thumbnail of 1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-07-30; Part 5 of 6
Hide -
This transcript was received from a third party and/or generated by a computer. Its accuracy has not been verified. If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+.
it's bad seventy five years ago no i've not seen in to consult sense that except for perhaps until twenty thirty minutes that's my opening statement in this matter was but there are slowing and without any consultation mr paul mullins i assume his was because i certainly not a consultation with him on it i have spent virtually every day since my generation in attempting to date places that person's presence as subject matters cover and go back into the white house records and and take a look at my records to try to refresh my recollection as the ones taking place
in that immigrants from time to time a firing his departure of all i have discussed aspect of this moment certainly not in terms of testimony only in terms of what actually took place in the research why i take it to those guys was an anticipation that you're not doing girl and now other inquiries he was it's incomplete in corvallis ball and when he appears before this committee and that there exists no conflict
between both regard all the events this committee is not done well under those circumstances may i asked them how it's possible that your book being represented by the same journey isn't this a potential conflict of interest in the event moved to holland disagrees with your recollection of events yeah i may i answer that question there is that's right you suggest that i'm involved in another way and i think the audience is the same as to suggest that they are not sacks get that i'm getting some policy or e reader
response to my question it's been a week us
you're saving money you assume that your testimony is in the record without mr pollen when he appears before this committee right now sanctions senator had no way of knowing whether these testimonies political asylum so that it is possible there would be and i say i'm out gemini rise yes
absolutely i was a little kid who are you doing the committee you're welcome
i really do right right that there is this there is this where critics or clinics a conflict between you and israel regards to the events that this committee's co star's testimony or a report from me you assume that your testimony is in complete accord with that mr hall i don't like i
do you're welcome i am i think pollination on the bases more years i think every year we want them to
i mean there may be a very insensitive it's like to be mostly on the street but there is a momentary a problem among the shiites are like that question i don't think is in a way the question of months to go out of business and as we were all so awful villain question i would like to say this this is witness
yeah because of the situation closing statement vice chairman and committee i prepared for this hearing were just two objects first the state the truth is nearly as recollection and research that enable me to do and they're right
for nearly five days that submitted your cross examination the permit test of the truth of my best in my opening statement i was the number questions which i asked you to inquire because i believe they are central to this matter and because i have some information about in the past five days a great deal of time has been spent mostly affluent as a result there is now remaining one matter which i believe is important enough to mention in passing through the committee i did not have an opportunity to review with the committee my notes of my second interview with raul i think it is important for the committed to know that you read those numbers question which i continually put mr strollo it through was is there anything else are you giving me the whole lives are these all people in the white house who are involved and they told me everything you know about their own
role in other words the list you see in the straw notes is intended as i recall interview with mr strock to be an explosive letters and that does not appear on the face of the notes and i think it's important for you to have my second was to be prepared to raise a voice as are questions developed i had no opportunity to do so is that i only sheds some light on facts which has proved a few of the false allegations which of an advance against here i do not apologize for my loyalty to the president any more than i apologize for my love that i only hope that my testimony here has somehow serve them well i could not close without commenting on armstrong's answer the other day to the question do you have any advice for the young americans who are
expressing their disenchantment with government and the political process to stay away but i don't think many other americans laugh but that i certainly didn't know who are ruins of us our political system and our real governmental institutions are not just the buildings of the laws and traditions that one sees here in the city watch our government and our politics are only as idealistic as honest as the people in those buildings who administer the laws on the campaigns and political traditions some young americans know that their ideals or it is our motives are sound or more pure than those of the people now in politics or government and i think we should have said to then come and do better don't stay somehow in politics and government it seems that there's also one privilege
or you don't think that you can be sure that somebody else will we're either going to have highly motivated able people running the political campaigns telling the officers and other homeless early have seat warmer isn't taxable phillies places and the country will be the worst or people must be attractive to come here to fight and work long hours to get things i hope that young people don't stay away i hope they come and apply their idealism and their enthusiasm and a higher moral principles i hope they come and test their ideas and their convictions in this marketplace i hope they do come and do that young americans if you come here come with your eyes wide open you go to work for the president and the executive branch there are very few in congress are the media you came a change in
our society you'll have to fight such changes they want your id and be prepared to defend your sense of it you encounter a local culture which stuffs of patriotism and family life and morality justice that it would stay you'll find some people who follow the law but you also find in politics and government many great people who know the pearl of great price is not have to be asked and who feel that this country in its heritage are worth the work you use startled and a sacrifice don't stay away and join them and to have that vice chairman a select committee has an awesome responsibility to find the truth such a surge cannot be made by one whose eyes are clouded with a preconception of partisanship economic be found by those with open minds free of bias and unfair because i
am confident that the truth is there to be seen and only needs the scenes right thank you very much is with other witnesses at expressing gratitude of the committee for your parents of testimony i'm sure that you understand his other witnesses do functions of this committee are manageable but that one of the functions of this committee has developed what i refer to as a definitive statement on watergate in the other letters that were mandated to ask the senate to acquire inskeep you take your testimony and weighed against the testimony given us other witnesses against circumstances documentation vs whatever relevant information we can find in order i cheered also unlike his time we're not here with a fan you're going to find no one guilty or innocent a specified time we are going to try to find out what happened when he knew about you've given us a great volume of information and we thank
you for i might take the privilege of reading and abandoned your advice to young people it was concerned about a national strategy i feel for instance that i feel very certain that one of the greatest consequences of water so obviously it would be that young people drop out or that the citizens of america are disillusioned and drop out of the political system or chocolate drop in the next and six elections we have more people participating elected process than we've ever had before truly i'm sure it'll be a likely the system of government in the state is examining itself and that's proven strength not weakness whether other questions what this record would counsel call it and we understand that for a chairman that
statement is just coming up now was given to us yesterday evening and we are just able to start reproducing it and we have gotten it on its way kerry called for greece as well have been the light of the situation and in light of the facts chairman has not yet returned to the last roll call vote the committee will stand in brief recess subject to the culture while the committees shifts its focus from the president's number two aide to his number one man we're gonna take a short pulse public television's coverage of the senate watergate hearings will continue after this break for a station identification on a bridge to coverage of these hearings is provided as a public service of the member stations of pbs a public broadcasting service it's been fb
and that continues its
coverage of hearings by the senate select committee on presidential campaign activities you again correspondent jim lehrer as president nixon's former chief of staff takes witness stand is about to read his version of the watergate events it is twenty four hours a day if you would like to read
for you he has yes oh geez mr chairman and members of the senate select committee as you know i met voluntarily with the senate committee staff on two occasions for lengthy interviews to answer any questions they might one asked me and i requested nearly three months ago and only opportunity to appear before this committee i also appeared before and cooperate as fully as i could with another committee of the senate committee of the house of representatives united states attorneys the grand jury and the attorneys taking depositions for the democratic national committee in a civil suit all that matters before this committee and all of these appearances i have never taken the fifth amendment and
i have never sought immunity or any other kind of deal in the three months since i resigned from the white house that i had scrupulously avoided discussing any substantive aspects of the warning case war related matters in the past i have carefully avoided leaking information expressing any opinion or conclusion answering any charges or commenting on any testimony by others as i have stated countless times to reporters and tv cameras i will cooperate fully with the appropriate judicial and legislative bodies involved in this case i feel they are the reforms which to present a complete explanation an answer for your questions on each of these occasions with the press i have further statement to the press that i have full confidence but when the entire it will be clear to the american people president
nixon had no knowledge or involvement in you the watergate affair sell or the subsequent efforts of a cover up of the watergate it will be equally clear despite all the unfounded allegations to run for that i had no such knowledge or involvement i had the rare privilege for four years serving on the white house staff under one of america's greatest presidents and with the most outstanding dedicated and abel group of people with whom i have ever worked those who served with me in the white house a complete dedication to the service of his country cynthia nixon administration in its first four years i can't imagine anything more satisfying than the opportunity to plan our first nixon administration which brought about the end of america's longest and most difficult war ii and the cold war which a benefactor politely songs many of us remember innovation and
i want leaders of the soviet union and the leaders of the people's republic of china building up a structure that could well lead not just one but many generations of peace the start of the return of the current government of the people by revenue sharing that reorganization the whole approach to domestic programs designed to bring those programs into line with the real needs and desires of the people we also and still feel that the first four years it was a time of laying the groundwork for even greater accomplishments in this second term and we have completely that that promise will be one of the great tragedies of our time is that for the moment at least a cloud hangs over the accomplishments of the past four years and the promise of the next four years because of watergate its aftermath and related matters this is on an unceasing corruption charges and countercharges allegations innuendo there's a rumor speculation and i was these hearings justice department's
special prosecutor we're going to an early conclusion so that the nation and its leadership and again turn their thoughts and their efforts for more productive enterprise during this period with its intense concentration on every aspect of watergate and everything related to it the sense of proportion regarding the time period understudy becomes grossly distorted and looking at the year nineteen seventy two is important especially now during these hearings to try to keep a sense of perspective as to where things i was i have a flyer being under a microscope and become a terrifying object in spite of its actual incidents likewise watergate it under the microscope of this here in the intensive coverage of all of its aspects and become a terrifying side one loses track of the perspective in which it should be this is in no way an attempt to minimize the importance of the problems posed by watergate when the necessity to get to the truth and to take the necessary actions to deal with the facts and prevent a recurrence
of the transition period in nineteen sixty eight i had the opportunity to meet with and receive some very valuable advice regarding the office of the presidency from a man of great experience on that subject president dwight eisenhower he made the point to me very strongly that the greatest responsibility i would go over the next four years would be to make sure that president nixon had the time and the opportunity to concentrate on the few overwhelmingly important matters that would come to his attention during that time and id be spared the interruptions and temptations to divert himself debated a treaty that would get in the way of the really major accomplishments president johnson jr exactly president nixon was also a man with strong views on the office of the presidency and out of that office for eight years from one step away as vice president of the united states and
the operation of the white house so that president nixon would have the opportunity to achieve the goals he had set for himself to concentrate on the painstaking step by step actions that were required in order to achieve those goals and to avoid being diverted by matters which could be handled as well or better by others step system for the white house was set up this objective in mind and was developed with the president's fault and crimes the decision facing the president was whether to watch all of the jails see who never wanted to see him read everything that was sent to him or to delegate that authority and by the exercise of major self discipline spend his time on the largest issues that confront the people he was elected to represent easy decision would have been to follow the first part because that force would have made him popular and accessible and show what is ben popper is not a nice guy president nixon so all that isolation unit is doing what he was elected to do yet pledged to the american people that
he would search for a generation of bees which despite the efforts of many people musical would have never been accomplished in this century president nixon took that quite seriously and he has come a long ways towards achieving if this time during the first time i've been obscured by partisan political matters or by visiting with all of the people who wish to see him or by reading the entire contents of all the multitude of memos written in generation of trees because the one irreplaceable thing that the president had available to him is a longtime would've been taken from this in a way applies to president nixon's than a hundred percent of his time on matters relating to international affairs he carefully planned and divided his time so as to cover all those matters that requires attention but he carried out an extensive allegations are other members of his administration and his staff to see that all matters were handled properly and thrilling but only those which the president himself had to deal with actually came
to the front president nixon also was very much concerned that he received a wide range of views opinions and information as to what was being reported in the press and the news media consequently he did not limit himself to really wanted to newspapers but directed that compresses summary of all news media be prepared for him on a daily basis he read this carefully each day in addition to reading a number of newspapers he insisted that when a matter was brought in for a decision the full range of options and the full range of viewpoints regarding those options be presented rather than just the arguments of the exponential one particular he saw the state's responsibility has been that of ensuring that this was always the case and the selection of his personal white house that the president emphasized the qualities of integrity in intelligence and an issue here is that we bring in young people men and women with great energy and
enthusiasm and you provide those qualities along with the wisdom and experience of the more senior members of his administration as a first term progress many changes were made in the staff structure and in this vast system constantly adapting to the ongoing needs of the office of the president the atmosphere at the white house was one of great enthusiasm right medication great cooperation and great satisfaction as progress was made for many of the president's goals at the same time there were of course many disappointments and many frustrations as the progress wasn't as fast as all of us would have liked in all directions the review at the end of the first time provides the basis for the conclusion of all work very well as we start of the year nineteen seventy two year in which the president would be up for reelection we also approached the critical time of culmination or at least a major steps towards the accomplishment of several of the president's major
goals the end of the war in vietnam the opening of relations with the people's republic of china the achievement of agreements to limit nuclear arms and the other agreements with the soviet union president next as concentration was of course on these extremely important matters he started we're concentrating on the planning for the trip to the people's republic of china which took place in the latter part where we're and which because of the enormous amount of painstaking planning ahead of time was a tremendously successful trip following that trip there were several months of intense concentration on steps to try to bring the war in vietnam to a conclusion and to plan for the negotiations with the leaders of the soviet union the months of march and april were almost totally dedicated to those two efforts with a number of other activities intervening such as a trip to canada to meet with the leaders of that them on may eight president announced one of the most difficult decisions you had to make a decision to
mind the harbors the bomb targets in north vietnam and that announcement preceded by less than two weeks the departure for the meetings with the leaders of the soviet union in moscow most of the month of june was occupied in activities following up on a soviet or than the president spent a good part of july at the western white house and sampled it forget the opportunity for long and the chilies with henry kissinger on foreign policy on the negotiations to attempt to end the vietnam war and when john ehrlichman on initiatives in the area of domestic policy first part of august was spent mostly camp david preparing for the acceptance speech the president was to give at the republican convention later that month and on developing plans and physicians for the campaign to follow immediately after the convention president went to the west and white house and the money to prepare for his triple white to meet with the leaders of the japanese the return to washington right after labor day concentrated during september on the ongoing business of the government with a few
brief trips to various parts of the country for campaign appearances as the vietnam negotiations intensified in october they require a great amount of the president's time and attention although he had many appointments meetings on domestic matters in that month also an aide two or three trips for campaign appearances much to the consternation of the opposition and the press he did not proper business of government and turned of the political campaign but rather made the decision that he would concentrate his attention on the conduct of the office of the presidency with confidence that the voters would make their decision on the basis of his conduct of that office november december january we're probably going three most demanding months the entire time that i served in the white house with vietnam negotiations were up and down on a law and the need for daily concentration on developments in that area was intense in addition this was the period which
the president and a number of the keys that people were engaged in a total reorganization of the structure of the office of the president and the executive branch of the government as well as a complete review of the staffing of the entire executive branch there was of course also they need to prepare for the activities of the inaugural and for the president's inaugural address on january twenty after the vietnam cease fire in january there was still illegal considerable attention to that area and the work of a restructuring and re staffing the executive branch of the government as well as developing new program approaches in a domestic area continued at an intense debates it was not only there were president nixon vote any substantial amount of attention to the watergate cases and matters related to in the last few days there weren't the start of a series of meetings with his counsel john dean
originally concentrating primarily on the problems of separation of powers and executive privilege that were raised by the creation of the senate select committee and a few weeks later by the request of the judiciary committee that john dean testifying connection with their hearings on the nomination is degraded the director of the fbi from mid march through the month of april president spent a considerable amount of time and attention and watergate in spite of the fact that he was also dealing with the restructuring of his branch of government was serious matters in the domestic economy and meeting with a number of foreign leaders including president use of the prime minister and i did it i reviewed these pictures to germany as a means of pointing out to this committee and to the american people the fact that the specifics of the watergate and the activities of the investigation followed watergate we're not a principle focus of interest in the white house or by the president during a period from june of nineteen seventy two a to march of nineteen seventy
three my own notes one meetings with the president during that period indicate very few and very brief references to watergate it was not only not the principle that are occupying the attention of the president and his senior staff but it was a matter of which rose only occasionally and only briefly in my role as the president's chief of staff i concentrated my attention and activities each day on those matters on which the president was concentrating his attention and activity i did not mean to schedule appointments for activities of my own i travel with the president when he was out of washington and i concentrated on those matters that were concerned that the president at any given period of time the fact is that the watergate case was not a matter of concentration on the part of the president at any time until march of nineteen seventy three and therefore was not a matter of concentration on my party and the atmosphere at the white house through
this period was as it had been for the entire first term not want a fear repression but one of excitement extremely hard work dedication and adoption at the outset of the nixon administration in nineteen sixty nine it was our general intention to have a group of assistance to the president who in all of china's journalists with no specific areas of responsibility each available to move into whatever area had a need at any given point in time inevitably however the requirements of the office cause the more specific delineation of areas of responsibility my role was administratively rather than policy i work directly with the president in the planning and execution of his daily schedule and providing for him the information he wanted from the members of his staff and the rest of the administration and in this emanating from him to those people whose instructions and opinions
henry kissinger served as assistant to the president for national security affairs was responsible for the development and implementation of white house policy in the area of foreign policy national defense and national security john ehrlichman as assistant to the president for domestic affairs had similar responsibilities in the development and implementation of domestic policy at various times during the first time there were other principal assistant to the president for specific responsibilities there was a very substantial difference between the rules of dr kissinger in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy mr ottman in the formulation and execution of domestic policy this is my role in the administration in operation and the president's personal identities they were each department heads with areas of policy responsibility they were directly and frequently with the appropriate care and officers and agency heads they were directly and frequently with the president
by delegation from the president under clear guidelines they acted for the president in the process of developing policy and carried out on the other hand i would only very rarely with anyone outside the white house staff i spent a great deal of time with the president and the rest of the time preparing for meetings with the president transmitting his instructions and guidance to others for implementation and when necessary following on one performance by working day was totally unstructured i had no independent schedule i was at the call the president at all times i was born raised is that most of my life in los angeles calif after serving two years on active duty in the navy the coat i completed my college education at ucla and enjoying the j walter thompson the advertising agency i was with taylor townsend for twenty years in a los angeles san francisco and new york offices and nineteen sixty one became a vice president of the company
and manager of the los angeles office in addition to my business career and my participation in politics and government service has been a great deal of time and work with a number of educational community organizations in california included among these activities with services chairman of the board of trustees of the california institute of the arts member of the border regions of the university of california member of the california coordinating council for higher education vice president of the junior jim trusty of the proclamation member of the puerto ricans the better business bureau and president of the ucla alumni association even after joining the federal government i have the opportunity to serve as a trustee and member of the executive committee of the kennedy center for the performing arts and as vice president of the ford theatres my association with richard nixon began in nineteen fifty six and i think the three month leave of absence to be an advance man in his campaign for re election as vice president of the united states i performed a similar
function nineteen fifty eight when vice president nixon traveled the country on behalf of candidates for the house and senate nineteen sixty two years leave of absence to serve as chief advance mankind campaign tour manager and vice president nixon's presidential campaign in nineteen sixty two again for the years of absence this time the manager mr nixon's campaign for governor of bell in nineteen sixty eight i was chief of staff for mr nixon in his campaign for the presidency and then joined the white house staff as assistant to the president these opportunities for community service and political participation have been very gratifying to me the high point of my life of course has been the opportunity to serve for four years as assistant to president nixon and to have an apartment a truly outstanding accomplishments of his first term my statements and testimony before this committee will be based on my best
recollection after a careful review of logs notes center to try to reconstruct the facts as best i can i'm severely limited in this ever because despite the intense focus of attention today on each minute but then last year at the time may have been most of these things were not of great importance that were not recorded in any detail if at all this is especially true for the period prior to march nineteen seventy three that time on my presidential votes regarding the watergate tapes are much more voluminous because the president was then directing a great deal of his attention to the watergate matter or as he had not done so we're i have had access under the supervision of a secret service agent to my handwritten notes revealing conversations with the president which are in the president's box i have not been permitted to make copies of them or to take notes from i have been under exactly the same restrictions as more distrust my files are in the same room that i kept no
records of my own on my records are in the president's thought i might mention that my hand written notes on sheets of yellow paper from june nineteen seventy two through five or in nineteen seventy three make us that audiences are all the pages in as jack on which there is any reference for any note regarding water remember him add up to less than one eight of an inch in other words my watergate notes the month you know more than one percent of my toes during that period until march and they very few notes revealing conversations with john lee because these conversations were not reported to the president except in a general summary for they consist of the details regarding his investigation which were of no concern for the president except of course the assurance always that no one in the white house was involved through the period of march and april of nineteen seventy three i am quite detailed notes regarding the conversations because at that time he
was giving the information for the president turning to the question of security problems has been alleged that there was an atmosphere of fear of the white house regarding security that i can stay categorically that there was no climate of fear at all there was however a healthy and our concern for a number of matters in the general area of national security and for a number of other matters in the general area of domestic security this was a rational answer and it was insufficient important to report a considerable thought we'd given steps to combat the actual problems and potential dangers that exist with regard to leaks of information especially in the national security area it became evident in nineteen sixty nine that leads a secret information were taking place that seriously jeopardized the number of highly sensitive foreign policy initiatives that have been undertaken by the administration including the ending of the war in vietnam the middle east
crisis nuclear arms limitation and the establishment of new relationships among great powers these initiatives were closely interrelated leagues about any one of them could seriously endanger all and such leagues were taking ones in order to deal with these leaks the program are wiretaps was instituted in nineteen sixty nine and continued in the early nineteen seventy one the president has stated that each of these taxes undertaken in accordance with procedures that were illegal at the time and unimportant longstanding practice in this area this program was authorized by the president of the united states and the wiretaps were determined by coordination between the director of the fbi the president's assistant for national security affairs and the attorney general of the united states in nineteen seventy the domestic security problem reach critical portions as a wave of bombings and
explosions rioting and violent demonstrations gun battles and other destructive activities took place across the country on college campuses primarily but also and others in order to deal with this problem the president set up an interagency committee consisting of the director of the fbi cia defense intelligence agency and the national security agency this committee was instructed to prepare recommendations for the president the report they submitted including included specific options for expanded intelligence operations mr houston white house that men for this project was notified by a memorandum for me the approval of the president as has been reported director hoover expressed opposition parties and as a result the agency's reserves quickly notified that the approval had been rescinded this
approval was withdrawn before the plan was implemented so the net result was that it never went into effect instead of this program and intelligence evaluation committee was created in the summer of nineteen seventy it included representatives of the white house cia fbi nsa the national security agency and the department of justice treasury and the fans and the secret service the mission of this committee was to improve coordination among the intelligence community and to prepare evaluations and estimates of domestic intelligence in mid nineteen seventy one the new york times publication of the so called pentagon papers which had been stolen from the sensitive files of the department of state and defense and the cia and which covered military and diplomatic moves in a war that was still going on
the implications of this security we were enormous and it posed a threat so great as to require intention of the president and his senior advisers extraordinary action as a result the president approve creation of a special investigations unit within the white house which later became known as the lungs jonathan was responsible for supervision of this room mr koch industry on the domestic counsel a national security council steps that to principals that oh i was aware of the existence and general purpose of this you know i was not familiar with any of these specific activities or signs also in mid nineteen seventy one to deal with the general problem of leagues throughout government departments and agencies the president directed me to set up a program a spotting is weeks and reporting them to get involved in a cabinet meeting
and unfortunately got me with the dubious honor of lord high executioner that was his phrase not mine focus of this was to make departments throughout the government conscious of really problem and aware of their responsibility to deal with it in their departments this involved no investigations on the part of the white house turning to nineteen sixty a surplus campaign funds during the interim period between nineteen sixty eight elections and the start of the nineteen seventy two campaign overcome bach whose custody in a large cash fund which i understand was a surplus from the nineteen sixty primary elections in addition he undertook to raise funds from supporters of the president to a congressional and senatorial candidates and the nineteen seventy elections also in nineteen seventy one mr calabrese substantial on as the star of the nineteen seventy two campaign i am not
familiar with all the specifics of sources of miles or disbursements of these funds all of history come out they keep me periodically posted on his activities in the senate as he has indicated he looked to me as well as two other people from time to time for direction or cruel as to the disbursement of the nineteen sixty eight service runs i requested the use of these funds for such purposes as the continuing polling we did during that period for campaign support a candidate for governor in alabama and for funding the last great it is my understanding that these funds were also used for other reasons such as the funding of as the us and its operations with which i was not the alabama campaign funds were in support of a candidate for the democratic nomination for governor was opposing former governor george wallace it was the belief of some of the president's friends and advisers on the southern political scene that mr wallace might very
well become a third party candidate in nineteen seventy two and that's raising him the potential problem of an indecisive election that might be termed the house of representatives they felt that the best way to avoid this eventuality was to defeat whoever was in his bid for the gubernatorial nomination in alabama this was the reason for providing campaign financial support to his own journey to the cigarette in that early in the pre campaign period i agreed with an idea that was suggested to set up a man functioning independently of the white house the committee to relax and the national committee for the purpose of generating far side the same kind of campaign activities that were so ably carried out over the years for democratic candidates and in nineteen seventy two for sen mcgovern i picked up a man who has been widely praised by political writers as a
political points to lose the basic stock and trade is embarrassing republican candidates by activities have been regarded as clever and acceptable part of our political tradition the repertoire of the political prankster include such activities is printing up embarrassing signs for the opponent posing in trains blows waiting the campaign train out of the station lazy evasion on the opponent's campaign trying to produce willie newsletters marking a candidate distributing opposition signs at rallies for use by members of the crowd urging them years to play ravel song the rallies so far the activities we had in mind for which we drew careful boundaries specifically excluded anything remotely connected with the watergate type of activity morrow ice tourism that was envisioned would have specifically excluded such acts as the fall violent demonstrations and disruption heckling or shutting down speakers running for a bombing
campaign headquarters physical damage for trashing headquarters and other buildings harassment the candidates wives and families by abstinence disruption of the national convention by slaughtering dinner guests with eggs and tomatoes indecent exposure rock n roll salsa and balance so it was a smashing windows setting trash fires under the gas tank of a bus knocking policeman from their motorcycles i know that this committee most americans would agree that such activities cannot be tolerated in a political ad campaign but unfortunately the activities i have described are all activities which took place in nineteen seventy two against the campaign of the president of the united states by his opponents some of them took place with the clear knowledge and consent of agents of the opposing candidate in the last election others were acts of people who are equally
unsympathetic to the president but may not have had direct orders from opposing campaign so far there has been no investigation of these activities and very little publicizing of either those which were directly attributable to our opponent or those would certainly serve their opponents interest but that night a section there is no question that the nineteen seventy two campaign was not a classic in that for readers in any event that he agreed to the suggestion of that that talk for our side i was told by the lexicon and wardens time that they had a former college friend they thought would be a good man for this project and they have told me his name was johnson reading that would've meant nothing to me i have never met or had any communication with mr cigarette i agreed that if this man want to take on this activity there were kombucha the rangers compensation and expenses from the nineteen sixty eight campaign funds are once it was my clear understanding that
security would act independently and on his own initiative within the broad guidelines outlining what was also mike where understanding that he was to engage in no illegal acts as astronomers told me that he was ill advised him that he understood that i had no specific knowledge of securities activities or the details of how or with whom he worked i do not believe that there was anything wrong with the sobriety activity as it was conceived that report only lately as the crowd was actually carried out if as alleged he wore those under his direction were responsible for the letter which falsely became senators must be an outpouring then on behalf of everyone associated with the nixon campaign i would like to undo apologize to both of those men that was within what used to work for
the president and all of us at the white house really turned the campaign organization and operation should be set up outside and independent of the white house and this was the reason for the development of the committee to re elect the president a committee operating under the direction of john mitchell communications with the white house president look to me as his basic contact with the campaign organization and i maintain communication with john mitchell in this regard until july nineteen seventy two and then with a partner i did not function as the white house liaison with the committee to re elect the president this function was handled by various people at various levels with regard to specific areas or projects for example john the non legal matters john ehrlichman and his staff on substantive domestic policy circles in on groups support so
i had no official relationship with our position on the committee to re elect the president or the finance committee armstrong on my staff handled debated a liaison with the committee for me and virtually all my contacts with today except for that with mitchell or mcgregor was distraught he received copies of committee materials a memorandum signed in on many of their meetings and stayed in touch with the people i met with strong only about once every week or two during the campaign strong periodic recently general information on campaign planning organization and activities he sent me from time to time the overall budget various campaign materials this was primarily for information since and usually take the form of a summery memorandum back up by a huge amount of supporting material which i rarely right in the specific case of advertising and promotional materials standard procedure required a final sign up by me
before the ads are materials were considered a thus in this particular area i did in effect exercise approval authority but even here i did not have control over either the personnel or the policies involved in developing the character i only had a final sign off on the end rob stein also rooted these materials to others in the white house who are concerned with i also had a particular interest in polls and instead of unpaid morning till attention to these years i think it was very clear that the committee was running the campaign i don't believe i have control over any funds and the committee noted i exercise any authority or direction as to be you know safe no phones except in a general sense i never signed a campaign check i was to some degree involved in the decision process regarding funds to be used for advertising and go
the committee also allocated funds to pay for expenses incurred by the president or the white house that were clearly campaign expenses as a contest to government expenses this would include such things as gospel campaign travel bans mental some indication of my role in the campaign may be found in the fact that i visited the committee headquarters only ones in the entire campaign period that was on the occasion of the president's visit to see the headquarters and the campaign worked also i had very few meetings with any members of the staff of the committee reelect president except those with john mitchell which ran a frequency of about once a week during a tiny was campaign director in addition to that i did sit in the semi weekly campaign review meetings held in the us and of course as has been indicated mr mitchell mr mcgregor set in the regular morning white house happens so that there would be full coordination between the white house and the committee on overall strategy my contact with the
campaign in other words was through fairly infrequent meetings with mr mitchell and fairly infrequent meetings with nordstrom of mice that but i kept him gentle touch with campaign activities through saddam's summary memoranda enemies despite about three hundred and fifty thousand dollars prior to the april seventh day on which the new campaign spending legislation took effect was it the financial stands i believe mr camargo and me at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars of the nineteen sixty eight surpassed cats fines should be set aside to cover possible means for special private polling by the white caps apart from the regular polls conducted by the committee this was in anticipation of a possibly hard fought close election i understand from armstrong he received a cash from his home on april six
interned arranged to have this get help in a safe deposit box or say by another individual outside the government it's my understanding from strong but this transfer was made immediately and that the entire three hundred and fifty thousand dollars was placed in safekeeping outside the white house i did not do we should be such a large amount of attention at the white house nor did i feel it was a good idea for him to be in a physical custody of a member of the white house staff which is why these regions remain i never at any time saw or handled the currency and i must rely on strands reports to me as to how it was spent i've been informed by strong but there was one withdrawal in april or may of nineteen seventy two a twenty two thousand dollars to pay for some advertising that was not directly related to the election campaign this was at the request of a coward to paulson's office
i think strong said the money was delivered directly to the advertising agency the balance of three hundred and twenty eight thousand dollars was not used i instructed strong after the election in november to turn over the unused funds to the committee says the white house had no further need for i told him to work out with the libyan civilians streisand for me that the funds were turned over in january nineteen seventy three also encourage some difficulty in doing so after he took possession of the funds a november twenty eight nineteen seventy two in december i became aware of media being that there was some difficulty in turning over the character the committee presumably because of post reporting from an earlier time the mission to me the committees need for funds for legal and family support for the watergate defendants i suggested to be that you try to work out a way of solving both the problems of our deserts deliver the funds to the committee and the committees need for its
dean later told me that he had worked this out and a cache i believe forty thousand dollars would be delivered immediately to the canadian red river he was tall and several days thereafter the next time deliver the ballots to sum up after my original instruction distraught to transfer the money to the committee my involvement in the transfer the funds was entirely really he told me of the problem and transferring the three hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the committee he told me he had worked out the problem eat oats trying our land and two to make the transfer he told me the transfer heaven he did not at any time in that sequence advice me or implied that the transfer itself or the transfer was to buy the watergate defendants
silence or that it was in any way illegal or improper it is my understanding that all this took place in the period of november virginia where i'm not sure of the time i have no recollection of any knowledge of the recorded transaction on november twenty eight when you had fred fielding of his office pick up twenty two thousand dollars in cash from mr stands ostensibly for the purpose of replacing the twenty two thousand dollars that had been extended from three hundred and fifty thousand dollars in april i do recall that one of these problems in the process of transferring the three hundred and fifty two the committee was the fact that twenty two have been dispersed so it is quite possible that he did have a plunged iran in the case turned over to a row but i don't believe that he ever reported this back to me in fact johns report to me in
april of nineteen seventy three was that the twenty two thousand dollars have not been replaced and that he had delivered only three hundred and twenty thousand dollars to use the roof and not before three hundred and fifty thousand dollars however strawn also told me after his grand jury appearance that he had told the grand jury that he had delivered three hundred and fifty thousand jobs i said that was contrary to what you told me and he said he had made a mistake and mentor irish and if that was the case he told me later he had called mr silver about the mistakes i was told he could correct for the venture when he appeared at the courthouse today and so the us attorneys would not going to do and instead of warning he committed perjury was in serious trouble just our preparations to go to jail and tamara what are you turning to watergate so
i had no knowledge of or involvement in the planning or execution of the break in or bombing of the democratic national committee headquarters to the best of my knowledge i did not see any material produced by the bombing of the democratic headquarters after the june seventeen rating and i asked armstrong whether he had had any knowledge of such an operation he said he had not but that he realized i'm thinking back that there had been three intelligence reports received by him identified by the code names to venture that said something to the effect that confidential sources report he said he did not at that time no the identity of the confidential sources he realized after the june seventeen or even thinking back that these reports have been based on watergate or some other wire taps arts i have absolutely no recollection of seeing any such report
and it is quite likely that i did not speak even if that was included in this conference mission to me since i rarely if ever read through or even looked at all of the materials that he's an internee in these reports i do not recall ever seeing any material identified by the name i have no recollection of giving mr strahm instructions to destroy nature as margot i recall a reporter's time that he had done some or that the files were leaked john has made clear in his testimony that he destroyed materials not because he thought the contents concern criminal activity but because he thought if they ever became public they would be politically embarrassing he confirmed in his testimony that he had re read the contents many times and they did not suggest any illegality or criminal activity they suggested matters which if they became public would be embarrassed i should point out that on two occasions in april
nineteen seventy three wants to me before his grand jury appearance and the other john ehrlichman strong list of the areas of what he considered to be tough questions or trouble spots on either of these occasions and he mentioned to either of us that he had been instructed to destroy any materials or make sure files were going i think the effort to bring in my people for meeting with john mitchell as in some ways significant with regarding intelligence is a little far fetched by his testimony strand doesn't know what was discussed at that meeting all he says is that in routine fashion you put an item on that talking paper regarding the adequacy of intelligence as a matter of fact the meeting with mr mitchell where they was in connection with a meeting of metal and meet with the president by notes taken in the meeting with the president indicated discussion over the itt chinese terry jones and a review of mitchell's plans for assigning regional
campaign responsibilities to specific individuals they indicated no discussion of intelligence to be an investigation jumping it is a report which is now seven thirty nine before this committee says that when he arrived in washington on sunday afternoon june at he realized that the president would have to know everything that he could find that he realized at that point that he would be asked to assemble all the facts so that the white house could be fully informed as to what had transpired and how it would affect the present and having them on an airplane for approximately twenty five hours he did nothing for that event the next morning after reading all of the news accounts of the watergate incident he spoke with jonathan
who instructed him to get the facts together and reporting he then called the attorney general to get what that scene and he called and met with him the vast body of anyone in the white house was involved and he told him no during the days and weeks that followed being discussed the incident with everyone who he thought might have any knowledge or involved the source of these bats is john dean's report which he wrote at camp david in march of this year there is absolutely no question in my mind or i'm sure in the minds of anyone at the white house or at the justice department that john dean was in conducting an investigation for the white house regarding the watergate as it might involve the white house it is inconceivable to me that there could be any doubt and beans much the move in immediately after the incident as sort of the
watergate project officer in the white house this was in keeping with our usual procedure the responsibility was his and he had the authority to proceed menino said from time to time and it now appears he did not think that's accurate president hollande and i were very much involved in other many other vital matters through this entire period and we made no attempt to get into the details or in any way take over the water a case that you have all three on this through the whole period was that the truth must be told and quickly although we did not know what the truth was every time we push for action in this direction and we were told by dean that it could not be done his concern as i understood it was that the case is complex that involve rights of defendants another legal complexities that are not clear and that nothing should be done publicly
as long as we were confident that the facts he told us were correct we had to agree with the us says there was no proof of any involvement of higher ups at the committee and any premature speculation regarding any such involvement would have an unfair advantage especially since the top officials of the committee had to do it all that's as it now appears we were battling this lead by one or more of the principles and even more so by our own for reasons which are still not completely clear at no time that it had been any instructions to cover up anything in this case i did however occasionally receive his verbal reports of the facts and as intended actions and relayed news to the press and none of these reports concern over i have no personal motivation to cover of anything because i had no personal inbox and i knew the president had notable i
understood and believed that no one else in the white house was involved in the watergate planning and break in and i still understand and believe that it was obvious that some people at the committee were involved but i had no idea who or how far up and i still don't because i don't know now that willy i may have that until the recent period of john mitchell and joe miller denied any water available the president raised questions as to the facts of watergate from time to time during a period of june through the election is interest consistently was to get the facts and get them out he had some concern especially in the early stages regarding the possibility of compromising national security and interest therefore in saying that the investigation was the world with regard to watergate but that it was limited to watergate and now extended and earlier and related
national security activities of some of the people involved throughout this period been assured us that there was absolutely no evidence that anyone in the white house have been involved in watergate in any way he was sitting in an fbi interviews reviewing fbi reports he was in constant communication with officials at the justice department and the reelection committee and was clearly staying close we interact with all facets of the investigation and related matters on or about august twenty seven president instructed me to ask mr erlichman to get pat buchanan the information that began with me for preparing the president's briefing for an upcoming press conference on any questions that might arise regarding water i passed this request on your burden and assume that he carried it out
on august twenty nine the president had a press conference at which he stated the investigation indicated that no one in the white house or in the administration has had been involved in watergate i was not at all surprised to hear the president say since it was following consistent with everything that dinner told me and i therefore find it hard to understand why mr dean now professors to have had such great surprise when you're this state in these hearings and in the general discussion of watergate the word cover up as combat abroad and very ill defined me as john ging said the cover up had a broad range anything that might cause a problem came within other definitions by usage has now come to kano illegal or improper activities although some
steps were taken to contain the watergate case in several perfectly legal and proper aspects why as the president has stated was to avoid the watergate investigation possibly going beyond the facts of the watergate affair itself and international security activities totally unrelated to watergate another was to avoid or at least reduce adverse political and publicity fallout from false charges here's a song a rising from various activities a connection with watergate such as the justice department investigation the democratic national committee's to the common cause and hearings and your virginity here a third was concerned for distortion or fabrication of facts in the heat of a political campaign that were unjustly and then the innocent or prevent discovery of the building the containment effort is i would use the term did not probably or
involve any action obstruction of justice to cover all hoping to contain the watergate inquiry to the facts of watergate there was a time for an effort to try to get the true facts of watergate and get them out to the public the president they quickly cautioned against any coverage of watergate or even the appearance of on the basis of testimony now before this committee it appears that there also wasn't an effort to cover up as well as to contain this cover appears to involve illegal and improper activity such as perjury in his defense for their silence promises of executive clemency destruction of evidence and other acts in an effort to conceal the true regarding the planning commission of crimes at the watergate the critical question then becomes the determination of who committed these acts who directed the who was aware that i committed no such acts and directed no such acts and i was aware of those attacks until march of this year
when the president intensified his personal investigation into the facts of the water i am convinced that the president had no words of any such acts until march of this year the question is asked how could the president not have now they're using the first question how could the president have not only if you were directly involved in cell or if you were told by someone who was either directly involved or had not the fact is that the president was not directly involved so it was not bought by anyone until march twenty intensified its own investigation even then he was given conflicting an unverified reports that made it impossible to determine the precise truth regarding watergate and at the outset at least he was relying primarily on one man johnny who has admitted that he was a major
participant in the illegal and improper cover up that unknown to the president until march nineteen seventy three any attempt on my part at this time to try to identify those who participated in the record or knew about the illegal cover up with a necessity be based totally understood and there was a concern at the white house and activities which have been in no way related to watergate or to the nineteen seventy two political campaign and which were in the area of national security would be compromised in the process of the watergate investigation and the attendant publicity and political bureau recent public disclosure of fbi wiretaps on president as a personal details of the plumbers operations cites on fully justified second sir
as a result of this concern and the fbi's request through that great to john being or guidance regarding some aspects of the watergate investigation because of the possibility of cia involvement resident director john ehrlichman and me to meet with the director and deputy director of the cia on june twentieth year we did so and ascertain from them but there had not been any cia involvement in the watergate affair and that there was no concern on the part of director helms as to the fact that some of the watergate participants have been involved in the bay of pigs operation and the cia we discuss the white house concern regarding possible disclosure of non watergate related covert cia operations or other non related national security activities that have been undertaken previously by some of the watergate participants and we requested deputy director wants to be with a ranger grady fbi
to express these concerns and to coordinate with the fbi so that the fbi's period of investigation of the watergate participants not be expanded into and related matters which could lead to disclosures of earlier national security or cia activities one has agreed to meet with various requests i do not recall having any other communication or meeting with walter's helms or grey on the subject i did not get this meeting or at any other time asked the cia to participate in any watergate cover up nor did i ever suggest that the cia take any responsibility for the watergate break in i believe that the action i took with the cia was proper according to the president's instructions and clearly in the national interest there were a number of
newspaper stories in allegations raised during the period following the watergate break in bhutto's new questions regarding the facts of watergate or related matters whenever any such questions arose the president would again asked that the facts be ascertained and made known publicly as completely and quickly as possible but there always seemed to be some reason why this could not be done there was no effort on my part to direct my personal attention or take any personal action on these matters because the fbi and the justice department were responsible for and were conducting and extremely extensive investigation and because mr dean was responsible for white house liaison with all aspects of the investigation i knew john going to be an extremely capable though hardworking and intelligent men and i have full confidence as did the president at that time but history being was in fact carrying out this
responsibility diligently and borrow there is another aspect of the containment area must be recognized that this was the period of a political campaign there were a number of attacks on the administration the president and the reelection committee are rising over watergate and allegations in connection with that these attacks were not helpful to the religion and there was a continuing effort to avoid any false accusations were allegations from being made in the public press and to answer any of that war it was also think that discussion of the need for counter attacked the need to point out that while watergate was not in any way an acceptable or excusable like it also was not the only improper action by the two sides in that particular election campaign i cited earlier some examples of activities that were carried out against the president's
re election that many of the campaign strategist bulk of watergate was getting all of the attention in improper activities on the other side were being ignored well it was no ever had no intent to try to impede the legitimate investigation of the facts regarding watergate any other criminal or improper activities there was a concern about the exploitation of untrue charges and the sensationalizing required appearances by various people for depositions in a civil suit i was told several times starting in the summer of nineteen seventy two by john dean and possibly also by john mitchell that there was indeed by the committee for funds to help take care of the legal fees and family support of the watergate defendants the comedian in march of nineteen seventy three deen told me that at some point in nineteen seventy two he at mitchell suggestion had asked me
if it would be okay for him to contact her condo to ask him to raise some sense of defense once he says i agree he also says that the checkpoint on the same point i do not recall such request i should also point out but sometimes been has said that he checked with both pro economy and on this point and at other times has said only that egypt later in march nineteen seventy three the raised the point that there was a potential problem with relation to the funds for the fans he described this as a possible political embarrassment and indicated that it might even become a legal problem problem would arise if it was determined that these funds have been used to reduce the defendants to refuse to testify i emphasize my clear understanding that the purpose of the funds as described to me by being was for legal fees and
family support and that i had understood from being both mitchell and being felt this was a proper an important obligation to the defense since all information regarding the defense fund's was given to me by john being the counsel of the president and possibly by john mitchell and since the arrangements for kombucha collecting funds for transferring the three hundred and fifty thousand dollar cash on or made by john and since john dean never stated at the time that the funds would be used for any other than legal and proper purposes i had no reason to question the propriety or legality of the process of delivering the three hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the committee the of the room while having come up raise funds i have no personal knowledge of what was done the funds raised by karma or with a three hundred and fifty thousand dollars that was delivered by scandal route it would appear that at the white house at least john dean was the only
one who knew that the funds were for money if in fact that is what they were for the rest of us relied on being an all thought that what was being done was legal and proper no one to my knowledge was aware that these funds involved either blackmailer much money until a suggestion was raised in march of nineteen seventy three to the best of my recollection i had no means for discussions with jeb magruder regarding watergate after our phone call on june eighteen nineteen seventy two which has already been reported until february fourteen nineteen seventy three a review of my law confirms that i had no meetings at all writer in nineteen seventy three until february fourteen we did meet on february fourteenth for about an hour and a quarter at this committee's request in my office the purpose of the meeting was to discuss his plans for the future he felt that the watergate matter was now settled as far as he was
concerned that his work at the inaugural committee was done and it was time for him to make his future plans he said he was interested in the possibility of running for office in california and he was also interested in the possibility of returning to a government post was he was especially interested in the white house position in connection with the bicentennial i advised him that there was no possibility of a presidential appointment or white house position until all the watergate matters have been cleared up including the senate hearings which were at that time about to get underway i believe that at this time he had just returned from a trip to california where he had taken soundings as to the political possibilities and his job opportunities i urged him if he was interested in california politics to go to work in private business out there and get himself re established in the state and then go into politics at a later point i recommended that he
not consider coming back into the federal government because of his interests were in california he now had the need to reestablish himself they're all this was in the nature of political advice to a man who indicated his interests and running for political office he said however that all the people you talk with in california had urged him to go back into government role that he had strong family reasons fb
1973 Watergate Hearings
Part 5 of 6
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/512-4f1mg7gg9h).
Episode Description
Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer anchor gavel-to-gavel coverage of day 31 of the U.S. Senate Watergate hearings. In today's hearing, John Ehrlichman and H.R. Haldeman testify. Note: Only reels 1-5 of 6 exist.
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: 2341980-1-5 (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; 1973-07-30; Part 5 of 6,” 1973-07-30, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 25, 2024,
MLA: “1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-07-30; Part 5 of 6.” 1973-07-30. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 25, 2024. <>.
APA: 1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-07-30; Part 5 of 6. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from