward the many agen- t bure:aiis of the v r r CS and uw..i. vvve111- ment. They were his to use as he saw fit. Items: - In a discussion with Dean on Sep- tember 15, 1972, about Democratic Nominee George McGovern's presiden- tial campaign finances, this exchange took place: P: I don't think k e is getting a hell of a lot of small money ... Have you;, had the P.O. [Post Office] checked yet? D: That is John's [Ehrlichman's] area. I don't know. P: Well, let's have it checked. - Talking on. the same day with Dean about "all those who tried to do us in," Nixon said: "They are asking for it and they are going to get it. We have not used the power in this first four years as you know ... We have not used the Bureau [FBI] and -we have not used the Justice Department but things are go- ing to change now." - In a March 13, 1973, talk with Dean, the topic turned again to alleged irregularities in McGovern's campaign finances. P: Do you need any IRS stuff? D: There is no need at this hour for anything from IRS and we hove a cou- ple of sources over there that I can go to ... We can get right in and get what 21 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 + 'tog 1119e1d t nneif " Sun., May 12,1914 The transcripts had set off a storm, but the. White House stood firm. Here The Times presents the case'for Mr. . Nixon's-innocence by. citing . please burn to Pa e g The'answers'to basic Watergate questioris as given below, are iranscripis oy Watergate>?conversa- - on April 16,1973, about lie payment drawn from 'a - variety of Ad-; - -1; ministration sources, each elearly identified. The' material has been .' = organized by'.The?.'Times: to, enhance the clarity -and thrust of ? he,president's case. 1 Did the President have kno"1- edge of a cover-up before March 21? Of all the witnesses who have tes- tified publiclywith respect to allega- tions of an illegal cover-up of the Watergate break-in prior to March 21, 1973, only [John) Dean, former counselb'?to Mr. -Nixon has accused the.. {President of participation in sucll;a cover=vp.?In'his testimony be-' for,e~ the Senate-`Select Committee' Dean stated `that'be.was'"certain--af-j ter the Sept. 15'~44eting that"the i -President was -fully'-aware of the' cover-up" Howe'e , -in answering. questions of 'Senathr LHowardl' -Baker 1befare ihi-.EY'vin `commit-' tee], the" i igti[fied-this'by stating it "is ail, inference of.mine?Z' Late"; he. admiUed he'had no. personal knawl-'t edg;'tha't the President knew'?on Sept .15 about a cover-up 9f Water- gate. ' In fact it was not until after April 30, 1973, when Dean was discharged that he for the first time charged the President with knowledge of a cov- er-up as early as Sept 15, 1972. It is equally clear from the record- ed conversations between Dean and the President that he did not keep the President fully informed until March 21, 1973. Indeed. on April 16, 1973, Dean so acknowledged that fact'to -the President, when he said: I have tried.all along to make sure that anything I passed to you didn't cause you' any personal problem. [On March 21, Dean remarked:) The reason that I thought 'we ought to talk this morning' . is because our conversations 1 have the impression that you. don't know everything I know' and it makes it very difficult for'you 1o. ? make .judgments that only you can make on some of these things ... (emphasis supplied) ' -James D. St. Clair, special coup- .sel to President Nixon, in his legal argument accompanying the edited diciary. Committee on April. 30.E .- !2- Did the President at any time au. thorize payments, of husb, money to, Mr. Nixon's defenseis'novdepen-? . dent upon whether or not such .a payment was made. His defense is dependent upon whether he author-' ized it or even knew of its payment and the tapes, in my judgment,' make it clear that he neither author- ized it nor knew that it had been paid. - 5t. Clair, i,'BC-Tl"s ]beet the Press; May 5. As the President has stated, the 4ranscript of the -meeting on the ,morning of March 21,'1913, contains Wertain.ambiguities and statements fw'bich taken out bf context could be construed to-have a variety of mean- dings. '1he`.''conversation~ was 'wide :ranging, consideration was,given ';to, .a number of-, different possibilities, 'butpeveral things clearly stand out: 1. The President had not previous- ly been aware of aby payments made allegedly to purchase silence on the part of_the Watergate defendants. 2. The President rejected the pay- 'merit of $120,000 or any other sum to. ifE. Howard] Hunt or other-Water; `gate defendants. Dean's testimony to the 'Senate' may have be en simply an error, of, course; or it may have been an effort to have his .disclosures to the-Pres- ident predate what was then at least thought to be the date of the last payment to Hunt's attorney for his fees, namely March 20, 1973. As far as the President is concerned, however, it makes no difference when this payment was made; he not only opposed the payment, but never even knew that it had been made un- til mid-April v, hen the facts were finally disclosed to him. The President expressed. the belief that the money could be raised, and perhaps, even,'a way could be found to deliver it. However, he recognized ,and pointed out that blackmail 'would continue endlessly, and in the .final analysis would not be success- ful unless the Watergate defendants 'were. given executive clemency,; which he said adamantly, could not'. be done. The President stated: No, it is wrong that's for sure. If Dean's'disc] osure to the President of Hunt's legal fees is to be believed, then 'it is clear'that this fact was con- ;' sealed from the,President when he inet with [former Atty. Gen.JbhnN.] :Michell and the others on the after- noon on March 22nd. The explanation for this concealment perhaps. is con- tained in a significant-s6ateinent made by Dean to the President at' their meeting on the morningbf April' 16,1973: D..' I have tried all along "to snake sure that anything 1 passed to you didn't cause you any'per- sonal problems. tr~ , Dean analyzed tho;, Situation Ion March 21] ashe sav_, rating out that a number of peo'enow about. these events, including?Mrs. Hunt who had died in a plane crash. At the mention of Mrs. Hunt, the President interjected that this was a "'great sad- -mess",and'that he recalled a conver- sation with someone: about Hunt's -;problem'. on account of his. wife and the President said that "of course commutation could be considered on the basis of his wife's death, and that was the only conversation I ever had in thrat, light." 'During their conver- sations; the President repeatedly and categorically rejected the idea of clemency. - -:. -St. Clair's April 30 argument.. . 3 Did the President ever author- ize, or consent to, perjury or obstruc- i`tion' of justice by his associates? In all of the thousands of words spoken, even though they` often are unclear and ambiguous, notonce'does it appear that the President of the United States was engaged in a criminal plot to obstruct justice... - Having received' information of possible obstruction of justice hav- ing taken place following the break- in at (Democratic National Commit- 'tee headquarters],' the President promptly undertook an investiga- tion into the facts...The record disc closes that the President started his: investigation ,the night of his meet- ing with Dean on March 21, as con- firmed by Dean in.his conversation .with the President on April.16_, 1973. Then it was that. night that I started my invtktigation.;' D. That's right .. ;. =-St. Clair's"April30 argument. Perjury is such actually is not a technical matter, but it is criminal conduct, but it was not conduct Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 six key Watergate" gi.iestions? and the public answers';given' .points that remain dangling, ? Approved : CIA-RDP77-00432R0001003300Q7-4 charged against the President. You see, we have to keep in mind, that it is _ the President that is _being__im-' peached, not [Jeb Stuartl Magruder,' ,not [H.R.1 Haldeman, not-,.LJohnl, 'Erlichman or the others. Tlie :first' charge against thePresident'is acorn-' -plicity in a plot to obstruct justice. made by Mr. Dean. -St.,Clair; Meet the Press. ' Indeed, Dean did, in fact, ' com- municate his intentions to Mitchell.' and Magruder not to support Magruder's previous testimony to the grand jury. This no doubt was the push, initially stimulated by the, President, which got Magruderjo go to the U.S. Attorneys on the following. Saturday, April 14, and change, his- testimony. P. And you tell Magruder;,now Jeb, this evidence is ,coming in, you ought. to '.go_ to the :grand jury. Purge yourself if you're perjured and tell this whole story. - - - H. I think we have to. P. Then, well Bob, you don't agree with that? H. No, I do. The President instructed Ehrlich- man to see Magruder, also, and tell him that he did. not serve the Pres- ident by remaining silent. The President told Ehrlicbman that when be'rnet with Mitchell to advise him that "the President has said let the chips fall where they may. He will not furnish cover for anybody" The President reviewed with-Nan the disclosure 'Dean made to the President on March 21st, and on the evening of April 15th. The President had some'more ad- vice for John Dean on,this occasion: P. Thank God. Don't ever do it, John. Tell the Muth That is the thing I have told everybody around here-tell the truth! All they do, John, is compound it. That Hiss would be free today if he hadn't lied. 'If be had said "Yes, I knew Chambers and as a young man I was involved with some Communist activities but I broke off a number of years ago:' And Chambers would have dropped it. If you are going to lie, you go to jail for the lie rather than the crime. So believe me, don't ever lie. As to the Presidents. actions, he told Dean: P. No, I don't want, under- stand when I say don't lie. Don't lie about me either. . D. No, I won't sir .. . St. Clair's argument, Apri130. ' 4 What kind of investigation did the President launch after h1arch 21,: and what was the role of Asst. Atty: Gen. Henry E. Petersen? The* President, of course, is, as I have said earlier, and I have been criticized for it, I think, the chief law enforcement officer of the country. He was faced with a very difficult problem as is evident from these tapes. His two chief advisers [Halde- man and Ehrlichmanl - were being accused of criminal conduct and, as ,be' said at a number of places, ?I really can't, in fairness to them and run the affairs of government, dis- charge everyone against whom charges are made" so it was impor- tant to him and I think to the Ad- ministration, to find out if there was anything to support these charges and only then, if there was an ap-' 'pearance there was enough to sup- port the matter going before a grand jury, -was he then prepared to, as he Said, move on them. -St. Clair, Meet the Press. The next day.Ehrlichman,.pursuant to the President's direction given the previous day, called Atty. Gen. [Richardl . Klein'dienst and among,' ,other things advised him that he?was to, report directly to the President if any evidence turns up of any wrong' 'doing on the part of anyonein .'the 'White House or about Mitchell. Kleindienst raised the question of a possibility of a conflict of interest and suggests that thought be given to ap- pointing a special prosecutor. Ehrlichman told the Attorney General that he had been conducting an investigation for about the past three-weeks for the President as a substitute for Dean on White House and broader involvement. He also told. him that he had reported his findings to the President the day be. fore and that he had advised people .not to be reticent on the President's -behalf about coming forward. He in- formed the Attorney General that he ',had talked to Mitchell and had tried .to reach Magruder, but that he had not been able to meet with Magruder until after Magruder had conferred ,with the U.S. Attorneys. He offered. to make all of his information availa- ble if it would be in any way useful. t? The. President, or} the afternoon of April 15, 1973, had every.'reason to :believe that the, judicial. process Was moving rapidly to complete the case. He. continued to attempt to assist. He had four telephone conversations with Petersen after their meeting. In the afternoon, having been told that (G. Gordon) Liddy would not talk unless authorized by "higher authority," who all assumed was Mitchell, the President directed Pe- tersen to pass the word to Liddy through his counsel that the Pres- ident wanted him to cooperate. Sub- sequently, the President told Peter- sen that Dean doubted Liddy would accept the word of Petersen, so Pe- tersen was directed to tell Liddy's counsel that the President personal= ly would confirm his urging of Lid- dy -to cooperate.' On the afternoon of April 17, the President -discussed the problem of .granting immunity to White House officials with Henry Petersen. Peter- sen pointed out that he was opposed -to immunity but he pointed out that .they might need Dean's testimony in order to get Haldeman and Ehrlich- man. The President agreed that un- der those circumstances he might have to move on Haldeman and Erh- ?lichman, provided Dean's'testimo- ny was corroborated. The Pres lent `told Petersen: p That's the point. Well, I feet it strongly-I? ,team--just un? derstand-I am not trying to protect anybody-I just want I the damn facts if you can get the facts from Dean and I don't -. care whether- HP. Mr. President, if I` thought you were trying to protect any. body-I would have walked out. t On'April .27,: Petersen reported to the '.President that" Dean's lawyer was'thr'eatening that unless 'Dean 'got. immunity, "We will bring, the President in -not in this case but in other things" On the.question of immunity in the face of these threats, the. President told Petersen: _' ..:r . P. All ri ght.. We.have got the immunity problem resolved. Do it, Dean if you need to, but boy I am telling you-there ain't going 'Lobe any bla'ckmaiI: , ` -; -St. Clair's April 30 argument. .S Is John Dean a credible witness? Well, .I: think John Dean. sort of epitomizes the Watergate story as far as the President--is concerned. The first public impressions of the President's role in Watergate were ,testified to. at length by Mr. Dean and he, as you know, is the only one that in any way implicated the Pres- ident and I 'think that these tapes shed some light on What really did, happen and I:think the American people deserve to. know what the facts are. -St. Clair, Meet this "Press. In 16 separate areas-.-on dozens of occasions-Mr. Dean made substan: jive statements concerning the Pres- ident 'that do' not :'accord with the tapes; ? indeed they appear in direct contravention of what the tapes con- tain. None-of Mr. Dean's statements im- plying presidential 'knowledge on September 15th-the allegation that Mr. Dean, said "it.:bad been con- tained," the . alleged. presidential compliment, "Bob told -me what a good job you have been, doing," Dean's claim that he told the Pres- ident' he could not guarantee that the cover-up might not unravel, and others-is confirmed in the tape of September 15. . As for the tape of February 28th, there is no record whatsoever of Mr. Dean's having discussed his role in the cover-up, and his potential cri- minal liability as Mr-Dean testified. Repeatedly, Mr. Dean testified that the President asked the-questions and made the comments about the I 'million dollars on March 13th,-not .March 21, as the President had stat- ed. 'In point of,fact, there is no men- tion of the-$1 million demand or the. -fact that the money demands were coming from Mr. Hunt, on the tape pf March 13th. What makes this of significance is -that-before the-existence of White House tapes was known or made public-John Dean insisted, under math, that this had transpired on the 13th of March not the twenty-first. According to the transcript of the tape of March 21. Mr. Dean did not tell the President everything he 23 Approved For Release 2001/08/08.': CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 knew -- especially concerning his own involvement- ,I) He withheld the fact that he himself had -directed John Caulfield Iformer aide to John Dean) to offer executive' clemency to [Watergate burglar James W.IMcCord; 2) He failed to advise the President that he himself had shredded documents, destroyed evidence front Mr. Howard Hunt's safe.: The statement by Dean-denying twice that the President sent him to Camp David to write a written re- port-is untrue. The transcript of March 22 shows precisely when, and why, the President sent Dean ? to ? Camp David to write a report. Rele- vant passages from the conversation of March 22 are below: D. I don't think I can do it un- til I sit down this evening and start drafting. H. I .think you ought to hole. up for'the weekend and do-that -`. and get it'done.' ? 1,a?" P. Sure. ' H. Give it- your full attention and get it done. P.I think you need-why don't you do this? Why don't you ,go up to Camp David? D.? I might do it, I might do it. P. Completely away from the phone. Just go up there and (in- audible) I want a written report. -White House rebuttal to John Dean's testimony before the Ervin committee, issued May 4. 6 Has the President's handling of physical evidence indicated a real willingness to cooperate with the House and Senate Inquiries? .As the U.S.- Court of Appeals in Nixon v. 'Sirica has stated. "wholesale public' access to Executive deliberations and documents would cripple the Executive as a co-equal' branch," and as the President has repeatedly stated, he will not par= ticipatein the destruction of the office of the Presidency of the United States by permitting_ unlimited access to Presidential conversations and '-documents. - -St. Clair's April 30 argument. I think the issue here is the facts. We are either after a determination of the facts, through which the Judi- ciary Committee can make a fair and honest,, objective judgment, or we' are- interested in issues Which lend themselves to political debate, and tests of manhood. between one -branch of government and the other. -Gen. Alexander H.Haig Jr., Whit` House chief of staff, on ARC-TVs lsm sues andAnswers,May5. I think the President is hopeful -that they will review this material carefully and come to the point of view that they can reach an in- formed judgment. Most of the com- ment that I have heard is that there is too much information contained in, these tapes, not enough. -=St. Clair, Meet the Press. What we have turned over in this public disclosure and in the material turned over to the Judiciary Com- mittee did not limit itself to specific requests of the subpoena. It went be- yond that. In other words, there was an effort made to cover the full spectrum of the operative discussions in ::the President's office and in EOB (Exec- utive Office Building) which would give the - American people, which -would give the Judiciary Committee, and indeed give ISpecial Prosecutor Leon) Jaworski ; the full . picture or- the operative aspects of what' the. President knew about - -Watergate' . and what actions 'he,directed' with respect to Watergate.- I think from a layman's point of view that anyone who reads this material, this transcript material, knows without a shadow of a'doubt that there has not been mach tam- pc'ring with the contents of them. They speak for themselves. But, zith the transcript in hand, and having ob- served this processmyself.,fist-hand, I think I can tell you that with the, transcript in hand, the two leaders .can very, very quickly.assure them selves-and l am confident they will, and I wish they would,exercise that ' prerogative-that these are in fact banafide representations of what is on the tape material. :.: I think we as the American peo- ple, as a society, have got to under- -stand?that never in the history of this Republic has* any subject been investigated so thoroughly, have so: many thousands and indeed millions of words of testimony been taken, so much evidence scrutinized, both publicly, and` privately, by various forums, grand juries, special prose- cutors, Senate committees, and now judiciary committees. The time has come, in my view, for the facts that have resulted from this excessive in- trospection, to' be assessed by the House Committee, to make their judgments and to get on with the 'business of the American. people. -Gen. Haig, Issues and -Answers. Some. Unanswered Questions out, but we have made it ize or was he aware of any pay- transcript of the President's con- The answers 'supplied to key this far and I am convinced merit of cash to Watergate de- versation with Haldeman on atergate, questions in the. ac- we are going to make it the fendants on the night of March April 17, quoted here. l r I eave some tic e ampanying a The whole road. (Feb. 28) 21? Haldeman: What you racial points hanging. President was aware should have said is that 3If th e mes posed them-in writing to On March 13, Dean informed _ __ _ _ _ _. _ _ __ ? r.__t~_L Ll--l.~..Lt :.. e.,r.wr.fl Mnf ?~~? Alexander H. Haig Jr. but no re- finite involvement and possib- man were under suspicion of its too costly... pone was forthcoming. . ly, through his association with criminal misconduct, what was President: 'Well, These are the questions Strachan, that of Haldeman. A .his intent in conveying to them similar connection was made details of Henry Petersen's in- 1-One of the keys to the St. between Magruder. and Mitch- estigation? I - . air argument is the contention ell h t d ver-up prior to March 21. How - does this square with the tran- scripts. of the Feb. 28' and. March: 3 meetings? . - : .' >r Dean: We have come a long road on this thing now. I had thought it was an un- possible task to hold togeth- er until after the election until things started falling a t President: Is it too late to'- . : 4-St. Clair has argue go the hang-out road? the President functions as the Dean: I think ft is chief. law enforcement. officer : Yeah, and that his actions constituted ..:There can be a lot of ? an investigation and not a cover- ..problems if everything - up. If this is so. why did he on starts falling. So there are -April 27 tell Petersen he had dangers, Mr. ?President. 1 *turned it off totally` when would be less candid it I hush money was discussed? didn't tell you there are. . This appears to contradict both 2-Did the .President author- the March 21-transcript and the (inaud- ible), I suppose then we should have cut-shut it off, 'cause later on you met in your office and Mitchell said, "That was taken care off' Haldeman: The next day. 5-What is the constitutional basis for-the President's as- sumption -that he has the au- thority to decide what evidence he will provide for an impeach- ment inquiry? 6--Short of expert-and staff 'analysis of the tapes them. .selves, how can the Judiciary Committee be sure of the auth-? ;enticity of the transcripts? Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R00010033000 '-4 - 'Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 ? WASHINGTON POST 5 May 1974 Jack Andel'SOn Some Light Breaks. = BhtI:N A controversial book about the Cen- ' of defection, the prospective turncoat tral Intelligence Agency has gone to' found himself literally caught in a tug- Ji45ugIi press with several blank spaces, mark- of-war, with the Americana pulling on d th R o_ ' a1m an e. ussians clinging The manuscript also tells of x ing the passages that the CIA has man- 1987 aged at least temporarily to delete. to the other. In the middle of the strug. trip that President Lyndon Johnson With the 'Help of our own, CIA gle, the 'Japanese gendarmes intruded took to 'Punta del Este; Uruguay, for it sources, we have now filled in the upon the unlikely scene and darted the meeting of the Organization of Ameri- blanks. The deletions, all fascinating, whole- group off to the pokey for: dis- can States. In his expansive Texas some explosive, are more likely to turbing the peace. -style, LBJ dispensed gifts and souve- make people blush than to bring down This doesn't compare, to .the high nirs, wined and dined dignitaries and -drama i4 the`` Himalayas, however,. h ut on a lavish performance. To his governments. when the United States needed' infor- embarrassment, he considerab ex- ing in n the courts urts t to keep the CIA, nevertheless, is still em - fight- mation on the Chinese nuclear tests in ceeded the budget allowed for the trip rassing Sinkiang prpvince. The CIA re- by the State ring revelations out of the forth- Department. , . coming book, "The CIA and the Cult cruited a mountain climbing crew and Because of economies LBJ,himself of Intelligence," by Victor Marchetti trained them for weeks in the Colo- had imposed, the - State Department and John Marks. rado mountains. Then in the late 1960s, simply was unable to cover the tab. So Marchetti is a bespectacled former the CIA climbers were dispatched to the President was obliged to turn to intelligence analyst who has been for- scale one of the loftiest peaks in the the CIA, which paid the bill out of a bidden by the CIA to mention that he Himalayas to install a nuclear-powered secret slush fund called "The Directors played a crucial role in the celebrated listening device aimed at the Chinese Contingency Fund." test sites. Cuban missile crisis. The climb was so This fund had to be tapped in 1987, The Cuba-bound Soviet missiles, too hazardous that a too, by Defense Secretary Robert Mc- large"to stow below decks, were dis- couple packers fell to their deaths. But Namara whose Pentagon.' budget guised in crates on deck. U.S. recon- the device, at last, was triumphantly couldn't meet a verbal commitment he naissance planes brought back photo- implanted. Unhappily, the first mount had made to a for arms graphs, which Marchetti examined. twin blizzard swept the listening device ; aid. The funds were secretly transferr- Through tedious, microscopic study, over. When spring came, the melting ed from-the CIA to the Defense Depart, say our sources, he was able to distin- mountain snow was polluted with radi- ment without the' knowledge of Con- guish between tractor crates and mis- ation, which seeped into the watershed.' egress sile crates. - The abashed ,CIA -had "to send an other mountain-climbing team up the' The CIA also used money from the The passages that the CIA is still peak to find .the secret fund to invest in stocks, which contesting in the courts - with i few P wreckage and remove presumably- were plowed back into exceptions which we voluntarily will it? CIA retirement, eperow and credit un- omit - might mortify the: CIA but. The Marchetti-Marks manuscript also Ion funds. The revelation that the CIA couldn't possibly endanger the na- contains some big names, among them tional security. Thei censored incidents ? that of West Germany's Chancellor- was-playing the stock market, our Like many other world sources report, was cut out of. the Mar- Willy Brandt i u ok lik rt k th CIA l o . e a c ve c s, ma e o rc e he received money 'from the e ks book , with the cloak-anddagger crowd get- leaders , ting involved in some unbelievable sit- CIA when he was an aspiring young uations, sometimes hilarious, some pohdgian. " times grim. At a White House state dinner for One episode that has been deleted Brandt in 1971, the high and .mighty from the book, for example, concerns a were puzzled about one nondescript Soviet spy in. Japan who was about to guest whom no one recognized. - defect to the United States. The pro- The manuscript originally identified spect exhilarated the head of the CIA's the mystery man as Brandt's old CIA Soviet desk.who caught the first jet contact, whom the chancellor had for Tokyo to get in on the action, asked the White House to invite for But the Russians became suspicious sentimental reasons. The CIA got this of their comrade and tailed him to the reference censored out of the book, os- trysting spot.- At the dramatic moment tensibly to spare Brandt's sensibilities. PUBLISh S WEEKLY 6 MAY 1971, TI 11?: ('IA ANI) Tlit?: ct;l:r OF 1N 1"I:LI.IGENCE. i'ic?rc,r Marchetti and John U. Marks. Knopf. $?8.95 This cause eelebre among the season's books (see The Week, P11", April 22. March 18, January 28) is a powerfully documented assault on the CIA's far- flung "clandestine operations" in Viet- nam, 1-aus, Indonesia (where an attempt to overthrow Sukarno in 1958 is alleged). Guatemala and elsewhere, including most importantly the Chile of the Al- lende years. Marchetti ("The Rope- Dancer") and ex-State Department in- telligence analyst Marks demonstrate with chilling conviction their view that the CIA. in its secret role at the heart of :CIA's escapades' may have .been, the :authors are deadly serious about 'the issues their book raises. For the Amer- ican people have only the haziest of views into the shadowy, subterranean world. of espionage4 Now ,and -then, a light breaks through the murky darkness. It may shine briefly.on a love nest, the conies-' sion of a refugee, a softening of will or skill. But at best, the public catches only an occasional, fleeting glimpse into the CIA's dramatic and deadly op- erations. A little more light is needed. C' 1974, untt.d seatart- esndicst the $6-billion-a-year U. S. intelligence conuaunity, has been the covert foreign policy instrument of every president since Truman-and is now a grave moral and practical threat to our democracy. The book names names, teems with dis- closures of secret high-level meetings, "dirty tricks" and political sabotage (not only abroad) justified by dubious "na- tional security" claims. Its court-ordered gaps (marked DELETED) and boldface passages indicating what the CIA origi- nttlly tried to censor provide 'a minefield for the reader who wants to speculate on .what the CIA's "clandestine mentality" is up to. Documentary appendix. (June 24] 25 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 RADIO TV REPORTS, INC. 4435 WISCONSIN AVE. N.W.. WASHINGTON. D. C.'. 20016, 244-3540 PROGRAM News at Noon STATION WTTG TV May 10, 1974 12:00 Noon Washington, D.C. ANDERSON'S COMMENTARY MAURY POVICH: Syndicated columnist and Metromedia commenta- tor Jack Anderson says that the Central Intelligence Agency is moving to block publication of a new book by a former CIA employee that reportedly turns a highly critical spotlight on several cloak-and- dagger operations. Here is Anderson's commentary. JACK ANDERSON: We've now learned that the Central Intelli- gence Ac?ncy wants to censor an explosive new book. The CIA spooks. are more worried about the publication of this book, "The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence," than they are about Chinese missiles or Russian spies. They have managed to censor key portions of the book prior to publication. However, through our own CIA sources, we've learned what the secret agents want to hide. For the most part, the censored material is more likely to cause embarrassment than the toppling of government. The book, written by former CIA man Victor liarchetti, tears away the fearsome curtain of secrecy surrounding the CIA to reveal a covert circus. For example, we've learned that the CIA censored a story about an Agency desk man who flew to Japan in hopes of getting involved in some cloak-and-dagger adventures. A Russian spy, it seems, was supposed to defect to U.S. agents. But Russian operatives followed their turncoat comrade. A tug-of-war ensued with each side pulling at the defector's arms. The Japanese police arrived and threw the whole crew in jail for disturbing the peace. The CIA also blue-penciled its attempts to bug a diplomat's pet cat, and they have censored information about their abortive efforts to place a listening device in range of Chinese missile sites. Well, unfortunately, the CIA may win its fight to censor Marchetti's book. If it does, the First Amendment will once again be subverted in the name of national security. WASHINGTON STAR 10 May 1974 Spy Freed Russian spy John W. 'Butenko, 48, is free after spending more than 10 years in prison for passing Strategic Air Command secrets to the Soviet Union. "I want to put the whole thing behind me and live my life," he said after leaving a Newark, N.J., courtroom. His - 30-year sentence was re- duced to time-served after he dropped a legal challenge to his conviction. ' Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP77-00432R000100330007-4 [CiIE1iJ WASHINGTON POST 7 MAY 1974 Victor Zor:a between Russia and China. He believes that the next three years will deter- mine whether there will be war or: peace between Russia and China. 1-le. thinks that the most dangerous time is now, because three years from now China's nuclear arsenal - will be tot powerful to be attacked by Russia -without risk of retaliation. Kissinger's Latest. Some of Kiss! n eu's critics suspect that he had all ulterior political motive in leaking this estimate to a Washing= ton columnist. Was he implying that this was too dangerous a time to im- peach President Nixon? It certainly seems so. . Kissinger's argument is that we are, now entering a crucial period which, will decide not only the question of war and peace between Russia and- China. It will also determine, he be, lieves, whether the nuclear arms race' will 'get out of control, whether peace' or tear could prevail in the Mideast-- %%hethcr Europe will resume its part- nership with the United S1a?es or pro= yoke a U.S. retreat into isolation. The rules of the Washington game.- which have to be understood in orders to appreciate the political role of leaks -would normally prevent a columnist from attributing a leak directly to Kis- singer, and from discussing his moa tives. Happily, Kissin;er's latest leaTr appeared in a New York column -b$r James Reston, the most respected of Washington's columnists. This makes it possible to apply %to it' a yardstick which, as Kissinger t tee confided to' this writer, he uses (tit iself when read ing Washington cot nns.. He reads' them, he says, not for 'the information` they contain, but to .Find out who iir Washington is leaking what to whom and why. It must be left to the analyst of, American domestic politics to 'tcas= ore, in keeping with Kissinger's own yardstick, the extent .If any-which' his leak was intended to help Mr.' Nixon. What the foreign policy analyst must do is point out that Kissinger'!' periodic outbursts of alarm about a Soy ;let attack on China pre-date Mr. Nix} fn's troubles. Moscow's own response to such leaks, in the past must not be ignored. The Kremlin sees them as attempts to per; petuate the Sino-Soviet rift by convinc:,. ing Peking that it is in serious danger'; from Russia. This in turn makes it pos= sible for Kissinger to play the China, card in his dealings with. Moscow-as' he did, with considerable effect, du_r; ing the SALT I negotiations. But Peking is not now moving closet- to Washington. The gory broadcast from Paoshan is only the most draw matic sign of moves in the opposite direction. They first became evident, last summer-but when they were put. to Kissinger, he dismissed them as of no consequence. He insisted that the Peking leadership debate was con- cerned with domestic issues, and that; anyway it had been "essentially termi- nated" by September. News Leaks Eyewitnesses who claim to have seen medical experiments performed on, children to "extract their blood. ;_ouge. their eyes, cut out their intestines. and boil them in oil" recently addressed a mass meeting in Paoshan. in China. -. The grisly details. as broadcast by, the local radio, were intended to drive, home the lesson that the "imperialists" who had in this way "slaughtered" Z- 000 Chinese children before China's. liberation were no better now than they had been then. The nationality of, the "imperialists" was not specified; but the broadcast left the strong im- pression that they were Americans. . The U.S.-Chinese honeymoon ar= ranged by Dr. Henry Kissinger, during which anti-U.S. propaganda had virtu- ally disappeared from the Chinese press and radio, is obviously in danger: On the Sino-Soviet front, too, the Kremlin threat about the "inevitable-, consequences" that will follow if Chinw fails to release the recently detained Soviet helicopter crew provides a new danger signal. , Why should Peking seem to invite, trouble with both Moscow and Wash-' ington- at the same time? It does not. make political sense. especially in the light of Kissinger's privately expressed concern about the possibility of war When it became obvious recently that the quarrel, far from having ended, was becoming increasingly bit. ter, he asked the CIA for a special esti- mate of the impact the debate might have on U.S.-Chinese relations. The CIA could no loner maintain that the' debate had been "terminated," but it again concluded that foreign policy, played no major. role in it. But, as a, later column will argue, the CIA is, wrong again. The West has repeatedly made ma,! or blunders in its view of Sino-Soviet; relations. The refusal of most govern- ment and academic analysts to accept, 15 years ago the evidence which, pointed to the existence of the then se- cret :Nloscow-Peking quarrel is now ac-. knowledged to have been an error of. historic proportions. The present re- fusal to abandon the new conventional:. tt iscium could have equally far-reach-l' in repercussions on the whole future) of East-1Vest relations. ;,1 ? 1974, victor Zoras THE NEW YORK TIMES, THURSDAY, MAY 16, 1974 Turkish Amnesty Reduces Terms- of Americans) in 1971. for'.selling hashish, would be freed. Twenty deputies of the Na- tional Sa'l 'aiioh party, the right- .wing coalition partner of Mr. Ecevit's . Republciaii People's part),", voted against clauses ex- tending the'- amnesty. toanar- chists and 'Communists con- victed - - o anticonstiturional crimes- .. r his cabinet might reaign over are remissa e a er yea . amnesty'miLCt be signed it. The Americans can have a-third The by . dept . Fahri