thumbnail of 1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-06-26; Part 1 of 5
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 been mr davis nineteen eighties there was an investigation we engaged in by any person's acting individually or in combination with other in the presidential election of nineteen seventy two when a campaign canvasser other activity from washington and
brings you a gavel to gavel coverage of today's hearing of the senate subcommittee on presidential campaign activities he's a senior correspondent if the senate committee expected today to seriously plus the credibility of its star witness john being it failed the former white house counsel withstood five hours of questioning and has done and charges against president nixon remain for another day interact and officially unanswered white house remained publicly silent on dean's over accusations that the president knew or the watergate cover up for eight months discussed offers of executive clemency to the watergate seven and was aware of chaos to ensure their silence dean said he was fully aware of the gravity of the charges he was making and realized that it was off in his word a loan against the presidents i am not a center seeking a confessional been said i'm here to tell the truth or whether it is the truth remains unknown these charges conflict directly or at least six
claims of innocence or ignorance made publicly by the president however former white house even stout bald i'm bob haldeman watch been on television until newsman it would eventually become clear that the president had no involvement in any cover up although john dean has been the sole witness for two very long days now the committee is just starting to test his testimony against other sources so for as robin said the white house has refused to comment on the story to lawyers and us district judge charles richie of all denied being story of yesterday that the lawyers convinced judge richard alba democrat civil suit to the advantage of the white house which he got last suggestion papa got charles colson says the dean's testimony it's also for all the reasonable swiss cheese but when asked specifically about these allegation that colson saul executive clemency guarantees for you are hot coals and says that his intro but then as i didn't know it either the white house
has submitted a series of questions it wants the committee to ask me and so far nobody's use the committee member daniel inouye of hawaii democrat says he thinks the white house questions are worth using it'll impact peter carey and other reporters that the questions aren't like a link the memorandum that originated with the current white house counsel under guard what i think is appropriate i think it's a little more appropriate for a republican or democrat to make sense of those questions that was a general idea of what they are well in most instances it would be a rematch of was to follow the question and it would appear that they would like to prove that must have been was the brains of all
the movie on him that he gave that advice and rice says that if no one else is a lighthouse questions to being in a way gets his turn at bat that us from himself for what he calls properly watching the socialists that was stephen hetz former nixon aide author and currently a brookings institution senior fellow specializing in politics and urban affairs addressed what should we look for tonight you think as we watched today's session well and john dean second day in the witness chair no one laid a glove on him or you think there was a third were quote contribute that to the fact that mr dane as a great witness or the abilities of people asking the question at the latter i think because the individual senators today chose to do their own thing and so they they jump from subject to subject compounded by sloppy cross examination poor homework and lack of follow up i can mr there's obviously a you can see for yourself in a few minutes and you may not agree or you may
be you may or may not agree yet it rarely back up to discuss this and other aspects of his arrest the close of the nights replaying you'll be joined at that time by john cranmer the georgetown university law likely here in washington today's testimony came in response to questions by both majority and minority council and three senators years and that's our by our rundown of the testimony in the opening hour john dean admits that even though he was the white house representative that strategy sessions he did not try to stop any of gordon liddy was wiretapped lines in addition he says that in march after you describe the details of the cover up to the president mr nixon did not try to stop it in the second hour of being says he withheld some information from the prosecutors because he expected president nixon to come forward with his version of what happened he says that he drew up a memo listing fifteen people implicated in the break in our cover a ton of them lawyers anonymous reading tell senator like her that you don't implement the first step of the domestics pipeline
under questioning he tells a friend george mcgovern's activities you receive from the secret service and the fourth audiences the president was less than accurate and telling what he knew about the cover up in april and may of that year ashton carter as the watergate burglary being said it was the opening act of one of america's great tragedies and the faith and follow the hearing dean says he's been the victim of a character assassination including private investigators interviewing his friends and bing says that he decided to tell all he knew about the cover up when he realized he would be called before a grand jury and he was not capable of forgery senators hughes dated january twenty seven
and it wasn't running let me we used they were the first i understand was an overall developed by the time he will arrive at the white house in july nineteen seventy by white house leadership or including one to deal with internal security and the massive fan which included such activities as a little boy again and why is that the papers which i understand you submitted to just like at which this committee has received from the us correct and i believe that was indicative of a concern that existed for the problem and there was
set in the white house investigate leaks such as the pentagon papers leaks which utilizes fact that the reagans photographing embodying and then there was a couple of operations sentence recommended by mr popeil but never wrote which i cover features to it such as the use of batman and wiretapping out there is that the context and would you describe the atmosphere there was conducive to such activities as breaking the market opened mr daschle democrats was some of the high points of the concerns expressed yesterday on just a catalog therefore in addition to your testimony about the president and the white house staff members obsession over demonstrators at least is this then a
brief and fair summary in a nutshell of the kind of practice is the president to some extent and white house officials are considered political intelligence i think this is indicative like when it felt that an agency of the government was incapable of an satisfactory in dealing with a problem that he had white house itself felt they were quite people milling about when levy of course broke into the watergate in may and june nineteen seventy two there's really was not an extraordinary action from the standpoint of the white house which approved or invasion some admissions are purely for years my lord it was a statement yesterday the
receiving things that have occurred since their precursors but i think that the fact that it was not the result of a conscious design as much as an accident of a combination many these elements i understand that but recognizing that some of these earlier plans have the approval of such things break ins wiretapping and covert activities the bike and the headquarters was the extraordinary and context of those restaurants are and therefore on the basis of years they would be fair to say that the her concern of those who approve such fact that you have such as possible then it would not be the that there was a writer but that the committee for election of president burton act he said the concern with sincerity was a vacant plot rather broken and i think that's for the lessons and
understanding your denial of your own complicity in the watergate break in itself imagine a conservative is not true that although you expressed amazement at the mind boggling as you describe the league one presented in a short sale meaning the attorney general's office and seven and seventy to you along with mr mitchell and as the loader the interrogation it to scale down this plan and budget and you didn't tell them to stop it with hindsight as i think any good in my statement yesterday i probably should've been much more forceful in trying to stop the plans that point when i also realized it was something it should not occurred after the scale valley plan presented a little lozenge every four seventy two weeks did not include the activities of
modeling kidnapping or prostitution the primary electronic surveillance or break him although you say this associated yourself from it as the white house were presented you did not in fact ellie stop that's correct and although you say that you told hall that the white house had not been involved with a plan you did not recommend that halderman put a stop to it would you know we could if you wanted to i'm sorry i thought that someone one of those i knew i didn't want to do it with those on those involved i have no similarly operation sandwich where the guy so far
your actions were consistent with her not with his getting the impression that your merely establishing liability for the attorney general and the white house with a plan to go forward but that's not true i i don't know if that's really have that impression or not would be consistent with his having that impression he could've well have that impression is now during january in june of nineteen seventy two did you in fact now that this the recruiter was testified before this committee was giving gordon strong for reports of a living plan including the break in and the fruits no i did not and i recall something that mr crowley told me when i first discovered was truly going over to the reelection committee he told me the portman is a man who needs guidance gordon liddy
didn't get any guidance that i can say that while he was there anyone i know the reason he was sent over to repair one thing something out of all unbeknown to those who send him over yourself know are out there that my next question i think you've answered the question that you did not know that between the period of january to june nineteen seventy two that with the good or cortisone testimony here was getting reports that mr gordon strong ability to plan and in fact a break in the fruits of a breakthrough now in fact after the june seventeen break in and more specifically on june nineteen ninety three a statement indicates that you were told and astronomy destroy the direction of the holden certain intelligence reports that came from the crp ben otto is correct and so that that i knew that at some knowledge of this transpire that is correct
exactly what mr strong role in the white house was an effective these responsibility placed on you serve as the liaison individual from the white house to the reelection committee and a view of other members of the white house staff who were working on political faces reelection i was aware of comedy election law problems are other people would send to the reelection committee so he was aware of everything is going out of the white house it was coming into the white house for the reelection committee was his relationship with us all well i
assume that from the time he went on it was it was a regular reporting relationship mr hoffman as an actual manager of people call it one document submitted to you yesterday about meeting that occurred in may of nineteen seventy one evidence is that when i was a meeting that occurred in astronomy but rather complete notes of the meeting and sent me a copy of the meeting i was unaware of the fact that even taking notes of the meeting it stranded in fact receive reports from the border in libya operation you have an opinion as to whether it would have forty two forces the home i was thirty five million dollars that he would report everything he knew in some form and you know what i think of everybody
white house and he would take and summarize and boil down and report to the platinum record it all information that was written in an important attention i am what was your memory do you have an opinion information and awakenings based on your knowledge of this relationship where i've really probably wouldn't report it alliances some questions this again about your handling of cash in dubai with georgia power in
another fifteen thousand dollars and clearer statement your novel this money came from victory and fifty thousand dollars sent to the white house before april seventh seventy two from sloan says the natural resources committee now your knowledge and twenty two thousand dollars had been taken from this amount to pay for advertising but that only sixty eight hundreds was in fact you live in a balance of fifteen thousand two hundred how they came about but you were given his fifteen thousand dollars in cash a week after her tour and we needed to follow immigration with astronomer came to my office and said that they have some cash they asked me to be the custodians of the cash they were not terribly explicit at
that time on i would keep catherine you come and attack you know i think if you haven't put it back on the original plot no i'm not i'm not what'd you do with the money i think you've already told us your statements that you took about fourteen hundred dollars less than from being fifteen thousand two hundred or your wedding or an imminent presence is leaving in the senate i did not know i opened a trustee account when a subsequent trek was negotiated about making a defiant poem that time was in april of issue neither can it's time that i'm not terribly thousand dollars honorable and control was needed to pay off one and you suggested that before and it wasn't actually committee or
it made whole again that's correct those discussions began in late july august of nineteen seventy two on the whole and what is your suggestion that mean oh one he approved of that message is dan's of the finance committee that election president should provide for twenty two thousand dollars of the twenty five percent that over to the white house to make the three thousand dollars or as for sensuality are safe fifteen thousand two hundred and the original thought why'd they do not return it and request is there's only amount pay for the advertising which was only sixty eight hundred hour there was requests for any and all available kurdish fall for they started speaking the fifty thousand dollar hedge fund when mr camargo is collecting trash
that's tristan have some money that was used there were looking anywhere they could look to find any available cash fifteen two am i safe and that money used i made that decision despite the fact that you have been a key figure in getting us to come back and all and a little better now in your statement you describe a number of meetings and activities economy for the rest of the country and continuing for several months or involving such persons as with a local minister erdogan as the polls and martin the financial system and the room is in a very self and others is it your testimony that this play and
activity represented a massive cover up operation to prevent the prosecutors the fbi and the public from learning of the involvement of my white house or crp officials either in the watergate break in or embarrassing or illegal activities of a similar measure in sort of the other direction and did not discover require number of strategies such as perjury insemination of perjury at the first night the group watermelons and false statements to the fbi the prospects the defendants maintained their sounds limiting the fbi inquiries so they would not stumble or other illegal intelligence activities the white house as her and his unnaturally you played a role in all of these cities you do
the thing that you're on is the norm in any direction and i have to say to describe a heritage of situation the cover up was in operation when i returned to my office on monday the nineteenth and it just became an instant way of life at one time and that dissipated over and over and suggestions i was a conveyor of messages back and forth between each new and a kind of making suggestions must now and then and i think the writers who have a mistake and you held an impressive title president understand but could you tell us just one fact was your
relationship with his novel the position of the white house but i learned that i went to the white house title is probably the best part of a job you know my reporting relationship was directly to your column that because mr lippman council he maintained very active in testimony defense counsel's office so that most of the work of the counsel's office was really related to technical legal problems making sure that the eyes were crossed in certain documents to work examine questions on timing on the keys to work with the department of justice and making sure that they were given legal positions on issues that were important to the to the white house the
residents sentiment and mr and has included one thing no one will also allow for example after the lithuanian defector situation came up and after they had any wit their interest in the matter i was the man at the center of the cleanup on the details of that and also for example kelley case after
the initial flurry decisions have all been made some of the decisions i didn't fully agree with that i've had my decisions were made and i will say i have a hundred thousand letters that came in and then it ends in a state as a massive cover operation is underway with the approval and with election of time to mature you have an opinion and asking at this point and there's an opinion as to whether the president would then form of this cover up operation from its inception i think it's unfair to ask me opinions i can surmise where nobody white house operated i'll say this that in my statement i indicated that i had reached a conclusion of my own my mom would the attorney general for example michael o'boyle right to the president i would say that that evidence is an opinion
that i was concerned that knowing how the white house operated knowing how the reporting information without the president has put you just on the basis of your knowledge were intimate knowledge of how the white house operated and what does the romans relationship the president was of the war that followed but actually according to your statement in fact you'll learn firsthand view not of the president did know of the cover up when you met with him on september fifteen nineteen seventy two the day the indictment came down the environmentally correct the president's knowledge on september fifteen as you said that good job it expresses appreciation of the gothic they're you have any doubt in your mind what the president's talking about marc maron
andy ms colon not only knew about it with but in effect helped direct the operation did not which included payoffs defendants perjury and limiting the fbi investigation oh yes the president of the proposal but as long as to how you're handling or addictive you have no other illegal act and according to your state and was in fact congratulating you were a successful performance of these acts are not true and i think that's true but they use a statement
we live in a civil suit filed by the democratic national committee the lawyers for the committee for the reelection of president at them at exploiting conflicts with federal judge him in the case and the judge was understanding and trying to be a candidate today where you're not telling the president you understood that the crp had a quote fix unquote in with a judge there were lawyers on the handling of the case and that could slow down the case it would not be an announcement before the election when i think there were effects i think that that means the outcome of the case it's going to be influenced i don't know mike
thanks mr robert einhorn fears that the president not say you are being a price of this giant well that's helpful before did you have any doubts about that is a naturalist a unit based on the statement you're given this committee that not only were the president expressed disapproval you on september fifteenth of your cover up activities leading to an indictment of the liability president obama briefly summarize and i briefly your statements can scientists and please timing of this is a accurate
summary of what you've lost that juan after telling the president on september fifteen that you could not assure that the coverage would not allow it in fact it begins to unravel in january nineteen seventy three one hundred press for a promise and you learn from these development in january and from the president himself on march thirty nineteen seventy three that the president won a prize the funds pressure or assurances that despite your explicit statement your meeting with the president on february twenty eight nineteen seventy three of your credibility for obstruction of justice president for years they've been reassured you you had no legal problem in your meeting with the president on march thirteen when your private president of increasing demands which you estimate it would cost as much as one you
know the president according to a statement responding to get that amount of money would be no problem and inquire as to how such payments given a leading to a discussion by you in the presence of the president of laundering money and see big drops and despite your lengthy explanation president when you met with him and watched twenty first concern in the criminal involvement with this white house and security officials an increased demand for male money require more cover of activities on the point the white house the president took the affirmative action and the cover up and that and the president may appoint your statement specific plan to deal with a select committee of the senate or for that from being effective and so at the front of the cover up by attempting to have the financial nod from yale and
improving the levee plan to the hope that this will satisfy the various investigating bottles and final when you would not continue to dissipate in the cover up reporters are replaying hassle and when the united states attorney's office and began to tell what i know about what a good faith the president sought to protect the whole living very implicated by you an f letter of resignation they're somewhere we thought that the ones that none of the newsletter the president information had been in service why have you waited until april to fifteen days before he told the prosecutors of your knowledge of the president's involvement i didn't know him long after april receding that time my lawyer and i had a lot of discussions about matters of executive privilege and a client privilege national security matters we saw that
although it was all an online these are not necessary that the disclosures of the contents of some of these conversations however i won't be a great candidate i was hopeful but the president himself but some of these things they you open up your statement when you first began to testify before this committee yesterday but how concerned resident by stating that you do not believe the president realized the full implications of the law before this committee and after the subsequent meetings you had with the president can you honestly believe that the president sophisticated man in politics
opening remarks are more directed at the human side of the situation on the legal side of the situation that he had and i didn't realize the implications as far as what this would mean for people you work with a number of years and i wasn't necessarily referring to be fully legal implications of those activities well you haven't a belief is the weapon it did have the knowledge of the implications legal implications of this cover up that i can't put myself on the president's mind is this the first time as the new file your story about your involvement in the involvement of others including the president on the role that is correct including of course the executive session to appear before
this committee if you did not get your principal assertions which accusations against the president oh really private meeting that's correct following the meeting those notes were taken with mr coleman quartet was a time some of those notions are not the focus of your faith on one of the meetings i've
had in march a remarkably here i get notes and some of those are taken because that number is the president based on those i didn't make notes and also aware not a word i was told by the government prosecutors that the president take the conversation between himself and an e and the result of that may be systems and i believe that would be the people that meeting it would record that conversation because you prefer to have their businesses coming out of their regular there in my testimony of course is what happened i've written a reporter records of such conversations with president reagan made such meeting not my nomination you know i would say this
often after a presidential meeting with just that number doesn't not islamist that means that when outsiders come in to september present in some way you have made of the meeting of course he's going to these are not actually things were some ways have been made you know so and making these charges such as a whole for immunity before the prosecutors have received immunity before this committee which is only use immunity and has not prevented being prosecuted for any crimes the prosecutors' evidence against you you had a moment to making these charges against a president based on the fact that this may lead to getting a new name on the prospects the united states
testimony it is and he's just an understatement if it's one minute so the committee's chief counsel center of that continues to pursue that big question how involved is the president and also raise questions about things motives and credibility there will be much more along those lines as the hearings unfold on the televisions coverage will continue after a
station identification on average coverage of these hearings is provided as a public service by the member stations of pbs and public broadcasting service it's b the power
from washington and mike continues its coverage of hearings by the senate select committee on presidential campaign
activities here again correspondent robert mcneil president kennedy continues its questioning of former white house counsel john dean is the term of republican counsel fred thompson ms nino before it's morning edition twenty three thank you
that you told him that you could not believe that what the white house than a wide open investigation i told him i we discuss the implications of a wide open investigation in how to invest into the election year already engaged you in a way that you would get in a growing list that wide open road as i recall mr peterson sign anything specific i left the meeting with an impression that mr peterson would be fair investigation the white house and that interpretation of fairness that mean that we wouldn't have an investigation of everything and a third of the white house for four years that was your interpretation of the use of race wide open investigation a wide open investigation thorough investigation of the charges or a comment specifically on occasion of a break in of the dnc
for years we discussed that's it i believe it starts with finding think linings conveyed my concern mr peterson and it's very possible that it would be raised again when mr peterson i had departed from the declining soccer's it recalled that meeting ended on that i hope my theory is suspecting the words were not true oh did you have the impression when you talk about
ending up on you to take care of the situation or get them to take care of the situation so that the white house will not be her william messenger conveyor of information back and forth and that was being spent on the silence to find that information this one time when i talked yesterday to find out what the justice department is doing you want to find out how extensive investigations was there's been criticism of the investigation there was an investigation no one
and in my discussions with prosecutors date mr gray came to meet at a luncheon at the justice and said that level silver
in a conversation i i did not know when i i can only speculate that mr peterson as a man who is easily pushed around and i don't know he would see people and there was a certain degree of animosity between them i mean
an investigation olmert for i know it i think he tried to be worth over the white house in dealing with the white house and the fact that we will have an investigation going on in a political year that resulted in countless occasions to the white house a scientist at the fact that the embarrassment would rise dramatically of members of the white house that area the courthouse all of hammers and pictures and speculation like that that was appointed by stimulating the grand jury situation and mr peterson's conference room you mentioned also modular and forth
will of the continuum a concerned mother who was a climate of that resentment i love it you're welcome and that was sort of wade through a story without being factual but without actually going out and line and it didn't matter how we get ahead and i'm bob and we knew nothing to a visit the us it would take in that
situation ask me to believe in an eye on several occasions asked me if i could wait saker i was given specific instructions that i was not a great singer fact this weekend where the people are and the medications that occurred in connection with that mr johnson visiting with live the republican national convention so a pit he would make public statements
hillary clinton i'll say the situation i can think of one but we talked about the secret fan that was at the white house and he said how to like him a lot and i said like a lot of interpretation that's a secret some people who since we know obviously is not a secret so you don't need to say it a secret so that's where that was time magazine
i was he's mine what if you chose that there was no one else and while there was no one us involvement i figured that there was nobody that i know who was involved in it seventeen yesterday about the
situation yeah that's right let's listen to a few questions about that for the burgeoning you have them for you know a lot of us in the white house that he knew the questions asked at the
wake in on the nineteenth of the first long meeting with intimate meeting with mitchell are legitimate ruler or the twentieth leading voting session i do not have any recollection of that meeting other than the fact that there was discussion while i was there a sort of public relations handling of the matter in the nineteen twenties their recollections which is the faxes do with what actually happened was responsible not the time i
mean i don't know and you're listening to me i'm fine what happened but he had preceded it with or without authorization without the top lady that i was quote the miners' family have been given an authorization to proceed
that's right of the many ways that the middle of the atlantic the may use it mean some of the best assignments says he constantly the white house announced that the department of justice are like a mental image we do with him and he was possessed editor metropolis day only one indication that was on a median on march twentieth is there any indication that he had and he said
that well yes it wasn't likely that we need to rethink that's right you know there's a meeting in his office early july it takes him about it was planning to read them or had them i at that time you mentioned nothing about destruction and it
was not until after i'd had my meeting in january early january with mr peterson and subsequently humans here's what will propose of yours sort out which discussion about the june twenty sixteen twenty seven whether to have read welcome that my recollection as be
1973 Watergate Hearings
Part 1 of 5
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/512-696zw19c5r).
Episode Description
Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer anchor gavel-to-gavel coverage of day 13 of the U.S. Senate Watergate hearings. In today's hearing, John Dean testifies.
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: 2341650-1-1 (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; 1973-06-26; Part 1 of 5,” 1973-06-26, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 19, 2024,
MLA: “1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-06-26; Part 1 of 5.” 1973-06-26. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 19, 2024. <>.
APA: 1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-06-26; Part 1 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