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it's b that name's warning center of the investigative arm of the federal government is i think that the fbi had been investigating this case earlier investigations good job her statements made with respect to a number of investigations man hours and so forth i don't want to
we have indicated that mr mcgrew was long the horrible is a lot but when he was deputy director of the campaign does that make him very important center where were changing questions with respect to his activities and again this is another question honestly it's given that this administration is
so no fortunately i don't have to make that determination and the president can't be protected by the fact by the president himself that i don't have an apartment to any circumstances that really over here's your first question these activities appointment for my husband through any reporter sarah kristin president had prior knowledge with respect to these matters and
i have a very strong feeling in my discussions with the president over the period of time and is a feeling of there's obviously a question that i don't know what he knows what the lyrics might have told him that i have a very strong feeling that he does generally referred as you're singing it is my feeling my personal feelings with the president during this period of my discussions with there's nothing has ever occurred which would give me any such indication i think that right now it appears that john mitchell is sticking tightly to his reasons for not informing the president in a moment in the race senator baker is trying to test mr mitchell's memory and
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terry allen pike continues its coverage of hearings by the senate select committee on presidential campaign activities you again correspondent robert mcneil as we go back to the hearings it is levi's germans tearing through po how watergate facts were kept from president nixon so close but the potential your testimony is sensitive but in many respects because given this new insight an important new material it has also created a conflict with the testimony of a witness for her particularly of course deter assad must agree in some instances the testimony mr dean mr spanton others you know i know that the function of the law
and ian staker testimony taking situation is to try to or intruding into it drivers that was where the truth lies i intend to proceed on the assumption that proceed with every other weapon is that what us one is the truth and to assume that until adventures might appear if it is right here nonetheless isn't the assumption that what you had told us is the truth i like to put certain questions wobbly material and relativism where an important would determinism and so what is your perception of the institution of the president's article
the reception of the president and i think it is just mention because i think the perception of perception the president ah the institution itself has some bearing on their decision making process they use that are undertaken some bank rescues on the question of why did not tell that indicated if you answer those questions a number of times before from the other standpoint that is what your perception of the presidency my mother what was your perception of years practicing as the attorney general united states as a friend of the president's purpose of this what is your perception of the obligations the presidency in your obligation to so you know perception
as the chief executive officer of the us perceptions are fully aware of the constitution was fiction of the office of the separation of powers and derivative actors of executive privilege i'll state constitutional requirements of the president the obligations of the presidency in the statute mandates that argument today and from time to time but what i'm interested in is your perception as unique the institutional memory he's doing really and
we may actually doing these things that you spend your relationship to it in what may have been the president's percent about how let me give you example or so is the president's singing so shrouded in mystery is there is a magnetism of operations is there such an awesome responsibility for the problems in an undertaking to this nation but the presidency in some instances must be spared the detail very difficult of situations which are more ordinary circumstances might be considered by some at least a b flat declarations are criminal offense is the presidency to be protected in that way is the splendor of the
isolation so great that the president must be protected and senator clinton president saying my concept of it the way it was obviously the president cannot deal with all the mundane problems greater problems america or get to the point where it is it is my opinion and my concern with respect in this presidency that he's at the wall in connection with these matters the board directly upon the way it should have been protected from the nile as a presidential
candidate statewide lieberman to make that decision what is it that they're against that authority to someone else other than the president to take the materials that it will significantly affect not only his election prospects unseen says but his presidency why humans that if the word of my producers and there would be an alternative you know ms mitchell does that are not imply a distrust of the decision the decision making ability of the man who occupied the office crime that is the very end the responsibility to make such a night such a fantastically important decision
or that organization they were a situation he would take these actions which would be done and what is your perception of the presidency that leads you to believe it ought to be spared the difficulty of making a monumental decision the very reasonable point of his core and i would have impeded his potential for reelection i'm not saying today an enormous yesterday that this was the right decision and telling the basis of decision was money i understand that full appreciation of the explanation given frontline make decisions on vine program to your perception
a the presidency your relationship to it or knowledge of the man that lead to make a decision for you i don't think i quite understand there were no decision making on the war you know and there's a vial is there any other important decision that you can think that the president ought to be scared or making any another example of another situation where the attorney general of united states are the chairman committee to reelect
president on administrative spy on anyone after deciding or disparaging him a lot of options as you describe what else besides that and what is there is no one that he should be the moment i'm going to pursue you're there on that this matter have the effect of limiting the president's options if you told him about it there for you another situation that would be a similar another one that she would not tell the president about another consequential decision that she would not comment about in order to avoid eliminating his option insurers
they were long isn't what you're telling us mr mitchell that in certain cases in order to preserve a range of political options but the president should be denied access to the information on which the night illegal invalid judgment as a predator and you say yes that is in nature that that iran has a significant than anything about on the powers of the presidency has got a huge eye that era gate onto yourself a presidential zink says the answer is yes in all americans because obviously the basis of information has to be with the president before judgments and so what is the constitutional basis for getting into yourself or anyone else a constitutional level and the presidential level decision i haven't found one
there are many reasons how do we protect against necessity during the world and i'm sad in hindsight how to go about the business of legislating against such occurrences in the future about making sure that the presidential level silly seasons are tremendously important oh so this happens everyday in this capital where the center where the president doesn't have information about a particular subject matter will surely have that happen every day with respect to illegal entry and the democratic national committee our efforts by principal white house allegedly to come up those activities are some warning of perjury or perjury or conspiracies i know that there are
many many circumstances i probably have a greater effect on this country that happen every day with the party's president is not aware of so that he doesn't have the facility to make the decisions that are yours and certainly implies i'm not a part of grew into that implies the fact in the institution of the presidency that is the institution itself is not capable of dealing with first magnitude questions i really am not prepared to believe they are going to agree with the president's ideas for dealing with them permission if someone else takes on themselves the decision making authority and important issues and spare sandoz network you say this is for no particular circumstances that you just described in its day to day throughout the government let's talk about the man the president's aides a man that you've known for a long
time and ultimately not know for a long time for a long time what is there in your perception of the man that would ensure that if it did contribute your decision not telling us i'm not speaking out the institution but rather than i just described a certain specimens of the western center number of times or i don't remember a whole there's nothing fb i think you're writing i think he would think that your hands it is
remarkable that you have that time when you yourself according to her testimony were completely free from and the so called white house or in the break in and sit in on june seventeenth nineteen seventy two and certainly for unity allegations in connection to cover up the payoffs like at that point in time in mid june nineteen seventy two you made a decision not to kill president bush you're afraid he would fire hose and now even if you don't think of it in the circumstances except how to thank you well aware of the world but it's not just a question of firing someone it's the question of the unraveling of some of these activities that existed over there how to promote the unraveling would you promote the ventilation of the circumstances each voter like justice of these matters by not telling that's
right the reaction that when the news is that the premise it was better not to start with promise it would've been better to him well as at the bases is that the perception that led to decide not to kill the president exactly at that period of time those are decisions made in hindsight it might've been unfairly emperor mr mitchell argue days you're in your mind that that was a mistake not telling the president senator i'm not certain that that's the case because we're talking about weeks of june in nineteen seventy two where i still believe the most important thing is that it was the re election of richard nixon and i was not about to countenance anything that would stand in the way of that really anything you know well
we're freezing very late wouldn't it have been infinitely better part of certain others mr mitchell and i'm so i wouldn't have an infinitely better why not everybody on the south lawn the white house and the president find out on june seventeenth nineteen seventy two in the world there are you talking about what i'm talking about i wake and the democratic national committee headquarters of the watergate complex it took a lot of a morning out in seventeenth nineteen seventy the concerns there is concern i'm talking about
sir when you say you're leaving so at that moment in retrospect i do certain now that the country wouldn't better serve and the president would have been better served that every single person in the administration even allegedly had anything to do with it and thinks press to the president personally want to know you're talking about not only the watergate with these other activities make everything that occurred from january twentieth nineteen sixty nine until june twenty second nineteen seventy seven years five of the measure that the president obama re elected i'll agree with your whole article you understand i'm sure what an enormous
premium then you put on success i suppose all politicians put a great premium on success and caraway that any other and tell me that the consumer the president upon such as you described as the watergate quarters of the white house horrors of the break in and the watergate on june seventeen and all of those things are inferior and important to the ultimate reelection the prison i have no doubt about the third time that i have no doubt about it now what what would the president had to have done before of his religion was not as important as the vet on what would someone have to know rather than a standard i'm sure you're well aware of that well
done hostility and suspicion of a nation in this first bout with the allegations about the lingering suspicions about what he knew were greatly in that i do he was knowledgeable obviously because we are we still get along and i'm delighted that i had this opportunity to probe into a great mentality of a great may and i think one thing that i might say in matters that may shed some light on situations remark you made and gatlin we're gonna say when you spoke of it doesn't bar association at my request we accepted and i interviewed you at the reception
some of my friends who are attorneys and tennis and i said mr mitchell as you know was once president nixon's lahore art history was one of his original <unk> mr mitchell i have no worldview i welcome this opportunity to find out where the threshold is where the crawl so what is on the importance of an event vs a responsibility to tell the press now what i spoke of a moment ago was not evidence of the president's involvement i've imposed on myself a discipline that i will not comment on the importance of relevance for the captives of the testimony that he would listen to all that testimony is taking and i'm not going to do that with respect to the president and he was talking about as busy and when i ask you is whether or not the decision to expose travelers to the president for a presidential decision wouldn't have infinitely better than to undergo the suspicion the band
the uncertainty in the minds of the american people that does exist not prove i think the american people are remarkably for barren stretch but at the suspicion that i'm an infinitely better one june of nineteen seventy two and women not monday morning quarterback fill in what is developing into these circumstances that exist today on a government pension problems were correct and i was so the responsibility of this committee is not a fixed line we got we're not trying just that was the guilt or innocence of anyone were trying to prevent this in the future by legislative relief so that statement by who is most tell that is in hindsight you are certain are you not it wouldn't matter to permit the president to make a presidential greatness in june of nineteen seventy two i don't think there's any question about that it upon what has developed out of this how it's developed
as another question entirely different separate insider tested underground to medicines tested those circumstances as they were involved or not involved but for our purposes a senatorial committee our future is to find the ways to avoid this in the future i mean our responsibility is to find ways to avoid it in the future and that's why the pricing for your times on whether not to our convention unhappy you are the ones that have taken place since the weeks of june of nineteen seventy two through july nineteen seventy three i don't think there's any question about involvement mitchell it might even have been better senators fugue state they come out of the white house lawn and have been supporters shot on that would have been less of a problem with
it and at the peak this committee goes to work providing percent of united states and the people in it stays what i refer to as a definitive statement on watergate that is we aspire to have every fact in detail in every circumstance and humanly possible to develop and the report is an important thing and the political history of the nation that it might sound bite and that is obviously the challenge that the senate place before islam i created this
committee one of the things that we are delighted or is that i gather partly on account of your advice and other circumstances we are not now confronting where the ability to gain the testimony a president or asked white house officials and cabinet officers doctrine of executive privilege has not been able to very possibly could've we'd greatly enlarged lee access of this committee to important information because back on executive privilege attorney client privilege have not been able to yet another crop that is to know something of the president's perception of a unique facts and circumstances that only only he and one or two others may know that perspective you know we're a letter from the president of the committee and getting it will not appear before the committee and i think he has the constitutional authority
not here i was taken by statements he made yesterday morning on page thirty to sixty eight of the record mr gary shares you actually when the president make the decision as to direct this campaign in the nineteen seventy two campaign mr mitchell i do not know as i can answer that question mr geise i think the president would have to answer fact that invites her attention to two or three murders of like and as you to advise us on how we can have access to that fundamental doctrines of separation of powers of executive privilege of institution of the presidency or anything else or further conversation september mr dean spoke out in which he the president and mr caucuses and yesterday and are very very candidly says he is not certain but he and for the president you have to cover that we know we can have
astronomers testimony as we share but what can a can you get me on how we can complete record in that respect how we might gain access as a distinguished lawyer a former attorney general and confidant of president elect conversation and perception of all it's not subliminal the peak mr baker any good the problems in the electrical system of a senate office building not a new television in a moment the senators will continue questioning john mitchell and we will stay with him even in the dark through this in a few moments a second temporary blackout stamps run out by france know maybe someone's turned out the lights stop which you were
seen and the vice chairman of the earth swallows zionist through difficulty of recollection of what happened the meetings regardless of their importance or significance which have happened months or sometimes years back i would believe him hearings are over and i think the president will respond to the salient points of the hearings of this committee and i'm sure that that meeting will probably be one of them now i'm not advising the president on the subject matter i'm not discussing it with and that iraq would have a very strong feeling knowing the president as i do that he will respond i believe it will
rachel one other question that respect if i were to say that i know that this committee could or should try to compel the president appeared to testimony like the most fundamental separation are probably regrets that if i assume that to be true and i believe it to be true and if i still continue to have the desire to complete this record there's a definitive statement on watergate with the great recession it come to the conclusion that he's taken prisoner wow well would not be complete had been groping for some way to try to circumnavigate the rocky shoals of separations of powers separation of powers and executive privilege
my stepmother my attention of president established in nineteen nineteen when the senate foreign relations committee as president woodrow wilson to appear connection gratification of the treaty of versailles we're rather amazed at invited foreign relations committee and i had a conversation with chris wilson rather than beat it was made a part of the visual record of the canadian the committee that outlet and ninety nineteen eighties the piece all things actually pretty separation heart problem for president wilson and for the senate foreign relations committee and who would you care to comment on that a possible alternative or suggest any other alternative for getting this information and preserving the prisoners of the prisoners are for
you circumstances that you desire detective forces appear the convention somewhere along the line to be the only appropriate circumstances but on my part and my suggestion is about a president in hamlet's question of separation probably last dance for music i genuinely do do any other thoughts or ideas come to mind on how to gain access to this information and perception of the president and still drivable of an institutional confrontation between the congress and the president on the spot oh yes says sanders won that very much on
my mind that the eu and the chairman bananas and i'm sure that you may find some mutual of grants to resolve this problem the principle is a little bit you know i believe it is sixty seconds
it was associated with and what kind of associations you start out with in a new york while he was a member of one law firm and you were a member of another as we know social occasion and you do this but did you get a very personal basis
will say that you know it's an individual right that wide ranging discussions of any subject matters and of course nervous force all right and if your contact with me and private citizen nixon interview and on a more frequent basis yes sir three times are you
really from subsequent to the murder of the funds i believe you became his a campaign manager in nineteen sixty eight and what was your association with the president during that campaign did you how did you see him frequently visit with him frequently do accompaniment campaign on the campaign trail how would you characterize your association with the president at that time and in the subsequent years would you
say that you are a very close friend and he's a jew a social friend of his but you've been a business in a more satisfactory manner within an active at linking his confidant and counselor as attorney general of the united states that when you say that all these accusations are correct i'm joel rose now going to allow mr dean and the rest of the review in his testimony and did he regret for aspiring nun in justice or at least they're developing within a father son relationship what then do you think that mr clean house a nightmare
jon bream a very very prominent lawyer working in my office of the deputy attorney general in the justice department in dealing with congressional relationship is no question us when he went to the white house that there is my relationship with him mom was on an entirely different basis and illustrator i think that mr demers i'm perfectly competent lawyer there you are well attorney general theoretically everybody were not directly on the make there and the organizational chart and then what kind of services the men in that capacity well
mr dean ellis a legislative liaison representing the justice department carrie kahn has the same functions that we're talking about that he was a liaison with congressional hearings as he testified and that's my recollection was delegated to him by mr fine to negotiate with the demonstrators concern in washington they're going out there he performed services for the test as you say that i'm sitting or has raised that they are very lenient than that as his
workers mr spitzer them anyway the white house and of course you observe demands that he work out of the white house and their work as liaison between the white house and the year we have a president yes sir i would not say that he was the liaison between the white house and the committee but he started out performing substantial legal functions in connection with any argument initiation of the committee and certainly yeah i saw simon
after june seventeen why would you say that he was the type of man that would be at the white house as he did in the department just is carrying out orders as he was giving the orders for years now going to be a creation now are going back to the internal security division of the department of justice there's been testimony abused him mr mitchell several witnesses that the reports of the internal security division were made available to me and the un that were made available
and being made available to the committee for the reelection of the republican national committee and i'd always assumed the democrats of my knowledge of the subject matter has limited to the area in which the decision was concert inmate with respect as to whether the convention should be held in san diego were transferred to miami innocence yesterday's papers i mean intelligence reports be at the convention or not leds ever intelligence report that came out of the government that
have to do any individual as far as politics or political positions concern the truth is going to give any specific instructions that these reports to be made available to the dominican republic the internal security division first the margins of such activities well the committee to re elect the president after you left the department of justice that that is my understanding of how did you have the movie source of authority was for this fascination
i don't think that happened well he's establishment in miami did you ever authorize the transmission or even inspection fbi reports in the department of justice transmission lines but about the transformation of the fbi reports to the crp oh the inspection of fbi reports that the department of justice knows you know everyone would be you know whether or not these reports were received at the committee to re elect the president in testimony to that
effect here before senator elect merkley clear we're talking about fbi reports yet on my answers i just thought of the fbi reports were they received by the committee for reelection for now let's go back to that means that you had an injustice with respect to the planned on january the twenty sevens but the main focus of my understanding that humans today on about november nineteen seventy one didn't want him to you and it's in two years that correct yes or more then that subsequently this set and then to wait on you
the bottom of justice office or the originally intelligence operation unfolded and charts are now how long did you spend as me recollection and i have wished on this mainly from my law was an hour or less and there were others who was another subject matter discuss which of course was the upcoming election law when you please read it i work that occurred there in the discussion of the very intelligence gathering plan well son i couldn't possibly related violent the place to go for my mother was a mystery unfolding years
well they discussed this is the first discussion of a new show and then that was there any discussion are statements made with any discussion there are any statement made to the effect that he shouldn't go back and scale the land now one million dollars i think he was accessing discussion of avocados to the effect that that's having individuals that worked is betting that meet certain mr bynum i sell that my mind was going back and information gathering and taking care of security against demonstrators rather the contents of that particular proposal i what kind of information gathering that you have
information would be available to any campaign that official that would be none of this means is what it's always done on political campaign in this including getting information from the other side you can get it now that's going to be the generals right as you mean the same individuals yet hamas today and mr damon and that what they would respect to the so called the committee by over respectable solo holiday plans was a mature rating i think of some twenty minutes of that was what was so what was discussed at risk turned up again because of that same
concept of electronic surveillance in the other facets of a wormhole out explain that well i'm not sure that my recollection of the centre the basis of that was that they would have the capacity for electronic surveillance with respect to whatever targets were owed to be used in connection with the subject matter was that and reviews when i was a cop a lot of aspects of it and then reduced down basically an electronic surveillance so you mention a very well
so that remains well i mean there's two in unveiling this land this land twice now any investor is a man who really knew how to gather intelligence that's right now and then on march eighteenth it is my understanding that at the second unveiling on political that mr miller and mr dean and you always room his plan is that correct yes or stitcher and asia testimony in that that effect on the bottomless pit lane
one there's no question about the plan and wealthy and wrapping his approval and they really humid now then you went to al qaeda's gaining on your vacation at nyu and there on march thirtieth and present at that meeting it's b and again as mr rooms an estimate that is directed at yesterday's throw any particular meaning you're talking about mr flemons than in previous day also a meeting that we have done and
then during the course of that meeting the law and as you see it that is correct ms weis center at that time i had not officially been associated with the committee for the reelection of president for the president as i recall i understand there's going to be twenty eight years i wouldn't doubt that there are twenty eight different papers of different subject matters because i was being brought up to speed on what's happening in the campaign and
as i say that with respect to whether or not there were decisions by me or whether discussions and consultation approval i was not officially at the committee at that time i'm sure that it was the paper's were bottling plant isn't discussing with me and getting my reaction to them and you didn't have to leave with respect to work policy at the committee witness magruder and with ms lister no one of these invaders was the g eight and a half by ten dealing with the third version of the levee plan in scale down to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars is that correct substantially current mandate what was your decision with respect to these now before i ask that question now i understand from
that testimony that there were three members of this particular plan you were using in the deliberations at this game any nominations on any of these papers i don't recall any indications on any of the papers i can assure you that i made no notations on what you're referring to is that now did you do i think he does it's b
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1973 Watergate Hearings
Part 2 of 5
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Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer anchor gavel-to-gavel coverage of day 18 of the U.S. Senate Watergate hearings. In today's hearing, John Mitchell testifies.
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Watergate Affair, 1972-1974
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Anchor: MacNeil, Robert
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APA: 1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-07-11; Part 2 of 5. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from