thumbnail of 1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-07-16; Part 3 of 4
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
it's big at the police which bore under the east one or maybe a secret service command post that only allows a secret service command post season executive office and says if the president is leaving the west wing going to the army office they would they would notice and the little light moves from office to the audience doesn't actually move the gop office until the president enters the oatmeal and as that light moves there is a tiny audience sing so that if one is preoccupied such as i might be i realize looking at watts is indicating a change in the president's location and that kind of information was important to me my office was located to immediately adjacent to the president's oval office in the last set my duties involved going in and out frequently and working directly with the president
mr stable who at that time worked on the other side of the president on the east side of the oval office and one is located a box as an astronomer had a third i believe there was a fourth and mr jacobs office in fact i'm sure there was a fourth mr jacobs we were probably before who would be most concerned or at least most immediately concerned with the president's whereabouts of the fact that he was changing locations in the oval office and the executive office building office work indicated on this book in a box the installation was install in such a way that when the lights was ana was the taking the virus was at least try to do that was not operating but it was treated it was with you and then it was voice actually so when the light was
an office in the office and in the oval office on the taking of ice was promoted to a voice actually situation when the president went to the gop's know i was on the lp others there was a sentiment those two offices the arrangement with the sang imitating picked up or conversation or an audience in those two officers when the light wasn't that those positions you'll be on what about kevin was a taping of arson national and was elected and certainly no sir it wasn't in my guess is and it's only my guess is that because there was no kevin location years on the west wing indication when the light was on west wing that meant the president was in one of two places the cabinet room
or the money went into the cabinet room a light went to west wing but he could've been someplace else in the west wing and so to ensure the recording business conversations in the cabin rahm emanuel installation was night remember that and the earth and the earth village of veterans terry are activating to us knock on buttner one that so called and one survivor fill those
are on and are respectively and one on my telephone as usual activity by the bad things about her now if the president could never pay attention to the buttons on that the cabinet table was activated by the button on my telephone by me set roberta leone and new orleans yes sir yes sir yes sir
yes sir the president's business to business yes sir that the russians new orleans at the president's desk in his study in the aspen trees nasr the device was removed two occupants chiefs of state heads of government and other foreign dignitaries are you just a crucial piece of us is all these devices before you know i didn't say much the secret service the technical security division of the secret service to the reason for the installation of the devices
distract while there was no doubt in my mind that they'll install to record things for posterity for the nixon library the president was very conscious of that kind of thing we have quite an elaborate set up at the white house for that collection preservation of of documents and things which transpired in the way of business and stay on your book tour on the president's authority by way of mr haldeman and mr higby mr obama instructed mr higby to tell me and as i said earlier i was the liaison with a secret service it would be harder for me to get the instruction to the secret service at the white house knew about the presence of the russians
the president mr halden mr higby and i'm less the secret service people who i would prefer not to name this public hearing and then this kind of thing is a lot of their profession and i am not sure that the correct answer that stayed private when i do my secretary at this time although she was not informed early on she was informed much later because there were a number of occasions on which i just could not either to us this but when i return answer to do it for me which he does not did not have any idea of the extent this i think she was
right stable who now occupies that office and now has many responsibilities that i have gen hayden who is sitting in this i believe that sales were being known about the existence of the postal service i would be very unlikely my guess is that they definitely did not know what were the tapes of these conversations can't maintain i cannot say where i'm quite sure in the executive office building and some cause it's your cupboards are files which are maintained by it technical social security division of the us secret service is caged check yes they were checked at least
david there were i think some were used more frequently than others of course there were secret service nervous they made sure that they were checked periodically sufficiently is what we were not certain business was like nobody's business seemingly having a concert yes sir i did it was my duty to ensure that the equipment was working properly i checked the oval office steal the office cabinet room tape several times and as i told you earlier it was always working properly in the oval office and he'll be officer it was very very difficult
conversation get on and i never did check any of the telephones when these tapes of the point you know where any of the states to reduce or you know to my recollection was a public discussion of that my recollection of discussion about to go ahead and getting up although kids have to prove the discussion i was thinking of that discussion but others on at least one occasion not innocent so serious brain but in very offhand rather casual conversations tomorrow i did say that we should go ahead and get a leg up on the transplant of these tapes destroyed problem is getting to be quite fantastic and eventually they had to be
transferred to the nixon library and i it was my suggestion that we get three or four or five heidi trust were the secretaries and again the tight so that at the end of the next internet increased over the year year after years of the way but i've gotten and when about the house or i was not i simply gave instruction in my office immediately after i was asked to do just that there were some of the information that they were yes but that's that's my interpretation of that would be an admission of immigration reform i heard that rumor and together
with the intonation on this occasion i mention i assume that it has certainly don't have any from nineteen seventy and the lower court for juno thats correct until until i left that someone could've taken equipment out that until the day i left i'm sure would've been notified as far as i know the ventilator for monster local record just a few question because i think the cost of production is that it wasn't just a moment i think
so you do president where there was a look at like the whatever the president will like move where the president was triggered by the microphones and then whenever anybody's daughter speaking in that office where the microphones were as a voice activated devices and began to have a recording device again to what operators are not true that is true yes right now when someone to pick up and answered it was explained to me by those who install equipment that the equivalent or a leg so that no a portion of that conversation would be omitted so if i were talking to you and stop talking just momentarily the tape would not stop it would continue for a moment or two so that we pick up your responses you should respond immediately
understand it has operated on an ongoing basis then there's this as the moderate ongoing basis allison says nasser not affect the president seems to be totally really oblivious or certainly uninhibited by this fact that's true yes this is true that was you
that's right had to call in and ask her to go to my phone pushes certain button that i described it was most mysterious turn out later they die i explained what i'd met and asked her to say nothing and i'm sure that she never did yes or they are at the meeting with the president yes or no pointed out the
necessity for a briefing mr foley was behind occupy my office with it occupy my office for two or three maybe even four weeks prior to my being sworn in at the federal aviation administration mr holland understood the wisdom of the necessity for that and this is sometimes i think that's the virus that and david which is remove one farm state of those years that has certain understand it this is the one saturday when the sound was made years ago
the result was that the voices conversations picked up very well very clearly it was it wasn't there in the oval office and the executive office building i can't tell you about a whisper i just don't know it would appear that even though times were picked up well in the cabinet room some voices of those who spoke up and quite lovely could be heard anyone who had the habit of speaking softly could not be heard very well liked you just you could not begin to get all of most of the conversations about a day they were braver than i assume is the this conversation the report in the conversation that's my understanding the judge that i lack
of the technical knowledge of the telephone recording device are also reports from the president's office telephone on his desk and you're getting his regular office phone in the executive office building and the desk telephone in a study at camp david and his telephone the lincoln sitting there is for folks the conversations that anybody had heard a lot of conversation in a presidential run the audience managed to obtain the tape and play winners it's my understanding that on a minute
today she volunteered this information in response to a question but i'm an artist about how certain information supplied the white house might eventually saddam and some clothes made about whether or not he might have thought there was a recording device but my understanding is that you have that time said that there are recording devices are these options that essentially the situation as it transpired in her interview on less right yes that's essentially connected as they lead up to the question i said nothing when asked the direct question i answered openly and freely with regard to require a concern mr deans suspicions my guest was that that was his imagination and i'm sure that the president would not off to the side the person it seemed completely unaware of these i'm sure that he forgot them from time to time
a precedent for long periods of time to assess and you have in fact been very straightforward in her answers an interview an interview just before this hearing test but this so that we're entirely clear on the matter you have to notify counsel for the white house on your interview and have your testimony what you're going to test fire today live and there was there any information do you have to be the executive privilege of be claimed on a war now despite a failure here under subpoena request the committee for my part i think is the most helpful and we thanked if you're forthright that question one state and before we adjourn this topic and maybe some other questions on
the test but they want to do this at all call the white house whatever nature and character would meet at seven i think into those telephones to inform those townhomes i mentioned yesterday congressman the governor called a state as the tape would not discriminate any warning signal to let him know the conversation the day again the technical details when devices soundbite of the owner and i would guess that the only wears know on a telephone conversation we played mr orson ago congressman almost private citizen as the case may be honest now when the vest is it went into the white house lawn that conversation with the president of the day
mr conversations will be loesser oh well i would say one thing which i think perhaps should be said this point when people go to visit the president also as i know very very few exceptions a staff member says the conversations often takes more service standard procedure in order to record the commitments made by the president at least this red substance of the lessons discussed and that of course does go into the presidential papers now when president left the white house for his conversations with obesity both so when mrs of the white house who is a conversation with the mother or not you know whether or not the attorney general of the united states approved recording of
the telephone conversation either thank you date that many other universities have all of the conversations with the president not only in hand his presence that they go to and from those specific reason for this taken so far you know of a show of his service darker purposes i'm sure as if i lost that number was that were part of the boom that conversation to update thank you melissa the
technical details of those will have a recording machine you know at least most of the recording machines were in the basement of the west wing of the white house who was in charge of the law the chief of the technical security division of the us secret service and that the chief for someone under his direction havel a changing of the day putting the mormon taking mr yasser abed also starting yesterday did anybody else have a low speed or not i have insurance right now i'm sitting here going on a house what a panel the tapes other than this individual i mentioned the chief technical security division and the two or three people designated by hand in key biscayne in san clemente very far on western white house is whether any recording devices that you know knots in my recollection i do not require
instructions begin with regard to those locations and what about on the business phones in those two locations nasr through a maze or eloquent but this one questions you have information and again the state was baucus and other demonstrations honesty center ny i have heard the rumor i could not begin to identify the source of those rumors for for several years hands on the occasion we judge heard earlier at the time that i hold in the secret service and given this particular instruction there was the intonation that was the by their gestures or by their response to me that they will have a seat and from that i would guess that it had been done
but i'm only guessing when i say that oh oh amendments to the bill on the alaskan pipeline continued to develop the senator's attention on the committee hearing after a brief pause the senator's resume their probe into that secret report apparatus of the white house thank you because
the recording nothing else has technically speaking physician the amenities and service members perhaps new yorkers so what you're saying is that there is no possibility of a
conversation and when the candidates that you could not that could be turned up there is no possibility of that those are not from within those options the equipment did you were you able to monitor the conversations from europeans the circuit not all you could tell from europe was that that there were conversations going on and the machine would work is that right but i couldn't even tell that at any given time only had to rely on secret service members to see that the tape was it was being used the equipment was operational that the tapes were changed frequently now is there any possibility that the tapes which were collected some of them have been missing or
have been destroyed not to my knowledge there shouldn't be the standard service or trustworthy it was their responsibility to change the tapes and distorted the markets and restore them and lead responsibility for this point for the removal and the story to the states decide to sell well i ultimately to the director of the technical security division was given that responsibility by name and he cared about was the only one inside yourself he and those who work for you added <unk> when our mr haldeman or anyone else to work for the president have authority to go into this particular room where the tapes were stored <unk> have authority to do anything in the white house or in that he was in effect the chief of staff would be very unlikely for him to do that you
just have responsibility to me that you're going to the best of my knowledge i feel quite service know nothing about the players when the tapes up being able to indicate what conversations were contained therein nothing about the conversations of the secret service and again i'd say that i trust them possibly did not listen to conversations they too however we check to make sure that the equipment was picking up sound like a quick check on that and ensure that was picking up sound from time to time and i made more collaborate more extensive checks on about three occasions and a state that the tapes there were by management carb conversations within these particular officers so that they're weak is a history for posterity yes there really is no question that one of brothers was on the presidents prime minister said he was very conscious of
our having a good system for collecting the things which were referred to the first state ban now why mr butterfield wasn't there anybody recording history at thirty was gaining for example meant a lot of other places why was that gap or why they get there i can answer that question except that when the president did go to keep this came into camp david he was going to play for the reason of resting and relaxing those resorts the western white house admitted it is truly a western way celeste an extension and unanswered question was there ever a discussion on trying to fill this gap then i'm very fond of him and
that i was sitting now you can say that's going to have a very fuzzy recollection of a possible conversation perhaps we should point out there that when we were there too as you may know that the schedule was relatively light president does work to see it is the time to collect his thoughts on and so witnesses assertion thank you those three very rich russians as i understand the listening devices in the oval office and the army were activated in two ways they were activated number one by the
presidents well the president and the number to five points sector that you're being properly technical right president have to be there if you want to look at light would not indicate so it would not be an end unless you have specific information to refuse my supposition on this matter no could be in one of these rooms and have a conversation about that now and then i was often in the oval office with ms tribble discussing plans or the cleaning people and thereby members picked up because the indicator light is indicating residents
are out or wherever the president he notes that it's a two step system and also yesterday with regard to the oval office in the executive office building office now and soulful and so forth would we would any other area i think what the others weren't you mentioned camp david a listening device is not the muppet from the cabinet nomination in the cabinet room would be possible for conversations in the cabinet room to repay yes by pushing buttons on the table the one on me out on the left on the outboard side was the on button button on the right on the outboard side was the off what also by pushing a button on
my telephone but frankly forget whether it was one but new push on and push it again and went out there whether there are two buttons but it was an unmarked button on my telephone facing that was a large telephone with many many bodies do you know any instance when the spill occurred they they taking a conversation you know in the cabinet room without a president present no sir as a matter of fact on a number of occasions at cabinet meetings and i know this from firsthand knowledge and i said and i'm now cabinet meetings except those few executive sessions which were held for more than two or three in the four year period the president would leave the cabin and the cabinet meeting would continue under the chairmanship of the vice president perhaps around the chairmanship of secretary rogers
as a general i would leave the president left my concern was the president's concern i was no real business remaining you're not there and i would go back to my office and push the off button and we would stop recording was only four presidents business and that again supports my earlier guess really but i feel certain knowledge that it was purely for historical research now in so far as the listening devices on the telephones are concerned de however did not need any to stop seizures occur as director of the words that best known as one got on the telephone that activated assist the success of the song
the conversation you want a conversation but there again sir i would remind him human i'm sorry i'm sure you guessed it would be highly unlikely that someone would be sitting in his chair and the lincoln sitting room at his desk in either of those offices are at his study a campaign now why do you feel the system was installed in nineteen seventy if in fact scott turow purposes would note that a great deal of sense to have this turn right at the outset of the administration it would have made radio sense but frankly it was not well i'm sure that's the reason i'm speaking for other people when i say that but i feel certain that the reason the great many things involve a great many systems evolved we had a system for preserving records of what transpired in the president's meetings these the man that were called memoranda for the president's fall
and when i spoke to either senator tom major senator lawyer moment ago about or whoever it was i'm not sure about a procedure for having a staff member sitting on all calls on the president president was never alone or with anyone who might call it might be a as older duke law school professor but someone would sit in on that meeting ends preferred to make mental notes of what transpired because actually writing notes that the tenancy of inhibiting the guest and we didn't want to point i'm making is as much was remembered as much was recorded at least mentally as possible during the meetings and afterward spit out into dictating machine and have not been any matter whatsoever we didn't care about punctuation we didn't care about grammar we just wanted the substance what transpired in that meeting for a special five years ago the
moment of the present and we didn't think of that at the outset of the administration and i think it was i think we were about into the first year was roughly january or february of nineteen seventy when we began the procedure so it was just a case of revelations in the interview with you know with status which interview i got a place on july thirteen nineteen seventy three to fifteen pm the interview as reported by this event concludes with i'm not like you have your common sense manner butterfield status quo this is all something i know the
president president did not want revealed which you asked me and i feel something you want to know about your investigations information is a quotation i didn't say that it was correct but there was some reluctance on my part to reveal information which i felt could have a number of serious repercussions with regard to foreign governments it was very obvious that this could be a cancer that is embarrassing to our government and also because i felt i could be something the president elect presented a later time in defense of his own position did anybody indicate to show and reveal you had enough conversations with say quite the contrary but i wasn't quite the contrary no one has contacted me at all
i was cellphone i forget the dated roughly early april it might've been mid april by mr higby and who said not that i needed to be reminded to be totally truthful who said that be sure you tell the truth in words that affect the whole truth and nothing but the truth whatever you were called to testify and i must say resented slavery is telling that but i know that i didn't answer of course i will so i've had no instructions to the to the counter i do feel that i am lacking in knowledge of judicial procedure i do feel that it is perhaps a better word ad council i don't i just don't know that i would not want to be i might say to that i knew when i was interviewed on friday afternoon that those
same staff members of yours and interviewed mr allman mr diddley i knew that they had complete knowledge of this my assumption was that they had been asking the same questions that precisely and my assumption of course was that they had answered openly and honestly so i say i wasn't there wasn't a bit reluctant only because of the important that obviously not so reluctant that i failed to answer what are emergency worker loses an interview you don't lead counsel and they also say you don't need any of those assumptions that you've just given me you've got the greatest inventory logistical operation it was on in
the piece and what the white house and it in the summer of nineteen seventy and you know it's a lot and if you know an aside it's you know i don't remember even less conceded and the installation of these devices available boy i couldn't begin to say sen clinton i myself would not try to get it when the factory prosecutors indicated he's taking them up the present the public dissemination this would indicate that thank you mr butterfield where are the records they kept that show of the tapes can be found for example if you wanted to find one of the day is there a file book
profile record on these tapes if there is this underground it is maintained by the technical security immigration secret service on those few occasions on which i checked states to say if they were working in that conversation was coming and clearly i simply call the chief of the us and spoke only to him and said send me a tape from me oval office or even specified they have no you just send them and i proceeded to to check in as i said that only about three times you know your own knowledge to other anyone who has ever sought to get any of these days on has gotten any of these tapes other than yourself and a testimony that you're just given his committee if he could develop same
individual the chief of the security and i asked him to bring a tape over or whatever and that information and of course the secret service agent would do that all that was channeled from ayaan feel certain that jordan would not have done that and under normal circumstances should anyone else do it i would hand the citizens without of response given my two hours it is it your testimony that if anybody had a bust for these tapes to you yes that's correct and that has never occurred is that correct his own if it was if it had been someone sent it to me and there were a number of these people that the only ones who didn't even know this was all part of the president and they instructed someone want to tell me in any person to find out about the record's how they were kept and where they are captain who has had access to these tapes is the chief of the
tackle so that's of the secret service guys like me would you phil angelides sixteenth nineteen seventy three rating as follows young mr kamran this lettuce farm radio committee they promised about a feeling that the president's meetings and conversations in the white house have been recording since spring of nineteen seventy a wall and about the system which is still in use is somewhat have that employ about life demonstration which has been discontinued fun it was when the vikings and while sensors this will be the first
only yesterday with timeless questions the offer of four years they say this point seventy one obviously that's been checking the secret service would have a record and i stand corrected on that point i have one closing statement i really said this at one point in my testimony but that i would feel better say once again in accordance with white house instructs and by that i mean the telephone call an ancient use underwater for mr hague and again i might say not that they needed any instructions on the matter of honesty i have finally unwillingly appeared for interviews and answers all questions put to me that i mean honestly but they are willing to pay this matter which we have discussed here
today i think is precisely the substance on which the president plans to present his defense i believe of course that the president is innocent of any crime or wrongdoing that he's innocent like was of any complicity and certainly that is so in the face of the kinds of evidence and exhibits at least that i know about witches been put before this committee to date i knew when i was interviewed by your statement on friday afternoons as i said earlier that measures and it preceded me and said that that similar interviews i certainly assume that egypt given an open and honest answer to that particular question that i was being asked that same question so those two probably the fact or by that i mean their answers i
only hope that i have not by my openness and by my parents to all instructions received today a given a way something was the president planned to use at a later date in support of his position to pay butterfield has lived up to his advance billing as a surprise witness with a vengeance and the committee now can be far more specific in its request for white house documents and an indication also we've got that the president plans to defend himself public television's coverage of the senate hearings will continue after a pause for station identification on a bridge to coverage of these hearings is provided as a public service of the member stations of pbs the public broadcasting service fb
terry and pike
continues its coverage of hearings by the senate select committee on presidential campaign activities here again correspondent robert mike knew as we go back to the areas that committee is about to call nixon fundraiser herbert come back to the stand witness the stable place to use where the evidence that you should give to the senate select committee on presidential campaign activist will be the truth the whole truth about the law that's right this is what you were
beautiful you know mr cousens they name of progress thank you mr chairman my name is james h o connor in phoenix arizona you know i know people he loses badly the chairman the vice chairman and members of the senate subcommittee on at the time this committee began taking testimony in this matter before the issuance of a subpoena i voluntarily appeared and offered to testify to whatever analogy i have it would be helpful to the committee and its
investigation my decision to do so was prompted by the chairman's remarks to the senate under way six nineteen seventy three and you all right before this committee even though i rarely are submitted copies of my principal resume to the committee staffer distribution a brief summary of their biographical statement may be appropriate for the purposes of this opening statement california i was raised in southern california and spent almost five and one half years on active duty
in the navy during morton i completed my undergraduate work at law school education at the university of southern california in nineteen fifty one michael that's right in nineteen sixty seven the parent firm of camargo marco now been joined work was funded with offices in los angeles and newport beach also for more than twenty years i've been active in political were taken in recent years in the area campaign finance since early nineteen sixty nine have been engaged in activities on a person's they have been three major areas first it has been the source of great pride and personal satisfaction to me and to my partners to have the rest of the responsibility for handling personally to matters for president nixon and members of his immediate family for the past four years
or john being set back to discuss the benefit from january of nineteen sixty nine through the way biking hundred and seventy two for certain surplus funds which have accrued mostly from the primary campaign of the nineteenth primary period of the nineteen sixty eight campaign palmer a state stands was the individual who might go i disagree who directs its third migrated to solicit early pledges of financial support to the husband's nineteen seventy two campaign began in november of nineteen seventy eight this assignment was completed in the spring of nineteen seventy
do the original records of this activity were turned over to the finance committee after mr stan featherstone they also finance chairman on the wife of a nineteen seventy two of the original files early transferred to the finance committee the section on my part was intended to ensure the continued confidentiality of the week options open number one or participation in the formulation of any planned conspiracy to cover up that incident or actual campaigns that applied or unethical
activity why actions in that period immediately following the raid in which involve the raising of funds to provide for the legal defense of the watergate defendants and for the support of their families were planted in the belief that such was proper a necessary to describe what i assumed to be a moral obligation both of those things the fact that i had been directed to undertake these actions by the number two and number three men on the white house staff made it absolutely incomprehensible to me that my actions in this regard could've been regarded in any way as improper or unethical i'm here before you it is not my purpose to testify for or against any individual i wish to cooperate fully with the canadian and that's where i'm not ready to answer your questions or the very best of my ability to make a comeback on that when you first meet president nixon
it was in the mid fifties but today it became a time that you're not going to play a role in the campaign fundraising for the president when was that phytoplankton senator campaigned in nineteen hundred and sixty eight i would associate finance chairman of that campaign now what if anything do you do with leftover from the nineteen sixty eight campaign mr stanza in mid january of nineteen sixty nine i asked me to accept the trusteeship were certain that surplus funds from the campaign as to exactly where in new york
yes sir that's it it's both fb
1973 Watergate Hearings
Part 3 of 4
Producing Organization
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/512-df6k06xs20).
Episode Description
Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer anchor gavel-to-gavel coverage of day 21 of the U.S. Senate Watergate hearings. In today's hearing, Richard Moore, Alexander P. Butterfield and Herbert W. Kalmbach testify.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Event Coverage
Politics and Government
Watergate Affair, 1972-1974
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Anchor: MacNeil, Robert
Anchor: Lehrer, James
Producing Organization: WETA-TV
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1957609-1-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Preservation
Color: Color
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-07-16; Part 3 of 4,” 1973-07-16, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2023,
MLA: “1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-07-16; Part 3 of 4.” 1973-07-16. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 28, 2023. <>.
APA: 1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-07-16; Part 3 of 4. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from