thumbnail of 1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-05-23; Part 3 of 4
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+.
smooth her average of hearings by the senate select committee on presidential campaign activities you again correspondent jim lehrer jo march records original lawyer has not taken the stand explain his rating of their relationship chairman inez to announce that he is on his way to a meeting of the judiciary committee which as you know is considering the nomination all mr elliot richardson to be attorney general of the united states that he and senator bernie a member of the judiciary committee will be here momentarily yesterday however the owners of time to convene a committee
and seeing with bobby opening statement which we understand mr alter is now prepared to get along well with you ms shannon walker i am deeply specter day of testimony about thirteen pages of the statement that must also be reading our committees that i've been writing of reproducing of this for us to watch and that this plot and there that the rest of it will be available to the committee during the course of the meeting statement for the record to give your full name and address
it's the name of your aunt whales see at lance's nine five poor with rock creek parkway chestnut hill massachusetts yes it would to proceed and we'll say please dishonorable committee in all can know i'm about to testify with a certain degree of regret this is because those areas to which i myself are areas which it as a criminal defense attorney believes to be somewhat sacred they reflect a
conversation between a lawyer and his client in the course of our relationship when i was visiting my desk to protect the interests and well james tobin record i take most seriously the well established attorney client privilege nonetheless in my judgment was to record in his testimony before this honorable committee on friday may eighteen nineteen seventy three and in trying to slow his book written an oral has waived such a privilege which i have been
informed he has acknowledged mr mccourt has made allegations concerning line in the defense of liberty these allegations are in some instances completely fall and in other instances have been twisted out of context in june presumably to serve his president curtis whatever that maybe but which impugning my personal standards are ethical and legal behavior i actually believe it now to be my duty and responsibility and i have accepted the invitation of this honorable committee so the bill for which i am most grateful here
than is a true narrative all my representation of mr mccourt in july of nineteen seventy two my office received a telephone call from mr mccourt requesting an appointment on a saturday morning during that month for the very first time he identified himself as one of those arrested in the watergate building on june seventeen nineteen seventy two he told me that he had taken a calculated risk in doing what he did and was prepared to face the consequences within that framework however he indicated he wanted the most effective legal
representation possible and whether or not my point attorney jeffrey bailey would be interested in representing i told him that i had advised mr bailey all of my appointment with him and then he mr bailey was not interested in representing any defendants in this particular case mr mccourt told me that as a result of his impression of me he does i have my council a fee of twenty five thousand dollars plus expenses was quoted an agreed upon by mr mccourt arrangements were made for the payment of the city over a period of time which arrangements were ultimately met by mr mccourt all over a longer period of time than it originally agreed upon i asked mr mccourt to give any specific details attending the
watergate break in but he specifically decline to do so except to state his principal motivation that is as he told him at that first meeting the protection of others i explained to him that since he had been physically apprehended in the watergate complex he could obviously not deny that fact and inquired as to his motivation and so acting he told me that as chief of security for the committee to re elect the president he had received information to the effect that various anti war demonstrations by groups which you describe as a radical were being planned for the upcoming presidential election and that these demonstrations that in the past and would invariably in the future
lead to violence or the threat thereof to various prominent republican officials including but not limited to members of the committee to re elect the president and including but not limited to the president of the united states i told him that i would explore whether or not this motivation could in any way be embraced by a recognized legal defense he told me that he wished me to come to washington dc and meet with an attorney by the name of paul ryan and he described as one of the counselors to his employer the committee trio at the president he does iran eye contact with your brine and advise him on his wisdom of course position shortly thereafter i traveled
to the capital and telephone mr o'brien for an appointment mr mccourt drove me to mr o'brien office where i met with mr brian and a gentleman introduced to me as mr kenneth thompson i introduced myself told mr ryan i had been retained to represent the supreme court and what it was here at mr mccourt direction to inform him as a representative of mr mccourt employer the commuter rail equipment was and he only appeared to face the consequences for his actions mr ryan and i exchanged office telephone numbers and the meeting which have lasted for approximately fifteen minutes terminated
my first official act on behalf of mr mccourt was to represent him at a pretrial indictment probable cause hearing before a superior court judge in the district of columbia all other defendants had waived such a hearing but i decided to utilize it as best i could for discovering provisions with the record was most impressed with my in port presentation and he told me so i subsequently accompanying him to his wife and daughter before the federal grand jury at one point prior to indictment i was advised by the prosecutors are also a button with the more bland the latest independent evidence that equipment utilized in the monitoring of telephone conversations from the office of the national democratic committee had been delivered to mr mccourt home in the
presence of mr mccourt wife on the night of june seventeen nineteen seventy two they're feisty of the possibility of being indicted as an accessory after the fact but indicated that this would not be done if the equipment was produced i discussed this with most importantly read to work out the best arrangement possible but to do anything and everything to protect his wife and he said he had no involvement in his activities accordingly an arrangement was agreed upon with the prosecutor was whereby the equipment was surrendered to them with the agreement that that methane we're not the fall during the trial the fact that this particular apartment was obtained from mr mccollum says mccourt was not invited and the government kept its word with regard to the
manner in which that equipment was introduced during the trial in the ensuing weeks and months during my many contacts with mr mccourt he continuously insisted that he's only purpose in participating in the watergate break in was to protect his employers and other republican officials from threats of violence he would almost daily sen toomey clippings from various newspapers throughout the country reflecting reports of anti war group activities which in some instances involve violence in fact at one point he sent to meet tight memorandum reflecting this alleged motivation for his conduct which memorandum included various legal citations of law which he believed to be in support of the defense he
wished me to present i've made available copies of the memorandum one of which was accompanied by a hand written note from his chemical which reads as follows dated july thirteen nineteen seventy two yo i well understand that it is your job and not mine to work up a defense nevertheless i have been putting together some ideas and collecting every newspaper clipping i can find which maybe are no later i am strongly oriented toward the grounds of self defense and defense of others and of property as my defense i believe we can make progress on the ground well of course at the top so that length and you have the final say in this matter
with three guides him i read this ripley dishonorable committee to emphasize this fact mr mccourt it was from the beginning in complete agreement with the defense ultimately presented at no time did he ever state committee that he believed the watergate operation to be legal as a result of the alleged involvement of the then attorney general counsel to the president or anyone else as a matter of fact during one of my many conversations with mr mccourt on the subject i told him that my legal research revealed that the defense of the protection
of art will require that the perpetrator not know he was breaking the law i said that has been calling him know during will never believe that a man with your background with the fbi and the cia would not realize he was breaking the law in breaking into an office at night wearing surgical gloves and eavesdropping equipment he laughed and agree that such a contention was in fact legally untenable i further explained that the reason for his actions as he had explained them for me would be more properly embraced by the legal defense all the rest we're
in the perpetrator feels compelled to break the law in order to prevent a greater or even wisdom explain to me his belief over direct relationship between these potentially violent anti war groups and the democratic party and then his participation in the watergate burglary was accomplished in the hope of obtaining advance evidence off plan potentially violent demonstrations i advised that a lot of duress allow for the perpetrator to possess criminal intent that is to know that he was breaking the law and they're there for based upon what he had told me was we got to his own motivation defense was not only compatible little weird but in my opinion constituted the only defense available mr mccourt wholeheartedly agree and i commenced to prepare the case on this basis
i also received from most important line of a proposed book he was in the process of writing entitled to fbi agent for the republicans the true story of the watergate case it was an outline a listing such chapter is titled the beginnings to the committee to re elect the president backed down the violence and political political espionage jack anderson the man the political opposition the watergate incident the true story of the defendants the grand jury the lawyers the investigator was the congressional committees the october faces the news media the final story with a prologue too as
the book goes to print if the democrats and head alliance copies of this suddenly have also been provided the dishonorable committee all these memoranda i may add elements that were provided to me by mail directly from the port industry god on september nineteen ninety seven to one of my thumb hit from my office mr jon alpert johnson he had witnessed the record for arraignment before keith cancer rivers since i had a core commitment in another state mr mcquaid told mr johnson that he was in the process of writing a book and desire and our opinion as to what it could have this book published prior to election day he told mr johnson that he felt that any publication after presidential election they would not be worthwhile militarily
mr johnson reduce this conversation to a file memorandum copies of which you've also been presented to this honorable committee when mr johnson advise me of this i told mr mccourt that in my opinion no such publications should be contemplating prior to trial mr mccourt reluctantly it appeared in the agreed to follow my voice there were other memorandum that i received from time to time for mr mccourt which suggested for consideration of a potential defense material which i reject that one such a memorandum copies of which have been provided the dishonorable committee listed and discuss such topics as and i quote the mafia and democratic national committee funds and personnel unquote low flying tigers and an
additional israel set memorandum as you honorable senators will note in the cotton provided to you also mention names of individuals and law firms which means i choose not to bandy about in these public hearings on several occasions mr mccourt told me that he was convinced that there existed a concerted effort on the part of his co defendants and their counsel to make him the fall of the watergate operation on one particular occasion he mailed to me a memorandum copies of rich you also have reflecting his belief set memorandum reads as follows dated october sixteen
nineteen seventy two thousand a shift of focus of the publicity generated about a week ago newsweek reported for one of my men that the fbi had been leaking information to them relative to my kids and some of the material would appear in the next two issues last week one item appeared reviving an office of mine read it on k street the city this week's issue october twenty thirteen they carry it for the first time an allegation that i was the ringleader of the watergate operation instead of being friendly and biker i am now a quote really well according to the fbi this have been predicted and i would try to be made to focus in order to draw the attention away from the why and leek and hunt
i could see it coming as early as august and more particularly two weeks ago when you and i talked to the fbi links to newsweek are no accident it is as protected him i advise mr mccourt that i had kept abreast of newspaper coverage of the watergate incident and that in all honesty i could disappear and no effort on anyone's right to foist upon him prime responsibility for the offenses charged he disagreed with me and i told him that i would subsequently discuss the matter with other defense council at another time prior to january nineteen seventy three mr mccourt advised that he had made a telephone call to the israeli embassy on september nineteen nineteen seventy two and to the chilean embassy on october ten nineteen seventy two he
did not evolve the contents of these telephone conversations he explained his purpose as follows he told me he was convinced that the government had telephone taps on the phones of these embassies but were not admissions at mit the subjectivity he was certain that his calls had been intercepted he instructed that i made a motion in court requiring the government to disclose any and all intercepted communications in which he was involved his theory was that the government rather than repeal such activity would dismiss the case against him i asked him what these calls were about he told me that they were phone calls relative to the case i now understand that these phone calls were not have any relatives substance which fact mccord had not told me originally i received a letter from
him dated august twenty three reflecting these thoughts copies of which i've made available to this honorable committee it has a two page letter an interest of expediency i shall not read a letter in its entirety it deals with the subject of the consequences of the government intercepting telephone calls however i would respectfully call to the tension of this honorable committee the last paragraph of the letter which readers follow through well enjoy the visit with you and appreciated your life i've got a great lawyer and i am well aware of that fact with him in addition i have provided this audible committee with copies of an undated
memorandum from is the report reflecting for telephone call one from chile emits the report's authors another from mr mccourt author of the chilean military attache the call to the israeli embassy for the airport and a thriller called the chilean embassy and i would respectfully invite the committee's attention to the fact that the first two of these people are current trial mine i'm eating with them cause before i ever represent women's be as a result they're on time inappropriate motion for disclosure of any government electronic surveillance in any way pertaining to mr mccourt mr silvers response was that he had no knowledge of it again at my clients and systems i made a second similar motion at the bench during trial
explaining what i was doing so at my clients and systems that cycle and in fact in the electronic readers the government against david it's a total lack of knowledge of any such activity and accordingly no action was taken on my motion my actions in this regard were consistent with and ok and by my determination to defend my client to the best of my ability by utilizing any and all legal and proper names in retrospect i must conclude that my efforts were not to say the least appreciated with regard to opportunities presented to mr mccourt
detail all that he knew with regard to the watergate operation i think the following on october twenty five nineteen seventy two the government invade to local council my local council mr bernard shankman of washington and my associate mr johnson an offer to accept from estimate politically of guilty to one substantive counts of the indictment and in return for his testimony as a government witness a recommendation of leniency would be make a record the government and to get however that it could not and would not recommend any type of suspended sentence which would allow mr mccourt remain at liberty this awful was transmitted to mr mccourt and was an equal that we reject that in november of nineteen seventy two a second plea offer would receive from the prosecutor was at this time
the offer was essentially similar to the first to accept that mr mccourt would have depleted three counts of the indictment that one yeah explanation for this change of position without the government's case had grown considerably from this song which also involve mr mccourt testifying at a government with government witness was related to and again rejected by mr mccourt i advised with mccourt after an in camera session with keith jarrett is a wreck during the trial that there still exists in an opportunity for him to appear before the grand jury even at that stage you're trying to make changes i have been informed that the committee has been provided with a transcript of that jam are perceiving an idea for will not
attempt to paraphrase the words of chief jeff surrette nevertheless i relate this information to mr mccourt and this that opportunity once again turned down i take the liberty of bringing these three instances to the attention of dishonorable committee since in mind mr mccourt in portions of his testimony before you implying that it had pressured him to plead guilty and to remain silent senators i think to you that this is not so and respectfully refer you to the question asked all of mr mccourt by senator evan on may eighteen nineteen seventy three and i quote question now did your lawyer urge you to enter a plea of guilty i am talking about these digital all
answer i do not recall that no or at least is both masculine testimony was accurate with regard to the allegations of mr mccourt to the effect that i suggested that the cia be brought into the case in a defensive posture i think the following as heretofore explain i had decided to basements then the fourth offense on the theory of duress for two basic reasons why it was the only legally recognized the fans that i felt was affordable two more importantly it appeared to be a factual truth based upon mr mccourt explanation of his own motives in december of
nineteen seventy two i attended one of several meetings of defense council the purpose of which was to discuss various aspects of trial strategy i proceeded to explain the defense that i was contemplating rats a discussion ensued we're in some of the other defense attorneys reason that security motive and by that they were referring to my contemplated defense of duress based upon what mr mcwhorter told me would be applicable only to mr mccourt in view of his position as chief of security for the committee to relive the president in the general discussion that follow the question arose as to whether or not the cia could have been involved it was pointed out by others and i emphasized
by others because at this point my defensiveness the record had been formulating based upon what you told me and with his parents it was pointed out by others that all of the individuals apprehended in the watergate complex and some prior connection with the cia and that one of the cuban americans had been in possession of what appeared to be cia forged documents before the meeting went on to other topics it was agreed that ej lawyer would ask his respective clients went up on not need at any knowledge on any cia involvement i tell my pre arranged and asked him to meet with me and my local council mr bernanke anchorman at the monocle restaurant for lunch during lunch which lasted for
approximately forty five minutes i asked mr mccourt whether to his knowledge of the cia he was in any way involved with the watergate venture she did not directly respond to that specific question but it had become quite upset at what he believed to be the antagonism of the white house against the cia he cited the dismissal of pounds as part of mr helms as cia director and the appointment of missed the lesson in his place as an attempted lob hatchet job and halt by the administration against the cia he did eventually his observation that if any cia officials were subpoenaed that they would not and could not comply with the subpoena because of
the gravity of the luncheon and because of the obvious need for more detail pre trial meetings i ask mr mccourt to come to boston and a few days which he agreed to do on or about december twenty six nineteen seventy two mr mccourt came to boston and initiated our conversation by stating that the cia was not involved and then he would have no time oh any attempt to involve ad agency he asked that i relate to this position to other defense counsel at our next meeting which i agreed to do and in fact it i did not after inviting other defense council all missed the mobile of denial of cia involvement engage with other council in any further conversations or any potential events involving the cia at no time that i
suggested with the report that the phone call cia defense be utilized for the defense of the rest had already been agreed upon but it merely asked him whether or not there was a factual basis for this contention with the reality that i announced my ability to forge his cia personnel records with the cooperation of that then acting cia director and reflection it's absurd and completely untrue i have never had the privilege of meeting with the slaves and you know the privilege of talking with the man no such statement was i have no contract with the director of the cia let alone an
agreement involving a forging documents my local council mr bernanke shankman who was present at the monocle restaurant can corroborate that i did not say that the remainder of my discussion with mr mccourt in boston was devoted to for the analysis of the duress defense and when the meeting ended i told him i would keep in daily telephone to contact with him until our next meeting which it tentatively scheduled for the first week of january nineteen seventy three between december twenty six seventy two and the first week of january nineteen seventy three i attempted to contact with them recorded on several occasions by telephone but each time that i called i was told that he was not for him and my requests for a return call we're not in this puzzled me for up to that
point it with mr mccourt have to return my calls immediately upon him receiving any message for me so do on january two nineteen seventy three i received a call from a local counsel bernard jackman with feist me the wisdom of what they're always about to deliver a letter to the chief judge the river dismissing me is that this was a shock to me foreign outlets a meeting in my office on december twenty six nineteen seventy two we chatted on the most cordial low and in complete agreement on the theory of his defense i asked liz to shake than to advise mr mccourt that i would fly in to washington on january three nineteen seventy three to speak with him on this matter i did meet with mr mccourt after i had learned that a letter of dismissal
had in fact been given the chief curator ago and the chief judge to rip his position was that i was still counsel of record in the us development would not appoint a basis for a continuance when i met with him according to pick me up at the airport in washington i expressed to my astonishment at this action and ask him why you act in such a way mr shankman who told me that one reason cited by mr mccourt listener question regarding the cia defense i brought this up to mr mccourt and said to him in substance i thought that issue was you laid to rest by mutual consent when you deny any factual involvement on the part of the cia and our last meeting in boston he agreed that it was but that was not the reason for this letter he claimed that i had not been maintaining sufficient contact with him and that he was unsure
of my being adequately prepared for trial i told him that in my opinion this was not so and he had the right at any lawyer of choice and then if you wish to dismiss me that was his prerogative it think about what i had viewed as the most satisfactory attorney client relationship based upon mutual trust and confidence and suggested that if he had any grievance with me he should invite me of the same basic defense rather than refusing to answer my phone calls and unilaterally without my knowledge delivering to the judge a letter of dismissal when i said this he became defensive apologized for what he described as the quote lack of communication and misunderstandings and war and expressed his desire to maintain music comes again he voiced his confidence in an extended his hand
an affirmation of that confidence on january nineteen seventy three the first day of trial i learned that mr william polk that means client with the phone and offered to lead to any and all counts on the indictment immediately prior to trial but their chief jonas or a girl that said that he would not going to maintain complete until after the jury selection opening statement this appeared to me to be highly prejudicial to my client four it would tend to give the jury the impression that after the government's opening statement one of the defendants had thrown in the towel so overwhelmed with the weight of the evidence against them i felt like this record and should
have been avoided by changes plea being was all prior to the commencement trial since this had been the request of defendants i have told mr mccourt the outlaw routine ones trial again would be for him to spend sometimes they immediately after court with mr shankman and myself to reveal what had gone on that day and to discuss what was to happen the following day i wanted to discuss with mr bittman the details on his client's proposed change in plea in order to ascertain whether or not they would be a basis for this trial it was agreed that we would meet at his office immediately after court was concluded that day mr shankman this record and i healed and at the last minute co
defendant barker asked if he could write in the camp with us we're at that time his tobacco was going or why he was going to mr bittman thoughtless as i eventually as jane i do not know there was no significant conversation with mr barker in the camp mr mccourt has alleged that i told him that the purpose of going to miss that that means office was that mr bittman wanted to talk with him years to a court about oh who's where he would trust regarding a white house office offer of executive clemency and will and that mr pittman want to talk to mr parker as well this is not true i nearly said to mr mccourt that cry at the
vestibule billy paul's court meeting between a mr shankman and mice so that we would start with the un's office for i wanted to discuss with him the ramifications and the details of mr kuntz proposed change in plea when we arrived at mr that means office mr mccourt has alleged that i've sensed his anger at least the earth and therefore delay going up the midst of the queen's opera for approximately thirty minutes the simple truth is that i think yes that we got out of the care that we three have a cocktail and mr mccourt mr shankman and i went to our restaurant directly across the street from its tibetans office for just that purpose when we arrived because tibetans office i went with mr mccourt mr shankman to the firm's lawyer and went back to
mr bittman thought the cd was that i had a discussion with him with the boat in which he confirmed the judges refusal to entertain any changes plea by mr hunt until after opening at this point i recall mentioning to mr bittman that i felt my client was becoming a bit paranoid that he felt he was being made a passing on the whole that i mentioned that at that time since in my mind that allegation made to me by mr mccourt seemed inconsistent with permits to hunt desire to plead guilty after i mention
estimate for the apprehension my recollection is that mr bittman say it inwards or substance he'll receive a call from a friend of his mr bittman did not mention the white house as alleged by mr mccourt the identity of his friend was not made known to be nor did i make a inquiry in this manner i consider the possibility without knowing if because because because if you think that the purpose of this call was to ole miss to mcallen sphere is that his co defendants were turning against him and that the color very well be missed the biggest client list and this was their minds in my mind
i considered this possibility in view of the context of the conversation immediately preceding mr bittman from iraq that is my statement in accordance with mr mccourt request on his apprehension with regard to his co defendants it subsequently told us what mr bittman told me that he would receive a call from a friend i could not mention the words of the white house because mr bittman did not mention those words today mr mccourt not him said ok and have no further response to my state sometime later as the trial wasn't progress mr mccourt told me that he had been in contact with a man by the name of paul well that's how i remembered as he told me
he specifically stated that he did not wish to tell me all this man was or the subject matter of his conversation with him in response to that that was his prerogative in this regard i respectfully invite the attention of the honorable committee to mr mccourt letter chiefs jets are a couple of march nineteen nineteen seventy three of which i had no prior knowledge i respectfully refer to the next to last paragraph ortega to provide a desirable committee after alleging and promptly after alleging complaints about various topics including but not limited to
an allegation that there was political pressure applied to the defendants who pleaded guilty and remain silent mr mccourt in the second to last paragraph on page two stated and this letter that was written without my knowledge and i quote i have not discussed enviable mind attorneys as a matter of protection for grimm <unk> mccourt has alleged that the subject of executive clemency was discussed on this day january eighth nineteen seventy three this is not true in late nineteen seventy two during one of the pre trial meaningful all defense lawyers in washington i had an occasion to say to most of that bill
what do you think our clients will receive as a sentence should they be convicted mr bittman responded in substance as if he were theorizing you never can tell christmas time rolls around and they can be executive clemency i scoffed at this notion and told mr bittman that in my opinion the president would not touch this case with a ten foot pole let alone exercise executive clemency this subject have not been on the water rose and when i characterize as lawyers are subsequently but not on that same day i mentioned this to mr mccourt in a most
skeptical manner and said to him jim it can be christmas easter and thanksgiving all rolled into one but in my opinion the president will not touch this case with a conflict also don't rely on any prospect of executive clemency mr mccourt laughter and agreed with me that was the only occasion that the words executive clemency were ever measured by me to my client i hadn't even met john dean north spoken to him in my life i haven't even met john caulfield nor spoken to him in my life during the trial i
presented the chief jeff surrette them i contemplated defense theory of duress supported by a memorandum of law several days later after receiving a written response from the government the court ruled as a matter of law that this defense did not apply to this case there by griffith precluding me from presented evidence in support of iran and for from relying upon it and closing after opening statement mr heim and for them before the cuban american defendants pleaded guilty at which time i filed a motion with the night when this happened i explained to mr mccourt the only possible remaining defense with the general defends of lack of criminal intent but if i asked him that in my opinion it had little odd little or no legal merit forget was asking the jury to believe that he did
not know he was breaking the law when he broke into the watergate complex in this to say the least with not very saleable mr mcclellan indicated his understanding of our position told me that he was nevertheless most pleased with my observing my best effort was we got the proposed theory of duress and ask whether or not the judges ruling could be a point of appeal in the event of a conviction i told that it could and would be that the wreckage had been made in that regard and he indicated his complete satisfaction would prevent existing situation and as the trial approached the completion of the government's case i conferred with mr mccourt at one of our daily post trial meetings and told him that a decision would be made regarding whether or not he would take the standard i explained to him that if he collected to testify
it would be his obligation to answer any and all relevant question it was at this time that mr mccourt told me that he had evidence to the effect that the watergate operation had been approved by john mitchell i asked him the nature of the evidence and he told me he had been so advised by mr levy i asked him to be any other corroborating evidence and he told me he did not i told him that although this was technically here is that it would be admissible as a declaration by one co conspirator to another and told him to understand beyond any doubt that should he take the stand that question what in my opinion be asked and unanswerable it i told him that if elected to
take a stand for oldest low you would be necessary and i was with him all the way but at this crucial decision of whether or not to testify quote only be a record as original lawyer says mccourt repeatedly praised the defense job he was going before turning on him and testifying at all suggested records somehow linked the cia with his trial during this first bout of his testimony on to describe what he said was a good relationship with the court one testimony resumes he continues to recount the causes of their ultimate separation and that'll come in a few minutes what we pause and interrupt a primetime coverage taken the trouble to writers and express your approval of this kind of coverage then you still care to good writers out and packed bach's three hundred washington dc and that's continuing coverage of the watergate hearings resumes after a pause for station
identification on a bridge to coverage of these hearings is provided as a public service by the member stations of pbs the public broadcasting service fb
area and pike continues its coverage of hearings by the senate select committee on presidential campaign activities here again correspondent robert mcneil gerald
option our resumes his testimony explaining how the lawyer client relationship between him and james mccord deteriorated the deal would be in the event their convictions by reviewing them mentioning such things as the court's denial of my emotion from this trial based upon the timing of the changes that we've identified co defendants as well as the ruling by chief judge director precluding the defense of the arrests he told me he had decided not to testify i asked him if he had any reservations regarding that decision and he said he did not as the jury announced its verdict i immediately asked the chief judge to be heard on the matter which request with a nine point five that the motion the point in writing so as to allow the government to respond
i immediately set to work upon this prosecution to respond as quickly as possible and several days later the hearing was held at which time they always sat in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars what i am now it really is not for the purpose of commendation but if they get to show and emphasize the relationship that existed between mr mccourt and i from the beginning to the end of the trial there was not a day of trial that pass without mr mccourt shaking my hand at the end of the day and telling me what a superlative job done he used an adjective such is terrific outstanding and expressed his total and unequivocal satisfaction and appreciation for my orbits
i remember the day of final argument when president in the courtroom were missed the records wife his son his daughter and his parents after my final argument they all came up to me and profusely thank me for the words i had heard it on the record they said they were proud of my description of wisdom a pool and that they were thrilled to sit here and here this isn't a court had previously told me of her anxiety over what the effects of the trial might have on her son was a student at the air force academy on the day of the final argument he asked if i could obtain for her a copy of the action so that he could live with their son when the jury announced its verdict of guilty mr mccoy returned he
extended his hand and said there is no one that could have done a better job than you did you are terrific political and i shall always be grateful to you it was in the emotional moment at my local council mr shankman can deal with this for further demonstrate that status of my relationship with my client i have provided this honorable committee with a copy of my letter to mr mccoy date february six nineteen seventy three while he was incarcerated at the district of columbia yale i specifically refer the attention of dishonorable committee to the third paragraph of that letter which reads as fall leaves my lips and i again reiterate that i shall continue to do everything possible in your behalf and she'll stay
with you at all that may lie ahead having a client convicted can never be a source of gratification to literally i will however always remember your vote of confidence in the before during and after the trial i immediately commenced my efforts to effectuate mr mccourt really sunbathe the record will reflect that a petition to reduce the bales set by chief judge director was filed in the court of appeals for the district of columbia at the earliest possible time i made several visits to mr mccourt in the district of columbia give it manages expressing dissatisfaction are being placed in a maximum security area it immediately spoke to the prison superintendent asked if anything could be done no commitment was made i was told that my request
would be given every consideration i remember that approximately a week after the trial ended my wife and i went on a four day vacation to jamaica and even then i made at least one if not true fb fb
1973 Watergate Hearings
Part 3 of 4
Producing Organization
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/512-rb6vx06z38).
Episode Description
Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer anchor gavel-to-gavel coverage of day 4 of the U.S. Senate Watergate hearings. In today's hearing, John J. Caulfield and Gerald Alch testify.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Event Coverage
Politics and Government
Watergate Affair, 1972-1974
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Anchor: MacNeil, Robert
Anchor: Lehrer, James
Producing Organization: WETA-TV
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2341600-1-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Preservation
Color: Color
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-05-23; Part 3 of 4,” 1973-05-23, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 20, 2024,
MLA: “1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-05-23; Part 3 of 4.” 1973-05-23. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 20, 2024. <>.
APA: 1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-05-23; Part 3 of 4. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from